He retired in 2016 after 35 years at the Seminary, where he was the Eugene E. and Nell S. Fincke Graduate Professor of Theology at the time of his retirement.
A Seminary faculty member since 1981, he served as editor of Concordia Seminary publications (1995–2005) and chairman of the Department of Historical Theology (1995–2004). He also served as the director of the Center for Reformation Research (1997-2013) and as guest instructor or lecturer in many countries, including Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Korea, Japan, China, Cambodia, Brazil, Ethiopia, Croatia, Germany, Sweden, Latvia, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, England, Russia and Kyrgyzstan.
He received his Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) and Master of Arts (M.A.) from Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif. (1986, 1977); his Master of Divinity (M.Div.) from Concordia Seminary (1976); and his Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) from Concordia Teachers College in River Forest, Ill. (now Concordia University Chicago) (1972). He received an honorary Doctor of Laws (L.L.D.) from Concordia University, Nebraska, Seward in 2018 for “prolonged demonstration of superior service and dedication to a field of study.”
His published work includes Reformers, the Preacher, and Skepticism: Luther, Brenz, Melanchthon, and Ecclesiastes (Mainz, 1996); The Concordia Reference Bible (St. Louis, 1988; introductions and translator of Luther material); The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Reformation (multiple entries); The Encyclopedia of Protestantism (multiple entries); A Cup of Cold Water: A Look at Biblical Charity (St. Louis, 1988; author/editor); “Replanting Eden: The Elizabethanum as God’s Garden,” in The Harvest of Humanism in Central Europe, ed. Manfred P. Fleischer (St. Louis, 1991); “Christians and Culture: Finding Place in Clio’s Mansions,” in Christ and Culture: The Church in Post-Christian(?) America (St. Louis, 1996); “Lutera e a Estrutura da Igreja Então e Agora,” in Lutero e o Ministério Pastoral, edited by Paulo W. Buss (São Paulo, 1998); “Lutero, a Santa Ceia e Roma,” in Comunhão e Separação no Altar de Senhor, edited by Paulo W. Buss (Porto Alegre, 2009); “John Eck’s Four Hundred Four Articles for the Imperial Diet at Augsburg” (translator), in Sources and Contexts of The Book of Concord, ed. Robert Kolb and James A. Nestingen (Minneapolis, 2001); and “Luther on Education,” in The Pastoral Luther: Essays on Martin Luther’s Practical Theology, ed. Timothy J. Wengert (Grand Rapids, 2009)
His wife, Laine, is also a Seminary graduate (Master of Arts, 1983) and a retired copy editor at Concordia Publishing House.