1. Wingren, Luther on Vocation (Philadelphia: Muhlenberg, 1957); Creation and Law (Philadelphia: Muhlenberg, 1961); Gospel and Church (Edinburgh: Oliver and Boyd, 1964); see also his Theology in Conflict (1954; English 1958; Philadelphia: Muhlenberg, 1958).
2. Wingren, Creation and Gospel: The New Situation in European Theology; introduction by Henry Vander Goot (Toronto: Mellen, 1979). This volume contains a bibliography of Wingren's writings from 1936 through 1979. Some critics of Wingren find fault with his account of his reflections on his own and others' theology here and elsewhere. An indication of this may be found in Henry Vander Goot, ed., Creation and Method: Critical Essays on Christocentric Theology (Washington, D.C.: Univ. Press of America, 1981); see especially the rather hostile chapter by Thor Hall as well as the more careful statements in the chapters by Bernhard Erling and Ron Thiemann.
3. For an example of how I appropriate many of Wingren's insights for a popular audience, see my The Christian's Calling in the World (St. Paul, MN: Luther Seminary, Centered Life, 2002). See also "Earthly Vocation as a Corollary of Justification by Faith," in By Faith Alone: Essays on Justification in Honor of Gerhard O. Forde, edited by Joseph A. Burgess and Marc Kolden (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2004) 267–88. For more examples of my writing, particularly as it has been influenced by Wingren, see my web page at www.luthersem.edu/mkolden.
4. Moltmann, Theology of Hope (1964; English 1967; New York: Harper & Row); The Crucified God (1973; English 1974; New York: Harper & Row, 1974). I came to see several connections between Moltmann's work and Wingren's, not least in the final chapter of Theology of Hope, esp. 329–38, on "The Calling of Christians in Society."
5. See Luther on Vocation on the death of the self in one's callings: 29–32, 53–59, 66–68, 118–19, 141–43, 166, 250–51. In addition, cf. Creation and Law, esp. 149–95 on the first and second uses of the law.
6. See Luther on Vocation regarding prayer in one's callings: 83–84, 113, 118–19, 132–37, 184–99, 220–22.
7. For Wingren's own position on vocation, see the important article from the latter part of his career, "The Concept of Vocation," Lutheran World 15,2 (1968) 87–95. The article relates also to the next paragraph on the dynamic character of this theology.
8. Luther on Vocation, esp. 37–47, 91, 94–99, 123–30, 143–59 (a fascinating section in which Christians are warned not to make judgments between persons of faith and others in terms of the rightness of their actions—even if Christians may have some insights from faith in Christ that others lack; justice is still justice no matter who seeks it), and 199–212 (very important).
9. "The Concept of Vocation," 94. See also Gospel and Church, which I have neglected in this article; it offers an important presentation of Wingren's views on the Holy Spirit, the means of grace, and the church. He is critical of many aspects of the Swedish state church with its hierarchical structures. He learns much from North American Protestants, especially regarding the laity, whom he calls a "vast diaconate" who serve through their callings. Despite the fact that this book is now fifty years old, his words regarding the church and its mission are surprisingly relevant in our quite different situation today.
10. "The Concept of Vocation," 95. Wingren has a habit of writing summary statements at the end of each major part of his books and even at the end of articles. Reading his summaries—even before reading the section being summarized—often is helpful for seeing what he is assuming and intending in his sometimes complex and detailed arguments.
© September 2010
Journal of Lutheran Ethics (JLE)
Volume 10, Issue 9