Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Commemoration of Johann Gerhard, Theologian

Tuesday after Pentecost 12
Commemoration of Johann Gerhard, Theologian
August 17, 2010

The Lord be with you

Today is recognized as the Commemoration of Johann Gerhard, Theologian on our Liturgical Calendar. Gerhard (October 17, 1582 - August 10, 1637) was a great Lutheran theologian in the tradition of Martin Luther (1483-1546) and Martin Chemnitz (1522-86) and the most influential of the seventeenth-century dogmaticians. His monumental Loci Theologici (twenty-three large volumes) is still considered by many to be a definitive statement of Lutheran orthodoxy. Gerhard was born in Quedlinburg, Germany. At the age of fifteen he was stricken with a life-threatening illness. This experience, along with guidance from his pastor Johann Arndt, marked a turning point in his life. He devoted the rest of his life to theology. He became a professor at the University of Jena and served many years as the superintendent of Heldburg. Though virtually every University of note in Europe sought to hire him, he spent the rest of his life in Jena. Gerhard was a man of deep evangelical piety and love for Jesus. He wrote numerous books on exegesis, theology, devotional literature, history, and polemics. His sermons continue to be widely published and read. I own a few of his works that have been translated into English and found them to be excellent.

Blessings in Christ,
Pastor John Rickert

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