World Wide Wolfmueller

Law and Gospel in Joyful Clarity

READ LUTHER! READ LUTHER!! READ LUTHER!!!

This is great!

From Dr. John  Lenker’s introduction to volume 1 of Luther’s Genesis Commentary, 1904 (link):

READ LUTHER! READ LUTHER!! READ LUTHER!!!

Why? Because as a true intelligent Protestant you cannot read any thing better. Millions of people have said and millions more will say next to the Bible they received more from Luther’s writings than from all other books combined. And if you take the Protestant professors of our land, and for that matter of all lands, they all together would come far short of making a Luther. He was not only ahead of his times, but on many subjects he is far ahead of our age. Yes, when we keep company with Luther we feel we are behind the times, on subjects like Romanism, Protestantism, Christian schools, Christian libraries, the Christian family, the Christian state, and many Christian social problems. It is possible to go backwards as well as forwards.

How can I read Luther when I have not his books and I cannot afford to purchase them? Our cry is not Buy Luther! Buy Luther!! Buy Luther!!! But Read Luther! Read Luther!! Read Luther!!! Many buy Luther’s works and do not read them. They can afford to purchase them all and as they have a beautiful book-case with glass doors, perhaps the finest piece of furniture in their homes, as the style now is (for what is a home without an up-to-date book-case?), they subscribe for all Luther’s works for a show in their book-case, and we ask can you name a set of books that makes a better show in any public or private library than Luther’s works, especially in a Protestant library? They are also really a far better investment than these large, thick, cheap but dear, subscription books, which are nice only while they are new and then they fade and the outside becomes as bad as the inside. When you look at the libraries of many Protestant homes, you pity them, first because of what they have not and then because of what they have.

But Luther’s writings should go into the home library not for a show nor for an investment, but to be read. Perhaps there is no passage of Scripture that our homes should take to heart just now more than the advice of Father Paul to his spiritual son, Timothy: “Give heed to reading, to exhortation, to teaching. Neglect not the gift that is in thee.” 1 Tim. 4:13-14. Give heed that you read something, that you read the best, and give heed how you read, that the gifts in you may not be neglected. Then the right, sound exhortation and pure teaching will follow. Notice the order is first, give heed to reading. Many have never read any writings of Luther except perhaps his small catechism. They have not built very well on the foundation laid. When one thinks of the solid Christian books our German and Scandinavian parents read and what the children read now-a-days, you must sigh.

Again many say I have now more books than I can read and if I buy more I will not read them. Well, you will not lose much if you do not read many books you have, but if you would sell these and buy a few of the classic writings of Protestantism and read and read them again and again, you would be blessed, and just such a work is Luther on Genesis.

 

This perfectly captures the spirit of the Everyone’s Luther collection. I’m working on the Genesis lectures now.

If you want to keep up to date about this and other projects, you should subscribe to everybody’s favorite e-news-letter in the universe: Wednesday What-Not. To quote Nacho Libre, “It’s the beeeest!”

-PrBW

3 Comments

  1. Dr. Lenker couldn’t have expressed better exactly how learning about Lutheranism made me feel. He is so right when he says “next to the Bible they received more from Luther’s writings than from all other books combined. And if you take the Protestant professors of our land, and for that matter of all lands, they all together would come far short of making a Luther”. It is painful that sometimes even Lutheran pastors deride some of his works.
    Dr. Lenker was also so right that Luther’s works are so expensive. I have downloaded many free from internet, thanks be to God. I also bought the digital version of the American edition of his works, much cheaper, but as I grow old, my eyes don’t allow me to keep reading much from the computer. Unfortunately I find most pastors and vicars haven’t much interest in Luther’s works; I think this problem arises in the very Lutheran seminaries where they study. I find reading GOOD, orthodox books on theology much more helpful and edifying than listening to a thousand sermons. Of course, still we have to sit through them every Sunday. God bless your work Pastor Wolfmueller.

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