Book Of The Month For November 2017: Luther's Small Catechism with Explanation - 2017 Edition
Book Of The Month For Book Of The Month For November 2017: Luther's Small Catechism with Explanation - 2017 Edition
By Martin Luther
2017 / Hardback / 448 Pages / Young Adult and Adult
More than a quarter of a century has passed since the Explanation to Luther’s Small Catechism was updated. During that time, society and culture have changed dramatically: our culture is increasingly diverse in worldviews and religions. Specific changes contradict Christian beliefs and values: same-sex marriage, over-the-counter abortion pills, and atheist hostility toward Christian beliefs and values—leaving many to doubt if there is such a thing as absolute truth.
With these new questions and topics facing new generations, the Synod decided that the Explanation to Luther’s Small Catechism needed to address these issues for the sake of young and old. The 2017 Explanation presents a lens to faithfully understand God’s Word in the midst of changing times—providing a practical guide for living the daily Christian life.
Written by Martin Luther in 1529, the Small Catechism provides a brief, clear summary of God’s Word on the essentials of the Christian faith. In question-and-answer format, it explores the Six Chief Parts of Christian Doctrine and includes daily prayers, a table of duties for Christians in their various callings, and a guide for Christians as they prepare to receive Holy Communion.
An Explanation designed to help readers understand and apply Luther’s Small Catechism has accompanied editions of the Catechism since the early days of Lutheranism. The 2017 edition offers an updated and expanded explanation, tackling issues prevalent in our culture today. With 374 questions and 1142 Scripture references, the new explanation provides more biblical teaching and devotional aids than ever before.
What else is new with the updated and expanded Explanation?
- The Central Thought section guides you through simple Bible study and reflection questions
- A Closer Reading helps you dig deeper into the wording of Luther’s Small Catechism
- Connections and Applications relates Scripture to important issues in today’s culture
- Psalms, hymns, and prayers combine Scripture and catechism study with worship for devotional use
- Bible narrative references expanded notes, and quotes from Martin Luther and the Confessions delve into God’s Word
- Expanded appendix provides helpful articles, reference material, and glossary to aid in personal study
What others are saying
Bringing forth the best of previous explanations of Luther's Small Catechism, the 2017 revision adds much that will enhance the use of the catechism in the home, congregation, and school. In addition to the careful exposition of Christian doctrine in the six chief parts, material is included on the daily prayers and table of duties. These appendices added by Luther were overlooked in previous editions. The inclusion of prayers, hymns, and psalms under each section will offer yet another opportunity to use the catechism devotionally. Short interpretative essays on the liturgy and "How to Read the Bible" will help connect the Catechism even more closely with the Christian's life in the Word. This new revision of the explanation of Luther's Small Catechism is fitting in this Reformation jubilee year as we carry the Reformer's legacy forward to the next generation.
—John T. Pless
Assistant Professor of Pastoral Ministry and Missions
Concordia Theological Seminary
Fort Wayne, Indiana, and author of Praying Luther's Small Catechism
The new catechism explanation is down-to-earth, thorough, and cares for the souls of its students. In a fresh and helpful way, the explanation beautifully teaches the riches of our Lord's Word and applies this teaching in a clear, insightful, honest, and pastoral way. For example, the explanation covers abortion under the Fifth Commandment with strong scriptural support for our unborn brothers and sisters, wise counsel for those considering abortion, and faithful guidance for those who have guilt over abortion. Throughout, the explanation gives our Lord's law undiluted, the Gospel in its full sweetness, and guidance for the life our Lord has called us to live.
—Pastor David C. Fleming
Our Savior Lutheran Church
About the Author:
Martin Luther (1483-1546) 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 Edict of Worms meeting 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.