Fortress Introduction to the Lutheran Confessions

Fortress Introduction to the Lutheran Confessions

Fortress Introduction to the Lutheran Confessions

Fortress Introduction to the Lutheran Confessions

Synopsis

"Gassmann and Hendrix expertly present the historical context for the Reformation in its beginnings and development as background to the emergence and gathering of the Confessions. Core chapters then explore (1) the structure of faith (Scripture as norm law-gospel framework, the Trinity, and justification), (2) Christian community (the sacraments, ministry, the nature of the church), and (3) the Christian life (the two reigns sin, sanctification, eternal life). A final chapter examines the role the Confessions play in today's ecumenical, pluralistic environment." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Excerpt

The idea for this book came from our experience of introducing the Lutheran Confessions to people who previously had little exposure to them. These audiences include students at Lutheran seminaries who were studying the confessions for the first time and Christians from many traditions who were discovering the documents in ecumenical conversations. The Lutheran tradition has produced many worthy treatments of the Book of Concord (1580) and of the individual confessional writings that it contains. These treatments include insightful theological analyses of the documents and detailed studies of the historical context. Over the years we have greatly benefited from these studies and we continue to use them in our work, including the preparation of this book.

As we taught the confessions in recent years, however, we felt that a basic introduction should be available in addition to these more extensive works. This book is our attempt to provide that kind of introduction. It is for students in college and seminary who are taking courses on Lutheranism, but it is also for people in the churches who want to sharpen their knowledge of the Lutheran tradition.

The focus of our study is the Book of Concord itself, where it came from, what it contains, and how it has defined Lutheran identity. It treats the Book of Concord as both a historical landmark and a theological foundation despite the fact that it is subject to the conditions of its century, one of which was a strident polemical atmosphere that we no longer share. Chapters one and two place the confessions in their historical framework by providing introductions to the Reformation in general and to the rise of Lutheranism in particular. Chapter three discusses the concept and the importance of confession and introduces each document in the Book of Concord. The next three chapters deal with the theology of the confessions: chapter four explains the pillars on which the structure of that theology is built; chapter five treats the sacraments, the ministry, and the nature of the church; chapter six, on . . .

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