1. See particularly Oswald Bayer, "Law and Freedom: A Metacritique of Kant," 138-55, Freedom in Response: Lutheran Ethics: Sources and Controversies (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007) and Oswald Bayer, "Justification: Basis and Boundary of Theology, 67-85, By Faith Alone: Essays on Justification in Honor of Gerhard O. Forde, ed. Joseph A. Burgess and Marc Kolden (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2004), 76, where the continuity between modernity and postmodernity is identified: "In both, the concept of 'creation out of nothing,' and thus an existence that is unearned and radically unmerited, appears to be totally meaningless, even nonsensical, absurd."
2. See also Freedom in Response, 202-4.
3. Oswald Bayer, Living by Faith: Justification and Sanctification (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2003), xiv.
4. He closes his discussion of the estates by emphasizing Luther's point that "over these three estates and orders comes the general estate of Christian love." See Bayer, Martin Luther's Theology, 152.
5. Cf. Freedom in Response, 160: "... we ourselves do not build the 'house' of the world and our own lives' we are only, so to speak, 'interior designers'."
6. John L. Austin, How to Do Things with Words, (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1962).
7. Reinhard Hütter, Suffering Divine Things: Theology as Church Practice, (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2000), 84.
8. Ibid., 225, n148.
9. Mark C. Mattes, The Role of Justification in Contemporary Theology, (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2004), 164.
10. Cf. the helpful historical summary by Eugene L. Fevold in "The Theological Scene," chapter 14 in The Lutherans in North America, ed., E. Clifford Nelson (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1975)
11. Bayer, 59-60, cites from On the Freedom of a Christian Luther's repeated use of the language of "if you believe." But of course the passage ends with talk of God: "He alone commands; he alone also fulfills."
12. See Oswald Bayer, "The Ethics of Gift," 447-68, The Lutheran Quarterly, xxiv:4 (Winter, 2010), 458.
13. The closest he comes to such a structure is in his use of Aristotle's four causes, where he grants a pagan access to the material and formal causes, but reserves the efficient and final causes for Christian claims. See Freedom in Response, 114.
14. See Oswald Bayer, "Worship and Theology," 148-61, Worship and Ethics: Lutherans and Anglicans in Dialogue, ed. Oswald Bayer and Alan Suggate (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1996), 160-61, where Bayer rejects the "idea of a unity of history," insisting instead that "if theology entails knowledge of sin and waiting for the gift of justification, it renounces the concept of a unity and refuses to conjure up a meaning of history."
Martin Luther’s Theology: A Contemporary Interpretation by Oswald Bayer
Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2008
398 pp. ISBN 978-0-8028-2799-9, $32 (Paperback)
© November 2011
Journal of Lutheran Ethics
Volume 11, Issue 7