Author Topic: Confessing The Gospel: 2 Volume Systematics (2017)  (Read 720 times)

Dave Likeness

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Confessing The Gospel: 2 Volume Systematics (2017)
« on: September 03, 2018, 10:12:09 PM »
In July of 2017, Pastor Kirchner started a thread on this new two volume systematics.
Now a year later I wanted to hear the comments of those who bought and have read
this contribution to systematic theology by LCMS theologians. 

Harvey_Mozolak

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Re: Confessing The Gospel: 2 Volume Systematics (2017)
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2018, 08:43:00 AM »
Dave, never cared much for Pieper (pretty much our sole text in dogs at Springfield) so maybe it is good to have something more/different/perhapsbetter.  I only looked at table of contents because $80some is too much for my retirement use and I will not be a cover to cover reader of any systematics text.  But the aspect of including the contemporary is interesting... it may date the text quickly and/or it could tie it down too much to an LCMS view (not that they want to loose it from such framing) rather than one of catholic Christendom.  Question: Is it being used or is there a movement to have it used as one of or a main text in the Seminaries' systematics courses?  If so, replacing what?  Pieper?
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Jim Butler

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Re: Confessing The Gospel: 2 Volume Systematics (2017)
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2018, 10:36:26 AM »
Interesting that you should ask this question at this time. I just finished reading both books.

I'm not going to give a break down by locus. Suffice to say that some are stronger than others. Although the text is heavily edited, the voice of the primary authors often comes through (e.g. Robert Kolb on election). I can't think of one that I didn't appreciate. I learned from all of them.

I found the "building blocks" approach a bit difficult to get used to at first, but as I progressed I found it quite helpful. I've been going over the Sacraments in my Adult Bible Class and I really appreciate their survey of Old Testament types and pictures. It brings the whole of Scripture together. I also liked the survey of the historical survey of various times and thinkers in the Church for each locus. The use of the building blocks seemed to be an attempt at bringing the whole of the theological disciplines to apply to each locus and, for the most part, I think it succeeds.

On the downside: why no index? Yes, I understand that Pieper didn't have one when his Dogmatics was released, but to release these two volumes without an index is indefensible.

Second, these two volumes definitely show the signs of being a political football in the LCMS. There is simply no other reason it should have taken 30 years for these two volumes to have been published. Sadly, many of the primary authors of various loci have passed away in the meantime.

Because of that, there are some deficiencies, e.g. in the locus on the Holy Spirit, there is a long discussion of the charismatic movement, which has pretty much burned out (even Assembly of God churches downplay it). There is a discussion of the Church Growth Movement, which has also petered out. There could be more on the emerging church movement and dialogue with those writers. I would also like to have seen more interaction with feminist and liberation theologies. There are some updates to some loci, but, at this point, I think there was a strong push just to get the volumes published.

I'm pretty sure that these will become the standard systematics texts at both seminaries, possibly used in conjunction with Pieper. I think they are overall very good. I just wish it hadn't taken 30 years to get them published.
The significance of the passage of time, right? The significance of the passage of time. So when you think about it, there is great significance to the passage of time. -- VP Kamala Harris

Dave Likeness

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Re: Confessing The Gospel: 2 Volume Systematics (2017)
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2018, 02:26:25 PM »
@ Harvey Mozolak.... My guess is that this new 2 volume Confessing The Gospel will be a
supplement to Pieper's Dogmatics. It offers a fresh look at the Scriptures and Lutheran
Confessions by theologians who address trends in the last century since Pieper wrote his
3 Volume Dogmatics.

Dave Likeness

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Re: Confessing The Gospel: 2 Volume Systematics (2017)
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2018, 02:39:29 PM »
@jebutler........Having recently finished reading the 2 volumes of Confessing the Gospel
i concur in your assessment of them.  There is definitely the feeling that there are many
different authors involved which can cause some unevenness in the finished product. It
is true that 34 years was a long time (1983-2017) for this project to be produced.

Bottom Line: There is some good theological  refreshment for the parish pastor to enjoy.
The same can be said for those retired pastors who have been looking for some solid
theological reading material.