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VIDEO: An Introduction To The 'Christian' (As Opposed To 'Lutheran') Book of Concord

We Lutherans have this thing called the "Book of Concord" that I know causes many non-Lutheran to view us rather suspiciously like we're "Catholic Lite" or something.

However, truth is, we have never (nor would we ever!) suggest for a single second that our Confessions (which make up the entire Book of Concord) should somehow replace God's Word.

In fact, we say that (to quote the Pastor in the video you'll find below) "the Confessions are there for you to be able to speak and articulate the Word to other people in ways that will be a blessing to them and helpful to them."

That's why you always see me writing "Confessional" before "Lutheran" when I identify myself in these parts. Nowadays, merely saying you're "Lutheran" doesn't tell others anything at all since there are far too many "Lutherans-In-Name-Only" within Christ's Church. Ah, but tell people you're a "Confessional Lutheran" and the distinction isn't lost on them (at least, it shouldn't be).

The best way I can put it is to think of us "Confessional Lutherans" as those believers in Christ who agree with every word in the Bible and every word in the Book of Concord too, because we view them both as a correct proclamation (a.k.a. confession) of "the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints" (Jude 1:3).

In short, we believe that both books say the exact same thing.

As an ex-Evangelical who is now a Confessional Lutheran, I thought it might be helpful to share a lecture I saw on YouTube delivered by Rev. William Weedon back in August 2013 when he was visiting an LCMS Church in Kentucky, which might help you come to realize (as it helped me come to realize) that the Book of Concord shouldn't be viewed solely as a distinctly Lutheran text, but as one that all truth-loving believers can agree with.


An Introduction To The Book of Concord 


Did you catch what Rev. Weedon said about how we should view the Book of Concord as a 'Christian' Book of Concord as opposed to merely a 'Lutheran' Book of Concord, especially since the word "Lutheran" never appears within it a single time?

That's an important point he made and one that finally convinced me that Martin Luther and those who came after him were really on to something quite significant: Christian unity in doctrine and practice through a return to the one, true, orthodox Christian faith.

My goodness, the first few minutes of Rev. Weedon's speech were phenomenal! I loved how he also pointed out how the Book of Concord is a difficult book to understand since it's part of an on-going discussion about the Word of God that's been going on from the very beginning of the Christian Church right up to the 16th Century and it presupposes that you know what those controversies, debates, discussions, and issues are.

And then, around the 40-minute mark, his words about the Formula of Concord (and the controversy over our "human nature" and whether or not it is inherently sinful) was equally enlightening as I've been stating things incorrectly for quite some time I think (wanting to emphasize our wretched, sinfulness though accidentally overstating it).

The point is that the Book of Concord is extremely helpful for correcting these kinds of errors (and the people like me who make them) by bringing things back in line with what we should be believing, teaching, and confessing about the holy Word of God.

In a Lutheran layman's terms, "we hold the old" because both the Bible and the Book of Concord say the very same thing.


NOTE: I'm not a called and ordained minister of God's Word and Sacraments. I'm a layman or a Christian, Candy-Making, Husband, Father, Friend who lives in the "City of Good Neighbors" here on the East Coast. To be more specific, and relevant to the point I want to make with this note, I'm also a newly converted Confessional Lutheran who recently escaped American Evangelicalism a little over a year ago. That being said, please contact me ASAP if you believe that any of my "old beliefs" seem to have crept their way into any of the material you see published here, and especially if any of the content is inconsistent with our Confessions and Lutheran doctrine (in other words, if it's not consistent with God's Word, which our Confessions merely summarize and point us back to) so that I can correct those errors immediately and not lead any of His little ones astray (James 3:1). Finally, please be aware that you might also discover that some of the earlier pieces I wrote on this blog back in 2013 definitely fall into that category since I was a "Lutheran-In-Name-Only" at the time and was completely oblivious to the fact that a Christian "Book of Concord" even existed (Small/Large Catechism? What's that!?!). In addition, there are some entries that are a little "out there" so-to-speak since the subject matter was also heavy influenced by those old beliefs of mine. I know that now and I'm still learning. Anyway, I decided to leave those published posts up on this website and in cyberspace only because we now have this disclaimer, and only to demonstrate the continuing work of Christ and the Holy Spirit in my life (Hebrews 12:2; Philippians 1:6). Most importantly, please know that any time I engage in commenting on and/or interpreting a specific portion of the holy Scriptures, it will always closely follow the verse-by-verse notes from my Lutheran Study Bible and/or include references to the Book of Concord unless otherwise noted. Typically, I defer to what other Lutheran Pastors have already preached and taught about such passages since they are the called and ordained shepherds of our souls here on earth. Finally, I'm going to apologize ahead of time for the length of most entries. I'm well aware that blogs should be short, sweet, and to the point, but I've never been one to follow the rules when it comes to writing. Besides, this website is more like a dude's diary in the sense that everything I write about and share publicly isn't always what's "popular" or "#trending" at the time, but is instead all the things that I'm studying myself at the moment. For better or for worse, these posts tend to be much longer than most blog entries you'll find elsewhere only because I try to pack as much info as possible into a single piece so that I can refer to it again and again over time if I need to (and so that it can be a valuable resource for others -- if possible, a "One-Stop-Shop" of sorts). Thank you for stopping by and thank you in advance for your time, help, and understanding. Grace and peace to you and yours!

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About JKR

Christian. Husband. Father. Friend.

3 comments

  1. Wow, thanks so much for sharing this video! There were a few gems of information I did not know, and of course it's encouraged me to pick my Book of Conchord back up, dust it off, and continue reading it. I truly hope our pastors and seminarians are studying this book diligently!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you very much for commenting! So glad to hear that too. I rarely get any feedback here and so sometimes I wonder if anyone is really benefiting from this material as much as I am or if I'm just writing to myself in a vacuum (haha!).

    I'll try to sniff out more of these kinds of videos if I can.

    Thanks for stopping by and for taking the time to chime in!

    Grace And Peace,
    Jeff

    ReplyDelete
  3. I've only run across your blog recently, but it is now book-marked and I check for updates daily. Like you, I'm a Lutheran layman who is very interested in theology. And although I've been an LCMS Lutheran for about 23 years now, I've only recently started educating myself on doctrine.

    As this video shows, and as another layman once told me, our church will stand the test because we have the strongest confession. Hallelujah. Keep up the good work!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for visiting A Lutheran Layman! Please feel free to leave a comment or a question since we do not exercise censorship. We've seen a similar policy with other blogs and it's worth repeating: Please act as if you're a guest in my home, and we'll get along just fine. I think anyone would agree that the kind of back-and-forth that is characteristic of blogs/chat forums and social media is becoming tiresome for all of us. Still, we should confess, edify, and love (and contend and defend when needed). Bottom line? Search the Scriptures! Apply Acts 17:11 to anything and everything you find here and, if you do happen to disagree with something you find here (which is certainly ok), or think I'm "irresponsible" and "wrong" for writing it, then please refute my position by supporting yours with Scripture and/or the Confessions. I don't think that's an unreasonable request, especially for those who identify themselves as "Christians" here, right? Besides, Proverbs 27:17 tells us "Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another" and 2 Timothy 3:16 says, "all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness." If you have an opinion that's great, I welcome it, but try to support it using God's Word. I mean, if the goal here is to help us all arrive at the truth of God's Word (myself included), then it should be easy to follow through on this one simple request (I'm talking to all you "Anonymous" visitors out there). Grace and peace to you and yours!

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