Academic journal article Anglican Theological Review

We Believe: A Prayer Book Based on the Augsburg Confession

Academic journal article Anglican Theological Review

We Believe: A Prayer Book Based on the Augsburg Confession

Article excerpt

We Believe: A Prayer Book Based on the Augsburg Confession. By Richard F. Bansemer. Reflections by Walter R. Bouman. Delhi, New York: The American Lutheran Publicity Bureau, 1999. viii + 148 pp. $9.50 (cloth).

This little devotional book from the Lutherans is a surprise. It is short and sweet and sound. It is well packaged and reader-friendly. In fact, it should be patented and sold wherever good medicine is dispensed.

The book is a personal prayer-commentary on the 21 Articles of Faith of the Augsburg Confession (1530), together with further and quite original interpretations of the "seven matters of dispute" between the Reformation churches and Rome. The authors, Bishop Bansemer and Professor Bowman, have distilled the text of each original article, then attached to it a New Testament reading, a reflection for modern readers and seekers, a pertinent collect in contemporary language, and two more prayers, one for congregations and one for the reader in private. The format is easy to follow and constitutes a moving synthesis of theological thinking and existential meditatio.

This reviewer is a little surprised the book is so good. That is because "mainstream" American Lutheranism can sometimes sound embarrassed by the historic sundering from which it was born almost five centuries ago. …

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