Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Another Lutheran Essential

Speaking of the essential Lutheran library, while I was in my local Christian bookstore today I noticed a handsome new edition of Roland Bainton's classic, Here I Stand, A Life of Martin Luther, courtesy of Hendrickson Publishers, who deserve the acclaim of English-speaking theology lovers everywhere for their affordable re-issues of indispensable classics, including Schaff's History of the Christian Church , The Creeds of Christendom and the Ante and Post-Nicene Fathers series.
This is probably still the best biography of Luther in English for the average reader, who will only rarely be interested in wading through Brecht's three-volume magnum opus - but that's not a bad thing since Bainton eschews speculation (unlike several other quite tendentious biographies of Luther which shall remain nameless here) and sticks to the facts (in the time-honoured, pragmatic American fashion..."just the facts, Ma'am"), which he presents in a lively and readable style.
Sure, there's not much theological analysis of Luther here, but as Bainton wasn't a Lutheran anyway we can probably be grateful for that - and that is available elsewhere in a format easily digestible for the lay-person, for example in Eugene Klug's Lift High The Cross , published by CPH (Australian readers I can direct you to a local stockist of this volume if required).

This edition is cloth-bound with a dust jacket and illustrated with reproductions of many period woodcuts, and thus represents quite good value at AUS$25.95. If you don't have a copy, now's the time to get one; for many years now Bainton's 1950 classic has only been available in a cheap paperback edition, so it's good to see it get the publishing treatment it still deserves.

Oh, yes, as you'll notice from the pic, there's a goodly amount of sangria on the dustjacket...natch.

(Click on the post title to be taken to the local Australian stockist of the Bainton book.)


Matthias said...

Thnaks for this pastor,I live the same municipality where Koorong have a shop so i might go and get it,and donate my vopy of the Heidelberg Confession to the local book exchange at the RCC,as I am certainly not a Calvinist

Acroamaticus said...

I'm curious, Matthias, what was it in the Heidelberg Confession that troubled you?

If you need any advice on good Lutheran books to read, I can supply it! The book by Klug, Lift High the Cross is v. good, or perhaps even better is Daniel Preus's 'Why I Am A Lutheran - Jesus At The Centre' and one mustn't forget Gene Veith's 'Spirituality of the Cross'. I can get these books for you at no cost.

Matthias said...

The copy of the Heidelberg Confesison that i have contains comments by a Orthodox Pressie minister and he was inferring the differences between Lutherans and Calvinists came down to the issue over Grace. I thought Luther's comments about grace and that the Just shall live by faith were succinct ,concise and to the point whereas to me Calvinists-and i grew up amongst Calvinists though my parents were not-seem to not enjoy Worship,whilst my experiences amongst lutherans was the opposite-my pastor was Schutz's friend AB
As for the books Pastor it would be greatly appreciated but at no cost? surely you would be out of pocket and I would have no problem in paying. It is a pity that there are no lutheran bookstores here in Melbourne. But Koorong is okay,better than wORD,who i find have been capured by dispensationalism,but then they are owned by the AOG

Acroamaticus said...

Is that the one with the comments by G I Williamson?

We have a Lutheran bookstore here in Toowoomba, small but carefully stocked, I think they have all the books I cited and for about $20 or less. You can read the blurbs about them on Concordia Publishing's site using the search facility: www.cph.org

The book by Preus also contains the Small Catechism, which is the basis of the layman's faith in the Lutheran Church.

Matthias said...

Yes it is by GI Williamson

Acroamaticus said...

Let me know if you want to purchase any Lutheran books - I can check prices and availability for you, Matthias.