Academic journal article Currents in Theology and Mission

500th Anniversary of the Reformation: Lutheran Identity and Practice

Academic journal article Currents in Theology and Mission

500th Anniversary of the Reformation: Lutheran Identity and Practice

Article excerpt

If you were alive in the 1990s and even slightly exposed to popular culture you remember Jeff Foxworthy's now famous tag line "you might be a redneck." Foxworthy's genius was his ability to make connections between practice and identity. Perhaps this is the reason that Foxworthy's punch line resonated so much with American Lutherans.

I recall a time when it was impossible to go to any gathering of Lutherans without someone wearing (or selling) a shirt listing all the reasons why "you might be a Lutheran." Whether it involved calling Jello a salad, or fighting over which color hymnal is authoritative in Lutheran worship, Lutherans in North America jumped on Foxworthy's desire to smile at the link between identity and practice and made his catch phrase their own, with slight adjustments.

You will find that same desire to link identity with practice in the pages of this issue of Currents in Theology and Mission. We continue to devote the October issue to articles related specifically to the Reformation in anticipation of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, and our common theme will be the link between Lutheran identity and practice, specifically the practice of proclamation.

Kathryn A. Kleinhans explores the question of how Lutherans might understand loving the neighbor through the lens of Luther, and provides insights about how a person can be simultaneously confessionally Lutheran, and open to the practices and theologies of those who do not share the commitments of the Lutheran expression of Christianity or Christian faith in general. …

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