The Authority of the Lutheran Confessions

This was supposed to be a Q&A program, but I ended up answering only one listener question related to the authority of the Lutheran Confessions. I discussed the importance of Confessions, their nature, and the relationship between Confessions and Scripture. I also asked the question as to whether it might be necessary to add to our Confessions of faith in the future.Here is the program. … [Read more...]

The Formula of Concord

On today's program, I continued my walk through the Lutheran Confessions. I discussed the Formula of Concord including both the Epitome and Solid Declaration. I discussed the history and major teachings of these documents.Here is the program … [Read more...]

The Ecumenical Creeds and the Augsburg Confession

On today's program, I continued my introduction to the Lutheran Confessions. I discussed the history and theology of the three ecumenical creeds, and spoke about the importance of the Augsburg Confession for the Lutheran tradition.Here is the program … [Read more...]

The Invocation of the Saints is Not a Neutral or Harmless Practice

I recently came across a Lutheran pastor (in the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod) who posted a picture of the Virgin Mary with the entirety of the hail Mary attached to it, including the request for Mary to "pray for us sinner now and at the hour of our death." What was particularly troubling to me was the fact that a number of other LCMS pastors shared this prayer, and called it salutary. It seems rather odd that one should have to write on this issue in conversation with Confessional Lutherans … [Read more...]

ConcordCast: a daily audio broadcast of the Lutheran Confessions

Are you interested in learning more about what Lutherans believe, teach, and confess? Do you find that you don't have much time to read throughout the day? Do you have an irrational fear of papercuts?If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, then you may be interested in my new project. It's called ConcordCast, and it's a daily audio broadcast of the Lutheran Confessions. Together with a team of able-voiced contributors, I'm reading the Book of Concord o … [Read more...]

Behold, and it came to pass, a new Lutheran T-shirt…

Back in 2007 or so, New Reformation Press started marketing this shirt:You've probably seen it before. It's sort of emblematic of what some would call "the Lutheran view of sanctification," and what others would call, "a dumb caricature, which, while intending to be funny, says more about the lack of understanding of sanctification on the part of the person wearing it than anything else." De gustibus. Don't shoot the messenger.Anyway, I've got a great idea for my own version of a … [Read more...]

"God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, who is the eternal and essential righteousness, dwells by faith in the elect…"

The following quote is taken from a comment by Rev. Dr. Holger Sonntag from an ongoing conversation over at Brothers of John the Steadfast.For a sneak-peek of Dr. Sonntag's English translation of The Apology of the Book of Concord, coming Summer 2015, click here!+          +          +We believe based on the Bible that Christ's gifts are not separated from Christ, the Giver of those gifts. Accordingly, our confessions reject as false the teaching "that not God himself but only divine gift … [Read more...]

"Man's Working Together With God After Conversion" -or- "C. F. W. Walther was a dirty pietist, evidently"

Do we confessional Lutherans love the theology that is set forth in our Lutheran Confessions, or do we love a truncated reduction of it? Seems like a tautological question, in a way -- I mean, after all, it's in the name, isn't it? "Confessional Lutheran"? Should be a QED, right? It certainly should be, yes.However, if the barometer of internet Lutheranism is any kind of indicator†, it would seem that somewhere in the realm of "as often as not", the latter is the case. We would all do well t … [Read more...]

"Walking Together in Faith and Worship" ~ Rev. David Jay Webber on Lutheran Liturgy & Unity

When I returned to the church of my baptism as an undergraduate in college, I experienced an intense desire to  to learn quickly all that I felt I should have known, but didn't. Lutheranism was what I had been looking for all along, even though I never would have known it from my experience growing up in it. It was as though I wanted to make up for lost time. Part of this was my vanity, to be sure -- I didn't want to appear ignorant of my own confession! -- but part of it was a genuine hunger … [Read more...]

Luther and Chemnitz and Gerhard — Oh My! "The Simul", Free Will, and the Lutheran Fathers

There has been a fair amount of misrepresentation of Lutheranism by Lutherans in recent days and weeks -- on the internet, of course, or how else could I make such a statement? Clairvoyant, I ain't. Anyway, these misrepresentations are by no means original or unprecedented (in fact they are quite common), but they are still very much worth addressing.I do not wish to go word for word with the misrepresenters so much as point out two things:A) what these misrepresentations are; andB) … [Read more...]