Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Reformation and Revival
Volume: RAR 07:4 (Fall 1998)
Article: Book Reviews
Author: Anonymous

Book Reviews

Martin Luther: Faith In Christ And The Gospel—Selected Spiritual Writings, Introduced And Edited By Eric W. Gritsch. New York: New City Press, 1996. 192 pages, paper, $10.95.

Anthologies of Luther material abound. When one begins to deal with fifty-four large volumes of Luther material he will soon be struck by the sheer magnitude of time required to handle the extant writings of the great Reformer. As a result numerous anthologies have been prepared over the years. Such is this small new work, a practical anthology which emphasizes Luther’s work as a theologian, exegete and pastor.

Eric Gritsch, professor of church history at Lutheran Theological Seminary, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, is a member of the International Luther Research Congress, and has authored several important books, including: Martin—God’s Court Jester: Luther in Retrospect, Reformer Without a Church, and, with Robert Jenson, Lutheranism.

Professor Gritsch generally chooses texts which provide a clear look at how Luther handled Scripture, basic theological affirmations and the discipline of spiritual formation and pastoral theology. He includes sections with clear and succinct quotations on “Righteousness,” “Freedom,” and “Personal Confession.” The concluding section, on spiritual formation and pastoral care, includes material on baptism and the eucharist, as would be expected. What is

especially helpful, however, is the material under the headings of “Christ-Centered Living” and “How to Die.”

This is a solid, well conceived, and extremely useful introduction for anyone seeking to get a handle for the first time on basic information about Luther and the Protestant Reformation. The material quoted is well documented so that the person who wishes to read the entire context of a statement may then go to the unabridged works of Luther and read the whole.

It is a promising and hopeful evidence of renewed dialogue, without the acrimonious passions of earlier centuries, that a Roman Catholic publisher has issued this particular volume.


The Open Secret: An Introduction To The Theology Of Mission, Revised Edition, Leslie Newbigin. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans (1998). 192 pages, paper, $12.99.

Published originally in 1978, The Open Secret has stood the test of time. It is an extremely useful introduction to the study of missions by one of the finest minds in the field of missiology in our century. Part of the material in this volume was originally given as a series of lectures at Princeton Theological Seminary ...

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