Preview of Matt Harrison’s New Book – “A Little Book of Joy;” A Noteworthy Variety of Endorsements, by Pr. Rossow

A Little Book on JoyRev. Matthew Harrison is about to release another book. This time he is not citing the fathers of the LCMS or detailing the theology and practice of mercy. This time he is offering a devotional book on joy.

Many congregations are nominating Pastor Harrison for the LCMS presidency and we here at BJS are not surprised. President Kieschnick has had a lengthy term in office and has had an opportunity to  leave his mark on the LCMS. That mark has been one of a corporate and numerical growth mindset. It is now time to focus on the church as a family and not a business and the list of books authored by Rev. Harrison and his effective leadership of one the largest ministry arms of the synod (LCMS World Relief and Human Care) demonstrate that he is the healing and uniting sort that is very timely for our beloved synod.

We are struck by the wide variety of endorsements for this book. You can view them in the sampler linked below. It includes pastors, deaconesses, missionaries, leaders from other denominations, LCMS district presidents, etc. Reading over the list of endorsements one can see how Rev. Harrison is positioned to bring diverse groups together in our synod. The folks endorsing this book come from all sorts of positions on the Lutheran spectrum: high church/low church,  broad church/narrow church, country parish/world evangelism, and beyond.

Rev. Harrison is a scholar and theologian as demonstrated by his work on the church fathers of the LCMS. He is loving and caring man as demonstrated by his work on mercy. Now we see that he is a pastoral man with this latest devotional work on joy. We encourage LCMS delegates and all members of LCMS churches to get to know this man and judge whether or not he is seeking the heart and mind of Christ for His church.

To view the preview of the book, click here.

The book can be preordered here for delivery in time for Lent.

Other reviews can be found on Mercy Journey, Logia, It’s Time, or The ABC3S of Miscellany.

About Pastor Tim Rossow

Rev. Dr. Timothy Rossow is the Director of Development for Lutherans in Africa. He served Bethany Lutheran Church in Naperville, IL as the Sr. Pastor for 22 years (1994-2016) and was Sr. Pastor of Emmanuel Lutheran in Dearborn, MI prior to that. He is the founder of Brothers of John the Steadfast but handed off the Sr. Editor position to Rev. Joshua Scheer in 2015. He currently resides in Ocean Shores WA with his wife Phyllis. He regularly teaches in Africa. He also paints watercolors, reads philosophy and golfs. He is currently represented in two art galleries in the Pacific Northwest. His M Div is from Concordia, St. Louis and he has an MA in philosophy from St. Louis University and a D Min from Concordia, Fort Wayne.


Preview of Matt Harrison’s New Book – “A Little Book of Joy;” A Noteworthy Variety of Endorsements, by Pr. Rossow — 3 Comments

  1. Hey, our order is in!! Sadly, it is far far too rare to see even the word “Joy” (in its true Biblical and Confessional Lutheran context) in the church or on the web (hint!). Of course we might expect Pr. Matt Harrison to lead us back to Joy in the Lord!

  2. Dear Pastor Rossow,

    Thanks for alerting us to this new, and welcome, resource on an aspect of the Christian life!

    It reminds me of two books I bought for my parents a number of years ago. One was titled “The Book of German Humour.” It had a picture of a very grumpy old man on the front. The other was titled “The Book of Scandinavian Humour.” It had a picture of two dour white-haired old ladies on the front. It occured to me, after reading those books, that Lutherans (who are originally ethnically German or Scandinavian) really have a reputation for grumpiness. No wonder the Lutheran church is slowly declining in numbers and influence in America!

    Historically, Lutherans were anything but grumpy and humourless. Just look at Luther’s jokes and Table Talk for the source of that!

    The reputation of “kill-joy” is the result of centuries of certain brands of Pietism. For the Germans, there were the Prussian pietists, whose model of piety was grim duty. Immanuel Kant was a shining cultural example there. There were also Pietists in both Germany and Scandinavia that made repentance the epitome of the Christian life, so that you could never be certain of your repentance or salvation. This was the form that affected C.F.W. Walther and his friends at Leipzig University. Joy was always suspect; or put another way, “there must be something wrong if you are having too much fun.”

    I don’t know if Pastor Harrison’s book is the cure, but it might help a lot of folks rethink their impression of Lutherans being a bunch of kill-joys.

    You are right that the endorsements are impressive. I noted especially the District President’s endorsement. One from the west, one from the east, and one each from Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Illinois. That is pretty significant, in that it indicates the respect our own church leaders have for Pastor Harrison and his work.

    The international endorsements indicate the broad range of Pastor Harrison’s work in the past nine years. He knows personally, or has worked with, just about every Lutheran church leader that we are in fellowship with around the globe.

    I look forward to buying and reading the book this Spring!

    Yours in Christ, Martin R. Noland

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