Preacher of the Cross

 As I wrap up my reading for the CPH summer reading program, I thought, “What two slim books can wrap this up for me?” (Time’s getting a little tight.) I immediately thought about Rev. John T Pless and his latest release, Martin Luther, Preacher of the Cross: A Study of Luther’s Pastoral Theology.

I have many fond memories of Pless, as my sister’s pastor, a presenter, a teacher, and a writer. He’s a good guy and I’d have a sip of something nice with him any time.

However, the first thing I think about him is that he is a well-read man. 🙂 I associate him vocation and the catechism, and aren’t those great topics? So, next week I may reread and review another book of his, something of a classic, in my opinion, Handling the Word Truth: Law and Gospel in the Church Today.

For now, I’ll add him to my list of Living Lutheran Authors under “Lay-Friendly” non-fiction, and offer this review:

Review of Martin Luther, Preacher of the Cross: A Study of Luther’s Pastoral Theology

Reading Martin Luther can be pretty hard core. He was a prolific man and one described in vastly different terms, depending on which biographer you may read. This book, however, offers precise insight into some of the best questions you may have about Luther:

  • How was he as a pastor?
  • How did he treat people in especially miserable circumstances?
  • What brought out the tenderness of this master debater?
  • Where is Jesus in light of just how messy this life can be?

This is a great book, balancing texts from Luther with explanatory assistance about circumstances, times, etc.

Lay-friendly without watering down theological substance. Clergy-friendly with application and insight.

Whether you are looking for something to read a chapter at a time or over a leisurely day for thought, I happily recommend Martin Luther, Preacher of the Cross: A Study of Luther’s Pastoral Theology.

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