In this series of sermons, first delivered over radio and television in Germany during the 1960s, Helmut Thielicke wrote about the true meaning of Christian festivals like Good Friday, Easter and Pentecost. He saw deeply into the mystery, despair, and confusion of life in his time and spoke a truly prophetic word to Christians that still resonates today. As Thielicke meditates on Christmas, the reader will understand anew how light shines in the darkness of this world. As he preaches about Christ’s suffering on the cross, humanity’s suffering is given meaning; and, in talking of death, he gives us encouragement to live in hope.
Christ and the Meaning of Life explores subjects as far apart from each other – and as close together – as rehabilitation and retribution, beauty and terror, and love and brutality. Here Thielicke faces the fearsome questions that plague humanity and brings the Christian Gospel to bear on each of them with a clarity and persuasiveness that echoes in these troubled times.
Originally translated and edited by the American Lutheran theologian John W. Doberstein, this reprinted edition of Christ and the Meaning of Life was published to commemorate the thirtieth anniversary of Helmut Thielicke’s death.
About the Author
Helmut Thielicke was one of the most outstanding preachers and theologians of the German Lutheran Church. Dismissed by the Nazi regime from his post of Professor of Theology at Heidelberg in 1940, he came to prominence in Stuttgart where, during the worst of the bombing raids and in spite of continuing Nazi opposition, he continued to preach to a congregation of several thousand each week.
After the war, he joined the faculty of the University of Tübingen as a Professor of Systematic Theology, later becoming Rector at the University of Hamburg, the first Protestant theologian to hold this position. During this time, he also became a world traveller, lecturing and preaching in the United States, South Africa, Australia and Latin America. He died in Hamburg in 1986.
1. World History and World Judgement
2. Jesus Christ in the Front-Line Trenches
3. The Reflection in a Dark Glass
4. The Festival of Light
5. Time and Eternity
6. Death and Life
7. The Supreme Love
8. The Cry of Dereliction
9. An Easter Stroll
10. Living by the Resurrection
11. The Miracle of the Spirit
12. The Parable of the Treasure in the Field and the Pearl of Great Price
13. The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant
14. The Parable of the Importunate Widow
15. The Meaning of Life
16. Our Prayers
17. Who am I?
18. How to Love Your Neighbour
19. What Does It Mean to Trust
20. Faith and the Philosophies
21. On Being Afraid of Life
22. Is Technology Diabolical?
23. Our Freedom and Our Free Time
24. The Origin of Man
25. What Does It Mean to Take God Seriously?
26. The Animals
27. Theme Number 1 in Our Preaching
28. The Joy of Repentance
Endorsements and Reviews
A book of sermons of quality and depth.
He is always a stimulating writer, searching to the grass roots of our personality, digging up all our fears, unbelief and rebellion and dealing with them firmly but with hope – always pointing to the answer in Christ.
The English Churchman