A Jagged Contention: Gerhard Forde

“To be a Christian is to live under the sign of him who ‘came from heaven down to earth,’ to live under the sign of his cross and resurrection, and thus to wait hopefully, patiently, on this earth by making it a better place and to challenge the world, through one’s vocation and the church to do the same.”

– Gerhard Forde, Where God Meets Man, pg. 128


Gerhard Forde is the focus of a great deal of internet Lutheran controversy. If I am reading this text correctly, it clearly dispels many of the accusations thrown at Forde (he’s antinomian, anti-sanctification, almost gnostic). So, my question this week is: Can we engage theologians who speak in ways we aren’t comfortable with in a charitable and honest fashion? When is it time to play the “heretic” card? Should we consider all theologians outside of our tradition anathema? Even if we disagree with some of his methodology and/or conclusions, what sorts of things can we learn from a guy like Forde?