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Friday, December 14, 2012

Honoring McCain (Walther's Essays For The Church - download)

On March 14, 2012, Paul McCain, chief "cyberbrethren", Publisher of Concordia Publishing House, commented on a blog post of mine the following:
It would have been helpful for you to have checked with CPH you would have been informed that we are presently engaged in releasing a new set of Walther's works, pulling together all the previously different formats, shapes, sizes, into a consistent set of books. "Essays for the Church" will be included in this new series.
     You might want to modify your blog post to reflect this information.
I took McCain at his word and assumed that sometime in the not-too-distant future that the 2 volumes of the 1992 CPH publishing of Essays For The Church would appear, likely under the heading of "Selected Writings of C.F.W. Walther" as  they have done with other translations of Walther's works.  There are over 600 total pages, large pages, of pure Walther in these books.
As presented before, here is what they look like since WorldCat shows an incorrect image:

I was getting a little impatient a few days ago when I threatened (in this blog post) to provide a free download of these books by Walther if CPH didn't finally come out with them.

So today, I decided to follow McCain's earlier advice and call Concordia Publishing House at 800.325.3040 to see how soon these volumes would be available.  After explaining to the CPH rep that I did not see the volumes Essays For The Church on their website, she said they do not have these available.  Then I explained to her that I had heard some time ago that these would be becoming available again and requested that she check into this.  She got off the line for maybe 30 seconds, came back and said 
"No – nothing in the pipeline."
Surely this was an oversight by the CPH representative... surely Publisher Paul McCain would not tell an untruth to me, especially since his comment was published on a "Lutheran" blog such as mine.  Surely McCain still plans that the greatest publishing of Walther's essays translated into English language will be available soon.

I want to honor this intention (oversight?) of Publisher McCain, I want to honor his LC-MS that is hardly over the great "Bi-centennial Celebration" of their great leader C.F.W. Walther.  I want to provide a free download of not only scanned copies of both volumes, but also the text.  I will continue honoring McCain, CPH, and the LC-MS by keeping these download links active until the great unveiling of the new CPH re-published books that McCain promised.
  • Essays For The Church Vol 1.PDF   (37 MB, scanned copy)
  • Essays For The Church Vol 1.DOC  (OCR'd text, some errors, but searchable)
  • Essays For The Church Vol 2.PDF   (40 MB, scanned copy)
  • Essays For The Church Vol 2.DOC  (OCR'd text)

There is some overlap between these essays of Walther, and those that Matthew Harrison published in his At Home In The House of My Fathers book:

Volume I:
Why Should Our Pastors, Teachers, and Professors Subscribe Unconditionally to the Symbolical Writings of Our Church?, Western District, 1858 – pgs 119 - 137.  Harrison used the translation by Guebert in the 1947 Concordia Theological Monthly, while the same essay is in this volume, presented in Tappert's translation on pgs 19 - 29. 
Volume II:
Duties of an Evangelical Lutheran Synod, Iowa 1879 – pgs 224 - 330.  Translation taken verbatim from Essays For The Church, pgs 6-63 (translation by Everette Meier)
But this overlap is very minor since there are hundreds of pages of English translations that are not available anywhere else.

Rev. McCain (and President Harrison), do you maybe think your recent publications of translations of Walther's works are sufficient for the laity?  Maybe you think that you've given enough of Walther... and now your readers should read Sasse and Bonhoeffer?

Rev. McCain, do you think that maybe by the time of the next centennial celebration, the "Tri-centennial Celebration" of Walther, that you could have these volumes published?  You certainly have a busy schedule with many other things to attend to... but maybe please?

Update January 20, 2013:
I have received an emailed warning notice letter from an official at Concordia Publishing House on January 10, 2013.  I have removed the download links at CPH's request and responded in my blog post of January 20, 2013.

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