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Church and SocietyThe Laurence J. McGinley Lectures, 1988-2007$
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Avery Cardinal Dulles

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780823228621

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: March 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fso/9780823228621.001.0001

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Justification Today

Justification Today

A New Ecumenical Breakthrough

October 26, 1999

(p.306) 22 Justification Today
Church and Society

Avery Cardinal Dulles

Fordham University Press

One of the central themes of the New Testament, if not the central theme, is the way to obtain salvation. To be on the right road is, in New Testament terminology, to be justified. The corollary is that unless people are justified, people are unrighteous and are on the road to final perdition. In other words, justification, as a right relationship with God, is a matter of eternal life or death. This chapter examines justification and looks at the Joint Declaration. According to Christian faith, justification is a gift of God, who grants it through his Son and the Holy Spirit. Martin Luther affirms that justification is independent of all human cooperation, and that it consists in the favor of God, who freely imputes the merits of Christ. Justification, he holds, is received by faith alone, independently of any good works or obedience to God's law.

Keywords:   Martin Luther, justification, salvation, Joint Declaration, New Testament

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