| Look for these authors - Reu, Tappert, Krauth, Schmauk, Henry E. Jacobs,|
Gerberding, Lenski, and Gerberding. Older Lutheran church histories
are also worth reading - the scales may fall off one's SynCon eyes.
My wife and I have been going to movies since our first date, 50 years ago, when I took her to a Quad-City cinema. We scan the previews on the Net to look for good movies. We favor ones based on the facts, such as "Hacksaw Ridge." Another factual film was "Florence Foster Jenkins," with Meryl Streep. That film was uncomfortably close to the history of Hershey Chocolate and the LCMS. But that is what I get for reading too much and too often.
|Boo hiss - Iowa Synod - but Reu was a genius.|
His book on Luther and inerrancy was far ahead of the
mainline Lutherans, both the backstabbing Missouri and
waffling WELS clergy.
Lately we have watched a lot more on Turner Classic Movies, because few of the new films have any merit. The old movies seem rather dated in various ways, but they radiate high quality, due to the demands upon veteran actors and script-writers. The old system was a gigantic machine for producing excellent films that have lasting appeal. I know much of the bad stuff about Old Hollywood, which is far worse than most people imagine - because I read - but those scandals are small compared to today's.
So we will watch a TCM film that sounds interesting but is new to us, and really enjoy the movie's humor, drama, acting, lighting.
Lutheran books are similar. Today's books are not worth buying. I keep asking my friends, "Why is each new hymnal worse than The Lutheran Hymnal?" The LCA and ALC could not improve on their Service Book and Hymnal either, but I am sure WELS could improve on CW. Hint - edit the hymnal while sober.
Here are some titles that may crop up at book sales, church libraries, on Alibris and Amazon used books. I have obtained carloads of old Lutheran books many times and distributed them.
Gerberding - The Lutheran Pastor. He was highly respected in the LCA tradition, with good insights about being a Lutheran pastor, as compared to copying the non-Lutheran celebrity clergy of the day. Lutherans were copying gimmicks back then, too.
The Encyclopedia of the Lutheran Church - 3 volumes. The ALC produced some good books until Augsburg merged with Fortress. In fact, Fortress was printing a lot of required reading at Notre Dame theology when I was there. This work is packed with good information, the kind that specialty encyclopedias are good at offering. I gave my set of Mennonite encyclopedias to WLS at Mordor, where they probably still reside, unread, in the unused and lonely library.
Theodore Schmauk is one of my favorites among overlooked authors, but now many of his books have been reprinted. George Sandt wrote a fascinating biography of this Lutheran leader, a man who fought against the anti-Lutheran trends of his age - instead of enrolling at the hottest fad school to learn the latest in undermining the Means of Grace. The ebook linked is free. I bought a used copy once owned by a faculty member and gave it to Paul Rydecki. ELDONA has probably not vetted it yet, but the book is worth reading - if only to get out of the mindset of the sun rising and setting on the Synodical Conference.
Henry Eyster Jacobs is probably kosher to read in the Synodical Conference because his communion hymn is found in The Lutheran Hymnal. Need some Lutheran commentaries? His set is linked for free on the Net. His Summary of the Christian Faith is often found at book sales when old pastors die and leave their libraries to the seminary. WELS pastors often left ALC and General Council/Conference classics - not notebooks from Fuller Seminary.
Here is a true story worth noting. A 1987 graduate of WELS' Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary was looking over my library. He said, "Greg, your library is so Lutheran!" I wondered about his shock. "Why is that so strange?" He said, "All our required books at Mequon were Reformed." Yes, Mequon aka Mordor did just what the frauds in the Crypto-Calvinistic era perpetrated. They made Calvinistic books mandatory, supplanting the Lutheran classics. So much the better for laying a foundation of UOJ rationalism and Church Growth. They paid Valleskey to bury them alive.
Old General Council and General Synod books are worth grabbing and keeping. The older ALC books from Augsburg Press are often very good tool. Augsburg printed Lenski and Sasse, after all, giving up both when they got the fever to unite with the worst elements of the LCA.