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CLTS installs new professors, holds Reformation 500 Conference

October 10, 2017 No Comment

Installation of Rev. Esko Murto and Rev. Dr. Harold Ristau.

ST. CATHARINES, Ontario – On September 10, 2017, Concordia Lutheran Theological Seminary opened its new academic year and held a theological symposium marking the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.

The event saw the installation of two new assistant professors: Rev. Dr. Harold Ristau, who has previously served in the chaplaincy of the armed forces, and Rev. Esko Murto, who has already served in the seminary as a visiting scholar since August 2015.

The conference featured Rev. Dr Jobst Schöne, Bishop Emeritus of the Independent Evangelical Lutheran Church (SELK) of Germany, as guest speaker. Bishop Schöne took the role of a theological “mythbuster” in his evening lecture, “Luther without Fake News.” He dismantled several common misconceptions about Luther, including the old stories about Luther throwing an inkwell at the devil at the Wartburg Castle, or say he would plant an apple tree if he knew the world were to end tomorrow. Bishop Schöne revealed that the monk-who-left-monastery, Martin Luther, was the last of the brothers to actually leave the Black Cloister in Wittenberg, and in subsequent years sought to bring many good devotional practices from monastic orders to the life of common Christians–such as daily devotions, regular confession and absolution, and the study of Scriptures.

Other speakers in the conference were Dr. Fredrik Sidenvall from Sweden, who discussed Luther’s Christmas sermons from the viewpoint of modern theories of attachment, Dr. John Stephenson, who examined the impact of the Reformation on our understanding of how man is saved, and Dr. James Keller who explored the ecumenical significance of Luther’s 95 Theses.

Video recordings of the conference presentations are available now on the seminary’s YouTube channel. Audio recordings are on the seminary website here.

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