We must also lessen the number of theological books, and choose the best; for it is not the number of books that make the learned man; nor much reading, but good books often read, however few, make a man learned in the Scriptures and pious. – Martin Luther

A Summary of the Christian Faith by Henry Eyster Jacobs

A Summary of the Christian Faith by Henry Eyster Jacobs

An attempt is here made to restate the doctrines of the Christian Faith… We have endeavored to gather results, and embody them in concise definitions, supported by condensed arguments, drawn largely from our Confessions and Luther, and our theologians, as well as, in not a few cases, from those of other communions. – Henry Eyster Jacobs, from the Introduction

Note: Reformatted Version 2 Now available.

Main Sections of the Book

In 41 chapters Dr. Jacobs uses a question and answer format to thoroughly cover all the essentials of the Christian faith. Subjects include:

  • The Being And Attributes Of God
  • The Trinity
  • Creation
  • Providence
  • Of Angels
  • Man As Created
  • Sin
  • The Grace Of God Towards Fallen Men
  • The Preparation Of Redemption
  • The Person Of Christ
  • The States of Christ
  • The Offices Of Christ, Christ As Prophet
  • Christ As Priest
  • Christ As King
  • The Mission Of The Holy Ghost
  • Faith in Christ
  • Justification
  • The Gospel Call
  • Illumination
  • Regeneration
  • The Mystical Union
  • Renovation Or Sanctification
  • The Word As The Means Of Grace
  • The Law And The Gospel
  • The Sacraments
  • Of Holy Baptism
  • Of The Holy Supper
  • The Church
  • The Ministry
  • The Church’s Confessions
  • Church Discipline
  • The Christian Family
  • The State
  • Life After Death
  • The Resurrection Of The Body
  • The Return Of Christ
  • The General Judgment
  • Eternal Death
  • Eternal Life
  • The Divine Purpose As Interpreted By Its Contents And Results

He also includes two essays on the subject of election and predestination. The second, Luther on Speculations Concerning Predestination, is particularly useful.

Every reader of Luther’s writings knows the references he repeatedly makes to the aid afforded him by Staupitz when he was tormented by abstract speculations concerning Predestination. “Begin with the wounds of Christ,” said Staupitz; “then all arguing concerning Predestination will come to an end. . . . But when men follow their own thoughts, the Laudate [praise] ceases and the Blasphemate [blasphemy] begins.”

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