The unity of the early Lutheran reformation, even in the central themes such as justification, is still an open question. This study examines the development of the doctrine of justification in the works of the prominent first and second generation Lutheran reformers from the viewpoints of divine participation and effectivity of justification. Generally, Luther's idea of Christ's real presence in the believer as the central part of justification is maintained and taught by all Reformers while they simultaneously develop various theological frameworks to depict the nature of participation. However, in some cases these developed models are contradictory, which causes tension between theologians resulting in the invention of new doctrinal formulations.
Olli-Pekka Vainio, D. Theol. (2004) in Ecumenical Theology, University of Helsinki, is Researcher in the Department of Systematic Theology.