Pieper, Francis. Christian Dogmatics: Volume 2. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1968.
“Justification by Faith” (Loc. 11414).
In this lengthy last chapter, Pieper discusses justification under twelve headings.
- “Justification by Faith,Without the Deeds of the Law” (Pieper 1968, Loc. 11414). Justification of the sinner is appropriated solely by faith. It is not based on works of any kind. Pieper observes this is radically different from any human ideas, which always compel works (Ibid., Loc. 11423).
- “The Strong Language Used by Scripture Against the Workmongers” (Ibid., Loc. 11453). The Bible clearly condemns the idea that good works lead to justification.
- “The Postulates of Justification by Faith, Without Works” (Ibid., Loc. 11471). If Christ had not accomplished “objective justification” the offer of subjective justification would be worthless.
- “Justification the Central Doctrine of the Christian Religion” (Ibid., Loc. 11545). Pieper along with the Lutheran Reformers finds justification absolutely central. He provides many biblical reasons.
- “All Christians Believe in Justification by Faith” (Ibid., Loc. 11602). Without this doctrine one cannot be said to be a Christian. Pieper illustrates the concept from Scripture.
- “The Disastrous Results of the Denial of Justification by Faith” (Ibid., Loc. 11633). Pieper contends that denial of justification by faith precludes having saving faith. It makes the individual into the source of salvation. It also clouds our view of distinctive doctrine (Ibid., Loc. 11655), making all religions seem adequate.
- “The Terminology Employed in Presenting the Doctrine of Justification” (Ibid., Loc. 11681). Pieper lists several ways the Church has reliably presented the doctrine. Specifically he unpacks “by grace for Christ’s sake, through faith.” Pieper cites numerous ways in which various traditions fall short of this standard.
- “Justification on the Basis of Works” (Ibid., Loc. 11919). This is a civil justification recognized by our neighbors as we do the works of faith.
- “The Doctrine of Justification and the Distinction Between the Law and the Gospel” (Ibid., Loc. 11983). Pieper observes that justification is entirely a matter of Gospel.
- “The Assurance of Justification” (Ibid., Loc. 12018). Anyone who believes Christ has every reason for certainty.
- “The Papacy and the Doctrine of Justification” (Ibid., Loc. 12051). The Roman Church condemns justification by grace through faith, according to Pieper. It requires that works be mixed in (Ibid., Loc. 12064).
- “Modern Protestant Theology and the Doctrine of Justification” (Ibid., Loc. 12104). Pieper sees modernist theology as also reverting to justification by works.
In conclusion, Pieper views justification by grace through faith as central to all Christian faith.