Critical reviews (by Lutheran pastors, educators and church musicians) of books and other resources for Christian use from a perspective rooted in Holy Scripture, the Lutheran Confessions and good common sense. We ask, "Is it worth the money to buy, the time to read and study, the shelf space to store, and the effort to teach?"
Tuesday, September 3, 2013
A New Classic: Martin Luther: Preacher of the Cross – A Study of Luther’s Pastoral Theology
Endorsed by LHP QBR…
Feed: Cyberbrethren Lutheran Blog Feed Posted on: Tuesday, September 03, 2013 2:59 PM Author: Paul T. McCain Subject: A New Classic: Martin Luther: Preacher of the Cross – A Study of Luther's Pastoral Theology
Endorsements are coming in for Professor John Pless' latest book: Martin Luther: Preacher of the Cross – A Study of Luther's Pastoral Theology and it would not be far from the truth to say we have here "a new classic." In this superbly done study of Luther's pastoral theology, Pless provides resource both for pastors and laity alike. For pastors, a book offering them the wisdom of Luther as pastor and for laity, the wonderful Biblical comfort and counsel that animated Luther's preaching and teaching, applied specifically to various situations in life.
Following the list of endorsements is a PDF file you can download to preview the book, view the Table of Contents, etc.
Here is insight to do a daily ministry of teaching, challenging, and comforting that truly cares for souls. Pastors facing requests to be all things to all people will find in this guide a basis for discerning what is important from what is not. They will find focus and energy to fulfill their God-appointed calling. —Dr. Mark C. Mattes Professor of Philosophy and Theology Grand View University, Des Moines, Iowa
John Pless has distilled twelve years of teaching experience into a valuable and insightful book. Theology is a practical aptitude (Theologia est habitus practicus), especially for Lutheran pastors. Pless demonstrates the integration of heart and mind, faith and knowledge, experience and pastoral care by examining "how Luther put his evangelical theology to work in actual cases of pastoral care" (14). Pastoral care is spiritual warfare against the evil one. It is time we reclaimed that focus and seriousness in soul care. We can learn much from the "how" and "what" of Luther's Christ-centered preaching. —Rev. Paul J Cain Pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church, Sheridan, Wyoming Editor of Liturgy, Hymnody, and Pulpit Quarterly Book Review
Reliable markers are life saving to navigate any jungle. As Lutherans in Africa, we are grateful for the clear and joyful song from that Wittenberg nightingale, dispelling fear of eternal damnation by vocalizing the accomplishments of the One who overcame sin, death, and devil for the entire world. In this practical study, crucial highlights from Luther's pastoral treasury masterfully guide readers, whetting the appetite for more. This is a most suitable handbook for all who study and teach theology. —Dr. Wilhelm Weber Rector of Lutheran Theological Seminary in Tshwane and Bishop of the Lutheran Church in Southern Africa
John Pless shows with many examples and rich quotations from Luther how the reformer brought consolation to troubled consciences and set them right with God through the encounter with both Law and Gospel. This is an important book for those who care to mine Luther's insights in assisting them in pastoral care for their own lives and the lives of those entrusted to them. —Prof. Dr. Hans Schwarz Full Professor of Systematic Theology and Contemporary Theological Questions Institute for Evangelical Theology, University of Regensburg, Germany
The craft of responsible soul care in our confusing times is greatly enriched by Martin Luther: Preacher of the Cross—a master class in the care of souls. John Pless's long pastoral experience and years of Luther studies provide a rich storehouse of Christocentric treasures from which contemporary pastors may draw both inspiration and insight for faithful and sensitive care of the sheep and lambs of Christ. —Rev. Harold L. Senkbeil, STM, DD Executive Director for Spiritual Care DOXOLOGY: The Lutheran Center for Spiritual Care and Counsel
The precious art of communicating Law and Gospel in pastoral situations, such as distress, despair, illness, and death, is here compactly presented with the wisdom of experience, not only John Pless's years as pastor and professor, but also and especially Martin Luther's experience of prayer and trial as seen in his catechisms and "Letters of Spiritual Counsel." The Luther quotations are ample and apt, the secondary bibliography judicious and current. —Dr. Paul Rorem Benjamin B. Wareld Professor of Ecclesiastical History Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, New Jersey
Doctrine and life, for Luther, belong inseparably together. Therefore, the care of souls is not a distinct discipline or technique for Luther; it is not a theory but an activity. This book by John Pless is an introduction to this activity by leading the reader through the various areas of the care of souls as it is given and received. Due to the many citations, Luther himself speaks, and in this way the reader discovers what we as Christians through Christ are and what Christ has done for us and presently through Word and Sacrament does to us. This is a book that, in its clarity, serves not only to educate pastors but also to edify the congregation. —Prof. Dr. Reinhard Slenczka, DD Professor Emeritus Erlangen Faculty of Theology, Erlangen, Germany
This book offers a sensitive, insightful assessment of how Luther opened Scripture to the daily life experiences of individual acquaintances and his Wittenberg congregation. Pless's judicious selection of texts from concrete contexts provides a bridge over the centuries that models application of God's Word today. —Dr. Robert A. Kolb Professor of Systematic Theology Emeritus Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri
Martin Luther: Preacher of the Cross opens to us the heart of the Reformation, including the use of sacraments and vocation, and succeeds in revealing the rich practical and theological resources at our church's disposal for comforting troubled souls from cradle to grave. The insights Professor Pless offers on marriage and care of the poor alone are worth the price, to say nothing of how Luther teaches our faith properly to fight against the attacks of sin, death, and devil. This is a great, useful, and inspirational book that sets a new standard for the pastoral care of the future. It is not to be missed! —Dr. Steven D. Paulson Professor of Systematic Theology Luther Seminary, St. Paul, Minnesota
This book is a significant contribution to pastoral theology. Not only do we read much about Luther, but this book also beckons pastors to follow suit. Pastors are entrusted with the task of being caretakers of people's troubled consciences and struggles in life; this book will again bring to the attention the truth and seriousness of pastoral care and ministry. —Dr. Klaus Detlev Schulz Chairman, Pastoral Ministry and Missions Supervisor of PhD Missiology Program, Dean of Graduate Studies Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Indiana