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Written by

Laura Lane

At CPH since 2003, Laura Lane is an editor for the professional book team. She has worked on numerous titles for the adult consumer and church professional markets, including The Lutheran Study Bible (CPH 2009) and The Apocrypha: The Lutheran Edition with Notes (CPH 2012).

Recent Posts by Laura Lane

The Church Postil as Luther Intended It

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Luther’s Church Postil has been available in an old, imperfect English translation, but now there is a better and more reliable edition. Luther’s Works: Volume 79: Church Postil V, published by Concordia Publishing House, reflects a significant milestone in the publication of Luther’s Works in English. The complete, best, last, and final edition of the Church Postil, based on the one Luther personally approved, is available for English-speaking readers for the first time.

By way of introduction to the Church Postil, let’s begin first with that rather odd word, Postil. The word is from the Latin expression post illa verba, meaning literally, “after these words.” What words? The words just read from the Bible in the church service. A postil, therefore, is a sermon intended to explain the biblical text just heard. In Luther’s time, there were various postil collections available; they were collections of sermons on the annual cycle of readings from the New Testament Gospels and Epistles.

Volume 79 is a translation of the last and final authoritative edition of the Church Postil, a project Luther worked on periodically throughout his life, starting with the first edition he prepared while in exile (protective custody) at the Wartburg Castle. There he worked on the Latin 1521 Advent Postil and then the 1522 Wartburg Postil.

What do you believe about supernatural healing? Are you in the 66%?

124437The Barna Group recently conducted a survey on the topic of supernatural physical healing and discovered that the majority of Americans—Christians, people of other faiths, and even those who claim no faith—believe God can heal people supernaturally . . . miraculously. But what does God tell us (and warn us) about miracles?

The following excerpt from Faith and Science in a Skeptical Age titled “Miracles and Manipulations” confronts common myths, misconceptions, and motivations surrounding the topic of miracles and supernatural healing.

Miracles and Manipulation

For centuries, people have sought signs or miracles. During Jesus’ ministry, the Jewish religious leaders demanded that He show them His miraculous power. Christ rebuked them, stating, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah” (Matthew 12:39).

Jesus, of course, was not against performing miracles. But He rebuked the religious leaders of His day because of their motives in asking for miracles. They requested miracles in order to test Him without any sincere intent to follow Him. They also disconnected miracles from the promises of God’s Word. Christ rebuked them by alluding to His resurrection: “For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (Matthew 12:40).

People crave miracles for any number of reasons, but this can reinforce sinful motives and emphasis on self. In Deuteronomy 29:29, God tells the Israelites to rely on what is revealed to them in His Word. To go beyond the Lord’s self-revelation is not only going beyond God’s will but also going against it. Furthermore, it is a fruitless endeavor. Speculation is just that: speculation. How can somebody know what is not available to them for examination? God’s revelation to us in His Word is sufficient for our knowledge concerning Him and our salvation.

CPH Attends the Society for New Testament Studies Conference

Concordia Publishing House was honored to be invited to display our books at the recent meeting of the Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas. Commonly called the Society for New Testament Studies, this is the premier meeting “by invitation only” for the most accomplished New Testament scholars in the world.

In the Midst of Election Craziness, We Are Still Called to Vote

In a tumultuous election year—such as the one we are experiencing now—Christians may be tempted to stay away from the ballot box. In the everyday political discussions Christians may have with family, friends, co-workers, and strangers, it is often tempting to throw our hands up in the air in desperation and threaten to withhold our vote this time around. Often this is just the easy way out, a way to avoid thinking through extremely difficult and nuanced positions. People often forget that no matter how bad the candidates may seem, not voting also carries with it negative consequences that must be considered.

The Christian Year of Grace [EXCERPT]

CoverDesign6After Martin Luther’s Postils (sermons on the appointed Bible readings of the Church Year), Johann Spangenberg’s Questions & Answers were the premier Lutheran devotional book of the Reformation era. His explanations of the chief parts of Scripture, in question-and-answer format, taught and fed countless Evangelical-Lutheran people of all ages and vocations for centuries. Now for the first time, this entire work has been translated by Matthew Carver for modern believers to be built up in their knowledge of God, faith in Christ, and love for God and neighbor.

In this excerpt, Spangenberg expands on the biblical text of Luke 2 and ponders the difficulties that the Holy Family may have faced at Christ's birth. Thereby he reminds us that Christ, even in His birth, experienced humility and suffering for our sake, on account of which the angels rejoice.

The "Lonely Path" of Christians

On Sunday, November 1, many churches observed All Saints’ Day, a feast that remembers the “great cloud of witnesses” (Hebrews 12:1) with which we are surrounded. In the excerpt below, Hermann Sasse explains the connection of confessing Christians.

All the saints, from the beginning of the world who have died believing in the Redeemer, whether he was yet to come or had come in the flesh, all members of the people of God of all times to the present day—in this sense, all are fathers of the church. Whether Christians have found themselves in the loneliness of a Siberian prison camp or the isolation of the diaspora or suffering inner alienation within the great secularized “churches” of our century, it has become ever more the consolation of those who have suffered for the sake of the church and whom God has led on a “lonely path” to know that they are not alone in the one church of God.

Q&A with Michael Eschelbach

Rev. Dr. Michael Eschelbach is professor of Theology and Philosophy at Concordia University Irvine. Prior to joining the faculty of CUI, Dr. Eschelbach taught at Concordia University Chicago for fourteen years and served as a parish pastor before his professorship. An active writer and speaker, Dr. Eschelbach has published articles, Bible studies, devotions, and now The Big Book of New Testament Questions and Answers! We decided the book’s 2,000+ questions weren’t enough—so here’s a Q&A that takes you behind the scenes of the Big Book.

The Big Book of New Testament Questions and Answers is just like the title says—it’s huge! How did you come up with so many detailed questions for this new resource?

I teach a survey course on the New Testament at Concordia University. During the first six years I taught the course, I required students to submit at least two questions for each class meeting as we worked our way through the entire New Testament. Over the years I kept gathering, sorting, and combining those questions. The final product of that process was 120 pages of questions, just as the students had asked them.

In your experience, what New Testament book causes the most confusion? (Revelation is a given!)

Romans and Ephesians generate a lot of questions because of their teaching about predestination. First Corinthians generates a lot of questions because of the long list of problems that Paul was responding to, which may or may not be similar to problems in our time. Our culture makes it nearly impossible for people to grasp what the New Testament says about gender and relationships, so those passages generate both questions and complaints.

How have your various callings in the ministry (pastor, professor) shaped the way you approached the development of The Big Book?

Available Now! The Big Book of New Testament Questions and Answers

BigBook

You’ve Got Questions? Rev. Dr. Michael Eschelbach has answers! Rev. Eschelbach draws from thirty years of experience teaching the New Testament at the university level and in the parish. Using an easy to follow question and answer format, this book answers more than 2100 intriguing questions about the New Testament. The answers, which highlight and reference parallel biblical texts, demonstrate how all of Scripture is connected.

Are Good Works to Be Done Openly or in Secret?

012112Should we share our good works or do them in secret? Does Jesus contradict Himself? The following excerpt from the Lutheran Bible Companion sheds light on this seeming contradiction.

Matthew 5:16 reads: “Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”

Matthew 6:1 asserts: “Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.”

Start a Local Theological Book Club and Read More for Less Money

By Rev. Dr. Benjamin Mayes

You love books: good books about the true God and the riches of His wisdom, truth, and mercy incarnate. But you’re on a limited budget, and at the end of the month there is not much cash left over to add books to your library. The local library just does not have confessional Lutheran literature or even decent Christian books. The nearest theological library is distant, and even it does not have many orthodox books. But if you have like-minded friends you can solve all of these problems in one stroke. You can start a local theological book club, read more, and add to your library for less. Click on through to find out how.