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Ask the Pastor

† Theological musings and answers to selected questions by a confessional Lutheran pastor.

28 July 2005

J. S. Bach

Was J. S. Bach an orthodox Lutheran theologian?

J. S. Bach
Today marks the 255th anniversary of Johann Sebastian Bach’s translation into glory. In his honor, I commend to you a paper I wrote for an historical theology course I took at Concordia Seminary, Saint Louis.

The paper examines Bach’s theology through his own compositions and other writings as well as through the observations of others. It studies the claims of some who would place him within either the Pietist or Rationalist camps, concluding that Bach was “quite Orthodox — but not one-dimensionally so. In him we see a true balance found by few. Without sacrificing any area, Bach excelled in Piety, Rationality and Orthodoxy. Each shaped the others, and all were normed by his love of making music, and his love of Jesus Christ.”


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