Description: Although preachers often question their effectiveness, no task of the church is more important than proclamation. Only the gospel liberates sinners from guilt, despair, and death and grants them freedom, hope, and new life. Few have grasped this truth better than Martin Luther. This volume features contributions by contemporary theologians whose work is shaped by Luther's conviction that God's justification of the ungodly comes through preaching: Gerhard Forde, Oswald Bayer, and their students and friends. Taken from the pages of Lutheran Quarterly, these essays in historical and theological perspective bring the doctrine of justification to bear on contemporary preaching. For Luther, the whole creation has its life out of God's "pure, fatherly, divine goodness and mercy, without any merit or worthiness of ours at all " Luther's insight to center creation around God's justifying work accents the cosmic scope of the doctrine. Justification is at the core of God's creative and saving activity with respect to all that has been, is, and will be. God's justification of the ungodly is the heart of all Christian theology and mission, and inescapably shapes the character of both. Preaching Christ as the justifier of sinners, in contrast to the accusing directives of the law, does nothing other than establish God's deity over and for the world, and brings an end to sinners' own self-deifying quests, re-creating them as fully human, fully free. Theologians and preachers gain their compass, purpose, and courage from this truth. Endorsements: "Justification Is for Preaching is refreshingly radical . . . because it goes to the root of God's own design for preaching, the bestowal of a promise that creates faith in Christ Jesus. Preaching is not about transformation of character or political advocacy but God's own declaration of righteousness for the ungodly. In essays from both sides of the Atlantic, theologians in the tradition of Luther carry out his approach to the renewal of the church, that is, . . . the preaching of Christ crucified. Seminarians as well as seasoned preachers will be invigorated and challenged by . . . this fine book." --John T. Pless Assistant Professor of Pastoral Ministry & Missions / Director of Field Education Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Indiana "Good preaching is dependent on good theology. Central to effective proclamation of the Christian faith is the proper understanding of God's fashioning of the relationship between himself and his human creatures. Thompson has assembled fourteen essays by eight leading Lutheran theologians from the US and Germany who give preachers a host of insights into how to deliver Scripture's central message of the restoration of sinners to a right relationship with God." --Robert Kolb Professor of Systematic Theology Emeritus Concordia Seminary, Saint Louis, Missouri About the Contributor(s): Virgil Thompson currently teaches the New Testament at Gonzaga University. Previously he served as pastor to congregations of the Lutheran Church for over thirty years. For the past twenty-five years he has served as Managing Editor of Lutheran Quarterly.