Our Heavenly Father Author:Helmut Thielicke If you are looking for a book on the Lord's Prayer that makes its seven petitions come alive and speak God's Word vividly, excitingly, urgently, the book for you is Helmut Thielicke's Our Heavenly Father. — Don't be put off when you learn that Thielicke is professor of theology in Hamburg, University (and its Rector). This professor can preach as... more » movingly as Billy Graham. Years ago he contributed a notable essay to a volume on the demythologizing controversy started by Bultmann. Bultmann's proposal to "demyth" the New Testament was prompted by the desire to make the Gospel relevant and acceptable to modern man. What Bultmann desiderated, Thielicke has superbly done in a previous volume on the Parables and now in this one on "the prayer that spans the world." Here is existential preaching par excellence-without a word about Heidegger.
Many books on the Lord's Prayer, lucubrated in the scholar's ivory tower, inevitably reflect its detachment, its security, its isolation. Most of the eleven sermons in this book were preached in Stuttgart towards the end of Hitler's war while Allied bombs were blasting the city (and the Church where Thielicke preached) to rubble. Yet if these discourses on the most famous words in the world confront tragedy at its starkest, they are also vibrant with the faith that the whole world rests in the hands of the Heavenly Father, and that it also rests in our hands as we lift it up to God in the Paternoster.
No one will read these sermons-so simple yet profound, so scholarly yet so unacademic, so Biblical yet so commandingly relevant to man's condition today-without being strangely warmed, fortified, challenged. The book will take the reader down into the dark valley, yet, like the starshell which illumines everything, it will show him also the contours of the hills whence cometh our help.
John M. Doberstein of Philadelphia has proved himself a most felicitous translator of Thielicke.