BEST BOOK: Martin Luther’s Theology: A Contemporary Interpretation by Oswald Bayer.
“This way to differentiate between Christ as donum, as gift, and Christ as exemplum is necessary to avoid the moralizing that is currently widely practiced, which can be so easily linked with a teaching that advocates “Christ alone” (solus Christus). The danger of such moralizing is much greater in the present because of the influence of Kant’s thesis that religion develops out of morality, than it was at the time of Luther, in which the dominant view was an Aristotelian-ethical understanding of reality, which was transferred in the teaching about sin and grace.” – pg. 64
“Faith is the work of the Holy Spirit in the believer; No matter how coming to faith, or being in faith, is experienced, whether subjectively, biographically, psychologically-faith is the work of God and not of human being. As whatever is involved in salvation, our will is bound-which is good for us!” – pg. 240
“If the Holy Spirit calls only “through the gospel,” but the gospel is gospel only as it is distinguished from the law, then the distinction between law and gospel is decisive with respect to the teaching about the Holy Spirit, about pneumatology, as well. Thus the work of the Spirit is first of all, to sharpen the law and to bring about God’s judgment against sin; only then does the Spirit work through the second and final word of God, the gospel, in that he forgives sin and creates faith.” – pg. 247
RUNNER UP: The Righteousness of Faith According to Luther by Hans J. Iwand
“Then this law , this cycle “I” and work and conscience would indeed be broken and I could confront the works that wait for me, knowing that God’s judgment supports me, with the confidence of a master who commands his slave. Then I would act with the greatest freedom and confidence, knowing that no work that I do can decide my fate, my salvation, or my righteousness before God. That is precisely the heavenly gift that Luther finds in the New Righteousness; the freedom of the children of God who do work simply that it may be done, but who do not need to do any work at all in order to know that they live by God’s grace.” – pg. 67