I was reminded reading through the Large Catechism with our congregation's Eighth Graders how sarcastic Luther is. He is a perfect writer for our day and age. He is pithy and grounded. He takes the Lord seriously but not himself. He was prolific indeed. Although he wished only a few writings of his to survive, including the catechisms, I rejoice at volumes 59 and 60 of Luther's Works.
Critical reviews (by Lutheran pastors and church musicians) of books and other resources for Christian worship, preaching, and church music from a perspective rooted in Holy Scripture, the Lutheran Confessions and good common sense. LHP Quarterly Book Review asks, "Is it worth the money to buy, the time to read, the shelf space to store, and the effort to teach?"
When Luther in his day in his prefaces answers our question, God bless you in heeding his counsel.
This [second] volume contains Luther's prefaces to the works of others from 1532 to 1545. Amid the outpouring of print in the wake of the Reformation, Luther—especially in the prefaces to his own works—sometimes expressed the wish that his own books might disappear and give place to the Bible alone. In his prefaces to the works of others, however, Luther developed the opposite rhetorical strategy, hailing their books as faithful guides to the Scriptures or as edifices that, because of their confession of Christ, would "surely stand secure on the Rock upon which they are built." Although he complained of the many "useless, harmful books" with which the Gospel's opponents flooded the world, the multiplication of "good books" in print—of which there could never be too many—was a sign of God's present blessing on the church in restoring the light of the Gospel, and Luther was pleased to encourage the works of faithful colleagues and friends. Many of the works for which he wrote prefaces he declared superior to his own for their insights, style, and more refined approach. Luther was grateful for help in the shared work of Evangelical literary production in all its genres, in constructive work as well as in polemics, and his prefaces give a broad survey of the Reformation's literature. (Publisher's website)
When a book reviewer likes a resource, a review may sound not unlike an advertisement. This is to be expected. Sadly, we've had to add the following to our main QBR site:
FTC Regulations Compliance
Disclosure of Material Connection: LHP QBR received these books or other resources free from the publisher. We were not required to write a positive review. The opinions we have expressed are our own.
Dr. Walther made extensive use of Gerhard in his theological writings, particularly The Church and the Office of the Ministry. Not only is that Lutheran Church Father's work soon to be available in a much-improved translation, but in these two volumes English readers will have a great translation of Walther's source material in Gerhard's magnum opus for the LCMS official doctrine and practice of the Office of the Public Ministry.
Books of this sort are not to be lumped together with periodical subscriptions. They are of more importance than paperbacks that wear out. Books of this heft of substance deserve hardcovers. They are an investment, a set worthy to assemble over one's life, an heirloom series.
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.