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The Human Response in the Creation and Formation of Faith: A Narrative Analysis of John 12:20-50 and its Application to the Doctrine of Justification

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One area of lingering tension between Lutherans and Roman Catholics on the doctrine of justification relates to the necessity, or even the possibility, of a human response in one's justification. In this article, I argue that the Gospel of John can address this lingering tension and, in doing so, acts as a counter balance to the Pauline corpus. Through narrative and inner-textual analysis, the article claims that John 12:20-50 informs the reader that Christ, the light of the world which allows humanity to see where to walk, has been sent into the world by God the Father. In this critical passage, the point at which the light of Christ is to be taken out of the world, one discovers that John corroborates Catholic concerns that the gift of God's grace, God's light, empowers and requires a human response. Such a response, however, must not be understood as independent of God's gift of grace, or light, both in its origin and continuing efficaciousness.

Affiliations: 1: Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI, USA;, Email:


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