Review of Preus Post-Reformation Lutheranism

Like Richard Muller in the Reformed tradition, Robert Preus shows how theological prolegomena orders the rest of one’s theology. While as a Reformed Christian I will disagree with both some of his conclusions and method, I appreciate the rigor and candor in which he approaches his topic. Of first importance for the Lutheran scholastics was the purity of doctrine. Purity of the Doctrina Evangelii: doctrine serves the gospel.


The middle sections of the book are the most important, as there Preus treats us to the ordering principle of Archetypal and Ectypal theology. Prolegomena as Christology: scholastics such as Calov shows how one’s presuppositions about theological method determine one’s conclusions in Christology. The Lutheran position: All personal propositions made regarding the person of Christ can be predicated to either nature. Hence, the human nature of Christ has archetypal theology. Archetypal theology is important because it grounds our theology in God. There is an original, archetypal theology in Christ, and that according also to his Human nature, again because of the personal union (167).

The final section on Scripture reads as a summary of the age-old inerrancy debate, even if it is called by a different name. Throughout one can see the backdrop of the LCMS’s war against liberalism.


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