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Jesus and disciples book cover

The Theology of Facts vs The Theology of Rhetoric

$14.95 (132 pages; Paperback)

Available from our online store, or the Concordia Theological Seminary Bookstore at (260) 452-216.

Translated by Roy Harrisville with Introduction by Walter Sundberg.

August Vilmar is perhaps one of the least well known German Theologians of the 19th century. Despite his obscurity, he is in many ways a theologian for today. His odyssey from the theological school of skepticism and doubt, to the Confessional faith of the Lutheran Reformers, is a transformation worthy of attention. Vilmar's words still speak to us in a time when skepticism and doubt about Christ and his Gospel seem to reign supreme within society and the Church.

Perhaps Vilmar's ascent and ardent devotion to the pure Gospel of Christ is no better illustrated than in The Theology of Facts versus The Theology of Rhetoric. In this small work, Vilmar describes the lifelessness of theological skepticism and doubt—what he calls the Theology of Rhetoric. In contrast stands the Theology of Facts which truly brings Christ and his gifts of life and salvation to the people:

His discussion considers many topics including: Seminary Education, the Office of the Ministry, the Church, the Exegesis of Holy Scripture, the Sacraments, Church Discipline, Homiletics, Pastoral Theology, and Ethics. Although written over one hundred and fifty years ago, this work endures as a timeless account of the struggle between a theology that engenders doubt, and one that reaps knowledge, life, and salvation in Christ.



  • Introduction by Walter Sundberg
  • Foreward to the Third Edition by Vilmar
  • Introduction by Vilmar
  • 1. Theology, its Masters and Disciples
  • 2. Science
  • 3. Literature and Exegesis of Holy Scripture
  • 4. Systematic Theology
  • 5. Church
  • 6. The Sacraments
  • 7. Confession
  • 8. Church Discipline
  • 9. The Ministerial Office
  • 10. Homiletics
  • 11. Pastoral Theology
  • Index of Name