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The BookTalk Calendar
by Klement Preus (Interview with guest Tim Rossow)Most everyone knows a family member or friend that is not a Christian. How to reach out to these loved ones and share Christ can be a struggle. Many people don t know how to share their faith and are unsure if they are saying the right words.
In What They Need to Hear author Klemet I Preus shares the ninety letters he wrote to his dying father-in-law, Lloyd, who was not a Christian. Thankfully the Lord worked through these letters and Lloyd became a Christian before his death. The short devotional in nature letters in this book can be used as a template for you to follow with your own Lloyd that person in your life who is questioning God and the Church.
In addition to a topical index, two inspirational postcards are included in this book to help you get started reaching out to your Lloyd.
I know that I will see Lloyd again someday. When Christ comes in His glory, we will both bow before this throne. We will both eat with joy the fruit from the tree of life, which is our Lord.
Excerpt from What They Need to Hear
Klement I. Preus
by Rev. Alan Kornacki Jr.
The Office of the Holy Ministry within the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod is in crisis. It is under attack from pastors who act like corporate executives and arrogant overlords, from bureaucrats who believe a pastor is a failure if he doesn’t act like a corporate executive or a used car salesman, and from congregations who believe pastors are merely employees to be hired, evaluated, and fired. Too many pastors have fallen prey to these attitudes and the actions which follow. We call them Candidates, but these men and their families are our brothers and sisters in Christ, and they are suffering. These Candidates, pastors without congregations, suffer in the closest thing Lutherans have to purgatory. These are their stories. Lord willing, we can end their suffering.
with guest Laura Lane
No other book ties God’s promises to specific people, places, times, and cultures like the Bible. The Lutheran Bible Companion is a highly visual two-volume handbook that welcomes Christians to a deeper exploration of the cultural and historical contexts of the events captured in Scripture and the Apocrypha.
by Donna Pyle
Perhaps right now you’re experiencing a detour through a spiritual desert. Perhaps you see the dry, cracked road ahead and feel like giving up. Perhaps you’re new to Christianity and uncertain about how to live your new life in Christ. Take heart.
Jesus offers the goodness and grace that quenches. He shows you the path to streams of living water that will quench your soul s thirst. He doesn’t care where you’ve been. He doesn’t care what you’ve done. He cares about you.
Jesus is the Living Water that hydrates from the soul out. He said, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:13 14).
Quenched: Christ’s Living Water for a Thirsty Soul is for both new Christians and Christians going through spiritual dehydration. Author Donna Pyle has been both new Christian and tired veteran Christian, so she writes from first-hand experience. Her been-there-done-that approach to affirmation and encouragement is welcomed by readers feeling confused or ashamed about living out their witness to Christ.
Regardless of the state you’re in, you will be lead to the life-giving waters of Christ’s grace, mercy, and hope. Pyle writes with honesty and humor as she points readers to the Gospel message of forgiveness and salvation, and emphasizes that it is only Christ and His grace that quench the parched soul.
Book features include (1) Collection of devotions, prayers, Scripture readings, Psalms, and hymns, (2) Clear connections to daily life as Christians, (3) Encouragement and affirmation for new Christians and for Christians going through a time of spiritual dehydration.
by Gilbert Meilaender
In Should We Live Forever? Christian ethicist Gilbert Meilaender puzzles over the implications of the medical advances that have lengthened the human life span, wrestling with what this quest for living longer means for our conception of living well and completely. As he points out in his introduction, “That we often desire, even greedily desire, longer life is clear; whether what we desire is truly desirable is harder to say.”
The six chapters of this book take multiple perspectives on issues surrounding aging and invite readers to consider whether “indefinitely more life” is something worth pursuing and, if humans are created for life with God, whether longer life will truly satisfy our underlying hunger.
by Paul H.D. Lang (with guest Michael from Emmanuel Press)
Originally published in 1964 (and long since out-of-print), this reprint of Rev. Paul H.D. Lang’s What an Altar Guild Should Know gives detailed descriptions, diagrams, and visual aids related to church services and rubrics; liturgical terms; the church building; the altar and its ornaments; the chancel, baptistry, and sacristies; the sacred vessels; paraments; the sacred linens; vestments; use of lights in the church; the church year and liturgical colors; the use of flowers in the church; and Christian symbols.
“This handbook was written to give information, guidance, and inspiration to altar guilds….To organize an altar guild is not difficult, but to teach those who have become members of the guild what they should know is not so easy. That is why a book on what an altar guild should know is desirable. It should help new members learn the basic things that are required of them, and it should serve to improve the work of experienced members and help them assist those who are just beginning. For all members of the guild, new and old, as well as for pastors, it should be helpful as a constant handbook for ready reference and guidance.”
by Eric Alexander
It’s one of the greatest challenges one can face on Earth; an ascent to the top of the world on the slopes of Mount Everest. Eric Alexander experienced grace and a faith-empowering journey he will never forget as part of a record-setting team in May 2001, scaling the heights of Everest with his friend, blind climber Erik Weinhenmayer.
- Experience some of the most dangerous locations in the world, including abject terror on Amadablam, a blind ski descent of Russia’s Mount Elbrus, and up Kilimanjaro in Africa with four blind teens
- Gain wisdom in the application of trust, courage, innovation, teamwork, leadership, and integrity to overcome your own Everests
- Discover practical faith lessons learned on the highest peaks of six continents
Here is the powerful story of Eric Alexander and his unique life journey of guiding people with disabilities to the most perilous places of the world, including Mount Everest’s first blind ascent. In The Summit: Faith Beyond Everest’s Death Zone you will follow in their historic footsteps, and learn about faith, trust, prayer, depending on God, as well as the perseverance needed during these climbs and in your own life. Be inspired and motivated by Eric’s insight, not simply to survive but to thrive every day in God’s grace.
Gnostic America: A Reading of Contemporary American Culture & Religion according to Christianity’s Oldest Heresy
Gnostic America is a reading of current American culture, politics, and religious life according to the ancient movement known as Gnosticism. In it, Peter M Burfeind builds off the foundations of Hans Jonas, Denis de Rougement, Norman Cohn, William Voegelin, Carl Jung, and Harold Bloom, each of whom saw the effects of Gnosticism in contemporary American (and Western) life. He explores the spiritual mechanisms going on behind everything from transgenderism to so-called “contemporary worship,” from the deconstructionist movement to the role pop music and media have in our culture, from progressive politics to the Emergent Church. Particularly challenging is Burfeind’s claim that both progressivism and Neo-evangelicalism — seemingly at odds in the “culture wars” — actually share the same Gnostic roots. Burfeind’s book is a tour de force through contemporary rock, pop, movies, television, politics, and religion showing how many of the values driving these cultural elements are informed by the ancient esoteric teachings of Gnosticism. Burfeind marshals a ton of surprising evidence to make his case, taking us through ancient and Medieval history, through the Enlightenment and Romantic periods, to today. Those willing to grapple with the philosophical and spiritual positions of the fathers of contemporary American life will be rewarded. Gnostic America is a must read for those who sense a new “spiritual but not religious” religion has arisen in America, but who can’t put their finger on what exactly this religion is. Burfeind commits the sacrilege of defining a religion that claims to be “beyond” definition. More importantly, he poses the question, if the spiritual trends of contemporary culture are indeed a religion, what First Amendment safeguards remain for those who haven’t “evolved” with the emerging new consciousness, but choose to remain stuck in supposedly retrograde paradigms of thought?
by Nancy Raabe
With his lively wit and frank, engaging manner, Carl Schalk is the leading voice of our generation on the subject of Lutheran church music. Author Nancy M. Raabe weaves Schalk’s career, his musical compositions, and numerous interviews with Schalk himself into a compelling narrative that features insightful anecdotes and sound advice concerning the hymns, liturgy, and worship life of the Church.
Hear Schalk’s perspective on the theology of music in worship, the development of the hymnals Lutheran Book of Worship and Lutheran Worship, the composer’s craft, and his work with such personalities as Herbert Brokering, Paul Bunjes, Richard Hillert, and Jaroslav Vajda. Get an inside look at some of Schalk’s most popular hymn tunes, including:
Before the Marvel of This Night (MARVEL)
God of the Sparrow (ROEDER)
Now the Silence (NOW)
O Christ the Same (RED HILL ROAD)
Sing, My Tongue, the Glorious Battle (FORTUNATUS NEW)
Someone Special (EISENBERG)
Thine the Amen, Thine the Praise (THINE)
Where Shepherds Lately Knelt (MANGER SONG)
Carl F. Schalk is Distinguished Professor of Music Emeritus at Concordia University Chicago in River Forest, Illinois, where he has taught for some forty years. He is the author and composer of numerous music publications, recordings, and books, including Key Words in Church Music, God’s Song in a New Land, and Music in Early Lutheranism. As founder of the Master of Church Music program at Concordia, he influenced a generation of church musicians across denominations.
by John Stott (with Rev. Francis Rossow)
We often imagine Jesus as the ultimate peacemaker, as one who saw all sides and kindly overlooked differences of belief or practice. The Gospels say this was not so. Jesus drew sharp lines. He disagreed with many. He rejected being broadminded on a variety of topics. He engaged in vigorous debate, especially with several different groups of religious leaders. What conflicts did he have?
- He argued that we would experience a supernatural afterlife, that our natural existence is not all God has planned.
- He disagreed that human tradition should not supersede Scripture, our foundational authority.
- He clashed on whether the Bible was not an end in itself, contending that its purpose pointed beyond itself.
- He sharply articulated that God accept us by virtue of what we receive from him, not by what we do for him.
These and other controversies clarify the core distinctives of the Christian faith which, John Stott boldly asserts, are nothing less than the distinctives of the evangelical faith. This text of Stott’s classic, Christ the Controversialist, now edited by David Stone for the twenty-first century, was controversial when it was first published. It is no less controversial today.