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Discovers the Sospel NEW LIGHT UPON LUTHERS WAY FROM MEDIEVAL CATHOLICISM TO EVANGELICAL FAITH By UURAS SAARNIVAARA, PH. D. TH. D. CONCORDIA PUBLISHING HOUSE SAINT LOUIS COPYRIGHT 1951 BY CONCORDIA PUBLISHING HOUSE PRINTED IN THE U. S. A. This book is dedicated to my - father, Dean Emil Edward Saarnivaara of Finland, whose counsels and prayers have been a great blessing to me, and whose support and encouragement have meant much in my theological work and to the memory of my beloved mother, Olga Maria Saarnivaara b. Linna, who passed to glory when I was twiting this book in the summer of 1943 Preface WHEN the Protestant world in 1883 celebrated the quadricentennial of the birth of Martin Luther, the great Reformer, a new interest was aroused in the study of his life and teachings. This interest received a new impetus from the crushing defeat brought by the First World War to the optimistic dreams of the liberal the ology and culture. Men felt that they needed a more vital Chris tianity and a deeper theology than the anemic one which had been prevalent up to the great war. This seemed to be offered by the great Reformer, who had found a way to the fountains of divine grace and life and who had rediscovered the Gospel, which helps men to be reconciled with God and to come into a living experience of fellowship with Him. The revitalized Luther research, which was now growing into a Luther renaissance was not satisfied with studying the teach ings of the Reformer. It felt that its first task was to give answer to the question How did Luther himself find a way to a fellow ship with God and to an evangelical faith It was convinced that his teaching of the way of salvation could be rightly understood only in the light of his own struggles and experiences. An intense study was therefore focused on the early life of Luther and on his way to the evangelistic faith. More prominent scholars studied this question, and more studies were published on it than on any other topic in the field of Luther research. It was, however, unfortunate that many of the men who tried to trace the path of the Reformer from the Roman Catholic to an evangelical faith had received their theological schooling in the liberal tradition of the pre-war theology. The result was very strange indeed These students of Luther came to the conclusion that Luthers early teaching of justification, which was somewhat related to the ideas of the prevalent liberal theology, was his real IX X Preface teaching and that he himself did not remember correctly his own struggles and his path to the light of the Gospel. He made gross mistakes these theologians said in relating his own way and the decisive turning points of it. Only now his way to the evangel ical faith and the doctrine he taught was rightly understood. Some theologians doubted these results, and no wonder. It is hard to believe that a man like Luther could have given such a wrong picture of the great turning points of his spiritual pil grimage. The present writer became aware of the unreliability of the prevalent results of recent Luther research while making an in vestigation into the issue in preparing a dissertation in partial ful fillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at the Divinity School of the University of Chicago. The present volume is an outcome of this investigation. It tries to show what was Luthers path to a living fellowship with God and to a par ticipation in the grace through which he gained the joyful assur ance that he was acceptable to God. The author is confident that his interpretation is more reliable than the prevalent one because it respects Luthers own statements on the matter and - takes into account all the other documents and facts which throw light on the issue. The author feels himself under obligation to express his grat itude to Professor Wilhelm Pauck, his adviser, for valuable guidance and constructive criticism during the course of the work...
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