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Saturday, December 26, 2015

Walther's Pastoral Theology delayed 1 year by CPH (but a good alternative available)

C.F.W. Walther’s Pastoral TheologyThe reader today will find that the book is very practical and helpful, and not out of date.  Why?  Because Walther’s book is not a “how to” book for developing skills…but truly a pastoral theology.” –Dr Robert Preus
Pastoral Theology
by C.F.W. Walther
trans. by John Drickamer

      As I occasionally check the latest offerings of Concordia Publishing House, I recently noticed a change in their projected release of the new translation of Walther's Americanisch-Lutherische Pastoraltheologie, or Pastoral Theology.  For some time, it had been announced to be released in "early 2016".  But a recent check of their "Walther's Works" web page revealed a rather startling change for those anticipating a more complete translation than the previous abridged one by Dr. John Drickamer 20 years ago by "Lutheran News".  They have pushed the deadline back to "early 2017"!
      This is a surprise because this book has long been known to have been translated by Pastor Christian Tiews.  Tiews had also translated the previous Law & Gospel book for CPH.  So why the 1 year delay?  Hmmm...
      One could speculate as to why there is a whole year's delay... surely it is not because their professional editors are so tongue-tied by Walther's Christian counsel as to be speechless?  Could it be they are still trying to formulate some "Just sayin'" comments to counter Walther in many of his "hard sayings"?

      In any event, Drickamer's abridged version is not without value.  And there is a very good alternative (here and now!) to learn exactly what Walther taught in his Pastorale – Franz Pieper's Christian Dogmatics series (or his German Christliche Dogmatik).  As I have progressed in my project of presenting Pieper's Dogmatik online, I am quite amazed how many times Pieper refers to Walther's book.  Sometime I might give an exhaustive cross-reference chart, but when I bought Drickamer's translation, I made a little chart on the inside of the front cover.  I am presenting my little chart here as a beginner's help:

This chart does not yet cross-reference to Pieper's German edition, only the English edition.  I may update and expand this chart later.

Again, do you want to know what Walther taught for pastoral counsel?  Read the many places that Pieper references to Walther's Pastorale in his Christian Dogmatics and you will have gone a long way in understanding the Christian counsel of Walther.  Also get Drickamer's abridged edition.  You don't have to wait for CPH's delayed translation.

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