The Alien and the Proper: Luther’s Two-Fold Righteousness in Controversy, Ministry, and Citizenship
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The Alien and the Proper: Luther’s Two-Fold Righteousness in Controversy, Ministry, and Citizenship

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In his Galatians commentary of 1535, Martin Luther insists that "our theology" relies on the proper distinction of two kinds of righteousness: Alien and Proper. In relation to our Creator, we freely receive our "alien" righteousness from Christ who has obtained it for us through his death and resurrection. In relation to humanity and God's created order, we practice a "proper" righteousness by actively fulfilling God's commands that set down the form and pattern for good human living.

Luther posited that this distinction was the key to understanding our humanity. His regular use of this anthropological principle, particularly when applied to justification by faith, the nature of sin, and the proper practice of God's gift of humanity, demonstrates its centrality and importance. 

In this collection of essays, five authors examine the historical development of Luther's Twofold Righteousness and propose ways in which it can continue to serve Christians today. Through these essays you will learn about Luther's radical divergence from medieval theological formulations, and you will discover what it means to be human.

About the editor

Robert Kolb, professor emeritus of systematic theology at Concordia Seminary, Saint Louis USA, co-editor with Timothy Wengert of The Book of Concord translation of 2000, and author of several books on Luther and the Lutheran confessions, brings together essays by himself and five colleagues, David Lumpp, professor emeritus of theology, Concordia University, Saint Paul, Minnesota and four other professors at Concordia Seminary, Saint Louis: Charles Arand (systematic theology), Joel Biermann (systematic theology), Timothy Saleska (exegetical theology), and William Schumacher (historical theology).