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Handling The Word Of Truth: Law And Gospel In The Church Today [Paperback]

By John T. Pless (Author)
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Item description for Handling The Word Of Truth: Law And Gospel In The Church Today by John T. Pless...

Applies Walther's Law and Gospel theses in connection with foundational truths of Christian faith and life.

Publishers Description
- Uses Walther's The Proper Distinction between Law and Gospel to create a contemporary discussion
- Incorporates questions to facilitate discussion and application
- Accessible to today's layperson

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Concordia College
Pages   128
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.5" Width: 6" Height: 8.75"
Weight:   0.5 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Feb 1, 2005
Publisher   Concordia Publishing House
ISBN  0758600208  
ISBN13  9780758600202  

Availability  0 units.

More About John T. Pless

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Pless is assistant professor of pastoral ministry and missions and the director of field education at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Pless is the author of two chapters in Lutheran Worship: History and Practice and writes for Logia, Concordia Theological Quarterly, Lutheran Quarterly, Lutheran Forum, Lutheran Witness, and other publications. he is a regular speaker at various conferences and workshops on topics related to liturgy and catechesis.

John T. Pless currently resides in Fort Wayne, in the state of Indiana. John T. Pless was born in 1953.

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2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Ecclesiology
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality

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Books > Christian Living > Practical Life > General

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Reviews - What do customers think about Handling The Word Of Truth: Law And Gospel In The Church Today?

keeping the right tension between the Law and Gospel  Oct 18, 2006
It is a slim paperback, doesn't look very imposing, but it is heavy stuff.

I have done a lot of different studies, and read a lot of books, and with most of them about every other page has a few thought-provoking sentences, which is disapointing. It does read a bit like a research paper (referencing some older books regularly), not the nice conversational tone of a good Anglican theologian (eg, Lewis or Packer). It is written by a Lutheran minister and DMin, so take it with that grain of salt--I grew up with Lutheran doctrine and a Lutheran attitude, so it is very familiar to me, but it can seem very supercilious and exclusive, which can be offensive if taken the wrong way.

The topic--defining, understanding, and rightly applying the 2 separate concepts of Law and Gospel--is essential and timely. I think of all denominations, Lutheranism does not mince doctrine or let things get fuzzy, and this is one area that should not be fuzzy. A former pastor of mine (Lutheran) said that Lutheran doctrine was German-engineered doctrine--not everyone wants German engineering, but you have to admire it when you see it. I think that is a true statement, if rather self-depricating-ly put. This book has encouraged me to go back to explore more the doctrinal heritage of the Lutheran church, which is very detailed, organized and uncompromising.

The questions at the end of each chapter are engaging, relevant and thought provoking. I used them for my own personal Bible study, and it was very worthwhile.

For an educated layperson, this is an excellent discussion of the Law versus the Gospel, and the importance of keeping them separate yet in constant polar tension--both personally, and in the "profession" of church ministry and evangelism. Without this proper distinction, both Law and Gospel lose their power--which is what I am afraid is happening in many churches today--leaving people hopeless and confused.
The Best Introduction to Law and Gospel   Nov 17, 2005
Handling the Word of Truth is an excellent place to begin learning about Lutheran hermeneutics, theology, and law the and gospel. John Pless, a conservative confessional Lutheran and professor at Concordia Theological Seminary and part of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, wrote it.

Pless writes his book for the theologian, pastor, or interested layman in terms that they will understand. The focus of the book is how to divide law and gospel. This book would be an excellent choice for personal study, adult Sunday school, or a home Bible study. Each chapter ends with questions for reflection and discussion. One neat feature of the book is the appendix, it has a reproduction of a sermon of Martin Luther on the distinction between the law and the gospel.

If you are looking for a scholarly text on the subject, I recommend C. F. W. Walther's classic book, Law and Gospel. However, it is an extensive book (over 400 pages) and can be cumbersome and difficult to understand because of the Lutheran terminology.
Valuable Christian Resource  Mar 17, 2005
Truly this is a most valuable publication updating the classic work on discerning Law and Gospel in the Bible from C.F.W. Walther.

Pless does a truly fine job of writing in modern terms and examples. He is quite the prolific wordsmith, so he makes what could be dull, academic discussion fun and enlightening. This is coupled with discussion questions after each of the 13 chapters. This makes it an excellent candidate for group and individual study. Also appendiced is Luther's Sermon on distinguishing between Law and Gospel.

Let me give several examples of this fine writing: "When the Law is not preached in such a way as to uncover unbelief, it will create Pharisees." "Doctrinal error left untreated can lead to spiritual death." "The human heart prefers its own enthusiasms rather than God's Word."

A significant, timely and well done resource for the Body of Christ. Urge all Christians to carefully and prayerfully work through this. The church will be blessed.

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