Studium Excitare – Changed and Unchanged

by Jacob Behnken

The present issue brings an important change to Studium Excitare. What began as the endeavor of a handful of devoted pastoral students has become the official journal of the confessional language program at Martin Luther College. What does this change mean for Studium Excitare?

First, because our college has taken Studium as its own, Lord willing, it will continue to be a blessing both to the pastoral students who prepare it and to its readers for many years into the future. That Martin Luther College has decided to adopt Studium is certainly a tribute to the work of its founders who put forth so much effort to make this journal a reality, and we are most thankful for that work. Second, while the original founders of Studium Excitare will continue to contribute as time permits, this change also means that a new (and undoubtedly less experienced) group of students will oversee the journal’s preparation and publication. Our earnest prayer is that we grow in our skills as we undertake this task.

Indeed, Studium Excitare is in a period of change, and yet the journal’s goals remain unchanged. Just as the original founders did, our desire is to continue promoting an interest in the theological writings of the confessional languages, to “arouse zeal” for the theological works of our Lutheran forefathers. Our Lord has indeed seen fit to shower great blessings on his Church through these “theological gems,” and we will certainly gain from our work with them. Our hope is, however, that our work will not only be for our gain but will continue to edify our readers as it has in the past.

Amidst all this change, the current issue presents three works that beautifully describe three different aspects of God’s unchanging grace toward sinners. The first is a selection from David Chytraeus’ work De Baptismo et Eucharista. In his words on Baptism, Chytraeus’ emphasizes that God gives new life to men through this sacrament and thus assures them of eternal salvation. Chytraeus also notes, however, that baptism is not “completed entirely in this life” but will see its ultimate fulfillment in heaven. The second selection is an explanation of the doctrine of election from Professors Pieper, Köhler, and Schaller. In it, the men of the “Wauwatosa theology” demonstrate that God’s election is an election entirely of God’s grace. Finally, we offer a sermon of Johannes Brenz. In his words, this early reformer demonstrates that only through God’s grace in the Word and Sacraments are sinners brought to faith in Christ. May we ever put our hope in these changeless gifts from our heavenly Father.