Walther's Works: Pastoral Theology

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This volume is a guide for all who are involved in matters of the pastoral ministry and concerned with how it is carried out in a faithful, biblical manner.
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Pastoral Theology was the first confessional Lutheran handbook for the pastoral ministry published in the United States and remains, to this day, a very important work from a historical perspective. C.F.W. Walther explains the “how” and “why” of what a pastor does. This is the only complete translation of this influential work by Walther.

Today, pastors will appreciate this practical work of careful biblical theology and application of Scripture's teachings for the Church’s ministry. This volume is a guide for all who are involved in matters of the pastoral ministry and concerned with how it is carried out in a faithful, biblical manner.


“Published for the first time in an unabridged translation, this volume by the most important Lutheran theologian and churchman in nineteenth-century America is of immense historical-theological value. Informed by Scripture and the teachings of the Lutheran tradition, C. F. W. Walther lays down the building blocks of pastoral practice for the church of his time. His teachings on the office of the public ministry, the call, pastoral care, preaching, and a host of other topics was intended to help pastors serve their congregations faithfully and effectively. Not merely significant for its historical importance, the book informs pastoral practice in our own time.”

—Gerhard H. Bode, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Historical Theology, Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri


“Drawing from Luther and other early books of pastoral theology, Walther’s Pastoral Theology is like a “mutual conversation and consolation of the brethren” in print, dealing with situations that people face in every generation. Walther lays a strong theological foundation for the pastor’s serious responsibility to be an under-shepherd of Christ. His homiletical instruction encourages substantial content in preaching, to proclaim the whole counsel of God, while assuring that the Gospel predominates. Walther’s text shows how the theological disciplines of exegesis, systematics, symbolics, and practical theology are woven together. The book would serve as a good textbook, supplementary textbook, or refresher for every Lutheran seminary student and pastor.”

—Mark DeGarmeaux, Professor of Religious Studies, Bethany Lutheran College, Mankato, Minnesota


“Walther intended this book to address the needs of American Lutheran pastors by following the implications of sound theology rooted in Scripture and stated by Luther and Lutheran teachers. Pastors will find that it still serves this purpose well, since the issues he dealt with still face God’s people and his methodology for dealing with them is a fine model for new situations and challenges in ministry. Pastors can find much to guide them in this unabridged translation of his manual, with its six detailed index lists and its useful aids and explanations.”

—Dr. Thomas Manteufel, Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri


“Finally, we have a carefully executed and unabridged translation of C.F. W. Walther’s classic pastoral theology! This is a resource which has been needed for a long time in the classrooms of our seminaries and on the desks of our pastors. Walther learned from Luther that evangelical pastoral care would give the triune God all the glory and give full and complete consolation to broken sinners. Churchly and ministerial practices would flow from sound, that is, healthy, doctrine. Knowledgeable of the various handbooks of pastoral theology which appeared after the Reformation, including those which were written in his own day, Walther distills the tradition of Lutheran soul care and applies it to the life of the Church in the context of nineteenth-century North America. There is much wisdom for contemporary pastors in Walther’s American-Lutheran Pastoral Theology.”

—Prof. John T. Pless, Assistant Professor of Pastoral Ministry and Missions/Director of Field Education, Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Indiana


“What a delight it is to welcome the arrival of this translation of C. F. W. Walther’s American-Lutheran Pastoral Theology to the church! For too long Walther’s rich pastoral insight has been hidden from those who lacked facility in the German language. Now, with this readable and accessible translation, the wisdom, insight, and, above all, the pastoral heart of Dr. Walther are fully available to English readers. Editor David Loy and translator Christian Tiews have rendered a marvelous service to the Church, and I am confident that this text will find wide usage and application among the pastors and congregations of the Lutheran tradition.”

—Lawrence R. Rast Jr., President, Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Indiana


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About C.F.W. Walther
C. F. W. Walther (1811–87) served as pastor in Perry County and St. Louis, Mo.; the first president of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod; first president of the Evangelical Lutheran Synodical Conference (including the Missouri and Wisconsin Synods, and other American Lutheran church bodies); co-founder, professor, and president of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis; an editor of theological journals; and author of many books.

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