The Doctrine of Man in Classical Lutheran Theology
This is one of the best books I have read in a long time. Boring title, but the contents are absolutely fascinating. Theological, Biblical Anthropology is the subject. This is somewhat funny, because about three years ago I laughed and taunted a friend of mine when he told me he was doing his PhD. on the subject, and now I can’t wait to read his paper. The book delves into who we are, how we are, and why we are what we are. It is broken up into three sections. The first dealing with the “image of God” in which we were created, what that means and in what sense we can say it was lost in the fall. This part is basically a translation of Johann Gerhard’s work on the subject. The next two sections are translations of Martin Chemnitz on “Free Will” and “Sin.” These two sections are absolutely fascinating. “Free Will” explores to what extent man does and does not have free will. Lutherans do believe man has a modicum of free will, but our will is not entirely free. We can choose to go to church; we can’t choose to be saved. The third section on sin has made sin my favorite subject. I finished the book and need to give it another thorough study. I think all pastors need to read this book. Our job is people, and the more we understand them, the better and more effective our work with them will be. That is the better we will be able to properly apply law or gospel to them individually. So read this book, petition Augsburg to bring it back. The material can be found in other translated resources today, but not grouped together like this which is especially helpful.