Protestant Theology at the Crossroads: How to Face the Crucial Tasks for Theology in the Twenty-First Century

By Gerhard Sauter | Go to book overview

Foreword

Gerhard Sauter, Emeritus Professor of Systematic and Ecumenical Theology at the University of Bonn, is among the most productive and highly respected theologians of our generation. The present volume contains his Warfield Lectures given at Princeton Theological Seminary in March 2000.

An ordained minister of the Protestant Church of Kurhessen and Waldeck in Germany, Sauter playfully describes himself in these pages as a “mongrel” of German confessionalism. As he explains: on the one hand, he has been a “lifelong” and “intensive” student of the theology of Martin Luther; on the other hand, he has been engaged in “mutually beneficial conversations” with Reformed theologians in a number of countries for many years. Indeed, among Karl Barth scholars, Sauter is well-known as a careful editor of two volumes of the collected works of the great Swiss Reformed theologian. Yet if Sauter by his own admission is a theological “mongrel,” it is worth recalling that Barth himself once opined that a theologian steeped in both Lutheran and Reformed theology has an exceptionally good theological pedigree.

Beginning his graduate studies under the erudite Reformed historian of doctrine Otto Weber, Sauter focused his doctoral dissertation, published in 1962, on the theology of the kingdom of God in the writings of Johann C. and Christoph F. Blumhardt. His Habilitationsschrift, Zukunft und Verheissung, published a few years later, highlighted the importance of the themes of promise and future for Christian theology. This work proved to be a seminal contribution to an understanding of

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