Helmut Thielicke first came to prominence as a German Lutheran minister during the last days of the Second World War in Stuttgart. In the face of bombing raids and Nazi opposition, Thielicke carried on preaching to a congregation of thousands. After the war was over, he joined the faculty of the University of Tübingen as Rector and Professor of Systematic Theology, later becoming the Rector of the University of Hamburg. 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.
Encounter with Spurgeonby Helmut Thielicke
In his introductory essay to this selection from the writing and preaching of C.H. Spurgeon, Helmut Thielicke - himself among the best preachers of the twentieth century - expresses his surprise and delight at his discovery of the great Victorian preacher. He draws out those qualities which made Spurgeon one of the most influential ministers of his day, and explains what it was that attracted him to the self-educated Baptist preacher. They share a recognition of the urgency of their message: ‘We stand in need of the simple way in which Spurgeon dares to say that what really and ultimately counts is to save sinners.' Warmth, immediacy and directness are Spurgeon's hallmarks; qualities which Thielicke's own remarkable sermons share but which he felt much preaching of his day lacked. It is still a convincing testament to Spurgeon's continuing vitality and relevance that Thielicke, one of the greatest modern preachers, should say, ‘Sell all that you have . . . and buy Spurgeon.'
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