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Theology Is Eminently Practical

$16.95 (272 pages; Paperback)

Available from our online store, or the Concordia Theological Seminary Bookstore at (260) 452-2160.

A good theologian does not make his students dependent upon himself but equips them rather with the best he can give as a teacher, pastor (Seelsorger), and brother, thus setting them free by opening for them the treasures of the divine Scriptures, the ecclesial Confessions, and the history of theology. In this way, he enables his students ever to participate in the ongoing theological conversation in the true Church Catholic, at those places where God the Creator puts them and God the Sanctifier calls them. John Pless is an excellent example of such a theologian. And this volume, put together by many of his students, is another piece of evidence for the blessings of a faithful theological education. The research that results from such education and its practical relevance for the church is displayed here in manifold variety. Such research includes not only faithfulness to the Lord Jesus Christ who binds His church to the Scriptures and through His Spirit brings about our confessional response, but also the intellectual rigor of a baptized mind, which is necessary in order to engage in critical communication with the world to which the gospel is to be proclaimed.

Rev. Dr. Armin Wenz
St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church
Oberursel, Germany

I never had a class with John Pless. His professorial days were after my time. But, I am certain that I have learned as much from him as from any of my seminary professors. He knows his Confession backward and forward. Especially forward. To put it in classroom parlance, Pless reads ahead. Pless was reading, studying and thinking about things 25 years ago that most of us only became aware of 5 years ago. For example, everything I know today about the dangers of pop-American Evangelicalism's influence on Lutheranism, Pless already knew 25 years ago. And, I learned most of it from him. I wish I could take a class with John Pless. Then, I would be prepared for the challenges facing Confessional Lutheranism 25 years from now. If his students have been paying attention and taking notes, I'm sure they already are. The proof is in these pages.

Rev. Todd Wilken
Host, Issues Etc.



  • Foreword Matthew Harrison
  • Introduction Jacob Corzine and Bryan Wolfmueller
  • 1. The Secular Place and Promise of Apologetics: Toward a Baptismal Perspective Peter Brock
  • 2. Jerusalem and Golgotha: Hamann's Understanding of the Basis of Action in Golgotha und Scheblimini Roy Axel Coats
  • 3. The Source of the Solas: On the Question of Which are the Original Solas Jacob Corzine
  • 4. "Let God become true and every man a liar" in Paul's Argument for Justification in Romans 1-3 Michael Holmen
  • 5. Luther's Exegesis of Genesis 22 and its Implications for the Lutheran Exegesis of James 2:21-24 Jason D. Lane
  • 6. Wolfhart Pannenberg's Doctrine of the Atonement: A Lutheran Critique Benjamin T. G. Mayes
  • 7. An Iron Wall on our Side: Martin Luther's Understanding of Christian Devotional Life as a Battleground against the Devil Esko Murto
  • 8. Doubt and Consolation: Johann Gerhard's Loci Theologici as Pastoral Care Steven R. J. Parks
  • 9. Putting Reason in its Proper Place: Luther versus Aquinas on Reason's Role in Salvation Mark A. Pierson
  • 10. "Is philosophy useful for theology, and if so, to what extent?" The Case of Balthasar Meisner's Philosophia Sobria (1611– 1623) David R. Preus
  • 11. Propitiation and Praise Mark A. Preus
  • 12. A Taxonomy of American Lutheran "Evangelical Catholics" David Ramirez
  • 13. Christ's Holy People: Luther's Ecclesiology of Holiness Holger Sonntag
  • 14. The Highest Art in Christendom: Recovering the Difficulty of Distinguishing Law and Gospel Bryan Wolfmueller