Lutheranism 101

I finally got my copy of Lutheranism 101, and I recommend it highly.  And not just because I wrote the last chapter, “Putting It All Together.”  It’s not exactly “Lutheranism for Dummies,” since it goes into some real depth, but it is in that family of books that explain things concisely, clearly, visually, and with a light touch.   Here is the publisher’s description:

Lutheranism 101 examines Lutheran beliefs and heritage in a fresh way. If you are a lifelong Lutheran searching for more information or new to Lutheranism looking to understand what we believe, this book will be your guide. It is written in an easy-to-read conversational style with short articles, side-bar features, and some humor. Lutheranism 101 helps create a solid foundation of reference upon which a lifetime of sound teaching can be built.

Explore the basics of Lutheran theology by digging into the history of Lutheranism and making connections between what Lutherans believe and what Lutherans do.

In addition to treating the big issues regarding sin, Christ, and salvation, and the basics of Lutheranism (why they worship the way they do, how Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are part of justification by faith, etc.), the book has priceless little boxed essays (such as one by John Pless on vocation and the Christian life), interesting tidbits (a list of church bodies in world Lutheranism), and useful factoids (how to make the sign of the Cross).

This book is really striking a chord with people. Paul McCain, the publisher at Concordia Publishing House, reports that they sold out the print run after only two and a half weeks and have had to print more already. Clearly, contrary to what some say, laypeople are hungry to learn about theology.

And CPH has it on sale. If you buy it between now and Reformation Day (October 31, as the book will teach you), you can get it for a mere $14.99, a savings of ten bucks! You can take advantage of that offer
here.

Lutheranism 101

Those of you who have read it, please report.

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.

  • bunnycatch3r

    “An echo and a light.” I just ordered it and look forward to sharing it with my family.

  • bunnycatch3r

    “An echo and a light.” I just ordered it and look forward to sharing it with my family.

  • http://puttingoutthefire.blogspot.com/ Frank Gillespie

    It’s a wonderful resource that I hope more people get their hands on. We promoted the book in our pastor’s Sunday morning class and it was a treat to watch folks get so excited about the book.

  • http://puttingoutthefire.blogspot.com/ Frank Gillespie

    It’s a wonderful resource that I hope more people get their hands on. We promoted the book in our pastor’s Sunday morning class and it was a treat to watch folks get so excited about the book.

  • Larry Wilson

    Bror may be happy to hear that this “Calvinist” got his copy and is reading it.

  • Larry Wilson

    Bror may be happy to hear that this “Calvinist” got his copy and is reading it.

  • Carl Vehse

    Lutheranism 101 advertises itself on the front cover to be “Quick, Usable, Comprehensive, Concise.” Despite the considerable amount of useful information in this book (for either “a lifelong Lutheran” or one “new to Lutheranism”) the book does not have an index that would make the book quickly usable by the reader who wanted a comprehensive list of pages having information on a particular concise topic or keyword. In this age of computer-aided book publishing, having an index at the end of a “comprehensive” book should be automatic.

    It was noted on another Lutheran blog that in one of the Appendices (p. 268-9) there are only nine commandments listed for Lutherans and Roman Catholics. Furthermore, the Lutheran 9th commandment did not agree with the list provided on p. 15 or the 9th commandment listed in Luther’s Small Catechism, nor was it the LSC’s 10th commandment. Following that posting the General Editor announce that the problem was due to a file handling error and the corrected file can be downloaded using this address: .

  • Carl Vehse

    Lutheranism 101 advertises itself on the front cover to be “Quick, Usable, Comprehensive, Concise.” Despite the considerable amount of useful information in this book (for either “a lifelong Lutheran” or one “new to Lutheranism”) the book does not have an index that would make the book quickly usable by the reader who wanted a comprehensive list of pages having information on a particular concise topic or keyword. In this age of computer-aided book publishing, having an index at the end of a “comprehensive” book should be automatic.

    It was noted on another Lutheran blog that in one of the Appendices (p. 268-9) there are only nine commandments listed for Lutherans and Roman Catholics. Furthermore, the Lutheran 9th commandment did not agree with the list provided on p. 15 or the 9th commandment listed in Luther’s Small Catechism, nor was it the LSC’s 10th commandment. Following that posting the General Editor announce that the problem was due to a file handling error and the corrected file can be downloaded using this address: .

  • Carl Vehse

    The URL address for the corrected file for the list of commandments is http://www.cph.org/pdf/Helps/124357_Luth101_p269_corrected.pdf

  • Carl Vehse

    The URL address for the corrected file for the list of commandments is http://www.cph.org/pdf/Helps/124357_Luth101_p269_corrected.pdf

  • kerner

    I thought the Small Catechism was “Lutheranism for Dummies”.

    Anyway, it looks like a good book to have, and I will check it out.

  • kerner

    I thought the Small Catechism was “Lutheranism for Dummies”.

    Anyway, it looks like a good book to have, and I will check it out.

  • Joe

    Kerner – that was my thought as well. That said, I have countless friends (including some very faithful pastors) who have purchased the book and are using in their Sunday morning Bible study hour as a way to spark their laypeople’s interest. I have heard much success is being made this way. For that reason, I am thankful for this book. I hope that it does not supplant the Small Catechism but instead points people to it.

  • Joe

    Kerner – that was my thought as well. That said, I have countless friends (including some very faithful pastors) who have purchased the book and are using in their Sunday morning Bible study hour as a way to spark their laypeople’s interest. I have heard much success is being made this way. For that reason, I am thankful for this book. I hope that it does not supplant the Small Catechism but instead points people to it.

  • http://fivepintlutheran.blogspot.com/ David Cochrane

    @ kerner
    I would certainly not call the “small cat” Lutheranism For Dummies. It is useful for all Lutherans to remain grounded in the faith and our reformed to actually see quickly what Lutheran’s believe. I never hope to outgrow that loving work of Doc Luther.

  • http://fivepintlutheran.blogspot.com/ David Cochrane

    @ kerner
    I would certainly not call the “small cat” Lutheranism For Dummies. It is useful for all Lutherans to remain grounded in the faith and our reformed to actually see quickly what Lutheran’s believe. I never hope to outgrow that loving work of Doc Luther.

  • Carl Vehse

    Since Luther’s Small Catechism is part of the Lutheran Confessions, I don’t think there is any danger of it being supplanted, especially since The Small Catechism is listed in Lutheranism 101‘s “Basic Lutheran Library.”

    BTW, one of the reasons an index would be helpful is because the Table of Contents (starting on p. 3, rather than a Roman numeral) doesn’t include the “Basic Lutheran Library” or other appendices under its listing of Appendices (p. 6). One has to go, not to p. 263 as indicated in the Table of Contents, but to p. 262 in order to see the titles and the starting page for the Basic Lutheran Library” and the other appendices.

    Of the 50 publications recommended in the “Basic Lutheran Library” and the “Basic Christian Library for Children” (pp. 290-1) appendices, only 5 had publication dates in the 1990s. Except for Luther’s Small Catechism with Explanation (1986), none the books recommended for libraries of “lifelong Lutherans” or those “new to Lutheranism” had been published prior to 1994. The Appendix could also have provided URL links to many online Lutheran articles and documents, including the Confessions, especially at the internet sites of the Missouri Synod and their seminaries.

  • Carl Vehse

    Since Luther’s Small Catechism is part of the Lutheran Confessions, I don’t think there is any danger of it being supplanted, especially since The Small Catechism is listed in Lutheranism 101‘s “Basic Lutheran Library.”

    BTW, one of the reasons an index would be helpful is because the Table of Contents (starting on p. 3, rather than a Roman numeral) doesn’t include the “Basic Lutheran Library” or other appendices under its listing of Appendices (p. 6). One has to go, not to p. 263 as indicated in the Table of Contents, but to p. 262 in order to see the titles and the starting page for the Basic Lutheran Library” and the other appendices.

    Of the 50 publications recommended in the “Basic Lutheran Library” and the “Basic Christian Library for Children” (pp. 290-1) appendices, only 5 had publication dates in the 1990s. Except for Luther’s Small Catechism with Explanation (1986), none the books recommended for libraries of “lifelong Lutherans” or those “new to Lutheranism” had been published prior to 1994. The Appendix could also have provided URL links to many online Lutheran articles and documents, including the Confessions, especially at the internet sites of the Missouri Synod and their seminaries.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Well Larry, If this book divests you of your silly Calvinism then I might order the book myself.
    Thing is, I always though Veith’s book Spirituality of the Cross did this for people, and I find the title to be much better for the purposes of evangelism.
    Someone actually has to want to be Lutheran or Study Lutheranism to get a book called “Lutheranism 101″. And I’m sure there is a market for that. But you can hand a book “Titled Spirituality of the Cross” to any number of people who are spiritual but not religious and get them hooked on Lutheranism. So I’ll probably continue ordering 30 or so copies of Spirituality of the Cross every year to hand to visitors and so on. I may get Sunday morning Bible Study to order this one though.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Well Larry, If this book divests you of your silly Calvinism then I might order the book myself.
    Thing is, I always though Veith’s book Spirituality of the Cross did this for people, and I find the title to be much better for the purposes of evangelism.
    Someone actually has to want to be Lutheran or Study Lutheranism to get a book called “Lutheranism 101″. And I’m sure there is a market for that. But you can hand a book “Titled Spirituality of the Cross” to any number of people who are spiritual but not religious and get them hooked on Lutheranism. So I’ll probably continue ordering 30 or so copies of Spirituality of the Cross every year to hand to visitors and so on. I may get Sunday morning Bible Study to order this one though.

  • HistoryProfBrad

    Got it and read it in about four days. Excellent resource for anyone interested in the basics of Lutheran theology, especially those who are considering the Lutheran Church (including this former Lutheran who now thinks leaving wasn’t the wisest decision I ever made…LOL!).

  • HistoryProfBrad

    Got it and read it in about four days. Excellent resource for anyone interested in the basics of Lutheran theology, especially those who are considering the Lutheran Church (including this former Lutheran who now thinks leaving wasn’t the wisest decision I ever made…LOL!).

  • Abby

    Bror @10:

    I had the same first impression myself (title of book, “Lutheranism 101″). I love being a lifelong Lutheran. I am one, I say “since before I was born,” and by choice. Martin Luther is, and has been since I was very young, my number 1 hero. I love our doctrine and theology.

    Labels such as Lutheran, Baptist, Episcopalian, Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Jewish, Mormon, Jehovah’s Witnesses are very confusing to non-believers. I think they’re actually afraid of the labels. They don’t understand anything about any one of them. In my family are very few who attend church. I can’t go to them and say, “Come be a Lutheran!” They feel safer being nothing than to belong to any label.

    When Jesus taught and preached to the people, He did not say “I’m here to represent the Jewish religion. Come to the temple and practice the true religion which I, in fact, established in the first place (even though it’s very flawed at this point).” Instead, as we here all know, He said “follow Me, my way is different.”

    I can’t wait to get a copy of the book. I look forward to reading it. And I will be able to use the information to teach others with. But I may very well take the cover off. Even though I am a proud Lutheran because I know what we ultimately stand for and that is Jesus Christ.

    I am of the opinion of our namesake:

    “People should not call themselves ‘Lutherans’. ‘What is Luther? After all, the teaching is not mine. Neither was I crucified for anyone . . .How then should I — poor stinking maggot-fodder that I am — come to have men call the children of Christ by my wretched name?’ Not so, my dear friends; let us abolish all party names and call ourselves Christians, after him whose teachings we hold.” (Martin Luther)

    Amen to that. (And he’s still my hero.) And I love my church.

  • Abby

    Bror @10:

    I had the same first impression myself (title of book, “Lutheranism 101″). I love being a lifelong Lutheran. I am one, I say “since before I was born,” and by choice. Martin Luther is, and has been since I was very young, my number 1 hero. I love our doctrine and theology.

    Labels such as Lutheran, Baptist, Episcopalian, Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Jewish, Mormon, Jehovah’s Witnesses are very confusing to non-believers. I think they’re actually afraid of the labels. They don’t understand anything about any one of them. In my family are very few who attend church. I can’t go to them and say, “Come be a Lutheran!” They feel safer being nothing than to belong to any label.

    When Jesus taught and preached to the people, He did not say “I’m here to represent the Jewish religion. Come to the temple and practice the true religion which I, in fact, established in the first place (even though it’s very flawed at this point).” Instead, as we here all know, He said “follow Me, my way is different.”

    I can’t wait to get a copy of the book. I look forward to reading it. And I will be able to use the information to teach others with. But I may very well take the cover off. Even though I am a proud Lutheran because I know what we ultimately stand for and that is Jesus Christ.

    I am of the opinion of our namesake:

    “People should not call themselves ‘Lutherans’. ‘What is Luther? After all, the teaching is not mine. Neither was I crucified for anyone . . .How then should I — poor stinking maggot-fodder that I am — come to have men call the children of Christ by my wretched name?’ Not so, my dear friends; let us abolish all party names and call ourselves Christians, after him whose teachings we hold.” (Martin Luther)

    Amen to that. (And he’s still my hero.) And I love my church.

  • Ken

    You know, it would never occur to me to refer to Lutheranism as “silly.” How hard is it to return the favor?

    I am interested in procuring this title so that I may be better informed about the beliefs of my Lutheran brothers, and now my interest is also piqued about Dr. Veith’s “Spirituality of the Cross” because I respect his point of view and have benefitted much from other writings of his. See, and I can write such things without offering anyone a slap in the face.

  • Ken

    You know, it would never occur to me to refer to Lutheranism as “silly.” How hard is it to return the favor?

    I am interested in procuring this title so that I may be better informed about the beliefs of my Lutheran brothers, and now my interest is also piqued about Dr. Veith’s “Spirituality of the Cross” because I respect his point of view and have benefitted much from other writings of his. See, and I can write such things without offering anyone a slap in the face.

  • kerner

    Abby:

    On a different thread we were told in great detail what stinking maggot fodder Luther was capable of being, and how we shouldn’t call ourselves “Lutheran”. Thank you for posting that quotation.

  • kerner

    Abby:

    On a different thread we were told in great detail what stinking maggot fodder Luther was capable of being, and how we shouldn’t call ourselves “Lutheran”. Thank you for posting that quotation.

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  • Carl Vehse

    The label of “Lutheran” was made in the Leipzig debates of 1519 by John Eck, in showing his contempt for Luther and his cause.

    The quote in #12 is taken from “A sincere admonition by Martin Luther to all Christians to guard against insurrection and rebellion” written by Luther at Wartburg in 1522 after he learned of the anarchy caused by some misguided followers as well as the Anabaptists from Zwickau.

    The question of calling oneself a “Lutheran” was discussed in a series of articles, Concerning the Name “Lutheran” by C.F.W. Walther, Der Lutheraner, Vol. 1, 1844, pp. 2-4, 5-7, 9-12, translated by Mark Nispel, June, 1994, including this excerpt:

    But finally, many will say: “Why must it be the name ‘Lutheran’ that you use?” We answer: We know well that the real substance is not in the name for there are many who call themselves Lutheran who have given up the doctrine long ago, who have laid aside our church in her symbols, especially in the unaltered Augsburg Confession and the small Catechism of Luther. Such false Lutherans are however easy to distinguish from the true Lutherans because our church has published these public confessions for all the world….

    As one example, [George,] the Margrave of Brandenburg, at the time of the Reformation, when he was called a Lutheran in order to shame him, explained:

    “I am not baptized unto Dr. Luther; He is not my God and Savior. I do not believe in him and will not be saved through him. Therefore in this sense I am not a Lutheran. when I am asked however whether I confess with heart and mouth the doctrine which God has again given to me through his instrument Dr. Luther, then I do not hesitate nor am I timid to call myself Lutheran. And in this sense I am and may I remain a Lutheran all my life.”

  • Carl Vehse

    The label of “Lutheran” was made in the Leipzig debates of 1519 by John Eck, in showing his contempt for Luther and his cause.

    The quote in #12 is taken from “A sincere admonition by Martin Luther to all Christians to guard against insurrection and rebellion” written by Luther at Wartburg in 1522 after he learned of the anarchy caused by some misguided followers as well as the Anabaptists from Zwickau.

    The question of calling oneself a “Lutheran” was discussed in a series of articles, Concerning the Name “Lutheran” by C.F.W. Walther, Der Lutheraner, Vol. 1, 1844, pp. 2-4, 5-7, 9-12, translated by Mark Nispel, June, 1994, including this excerpt:

    But finally, many will say: “Why must it be the name ‘Lutheran’ that you use?” We answer: We know well that the real substance is not in the name for there are many who call themselves Lutheran who have given up the doctrine long ago, who have laid aside our church in her symbols, especially in the unaltered Augsburg Confession and the small Catechism of Luther. Such false Lutherans are however easy to distinguish from the true Lutherans because our church has published these public confessions for all the world….

    As one example, [George,] the Margrave of Brandenburg, at the time of the Reformation, when he was called a Lutheran in order to shame him, explained:

    “I am not baptized unto Dr. Luther; He is not my God and Savior. I do not believe in him and will not be saved through him. Therefore in this sense I am not a Lutheran. when I am asked however whether I confess with heart and mouth the doctrine which God has again given to me through his instrument Dr. Luther, then I do not hesitate nor am I timid to call myself Lutheran. And in this sense I am and may I remain a Lutheran all my life.”

  • kerner

    Thanks Carl. Several more good quotations.

  • kerner

    Thanks Carl. Several more good quotations.

  • Abby

    Carl @15

    I wholeheartedly agree with the statement you quoted:

    “I am not baptized unto Dr. Luther; He is not my God and Savior. I do not believe in him and will not be saved through him. Therefore in this sense I am not a Lutheran. when I am asked however whether I confess with heart and mouth the doctrine which God has again given to me through his instrument Dr. Luther, then I do not hesitate nor am I timid to call myself Lutheran. And in this sense I am and may I remain a Lutheran all my life.”

    I still wish the material could have been labelled, maybe, “God 101.” So as to gently instruct those outside our realm of understanding. Maybe they could make the material available with two different covers?!

  • Abby

    Carl @15

    I wholeheartedly agree with the statement you quoted:

    “I am not baptized unto Dr. Luther; He is not my God and Savior. I do not believe in him and will not be saved through him. Therefore in this sense I am not a Lutheran. when I am asked however whether I confess with heart and mouth the doctrine which God has again given to me through his instrument Dr. Luther, then I do not hesitate nor am I timid to call myself Lutheran. And in this sense I am and may I remain a Lutheran all my life.”

    I still wish the material could have been labelled, maybe, “God 101.” So as to gently instruct those outside our realm of understanding. Maybe they could make the material available with two different covers?!

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Ken,
    Sorry, but I see Calvinism as just plain silly. That is one of the lighter terms I have for it. Others I know say the same about Lutheranism. But then if I didn’t think it was silly I might be a Calvinist. I’m a Lutheran, and as it is I cant see the draw to Calvinism. I can respect a Calvinist, at least on my better days. I can understand that that is what they were raised with, or they fled Arminianism, etc. But I just can’t see Calvinism as being anything better than silly. i have used harsher terms to describe it.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Ken,
    Sorry, but I see Calvinism as just plain silly. That is one of the lighter terms I have for it. Others I know say the same about Lutheranism. But then if I didn’t think it was silly I might be a Calvinist. I’m a Lutheran, and as it is I cant see the draw to Calvinism. I can respect a Calvinist, at least on my better days. I can understand that that is what they were raised with, or they fled Arminianism, etc. But I just can’t see Calvinism as being anything better than silly. i have used harsher terms to describe it.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Abby (@17), I see where you’re coming from, but may I suggest an alternate way to look at it?

    CPH does good work. I’m sure this book is an example of it. But, try though they might, they really aren’t out there in the public eye. Among non-Lutherans, that is. I’d bet plenty of Lutherans aren’t even aware of them. How is a non-Lutheran most likely to hear about this book? Is it from visiting the CPH.com site? Or looking in the Lutheran section of their local bookstore (Ha! Double-ha if it’s a “Christian” bookstore!)? Or by reading discussion about it on a blog frequented by Lutherans? Not too likely, is it? No, I’d suggest that they’re most likely to hear about this book … by hearing about it from a Lutheran friend … who heard about it from one of those sources. As such, I’m not sure it’s going to matter a whole lot to the non-Lutheran what the title is. They’re just going to be handed the book and told, “Here, this answers your question.” Or, at least, that’s what I’ve read happened (anecdotally) with The Spirituality of the Cross or other books (even the Book of Concord, though at least that one will attract some people due to its historical importance).

    Still, even if we do consider the impact of the title on non-Lutherans, I’m not sure “God 101″ would be an improvement. For one thing, there are plenty of books out there with that title or a variation on it. For another thing, if you saw a book with that title, wouldn’t your first question be, “According to whom?” Well, see, Lutheranism skips that part — it tells you according to whom in the title (but, yes, at the expense of saying what it’s discussing; these are left as a bulleted reading line on the cover).

    Yes, this book is about God, first and foremost. But it is about God as Lutherans understand him (and as can be understood by a non-Lutheran; thus the “101″). That is the distinctive. And books have to focus on their distinctives, or they will be lost in the marketplace.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Abby,
    I get you take on Lutheranism. I don’t much have a problem with the label. I just don’t think that a book with this title is going to be as helpful as it could have been with another title. But then Lutherans aren’t known for creative titles.
    It is kind of like why I argue for the positions of the Book of Concord from the Bible like the Book of Concord does, rather than trying to quote the Book of Concord as authoritative. But then that also depends a little on the audience. Still though if you can’t make the argument from the Bible, well…. How “Lutheran” are you?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Abby (@17), I see where you’re coming from, but may I suggest an alternate way to look at it?

    CPH does good work. I’m sure this book is an example of it. But, try though they might, they really aren’t out there in the public eye. Among non-Lutherans, that is. I’d bet plenty of Lutherans aren’t even aware of them. How is a non-Lutheran most likely to hear about this book? Is it from visiting the CPH.com site? Or looking in the Lutheran section of their local bookstore (Ha! Double-ha if it’s a “Christian” bookstore!)? Or by reading discussion about it on a blog frequented by Lutherans? Not too likely, is it? No, I’d suggest that they’re most likely to hear about this book … by hearing about it from a Lutheran friend … who heard about it from one of those sources. As such, I’m not sure it’s going to matter a whole lot to the non-Lutheran what the title is. They’re just going to be handed the book and told, “Here, this answers your question.” Or, at least, that’s what I’ve read happened (anecdotally) with The Spirituality of the Cross or other books (even the Book of Concord, though at least that one will attract some people due to its historical importance).

    Still, even if we do consider the impact of the title on non-Lutherans, I’m not sure “God 101″ would be an improvement. For one thing, there are plenty of books out there with that title or a variation on it. For another thing, if you saw a book with that title, wouldn’t your first question be, “According to whom?” Well, see, Lutheranism skips that part — it tells you according to whom in the title (but, yes, at the expense of saying what it’s discussing; these are left as a bulleted reading line on the cover).

    Yes, this book is about God, first and foremost. But it is about God as Lutherans understand him (and as can be understood by a non-Lutheran; thus the “101″). That is the distinctive. And books have to focus on their distinctives, or they will be lost in the marketplace.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Abby,
    I get you take on Lutheranism. I don’t much have a problem with the label. I just don’t think that a book with this title is going to be as helpful as it could have been with another title. But then Lutherans aren’t known for creative titles.
    It is kind of like why I argue for the positions of the Book of Concord from the Bible like the Book of Concord does, rather than trying to quote the Book of Concord as authoritative. But then that also depends a little on the audience. Still though if you can’t make the argument from the Bible, well…. How “Lutheran” are you?

  • Abby

    Todd @19

    I agree with everything you said. I wasn’t thinking of people looking for it in the marketplace. I was thinking more of usage in a Bible study group. I am interested in teaching women at our local jail. This would be perfect for them and a great help for me as a teacher.
    I had mentioned to my pastor about designing a “God 101″ class for people I could invite to that who want to know about God who are coming from a position of knowing nothing. It is hard to even invite them to church because they feel overwhelmed and stupid. The education would be a good place to start before inviting them to the church setting. I think I could possibly generate interest in a few nieces and nephews by going about it that way. I guess I was looking at it from the evangelistic viewpoint that Bror mentioned.

    I know CPH produces excellent products! I love them. Arch books are the best in the world! I make a regular trip to CPH when I’m in St. Louis and stock up. I recently purchased the Study Bible and the Treasury of Prayer. (I like physical bookstores.) And I have used them online as well. I certainly am not complaining against CPH. I hope it doesn’t sound like I’m complaining at all. Just thinking out loud.

  • Abby

    Todd @19

    I agree with everything you said. I wasn’t thinking of people looking for it in the marketplace. I was thinking more of usage in a Bible study group. I am interested in teaching women at our local jail. This would be perfect for them and a great help for me as a teacher.
    I had mentioned to my pastor about designing a “God 101″ class for people I could invite to that who want to know about God who are coming from a position of knowing nothing. It is hard to even invite them to church because they feel overwhelmed and stupid. The education would be a good place to start before inviting them to the church setting. I think I could possibly generate interest in a few nieces and nephews by going about it that way. I guess I was looking at it from the evangelistic viewpoint that Bror mentioned.

    I know CPH produces excellent products! I love them. Arch books are the best in the world! I make a regular trip to CPH when I’m in St. Louis and stock up. I recently purchased the Study Bible and the Treasury of Prayer. (I like physical bookstores.) And I have used them online as well. I certainly am not complaining against CPH. I hope it doesn’t sound like I’m complaining at all. Just thinking out loud.

  • kerner

    The problem with just dispensing with the title “Lutheran” and calling ourselves simply “Christian” is that it leaves us in the position of non-denominationals who claim to “simply be following the Bible”, but who are in reality taking positions about what the Bible says that are very different from our own. Most such churches actually DO take a recogniseable doctrinal position (baptistic, Calvinistic, or whatever), but they don’t want to emphacise that.

    In our own case, it is the right thing to identify ourselves as a denomination that preaches Biblical truth, but it also right to make clear from the get go what we believe that Biblical truth is. Calling ourselves “Lutheran” has been the way we have tried to do that. In this current world of ersatz Lutherans, calling ourselves “confessional Lutherans” has further defined what we believe. It may not be perfect, but nothing else has worked.

  • kerner

    The problem with just dispensing with the title “Lutheran” and calling ourselves simply “Christian” is that it leaves us in the position of non-denominationals who claim to “simply be following the Bible”, but who are in reality taking positions about what the Bible says that are very different from our own. Most such churches actually DO take a recogniseable doctrinal position (baptistic, Calvinistic, or whatever), but they don’t want to emphacise that.

    In our own case, it is the right thing to identify ourselves as a denomination that preaches Biblical truth, but it also right to make clear from the get go what we believe that Biblical truth is. Calling ourselves “Lutheran” has been the way we have tried to do that. In this current world of ersatz Lutherans, calling ourselves “confessional Lutherans” has further defined what we believe. It may not be perfect, but nothing else has worked.

  • helen

    Abby,
    Making a book jacket and labeling it to suit yourself is easier,
    (and easier on the book) than removing covers.

  • helen

    Abby,
    Making a book jacket and labeling it to suit yourself is easier,
    (and easier on the book) than removing covers.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Abby,
    Thank you for doing jail ministry. I have been doing the same for some time. I have begun to just bring them through Galatians, wen I’m done I start over. But I’m on a rotation with other pastors.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Abby,
    Thank you for doing jail ministry. I have been doing the same for some time. I have begun to just bring them through Galatians, wen I’m done I start over. But I’m on a rotation with other pastors.

  • Abby

    Helen @23

    Thanks! I thought of doing that after I wrote what I did.

    Bror@24

    Thank you for doing it for the men!

    When I was first approved to be the teacher, the chaplain was taking me through the cells to the women’s part. As we were walking, he asked me if my sister was there. I was shocked. I said, “I don’t know, but it could be possible.” He said that when he announced to the girls who would be coming, one of the girls threw her hand to her mouth and said, “That’s my sister!” She wouldn’t come to the class. She was released shortly after. She had been out of touch with the family for a long time. Shortly after being released she came to my house and we were reunited. She died this Spring. Before she died she asked me if God really will forgive someone at the end of their life if they tell Him they’re sorry. I told her, yes. And a week later she was gone. She was my baby sister. And I knew she did believe and love Jesus. She had a horrendous life.

    I love teaching and talking and praying with these girls. The girls are willing and have a lot of questions, but I need to keep it real simple. I usually try to do a “birds eye view” of the Bible to give a whole context to the Gospel. Which is why I thought of “God 101.” The girls are usually there for a duration of a few weeks to a few months. So I try to plan accordingly. I feel bad when they leave (so to speak) because I wonder what is going to happen to them and how they will be. When my husband and I used to be foster parents, we had a hard time letting the children go home. A very little of what God must feel leaving us in this world for so long.

    Sorry to stray so far from the subject.

  • Abby

    Helen @23

    Thanks! I thought of doing that after I wrote what I did.

    Bror@24

    Thank you for doing it for the men!

    When I was first approved to be the teacher, the chaplain was taking me through the cells to the women’s part. As we were walking, he asked me if my sister was there. I was shocked. I said, “I don’t know, but it could be possible.” He said that when he announced to the girls who would be coming, one of the girls threw her hand to her mouth and said, “That’s my sister!” She wouldn’t come to the class. She was released shortly after. She had been out of touch with the family for a long time. Shortly after being released she came to my house and we were reunited. She died this Spring. Before she died she asked me if God really will forgive someone at the end of their life if they tell Him they’re sorry. I told her, yes. And a week later she was gone. She was my baby sister. And I knew she did believe and love Jesus. She had a horrendous life.

    I love teaching and talking and praying with these girls. The girls are willing and have a lot of questions, but I need to keep it real simple. I usually try to do a “birds eye view” of the Bible to give a whole context to the Gospel. Which is why I thought of “God 101.” The girls are usually there for a duration of a few weeks to a few months. So I try to plan accordingly. I feel bad when they leave (so to speak) because I wonder what is going to happen to them and how they will be. When my husband and I used to be foster parents, we had a hard time letting the children go home. A very little of what God must feel leaving us in this world for so long.

    Sorry to stray so far from the subject.

  • Ken

    Mr. Erickson@18: I have no problem with respectful disagreement no matter how firm. But I can’t see how disparaging flippancy advances the discussion. And I am very glad Dr. Veith obviously does not agree with you in this.

  • Ken

    Mr. Erickson@18: I have no problem with respectful disagreement no matter how firm. But I can’t see how disparaging flippancy advances the discussion. And I am very glad Dr. Veith obviously does not agree with you in this.

  • Pingback: Rev. Harrison: Lutheranism 101 « Try 2 Focus

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  • Roger Mueller

    Dr. Veith:
    We are at a quandary with some members of our small group from Redeemer Lutheran in Richmond, VA. Some have recently advocated following practices and doctrinal stuff from a belief system that is very foreign to Lutherans, namely charismatics of the Holiness variety. They’ve not quite got us speaking in tongues, but that actually be their preference. One actually claims to be a prophet. He is a former military chaplain’s assistant and is way above most of the rest of us in quoting scripture, etc. Help!

    My uncle, J.T. would roll over several times.

    Roger W. Mueller

  • Roger Mueller

    Dr. Veith:
    We are at a quandary with some members of our small group from Redeemer Lutheran in Richmond, VA. Some have recently advocated following practices and doctrinal stuff from a belief system that is very foreign to Lutherans, namely charismatics of the Holiness variety. They’ve not quite got us speaking in tongues, but that actually be their preference. One actually claims to be a prophet. He is a former military chaplain’s assistant and is way above most of the rest of us in quoting scripture, etc. Help!

    My uncle, J.T. would roll over several times.

    Roger W. Mueller


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