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A Critical Analysis of the Interpretation of the Doctrine of «Justification by Faith Alone» by the Lutheran Church of Christ in Nigeria, Gongola Diocese


James J. Reynolds

Within the context of the Lutheran Church in Nigeria, Gongola Diocese, this book examines the issues of the interpretation, transmission, and appropriation of the doctrine of justification by faith alone. Using contextualization as the main tool in this exploration, James J. Reynolds argues that intercultural communication holds the key to unlocking how effectively and appropriately these three engagements with theology are executed. The Lutheran church, and indeed most Protestant denominations, assert that justification by faith alone is the cardinal doctrine of Christianity. Scholars, however, are concerned that there is a great level of ignorance among members and misappropriation of justification by faith alone in the lives of members of these denominations. To investigate these underlying factors, three theories are used as a framework with which to test the church’s interpretation of this doctrine: gospel and culture in dialogue, translatability, and contextual theological education programmes for the training of both clergy and laity. In order to initiate this process, the gospel and culture must engage in dialogue through a viable and contextual theological education programme for the training of both clergy and the laity. The Lunguda practice of ntsandah provides an ideal entry point for a proper informed interpretation of justification by faith alone. Ultimately, the author argues that the employment of intercultural communication in transmitting the message of justification by faith alone will be successful in helping address this problem.
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8 Conclusion: Towards a Contextual Missio-Cultural Appropriation


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Towards a Contextual Missio-Cultural Appropriation

8.1 Introduction

In chapter seven, six problems were discussed that emerged from the field work, namely: lack of proper understanding, neglect of mother tongue, translation, lack of contextual approach, lack of resources, and lack of commitment in transmitting the doctrine. The discussion revealed how these problems can be addressed using resources from the Lutheran church and the Lunguda cultural/religious background. Also, the chapter noted that a good understanding of the Lunguda cultural/religious world view will help to identify areas of similarity that can be used as bridges for the transmission of the Christian faith. However, the findings from the field work revealed that the LCCN has not utilized this avenue optimally; hence, there is lack of proper understanding and interpretation of justification by faith alone by the LCCN. The second issue is lack of proper application of the meaning ofjustification by faith alone to the felt needs of the people through the process of contextualization. When these two are closely examined, it becomes clear that the thrust of the matter is lack of concerted effort towards the transmission of the doctrine by the LCCN.

This chapter presents the summary of the thesis and conclusions of the study, drawing on insights from the research findings. Though the sample of my study is ← 155 | 156 → small, the findings of the previous chapters will serve as pointers to the real issues in the broader...

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