“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.
“…there are many people today who are wandering in doctrinal fogland, and do not know what they believe; or, if they think they have any real convictions, they have pared them down to what they call ‘the irreducible minimum.
“If ever any man was competent to write on true Christianity, that man was John Arndt. It had become his very life; it entered into the very center of his own experience; it was an essential part of his being, and hence it was only necessary to let the mouth utter that, of which the heart was full.
“The following translation of a manuscript letter of the venerable Patriarch of the Lutheran Church in America, will constitute an acceptable addition to the valuable biographies which precede it. Its historic is not its only interest.
“The book presents Christian doctrine and Christian character, as both are drawn from the words of the Bible. It sums up the Biblical teachings concerning divine truth and human life, and presents the principles of the Christian religion both for the guidance of faith and intellect and for the formation of character…
This book of brief and simple sermons are the result of a lifetime of study, thought and experience by a faithful pastor and teacher.
“The title expresses the chief purpose of the book — to follow ‘In the Redeemer’s Footsteps.
“Salvation is the great end for which the Son of God came into the world. To restore fallen man to his original state of holiness and happiness, he must be delivered from the curse of sin that is upon him and the power of the devil that enslaves him.
“There is a knowledge which puffeth up, because it is sundered from true faith which maketh humble. It is knowledge without light or life, a cold thing lodged in the brain, but without influence on the sensibilities and will.
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.
“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.
“…Every minister of the Gospel should so preach that he need never be ashamed of the words he has spoken. Do you suppose that if I were ashamed of my sermons I would have them put in cold print to speak long after I am dead?
Learning to love is a long lesson. It takes all of the longest life to learn it. The most inveterate obstacle in mastering the lesson is self, which persists with an energy which nothing but divine grace can overcome.
“A good deal is said in these days about how to preach. In the days of Christ and Paul, what to preach seemed of vastly more importance. How to listen, what preparation of mind and heart is needful, what attitude toward the truth, what appreciation of the truth, these are more important questions than extempore or written preaching.
“This little volume of sermons has been prepared in response to repeated appeals from the people who heard them from the pulpit. With some slight discrimination, they have been chosen from a cabinet of upwards of two thousand discourses.
Ruth forsook father and mother, country and friends, to cast in her lot with the people of God, and her name is linked with that of the greatest king of Israel, and with that of the great Redeemer of mankind.