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Lutheranism is a major branch of Western Christianity that identifies with the teachings of the 16th century German reformer Martin Luther. Luther's efforts to reform the theology and practice of the church launched the Protestant Reformation. The reactions of governmental and churchly authorities to the international spread of his writings, beginning with the 95 Theses, divided Western Christianity.MSN Encarta, s.v. " Lutheranism" by George Wolfgang Forell; Christian Cyclopedia, s.v. " Reformation, Lutheran" by Lueker, E. et. al. Archived 2009-10-31.

The split between the Lutherans and the Roman Catholic Church arose mainly over the doctrine of Justification before God. Lutheranism advocates a doctrine of justification "by grace alone through faith alone because of Christ alone", which contradicted the Roman view of "faith formed by love", or "faith and works". Unlike the Reformed Churches, Lutherans retain many of the liturgical practices and sacramental teachings of the pre-Reformation Church. Lutheran theology differs from Reformed theology in a variety of ways, including Christology, the purpose of God's Law, divine grace, whether one is "once saved always saved", and predestination.


Lutheranism has its roots in the efforts of Martin Luther (1483–1546), a German Augustinian priest, who sought to reform the Western Church to return it to what he thought was a biblical foundation. He objected to practices such as indulgences. Luther intended to reform the Church, not to create a different Christian denomination. Nonetheless, he was excommunicated by Pope Leo X.

The start of the Reformation

Diet of Augsburg

Spread into Scandinavia

Lutheranism spread through all of Scandinavia during the sixteenth century, as the monarch of Denmark-Norway (also ruling Iceland) and the monarch of Swedenmarker (also ruling Finland) adopted Lutheranism.

Since 1520, regular Lutheran services were held in Copenhagen. Under the reign of Frederick I (1523–33), Denmark-Norway remained officially Catholic. Although Frederick initially pledged to persecute Lutherans, he soon adopted a policy of protecting Lutheran preachers and reformers, the most significant being Hans Tausen. During his reign, Lutheranism made significant inroads among the Danish population. At an open meeting in Copenhagen attended by the king in 1536, the people shouted "We will stand by the holy Gospel, and do not want such bishops any more". Frederick's son, Christian, was openly Lutheran, which prevented his election to the throne upon his father's death. However, following his victory in the civil war that followed, in 1537 he became Christian III and advanced the Reformation in Denmark-Norway. The constitution upon which the Danish-Norwegian Church, according to the Church ordinance should rest, was "The pure word of God, which is the Law and the Evangelium", i.e. the Ten Commandments and the message of the four Canonical Gospels. "It does not even mention the Augsburg Confession." The priests at least had to understand the Holy Script well enough to preach and explain the Gospel and the Epistles for their congregations. The youths were taught from the small Catechism, available in Danish since 1532. They may in the end expect: forgiving of their sins, grace (literally: "to be counted as just") and the eternal life. Regulation is still similar (line 33-34). The first Bible in Danish was Martin Luther's. It was translated by 1550 and made available in 3000 copies. It was sold out 30 years later. Important differences relative to today's Roman Catholicism are the Lutherans' refutation of: that the tradition is a carrier of the Word of God, and that only the communion of the Bishop of Rome had been entrusted to interpret the Word of God.

The Reformation in Sweden began with Olaus and Laurentius Petri, brothers that took the Reformation to Sweden after studying in Germany. They led Gustav Vasa, elected king in 1523, to Lutheranism. The pope's refusal to allow the replacement of an archbishop that supported the invading forces opposing Gustav Vasa during the Stockholm Bloodbath led to the discontinuance of any official connection between Sweden and the papacy in 1523. Four years later, at the Diet of Västerås, the king succeeded in forcing the diet to accept his dominion over the national church. The king was given possession of all church property, church appointments required royal approval, the clergy were subject to the civil law, and the "pure Word of God" was to be preached in the churches and taught in the schools. While this effectively granted official sanction to Lutheran ideas, Lutheranism did not become official until 1593, when the Uppsala Synod declared Holy Scripture the sole guideline for faith, with four documents accepted as faithful and authoritative explanations of it: the Apostles' Creed, the Nicene Creed, the Athanasian Creed, and the unaltered Augsburg Confession of 1530.

Schmalkaldic War

Martin Luther used his political influence to prevent war, but recognized the right of rulers to defend their lands in the event of an invasion. Luther died in 1546. In 1547, the Schmalkaldic War started out as a conflict between two German Lutheran rulers, but soon, Holy Roman Imperial forces joined the battle and conquered the members of the Schmalkaldic League, oppressing and exiling many German Lutherans as they enforced the terms of the Augsburg Interim until religious freedom was secured for Lutherans through the Peace of Passau of 1552 and the Peace of Augsburg of 1555.

Concordia: doctrinal harmony

Religious disputes between the Crypto-Calvinists, Philippists, Sacramentarians, Ubiquitarians, and the Gnesio-Lutherans raged within Lutheranism during the middle of the 16th century. This finally ended with the resolution of the issues in the Formula of Concord. Large numbers of politically and religiously influential leaders met together, debated, and resolved these topics on the basis of Scripture, resulting in the Formula of Concord, which over 8,000 leaders signed. The Book of Concord of 1580 replaced earlier, incomplete collections of doctrine, unifying all German Lutherans with identical doctrine and beginning the period of Lutheran orthodoxy.

Early orthodoxy (1580-1600)

The Book of Concord gave inner unity to Lutheranism, which had many controversies, mostly between Gnesio-Lutherans and Philippists, in Roman Catholic outward pressure, and in alleged "crypto-Calvinistic" influence. Theology became now more like stable theoretical defining.

High orthodoxy (1600-1685)

University of Helmstedt during the Syncretistic Controversy
Lutheran scholasticism developed gradually, especially for the purpose of arguing with the Jesuits, and it was finally established by Johann Gerhard. Abraham Calovius represents the climax of the scholastic paradigm in orthodox Lutheranism. Other orthodox Lutheran theologians were Martin Chemnitz, Aegidius Hunnius, Leonhard Hutter, Nicolaus Hunnius, Jesper Rasmussen Brochmand, Salomo Glassius, Johann Hülsemann, Johann Conrad Dannhauer, Johannes Andreas Quenstedt, Johann Friedrich König and Johann Wilhelm Baier.

Near the end of the utter devastation that marked the Thirty Years' War the compromising spirit seen in Philip Melanchthon rose up again in Helmstedt School and especially in theology of Georgius Calixtus, causing the Syncretistic Controversy. Another theological issue was the Crypto-Kenotic Controversy.

Late orthodoxy (1685-1730)

Late orthodoxy was torn by influences from rationalism, philosophy based on reason, and Pietism, a revival movement in Lutheranism that sought to emphasize the importance of personal devotion, morality, emotions, and the study of Scripture. After a century of vitality, the Pietist theologians Philipp Jakob Spener and August Hermann Francke warned that Lutheran orthodoxy degenerated life, changing Scriptural truth into meaningless intellectualism and Formalism. Pietism increased at the expense of orthodoxy, but orthodox Lutherans charged that Pietist emphasis on personal morality and sanctification came at the expense of the doctrine of justification. The Pietisitic focus on stirring up devout emotions was susceptible to the arguments of rationalist philosophy.

The last famous orthodox Lutheran theologian before the Enlightenment and Neology was David Hollatz. Late orthodox theologian Valentin Ernst Löscher took part in the controversy against Pietism. Medieval mystical traditions continued in works of Martin Moller, Johann Arndt and Joachim Lütkemann. Pietism became a rival of orthodoxy but adopted some orthodox devotional literature; for example, Arndt's, Scriver's and Prätorius' which were combined Pietistic literature.


University of Jena at 1770, no longer a stronghold of orthodox Lutheranism.
During the 1700s, Germany turned to Rationalism.
Rationalist philosophers from France and England had an enormous impact during the 18th century, along with the German Rationalists Christian Wolff, Gottfried Leibniz and Immanuel Kant. Instead of faith in God and trust in the promises of the Bible, people were taught to trust their own reason and senses. At the most, rationalism left behind a belief in a vague supernaturalism. Morality and church-going plummeted together.

Genuine piety was found almost solely in small Pietist gatherings. However, some of the laity preserved Lutheran orthodoxy from both Pietism and rationalism through reusing old catechisms, hymnbooks, postils, and devotional writings, including those written by Johann Gerhard, Heinrich Müller, and Christian Scriver. Aside from that, however, Lutheranism was extinguished during the course of the 18th century.


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Napoleon's invasion of Germany promoted Rationalism and angered German Lutherans, stirring up a desire among the people to preserve Luther's theology in the face of the Rationalist threat. This "Erweckung", or "Awakening" argued that reason was insufficient and pointed out the importance of emotional religious experience. Small groups sprang up, often in universities, which devoted themselves to Bible study, reading devotional writings, and revival meetings. Members of this movement eventually took to restoring the traditional liturgy and doctrine of the Lutheran church in the Neo-Lutheran movement.

In 1817, Frederick William III of Prussia ordered the Lutheran and Reformed churches in his territory to unite, forming the Evangelical Church of the Prussian Union. The unification of the two branches of German Protestantism sparked the Schism of the Old Lutherans. Many Lutherans, termed "Old Lutherans," chose to leave the established churches and form independent church bodies, or "free churches." Many left for the United Statesmarker and Australia. The dispute over ecumenism overshadowed other controversies within German Lutheranism. Eventually, the fascist German Christian movement forced the final national merger of Lutherans and Reformed into a single Evangelical Church in Germany in July 1933.

The Bible (source of doctrine)

Traditionally, Lutherans hold the holy Bible of the Old and New Testaments to be the only divinely inspired book and the only source of divinely revealed knowledge. Scripture alone is the formal principle of the faith, the final authority for all matters of faith and morals because of its inspiration, authority, clarity, efficacy, and sufficiency.

The authority of the Scriptures has been challenged during the history of Lutheranism. Martin Luther taught that the Bible was the Word of God, and the only reliable guide for faith and practice. He held that every passage of Scripture has one meaning, the literal sense as interpreted by other Scripture. This belief was accepted during the orthodox Lutheranism of the 17th century. During the 18th century, Rationalism advocated reason rather than the authority of the Bible as the final source of knowledge, but most of the laity did not accept this Rationalist position. In the nineteenth century, a confessional revival reemphasized the authority of the Bible and agreement with the Lutheran Confessions.

Today, Lutherans disagree about the inspiration and authority of the Bible. Theological conservatives use the historical-grammatical method of Biblical interpretation, while theological liberals use the higher critical method. The 2008 U.S. Religious Landscape Survey conducted by the Pew Research Center surveyed 1,926 adults in the United States that self-identified as Lutheran. The study found that 30% believed that the Bible was the Word of God and was to be taken literally word for word. 40% held that the Bible was the Word of God, but was not literally true word for word or was unsure if it was literally true word for word. 23% said the Bible was written by men and not the Word of God. 7% didn't know, weren't sure, or had other positions.



Historically, Lutheranism affirms that the Bible does not merely contain the Word of God, but every word of it is, because of verbal inspiration, the direct, immediate word of God. As Lutherans confess in the Nicene Creed, the Holy Spirit "spoke through the prophets". The Apology of the Augsburg Confession identifies Holy Scripture with the Word of God and calls the Holy Spirit the author of the Bible. Because of this, Lutherans confess in the Formula of Concord, "we receive and embrace with our whole heart the prophetic and apostolic Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as the pure, clear fountain of Israel." The apocryphal books were not written by the prophets, by inspiration; they contain errors were never included in the Palestinian Canon that Jesus used, and therefore are not a part of Holy Scripture. The prophetic and apostolic Scriptures are authentic as written by the prophets and apostles. A correct translation of their writings is God's Word because it has the same meaning as the original Hebrew and Greek. A mistranslation is not God's word, and no human authority can invest it with divine authority.

Divine authority

Historically, Lutherans maintain that Holy Scripture, the Word of God, carries the full authority of God. Every single statement of the Bible calls for instant and unqualified acceptance. Every doctrine of the Bible is the teaching of God and therefore requires full agreement. Every promise of the Bible calls for unshakable trust in its fulfillment. Every command of the Bible is the directive of God himself and therefore demands willing observance.


Historically, Lutherans understand the Bible to present all doctrines and commands of the Christian faith clearly. God's Word is freely accessible to every reader or hearer of ordinary intelligence, without requiring any special education. Of course, one must understand the language God's Word is presented in, and not be so preoccupied by contrary thoughts so as to prevent understanding. As a result of this, no one needs to wait for any clergy, and pope, scholar, or ecumenical council to explain the real meaning of any part of the Bible.


Lutherans confess that Scripture is united with the power of the Holy Spirit and with it, not only demands, but also creates the acceptance of its teaching. This teaching produces faith and obedience. Holy Scripture is not a dead letter, but rather, the power of the Holy Spirit is inherent in it. Scripture does not compel a mere intellectual assent to its doctrine, resting on logical argumentation, but rather it creates the living agreement of faith. As the Smalcald Articles affirm, "in those things which concern the spoken, outward Word, we must firmly hold that God grants His Spirit or grace to no one, except through or with the preceding outward Word."


Lutherans are confident that the Bible contains everything that one needs to know in order to obtain salvation and to live a Christian life. There are no deficiencies in Scripture that need to be filled with by tradition, pronouncements of the Pope, new revelations, or present-day development of doctrine.

Law and Gospel

Lutherans understand the Bible as containing two distinct types of content, termed Law and Gospel (or Law and Promises). Properly distinguishing between Law and Gospel prevents the Gospel teaching of justification by grace through faith alone from being obscured.

Lutheran Confessions (doctrinal standard)

The Book of Concord, published in 1580, contains ten documents which some Lutherans believe are faithful and authoritative explanations of Holy Scripture. Besides the three Ecumenical Creeds, which date to Roman times, the Book of Concord contains seven credal documents articulating Lutheran theology in the Reformation era.

The doctrinal positions of Lutheran churches are not uniform because the Book of Concord does not hold the same position in all Lutheran churches. For example, the state churches in Scandinavia consider only the Augsburg Confession as a "summary of the faith" in addition to the three ecumenical Creeds. Lutheran pastors, congregations, and church bodies in Germany and the Americas usually agree to teach in harmony with the entire Lutheran Confessions. Some Lutheran church bodies require this pledge to be unconditional because they believe the confessions correctly state what the Bible teaches. Others allow their congregations to do so "insofar as" the Confessions are in agreement with the Bible.

Summary of doctrine

Justification (central teaching)

The key doctrine, or material principle, of Lutheranism is the doctrine of justification. (Justificaton is not a central part of "the pure word of God".) Lutherans believe that humans are saved from their sin by God's grace alone (Sola Gratia), through faith alone (Sola Fide). Lutherans believe that this grace is granted for the sake of Christ's merit alone (Solus Christus). Orthodox Lutheran theology holds that God made the world, including humanity, perfect, holy and sinless. However, Adam and Eve chose to disobey God, trusting in their own strength, knowledge, and wisdom.Paul R. Sponheim, "The Origin of Sin," in Christian Dogmatics, Carl E. Braaten and Robert W. Jenson, eds. (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1984), 385–407.Francis Pieper, "Definition of Original Sin," in Christian Dogmatics (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1953), 1:538. Consequently, people are saddled with original sin, born sinful and unable to avoid committing sinful acts. Krauth, C.P., The Conservative Reformation and Its Theology: As Represented in the Augsburg Confession, and in the History and Literature of the Evangelical Lutheran Church . Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott. 1875. pp. 335-455, Part IX The Specific Doctrines Of The Conservative Reformation: Original Sin. For Lutherans, original sin is the "chief sin, a root and fountainhead of all actual sins."

Lutherans teach that sinners, while capable of doing works that are outwardly "good," are not capable of doing works that satisfy God's justice. Every human thought and deed is infected with sin and sinful motives. Gen. 6:5, 8:21, Mat. 7:17, Krauth, C.P., The Conservative Reformation and Its Theology: As Represented in the Augsburg Confession, and in the History and Literature of the Evangelical Lutheran Church . Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott. 1875. pp. 388-90, Part IX The Specific Doctrines Of The Conservative Reformation: Original Sin, Thesis VII The Results, Section ii Positive. Because of this, all humanity deserves eternal damnation in hell. Dt. 27:26, Rom. 5:12, 2 Th. 1:9 Rom. 6:23, Engelder, T.E.W., Popular Symbolics. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1934. pp. 38-41, Part VIII. "Sin" God in eternity has turned His Fatherly heart to this world and planned for its redemption because he loves all people and does not want anyone to be eternally damned. 1 Tim. 2:4, Engelder, T.E.W., Popular Symbolics. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1934. pp. 43-44, Part X. "Saving Grace", paragraph 55.

By God's grace, made known and effective in the person and work of Jesus Christ, a person is forgiven, adopted as a child and heir of God, and given eternal salvation. Rom. 10:4, Gal. 4:4–5, Engelder, T.E.W., Popular Symbolics. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1934. p. 42, Part X. "Saving Grace", paragraph 52.For this reason, Lutherans teach that salvation is possible only because of the grace of God made manifest in the birth, life, suffering, death, and resurrection, and continuing presence by the power of the Holy Spirit, of Jesus Christ. Gal. 3:13, Engelder, T.E.W., Popular Symbolics. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1934. p. 43, Part X. "Saving Grace", paragraph 54.

Lutherans believe that individuals receive this gift of salvation through faith alone. Saving faith is the knowledge of, acceptance of , and trust in the promise of the Gospel.Engelder, T.E.W., Popular Symbolics. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1934. pp. 54-5, Part XIV. "Sin" Even faith itself is seen as a gift of God, created in the hearts of Christians Ps. 51:10, Engelder, T.E.W., Popular Symbolics. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1934, p.57 Part XV. "Conversion", paragraph 78. by the work of the Holy Spirit through the Word John 17:20, Rom. 10:17, Engelder, T.E.W., Popular Symbolics. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1934, p.101 Part XXV. "The Church", paragaph 141. and Baptism. Titus 3:5, Engelder, T.E.W., Popular Symbolics. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1934, p.87 Part XXIII. "Baptism", paragraph 118. Faith is seen as an instrument that receives the gift of salvation, not something that causes salvation. Eph. 2:8, Engelder, T.E.W., Popular Symbolics. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1934, p.57 Part XV. "Conversion", paragaph 78. Thus, Lutherans reject the "decision theology" which is common among modern evangelicals.
Trinity symbol

The Trinity

Lutherans are Trinitarian; they confess in the Athanasian Creed, "we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity; Neither confounding the Persons, nor dividing the Substance. For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Ghost. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost is all one: the glory equal, the majesty coeternal". Lutherans reject the idea that the Father and the Son are merely faces of the same person, stating that both the Old Testament and the New Testament show them to be two distinct persons. Is. 63:8-9, Mueller, J.T., Christian Dogmatics. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1934. pp. 158-160, section "The Doctrine of God", part 5. "The Holy Trinity Revealed in the Old Testament", Heb. 1:5, see Engelder, T.E.W., Popular Symbolics. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1934. pp. 33-36, Part VI. "The Trinity". Lutherans believe the Holy Spirit proceeds from both the Father and the Son.


Lutherans believe Jesus Christ is both by nature God and by nature man in one person, as they confess in Luther's Small Catechism that he is "true God begotten of the Father from eternity and also true man born of the Virgin Mary".


Lutherans hold that sacrament are sacred acts of divine institution. Whenever they are properly administered by the use of the physical component commanded by God along with the divine words of institution, God is, in a way specific to each sacrament, present with the Word and physical component. He earnestly offers to all who receive the sacrament forgiveness of sins and eternal salvation. He also works in the recipients to get them to accept these blessings and to increase the assurance of their possession.
Article IX: Of Confession
Lutherans are not dogmatic about the number of the sacraments. In line with Luther's initial statement in his Large Catechism some speak of only two sacraments, Baptism and Holy Communion, although later in the same work he calls Confession and Absolution John 20:23, and Engelder, T.E.W., Popular Symbolics. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1934. pp. 112-3, Part XXVI "The Ministry", paragraph 156. "the third sacrament." The definition of sacrament in the Apology of the Augsburg Confession lists Absolution as one of them. Since Absolution is a return to the forgiveness given in baptism, strictly speaking there are only two sacraments. Private confession is not practiced among many Lutherans, although some churches allow for individual absolution before the Holy Communion service or on Saturdays. A general absolution is proclaimed in the Holy Communion liturgy. Lutherans do not emphasize "penance" as a retribution of sin but rather the proclamation of God's forgiveness by the "called and ordained" minister of the Holy Gospel.

Children born to practicing Lutheran families are baptized shortly after birth.


Lutherans hold that Baptism is a saving work of God, 1 Pet. 3:21, Mueller, J.T., Christian Dogmatics. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1934. pp. 491-496, section "The Doctrine of Baptism", part 4. "Baptism a True Means of Grace", and Engelder, T.E.W., Popular Symbolics. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1934. p. 87, Part XXIII. "Baptism", paragraph 118. mandated and instituted by Jesus Christ.Martin Luther, Small Catechism 4 Baptism is a "means of grace" through which God creates and strengthens "saving faith" as the "washing of regeneration" in which infants and adults are reborn. Since the creation of faith is exclusively God's work, it does not depend on the actions of the one baptized, whether infant or adult. Even though baptized infants cannot articulate that faith, Lutherans believe that it is present all the same. Because it is faith alone that receives these divine gifts, Lutherans confess that baptism "works forgiveness of sins, delivers from death and the devil, and gives eternal salvation to all who believe this, as the words and promises of God declare." Therefore, Lutherans administer Baptism to both infants Mat. 19:14, Acts 2:38–39, Engelder, T.E.W., Popular Symbolics. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1934. p. 90, Part XXIII. "Baptism", paragraph 122. and adults. 1 Cor. 1:14, Engelder, T.E.W., Popular Symbolics. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1934. p. 90, Part XXIII. "Baptism", paragraph 122. In the special section on infant baptism in his Large Catechism, Luther argues that infant baptism is God-pleasing because persons so baptized were reborn and sanctified by the Holy Spirit.

Lord's Supper

Article XII: Of Repentance.
Lutherans hold that within Holy Communion, also referred to as the Sacrament of the Altar, the Mass, or the Lord's Supper, the true body and blood of Christ are "in, with, and under the form" of bread and wine for all those who eat and drink it, 1 Cor. 10:16, 11:20, 27, Engelder, T.E.W., Popular Symbolics. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1934. p. 95, Part XXIV. "The Lord's Supper", paragraph 131. a doctrine that the Formula of Concord calls the sacramental union. Some Lutherans use the term Eucharist to refer to Communion, noting its use in the Book of Concord; however, others reject the term on the basis that the word Eucharist ("thanksgiving") puts the emphasis on the human response to the sacrament, which is contrary to the Lutheran emphasis on God's omnipotence and human powerlessness. They note that in almost every case, the use of the term in the Book of Concord refers to doctrinal statements that are part of the Roman Catholic tradition.


In Lutheranism, conversion or regeneration in the strict sense of the term is the work of divine grace and power by which man, born of the flesh, and void of all power to think, to will, or to do any good thing, and dead in sin is, through the gospel and holy baptism, taken from a state of sin and spiritual death under God's wrath into a state of spiritual life of faith and grace, rendered able to will and to do what is spiritually good and, especially, made to trust in the benefits of the redemption which is in Christ Jesus. During conversion, one is moved from impenitence to repentance. The Augsburg Confession divides repentance into two parts: "One is contrition, that is, terrors smiting the conscience through the knowledge of sin; the other is faith, which is born of the Gospel, or of absolution, and believes that for Christ's sake, sins are forgiven, comforts the conscience, and delivers it from terrors."

Article 18: Of Free Will


Lutherans adhere to divine monergism, the teaching that salvation is by God's act alone, and therefore reject the idea that humans in their fallen state have a free will concerning spiritual matters. Lutherans believe that although humans have free will concerning civil righteousness, they cannot work spiritual righteousness without the Holy Spirit, since righteousness in the heart cannot be wrought in the absence of the Holy Spirit. Lutherans believe that the elect are predestined to salvation. Acts 13:48, Eph. 1:4–11, Epitome of the Formula of Concord, Article 11, Election, Mueller, J.T., Christian Dogmatics. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1934. pp. 585-9, section "The Doctrine of Eternal Election: 1. The Definition of the Term", and Engelder, T.E.W., Popular Symbolics. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1934. pp. 124-8, Part XXXI. "The Election of Grace", paragraph 176. Lutherans believe Christians should be assured that they are among the predestined. 2 Thess. 2:13, Mueller, J.T., Christian Dogmatics. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1934. pp. 589-593, section "The Doctrine of Eternal Election: 2. How Believers are to Consider Their Election, and Engelder, T.E.W., Popular Symbolics. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1934. pp. 127-8, Part XXXI. "The Election of Grace", paragraph 180. Lutherans believe that all who trust in Jesus alone can be certain of their salvation, for it is in Christ's work and his promises in which their certainty lies. Rom. 8:33, Engelder, T.E.W., Popular Symbolics. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1934. pp. 127-8, Part XXXI. "The Election of Grace", paragraph 179., Engelder, T.E.W., The Certainty of Final Salvation. The Lutheran Witness 2(6). English Evangelical Missouri Synod: Baltimore. 1891, pp. 41ff. According to Lutheranism, the central final hope of the Christian is "the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting" as confessed in the Apostles' Creed rather than predestination. Lutherans disagree with those that make predestination the source of salvation rather than Christ's suffering, death, and resurrection. Unlike Calvinists, Lutherans do not believe in a predestination to damnation. Instead, Lutherans teach eternal damnation is a result of the unbeliever's sins, rejection of the forgiveness of sins, and unbelief. Hos. 13:9, Mueller, J.T., Christian Dogmatics. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1934. p. 637, section "The Doctrine of the Last Things (Eschatology), part 7. "Eternal Damnation", and Engelder, T.E.W., Popular Symbolics. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1934. pp. 135-6, Part XXXIX. "Eternal Death", paragraph 196.

Divine providence

According to Lutherans, God preserves his creation, cooperates with everything that happens, and guides the universe. While God cooperates with both good and evil deeds, with evil deeds he does so only inasmuch as they are deeds, but not with the evil in them. God concurs with an act's effect, but he does not cooperate in the corruption of an act or the evil of its effect. Lutherans believe everything exists for the sake of the Christian Church, and that God guides everything for its welfare and growth.

In Luther's Small Catechism, the explanation of the first article of the Apostles' Creed declares that everything good that people have is given and preserved by God, either directly or through other people or things. Of the services others provide us through family, government, and work, "we receive these blessings not from them, but, through them, from God." Since God uses everyone's useful tasks for good, people should look not down upon some useful vocations as being less worthy than others. Instead people should honor others, no matter how lowly, as being the means God uses to work in the world.

Good works

Good works are the fruit of saving faith, John 15:5, Tit. 2:14, Engelder, T.E.W., Popular Symbolics. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1934. pp. 62-3, Part XV. "Conversion", paragraph 88 The New Obedience Is The Fruit Of Conversion, The Product Of Faith. and always and in every instance spring spontaneously from true faith. 2 Cor. 9:8, Krauth, C.P., The Conservative Reformation and Its Theology: As Represented in the Augsburg Confession, and in the History and Literature of the Evangelical Lutheran Church . Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott. 1875. pp. 313-4, Part D Confession of the Conservative Reformation: II, Secondary Confessions: Book of Concord, Formula of Concord, Part IV The Doctrinal Result, 2, Section iv, Of Good Works. Any true good works have their true origin in God, Phil 2:13, Engelder, T.E.W., Popular Symbolics. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1934. pp. 74, Part XIX. "Preservation in Faith", paragraph 102. not in the fallen human heart or in human striving; Rom. 7:18 Heb 11:6, Engelder, T.E.W., Popular Symbolics. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1934. pp. 39-40, Part VIII. "Sin", paragraph 46 “Original Sin”. their absence would demonstrate that faith, too, is absent. Although Christians are no longer compelled to keep God's law, they freely and willingly serve God and their neighbors.Albrecht Beutel, "Luther's Life," tr. Katharina Gustavs, in The Cambridge Companion to Martin Luther, ed. Donald K. McKim (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003), 11.

Final Judgment

Lutherans do not believe in any sort of earthly millennial kingdom of Christ either before or after his second coming on the last day. Lutherans teach that, at death, the souls of Christians are immediately taken into the presence of Jesus, Luke 23:42-43, 2 Cor. 5:8, Engelder, T.E.W., Popular Symbolics. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1934. pp. 130, Part XXXIV. "The State of the Soul in the Interval Between Death and the Resurrection", paragraph 185. where they await the second coming of Jesus on the last day. 1 Cor. 15:22–24, Francis Pieper, Christian Dogmatics, 505-515; Heinrich Schmid, The Doctrinal Theology of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, 624-632; John Mueller, Christian Dogmatics, 616-619 On the last day, all the dead will be resurrected. Their souls will then be reunited with the same bodies they had before dying. The bodies will then be changed, those of the wicked to a state of everlasting shame and torment, those of the righteous to an everlasting state of celestial glory. After the resurrection of all the dead, and the change of those still living, all nations shall be gathered before Christ, and he will separate the righteous from the wicked. Christ will publicly judge all people by the testimony of their deeds, the good works of the righteous in evidence of their faith, and the evil works of the wicked in evidence of their unbelief. He will judge in righteousness in the presence of all people and angels, and his final judgment will be just damnation to everlasting punishment for the wicked and a gracious gift of life everlasting to the righteous.



Most Lutherans place great emphasis on a liturgical approach to worship services; although there have always been substantial non-liturgical minorities, for example, the Haugean Lutherans from Norwaymarker. Music forms a large part of Lutheran services. Lutheran hymns are sometimes known as chorales. Lutheran hymnody is well known for its doctrinal, didactic, and musical richness. Many Lutheran churches are active musically with choirs, handbell choirs, children's choirs, and occasionally carillon groups that ring bells in a bell tower. Johann Sebastian Bach, a devout Lutheran, composed music for the Lutheran church.

Many Lutherans also preserve a liturgical approach to the celebration of the Holy Communion (or the Holy Eucharist\ Lord's Supper), emphasizing the sacrament as the central act of Christian worship. Lutherans believe that the actual body and blood of Jesus Christ are present in, with and under the bread and the wine. This belief is called Real Presence or Sacramental Union and is different from consubstantiation and transubstantiation. Additionally Lutherans reject the idea that communion is a mere symbol or memorial. They confess in the Apology of the Augsburg Confession:
:"...we do not abolish the Mass but religiously keep and defend it. Among us the Mass is celebrated every Lord's Day and on other festivals, when the Sacrament is made available to those who wish to partake of it, after they have been examined and absolved. We also keep traditional liturgical forms, such as the order of readings, prayers, vestments, and other similar things." (Apology of the Augsburg Confession, Article XXIV.1)

Besides the Holy Communion [Divine Service], congregations also hold offices, which are worship services without communion. They may include Matins, Vespers, Compline, and Easter Vigil. Private or family offices include the Morning and Evening Prayers from Luther's Small Catechism. Meals are blessed with the Common Table Prayer, , or other prayers, and after eating the Lord is thanked, for example, with . In addition, Lutherans use devotional books, from small daily devotionals, for example, Portals of Prayer, to large breviaries, including the Breviarium Lipsiensae and Treasury of Daily Prayer.

In the 1970s, many Lutheran churches began holding contemporary worship services for the purpose of evangelical outreach. These services were in a variety of styles, depending on the preferences of the congregation. Often they were held alongside a traditional service in order to cater to those that preferred contemporary worship music. Today, some Lutheran congregations have contemporary worship as their sole form of worship. Outreach is no longer given as the primary motivation, rather this form of worship is seen as more in keeping with the desires of individual congregations. In Finland, Lutherans have experimented with the St Thomas Mass or Metal Mass in which traditional hymns are adapted to heavy metal. The Lutheran World Federation has strongly recommended in the Nairobi Statement on Worship and Culture that Lutherans of the world make every effort to bring their services into a more contextually sensitive position.

Lutheran churches use a number of hymnals as well as electronic projection media. The most widely used among English speaking congregations are: The Lutheran Book of Worship (1978), The Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006, ELCA and ELCIC), Lutheran Worship (1982, LCMS), Christian Worship (WELS), and The Lutheran Hymnal (1941, LCMS, WELS & CLC). In 2006, both the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the LCMS, the two largest Lutheran denominations, released new hymnals: Evangelical Lutheran Worship (ELCA) and Lutheran Service Book (LCMS). In Australia, the official hymnal is the 'Lutheran Hymnal with Supplement' of 1986, which includes a supplement to the 'Lutheran Hymnal' of 1973, itself a replacement for the 'Australian Lutheran Hymn Book' of 1921. Prior to this time, the two Lutheran Churches in Australia (which amalgamated in 1966) used a bewildering variety of hymnals, usually in the German language.
Faith Lutheran School in Hong Kong.


Catechism, especially children's, is considered fundamental in most Lutheran churches. Almost all maintain Sunday Schools, and some host or maintain Lutheran schools, at the preschool, elementary, middle, high school or university level. Life-long study of the catechism is intended for all ages so that the abuses of the pre-Reformation Church will not recur. With the emphasis on proper life-long catechesis, Lutherans have a heritage of not only learned theologians, but also theologically adept laypeople.

Pastors almost always have substantial theological educations, including Greek and Hebrew so that they can refer directly to the canonical Christian scriptures in the original language. All Lutheran pastors may marry and have families. Most Lutheran denominations, with the exception of the confessional-conservative synods, allow women pastors. Pastors usually teach in the common language of the parish. In the U.S., some congregations and synods historically taught in German, Finnish, or Norwegian, but this custom, which attracted unfavorable attention during World War I, has been in significant decline since the early/middle 20th century.

Church fellowship

"The certain mark by which a Christian community can be recognized is the preaching of the gospel in its purity."—Luther
Lutherans were divided about the issue of church-fellowship for the first thirty years after Luther's death. Philipp Melanchthon and his Philippist party felt that Christians of many different beliefs should join in union with each other without completely agreeing on doctrine. Against them stood the Gnesio-Lutherans, led by Matthias Flacius and the faculty at Jenamarker. They condemned the Philippist position for indifferentism, describing it as a "unionistic compromise" of precious Reformation theology. Instead, they held that genuine unity between Christians and real theological peace was only possible with an honest agreement about every subject of doctrinal controversy.

Complete agreement finally came about in 1577, after the death of both Melanchthon and Flacius, when a new generation of theologians resolved the doctrinal controversies on the basis of Scripture in the Formula of Concord of 1577. Although they decried the visible division of Christians on earth, orthodox Lutherans avoided ecumenical fellowship with other churches, believing that Christians should not join together for the Lord's Supper or exchange pastors if they do not completely agree about what the Bible teaches. In the 17th century, Georgius Calixtus began a rebellion against this practice, sparking the Syncretistic Controversy.

In the 18th century, there was some ecumenical interest between the Church of Sweden and the Church of England. John Robinson, Bishop of London, planned for a union of the English and Swedish churches in 1718. The plan failed because most Swedish bishops rejected the Calvinism of the Church of England, although Svedberg of Skara and Gezelius, Bishop of Turku (Finland) were in favor.

In the 19th century, Samuel Simon Schmucker attempted to lead the Evangelical Lutheran General Synod of the United States toward unification with other American Protestants. His attempt to get the synod to reject the Augsburg Confession in favor of his compromising Definite Platform failed. Instead, it sparked a Neo-Lutheran revival, prompting many to form the General Council, including Charles Porterfield Krauth. Their alternative approach was “Lutheran pulpits are for Lutheran ministers only, and Lutheran altars are for Lutheran communicants only.”

Presently, Lutherans are divided over how to interact with other Christian denominations. Some Lutherans assert that everyone must share the "whole counsel of God" ( Acts 20:27) in complete unity ( 1 Cor. 1:10)For a historical example, see Robert Preus, To Join or Not To Join. North Dakota District of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, 1968. before pastors can share each other's pulpits, and before communicants commune at each other's altars, a practice termed closed communion. On the other hand, other Lutherans are practice varying degrees of open communion and allow preachers from other Christian denominations in their pulpits.

While not an issue in the majority of Lutheran church bodies, some of them forbid membership in Freemasonry. Partly, this is because the lodge is viewed as spreading Unitarianism, as the Brief Statement of the Missouri Synod reads, "Hence we warn against Unitarianism, which in our country has to a great extent impenetrated the sects and is being spread particularly also through the influence of the lodges." A 1958 report from the publishing house of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod states that, "Masonry is guilty of idolatry. Its worship and prayers are idol worship. The Masons may not with their hands have made an idol out of gold, silver, wood or stone, but they created one with their own mind and reason out of purely human thoughts and ideas. The latter is an idol no less than the former."

The Lutheran World Federation and the Missouri Synod have been in official dialogue with the Roman Catholic Church since shortly after the Second Vatican Council. In 1999 the LWF and the Roman Catholic Church when they jointly issued a statement, the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification ("JDDJ"), that stated that the LWF and the Roman Catholic churches agreed about the basics of Justification and lifted certain Roman Catholic anathemas formerly applying to the LWF member churches.[812844]. The Missouri Synod has participated in every series of talks, except that which produced the Joint Declaration and to which they were not invited. While some Lutheran theologians saw the Joint Declaration as a sign that the Roman Catholic Church was essentially adopting the Lutheran position, other Lutheran theologians disagreed, claiming that, considering the public documentation of the Roman Catholic Church's position, this assertion does not hold up.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) has been actively involved in ecumenical dialogues with several denominations (the ELCA is one of the members of the LWF that signed the JDDJ). Recently, the ELCA has declared full communion with several American Churches: the Moravian Church, the Episcopal Church, the Presbyterian Church , the Reformed Church in America, the United Methodist Church, and the United Church of Christ.

Although not an "ecumenical" movement in the formal sense, in the 1990s influences from the megachurches of American evangelicalism have become somewhat common. Many of the largest Lutheran congregations in the United States have been heavily influenced by these "progressive Evangelicals." These influences are sharply criticized by some Lutherans as being foreign to orthodox Lutheran beliefs.

The Porvoo Communion is a communion of episcopally led Lutheran and Anglican churches in Europe. Beside its membership in the Porvoo Communion, Church of Sweden also has declared full communion with the Philippine Independent Church and the United Methodist Church.

Throughout the world

Today, millions belong to Lutheran churches, which are present on all populated continents.Lutheran World Federation, "Slight Increase Pushes LWF Global Membership to 66.2 Million", The Lutheran World Federation, (accessed May 18, 2006). However, some Lutherans disagree with the way the Lutheran World Federation arrives at this number, as millions of them actually come from bodies that are largely Reformed, but include some Lutherans. For more information on this, see William Schumacher, "Theological Observer: How Many Lutherans?", Concordia Journal April 2005, Lutheranism is the largest religious group in Denmarkmarker, the Faroe Islandsmarker, Greenlandmarker, Icelandmarker, Norwaymarker, Swedenmarker, Finlandmarker, Estoniamarker, Latviamarker, Germanymarker, Namibiamarker, and the Dakotasmarker. Lutheranism is also the dominant form of Christianity in the White Mountainmarker and San Carlos Apache nations. In addition, Lutheranism is the dominant Protestant denomination but not the largest religious group in Lithuaniamarker, Polandmarker, Austriamarker, Slovakiamarker, Sloveniamarker, Croatiamarker, Serbiamarker, Kazakhstanmarker, Tajikistanmarker, Papua New Guineamarker, and Tanzania.

Although Namibia is the only country outside Europe to have a Lutheran majority, there are sizable Lutheran communities in many other countries, including Australia, Brazilmarker, Canadamarker, Ethiopiamarker, Indiamarker, Indonesiamarker (notably among the Orang Batak), Madagascarmarker, and the United Statesmarker. Lutheran missions have also been established in many African countries like Sierra Leonemarker.

The largest organizations of Lutheran churches around the world are the Lutheran World Federation, the International Lutheran Council, and the Confessional Evangelical Lutheran Conference. These organizations together include the great majority of Lutheran denominations around the globe. The Lutheran World Federation supports the activities of Lutheran World Relief, a relief and development agency active in more than 50 countries. The LCMS and the LCC are members of the International Lutheran Council (ILC). The WELS and ELS are members of the Confessional Evangelical Lutheran Conference.

Many Lutheran churches exist throughout the world which are not affiliated with the LWF, the ILC or the CELC, such as those affiliated with Augsburg Lutheran Churches or Church of the Lutheran Confession which are especially active in Africa and India; and those affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Free Church (UAC)or Church of the Lutheran Brethren, which are especially active elsewhere in Asia.

The Lutheran World Federation (LWF)-aligned churches do not believe that one church is singularly true in its teachings. According to this belief, Lutheranism is a reform movement rather than a movement into doctrinal correctness. For that reason, a number of doctrinally diverse LWF denominations, now largely separated from state control, are declaring fellowship and joint statements of agreement with other Lutheran and non-Lutheran Christian denominations.

By contrast, the Confessional Evangelical Lutheran Conference and International Lutheran Council as well as many unaffiliated denominations such as the Church of the Lutheran Confession (CLC) maintain that the orthodox confessional Lutheran churches are the only churches with completely correct doctrine. They teach that while other Christian churches teach partially orthodox doctrine and have true Christians as members, the doctrines of those churches contain significant errors. More conservative Lutherans strive to maintain historical distinctiveness while emphasizing doctrinal purity alongside Gospel-motivated outreach. They claim that LWF Lutherans are practicing "fake ecumenism" by desiring church fellowship outside of actual unity of teaching.

See also

Print sources

  • CLC Perspective:

  • Confessional & Historical Perspective: Günther Gassmann & Scott Hendrix. Fortress Introduction to the Lutheran Confessions. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1999. ISBN 0-8006-3162-5.

  • ELCA Perspective:

  • General Council Historical Perspective:

  • LCMS Perspective:

  • LCMS Perspective:

  • LCMS Perspective:

  • LCR Perspective:

  • Neo-Lutheran Historical Perspective:

  • Slovak Synod Historical Perspective:

  • WELS Perspective:

  • LCMS, WELS, ELCA Comparison of Lutheran doctrine:


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  3. Martin Luther Biography - Martin Luther Childhood, Life & Timeline
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  6. That Martin Luther? He wasn’t so bad, says Pope -Times Online
  16. § 13 and 16
  18. Chapter 12 The Reformation In Germany And Scandinavia, Renaissance and Reformation by William Gilbert.
  19. N.F. Lutheran Cyclopedia, article, " Upsala, Diet of", New York: Schrivner, 1899. p. 528-9.
  20. Brecht, Martin. Martin Luther. tr. James L. Schaaf, Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1985–93, 3:199-228.
  21. Fuerbringer, L., Concordia Cyclopedia Concordia Publishing House. 1927. p. 425
  22. Lutheran Theology after 1580 article in Christian Cyclopedia
  23. Fuerbringer, L., Concordia Cyclopedia Concordia Publishing House. 1927. p. 426
  24. Devotional Literature Project
  25. Suelflow, Roy A. Walking With Wise Men. Milwaukee: South Wisconsin District , 1967. p.10
  26. .
  27. For the traditional Lutheran view of the Bible, see . For an overview of the doctrine of verbal inspiration in Lutheranism, see Inspiration, Doctrine of in the Christian Cyclopedia.
  28. ,
  29. Braaten, Carl E. (1983). Principles of Lutheran Theology. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, p. 9
  30. .
  31. U.S. Religious Landscape Survey: Religious Beliefs and Practices, Diverse and Politically Relevant. Washington D.C.: Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. June 2008. p. 127. Accessed online on September 27, 2009 at
  32. , , , , , , , , , ,
  33. "God's Word, or Holy Scripture" from the Apology of the Augsburg Confession, Article II, of Original Sin
  34. "the Scripture of the Holy Ghost." Apology to the Augsburg Confession, Preface, 9
  35. The Solid Declaration of the Formula of Concord, "Rule and Norm", 3.
  36. (Tobit 6, 71; 2 Macc. 12, 43 f.; 14, 411),
  37. See Bible, Canon in the Christian Cyclopedia
  38. , , , , , , , ,
  39. , , , , , , , , , , ,
  40. , , , , ,
  41. , , , , , ,
  42. , , , , , , , , , , , ,
  43. ,
  44. , , ,
  45. , , , , , , ,
  46. , , , , ,
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  48. , , , ,
  49. , , , ,
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  52. F.E. Mayer, The Religious Bodies of America. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1954, p. 184. For further information, see The Formula of Concord in the History of Swedish Lutheranism by Seth Erlandsson
  53. Formula of Concord, Original Sin.
  54. Rom. 7:18, 8:7 1 Cor. 2:14, Martin Chemnitz, Examination of the Council of Trent: Vol. I. Trans. Fred Kramer, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1971, pp. 639-52, "The Third Question: Whether the Good Works of the Regenerate in This Life Are So Perfect that They Fully, Abundantly, and Perfectly Satisfy the Divine Law".
  55. Augsburg Confession, Article 4, "Of Justification"
  56. , , , , and refer to faith in terms of knowledge.
  57. refers to acceptance of the truth of Christ's teaching, while notes the rejection of his teaching.
  58. , , , speak of trust, confidence, and belief in Christ. notes belief in the name of Christ, and notes belief in the gospel.
  59. Athanasian Creed , Book of Common Prayer translation, used in the Triglot ed. of the Book of Concord
  60. The Nicene Creed and the Filioque: A Lutheran Approach by Rev. David Webber for more information
  61. Luther's Small Catechism, The Apostles' Creed, Second Article,
  62. , , , , ,
  63. , , , ,
  64. , , ,
  65. , , ,
  66. , ,
  67. , , , , , , ,
  68. , ,
  69. , ,
  70. "Private Absolution ought to be retained in the churches, although in confession an enumeration of all sins is not necessary." Article XI: Of Confession
  71. The Apology of the Augsburg Confession XIII, 2: "We believe we have the duty not to neglect any of the rites and ceremonies instituted in Scripture, whatever their number. We do not think it makes much difference if, for purposes of teaching, the enumeration varies, provided what is handed down in Scripture is preserved" (cf. Theodore G. Tappert, trans. and ed., The Book of Concord: The Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1959), 211).
  72. Luther's Large Catechism IV, 1: "We have now finished the three chief parts of the common Christian doctrine. Besides these we have yet to speak of our two Sacraments instituted by Christ, of which also every Christian ought to have at least an ordinary, brief instruction, because without them there can be no Christian; although, alas! hitherto no instruction concerning them has been given" (emphasis added; cf. Theodore G. Tappert, trans. and ed., The Book of Concord: The Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1959), 733).
  73. Luther's Large Catechism IV, 74-75: "And here you see that Baptism, both in its power and signification, comprehends also the third Sacrament, which has been called repentance, as it is really nothing else than Baptism" (emphasis added; cf. Theodore G. Tappert, trans. and ed., The Book of Concord: The Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1959), 751).
  74. The Apology of the Augsburg Confession XIII, 3, 4: "If we define the sacraments as rites, which have the command of God and to which the promise of grace has been added, it is easy to determine what the sacraments are, properly speaking. For humanly instituted rites are not sacraments, properly speaking, because human beings do not have the authority to promise grace. Therefore signs instituted without the command of God are not sure signs of grace, even though they perhaps serve to teach or admonish the common folk. Therefore, the sacraments are actually baptism, the Lord’s Supper, and absolution (the sacrament of repentance)" (cf. Tappert, 211). Apology of the Augsburg Confession, Article 13, Of the Number and Use of the Sacraments
  75. The Solid Declaration of the Formula of Concord, Article 8, The Holy Supper
  76. , , ,
  77. , , , ,
  78. , , ,
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  80. , , ,
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  83. , ,
  84. , , , , , , ,
  85. , , , , ,
  86. , , , , , Augustus Lawrence Graebner, Lutheran Cyclopedia p. 136, "Conversion"
  87. Augsburg Confession, Article XII: Of Repentance
  88. See Augsburg Confession, Article XVIII: Of Free Will
  89. 1 Cor. 2:14, 12:3, Rom. 8:7, Martin Chemnitz, Examination of the Council of Trent: Vol. I. Trans. Fred Kramer, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1971, pp. 409-53, "Seventh Topic, Concerning Free Will: From the Decree of the Sixth Session of the Council of Trent".
  90. Augsburg Confession, Article 18, Of Free Will.
  91. 1 Tim. 2:4, 2 Pet. 3:9, Epitome of the Formula of Concord, Article 11, Election, and Engelder's Popular Symbolics, Part XXXI. The Election of Grace, pp. 124-8.
  92. Mueller, J.T., Christian Dogmatics. Concordia Publishing House. 1934. pp. 189-195 and Fuerbringer, L., Concordia Cyclopedia Concordia Publishing House. 1927. p. 635 and Christian Cyclopedia article on Divine Providence. For further reading, see The Proof Texts of the Catechism with a Practical Commentary, section Divine Providence, p. 212, Wessel, Louis, published in Theological Quarterly, Vol. 11, 1909.
  93. Mueller, Steven P.,Called to Believe, Teach, and Confess. Wipf and Stock. 2005. pp. 122-123.
  94. Mueller, J.T., Christian Dogmatics. Concordia Publishing House: 1934. pp. 190 and Edward. W. A.,A Short Explanation of Dr. Martin Luther's Small Catechism. Concordia Publishing House. 1946. p. 165. and Divine Providence and Human Adversity by Markus O. Koepsell
  95. quoted in Scaer, David. Luther's Concept of the Resurrection Concordia Theological Quarterly 47(3) p.219
  96. Luther's Small Catechism, The Apostles' Creed
  97. Luther's Large Catechism, First Commandment
  98. Mat. 7:15–16, Tit. 1:16. Augsburg Confession, Article 20, Of Good Works
  99. John 18:36, Augsburg Confession, Article 17, Of Christ's Return to Judgment.
  100. ,
  101. , , , ,
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  116. , , ,
  117. See Luther's Small Catechism, Daily Prayers
  118. Augsburg Confession, Article 21, "Of the Worship of the Saints". trans. Kolb, R., Wengert, T., and Arand, C. Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 2000.
  119. Principle examples of this in the ELCA include Family of God, Cape Coral FL., The Well, Charlotte NC, Hosanna! of Lakeville, Minnesota, and Church of the Apostles, Seattle WA..
  120. "A given culture's values and patterns, insofar as they are consonant with the values of the Gospel, can be used to express the meaning and purpose of Christian worship. Contextualization is a necessary task for the Church's mission in the world, so that the Gospel can be ever more deeply rooted in diverse local cultures." The Nairobe Statement
  121. preface to Luther's Large and preface to Luther's Small Catechism.
  122. Tappert, T.G., Selected Writings of Martin Luther, Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2007, p.325
  123. Klug, Eugene F. and Stahlke, Otto F. Getting into the Formula of Concord. St. Louis: Concordia, 1977. p.16
  124. Klug, Eugene F. and Stahlke, Otto F. Getting into the Formula of Concord. St. Louis: Concordia. p.18
  125. [1].
  126. See Brief Statement was adopted as Missouri Synod doctrine in 1932, and from time to time has been adopted by other Lutherans
  127. Report of the Lutheran Church, The Northwestern Lutheran, page 281, August 31, 1988.
  128. See scholarly articles on the [2] from the Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary Library and Implications of the Church Growth Movement for Lutherans: Possibilities and Concerns by Harold L. Senkbeil as examples of criticism from confessional Lutherans
  129. Encyclopedia Britannica, Dominant Protestant Denomination Per Country, 1995.
  130. see Ecumenism: Facts and Illusions by Kurt E. Marquart for a short explanation of the modern ecumenism movement from a Confessional Lutheran perspective

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