Major Theological Influences on Our Church

A few of the Books and Authors that have influenced and helped shape our understanding of “reformational theology” and prompted us to add “Reformational” to our church name. Also, these works influence the kind of preaching done and liturgy practiced in our church.

On Being a Theologian of the Cross, Gerhard O. Forde
Unfolds the two primary ways of doing theology, rather, the two kinds of theologians you will find in the church. All of us start as “theologians of glory”. Depending on how much help we are looking for in our lives there is another possibility — “theologian of the cross”. (Luther: The cross alone is our theology.) It is a way of approaching God’s Word and doing theology that is far more liberating than it initially sounds. And, like all approaches to God’s Word, it shapes congregational speech and life. (All congregational life is shaped by some theology, explicit or implicit, even in churches that decry theology!
Is this important book going out of print? Here’s the Kindle edition…
On Being a Theologian of the Cross

Where God Meets Man, Gerhard O. Forde
An outstanding primer in Luther’s theology, particularly, as the subtitle says: “Luther’s Down the Earth Approach to the Gospel”. Start here if you are not familiar with Luther’s work. After that read his “Freedom of the Christian” (aka “On Christian Liberty” – it’s a small but mighty tract) Also his “Galatians Commentary” is outstanding. And for anyone serious about theology: “Bondage of the Will”.
Where God Meets Man

Luther’s Large and Small Catechisms
We use both in our homes and school, giving preference to the 1943 Concordia edition of the Small Catechism. (Luther: “As the head of the family should teach…in a simple way to his household.”)
Luther’s Small Catechism
Luther’s Large Catechism

God in the Wasteland, David F. Wells
This book helped move us in the direction of the Reformation. Published in 1994 this book predicted with frightening accuracy the decline of theology in the church and the rise of the “therapeutic” and the “managerial”. Sad to say, we’re there. But it’s God’s church and as we see in Scripture He uses wanderings in the wilderness and famines — even famines of the Word — to move His plans forward. (Also: “No Place for Truth” by the same author.)
God in the Wasteland

Lutheran Theology, Steven D. Paulson
We are not Lutheran (but neither was Luther!). However, those faithful to Luther’s work with God’s Word, like Dr. Paulson, bring out the richness of the gospel, as in this commentary on Romans.
Lutheran Theology

Living by Faith and Martin Luther’s Theology, Oswald Bayer
Oswald Bayer is one of the leading Luther theologians in the world today. “Living by Faith” is a shorter work. “Martin Luther’s Theology” is much more in-depth. For serious students of theology and Scripture.
Living by Faith
Martin Luther’s Theology

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