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At CPH since 2006, Benjamin Mayes has served as the managing editor for Luther's Works: American Edition, the general editor for Johann Gerhard's Theological Commonplaces.

Recent Posts by Rev. Dr. Benjamin T. G. Mayes

What Was Martin Luther's Best Book?

The posting of the 95 Theses set into motion the events that would lead to a reformation and purification of the public teaching and practice in the Western Church, especially in Germany. At this time, therefore, it is good and right to consider what those writings were which moved the Reformation forward and set forth the Gospel in its purity.

First Look: Lutheranism vs. Calvinism

The 1586 Colloquy of Montbéliard should not have been forgotten. Here we see what the real issues were between classic Lutheranism and classic Calvinism. This was a formal religious colloquy, a discussion of difference in religion between the leading Lutheran and Reformed churchmen of the day: Jakob Andreae (1528–1590) and Theodore Beza (1519–1605).

Why are so many great Lutheran books called “Commonplaces” or “Loci”?

Many classic Lutheran books of theology have similar titles. Johann Gerhard wrote Theological Commonplaces [Loci theologici]. Martin Chemnitz wrote a book of the same title [Loci theologici]. And Philip Melanchthon, Luther’s right-hand man in the Reformation, wrote his Commonplaces [Loci communes] in 1521. (He later changed the name to Chief Theological Topics [Loci praecipui theologici].) Martin Luther had high praise for Melanchthon’s Loci. In his preface to The Bondage of the Will (1525), he wrote: “Philip Melanchthon’s invincible little book on Loci Theologici [“Theological Topics”] … in my judgment is worthy not only of immortality but even of the Church’s canon.”[1] And Luther’s praise of Melanchthon’s book did not stop there. A table talk from the winter of 1542–43 records Luther’s praise of Melanchthon’s Loci:

Upcoming Volumes of Johann Gerhard, Theological Commonplaces

Johann Gerhard, theologian at Jena

Tools in Luther's Homiletical Toolbox

Luther's Works, vol. 75 (Church Postil I)

Concordia Commentary Authors Honored at Day of Exegetical Reflection

Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, hosted the annual Day of Exegetical Reflection on Sept. 17, 2012. The seminary graciously allowed CPH to honor three commentary authors by presenting them with special leather-bound copies of their most recent contributions to the series. Pictured, from left to right, are Dr. Jeffrey Gibbs (Concordia Seminary, St. Louis), holding Matthew 11:2–20:34; Dr. Christopher Mitchell, commentary editor at CPH; Dr. Reed Lessing (Concordia Seminary, St. Louis), holding Isaiah 40–55; and Dr. Curtis Giese (Concordia University Texas), holding 2 Peter and Jude. Dr. Giese has assumed the role of New Testament Editor for the series, a role previously filled by Dr. Gibbs.

Luther’s Works General Editor Honored with Tenure

Concordia Publishing House congratulates and rejoices with Dr. Christopher Brown on the occasion of his obtaining tenure at Boston University School of Theology. Dr. Brown, whose rank is now Associate Professor of Church History, serves as general editor for Luther’s Works: American Edition. Boston University is the fourth-largest private university in the United States, with approximately 33,000 students and 4000 faculty in eighteen schools. The Boston University School of Theology, the oldest school of the university, was founded by New England Methodists in 1839. Dr. Brown teaches Church History in the School of Theology, including a survey of the history of Christianity and specialized courses in Late Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and the Reformation.

We recently interviewed Dr. Brown concerning his promotion and tenure.

How Catholic Was the Reformation?

Did the Reformation completely reject medieval Catholicism? How did Lutheran teaching express itself in the life of the congregation? In 1959, Ernst Walter Zeeden coined the phrase Konfessionsbildung (confession-building) to describe the process of change at the time of the Reformation. His research revealed that Catholic faith and practice was not rejected immediately nor completely by the reformers. Instead, as translator Kevin Walker states in his translator’s preface: “The Reformation did not happen overnight—neither with the posting of the Ninety-Five Theses, nor with the presentation of the Augsburg Confession.” In the classic study Faith and Act, Zeeden explores how faith influenced the act of worship and the liturgical and devotional practice of the Reformation church.

Trapp Celebrates Translation of Catechism Commentary, Retirement

On April 25, 2012, Concordia University—St. Paul (Minn.) marked the retirement of the Rev. Dr. Thomas H. Trapp after 30 years of teaching. Trapp (Ph.D., University of Heidelberg, 1980) served as parish pastor in Michigan and Minnesota, and as professor at Concordia University, where he taught courses in Bible, theology, and ethics. Honored for his teaching and writing, he is also a distinguished translator who has been involved in major translating projects for religious publishers such as Concordia Publishing House, Eerdmans, and Augsburg Fortress.

New Concordia Commentary on 2 Peter and Jude

CPH is pleased to announce the twenty-second volume in the Concordia Commentary series, which will be released in June, 2012. The new commentary covers both of the biblical books of 2 Peter and Jude. The author, Dr. Curtis Giese, is a professor in the Theology Division of Concordia University Texas, located in Austin. We interviewed Dr. Giese about his new book.