Looking for a Christmas present for a hard-to-buy-for Lutheran? Here it is: Johann Gerhard‘s Handbook of Consolations: For the Fears and Trials That Oppress Us in the Struggle with Death. Feel free to thank me in advance.
This excellent book offers consolations for anyone who looks to Scripture. It takes an in-depth Scriptural approach to face honest fears and terror head on.
Contemporary times lack imagination. To hear people talk these days, you’d think all we really fear are first world problems and either the fall or rise of socialism. It is to the point that some people, pastors included, jump to thinking, “No one’s really afraid of . . . ” x, y, or z. But what about spiritual doubts and concerns? What about existential crises and inner despair?
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Spiritual terror is real. The Confessions address them, and so does this book. Johann Gerhard gets to sidestep so much of our lacking imagination to address honest-to-goodness fears and terrors.
Seriously, the insight into humanity is breath-taking, especially because it is largely immune to so much of our modern denial.
Writers, this is more than a theological tool for comforting. This is a study that answers numerous personal concerns your characters may have faced—characters fictional or otherwise!
Anyway, I don’t plan to do too many plugs for Christmas gifts other than this one and hopefully another early next week. Ok, and maybe one more featuring holiday movies on the rare side. (Interested?) I hope you don’t mind.