I got behind on finishing Pless’s Handling the Word of Truth since I set it down . . . somewhere . . . but a five star review is still coming from me for that reread. In the meantime, I found out about a new book set to come out from CPH titled The Necessary Distinction: A Continuing Conversation on Law and Gospel.
At first I thought, don’t we already have great, clear, concise tools to teaching and refreshing ourselves about that topic? And then I thought, you know what? It’s a conversation well worth continuing to have. Especially when I saw the lineup of authors who contributed essays.
To quote this article:
Edited by Rev. Dr. Albert Collver III (LCMS), Rev. Dr. James Arne Nestingen (NALC), and Prof. John T. Pless (LCMS), The Necessary Distinction: A Continuing Conversation on Law & Gospel contains thirteen essays on the relationship of the law/gospel distinction to preaching, pastoral care, missions, ethics, and the Christian life. Essayists include Mark Seifrid, William Cwirla, Peter Brock, Larry Vogel, Mark C. Mattes, Naomichi Masaki, James Arne Nestingen, Stephen Hultgren, John T. Pless, Steven Paulson, Albert Collver III, and Roland F. Ziegler.
And, get this:
When representatives of the North American Lutheran Church (NALC), The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS), and Lutheran Church–Canada (LCC) started meeting together more than five years ago, it was decided that the group would sponsor a book of essays on the proper distinction of God’s Law from His Gospel. That book will be available from Concordia Publishing House in August 2017.
Awesome! A necessary distinction indeed!
There seem to be conflicting dates for release, but if you’re interested, which you may as well be, 😉 go here to download a free excerpt. (The excerpt consists of the Table of Contents, list of contributors, and Pless’s essay, “Law and Gospel: An LCMS Perspective.”)
Here’s the table of content from that generous excerpt:
Preface by Editors
1. Law and Gospel: An LCMS Perspective by John T. Pless
2. Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth: An Introduction to the Distinction between Law and Gospel by Mark A. Seifrid
3. Maintaining Law and Gospel in the Liturgy by William M. Cwirla
4. Law and Gospel in Pastoral Care: A View from the Parish by Peter J. Brock
5. Law and Gospel in the Christian Life by Larry M. Vogel
6. Properly Distinguishing Law and Gospel as the Pastor’s Calling by Mark C. Mattes
7. Luther on Law and Gospel in His Lectures on Galatians 1531/1535 by Naomichi Masaki
8. Speaking of the End to the Law by James Arne Nestingen
9. The Problem of Freedom Today and the Third Use of the Law: Biblical and Theological Considerations by Stephen Hultgren
10. Preaching Law and Gospel: Repentance and Faith from the Penitential Psalms in Lent by John T. Pless
11. A Royal Ass by Steven D. Paulson
12. Law and Gospel in Mission Theology by Albert B. Collver III
13. What Happens When the Third Use of the Law Is Rejected? by Roland Ziegler
Appendix: “God’s Word Forever Shall Abide: A Guiding Statement on the Character and Proper Use of the Sacred Scriptures”