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Sunday, November 30, 2014

New CPH book- Walther- Church Fellowship– Part 1

My website has some notoriety from the CPH warning letter against me and I have just discovered that Concordia Publishing House is coming out with a new book in about 1 month:
Walther's Works: Church Fellowship
Item #: 531214WEB / 2015 / Hardback / 440 Pages
Estimated 01/05/2015 – Look Inside
I was a bit surprised to see this... what could it be?  Perhaps a collection of essays by Walther on "Church Fellowship"?   Hmmm...  I know what Walther wrote about in his many essays to the Synod and its districts and they certainly included the topic of "Church Fellowship".   But a whole book of essays on just this topic?  And why the picture of a communion cup... are these essays entirely about Holy Communion?

Could it be that CPH is finally getting around to republishing the now defunct 2 volumes of Essays For The Church that I lamented about so publicly on my blog... and was warned by CPH for publishing the digital text?  But it seems not.  The copyright page says (from CPH "Look Inside" PDF):
"Previously published chiefly from Lehre und Wehre and translated from German"
I see, so Paul McCain's claim to me 2-1/2 years ago (2012) remains unfulfilled:
"...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."
...  so there is no "Essays for the Church" here... sigh. (More on Publisher Rev. Paul T. McCain here)

But wait, if these essays are from Lehre und Wehre, how is this book different from the existing (Print-On-Demand) 1981 CPH book Selected Writings of C.F.W. Walther - Editorials from "Lehre Und Wehre"?  You know, the one formerly sold with the following dust jacket and flaps (click on images to read them):
       Outside:                                  Inside flaps:
Editorials from "Lehre und Wehre"
by C.F.W. Walther
tr. by Herbert J. A. Bouman

A comparison of the Contents of these 2 books suggests that perhaps the majority of content of Church Fellowship is taken from the above book – perhaps 9 of 16 articles.  That leaves the question of whether one should still purchase both overlapping books if you want all the available English translations of Walther's articles from Lehre und Wehre. How else is one to get the 5 or so translated articles that did not make it into the new book?  — The dear translator Herbert J.A. Bouman said this in his Translator's Preface to the 1981 book (page 9):
He [Walther] was convinced that, far from causing disunity, his battles on behalf of the truth were the only way to true concord... In the opinion of Francis Pieper, his successor as professor, president, and editor, 'with regard to spiritual experience, theological scholarship, logical acuity, and the ability to communicate, Walther was certainly not inferior to most of the old theologians of our church; in my opinion, he was the superior of many of them'.
I hope some credit is given to the dear Bouman in this new book... but there is no evidence of it in the CPH "Look Inside" PDF file.

I am splitting my comments on this new (yet unavailable) book.  I will be covering the edition of the Book of Concord used for references, the endorsements or "Praise" from various theologians, and the Introduction by Prof. Gerhard Bode of Concordia Seminary.  In the next Part 2...

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