Over the last few days, I've been reading in three goodies lately put out by CPH. You all know that I LOVE the direction our Publishing House has embraced in the last several years, and they continue to offer us outstanding books. The three latest I'm enjoying:
A Year with the Church Fathers - by Synodical vice-president Scott Murray. Scott has done a beautiful job with this volume. Keyed to the readings of the day from the LSB daily lectionary, he offers a brief introduction and then a few paragraphs from a Church Father for each day of the Church's year. This is a SUPER companion to those who regularly use the daily lectionary (or follow the Treasury, which amounts to the same thing). For example, the reading for today is from Luke 1 in which he states that the holy Evangelist, St. Luke, proclaims that he writes that Theophilus might have certainty about the events of our Lord's life. So picking up on the theme of the certainty that comes from Sacred Scripture, Pr. Murray provides a few paragraphs from St. Augustine's On the Trinity (3.1), including the following: "But as I do not wish my reader to be bound down to me, so I do not wish my critic to be bound to himself. Let not the pious reader love me more than the catholic faith. Let not the critic love himself more than the catholic truth. I say to the pious reader, do not be willing to accept my writings as canonical Scriptures. But when you have discovered in the Scriptures what you did not previously believe, believe it unhesitatingly. While in my writings, unless you have understood certainly what you did not before hold as certain, be unwilling to hold it fast. I say to the critic, do not be wiling to amen my writings by your own opinion or argument, but [amend them] from the divine text or by unanswerable reason. If you apprehend anything of truth in them, its being there does not make it mine, but by understanding and loving it, let it be both yours and mine. But if you detect any falsehood, though it had once been mine in that I was guilty of error, now by avoiding it let it be neither yours nor mine." LOTS more good stuff - a person who wants a decent introduction to the Church fathers cannot do better, in my opinion, than by picking up this book and journeying with them through the daily lectionary. [Should note that this is a companion volume *A Year in the New Testament* of which I served as co-author along with five other pastors].
The Church from Age to Age - General Editor, Edward Engelbrecht. I'm only through the first section of this, but I am MEGA impressed. If you've wanted a single volume that could walk you through Church history in a most unbiased and informative manner, this one is it. I've been utterly amazed at the absence of all polemic, the desire simply to report the state and thinking of the Church as it grew across the ages and around the world. This volume is exceedingly well written, engaging, full of fascinating detail and reliance on primary sources. If I were teaching Church History at either seminary or undergrad level, this book would be the text book, hands down. I really wasn't expecting it to be as scholarly and engaging as I have found it to be - kudos, CPH (and thanks, Meaghan!).
The Great Works of God - III-IV - More delicious Herberger brought to us by our good Classicist scholar Matthew Carver. Herberger simply delights on every page. How do you read Genesis? Well, if it is all about the great works of God in Christ, then you read is by having a conversation with our Lord about the text itself, with prayer and supplications, thanksgiving and intercessions scattered about it. This gem from the period of Lutheran Orthodoxy gives the lie to those who imagine that the Lutheran Orthodox were dry, boring, and over dogmatic. The warmth and piety of this volume will draw the reader in from the get go.
In short, folks, you cannot go wrong with ANY of these volumes. And thank you, thank you, thank you to the good folks at CPH for continuing to feed our souls and minds with such rich and succulent fare!