98 years ago on January 9th, one of our great fathers in the faith passed into the Church Triumphant:
Karl George Stoeckhardt does not receive a lot of mention in LCMS circles nowadays (Sadly he is not one of the commemorations in the Lutheran Service Book). I have come to know about him through reading his sermons and exegetical works. He was the best exegete in the LCMS during that first couple of generations, recruited by Walther to teach at the seminary (in his European days he served in many capacities – including military chaplain during the Franco-Prussian war). He was also a staunch defender of the true doctrine concerning Predestination during that conflict. Many in the other Synodical Conference churches owe much to him as well since he trained their pastors as well. He was well known for being able to work in either Greek or Hebrew citing the Scriptures from memory in those original languages. All of that being said, I find that the greatest contribution that he has made has been in his preaching. Every week I read a sermon written by him (one of the advantages of following the historic lectionary) and I am astounded by how sharp he preaches the law and how sweet he preaches the gospel. I would rank him as one of the finest preachers in the history of the Lutheran Church.
As such, I am working with former translators and Lutheran Legacy to reprint a collection of his works for the good of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. Stay tuned for more information about this (hoping to have a few volumes ready by the 100th anniversary of his death).
Currently much of Stoeckhardt is available through the Fort Wayne Seminary Print Shop.
Here are some web resources on one of our forgotten fathers in our Synod:
A wonderful biography:
Another work on Stoeckhardt:
Some things from the Theological Quarterly of the LCMS in its day:
A sample sermon written by Stoeckhardt:
other WELS essays on Stoeckhardt:
A digital image of his death certificate: