Tue 24 Jan 2012
If you’re out of university and—like me—are too busy to take classes, then you’ll want to hear what I’m about to say: The Great Courses is having a very big sale, with many courses 70 percent off! And among the courses on sale are two by the brilliant Phillip Cary.
Now, I hear you asking two questions: 1) What is The Great Courses?; and 2) Who is Phillip Cary? First off, The Great Courses is exactly what it sounds like: a company that produces recordings of stimulating lectures by intelligent and engaging professors. If you want to study something but can’t commit to the schedules of a real class, this is for you: you can study courses in history, religion, literature, science, and many, many more subjects.
To answer the second question, Phillip Cary is a professor at Eastern University with some serious theological credibility. An Anglican, he’s an expert on Augustine and a big proponent of Luther’s theology within wider evangelicalism (coincidentally, the two courses by him on sale at The Great Courses are his series on Augustine and his series on Luther). He wrote Good News for Anxious Christians: 10 Practical Things You Don’t Have to Do which is unquestionably the best popular-level Christian book I’ve read in recent years. In it, he provides a clear declaration of the Gospel and encourages Christians to look for their comfort not within (Do I have strong enough faith? How do I hear God’s voice in my heart?) but instead to the external promises of Christ in Scripture.
Cary made a bit of a stir among Lutherans a few years back when he published an article entitled “Why Luther is not Quite Protestant: The Logic of Faith in a Sacramental Promise.” This was followed by an invitation to speak at the Symposium on the Lutheran Confessions at Concordia Theological Seminary (Fort Wayne, Indiana) in 2007 where he delivered the paper “Sola Fide: Luther and Calvin.” You can also find online his article “The Lutheran Codicil: From Augustine’s Grace to Luther’s Gospel” and an interview he gave for Issues, etc. Among his books, you’ll find three critically acclaimed works on Augustine.
In short, Phillip Cary is qualified to speak intelligently in matters of theology, particularly on Augustine and Luther. What’s more, he speaks engagingly; he’s even won awards for his teaching.
Which is why you need to head over to The Great Courses right now. His course on Augustine (12 lectures long) is on sale for $16. His course on Luther (24 lectures) is on sale for $30. And, if you make the purchase by January 26, you can save an additional $10 by using the coupon code X64R. That’s 36 lectures for $36 bucks—a deal if I ever saw one.