A Critical Analysis of the Interpretation of the Doctrine of «Justification by Faith Alone» by the Lutheran Church of Christ in Nigeria, Gongola Diocese
1 General Introduction and Background of Study
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General Introduction and Background of Study
The doctrine of justification, by grace through faith in Christ is the old doctrine of the Reformation… yet the vivid apprehension of its meaning, and the cordial reception of its truth, must be a new thing in the experience of every one… (Buchanan 1984: 3).
This study seeks to examine the translation and interpretation of the doctrine1 of justification by faith alone by the Lutheran Church of Christ in Nigeria (LCCN)2, Gongola Diocese. Justification by faith alone looks at how a person receives or appropriates God’s gift of grace by faith rather than through personal merit. Justification by faith alone is a cardinal doctrine of the Lutheran Church and indeed the whole of Evangelical Christianity. The study attempts to examine how the doctrine has been appropriated by the church members of this diocese in relation to the religious, cultural and social context of the people. To achieve this, the possibility of using contextual theological education as a tool to help understand the church’s interpretation of this doctrine will be explored. In addition the translatability theory of Kwame Bediako will be utilized to assess the effect of the worldview of the congregants on their interpretation of the doctrine. Three ← 1 | 2 → criteria for judging the LCCN’s interpretation of the doctrine of justification by faith alone will be used. These are scripture, past confessional documents, and how the doctrine facilitates Christian spirituality...
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