It’s Convention Season…


My classmates are agreed to a man that dogmatics in the mid-1950s was a completely undistinguished enterprise. That’s a polite way of saying it was dull. You read the book. The highlight of the day was a poorly worded quiz. When [Dr. Robert D.] Preus came to St. Louis in 1957, the change was radical. He had the intellectual capacity to recognize where the church was going and the conviction and courage to do something about it. And he did. Around him gathered a generation of students who caught the contagion of his convictions. From this confessional revival we were born. When students are talking theology outside the classrooms, you know the enterprise is alive. Authoritarianism kills theology. Now his students are found in the pulpits and classrooms everywhere. They are still doing theology at this symposium, which was his brainchild. Luther disputed the church councils. Preus questioned a synod’s direction. Lutherans cannot surrender that right. Edicts, decrees, resolutions, opinions, and policies cannot take the place of theology. Church councils can and do err and will. That’s Luther.

The quote comes from Logia, Volume V, Number 3, Holy Trinity 1996. The title of Dr. Scaer’s paper was “Commemoration Sermon for Dr. Robert D. Preus.” You can download the entire issue here.


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