From their formulation in the sixteenth century through the present day, every generation of Lutheran leadership has grappled with the centrality and importance 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, and assists readers in understanding the issues at stake in the narratives, both in their own time and in ours.
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“First, they have become increasingly important because of the need to define the boundaries of historical Christianity in the face of numerous attempts to redefine Christianity in the light of ancient Gnosticism and revisionist versions of Christianity.” (Page 15)
“The Interims and the resulting controversy over adiaphora had raised three distinct issues for Lutheran theologians: (1) the relationship between Christian freedom and ceremonies or usages in the church; (2) the nature of public confession of the truth; and (3) the relationship between the church and the society in which it lives, more specifically, the secular government of that society.” (Page 183)
“The Apostles Creed conveys the essentials of the Christian faith in a straightforward, down-to-earth manner that is at once simple, concise, and easy to grasp. It does so with the language of the Scriptures themselves.” (Page 24)
“Given the sufficiency of the gospel, ‘it is not necessary that human traditions, rites, or ceremonies instituted by human beings be alike everywhere’ (Latin text).18 The Wittenberg theologians had redefined Christianity: they viewed it no longer as primarily a matter of human performance, certainly not of ritual. Rituals only served to enhance the conversation between the creator and his human creatures.” (Page 96)
“This means that we recognize that the task of confessing the faith is fundamentally eschatological. Believers always are conscious that their witness of Christ’s love to other believers and those outside the faith takes place in presence of and though the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Page 9)
Confessional commitment, ecclesiastical identity, and scholarly expertise characterize this concise, yet incisive, analysis of the historical setting and theological content of the Lutheran Confessions in light of contemporary scholarship. The volume serves as a valuable companion to The Book of Concord, and it will be a welcome resource for all students of the Lutheran confessional documents, both in the parish and in an academic setting.
—Kurt K. Hendel, Bernard, Fischer, Westberg Distinguished Ministry Professor of Reformation History, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago
In this volume, Arand, Nestingen, and Kolb, as internationally recognized premier scholars of the Lutheran Confessions, bring the harvest of the past quarter century research into the hands of readers. As they give a detailed historical account of the fascinating stories behind The Book of Concord with their own theological insight, readers will be drawn not only into the content but even more importantly into the mind of the Confessions and the way in which they taught and confessed Jesus Christ. The Lutheran Confessions: History and Theology of the Book of Concord will make a remarkable and lasting contribution to a new generation of students, scholars, and pastors, and assist them in confessing Christ in the twenty-first century America and the world.
—Naomichi Masaki, associate professor of systematic theology, Concordia Theological Seminary
In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.
Charles P. Arand is a professor of systematic theology at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri. His recent publications include The Genius of Luther’s Theology.
Robert Kolb is Emeritus Mission Professor of Systematic Theology and director of the Institute for Mission Studies at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri. Among his many publications are The Book of Concord and Martin Luther: Confessor of the Faith.
James A. Nestingen is emeritus professor of church history at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota. He is a nationally recognized Luther scholar as well as a popular speaker and lecturer. Nestingen is the author of numerous books, including Martin Luther: A Life and Sources and Contexts of The Book of Concord.