Autumn often brings a burst of congregational energy, programs and projects. It's a good time to take stock of your church's resource collection — and to add new items. Consider these three from Augsburg Fortress, Publishers.
A major acquisition, and an invaluable reference, is Luther's Works on CD-ROM. This is the complete 55-volume set from the translation project edited by Jaroslav Pelikan and Helmut T. Lehmann, which was published in 1957 by Fortress and Concordia Publishing House.
The CD-ROM provides quick access to Martin Luther's words through various user-friendly devices including navigation aids; bookmarks; topic, word and verse indices; and library browser. An essential reference for scholars, it can be used by pastors for sermon preparation and by parishioners eager to learn more about Luther's theology and thought.
The $249 cost is formidable, although actually a bargain for what's included. The CD-ROM must be installed on a computer. To find out more about the computer system requirements, visit the online store at www.augsburgfortress.org. You'll also find there the two other excellent references I recommend:
* Documents from the History of Lutheranism: 1517-1750 (2002; $30), edited by Eric Lund, a professor of religion at St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minn. This hefty paperback contains key statements of Luther, of course. It also includes related materials, such as writings by other important reformers and foes of reform, sketches of various theological controversies, devotional literature and hymnody, and information on specific Lutheran movements.
* The Bible Guide: An All-in-One Introduction to the Book of Books (2001; $17.99) by Andrew Knowles, a British theologian. An accessible reference, it's organized according to the books of the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament — with topic sections for each book, such as "The final period of David's reign" and "Peter and John on trial." It also features chronological charts, maps, drawings and photographs of cave paintings, murals, places and artifacts.
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