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On Being a Theologian of the Cross: Reflections on Luther's Heidelberg Disputation, 1518 [Paperback]

By Gerhard O. Forde (Author)
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Item description for On Being a Theologian of the Cross: Reflections on Luther's Heidelberg Disputation, 1518 by Gerhard O. Forde...

While there is increasing interest in the "theology of the cross," few people have specific knowledge of what makes it different from other kinds of theology. Gerhard O. Ford here provides an intorduction to this theological perspective through an analysis of Luther's Heidelberg Disputation of 1518, the classic text of the theology of the cross.

Publishers Description
While there is increasing interest in the "theology of the cross," few people have specific knowledge of what makes it different from other kinds of theology. In On Being a Theologian of the Cross, Gerhard O. Forde provides an introduction to this theological perspective through an analysis of Luther's Heidelberg Disputation of 1518, the classic text of the theology of the cross. The book first clarifies the difference between a theology of glory and a theology of the cross and explains how each perspective shapes the very nature of being a theologian. The main body of the book provides commentary on the Heidelberg Disputation-the only complete analysis of this document currently available. Underlying Forde's exposition is the contention that one ought not to speak of the theology of the cross merely as another item among a host of theological options; instead, one must pursue what it means to be a theologian of the cross and to look at all things through suffering and the cross.

Citations And Professional Reviews
On Being a Theologian of the Cross: Reflections on Luther's Heidelberg Disputation, 1518 by Gerhard O. Forde has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Christianity Today - 06/01/2009 page 57

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
Pages   136
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.03" Width: 5.99" Height: 0.33"
Weight:   0.46 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jul 1, 2000
Publisher   Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
Edition  New  
ISBN  080284345X  
ISBN13  9780802843456  

Availability  92 units.
Availability accurate as of Jul 27, 2017 09:04.
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More About Gerhard O. Forde

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Gerhard O. Forde was professor of theology at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota. He also taught at Luther College in Iowa and St. Olaf College in Minnesota. His many publications include The Law-Gospel Debate, Justification by Faith: A Matter of Life and Death and Where God Meets Man: Luther's Down-to-Earth Approach to the Gospel.

Gerhard O. Forde currently resides in St. Paul, in the state of Minnesota.

Gerhard O. Forde has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Theology

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Authors, A-Z > ( L ) > Luther, Martin
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Protestantism > Lutheran
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > General
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology

Christian Product Categories
Books > Theology > Theology & Doctrine > General

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Reviews - What do customers think about On Being a Theologian of the Cross (Theology)?

The Love of God . . . Creates  Mar 15, 2007
"The Love of God does not first discover but creates what is pleasing to it." Thesis 28.

My dog-eared copy of this book got that way through reading it during my daily commutes on the train through Heidelberg, Germany, where Luther delivered his Disputation in front of his Augustinian Order. As an Army Chaplain, and familiar with much suffering, I've found deep solace in knowing that suffering is God's "alien" work in me. He humbles me and brings me to the cross, the place of Christ's suffering, where I can do nothing but throw myself on His mercy. The Cross changes EVERYTHING, and this book has thrown that truth into sharp focus, both theologically and practically, in my living and my preaching.

Through suffering God creates us for His love. "God simply refuses to be known in any other way." The cross alone is our theology, and this book has been indispensable, to me, in coming to that conviction.

Chaplain Mark Nordstrom, US Army
Good intro to Luther's thought  Mar 10, 2007
Gerhard Forde, a conservative German Lutheran theologian, has done the church and Christian academia a serious favour by writing this book on Luther's theology of the cross. It is a reflection on Luther's Heidelberg Disputation of 1518. Basically, Luther makes four points regarding the way of the cross: 1) the problem of good works as a way of righteousness, 2) the problem of human will due to sin, 3) the problem of the theology of glory in regards to assurance, and 4) that true saving righteousness only comes by believing in Jesus Christ. Forde discusses these in his own words in turn.

These are discussed in contrast to the "theology of glory" that was prevalent during Luther's time (basically, the works-righteousness theology of the Medieval Scholastics). Forde does an excellent job discussing, expositing, and summarizing Luther's discussion of these four points. You can even call this book an introduction to standard Lutheran thought. One will especially find the last chapter on faith righteousness very helpful and enlightening - this is my favourite chapter of the book. (One will also find that, contrary to popular opinion, that Luther never disparaged good works in the lives of Christians. In fact, he utterly encouraged the doing of good works that only arises out of faith and a new heart.)

Considering that there are so many different types of "theologies of glory" these days - whether the secular man-centered gospel of liberal Protestantism or the Theonomic Dominionist theology found in various Reformed circles who deny justification by faith alone (another form of crass materialistic and pleasure-loving theology) - this book (and Luther's original Heidelberg Disputation) should be read by all Christians concerned about the compromising of the true gospel that is happening in today. Pick it up and read it. One will find that the true gospel is indeed based on the theology of the cross (which is also found in Scripture).
Forde's little book rocks!  Oct 31, 2006
After a careful reading of several weeks I am just so impressed with Forde's piece on Luther. In fact, I think this thesis is at the heart of much of the current post-modern me-centric theology that sees everything from my emerging church to my purpose driven life as more important than theologia crucis. A little latin does us good in Forde's book. If people were to take one thing from Forde's piece it is found in the tail end of the book where he says, "God is not, as in the theology of glory, one who waits to approve those who have improved themselves, made themselves acceptable, or merited approval, but one who bestows good on the bad and needy." Indeed much of the current evangelical pablum is all part of a huge "preparation for God's Grace" which surreptitiously arrests the power of the cross and makes our own righteousness more important than our sinfulness. How have we erred so in our churches! The Lutheran message of this volume rocks the theological house. I'm recommending all my theological friends read this book today.
A must-have in Christian libraries!  Mar 28, 2006
I just got done reading "On Being a Theologian of the Cross" by Gerhard Forde, and can't stop talking about it! It's one of the best books I've ever read, and presents solid Lutheran doctrine through Scripture and Luther's Heidelberg Disputation of 1518. It solidly presents the Biblical views on works, "free" will, the cross, suffering, and God's grace! At only 115 pages of reading, it gets right to the point; and the reading flows very smoothly. This definitely isn't a "stuffy" book on doctrine - the doctrine comes alive!
Dynamite in a small package  Feb 20, 2006
What can I say? If I have ever read a book that has impacted my life more than this little one, I cannot remember it. As with Forde's Justification, a Matter of Death and Life, I cannot read this book without tears in my eyes. I am exposed as an inverterate theologian of glory and simultaneously overwhelmed with the limitless grace of God to cover my sin! Forde has a way of shining light into dark corners of my life that have never been exposed before and somehow in the process causing joy to flow out.

This is a book of deep theology that is extremely understandable as Forde masterfully comments on both the bold theses of Luther's Heidelberg Disputation and his commentary on those propositions. The ideas in this book, though profoundly theological, are easily accessible by anyone who is ready to look at the wickedness in his own heart, but will not be appreciated by those who are still convinced they have something good to offer to God. Reading 10 minutes a day in this book is a wonderful way to preach the gospel to yourself and renew your mind.

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