Full Text for In Memoriam and In Retrospect, Dr. Martin J. Naumann (Text)

DR. MAKTIN J. iVAU34AAh Dr. Martin Justus Naumann, over 47 years in tho ministry as pastor, profcssor, scholar and lccturcr, \\-as i~? his 24th ?car at thc Concordia Seminary in Springfield. He was born in Glenwood City, Wis., the son of the Rev. Georgc 11. and Helenc Willkomn Naumann. Dr. Naumann attended Con- cordin College at Mil.cvaultee, Wis., graduating in 1920 and he graduated in 1924 from the Concordia Seminary in St. Louis. In 1924 he was assigned to Germany to be a pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Free Church of Saxony, where after ordination in 1924, hc servcd as pastor of churches at Chemnitz, Schoenfelci, Annaberg and Hamburg. Returning to the United States in 1940 he did graduate work at Washington University and Concordia Seminary of St. Louis. He accepted a call to ImmanueI Lutheran Church of Altamont, where he served until 1948, when he joined the faculty of 1 Concordia Seminary. His fields of teaching were education, philosophy 1 and Old Testament Interpretation. During the post war pcriod he was a member of the team of theologians who served as essayists at the famous Bad Boll Conferences in Europe. Concordia Seminary of Adelaide, South Australia, conferred upon him the honorary dcgrcc of Doctor of Divinity in 1963. 1 He originated the Concordia Seminary Bible Lands Seminars in 1965 and was Coordinator of Overseas Programs of the seminary. He was also instrumental in creation of the famous Soetebier Luther Statue in Germany which now stands on the Springfield campus. In 1969 Dr. Naumann spent his sabbatical teaching at the Lutheran Seminary at Porto Alegro, Brazil. He was member of the Missouri Synod's Board for European Affairs and Trinity Lutheran Church, In recent years he was engaged in research and writing for 1 a volume on Old Testament Messianic Prophecies for the Committee I of Research of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. I MARTIN J. NAQhIANN In Retrospect All the tru~llpets of the Church Triumphant sounded for Mart: J. Naumann on h/Iaundy Thursday morning, 1972 AD. Pre releases have carried the statistical details of his life and ministr- It is appropriate, however, that the theological journal of the facul with which he served for twenty four years should comment aboi his theological influence and stance. Dr. Naumann was correctly labclled as a "conservative" the( logian. In his case the meaning of "conservative" was not obscurr It did not mean pietistic. As a world traveler, as a conversationali: and as a friend Allartin was a delightful raconteur with a zest fc God's gifts in life. With his beloved wife and family he maintaine a home which was unique in what might be called a rugged, gentec culture. One must have experienced it to realize that such a descri~ tion is not an existential contradiction. Nor did "conservative" in Martin's case mean anything negativ -such as "peevish," "legalistic," "critical." His convictions were firr and he was a formidible opponent in debate, but he argued issue and avoided ad honlinem logic. "Conservative" for Martin meant bringing every thought int captivity to the Scriptures. He believed that the Old Testamen abounds with clear h4essianic Prophecies and that the believers o the Old Testament era were saved by faith in the Christ who was tl become incarnate. He persuasively maintained that Scripture taugh the concept of Natural Orders of creation. He taught that God createc the world in six days. He was outspokenly opposed to abortion. Hi position was not blindly fundamentalistic. As an exegete he wa acquainted with the nuances of, Hebrew and with the problems o establishing the Biblical texts. His hermeneutical presuppositions however, were consistent and clear. Scripture, to him, was verball; inspired and inerrant not because he thought God has "dictated" thl writings, but because he accepted God's own claims that humar authors were guided by the Holy Spirit in a process beyond our ken The theology which emerged was not narrow. It was gloriousl! Christo-centric, confessionally evangelical, firm, sure and robust Little wonder that his greatest popularity arose from his frequen~ lectures in Bible institutes for lay people. There was much of thc rugged certainty of Luther about this Martin. The church will con. tinue to profit if his colleagues and students continue to actualize thc concern for God's truth and the concern for God's people exemplified in the ministry of Martin J. Naumann. Richard 1. Schultz