After 2 months I’m taking down The Question – What Does It Mean to Be Lutheran? We had 17 responses, which I think is wonderful. Review the responses and links to their blogs by clicking on this link – Lutheranism: What It Means.
Thanks for participating!
My dear friend RevHRod, who blogs over at You Don’t Have to Listen. I Just Like to Talk, points out that we Lutherans dwell in gray area. As opposed to some other brands of Lutheranism that see the world in black and white, we ELCA Lutherans are "called to carefully think and pray and discuss the issues of the day," knowing that issues of faith often involve struggle and wrestling, not simple knee-jerk answers. Read her entire response, Being Lutheran – Is it living in the gray areas or on the razor’s edge?, and keep your answers to the question coming!
To read all the contributions to this topic, click here.
I’m not sure if she’s been reading my blog (I doubt it, actually), but Kathryn Kleinhans of Wartburg College answers my question What Does It Mean to be Lutheran in the new issue of The Lutheran magazine. Lutheranism 101: Culture or Confession is an excellent article outlining core themes of our Lutheran identity:
- Justification by Grace Through Faith for Christ’s Sake
- Law and Gospel
- Means of Grace
- Theology of the Cross
- Saint and Sinner
- Contextual Theology
Read the article, use the study guide in your congregation, and/or invite her to speak at your church. This is a great tool that all congregations should use for adult education.
Our sister Pink Shoes, who blogs over at Pink Shoes in the Pulpit, loves the abundant grace proclaimed by our tradition. "I simply love the power of the sacraments as means of God’s grace:
celebrate them honestly, gather frequently, share the Good News, and
live with the knowledge that, sinner though you are, you are a dearly
beloved child of God." Read her whole post, Yep, that’s me! Thoughts on Why I’m a Lutheran, and keep those posts coming in!
Brett, a recent graduate of The College of William and Mary (my fair alma mater), has a deeply personal experience of God’s grace and love. For her, Lutheranism acknowledges "that I am the worst of sinners" and yet also pours out an "exuberance" of grace "day after day."
Read her personal and passionate account of what it means to be a Lutheran Christian over at her blog, brett’s discernment.
And keep those answers to the question coming!
I’m Lutheran – no duh.
But in light of my question about what it means to be Lutheran, and the numerous responses to that question (listed in the right-hand column under the picture of my home run swing), I thought I’d reinterate my perspective on what it means to be Lutheran.
Here’s a post I listed back in March, which is really a re-worked version of a September post. To me, Lutheranism:
- knows that God comes down the ladder
- knows that God dwells where we least expect God to dwell
- takes sin seriously
- embraces paradox
- preaches about God (not about us!)
- embraces the common stuff of everyday life
Check out my earlier post for the gory details . . . And keep submitting your responses!
Hamletta, who’s new blog is over at denmark stinks, answers the question with a wonderful story of a spiritual journey that weaves in and out of the Lutheran church. Like many of us, she was raised in the Lutheran church, spent time away, and has returned to the Lutheran church and calls it home. "It just felt right," she says. "I felt like I belonged there, like it was just the right place to be."
Read her post, Yeah, I’m Lutheran. You Gotta Problem Widdat?
I received an email response to my question, You’re Lutheran: What Does This Mean? from a Lutheran blogger who chose not to post the response online. Honoring the semi-confidential/private nature of this bloggers’ response, I’ve simply called this blogger "anonymous."
Here’s the response, from an anonymous friend who laments our separation from Rome:
I’m a Lutheran because I was born and baptized a Lutheran. Left to my own devices, or if I was a free agent, I’d convert to Roman Catholicism. But I’m ordained in the Lutheran church, and will not go back to Rome except together with all my brothers and sisters in the Lutheran church who are currently separated from Rome.
The What Does It Mean to be Lutheran thing isn’t done, dear friends!
Many thanks to Kim who posted her response over at her blog, Random Thoughts From a Housewife. For Kim, the solas of our Lutheran tradition are central (sola gratia, sola fide, sola scripura), yet these solas especially speak to her when expressed and lived out in an atmosphere of mission and discipleship. Kim also likes being part of a larger tradition and institution, even though she admits that this "can be frustrating."
Read her response, What Does it Mean to Be Lutheran?, over at her blog.
Ed, who blogs over at The Hilton, responded to my question. He is Presbyterian, BUT he serves a Lutheran/Presbyterian congregation and he had to put up with me and my wife for two years as neighbors (needless to say, he got an earful of Luther!). From beer to theology to God’s good grace, Ed likes being mixed up with Lutherans.
Read his post Why I am Lutheran . . ., and give thanks for our Presbyterian partners in ministry!