Thursday, May 30, 2013

FW: Great Stuff — Mark’s thoughts: Dealing with difficult times in a Psalms way




Feed: Steadfast Lutherans
Posted on: Wednesday, May 29, 2013 12:21 PM
Author: Norm Fisher
Subject: Great Stuff — Mark's thoughts: Dealing with difficult times in a Psalms way


PrSurburgAnother great post found over on Pastor Surburg's blog:


As we live in a fallen world, it is inevitable that we will encounter difficult times.  These challenges can take many different forms.  Many of these things are the results of circumstances and situations that are completely outside of our control.  No matter what shape they may take, the fact remains that we often find ourselves facing the challenge of living through difficult circumstances in life.

When we face these kinds of situations, how are we to handle them?  What model can we follow or where can we look for guidance?  For nearly three millennia God's people have recognized the Psalms as a primary resource for this.  In the Psalms we encounter inspired prayers.  The Psalms are both prayers addressed to God and they are God's word addressed to us.  When we use the Psalms, the Spirit is teaching us how to think and how to pray.

Even within the Psalms themselves we find different ways of dealing with difficult times.  One psalm that I have come to appreciate greatly is Psalm 77.  In the psalm, Asaph begins by saying:

             I cry aloud to God,

                        aloud to God, and he will hear me.

            In the day of my trouble I seek the Lord;

                        in the night my hand is stretched out without wearying;

                        my soul refuses to be comforted.

            When I remember God, I moan;

                        when I meditate, my spirit faints. Selah (Psalm 77:1-3 ESV)

Asaph begins with the confident cry of faith.  In the day of his trouble he cries aloud to God. He is confident that God will hear him.  Day and night he turns to God for help. However it begins to become clear that this does not bring immediate relief. On the contrary, his soul refuses to be comforted and in his prayer and meditation he moans and his spirit faints.

In the next section Asaph moves deeper into the description and contemplation of his plight. He says:

            You hold my eyelids open;

                        I am so troubled that I cannot speak.

            I consider the days of old,

                        the years long ago.

            I said, "Let me remember my song in the night;

                        let me meditate in my heart."

                        Then my spirit made a diligent search:

            "Will the Lord spurn forever,

                        and never again be favorable?

            Has his steadfast love forever ceased?

                        Are his promises at an end for all time?

            Has God forgotten to be gracious?

                        Has he in anger shut up his compassion?" Selah (Psalm 77:4-9 ESV)

Bereft of sleep, Asaph declares that he is so troubled by the situation that he cannot speak.  He turns to the past as he attempts to remember the song that used to accompany his life in better times.  Yet just as the psalm began with a cry of faith focused upon God, so also now in the midst of his troubles Asaph's attention remains centered on what God has revealed about himself.  God is the One who is favorable towards his people.  He is characterized by steadfast love and faithful promises.  He is gracious and compassionate. These things do not seem to be in evidence right now for Asaph.  Yet in the words of the psalm this is considered atypical – it is completely uncharacteristic of God, and so surely it will not continue.  Asaph is in the midst of great troubles and is sorely distressed, but his basic outlook remains one that is grounded in faith toward what God has revealed about himself.

At the present, Asaph's experience contradicts what God has revealed about himself. God does not seem to be acting in ways that are commensurate with his revealed character.  And so Asaph makes a key move.  He writes:

            Then I said, "I will appeal to this,

                        to the years of the right hand of the Most High."

            I will remember the deeds of the LORD;

                        yes, I will remember your wonders of old.

            I will ponder all your work,

                        and meditate on your mighty deeds.

            Your way, O God, is holy.

                        What god is great like our God?

            You are the God who works wonders;

                        you have made known your might among the peoples.

            You with your arm redeemed your people,

                        the children of Jacob and Joseph. Selah (Psalm 77:10-15 ESV)

Asaph turns his attention to what God has done in the past – to the wonders and mighty deeds that he has worked.  God is the God who works wonders and in doing so he has made known his might among the peoples.  In one central event God has done this in a way that goes beyond all of the others – in a way that is foundational for all of the others.  He did this in the exodus as he redeemed his people from slavery in Egypt.  This action affirms all of the things that Asaph knows to be true about God.   If Asaph focuses on his own present situation he may wonder whether God is favorable towards his people; whether he is characterized by steadfast love and faithful promises; whether he is gracious and compassionate to the ones he has called. But by remembering and meditating on the mighty deeds of God in the exodus he finds assurance that this indeed is God's character for him.

Finally, Asaph speaks about the most dramatic moment of this powerful event.  He writes:

            When the waters saw you, O God,

                        when the waters saw you, they were afraid;

                        indeed, the deep trembled.

            The clouds poured out water;

                        the skies gave forth thunder;

                        your arrows flashed on every side.

            The crash of your thunder was in the whirlwind;

                        your lightnings lighted up the world;

                        the earth trembled and shook.

            Your way was through the sea,

                        your path through the great waters;

                        yet your footprints were unseen.

            You led your people like a flock

                        by the hand of Moses and Aaron. (Psalm 77:16-20 ESV)

Asaph describes in a dramatic fashion how God brought Israel through the Red Sea.  God led his people like a flock.  He cared for them as he rescued them from slavery. The God who has done this can be counted upon to care for his flock in the present – no matter what things may look like right now.

Psalm 77 provides the pattern for us to follow when we are in the midst of difficult times.  Our first move is the cry of faith to God.  Like Asaph, we know that God has revealed himself to be the One who is favorable towards his people.  We know that he is characterized by steadfast love and faithful promises; that he is gracious and compassionate.  When we experience difficult times and this does not seem to be evident, in faith we are also to regard it as completely uncharacteristic of God,

And so in the face of contradictory evidence we remember the deeds of the Lord, the wonders that he has done. When Asaph did this, he turned to the great Gospel event of the Old Testament – the exodus.  Now in the era of the New Testament we turn to the Gospel event– the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Through his action God has redeemed us.  He has purchased and won us from sin, death and the devil with his holy precious blood, and his innocent suffering and death.  By his resurrection he has guaranteed that his life will triumph over death for us.

Through this action God has affirmed for all eternity that he is steadfast in his love and faithful to his promises.  He has demonstrated that he is gracious and compassionate towards us.  We return in faith to this and to the way we have received a share in it. Asaph returned to the mighty wonders that God had worked with water.  We do too, for in the water of Holy Baptism we have died with Christ and have been buried with him.  Because of this we know that we will also share in his resurrection on the Last Day (Romans 6:3-5). No matter what the circumstances of the moment seem to be saying, we are able to affirm, "I have been baptized into the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ."  In this fact we have the assurance of God's love and care which the Spirit uses to carry us through the difficult times of life.

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

FW: New Luther’s Works Volumes Available Now in LOGOS Format


Worth it. Already incorporated into my LOGOS library as a personal purchase…


Feed: Cyberbrethren Lutheran Blog Feed
Posted on: Wednesday, May 29, 2013 12:36 PM
Author: Paul T. McCain
Subject: New Luther's Works Volumes Available Now in LOGOS Format


Attention LOGOS users, Volumes 58-60, of the new Luther's Works American Edition extension are available now from LOGOS, for integration into your LOGOS digital library. For further information, including all technical support and customer service issues, please contact LOGOS by visiting their web site, or by calling LOGOS at 800-875-6467. Please DO NOT CALL CPH or contact us about any LOGOS product. All our LOGOS resources are now sold, distributed and supported exclusively by LOGOS. Thank you.

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Martin Luther's works are of "importance for the faith, life, and history of the Christian church." Luther's Works has made Martin Luther accessible to the modern reader. Concordia Publishing House has expanded Luther's Works to include genres underrepresented in the previous existing American edition volumes, such as Luther's sermons and disputations. These new volumes are intended to reflect both modern and sixteenth-century interests. They include annotations and introductions by the editors and various scholars. The primary basis for the translation is the comprehensive Weimar edition.

This collection presents sermons from 1539–1546 and numerous book prefaces written by Martin Luther. With Logos, you get access to these massive volumes with the power and speed of your digital library. Perform searches, create footnotes and citations, and click your way through Luther's sermons and prefaces! Luther's Works are essential for pastors, theologians, historians, and laypeople in the Lutheran tradition.

Key Features

  • Provides an English translation of Martin Luther's sermons and prefaces
  • Includes introductions by the editor and various scholars

Praise for the Print Edition

Among the greatest and most prolific theologians of Christian history, Martin Luther still speaks to us today. This . . . series splendidly complements its 55-volume predecessor and offers a treasure-trove of writings never before available in English, writings crucial to understanding Luther's life, thought, and profound influence throughout the centuries. Offering readable yet reliable translations, well introduced and appropriately annotated, this new series should delight scholars as well as engage laity and clergy.

Mark U. Edwards Jr., academic dean, Harvard Divinity School

. . . a superb example of what we can expect from the edition's general editor, Christopher Brown. His introductions, notes, and references—and the translations—are excellent. Pastors, professors, and students will profit from the judicious choice of Luther's sermons, disputations, and exegetical works.

—Carter Lindberg, emeritus professor of church history, Boston University School of Theology

Casual readers and those seeking to expand and deepen their knowledge of the Reformation will profit greatly from these carefully translated and edited volumes.

Robert Kolb, Missions Professor of Systematic Theology, Concordia Seminary

Concordia Publishing House is providing a tremendous service to historians, theologians, pastors, and students by producing these new translations of Luther's works. . . . The volumes devoted to Luther's sermons, lectures, and disputations are especially welcome, because they will give English readers a more complete picture of Luther the preacher and professor.

—Amy Nelson Burnett, professor of history, University of Nebraska—Lincoln

I am delighted to see . . . more letters, sermons, and prefaces of Luther . . . Our appreciation of Luther's life and work will be enriched by this new series and the scholarship that undergirds it.

—Scott H. Hendrix, emeritus professor, Princeton Theological Seminary

Awaited for decades by students, pastors, and scholars alike, the new volumes of Luther's Works are being prepared by the most qualified experts of our generation. They provide a significant addition to Luther's homiletical, polemical, exegetical, and occasional works in English translation. The product is not only painstakingly accurate, and historically, linguistically, and theologically responsible, but also eminently readable and accessible to a wide variety of audiences. The broader information offered here drastically expands the utility of the older volumes. This work belongs in every academic and parish library.

—Susan R. Boettcher, Department of History, University of Texas at Austin

Concordia Publishing House is to be commended for taking the initiative in bringing out a[n] . . . extension to the American Edition of Luther's Works.

—Jeff Silcock, professor of theology, Australian Lutheran College

Finally, after fifty years since the first edition of Luther's Works was published, Concordia Publishing House has again initiated a project of translating more of Martin Luther's writings into English. This brings great joy to the English-speaking Lutheran community. Scholars, pastors, teachers, and students who find their knowledge of the German and Latin limited are brought, through this project, one step closer to their discovery of the 'whole Luther.' . . . All contributors must be thanked for this formidable task and . . . they will produce scholarly editions in excellent translation.

—Klaus Detlev Schulz, associate professor, Concordia Theological Seminary

Luther's Works, vol. 58: Sermons V

  • Author: Martin Luther
  • Editor: Christopher Boyd Brown
  • Series: Luther's Works
  • Publisher: Concordia Publishing House
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Pages: 520

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

This volume contains a selection of Luther's preaching from between January 1539 and his death in 1546. Aware of his own mortality and deeply committed to the proclamation of the Gospel in the last days of the world, Luther preached during these years with a special sense of urgency, seeking to make a final confession and testament of his teaching and to issue a public rejection of its opponents. In that effort, he returned frequently to theological themes from the early years of his public career and to autobiographical reflection, working to convey the significance of the Reformation to a new generation ignorant of the circumstances that had called for reform, who had experienced "nothing of these distresses and heartbreak under the pope and what a joyful thing the Gospel is."

The recent expansion of the Reformation to previously hostile territories and cities provided Luther, despite his health, with opportunities to travel and to preach to newly Evangelical communities, expounding the basic elements of his theology. In these sermons, Luther emphasized catechesis in the heart of the Gospel as he understood it, but he was also concerned with warning against a return to old abuses and with encouraging the new organization and support of Evangelical clergy and schools to ensure the survival of the Reformation.

In his ongoing preaching in Wittenberg itself, Luther was intensely concerned with the life and welfare of the congregation with whose life he had been most intimately involved. In addition to preaching on the broader theological conflicts with which he dealt in his published treatises, Luther dealt with local tensions—which culminated in his own brief, self-imposed "exile" from Wittenberg in the summer of 1545. He defended his own role within and responsibility for the Wittenberg church and dealt concretely with the Antinomians' rejection of the Law for Christians by assiduously preaching both the Law and the Gospel to the congregation. When, as it often did, the life of the Wittenbergers seemed to fall short in both good works and faithful devotion, Luther could be uncompromising and unrestrained in his admonitions, whether in denouncing the university jurists who sought to reimpose the standards of papal canon law or in rebuking the Wittenbergers for immorality and, especially, for their greed.

Nevertheless, even Luther's most bitter complaints about Evangelical congregations do not suggest that the old reformer had fallen into despair. His admonitions to faithful hearing of the Word and amendment of life appear alongside his confident declarations that, in fact, the Gospel was being faithfully taught. Luther boasted that the Gospel was being preached and proclaimed, not only in the churches by faithful pastors, not only in the schools, but also in homes, among parents and children, as he says in his last sermon: "You hear [God's Word] at home in your house, father and mother and children sing and speak of it, the preacher speaks of it in the parish church." The Gospel is thus communicated from one generation to the next, from parents to children—and also back again, from children to parents. It is to the children, learning the Catechism, that Luther refers adults who have questions about Christian faith, and upon the youth, "the seedlings with which the Church of God, like a beautiful garden, is cultivated and propagated," that the reformer continues to place undiminished hopes. These sermons thus bear witness to Luther's understanding that the Reformation is neither an accomplished, once-for-all event nor a step along the progressive way to the full purification of the Church, but a continual struggle, carried out through the preaching of the Law and the Gospel, to be renewed from generation to generation until the Last Day.

Luther's Works, vol. 59: Prefaces I / 1522–1532

  • Author: Martin Luther
  • Editor: Christopher Boyd Brown
  • Series: Luther's Works
  • Publisher: Concordia Publishing House
  • Publication Date: 2012
  • Pages: 434

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Never before in English, this volume presents Luther's prefaces from 1520–1532 for the writings of both colleagues and opponents. In Luther's day, the preface was sometimes the most important part of the book. The preface used the most beautiful of language to praise the author, his work, and his arguments—and to decry his opponents. Publishers knew that having Luther's preface brought instant fame to any book.

Some of Luther's prefaces are short, witty, and incisive; others are as long as treatises, with thorough discussions of important theology. Satirical, earnest, tender, combative—in his prefaces Luther is all these things. Over and over, Luther calls his readers to remember why the Reformation was needed, and not to take it for granted.

Luther's Works, vol. 60: Prefaces II / 1532–1545

  • Author: Martin Luther
  • Editor: Christopher Boyd Brown
  • Series: Luther's Works
  • Publisher: Concordia Publishing House
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Pages: 400

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

This 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.

Product Details

  • Title: Luther's Works Upgrade (vols. 58–60)
  • Author: Martin Luther
  • Editor: Christopher Boyd Brown
  • Series: Luther's Works
  • Publisher: Concordia Publishing House
  • Volumes: 3
  • Pages: 1,354

About Martin Luther

Martin Luther stands as one of the most significant figures in Western history. His distinction as the father of the Protestant Reformation is augmented by his innovative use of new technology (the printing press), his translation of the Christian Bible into the vernacular, and his impact upon European society. Born in 1483 to middle-class parents in Saxony, eastern Germany, he became an Augustinian monk, a priest, a professor of biblical literature, a reformer, a husband and father. He died in 1546 after having witnessed the birth of a renewal movement that would result in a profound shift in faith, politics, and society. He has been both praised and vilified for what he preached and wrote. His thought continues to influence all Christians and to animate the movement that bears his name.

About Christopher Boyd Brown

Christopher Boyd Brown received his AB in history and literature and AM and PhD in history from Harvard. He received an MDiv from Concordia Seminary. Brown is an associate professor of church history at Boston University's School of Theology. He specializes in the Renaissance through Reformation periods and the Counter-Reformation to Orthodoxy and Pietism periods.

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FW: Romans (1-8) Commentary Now Available!


Our review copy arrived today…


Feed: Cyberbrethren Lutheran Blog Feed
Posted on: Wednesday, May 29, 2013 1:45 PM
Author: Paul T. McCain
Subject: Romans (1-8) Commentary Now Available!



We are very pleased to announce the publication and availability of the commentary on Romans Chapters 1-8 in the Concordia Commentary series.


The BEST way to receive these commentaries, in "set it and forget it mode," is to place a standing subscription. In this way you will receive the lowest possible price, they will be shipped to you, the subscribers, automatically when they are published and you get them before anyone else. So, if you would like to subscribe to the series, please go to this web site.

You can see all the available commentaries by going here.

About This Volume:

This commentary articulates the meaning of the Greek text of Romans in its original context for the benefit of the church and world today. Those without any knowledge of Greek will also profit from utilizing the volume. It provides insights that will enhance the understanding and effectiveness of scholars, pastors, and teachers who have the privilege of proclaiming Paul's most famous letter. This commentary seeks to be theologically thorough in as few words as possible. Romans is the Spirit-breathed, living, and powerful Word of God. Its purpose is to bestow the righteous of God, which comes through faith alone, and to inculcate the life of faith in and through our Lord Jesus Christ.

About the Series:

Concordia Commentary: A Theological Exposition of Sacred Scripture is written to enable pastors and teachers of the Word to proclaim the Gospel with greater insight, clarity, and faithfulness to the divine intent of the biblical text. This landmark work will cover all the canonical books of the Old and New Testaments, interpreting Scripture as a harmonious unity centered in the person and work of Jesus Christ. Every passage bears witness to the Good News that God has reconciled the world to Himself through our Lord's life, death, and resurrection. The commentary fully affirms the divine inspiration, inerrancy, and authority of Scripture as it emphasizes "that which promotes Christ" in each pericope. Authors are sensitive to the rich treasury of language, imagery, and themes found throughout Scripture, including such dialectics as Law and Gospel, sin and grace, death and new life, folly and wisdom, this fallen world and the new creation in Christ. Careful attention is given to the original Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek. Further light is shed on the text from archaeology, history, and extrabiblical literature. Finally, Scripture's message is applied to the ongoing life of the church in terms of ministry, worship, proclamation of the Word, Baptism, the Lord's Supper, confession of the faith—all in joyful anticipation of the life of the world to come.

About The Author:

Michael P. Middendorf was born and raised in St. Paul, Minn. He received all of his education at Lutheran schools, including a B.A. in pre-seminary studies from Concordia University-St. Paul (1981). He worked there for three years as an admissions counselor and guest instructor o Greek before enrolling at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, MO., where he earned his M.Div. (1987), S.T.M. (1989), and Th.D. (1990) degrees. Dr. Middendorf served as a parish pastor in Jamestown, N.D., from 1990 to 1992 and as a professor of religion and biblical languages at Concordia University Texas (in Austin) from 1992 to 2001. Since then he has been professor of theology in Christ College, at Concordia University Irvine, in California. Hi is also a pastoral assistant at Trinity Cristo Rey Lutheran Church, a bilingual congregation in Santa Ana, Calif.

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FW: Johann Gerhard in LOGOS Edition Pre-Publication Sale: Don’t Miss This




Feed: Cyberbrethren Lutheran Blog Feed
Posted on: Wednesday, May 29, 2013 12:40 PM
Author: Paul T. McCain
Subject: Johann Gerhard in LOGOS Edition Pre-Publication Sale: Don't Miss This


LOGOS is advertising the Gerhard dogmatics volumes on a pre-publication sale. They are very close to a full release, depending on orders received. If you are interested in having all available Gerhard volumes avaialable in LOGOS format, please be sure to sign up at this web site.

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Johann Gerhard was the premier Lutheran theologian of the early seventeenth century. Combining his profound understanding of evangelical Lutheran theology with a broad interest in ethics and culture, he produced significant works on biblical, doctrinal, pastoral, and devotional theology. His Loci Theologici are regarded as the standard compendium of Lutheran orthodoxy, with topics ranging from the proper understanding and interpretation of Scripture to eschatology. They interact with the writings of the Church Fathers, Luther and his contemporaries, and the Catholic and Calvinist theologians of his day.

In his Loci, Gerhard addresses the doctrines of the Lutheran faith with skill and precision. His series remains a classic of Lutheran theology and offers contemporary church workers and researchers a wealth of material on the distinctive of Lutheran doctrine.

The Theological Commonplaces series is the first-ever English translation of Johann Gerhard's famous Loci Theologici. The series, which will total 17 volumes, will be among the most thorough and comprehensive presentations of Lutheran theology in the English language. This six-volume collection includes the following portions of Gerhard's Loci:

  • Exegesis I, On the Nature of Theology and on Scripture, 2nd ed.
  • Exegesis II–III, On the Nature of God and on the Trinity
  • Exegesis IV, On Christ
  • Commonplace XXV, On the Church
  • Commonplace XXVI/1, On the Ministry, Part One
  • Commonplace XXVI/2, On the Ministry, Part Two

With the Logos edition of the Theological Commonplaces series, references to Luther, the Church Fathers, and other early and medieval texts are also linked, allowing you to click your way through the history of the church and across the theological spectrum. Your digital library also allows you to perform powerful searches and word studies, and Scripture passages are linked to your Hebrew and Greek texts, along with your English translations, making the Theological Commonplaces series a vital tool for research on Lutheran studies!

Key Features

  • Translation of portions of Gerhard's Loci Theologici, the most comprehensive Lutheran presentation of Christian doctrine
  • A glossary of key theological, rhetorical, and philosophical terms
  • A name and Scripture index
  • A carefully-researched works cited list that presents guidance for deciphering the numerous abbreviations of the other titles from which Gerhard quotes

Individual Titles

On the Nature of Theology and on Scripture

  • Author: Johann Gerhard
  • Translator: Richard J. Dinda
  • Edition: 2nd
  • Publisher: Concordia Publishing House
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Pages: 606

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

In this volume, Johann Gerhard presents a brief introduction on the nature of theology, then addresses the source of all Lutheran doctrine: Holy Scripture. In 28 chapters, Gerhard explores the efficient cause of Scripture and the subject matter of Holy Writ, offers specific treatment of each canonical and apocryphal book of the Bible, and discusses the inspiration of Scripture. Finally, Gerhard offers insight on versions of Holy Scripture and its interpretation.

On the Nature of God and on the Trinity

  • Author: Johann Gerhard
  • Translator: Richard J. Dinda
  • Publisher: Concordia Publishing House
  • Publication Date: 2007
  • Pages: 496

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

On the Nature of God and on the Trinity addresses God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as Gerhard explores the divine names, the natural knowledge of God, the divine essence, and the mystery of the Trinity. As Gerhard makes the argument for the Trinity, he turns repeatedly to Holy Scripture and interacts with the writings of the ancient Church fathers as they sought to formulate the doctrine of the Trinity. He specifically addresses the arguments of the Socinians (Unitarians) concerning the Trinity.

On Christ

  • Author: Johann Gerhard
  • Translator: Richard J. Dinda
  • Publisher: Concordia Publishing House
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Pages: 424

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

The central figure of the Christian faith is Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world. In this volume, Gerhard addresses the etymology of Christ's name, the divine and human natures of Christ, the personal union and communication of the two natures, the communication of attributes, and the office (or work) of Christ. In many ways this volume is even more thorough and complete than Chemnitz's master work The Two Natures in Christ.

On the Church

  • Author: Johann Gerhard
  • Translator: Richard J. Dinda
  • Publisher: Concordia Publishing House
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Pages: 888

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

The doctrine of the church was contentious as Lutherans argued for the scriptural catholicity of their churches, which embraced the Reformation, over against Roman Catholic claims to be the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church confessed in the creeds. Distinguishing between visibility and invisibility as aspects of the same church, Gerhard discusses whether the church can err and defines the true marks of the church. Yet this volume covers much more than just the doctrine of the church. It deals with mission, miracles, prophecy, the curious case of "Pope Joan," and the corruptions of the papacy in the centuries leading up to Gerhard's time.

On the Ministry, Part One

  • Author: Johann Gerhard
  • Translator: Richard J. Dinda
  • Publisher: Concordia Publishing House
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Pages: 500

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

This volume, the first part of Johann Gerhard's commonplace On the Ecclesiastical Ministry deals especially with ministers of the church: their necessity, call, ordination, transfer, removal, and the like. With detailed and penetrating examination and analysis, Gerhard first proves that there is an ecclesiastical ministry instituted by God, an affirmation disputed by contemporary Anabaptists and Unitarians. Next, Gerhard demonstrates from Scripture the necessity of a specific call to the ministry, a call given by God through the church, before one may carry out the pastoral functions and duties. Besides the qualifications for holding this office in the church, Gerhard discusses the call of Martin Luther, the degree of Doctor of Theology, and ordination through prayer and the imposition of hands, among many other topics that are of importance to the church still today.

On the Ministry, Part Two

  • Author: Johann Gerhard
  • Translator: Richard J. Dinda
  • Publisher: Concordia Publishing House
  • Publication Date: 2012
  • Pages: 380

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

This volume, the second part of Johann Gerhard's commonplace On the Ecclesiastical Ministry deals especially with grades of ministers, marriage of the clergy, and duties including preaching, administering the Sacraments, church discipline, care of the poor, and visitation of the sick.

What power do pastors have? What are their duties? Against anticlericalism on one side and Roman Catholic views of hierarchy on the other, Gerhard teaches the New Testament doctrine of the ministry. Gerhard sets forth the true, Evangelical Lutheran view of bishops, explains what spiritual power ministers of the Word have, and describes not only the holy duties of preachers and hearers, but also their common vices. On the basis of Scripture, Gerhard defines the ecclesiastical ministry as "a sacred and public office, divinely instituted and committed to certain men through a legitimate calling, so that they, being equipped with a peculiar power, may teach the Word of God, administer the sacraments, and preserve ecclesiastical discipline, in order to bring about the conversion and salvation of people and to spread the glory of God."

Product Details

  • Title: Theological Commonplaces by Johann Gerhard
  • Author: Johann Gerhard
  • Translator: Richard J. Dinda
  • Publisher: Concordia Publishing House
  • Volumes: 6
  • Pages: 3,294

About Johann Gerhard

Johan Gerhard (1582–1637) was a German Lutheran theologian. He studied philosophy and theology at the University of Wittenberg. Upon graduation in 1605, he began to give lectures at the University of Jena. In 1606, Gerhard graduated with a doctorate of theology from the University of Jena. In 1616, he was appointed senior theological professor at Jena—a position he held until his death. During his lifetime, Gerhard was considered the greatest living theologian of Protestant Germany.

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