Back in August 2015 I challenged both of my sons to clearly provide me with one paper each articulating what an “authentic Lutheran witness to Christian theology might look like.” The motivation for them to tackle this endeavor was a potential $1000 to be gained by each were their papers solidly Lutheran in content and scope. Here is Stephen’s paper presented to you for your thoughts. Do you, dear readers, see this offering as “solidly Lutheran in content and scope?”
Witness: to give evidence to, or testify (dictionary.com). Lutheran: a follower of the theology espoused by Martin Luther (dictionary.com). These are the basic definitions for the meat of this paper. The topic of this paper is what Luther’s theology of an authentic Lutheran Witness is. Based on the definitions given in the first two sentences an authentic Lutheran witness could easily be to testify to something, and say you follow Luther’s theology. On the surface this seems to be reasonable, but what happens when theological questions are asked? Can the supposed followers of Christ, who view the theology through a Lutheran lens define themselves, and their views? This means to know what you believe, why you believe it, and to not have to define your beliefs against the back drop of another’s. In discovering what to believe one should know where to root your theology, and what example to follow in the world. For Lutherans we root our belief in Christ, and he is our example. What better example do we have for how to live our lives than that of Jesus Christ? After knowing what we believe, learning where our foundation is, and seeing our example, we then look at how to practice this in the real world. This means being well knowledgeable, having a sturdy base with an example, and then being a disciple in the real world. By the end of this paper, Luther’s theology of an authentic Lutheran witness should be well laid out, and it should be made easier to follow so that a daily authentic Lutheran witness does not seem impossible, or unattainable. Maybe the information presented in this paper will information already known by many, but Luther himself believed that we should constantly be reminded of the theology we espouse, that way we can represent it in the clearest fashion possible.
In order to remind people of theology we espouse, we need to know what we believe. Our theological knowledge should cover everything from knowing the creeds, the Lord’s Prayer, the sacraments, and this list could go on. We as Christians should know basic theological ideas, but as Lutheran’s we should know what defines us as such, and how that is different from the beliefs held by different denominations. Luther’s Small Catechism poses the question of “what is this?” (Luther 346). At the time of Luther’s life he saw that human law was being observed more than biblical law, and he blamed this on the bishops. In order to make it so that the common people could understand their theology Luther provided clear instructions for those who sought to teach others about the Bible, and Lutheran theology. The text should have no variations (Luther 348). Teach the children the Creed, Commandments, and Lord’s Prayer before they can read, so they will be able recite it without variations (Luther 348). Those who willingly choose not to learn things of Christ are in essence denying Christ, and should be omitted from the sacraments for they have no need for heaven, paradise, grace, and Christ (Luther 350).We as Lutheran’s should always remain students to the Catechism, because no one can fully understand all parts of it (Luther 380). Luther mentions understanding, and learning the gospel multiple times to make it clear that he deemed it important. So what are key points of Lutheran theology?
The best place to start is the Bible, because scripture is where most Christian thought and practice comes from. Luther believed that the authority of Scripture came from the gospels for they are promises. He believed the Bible is a book of promise, and their fulfillment which circulates through preaching. The living word of preaching is the basic form of the gospel (Braaten 11). This statement places a large amount of weight on what pastor preach, because it is no longer just some words being hear on a Sunday. It is now promises, and fulfillment of said promises, which should be good news, because that is the gospel. What gives Scripture authority is the fact that it is inspired by God, it conveys the event of Christ, and it conveys the life giving word of salvation by faith alone. Sola Scriptura is to be believed, and accepted as valid with respect to concerns of salvation (Braaten 12). No other works written by men compare to the writing in the Bible. This is to be understood, and accepted for to not do so is to say that work not inspired by God is equal to that which is inspired. Luther rejected allegorical exegesis since anything can be proved through this method. This method robs Scripture of its validity (Braaten 17). In today’s society sometimes we search for multiple meaning from passages, and we may even look to find figurative meanings. We are trained to do this with most of the literature that we read throughout our schooling. Luther stated that every passage had at least one authentic, literal meaning (Braaten 17). He also believed that only could be used to interpret scripture (Braaten 18). This means that no other source should be used as a lens to interpret Scripture, because when we use other sources, we could easily transform Scripture in our own personal idea of what we want the Scripture, and not letting it speak itself.
Scripture is a large part of Lutheran theology, and informs many other pieces. Lutheran confession, and justification are two of these pieces. Luther saw these as being connected. The entire significance of Lutheran “dogmatic purpose” lies in the meaning of the solas (grace, faith scripture) (Braaten 43-44). Lutheran’s serve the interest of the ecumenical movement best when they are true to the substances of their own confession (Braaten 44). The doctrine of justification must be learned diligently. For in it are included all other doctrines of faith; and if it is sound, all others are sound as well (Braaten 44). If we are justified by faith, and this is done by Christ, then we as Christians, but specifically as Lutherans should take the time to learn, and understand this. Justification is the doctrine controlling the meaning of the whole, and all its parts. Now justification has become treated as one of the many steps that lead to salvation (Braaten 45). Theology over the years has started shifting from justification, and the “righteousness of God” to “the Kingdom of God” in Jesus’ message. The righteousness that counts in the courts of the Kingdom of God only can come from God (Braaten 46). This does matter, but has lost its relevance in today’s society. The modern man is no longer concerned with the wrath of God, but the absence of God (Braaten 47). Although this is a modern concern, we are still justified by faith, which is in our confessions. Christianity has been watered down by the scientific appeal in life. We have strayed from defining our views, to trying to correlate our views to match that which science presents. If stripped of all the “gods” of our culture, would perhaps still need the small Catechism (Braaten 50).
Presented in the aforementioned Catechism is the concept of the Trinity. All Lutheran churches have affirmed the Trinitarian name of God (Braaten 73). There are two large pieces to understanding Trinitarian theology. The first is that the doctrine of the trinity is grounded in Scripture. The second is that the works of the Trinity as revealed in Scripture are a basis for salvation (Braaten 73). In a society that is pushing more, and more towards atheism, God is no longer needed, and if there is no God, there is no Trinity (Braaten 75). Luther’s retrieval of Athanasius’ idea that the biblical message of salvation depends on the full divinity of the Son, the Spirit, and the Father (Braaten 73). Luther saw religion as a necessary part of people’s daily routines. We are to take on the responsibility is to instruct, and daily reprove God’s word (Luther 394). Luther responded to the idea of God being absent by saying, “The feeling of absence of God does not mean he is not present or active.” (Braaten 76). The sense of God’s absence is all contingent on our idea that idea God should always be doing something for us. This is a selfish view. It suggests that God should be something akin to our maid, or servant, giving us what we ask for, and always being visibly present to us. I think when we hold this view, we forget about how God spoke to Samuel in the stillness of the night, and how God spoke to both Josephs in dreams. God’s presence isn’t always a pillar of fire, or a blinding light. When discussions of faith, or the existence of God come up, we should know how to respond. We should respond with Catechetical instruction, and theological instruction (Braaten 77).
One of the key pieces of instruction should be on salvation. The nearest thing the Lutheran church has to the dogma of salvation is the doctrine of justification by grace alone received through faith alone- this is the chief article of confession Lutheran writings (Braaten 93). Philip Melanchthon stated that to know Christ is to know his benefits. (Braaten 94) Salvation by the Lutheran belief can be simplified, and put into ten points. Only God can save. God’s only saving Bridge to the world is Jesus Christ. An understanding of atonement must be taken seriously, because of the polarity between justice, and love of God, which means that love without justice is sentimentality, and justice without love makes salvation of a guilty world is impossible. The whole life of Christ from incarnation to resurrection should be taken into account. Atonement is a once-for-all act inherently, and antecedently valid prior to any subjective response of believers (Braaten 104). (This means that there is no need for rebaptism, and there is no way to undo baptism, and in essence no way to undo salvation.) The human condition consists in sin as a guiltiness before the living God rectified only by divine forgiveness. In Christ, God saves the whole human race, not just a single individual at a given time. God in Christ Jesus bears the whole guilt of sin, and all of its consequences. The cross of Christ is a victory over the tyrants of this world who oppress the people. (Braaten 104) This victory was achieved through Christ’s death on the cross. We invited to share in this victory through baptism. Baptism is no human plaything, but it is instituted by God (Luther 457). Since it is instituted by God, there is a level of sincerity, and seriousness we should take into account when we discuss it. It is more than bring a child to take a bath. It is salvation for the child, but a commitment that the child will be taught, and raised in the church. We should regard baptism as excellent, glorious, and exalted. (Luther 457) It is not just water. It is the removal of dirt, both literal, and figurative. Baptism forgives sins, delivers us from death, and the devil, and gives eternal salvation to all who believe in God’s promise (Luther 164). Baptism may be performed by human hands, but it is by no means a human act. It is an act of God himself (Luther 458). Baptism means to plunge in water. This usage is also demanded by the significance of baptism. For baptism signifies that the old man, and the sinful birth of flesh, and blood are to be wholly drowned in God’s grace (Luther 167). People may try to insist that baptism is a work, because it is physically done by men, but as Lutherans we should disagree. Baptism is not a work that we do, but it is a treasure that God gives, and faith grasps, just as the Lord Christ upon the cross is not a work, but a treasure placed in the setting of the world, and offered to us in the Word, and received by faith (Luther 458). The blessings of baptism are so boundless that if our timid nature considers them, it may well doubt whether they are all true (Luther 459). The magnitude of this one simple statement is something to think about. We as human beings have a finite understanding of life as it is, so to think that life after this is greater is hard to grasp. This statement isn’t even stopping at saying life is greater. It makes all of the blessings received so large that we cannot fathom them, and to consider that anyone fully understands salvation, or baptism is laughable. This is all achieved through Christ’s victory on the cross.
With a victory, we can celebrate, and how we celebrate is in the Lords Supper. This is not a feast for the body, but more a feast for the spirit. It is a physical presence of Christ on earth. When we take it we do not take it lightly for we are touching, tasting, and smelling the body broken, and blood poured out for us by the sacrifice made by Christ out of love. Luther taught the basis of the incarnational hypostatic union of the two natures, and therefore the whole Christ in his true body, and blood really can be present on every altar of every church at the same time. This is the Christological foundation of the Lord’s Supper (Braaten 121). We as Lutheran’s should look at this statement for many reasons. One is that we serve a God who is broken for all. He is broken, and poured out for those who aren’t even Lutheran. Another great aspect to consider is that, when we partake in the meal, there are people all over the nation, the hemisphere, and the world partaking in the same meal. The sacrament is food that nourishes the soul (Luther 467). The Son is always in the flesh, and never is outside of it. For God acts in, though, and under the flesh, and blood (Braaten 122). When we receive the body, and blood, not only are we being forgiven in the meal, we are to be reminded to go, and be what we have received. We are to be bread broken, and wine poured out for all. Christ’s body, and blood are always given, and poured out. If they are not, there is no forgiveness present (Luther 472). Since the Luther taught that the sacrament is forgiveness, then isn’t it fitting that we should partake in the sacrament as often as we can? The sacrament should be presented whenever people are present, and ask for it to be present (Luther 350). We are not to frivolously take the sacrament, but understand that in taking the bread, and body we are partaking in Christ. Those who do not hold the sacrament in high regard do not need to take it, for they already belong to the devil twice over (Luther 350). Knowing what we do suddenly makes these rituals, and practices seem more than simple every Sunday activities. After taking communion we are sent out to be what we have received, and that sending out is not just to the fellowship hall, but to the world where we are to represent Christ.
Christ, a familiar term used for the God we say we worship, but who is he actually? One could say a thirty-three year old carpenter’s child who had a foot fetish, and died on a cross. Simple answer? All that anyone really needs to know right? Maybe there’s more to this Christ figure than that small summarization. Christ is Lord overall which he, and the Father created. No one can come to the Father except through the Son. By the descension of the Son into Hell, Satan cannot harm. In His resurrection he has quickened us with Him in his grace, and in spirit, so we may sin no more. He will come again to redeem all who believe in Him from boldly death, and all other infirmities, to punish our enemies eternally, to redeem us eternally from their power (Luther 48). In this it can be seen that Christ’s submissive role in dying on the cross became the role in which he gives us salvation, through grace, and faith for eternity. Luther held the view that Christ will punish those who are our enemies, and enemies against him. I struggle with that part of his statement, but that might be, because I am influenced by culture, and a bit of universalism. In knowing oneself, one truly knows how weak they are without Christ, so we cling to Christ for in Him we are baptized, and can withstand what befalls us (Luther 51). Luther is very firm in his beliefs, and I only struggle with the part that we cling to Christ, for I would like to believe that Christ clings to us, which in turn causes us to cling to him. As Christians we must see the importance of proclaiming Jesus, and his death, for through His death, and resurrection we are redeemed from God’s wrath. We are to see how we need, and benefit from Christ, but we recognize that if we believe we have earned this grace of God then we have surely fallen under Satan’s power (Luther 58). Grace cannot be earned, for if it could be earned then there would be no need for a savior, and man could live by his own moral standards, laws, and codes.
It has been established that we need Christ, and Christ’s purpose, or as much of a purpose as we can understand, but how do we use Christ as an example? In this we should look at Christ, and his life on earth. Christ fed the people. This can be seen multiple times in the Bible. The one that can be brought up at the drop of the hat is the feeding of the five thousand. We as Christ’s followers should feed the hungry, but more than that we should look at, and follow another aspect of this story. The miracle in this story is how plenty comes from scarcity. Maybe since we are bread broken, and wine poured we should see where scarcity is in our own lives, and make it plenty for others to partake in. This is done at communion when bread, or wine becomes scarce. People choose to only take one part, knowing that Christ is fully present in both, or they take less knowing that quantity is not what matters at the Lord’ Supper. Luther offered the Small Catechism to the common people so that they would have a basic understanding of what they believed. This way they could teach it to others, and live out the doctrine they told people they believed. He hoped that people would take interest in wanting to know more about the beliefs they said they held, but in whatever capacity someone was able to teach the gospel, they should do it, for that is a way that we can model after Christ. To live a life that does not reprove, or represent Christ is to not have a clean stench, and in that, the devil has no need to bother those people. We are to smell clean modeling after Christ. This will cause the devil to try, and mask our odor, but he has no power over us. (Mary Havens) In choosing Christ as our example to follow, we choose to both die, and rise in his pattern. Luther tells us to sing loudly, play music, drink, and be merry for that will bother the devil the most, and it will remind him that he has no hold over us. The one who has power over us is the one who gives us the peace that passes all understanding, and is the one that knew when he said, “it is finished” that it was just another beginning. Our view of this can be seen in following Christ’s example of baptism, and being baptized, so our old self is finished, and newness of self is alive in Christ.
With a newness of self, and an example of Christ’s to follow, what do we do with that? Do we stay in our churches, and pray the prayers Christ has taught us in hopes that people will walk in, and join along? Although this is a great idea, and what many churches hope, and pray for, but it is not necessarily true. In being sent out into the world at the final part of the mass we should think of how our lives are changed. This should happen when we pass the baptismal font, which should always be font, and center. (Mary Havens) From the moment of our baptism we have been called. We are called into the family of Christ, and are called to live our lives accordingly. We are Christ’s walking wet. We are Christ’s hands, and feet in the world. Luther agreed with this. We as followers of Christ should stand up in the face of injustice. When we see others being fleeced, see people hoarding, or grabbing things we should stand up (Luther 417). This does not mean we should get in a person’s face when we see this happen, and decide to take them to task in that moment, but we should talk to them, and stand up for what we believe as followers of Christ. For by putting faith in those earthly possessions you are no longer putting faith in Christ, and the possessions have now become your god. We are obligated to make all attempts to faithfully protect our neighbor’s belongings, and promote their interests especially when monetary wages are involved. (Luther 418) We are to promote our neighbors wellbeing, but if we choose to try, and get a leg up over them in order that we make monetary gain over them, and devalue the relationship, then money has become our god, and we no longer depend fully on Christ. As followers of Christ we are to put up with those who defraud, rob, despise, and steal from us. We will endure arrogance, and show mercy, and show forgiveness as our Father has taught us to do so in The Lord’s Prayer (Luther 421). In not choosing to strike back we are following the example of Christ when he was being beaten before his crucifixion. We are to, “Look good on wood”, as Pr. John David Bryant has said. It is the only model we have to follow. In choosing to hit back, we are saying that God will not defend, protect, or provide for us, and in that instant, we become our own problem solver, our own means of salvation, and our own god. Christ calls us to not speak evil of anyone, even if the evil is in full truth, or we perceive there to be truth. In the fullness of God’s time evil will be revealed, and taken away (Luther 423). In speaking evil of another we are not living as children of the light. We are choosing to degrade those whom God has created in his own image, and if we see them as having no value, then that reflects onto the creator. Again, we become the one with all of the answers, we become the arbiter of people, and we become our own god. To strip someone of honor is to willingly break many of the commandments, and once someone’s good honor, and name are taken, they are not easily restored (Luther 425). There are many other ways we can live out the beliefs, and doctrine we say we believe, these are some that stand out. Luther made it clear, that to not do these willingly, is to put judgment upon yourself. Also, if you commit a sin, it is possible that double that could be done to you. (Luther 419) His understanding of choosing not to follow the commandments basically shows how in choosing not to follow them, God will make it very clear that the one might want to reconsider the actions they take, before choosing to willfully sin again. In choosing to sin willfully, we lessen our nice smell, and become one less person for the devil to temp. (Mary Havens) In choosing to profess our faith, and live it out, we are being salt for the earth, light in the darkness, a city on hill, and choosing to smell up the world as much as possible, for in doing so we may be tempted, or feel like we are doing it for no reason, but we are being Christ’s hands, and feet on this earth, and we are living it out . Luther had a view of social justice which was more than just handing out sandwiches, and working in the local soup kitchen. Although those are nice, and have their places in the world, Luther had an added piece. He taught that while we are doing these actions, and living into what it means to be a witness, we should be sharing the faith, and beliefs that we have, and we should be explaining why we do these actions. We should have no fear to express the faith that we have, for to stay quiet is another way that we lose our stench. We may have our beliefs, but if they are not being passed on, then they are worthless to anyone, but ourselves, and make no impact on the world, except for what we do in our lives. We should not just present the gospel to the people, because that is misleading, and it is not being honest about the doctrine we believe, and teach. The gospel of Matthew in chapter twenty- eight verse nineteen tells us we should go into the world baptizing, and teaching in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This is not saying to present the part of the gospel which makes Christianity, or Lutheranism appealing. It says to preach the gospel. Which, since it has no side notes, or cliff notes looks like it means to preach the full gospel. We should present law, and gospel alongside each other. We should also present the concept of “Simul Iustus et Peccator”, or in common speak saint, and sinner together, for there cannot be one without the other. In teaching we should not wait for pastors, and bishops, but we should have the knowledge to teach (Luther 348). When we are young we are to be taught the beliefs of the church from the small catechism, then we should make the effort to understand the teachings. Afterwards we should attend mass as often as we can, and especially when the Catechism is being taught. This way our beliefs stay fresh in our thoughts, and we do not misconstrue them (Luther 349). We acknowledge the reality that there is evil that happens in our life, and in our world, but we can remain secure in the knowledge that Christ is our protector. This can be seen in the phrasing Luther used in A Mighty Fortress. The verses place pieces about fights, and about warfare, but there is always a reassuring line about how God is on our side, and how we will win the fight, because of Christ our savior. (Luther) (Mary Havens)
As a society we are being pulled, and pushed by a culture that is filled with acceptance, tolerance, love, hate, war, peace, social justice, and social persecution. So, how do we stand firm in the knowledge that we are presenting an authentic Lutheran witness? The world around can seem to paint all denomination of Christianity as one group of people with the same beliefs, and although there are shared beliefs, not all are the same. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is preaching a gospel, but it is not a united one, and I’m not sold on the idea that it is the traditional idea of an authentic Lutheran witness. The gospel being preached seems to go something like this. We are to love, and accept all people after the model of Christ. We are to go out into the world, and do good things. There is space for everyone in the church, and all beliefs are welcomed to. This is well, and good in some cases, but if we are listening to what Luther said, and taught, then we might want to think again. Previously in this paper it was mentioned how there should be no variations to what is taught, so that children, and common folk would not get confused. If new church goers enter one church that teachers that there should be no ordination of woman, but another church teaches that all people can be ordained, then that might lead to more confusion than if they had had a united idea of what is to be believed. The social justice done is good, but sometimes the social justice becomes the god of the people. When projects, programs, and activities take place over the time of the service, or instead of the mass, then they become your god, and the ministry may be great, and may benefit many, but if you’re seeking to do the activity more than you are seeking to look at God’s activity in the world, or to see how you can use the activity as a moment to both do work, and speak on your beliefs, or your faith, then Luther would say that it has become your god. (Mary Havens)
It seems as though Luther’s theology of an authentic Lutheran witness is almost nonexistent, and should be retired, or buried somewhere. The church doesn’t seem to be teaching it, and society hasn’t heard it enough to care about it. This is where Luther’s theology rings most true. It comes back to teaching. Like the seed in the last few pages of The Lorax, by Dr. Seuss, sometimes things just need to be replanted, and grown. If one voice holds a traditional Lutheran view on what it means to hold Luther’s idea of an authentic witness, then that can be passed on to another person living, or maybe the generation to follow. In order for this to happen there needs to be a few changes. The traditional side of Lutheranism needs to speak up, and needs to present ideas to the children, and the grandchildren in the generations after them. If there are those that hold traditional views in this generation, then they need to speak up, stand up, and teach. No one is too young to teach, and no one is too old to learn. Another thing that needs to change is relevance. The traditional church needs to be made relevant in the world today. Society needs to see it as relevant, and church needs to see itself as relevant, and not just hope that the world will just surge life back into it. In her book Pastrix, Nadia Bolz-Weber many times how her church grows, because although it may seem outlandish, and over the top, it’s not. The people may have different life styles, and may have different ways they express that, but House for all Sinners, and Saints has a traditional worship service, and in fact, Nadia does not hold a contemporary services. That’s something to ponder.
Discipleship can look like doing God’s work with our hands, being relevant in the world, presenting a traditional Lutheran witness in both word, and deed, and choosing to do so.
In the world today, there may not be a living example of what Luther believes to be an authentic Lutheran witness, but he definitely has left guidelines for what we can do to achieve that ideal. If one were start with knowing nothing, they could hopefully follow the information given in this paper, and have some understanding on how they could present the idea of being an authentic Lutheran witness in the world by Luther’s estimation. They would first need knowledge. This would be the knowledge of the core doctrines of the Lutheran church, some of which were touched on in this paper. Doctrine on justification, baptism, the Eucharist, the Scripture, faith, grace, etc. would all be necessary in having a sturdy foundation in which to teach others from, for that is part of what we are called to do, baptize, and teach. Next, the person would need to have some understanding on who Christ is, and how he is the example for our lives. That does not mean we will always follow his example perfectly, but it does mean we know how we should strive to act, and do live in this world. Finally, we should act a disciples in this world. We should make attempts to put others above ourselves, and live out the gospel. While living out the gospel we should be telling others about the gospel, and why we live it out. This has become hard for Lutherans, because we are bashful, and don’t want to offend others, but maybe that’s what needs to happen. Luther said things that offended many people. If he hadn’t offended anyone, we would not have Luther’s idea of an authentic Lutheran witness, nor would we have the Lutheran church, at least we wouldn’t have it in the way we have it now. Being an authentic Lutheran witness is not defined by age, nor by knowledge, but by the use of the knowledge we have. Luther stated that knowing we are save God’s grace through baptism is all we need to know if we are confident in that belief, and have faith that it is true. So, if that is all one knows on baptism, but they go into the world promoting justice, and doing good deeds, because how could they not do good deeds, professing that baptism is saving them, although it is probably not the ideal for what an authentic Lutheran witness could be is, it is still an authentic Lutheran witness in the world, because the person is espousing Lutheran theology they faithfully believe in, they know who the gift comes from, and they are practicing discipleship. Luther believed that even if a person only knew the basics of theology, but had faith that it was true, they were better off than the person who knew all theology, but had no faith in any of it. Luther would probably suggest this person speaking about baptism might need more education, and then they’d be set on his idea of an authentic Lutheran witness should be. In this it is easy to see how Luther’s estimation on what an authentic Lutheran witness should be is both easy to understand, and grasp, while at the same time hard to understand, and grasp. For it requires us to take the time to learn our faith. It requires us to make an attempt to understand the figure of Christ who was sent to redeem us, or at least that is his purpose as far as we can comprehend. It also requires us to cross bridges, remove barriers, break down our comfort zones, and not only be present with other, but to work alongside them, while sharing with them our reason for acting the way we do, and possibly entering dialogue with them. This could lead to stories intertwining, and in that moment it is no longer about preaching the gospel at all times, and using words only when necessary, but it is preaching the gospel at all times, but while doing this explaining why we live out the gospel. This leads to creating possibly another authentic Lutheran witness, or maybe just someone interested in the Jesus that has followers willing to step out, and be present, and relevant in the real world of saint, and sinners. In doing this we create a scent which could, and would be able to be smelled from all over the place. This may cause some strife to come amongst the people, but the smell will be irrefutable, and it will proclaim a message. This message will be of hope. It will be of freedom. It will be of faith. It will be of grace. It will be of love. Most importantly it will be of the new life we have in Christ Jesus.
Braaten, Carl E. Principles of Lutheran Theology. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1983. Print.
Luther, Martin, and Hugh T. Kerr. A Compend of Luther’s Theology. Print.
Kolb, Robert. The Book of Concord: The Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2000. Print.
Havens, Mary. “Luther vs. The Devil.” VBS. Zion Lutheran Church. Zion Lutheran Church, Hickory. 4 Aug. 2015. Lecture.
Weber, Nadia. Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & Saint. New York: Jericho, 2013. Print.