Introducing The Gottesdienst Library

Over at Gottesdienst Online, where I’m privileged to serve as an editor, we strive to provide resources, commentary, and counsel for Lutherans seeking to recover and strengthen their Lutheran heritage. For years our Editor-in-Chief, Rev. Dr. Burnell F. Eckardt, has taken the lead with the print journal, various books, and (in our humble opinion) the best conference in the Missouri Synod every fall. Today’s print-on-demand and eBook technologies make it even easier to get good resources into the hands of laity and clergy. Over the coming months we hope to greatly expand the availability of classic Lutheran works and offer new titles from the Gottesdienst editors. Welcome to the Gottesdienst Library!


Theology: The Doctrinal Theology of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, edited by Heinrich Schmid

Formats: Paperback, 692pp., $25;  Kindle with Active Table of Contents, $5

This is the book for the interested layman who want to dig deeper into Lutheran theology, and Lutheran clergymen for that matter. Heinrich Schmid sysematically collected the statements of the classic Lutheran theologians, from the Book of Concord through Chemnitz, Gerhard, etc., all the way down to Hollaz. He then prefaced each section of quotations with a brief summary. If you have been through the Large Catechism – or even the whole Book of Concord – but still want more, this is the book for you. The Kindle edition includes an active table of contents that will let you go directly to the section you wish to read; the paperback has  full indices and you can, like, write on it 🙂


Devotional Literature: Sacred Meditations by Johann Gerhard

Formats: Paperback, 304pp., $9.99; Kindle optimized pdf, $1.99

More than 400 years after their publication, Johann Gerhard’s meditations (written when was just 22 years old!) remain the touchstone of Lutheran piety informed by sound Lutheran doctrine. I often use Meditation II for Good Friday midday service and keep a copy hand at my desk. The version for Kindle is an optimized pdf – you download the file and then send it as an email attachment to your email address and Amazon will deliver it to your device at no additional cost. Best viewed with horizontal screen orientation. NB Concerning all the PDFs: All of the works I have optimized for Kindle in pdf format can be found elsewhere on the internet for free in a raw state. You might try reading one of those un-optimized files first to see if it’s readable on your device. If you can get these books for free, all the better!


Liturgical Resources: Daily Divine Service Book, edited by H.R. Curtis

New/On Sale Formats: Kindle with Active Table of Contents, $5; Paperback, 728pp., SALE $22.25

The best-selling (because it is the only!) Lutheran daily missal in English is now available for the Kindle with an active table of contents that lets you find each section easily. In addition, the paperback price has been cut from $30 to $22.25. A hardback edition is also available – but the new deal on the paperback is hard to beat (I use a paperback copy for shut-in calls). Complete propers are included for every Sunday, every festival, and every saint of the traditional Lutheran calendar. In addition, have you ever wondered what all those ceremonies are that your pastor is doing during the service? Find a complete explanation of the rubrics (ceremonies) right alongside the text of the Common Service.

Liturgical Resources: An Explanation of the Common Service

Format: Paperback, 120pp., $12 (from Emmanuel Press); Kindle optimized pdf, $1.99

Our friends at Emmanuel Press have done the church a service by making this wonderful little book available again in paperback. Emmanuel Press is a wonderful outfit and you should check out their whole site – especially their new greeting cards for baptisms, weddings, ordinations, etc. The electronic edition is a pdf optimized for viewing on Kindles (use horizontal screen orientation). Download the file, then email it as an attachment to your address.


Lutheran History: The Conservative Reformation and Its Theology by Charles P. Krauth

Format: Kindle optimized pdf, $5 total (four parts, $1.25 each)

Our goal is to make essential works that are hard to get more readily available at affordable costs. Since Krauth’s monumental historical work can be had cheaply other places online, I’ve only put together an electronic edition. It’s a pdf optimized for viewing on Kindles (use horizontal screen orientation). Download the file, then email it as an attachment to your address.

Lutheran History: The Lutheran Movement in England by Henry Eyster Jacobs

Formats: Paperback, 392pp., $20; Kindle optimized pdf, $2.99

Jacobs is famous for his translation of the Book of Concord in the late 19th century, but this professor at Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia was much more than a translator. This is a fascinating look at the close relationship between the Lutherans and the English Reformers in the sixteenth century which gives insight for today’s ecumenical discussions.  The electronic edition is a pdf optimized for viewing on Kindles (use horizontal screen orientation). Download the file, then email it as an attachment to your address.


Theological Monographs: The New Testament in His Blood by Burnell F. Eckardt, Jr.

Formats: Paperback, 118pp., $18; Kindle optimized pdf, $12

The purpose of this manuscript is twofold: first, to present the Divine Liturgy in such a way as to highlight its beauty and dignity, and second, to show the liturgy’s necessity by making the connection between Christ’s fulfillment of the entire Old Testament and the proclamation of this fulfillment by the liturgy. It is not accidental that the term “new testament” refers both to the canon of apostolic books arising after Christ’s ministry and to the Holy Sacrament of the Altar. There is an integral connection between word and worship, between faith and the reception of the incarnate Christ. And just as the written New Testament is the word of God, and therefore the ultimate norm and rule for all of Christian life, so the new testament as sacrament, in Christ’s blood, must be the heart of truly Christian worship, from which all other forms of devotion and piety flow.


More to come, Lord willing: Lutheran Homiletics by the editors of Gottesdienst; a second edition of The New Testament in His Blood; and many more.





Introducing The Gottesdienst Library — 14 Comments

  1. Janet,

    You can read pdf files on your Nook. See here:

    I know that Nooks can be modified to read Kindle format (.mobi) – but I don’t know how to do it. My friend Pastor Beane did it for his color Nook – I’ll ask him.

    And if you send me an email, I’ll send you a free test copy of Schmid and DDSB in ePub for your Nook and then you can test them and tell me if they work!

    Pastor Curtis
    Click here to send me an email.

  2. Boaz,

    I don’t begrudge CPH’s need to make money off of what sells – they charge no more than the market will bear. Since I started DDSB I’ve learned taht printing books is more expensive than one might think. CPH is printing up old classics in the public domain, yes, but they are doing it on nice paper with good binding: that doesn’t come free of charge.

    But it’s true: in the new world of print-on-demand, public domain works will get cheaper and cheaper through the workings of the free market. Especially if you don’t mind “publisher grade” paperbacks – and I love them! I don’t need my paper to shine whiter than any fuller can bleach it – I just want a nicely bound book cheaply. I’ve been very impressed with Lulu Press’s options here and use many of the books I’ve had reprinted (mainly Latin teaching books) constantly and they stand up well to the wear.


  3. Very cool. and public library websites are also useful resources for free books. I found the Jacobs book at google a while back.

    While we are talking about this, I found a nice physical copy of Henry VIII and the Lutherans a while back for $8. This whole topic (uncredited Lutheran influence on Anglicanism) is really fascinating.

  4. @Pr. H. R. Curtis #4

    > the new world of print-on-demand

    I thought this was a way Borders could have distinguished themselves and actually added some value to the world. But they were too busy being cool to think of it, I guess.

    I applaud CPH’s fairly recent print-on-demand operation.

    They do need to make their whole catalog available electronically.

  5. Downloaded Krauth and if you enter the code SUMMERBOOKS (expires 31 Aug), you get 20 percent off! So I got it for 4 bux plus tax! Now, it’s on my iPad with iBooks, will figure out how to use them with the Kindle software.

  6. @mbw #8
    I think that’s just a matter of time. They can only go so fast in converting their titles to the e-formats. I’m sure that it doesn’t happen over night, just be patient.

  7. @Rev. Mike Mathey #10

    Thanks for your comment. I also would like the hymnal scores available in MIDI files and I’d pay for that.

    Another thing that would be useful would be a version of the Treasury that refers to but omits the Scripture passages. Everybody has a Bible, and such an edition would be much smaller and a bit cheaper. I do understand the value of inlining the Scripture passages though.

  8. I got Krauth in May 2010 from . They have a free service that will convert public domain books from Google Books to .mobi format for the Kindle. I was surprised to find that no one had downloaded it from there before.

    There are several editions of Krauth that are available for free from . You can use the Google reader for your device to read it online if you like

    Anyone wanting to make his own e-books or convert between various formats can get the free Calibre application for Windows and OSX from . Getting the formatting correct can be tedious in some cases.

    If you do a good job of converting it to the Kindle format, you might want to make it available on .

  9. has both epub and PDF versions of books available. For information on how to transfer epub formatted books to your Nook or Sony device, see

    I see that they have a book by Charles Porterfield Krauth on Infant Baptism and Infant Salvation in the Calvinist System and several other books in which he is listed as a co-author.

  10. @Stan Slonkosky #12
    Yes, indeed – as I noted anything I have listed in pdf format you can get elsewhere for free. Retroreads is just a web interface for Calibre – but be forewarned: Calibre does not convert pdfs to mobi without a lot of gobbledygook. What I have done is format pdfs to their optimum size for viewing on Kindle. Google’s ereader is better than converted pdfs, but you may find the size too small to read comfortably on a Kindle – the files I have formatted are easier to read.

    I advise folks to try the free formats and if those work for you, fantastic. But if not, try an optimized pdf for better viewing.


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