Engelbrecht, Edward A., General Editor of English Edition. Hector E. Hoppe, Editor of Spanish Edition. La Biblia de la Reforma: Biblia de Estudio (Reina Valera Contemporanea). St. Louis: Editorial Concordia, 2014. 2336 Pages. Cloth. $49.99. http://www.cph.org/p-22186-la-biblia-de-la-reforma-the-bible-of-the-reformation.aspx (LHP)
LHP QBR was also honored to receive advanced digital preview copies of two titles, and a partial digital preview of a third:
Engelbrecht, Edward A., General Editor. Lutheran Bible Companion (Set). St. Louis: Concordia, 2014. pdf sample received. Initial Hardback Sale Price: $49.99. www.cph.org/p-24345-lutheran-bible-companion-set.aspx (LHP)
Kraus, George. Edited and Revised by Scot A. Kinnaman. The Pastor at Prayer. St. Louis: Concordia, 2014. 288 Pages. pdf sample received. Hardback: $24.99. www.cph.org/p-26075-the-pastor-at-prayer-revised-edition.aspx (LHP)
Concordia Psalter. St. Louis: Concordia, 2015. www.cph.org (LHP)
Thursday, July 24, 2014
Saturday, July 19, 2014
Peters, Albrecht. Translated by Holger K. Sonntag. Creed (Commentary on Luther's Catechisms). St. Louis: Concordia, 2011. 588 Pages. Paper. $42.99. http://www.cph.org/ (P)
Peters, Albrecht. Translated by Holger K. Sonntag. Lord's Prayer (Commentary on Luther's Catechisms). St. Louis: Concordia, 2011. 222 Pages. Paper. $42.99. http://www.cph.org/ (P)
This material is being released for study and discussion purposes, and the author is solely responsible for its contents. It has not been submitted to the process for doctrinal review stipulated in the Bylaws of The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod and odes not necessarily reflect the theology of the Lutheran Confessions or the doctrinal position of The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod.
Is the book worth it for the publisher to go ahead and publish and the reader to buy and read? Most certainly!
Consider our ongoing discussion about "graven images" with the Reformed, (mentioned in a parallel review). Peters explains the history behind this seeming "skip" over the text of R2/L1B. Consider Augustine and all of the iconoclastic controversies of Christian history (141ff). He lays out a convincing case for Christian teaching and practice.
Let's proceed with a fresh review of the rest.
The German Edition of Commentary on Luther's Catechisms by Albrecht Peters has long been the gold standard of research on the catechetical texts of the great reformer. This translation makes the wealth of research available in English for both the researcher and the catechist.
Foreword by Gottfried Seebass
Translated by Holger K. Sonntag, Thomas H. Trapp, and Daniel Thies
Separate volumes address the Decalogue, the Creed, the Lord's Prayer, the Sacraments, and Confession with the Table of Duties, prayers, and the Marriage and Baptismal Booklets.
Let's take the volumes one by one. My focus will be on the kind of insights you will gain from buying, owning, and studying each volume in the series.
Luther is responsible for our modern approach to the Apostles' Creed, in that we see three instead of twelve articles (33). Peters contrasts Imago Dei with Imago Satanae (95ff). Page 112ff give an outline of the Creed section of Luther's Large Catechism. Learn how "prophet, priest, and king" came together as a phrase (120ff). Consider Christ "for us" (134), a liturgical Christology (163), and Luther's comment on supposed marriage between humans and gods (167). Read four insights on the Third article (216ff). Conclude by learning why "Christian" is a translation of catholica (268ff).
Read about "The Lord's Prayer as Defensive and Offensive Weapon Against Satan" (22ff), the source of the content and pattern of the "What does this mean?" questions (60ff), refuge in baptism and references of Church Fathers (151), and a treatment of the 6th and 7th petitions as a double petition (173ff).
Consider "promise and faith" as Luther's guides to add Bible wording and teaching of the two Sacraments to the Western catechetical tradition (1ff, 27ff, passim), "The Gift of the Saving Work of Christ under Word and Sacrament (43ff), "The Faith of the Church and the Particular Faith of a Child at Baptism (122ff), and the author's insights on Luther's two front war of catechesis against both Roman and Reformed (198ff, passim).
This volume reminds the reader of the enormity of Peters' work: "he examined each of the later editions, the various expositions on Confession and Absolution, the Household Responsibilities, the Marriage Booklet and the Baptismal Booklet, as well as Luther's Household Prayers, which included the Morning and Evening Blessings and prayers before and after meals" (xiii). Sometimes the chapter titles are enlightening: "Individual Confession and Absolution as the Proper Form for the Office of the Keys" (3). Often, insights are highlighted in section headings: "Restructuring Private Confession and Absolution to Become an Exercise in Law and Gospel" (82). I loved reading about Luther's source material for prayer (235-251), my favorite chapter of the whole book and set!
I am not aware of any other resource even remotely like this set, so order the entire five-volume set of Peters' Commentary on Luther's Catechisms!
The Rev. Paul J Cain is Pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church, Sheridan, Wyoming, Headmaster of Martin Luther Grammar School, Yellowstone Circuit Visitor (LCMS Wyoming District), a permanent member of the Board of Directors of The Consortium for Classical and Lutheran Education, Wyoming District Worship Chairman, and Editor of QBR.
Friday, July 11, 2014
All are commended to you for your consideration.
God made us to enjoy beauty wherever we find it, whether it's music or the visual arts. But sin finds ways to obscure what is right in front of our eyes and ears.
An essential biography and history of what are for all practical purposes "lost years" for many American Lutherans, Dr. John D. Vieker writes of August Crull and the Story of the Evangelical Lutheran Hymn-Book.
August Crull (1845–1923) edited and compiled the first edition of the Evangelical Lutheran Hymn-Book (1889), thus playing a critical role in shaping the hymnic tradition of the Missouri Synod as it transitioned from German to English. This study tells the story of Crull's pioneering labor in the formation of this seminal hymnal and documents the twenty-year journey to its final edition in 1912, which became the first, official English-language hymnal of the Missouri Synod.
Some LCMS Lutherans may read this volume and learn that the English District used to be a separate English-speaking church body. Some readers may learn about the existence of the English District for the first time!
The author served for twenty-six years as professor of worship and music, and dean of Christ Chapel at the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in Columbia, South Carolina.
Henry L. Lettermann (1932-96) served as professor of English at Concordia Teachers College, River Forest, Illinois, from 1959 to 1988 where his talent for poetry became readily apparent. From 1979 to 1987 he served as a member and secretary of the Hymn Text and Music Committee which produced Lutheran Worship in 1982. His original texts, translations, and observations about the process of preparing this new hymnal provide fascinating insights.
Two Letterman texts made it into LSB, 835's "On Galilee's High Mountain," and "Lord Jesus Christ, the Children's Friend" (866).
To put Finale 2014 through its paces, we had had ambitious plans. They all fell apart when my laptop seized up and died just before Thanksgiving. I was essentially without a personal computer (though I still had computer access) for nearly a month. And to be clear, NO, the Finale software was NOT to blame. We were able to rescue the data from my machine and successfully restore my data and Windows 8.1 to the very machine I'm writing on.
/+ Caution! One Year to Better Preaching: 52 Exercises to Hone Your Skills has great potential in improving your preaching. Unfortunately, if you quickly work your way through all 52, you will feel beat up by the Law like little you have experienced before. Some exercises will seem designed to please every English Grammar teacher in your congregation (e.g., 17 Write in E-Prime) while others are neglected common sense (22 Pray for Your Listeners, 49 Write for the Ear). Lutheran preachers will appreciate some more than others (45 Make a Bee Line for the Cross, 48 Interweave Preaching and Worship) while grieving for those who need to be taught such things for the FIRST time. Recommended, but with caution. Take in intentional small doses.
+ I first learned of Dr. Rossow's "Gospel Handle" idea from Preaching the Creative Gospel Creatively. Then, I had him for a seminary course on C. S. Lewis. I have since appreciated his Gospel Patterns in Literature and the companion to this volume, Gospel Handles: Finding New Connections in Biblical Texts, a volume that solely focused on sample Gospel Handles and sermons based on the Four Gospels. "A Gospel handle involves the selection from a biblical sermon text of an excerpt that contains absolutely no Gospel whatsoever; the preacher then uses this excerpt as an approach, bridge, or handle to an account of the Gospel somewhere else in the Bible." This volume focuses on Old Testament Lessons, and gives examples of Gospel handles in the Pentateuch, History books, Poetry books, Major Prophets, and Minor Prophets of the Hebrew Scriptures. The book concludes with sample sermons, including a free text sermon on Job. Creative, Practical, Useful, and Affordable. Recommended!
- Church Elders is absolutely insufficient as a text for Lutheran lay elders, Lutheran pastors may find some minor benefit and encouragement in this brief 9Marks volume. The main offense to Holy Scripture's doctrine of the Holy Ministry is equating the man-created office of lay elder with the Office of the Holy Ministry called elder in the New Testament. The author shows no knowledge of ordination, yet references many of the passages that pastors will be reminded of at an ordination or installation in the Lutheran Church. Lay elders share much in common with ordained elders. Both are filled with the Baptized. The distinction is not one of person, for both are filled with sinner-saints, but the distinction is one of Office.
+ Our final book in this QS is by an author we've reviewed before with his fiction titles. This is non-fiction--scary non-fiction. "The Office of the Holy Ministry within the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod is in crisis. It is under attack from pastors who act like corporate executives and arrogant overlords, from bureaucrats who believe a pastor is a failure if he doesn't act like a corporate executive or a used car salesman, and from congregations who believe pastors are merely employees to be hired, evaluated, and fired. Too many pastors have fallen prey to these attitudes and the actions which follow. We call them Candidates, but these men and their families are our brothers and sisters in Christ, and they are suffering. These Candidates, pastors without congregations, suffer in the closest thing Lutherans have to purgatory. These are their stories. Lord willing, we can end their suffering" (Amazon). We commend this for your reading, edification, and action, as the 2013 LCMS Convention acted in care and loving concern for pastors without a call. We thank the Lord for courageous District Presidents who are trying to find appropriate calls for our brothers-in-office in a churchly and Christlike manner.
More information about each of these titles