How the World Began: Sermons on the Creation Story

By Helmut Thielicke

A wide-ranging and powerful collection of sermons on the theme of the Biblical story of Creation, from the pen of a leading 20th-century German theologian.

ISBN: 9780718894580


“The question of where we come from and where we are going is one of the elementary challenges of life. Perhaps it is the question of life. Only when we get an answer to it do we learn who we are.”

So begins How the World Began, a book that asks the most fundamental of all questions: who are we? And what did God intend us to be? Despite – perhaps even because of – the immense technological advances of our time, and the frightful consequences for the human race of the misuse of that power, humanity is brought face-to-face time and again with the essential problem that has haunted us since the beginning of time: the mystery of good and evil. Helmut Thielicke’s work in these sermons on the first eleven chapters of Genesis is thought-provoking and exceptionally powerful. How the World Began is a collection of sermons for all seasons: highly intelligent, wide-ranging, and fascinating.

Originally translated by the American Lutheran theologian John W. Doberstein, this reprinted edition of How the World Began was published to commemorate the thirtieth anniversary of Helmut Thielicke’s death.

Additional information

Dimensions 234 × 156 mm
Pages 240

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Trade Information LPOD

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.


Translator’s Introduction

The Beginning
1. In the Beginning
2. The Primeval Witnesses
3. The Light of the World
4. God’s Autograph

The Creation of Man
5. Man – the Risk of God
6. Creation and Evolution, Faith and Science
7. The Meaning and Order of the Sexes
8. The Great Sabbath

The Story of the Fall
9. How Evil Came into the World
10. The Bridgehead of the Tempter
11. Guilt and Destiny
12. The Mystery of Death

The Story of Cain and Abel
13. The Cain Within Us
14. Where Is Abel Your Brother?
15. Insecure Man

The Story of the Flood
16. Floods and Fires
17. Noah – The Adventure of Faith

The Building of the Tower of Babel
18. The Fear of Our Fellows
19. Outlines of a New World Order

Postscript for Theological Readers
20. Postscript for Theological Readers


Endorsements and Reviews

He is clearly one of the really great preachers of the day.
Church of England Newspaper

They are most acceptable and thought provoking.
Life of Faith