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On Being a Theologian of the Cross
Reflections on Luther's Heidelberg Disputation, 1518
POD; Published: 10/6/1997
ISBN: 978-0-8028-4345-6
Price: $ 21.50
136 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 6 x 9
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While there is increasing interest in the "theology of the cross," few people have specific knowledge of what makes it different from other kinds of theology. Gerhard O. Forde here provides an introduction to this theological perspective through an analysis of Luther's Heidelberg Disputation of 1518, the classic text of the theology of the cross.

The book first clarifies the difference between a theology of glory and a theology of the cross and explains how each perspective shapes the very nature of being a theologian. The main body of the book provides commentary on the Heidelberg Disputation — the only complete analysis of this document currently available. Underlying Forde's exposition is the contention that one ought not speak of the theology of the cross as merely another item among a host of theological options; instead, one must pursue what it means to be a theologian of the cross and to look at all things through suffering and the cross.
Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
"Among contemporary English language writers, few have communicated the central insights of the young Luther's theology with greater ease and clarity than Luther Seminary's Gerhard Forde. . . Forde brings his intimate familiarity with the young Martin Luther to bear not on the question of the theology of the cross per se, but on the problem of being, as he puts it, a theologian of the cross. . . Forde skillfully unfolds the compact and sometimes hyperbolic language of Luther's theses with an expert's surefooted sense for the terrain. The style throughout is clear and accessible, a fact which makes the book both a logical choice for seminary students and an edifying read for the pastor or educated lay person. . . Forde's compact and accessible contribution is a welcome addition to the fold."
Lutheran Quarterly
"Forde does not just write about a theology of the cross; he demonstrates what a theologian of the cross is through his very way of writing. It is a small book and easy to read, and yet it is a great and weighty tome. It is also a most demanding or even scandalous book. Indeed, Forde does answer the question: what is the theology of the cross?"
Word & World
"Vintage Forde—a straight out, 'tell it the way it is' presentation of sin and grace, life and faith, Christ and salvation. . . Here is a book worth working through and thinking through for any theologian. It would be particularly helpful as a small group study for 'theologians."
Trinity Seminary Review
"Gerhard Forde's book on the theological portion of the Heidelberg theses may help to correct the neglect of them in the church. It deals directly with the theses, seriatim, in a way that no other book of which I know does. . . The thirty pages of Preface and Introductory Matters are themselves worth the cost of the book."