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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:

Tools in Luther's Homiletical Toolbox

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