Free Online Bible Library | Samuel Simon Schmucker

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Samuel Simon Schmucker

1799-1873. Lutheran clergyman. Dominant figure of American Lutheranism in his day, he sought to Americanize the eastern churches, organized as the General Synod in 1821. A founder of the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania (1825), the first of its professors, and the creator of Pennsylvania (now Gettysburg) College (1832), he asserted that Lutheran Pietism was the best weapon against rationalism. Lutheranism, however, had to be freed from German culture and “her former lifeless and distracted condition.” Accordingly he published Elements of Popular Theology (1834), the first English- language Lutheran theology in America, and declared in A Fraternal Appeal (1838) that Lutheranism could thrive as ally of New School evangelicalism. An organizer of the American branch of the European-based Evangelical Alliance* (1846), he attempted to have Lutherans adopt his “Definite Synodical Platform” (1855), but this prompted critics, notably C.P. Krauth,* to form the General Council to resist attempts at ecumenism.