Making a New World : How Lutherans Read the Bible (2003).

By the Rev. Ronald F. Marshall, 48 pp.

$5.00 plus postage & handling.

This highly acclaimed study amasses over a hundred quotations from Martin Luther (1483-1546) on how the Bible should be properly read.  In over 75 detailed footnotes, this booklet contrasts Luther’s view with many modern contrary proposals.

Luther’s material is organized into 12 guidelines, entitled: Your Interpretations Don’t Matter, Only One True Interpreter, Pray First, The Bible Cannot Err, Making Meaning Secondary, Life Long Students, The Word of God is the Bible, Reading the Bible Backward, Studying the Right Context, Foreign Languages Count, The Bible is Basically Clear, and Law & Gospel Throughout.

This edition comes with nine written recommendations including this one from Dr. Brevard S. Childs, Sterling Profession Emeritus of the Old Testament, Yale Divinity School, New Haven, CT, “Pastor Marshall has performed a genuine service with this booklet in reminding the church of the power of Luther’s reading of the Bible which is as relevant today as it was in the 16th century.”

This study is well suited for adult Sunday School classes and pastors’ Text Study groups.


Kierkegaard’s Year 2005 (2005).

By the Rev. Ronald F. Marshall, 45 pp.

$5.00 plus postage & handling.


Dr. Robert L. Perkins, editor of the multi-volume International Kierkegaard Commentary, has said of this booklet: “It is just wonderful – just the way Kierkegaard would want to be remembered” (December 29, 2005).


Kierkegaard’s Year 2005 collects 15 articles Pastor Marshall wrote for the Sesquicentennial (1855-2005) of Kierkegaard’s death in The Messenger: The Newsletter of First Lutheran Church of West Seattle, plus his annual report on Kierkegaard’s view of hymns, his sermon and tribute for the Anniversary day on November 13, 2005, and his review of Joakim Garff’s biography reprinted from Lutheran Forum (Fall 2005).


These collected articles cover Kierkegaard’s understanding of the Bible, Holy Baptism, evangelism, the church, discipleship, sin, suffering, salvation, love, self-denial and peace.


Kierkegaard on Preaching for Salvation (2004)

By the Rev. Ronald F. Marshall, 39 pp.

$5.00 plus postage & handling


What sort of sermons would Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) have liked? In this booklet Pastor Marshall sets out to answer this question by outlining what he thinks Kierkegaard would have expected a sermon to say and the manner in which it should have been said.


At the end Pastor Marshall provides what he calls “an echo of a sermon” to illustrate the two point this booklet makes.


This booklet begins with four prefaces on preaching, explaining why it should always be fraught with danger.


This would be an excellent booklet for adult Sunday Classes and pastors’ Text Study groups.




A Christian Battle Manual: An Unexpected Reclamation of the Book of Judges for the Church (2005).

By the Rev. Ronald F. Marshall, 63 pp.

$5.00 plus postage & handling.


This booklet is three in one. First it is a study of The Book of Judges. In this study some 83 military offensive strategies are explored from Judges. Secondly, and most importantly, it is a study of 1 Timothy 6.12, “Fight the good fight of faith.”  In this study these military strategies are transformed from the battlefield into the heart of the believer for the battle against temptation and sin.


Finally in the over 75 detailed, extended footnotes, a history of warfare is explored to test out whether or not these strategies gleaned for the Book of Judges for the church are naïve or not.


This is an important book for all Christians to study. It would make a good devotion for extended meditation in silence. After that, it could also serve as a good discussion-starter for those who had first done the silent mediation on its many Biblical texts and classical excerpts.




The Fatal Vice: Standards for Judging Lutheran Pastors (2006).

By the Rev. Ronald F. Marshall, 53 pp.

$5.00 plus postage & handling.

The last generation or so of American Protestant congregations has taken on the responsibility of evaluating their pastors. This has been mostly disastrous. Why? Because no agreed upon standards have been used in doing these reviews. So what has happened is about as silly as judging carpenters by what would make for good librarians. Each vocation must have its own set of standards indigenous to it. Without that set of standards in hand, every pastoral review going on today – no matter how well meaning – will be horrible. For you can’t judge pastors, for instance, by the standards suitable for coaches or sales reps.

In The Fatal Vice Pastor Marshall tries to rectify this situation. He provides a set of ten standards for judging Lutheran pastors – gleaned from the Lutheran Confessions and from Luther’s Works.

He also provides a format for conducting a review based on these ten standards – providing forms covering eight areas of pastoral responsibility. A controversial part of these forms is the requirement for personal disclosures on the part of those reviewing the pastor.

This booklet would especially be of interest to all pastors and parish personnel committees.



Christianity Run Amuck (2003)

By the Rev. Ronald F. Marshall, 24 pp.

$3.00 plus postage & handling


This booklet is a refutation the ELCA Pastor Terry Kyllo’s argument that sin is not as serious as historic Christianity says it is, and that Jesus’ death on the cross does not save us from the wrath of God as historic Christianity also says it does.


How amazing it is that ELCA pastors are free to violate their ordination vows and preach whatever they think will make people happy. One would think that the bishops of the church would stop such terrible, faithless instruction.


Into that breach this booklet fires its Biblical and Confessional salvos into the side of Pastor Kyllo’s wayward teaching. In the process it summarizes handily in one spot what matters most about sin and salvation in the Lutheran Church.


For that reason it is something of an ad hoc catechism and should be of interest to any Lutheran – regardless of what they think of Pastor Kyllo’s wobegone booklet.




Deo Gloria: A History of First Lutheran Church of West Seattle from 1918 to 1988 (1989).

By the Rev. Ronald F. Marshall, i-xxi, 102 pp.

$25.00 plus postage & handling (limited edition)


This history of First Lutheran Church of West Seattle does three things. First it gives a chronology of this congregation's history. Next it explores in original period photographs and documents and memoirs, interesting features in that history, e.g. the pastors, the property, and church music.


Finally it assembles other’s research. It opens with an eight-page history of the Christian Church in Seattle written for this book by the local historian, Junius Rochester. It also includes Andrew J. King’s memoir of the building the Noack Organ in 1976 (Chapter 5). After that memoir is a reprinted interview from The American Organist (August 1987) of the organ builder Fritz Noack by Craig Cramer.


Of this history book, Dr. James W. Alber, president of the Lutheran Historical Conference has written: “It is extraordinarily well done and in many respects unique…. I am sure that it will be a valuable resource, not only for [First Lutheran Church of West Seattle],… but also for future historians to gain a glimpse into the excitement that has occurred in [First Lutheran Church] and in the Seattle area…. My heartiest congratulations on an excellent piece of work that makes a fine contribution to the history of Lutheranism in North America” (reprinted from The Messenger: The Newsletter of First Lutheran Church of West Seattle, January 1990).



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