Called “The American Luther,” C. F. W. Walther (1811–87) was an eloquent preacher, church organizer, and a keen theologian. His areas of specialty included systematic and historical theology, especially the writings of Martin Luther and post-Reformation Lutheranism. He served as pastor in Perry County and St. Louis, Missouri, and was the first president of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Walther also served as the first president of the Evangelical Lutheran Synodical Conference. He was a co-founder, professor, and the president of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, and an editor and author of theological journals; and books.
In the early years of the LCMS, the issue of predestination was debated extensively. Still today, predestination remains a confusing and often misunderstood concept: Does God predestine some to salvation and others to damnation?
C. F. W. Walther believed that the doctrine of predestination was meant to be a great comfort to the children of God. He held fast that predestination was intricately related to other doctrines such as faith, justification, conversion, and the Means of Grace, and it was key for the Christian confession of the work of Christ and the Holy Spirit on behalf of sinners.
—Dr. Robert Kolb, Emeritus Missions Professor of Systematic Theology, Concordia Seminary
—Foreword, C. F. W. Walther’s Law and Gospel (2010 translation), by William J. Schmelder, Professor Emeritus, Concordia Seminary