On Missing the Main Thing

On Missing the Main Thing February 17, 2015

In his 1959 Luther the Expositor, Jaroslav Pelikan remarked on the tendency of church historians to neglect the main thing in theologians of the past:

“Entire histories have been written – histories of a whole section of the church, of an era in church history or of a major theological problem­ which do not seriously consider the possibility that at least one of the decisive elements in the thought and action of a Christian man or group may have been the way they interpreted the Bible. And this in the face of the fact that these men and groups frequently made the claim they were speaking and acting as expounders of the Sacred Scriptures. Historians have sought to assess the influence of everything from the theologian’s vanity to the theologian’s viscera upon the formulation of theological doctrines, meanwhile regarding as naIve and uninformed the suggestion that the Bible may be a source of these doctrines.”

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