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[January 3, 2018 | No Comment | ]

by Mathew Block
The publication of the Augsburg Confession in 1530 may have solidified the Lutheran tradition, but the troubles for the Reformation did not end there.
War seemed inevitable. Emperor Charles V had already tried diplomatic means at Augsburg to force the Lutheran princes to return to Roman faith and practice. The sword would undoubtedly be next.
For this reason, the Schmalkaldic League was formed in February 1531. The League was envisioned as a defensive alliance for the Lutheran princes, protecting each other if the Emperor should attack one of them
For several …

In: Feature Stories, Headline, History of the Reformation, Reformation 500

[December 21, 2017 | No Comment | ]

by Thomas M. Winger
The story is told of a wrestling match in the ancient Olympics between a wrestler from Ephesus and one from nearby Miletus. The little Ephesian was absolutely unbeatable, and so his Milesian opponent cried foul. On close examination the judges discovered that the Ephesian had six magic words written on a band around his ankle. When these “Ephesian letters” were removed, the Milesian threw him to the ground 30 times in a row! What was the power of these words? Acts 19 tells us that Ephesus was …

In: Feature Stories, Headline

[December 14, 2017 | No Comment | ]

ONLINE – Lutheran Church–Canada (LCC) has partnered with The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) and the North American Lutheran Church (NALC) to develop a Bible reading plan entitled Reading the Word of God.
“In order to encourage the people of our church bodies in the daily reading of Holy Scripture, we have compiled a three-year plan of daily Bible readings and a year-long series of weekly readings on Martin Luther’s approach to the Scriptures,” an introduction to the reading plan explains. “The suggested readings are offered for one reason only—to enhance devotional …

In: Feature Stories, Headline, National News

[December 13, 2017 | No Comment | ]

by Leonardo Neitzel
Another Christmas is soon approaching, and with it gifts to exchange. Each of us may have a story or experience about a gift—perhaps one received, perhaps one lost, one dreamed or wished for, or even a gift never received. Gifts come in all shapes and sizes.
But the gift of holy baptism—water and the Word of God Father, Son and Holy Spirit—exceeds all. While material gifts are perishable, the gift of baptism is both for this life and for eternity, packed with abounding blessings of forgiveness, life, and salvation.
Nothing …

In: Feature Stories, Headline

[December 5, 2017 | No Comment | ]

This article reflects on the section of Luther’s Small Catechism dealing with Confession. Read the relevant portion online in contemporary English here.
The Word of Absolution
by Edward G. Kettner
Usually when Lutherans think about “confession” they think of the general order of confession as it occurs in our orders of Holy Communion. When thinking of private confession, their thoughts might gravitate to the Roman Catholic idea, perhaps even calling to mind the image of the confessional booth. Tied with the Roman idea is the concept of “doing penance,” that is, performing “works …

In: Back to the Catechism, Feature Stories, Headline, Reformation 500

[November 1, 2017 | No Comment | ]

by James Gimbel
The Latin word sola (solus, soli) means “alone.” Luther and the Reformation theologians used this term to modify some important points of Reformation theology that ran counter to popular and church opinion. How many solas are there in the Lutheran Reformation? If you are familiar with Luther’s writing, three are prominently used together: sola gratia (“grace alone”), sola fide (“faith alone”), and sola Scriptura (“Scripture/God’s Word alone”). In Luther’s writing, he is very clear about the pre-eminence of another sola: solus Christus (“ Christ alone”). If you do …

In: Feature Stories, Headline