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Hammer of God Paperback – January 1, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 372 pages
  • Publisher: AUGSBURG BOOKS; Revised edition (January 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080665130X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0806651309
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #61,872 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Bo Giertz, a Christian theologian and author, is Bishop Emeritus of the diocese of Gothenburg, Sweden. An internationally respected clergyman, he has published several books and numerous articles on the subject of religious doctrine and Christian life. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 61 customer reviews
I heartily recommend this book.
J. Redding
The translation reads very well, as if the book had been written in English.
Extollager
It will magnify God's grace in Jesus Christ in your heart.
Nathaniel I. Hoff

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

61 of 61 people found the following review helpful By John L. Hoh Jr. VINE VOICE on January 8, 1998
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Hammer of God" is set in Sweden, when the Swedish Lutheran Church was struggling for its identity. There were many who felt that the "rigid/dead orthodoxy" no longer served a purpose in people's lives. Naturally, nature abhors a vacuum. In place of orthodoxy came two schools of thought: rationalism (scientific thought) and pietism. This masterful volume follows three recent seminary graduates serving their first parishes. Obviously, their mentors are of the "dead orthodoxy" bent. The young pastors feel that the people should be more scientific or live more perfect lives. Needless to say, the new approaches do not work out. Touching is the old soldier, in the throes of senility, barking out fighting orders and using profanity. The young pastor soon realizes that it is by God's grace that we are saved, not in building a better life to become more perfect. This book was required reading at a small Lutheran seminary I attended in Mankato, MN (as was Walther's "The Proper Distinction Between Law and Gospel."). I will forever be indebted to the professor who required us to read this book. It was very enlightening and graphically displayed Christian faith in action in everyday life.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By junioR on November 30, 1999
Format: Paperback
("The Fight" by John White is the best.) The previous reviews have explained the content, so I won't go into that... I just want to add a personal note; that in the last 30 years, since the age of fifteen, I've read The Hammer of God in my native Norwegian version at least five times, and every time it has made me cry. (And not many books are able to make 45-year-old men cry...) This is one of the top Christian books of all time, recommended for any and all Christians, regardless of background and denomination. Great as a gift, perfect as a Confirmation gift.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Extollager on April 9, 2001
Format: Paperback
I am about through my third reading within less than ten years of this novel. Aside from themes mentioned by previous commentators, the recreation of rural Sweden should commend this book to some readers. THE HAMMER makes me want to learn more about Swedish history.
The translation reads very well, as if the book had been written in English.
I have thousands of books. If I had to dispose of all but 200 of them, I'm sure I would keep this one. I would like to get extra copies to give away.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Climacus on May 25, 2006
Format: Paperback
Bo Giertz' The Hammer of God should be read by anyone entering the pastorate. The book is divided into three novellas, each set in a different era in a particular area of Sweden. Each novella basically follows the same story: A nominally Christian pastor recently graduates from a modernist university and gets assigned, against his desires, to a country parish. He soon undergoes a kind of conversion experience as he is faced with the realities of parish life, especially with the existential questions of his parishoners, and finds that despite all his formal training, his faith is only nominal at best and he really doesn't know anything about God, until a simple parishoner witnesses the truth of the gospel to him. Newly converted and aware of his own sins, the preacher then begins to passionately preach the law of God bringing some revival to their churches, but as those revivals petter off, he is surprised to find that he is only half-converted, because he must also learn about the doctrine of justication by faith alone, which is the necessary complement to the law, and the heart of the gospel. At the same time, he discovers the richness of Lutheran orthodoxy over and against other modernist, pietistic and anabaptist movements happening around the parish.

Over all, I thought this was a really good book, and I would recommend it to anyone, even to those who are not Lutheran (I'm still a Baptist). Unfortunately, this particular edition is riddled with typos, more than I've seen in any book by a major publisher. So I can only give it 4 stars, rather than 5.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Gunia VINE VOICE on October 11, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book is divided into three stories of approximately 100 pages each. Although the time changes, the stories all have the same theme: a young, beginning pastor wrestles with the fact that, although he tries to "live a good life that God would be proud of," he still sins. The characters struggle with this fact and end up realizing that EVERYBODY sins and that because Jesus died on the cross to save us from our sins, we needn't worry about our sinful nature because Jesus death is bigger than any sin.
I have to admit that Giertz does a much better job than I did in describing the above (essentially, a forgiven Christian cares that he sins but can't help it while an unforgiven sins and couldn't care less). In the course of the book, Giertz addresses infant baptism, the work of the Holy Spirit, liturgical worship vs. non-liturgical worship, conflict between Christians, and a historical vs. a literal interpretation of the Bible.
While he tackles heavy subjects, Giertz does it in an entertaining way through this novel. Not only is it a good read, but it'll get you thinking about deep religious issues. Recommended
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Chris Lohr on November 30, 1999
Format: Paperback
The Hammer of God was Bo Giertz first novel. In a time when many people have a blurred vision of God, Giertz clears the picture with a true distinction between Law and Gospel. Giertz uses three fictional narratives to illustrate the importance of not only proclaiming God's Word, but using it as God intended. Each story deals with a pastor's struggle to be a servant of the Word, and the pitfalls that can happen when God's Word is proclaimed incorrectly. Giertz's characters and situations are crisp and alive, and his writing is brisk and descriptive. I would highly recommend this book to any reader wanting to grow closer to his God.
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