Those who appreciate President Reagan may see this title and cover while browsing the many new books about our 40th President. Interest in the presidency is high given the contentious 2016 campaign, the recent death of President George H. W. Bush, and our nation's divided politics.
Most pastors that I know have extensive libraries. I had the bug early. My comic book library has 10,000 volumes at last count. That covered my main period of collecting from 1986-1996, largely Superman and Batman plus the West Coast Avengers and Silver Surfer. Before superheroes, I read G. I. Joe. Before that, I apparently learned how to read with the help of Bugs Bunny and Uncle Scrooge, Scrooge McDuck, that is.
I love reading about a fictional Sheriff, Walt Longmire, while living in the region of Wyoming that inspired the fictional town and county in the novels of Craig Johnson.
There is also a second series set in Wyoming, in another fictional town in another fictional county, about a fictional Game Warden, Joe Pickett, in the novels of C. J. Box. I am also a Lutheran pastor. It is an example of the embarrassment of riches that I also get to read about a fictional Lutheran pastor, Rev. Stephen Grant,
through the keyboard and creative mind of Ray Keating.
It is a challenge to convey theological truth and faithful practice in fiction. The Rev. Tyrel Bramwell does so with theological deftness, pastoral winsomeness, and confessional faithfulness with regard to the challenging topic of Closed Communion. Engaging, humorous, and authentic, Come in, We Are Closed is the helpful tool laypeople and pastors have been praying for to reach those used to Open Communion. This book creatively and conversationally expands the limited number of Bible texts used to explain this faithful biblical practice within a fuller Lutheran confession of a Christian worldview and additional teaching on many other aspects of the Sacrament of the Altar. Come in, We Are Closed deals with Jesus' own words and how many react to them with unbelief instead of faith.
Like the books by Keating and Bramwell above, Rasanen's debut novel is realistic, grounded, and authentic, and delivers true comfort in Christ because it deals with difficult topics in all of their gritty agony. This is Law and Gospel, properly distinguished, applied to life. A military couple deals with their vocations as Lutheran Christians, sinners and saints, complete with Scripture, prayer, Luther's Small Catechism, and church services with Lutheran Service Book.
Among the practical helps of this volume are moral assessments of therapies and treatments recommended to couples (20), the comforting truth that childlessness is not a punitive judgment (41), encouragement toward contentment as a child of God (59), comfort in Christ in the Church, a family (73).
Rev. Paul J Cain is Senior Pastor of Immanuel, Sheridan, Wyoming, Headmaster of Martin Luther Grammar School and Immanuel Academy, a member of the Board of Directors of the Consortium for Classical Lutheran Education, Secretary of the Wyoming District of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and a member of its Board of Directors, Wyoming District Education Chairman/NLSA Commissioner, and Editor of Lutheran Book Review. He has served as an LCMS Circuit Visitor, District Worship Chairman and District Evangelism Chairman. A graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Rev. Cain is a contributor to Lutheran Service Book, Lutheranism 101, the forthcoming LSB Hymnal Companion volumes, and is the author of 5 Things You Can Do to Make Our Congregation a Caring Church. He is an occasional guest on KFUO radio. He has previously served Emmanuel, Green River, WY and Trinity, Morrill, NE. Rev. Cain is married to Ann and loves reading and listening to, composing, and making music.