Book Review ARTICLES

The Emergent Church - Dan Kimball

Thoughts on CTCR's "Immigrants Among Us"

The Sabbath: Its Meaning for Modern Man - Abraham Joshua Heschel

Hard Questions, Real Answers - William Lane Craig

Simply Christian by N.T. Wright

Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business

Dr. Kenneth C. Haugk's: "Don't Sing Songs to a Heavy Heart:; How to Relate to Those Who Are Suffering"

Normand Bonneau's "The Sunday Lectionary: Ritual Word, Paschal Shape"

Robert Wuthnow's "After the Baby Boomers"

Mike Aquilina's Signs and Mysteries: Revealing Ancient Christian Symbols

Mudhouse Sabbath: An Invitation to a Life of Spiritual Disciplines

Book Review: Doug Powell's Holman QuickSource Guide to Christian Apologetics

College Ministry from Scratch

Power, Politics, and the Missouri Synod ...a book review

Heaven is For Real: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back by Todd Burpo and Lynn Vincent

The Four Loves by C.S. Lewis

C.S. Lewis’ Space Trilogy: a review

The Culture-Wise Family and Pop Culture Wars, reviewed

Lutheranism 101

A review of "Together With All Creation: Caring for God’s Living Earth, A Report of the Commission on Theology and Church Relations"

A Review of Jeffrey Jensen Arnett's book : Emerging Adulthood: The Winding Road from the Late Teens through the Twenties

A review of Mike Hayes' book: Googling God: The Religious Landscape of People in their 20’s and 30’s

A review of David Dark's book The Gospel According to America: A Meditation On a God-Blessed, Christ-Haunted Idea

A Review of Dean Hardy's Book :Stand Your Ground: An Introductory Text for Apologetics

A Review of Gilbert Meilander's Book: Bioethcis: A Primer for Christians

A review of Gene Edward Veith’s The Spirituality of the Cross

The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict


Tribal Church

Additional "Book Review" Articles


A review of Gene Edward Veith’s The Spirituality of the Cross
Published: 7/9/2010 12:44:30 PM


We learn a fair bit about Lutheran theology if we go to Sunday School and survive confirmation.  If we pay attention to sermons, then we have another source of learning about the Bible and what it says (and doesn’t say).  Sometimes though it’s nice to sit down and in one shot read about what Lutherans teach on a variety of different topics.  This is what Veith provides in this short and accessible text.  If you're curious about the distinctiveness of Lutheran theology, but don't have time to read more scholarly or 'dense' works on the topic, Veith's text is an admirable summary of the core theological differences between Lutheranism and other Christian denominations. 

Veith covers five main topics that are fundamental to Lutheran theology, but are not always part and parcel of other denominational interpretations of the Bible.  Justification, the means of grace, the theology of the cross, vocation and living in two kingdoms are terms you may not hear on a regular basis, which is why this book is a useful read, and ought to be considered as a text to reread on a regular basis throughout your life.

Veith's stated purpose is not to provide theological arguments against other denominational approaches to the faith, but rather to lay out as simply as possible the Lutheran approach, noting where it differs from others without overly defending Lutheranism or attacking others. He does a good job at this, which lends the book focus, clarity, and an ecumenical accessibility that is less likely to offend than it is to inform.

A variety of theologians are referenced, from Luther himself, to Gustaf Wingren, H. Richard Niehbur, and Dietrich Bonhoeffer. These supports anchor and inform Veith's work while providing it with depth and insight. Veith's purpose is not to preach, but to relate and to inform, and he strikes a tone that is friendly and easy to understand. 

If you find yourself in discussions with friends from other denominations, and wanting to quickly refresh yourself on some Lutheran theology, this book is great.  Likewise, if you have friends who are curious about what Lutherans believe, this would be a quick way to get them up to speed.  It would also make for a good study series.

By Paul Nelson