Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Raison d'etre

The purpose of this blog is to discuss the tenets of the so-called Wauwatosa Gospel or Wauwatosa Theology.

Bewteen 1900-1929, three professors at the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, reshaped the theological approach of the Wisconsin Synod, especially through their writing in the seminary's theological journal, Theologische Quartalschrift.

Foremost among these men was Professor John Philipp Koehler (1859-1951). Koehler served at the Wauwatosa Seminary as professor of church history, New Testament exegesis and liturgics from 1900-1929. He also served as the director of the seminary from 1920-1929 until his unfortunate ouster in May 1930, due to his unintended involvement in the Protes'tant Controversy that raged within the Wisconsin Synod between 1924-1936. Koehler was a rather private man but an original and brilliant biblical theologian who maintained that the historical sciences (exegesis and history) were essential to a sound, Lutheran theological approach.

Professor August Pieper (1858-1946) is considered by many to be the popularizer of the Wauwatosa Gospel. He served as professor of Old Testament exegesis and isagogics at Wauwatosa from 1902-1941. He remains a rather controversial figure to this day, as in some respects he put the Wauwatosa Gospel "on the map," while in other respects he seemed to betray some of its most fundamental tenets, especially considering his involvement in Koehler's 1930 ouster from his seminary office.

Professor John Schaller (1859-1920) was called to serve as professor of dogmatics and director at the Wauwatosa Seminary in 1908. His service came to an untimely end in 1920 when he died during an outbreak of influenza. Though not as prominent or original a writer or theologian as either Koehler or Pieper, Schaller lent his gifts of steady leadership and theological clarity to the Wauwatosa faculty.

No comments: