Lutheran conversion testimonies

Some may consider that phrase a contradiction in terms.  But a new book contains the stories of various people who converted to Christianity as proclaimed in Lutheranism.  It’s called Wittenberg Confessions: Testimonies of Converts to Confessional Lutheranism, by Jim Pierce, Edited by Elaine Gavin.  I mention it in particular because it includes accounts from some of the readers and commentators on this blog, such as author Jim Pierce (former atheist and just about everything else you could name) and Kelly Klages.  (If there are any others of you who contributed to this book, make yourself known!  If you aren’t in the book but have a similar “testimony,” feel free to tell about it in a comment on this post.)

You can buy  the book, from the wonderfully-named new publisher Blue Pomegranate Press, by clicking here.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Larry

    Dr. Vieth,

    I contributed my own story. I was honored to be asked by Jim to do so. Jim and the folks did a great job pulling this together. I enjoyed reading the other contributor’s confessions. There was always some Gospel turn of Scripture that did it for each one, that they had been wrestling with, one of those “epiphany moments”. And when you read it you yourself end up saying, “Oh yea, I missed that too” and then be encouraged in the faith yourself.

    Yours,

    Larry

  • Larry

    Dr. Vieth,

    I contributed my own story. I was honored to be asked by Jim to do so. Jim and the folks did a great job pulling this together. I enjoyed reading the other contributor’s confessions. There was always some Gospel turn of Scripture that did it for each one, that they had been wrestling with, one of those “epiphany moments”. And when you read it you yourself end up saying, “Oh yea, I missed that too” and then be encouraged in the faith yourself.

    Yours,

    Larry

  • Darren

    Why “Blue Pomegranate?” Does that have some appeal to Lutherans? (I’m not one.)

  • Darren

    Why “Blue Pomegranate?” Does that have some appeal to Lutherans? (I’m not one.)

  • Elaine Gavin

    In Exodus 28, God is commanding how the priests’ garments, “holy garments for Aaron your brother, for glory and for beauty,” are to be made and decorated. In verses 33&34 we read, “On its hem you shall make pomegranates of blue and purple and scarlet yarns, around its hem, with bells of gold between them, a golden bell and a pomegranate, a golden bell and a pomegranate, around the hem of the robe.” The name Blue Pomegranate reminds us of the role of art and beauty in the Church.

  • Elaine Gavin

    In Exodus 28, God is commanding how the priests’ garments, “holy garments for Aaron your brother, for glory and for beauty,” are to be made and decorated. In verses 33&34 we read, “On its hem you shall make pomegranates of blue and purple and scarlet yarns, around its hem, with bells of gold between them, a golden bell and a pomegranate, a golden bell and a pomegranate, around the hem of the robe.” The name Blue Pomegranate reminds us of the role of art and beauty in the Church.

  • Another Kerner

    I was 31 years old, raised Roman Catholic, now an agnostic, married with four children, before I ever heard the words of John 3:16, recited on Christmas eve in a Congregational Church. We went to the service because it was “the thing to do” for the children.

    The Pastor explained what the Christmas “Gift” was in his sermon. I remember thinking, “I didn’t know that…. Why have I never heard that….I am in the United States of America in the 20th Century and I have never heard the words of John 3:16 recited before…. Why, I wonder ??”

    Not being in church had something to do with it, no?

    (And words on a sign hanging over a railing at a Green Bay Packer football game remained unexplained…. )

    Friends suggested that my husband and I purchase a Bible….and start reading.
    “Start,” they said, “in the Gospel of John. Do not start at Genesis 1:1, because you will get ‘stuck’ in Leviticus. Read John and then Romans.”

    Ah, Christ and His mercy for both of us, right there in the books of John and Paul….. The Christ, The Truth, The Life.

    So the search for a place to “fellowship” began.

    Son ‘kerner’ will attest.
    We went from one “conservative” congregation to another (we were politically conservative so it seemed a reasonable way to select a church, ruling out churches with drum sets in the front of them where a cross should be and/or churches which were supporting “liberation theology” and/or funneling gun money to the Nicaragians and/or listening to Pete Seeger’s music, but always reading, reading, going from Baptistic premillenial pre-tribulation rapturist congregations, to Pentecostal gatherings, to 5 Point Calvinist churches, visiting over and over; reading the Westminster Confession, Rousas Rushdoony, Arthur Pink, John Calvin, the Puritans, R.C. Sproul, and finally….. Luther, The Bondage of the Will, Walther (The Proper Distinction Between the Law and the Gospel)….. and the Book of Concord.

    Perhaps this recitation is rather ordinary and not atypical of most confessional Lutheran adult converts in this country, and not unlike Dr. Veith’s and Craig Parton’s journey put forward in their most excellent books.

    ( I do believe that missionaries need to be sent to Chicago and Milwaukee as fervently as they are sent out across the oceans.)

    The Christology of the Lutheran Confessions (quia), in the Three Solas….the means of Grace: these are the crystal prisms through which one is able to behold God Himself…..on the Cross for us.

  • Another Kerner

    I was 31 years old, raised Roman Catholic, now an agnostic, married with four children, before I ever heard the words of John 3:16, recited on Christmas eve in a Congregational Church. We went to the service because it was “the thing to do” for the children.

    The Pastor explained what the Christmas “Gift” was in his sermon. I remember thinking, “I didn’t know that…. Why have I never heard that….I am in the United States of America in the 20th Century and I have never heard the words of John 3:16 recited before…. Why, I wonder ??”

    Not being in church had something to do with it, no?

    (And words on a sign hanging over a railing at a Green Bay Packer football game remained unexplained…. )

    Friends suggested that my husband and I purchase a Bible….and start reading.
    “Start,” they said, “in the Gospel of John. Do not start at Genesis 1:1, because you will get ‘stuck’ in Leviticus. Read John and then Romans.”

    Ah, Christ and His mercy for both of us, right there in the books of John and Paul….. The Christ, The Truth, The Life.

    So the search for a place to “fellowship” began.

    Son ‘kerner’ will attest.
    We went from one “conservative” congregation to another (we were politically conservative so it seemed a reasonable way to select a church, ruling out churches with drum sets in the front of them where a cross should be and/or churches which were supporting “liberation theology” and/or funneling gun money to the Nicaragians and/or listening to Pete Seeger’s music, but always reading, reading, going from Baptistic premillenial pre-tribulation rapturist congregations, to Pentecostal gatherings, to 5 Point Calvinist churches, visiting over and over; reading the Westminster Confession, Rousas Rushdoony, Arthur Pink, John Calvin, the Puritans, R.C. Sproul, and finally….. Luther, The Bondage of the Will, Walther (The Proper Distinction Between the Law and the Gospel)….. and the Book of Concord.

    Perhaps this recitation is rather ordinary and not atypical of most confessional Lutheran adult converts in this country, and not unlike Dr. Veith’s and Craig Parton’s journey put forward in their most excellent books.

    ( I do believe that missionaries need to be sent to Chicago and Milwaukee as fervently as they are sent out across the oceans.)

    The Christology of the Lutheran Confessions (quia), in the Three Solas….the means of Grace: these are the crystal prisms through which one is able to behold God Himself…..on the Cross for us.

  • Ted Snedeker

    I was raised in a Pilgrim Holiness church built by my grandfather. One Sunday when I was eleven or twelve, after a “hellfire and brimstone” sermon, and some specific instructions on how to get “saved” by our Sunday school teacher, I slid out to the haymow to “pray through.” Now, I had detailed instructions on how this was done and what was to be expected. One fervently prayed, confessed and sought forgiveness. When one had prayed hard enough and long enough, the heavens would open, one would hear the angels sing, or as one old gent testified, “I saw my name written in the book of life with a hand of fire.”
    Alas, no angels, no hand of fire for me, just pigeons and the smell of freshly baled hay met my most earnest efforts. That led me, in my infinite eleven year old wisdom, to a conclusion. Either I had done something that was so terrible that I could not be forgiven and was destined to spend eternity in a place of intense punishment, or it was all bunk, superstition and old wives tales. Since option two did not result in spending eternity in hell, I decided to take it.
    Since we had moved to the country about this time and my parents were rather casual about church attendance, it was easy for me to opt out of the whole thing. After I left home, went to the Navy, got out, was married and started a career, I avoided even thinking about eternal things. That was all well and good until I happened to pick up a copy of “Mere Christianity.” I took it with me on a long plane trip and read it cover to cover before we landed. I got on the plane an agnostic, I walked off a believer. Now, there is a huge chasmatic difference between realizing that there is, in fact, a creator God and being a Christian.
    The journey took twenty years and led through Wesleyan, Baptist and Pentecostal churches, volumes of books from Augustine to Bonhoeffer and led me right back out of the “Saved by Grace maintained by works” church. I finally settled on a kind of Universalism where Jesus had come to die for the sins of the world, period the end.
    Then in 1997 I was living in Hawaii, working out of my condo. In the middle of a busy work day a voice came in my head and asked this question. “Do you believe that 2000 years ago God came to earth in the person of Jesus Christ to die for your sins?” I tried to ignore it, but it would not be ignored, it demanded an answer. I said “sure, I believe that.” It came right back, “Do you really believe. . .” OK, this was different. I put the work aside and went over to my “thinking” chair. You have to understand I had read dozens of apologetic books written from the beginnings of the church to the present day. Some of the smartest men in every generation for two thousand years had believed this very unlikely story to be true. I just could not set aside the testimony of these men. “Yes,” I replied, “I really believe.” A few minutes passed, I thought I was off the hook. Then, “are you living like you believe that?”
    Now I had a serious problem. I didn’t know how to live like I believed that. I had already read and studied my way out of the Wesleyan way. What to do? I got a bible and started reading (again). One morning in the second chapter of Galatians I stumbled onto ” . . a man is not justified by works of the Law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ . . .” I got it. I mean I saw the whole thing so clearly that had been there all along, it was my road moment, the scales came off and I saw. The old hymn “Joy unspeakable and full of glory!” played through my head for a week. I had been skeptical of my wife’s Lutheran faith because it seemed “too easy.” After the revelation, I was ready. I took the catechism, agreeing with everything the pastor taught, it all seemed to fit perfectly with what I had come to believe on my own. I finally decided I had been a Lutheran my whole life and just didn’t know it.

  • Ted Snedeker

    I was raised in a Pilgrim Holiness church built by my grandfather. One Sunday when I was eleven or twelve, after a “hellfire and brimstone” sermon, and some specific instructions on how to get “saved” by our Sunday school teacher, I slid out to the haymow to “pray through.” Now, I had detailed instructions on how this was done and what was to be expected. One fervently prayed, confessed and sought forgiveness. When one had prayed hard enough and long enough, the heavens would open, one would hear the angels sing, or as one old gent testified, “I saw my name written in the book of life with a hand of fire.”
    Alas, no angels, no hand of fire for me, just pigeons and the smell of freshly baled hay met my most earnest efforts. That led me, in my infinite eleven year old wisdom, to a conclusion. Either I had done something that was so terrible that I could not be forgiven and was destined to spend eternity in a place of intense punishment, or it was all bunk, superstition and old wives tales. Since option two did not result in spending eternity in hell, I decided to take it.
    Since we had moved to the country about this time and my parents were rather casual about church attendance, it was easy for me to opt out of the whole thing. After I left home, went to the Navy, got out, was married and started a career, I avoided even thinking about eternal things. That was all well and good until I happened to pick up a copy of “Mere Christianity.” I took it with me on a long plane trip and read it cover to cover before we landed. I got on the plane an agnostic, I walked off a believer. Now, there is a huge chasmatic difference between realizing that there is, in fact, a creator God and being a Christian.
    The journey took twenty years and led through Wesleyan, Baptist and Pentecostal churches, volumes of books from Augustine to Bonhoeffer and led me right back out of the “Saved by Grace maintained by works” church. I finally settled on a kind of Universalism where Jesus had come to die for the sins of the world, period the end.
    Then in 1997 I was living in Hawaii, working out of my condo. In the middle of a busy work day a voice came in my head and asked this question. “Do you believe that 2000 years ago God came to earth in the person of Jesus Christ to die for your sins?” I tried to ignore it, but it would not be ignored, it demanded an answer. I said “sure, I believe that.” It came right back, “Do you really believe. . .” OK, this was different. I put the work aside and went over to my “thinking” chair. You have to understand I had read dozens of apologetic books written from the beginnings of the church to the present day. Some of the smartest men in every generation for two thousand years had believed this very unlikely story to be true. I just could not set aside the testimony of these men. “Yes,” I replied, “I really believe.” A few minutes passed, I thought I was off the hook. Then, “are you living like you believe that?”
    Now I had a serious problem. I didn’t know how to live like I believed that. I had already read and studied my way out of the Wesleyan way. What to do? I got a bible and started reading (again). One morning in the second chapter of Galatians I stumbled onto ” . . a man is not justified by works of the Law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ . . .” I got it. I mean I saw the whole thing so clearly that had been there all along, it was my road moment, the scales came off and I saw. The old hymn “Joy unspeakable and full of glory!” played through my head for a week. I had been skeptical of my wife’s Lutheran faith because it seemed “too easy.” After the revelation, I was ready. I took the catechism, agreeing with everything the pastor taught, it all seemed to fit perfectly with what I had come to believe on my own. I finally decided I had been a Lutheran my whole life and just didn’t know it.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    I have been a Lutheran all my life. I was baptized as an infant. Starting at around age 4 i realized that I was somehow different. I was enough different to imagine that i was on the outside of society (and secretly also the church as it defined what I needed to be to be truly a christian). I was really living an exemplary life . sexually chaste in thought word and deed. etc etc. i was a good kid. but I knew I was going to hell because I could not overcome my secret . I felt that if only I knew more doctrine I would get “right” . so i was sort of a wierd kid who was reading pieper and walther in the original german in highschool. It did not fix me. I could really talk to no one. indeed I did not even have a label for what I knew was in me. I just knew it condemned me to hell. So I thought….. ” well. I will never stop loving Jesus. so I guess i will be loving him eternally in hell. ” i felt this to be just and right.

    I quietly dropped out of church. Finally the pain of living without Jesus, who can only be found in the company of other flawed humans in church, was simply too painful.

    I did not come back to church willingly. I had simply exhausted all other options and the law had broken me. I was willing to be the dog eating the crumbs from the masters table. I had to show up at church even if I was denied communion for being honest about my life and was not really accepted by a church. that was my resolve.

    wow.

    I spent 14 years in a church and was truly loved. Imagine that. being gay in a small suburban church that looked like a white flight church that voted 95% for bush . and I got to hear that my sins are forgiven every single sunday and saturday in private absolution.

    i know beyond any doubt that I am saved. How? i was baptised. I receive the lords supper. I hear the general and particular absolution pronounced over me personally.

    My plan is to hold God to his words and promises there. My plan is to confess that everything that satan says about me is true and that I am a liar and not sincere or worthy in any way at all. I do not try in any way to defend myself. But I also tell satan to go back to hell. Jesus came exactly for sinners like me.

    None of this should have been possible.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    I have been a Lutheran all my life. I was baptized as an infant. Starting at around age 4 i realized that I was somehow different. I was enough different to imagine that i was on the outside of society (and secretly also the church as it defined what I needed to be to be truly a christian). I was really living an exemplary life . sexually chaste in thought word and deed. etc etc. i was a good kid. but I knew I was going to hell because I could not overcome my secret . I felt that if only I knew more doctrine I would get “right” . so i was sort of a wierd kid who was reading pieper and walther in the original german in highschool. It did not fix me. I could really talk to no one. indeed I did not even have a label for what I knew was in me. I just knew it condemned me to hell. So I thought….. ” well. I will never stop loving Jesus. so I guess i will be loving him eternally in hell. ” i felt this to be just and right.

    I quietly dropped out of church. Finally the pain of living without Jesus, who can only be found in the company of other flawed humans in church, was simply too painful.

    I did not come back to church willingly. I had simply exhausted all other options and the law had broken me. I was willing to be the dog eating the crumbs from the masters table. I had to show up at church even if I was denied communion for being honest about my life and was not really accepted by a church. that was my resolve.

    wow.

    I spent 14 years in a church and was truly loved. Imagine that. being gay in a small suburban church that looked like a white flight church that voted 95% for bush . and I got to hear that my sins are forgiven every single sunday and saturday in private absolution.

    i know beyond any doubt that I am saved. How? i was baptised. I receive the lords supper. I hear the general and particular absolution pronounced over me personally.

    My plan is to hold God to his words and promises there. My plan is to confess that everything that satan says about me is true and that I am a liar and not sincere or worthy in any way at all. I do not try in any way to defend myself. But I also tell satan to go back to hell. Jesus came exactly for sinners like me.

    None of this should have been possible.

  • http://www.newreformationpress.com Patrick Kyle

    I became a Christian at age 18, converting from paganism/agnosticism. I was evangelized into a small holiness denomination and subsequently attended their Bible College. I even pastored a small church while in college. Later, we moved to California to help a friend pastor a church there. These efforts went down in flames when my friend uncovered some church board members involved in embezzling funds from the church, and concurrently had to fire the music minister for some other scandal.

    I was burned out and on the verge of quitting the faith. We had heard about the Vineyard Christian Fellowship in nearby Anaheim, Ca. and upon visiting thought that we had finally found a church home. During my stay in the holiness denomination I studied quite a bit of theology, and had real misgivings about the Holiness movement. We thought the Vineyard was an answer to prayer. After three years I realized it was nothing more than a fancier version of what we had left. Scandal and doctrinal division finally took its toll on us and we left the church. I still believed in Christ, but had lost all faith in the Church. I felt obligated to call up the man who had evangelized me into the Christian faith back when I was 18, and had been my friend and mentor in the years since then, and tell him we were leaving the church. So I called him. He seemed to take it in stride. Towards the end of our conversation he told me he was going to send me a book, and that if I had ever considered him to be a friend, I would promise to read it. I gave him the ‘Yeah, sure.’ and said goodbye. A week later a package showed up at my door. He had sent me a’ Book of Concord,’ which promptly began to collect dust on my bookshelf. A week after that my phone rang. It was my friend calling to ask if I had read it yet. I gave him some flimsy excuses and he said ‘If you consider me a friend, you will read it. You owe me your soul. I shared the Gospel with you.” So, I sat down and read it. It took about two weeks. After I had finished, I called him and asked why people aren’t shouting this doctrine from the house tops. Lutheran doctrine answered so many questions and dealt with so many scriptures that Evangelical churches deftly gloss over or avoid altogether. We visited a few LCMS Churches in the area and promptly joined a catechism class.

    My friend later became a Lutheran Pastor. Long before either of us had become Lutheran, I was visiting him and he made us get up super early one Sunday morning to go to an early service at a Lutheran church. We left there and went to the holiness church he was pastoring so he could teach and preach there. I found out he had been doing that for several years before he converted.

  • http://www.newreformationpress.com Patrick Kyle

    I became a Christian at age 18, converting from paganism/agnosticism. I was evangelized into a small holiness denomination and subsequently attended their Bible College. I even pastored a small church while in college. Later, we moved to California to help a friend pastor a church there. These efforts went down in flames when my friend uncovered some church board members involved in embezzling funds from the church, and concurrently had to fire the music minister for some other scandal.

    I was burned out and on the verge of quitting the faith. We had heard about the Vineyard Christian Fellowship in nearby Anaheim, Ca. and upon visiting thought that we had finally found a church home. During my stay in the holiness denomination I studied quite a bit of theology, and had real misgivings about the Holiness movement. We thought the Vineyard was an answer to prayer. After three years I realized it was nothing more than a fancier version of what we had left. Scandal and doctrinal division finally took its toll on us and we left the church. I still believed in Christ, but had lost all faith in the Church. I felt obligated to call up the man who had evangelized me into the Christian faith back when I was 18, and had been my friend and mentor in the years since then, and tell him we were leaving the church. So I called him. He seemed to take it in stride. Towards the end of our conversation he told me he was going to send me a book, and that if I had ever considered him to be a friend, I would promise to read it. I gave him the ‘Yeah, sure.’ and said goodbye. A week later a package showed up at my door. He had sent me a’ Book of Concord,’ which promptly began to collect dust on my bookshelf. A week after that my phone rang. It was my friend calling to ask if I had read it yet. I gave him some flimsy excuses and he said ‘If you consider me a friend, you will read it. You owe me your soul. I shared the Gospel with you.” So, I sat down and read it. It took about two weeks. After I had finished, I called him and asked why people aren’t shouting this doctrine from the house tops. Lutheran doctrine answered so many questions and dealt with so many scriptures that Evangelical churches deftly gloss over or avoid altogether. We visited a few LCMS Churches in the area and promptly joined a catechism class.

    My friend later became a Lutheran Pastor. Long before either of us had become Lutheran, I was visiting him and he made us get up super early one Sunday morning to go to an early service at a Lutheran church. We left there and went to the holiness church he was pastoring so he could teach and preach there. I found out he had been doing that for several years before he converted.

  • http://snafman.blogspot.com Snafu

    Amazing stories, thanks for sharing. Patrick’s story made me ask myself a question: there are hundreds of theological books that undergraduates have to read in seminaries, don’t the seminaries include the confessions of each big denomination in their studies? I mean, if you’re going to read some systematic theology at all, wouldn’t these be the first ones to start with? If you want to know the Lutheran doctrine, read the BOC. If you want to know the Reformed stand, read the Heidelberg Cathechism (for instance). If you want to know the Anglican view, read the Book of Common Prayer, if Roman Catholic, read CCC and so on.

    Don’t get me wrong. It’s not the fault of any individual student. The seminaries should get it right. And a lot of seminaries do, I’m sure. Not least the Lutheran ones. But apparently many more don’t!

  • http://snafman.blogspot.com Snafu

    Amazing stories, thanks for sharing. Patrick’s story made me ask myself a question: there are hundreds of theological books that undergraduates have to read in seminaries, don’t the seminaries include the confessions of each big denomination in their studies? I mean, if you’re going to read some systematic theology at all, wouldn’t these be the first ones to start with? If you want to know the Lutheran doctrine, read the BOC. If you want to know the Reformed stand, read the Heidelberg Cathechism (for instance). If you want to know the Anglican view, read the Book of Common Prayer, if Roman Catholic, read CCC and so on.

    Don’t get me wrong. It’s not the fault of any individual student. The seminaries should get it right. And a lot of seminaries do, I’m sure. Not least the Lutheran ones. But apparently many more don’t!

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    snafu @8

    indeed.

    most seminaries place dogmatics as more important than the studying of symbolics (ie the confessions). seems like a reorientation is in order.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    snafu @8

    indeed.

    most seminaries place dogmatics as more important than the studying of symbolics (ie the confessions). seems like a reorientation is in order.

  • http://www.confessionalsbytes.com/ Jim Pierce

    Thank you very much Dr. Veith for giving my book this exposure and thank you and to those commenting here for the kind words.

    Jim Pierce

  • http://www.confessionalsbytes.com/ Jim Pierce

    Thank you very much Dr. Veith for giving my book this exposure and thank you and to those commenting here for the kind words.

    Jim Pierce

  • Jim

    I am investigating the LC and am interested in what one might describe as an essential Lutheran reading list.

    I will certainly order a copy of this one!

  • Jim

    I am investigating the LC and am interested in what one might describe as an essential Lutheran reading list.

    I will certainly order a copy of this one!

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Jim @ 11

    Esssential reading list:

    The Book of Concord. There is nothing that can officially be called “Lutheran” aside from what is in this book. period!

    The background reading for the Book of concord would be the following:

    Luthers preface to his commentary on romans. http://www.ccel.org/l/luther/romans/pref_romans.html

    Luther’s commentary on Galatians
    http://www.lutherdansk.dk/Web-Lille%20Galaterbrev%201519/default.htm

    and here is a luther sermon that explains his understanding of law and gospel . It is the basis for the Lutheran confessions article VI in the formula of concord. If you are coming from a reformed background, you should be attracted to Lutheranism for the sharp difference in our teaching on sanctification. Lutherans do not believe that there is such a thing as “christian ethics”. We in fact believe teach and confess that nothing can be added to the ethical system of aristotle. so we do not try to baptize ethics , that is make aristotle into a christian. Ethics work better if they are allowed to remain pagan. You will not understand the arguments against the roman catholic scholastics in the augsburg confession or the same arguments against the neo-scholastics john calvin and the older melancthon without understanding aristotles virtue ethics. rome and john calvin baptise his ethics and make them christian. lutherans believe that it is satanic to do so. here is the site for that luther sermon that should be of great help to you here.

    It would be helpful for you to share your religious background with us. we can then better serve you.

    http://www.thirduse.com

    God bless you on your journey. If you have more questions from this, feel free to contact me at fwsonnek@gmail.com . If I dont have a good answer for your questions from the Lutheran Confessiosn and holy scripture (I often am lacking here), I will surely know someone who can help you better than I.

    sincerely,

    frank sonnek

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Jim @ 11

    Esssential reading list:

    The Book of Concord. There is nothing that can officially be called “Lutheran” aside from what is in this book. period!

    The background reading for the Book of concord would be the following:

    Luthers preface to his commentary on romans. http://www.ccel.org/l/luther/romans/pref_romans.html

    Luther’s commentary on Galatians
    http://www.lutherdansk.dk/Web-Lille%20Galaterbrev%201519/default.htm

    and here is a luther sermon that explains his understanding of law and gospel . It is the basis for the Lutheran confessions article VI in the formula of concord. If you are coming from a reformed background, you should be attracted to Lutheranism for the sharp difference in our teaching on sanctification. Lutherans do not believe that there is such a thing as “christian ethics”. We in fact believe teach and confess that nothing can be added to the ethical system of aristotle. so we do not try to baptize ethics , that is make aristotle into a christian. Ethics work better if they are allowed to remain pagan. You will not understand the arguments against the roman catholic scholastics in the augsburg confession or the same arguments against the neo-scholastics john calvin and the older melancthon without understanding aristotles virtue ethics. rome and john calvin baptise his ethics and make them christian. lutherans believe that it is satanic to do so. here is the site for that luther sermon that should be of great help to you here.

    It would be helpful for you to share your religious background with us. we can then better serve you.

    http://www.thirduse.com

    God bless you on your journey. If you have more questions from this, feel free to contact me at fwsonnek@gmail.com . If I dont have a good answer for your questions from the Lutheran Confessiosn and holy scripture (I often am lacking here), I will surely know someone who can help you better than I.

    sincerely,

    frank sonnek


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