Raisin Cakes

Our family's day-to-day journey....

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The following is taken from pages I created for the Webpage of my congregation, Hope Lutheran Church. I have chosen to post it here for numerous reasons not least of which is that I hope others will find it helpful.

Christian Resources

All the materials listed through the following links are public domain and you may freely copy and use them (if you have doubts or questions about the public domain status of anything listed here, please contact me).

Disclaimer: although I commend these resources to you for your spiritiual growth and Christian edification, I cannot vouch for everything included herein. Please test everything you read against God's Holy Word and utilize your God-given reason and Christian knowledge.


  • I personally recommend the English Standard Version (ESV) as it is a generally reliable translation of the original Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic Scripture texts.
  • American Standard Version
    • One of the best English translation available in the public domain is the American Standard Version (ASV), published in 1901. Although it does contain archaic language, it is much easier to read than the King James Version (KJV), published in 1611. Note, however, this translation is not built on the ancient texts discovered in the twentieth century and does not take into account the considerable Biblical scholarship that the last hundred years has produced.
  • King James Version 
    • Although much good scholarship has become available since the publishing of this "Authorized Version," the King James Version still has much to commend it. Whereas it should not be relied upon as anyone's only Bible, (the ASV concerns are much magnified with this translation), yet this text has largely stood the test of time. Note, however, that many of the archaic phrases and colloquialisms in this translation can be easily misinterpreted by today's speaker of English. If you wish, follow this off-site link to a King James Bible dictionary and have hard-to-understand words defined.

Sermons & Treatises:

Written by Dr. Martin Luther (1483-1546)

Reformer and Rediscoverer of the Gospel of Christ who once wrote: "God has surely promised His grace to the humbled, that is, to those who mourn over and despair of themselves. But a man cannot be thoroughly humbled till he realizes that his salvation is utterly beyond his own powers, counsels, efforts, will and works, and depends, absolutely on the will, counsel, pleasure and works of Another - God alone. As long as he is persuaded that he can make even the smallest contribution to his salvation, he remains self-confident and does not utterly despair of himself, and so is not humbled before God."

  • Treatise on Good Works (191 KB) download
    • A seminal, influential work on the importance of good works, compared and contrasted with the central doctrine of justification by faith.
  • Preface to His Latin Writings (39 KB) download
    • Written later in his life, this preface to his published Latin writings gives us a remarkable window into Martin Luther's theology and into the truth revealed in God's inspired Word
  • Preface to the Book of Romans (43 KB) download
    • When Martin Luther first translated the Bible into German (at that time, the Bible was only available to the lay people in the Latin, which no one could read. Working from Greek manuscripts, Luther translated the whole Bible into German so that the people could read the Bible for themselves. When first published, Luther also included an explanatory preface to each book of the New Testament. The preface to Romans is particularly good.
  • The 95 Theses (32 KB) download
    • The theses for debate on the sale of indulgences that Martin Luther posted on the door of the castle church.  Intended to be the topics for debate and not intended to start a Church-wide Reformation, nevertheless they are the springboard from which the true Gospel of Jesus Christ was restored to Christendom.
  • Commentary on Galatians (662 KB) download
    • His second commentary on this Gospel-centered letter of St. Paul. Recommended as basic reading for all Christians who wish to grow in their love for Scripture and for the Lord Jesus whom it proclaims.
  • On the Bondage of the Will (817 KB) download
    • One of the most difficult doctrines of the Bible to understand is the relationship between free will and salvation. Written as a part of a public debate with Erasmus of Rotterdam, Martin Luther clearly (and polemically) explicates the Bible's teaching on free will and demonstrates how it is of great comfort to the believer.
  • Sermon on the Reception of the Holy Sacrament (35 KB) download
    • An excellent sermon, calling us to mind as to what the meaning of the Sacrament of the Altar is, also reminding us of the importance of faith, of believing in the Real Presence, and of having faith in the words "given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins."
  • Sermon on How to Contemplate the Sufferings of our Lord (26 KB) download
    • This was not only one of Luther's most popular published sermons, but one of his most popular writings during the formative years of the Reformation. An excellent corrective to today's overly pietist means of  hand-wrenching" on Good Friday.
  • Assorted Sermons (292 KB) download
    • A selection of eight sermons on various topics. Note: the translation of Scripture in this selection is slightly archaic (for example, it says "thee" instead of "you" and "believeth" instead of "believes."

"What About?" Series

The immediate past-president of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod was the late Dr. A. L. Barry. Dr. Barry wrote a very helpful series of pamphlets entitled the "What About?" series. The series ranged on topics from "What About Christian Families?" to What about "Homosexuality?" to "What About Baptism?" and everything in between. It is a helpful summary of many of the doctrines of the Christian faith in an easy-to-use format.

To download the entire series of "What About?" pamphlets as collated in one larger document entitled "Unchanging Truth in Changing Times," click here.