As we prepare to commemorate the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation, two new Luther publications have been published here in Adelaide. The official launch of the books is taking place at Australian Lutheran College (ALC) on Thursday 27 October 2016.
Of Good Comfort
by Stephen Pietsch
Martin Luther lived with severe depressive illness. Yet it was in these darkest of moments that he experienced how God’s grace, revealed in Jesus Christ and made present through his word, has power to bring comfort and hope to the soul. His deep spiritual, experiential and psychological wisdom still hold the potential to transform our pastoral care of persons with mental illness today.
Stephen Pietsch’s book is based on his doctoral thesis, which won a 2014 Flinders University Vice Chancellor’s Prize for doctoral thesis excellence. It examines 21 letters of pastoral comfort which Luther wrote to fellow depression sufferers. In this book, these letters are analysed, with careful attention to their rhetorical and theological aspects so that their wisdom for pastoral care today can be harvested.
Depression is no respecter of religion; it affects as many Christians as non-Christians. It is alive and well among Lutherans, and takes a terrible toll on peoples’ lives, their relationships and their faith. We may aim for happiness, success and honour in life but often have to cope with disappointment and despondency. Yet, the mystery is that God is at work even in this suffering, reshaping us as theologians of the cross, and conforming us to the image of his Son.
A Year with Luther
by Athina Lexutt, edited and translated by Jeffrey Silcock
Martin Luther did not bequeath to us a ‘system’ of theological thought; his sermons, poetry, letters and essays are all written with specific situations in mind. This book takes the same approach in dealing with topics.
This volume is a daily Luther breviary for pastors and laity, for use in college, seminary and university, and for reading at home. It is suitable for Christian believers and inquirers, as well as for those interested in Reformation history
Twelve topics, spread over the months of the year, introduce the reader to Luther’s theology. Each selected reading is translated into modern English and explained in everyday language. The passages from Luther’s writings have been selected with an eye to the Christian year and its festivals; at the same time, they describe the nature and consequences of Luther’s reformational insights.
With the added benefit of a commentary on the selected Luther texts, as well as on the art work for each month, this book promises to be not only a helpful and entertaining companion for the journey through the church year, but also a compendium of Luther’s theology.