Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Conservative Reformation and Its Theology by Charles Porterfield Krauth

I just recently finished reading The Conservative Reformation and Its Theology by Charles Porterfield Krauth. You can read it for free here or purchase a printed copy has several copies in various digital formats that you can download for free. Unfortunately the copy I downloaded for my Kindle had lots and lots of OCR errors. But possibly one of the other copies has fewer.

C.P. Krauth played a big role in getting the Lutheran church to return to her confessions in the 19th Century and this book is a tremendous accomplishment. In many other books, the term "Conservative Reformation" has reference to Lutheran and Calvinist churches as opposed to the "Radical Reformation" which refers to the anabaptists. But Krauth understands the Calvinists to be part of the "Radical Reformation." So the book is really a defense and explanation of the historic teachings of the Lutheran churches, especially on the issue of the sacraments. Krauth defends the Lutheran position as being the historic Christian position against every objection you could possibly think of and many you never would. He responds to some of the more legitimate arguments but also takes the time to respond to some of the most ridiculous arguments against the Lutheran position. In one section Krauth goes on forever refuting some ridiculous statements by some Baptists claiming that Luther believed immersion was required for a valid baptism. But Krauth spends most of the time correcting Calvinist misrepresentations of Lutheranism and arguing against the Calvinist position. He gives such a thorough defense of the Lutheran that it's hard to see how anyone could refute what he wrote. Unfortunately the length of his work results in not many people reading it. Krauth is direct. He's not flowery in his language. He doesn't talk around issues. Krauth takes a very definite position. For an exhaustive defense of the Lutheran faith you really can't beat him but it will probably exhaust you.

He also sings the praises of Luther for some time in his book. I thought it was a little over the top but he says some things about Luther I was not aware of. So go lock yourself in the Wartburg Castle for a few months and read some Krauth.

1 comment:

Esteban Vázquez said...

Thanks for the book note. I deeply regret that I never got around to buying this book up while it sat on a shelf at the local Family Christian Store. One day I went in, and it was gone. Ah, well.