Full Text for A Danish Lutheran Dogmatics In English Garb: A Review Article Of Prenter's Creation And Redemption (Text)

THE SPRINGFIELDER is published quarterly by the faculty cordia Theological Seminary, Sp~gf ie ld , Ilhois, of the L Church-Missouri Synod. EDITORIAL COMMIIITEE ERICH H. HEMTZEN, Editor R~YMOND F. SURBURG, Book Revitxu Editor DAVID P . SCAER, Associate Editor JOHN D. FRITZ, Associate Editor PRESIDENT J . A. 0. PREUS, ex officio Contents EDITORIALS R.I. Luther, b. Nov. 10, 1 iVho speaks for the bliss A DANISH LUTHERAN DOGMA RAYMOND F. SURBURG, Department of Exegetical Theology, Springfield, Illinois ................ EVANGELICAL TESTIRIONY AT SITTENSEN.. :: OTTO F. STAHLKE, Departme Springfield, Illinois \VHO CAY THIS BE? A R EUGENE F. KLUG, Departme Springfteld, Illinois BOOKS RECEIVED .............................................................. .i Missouri, mill also cover mailing change of The Springfielder. of address should be sent to the Business Manager of The Spring cordia Theological Seminary, Springfield, Illinois 62702. Address communications to the Editor, Erich H. Heintzen, Concor logical Seminary, Springfield, Illinois 62702. A Uanish Lutheran Dogmatics In English Garb: A Review Article Of Prenter's Creation And Redemption R EGIN PRENTEK is today considered to be onc of the ootstanc ing Lutheran theologinns of Europe. At present he is prc fessor of theology at Aarhus University, Dcnmark. He began hi career as prcacher in 3 rural parish, later becoming one of th preachers at the Cathedral at Aarhus and assistant professor at th Univcrsit?. In 1944 he rcccivcd his doctor's degrcc in theolog from the University of Copenhagen and mas named fill1 professor During the Seconct \Vorld \\lar 11c servcd in the rcsistancc move merit against the Nazis. He was a participant in the Anglo-Sciuldi navial~ 'Theological Conferences of 1935, 1939, 1947, and 1950 Later Prenter becanlc chairlnan of the Commission on Theoiofi) of the Lutheran IVorld Federation. In 1952 he tlelivcrctl the h l > Foulldation Lectures at Union Theological Seminary, Nen1 York. N.Y. In 1958 he delivcrcd onc of thc 1,uther Icctures (publj5hctl ill the volume: More about i.ut?rer), sl>onsorc(l bv T.uthcr Colj~gc of Decorah, Iowa. He has beell the recipient of ho'llorary (loctoratcs from thc universities at Strasbourg, Lund, ant1 Rc\7jauik.' Hc is the author of a nlilnbcr of major .c\iorks and of nunlcrous periodical articles. Four of his major books 11a1.c IK'CII t r a ~ ~ s l n t ~ d into English from Danish. They are: Thr Mford U I I ~ tkrl S~lirjt , ' Sl'iritt~s Creator," Creatiorr atld t i and The Clzr~rch's Creation and Redemptio~r was first publisl~cd ill Jlnnisll bet.trleen 195 1-1 953. tl wider circle of stutlents became acc~~ijilltccl with the work when it was translated into Gcrnlnn ant1 appearc(1 under the title of Schiiyfurrg snd Erliisu~zg in 1958. i ln autllorizcd English translation was lnade by Thcodorc Jenscn of \ \ ' a r tb~ i r~~Thc(~- logical Seminary of Dubuque, ~ o w a . In the prefacr to thr i-nglish edition l'rcnter states that although somc signilicant thcologic:~l a.orks have appeared between 1955 and October 1966, "in c.crcrythillg that pertains to the dogmatic substar~ce of the prcscilt lvork 111)- 17ositiorl remains unchanged" Cp. v.). The title of thc book, Cri>ntjon find fiedenrption, inight give the iillpression that the vol~~nic was lilniting itself to a discussion of the doctrines of crcation ant1 rc(lcnlptio11. Elowever, a reading lilill &om that Prcntcr covcrs the cntirc field of Cl~ristian theology from a LL1t1leran point of view and it, thcrcf'orc, can be considered a Lutheran doginatics. 'J'hc reilSOJ1 for this desig- nation will later be discussc(l and cvaluatctl. In c~ntrast to otller Lutherall dogmatics, it should bc noted that l'rclltcr's ~0Iunlc written out of the culture of J1is native Denmark alld tilhcs cs17cciallv into consideration Biblical as rcflcctctl Upon J : L ~ ~ ~ I ' ~ ~ ~ ~ Continent. Reviewers of the Gernlan 2nd Englisll cdjtions of Prcntcr'z voluine have been highlv colilplinlelltar), of and favorably impressed with I'renter's dogliiaticil organiration and presentation. One Amer- ican Lutheran revicn-er has boldly stated that the work of the Scan- dinavian thcologinn should be adopted by American Lutheran theo- logical seminaries. l-lc believes that Prcnter's book is able to relieve the long theological drollght that has charncteri~ed the Alllerican scene, "~vliere dog~natics at the theological schools has passed through a long, dry scaa)ii \\lit11 little liarvest, the publication of this English translation is good nc\vs. Yet it is 130t olllv the seminary that feels the drought; the porchccl c;lrtll in 'the church c o l l e ~ s and in the parishes too."; "TIlis clogm;ltics is ren)ninicnded because it will make sense to and l;,ity The reviewer in Co~lcordin Theological Molrthly stated that hc had been looking for- ward to its publication ill Ellglish ever since lie resie\ved the Dallish version.' In his cstiniation "it will ulldoubtcdly be used in Lutheran tlieological seminaries as lvcll as those of other dcnominati()ns as w c l l . " Y ~ i his review of PrcnterYs dogIl1atics, Hclidrv of l'rincetol' asserted: "Tllis hook should hc of gre;lt \.a]uc to serious students, not 0111) u~itllin the I.uther;lIl Church."" It is "a ivork of ecllnlenical signific;lncc. 011 the fafc of it, it is ;I pllrc 1-iitheraii do$?,nlatics, liriiily entrcnchc(1 in traditional I.utller;ln positions, which it defends \ ' i g ( ~ ~ ~ d \ an uncompromisingI!-. n u t it is n catholic ~u thc ran i sn l ? or Lutliciao catholicit,, i.e., ;l r-ilitcrpret~ti~~i oI. the catholic tradi- tion un(ler the critcrioii of tlic licfor~na tion. "1 o 111 \ie\v of the arcoladcs kudos that l i ;~\c heen accorded ['rcntcr'h dog~natics by I.litheran.; ;ln({ lion-I-,iithcrans alike, a n d in \.;el\. ol' tlic f a s t tliat it is ],ejl1g l~scd a t a rlumbcr of Alllerican I-uther;m tlicological saninaries, thus \rill exercise a considerable illflllcllcc 011 i\nirrican ].u[lier;lllislll, purpose of this essa! will be to S C ~ forth the diffcrenccs D;lllish clogi~~atics and traditio~lal 1.uthcran doglll;ltics. ~ ' ~ ~ ~ ~ t ~ ~ ' ~ llcrlnrllcutics will be e\'al- llated in terms of a sound hermencutical method and his theolog!. c\ aluatetl \\ it11 that as foullcl in the l [ . ~ l t l ~ ~ r a n Co fcssioiis. 1~1';~d~rs in rlmcrica, ,Iilstralia, C;clltraI anti South A11lcrica7 ;!si;i. clfrjca and Ih~ropc that ha \c becn Ilourished on a d o p a t i c ~rcl)clrcd before L.uther;in tliL~olog! wag influel~ccd by higller criticism, forln criticis~n. and chistcntialist l)llilosophy, will find ';igllifj~fillt diffcrc~ices hct\\ ccn 13relltcr8s j~c)lllme aIld the fol lo~ving ( l O ~ n ~ a t i c ~ us (l in tlmcrican I.utheranisnl since the beginning of this crntur! : 1 . 1.1. Incobs. A S~vt r , t~nr~* of /he lJathe)-n,l Faith, 1 9 0 5 ; 3qilton V3lcntinc. Christinu 0 , 2 \-olumes ( 190 7) ; Adolf Iincncckc, - t r ~ I)og,,lnlik, 4 \()lunIcs ( 1909-1 9 17); A. C. Voi~ta Biblicnl Do~wntirr ( I 9 1 7 ; 1. A Singmaster, A. Hand- b(xlk ( ' f Chrjstinlr 7'lreo?og? ( 192;); , P. Lilldberg, Christian ' ) o ~ ~ r r ~ u t l r ~ (1910); G . F1. Gcrherdino, TlrE \\7a), of SnlPntiolz in the '2rit'1"m'r C h l m h ( 191 9): H. E. HO;~;.. C]Lristjail Docfri,re (1 9 3 0 ) ; Fr;lnr PiclJer. Chrictliche r)ogvnatik, 3 volumes ( 1 9 2 0 - 1 9 2 4 ) ; ' l l l i l tranqlatioll : 4 \701u~nes (1 9 5 0- 1 9 5 7 ) ; Josepll Stunlp, The chrictio'' ( 1 93 2 ) ; T. Engclder, \ \ A & ~ ] ~ , Th. Graebner, A Danish Lzrtheran Dogmatics in English Garb A- 7 -- - -- ant1 F. A. Rlaycr, I'oyr~lar Sy,nholics (1934), pp. 1-136; J. T. Illueller, Christinn Ilogirzatics. ( 1 9 3 5 ) ; I;:. J. Braunlich, Principles of the Christialt Faith ( 1938); E. \Y. A. Koehler, A Sunrjnary of Chi-istiall JJoctrine (1939); R?. Rcu, I,utT~cr and the Scriytz~rcs ( 1 941) ; C. 14. Little, Lz~theralr Confessio~zal 'I'hcolugy ( 194 5); C. I-I. Little, IIispz~terZ Iloctrilrcs ( 193 3 ) ; Martin Reu, 1,zrthertlli Dognzatics ( 195 1 ; revised edition), the doctrinal essays in the three volumes of T h e Ahiditlg Word ( 1946- 1959) ; the doctrinal essays in the Concordia Cyclopedia (1932); T h e Lz~therarz Cj/clopedin ( 1954); John R. Lavik, T h e M b , T h e Truth, and the Life ( 19571, and Heillrich Schmid, ~ o c t r i l r d Theology of the Evntrgclical LZL- theral~ Church (originally poblishcd in 1899, reprinted by Augsburg in 1961). From a confessional ant1 Lutheran point of view Creation allrj JZedenzption is superior to Gustav Aulen's Tlze Fnith o f tlie Christialr Chnrch. Preilter wri tcs with vigor, freshness, and versa tilit!,. The reader \\rill discover that Prcllter can clevelop ;I iwint at length and that he also has the ability to s t~mniori~c cxcgctical illld Il~storicid materials succinctly anrl incisi\iely. Nor tloes he usc old clichcs to state rlogmatic truths. His n~atcrial is prescntctl in :1 closcl\~ knit ant1 often in n forthright, moving manner. -- Prcntcr intends his dogmatics to be a contribution to thc NU- n~cnical cause. One Episcopalian reviewer of Creatioil anr7 Retleinp- ti0l-1 assertctl of thc. German translation that thc \.r,ork of thc Danish theologian reflected "a hartl-moil, authentic ccurncnical thcolog!.."" Regartling Prentcr's ecumcnism Hendry said: "If it is truc., as sonic held, that ccunlenical understanding is bcst served by fidelity to one's o\f7n confessional tradition, Pren ter's dogma tics ~ v h icXh has bccn translateti froin the Danish, is a .rvork of cc.tlmenica1 signi- ficance."]' However, but he is also critical of the Reformed churches and of nlodernistic Protestant churches "with respect to the sacraments and thus also with respect to thc anchoring of faith in the etcrnal word" (P. 170). He also defended the reEusal of Lutherans to participate in altar alld pulpit fellowship with the Keformcd, becausc thc latter dell? the Ile;ll l'resence of Christ in the Lord's Sul>ljer nnrl consequently there cannot he altar and pulpit fellonship between Lutllcrans and Re- formed" ( p. 1 7 1 ). Prentcr's cmclusions are different froill those ex- 1)ressed in the volume Alarbz~rg Revisitcri, where the following reconl- l~~clldatioil has been lnade by i.uthcran and KeEornlcd theologians to their respcctive conlmunions in the Ullitctl States: As a rcslilt of our studies alld discussions we see no in- sulw~lblc obst;icles to and altar fellowship and, there- f o r ~ , wc rccommcnd to our parent bodies that they encourage their constituents to enter illto discussion looking f0rwu-d to in t c r a ) ~ n a i o ~ l i o ~ ~ 1 1 the fullcr rccogllition of one another's ministries' :. 111 his prolcgolncna and in \.arious statements scnttcred through thc \,olumc Prcntcr rejects rationalis~il, pietism, biblicism, funds- nlcntalism, scholasticism, and other theological isnls that he bclicves arc not consonant \\.it11 ljiblicnl Chrjstianitjr. The Danish theologian bho~vs familiarit, with tllc thcologicnl giahts of thc llinctecnth and tncnticth ccnti~l-ics. Special cog11irallcc is taken of thc views of Schlciern~ache~ (;rundtria, ~ierI;cgnarcl, Albrecl~t, Ritschl, Van Harnack, Karl Rarth, 131-unncr ant1 Ilultillann. Those acquaintctl with thr doctri11al view of Grundivig on tllc baptismal confession of the Apostles' Creed, a position which has had a 1:lsting influence upon L)cllmark, \frill note that Prcnter has hccn affected hi Grundt~ ip's tllirlking. In Hcndrv's judgnlent : "Prmtcr cxplicitl! scts hinisclf 01, t],c side of ~ r o l l d & i ~ and against Kicl-ke.:;lard. rjllo~c csi~tcuti;lIi.;lll illlplies a separation of objective and sllbjccti\.c s llicll puts nsundcr \vhat God bath joined together."" l'rcrlter is almost uniqor amall): Scandil,avian theologians i n rccopni~inp t11c nork of J h - 1 Barth. \17hilc admitting "Karl Barth's ImPortarlce hjr Lutheran theologi" Prcnter takes issllc tile Swiss I:~f~mlcO tllcologisn on a nunlher of lllatters. I lc voices objection to ' lllonistic tcntknc\ and opposes it lvilll dlm]istjc, or A Danish Lzrthcrnn Dorrnatics in Ennlish Garb 9 bi-polar one at a number important points. LVhile Prenter agrees with Bart11 in rejecting a philosophical basis for faith, yet the Danish tlleologian does not break off diplomatic relations with philox)phy, as lollg as i t respects the rights of tlla~logy. No less thail sixteen tiines Pnrnter refers to various theological positions of Schleiernlacher whom he criticizes for his pantheistic theology and misconception of Biblical Christianity that flow fro111 Schleiermacher's philosophical-religious stance. In view of the new popularity that "the father of n~oderil theology" is enjoying, Prcnter's criticisms are worthy of consideriition. According to the religious editor of Time (hlarch 8, 1968) there is a revival of Schleier- nlachcr's religious views. Thus Tilne's religious editor wrote: After a generation of religious ncglect, Schlcicrniacher, who died in 1831, is now being reassessed as the lllost signi- ficant Protestant theologian since Luther md Calvin. Last mcek Vanderbilt University sponsored a four-clay conference com- lnenlorating the bicentenarv of Schleiermacher's birth. Today an increasing Allnlber of U.S. Protestant thinkers regard Barth as somewhat old hat and Schleier~~lacher as much nlore of a living force. University of Chicago theologian Lang- don Gilkcy notcs that "when students come across him, the). say, "This guy can help me." Students tend to come alive with Schleicrmacher. The most obvious reason for the rcvi\~al of interest in his work is that the "passional" experience of rcligion -as Schlcicrn~achcr called it-makes niorc sense to modcrn illall than a purely intcllcctual one. Thcrc arc several othcr major theological cluestions tlii~t Schleiernlacher matlc pioncering attempts to answer. AS or~c of the first thinkers to study the cultural setting of Biblical writ- ings, he was the forcrun'ncr of niodenl criticill scholarshij) on Scripture. Convinced that dcnonlinationalism had outlilrecl its usefulness, he was an cnlbryonic cc~~~i lcn is t and worked to achieve a mcrgcr between Gcrnman\~'s Reformccl and Lutheran churches.'" "Peolde are learninq," says Scllubcrt Oqdcn of Southern hlcth- odist's Pcrkins School of Theology, "that Schlcicrmacl~cr was the first !rent theologian to articulate n reillt~rpr~tation of Cliristian tradihon in reference to nod ern li Ec."" 'I'hosc interested in a refutation of Schleierniachcr's theology ~vi l l find a good c r i t i q~~e bv I'rcntcr of Schleiermacher's s!.stem. Thus Prcn ter asserted : And in spite of t l ~ c strong positirlr chnrch!~ hcnt of Schleier~nacher's line of rcasoning. one must ask \rhrthcr he 113s not entirelv lost sight of tllc and its pictore of Cod. One wonders &etllcr do not have llcrc a grandiosc idealistic- Christian gnosis \vIiich employs Cllristiall ideas to express n romantic-nlystical rc]igiousncss irl~ich is esscntinlfv pagall (p. 225). ' Special cognizilncc is taken of Scan(1inavian theological thought* Prentcr frequently mcntions Norwegian, Danish and Slvedish schol- ars with whom he sometimes agrees, at othcr times disagrees. Alnong those cited and referred to arc the following scholars: Aden , Billink Bring, Brhsted, Dahl, Geismar, Gogarten, Hauge, ~ i l l e r d a l , *ok, Holmstroni, Johansson, Krarup, Lindroth, Liigstrop, hg adsen, Mar- tensen, Nygren Pontoppidan, Sjiibcrg, Schertau, ~jostrand, Sk!'ds- gaard, S16k, S6e, and Wingren. Kierkesaard is referred to eleven times, most of the citations consist of ideas from his various works to illustrate some point. Luther is quoted over thirty times, often to buttress l'rcnter's position; sornctiiiics, however, he is critical of Luther's interpretations. Creatio~z atrd iledenrptio,r is written from a "confessional" Point of view, although l'rcnter liin~self docs not like this term because of its misusc in collscrvative circles. He is not in sympathy writh those Iatherans who use The Three Ecumenical Creeds and the Lutheraxl Co~ifessions as a criterion for the e\raluation of the doctrinal position of theologians or of denominations. As a lncinber of the Churcll of Dcnmark, Prenter oilly recogllircs LLither9s S,rmll Cntechisnl and the Augsbzrrg Corrfession as confessions binding on theologians ancl pastors, and lie belicvcs that 10 ~1s t the confessions as doctrinal stant1;lnls for judging the ort]lodoxv of would result in the inipo~~crishnlmt of the study of sc;iptures and ill ascribing to the Confessional writings the s;lme illfol]ibi]it\ ~ ~ l l i c h is accortlecl the papa1 teaching office (y. 1 3 6). Prcn ter's do~matics has tlircc sections : the prolegolllella and t\vo ]>arts. In tllc I'rolcgonicna there arc t~vo chapters in the first of , - which the task of dogmatics is set l h e opening chapter is follc)\\.ed by \I hat l'rentcr called u ~ ~ r o l c g p ~ ~ ~ e n a , " which therefore Incans that in the first t~vo chapters there arc 190 p;~gcs dealing \\'it11 nlatters of introduction (just about one-third of the book). Part I is elltitled: "Creation," and ]las t\vo chapters. Chaptcr 3 sets forth "The God of Creation." \vhilc cllapter 1 depicts "The illan of Crt.ation." ]'art 11 is called “Redemption." I t also has t117o chapters : chapter 5 Portrays "The God of Redemption," alld chapter 6 depicts "The h'lan of Kcdcml3tion." No othcr LutherJll dogx~1atics kno~vn to this \\'ritcr arl*angcd thc chief dwtrincs of the Bible in this manner. Tllc entire ganlut of Christian doctrillc is tra\-ersed i l l 40 sections. Prcntcr cl;linis that while he is retllrnilig to tllr older loci lilcthod of the 1:cforma~on. he intcnds to avoid the systcn~atiza- tion that \\.as used by dogm;~ticinns in the da!.s of Lutheran ortho- dox''. Prvntcr *tatcd thiit the structure in his doRlllatics that he is P'illp to follow i s the srrangemcnt of m;lterial as found i n the Auqsbur~ Confession Of 1530. In so doing tliis, he clainls that he hc 1)rescnting the Lutheran ~ n d c r s t ~ n d i l 1 ~ of the Biblical \\.it- nc's to re\'elatioll (p. 190). However, since after LutherYs death doctrinal co~iflicts in the Lutheran Church of Europe and acre settled by the Formula of Concord, it is difficult to s~ ' ~ h ? these doctrinal sta tcments jI,pre ,,ot jncorporn ted. A Danish Lutheran Dogmatics i ~ t English Garb - 1 1 --- A l a n ~ doctrines, while incidentally alluded to, receive no sy steinatic treatment. Pren ter's book does not present systematically what the Scriptures teach on sin, good and evil angels, the devil, the providence of God, the attributes of God, the statc of integrity, and thc freedom of the will, to mention a number of topics concern- ing which the older dogmatics give s!~stemntic presentation. Scattered throughout the dogmatics are elcven "cxcursuses," which might be described as Scandinavian attempts to present doginatics i11 religioiis- philosophical form, as for example, "the l~rovidencc of God in the Bible," "Imago Dei in Gen. 1 : 26," "an Intcrprctation of the Biblical story of thc Fall," "The Biblical Vicm of Til11c and Eteri~ity,~' ctc. TJze Task of Dognzntics Prciltcr contends that dogi1~atics is important for the church because preaching needs to have a doctrinal content. On page 3 he defincd dogillatics "as the critical reflection which prepares the wa! for thc actual proclal~~ation of the lllessagc of salvation by seeking constantly to interpret the dog111a through a rc-eran~ination of the witness of the Scriptures, with duc consideration for thc contcm- porary situation in which the proclamation takes place." Later in the same chapter he asserted: It is not the task of dogmatics simply to reproduce the thought patterns of the past, llowe\.er vcncrable thev might be. I11 order to interpret the dognla ane\r in such a <.ay that it ]nay serve as the church's actual proclamation, clogmatics lllust be allolved unrestricted frecdom in its interprctntions of thc Scriptilrcs and its delrclopnlent o€ those coilccpts n.hicll arc i nd i~~~cnsab le for making the intcrprctation vitally relevant. recognition of the in~lis~ensablencss of this freedom is the valid concern of present-day rfforts at "demythologi7-ing" (P. 9). l'rentcr is critical of theologians who take their start fron~ philo- ~ o p ~ ~ i c n l or metaphysical premises rather than from "faith g i \ m b!. divine revelation, mediated through the witness of thc Biblical writ- ings, and formulated in the creeds, co~lfessed in thc \rorship sen- ice of the congrcgation" (11. 5). In his approach Prentcr reiectcd the prolegomena of theologians like Scl~leierrnacher who bnscd their inter rctations on philosophical considerations about the nature of re P igion." Although the Eciiillenical Crccds of the cbiirch speak with definiteness, their ]r.ording, asserts Prenter, shoold not bc considered final and as exhaustire definitions of the ~nysteries of thc faith. Therefore, Prenter insists that dogmatics deal critically with the dogmatic and confessional interpretations handed ~ O W I I by the church in the course of the centuries. He also claillls that dognlas arc determined within the context of the confessing and morshiplng con- gregation; as an the virgin birth might bc cited. The ecumenical creeds incorporated a belief in this doctrine, all th(l creedal confessions of Roman Cntholicisnl and of the various Pro- testant denominations accepted this basic doctrine of Christolog~. But because of the rejection of the virgin birth by many scholars and the skepticism which modern Protestant scholarship has n ~ a n i - fcsted over against this doctrine, Prenter claims this Christological truth need not be accepted. The Danish theologian claims that members of the saille corn- munion can disagree about the theological meaning of various state- ments of the Ecumenical Creeds. Even though a theologian entertain a different understanding of the traditional meaning, he should have the right to dissent and vet bc considered a Christian in good standing. Ultimately this meins that one cannot be ccrtail1 allout the doctrines of the Christian faith. This is not in harmoll): wit11 the position taken bv Luther the Protestant Reformers. The Doctrirllc of the T r i ~ l i t y Topics usuallv not treated under the caption of "prolegonlena" are placed by ~ r c n t e r under this caption. The doctrine of the Trin- ity, the ditfcrenccs between Law and Gospel, the con1paris0n I.iithcr;~nism with Hornan Catholicisnl, the Kcformed cllul-cl1es and othcr rcligiolls groups (usuallv discussed in comparative s!nlbolics) are treated 11). Prcnter as topics introcluctor) to the study of the iliain doctrines of thc Christiall faith. Unique is the Danish mnticii~~i's i~mccdure of l ~ ~ g i n ~ i l l g his proIcg)mena with the section. 4' 7 2 he ldca o f the 'l'rinity as tllc l'oint of Depnrtilrc for the Critique of Authorit\,." Rlost &\.ic\ycl-s consiclered this soinc\\~hat no"e1. Santnlirc clnime(1 that this proccdLlre is reininiscent of Bart11 plnccd the cloctrinr of the Trillit\ a t \.cry beginning of his Iresentation of the opera arl extra of tlic Trinitarian Godhead. Correctly Santnlirc obserl~cd : "Prcn tcr is marc i~ltercstetl ill depicting the work of the Father-Creator and the Son-l:cdcc3mer Prclttcr's Doctriue of tlzc Holll Scr i l~ t l i r~s In tratlitional Lutheran thcolog! thcrcl is frcqucntlv l'oullel a tliscussion of the source for Christian doctrinc; somc-timcs 111is is colltai~led in the prolegomena; ;it other timcs it is p:lrt of the teaching on the Rleans of Grace. Ill l'rcntcr the topic is claborittcd in the 1)rolcgomcna. 'The Danish theologian a~.oiclccl thc ~ l s c of terms Holv Scriptures or the Bible as a c1c~sign:~tion for thc rit- tell \.Vord of ~ o d . In contradistinction to thC older t1ogmatic.s rcfuscs to iclentifv the Bible \\-it11 the \\'orcl of God b~ l t rcfcrs t 0 hat ~~nservative-~,utherans called "Thc \TTord of Gntl" h!, tllc dcsig- nation of "the prophetic and aritings." 'I 'l~c 1:lltcr 11c identified ivitll the terlll "Sola Scrjptllra." Tllc rrccd up011 1r1lich Prentcr places a great clca] of cnlpllasis hc claims "cxl~rcsscs all understanding of rrrrlatioll r\ llicll nla) bc sul~~marilccl i n ts lllill- ciples, sola Scripturn and soln fide, ~vllicll rig11 tly undr~-storxl arc hot t~vo prillcil>]cs but one" (p, j 5 ) . Central to thc ?IVO rf-cstnillcllt~ is the concept of then co~zcllant hrough ahicll thc histc)r! of' r~i'cI:tti()n was manifestccl. Prclltcr's vie\\.s thC natl~rc of Scriptlrrc ~ I I o ~ lllc J I l - fluencc of ~~eo-ort]lo~oxs and arc not i n harn~oll! n it11 1-11 tf1er.s V~CIT-S nor tllc statements al>out the naturc of 5cr-ir)tllrcs crllln- ciatec) in the ForlIlula of Concord. His ~lndcrstandin:, of tllc mcllnin!: of 2 Tinlot]lr 3 : 15 -1 7 js diffrrcnt from that hcl~l 131. 1 ~lthcr a n d :I sound Lutheran understanding of this I'aulinc message. According to Paul, the cntire Old Testament Scripture is "theop11custos," i - c . ~ "breathed-ou t from God." \\'hat clues 1)renter understand under the term "the inspiration of the Scriptures?" In answer he wrote: "As the unit! of the Pro- phetic and apostolic mitncss, the Scriptores :,re insl~ired, because, they serve as the instrument of the Holv Spirit..' Again he asserted: Ily the ji~spiration of thc Scripture: \\c ~lndcrstan(1 their revelatorv quality, tile filct that thci arc means usen b!' the Moly Spirit in his ~ r o r k of gathering n for God in the Son Jesus Christ, a work the Spirit carries on by revealing Fathcr's saving ;lcti\itv through Jcsus Christ, h!. lllakin8 his activity krruwn to 'the condenlned thn)ogll the witlless ot words supplied by the Srri1,turcs. The in5piration of the Scrip- tures, then, has no reference 10 the lcttcr (vcrhal inspirati()*)~ ;recording to nlhicll the literal jncrranc! of every sentence guar;rnteed. Inspiration ac t~~al lv rcfers 0111~1 to the ~ 1 ~ e ~ s a S ot the Script~lres as it is 11c;lrd bit one nho, instend of Concell- trating upon the letter or isolatid detail, sces the details i n the light ~t thc \ri?olc prophetic or witness, and in turn, s \ hnvc tried to suggest, l-ci.ogilj/es t!>csc two witnesses in hot11 thcir diffcrence anti thcir I I P ~ : ~ . (1,. S S j A~col-ding to l'relltci, LLlt]lcrall o,-thr)d ,. ;I m;t~!t- !hc iiiistakc of c~nphil~i/ ing the inspiratio11 of thC jcttrr ;rl lcl insistctl that the \'cr>- words 01 truth \\-crc to hc ]lcld incrrallt. I"1-c;m thc I~c-.licf that I1cr>- words of Scripture possessed the attributes of srrlficierltifl (suffi- cicllcy) and ef icnr in (rficacy), ortllocjoxy is supposcd to nladc the mistalic of llc,lclillg ih:tl tjlc colltajnccl rc!jab]c informntioll pertailling to natural ~ C : C I I C ~ 01. ]ljSt~)r\. "'['hcl-eb\ t l ~ c Biblc. loolc 011 the chnrdctcr of a 1,rrly 01' c;,rrect stn&nlrn{s abo;t all kinds of sub- icctcI at tllc \anlc time i~ntur~l]! 2s it alg) contains thc correct (loctrinc coliccr~iing the I\ a), of ( go). I t j'rcntcr's opinion that tl?c cvcl~t of modern scicncc a n d the (lcvcl~~lllcl l t of thc historical-critical lllctll~)d ll:!\c sFon;n the un- tenahill t \ of the c ic\\ oncc hcltl llv ort]lodox\ . The llistoricr-11-critical lllctllo(l ha\ rcl calctl that thc Bil>le cont;lills 11u11le1.o~~ errors nlibtakcs. Furtlicriiiorr, study c~llll,ar;!tirc rcligiolls also has sho\\ll thilt biblical religion has inflLlcncecl b\r non-biblical religioll<. Ol-tho(~o~y mist:lhenly has placed too l ~ l ~ l c l ~ l~lphasis on fi(lc\ ~ l l ~ l l ~ o l l ~ . This is thr error that "fundaJl l rnta l is~~~" sup- i>osedly is repeating today hv its rcjrctio~i of the eonclLlsions of the llistorico-crjtl~~ll mctho0.'" The hiliiical texts ~~lclllcel,-cs--so Prellter c'ainls-denland that one rccngni/c tllrir contradictiolls their tlmc c~nditioncd prcf\c.lltations. I n l'rcntcr'~ 40-pagc cdiscusslon the "l'mpllctic and r\pos- tolic 5 ' the reader 1 find mall, ien.s c\-prcssec] great dlffercncc\ uill be cvidrn t bet\\ cell tllc Dnnisl1 dogmatician9s poritiol' of lrllat the Bible 15 2nd that held b1 llistoric Lulbcranjsm, bin$! affected h?' rationalism anc] lliqh& criticism. A Danish 1,zithcran Dog~natics in E n g l i s h Garb 1 5 ----______-_ .... _ _ _ _ -_____-_- - To understand tlii: positions taken by Prcntcr on exegetical matters, i t is neccssnr!. to cxa~ninc his hern~t~ncuticaI mcthodolog~ which often difl'ers irom the la\rs oC il?tcrprciation espoused by Luther ant1 the writers of the Luthcran Confessions. In both the Old and Ne\v Testamrnt areas Prenter has adoptetl 3 number of the conclusions of higher criticisill wh'ch has rejected tlx concept of direct revelation by ~ o d ((1 Illan, repu(1iaird thc miraculous" as foulld in many passages of tlle cwvo Testnmcnts, rcfuscd to accept direct prcl>hecy, and has qucsrioned thc Nerv Tcstanlcwt's inter- pretation of Old Testamcn t llist3rical events. The coilclusions of higher cdtlcisnl and form crit;cini~ as appliccl to bath 7estaments are atlopted bv Prcilier ancl arc made the basis for tloctrinr!l deduc- tions. The rccol~rtruction of Old Testament religion as rn\~isioned by the Uppsala School is fcllo\vr(l despite the fact that other critics hzve questioned the basic assumptions of the Scandinavian school. Tllus ]'renter follows Rlowinckel in his 11elicf thnt like in Uab!,lol~ia, so in Israel, an cnthroncmcnt fcsti\.al was supyoscd to ha\rc beell celebrated. Accortling to oLlr k n o r ~ l c d ~ c of the Babylonian ~)zbitzl fcstiral, it is k n o ~ a n that as a part of thc elcvcrl-(la!, cclebmtion, the Enuma Elish epic was rend, in \vhich hlarcluk is depictcd as bein:! \~lctorious over Tiamat and his forces. Acrortliog to i\lo\viilcl\cl. i t \\-as custcmary in Israel at tllc ne\v \ear's fcstival to 1.ciit1 Gcncsis 1 : 1-2:4, which is based on tllc ~ a b ~ l d n i a n E nrrm EIislz cpic, rein- terpreted in Gri~csis to represent tllc viulory of J a l n ~ c h o\c.r the forces of cvll and destruction. L'renter ut;lizcd this idea i n claiming that the dactrincs of creation and rctIcn?l?;lon arc' relntccl becausc ill both the work of creation and r c ( l ~ i ~ ~ ~ t i ( ; ~ l God is dcpicltd heill:: victorious over IJis fors. This coml~arizon re5ts cn an erroneous interpretation of Gcncsis 1 : 1-2 : 1. It tahc.s ;I grc:lt (Ical of' iniagina- tion to read a col?flict Ijct\\.een Ja]l\yc]l ant1 thc forccs of' cllaos into this cpisode. In ]l;jrmon! ryith model-n critical scliolarsllip l'rcntcr treats tllc oljenillg chal,tcrs of Gcncsis as mvthological, ill1 inter- pre tation which places him jn op~x~sition to thc I-u t hcran (:onfcs- :ions 011 the historicit\. of Geljcsjs, cllaptcrs 1-3 . I'hc fall of i ldam is interpreted in ;I difi'erent n.a\ fro111 \vhal 1,uthcr tlid in his Corlz- melztnry on Ger~esis. ~ c c o r d i n g to the ~Ia rhus University ilrokssor, the fall of Adam and Eve is not a once-for-all happening. but js supposed to bc repeating itself constantly tllro~lghout thc \\hole of covenant history. According to Prentcr, tile Xlcssianic hol~c is not tllc central themc of Old Testament religion, as it is recorded in tllc Book of Acts. Together \vith rnodcr~l biblical scholars l~i~~ 11c rcjccts the Sen Testament concepts of "l,rophccy" and "full i l l~~ien~." Solllr of ~~~owincke l ' s extrclne positions on thr intcrprct;itioll of lllc ]Jsallllq arc followed. Also i n Nen: Tcstalnent area the rei~dcr of l ' r ~ . l l t c ~ ' ~ book will find that tJlc conculsions of critical ~ C W 'rcstanlent schoIarslli!' have heell adopted. Thus in his interpretation of f l ~ c (j(be(l.; 2nd 16 1 H E SPRINGFIELDER -- - --- -- - 4 sayings of Jesus, l'renter follows the school of form criticism as may be seen from his distinction bct\\;ecn the Jesus-tradition and the Christ-theology. The gospels arc considered to bc replete with con- tradictions and inaccuracies. Both thc Old and New Testanlents, he asserted, contain divergent theologies. Thus to look upon the Old and New Testaiiicnt Scriptures as reflecting a unity, produced by its author, thc Holv Spirit, is therefore ruled out. Prenter states that it is uncertain \vhethcr or not Jesus was born of a virgin- Since critical scholars are agr:rced that the Virgin Birth narratives were not a part of the original kerygina, Prentcr holds that it is unessential to the gospel narrative and need not be accepted as an important Christological belief. Herc the Danish doginatician is placillg hirn- self against the united tcstilllonv of the Thrcc ~cuincnical (3ceds and the position of historic ~o thc ran i s i i~ . Lutlicr sorely cannot be citcd in support of such a ~ ~ r i ~ t ~ ~ ~ ~ - d ~ n ~ i n g stance! T h e narratives treating the post-resurrection ljerio(l of Christ's life are characterized by contradictions so that tllc Biblical stl~deiit reallj7 cannot ascertail1 what transpired at aiid after thc rcsurrcction. Because Prcntcr takcs the conclusions of the nlodern her- mcneutic seriously, lie has cspousccl a positioii about the resurrection of Christ that is anibiguous. j is \\-illing to concedc that the crucifixion and dmth of Jeslls arc real liistorical events recognized b) mo(lcrn scholors as happening th;,t transpired in history d~l r ing the g)ver~iorship of Pontius Pilate, he ncucrtheless contends that Christ's resurrcction is a11 cvellt not in tile Salilc cntegor!, of histor!' as the cleat11 OF C:l~rist. 'Thus Prc\litcr \yrotc.: Ncvcrthcloss, it js \.cry clear that this c\*cnt is not histori- ~ a l in lhc sanlc sc11sc t]~at 'a]] other c\.cnts are. k c a u s c it is ;111 eschatological cvcnt it callnot substantiated. Its realit!: can ( ) ~ l l \ ~ Ilc proclaiii~cd bc]ic\~c(l as procl;limed; it cannot bc pro\'ecl (p. 1 2 3 ) . Again Ilc asscrtccl : . . - ?'hc Ilistorical rcalily of' tlic resurrection is inter- \ \o\cn \vith its eschatological realit\ in such a \va!. tha t it is ~c)ssilllc 10 c~stoblisl~ 'scicntificaliy what actually occurred, ~ O I - that + ditl ,~ctuallv occur. AS historical cvent the resur- I-c~tiOn c\cllt is \llmudcd in anlbigLlit\ (p . 427) . l'I-cntcI- clls0 stntcs that "t]lc NcI\. Tcstnmcllt contains 110 clear hi~toric~ll t i o)~lcer~lilly the factual cllaractcr of the resur- rcctioll \\hich i~ accessil~le to llistorira] rcsrarch" (p . 429). That tllc Xcn' Tcs:Llnlcnt rrporls tllc f;lrt of tIlc cmptr tolllb is for Prenter 1'*0*f' for the actunlit\ of Christ's resl~rrcciion. I t woukl seem '\ ritct- lllat tile old! na! in hicll St. hIatthew9s statement n''v~'t tllc clllllt). tomh can l ~ c cyp]ajncd is cithcl- to accept the ex- i""l'"tiOn adj'allccd I)\ thr !c\\ish Ira(lcrs that the disciples had 1~od) alld hiddcll i t . or to accept the testimony of the c"nnS'lists tomh a n s clnptj bccnusc the grave could no t ho't' of G()(l, ant] that Tesus (:hrict arose was seen A Danish Lutheran Dogmatics in English Garb -- _ 17 - during a forty-day period b ~ . men and women at different times and localities in Palestine. P;~LII's tatement in I Corinthians 15 surely argues for the historicity of tho resurrection of Christ. It is bccause Prenter wishes to be in tune with modern New Testament critical scholarship that he can state that Jesus arose and at thc same time assert that this fact cannot be prove11 which calls into qucstion thc New Testament's testimony. Prenter's position is irrationalistic and suffers from thc inconsistencies that characterizc modern neo- orthocloxy. Prenter also believes that some form of " d c ~ ~ ~ ~ t l ~ o l o g i ~ a t i o n " is necessary. While hc rcjects thc Bultmannian use of the term, he claims that in the Biblc tho Christian will find "mytholog!-." The latter is defined as follows: "hlytl~ology, incidentall!~, is not the same as myth; mythology is ml,tl1 which has been turned into a world view. In the second phcc; it is not the biblical writings which arc to be demythologized, since they do not contain n~ytholag!, but only inythical ideas" (11. 1 5 8). Because of his belief that the Bible contains "mythical ideas" Prenter can consistently reject thc Biblical view ill which a l~icture about God and man is given. According to thc Danc it is not the purpose of the Scriptures to give a description of the nlorld nor of the nature of man. Insights which science furnishes concern- ing the nature of man are to be l~rcfcrrcd to similar infor~natio~l found in thc Bible. This llleans that i n thc conduct of thc sciences of psyclx)logy, an thropol ogy , gcolog., philosol~h?,, gco~raph! , bioloy?. zoolog!,, and cd~~ca t ion there is to be corllplctc frccrloin i l ~ l ( I tllcir ~011- elusions are to be accepted e \ rn though they mar. colltrialict thc Scriptures. \\'hen thcrc is a (]iff(:rcnc,c bct~vccn tllc tcacllings of the ljiblc and the speculations of scientists, tllc Iattcr arc ~~rcfcrrc(l. Only where the Scriptures have spoken regarding spirituitl matters. arc they to be given serious consic1erntiorl. The main COUCCI-11 of the < I 1~-ol~hctic and apostolic \\rritingsvq is to proclaim the gospel, ~.Il ich dare not be ticd to an], particular \vorld \,ie\\-. The H C C O L I I I ~ of the creation of thc ~vorld ill Genesis I and the creation of Adam and E\-e in Gcnesis 2 have nothing to contribute to thc qucstion of the "how" of creation. The important empllasis of Gcnrsis 1-2 is thc h c t that ultimatel!. Gocl is Creator; holc thc univcrsc, thc earth, lift. ani11lal5 ant1 Inen came into csistcncc bcloiigs to tlw I,ro\i~lcc ol' thc scicnccq. The I>oc.tril~e of C:rcotio~i Olle of the outstanding features of Prcnter's rolull~c is his usc of the doctrine of creation as prilnary and basic for st~-llcti~ring 11h theologicaI system. In contradistinction to fornlcr J.uthcran dog- matics, Prentcr insists that creation and rctlcmption must hc con- siderccl together.2' ~h~~ he. wrote: "Creation ;in0 rctlcnlptinll belong together. Creation is the beginning of redemption, and redcrllption is the consullllnation of creation" (p 200). Again: ''Thcsc t\\.o activities, creation and redemption, go hand in hand from the 1,ery beginning Both nrc a struggle against the samc mcnl): rtilh the same encl in view: the filial col1~~11111llatioi1 of God's creative ~ ~ " O f k and the final destruction of all powers of chaos" (p. 200). Accord- ing to Prenter it is incorrect to d i s~ in~u i s l i between creation and 1 1 r ~ ~ v a t i o n as the old doglllatics did, because creation is a con- tinuing process. Horvc\rcr, Gellesis 2 : 3 clearly stated that God ceased from His creative activity, and c]escribcd the original creation as occurring in six da)s. That Irhich God bu the \\.ord b n ~ ~ l a h t into existence was unique and was lle\rcr repeated in the manner described in Genesis 1 : - 2 :3 . 011 this basis, traditional Christian theolog!' has correctly distinguished bet\\iecli creation and prescrj1ation. Pren ter accepted the Ball! lonian conccpt of h l erduk's defeat of Tiamat as reflected in his adoption ancl rc intr rpreta t i~l of Genesis 1 : 2 . Jah~vrh is depicted as being rfictoriol~s over his foes ancl is nlade to be parallel to Jesus' victory o\.er the f'orcci of evil; thus both jn crcation and redemption God is to be rictorious o\?cr his enelnies- This is alleged to cstablisll the unit17 of these trvo cloctrjl1es. It is only by resorting to n fallacio~ls esegesi's thilt siicli n r e l a t i o l~ rh i~ can be devclopecl. Six times the Gcllesis accollllt asserts that c\erytllillg God made was good. At the clld of the I1cxacmcron tlir Biblical writer sajls: "And behold cvcrgthi11~ \\.as vcr) p~od." The tr i l~zi and hohu of Genesis 1 :2 that character~~ed the earth bcforc God separated the Iilncl from the water \I.as not evil; t11c.c n.ords si~nplv clcsclibe tl1c two directions in which the lle\Tlv created cart]l woulcl further ulldergo chilngcs. After the creation Xf r~clalll '111d I:\,c thcrc \\as 110 evil or sin in the \vorl~l. !\Then the rc\fo]t of the clekil iind his c\'il angels tool< placc Scripture docs not rclatc but c\,jl \ \as there in the 1'erSo" Of Satan prior to the fall of inall into sill. It \ ~ ~ i i s il n result of t he f i l l1 that nature came a curse, '('11~ tlcath of Christ did not makc. possible the sal\ratjon of i~atur- nol- of its ;tnimals, b u t 0111~ lllan created after thc ililagc of cod. 13) ilssc.1-tin? thc unit\ of crcatioll anti reclen~ption Prcnter is able to itl~pl\. to creation \\:hat is s;1id a\lo~lt rc.clem.ption. T h e New Tcqtament denrI\ t c ac11~~ tllat it \\-as arac,: (cllaris) that prompted G(:cl to pro~idc ' h c rcco~~ciliation of sinfill n~ankind through t h e ( 1 0 1 I . Freqilcntl\ l>rcnter spea],s of crcati1.c gracc, an c ' \ ~ r ~ s ~ i ~ l l not used in the Scril>tllrc. 80th the I:ible a l ~ d the I ,~tht . ra l l C ~ l l f ~ s s i ~ l l s usc the tern1 grace of thilt a t t i t ~ ~ d c of God that was sho\\ll toiyard sinners I~ccailsc of the sacrijicial clcatll of Christ, 1\7hose 1lcllciits onlv ;lrc ablc to sarc l l l ~ l l \v]lell thC) i l r ~ ennb]cd b k ~ the Holy Spirit (0 accept tllc Gospel's gracil>us offcr. The Pul-p()sc of creation n.;15 Cod's glOr\. r\t the cnd of the doctrill31 sectiOl1 of 1%011ians, Paul \\ rote : a+k'oi of I-lilll, alld tllrougll illld to Hill) :ire things; to \\ ]lolll forc\~rr" ( 1 1 : 36 >. "'ln crcatc(l to bc in fcllo\vshi1> \yitIl C:od. It \\.as only a f t e r "cli'"' C\c had \.iolatcd God's c ~ ~ n ~ ~ ~ a ~ ~ l had e ten of the tree Of h10\iled2e of good and evil, that illc for a Savior "lc ()nl\' relationship l r t uc rn cl-cotion 3114 rcdclnption is l0 in fact that God the Creator also mnclc for rcdel ' l~tior~ of lllall througIl his Son, tjle lrar the l'erson through whom crcation also was cffcctcc-1. However, the sanctification of mall is likewise the work of the 'Triune God. The Holy Spirit, the Sanctifier, also in the creation of the universe. Therefore, follo\ving Prenter's logic, crcation and sanctifi- cation should also constitute an i~~scparablc unity. According to Prcntcr there is an intimate relationship between creation and redemption because of the fact that there must bc a mall before hc can he a Christian. Thcrc is furthcrnlorc supposcdl~ a close relationship because the Creator and ~ e d e c m e r arc one. "It is the same God who is active in both, with one purpose ill illilld. \\'hethe1 through crcation or redemption, it is his 01\11 image that imparts to man" (p. 282) . I t is true that all men, whethcr they recognize this or not, have received life and esistencc froin the Triune Goti and automaticallr enjoi the blessings of God's l ~ n ) \ ~ i - dence. The salnc parallel (lois not, 'honci~cr, a p p l ~ in the ;lre:l of redemption. God has provided for the reconci1inti;)n of the wholr race through Christ's vicarious sacrifice on Call-ary, but it tlocs follon7 that men autolrlaticallv receive the blessings carrlcd b\ Christ for malikintl. These must be accepted bv Faith which thc Hal! Spirit must create. hlan call refuse to accbpt Christ and hencc be 7 8 deprived of the blessing of the ntoncmcnt. 1 hus ;:t a vcr, iml~ortalit point the analogy between creation and rcdcmption brkaks d0\1.11. Prenter's statement that "creation ant1 rcdc~nption bclong togcthcr. Creation is the beginning of rcdeinption, and rcdcmption consunl- mates crcation" is not a correct l>ortraya! of what Scripture asserts I-cgardilig these tnFo doctrines and their rclationsliil~ lo cacIi other. l'rcntcr draws solnc uli1\.nr1-;1iltcd co~~cl t~sjons f'rorn his assulned interrelationsl~i~~ bet~veen creation ant! rctlclnptiorl 111iicl1 Ilc cl:~ims constitute an indissoluble unity. Onc such rcsult of this unit! 1s that "through this connectioil bet\t.c.cn crcation a ~ i d rcdclnption the l~roclamation of the crcatiol1 becomes a gospel" (13. 2 0 8 ) . Since Jesus is the Logos, thc agent of crcation, I'rcntcr conrcnds th31 the cross is at the center of creation. "I'liat the \\orfi of ct-catiorl is with the 11-ork of retlemption means that Got1 brings hi5 rrcsti\c \170rli 011 behalf of man to its reali~ation thl-o~~gli man's clcn~h resurrection wit11 Jesus Christ. Gotl's proviclcncc is thc fi\ctl re- dcn~p t i \~e purposc of crcativc work; it is tlic conforinit\! of his creative work with the death and resurrection of JCSLIS Christ ;11ld the death and rcsurrcction of the ~vholc I~uman I-ncc in Christ" (13. 208) . Prcnter interpret, the pro\-idencc of (htl ;lr Ix>i~lg t h ~ hiddc'n agreement l~ct\\iecll ~ ~ d ' ~ ~e ; l t i \ . c \\.ill ant1 his rc~lcrnpti\c \v i l l in Jesus Christ, \vho is the agent of creatiori arid redunil~tioll. 111 con- tradistinctioIl to Lu tiler and historic. 1 u t hcranisrn l'rcntcr ~ l i l j ~ l l ~ that the prorridence of Glx] canllot hc ;~rcertaincd fro111 natllral theolog!.. Against PreoterPs pllrasc “the gosp~I of creation" a strong de- lilurrcr nlust be The Netv Testament uses the m'or(l "gos- pel" to &scribe tile gJoC) news of a-hat God has tlonc for the s i n r ' e r j "that while we were \let sinners Christ died for the ul~godly." The gospel announces t h c comforting truth that "there is now no con- demnation to thein who are in Christ Jesus." The expression ''gospel of creation" can lead to a misunderstanding and tends to remove the uniqueness that the New Testalllent associated with the word 9 9 "euangelion, which always refers to God's willingness to forgive illen their sins proper Christum.?-: Prerzter's A~thropological Views Traditional Lutheran clogmatics (including The Lutheran Confessions) held to the view of dichotonlv, that inan has a body and a soul or spirit. Christian theology, accoiding to Prcnter, however, is not supposed to have an independent a~ithropology (1- 245). Because man is a theonornous being who in relationship with God, Prentcr claiills that i t is improper to adopt ail). one type philosophical anthropology. He claims that hjedieval scholasticisnl and Lutheran orthodoxy were influenced by Aristotelian anthro- pOfogy and thus a Greck understanding of man became conllected \\'it11 Biblical thought. As the Biblical student interprets the state- lllcllt~ of the text in thc Old Testalnent that deal with the creation of Adam, it will be found that two separate acts were involved: the fol.lll;lti~n of thc human hody tIlc inbreathing of the breath of life into nian. This double actioll rcsultecl in man beconlillg a liring being. l ~ c ~ l ~ s j a ~ t ~ ~ clI pter 12 : 7 infers this dual actioil it states that thc hodv will rcturll to dust and the spirit will rcturll 10 God \\]lo ga\c it. 'This is illso in ]larmoll, ~vit l l Jcsus' statenlcllt in Rlatthc.\\ 10: 2 8 : "Fear not tl1cIll that kill the Ijody, but callllot hill the soul I~ut rilthrr fc;lr ]liln \v]l() can destro)r both body and soul i l l hell." Tllc 1);1nish doglnaticianl ]lon.e\,cr, tells us that "theolog) has little intcrcst in special 'Chrjstinn9 psycllology, s o c i o l o ~ , or ]libtor) in ;I sl~cciol 'CIlristiany litcratLlrc or religious films." \ 8ha t dogmatics has 10 say about tllc nature of mall neither can be nor should hc a s~lbstitl~tc for \\.hat lllan can learn tllroLlgll :hssociatioll \\it11 0thcl.s thn)ogll art, scicnre, and phj]asophy. 0 1 1 the contrar) , (lO~:lllltics \\ants thrsc forills of ]lunlnll sclf-hllo~vledgc to cnjoy full frccdonl to lllnkr the grcntot possible progress (13. 2 5 0 ) . ?'he l .)octri~~e of S i l l h l 0 ~ 1 121~~hcrsn clog~llatic~ ;I scctioll 111 which the?. dis- cuss sill. ils origin. nutllrc ;llld of sins. \\.bile the reader \ \ i l l WCO~llltcU nllnlen)us ~ . c f ~ r ~ ~ ~ c ~ ~ ti) sin, Prelltcr d ~ \ ~ o t c s 0111~ fi\'c p g c s to hn~l,;,rtiolo,~~-. 2nd that to ;I c]jscussion of "orioinal sin" . ? S-4-? S 6 ) . 111 llis l>rcsent;ltioll of doctrine of a"origillal sin'' Ilc ~ U C S his 0 1 ~ 1 1 \\a! and prcsellts jdcns tllat makc the reader \\'(jndc:. ~ c ) \ I hc has arri\.ed ;lt ],is intcrprctotioll. T h u s h e c la ims t l lal sin CannOt rc;illy he nradc the object of ally doctrine (p. 7-84). 1 . 1 ~ ( l i c l . I ~ O \ \ . C \ C ~ . gi\-c this &finition of sin, clescrilling i t ;is "rebel- lion a~ainst ~rc;rtion, ;IS death. ilnd as (lcniil] of trutll" (p.2S4]. Ilc n ~ ; ~ i ~ l ~ l i l l s t lnt \\,hen sin is c\p]ail,cd. i t js rspl;lillrd awa!.. Be- ""'*" s''' lllc ~ ) j l l r ad ic t io t l of ll\caning, it c;\nllot lle compre- A Ijnnish Lztthcran Dogmtrtics in English Garb 2 1 hended. Theologians cannot show how sin originated. Since l'renter does not accept the historicity of the fall narrative, he logically has no solution for the origin of human sin and claims that it cannot be understood in its orig~ns. The Bible, however, clearly teaches that sin is a transgressioll of the law. As to the origin of hunlan sin Paul wrote: "By one man sin entered the world, and death by sin, anti so death has passed upon all men" (Romans 5 : 12). Christology In traditional Lutheran dogmatics, thc article on Christology llaturally followcd the locus on saving grace. In the latter there mas developed on Scriptural ground the fact that saving grace is God's grace in Christ (Eph. 1 : 6) . It: sets forth ho\v grace was procured and ~howed that the world was redeemed by the God-nian, Jesus Christ. However, in Pren ter Chris tology follows imn~edii~tel!. after the discourse on an thropology . The Danish dogniatician's inter- Petation of Christology has been vitiated and influenced by modern higher criticism and form criticism. In his elucidation of Christ- ology, he mistakingly injects the doctrine of creation. Thus he asserts: "All theology is christology." \Vhcn dealing with the data fro111 which he constructs his christological interprctatioii, he distin- guishes between the Jesus-tradition and the Christ-theology. Be- cause all Christology is said to have an historical contcnt and rc- flectiol~, the historical part is subject to the canons of historical criticisni. Furthermore, in setting forth a Christology, l'renter holds that there is 110 uniform and si~stematic Christ-theology in the New Testament. The Synoptics arid Paul arc said to have dirlergcllt types of Christology. Here the influelice of modcrn criticism conies to the fore in its failure to con~prehentl that the Holy Spirit is the author of the New Testament books, and that by assembling all the revealed data, these can be arranged and interpreted in a manner that does not reflect upon the veracity and reliability of God's \Vord. Traditional Christology was usually resented under the fol- loiiring topics: 1 . Concerning the benevolence of God regardilia fallen man; 2. Concerning the person of Christ; 3. Concerning the salutary work of Christ (the propl-retic, ~riestly and kinglv offices of Christ); 4. Concerning the t~vo states (humiliation P I ~ C ~ e a l t a - tion)." Prentcr rejects the traclitional o r~a~l iza t io~l f christological data because it was influenced by scholast~cism ~vhich hc claims \\.;ls often not Biblical. His ex lication of the locus of Christology t71c following structure: 1 . d e kingdom of God; 2. Promise and fulfi11- ment; 3. T h e apostolic witness concerning Christ; 4. The person of Christ; 5. T h e work of Christ; 6 . The christological dogma and 7. T h e limits of Christology. Prentcr finds the coming of Christ pro~iiised in the Old 'Testa- ment. But this promise is not to be deduced fro111 indir'idual Ales- sianic predictions, as is done in the New Testament." The J-utllcran Confessions following the example of the Ne\v Testanlcnt a-ri te rr also believed that the heart of the Old T~stamell t ce11tcrcd in those predictions givcn over the centuries announcing the birth, life, deatll, resurrection and nsreilsion of Christ. Hcrc again Preilter sim~l!' follows the conclusions of moder11 Old Testament scholarsl~ip which rejects the "prophecy-fulfillment" schernc employcd by Nu\- Testa- ment writers. New Testament Christology, according to Prentcr, rests LIl3on a threefold basis: the Old T e s t a m e ~ ~ t proiiiisc. the Nc\\. kerygma concerning Christ, and the So11 of hlnn Hinisclf lvllo Pro- claimed the kingclom of God, and \\lho died us its reicctcd hIessiall and arose as the one \\rho mas to reestablisll it-the Son of h3a11~ living center toward which the two witl~essfi point, from the stalld- points of expecting ancl fulfillment (13. 3 3 3). Prenter is not s\rmpathetic rvith the teaching of tl1c Eolllall Catholic and ~ u t h e r a n Churches on the relationship of the t ~ o turcs in Christ. He is critical of the Lutheran doctrillcs of the cowzrr~z~~zicatio irli nlntzrm so ~ 1 e a l - l ~ set forth in the Forillula of Con- cord. In his disci~ssion of the rilation of the t\r o nalurcs in anthropic person of Christ, Prenter has, ]lo\\-c\rcr, correctlv llotcd the weaknesses in the positions of Scllleicrmacher, Albrecllt Kitsch1, Adolf \rill Marnack and Rudoli Bultlllann. 11 stucl! of t\\clltictll- ccntur!, christological thought re\Venls tllat it is charactcri~c(1 11) 2' docctisnl "in which there is onlv a Clll-ist of PI-ocln~nation, i n \\'llich tllc teaching is the only really i;llportallt tllil~g, ;mcI fro111 \\hicll tllc historical Jesus has disappca&d" (p. 366-367). 111 his section treating of the o r of Cllriat, Prcntcr has limited his tliscussion to tllc doctrine of tlle atoncmcnt. 1-Ic recog- n i ~ c s the crntralit\ and illlportallcc of doctrine h)r tllc Christian faith. The doctriilc of the atonclllcl1t is c~~) l ic ;~ tcc l it1 the context of the crucifi\ion :~nd resurrection of cllrist. 'T]lcsc t\\ (1 c\'cllts ill the life of Jesus arc the hasis of Biblical Cllristologl. 111 the ]listor!' Of Christianity illally different ha\-e ]>cc11 held as to the csacl n l ean in~ of thcsc cvcnts and tlleir sigllificnncc for thC Christiall faith. I'rrntcr gi\ es an cxtci1cIcd ~ . c ~ i c \ T of ~IICOIICS rcg?rding the atonelncnt which ha\c hccn adduced ill the ]listor\ ot Christial1 thought. The \ie\\s of Atlianasius, ;j~isc.lm, nncl I_uthc1- arc re- \ic\\cd ant1 cvnluatctl. ConlpxN1 nit11 the \ic.n- on thc. ntonelncnt Ilcld 1)) orthodos Lutlleranisin. Prentcr again takes n position l\-llich is diffcrcnt. Thus he \\rote: "The idea of the. ;~t(,ncmcnt, which cspresses tlic unit) bctucen tllc God of crcatioll and tlw Got1 rcdcmption i n thc~lli\torr of cal\ntioil as completecl in thc incama- tion. i \ aln;i!> citllcr thc presul,positioo for or the of 3 par- ticular Christolog\" (p . 3 6 8 ) . I-lc contends that this l , n r ac los i c~~ unit\- bctacen citation and rcdrnlption is cm13hasi~c(l more 1.utl;rr than hy Athn~lasius and that Lutllcr did not regard Christ 's sacrifice as 1)cin~ cxclusi\.elv vicarious (p . 3 S 5 ) . hlclancllt]lon w a s reh~)ollsible for ha\inS advocated a doctrine \y]licll was j l l llarlllon?- \y j t h that of Ansclnl. I'rcntcr obiects to the idcll that God (in Jesus (:l'rist) l ~ a d e satisfilctio~l to the Father. God, nlaking sntisfnctioll to r , Hi"'sclf. results tllcrcforc in :I stranqc line reaqonilla. I jlc e and passive obedience of Christ are not a part of the doctrine of thc atonement but is a conception introduced by orthodox Lutheranism. Regarding the threefoltl office of Christ, thc Scandinavian pro- fessor has a different concepticn than that set forth by Luther and Lutheran o r tho~ lox~ . "The Old Testanlent points to his kingly office, because he is the one jvho is to liberate, gather, and rule the chosen people of God. The witness of Jcsos concerning himself expresses his prophetic office, because hc is to proclaim the kingdon1 of God in its offer of forgi\leness in the midst of opl~ositioo froill sin and death. And the apostolic kerygllla points to Jesus' priestly office, his vicarious sacrificial death and his resurrectioe" (p. 1 1 1 footnote 98). This statement does not adequately express what is in- vollred in the threefold office of Christ according to Scripture and as set forth in many Lutheran dogmatics. The Doctrilze of Soteriology As a result of emphasiring the unity oI crcation and redemp- tion, prenter has fallen into tlic pitfall of failing to do justicc to tllc \\-ark of the Hdv Spirit in sanctification. Hcndrv llas correctly noted in his revi& of Prenter's dogmiltics that "lvhile Prenter lays great stress on the dialectic of unity and clca\lagc in the rclation bet\veen the first and second articles the distinction hetween the secolld and third articles virtually disappcnrs and the cmph:isis is n7holly on the unity." '(' That this is tbe case may be suen fro111 the follolving statement of Prenter: "Thc Ziolr Spirit procccds from the Father and the Son. The eternal unity ofeFather, Son, anti Spirit is the basis of the unity bet\\-cen creation and redeinption, between atollenlent and rcnciG1. The proclamation of tlic word. that is, of the gosl)el, through yreaching and sacrament, is the procession of the Spirit from the Father and the Son. Faith, which is the human 'echo' (response) to this divine gospel, is the Spirit's rctmn to the Father ancl the Son with man's rene\\etl image of Gocl. I t is, h o \ ~ - ever, one and the same Spirit who through thc lvortl of the gospel proceeds fro111 the Father and the Son to man, and who through man's faith returns to the Father and the Son. Thcrci'orc thc word and faith can never be selmrated fro111 one anotlict" (p. 433). the Danish scholar is guilty of speculating and philoso~~hizing, 2nd placing truths together in a manllrr oot justified by Scriptoral assertions. Prenter differs from traditional Lutheran theology regarding the manner in which he conceives the Holy Spirit bringing about the conversion, regeneration, and justification of thc sinner. Onc of the major misconceptions held br. Prenter reparclillg thc aork of sanctifi- cation is his assertion that rknewal is found in t l ~ c atonement- On hat basis these two are united is difficult to see. Accordi~lg to Scrip- ture, Christ is represented as reconciling the world t ( ) God through His vicarious death upon the cross. This is an act ~ h i c l l took place in the first century. The benefits of Chist 's death arc not automatic but the effects 2nd hlessinzs are offered the unconrvertcd sinner t l lmugl~ the Means of Grace. By faith in Jesus man 1-eceil1es the blcssiogs of the \jrork of Christ. Ho\vc\.cr, this offer can be re- jected by the sinner and thus rcnc\\-nl docs not always takc place. The Ortier of Sa117atior1 Lutheran dognlatics sl~eaks about the order in nhich the Slllncr is brougllt to Chrlst and kept in the one saving faith. Thus Joseph Stumpp described thc order of sal\ratioii as follo\\.s: 'The grcat moral and spiritual cliallgc ivhich tllc Hal! SlJirit. throuqh the hleans of Grace, brings about in the heart life of man ma! be rcgartlctl :IS taking in \'arious ste!? or stages follo\sing onc arlotlier in n certain logical Order+ 'This order is c.allcc1 the Orclcr of S a l \ ~ ~ t i o n . It is custolllar! to considcr the \\ark of the Holv Spirit under thr hcnds \\7hic11 this ortlcr furnislics. I t inclutlcs'thc \\hole nark of the [-I()]\ Sl'irit in the bringing of mi111 to faith and to tllc fllilctio~lillfi ()t his fnith in his life.!" rhc llanish thcologi:~n I-ejects thc order of salvation a5 bet fi)rth i l l liist~rical i.ut11cran thcolog! . 'rllos hc \llritea: "Tendencies tonant of s I o t i c conccptioll of tl,c o,.t?o t i arc evident 111 Lutheran orthodon\ . Luthcr's csplal,;rtio~l of thc 'Third Article in the S111;111 C;~tcchis;~i U I I C I ~ I ' S ~ O O ~ ~ to ~uggcst that man's \\.a! to sal\ation through rctlcmption is c!)ml,ribcd of ccrti~iii clcll~cllts appc'~ring ill ;I Jciinjte orrlcr: The Ho]\ Spirit has ~ i ~ l l c d mc. through the Gospel, cnligl1t~i1~~1 lllc \\it], his gifts, ailti sancii- lies i ~ n d prcscrvcs rnc\ in thc true faitll" (p. 446). l'rcnter claims th;lt hi~nc.tjii~;ltioii tlocs not folio\\ iustificntion. 1 t is \vrong to hold that con\crsion and justificatioil mc)mcntar\ acts, "\\hich coil- ~ t i tu tc the transition f'ro~n :I state of llllbc.licf* ant1 c o ~ ~ t l ~ m n a t i o n to t11c statr of gr;~cc." l'rciltcr iio\\hcrc gi\-cs Scriptural proof for his disscntins l~osition; he .impl\ these assertions \ ~ i t h o u t grollll(linc thrm in the ~ ~ r i ~ t ~ A ~ . \\'c beIic\c the distinctions nlatlc h\ ollh~tlox 1 .ut]1criji1ism arc a]itl hecause they can bc sup- l'ortctl \\ ill1 \t~\tcnicnts fro111 tlii- \\'ord of GocI. .\llothcr major i s s ~ ~ c on \\llicli Preiltcr rlisscilts from tratlitional lutllrr;~~iiani is in tllc mirttcr of the i~opotation of C!irist's righteous- ~ l c \ \ to tlir slllncr b\ faith. This conception is nttrihutcd to ortho- (lo\\ .I\ One of the \rk)ng itlc;~\ j'0stcrcd b\, it. But Paul 1rn)tc: "i\'ow to tllc ollc \\]lo docs 11ot \ \ u r l 1)ut trusts hinl n.110 justifies the un- P l l ! . fait11 is rcck011cd a5 r i g l ~ t c ~ ~ s n c s s " (l convcr- \ioll \\llicll is illscpa~tcI! conncctcd illl faith. In fact, that is 1 ( 1 mcnl~s: to tlirll oncsc]f a\ISa\- from tllat which I \ cln~~lrical in nnlcr i n faith to listen to tllc 6;osllc] aloncq' (p.4 50). lli\toric 1~lthcran tlicolop~ has spoken of three solas: Sola scr'l'turcl, S()lcl ri(lc. and Sd:l Gratis. Sometimes a fourtll js added : S()l l ls Cllristlls. l'rcntcr olicll or written \\ '~rtl Thus the ~po1ogY states that "the &ect of thr \\'ur(l i111d of the r i t ~ rd in different scoscs, thus practicaIl\ mmploying it in the sense of "futuristic eschatology;" ;it other times, in thc sense of "s~lllbolic 7 9 eschatology; or in thc sense of "rcalizcrl escl~atolo~! " ant1 sometimes in the sensc of “inaugurated eschatology." To the oninitiatcd reader this \7ariation in usage proves extrcmcly confusing. 'rhc subjects dcnlt \\ith in traditional eschatology ;,re discussed b!. Prcnter in the last section, "The Glorification." Threc topics are speeificallv considered: 1 . Thc second conliilg, 2. The judgment, 3 . Etcrilal life. Cllristian eschatolog does not posses all!! infornla- tion about "things \\?hich lie hidden be)ond clcath or ill the \\-()rid to c(1111c" (13. 54 7) . 1,utheran orthoc!os\ is bcrntecl for its "biblicistic c~cfli~tolog) ." l'rcntcr c l a i l~~s that thelIc. is n spccinl h e l - m ~ n e ~ t i c s \Irhich nlust bc iq~plicd \I hen tlcaling I\ ith the eschntological themes of the Scripurcs. Thus he writes: "11 biblicistic eschatology which conccivcs of thc biblical statc.lnclits as diroct informntio~~ about the hci-~3ftc.r and ullieh tries to harmonire thcni in ;I logical system lllilst thcreIore bc r c j ~ c t ~ d " (f00t110t~ 1-17', 13. 548). Prcntcr claims there has to take placc ;I ''tlc-apocal~pticing" of cs~hatolog!~. In the proclamation of the church "thc last things" (tcl esclzotn) are the same as "thc last onc" (ho cscl~cztos), "Jesus Christ himself in the revela- tion of his ~ l o r ~ . 11 ho \I ill bring to an end thc hiddcnness under \~ll ich both 11r Rnd his rcstored people ha\-c tllrir cxistencc so long the poivcr of dcath has not been broken" (p. 519) . T h c philoso- plljcal cscl1atolog\ \ ~ h j c h rrintcrprcts the escl~atologiral as figurative j q rrl~ucliatetl. The lattcr understanding began in the 1920's with clialcctical thcolog? . Prentcr bclic\,c.s that a biblical eschatologj~ ~-ecogni/cs the j~ictorial and thc figl~rati\c' character of the statements that deal \ \ ith Ue ~ro~.i If thcse nords are 'taken as the\ rend, it i\~ould con- trcltirct he position Of rrcntcr \\ho docs not b G ~ i ~ \ ~ that the second 'onling of ('hrist l ~ i l l he a visible historical return, bLlt kc that the return will mark the end of the agc. Prcntcr rejects traditio~lal eschatoloyica~ conceptions nboot the second coming. The l~istorical events that are promiscd ils preceding thc end of the world and of this age, as outlined in the Mt. ()livet discourse, arc not to 11e literall) understmd, otherwise Prcnter clainls the\ "\\~ould 111akc the worshil) \vatcllfulness no longer neccssar).." In connection with his discussion of the "end-historical ideas" the Aarllus professor takes up those of the antichrist and tllr illillnl- "iunl ( ~ 1 3 . 555-5 56) . After tracing rvl~at 11c considcrs is the history of the understancling of tllc concept of the antichrist in I1 Thcs. 2, he stated that the identification of the antichrist with Ncro, the l'opcc, i\'al)oleoll, Karl hlarx and Hitler is not correct, ;lltl~ough "110~~c of these concrete historical rcfcrences is as SL~CII absolutely \t roll$" (1). 56)- The correct interpretatioll of the Nen Testanlent nntshrist accordillg to l'renter is to find hinl ill ;I widc variety of 1n:lnifcslatioos the devil's opposition to Christ, an opl>osition that call express itself not only in the religious rcnlm bllt ;llso in the sphere of politics. According to the Danish doglnaticia~l thc idr:~ of tllc filiJl~11- nillln is found only in one passag of tllc Scriptures, Iloclation 20. In the history of thc Cllristiall church the pnss;lgc h-om t h ~ ii1)oca- I!yse has played a11 iinportant role. CIlilinsi~l has manifested itself two forllls: ch i l ias~~~z i s cr-ussr,s r11rr I cIzilin.j~rz~,s szllttilior. Tllcl fol-- lller brand is the vicnr, rc\7ired b\ pictislll, that Christ a-iJJ rcig~l for il thousilnd \ears in c;lrthlY s~cll;]o,-, the lattcr kind c\prcts a fio\\'ering of the kingdo11i of Goc{ colllillg :IHcr thc c(~r~\.iv-*ion f tjlc Je\\7s illld the fall 01. thr papilc, . 13ril~.ntcr ;ilso ohirctrtl 10 13i'.llo11 Alartensen of Denmark, n~]lo Llnc]crsto~)~l tllc m i l l c ~ ~ n i ~ ~ ~ i ~ con- ' sisting in Christ's spiritL131 victor\ in t]lr . l'rclrtcr 11.1~ e\- pressed his agrcemc.nt \\-it]] article 1 1 of t11c , \~~gus t an i~ \\ hiell rejects chiliasm. T h e Danish scholar- c;lnn(lt accept an\ of the f'c)r]n< of llli~lcnnialism, tlccausc in his opini(,n the! ;Ire ~ ; I S C C ~ 011 \\ n)nS llernlellei~tic in il1trrprctillg tllc ell(l cicnts, \\11ich .In1 110t 10 collsidcr~d as nctuallv occurrillg ill time. l'renter n 20 : 1 I - 1 5. Those who have (lied in thc Lord arc not with J c s ~ ~ s and l~;lr,e not entered the chorcb triumphant :~nd thc church glorio~~s but arc said by Prcnter t o wait for thc coming of Christ in ~~tdgrncnt . \17hat \\-ill take placc at tllc second coming? Prenter ans\\-en: Thcrc will bc a twofold judg~ncnt. UT11at nrill be the character of the judgment that \\lill takc place? Again the D;tnish theologian answers: ' 6 - 7 1hc j~iclglncnt is thc re\-clatjnn of the hidden lifc of faith, hope and la ic in Christ (Col. 3 : 3-4)." All Biblical statcmcnts and applica- tion< indicatc cithcr :I judgincnt to sal\ratio~l or to condemnation. The nature of thc judgment is a nl~stcrv likc the nl).stcrv of predes- tillation. I t hough thc judgment \\.ill proclaim condcn;nation, the Bible docs not tell mcn in what the condemnation consists. I t is illll"-o~cr. l'rcntcr assi'rts, to threatcn people wit11 hell. T h e latter hc ilcfincd as the ahu)lute contrast to hcaycn, thc place where abso- lute lo\-c has concji~crcd. Thc torment of the contlemncd \\rill con- sist in this that the latter \\.ill haw to ncknolcdgc tlhc glory of Christ. Ctcrllal life i.: participation in the jictoriolls Slorr of Jesus Christ. I . 7 I:tcrnal life is c~llll?Icte \ ictory of tllc g ]or \ of Jesos Christ." Etcrllal life nhich nt present is a hidden unjtv rcjth Christ through justific;itioll i~nd sanctification \\-ill after the jlld911ent be seen and ~ ' O S S S C S ~ ~ \ isibly. i\ccording to Prcnter the Christian lives in hope. Hc looks A Ilanish Ltctheran IJogrnutics in English Garb 2 9 forward to the hope of the rcsurrection of the body aild eternal life through Jesus Christ. \Vithout hope the church would lose its vigilance and die. The conclusion of Biblical history as well of the Church's proclamation must be expressed in the words of thc Apocalypse : "Come. Lord Jesus!" Co~zclusiolz Prenter's Creation and Kedenzption, a book of 579 pages, consisting somewhere between 250 ,000 and 260,000 words cannot: adequately be cvalueted in the brief space permitted for tllis review article. Not all doctrines discussed by Prenter have been all~ldcd to or evaluated. This writer agrees with the judgment of Fletcher, that "Prenter's work appears not so much as a particular "Danish" or "Scandinavian" theology, but as a personal assessnlent of Luthcrall ort11odoxy co~lpled with an effort toward contributing to a llarcl-won, authentic ecunlenical the~logy."~" That Prenter's doginatics takes positions that arc different on sigilificant doctrines from the positiolls held by Lutheranism the writer bclieves has been tlemonstrated ill this essay. Since Prcllter has defined dogmatics, not as a s~stematic science, but rather a critical scicllce, which is in dialogue with exegesis and preaching, the contents of dogmatics will con~tnntl!~ be subject to change. Willingness to use the llistorical critic~ll 111ethod, on cessions to form criticisill and adoption of certain posi- tions of the new herlneneutic fvill mean that the doctrines once considered binding by the Early Cllurch and bv the ~~~~~~~~s arill need to bc changed o; even abandoned! Thus Prenter's (:t.mtioll 171ltl licdcnrl)tio~~ will turn out to be a dogmatics, tvllich in inan! 1.cs17cclS \\-ill be dated, and whose present stance on man!- doctrirlcs will he rejected by future theologians and pastors. NOTES Information on the ]ifc and academic and theological achicvcmcnt~ of Hegin Prenter is taken fronl the jackets of Spiritus Crcntor and Crcntron f l~zd RcrIcmptiort, supplied by the Muh1enl)crg and Fortrcqs I'rcsscs. 2 . Rcgin Prenter, The \Yol-tI and Spirit; Essays on lnsprrtrtiolr of t l r ~ S ~ t l l ' t r r l - f i . Transli~ted by EIarris E. (Minneapolis: .4ugsb11ry: P~ll) l l thing IIouse, 1965). 163 pages. 3. Regin Prenter, Spiritus Creator. Translated b) John 34. Icnsrn. (Phlfa- dclphia: h4uhlcnberg Prcss, 1953). 31 1 pages. '- Regin Prmter, Creation and Rede,nptio,i. ~ransla t rbd ~ h ~ ~ d o r ~ 1ewcn. (Phil~dclphia : Fortress Prcss, 1967). 596 Pajics. 4a.Regin Prentcr, The CJrurch'r Faith. A Primer o f Chrirtlu* B e l r f t s . lated by Theodore I. Jmsen. ( ~ h i h d e l ~ h i a : Fortress Press. 1968i pages. 5 . Edward H. Schrocdrr, ''A Dogmatic that AlaPes Scnsc." The C ~ ~ s ~ ~ ~ ~ 30:24, September, No. 9, 196'7. 6 . IbicI. 7 . Erwin Id. Lucker, ''Book Nevie\+. of Regin prentcr, Crcutlo~ (lvlll R c d r f p l r - tion, Concordin filontLlj., 39: 21 7 , h q a ~ j 1968 Cf "lso I.ueker9s hook yy\ien- of the ])anjsh in C071c''rdifl Theolo~ic'l' Moizthly, 3 1 : 523-524, August, 1960. i\la!,, 19h81 8. Lurker, Concordiu Thcologicul ,\4onthlv. 3 1 : 2 1 7 , - 9. George S. Hcndry, "Book Review of Begin Prcntor, Creation N T I L ~ Rcdeml)- tion," Theology Today, 24 : 394, October, 1967. lo. Ibid., pp. 392-393. 11. John Fletcher, "Book Ileview of Regin Prcnter, Crcation and RPdemp- tion," Anglican Theological Revictu, 4 3 : 1 16, January, 1961. 12. Hcndry, op. cit . , 13. 392. 13. Paul E. Empie & Jamcs J. McCord, R l ~ l ~ b ~ r g Revisited. A Rcexuminati*?z o f L~thcrczn and Refor~ned Troditioils (iLlinneapolis: Augsburg Publish- ing House, 1966), p. 197. 14. Henclry, op . cit . , p. 393. 1 5 . In the Religious scction of Time, March 8 , 1968, 13. 46. 16. Ibid. 17. Fletcher, op . cit., pp. 114-1 15. Clainls that the material discussed bJ' l'renter in his Prolegomena is determined by his definition of Dogmatics. The subjects which are reviewed among others arc: a ) a point of d e ~ a r - turr for the ecumenical &batc over dogmatic authority, b) Revelation and reason, c ) Roman and Lutheran doctrine, d ) Catholic and w a n - gclical doctrine, e) Pietism Rationalism, f ) the structure of Dog- matics. 18. H. Paul Santmjrc, "Book ~ e v i ~ l \ r of Yrenter9s (:rcation and R c ~ l e ~ n ~ l t i o ~ l , " Religion and Lifc, 37 : 134, Spring, No. 1 , 1968. 19. lbid., 13. 134. 20. In fairness to Prcntcr it sholl]d l,c that in various places hc criti- cizcs various conclusions of the historical-critical method, cf. 4 2 9 , 425. 21. Prentcr does not reject all miracles in thc Scripturcs. O n Page 5 6 he claims that the people of the Old Testament wcrc wrong in that they held a naivc belief in miracles. Yet he berates those who reject the m i r a ~ l c . 0 ~ thc resurrection. Nowhere docs he state the criteria used to determine whcn a student of the Scriptures rejects a miracle and when h e accepts it. 22. According to Fletcher, op. cit., p. 115. "Prenter's scctions on Creation and Salvation can be seen, in one \\lay, as an cffort toward consolidation m d adt,nr?cc aftcr fifty years of one of the ,nost creative theological ~ r r iods , uhich revolved around such persons as Barth. Brunner, Rudolf Bultmi~nn, Paul Althaus, Werner Elcrt, and Heinrich Vogel. Certain scctions of thc honk ha\c been added or revised since the original Danish publication in thc light of contributions to the field of dogmatics by such theologians as llcrmann Dicm and Carl 13atsclio\\l." 23. Prcntcr \ir.ws arc utilized by the authors of W12o Carz This Be? Studies in C l l~ i s to log~ . A guidc to Study and I>iscussion (New York: Division of Tl~cological St~idies Lutheran Council in the U.S.A., 1968) , PP- 32- 36. Prcntcr's identification of creation and redemption is used to argue for thc Social Gospel and for the lieccssity of the church's involvement In all the social and political problclns of our time. T h e other-\lrorldly character of the Christian faith seems to bc completcly neglected i n this Christolonica] study! 24. Cf. R-crner Elrrt, An Outli~rc o f Christian Doctrine. Translated by C7larlcs 31. Jacobc (Philadelphia: The United L,utlicran Publication Housc, 1927), pp. 110. 2 5 Bernhard I\'. Anderson, cbditor, Thc Old Tcsta>i~crit a i ~ d Christiccrz Faith ( S e w k'orh: Harper & Row, 1963), p. 54. 26 . Joseph Stumpp. The Chri\iian Faith (Nc\v York: Thc hlacmillan Com- pan), 1932). p. 235. 2'7. lt'ehcicr's Nclv Ll'orld Di~tioriar~ of the Aritcl-icalr Language. CoZlegc E(lltlorl (Cleveland and xcw York: The \Jlor]d Publishing Company, 19641. 17. 495. 28. Cf. 1jcr;ard Raslm, A Ilan~lbook of Contemporary Theology ( G r a n d Rapids : JVm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1966), pp. 43-44 . for motfcr~l usagcs of "eschatology." 29. Fletcher, 01) . ci i . . pp. I 1 5 - 1 16.