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Christian Character FormationLutheran Studies of the Law, Anthropology, Worship, and Virtue$
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Gifford A. Grobien

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198746195

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198746195.001.0001

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Union with Christ and Its Bearing on New Character

Union with Christ and Its Bearing on New Character

(p.84) 5 Union with Christ and Its Bearing on New Character
Christian Character Formation

Gifford A. Grobien

Oxford University Press

Research in the area of union with Christ by the Finnish Luther School in recent decades provides a way of understanding the new character given in justification. The Finnish school has criticized recent Luther research as overlooking Luther’s teaching on union with Christ. Instead, reception of Christ’s grace and gifts requires participation in Christ’s body. While the Finns may be criticized for weaknesses in articulating forensic justification, their emphasis on union serves in the explanation of a new Christian character. Other elements of union are described to develop an anthropology of union. Union is relational, such that both Christ and the Christian retain their identity. Participation emphasizes a Christian’s share in Christ’s benefits and qualities. Adoption serves to emphasize the gracious nature of union, yet the full effect of union in making a Christian a child of God. Incorporation expresses the ecclesiastical and corporate character of union with Christ.

Keywords:   union with Christ, relation, Hermann Lotze, Finnish Luther School, participation, perichoresis, adoption, incorporation

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