Childs on Luther as a "biblical theologian"

In sum, a great majority of the major theological issues involved in the modern enterprise of Biblical Theology were already adumbrated in Luther in a profound sense. He was able to achieve a remarkable closeness to the biblical text while at the same time retaining an astonishing freedom and imagination.

He brought to bear all his critical acumen and tireless energy in approaching the Bible while radically subordinating his own will to its supreme authority which was Christ's. He struggled as few before him to recover the literal sense of the text yet solely toward the end of penetrating to its christological subject matter and thus entering into the newness of life graciously prepared by the Spirit for those who believe.

Luther waged battle on several fronts. On the one hand, he attacked the uncritical, easy piety of the medieval church which had domesticated the Bible with its ritual and offices.

On the other hand, he rejected the urbane, secular, and non-theological reading of the Bible by the new humanists, who were tone-deaf to the real message of scripture and knew little of the wager of faith.
—Childs, Biblical Theology, 45-46.
Biblical Theology
September 17, 2019


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