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Gerhard O. Forde: A Life


Marianna Forde

In his long academic career at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota, Dr. Gerhard O. Forde was known for his life-changing teaching and preaching, proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ crucified and risen “for you.” Forde taught that theology is for proclamation. His classes were his form of evangelism. Avoiding secondary discourse, or philosophical mode, in classroom teaching and preaching, he used first order, primary discourse to speak directly to his hearers, not about God, but for God, declaring the justifying word as clearly as possible.

He showed the difference between law and gospel and how to “do the text” to the hearer. He taught students to be preachers who would speak the unqualified word of grace and forgiveness.

This book is an introduction to his teaching and witness.

Fellow faculty members comment on the significance of Dr. Forde’s teaching. First, from Dr. James Nestingen, Luther Seminary (retired):
Two qualities distinguished Gerhard’s teaching. First, he had an uncanny ability to cut through the complexities of a theological argument, to make the driving force of it accessible but not in oversimplified terms. . . . But the second quality was even more dramatic and I would say in the fullest sense of the word, unique. Gerhard refused to . . . move into secondary discourse about the gospel in a way that undermines or obviates the primary. . . . theology is for proclamation, as he put it in the book title, and it loses its character when it becomes an end in itself.

From Dr. Hans Wiersma, Augsburg College:
I’ve said for some time, publicly, that I was born again under the teaching of Gerhard Forde. That may sound dramatic but it’s true.

From Dr. Rolf Jacobson, Luther Seminary:
He refused to write his theology for that guild [of academic theologians]. Instead, he wrote for preachers. He could have written for the guild, of course. His mind was first class, and he wrote beautifully. But, like St. Paul, he came to preach Christ and him crucified. Toward that goal, he was steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the Lord.

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Gerhard O. Forde: A LifeGerhard O. Forde: A Life

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ISBN: 978-1-932688-96-2
248 Pages
Size: 6 x 9
Binding: Perfect Bound
Publisher: Lutheran University Press
Quantity in Basket: None
$18.00

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