I am encouraged by the response to my last post about reading the Book of Concord this summer. There were more than a dozen people who commented on the blog or emailed me to say that they were going to be giving it a try. About 40 people have logged into Google Wave to follow the discussion there. Perhaps what I’m most encouraged by is variety of people who are excited to be reading the Book of Concord, especially the number of lay people who are reading it for the first time. So many have said, “I’ve always wanted to read the whole thing.” I would expect Lutheran pastors to do it. It should have a regular place in their reading and study schedules. But as the section I quoted in the previous post notes, the Lutheran Confessions were never meant to be for clergy only. And it always encourages me to know that lay people are interested in really learning what it means to be a confessional Lutheran.
When I was in college I received a bunch of books from the family of my great-uncle, who had just passed away. I visited him just days before he died, and sang some German hymns to him in his final days. He wasn’t a pastor. He was a farmer. But he was also a student of the Scriptures. Among the books I received were a bunch of music books, a book of Walther sermons, Stöckhardt’s Bible History Commentaries, and a German-Latin edition of the Book of Concord. Uncle George wasn’t a pastor, but he wasn’t a stranger to theology either.
I hope that the discussion is helpful in keeping everyone on schedule this summer. I’m still not convinced that Google Wave is the best tool for this kind of discussion. It’s pretty new, and most people are just getting used to it. But it seems to be working. If you aren’t interested in digging into Google Wave, you can try to start a discussion on the Book of Concord Facebook page, or leave me a comment on this page. I’m looking forward to hearing people’s questions or observations as they read. It’s already been quite interesting to see the thoughts that people have been having. I will be occasionally posting some of my more general observations from this summer’s reading here on The Shepherd’s Story.
If you’re still interested in starting, it’s not too late. We’re just starting the Augsburg Confession. If you still need/want to pick up a copy of the book, right now the best price is at Amazon.com. I’m sure they’ll go on sale a CPH again.