A few excerpts from the preface to the English edition of Gerhard Ebeling’s Word and Faith (pp.9-10), because it is never too early to begin celebrating Reformation Day:)

We can give expression to our own theological aim only by trying to say what it is that counts in present-day theological work as a whole. Our own theology must be nothing else but a contemporary attempt to answer for theology as such. Answering for something implies, as does the concept of witness, two things: staking our person, in dedication to the matter concerned. Hence it can never be a question for forcing our own theology on to others and making it a law to them, but only of offering our own limited and transitory services as the means of making others free to observe their theological responsibility for themselves. . .

. . . to take our bearings from the theology of the Reformers and at the same time to take modern thought seriously seems to be incompatible, or possible only by means of sorry compromises. For me, however, my vocation as a theologian stands or falls with the opposite view. For we can be evangelical theologians neither without the Reformers’ understanding of the Gospel nor without thinking within the field of present-day experience of reality. . .

My experience and conviction as a theological thinker is this: that there is no need to construct a supplementary and artificial bond between what belongs to the Reformation and to the modern age. Rather, both come properly to light only in mutual encounter, and thus when they are considered together. .