Helmut Gollwitzer

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Helmut Gollwitzer (left) and Heinrich Albertz (November 1967)

Helmut Gollwitzer (29 December 1908 – 17 October 1993) was a Lutheran theologian and author.



Introduction to Church Dogmatics (1957)


Gollwitzer selected passages from Karl Barth's Church Dogmatics and published them along with an introduction in 1957. An authorized English translation appeared in 1961.

  • The non-Christian can put no question which is not necessarily that of the Christian dogmatician as well. ... In solidarity with the non-Christian, he has no prior knowledge. He must begin from the very beginning with no presupposed consciousness of God. He must learn to spell out the message which comes to him as to every man.
    • p. 11
  • The attack and claim which are so unmistakable in the New Testament were muted and neutralized by the official recognition, the cultural integration and the social control of Christianity as a middle-class institution.
    • p. 12
  • In its resistance to the great attack on traditional dogma launched by the Enlightenment, the Protestant theology of the 19th century … had very largely agreed in taking up a defensive position in which the truth of Christian faith was to be proved by demonstrating the indispensability of religious feeling to all higher humanity. … Yet on this basis it was not possible to refute the contention of Ludwig Feuerbach that the secret of theology is anthropology. … The secret of God was in truth that of self-glorifying man speaking of God and extolling his own divinity.
    • pp. 12-13
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