Helmut Thielicke and the Devil

Helmut Thielicke was a great preacher and theologian. Most of his sermons were preached during World War II. Thielicke had a lot of problems with the Gestapo because of his association with the Confessing Church.


While I was a professor at Northern Seminary, some of my students were required to read A Little Exercise for Young Theologians, a book that is freely available on the Internet.

Some of my favorite sermons by Thielicke were published in Between God and Satan, The Waiting Father: Sermons on the Parables of Jesus, and How the World Began: Sermons on the Creation Story. The latter book is a collection of sermons on the first eleven chapters of Genesis.

There is a quote in the book How the World Began that I have never forgotten. In his sermon on the serpent (Genesis 3), Thielicke wrote:

“The devil is more pious than a nun, and knows his Bible
better than a professor of Old Testament or a Jehovah’s Witness.”

That quote spoke to me because I am a professor of Old Testament.

If you have never read the sermons of Helmut Thielicke, I invite you to read an excellent excerpt of his sermon on the Sabbath. In his sermon on “The Great Sabbath,” a sermon based on Genesis 2:1–3, Thielicke speaks of the Great Sabbath of God: Judgment Day.

Read “The Great Judgment Day” by clicking here.

Claude Mariottini
Emeritus Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary

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