Divisions which have lasted for centuries, with God’s grace, can be resolved. Such is the case with the differences between Christians when it comes to “justification” — God’s work of removing the guilt and penalty of sin.
The Lutheran World Federation is celebrating that a new anniversary edition of the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification (JDDJ) was published on its website. The JDDJ is a historic agreement, signed by Lutherans and Catholics on 31 October 1999 in Augsburg Germany, resolving divisions on the “basic truths” of salvation as a free gift from God. It was later affirmed by the World Methodist Council (2006), the Anglican Consultative Council (2016) and the World Communion of Reformed Churches (2017), making it a multilateral agreement between five equal partners.
The new online publication includes a new Forward, the Association Statements by the World Methodist Council, the Anglican Communion, and the World Communion of Reformed Churches plus the Notre Dame Consultation Statement in four languages. Further translation of the JDDJ will be available soon, notably, in French, Spanish, and Italian.
In the Notre Dame Consultation Statement (2019), participants say that their churches witness to the fact that through the JDDJ process “centuries-old controversies” are being overcome. They underline the urgency of bringing this witness of reconciliation to a “broken, divided and contentious world” and they pledge to “communicate this message to people of our time in meaningful and relevant ways though our common witness and service.”