Cruce Tectum

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

Location: Moscow, Idaho

Friday, July 17, 2009

The Essential Lutheran Library

From the Rev. Paul T. McCain, Cyberbrethren,

The Essential Lutheran Library: Let me Tell you about T.E.L.L.
July 17th, 2009

People have begun, more and more, to notice a certain rhyme and reason, as it were, of Concordia Publishing House producing volumes that have names that sound somewhat similar, in books that have the same basic color and type design on their spines. It’s called The Essential Lutheran Library, or T.E.L.L. for short. I know, clever, huh?

Let me tell you more about the T.E.L.L. I’ve mentioned something here before about it, but my friend, Pastor Weedon, recently posted some very kind words about some of these matching volumes, and I thought I’d refer you to his comments, then once more explain a bit about T.E.L.L.

The Essential Lutheran Library consists of the following six titles:

The Lutheran Study Bible
Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions
Lutheran Service Book
Luther’s Small Catechism
Treasury of Daily Prayer
Lutheran Book of Prayer

To this “core” there are two other volumes designed to look similar:

Reading the Psalms with Luther
Starck’s Prayerbook

The choice of titles for The Essential Lutheran Library was very intentional, in that we want to encourage people to think “Bible” when they think “Hymnal” and think “Hymnal” when they think “Bible” and the choice of a matching color scheme, at least on the spines of the volumes is to help fix in people’s mind the deep and essential connection between Scripure, Confessions, Hymnal.That’s why we do not mind, one bit, the fact that we have TLSB and LSB.

We Lutherans have historically understood that while we are a church of the principle that doctrine is drawn alone from Scripture, sola Scriptura, the Scriptures are never alone and we do not approach them in a vacuum, in other words, we embrace sola Scriptura but eschew nuda Scriptura, as if every new generation of Christians is simply acting in absolute isolation, as if there has been no great cloud of witnesses surrounding them, and all generations of believers in Christ, as we, together, run with perseverance the race laid out for us (see Hebrews 12:1-2).

These are volumes that I deem absolutely essential for every Lutheran to have, and to use. These are not intended to be pretty books on a bookshelf, although surely they are that, but to be volumes for the Christian life, always leading and aiding people to hear the voice of the Good Shepherd, calling them to Himself, welcoming them to His Table, for the the meal for pilgrims he provides to us, in anticipation of the great feast to come in His kingdom.


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