So what were the biggest stories or most important developments in confessional Lutheranism for 2015? I have come up with 6, which I give after the jump. We really need 10. Can we come up with 4 more?In no particular order. . .
1. The major confessional Lutheran church bodies are not in fellowship with each other, though they used to be. But they are talking now and released a report on the substantial progress they have made in coming to agreement.
2. The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod is a conservative church body, with the ability to discipline and expel pastors who don’t go along with its theology. But it hasn’t exercised that ability much lately. But it did in 2015, expelling the heterodox pastor and professor Matthew Becker.
3. The LCMS dissolved its relationship with the Boy Scoutsover the issue of gay scoutmasters, part of a stronger stance on cultural issues that characterized this year of legalized same sex marriage and attempts to limit religious liberty.
4. After extensive dealings and alleged agreements with liberal Lutherans, the Vatican reaches out to confessional Lutherans. After all, the Lutheran World Federation disagrees with Rome on the male priesthood, homosexuality, marriage, and other moral issues, areas that are in much greater harmony with conservative Lutherans. So the confessional International Lutheran Council began high level dialogue with the Roman Catholic Church. Despite the Pope’s seeming openness to intercommunion with Lutherans, which his handlers denied and confessional Lutherans would reject anyway, the goals of the talks are more modest: “mutual enrichment leading to a discovery—or re-discovery—of a certain shared apostolic, catholic heritage.”
6. Muslim immigrants pouring into Europe from war-torn and ISIS dominated areas of the Middle East are posing a huge problem, especially for European nations. Germany’s independent confessional synod known by the acronym “SELK” –a member of the International Lutheran Council and a church body in fellowship with the LCMS–is evangelizing Muslim refugees, filling their churches with hundreds of new converts.
What else happened within confessional Lutheranism in 2015?