“Hymns are a most important part of our worship. They mold character and often shape the lives of those who sing them.”
“The writing of these pages was an accident and a pleasure. An editorial emergency called forth the first article; our personal interest induced several others; then the interest of our readers requested the series. Favorable comments and the expressed desire of not a few to have the articles in permanent form explain the appearance of this volume.
Luther’s Little Instruction Book (Small Catechism) has been translated into many of the languages of the world. Williston Walker in his History of the Christian Church describes it as “one of the noblest monuments of the Reformation”. Of it, Luther writes,
The Catechism is the Bible of the laymen. In it the entire body of Christian doctrine, which every Christian must know in order to be saved, is contained…
“The Apology is more than a mere polemical treatise. It is a thorough discussion, in all its relations, of the cardinal doctrine of Justification by Faith alone, without Works; for whatever be the article treated, the discussion always reverts to this theme. At first reading, it may indeed seem diffuse, but farther study will show that it contains little, if anything, unnecessary, as it is its aim to meet the questions proposed at every turn, and to examine them from varied standpoints.
The Augsburg Confession is the first part of the Book of Concord, the Lutheran Confessions. The Saxon Visitation Articles were used by pastors to instruct their congregants and appeared in Saxon editions of the Book of Concord until the forced union of Lutheran and Reformed in the Nineteenth Century.
In republishing this book, we seek to introduce this editor and content to a new generation of those seeking authentic spirituality.
“The Formula of Concord is the result of controversies within the Lutheran Church after the breach with the Papacy had become complete… It required more than a single generation for the Evangelical faith in all its power to penetrate the minds and lives of even its staunchest adherents; and when we recall the deplorable condition into which the Church had fallen, and the deep ignorance not only of the people, but also of the ministry, described in the introductions to the Catechisms, we cannot wonder at the subsequent internal struggles, when the controversy with the Papists absorbed less attention…
“When a student at College, Charles P. Krauth was known to all to possess brilliant and versatile talents, and high hopes were entertained of the future years of his life… When Mr. Krauth left the Seminary and entered the ministry, we have no reason to believe that his theological views were any other than those then entertained by his Professors, and prevalent in the Institutions at Gettysburg [General Synod under Samuel Schmucker].
“The attentive reader… will see that the matters here treated are not antiquated or obsolescent, but enter most deeply into the issues of the hour.” — Henry Eyster Jacobs
On This Page From the Translator: Book Contents From a Pastor Order a Printed Copy Download the eBook Publication Information LutheranLibrary.org paperback edition available on Amazon
From the Translator: “The popular edition, here offered, fulfills the hope of the editor from the very beginning, to have the Confessions published at such price that they may he scattered broadcast throughout all English-speaking lands… Such edition will serve an important office in deepening and strengthening the faith of our people in drawing them together in the bonds of a common fellowship, and in enabling them to appreciate all the more highly their heritage…
“These sermons were preached in the Church of the Holy Communion, Philadelphia, to a congregation consisting in part of University and college students. In preaching it was impossible to disassociate from my mind the struggles through which many of these young people were passing and the battles which I was asked to help them fight during the week.
“The endeavor throughout is to set forth Christ Jesus as the Savior of the world.
A Summary of the Christian Faith has been appreciated by Christians since its original publication for its easy to use question and answer format, its clear organization, and its coverage of all the essentials of the Christian faith.
It’s a remarkable book which promises many hours of pleasure for a new generation of Christians. Two essays on election and predestination are included, including Luther’s Speculations Concerning Predestination.
May God richly bless you as you use this work of Prof.
“I want you to understand that I have never preached opinions from this pulpit; it is not a question of opinion; I have absolutely no right to stand here and give you my opinion, for it is not worth any more than yours; we do not come to church to get opinions; I claim that I can back up every sermon I have preached, with the Word of God, and it is not my opinion nor yours, it is the eternal Word of God, and you will find it so on the Judgment day.
"A decade has fully passed since the outbreak of the eventful controversy which has divided the Lutherans of North America into two camps. Dr. Walther showed already in the years of 1864—70, a leaning to the Calvinistic doctrines… The controversy itself broke out first in the year 1872, when Lehre und Wehre, the organ of the Missourians, (p. 205) directed a sharp attack upon Philippi of Rostock, accusing him of Synergism on account of his treatment of the doctrine of conversion in his Dogmatics.
“One of the areas in which the Reformer has been repeatedly misrepresented has to do with the relationship of the Church with the Jewish people, frequent attempts being made to link him with modern anti-Semitism. Such attempts call for clarification by the Church of the Reformer’s actual position.
“[Luther] reflects his true heart attitude toward the Jews with this prayer: ‘O God, heavenly Father, turn and let thy wrath over them be brought to an end, for the sake of thy dear Son.
“The body without the spirit is dead, but it retains for a while the form; and while the form is there, hope may sometimes lie cherished that life will yet revisit it; but when even the form is gone, and the body fallen to ashes, unless God shall speak, hope is extinct forever.
“It is a sad thing to see the form robbed of the power; but there is one stage of misery below this.
“The life of so distinguished a servant of God as Melanchthon deserves to be better known to the general reader than it actually is. In the great Reformation of the sixteenth century, his work stands second to that of Luther alone. Yet his life is comparatively unknown to many intelligent Christians.
“In the preparation of this book, the author has made use of a number of biographies of Melanchthon by German authors…His aim has been to prepare a brief but sufficiently comprehensive life of Melanchthon, in such a form as would interest the people… That these pages may, in some measure at least, accomplish their purpose, and make the Christian reader more familiar with the work and merit of the man of God whom they endeavor to portray, is the sincere wish of the author.
“There are points in the Church’s history, years, months, days, in which all the evil that has ever assailed the Church, seems brought to a focus, and to overcome it, the Holy Ghost, who never deserts his charge, concentrates against it not only the sum of all the experience of the Church of the past, but also the endowments of new, fuller, richer unfoldings of the sense and power of God’s Word.
“Dr. Krauth was beyond all question the most learned and distinguished among all Lutheran theologians that use the English Language, and the great scholars of our church in other parts of the world have long ago ranked him among the chief scholars of the great church of theologians.” – Dr. G. F. Krotel
“He understood the faith, and he gave his best energies to its exposition, inculcation and defense against all assailants.
Justified and saved by grace alone, for Christ’s sake, through faith — that is the kernel of the whole Gospel. This is the fundamental article of the Christian faith and upholds the entire system of Christian doctrine as well as the church itself.
“Any doctrine that cannot be “rhymed” with the doctrine of justification, bears on its face the brand of apostasy from the one revealed truth and stands disclosed as a false interpretation of Scripture.
“On November 16, 1881, 12 pastors and teachers, 4 representatives of congregations, and 9 guests met at Blue Island, Illinois to discuss the new doctrine of predestination the Missouri Synod had begun to teach at that time. Besides this a number of letters from pastors and laymen were sent in, heartily favoring the purpose of the meeting. Most of these represented congregations (which) had left Missouri as a result of the issue.
“This article [justification by faith] is, as it were, the fortress and chief bulwark of the whole Christian doctrine and religion. If this article remains inviolate, the perversions of the other articles will cease of themselves.” – Chemnitz
Calvinism’s “doctrines of grace” make unconditional election the first cause of a person’s salvation. In contrast, the Book of Concord places “justification by faith” at the center of orthodox Christianity.
Towards the end of his life, C.
Towards the end of his life, C. F. W. Walther brought forth a teaching of election which many Missouri and other American Lutherans could not reconcile with the Scriptures or the Lutheran Confessions. The resulting “Predestination Controversy” split the Lutheran Church.
No True Lutheran Has Ever Claimed That Faith Is a Work This is a diversion used to discredit and take attention away from the Scriptural and Historical arguments, which Missouri has never adequately answered.