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Bo Giertz book cover

A Hammer for God: Bo Giertz

$19.95 (344 pages; paperback), 29.95 (344 pages; hardback)

Available from the Concordia Theological Seminary Bookstore at (260) 452-2160 or from our online store.

This “Giertz reader” is the most comprehensive volume ever published on Bo Giertz (1905-1998) in the world's language. The American Giertz revolution which began shortly before his centennial, continues with an increasing number of works by and about Giertz being made available in English.

Indeed, had he written and worked primarily in English, and not in Swedish, the bishop would have long ago taken his rightful place alongside such 20th century luminaries as C.S. Lewis and Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Through essays by such scholars as Robert Kolb, Gene Veith, Hans Andræ, Eric Andræ, Bror Erickson, Alex Klages, Charles Henrickson, Naomichi Masaki, and John Pless, as well as original translations from Giertz’s work, this volume is the leading U.S. contribution in giving his life and theology the hearing it demands. This book is an indispensable aid to those who wish to dig deeper into his confession and understand the faith of the author of the acclaimed and beloved The Hammer of God, which this year and with this anthology celebrates the 50th anniversary of the novel’s first English edition.


Bo Giertz (1905-1998) served as a rural parish pastor, occasional preacher to the royal court, bishop of the Gothenburg diocese in the Church of Sweden, Vice President of the Lutheran World Federation, and prolific Christian author on every subject imaginable. His books include The Hammer of God, Preaching from the Whole Bible, To Live with Christ, and Christ’s Church.

Eric R. Andræ, a native of Sweden, is the general editor of this volume, as well as the founder and president of the International Giertz Society (English Language Section). Having spent a semester as a research scholar at Uppsala University, he received his S.T.M. [Lic.] from Concordia Seminary-St. Louis in 2003 with his thesis on Giertz’s use of the Order of Grace. He has translated many articles by Giertz and is now working on his Kyrkofromhet [Church Piety].



  • Acknowledgments
  • Preface
  • Part I. Papers and Lectures on Bo Giertz
    • 1. Bishop Bo Harald Giertz: Pietism and the Ordo Salutis. The Office of the Holy Ministry, the Word, and Soul Care Eric R. Andræ
    • 2. Bishop Giertz’s Use of History in Stengrunden Robert Kolb
    • 3. The Hammer of God: The Sabbath and Sabbath-Keeping Alexander Klages
    • 4. To Believe In and To Live With Christ: Bo Giertz, Man of Faith and Prayer Bror Erickson
    • 5. Johannes’ Heavenly Vision: The Hammer of God and the Swedish Communion Liturgy Naomichi Masaki
    • 6. The Hammer of God: Law and Gospel Enfleshed Eric R. Andræ
    • 7. Fiction as an Instrument for the Gospel: Bo Giertz as Novelist Gene E. Veith
    • 8. The Hammer of God as Catechesis John T. Pless
    • 9. The Most Influential Swedish Churchman of the Twentieth Century: Bo Giertz as Bishop, Pastor, and Writer Hans O. Andræ
  • Part II. Essays, Meditations, Homilies, and More by Bo Giertz
    • 10. Life By Drowning: Enlightenment Through Law and Gospel Trans. Eric R. Andræ
    • 11. Holy Baptism Trans. Charles Henrickson
    • 12. The Table of Grace Trans. Bror Erickson
    • 13. The Pastoral Office (Ämbetet) Trans. Charles Henrickson
    • 14. Our Devotional Life Trans. Bror Erickson
    • 15. The God of Our Fathers Trans. Charles Henrickson
    • 16. Preach the Word! A Preacher’s Allegiance to Scripture Trans. Bror Erickson
    • 17. Ordination Addresses: Excerpts from, Då föll Herrens eld: Nytt liv i tjänsten Trans. Eric R. Andræ
    • 18. The Church in the Public Square. The Bishop’s address at the dedication of the Biskopsgårdens church Trans. Eric R. Andræ
    • 19. How the Seelsorger Cares for His Own Soul Trans. Bror Erickson
    • 20. The Bible’s View and a “View of the Bible” Trans. Charles Henrickson
    • 21. Holy Week Devotions Trans. Eric R. Andræ
    • 22. Release to us Barabbas Brans. Hans O. Andræ
    • 23. Arguments against Women Priests Trans. Larry Beane
    • 24. Interview with Bishop Bo Giertz Before His 90th Birthday Trans. Charles Henrickson
  • Appendix A: Bibliography of Giertz’s Writings in English
  • Appendix B: Source Documents
  • Contributors