I am interested in such discussions primarily because justification is something I have been quickly ushered out of when I first believed as a Pentecostal. They have a notion of "being born again" but have no clue what justification is, when asked.
I believe Maier's paper is a finely written paper. It is a fair and good critique of Pieper's "overstatements", and based on my observation that term - "overstatements" is an appropriate label to use as to what has happened. Maier says
It appears, however, that some of the synodical fathers particularly in using and defining the expression “objective justification” (or “objective reconciliation”) have made certain overstatements which have created semantic difficulties and may in our day give rise to misunderstanding of New Testament teachings regarding justification, reconciliation, and related doctrines
Maier is spot on, it has created semantic confusion (I dare say) in the discussion of a so important topic. Here is an example from Pieper:
Now, then, if the Father raised Christ from the dead, He, by this glorious resurrection act, declared that the sins of the whole world are fully expiated, or atoned for, and that all mankind is now regarded as righteous before His divine tribunal.[emphasis mine]
Huh? Righteous? You mean the Muslim and the Atheist and what nots, who do not believe in Christ, are righteous before God's eyes, before they believe? Hang on, they presently do not believe in Christ so - they are now righteous even without faith in Christ? That sounds a bit universalistic to me.
Maier praises and gives credit to Pieper where he spoke consistently with Scripture but likewise, Maier points out where Pieper overstated his case. This overstating is also something I find in a few of the venerable C. F. W. Walther's essays.
I know Pieper and Walther are holy church fathers of Lutheranism in America. However, I doubt if these people, had they been living today, would feel bad about your disagreeing with them.
As I was reading this - one of the titles of the Lord - Redeemer came into my mind and how appropriate that title is for Jesus. I think in that title we get all the doctrine of justification implies and in great precision. Redeemer as a title denotes the truth that he is the payer of the sinner's sins; it also denotes the ransoming of the sinner from the punishment of God.