• This is a fascinating book covering the history behind the various confessional documents that make up the Lutheran Book of Concord. Thus it covers the Ecumenical Creeds (Apostles, Nicene and Athanasian), Luther’s Small and Large Catechisms, Augsburg Confession, Apology of the Augsburg Confession, Smalcald Articles and the Formula of Concord. Whilst I had a reasonable knowledge of the history of the creeds, and of the history of Luther’s life, I must admit I found much that I didn’t know (or hadn’t properly taken on board) when it came to the roughly 25 years following Luther’s Death. Plus it is nice to have all these histories in one place, and nicely connected. I felt the authors did a fair job when it came to examining both those for and against the various documents, as well as looking at the situations that motivated the documents. This is also a good book to get a feel for the history of the Lutheran Church in the 16th Century - as opposed to a history of Luther - and I think I was better versed in the latter than the former, so I welcomed my journey with this book.
    1. I really enjoyed reading Luther’s Letters, as they give you quite an insight into the thoughts of the man as he goes through various events that we see as “historical events”. Of course, it is a bit frustrating to only have half the conversation, but the editors do a good job of introducing each letter. It is also amusing when reading the openness with which Luther talks about his bowel movements and health in general. It is also enlightening to see the different way he writes to the Elector, to friends, to colleagues, etc. Thus giving much insight into the early 16th Century German world. Looking forward to reading more letters in the next volume!
      1. This is a fine small book with useful tips/advice on preaching. I would advise (as I did) to read just one of the short chapters at a time, to allow yourself some time to mull on it. Probably would also work to add it to your devotional time :) As someone who has been preaching for over 40 years, I applauded many of the chapters, and some were much needed reminders - and yes there were some that I disagreed with - which is also good. It makes you think, and a bit of self-examination of preaching practices is very worthwhile. Highly recommended to fellow preachers - especially those who are starting out.
        1. This is a useful, easy-to-read little book that gives much encouragement about Prayer. Basing the work primarily on the Gospel of Luke - though also includes a chapter on Acts - does allow for a good basis of examining several different aspects. I especially liked the application made to pastors and church leaders throughout. Each chapter has some questions at the end - making this also a useful tool for a Bible Study. Good references, though brief, are welcomed. I would recommend this to all fellow Christians, and especially fellow pastors who need some light encouragement in the area of prayer.
          1. This is an easy to read, scholarly commentary of the books of Joshua and Judges - and the author does go on in the next two volumes to cover the books of Samuel, and the books of Kings - so it is nice to have the same voice take us through these historical books. As noted, this is a scholarly commentary, and thus whilst I find myself disagreeing with many of the assumptions and conclusions, it is good for background material - plus it is also worthwhile to know something of where the various scholarly minds are at when it comes to such books. I also appreciated having a female voice examining these quite violent books. I thought the handling of the various women in both books - Rahab, Deborah, Jael, etc - was very well done. Many good questions are raised about women in that day. I would’ve appreciated more dealing with the theology in these books - and am saddened that the Grace of God seems to be overlooked most of the time - but this is also not what this book aimed to deliver. Well referenced!
            1. This was a hard read for me, considering it contains the two harsh writings of Luther against the Jewish people: “Against the Sabbatarians” and “On the Jews and their Lies”. I did not enjoy reading them, and I am very sad that Luther wrote them, especially the latter. I do think it is worthwhile for us to see the failure of our “heroes” - and for me, I see the danger of letting anger take control of your words. As a Lutheran Pastor, I do ask forgiveness for how these words of Luther, have been used against the Jewish people, especially by the Nazi party and their heirs. The other two works, were quite good reads :) Now on to Volume 48
              1. This is a good little booklet, that introduces the reader to the Incarnation. It contains a very good, brief history of the church’s struggle to best explain what we understand about Jesus from the Scriptures, and does a fair, though brief, handling of Councils and Heresies. In the latter part of the book, the Author argues for the distinctively Reformed understanding of a number of issues - thus as a Lutheran Pastor, I would disagree with his conclusions about what the Scriptures teach here. What is really lacking is a page or two for further reading - this would’ve made this an excellent little book to get people started on Christology.
                1. This is a good little book - easy to read in a single sitting if so desired - that examines the sufficiency of the written Word of God. It is a good starting point to what is a more involved topic - and I appreciate that the Author has included a good list of books for further reading (and many of them are ones I also would recommend). This book is quite Lutheran in its outlook - not that I have a problem with that. I do feel that some of the comments about Pentecostalism are a bit dated. Whilst I don’t disagree with the Author’s use of Inerrancy, I was disappointed that he didn’t examine its misuse. I would’ve also appreciated a better coverage of the human side of our Scriptures.
                  1. This is a good book for not only understanding what are heresies, but also for an introduction to Christian doctrine. Covering areas like the Trinity, the Incarnation, the Crucifixion and Resurrection, the Atonement is a good reminder for us all. Whilst I realise the division between Alexandria and Antioch is a useful tool for the swinging extremes Christian History has gone through, I did feel at the times that the Author was unjustly painting all Alexandrians (and Antiochians) with the same brush. For example he does make some comments about Cyril of Alexandria in passing with no reference or justification, that I found to be quite unfair. That the book is 25 years old is also apparent in some of the “current” issues being discussed and comments made. Of course, this has no bearing on the coverage of the first 5 centuries of Christian thought. I enjoyed his coverage of Church Councils and of the resultant Creeds - and once again this book is a good introduction to them :)
                    1. I did enjoy the journey through Genesis that Goldingay takes us on in this Commentary. Whilst it is a scholarly work, it is not overly so, and is very readable. I appreciated the Author’s translations in that he kept the names as in the text, but used what the reader is more used to in the Commentary. This is not a commentary for Hebrew Scholars, but the Author does make good use of the underlying Hebrew where needed for the approach he has taken. There are a few references to the old Source Criticism approach to Genesis, but the Author does adopt a more Canonical approach overall. The Author is writing primarily to a Christian audience and the occasional NT and Christological references are welcome. Whilst I do not always agree with the Author’s conclusions or assumptions, I did appreciate his passion for the material and he gave me much to think about - which has already provide useful for a recent Bible Study. Highly recommended for Pastors who want a bit more of a scholarly look at Genesis but not too much; and for those serious about Bible Study.