The book that I wrote with Trevor Sutton releases today. It’s called Authentic Christianity: How Lutheran Theology Speaks to a Postmodern World (Concordia Publishing House).
The book shows how Lutheran Christianity is uniquely situated to address the contemporary mind, torn as it is between modernism and postmodernism. Not only do people today have difficulty thinking about “God,” they also have difficulty believing in objective, material reality–we show how a Lutheran perspective can clarify both the spiritual and the physical realms by showing how they relate to each other.
We also talk about such classic topics as justification, the atonement, sanctification, the incarnation, and the sacraments in ways that you might not have thought about before, showing how these teachings directly address the spiritual struggles of people today.
This is also true of some distinctly Lutheran teachings. The Theology of the Cross speaks to the trials of contemporary life and the futile attempts to evade them through consumerism or the prosperity gospel. Lutheran Christology answers the problem of suffering and the problem of evil. The doctrine of the Two Kingdoms shows Christians how to live positively in the secular world. And the doctrine of Vocation shows how ordinary life can be charged with meaning.
Here is the Editorial Description on Amazon.com:
Burnt-out believers and spiritual secularists have given up any hope that an engaging and meaningful spirituality can be found in a single Christian denomination. So rather than attending worship at a local church, they attend to their spiritual needs elsewhere. Instead of being fed by a single denomination, they feast upon a smorgasbord of spiritual beliefs. And while these disaffected believers have not rejected the existence of God or the need for meaningful spirituality, they have strongly rejected whatever it is they think the church today has to offer.
To counter this trend, churches across America are constantly updating their culture to accord with the culture outside the church. But is this the best framework for recovering authentic Christian spirituality?
Authentic Christianity offers another idea – that the Lutheran tradition embodies a framework of Christianity that uniquely addresses the postmodern condition. It does so not by being “emergent” or by making up a new approach to church or to the Christian life. Rather, it does so in an unexpected way: by being confessional, sacramental, and vocational.
Authentic Christianity is a collaboration between an academic of the Boomer generation and a young Millennial pastor. Coming from two very different places – different generations, different vocations, different entries into Lutheranism – authors Gene Veith and Trevor Sutton offer their unique perspectives on how Lutheran theology engages contemporary life.
You can buy it here in paperback or Kindle.