Wolfhart? What Kind of Name is Wolfhart?!

pannenberg
Today’s guest post is from Johnny Cisneros, Product Manager for Systematic Theology, and co-instructor of Learn to Use Greek and Hebrew with Logos Bible Software.

In a previous blog post, I mentioned a theologian that influenced Millard J. Erickson—that theologian is Wolfhart Pannenberg. He was Erickson’s postdoctoral mentor. In fact, Pannenberg was one of the three people to whom Erickson dedicated his book, Christian Theology.

You may never have heard of Wolfhart Pannenberg, which is a tragedy, because his theological influence is monumental.

But who was Pannenberg? The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church says this about him:

“[Wolfhart Pannenberg is a] German Protestant theologian. In 1950/51 he studied theology under K. Barth in Basle, proceeding to doctoral work in Heidelberg in 1951. During his Heidelberg years he co-operated with a group of younger theologians in the development of a new approach, both exegetical and systematic, to the theology of revelation. This led to the book, Offenbarung als Geschichte, ed. by Pannenberg (1961; Eng. tr., Revelation as History, 1968). After teaching appointments in Wuppertal and Mainz, in 1968 he became Professor of Systematic Theology in the Protestant Faculty at Munich, where he remained until he retired in 1993)” (The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, page 1222).

Pannenberg is best known for this three-volume work, Systematic Theology. One scholar says that in Systematic Theology Pannenberg offers “a voluminous account of every question before offering his own construction. Thus one may count on him for thorough background to most any debate, or one may move directly to the end of the section for Pannenberg’s own argument” (The Dictionary of Historical Theology, page 420). In other words, if you want to get into theology, you need Pannenberg.

Pannenberg also wrote: Anthropology in Theological Perspective, which is also available in the Science and Theology Collection (9 Vols.).

For an introduction to the theology of Pannenberg see God and the Future: Wolfhart Pannenberg’s Eschatological Doctrine of God, which is also part of the Theology and Doctrine Collection (16 Vols.).

Pannenberg is also regularly cited when God’s revelation to us is discussed. For an overview of Pannenberg’s view of divine revelation, check out God, Revelation, and Authority (6 Vols.) by Carl F. Henry, which is included in Gold, Platinum, and Portfolio.

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2 Responses to “Wolfhart? What Kind of Name is Wolfhart?!”

  1. Aaron April 16, 2010 at 7:33 am #

    This was particularly useful, the direction back to my library to go check it out. Thanks :)
    “For an overview of Pannenberg’s view of divine revelation, check out God, Revelation, and Authority…..which is included in Gold, Platinum, and Portfolio.”

  2. Steve Runge April 16, 2010 at 8:32 am #

    Thanks for this post, it made some good connections. I have always appreciated Erickson’s approach of explaining the various views, but I had not realized that this might stem from Pannenberg.