Book of Concord Drawing, Reformation 2015

Rick Techlin, a frequent attender at BJS conferences, has graciously given out a Book of Concord at each of the last few Brothers of John the Steadfast conferences. He’s supporting another give-a-way for Reformation this year on his website.


BOCleatherFour hundred ninety-eight years ago, Martin Luther posted ninety-five theses.  Those theses sparked a discussion in the one holy catholic and apostolic Church that is still ongoing.  The first theses said:

When our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ, said ‘Repent,’ He called for the entire life of believers to be one of repentance.

In recognition of this 498th anniversary, I would like to give away a copy of the Christian Book of Concord bonded-leather-cover Second Edition from Concordia Publishing House.  This is similar to the regular hard-cover Second Edition, except it has a bonded-leather-cover with gold trim on the page edges and comes in a gift box.  The condition is new, never used.

If you would like to enter the drawing for a free copy, just fill out the form on Rick’s website here.  However, you must be at least 18 years old, may enter the drawing only once, and you must be a resident of the United States.

The deadline for entries is at 12 noon on All Saints’ Day (Sunday, November 1), 2015

About Norm Fisher

Norm was raised in the UCC in Connecticut, and like many fell away from the church after high school. With this background he saw it primarily as a service organization. On the miracle of his first child he came back to the church. On moving to Texas a few years later he found a home in Lutheranism when he was invited to a confessional church a half-hour away by our new neighbors.

He is one of those people who found a like mind in computers while in Middle School and has been programming ever since. He's responsible for many websites, including the Book of Concord,, and several other sites.

He has served the church in various positions, including financial secretary, sunday school teacher, elder, PTF board member, and choir member.

Norm has been involved behind the scenes in many of the "go-to" websites for Lutherans going back many years.


Book of Concord Drawing, Reformation 2015 — 3 Comments

  1. This is indeed a generous offer. But I need to comment about the use of the first of the 95 Theses. Neither it, nor the other 94 ever made it into the Book of Concord. The reason it did not is that it is not Scriptural. Nevertheless I have heard it repeated from the pulpit and seen it in Lutheran writings many times as if it were true. Luther obviously wrote this before the Tower Experience, when he began to understand the Gospel more clearly. Much later, when Luther wrote the Smalcald Articles, he wrote the following in the Section “Of the False Repentance of the Papists”: “40] And in Christians this repentance continues until death, because, through the entire life it contends with sin remaining in the flesh, as Paul, Rom. 7:14-25, [shows] testifies that he wars with the law in his members, etc.; and that, not by his own powers, but by the gift of the Holy Ghost that follows the remission of sins.” You may say, “you are arguing against yourself!” But wait, here we have a problem in the translation from the German. By the time Luther wrote the Articles, he had a much better understanding of the Gospel. Therefore he wrote, “40] Und diese Busse währt bei den Christen bis in den Tod;…“ The German word „währt“ does not mean “continues“, but “has an effect” or “is in effect.” Luther, of course, is speaking about the Repentance at Conversion, and, as Luther and Walther teach, to confuse this with the repentance of the believer is to confuse Law and Gospel. Please note especially that Luther does not write, “through the entire life the believer contends with sin remaining in the flesh …” but “it contends.” The subject of the sentence is “the Repentance”; therefore it acts, not we.
    Peace and Joy!
    George A. Marquart

  2. I am not sure if I can follow your train of thoughts.

    First, in no way does “währen” mean “to have an effect, to be in effect”. The meaning is “to last, to go on, to continue”. The Latin text has “durat” (lasts).

    Second, what is “this repentance” Luther speaks of in §40? As §36 shows, it is a repentance which does not repent this sinful deed here or that sinful thought there, i. e. specific deeds or thoughts (as the papist do), but knows all deeds, thoughts and the whole person as sinful and utterly depraved. And this repentance “in Christians goes on until death” (§ 40). I cannot see a difference to the first theses.

    Third, the statement “Luther does not write ‘through the entire life the believer contends with sin'” is misleading because in a way Luther does indeed write exactly that. It is true that “the repentance” is subject of the sentence, so it is repentance which is contending with the sin, but then Luther illuminates this statement by citing Paul who confesses that he (=Paul) is contending. So, yes, it is all the same to state the repentance is contending, and: the believer is contending, because, as Luther ends his sentence, “und das nicht durch eigene Kräfte, sondern durch die Gabe des Heiligen Geistes, welche folgt auf die Vergebung der Sünden. Dieselbe Gabe reinigt und fegt täglich die übrigen Sünden aus und arbeitet, den Menschen recht rein und heilig zu machen.” (“And [this happens] not through powers of your own, but through the gift of the Holy Spirit which follows the foregiveness of sins. This same gift cleans and sweeps off the remaining sins daily and works to make the man truly pure and holy.”)

  3. @Sven Wagschal #2
    Sorry, Sven. I did not realize your response was sitting there.
    Indeed, although the word “währen” is hardly used today, and any dictionary will translate it a you write, “to last, to go on, to continue,” its origins are the same as “Währschaft,” that is, “guarantee.”
    Citing from a portion of „Deutsches Wörterbuch von Jacob Grimm und Wilhelm Grimm, we read, “fast völlig durch dauern (andauern) verdrängt worden. doch hat währen noch viel boden in den mundarten, so ist es im bairischösterreichischen, schwäbischen, schweizerischen, elsässischen und auch im osten Mitteldeutschlands gebräuchlich, während viele westliche mundarten es ganz durch dauern ersetzt haben (im niederalem., südfränk. und hessischen läszt sich vielfach beobachten, dasz die ältere generation währen, die jüngere dauern gebraucht). — über die schreibung ist noch zu bemerken, dasz LUTHER weren oder wehren hat; die schreibung mit ä tritt zuerst in alemannischen quellen auf (MAALER 482a wären). im 17. jahrh. haben die meisten wörterbücher (s. oben) währen oder wären, doch steht bei SCHÖNSLEDER Ll 7b weren, GÜNTZEL 846 und KRAMER wehren, auch bei LUDWIG neben währen. in der litteratur findet sich wehren bei WECKHERLIN 1, 111 u. ö., OPITZ 1, 43, SPEE trutzn. 90, FLEMING 426, S. DACH 715 Österley. BÖDIKER grundsätze der deutschen spr. B 3b verlangt wären, wie noch FRISCH, STEINBACH und RONDEAU schreiben, GOTTSCHED sprachk.5 146 währen.
    1) die grundbedeutung ist die von ‘bestand haben, in seinem zustand verharren’.“
    Please not the last sentence from that citation.
    I think that from the overall meaning of the section, it is clear that Luther is speaking about the Repentance (metanoia) that takes place at conversion, which is then in effect for the entire life of the believer. By definition, this repentance is not something we do over and over again, but it lasts, or is of value, or is a guarantee for the rest of our lives.
    Peace and Joy!
    George A. Marquart

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