This book is excellent. By emphasizing the importance of union with Christ in the Lutheran tradition, Jordan Cooper is recovering a gospel reality without which the Reformation is nearly impossible to understand. Though sometimes neglected in contemporary Protestant theology and worship, the believer’s union with Christ was one of Luther’s own deepest theological commitments. I hope that a great many people read this book and, by way of its deep historical and theological learnedness, come to appreciate the inestimable significance—both for the Reformational tradition and for the contemporary church—of life in Christ Jesus.”
Professor of Theology at Moody Bible Institute and author One With Christ and, with John Clark, The Incarnation of God.
In treating the question of union with Christ, Cooper does not simply choose one side of the question and polemicize. Rather, he shows how philosophical trends rather than legitimate biblical concerns contributed to the neglect of the doctrine of the union of Christ in the twentieth century, and that this neglect has contributed to the influence of existential theology and Radical Lutheranism, even among otherwise confessional pastors and theologians. Scholars, pastors, and laity will all benefit from this book.
Associate Professor of Systematic Theology, Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Indiana
TITLE: Union with Christ: Salvation as Participation
SERIES: A Contemporary Protestant Scholastic Theology (Volume 6)
The Christian's participatory union with Christ is a central element of salvation, both in Scripture and in the historic Christian tradition. In the early twentieth century, however, this theme gradually began to diminish in its prominence within Lutheran theological writing. Due to a variety of philosophical and theological shifts, many Lutherans began to emphasize forensic justification to the exclusion of participationist motifs. That forensic exclusivism is challenged in this work.
In this book, Jordan Cooper articulates an approach to union with Christ that is drawn from both Patristic theology and the classical Lutheran tradition. Throughout this study, Cooper exposits union with Christ under three distinctive categories: the objective union of God and man through the Incarnation, the formal union of faith in which the believer is united to Christ's person and work, and the mystical union through which the Triune God dwells in the hearts of Christians.
This book is the sixth volume in a series titled A Contemporary Protestant Scholastic Theology.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Jordan Cooper is an ordained Lutheran pastor in the American Association of Lutheran Churches, a Professor of Systematic Theology, the Executive Director of Just and Sinner, and the President of the American Lutheran Theological Seminary. He has also held positions in multiple Christian organizations on campus at Cornell University. Cooper has authored several books, including his ongoing A Contemporary Protestant Scholastic Theology series, as well as theological articles in a variety of publications, including: Credo, Modern Reformation, Logia, Conspectus, Sapientia, the Issues Etc. Journal, Rowan and Littlefield's Encyclopedia of Martin Luther and the Reformation, and more. He has hosted the Just and Sinner Podcast since 2012, and also has a popular YouTube channel. He lives in Ithaca, NY with his wife Lisa and their two sons.