Gerhard Forde on Descriptive and Declarative Language

Eclectic Orthodoxy

Shortly after seminary I began devouring the writings on Lutheran theologians on the topic of justification by faith. I was particularly intrigued by the Jenson-Lindbeck proposal that the Reformation doctrine of “justification by faith” should be understood as a metalinguistic or metatheological rule governing churchly proclamation of the gospel.

But I still struggled with the question “But isn’t faith a condition of salvation?” So I wrote to the late Dr Gerhard Forde, Professor of Systematic Theology at Luther-Northwestern Theological Seminary. He was kind enough to reply to my letter. I found it then, and find it still today, very helpful.

I thought I would publish this letter here. It is germane to the topic I am addressing in my present blog series on preaching the gospel. And I just want the letter to be preserved on the net. I suspect that others will find it as helpful as I…

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