Alister McGrath urges Lutherans to share doctrine with the world around us

ATLANTA, Georgia – On the 495th anniversary of the Reformation, Rev. Dr. Alister McGrath, Professor of Theology, Ministry and Education at King’s College (London, England), called on confessional Lutherans around the world to continue to “unpack, interpret and translate” the words of Dr. Martin Luther for the world around us.

Speaking on the topic of Witness (Martyría) to Lutheran church leaders—who collectively represent more than 20 million Lutherans—from Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, Australia, and North America, Dr. McGrath urged all Lutherans to “go back to this resource [Luther] to enrich the present-day mission.”

Dr. McGrath, a leading critic of New Atheism and an advocate of the importance of theology in apologetics, mission, evangelism, spirituality and social engagement, is also a former atheist whose interest and eventual conversion to Christianity was due in part to his reading of Luther.

Serving as keynote speaker to the International Conference on Confessional Leadership, sponsored by The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, Dr. McGrath set the stage for a series of follow-up responses from pastors from Taiwan, Nigeria, Brazil and England regarding the relevance and importance of Luther and the Lutheran church in the 21st century.

A failure to share Luther’s insights and the enduring confessional Lutheran perspective with the 21st century, noted Dr. McGrath, will result in a “treasure chest” of doctrine that will “remain unopened because the language isn’t understood.”

“It’s much easier to withdraw and not engage with anyone else,” Dr. McGrath admitted, “but Luther is a witness to the more uncomfortable truth that we need to be there at the intersection of Christ and culture, bearing witness to the Gospel.”


Adapted from a news release from The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Image of Dr. McGrath is by Matthias Asgeirsson and is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

2 responses to “Alister McGrath urges Lutherans to share doctrine with the world around us”

  1. Ron Voss says:

    I am surprized that former atheist Anglican theologian
    Alistair McGrath’s views are embraced by LC-MS which one understands to stand
    on the authority of God’s Word.

    BioLogos, founded by Francis Collins, promotes theistic evolution and in this post at the BioLogos website McGrath suggests (in order to accomodate the notion that the earth is millions and billions of years old) that Adam and Eve were not historical real people but merely allegory:

    I would suggest that McGrath unpack what Luther had to say about the creation event.

  2. alexsmusiak says:

    Ron, I don’t have to buy into what Francis and the boys at BioLogos say in order to agree with Alistair’s opinions on the need for Luther in our day. I am not sure that the LCMS is in fact endorsing all of his views (being Anglican and all).

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Posted By: Matthew Block
Posted On: November 6, 2012
Posted In: Headline, International News,

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