Concordia Publishing House (CPH) is proud to present Gerhard’s On the Ministry II, the latest volume of the Theological Commonplaces in English, coming beside On the Ministry I and On the Church to complete Gerhard’s definitive treatment of the doctrines of church and ministry.
“Modern American society, both outside the Church and inside, views pastors as employees of congregations, program leaders, community organizers, or CEOs,” explained Rev. Dr. Benjamin Mayes, general editor for the series. “Gerhard sets forth a different view, based on the New Testament. Here pastors are shepherds, overseers, and teachers. They have a real power, given to them by God for building up and not for destroying (2 Cor. 10:8).”
Mayes continued, “That’s one side of it. The other side is that pastors’ duties are clearly delimited, and they are not to have any tyrannical power. Knowing where their office begins and ends is especially important as pastors face challenges, temptations, and fears in the ministry.”
Besides the power of the ministry, in this volume Gerhard sets forth the Evangelical Lutheran view of bishops and describes not only the holy duties of preachers and hearers but also their common vices.
While the Theological Commonplaces were written in Latin, Gerhard would have approved of their translation for all Christians to read.
“The pastoral ministry is not just for pastors to know about,” Mayes said. “According to Gerhard, ministers and their hearers belong together like shepherds and sheep, or like fathers and children, in a loving, mutually-supporting relationship.”
Mayes went on to explain that the more laypeople understand their pastor’s work, the more they are able to defend him when the devil and the world try to undermine his work in the Gospel and his authority in the Word of God.
With CPH’s completion of On the Ministry II, Gerhard’s compendious work on church and ministry is now available in English with all the detailed annotations and careful attention to works cited that are a hallmark of this translation project. These volumes also pair nicely with the upcoming release of a study edition of C. F. W. Walther’s Church and Ministry (anticipated December 2012), which quotes heavily from these two commonplaces.
Currently there are six volumes of Gerhard’s Theological Commonplaces in print, with plans to release one volume per year (typically in the late summer) until the series is completed. The next volume will address creation, predestination, and the image of God. The volume to be released in 2014 will also encompass several loci relating to sin and free choice.
Readers are invited to subscribe to the Gerhard series, which ensures a 30% discount off the individual volume price as well as the ability to purchase previously published in-stock volumes at the same discount.
For more information on the series and to sign up as a subscriber, visit cph.org/gerhard.