This year marks the 90th birthday of my teacher and friend, Martin E. Marty, Fairfax M. Cone Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of the History of Modern Christianity at the University of Chicago, who is also rostered in the ELCA. He, too, has been a great "encourager" to me (for nearly thirty years!). His little autobiography, By Way of Response (Abingdon, 1981), made a deep impression on me when I first read it as a student at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. Indeed, it was a key factor in leading me three decades ago this fall to matriculate at the U. of C., where I continued my graduate studies after seminary.
As a part of the ELCA candidacy process, I had to write two essays, some of whose contents might be of interest to at least a few readers of this irregular blog. So I've decided to share a portion of that material here and in some future TM posts. Consider these altogether as my own very modest and brief "By Way of Response."