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Lutherans We Should Know

 

Jacob Andreae (1528-1590), initiated the work of The Book of Concord with his Six Sermons. He was considered the tricky politician among the Concordists, but his personality helped bring about the doctrinal unity needed.

 

John Arndt (1555-1621), was a favorite author for many Lutherans in the past. His True Christianity was especially popular. Ironically, Spener's introduction to Arndt's sermons, Pia Desideria, 1675, led to the movement called Pietism. Arndt was a close friend of Johann Gerhard.

 

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), is considered one of the greatest musicians of all time. He was also an orthodox Lutheran whose Christian faith emanates from all his work.

 

John Bading (1824-1913), served St. John's Lutheran Church, Milwaukee, and became a major force in moving the Wisconsin Synod away from Pietism and unionism. Many Wisconsin Synod congregations, including St. John's, began with the intention of uniting Germans with two different confessions, Reformed and Lutheran. Bading became president of his synod and saw his congregation become the birthplace of the Synodical Conference. Those who quiver in the face of similar challenges today should look to the example of Bading and St. John's, now an independent Lutheran congregation.

 

John William Baier (1647-1695), is known in the Missouri Synod for the Baier-Calov Compend used to teach seminary students at Concordia, St. Louis, under C. F. W. Walther.

 

Robert Barnes (1495-1540), became friends with the Wittenberg reformers when he fled England. He refused to relinquish Lutheran doctrine as a royal chaplain in England and was burned at the stake.

 

G. Fr. Bente (1858-1930), wrote the excellent Historical Introductions to the Book of Concord, in the Triglotta and published by CPH separately, as well as other books now out of print. Most historians make us think, "That was a fine book." Bente's writings make us say, "Men have died for this truth, and I would die rather than give it up."

 

Carl Gustav Boberg (1859-1940), a Swedish pastor, wrote "How great thou art," which became famous through the Billy Graham Crusades. Boberg was a member of the Swedish parliament. His hymn was inspired by a sudden thunderstorm followed immediately by clear skies, a bird singing, and church bells.

 

Hans Adolf Brorson (1694-1764), wrote two of the finest hymns in The Lutheran Hymnal, “I walk in danger all the way,” #413; and “Behold a host, arrayed in white,” #656.

 

Abraham Calovius (1612-1686), was favored by C. F. W. Walther. His works are not available, but references to him are frequent in orthodox writings. He published a stunning amount of material, fathered 13 children, and survived 5 wives.

 

Martin Chemnitz (1522-1586), studied under Luther and Melanchthon, combining their best characteristics. His profound knowledge of the early Church Fathers helped immeasurably in refuting claims by the Church of Rome. Except for his Harmony, Chemnitz' greatest works are available, including the unsurpassed Examination of the Council of Trent, the brief and edifying Enchiridion, The Lord's Supper, the exceptional Two Natures of Christ, and the Loci (Dogmatics). All of his works are published by Concordia Publishing House, which is letting the Examination go out of print. (The same business published Waldo Werning!) Chemnitz' most important work was being the leading theologian of the Formula of Concord.

 

David Chytraeus (1531-1600), played a role in the Formula of Concord and produced Biblical books that found an audience for generations. His Summary of the Christian Faith, a wonderful little book, can be obtained from Repristination Press. His German surname means cookpot.

 

Christoph Cornerus (1518-1594), participated in writing the Formula of Concord.

 

Emanuel Cronenwett (1841-1931), studied at Capital University and served various Lutheran congregations. He translated three hymns and wrote “We have a sure prophetic Word,” #290; and “Invited, Lord, by boundless grace,” #308.

 

John Conrad Dannhauer, (1603-1666) earned fame as a teacher and had the founder of Pietism, Spener, as his student.

 

W. H. T. Dau (1864-1944), translated Law and Gospel into English, wrote Luther Examined and Re-examined, and many other books and articles.

 

Nikolaus Decius (1490-1541), served as a Lutheran pastor in the face of constant Roman Catholic opposition. He wrote “Lamb of God, pure and holy,” #146; and “All glory be to God on high,” #237.

 

Justus Falckner (1672-1723), studied under Francke at the University of Halle, but served as an orthodox Lutheran pastor in America. He wrote “Rise, ye children of salvation,” #472.

 

Johann Franck (1618-1677), enjoyed a career in law but devoted himself to writing hymns, giving us several well known titles, including: “Soul, adorn thyself with gladness,” #305; and ‘Jesus, priceless Treasure,” #347.

 

 

 

Martin Franzmann (1907-1976), is very popular among confessional Lutherans today. He graduated from Northwestern College and Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, taught at Watertown and Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. He was a gifted both in writing hymns and Biblical books. He translated #470 for TLH and had many hymns published in newer hymnals, including “Thy strong Word,” and “In Adam we have all been one,” and “Preach you the Word,” and “O kingly love,” as well as some hymn translations.

 

John H. C. Fritz (1874-1953), wrote Pastoral Theology, out of print but easy to find because of its widespread use. He was dean of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis.

 

Ludwig E. Fuerbringer (1864-1947), devoted himself to study, methodically reading the Bible in Hebrew and Greek. His Eighty Eventful Years and Persons and Events are fascinating first person accounts of the Synodical Conference. Both books circulate in used book sales. Ludwig's son Alfred (Fibby) was president of Concordia St. Louis and established the liberal apostasy that led to Seminex under John Tietjen. LCMS President John Behnken sent the famous “Dear Fibby” letter to Alfred Fuerbringer, asking about doctrinal deviations at the seminary. The letter, was never answered. Ludwig was president of the Synodical Conference, 1927-1944.

 

Christian Gellert (1715-1769), was the son of a Lutheran pastor. He was a popular professor who taught Goethe and Lessing at Leipzig. He wrote “Jesus lives! The victory's won,” #201.

 

G. H. Gerberding (1847-1927), was affected by Pietism, but he was far more Lutheran than his contemporaries in the Muhlenberg tradition. His works are often spotted at book sales, including The Way of Salvation and The Lutheran Pastor.

 

Johann Gerhard (1582-1637), taught at Jena, served the Lutheran Church with unusual vigor, wrote 10,000 letters, and published remarkable doctrinal books, including Loci communes theologici and the completion of the Harmonia evangelica begun by Chemnitz. Many of his doctrinal works and sermon books are now available from Repristination Press in English, including the superb Sacred Meditations and his remarkable book on Baptism and the Lord's Supper. Gerhard is most like Luther in being a Biblical theologian. He is often confused with Paul Gerhardt the prolific hymn writer. (Memory hint: if the last name ends in t, he is in The Lutheran Hymnal.)

 

Paul Gerhardt (1607-1676),studied theology many years at Wittenberg, then became a children's tutor. He was 48 years old when he married. When he served a church in Berlin, he became famous for his preaching and irenic nature. The Calvinists and Lutherans were fighting each other, so the Elector Frederich Wilhelm ordered all Lutheran pastors to sign a letter pledging doctrinal peace. Gerhardt refused and was deposed, forbidden to hold worship services in his own house. He had to live on charity for a period of time and lost his children and wife through death, except for one young son. He finally received a difficult parish position. His superb hymns include: “A Lamb goes uncomplaining forth,” #142; “Upon the cross extended,” #171; “O sacred Head,” #172; “Commit whatever grieves thee,” #520; “Why should cross and trial grieve me?,” #523; “If God Himself be for me,” #528; “Now rest beneath night's shadows,” #554.

 

Nicolai Fredrik Grundtvig (1783-1872), is the hymn writer for the Happy Danes (as opposed to the Pietistic Sour Danes, who formed a different synod in America). Grundtvig wrote “God's Word is our great heritage,” #283;”Built on the Rock,” #467.

 

Jacob Heerbrand (1521-1600), wrote the Compendium Theologiae, which was translated into Greek for the discussions with the patriarch of Constantinople.

 

Johann Heermann (1585-1647), suffered terribly during the Thirty Years War, trying to serve as a pastor during a time of murder and plunder. He wrote “O dearest Jesus,” #143; “Zion mourns in fear and anguish,” #268; “Feed Thy children,” #659, among many other hymns.

 

Ludwig Helmbold (1532-1598), first became a famous poet, then studied for the ministry. He wrote “Lord, help us ever to retain,” #288, and other hymns.

 

The Henkel Family, beginning with Paul Henkel (1754-1825). The Henkel family influenced the Lutheran Church through their interest in the Confessions when other Lutherans were trying to unite with the Reformed. Their Henkel Press produced the first English Book of Concord in America. (The second was the Jacobs.) They were the founders and the soul of the Tennessee Synod, whose missionary spirit and interest in education had a profound and positive impact on Lutherans, before Walther's efforts. The founder of the clan, Gerhard Henkel, was deposed as court chaplain for preaching a sermon the German prince did not like. Gerhard came to America in 1718. A history of St. Paul's Lutheran, Columbus, Ohio, states that Charles Henkel (a son of Paul) compromised Lutheran doctrine in the area by joining the Masonic Lodge. St. Paul's still communes Masonic Lodge members, illustrating how doctrinal error replicates itself for generations.

 

Nikolaus Herman (1480-1561), wrote hymns based upon the sermons of the pastor he served. His hymn about absolution is a remarkable summary, “Yea, as I live, Jehovah saith,” #331.

 

Adolph Hoenecke (1835-1908), shared the honor, with Pastor John Bading, of moving the Wisconsin Synod into Lutheran orthodoxy. He was the greatest of Wisconsin Synod theologians, but his Dogmatik was allowed to go out of print. The four volume work is only now being issued in English by Northwestern Publishing House.

 

 

 

 

 

David Hollazius (1648-1713), wrote the Examen theologicum acroamaticum, "the last of the great text-books of Lutheran orthodoxy." His Way of the Pilgrim, a Lutheran Pilgrim's Progress, is available from Repristination Press.

 

Ernst Christoph Homburg (1605-1681), achieved fame as a poet and then became serious about the Christian faith after suffering from various troubles, including illness. He did not expect his hymns to be published, but “Christ, the life of all the living,” #151, is especially comforting.

 

Nicolaus Hunnius (1585-1643), influenced the Lutheran Church for almost three centuries through his Epitome credendorum (Summary of Those Things Which Are To Be Believed). C. F. W. Walther recommended three orthodox works: Gerhard, Calov, and Hunnius. Watch Repristination Press for material from Hunnius.

 

Leonard Hutter (1563-1616), worked with Hunnius to establish Lutheran doctrine again at Wittenberg. His Compend of Luther can be obtained from Repristination Press.

 

Henry Eyster Jacobs (1844-1932), is one of the most sought-after authors in seminary book sales. He was educated at Gettysburg but taught from 1883 to his death at the Philadelphia Seminary (General Council), a highly respected leader of confessional Lutherans in the Muhlenberg tradition. His Holy Communion hymn is “Lord Jesus Christ, we humbly pray,” #314. Orthodox Lutherans prize his works, but only one is in print, from Repristination Press.

 

Justus Jonas (1493-1555), loyal to Luther, worked closely with the Reformer.

 

Thomas Hanson Kingo (1634-1703), was Denmark's greatest hymn writer. In spite of this, he was humiliated in the course of preparing a national hymnal, when one version contained not one of his hymns. Nevertheless, Lutherans highly regard his hymns for their beauty and emphasis upon the Means of Grace: “On my heart imprint Thine image,” #179; “Like the golden sun ascending,” #207; “He that believes and is baptized,” #301; “O Jesus, blessed Lord, to Thee,” #309; and many others.

 

John Philip Koehler (1859-1951), was professor at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary when he was kicked out for being sympathetic with the Protest'ants. Koehler was a historian whose History of the Wisconsin Synod is still the standard work, even though published by the Protest'ant Conference. Koehler's opponent was August Pieper, faculty member and brother of Francis. It is claimed that the secret initiation rite at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary was started to unify the student body after the Protestant crisis. The Protest'ants were the intellectuals, so intelligence and education became suspect in the synod after the crisis was over.

 

Ulrik Vilhelm Koren (1826-1910), served as president of the Norwegian Lutheran Synod, 1894-1910, serving pastorates in Iowa and Minnesota. He wrote “Ye lands, to the Lord make a jubilant noise,” #44.

 

Charles Porterfield Krauth (1823-1883), president of the newly formed General Council (1870-1880), professor at the Philadelphia seminary when it was founded (1864), and author of The Conservative Reformation and Its Theology, a masterpiece still valued today.

 

Paul Edward Kretzmann (1883-1965), earned a Ph.D., taught at Concordia, St. Louis, and wrote the Popular Commentary, four volumes, the most requested out of print book in the Lutheran Church.

 

Benjamin Kurtz (1795-1865), edited the General Synod Lutheran Observer, advocating the temperance movement and revival meetings. Many General Synod congregations had a "mourner's bench" near the altar to land anxious sinners in need of a public confession and grace. Children were expected to have a Pietistic crisis of faith during their adolescence. Needless to say, General Synod congregations were short on the liturgy, Lutheran hymns, the Creeds, and Lutheran doctrine.

 

John N. Lenker (1858-1929), edited my favorite set of books, The Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 volumes. His works were in print for many years and can be found in many sales. His Lutherans in All Lands can often be spotted at sales.

 

R. C. H. Lenski (1864-1936), served the Ohio Synod as a pastor, district president, and professor of New Testament at Capital in Columbus. He also edited a German language church newsletter and was dean of the seminary, 1919-1935. His New Testament commentaries can be ordered from Christian Book Distributors. His other books can be found in seminary book sales. I paid a quarter for many of them at Trinity Seminary (ELCA), where he once taught. The seminary bookstore does not sell his books. Lois Lenski wrote children's books, now out of print.

 

Conrad E. Lindberg (1852-1930), dean of Augustana Seminary, Rock Island, Illinois, wrote an orthodox dogmatics book used for 40 years. When he died, a student rebellion succeeded in forcing the synod to replace most of the faculty with liberals. Conrad Bergendof took over as dean and moved Augustana gradually into merger with the Lutheran Church in America, 1960.

 

Johann C. W. Loehe (1808-1872), does not get enough credit for his work in establishing the Missouri Synod. His missionaries started the congregations that invited the Walther contingent to form a synod. In a small village, Neuendettelsau, Loehe influenced all of Lutheranism, in missions, doctrine, liturgy, and deaconess work. His writings greatly influenced the shape of Lutheranism in America and Europe. Those pastors who think they are stuck in a village have a unique opportunity to follow Loehe's example and change the world with the Gospel.

 

Valentin Loescher (1673-1749), was the foremost orthodox opponet of Pietism among the orthodox Lutherans. His Timotheus Verinus has been published in English by Northwestern Publishing House. It is difficult to find any differences between the Pietistic excesses he described and the Church Growth Movement in WELS and Missouri today.

 

Matthias Loy (1828-1915), read Walther's Der Lutheraner as a student, studied at the Columbus seminary, and served in Delaware, Ohio. He distinguished himself as a pastor, a professor at Capital, an editor, and president of Capital University. Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, called him as a professor, but he returned the call. His sermon books still appear at book sales and are deeply appreciated. Loy translated and wrote many hymns, including: “The Law of God is good and wise,” #295; “The Gospel shows the Father's grace,” #297; and “An awe-ful mystery is here,” #304.

 

Martin Luther (1483-1546), wrote his first hymn, “Flung to the heedless winds,” #259, when two Lutherans were burned at the stake for their faith. No other theologian in the Christian Church taught the efficacy of the Word so clearly and consistently. Luther's doctrine transformed worship, the preaching of sermons, the singing of hymns, and the publication of books for religious instruction. Lutherans should make a special effort to know, appreciate, and sing Luther's hymns, not because of brand loyalty, but because they glorify God. Some of his most glorious hymns are: “Come, Holy Ghost, God and Lord,” #224; “Isaiah, mighty seer,” #249; “We all believe in one true God,” #251; “O Lord, look down from heaven, behold,” #260; “Dear Christians, one and all rejoice,”#387; “Our Father, Thou in heaven above,” #458.

 

Philip Melanchthon (1497-1560), served as Luther's assistant and biographer. Philip was extremely gifted but overly timid and anxious to make peace through doctrinal compromise. Although he aggravated the doctrinal divisions after Luther's death in 1546, Melanchthon must also be given credit for training the giants who followed him, especially Martin Chemnitz. Philip wrote a hymn used for St. Michael's Day, ”Lord God, we all to Thee give praise,” #254.

 

Henry Melchior Muhlenberg (1711-1787), came to America from Halle as a Pietist and organized the Pennsylvania Ministerium. His motto was ecclesia plantanda, the church must be planted, so he worked to establish Lutheranism in many locations. For many years this Pietistic Lutheranism leaned toward generic Protestantism and considered union with the Reformed. Many Lutheran-Reformed union congregations were formed in Pennsylvania, then divided legally in the 20th century. ELCA then began creating new union churches. The Muhlenberg tradition divided after the Civil War, when the confessional General Council formed and left the revivalistic, unionistic, and Temperance loving General Synod. The General Council built a seminary in Philadelphia. The Muhlenberg tradition came together again when the General Council, General Synod, and United Synod of the South merged in 1918 to create the United Lutheran Church in America.

 

Andreas Musculus (1514-1581), participated in editing the Formula of Concord. Elector John Frederick to Musculus: "Though the Emperor has banished you from the realm, he has not banished you from heaven. Surely, God will find some other country where you may preach His Word." (Jackel, 165) Bente, p. 97. He was banished for preaching against the Interim.

 

Erdman Neumeister (1671-1756), was a prolific author of hymns, 650 in all, and a bitter opponent of Pietism. "All of his poems reveal a humble trust and faith in God. Neumeister was bitterly opposed to Pietism, and he used the pulpit and the press to warn the people against it and to instruct them in true Lutheranism." Two of his hymns are in TLH: “Jesus sinners doth receive,” #324; “I know my faith is founded,” #381.

 

Philipp Nicolai (1556-1608), suffered from Roman Catholic opposition in his first congregation, Calvinist doctrine later. He lived through a time of pestilence as well, so he began recording poems to reflect his comfort in the Gospel. He earned fame as a preacher but greater honor as the author of the King of Chorales, “Wake, awake, for night is flying,” #609; and the Queen of Chorales, “How lovely shines the Morning Star,” #343. Even more remarkable, he wrote the tune for both hymns, a unique accomplishment, to write the words and music to the two greatest chorales.

 

Eric Norelius (1833-1916), was educated at Capital University, giving him an orthodox education which had a profound impact on the Augustana Synod.

 

Johannes Olearius (1611-1684), wrote hundreds of hymns and served as a court preacher. Two of his greatest hymns are: “The Lord, my God, be praised,” #38; and “Comfort, comfort, ye my people,” #61.

 

Martin Opitz (1597-1639) died of the plague after being accosted by a contagious beggar. He wrote “Arise and shine in splendor,” #126.

 

William A. Passavant (1821-1894), was the greatest of all Lutheran leaders in the Muhlenberg tradition. As a young pastor he was involved in the worst excesses of revivalism, but he repented and became a confessional leader of remarkable accomplishments. He helped found the General Council, established charitable institutions and schools. His independent paper, The Lutheran, supplanted the name of the revivalistic synod paper. ELCA's magazine is still The Lutheran, but it is not Passavant's in substance or style. Passavant's energies were conservative in nature. He did not promote Reformed doctrine in the name of love, but orthodoxy in the name of Christ Jesus. He was deeply loved and respected in all synods, including the Augustana Synod, which was guided in its early days by his example of orthodoxy and charitable work.

 

Georg Micahel Pfefferkorn (1645-1732), wrote “What is the world to me,” #430.

 

Frederick Pfotenhauer (1859-1939), was the last of the great LCMS synod presidents, voted out of office by the nascent liberals, replaced with the innocuous John Behnken. Pfotenhauer was singled out for rebuke by Social Gospel leader Walter Rauschenbusch. Three of his grandsons represent what has happened to the LCMS since he died: one is a Pentecostal; one joined WELS; one affiliated with Seminex and joined ELCA with his congregation.

 

August Pieper (1857-1947), remained in the Wisconsin Synod, taught at the seminary, and published Isaiah II, a standard work of exegesis for serious students of Hebrew.

 

Francis Pieper (1852-1931), became the protégé of C. F. W. Walther and took over his position as professor, president of the seminary, and synod president. His three volume Christian Dogmatics is a standard work for Lutherans, regularly panned by liberals.

 

Mrs. Pieper, a widower, had to support herself by being a housemother at Northwestern College, Watertown. Two of her sons, August and Francis, wrote books highly valued by Lutherans today. Another son, Reinhold, was professor and president of Concordia Seminary in Springfield. Her fourth son, Anton, also served as a Lutheran pastor. Mrs. Pieper's example should remind us of how God works in the humblest circumstances to glorify His Name.

 

Herman A. Preus (1825-1894), was an early leader of Norwegian Lutherans in America.

 

J. A. O. Preus (1920-1994), died shortly before his brother Robert. Many remember Jack as the fiend who ruined the Missouri Synod when he became president in 1969. He was a consummate politician, but he also advanced the cause of Lutheranism through his many translations of Martin Chemnitz. In spite of ferocious opposition from crypto-ELCA LCMS leaders (who soon became ELCA leaders), Preus returned Missouri to its theological foundation as much as one man could do in 12 years. Subsequent LCMS leadership has been extremely weak.

 

Robert Preus (1924-1995), became the first graduate of Bethany Lutheran Seminary when he left the (Norwegian) Evangelical Lutheran Church for the tiny Evangelical Lutheran Synod. He distinguished himself as a teacher and author, leaving behind a host of loyal friends and enemies when he died. He and his brother Jack rekindled an interest in Lutheran orthodoxy during an era when few Lutheran leaders supported the inerrancy of the Scriptures. His Justification and Rome was published by two of his sons, Rolf and Daniel, just after he died.

 

Johann Andreas Quenstedt (1617-1685), has been called the "Bookkeeper of Lutheran orthodoxy." His book on The Church has been published by Repristination Press.

 

Alfred Rehwinkel, (1887-1979) wrote The Flood, still a remarkable book in helping us understand the Creation and Flood of Genesis in the light of well known facts about the earth.

 

Johann Michael Reu (1869-1943), was an Iowa Synod (ALC eventually) pastor and professor who first fought inerrancy in the 1930 ALC merger. Later, he published Luther and the Scriptures, arguing for inerrancy. He established himself as a remarkable scholar and disappointed liberals who resented his doctrinal maturity.

 

Fritz Reuter (1863-1924), taught music at Martin Luther College, New Ulm, Minnesota. He earned fame for his two melodies (New Ulm, #50; Reuter, #283) and for his daughter, who helped start the Protest'ant crisis in the Wisconsin Synod.

 

Martin Rinkart (1586-1649), wrote one of the most popular of all German hymns, “Now thank we all our God,” #36.

 

Samuel Rodigast (1649-1708), wrote “What God ordains is always good,” #521.

 

Herman Sasse had the misfortune of teaching Lutheran doctrine when it was being repudiated in Germany and the United States. His books are quite influential and still in print. This Is My Body does not waffle about differences with the Reformed.

 

Johannes Schaller (1859-1920), Wisconsin Synod, wrote the small but concise Biblical Christology, a volume well worth having.

 

Martin Schalling (1532-1608), studied under Melanchthon and was friends with Selnecker. He had to leave Amberg, Bavaria because of Calvinist opposition. Later, he hesitated in signing the Formula of Conord, because he thought it was too hard on Melanchthon's followers. He was banished, confined to his house in Amberg, and deposed. Later, he served as pastor again. His great hymn is especially beautiful and summarizes the Christian faith in three verses, “Lord, Thee I love with all my heart,” #429. This hymn was Spener's favorite, but it was also used in the conclusion of Bach's St. John's Passion.

 

Theodore Emanuel Schmauk (1860-1920), was a General Council leader and the author of The Confessional Principle and the Confessions of the Lutheran Church, 1911, often considered a companion volume to Krauth's Conservative Reformation. His book is fairly easy to find, since it has been reprinted so often.

 

Heinrich Schmid (1811-1885), edited the remarkable Doctrinal Theology of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, a fine summary of Lutheran orthodox dogmatics, using a vast number of direct quotations. It was translated by Jacobs and Hays, used throughout Lutheranism. Excellent copies still float around the ALC, but it is out of print.

 

Frederick A. Schmidt (1837-1928), the author of Altes und Neues, he led the battle against the Missouri Synod. The Ohio Synod (later part of The ALC) left the Synodical Conference, along with many of the Norwegians. Now everyone is together again, working with ELCA.

 

Benjamin Schmolck (1672-1737), wrote books which included his hymns. Two are frequently sung today: “Open now thy gates of beauty,” #1; “Dearest Jesus, we are here,” #300.

 

Samuel Simon Schmucker (1799-1873), was a weak leader when a clear confession was needed. He was the first professor at Gettysburg College and taught there almost 40 years. He authored the Definite Synodical Platform, 1855, which proposed union with the Reformed through giving up baptism regeneration and the Real Presence, among other treacherous ideas. Gettysburg disowned him for many generations, but now he is considered far-sighted in light of the Church Growth Movement, which is also popular in ELCA, and union efforts with the Reformed. His son, Beale Melanchthon (1827-1888), was a General Council leader and liturgical scholar, the opposite of his father.

 

Nikolaus Selnecker (1532-1592), was one of the four main authors of the Formula of Concord, 1580, along with Martin Chemnitz, Andreae, and Chytraeus. Selnecker had a life of doctrinal turmoil. He was suspected of being soft on Melanchthon, but he was also repeatedly punished by the Calvinists and Crypto-Calvinists. He wrote 150 hymns, but his greatest is “Lord Jesus Christ, with us abide,” #292, hauntingly true today.

 

Jakob Spener (1635-1705), founded Pietism with his Pia Desideria, pious wishes, in 1675. He and his followers promoted the formation of lay led cell groups, called conventicles. Lutheran orthodoxy was turning into orthodoxism, so Pietism was proposed as a cure. Following Spener's model, Pietists emphasized love above doctrine, engaged in unionistic activities, and bitterly divided Lutheranism by distinguishing between levels of Christianity. Many Lutheran groups established in America had strong ties with Pietism: the Muhlenberg tradition, the Swedish and Norwegian synods. The Missouri Synod leaders were Pietists at first but repudiated Pietism in favor of orthodoxy.

 

Paul Speratus (1484-1551), was condemned by a theological faculty, imprisoned, and later befriended by Luther. He helped produce the first Lutheran hymnal. His hymn about justification by faith is an inspiring declaration of Law and Gospel, “Salvation unto us has come,” #377.

 

Frederick W. Stellhorn (1841-1919), taught at Northwestern in Watertown and Concordia College, Ft. Wayne, before breaking with the Missouri Synod over the predestination controversy and accepting a call at Capital in Columbus. His magnum opus is The Errors of Missouri, out of print.

 

C. F. W. Walther (1811-1887), was a Luther scholar and a musician. He wrote the hymn and the melody for the Easter hymn, “He's risen,” #198.

 

Joachim Westphal (1510-1574), was immortalized by John Calvin in the booklet, Against Westphal, which exposed Calvin's anti-Means of Grace views.

 

Carl Manthey Zorn (1846-1928), wrote many books still in circulation today.