Christian Cyclopedia

About the Cyclopedia

Go-Ye Fellowship.

Interdenom. miss. organization inc. 1944 California; traces its beginings to a 1932 S. S. class. Fields have included South Afr., Brazil, Haiti, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Jap., Malaysia, Puerto Rico, Taiwan, Trinidad.


1. Reputed priest and hermit; said to have come from Aquitania and done miss. work along the Rhine; some make him contemporary with Childebert I (son and successor of Clovis* I; king 511–558), some place him as late as the 8th c. 2. Jacques (1601–ca. 1653). B. Paris, Fr.; Dominican liturgical scholar; tried to unite Gk. and Roman Ch. Works include Euchologion sive Rituale Graecorum, a classic for Gk. liturgical study.

Gobat, Samuel

(January 26, 1799–May 11, 1879). B. Crémine, Bern, Switz.; educ. Basel Miss. Inst. and at Paris; ordained Luth.; CMS miss. in Abyssinia (1830) and Malta (1839–42); ordained Angl. deacon 1845; bp. Jerusalem 1846; supervised tr. of Bible into Arabic.

Gobel, Jean Baptiste Joseph

(1727–94). B. Thann, Fr.; bp. Paris 1791; sided with radicals in controversy regarding the Civil Constitution of the Clergy (see France, 5); abdicated priesthood 1793; espoused religion of reason; executed.


The Being who made the world and man and to whom man is responsible. Man's knowledge of God falls into 2 broad categories: (1) God is known to man through power and design in the natural world and through pattern in the forces of hist. (Ps 19; Acts 17:22–31; Ro 1:18–2:16); man is thereby enabled to construct a mental picture of a supremely powerful Force working out man's destiny with a heavy hand, confronting mankind with continual challenge. Human reactions to this understanding of God result in reverence for nature and idolatry, in attempts to rationalize God into abstract natural law and to remove man's responsibility to Him (2 Ptr 3:3–4), or in despair and fear. This natural knowledge of God, basic to every human system of religion and to most philos., is insufficient for a satisfying and adequate faith in God, who still remains Deus incognitus (the unknown God). Insight into God is not within range of human endowment (Jn 1:18). (2) God revealed Himself to man more clearly and completely by the incarnation* of Christ* Jesus (Deus incarnatus) as a Being infinitely pained by man's deviation from His holiness, yet infinitely desirous to repair the breach, to the point of Himself assuming responsibility for this repair at the cost of His own sacrifice. Thus God is revealed as perfect and holy, as personal and driven by love to conform man to the image of His Son (Ro 8:29). This revelation* of God in His Son is communicated through the written Word (see Word of God). This Word presents more data about His nature, which are intelligible and credible to us, however, only in the light of the central revelation in Christ Jesus, the Word of God (Deus revelatus). God is eternal, not subject to time (Ps 90:1–4; 2 Ptr 3:8). God is neither confined to space or time nor limited in power, knowledge, or wisdom. He is benevolent, inasmuch as He desires to bless the objects to His love. All resources of God are at the disposal of man in Christ (Ph 4:13) and are recognized by him to work for his good (Ro 8:24–39). A Christian's insight into God and his power to grasp and to trust in God as his forgiving and enabling Father is the work of God Himself, the gift of the Holy* Spirit. The Christian church* summarized the nature of God and a Christian's knowledge of God in the concept of the Trinity.* RRC

See also Father, God the; Fatherhood of God; Filioque Controversy; Immutability of God; Infinity of God; Justice of God; Procession of the Holy Spirit.

R. R. Caemmerer, “The Nature and Attributes of God,” The Abiding Word, II, ed. T. Laetsch (St. Louis, 1947), 59–77.

God, Arguments for the Existence of.

The natural, or gen. argument for God's existence rests on the fact that man knows that there is a God* even without the special revelation in the Bible, because God Himself inscribed this knowledge in his heart at creation (Ro 2:14–15). Hence the existence of God need not be proved to anyone of morally sound mind. The theological argument is this, that the Bible, without explanation, confronts man with the fact of God's being and sovereignty, which is at once acknowledged. Other arguments for God's existence are reasonably deduced from His self-manifestation in the universe, human hist., and conscience (Ro 1.19–20; Acts 14:17; 17:24–28): the cosmological argument reasons from the effect to the cause that this orderly world cannot be the effect of chance, but must have for its Creator an intelligent and omnipotent God; the teleological argument demonstrates God's existence from the t evidences of design, purpose, and adaptation in the world; the moral argument is based on man's moral nature and the moral order traceable throughout the world; the aesthetic argument is founded on beauty and comeliness in the universe, which must have as its Maker a loving God; the ontological argument reasons that the concept of a perfect and absolute divine Being must be founded on fact since it cannot exist in a vacuum. Atheism* denies the validity of all arguments for God's existence; unbiased reason must admit that they supply cumulative proof. See also Anselm of Canterbury; Apologetics, II A; Philosophy of Religion. JTM

The Existence of God, ed. J. H. Hick (New York, 1964).


(Gotahard; Gothard; Gotthard; ca. 960–1038). B. Reichersdorf (Ritenbach), near Niederaltaich, Bavaria; bp. Hildesheim; reformed monasteries in Ger.

Godet, Frédéric Louis

(1812–1900). B. Neuchâtel, Switz.; Ref. theol.; prof. in the theol. school of the est. ch. at Neuchâtel 1850; pastor Neuchâtel 1851; prof. Ev. Free Ch. theol. academy 1873; gen. conservative in theol. Works include commentaries on Lk, Jn, Ro, and I Co.

Godfrey of Bouillon

(ca. 1060–1100). “Frotector of the Holy Sepulcher” 1099; duke of Lower Lorraine 1082–1100; a leader of the 1st Crusade (see Crusades).

Godfrey of Fontaines

(ca. 1250–ca. 1306). Declined bishopric of Tournai 1300. Quodlibeta develop thoughts of Thomas* Aquinas.


1. The nature of God, esp. as triune. 2. Deity; divinity.

Goebel, Max

(1811–57). B. Solingen, Ger.; theol. and hist.; espoused union of Luths. and Ref.; ed. Bonner Monatsschrift.

Goering, Jacob

(1755–1807). B. York Co., Pennsylvania; studied theol. under J. H. C. Helmuth*; pastor in anti near Carlisle and York, Pennsylvania; wrote against Anabaptists (see Baptist Churches, 2; Mennonite Churches) and Methodists (see Methodist Churches).

C. A. Hay. Memoirs of Rev. Jacob Goering, Rev. George Lochmann, DD, and Rev. Benjamin Kurtz., DD, LL.D. (Philadelphia, 1887).

Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von

(1749–1832). B. Frankfurt am Main, Ger.; poet. In early life instructed in the Bible by his mother; later inclined toward pantheistic (see Pantheism) view of nature; his high regard for classical antiquity resulted mainly from his It. journey 1786–88. He had no true conception of the character of sin, no appreciation of the Christian doctrine of redemption. Self-redemption is achieved by striving to comprehend the secrets of nature and penetrating the essence of things. That is salvation by works, as he says in Faust (II, v., 11936–7): “Whoe'er aspires unendingly is not beyond redeeming” (“Wer immer strebend sich bemüht, den können wir erlösen”). Goethe was essentially a rationalist given to syncretism* in religion. See also Schiller, Johann Christoph Friedrich von.

Goetwasser, John Ernst

(Johannis Ernestus Goetwater). See Gutwasser, John Ernst.

Goeze, Jobart(n) Melchior

(1717–86). B. Halberstadt, Ger.; educ. Jena and Halle; pastor Aschersleben, Magdeburg, and Hamburg. Defended orthodox Lutheranism; opposed Enlightenment*; opponents included J. G. Alberti,* K. F. Bahrdt,* J. B. Basedow,* G. E. Lessing,* and J. S. Semler.*

Goforth, Jonathan

(February 10, 1859–October 8, 1936). B. near Thorndale, W Ont., Can.; educ. Knox Coll., Toronto; ordained 1887; Presb. miss. in China, esp. at Honan and Changte; noted for evangelistic work and training native evangelists and preachers.

Gogarten, Friedrich

(1887–1967). B. Dortmund, Ger.; educ. Berlin, Jena, Heidelberg; vicar Stolberg, Rhineland; asst. pastor Bremen; pastor Stelzendorf in Thuringia and Dorndorf on the Saale; prof. Breslau 1931, Göttingen 1935. Works include Entmythologisierung und Kirche; Der Mensch zwischen Gott und Welt; Verhängnis und Hoffnung der Neuzeit; Jesus Christus: Wende der Welt; Luthers Theologie.

Goguel, Maurice

(1880–1955). B. Paris, Fr.; prof. NT on free faculty for Prot. theol., Paris, 1906; at École des Hautes Études 1927. Exponent of historicocritical method.

Göhre, Paul

(1864–1928). B. Wurzen, Ger.; ev. theol.; as student interested in soc. problems; worked 3 mo. in a factory and wrote of the experience; gen. secy. of Ev. Soc. Congress 1891–94; wrote with M. Weber* a study on condition of farm hands 1894; helped found Nat. Socialist Union but later withdrew; joined Soc. Democratic Party of Ger.: broke with ch. 1906 and encouraged masses to follow; wrote on problems of socialism, materialism, and religion.

Gold Coast.

Now Ghana (see Africa, C 11).

Golden Bull.

Charter decorated with golden bulla as seal. Esp. the bull* of Charles IV (1316–78; king of Ger. and Boh. and Holy Roman emp. 1347–78, crowned 1355); promulgated at Diet of Nürnberg, January 10, 1356; gives details of ceremonies to be observed in imperial election; fixed the number of electors at 7 (abps. Mainz, Trier, Cologne; king of Boh.; count palatine of Rhine, duke of Saxony, margrave of Brandenburg); outlined procedures for convocating electors and crowning the emp.; arranged for administration of empire during vacancy; gave added rights to electors.

Golden Legend

(Legenda aurea; Legenda sanctorum; Historia Lombardica or Langobardica). Manual containing chiefly lives of saints (often legendary) uncritically compiled by Jacob* of Voragine 1255–66 from MSS and oral tradition. Popular book of edification in the W Ch. of the Middle Ages.

Golden Rose.

Rose of gold, sometimes embellished with gems, blessed by pope on 4th Sunday in Lent (hence sometimes called Rose Sunday by RCs); sent as special favor to a person or place; custom probably originated in 11th c. Henry* VIII received 3; Frederick* III (“The Wise”) was offered one in an effort to get his support against M. Luther.*

Golden Rule.

Modern name for precept in Mt 7:12 and Lk 6:31. The negative form is found in some texts of Acts 15:29, Didache 1:2 (see Apostolic Fathers, 8), and other cultures and religions. See also Confucianism, 5.

G. B. King, “The 'Negative' Golden Rule,” The Journal of Religion, VIII (April 1928), 268–279.

Golden Sequence.

Lat. hymn Veni Sancte Spiritus. sequence* for Pentecost (see Church Year, 10).

Golden Valley Lutheran College.

Two-year coeduc. liberal arts coll. est. 1967 in Golden Valley, 5 mi. W of Minneapolis, Minnesota, by The Lutheran* Bible Inst. of Minneapolis. Closed 1985.

Goldziher, Ignaz

(Jsaak Jehuda; 1850–1921). B. Stuhlweissenburg, Hung.; prof. Budapest; noted for Islamic studies. Works include Die islamische und die jüdische Philosophic; The Influence of Parsism on Islam; Der Mythos bei den Hebräern und seine geschichtliche Entwickelung.

Golubinsky, Evgeny Evsigneevich

(1834–1912). Prof. ch. hist. Moscow 1860. Works include Geschichte der russischen Kirche.

Gomarus, Francis(cus)

(Franz Gommer; 1563–1641). B. Brugge, Belgium; prof. theol. Leiden 1594; opposed Arminius (see Arminianism); held double* predestination; resigned when K. Vorst* was called to Leiden; prof. Saumur,* Fr., 1615, and Groningen, Neth., 1618. Supported strict supralapsarianism at Dort 1618–19 (see also Dordrecht, Synods of, 3; Reformed Confessions, C 2). Followers called Gomarists and Counter-Remonstrants. See also Remonstrants.

Gompe, Nikolaus

(1524 [or 1525]–95). B. Rauenthal, Ger.; Luth. pastor Erbenheim, near Wiesbaden, 1546; banished 1548 for opposition to Interim*; court preacher Wiesbaden 1553; helped formulate a ch. order.

Gonesius, Petrus

(Goniadzki; Conyza; 1525–81). B. Goniadz, Poland; antitrinitarian; opposed infant baptism and service by Christians in army and govt.

Gönner, Johann Jakob

(May 11, 1807–June 25, 1864). One of the Saxon pilgrims of 1839 (see Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, I 1); 1st full-time prof. Conc. Coll., Altenburg, Missouri; moved with the school to St. Louis 1849; on leave to ed. Altenburger* Bibelwerk 1857; resigned 1861.

Goodell, William

(1792–1867). B. Templeton, Massachusetts; educ. Dartmouth Coll., Hanover, New Hampshire, and Andover (Massachusetts) Theol. Sem.; arrived Beirut 1823; est. mission; to Malta 1828, Constantinople 1831. Tr. Bible into Armeno-Turkish. See also Calhour, Simeon Howard; Dwight, Harrison Gray Otis.

Goodenough, Erwin Ramsdell

(1893–1965). B. Brooklyn, New York; educ. Hamilton Coll., Clinton, New York, Drew Theol. Sem., Madison, New Jersey, Garrett Biblical Institute, Evanston, Illinois, Harvard, and Oxford; instr. hist. Yale 1923–26, prof. 1926–62; Jacob Ziskind prof. Medit. studies Brandeis U., Waltham, Massachusetts, 1962–63; mem. Soc. of Biblical Literature and Exegesis; pres. Am. Soc. for Study of Religion; specialized in study of hellenized Judaism. Ed. Journal of Biblical Literature 1934–42; other works include The Church in the Roman Empire; Religious Tradition and Myth; An Introduction to Philo Judaeus; Jewish Symbols in the Greeo-Roman Period; Toward a Mature Faith.


1. The goodness of God is exhibited in Scripture in 4 aspects: love, benevolence, grace, and mercy. “God is Love, inasmuch as He longs for and delights in union and communion with the objects of His holy desire” (A. L. Graebner, Outlines of Doctrinal Theology [St. Louis, 1910 ed.], p. 38). The world that is the object of His love was a lost world; yet God would not have His creatures perish, and He longs for reunion with them, Jn 3:16. He yearns in bitter anguish for the children that have gone astray, Is 1:2–5; 49:15–16. Yet it is a holy desire; God cannot have communion with those who are separated from Him by sin. To make them His own and unite them with Himself, He wrought a redemption, Is 43:1.—The benevolence of God is that kindness by which He provides for the wants of His creatures, Ps 104:27–28. Esp. does He desire to promote the happiness of men; hence He formed the plan of salvation.—“God is gracious, inasmuch as He offers and confers His blessings regardless of the merits or demerits of the objects of His benevolence” (A. L. Graebner, op. cit., p. 40), Ro 6:23; Eph 2:8–9.—That aspect of goodness by which He has compassion with the afflicted and bestows His benefits on the miserable is called mercy. His mercy is abundant and extends over all who suffer trouble and affliction, whether physical, mental, or spiritual, Ps 68:5; Is 49:13.

2. In a relative sense the creatures of God are also good (Gn 1:31) even after the Fall (1 Ti 4:4). But the goodness of the creature is not perfection (essential goodness); it is a dependent goodness, i. e., the creatures are good only as God's handiwork.

Good News for Israel

(GNFI). Traces its hist. beginnings to the 1878 conv. of the Norw. Luth. Conf. and its beginnings as an indep. ministry to 1976 incorporation in Minnesota See also Affiliation of Lutheran Movements.

Goodrich, Chauncey Allen

(1790–1860). B. New Haven, Connecticut; educ. Yale Coll.; Cong. clergyman, educator, lexicographer; studied under T. Dwight* (b. 1752); pastor Middletown, Connecticut; prof. rhetoric Yale 1817, pastoral theol. Yale Divinity School 1839; supported N. W. Taylor*; promulgated ideas of the New* Haven Theology.

Goodspeed, Edgar Johnson

(1871–1962). Bap. theol.; b. Quincy, Illinois, educ. Denison U., Granville, Ohio, Yale U., Chicago U., and U. of Berlin: taught Biblical and Patristic Gk. at Chicago U. 1902–37; chm. NT dept. 1923–37; mem. of committee that produced the RSV Works include The New Testament: An American Translation; An Introduction to the New Testament; The Apocrypha: An American Translation; How to Read the Bible; The Apostolic Fathers: An American Translation; A Life of Jesus. See also Bible Versions, L 13; Smith, John Merlin Powis.

Good Works.

1. In Biblical and proper use of the term, the outflow and fruit of faith, esp. in outward deeds of believers, performed for love of Christ and God in agreement with the Word and will of God. Every good thing a Christian says and does, every act by which he omits something evil as an evidence of the divine life of faith in his heart, is a good work (Eph 2:10; Tts 2:14; Heb 13:20–21). Good works, properly speaking, are not the believer's own performance, but the works of God in and through him; God gives both the incentive and the power for the performance of works that are well-pleasing in His sight (Mt 5:16; Jn 15:5; 2 Co 9:8; Ph 2:12–13). It is true, of course, that because of sin the works of believers are not in themselves perfect, neither in their inception nor in their fruition (Ro 7:18–19). But these flaws, imperfections, and frailties connected with the good works of the believers have been atoned for by Christ* Jesus, for whose sake God regards these works and those who perform them as perfect (Ro 8:1).

2. In direct contrast to the spiritually good works of believers (iustitia spiritualis) there are fictitious good works of men who have no faith, but whose outward behavior in many cases resembles that of Christians. If these works are an outflow of an attempt to merit righteousness before God, as in the penances of RCm and in all other self-appointed forms of religion, they defeat their own end. Such works are the basis of every false religion. “People outside of Christ and without faith and the Holy Spirit are in the power of the devil. He drives them into many kinds of manifest sin” (FC SD II 29). One can distinguish a certain form of civil righteousness (iustitia civilis, opera externa), in which certain virtues are connected with outward maintenance of civil authority in the world (e.g., obedience to laws, honesty in business). Man is free to choose such outward manifestations and civil virtues. But they are not necessarily connected with a regenerated heart. They may be the outflow of natural altruism and even of extreme selfishness and as such are not truly good works.

3. That good works merit no reward is evident from passages adduced above. Where the Bible speaks of such rewards it is evident that a reward of mercy is meant. God regards the imperfect good works of believers on account of the perfect obedience of Christ as though they were in themselves good and perfect. In this sense good works will also serve as evidence on the Last Day to prove the presence of faith. Good works are not necessary to salvation, as G. Major* taught, but they are a necessary fruit and proof of faith; the Luth. Ch. has been unjustly accused of setting aside good works and a life of sanctification. See also Majoristic Controversy; Sanctification.

Gooszen, Maurits Albrecht

(1837–1916). Pastor Nederlandse Hervormde Kerk 1861; prof. Leiden 1878; theologian of Groningen* School. Held that in addition to the emphases of M. Luther* and J. Calvin* there was a 3d type of reformation (biblico-theol., practico-ethical) represented by J. H. Bullinger* and the Heidelberg Catechism (see Reformed Confessions, D 2).

Gorchakov, Mikhail Ivanovich

(GorcĂ»ccedil;akov; 1838–1910). Priest of Russ. Orthodox Ch. Became acquainted with W theol. when cantor at Orthodox ch., Stuttgart; prof. ch. law U. of Saint Petersburg.

Gordon, Adoniram Judson

(1836–95). Bap. minister; b. New Hampton, New Hampshire; educ. Brown U., Providence, Rhode Island, and Newton (Massachusetts) Theol. Sem.; pastor Jamaica Plain and Boston, Massachusetts; noted for support of miss. and soc. work. Works include The Ministry of Healings; The Ministry of the Spirit.

Gordon, Andrew

(September 17, 1828–August 13, 1887). B. Putnam, New York; studied theol. at the sem of the Assoc. Presbytery of Pennsylvania (see Associate Reformed Church) at Jefferson Coll., Canonsburg, Pennsylvania; miss. to Sialkot, Punjab, N India, (later W. Pakistan); founded miss. there. Wrote Our India Mission.

Gordon, Charles William

(pseudonym Ralph Connor; 1860–1937). B. Indian Lands, Glengarry Co., Ont., Can.; Presb. pastor; miss. to miners and loggers in SW Alberta, Can., 1890–93; pastor Winnipeg 1894–1924; army chaplain; moderator Gen. Assem. of Presb. Ch. of Canada. Works include Black Rock; The Sky Pilot; The Man from Glengarry; The Girl from Glengarry; Glengarry School Days.

Gordon, George Angler

(1853–1929). B. Scot.; to US 1871; Cong. pastor Temple, Maine, 1877–78, Greenwich, Connecticut, 1881–83, Old South Ch., Boston, Massachusetts, 1884–1929; university preacher Harvard and Yale. Works include The Christ of To-Day; The New Epoch for Faith; Religion and Miracle; Revelation and the Ideal; Through Man to God; The Witness to Immortality in Literature, Philosophy, and Life.

Gore, Charles

(1853–1932). B. Wimbledon, Eng.: bp. Worcester 1902, Birmingham 1905, Oxford 1911; under his influence the Oxford* Movement underwent changes opposed by old school Tractarians (see Tractarianism); held kenotic view that the Lord so restrained His deity as to become subject to all human limitations. Lux mundi, ed. by him, tried to bring the Christian creed “into its right relation to the modern growth of knowledge, scientific, historic, critical; and to modern problems of politics and ethics”; it helped the High Ch. movement develop along modernistic lines. See also Christian Social Union; Kenosis.


(d. ca. 370). Sister of Gregory of Nazianzus (see Cappadocian Theologians); he praises her in Oratio VIII.

Gorham, George Cornelius

(1787–1857). B. St. Neots, Huntingdonshire, Eng.; Angl. cleric rejected for the vicarage of Brampford Speke by H. Phillpotts* and the Court of Arches* for denying rebirth in baptism, but upheld by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council and instituted by J. B. Sumner.*

Gorkum Martyrs.

19 RC religious and secular priests slain by Calvinists (see Calvinism) July 9, 1572, after Gorkum (Gorcum; Gorinchem; town in S Holland) was captured by the Gueux* de mer June 26, 1572.


Est. 1876 in Ger. on the 100th anniversary of the birth of J. J. v. Görres* to foster sciences. Areas of concern: philos., pedagogy, psychol. and psychotherapy, hist., archaeol., language and literature, oriental study, law and pol. science, business and soc. science, art, folklore, natural science and technology.

Görres, Johann Joseph von

(1776–1848). B. Koblenz, Ger.; supported Fr. Revolution in his youth; turned from RCm to rationalism and pantheism, then back to RCm; championed ultramontanism.* Works include Glauben und Wissen; Die Wallfahrt nach Trier.

Gorton, Samuel

(ca. 1592–1677). B. Gorton, Eng.; clothier in London; to Am. 1637; founded Gortonites (or Gortonians); antitrinitarian; espoused conditional immortality dependent on the character of the individual.

Göschel, Karl Friedrich

(1784–1861). Jurist, philos.; b. Langensalza, Ger.; educ. Gotha and Leipzig; held judicial positions at Langensalza, Naumburg, Berlin, Magdeburg; tried to harmonize Christianity with modern culture.

Gospel Missionary Union.

Organized 1892 Topeka, Kansas, as World's Gospel Union; present name adopted 1901. Fileds have included Morocco, Ecuador, Colombia, Fr. Sudan, It., Panama, Brit. Honduras, Bahama Is., Mex., Greece, Fr., Ger., Switz., Mali Rep.

Gospel Mission of South America.

Formerly Soldiers' and Gospel Mission of S. Am.; founded 1923; present name adopted 1963. Began with work among the military in Tacna, Chile (now in Peru). Service Cen. for soldiers opened in Concepcion 1926, closed after a few yrs. Work begun 1971 in Argentina and Uruguay.

Gospel Reductionism.

Defined by LCMS Commission on Theology and Ch. Relations as use of the Gospel as the norm of theol. in such a way as to suggest that considerable freedom should be allowed within the ch. in matters that are not an explicit part of the Gospel.

Gospel and Scripture: The Interrelationship of the Material and Formal Principles in Lutheran Theology (n. p., November 1972), p. 4.

Gospel Side of Altar.

Liturgical north*; left as one faces the altar. See also Church Furniture, 1.

Gossner, Johannes Evangelista

(1773–1858). B. Hausen (near Ober-Wallstädt), near Augsburg, Ger.; educ. Dillingen and lngolstadt; RC priest 1796; renounced RCm; pastor Dirlewang 1803–11; beneficiary Munich; pastor St. Petersburg 1820–24, Berlin 1829; founded Gossner* Missionary Society. Works include Schatzkästchen

Gossner Missionary Society

(Gossnersche Missionsgesellschaft; Berlin II). Founded 1836 in Berlin by J. E. Gossner,* who withdrew from Berlin* Missionary Society I because of policy differences. Berlin I stressed a mission as a thoroughly organized institution; Gossner emphasized the missionary as an apostle driven by faith and casting all his cares on God. His soc. received royal sanction 1842. Sent missionaries to Australia, New Guinea, South Sea Islands, Indonesia, India (with special success among the Kols), Afr., and Am. See also Bading, Johann.

Gotha Covenant.

Agreement of February 1526 bet. John* the Constant of Saxony and Philip* of Hesse to defend ev. faith and worship.


Germanic people of obscure origin (possibly Scand.; perhaps Swed.); their movement seems to have been slowly southeastward through Eur.; in the 1st c. AD they occupied the cen. part of the Vistula basin; ca. 150 they moved to Silesia; by the end of the 2d c. they inhabited a large area N of the Black Sea, where they came into contact with the declining power of the Roman* Empire. The Ostrogoths (apparently meaning eastern Goths) reached Asia Minor in the 4th c. and as far west as It. toward the end of the 5th c. The Visigoths (evidently meaning valiant Goths; also called West Goths) ranged as far west as Sp. in the 5th c.

On the death of Theodoric* 526, his daughter Amalasuntha became regent for her son Athalaric (516–534). On the latter's death she became coruler with her cousin Theodahad. Amalasuntha was murdered ca. 535. Theodahad was killed by a Goth 536 and was replaced by Witigis in fall 536. In 540 the Goths offered the throne to Belisarius (ca. 505–565), who entered Ravenna with Byzantine forces; Witigis was taken prisoner to Constantinople, and Belisarius refused the throne. In fall 541 Gothic chiefs chose Totila king; he was mortally wounded in battle with Narses* in summer 552. When Teias, last Ostrogoth king of It. (July 552–early 553) was killed in battle with Narses, the Ostrogoths disappeared from significant hist.

Then followed a period of Byzantine pol., cultural, and artistic influence in It.

The Visigoth kingdom in Sp. was overthrown by Berbers and Moors, under Arab leaders, 711; these were in turn defeated by Charles Martel 732 (see France, 1).

Goths were in touch with Christianity at least as early as 276, when captives they took in Cappadocia included Christians. Audius (see Audians) was miss. among the Goths in the 4th c., but it was not till the time of Ulfilas* that Christianity was formally est. among them. Tr. of the Bible into Gothic was an important factor in their conversion (see Bible Versions, I). Arianism* got a foothold among the Goths, since Ulfilas was consecrated bp. among them by Arian Eusebius* of Nicomedia.

Gotter, Ludwig Andreas

(1661–1735). B. Gotha, Ger.; privy secy., later Hofrat at Gotha; pietistic; hymnist. Hymns include “Herr Jesu, Gnadensonne.”


In 1840 a soc. (Verein zur Unterstützung der lutherischen Kirche in Nordamerika) was organized in Dresden, Ger.; active only a few yrs. As a result of pleas for help by F. C. D. Wyneken,* L. A. Petri* and others est. a Gotteskasten in Hannover 1853, primarily to help provide spiritual care for Luths. in N America. Other similar organizations followed. A fed. of Gotteskastenvereine was est. 1880. Preachers, teachers, and religious literature were provided for diaspora Luths. In 1932 the name Martin-Luther-Bund with subtitle Lutherisches Hilfswerk der Gotteskasten und Martin-Luther-Vereine was adopted. Since 1947 it is called Diasporawerk der ev. luth. Kirche Deutschlands. Areas served have included N. Am., Brazil, Australia, S Afr., and predominantly RC, Ref., and Ev. territories in Eur. See also Diaspora, 3.


1. Brother Gottfried (ca. 1373–1453). Lay preacher of Brethren* of the Common Life; helped found settlements at Herford and Hildesheim. 2. von Clairvaux (von Auxerre; ca. 1115/20-after 1188). B. Auxerre; pupil of P. Abelard*; companion and biographer of Bernard* of Clairvaux; abbot Clairvaux 1162. 3. von Strassburg (fl. ca. 1210). Well-versed in theol. Wrote Tristan und Isolde.

Gotthelf, Jeremias

(pseudonym of Albert [or Albrecht] Bitzius; 1797–1854). B. Morat, Switz.; author; son of Zwinglian pastor; Ref. pastor in Switz.; influenced by J. H. Pestalozzi.* Opposed materialism; worked for religious education. Held that man can only prosper when he has love (sustained by love for God) for his fellowmen; God is the Greatest that can enter the life of man; the family is the first temple of God.

Gottschalk of Orbais

(Godescal[c]us; Gottescale; Gottschalck; Gottschalk of Fulda; ca. 803–ca. 868). B. near Mainz; son of Saxon nobleman; Benedictine monk and priest; placed in Fulda monastery as a child; moved to Orbais monastery, where he studied Augustine* of Hippo and C. G. Fulgentius*; involved in predestinarian* controversy.

Gottschick, Johannes Friedrich

(1847–1907). B. Rochau, Ger.; educ. Erlangen and Halle; prof. practical theol. Giessen 1882, Tübingen 1892; adherent of A. Ritschl.*

Gottskalksson, Oddur

(ca. 1500 [or perhaps as late as 1514]–1556). Son of Norw. bp. in Holar, Iceland. Tr. NT into Icelandic; tr. Luth. classics.

Gotwald, Luther Alexander

(January 31, 1833–September 15, 1900). Am. Luth. theol. and educator; educ. Gettysburg, Pennsylvania; pastor Pennsylvania and Ohio 1859–88; then prof. practical theol. Wittenberg Sem., Springfield, Ohio, till 1895; charges brought against him for conservative position; acquitted by unanimous vote of the sem. bd. of dirs. 1893.

Goudimel, Claude

(ca. 1505 [or perhaps as late as 1514]–1572). B. probably Besançon, Fr.; composer and music ed.; joined Huguenots* probably ca. 1557; killed in Bartholomew's* Day Massacre.


1. Thomas (1609–81). B. London, Eng.; vicar St. Sepulchre's, London, 1638; noted for catechetics and care of poor. 2. William (1578[1575?]–1653). B. Bow, E London, Eng.; teacher of logic and Hebraist, Cambridge; Presb.; espoused Puritanism*; participated in Westminster Assem. 1643–48.

Goulart, Simon

(1543–1628). B. Senlis, Fr.; pastor Geneva; leader of pastors there after death of T. Beza*; poet, ed., hist., and tr.

Gounelle, Elie Joel

(1865–1950). B. Sauve, Fr.; pastor and military chaplain; championed Christian* socialism and the ecumenical* movement.

Gounod, Charles François

(1818–93). B. Paris, Fr.; composer; organist; studied music at Paris and Rome; studied theol. 2 yrs. at Paris. His religious music is not churchly in the best sense of the term but mystical and sensuous, with dramatic and operatic elements in oratorios. Ave Maria, originally called Méditation, is based on J. S. Bach's* 1st prelude. Other works include operas Faust and Roméo and Juliette; oratorios La Rédemption and Mors et vita; several Masses; a Te Drum; motets; hymns.


The action of governing, ruling with authority, directing, controlling, regulating the affairs of the body politic. Govt. is ordained by God for punishment of evildoers and for common welfare (Pr 8:15; Ro 13:1; 1 Ptr 2:14). Obedience, payment of taxes, and prayers for rulers (Ro 13:1–7; I Ti 2:1–2) belong to duties of citizens, who are to render to the govt. what is due to it and to God what is due to Him (Mt 22:21).

Monarchical govts. have usually been hereditary; they have been absolute, as that of Louis* XIV, or limited (constitutionalism), as that of the Brit. monarchy after 1688. Govts. may be autocratic (1 person having unlimited power), benevolent or tyrannical, with or without a strong undergirding of bureaucracy. They may be aristocratic or plutocratic (rule of the “best” or favored few regarded as superior, e.g., in rank, intellect, or wealth). Totalitarian govts. in the 20th c. have claimed total control over all their subjects for the benefit of the state; they have furthered a 1-party system and rule of 1 person. Democratic govts, allow direct or representative voices of the people to function (“of the people, by the people, for the people”). J. J. Rousseau* popularized the social contract theory of govt.; it holds that govts. are based on agreement bet. the ruled and the rulers. See also Hobbes, Thomas.

The powers of govt. have gen. been classified as legislative (making of laws), administrative (enforcing or carrying out laws), and judicial (interpreting laws and fixing penalties for lawbreakers). Exercise of governmental functions through commissions and agencies has extended the police powers of govt. CSM

See also Church and State.

Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission

Internet Version Produced by
The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod

Original Editions ©Copyright 1954, 1975, 2000
Concordia Publishing House
All rights reserved.

Content Reproduced with Permission

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