Tuesday, April 23, 2013

LHP Review: More Lutheran Classics


Walther, C. F. W. Matthew C. Harrison, editor. The Church and the Office of The Ministry. St. Louis: Concordia, 2012. 495 Pages. Cloth. $34.99. https://www.cph.org/p-20881-the-church-and-the-office-of-the-ministry.aspx (LHP)

Engelbrecht, Edward A., General Editor. The Church from  Age to Age: A History. St. Louis: Concordia, 2011. 976 Pages. Paper. $36.99. https://www.cph.org/p-18164-the-church-from-age-to-age-a-history-from-galilee-to-global-christianity.aspx (LHP)

Chemnitz, Martin. Ministry, Word, and Sacraments: An Enchiridion; The Lord's Supper; The Lord's Prayer (Chemnitz's Works 5). St. Louis: Concordia, 2007. (Previously published separately in 1981, 1979, 1999.) 574 Pages. Cloth. $69.99.  https://www.cph.org/p-676-chemnitzs-works-volume-5-enchiridionlords-supperlords-prayer.aspx (LHP) 

Those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it. 

That pithy piece of wisdom encouraged me to be a history major. I was always surprised by its truth. 

I am also similarly surprised when I re-read or read for the first time something I should have been taught before.

These three books deserve the title "classic." They are part of your Lutheran heritage. Now is the time to (re)discover them!


Rev. Keith Clow provides FREE charts from his research contributed to the publication of the book.

The charts include additional data, which researchers may consult online or print out."

"The issue of church and office is too often a muddle among us, and Walther can be most helpful if he is allowed to speak with the precision he intended."

Matthew C. Harrison

President of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod

Matthew Harrison's new edition of this seminal writing by the first president of the LCMS restores Walther's precise language on the doctrines of church and ministry. As the subtitle of the original German edition states, The Church and The Office of The Ministry is "a collection of testimonies . . . from the Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church and from the private writings of orthodox teachers of the same." Professional church workers and interested lay members will find a wealth of insights from the Bible, the Confessions, ancient church fathers, Luther, the orthodox Lutheran fathers, and more on the key questions of what or who is the Church, what is and who holds the Office of the Ministry, and what are the powers and duties of each.

This New Study Edition Includes

  • new reader-friendly updated translation
  • footnotes explaining terms and history
  • glossary of key German and Latin terms
  • appendices including supporting documents
  • Scriptural index
  • topical index
  • free downloadable data charts
  • editorial introductions from Rev. Dr. Matthew Harrison

Purchase 10 or more copies of The Church and The Office of The Ministry for only $23.99 each.

Use promotional Code LWT on the checkout screen to receive your discount!

One of the most significant Lutheran theologians in North America, C. F. W. Walther (1811–87) dominated the theological landscape of the mid-1800s. A leader in the Saxon immigration to Missouri in 1839, Walther helped to found the college that would become Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri, as well as to organize The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. In addition to serving as a pastor, Walther was the synod's first president and the president of the seminary and its leading teacher. A prolific author, Walther wrote on a variety of topics, corresponded with numerous religious leaders, edited the theological journal Der Lutheraner, and helped start Concordia Publishing House.

During the 20th century, the ecumenical movement made the doctrine of the church one of the most discussed issues of its day. Today, this controversy still exists with congregations exploring the boundaries of what it means to define the church. C.F.W. Walther's classic study of The Church and The Office of The Ministry provides biblically-based answers to these questions facing congregations today.

Become a subscriber to Walther's Works and SAVE 30%

Now you can subscribe to Walther's Works and receive each volume at a 30% savings off list price. (Volumes are priced differently, so discounted prices will vary.) Your subscription starts with the newest volume (you will need to order previously released volumes separately), and you will continue to receive each new volume upon its release. In addition, subscribers may purchase previously released volumes at the same 30 % discount.

CLICK HERE for more information

Become a subscriber to Fathers of the Lutheran Church Program and SAVE EVEN MORE!

Luther, Gerhard, Walther: Three Programs. One Subscription.

Through the Fathers of the Lutheran Church Subscription Program, the newest volumes of Luther's Works, Johann Gerhard's Theological Commonplaces, and Walther's Works are shipped to you automatically—and you receive a 30% savings off list price plus FREE shipping.

CLICK HERE for more information

(Publisher's Website)

I re-read this title in kindle form during two winter plane trips to the St. Louis area. I was most familiar with the previous translation under a blue cover. The seminary did well to teach me about that edition's deficiencies. In fact, at least one "Ph.D" has eviscerated this edition because of what I believe to be a preference for the mistranslations of Walther, rather than his scholarly knowledge of Walther's original German.

I love the appendices that put Walther's theses and text in context, including the Altenburg Theses, the infamous Hirtenbrief, and writings by Loehe.

I had hoped that The Church and The Office of the Ministry would get a cover more like the volumes of the Essential Lutheran Library, but I will be satisfied (for now) with a more accurate translation of the title. Might I respectfully request similar editions of Walther's Proper Form and True Visible Church?

Our next title is a library of history books under one cover!


The Church from Age to Age examines key historic events from the time of the apostles through today. Informative and clearly written, readers of all ages will find the answers to the who, why, and how behind the current state of Christianity the world over. Maps, readings from primary sources, and an extensive bibliography, index, and timeline make this a complete one-volume resource for the classroom and for home.

Take a look inside CLICK HERE!

Also Available in Amazon-Kindle format.

Foreword by Paul L. Maier, PhD

 Contributors include: 

 •  Dr. Robert G. Clouse is professor emeritus of history at Indiana State University. He was a founding member of the Conference on Faith and History, served on the editorial board of the Brethren Encyclopedia, and was a contributing editor of the New Twentieth Century Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge.
•  Dr. Karl H. Dannenfeldt † served as professor of history at Arizona State University, the American editor of Archiv für Reformationsgeschichte, a committee member for the American Society of Church History, and president and officer for the American Society of Reformation Research.
•  Edward A. Engelbrecht (STM) is senior editor for professional and academic books at Concordia Publishing House and general editor for The Lutheran Study Bible (2009), which is currently being translated into Spanish and Portuguese.
•  Dr. Marianka S. Fousek is an independent historian who served as a professor at Miami University and other schools. She also served as a council member for the American Society of Church History.
•  Walter Oetting † (MA) served as professor of Church history at Concordia Seminary. He died young, just after completing his book for the Church in History series, which was reissued in 1992 due to its continuing interest as an introductory text.
•  Dr. K. Detlev Schulz is associate professor and chairman for the department of pastoral ministry and mission at Concordia Theological Seminary, serves as the PhD supervisor of the missiology program, and is dean of the graduate school.  He grew up in Africa, studied in Europe and the United States, and served as a missionary in Botswana.
•  Dr. Roy A. Suelflow † served as a missionary in China, Japan, and Taiwan. He also served as a seminary professor and mission director in East Asia. He later taught church history at Concordia Seminary and served as associate editor for the Concordia Historical Institute Quarterly.
•  Dr. Carl A. Volz † served as professor of church history at Luther Seminary and as an editor for Dialog: A Journal of Theology. In 1997, the American Academy of Parish Clergy selected his book, The Medieval Church, as one of the ten best books of that year.

(Publisher's Website)

As I mentioned before I was a history major at university. (To be most precise, I was a double major in Mathematics and History (B.A.) with a minor in Asian Studies.) Why was I, a Missouri Synod Lutheran, ignorant of the previous editions of the contents of this book? I wish I would have had this edition to better survive my Christ-less Western Civ class with a Communist T.A. and a professor who looked like Santa Clause but used George Carlin's "Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television" in class.

I am thankful for this volume's Christian worldview and the excellent Foreword by Paul Maier. Every LCMS church and school should have a copy of this history. Give a copy to your pastor for Pastor Appreciation month this fall.

My only complaint? I wish it had a hardcover rather than a paperback. Perhaps that may help increase sales of the kindle version.

Few books have influenced my pastoral theology and practice more than those collected together under this hard cover.



Martin Chemnitz (the "Second Martin") is credited with solidifying and defining the Reformation movement begun by Martin Luther (the "First Martin"). Chemnitz was a major contributor to the Formula of Concord and is considered to be one of the greatest Lutheran theologians of all time.


This volume of Chemnitz's Works contains three writings of this 16th-century professor, pastor, and church superintendent. It provides the opportunity to learn firsthand from this systematic and pastoral theologian. 


Ministry, Word, and Sacraments: the Enchiridion
This is a translation of Chemnitz's 'little book' for pastors. It covers the Call into the Ministry, the Word and Sacraments, ceremonies of the church, and the conduct of ministers.


Includes Index and end notes.

The Lord's Supper

This is an English translation of De coena Domini, Chemnitz's defense of the real presence of Christ's body and blood together with the bread and wine in the Lord's Supper.


Arguing from Scripture and fortifying his presentation with many citations from the ancient church fathers, Chemnitz explains that the real presence does not entail a crass, cannibalistic eating, but a sacramental eating of Christ's true body and blood. Chemnitz maintains that the Words of Institution are the last will and testament of the Son of God and are therefore to be taken literally and understood with the utmost seriousness.


Figurative interpretations of the Words should be avoided because they are bound to be uncertain, and they rob the Christian of the comfort furnished by Christ's body and blood, given and shed for the forgiveness of sins.


The Lord's Prayer
God Commands us to pray, and twice in the New Testament, Jesus gives us the pattern for prayer in the Our Father.


In this work, whose full title is A Substantial and Godly Exposition of the Prayer Commonly Call the Lord's Prayer, Chemnitz unpacks the richness of each petition of the Lord's Prayer: how many words to use, what things to ask for, and in what order to ask for them. He offers a fresh and inspiring interpretation based on the biblical texts. The English translation of this work was originally published in 1598 by the University of Cambridge in England at a time when theologians were becoming increasingly aware of the power of the press. This edition, updated to modern English by Georg Williams, makes Chemnitz's timeless exposition available to today's readers.

Also available as an eBook (ePub)

(Publisher's Website)

I own the separately-published versions of the three titles now compiled under this one cloth hard cover.  

Enchiridion was dear to me for two reasons related to my wife. In high school, her Lutheran theology and practice of baptism was attacked. Her pastor shared the contents of Question 243 (116ff) with her in the form of a tract. It helped her grow as a Christian apologist and has inspired me as well. Second, she has an ancestor that got a grade of "adequate" on the basis of a similar Visitation in the 1580's. I am encouraged that the current LCMS Blue Ribbon Task Force on Districts is placing more emphasis on pastoral care, visitation of pastors, church workers, congregations, and schools, than the size and shape of LCMS Districts. This title could give the LCMS guidance as it moves forward by embracing its past faithful practice. How about Circuit Visitors instead of Circuit Counselors. I am thankful to have a copy for home and a copy for my study (this version)

The Lord's Supper was a required text for my class with the same name with Dr. Nagel. I remember fondly how pages 91ff helped me survive the exegetical challenge of the four accounts of the Words of Institution.

The Lord's Prayer was newly-released while I was at seminary. I remember at the time that when I bought it, it was the most I had ever spent on a paperback book. I am relieved to now have it in more permanent hardback form. Back in Lent 2001, my first as a pastor in the parish, I made regular use of this volume as part of a midweek Lenten sermon series on the Lord's Prayer. That's been some time ago, and my memory at times plays tricks on me. I had remembered, FOR CERTAIN, that Chemnitz was the fellow who taught that the last three petitions of the Our Father prayed against the devil in the past, the present, and the future. I was SURE that was the case. Surprise! When I re-read this part of Volume 5 of Chemnitz' Works for the purpose of this review, I discovered that this idea was my summary of what Chemnitz said in the book. Oh, well. I still hold it to be true. And perhaps I'm not really the original source of such a great idea!

These three Concordia volumes are the ideal "Yes" when our book review posts ask, "Is it worth the money to buy, the time to read, the shelf space to store, and the effort to teach?" Expand your knowledge and comprehension of pastoral, historical, and doctrinal theology with these titles. Look for them at a Pastoral Conference CPH bookstore near you.

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.

View article...