Lutherans, Catholics, & Orthodox

We may have solved, with the help of James R. Rogers, our perennial question of why evangelicals tend to be more likely to embrace Calvinism than Lutheranism.  But our other perennial question is why evangelicals, when they want something different–particularly, sacraments and liturgy–go the way of Roman Catholicism or Eastern Orthodoxy, rushing right past Lutheranism.  But, applying Prof. Rogers’ approach, I think I am starting to understand.

Again, to follow Prof. Rogers, one could cite external reasons–the difficulty of “finding” Lutheranism, the innate attractiveness of joining the biggest church that extends all over the world, the beauty of Orthodox liturgy, etc.–but, on a deeper level, there is much in Catholicism and Orthodoxy that already resonates with the mindset of many evangelicals. [Read more...]

More on Lutherans, Calvinists, & Evangelicals

James R. Rogers (a Lutheran) advances our perennial topic of why evangelicals tend to prefer Calvinism to Lutheranism in a post for First Things.  He begins with some practical issues–the difficulty of “finding” Lutheranism, the relative inaccessibility of Lutheran confessional documents (the Augsburg Confession being too difficult; the Small Catechism being too simple) as compared with the Calvinist equivalents.

But then he plunges into the deeper issues–evangelicals see salvation as coming from within, whereas Lutherans see salvation as coming from without–including an illuminating discussion of faith and baptism.  And the Lutheran emphasis will seem utterly alien to an evangelical sensibility, whereas Calvinism will fit it well. [Read more...]

What Tullian Tchividjian learned from Lutherans

Tullian Tchividjian is Billy Graham’s grandson and the successor to D. James Kennedy as the pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church.  As we’ve been blogging about, Rev. Tchividjian has been studying Lutheranism and is bringing such concepts as the distinction between Law & Gospel, active and passive righteousness, and the Theology of the Cross vs. the Theology of Glory into evangelical circles.

Pastor Matt Richard has conducted a revealing interview with him for Steadfast Lutherans.  After the jump, links to the two part interview and some sample questions and answers. [Read more...]

Why not Lutheranism?

Mathew Block, communications director of the Lutheran Church Canada, posts about that article on the millennial generation yearning for liturgy and sacraments and joining “high church” congregations.  He asks,

Why don’t more of these young Christians looking for liturgy end up in Lutheran churches? As the article notes, most seem to go Roman Catholic, Orthodox, or Anglican. [Read more...]

A watershed in American evangelicalism?

The New Life Church in Colorado Springs was one of the nation’s leading megachurches.  But then its pastor, Ted Haggard, was brought down in a sex and drug scandal.  Now the congregation is changing the way it is doing things.  Instead of trying to be new, it is trying to find its place in historic Christianity.  This means bringing in liturgy, every-Sunday communion, the church year, and pastoral care.  Its new statement of faith is the Nicene Creed.

Christianity Today published a sympathetic in-depth article about the changes last month.  Lutheran scholar Martin Noland sees these developments as possibly “a watershed in American evangelicalism.” [Read more...]

Baptists want a catechism

Another example of  Baptists wanting what Lutherans have but have  neglected in order to be more like Baptists:  Some Baptist leaders are saying that what their churches need in order to address decreasing attendance and to combat religious illiteracy is a catechism! [Read more...]


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