Anthology of the Theological Writings of J. Michael Reu
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Here for the first time in English translation are the book reviews, articles, and never-before-published manuscripts from the Reu Collection in Dubuque which demonstrate his dependence on such theologians as J. C. K. von Hofmann, F. H. R. von Frank, and J. A. Bengel, as well as his further development of their paradigms. Reu's understanding of Heilsgeschichte as organizing principle for theology is given expression in the documents in this first-ever collection of his representative theological thought. It is the only resource which presents a selection of Reu's book reviews and writings on exegetical theology in English for the convenience of modern students and researchers. It also contains Reu's personal correspondence with Charles M. Jacobs of the United Lutheran Church in American relative to the doctrine of the inspiration of the Scriptures which shaped the Pittsburgh Agreement of 1940. Also included is an important study paper outlining Reu's position on the lodge and the church.
Historians of Religion in American Life will find this collection a unique one-volume resource providing access to key elements in Reu's theological system. Acknowledged authorities in translation, headed by the late Dr. Fred Kramer of Springfield, IL, provide Reu's lucid prose in easy-to-follow translations which are faithful in every detail to the original text.
Students of theology and parish clergy will be helped by Reu's insightful elaboration of the Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions as they apply to life in a secularized society, and by his application of the Lutheran hermeneutic of Law and Gospel to theological issues confronting the church. Professors of theology from all traditions will be able to access the core understandings of one of America's most significant Lutheran theologians quickly and easily through the original source documents in this collection.
PRAISE FOR THE REU THEOLOGICAL ANTHOLOGY:
"This is a treasury of splendid essays. Reu is regarded as one of the finest Lutheran theologians of 20th century America. Even European theologians regarded him highly. . . . His paper at the Assembly of the Lutheran Convention in Copenhagen in 1929 was considered one of the best. . . . While many other Lutherans had turned inward, Reu maintained an awareness of the wider Christian community; he was ecumenical in the way of a true confessionalist. These essays represent the breadth of the man's work and interests. They also promise a breadth to anyone who gives attention to them today." - Ronald R. Feuerhahn
"J. Michael Reu was one of the most important American Lutherans to live and work in the first part of this century. A theologian of the old Iowa Synod and professor at Wartburg Seminary, Reu made his mark especially as a scholar of the Reformation period in such works as Luther's German Bible and The Augsburg Confession: A Collection of Sources. However, as the present anthology of his writings reminds us, the scope of Rey's interests went far beyond the Reformation and his contributions to American Lutheranism included much more than scholarship. The editor of this collection, Paul I. Johnston, is to be commended for selecting a wide variety of Rey's work, most of it translated out of the German for this volume, that includes exegetical studies, e.g., 'The Biblical Conception of the Kingdom of God' (1931), works on controverted doctrinal ('Verbal Inspiration') and practical ('Lodges') issues of the time, and comments and correspondence dealing with church relations. . . . Although much of this material will interest church historians especially, the general reader will enjoy much of it as well, because Reu's insights into the story of the church both in his day and in the past remain valuable more than a half century after his death." - Dr. Cameron A. MacKenzie
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