Andrae, Eric R., Editor. A Hammer For God: Bo Giertz (Lectures from the Centennial Symposia and Selected Essays by the Bishop). Fort Wayne, IN: Lutheran Legacy, 2010. 342 Pages. Paper. $19.95. (Hardback also available.) http://lutheranlegacy.org/publications/hammer.aspx (LHP)
Giertz, Bo. Christ's Church: Her Biblical Roots, Her Dramatic History, Her Saving Presence, Her Glorious Future. Eugene: Wipf and Stock, 2010. 186 Pages. Paper. $23.00. www.wipfandstock.com (LHP)
The first book I read for a class other than Greek at the seminary was Giertz's Hammer of God. This volume deserves your attention because it introduces you to the life and other writings of an influential Lutheran Christian, pastor, theologian, Bishop, and author.
Pastoral, readable, and informative, Christ's Church is a comprehensive treatment of historical, doctrinal, practical, and exegetical theology. I could imagine it being a blessing to seminarians and at Winkel, a worthy work that should be read by laypeople as well.
Giertz confesses what the Scripture itself says about the Church, directing the Christian reader to his own Lutheran home congregation, to the Word of God, and to the Sacraments of Christ.
The Knights of Rhodes is a novel for our time.
Like the other books reviewed above, it also is well worth your time, money, and shelfspace!
Giertz provides the reader a very different work than the now-familiar Hammer of God. Where his more famous novel is a masterclass on the proper distinction between law and Gospel, Rhodes is a literary classic on the theology of the cross. It has a far better story, theology, and Christian worldview than the comparable movie, Kingdom of Heaven.
Unlike the aforementioned epic film, readers will note frequent references to Holy Baptism, Confession and Absolution, and the Sacrament of the Altar. Characters in the novel, all historical persons, go to Mass, Vespers, and Compline. One will note a liturgical worldview with regular mention of liturgical dates and festivals, quotations of Scripture, and a canticle (the Te Deum) used as a comparative reference point.
That evening Brother Giovanni went on the evening rounds. He talked about the great festival in the church and about the Grand Master's votive promise. André asked unsuspectingly:
Giertz scholars wrestle with his ecumenism and continue to study how he argued against the ordination of women to the pastoral office (even after it was a sad reality in Sweden).
We wish to remind our readers of our previous review of a Giertz resource for the Historic One-Year Lectionary (http://lhpqbr.blogspot.com/2012/07/from-archives-giertz-pulpit-book-review.html) and of the availability of daily devotions by Giertz from Concordia Publishing House.
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 member of the Board of Directors of The Consortium for Classical and Lutheran Education, Wyoming District Worship Chairman, and Editor of QBR.