Here are selections (with links) to three fantastic articulations of what Lutheranism is for those that want to know in less then five minutes:
Luther wasn’t Lutheran: The name “Lutheran” is sort of an odd one, and one that we didn’t pick. It was a term of derision laid upon us that stuck.
Back in the day, when the Reformation started, Luther wasn’t a “Lutheran”. He was Catholic. All he was doing was defending the old catholic faith from recent papal innovations. But, well, that title got taken away. Then the term that was used was “Evangelical” – as Luther was focused on the Evangel – the Gospel. But, other folks latched onto that, and some of them were a bit off, so that title went away. Same thing next with the term “Reformed” — yep, Luther, who kicks off the Reformation doesn’t get to claim the term Reformed. Same thing with Protestant — the German princes who protested had their title usurped by every Roman Catholic hating crack-pot in Europe.
The only title and name which others did not take over or steal away was “Lutheran”. So, for the simplicity of not getting looped in with other strange folks, we let the term meant to be an insult – “Lutheran” – remain. Thus is life. Sometimes you just get called what people call you.
HT: Pastor Eric J. Brown (Zion Lutheran Church – Lahoma, OK) | Worldview Everlasting
The reformers strove to demonstrate that Lutheran doctrine was the same as that taught from the beginning of Christianity. In the Augustana, they say “Our churches do not dissent from any article of the faith held by the Church catholic” (AC, Part II, 1), what the Formula of Concord calls “the simple, unchangeable, permanent truth” (SD, RN, 20). Johann Gerhard, in his four volume Confessio Catholica proved the catholicity of Lutheran doctrine, showing its presence in every age of the Church. To call yourself a Lutheran is to call yourself an orthodox, catholic, Christian, one who confesses the doctrine of Christ as the Church has done through every age.
Read more >> Christian First; Lutheran Second?
It’s unfortunate, but many non-Christian terms have worked their way into Lutheran vernacular. For example:
“Conservative” is a loaded word, because it has political implications as well as social ones….
Another term is “Confessional”. This is a loaded term as well. Why? Because those who are using the term, are often trying to point out just “how Lutheran” they really are. While it is good to have an “inerrant” view of the Scriptures and a strong knowledge of the Lutheran Confessions, too often this translates into a groups of people looking down on other people for being “less confessional”….
In the end, it is easier to discuss “are we being faithful to God’s Word?” than it is to say “Am I conservative enough?” or “Am I confessional enough?” In reality is was our Lord who said “Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life. (Rev. 2:10).”
Calvinists may have TULIPs, but we have ROSES….
Regeneration by grace in Baptism (sola gratia)
– God initiates faith by baptism
Only through faith (sola fide)
-Only faith justifies a person
Scriptural authority (sola scriptura)
– Teaches Gospel and Law
Economic church polity
– Church polities are largely chosen according to practical needs
Substantial and real presence of Christ’s body and blood in the bread and wine of Holy Communion
– Nurtures a believer’s faith and forgives sin
Read more >> Lutheranism in a Nutshell
Need a crash course in Lutheranism? Well, the videos below is what you are looking for. First Pastor Borghardt from Higher Things explains in less than five minutes what the “difference” is between a ‘Lutheran’ and a ‘Christian’. Then Pastor Fisk answers four questions that all relate to true Christianity as it is found in Lutheran doctrine.
Got friends who are confused about what Lutherans believe and why? Well, these are both great starting places for them!