This leads to a consideration of Luther’s doctrine of faith. Faith is for him receiving God, when He gives Himself to us. He distinguishes it completely from historical faith (fides historica), which acknowledges historical facts. It is for him the acceptance of the gift of God, the presence of the grace of God which grasps.

Luther has again and again emphasized the receptive character of faith – nihil facere sedtantum recipere – doing nothing, only receiving. These ideas are all concentrated in the acceptance of being accepted, namely in the forgiveness of sins, which produces a quiet consciousness, and which produces a spiritual vitality towards God and man. “Faith is a living and restless thing. The right; living faith can by no means be lazy.” So in other words the element of knowledge in faith is an existential element and therefore everything else follows from it. “Faith makes the person; person makes the works, not works the person.” Now that is something of which I would say that it is again confirmed by everything we know today in terms of depth psychology. It is the ultimate meaning of a life which makes a person. And a split personality is not a personality which doesn’t do good works. There are people who do many good works – and again I refer to the example we have in our minds and hearts (referring to the recent death of a classmate) – but where the ultimate center is lacking. And this ultimate center is what Luther calls faith: that makes a person; but faith of course not as accepting doctrines, even any Christian doctrine, but faith as accepting the power itself out of which we come and to which we go, however the doctrines may be through which we accept it.