God from above vs. God from below

I’ve started working through the Christian Year of Grace by Johann Spangenberg, a contemporary of Luther who, as a pastor and educator, wanted to provide laypeople a guide to help with the devotional reading of the newly-available Scriptures.  He took the appointed Scripture readings for each Sunday, then–as a classical educator trained in dialectic–offered questions and answers that take the reader deeply into the riches of these texts.

After the jump, I’ll give you an excerpt from his treatment of Romans 11:33-36, the Epistle reading for Trinity Sunday:  “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God:  how incomprehensible are His judgments, how unsearchable His ways!  For who has known the mind of the Lord?” [Read more...]

Flannery O’Connor gets a stamp

 

Flannery O'Connor stamp

The ferocious Christian author Flannery O’Connor will appear on a postage stamp.  It will be a “forever” stamp. [Read more...]

Laura Ingalls Wilder rediscovered

Some weeks ago, I blogged about the publication of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s memoir, entitled Pioneer Girl.  This was the manuscript she wrote about her life on the frontier that she could not get published, whereupon she switched gears to write a slightly fictionalized version in a series of  books for children.  These became the nine titles in the Little House books, which, in turn, have become classics of  American literature.  The publication of that original autobiography by the South Dakota Historical Society–complete with photographs, historical annotations, and scholarly notes that give the real-life context for the later novels–has proven to be a literary sensation.  The small press was having trouble keeping up with the demand, and Amazon was overwhelmed with lengthy backorders.  (Something that seems to have been rectified.  Last I checked, the book is available now, without the earlier delay, from Amazon.)

The day my post went up, in which I said how anxious I was to read Pioneer Girl and lamented how hard it was to get ahold of, the intrepid librarian where I teach, Sarah Pensgard, told me that she had found a copy for the library.  So I checked it out and was soon immersed in the real world of Laura Ingalls Wilder. [Read more...]

Luther’s notes to “Freedom of a Christian” discovered

A first edition of Luther’s classic treatise “The Freedom of a Christian,” dated 1520, has been discovered in a library in France.  It contains annotations in red ink in Luther’s hand, indicating the changes he wanted to make in future editions.  As far as I can tell, those annotations have not yet been published, but we should watch for them.

Thanks to Anthony Sacramone for drawing this to my attention.  Read his discussion of this find and of the book itself.   If you only read one book by Luther, read this one.  It is Luther at his very best, unpacking the Gospel, the freedom we have in Christ, his neighbor-centered ethic, and vocation. [Read more...]

“God is in every syllable”

Popular author James Reston, Jr., has written a book entitled Luther’s Fortress: Martin Luther and His Reformation Under Siege, about Luther’s time in Wartburg Castle, when he was in hiding from the Emperor’s death sentence.  Here he began his translation of the Bible.  It took him a mere 10 weeks to translate the New Testament.

After the jump, a link and an excerpt to Reston’s revealing discussion about Luther’s translation, his method and his approach, including a comparison with the King James translation, which took 48 translators 10 years. [Read more...]

Laura Ingalls Wilder’s latest best-seller

Back in the 1930′s, an elderly woman wrote a memoir about her life on the American frontier.  But no one would publish it.  So she recast her memories as a series of children’s novels, giving the world the immortal Little House on the Prairie books.

Now that original manuscript, entitled Pioneer Girl has been published in an annotated edition that gives the complete historical context of this woman’s remarkable life.  The 472-page book has become a smash hit, to the point that its publisher, the 7-employee South Dakota Historical Society Press, can’t print enough copies to keep up with the demand.

When I was in the fifth grade, if we were good, our teacher, Mrs. Waldrop, would read us a chapter from the novels.  I will never forget the impact they had on my imagination in their portrayal of family, America, overcoming hardship, and growing up.  I have got to read this true-life adult version, if I can ever find a copy.  Read an account of the book after the jump. [Read more...]


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