Thursday, November 02, 2006

My Review: Martin Chemnitz's 'Two Natures in Christ'

(This is an online review I did for of Martin Chemnitz's 'The Two Natures in Christ.' As you will see from the review, this one gets high praise from me, as it should.

My taste in books is, well, eclectic, as anyone can tell by looking at my library, or reading my reviews. Because I have somewhat unusual taste, I usually don't recommend everything I read, even books that were helpful to me, because you might have different tastes.

This book is different. Because a thousand years from now, this book will still be relevant: both to Christians on earth, and to those of us who will be gathered with the saints. I know of no one who would not benefit from this book. Read it, and marvel at the Savior who took on your nature, became one of us (except without sin) and who gives us His own human nature in His Body and Blood in the Sacrament of the Altar).

"This book was recommended to me in 1989. I bought it in 1990, and have read it a number of times since then, with greater insights coming from it with each read.

If I had to grab a handful of books because a flood was coming, this is one I'd take. This is the finest Christology book I've ever read, and there is no competition. I would argue that in a real sense, it is one of the top 5 theology books I've ever read at all.

A couple of suggestions:

1. Get a good copy. I'm all for buying used books from Amazon, but this might be one where you'd want to get it new, just because you will -- I hope -- be reading it over and over. And you'll very likely never sell it, because this book is so good that you'll feel like hogging it to yourself.

2. Read it slowly. I'm not a fan of devotional books (they're often junk) but this book teaches you about theology, while nurturing your spiritual life. When I'm reading it, I read 2-4 pages a day. Of course, that means it might take a year to get through, but what's the problem with that? When you're finished, you'll feel like starting over.

3. Most errors in Christian theology stem from one of 2 areas. People get messed up on either the PERSON of Christ (who He is) or the WORK of Christ (what He does). This book will inoculate you against both errors.

4. This is NOT a book "just for pastors." Any thoughtful layperson can read and learn from this. A few terms are in Latin, Greek, or Hebrew; most of those terms are translated.

Martin Chemnitz is a master. Get this book (and anything by him) and learn from it. You will be a better Christian for it, and your church will benefit, too."

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