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Read the doctrinal themes of the Book of Concord, and explore the integrity of the Lutheran Confessional writings.
In this important new volume, Arand, Kolb, and Nestingen bring the fruit of an entire generation of scholarship to bear on these documents, making it an essential and up-to-date class text. The Lutheran Confessions places the documents solidly within their political, social, ecclesiastical and theological contexts, relating them to the world in which they took place. Though the book is not a theology of the Confessions, readers will clearly understand the issues at stake in the narratives, both in their own time, and in ours.
Born in controversy and raised in university settings, the Lutheran reform movement was embroiled immediately, publicly, and perennially in theological disputes and political battles. While controversies during Martin Luther's lifetime centered on disagreements with Rome and Geneva, present and later differences emerged over interpreting Luther's and Melanchthon's theologies on such issues as governmental interference, liturgical practices, justification's implications for good works and sin, the Lord's supper, and election. It is this defining dis-concord, alternating with attempts at concord and conciliation, that is reflected in the documents newly translated in this indispensable documentary companion to The Book of Concord, which includes the works of Agricola, Eck, Chemnitz, Melanchthon, and Luther.
This book combines a rich description of the (Lutheran) Formula of Concord (1577) with experiences in today's Lutheran parishes to demonstrate how confessional texts may still come to life in modern Christian congregations. Timothy Wengert takes the Formula of Concord, traditionally used as ammunition in doctrinal disagreements, back to its historical home, the local congregation, giving pastors, students, and theologians a glimpse into the original debates over each article. The most up-to-date English commentary on the Formula of Concord, A Formula for Parish Practice provides helpful, concise descriptions of key theological debates and a unique weaving of historical and textual commentary with modern Lutheran experience. Covering the entire Formula of Concord the book includes discussion questions at the end of each chapter.
Lutheran pastors, professors, and students of the Reformation look to Martin Chemnitz for the first and best defense of the Formula of Concords theology. Just as the Augsburg Confession had its Apology (defense) by Philip Melanchthon, so the Formula of Concord had its famous Apology written by Chemnitz and his associates.
The Reformation-era writings that make up the Lutheran Confessions remain lively resources for Christian ministry and mission today. Because each of the documents within the Book of Concord was written with a specific context and rhetorical purpose in mind, each has its own compelling story and objectives. Luther’s catechisms present the faith for daily life at the grass-roots level, with teaching elements that we might now view as typical of social media and multimedia. The Augsburg Confession and its Apology provide an adaptable foundation for preaching, teaching, church organization, and dialogue that is rooted in the promise of Christ, received through faith. Fifteen years after the Diet of Worms, the Smalcald Articles reveal yet another “Here I stand” moment for Luther. Finally, the Formula of Concord shows how the next generations of Lutherans used collaboration and consensus as they wrestled with important themes of faith and life. In summary, as these texts engage us with their stories, they invite us to consider what is most important about our journeys of faith and Christian witness in today’s twenty-first-century contexts.
This useful guide offers a critical appraisal of a theological movement within the church catholic. The authors, a church historian and a systematic theologian, describe Lutheranism as centered in the fundamental principle of the Reformation, "justification by faith apart from works of law."The book focuses on the emergence of this chief article of faith as a proposal of dogma to the church ecumenical, its theological formulation, and its significance for the shaping of piety and doctrine. Each issue is treated in terms of both confessional history and systematic theology. Seminarians, pastors, teachers, and interested laypersons of all traditions will gain ecumenical insights as well as pertinent information from this work.

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