"All Theology Is Christology"
How Does Every Passage of Scripture Reveal Christ?
Christology is what the Bible is all about. Unless one finds Christ in a passage, the interpreter, no matter how scholarly he is, has not correctly understood it and, hence, cannot preach on it.
In Lutheran denominational politics over the last decade, the phrase all theology is Christology has been exhaustively debated. Yet, though the statement and the resulting controversy arise from a particular Missouri Synod context, I submit that the substance of the debate is important to all who stand in the line of the Reformation tradition. Moreover, in an issue of Modern Reformation devoted to exploring current debates about classical theology, the centrality of Christology is particularly relevant. If you have a current subscription or current on-line account please log-in here to read the rest of this article.
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] This phrase was adopted to describe the position of Concordia Seminary, Saint Louis, in the 1970s. Carl Braaten, an Evangelical Lutheran Church in America clergyman and then a professor at its Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago, who had supported the "Gospel reductionists," as those who held this position were called, is now described as "dissatisfied with 'gospel reductionism.'" (Philip E. Thompson, "A New Question in Baptist History: Seeking A Catholic Spirit among Early Baptists," Pro Ecclesia
8/1 [Winter 1999]: 51). "Gospel reductionism" has more recently allowed the ELCA to enter into full fellowship with churches whose doctrines are condemned by the Lutheran Confessions.
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] His fifth chapter was dedicated to the topic of inerrancy, a term, ironically, which was not known by the seventeenth century Lutheran dogmaticians about whom he wrote.
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] David P. Scaer, "Sanctification in Lutheran Theology," Concordia Theological Quarterly
49/2 and 3 (April/July 1985):194.
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] Robert D. Preus, "Luther: Word, Doctrine, and Confession," Lutheran Synod Quarterly
32/4 (December 1992): 3343. This series of essays was delivered on October 28-29, 1992, at Bethany Seminary, Mankato, Minnesota, three months after he was restored to his post.
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] Jan Rohls, Reformed Confessions: Theology from Zurich to Barmen
, trans. by John Hoffmeyer (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1998), 30.
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] (Saint Louis: Concordia, 1983). See especially pages 87-96.
No bio information available for this author.
Issue: "God in Our Image: Why Some Evangelicals Are Challenging the Traditional View of God" Sept./Oct. 1999 Vol. 8 No. 5 Page number(s): 28-32
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