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Concordia Seminary Professor Robert Kolb Authors New Book

“Martin Luther as Prophet, Teacher, Hero” is the title of the new book authored by Dr. Robert Kolb, mission professor of systematic theology at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. The subtitle of the book describes its focus: “Luther’s Function in the Life of the Church, 1520-1620.”

In tracing Luther’s influence in the church during and immediately following his life, Kolb utilizes the three categories — prophet, teacher and hero, to describe the ways in which Luther’s followers adapted his influence to the needs of the church. As prophet, Luther was thought by many to have a unique authority, virtually equal to that of the biblical prophets in addressing the papacy. As teacher, Luther was viewed as the authority to settle disputes and rightly interpret Scripture for application to matters of faith and practice. As hero, he was remembered long after his life less as a prophet or teacher, but to an increasing degree as the one who possessed the courage needed to effect the changes brought about in the church.

The second section of Kolb’s book traces the use and collection of Luther’s writings. Over the course of time following his death, Luther’s writings experienced a change in their use. To a lesser degree they were quoted as uniquely authoritative and to an increasing degree they were quoted for edification. In this process, Kolb asserts, Luther had been transformed from prophet and teacher to national hero.

“Robert Kolb’s book demonstrates the leadership the Concordia Seminary faculty exercises, not only in The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod, but in Luther studies around the world,” commented Dr. Andrew Bartelt, vice president for academic affairs at Concordia Seminary. “It is a joy to provide such theological leadership to both church and world, centered in the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is the essential message of the Lutheran Reformation, however the man Luther may be understood and evaluated.”

“Martin Luther as Prophet, Teacher Hero” is a part of the “Texts and Studies in Reformation and Post-Reformation Thought” series of Baker Book House Company.

For more information, contact Seminary Relations, Concordia Seminary, 801 DeMun Ave., St. Louis, MO 63105; 314-505-7370; thomasg@csl.edu.