Elert on Freedom

Colleagues, Within hours of this posting Marie and I, d.v., will be on our way to the Holy Land to celebrate Christmas in “the city of David called Bethlehem.” We’re in a group of 27 folks, many of them friends or relatives–some from the USA, some from Germany. Our hosts in the Holy Land will be Palestinian Lutherans–yes, they’re there! …

Lutheranism and World History

Colleagues, ThTh 29 is an Advent gift from the past. Forty-five years ago–summer semester 1953–Bob Schultz, Dick Baepler and I were students at Erlangen University in Germany. Werner Elert was one of our profs. After class one day he invited us “Missourians” to come over to his home on a Sunday afternoon for “Kaffee und Kuchen.” Because the founding father …

Implications of Justification in the Many Contexts of Today’s World

Seventy “younger” Lutheran theologians, most of them from the two-thirds world, travelled at the invitation of the Lutheran World Federation to Wittenberg, Germany, at the end of October this year to talk about the Implications of Justification in the Many Contexts of Today’s World. On the last day of their meeting, Reformation Day, the 31st, they presented their theses, 12 …

The Promise of Lutheran Ethics — Law/Gospel Grammar

[To continue the topic of Grace-imperatives (Gospel-imperatives) and Promissory Freedom, I may be borrowing some paragraphs once sent out as Sabbath Theology #18 back in 1996.] From my last couple of issues reviewing “The Promise of Lutheran Ethics,” it might appear to some of you that I’m on a vendetta against the law, even against the 10 commandments. Not so. …

THE PROMISE OF LUTHERAN ETHICS — Back to the Decalogue?

Colleagues, ThTh 26 continues some comments on the contents of: THE PROMISE OF LUTHERAN ETHICS, Karen L. Bloomquist & John R. Stumme, eds. Minneapolis: Fortress Press. 1998. vii, 247, paper. [No price listed]. Three weeks ago (ThTh 23) I noted how frequently the essays in this volume claim the Ten Commandments as foundational for Lutheran ethics. For authors claiming to …

Justification by Faith Alone — Doctrine or Hermeneutic?

Colleagues, Last week’s ThTh 24 essay prompted this inquiry from Scott Jurgens, Seminex alum (’80), currently pastor at Christ Lutheran Church in Odessa, Washington USA. By the time I finished responding to Scott’s items, it occurred to me that I had also produced ThTh 25. So here it is for this week’s offering. If nothing else intervenes, I intend to …

THE PROMISE OF LUTHERAN ETHICS — Forgiveness, Faith, Freedom

Colleagues, Today’s essay continues the book review begun last week as ThTh #23. THE PROMISE OF LUTHERAN ETHICS, Karen L. Bloomquist & John R. Stumme, eds. Minneapolis: Fortress Press. 1998. vii, 247, paper. The three Bible readings appointed in the lectionary for Reformation Day (Oct. 31) are Jeremiah 31:31-34, Romans 3:19-28, and John 8:31-36. No surprise, there is a key …

MATTHEW 1: 18-25 (Fourth Sunday in Advent)

 A Crossing Robert W. Bertram [A Crossings Workshop in Buffalo, NY, October 26, 1998]   This is one of the most controversial texts in the gospels, dwelling as it does on Jesus’ so-called virgin birth. (It’s probably more accurate to speak of his virginal conception.) And if that weren’t already politically incorrect enough, what’s worse is that the text features …

THE PROMISE OF LUTHERAN ETHICS, Karen L. Bloomquist & John R. Stumme

There could be more promise in “The Promise of Lutheran Ethics.” By that I mean the Biblical term “promise,” the term chosen by the Lutheran reformers to pinpoint what the reformation was all about. Melanchthon put it simply in his Loci, the first “systematic theology” to come out of Wittenberg: “Evangelium est promissio. The gospel is a promise.” If there …

Responses to “What Lutherans really believe.”

Colleagues, ThTh 22 brings you responses to last week’s edition, the report on Lutheran Brotherhood’s survey of what US Lutherans say they really believe. Despite the tumult–yea, in the very face of it–Peace & Joy!  Ed Schroeder From Robin Morgan, St. Louis MO. Robin, ELCA pastor, Crossings Website Manager, is my teammate in ThTh production. Hi, I need to say …