18 February 2009

If I Were Teaching Seminary...

...aside from Krauth, of course, I'd make sure that each and every student had read and digested the presentation of the faith laid out in Jacob's Elements of Religion. I'd put that book near the top for introducing dogmatics. I can't encourage folks strongly enough to read it. You can get it from Repristination Press (God bless them for bringing so many of these gems BACK to use for us). Here's a snippet:

Sin is to be otherwise than God means us to be, and to do otherwise than God means us to do. It presupposes freedom. For whatever be God's will with respect to angels and men, He does not will that, against their own will, they shall comply with His will. The holiness of the creature consists alone in the harmonizing of his will with that of God. Sin has its root and nature in the determination of the free will away from God. If angels or men ultimately attain a stage of perfection, in which they are removed from the possibility of doing otherwise, or being otherwise than God desires, such impeccability is not an original endowment, but is the fruit and reward of effort and struggle. The holiness in which men and angels were created was an undeveloped holiness, viz., a potential, but not an absolute impeccability. (p. 54)


Jason said...

Hello Pastor Weedon: Earlier this year, an Orthodox Priest did a "Ten Books of Influence" posting (http://fatherstephen.wordpress.com/2008/07/13/ten-books-of-influence/) and I'm wondering if you would consider doing the same. I know I would be interested in your list! Thanks for the consideration.

Rev. Luke T. Zimmerman said...

Pr. Weedon:

Strongly agree with your endorsement of Jacobs' Elements of Religion. Have thought about having my Deacon Board read through it after we conclude our Augsburg Confession study.

Have you had a chance to look through Jacobs' A Summary of the Christian Faith? It is basically the General Council's equivalent of Koehler's A Summary of Christian Doctrine, but it is in catechetical form (Question and Answer). Published in 1905, it follows the same outline as Elements of Religion, but was designed to be the fundamental systematics text at the Lutheran seminary in Philadelphia.

An incomplete e-text version can be found here: http://www.ctsfw.edu/etext/jacobs/ Or you can find it through Bookfinder for about $10-15.