Online Articles

God’s Man of Faith: the Martin Luther Comic Book

God’s Man of Faith: the life and teaching of Martin Luther was originally produced by the ALPB almost 60 years ago in 1959. It was part of a program during the 1950s to encourage Lutherans to pay more attention in their churches to the events of the Reformation and the teachings of Luther and the other […]

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Learning Luther: The Proceedings at Augsburg,

In this final four months of our now five years of studying Luther in preparation for the anniversary observances taking place this year, we turn our attention to the fallout and tragic series of events which led the excommunication of Luther and the schism of the Western church, otherwise known as the Reformation. Because of […]

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Instead of Open Communion, Let’s Have Open Baptism,

I’ve been back in the U.S. for six months now, and between travels and that most demoralizing of necessities known as “church-shopping,” I’ve had the chance to view and review all kinds of practices of eucharistic hospitality. As I expected, the range goes from “everyone is welcome” to “all baptized Christians are welcome” to “all […]

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Review of “The Journal Articles of Hermann Sasse,”

The Journal Articles of Hermann Sasse, eds. Matthew C. Harrison, Bror Erickson, and Joel A. Brondos (Irvine: New Reformation Publications, 2016), 647 pp. Hermann Sasse (1895–1976) is remembered for his staunch confessionalism, largely out of step with twentieth century theology. The journey of his life was a movement away from the Prussian Union and the […]

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Learning Luther: The 1518 Theses on the Remission of Sins,

We have done a lot of spade work in the last few months uncovering the core message of the 95 Theses. We have learned that Luther was originally no foe of the idea of spiritual purgation of desire. He believed in the Spirit’s work of making saints holy and thought, therefore, that the chief problem […]

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Review of “Sabbath as Resistance,”

As a parish pastor, I find it more and more common for parents to inform me that their children will be unable to attend this Sunday’s worship service, confirmation class, or youth activity because of conflicts with soccer, lacrosse, football or some other extracurricular activity. These apologies put me in a difficult position. How should the shepherd respond? On one hand, the pastor wants to uphold the third commandment and its directive on keeping the Sabbath holy. But on the other hand, the pastor wants to be sympathetic to those faithful families who must live in a society which has abandoned the Sunday obligation altogether. In frustration, he asks in his Sunday sermon whether “setting aside one hour a week is too much for God to ask?”…

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Review of “Lutherans in America” by Mark Granquist

Mark Granquist, Lutherans in America: A New History (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2015), 375 pp. It has been observed that there are countless dissertations, articles, and books on the Shakers, a tiny and now basically extinct group of American Christians, while the research on American Lutherans, once the third-largest Protestant group in America, is thin on the […]

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There’s Something about Flacius,

Review of Luka Ilić, Theologian of Sin and Grace: The Process of Radicalization in the Theology of Matthias Flacius Illyricus (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2014). Theological reflection involves both content and style. It is an art and a science: scientific in the rigorous analysis of its truth claims; artistic in how theologians choose to communicate […]

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Learning Luther: The 1518 Explanations of the Ninety-Five Theses, 2 of 2,

In November we continue our exploration of Luther’s “Explanations” of the Ninety Five Theses, focusing on Theses #58 and #62, found in LW 31:212–228 and 230–231. The argument executed in these two theses stands at the center of Luther’s emerging reformation theology. The chief idea is that indulgences are not free pardons if they are […]

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Learning Luther: The 1518 “Explanations” of the 95 Theses, 1 of 2,

In October we begin our exploration of Luther’s “Explanations” of the Ninety Five Theses, LW 31:77–252. Much of the 1518 treatise titled in English, “Explanations,” is occupied with Luther’s scholarly study of canon law. As such the contemporary reader enters a strange new world in reading it. But in his own day Luther sought to […]

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