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 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…
This volume is an essential reference for understanding the Protestant Reformation and the shaping of the Lutheran Confessions.
Friedrich Bente (1858-1930) was educated at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis and served pastorates in Humberstone and Jordan, Ontario, Canada. Bente was president of the Canadian District of the Missouri Synod. He edited Lehre und Wehre and co-edited the “Triglotta” translation of the Lutheran Confessions. He is famous for his masterful volume, Historical Introductions to the Book of Concord.
“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 Clear print, large format quality paperback available on Amazon by the Lutheran Librarian
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…
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.
“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.
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.
This is Dr. Schmauk’s magnum opus on Christian Confessionalism, a treasure of approachable, Biblically Conservative scholarship.
“This book is written in the belief that the one ultimate authority among men is truth.” – Theodore Schmauk
Theodore Schmauk’s exploration and defense of the Christian faith consists of five parts:
Historical Introduction Part 1: Are Confessions Necessary? Part 2: Confessions in the Church Part 3: Lutheran Confessions Part 4: The Church in America In republishing this book, we seek to introduce this author to a new generation of those seeking authentic spirituality.
“We want no broader line than the catechism draws; but then we do not want that line whitewashed out by a diluted and false liberalism, so as nearly to obliterate it. We desire to see it remain in its original breadth and depth, so that we may consistently and honestly reply to the query: ‘What are the distinctive doctrines of your church?’ ‘You will find an epitome of them in Luther’s Smaller Catechism.