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74 of 76 people found the following review helpful
on October 1, 2002
"The deplorable, miserable conditions which I recently observed when visiting the parishes have constrained and pressed me to put this catechism of Christian doctrine into the brief, plain, and simple form. How pitiable, so help me God, were the things I saw: the common man, espcially in the villages, knows practically nothing of Christian doctrine, and many of the pastors are almost entirely imcompetent and unable to teach." Thus begins Martin Luther in his incomparable little guide to the Christian faith. The Small Catechism is simple enough to be understood by a child, yet challenging enough for the most mature Christian. In his book Luther outlines the basics of the Faith: The Ten Commandments, The Creed, The Lord's Prayer, The Sacrament of Holy Baptism, Confession (the Office of the Keys), and The Sacrament of the Altar. Luther also adds Daily Prayers, a Table of Duties, and Christian Questions with Their Answers. The addition featured above also contains more elaborate question and answers involving the six chief parts. Luther was at his finest as a theologian and a pastor when he penned the Small Catechism. Don't just read this book, it must be continually reviewed, memorized, and taken to heart.
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72 of 75 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon May 19, 2002
As a faithful member of the Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod, I decided to re-read the old Small Catechism. To tell you the truth, in church every Sunday, the pastor would talk about how Baptism and Holy Communion forgive one of his sins, but I never really understood why. I couldn't understand why a baby is Baptized when that baby obviously can't even understand the concept of "I" let alone the concept of a Triune God. So, to find the answers to these questions, I turned to the Catechism.
I found the answers to why Communion and Baptism offers forgiveness of sins; I found the rationalle for Baptising babies (they can have a saving faith); I found answers to other questions that I have never thought of: Even though we pray "...and lead us not into temptation," God does not tempt us to sin; what each commandment really means, the relationship between obeying the Law of God and Grace/Forgiveness.
Now, if Luther had just sat down and wrote his own thoughts on all these subjects, the book wouldn't be worth the paper it was written on, but Luther makes sure he puts several verses from the Bible (none taken out of context), to show Biblical support for his answers. It really helped me to understand my fait a little better. It's little wonder that it's been in print for nearly 500 years.
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32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on November 21, 2006
This small catechism, though not a deal clencher on its own, certainly played a vital role in my move from the contemporary American evangelical movement to the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. If you're looking for solid teaching on the Ten Commandments, the Lord's Prayer, The Apostles Creed, the Lord's Supper, baptism, and Confession and Absolution, then the writing in this book will aid you along very nicely. For those who desire a deeper look at the Lutheran Confessions I would recommend purchasing a copy of the Book of Concord, which has a copy of the Small and Large Catechisms. That said, I highly recommend this version of the small catechism as it's nice to have as a resource when questions come up.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on December 28, 2004
This Concordia publication has Luther's small catechism with 200 pages of scripture verses and explanations. This is an excellent study for anyone, young or old. I am in my forties and found this a great way to remind me of the clear truths of christianity. Luther's writings have a way of always bringing you back to the basics and the basics are always relevant to whatever you are going through in your life. It is only when you get away from clear doctrine that the gospel seems less than relevant to your daily life. The catechism is a great review of the truths of the christian faith.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on November 9, 2006
I have been a Christian for quite a few years. And I went through two years of confirmation classes as a teen. But over the last few years as I spent more time in God's Word, I found I had a lot of questions. I asked my pastor, but never got satisfactory answers. I recently joined a Lutheran (LCMS) church and read this book and the Book of Concord. I found both to be very helpful, but in particular, I enjoyed how the Small Catechism answered so many of the questions I had previously been unable to answer. All of the points are backed up with quotations from scripture (NIV translation) which I also liked. All in all, I highly recommend this book. I think it is appropriate for all Christians, not just Lutherans.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on September 7, 2003
This is a great place to start for finding answers to common Christian questions. All of the basic parts of the Christian faith are presented in good detail with Biblical references to back up the answers. Ever wonder why Christians believe the way that they do or how to answer a non-Christian friend? You should find good answers here in easy to digest pieces. This book is the primary source of teaching Lutheran docterine in the Lutheran Church.
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31 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on June 19, 2000
This is the backbone of the Lutheran faith. It's comprehensive on every sigle subject within religion today. It is an excellent read for all Lutherans to better understand their faith and for non lutherans to grasp a look into this area of christianity.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on January 12, 2007
Beautiful new cover and color. Inside the new page color(cream or tan) makes the print just jump off the page. Very easy to read.

Everyone should read this book, and find out what Lutherans believe and why.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
(¤Thank you for reading this review and your votes - either way!¤)
In 1529 Martin Luther published this small Christian catechism and addressed it to "all faithful and godly pastors and preachers" about the "deplorable, miserable [spiritual] conditions" in which the german folk was in. Ever since then, this concise and biblical summary of the Christian Faith has been used by countless Christians to teach the faith to their kids and kin. All Christians will benefit from the Questions and Bible-quotes Answers format.

Concordia Publishing House (printing arm of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod) has done a fantastic job with this edition. There is no comparable presentation of the Small Catechism on the market. The binding is superior, the burgundy cover solid and the print with its bi-colors and font make reading this booklet very enjoyable.

This printed edition has a lot of extras added to the traditional Luther's Small Catechism with Explanation in the Appendix provided:
¤ Luther's Preface (pg.246)
¤ Books of the Bible (pg.253)
¤ Creeds and Confessions (pg.255)
¤ Explanation of Luther's Seal (pg.2257)
¤ Salvation Outline (pg.258)
¤ The Church Year (pg.259)
¤ Terms Relating to Worship and God's House (pg.265)
¤ The Time between the Testaments (pg.269)
¤ Symbols and Their Meanings (pg.275)
¤ Index of Biblical Quotations (pg.284)
¤ Index of Topics (pg.292)

Luther's Small Catechism is covered in 34 pages and contains:
Section 1
- The Ten Commandments (pg.11)
- The Creed (pg.15)
- The Lord's Prayer (pg.18)
- The Sacrament of Holy Baptism (pg.23)
- Confession (pg.26)
- The Sacrament of the Altar (pg.30)
Section 2
- Daily Prayers (pg.32)
Section 3
- Table of Duties (pg.35)
Section 4
- Christian Questions with Their Answers (pg.40)

The Explanation of the Small Catechism (from pg.45 to pg.245) was "designed to help students understand and apply Luther's Small Catechism. ... was not written by Dr. Luther" and is a valuable resource of Bible-verses used as explanation to questions related to the Christian Faith.

Whether you are looking into the Christian Faith, or are a pastor/priest of a church, or are the "head of the family [seeking to] teach his household" this resource will be a valuable addition to library and will provide Biblical nourishment for your soul.

(¤Thank you for reading this review and your votes - either way!¤)
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on May 21, 2007
This book is for the baptized or church going Lutheran. What's really great in real terms is that this book is used by Lutheran ministers for adult confirmation, which I am currently attending. Anything you give your church is considered a donation. They ask for none of your income whatsoever.
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