Book Briefs -- By: Jonathan Armstrong

Journal: Reformation and Revival
Volume: RAR 13:3 (Summer 2004)
Article: Book Briefs
Author: Jonathan Armstrong

Book Briefs

John H. Armstrong

The Structure Of Lutheranism Werner Elert Walter A. Hansen, translator St. Louis: Concordia (1962) 547 pages, cloth, $29.95

This is, by all accounts, the best single comprehensive volume on Lutheran theology written in the twentieth century. The subtitle tells the reader exactly what Elert attempts to explain: “The Theology and Philosophy of Life of Lutheranism, Especially in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries.” He explains his subject admirably and cogently. Lutherans must have this volume while non-Lutherans will profit immensely by it.

The foreword to this edition is written by Professor Jaroslav Pelikan, retired professor of ecclesiastical history at the Divinity School of Yale University. Pelikan notes that Elert was a superb historian but he did not write “history for history’s sake.” Rather, “Elert wrote as a confessional theologian and a Lutheran churchman.” For this reason you will get the polemics of confessional Lutheranism here but never without concern for the whole church. Concludes Pelikan: “Elert was a committed and ecumenical Christian, a confessional and loyal Lutheran, and a modern and enlightened man; in the present work he showed that, despite the spirit of the age, one could be all of these at the same time.”

The History Of Christian Thought Jonathan Hill Downers Grove, Illinois:
InterVarsity Press (2003) 352 pages, cloth, $21.00

Jonathan Hill tells the story of Christian thought by means of portraits, wonderfully written, informative and accessible portraits! He superbly explains the thought of each subject, explaining the critical ideas in their system of thought. He provides good quotations from each thinker. Furthermore, he introduces and explains significant events, councils, movements and terms in the history of Christian thought. The format is reader-friendly and the content is accessible and nontechnical. A comprehensive glossary, a useful index and suggestions for further reading, are also included, making the volume extremely useful for personal reading and classroom use. This is a comprehensive work that makes an important contribution to the present recovery of interest in historic classical Christian thought. I recommend this work highly.

For All The Saints: Evangelical Theology And Christian Spirituality Timothy George and Alister McGrath, editors Louisville: Westminster John Knox (2003) 231 pages, paper, $24.95

Evangelicals are only recently beginning to reflect on how the theme of spirituality relates to their theological commitments and essential distinctives. Editor Timothy

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