Gerhard Ebeling on faith. Gerhard Ebeling (1912–2001), not only the foremost Luther
researcher of the previous century but also one of the most prominent contributors to protestant
theology during that period, wrote extensively about faith throughout his long and productive
life as a professional theologian. He learnt from Luther that discerning judgement in the
differentiation of related matters forms the basis of all sound theology. Applying this insight to
his own thought, he reflects on the development of the phenomenon of faith in the Old
Testament community and early Christianity and the formalisation of the concept for use in
the domain of religious studies. He defends the argument that Christian faith is not only faith
in Jesus as the Christ and Lord but also that Jesus, and He only, is the founder and perfecter of
faith. The concept of faith is also explored by Ebeling in relation to love, life and reason. The
article concludes with a critical evaluation of Ebeling’s contribution in guiding us to witness
authentically about our own faith in Jesus Christ within our own situation and against the
background of the problems it poses for believing in Christ.
Dr G.M.J. (Gafie) van Wyk is research associate of Dr Wim Dreyer in the Department of Church History and Polity, Faculty of
Theology, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa.