...that was my first thought on beginning to read the paper that Christopher Orr linked up on his blog from erstwhile LCMS, Robert C. Koons. The book I was thinking of was a thorough treatment of Chrysostom's treatment of justification. It needs to be by someone who reads Chrysostom in the Greek (that's not me!) and who will be able to deal with the data without trying to fit it into either an "Orthodox" or "Lutheran" straight-jacket, let alone a "Roman" one. I say this because it seems to me that Mr. Koons does not do justice to the complex picture of this doctrine that Chrysostom presents. There are so very many passages that popped into my mind in reading his work (and I'm not done it yet - but this is one of the topics he tackles up top), but a few that I think need to be reckoned with are these:
God does not wait for time to elapse after repentance. You state your sin, you are justified. You repented, you have been shown mercy. – Homily 7 On Repentance and Compunction, p. 95 in FOTC, vol. 96.
And he well said, "a righteousness of mine own," not that which I gained by labor and toil, but that which I found from grace. If then he who was so excellent is saved by grace, much more are you. For since it was likely they would say that the righteousness which comes from toil is the greater, he shows that it is dung in comparison with the other. For otherwise I, who was so excellent in it, would not have cast it away, and run to the other. But what is that other? That which is from the faith of God, i.e. it too is given by God. This is the righteousness of God; this is altogether a gift. And the gifts of God far exceed those worthless good deeds, which are due to our own diligence. Chrysostom, Homily on Philippians 3
God is a great lover of man. He did not hesitate to surrender His Son as prey in order to spare His servant. He surrendered His only-begotten to purchase hard-hearted servants. He paid the blood of His Son as the price. O the philanthropy of the Master! And do not tell me again, “I sinned a lot; how can I be saved?” You cannot save yourself, but your Master can, and to such a great degree as to obliterate your sins. Pay attention very carefully to the discourse. He wipes out the sins so completely that not a single trace of them remains. – Homily 8 On Repentance and the Church FOTC: vol 96, pp. 116,117
What does this mean? That he has justified our race not by right actions, not by toils, not by barter and exchange, but by grace alone. Paul, too, made this clear when he said: “But now the justice of God has been made manifest apart from the Law.” But the justice of God comes through faith in Jesus Christ and not through any labor and suffering. --Discourse Against Judaizing Christians, VII:III:2
They said that he who adhered to faith alone was cursed; but he, Paul, shows that he who adhered to faith alone is blessed." - Homily on Galatians 3 (Schaff)
Here he shows God's power, in that He has not only saved, but has even justified, and led them to boasting, and this too without needing works, but looking for faith only. Homily 7 on Romans (Schaff)
There are many others that I've collected over the years in reading this great father that speak similarly, but how anyone can interpret these passages in harmony with Trent's doctrine of justification is beyond me. Still, I would be the first to admit that I am at a distinct disadvantage in reading him in a different language than his own, and that I have read only a fraction of his works - most of the quotes I've collected from him, though, come from his preaching on the passages in the NT that deal with the topic of justification directly. But it needs a thorough research. Some young enterprising grad student should go for it!