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Luther: Letters of Spiritual Counsel [Paperback]

By Martin Luther (Author) & Theodore G. Tappert (Translator)
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Item description for Luther: Letters of Spiritual Counsel by Martin Luther & Theodore G. Tappert...

Martin Luther is often thought of as a world-shaking figure who defied papacy and empire to introduce a reformation in the teaching, worship, organization, and life of the Church. Sometimes it is forgotten that he was also a pastor and shepherd of souls. Collected in this volume are Luther's letters of spiritual counsel, which he offered to his contemporaries in the midst of sickness, death, persecution, imprisonment, famine, and political instability. For Luther, spiritual counsel was about establishing, nurturing, and strengthening faith. Freshly translated from the original German and Latin, the letters shed light on the fascinating relationship between his pastoral counsel and his theology. Theodore G. Tappert taught Church History at Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He also translated Pia Desideria by Philip Jacob Spener and The Book of Concord: The Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Regent College Publishing
Pages   368
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.56" Width: 5.6" Height: 0.9"
Weight:   1.05 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jun 1, 2003
Publisher   Regent College Publishing
ISBN  1573830925  
ISBN13  9781573830928  

Availability  92 units.
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More About Martin Luther & Theodore G. Tappert

Martin Luther Martin Luther (10 November 1483 - 18 February 1546) initiated the Protestant Reformation. As a priest and theology professor, he confronted indulgence salesman Johann Tetzel with his The Ninety-Five Theses in 1517. Luther strongly disputed their claim that freedom from God's punishment of sin could be purchased with money. His refusal to retract all of his writings at the demand of Pope Leo X in 1520 and the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V at the Diet of Worms in 1521 resulted in his excommunication by the pope and condemnation as an outlaw by the emperor. Martin Luther taught that salvation is not from good works, but a free gift of God, received only by grace through faith in Jesus as redeemer from sin. His theology challenged the authority of the pope of the Roman Catholic Church by teaching that the Bible is the only source of divinely revealed knowledge and opposed sacerdotalism by considering all baptized Christians to be a holy priesthood. Those who identify with Luther's teachings are called Lutherans. His translation of the Bible into the language of the people (instead of Latin) made it more accessible, causing a tremendous impact on the church and on German culture. It fostered the development of a standard version of the German language, added several principles to the art of translation, and influenced the translation into English of the King James Bible. His hymns inspired the development of singing in churches. His marriage to Katharina von Bora set a model for the practice of clerical marriage, allowing Protestant priests to marry. In his later years, Luther became strongly anti-Judaic, writing that Jewish homes should be destroyed, their synagogues burned, money confiscated and liberty curtailed. These statements have made Luther a controversial figure among many historians and religious scholars.

Martin Luther was born in 1483 and died in 1546.

Martin Luther has published or released items in the following series...
  1. 40-Day Journey
  2. Anchor Library of Religion
  3. Bloomsbury Revelations
  4. Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought
  5. Facets
  6. Kregel Classic Reprint Library
  7. Library of Christian Classics
  8. Luther Classic Commentaries Luther Classic Commentaries
  9. Luther's Works (Augsburg)
  10. Luther's Works (Concordia)

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Letters & Correspondence
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Authors, A-Z > ( L ) > Luther, Martin
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Church History > Protestant
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Clergy > Ministry
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Protestantism > General
7Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Spirituality > General

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Reviews - What do customers think about Luther: Letters of Spiritual Counsel?

Worthy Reference to Pastors & Interested Laypeople  May 23, 2007
Concurring totally with Reviewer Joshua's summary of the contents and its usefulness to the faith, this review will content itself with the humble addition of several quotes to highlight this delightfully rich resource for the church.

First, a fascinating and relevant inquiry into ceremonies and rites of worship involving elevation of the Sacrament and processions, etc., Luther saliently responds in part: "If your lord, the margrace and elector, etc. permits the gospel of Jesus Christ to be preached with purity and power (goes on to add administration of the Sacraments as Christ mandated; removal of invocation of the saints, etc.) in procession, go along in the Lord's name and carry a gold or silver cross and wear a cope or alb..." He adds further along: "Only do not let such things be regarded as necessary for salvation and thus bind the consciences of men. How I would rejoice and thank God if I could persuade the pope and the papists of this! If the pope gave me the freedom to go about and preach and only commanded me (with a dispensation) to hitch on a pair of trousers, I should be glad to do him the favor of wearing them."

Further relevant is this encouragement to a German prince going into battle with the Turks: "Secondly, I beg that those on our side may not place their reliance on the Turk's being altogether wrong and God's emeny while we are innocent and righteous in comparison with the Turk, for such presumption is also vain. Rather it is necessary to fight with fear of God and reliance on his grace alone. We too are unrighteous in God's sight."

Finally, this admonition to Bruck who read the Augsburg Confession in public: "As we read in Rom. ch. 8, we know not what we should pray for as we ought. If God should hear our prayers according to our request--namely, that the emperor grant us peace-- perhaps it would turn out to be less rather than more than we think and the emperor would get the glory insted of God. Now God himself desires to give us peace so that the glory might be his alone, as it is fitting."

Relevant Pastoral Counsel for Today  Mar 29, 2004
This book is a very readable collection of Martin Luther's pastoral letters, organized topically by chapters, and chronologically within the chapters. The "Letters of Spiritual Counsel" give insight into the pastoral heart of Luther, and how he applied the correction of the Law and the comfort of the Gospel to the daily lives and affairs of people in his time. The reader clearly learns how Luther brought the consolation of Christ's death and resurrection to the troubled at heart. Sections that I found particularly helpful were those that dealt with people who were sick and dying, as well as with the families of the recently deceased; how he dealt with people who were troubled over their election to salvation; and his advice in matters of the civil realm. One of the best sections is his advice to clergymen, in which he gives suggestions on how a pastor should deal evangelically with various troubles in the congregation. Overall the letters show how Luther sought to turn people to Christ alone for their salvation, and how this specifically served to comfort them in a multitude of daily matters. This book would be an excellent resource for any pastor or seminary student, and can easily be read in bits and pieces since most of the letters are relatively short. Despite the difference in time periods, a modern pastor will recognize the problems that Luther approaches are familiar to us today, and much of Luther's pastoral insight has enduring value for today.

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