Friday, July 3, 2015

Received for Review


Keating, Ray. Murderer's Row: A Pastor Stephen Grant Novel. Manorville, NY: Keating Reports, 2015. 364 Pages. Paper. $15.99. (Kindle version: $6.99.) (LHPN)

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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Received for Review


DeYoung, Kevin. What Does the Bible Really Teach About Homosexuality? Wheaton: Crossway, 2015. 160 Pages. Paper. $12.99. (LHP)

Anslie, John, composer. English Proper Chants (Melody Edition). Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 2015. 230 Pages. Paper. $24.95. (L)

Anslie, John, composer. English Proper Chants (Accompaniment Edition). Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 2015. 229 Pages. Spiral. $29.95. (L)

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Friday, May 1, 2015

Received for Review


Wellman, Sam. Frederick the Wise: Seen and Unseen Lives of Martin Luther's Protector. St. Louis: Concordia, 2015. 321 Pages. Paper. $25.99. (LHP)

Wolterstorff, Nicholas The God We Worship: An Exploration of Liturgical Theology. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2015. 180 Pages. Paper. $20.00. (LHPN)

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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Received for Review

Wayne, Israel. Questions Jesus Asks: Where Divinity Meets Humanity. Green Forest, AR: New Leaf Press, 2015. 186 Pages. $12.99. (N QS)

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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

FW: Helps for the Reading Lutheran Layperson




Feed: Steadfast Lutherans »
Posted on: Monday, February 23, 2015 7:16 AM
Author: T. R. Halvorson
Subject: Helps for the Reading Lutheran Layperson


A good friend suffered a heart attack. His doctor prescribed a treadmill to strengthen his heart and taught him about healthy diet. One evening when I visited, my friend took me to his basement to show me the treadmill. He got me on it and started putting the machine through its paces to show me its features. He explained why this kind of walking is necessary for our hearts, even though as farmers, we already do a lot of walking. Our regular walking is not the right kind for heart strength (too intermittent). While he was killing me in the paces, he explained how to read the "Nutrition Facts" panel on groceries as it relates to our hearts.nutrition-facts

It is crazy what's in a serving of Oreo cookies or those coconut frosted miniature donuts that I like. Canned soup? I quit it because of the salt. The problem is not just with junk food. All kinds of prepared or packaged foods are less heart healthy then we think.

Too bad there is no "Nutrition Facts" panel on what passes for Christian books and articles. What are the ingredients of those doing to our hearts? They have their own kinds of saturated fat, sugar, salt, and cholesterol. Even though it may be selling like hotcakes in the nearby Christian bookstore, a book might be no better for us than Cheetos or Twinkies, wrapped in bacon, and deep fried. (Sorry that I spoke ill of bacon.)

At least with food, making the shopping adjustment is not so difficult. You know where the fresh fruits and vegetables are in your usual grocery store. But in that nearby Christian bookstore, which is the aisle for you, the aisle for heart health? It's not that there are no worthwhile books there, but they are few, and wow, the sifting process!

Where is the good Lutheran aisle? It's not in the store down the street. We have to make special trips, but to where? The first problems are what to read and where to get it.

As we discover answers to those questions, we find that we often will need to read the materials in electronic form. That happens either because of lower cost, convenience, or our preference for e-reading. More often than we might have expected, a writing that we desire to read is readily available to us only in one of many electronic formats. This raises a number of additional questions. Where to find electronic books and texts, and how to manage them once we have them.

This article addresses a number of these problems. Provided here are:

  • Suggested reading list at levels: beginning, intermediate, and further on.
  • List of Lutheran book publishers.
  • List of Lutheran journals and periodicals.
  • List of sources of Lutheran PDFs and texts.
  • Recommended e-book reading and management application.
  • Recommended PDF reader.
  • List of online bookstores and repositories of e-books, PDFs, and texts.
  • List of search engines for e-books, PDFs, and texts.


Version 1.0 — Suggestions

This article definitely is only a version 1.0 effort. I welcome suggestions for additions, changed URLs, and other updates and improvements. Please use the comment box below, which will benefit everyone immediately, and cause an email to be sent to me so I can incorporate improvements.


Suggested Reading List for the Lutheran Layperson



  • The Lutheran Study Bible, ed., Edward A. Engelbrecht, Concordia Publishing House, 2009.
  • Lutheran Bible Companion, 2 vols, ed. Edward A. Engelbrecht, Concordia Publishing House, 2014.
  • Small Catechism
  • Augsburg Confession: the Concordia Readers Edition, Concordia Publishing House, 2013.
  • Didache, John T. Pless, Emmanuel Press, 2013.
  • Lutheranism 101, Scot A. Kinnaman, ed., Concordia Publishing House, 2010
  • Why I Am a Lutheran, Daniel Preus, Concordia Publishing House, 2004.
  • Spirituality of the Cross: The Way of the First Evangelicals, rev. ed., Gene Edward Veith, Jr., Concordia Publishing House, 2010.
  • Luther: Letters of Spiritual Counsel, trans. & ed. Theodore G. Tappert, Regent College Publishing, 2003.
  • Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., trans. John Nicholas Lenker et al., ed. John Nicholas Lenker, Baker Book House, 1983.
  • The Sufferings of Jesus Christ for Sinners: A Series of Sermons Delivered by Martin Luther, ed. Chris Rosenbrough, Pirate Christian Media, 2011.
  • Jesus Remember Me: Words of Assurance from Martin Luther, Augsburg Fortress, 1998.
  • What is Marriage, Really?, Martin Luther, trans. Holger Sonntag, Lutheran Press, 2013.
  • The Marriage Ring, Martin Luther, trans. J. Sheatsley, The Book Tree, 2003.
  • Sacred Meditations, Johann Gerhard, trans. Wade R. Johnston,       Magdeburg Press, 2011.
  • Meditations on Divine Mercy, Johann Gerhard, trans. Matthew C. Harrison, Concordia Publishing House, 2003.
  • Handbook of Consolations (for the Fears and Trials that Oppress Us in the Struggle with Death), Johann Gerhard, trans. Carl L. Beckwith, Wipf & Stock, 2009.
  • Divine Service: Delivering Forgiveness of Sins, John T. Pless, presented at the South Dakota District Lay/Clergy Conferences, Rapid City, SD May 6, 1995, Sioux Falls, SD May 7, 1995. (online here)
  • Broken: 7 "Christian" Rules That Every Christian Ought to Break as Often as Possible , Jonathan M. Fisk, Concordia Publishing House, 2012.
  • God at Work: Your Christian Vocation in All of Life, Gene Edward Veith, Jr., Crossway Books, 2002.
  • The Hammer of God, rev. ed., Bo Giertz, trans Clifford Ansgar Nelson and Hans Andrae, Augsburg Fortress, 2005.



  • Small Catechsim
  • Luther's Large Catechism with Study Questions, ed. Paul T. McCain, Concordia Publishing House, 2010.
  • Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions, A Readers Edition of the Book of Concord, 2nd ed., ed. Paul Timothy McCain, Concordia Publishing House, 2006.
  • The Lutheran Difference: An Explanation & Comparison of Christian Beliefs, Edward, Engelbrecht, ed., Concordia Publishing House, 2010.
  • Handling the Word of Truth: Law and Gospel in the Church Today. John T. Pless, Concordia Publishing House, 2004.
  • Law and Gospel: How To Read and Apply the Bible, Carl F. W. Walther, trans. Christian C. Tiews, ed. Charles P. Schaum, Concordia Publishing House, 2010.
  • The Conservative Reformation and its Theology, Charles Porterfiedl Krauth, reprint edition, Augsburg Publishing House, 1978.
  • Christian Dogmatics, John Theodore Mueller, Concordia Publishing House, 1934.
  • Martin Luther Confessor of the Faith, Robert Kolb, Oxford University Press, 2009.
  • The Cruelty of Heresy: An Affirmation of Christian Orthodoxy, C. FitzSimons Allison, Moorehouse Publishing, 1994.
  • We Confess Anthology, Hermann Sasse, Concordia Publishing House, 2003.
  • Luther's Theology of the Cross, Herman Sasse, trans. Arnold J. Koelpin, from "Briefe an lutherische Pastoren," nr. 18, October 1951. (online here)
  • Liturgy and Spiritual Awakening, Bo Harald Giertz, Augustana Book Concern, 1954. (Another translation online here and online here)
  • Heaven on Earth: The Gifts of Christ in the Divine Service, Arthur A. Just, Concordia Publishing House, 2008.
  • Christology, David P. Scaer, The International Foundation for Lutheran Confessional Research, 1989.
  • Baptism, David P. Scaer, Luther Academy, 1999.
  • Law and Gospel and the Means of Grace, David P. Scaer, Luther Academy, 2008.
  • The Lonely Way: Selected Essays and Letters, vols. 1 & 2, Hermann Sasse, Concordia Publishing House, 2001, 2003.
  • Luther on Worship, an Interpretation, Vilmos Vajta, Muhlenberg Press, 1958.
  • Eating God's Sacrifice: The Lord's Supper Portrayed in Old Testament Sacrifice, Daniel Brege, IN: D.J. Brege, 2009. (Lulu)
  • This Is My Body: Luther's Contention for the Real Presence in the Sacrament of the Altar, rev. ed., Hermann Sasse, Concordia Publishing House, 2003.
  • The Gift of Communion; Luther's Controversy with Rome on Eucharistic Sacrifice, Carl Fredrik Wisløff, Augsburg Publishing House, 1964.
  • Reclaiming the Lutheran Liturgical Heritage, Oliver K. Olson, ReClaim Resources, 2007.
  • "The Authority of Scripture," Norman Nagel, Concordia Theological Monthly, vol 27, no. 9, September 1956, pp. 693-701. (online here and online here)
  • That I Might Be His Own: An Overview of Luther's Catechisms, Charles P. Arand, Concordia Academic Press, 2000.
  • Martin Luther's Catechisms: Forming the Faith, Timothy J. Wengert, Fortress Press, 2009.


Further On

  • Small Catechism
  • Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions, A Readers Edition of the Book of Concord, 2nd ed., ed. Paul Timothy McCain, Concordia Publishing House, 2006.
  • Christian Dogmatics, 4 vols, Francis Pieper, Concordia Publishing House, 1950.
  • Doctrinal Theology of the Lutheran Church, Heinrich Schmid, trans. Charles A. Hay and Henry E. Jacobs, reprint edition, Augsburg Publishing House, 1961.
  • Theology of the Lutheran Confessions, Edmund Schlink, Trans. Paul F. Koehneke and Herbert J. A. Bouman, Concordia Publishing House, 1961.
  • Bondage of the Will, Martin Luther, trans, J. I. Packer and O. R. Johnston, Baker Academic, 2012.
  • Luther's Theology of the Cross, Walther von Loewenich, trans. Herbert J. A. Bouman, Augsburg Publishing House, 1976.
  • Commentaries on Luther's Catechisms, 5 vols, Albrecht Peters, trans. Thomas H. Trapp, Concordia Publishing House, 2012.
  • Lutheran Theology, Steven D. Paulson, T & T Clark International, 2011.
  • The Fire and the Staff: Lutheran Theology in Practice, Klemet I. Preus, Concordia Publishing House, 2004.
  • "Herman Sasse and the Liturgical Movement," John T. Pless, Logia: A Journal of Lutheran Theology VII.2 (1998): 47-51. (online here)
  • "Liturgy and Evangelism in the Service of the Mysteria Dei," Mysteria Dei: Essays in Honor of Kurt Marquart, eds. Paul T. McCain and John R. Stephenson, Concordia Theological Seminary Press, (1999), 233-34. (online here)
  • Eucharist and Church Fellowship in the First Four Centuries, Werner Elert, trans. Norman Nagel, Concordia Publishing House, 1966.
  • The Worship Mall: Contemporary Responses to Contemporary Culture, Bryan D. Spinks, SPCK Publishing, 2010.
  • Luther on Vocation, Gustav Wingren, ed. Carl C. Rassmussen, Wipf & Stock, 2004.
  • The Two Natures in Christ, Martin Chemnitz, trans. J. A. O. Preus, Concordia Publishing House, 1970.


Lutheran Book Publishers

Concordia Publishing House

Concordia Theological Seminary Bookstore

Emmanuel Press

Luther Academy Books (via Logia)

Lutheran Press

Lutheran University Press

Magdeburg Press

Mark V Publications

Northwestern Publishing House

Repristination Press

Sola Publishing


Lutheran Journals and Periodicals

Around the Word

CLC Journal of Theology Archive

Concordia Journal

Concordia Theological Quarterly

For the Life of the World

Gottesdienst: The Journal of Lutheran Liturgy

Issues, Etc. Journal

Logia: A Journal of Lutheran Theology

Lutheran Quarterly

The Canadian Lutheran


Lutheran PDFs and Texts

Concordia Theological Seminary Fort Wayne Media Resources

Concordia Theological Seminary Fort Way Index of PDFs

John W. Kleinig Resources

LCMS Document Library

Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary Essay File


Calibre – A Fabulous E-reader Application
Foxit Reader – A Better PDF Reader

You may be happy with your dedicated e-reader device: Kindle, Nook, Kobo, or another. If so, you might never need to know about e-reader applications. But there are reasons for such applications, and for many people, such an application is a must.

What are some of the reasons?e-Reader and coffee on a table

  • You want to read on your computer or phone, be it desktop, laptop, notebook, or table.
  • You want to carry your tablet computer, but then you'd be carrying two devices if you also carry your dedicated e-reader.
  • You found a document you want to read, but it is in a format your e-reader device does not support. There are dozens of formats of e-books and texts.
  • You want control over where your book files are stored for any one of a number of reasons, including to save space on your device's or tablet's internal storage, and your e-reader device either does not allow that, or makes it very difficult to discover how to do it.
  • You want to be able to do other things with some of your e-books, PDFs, or texts in addition to reading them, such as editing the metadata (author, publisher, year of publication, etc. so their entries in your library listing are more useful).


Some of the producers of dedicated e-reader devices provide free computer applications, such as the Kindle application for Amazon Kindle-formatted books, and Nook Reading for Barnes & Noble Nook-formatted books. These might not support the format of a document you want to read, or their features might be poor. For example, the Kindle application that runs on Windows 8 Metro has not been well received, and Windows 8 tablet users have moved toward running in Desktop mode with the Windows 7 version of the Kindle app.

Consequently, the software industry has produced dozens of independent e-reader applications. There are many good and very good ones. One fabulous e-reader application is Calibre.

Calibre is a free and open source e-book library management application developed by users of e-books for users of e-books. It runs on Windows, OS X, Linux, and portably such as on jump drive. It has a cornucopia of features divided into the following main categories:

  • Comprehensive e-book viewer
  • Syncing to e-book reader devices
  • Content server for online access to your book collection
  • Library Management
  • E-book conversion
  • Downloading news from the web and converting it into e-book form
  • E-book editor for the major e-book formats


Besides that, Calibre has a built in feature called Get Books that helps you search for e-books online. It searches, at this writing, 45 stores and repositories. While researching the historic Lutheran liturgy, I found many out-of-print books by Lutheran authors in PDF format through this feature, and easily loaded them into Calibre.

Bookshelf in tablet computerFor certain formats such as PDF, Calibre may call an external viewer, such as Adobe Reader. But I recommend getting Foxit Reader. Foxit Reader is richly featured, yet lightweight, and portable. When you install it, let it set itself as the default PDF reader. Then, when you choose in Calibre to read a document in PDF format, the document automatically will open in Foxit.

Calibre has a very large user base. Many favorable reviews have been written about it. You would have no trouble finding some by searching the Internet. See for example, Calibre: Hands-Down, The Best eBook Manager Available. But perhaps the best way to get an idea about whether you want to try it is to watch the Grand Tour Video on the Calibre website. Give it a fair try, and I'll bet you will feel you want to make a voluntary contribution to its developers, as I did.


Online Bookstores and Repositories of E-books, PDFs, and Texts

These bookstores and repositories are not specifically Lutheran, but contain many valuable Lutheran e-books and texts.


Barnes & Noble



Christian Classics Ethereal Library




Google Books

Internet Achive eBooks and Texts

ITunes US (books)


Library BIN



Open Library

Project Gutenberg

Read Print



Search Engines for E-books, PDFs, and Texts

Digital Book Index


E-Books Directory

Good Reads





PDF Search Engine

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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Received for Review



Thorn, Joe. Experiencing the Trinity: The Grace of God for the People of God. Wheaton: Crossway, 2015. 140 Pages. Paper. $10.99. (LHP)

Philip, William. Foreward by Alistair Begg. Why We Pray. Wheaton: Crossway, 2015. 109 Pages. Paper. $11.99. (LHP)

Trueman, Carl R. Foreword by Robert Kolb. Afterword by Martin E. Marty. Luther on the Christian Life: Cross and Freedom. Wheaton: Crossway, 2015. 214 Pages. Paper $17.99. (LHP)

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Friday, February 6, 2015

Received for Review


Sasse, Hermann. Edited and Translated by Matthew C. Harrison. Foreword by Ronald R. Feuerhahn. Additional Translations by Charles Evanson, Norman Nagel, Peter Petzling, J. Michael Reu, David P. Scaer, Charles Schaum, Holgar Sonntag, and Paul Strawn. Letters to Lutheran Pastors Volume III 1957-1969. St. Louis: Concordia, 2015. 557 Pages. Cloth. $36.99. (LHP)

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Sunday, February 1, 2015

Received for Review


Walther, C. F. W. Church Fellowship (Walther's Works). St. Louis: Concordia, 2015. 417 Pages. Cloth. $39.99 (LHP)

Aageson, Julie K., John Borelli, John Klassen, Derek Nelson, Martha Storz, Jessica Wrobleski. One Hope: Re-Membering the Body of Christ. Minneapolis and Collegeville: Augsburg Fortress and Liturgical Press, 2015. Paper. $12.00. (LHP)

Rigney, Joe. Foreword by John Piper. The Things of Earth: Treasuring God by Enjoying His Gifts. Wheaton: Crossway, 2015. 271 Pages. Paper. $16.99. (LHP)

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Monday, January 26, 2015

FW: Regarding a recent decision of a panel not to proceed with charges regarding a public false teacher in the LCMS


Feed: Witness, Mercy, Life Together.
Posted on: Monday, January 26, 2015 3:03 PM
Subject: Regarding a recent decision of a panel not to proceed with charges regarding a public false teacher in the LCMS


When a public teacher on the roster of Synod can without consequence publicly advocate the ordination of women (even participate vested in the installation of an ELCA clergy person), homosexuality, the errancy of the Bible, the historical-critical method, open communion, communion with the Reformed, evolution, and more, then the public confession of the Synod is meaningless. I am saying that if my Synod does not change its inability to call such a person to repentance and remove such a teacher where there is no repentance, then we are liars and our confession is meaningless. I do not want to belong to such a synod, much less lead it. I have no  intention of walking away from my vocation. I shall rather use it and, by the grace of God, use all the energy I have to call this Synod to fidelity to correct this situation.

Matt Harrison

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FW: Why I Will No Longer Be Updating the Hymns Movement Page


Hymnody Resurgent…


Feed: Zac Hicks Blog
Posted on: Wednesday, January 21, 2015 6:57 AM
Author: Zac Hicks
Subject: Why I Will No Longer Be Updating the Hymns Movement Page


When Strivings Cease

It is with great pleasure that I announce that I must cease my striving. When this blog began almost six years ago, one of its primary objectives was to herald, champion, promote, persuade, propagandize, coerce, ramrod the burgeoning retuned hymns movement. In addition to retuning hymns myself, especially on my first (The Glad Sound [2009]) and second (Without Our Aid [2011]) albums with Cherry Creek Worship, I wanted to highlight all the church musicians and independent artists who were taking seriously the movement to re-gift old hymns to new believers.

Along with others, I wanted to help turn the tide of contemporary/modern worship by undertaking the massive project of backfilling its gaping holes with the songs of the past. I consulted and networked with inspirational forerunners like Indelible Grace and Red Mountain Music, and I discovered some new partners in the vision, who would over time become great friends--Cardiphonia, Sojourn, and others. 

So I launched a page that would chronicle the movement by cataloguing the artists and pointing to their work. As I heard about more projects, and as they found my home base, the list increased, and I watched before my very eyes the spread of this movement to more and more places in the United States.

The Propaganda Campaign

At the same time, I began a concerted propaganda campaign to highlight these churches and artists and observe the "infiltration" of the vision in the contemporary/modern worship mainstream.  The following highlights track some of that campaign throughout the years (notice I hit the gas hard in 2010-2011). Just glance through the titles to get a glimpse of what we were thinking and doing:

The Effect

Somewhere along the way, as the conversation widened and the rehymning multiplied, I think we can say that this became a bona fide movement. The artists and churches became more aware of each other, and as networking possibilities increased through the saturation of Facebook and Twitter, conversations led to collaborations, and influence multiplied. With this spread came a diversification of styles, too. Retuned hymns went beyond the Southern, country, bluegrass, folk, and Americana roots of Indelible Grace and Red Mountain into the new waters of funk, blues, indie rock, pop, gospel, EDM, and experimental. In other words, the hymns began to take on more indigenous clothing as they were retuned in the accompaniment of their local contexts and influences.

Why I'm Shutting It Down, and a Vision Forward

As you can see, the retuned hymns movement is at the point where I simply can't keep up. If it is to be chronicled and catalogued, it's going to take efforts (and probably algorithms) that I don't have the bandwidth to generate. Thankfully, though I can't share much now, I know some people who are in the middle of a kind of cataloguing project and I'd ask you all to pray for its success. 

I'll no longer be updating the hymns movement page, but I will leave it there in the meantime as a kind of mile-marker and time capsule. 

The retuned hymns movement was never a be all and end all. There are deficits to the church's worship if all we do is recover a previous generation's hymns to the exclusion of the "new song" of other generations/cultures and our own. (I point out one of those deficits in a post about traditional worship here.) I gave heavy influence early on because I felt that a thick injection of hymnody would serve as a kind of "gateway drug" to other important worship reforms and correctives: historical connectivity, theological depth, gospel-centeredness, thoughtful cultural engagement--things that this blog is deeply committed to. I still believe that this strategy is an effective one at the local level, so if you're a worship leader whose church doesn't sing many songs except those of the present, I'd encourage you to slowly incorporate some historic hymns (retuned or restyled to suit your context) to begin broadening the doxological appetites and sensibilities of your flock.

I'm grateful that the retuned movement is at this point, and I cheer on its continued growth. Recovery and retrieval of this sort can only be a good thing. In fact, throughout history, recovery and retrieval were at the heart of every reform-movement of God's people, from Bible times down to the present. So, let's keep digging up these old gems, polishing them off, and casting them in new settings and display cases for the sake of Christ and His Bride!

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Monday, January 12, 2015

Received for Review



Who Is John Galt? Atlas Shrugged III. Atlas Productions, Inc., 2014. Special Edition 2-disc DVD set.  (N) 


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