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Will You Read the Book of Concord This Summer With Me?

May 27th, 2010
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I came across an excellent blog post by Pastor Johann Caauwe, and he has given me permission to share it with you. By the way, the Book of Concord is on sale, right now, for only $20. That’s 35% off the regular price. But that special price ends in a week. Here is Pastor Caauwe’s invitation, which I join him in making. This reading plan/scheduled begins on May 30, this Sunday, Holy Trinity.

I will be using the CPH Reader’s Edition (Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions) again. This has become my standard English version which I use. If you don’t have a copy of the Book of Concord, get one. Read the paragraph below to explain why. It is currently on sale for $20 at cph.org. If you have a different version (Triglot, Tappert, Kolb/Wengert), there is an older version of the summer schedule here. If you don’t want to buy a book, you can read it on the internet right here, or purchase an electronic version here. You might also consider the pocket edition if you want to keep reading while on vacation and not have to lug a big book around.

Are you interested in reading with me? If so, I’d like to hear from you. Perhaps we can even discuss a few topics as we go through it. I’ll warn you that the schedule is pretty ambitious. This is the third time I’ve attempted this schedule and I’ve never yet finished on September 6th. But maybe if I had a few reading partners, you can help me stay on track. Here is the reading schedule, just click on the link and it will download as a PDF file to your computer: summer-reading-schedule-for-reading-concordia

This is not just a book for pastors and church “professionals” or “academics.” In fact, it is important to realize that the people most directly responsible for the Lutheran Confessions were laymen, not pastors and theologians. At tremendous personal risk to their own lives, their property, and their profession, laymen boldly stepped before the emperor and the pope’s representatives. They asserted that these Confessions were their own. They did not back down or compromise. For this reason, it is unfortunate that down through the years the Book of Concord has come to be regarded more as a book for pastors and professional theologians.

Tucked into the middle of this book is the most widely used of all the Lutheran Confessions: Martin Luther’s Small Catechism. Luther wrote this document not simply as a resource for the church and school, but, first and foremost, for the head of the household. Luther intended this little book to be used by laypeople, daily, to help them remain anchored to the solid teachings of God’s holy Word, the Bible. So keep this important fact in mind: The Book of Concord exists because of the faith and conviction of laypeople, who risked their very lives in order to have these Confessions produced, published, and distributed. The Book of Concord is a book for all Christians, church workers and laypeople alike.

Christians who want to be true and faithful to the teachings of the Bible return, again and again, to this book. In these confessions of faith they find agreement, unity, and harmony in the truths of God’s Word. (from the General Introduction to the Book of Concord)

So dust off those Books of Concord and we’ll get started in just a few days! Will you join me?

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  1. Dennis Voss
    May 27th, 2010 at 09:20 | #1

    Just an addition to Rev Caauwe’s list of other sources besides the Reader’s Edition, which is what I’m using. You can download free for your Kindle, or any other device that can access Kindle a copy of the Bente/Dau English portion of the Triglotta. It’s not the same as the Reader’s Edition, but close enough if you don’t want to carry a big book along on vacation.

  2. May 27th, 2010 at 10:30 | #3

    Looks challenging, although I’m sorely tempted to give it a go! Got Veith’s book on the cross to get through too.

  3. May 27th, 2010 at 20:29 | #4


  4. Brenda Higley
    May 27th, 2010 at 22:19 | #5

    Pastor McCain, thanks for the tip on the pocket edition on Kindle! My husband and I are going to do this together this summer. I now have TDP, TLSB, and now Concordia on my Kindle. Love Technology!

    -Brenda Higley
    Sammamish, WA

  5. Terry Yarish
    May 28th, 2010 at 00:11 | #6

    I’m in! What a GREAT idea! I have been wanting to read this cover to cover for some time and I think this will get me through it. It’s almost time to start… I am READY. Will you be doing any disussion of this along the way? I hope so. Thanks for the challenge!

  6. May 28th, 2010 at 00:46 | #7

    @Dennis Voss I remember the first time I used this summer schedule (probably 7 years ago), I loaded an electronic version of the Triglotta English onto my Palm Pilot and used that to read on vacation in Tennessee.

    Pastor McCain–Do you know if the Concordia for Logos has been switched on for the iPhone app yet? I haven’t seen it on my phone yet.

  7. Andy Scheck
    May 28th, 2010 at 07:15 | #8

    I follow the BOC reading schedule suggested in the Treasury of Daily Prayer. Is there a map as to what is covered and not covered there (including the readings that slide around due to Easter) if one follows that throughout the year? Could a somewhat less ambitious challenge be created that filled in the missing parts in parallel to what is already suggested in the ToDP? Does this already exist and I’ve missed it?

  8. John Longwell
    May 28th, 2010 at 08:23 | #10

    Is there a study guide version of the Book of Concord as there is with my Lutheran Study Bible…….?????

  9. Rev. Clint Hoff
    May 28th, 2010 at 08:52 | #12

    I’m game. Is there a prize for finishing it on schedule?

  10. May 28th, 2010 at 21:40 | #13

    @Terry Yarish We have a place for discussion set up on Google Wave. Click Here Not sure if that’s the best tool for it or not, but we’re giving it a try.

  11. James Crouse
    June 1st, 2010 at 15:30 | #14

    Acknowledging that the proverbial pathway to perdition is paved with proper predispositions (i.e., good intentions), I appreciate your challenge and will endeavor to read along with you this summer. GOD willing, I hope to keep up, and finish by 6 September. Thank you for the inspiration.
    Thanks also for the link to Classical 90.7 online. Our local classical station is good, but they have some talk programs also, which it seems this St. Louis station does not (on their classical music channel). I prefer just good music while on/near my PC.

  12. Ben
    June 1st, 2010 at 22:53 | #15

    I must be an idiot. My BOC Readers Edition starts on Page 7 with a 2 page Preface. Page 9 starts off with the title “With Intrepid Hearts…..”. So what I’m saying is none of the page numbers line up. Am I reading something wrong? I have the 2005 edition.

    • June 2nd, 2010 at 08:24 | #16

      The reading guide is based on the second edition. The pagination changed between the editions. So, no, you are not an idiot!

  13. Josh Hayes
    June 2nd, 2010 at 10:33 | #17

    How fun! There are several goals I made for myself before finishing seminary. One of them is the whole BoC read through in Latin. I’m going to take up this schedule and attempt to keep up. Pr. McCain, why not give it a go in German this time around?

  14. Tim
    June 10th, 2010 at 08:48 | #18

    Article XXVIII, marginal #63ff reads: “They prescribe the extent to which is it is lawful to work on holy days.” Sounds like one too many is’s.

    • June 10th, 2010 at 08:59 | #19

      Thanks Tim, we had that one flagged for reprint. Appreciate it.

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