The Self-Giving God and Salvation History: The Trinitarian Theology of Johannes von Hofmann

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Hofmann (1810-1877) was one of the most significant theologians of the 19th century and perhaps the century's most influential Lutheran theologian. Matthew L. Becker introduces us to Hofmann's trinitarian view of God. According to Hofmann, God freely chose to give himself out of divine love. Becker's book centers on Hofmann's understanding of history. In Hofmann's trinitarian kenosis, the eternal God has become historical by self-emptying God's self into Jesus. For Hofmann, world history can only be understood within the historical self-giving of the triune God who is love. Thus, for Hofmann all of history is salvation-history, a kind of history that embraces and fulfills God's purposes in the world.

Matthew L. Becker is a Professor of Theology at Concordia University, Portland, Oregon. An ordained Lutheran minister, Dr. Becker has served congregations in Chicago and Orgegon. He is a co-editor of God Opens Doors, a history of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod in the Pacific Northwest.

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About the Author:

Matthew L. Becker is an associate professor of theology at Valparaiso University, USA. An ordained Lutheran minister, he the author of Fundamental Theology: A Protestant Perspective (Bloomsbury, 2015), the editor of Nineteenth-Century Lutheran Theologians (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2016) and The Daystar Reader, and a co-editor of God Opens Doors.

Review:

"Heilsgeschichte is the one German word every student of theology learns. Here Matthew Becker introduces us to the father of the "history of salvation" way of thinking that Oscar Cullmann popularized in Christ and Time. An added bonus is Becker's surprising thesis that, contrary to common opinion, trinitarian theology was alive and well in the nineteenth century, prior to its alleged rebirth in the dogmatics of Karl Barth."—-The Rev. Dr. Carl E. Braaten, Executive Director, Center for Catholic and Evangelical Theology (The Rev. Dr. Carl E. Braaten)

"This book has twopurposes: the first, to introduce readers to a significant but largelyforgotten Lutheran theologian, Johannes von Hofmann (1810-77); the second, tocorrect misunderstandings of Hofmann's theology... Along the way are excellentdiscussions of Hofmann's intellectual relation to Hegel, Schleiermacher, andothers. The author also does a good job of relating Hofmann's thought to recenttrends, such as hermeneutical theory and Pannenberg's thought. This book willbe of value to those interested in understanding controversies innineteenth-century Protestant theology and the way in which they anticipatecurrent issues."- Samuel M. Powell, TheologyToday, January 2006
(Theology Today)

'a very fine piece of historical theology.' - Theodore Vial, Biblica (Theodore Vial)

"Heilsgeschichte is the one German word every student of theology learns. Here Matthew Becker introduces us to the father of the "history of salvation" way of thinking that Oscar Cullmann popularized in Christ and Time. An added bonus is Becker's surprising thesis that, contrary to common opinion, trinitarian theology was alive and well in the nineteenth century, prior to its alleged rebirth in the dogmatics of Karl Barth."—-The Rev. Dr. Carl E. Braaten, Executive Director, Center for Catholic and Evangelical Theology (,)

“This book has twopurposes: the first, to introduce readers to a significant but largelyforgotten Lutheran theologian, Johannes von Hofmann (1810-77); the second, tocorrect misunderstandings of Hofmann’s theology... Along the way are excellentdiscussions of Hofmann’s intellectual relation to Hegel, Schleiermacher, andothers. The author also does a good job of relating Hofmann’s thought to recenttrends, such as hermeneutical theory and Pannenberg’s thought. This book willbe of value to those interested in understanding controversies innineteenth-century Protestant theology and the way in which they anticipatecurrent issues.”- Samuel M. Powell, TheologyToday, January 2006
(Theology Today)

'a very fine piece of historical theology.' - Theodore Vial, Biblica (,)

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