Cruce Tectum

Cruce tectum, hidden under the cross, a blog for Epiphany Lutheran Church, Dorr, Michigan

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Location: Moscow, Idaho

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Elements of Religion

I recently read through the Repristination Press edition of Henry Eyster Jacobs’ Elements of Religion. It was the last installment of my summer reading list (sadly, I never get through the whole list). The book does have its eccentricities, but what I appreciate about it is that it takes articles of doctrine and boils them down to 5 to 15 minute readings in (mostly) simple language that lay people can understand. For that reason, I think a modern book like this would serve the Church well. I’m not envisioning just a little handbook on doctrine, but really a devotional book that leads our people to meditate on the articles of the Christian faith in such a way that they see doctrine as anything but dry and cold (ala “dead orthodoxy,” which, as Marquart would point out, is a contradiction in terms). I guess now that I think about it, I’m just describing the Small Catechism. But perhaps we could use a little loci theologici divided up into short readings that are easy to understand for the laity, which might also help us fight this insane notion that doctrine has little if anything to do with the life of the Church. Is there such a book out there that I’ve missed?

(Incidentally, another book I highly recommend in this regard is The Lord Will Answer: A Daily Prayer Catechism, available from Concordia Publishing House. But what I'm asking about is somethign similar in format to Jacobs' Elements of Religion, only written from a Missourian perspective with today's readers in mind.)

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