What are Lutherans?

Lutherans were the first Protestant denomination, following the sixteenth century teachings and doctrines outlined by Martin Luther (1483-1546), and to date remain one of the largest Protestant factions. Luther originally tried to persuade his adherents to refer to themselves as Evangelicals (from the Latin evangelium, "gospel"), however, by the seventeenth century the name Evangelical Lutheran Church had prevailed, with "Lutheran" becoming a popular abbreviation. European countries which had established the Lutheran form of Protestantism as their state religion included Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Finland. Lutherans maintain that the aim of the Protestant Reformation was not the establishment of a new church, but the restoration of the old church. Luther argued that the conscience of the individual was soley responsible to God and not the church. Foremost in his doctrines was that salvation was by faith alone and not of good works, whereby the sinner could obtain reconciliation with God only by God's grace, not through sacramental rites or by any human effort. Contrary to Catholic doctrine, justification is not a reward for achievements or diligent observance of the law, but is a gift freely offered through the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ on the cross and accepted by faith. What Lutherans did retain from the Catholic Church may be found in the Apostles' Creed, Nicene Creed, and the Athanasian Creed, which includes belief in the Trinity, the Resurrection, the Last Judgment, life after death, the two natures of Christ (physically human and spiritually divine), infant baptism, and the Lord's Supper (consubstantiation, as opposed to transubstantiation). Another departure from the Catholic Church is the rejection by Lutherans of the supreme authority of apostolic tradition -- the Bible is the only standard of faith and final authority for the church. As a scriptural supplement, Lutherans generally accept the 1850 Book of Concord, which combines Luther's two catechisms of 1529, the Augsburg Confession of 1530, Melanchthon's 1531 Apology of the Augsburg Confession, the Schmalcald Articles of 1537, the 1577 Formula of Concord, and the Apostles', Nicene and Athanasian creeds.

Lutheran churches are divided primarily by different languages and cultures. Although there were initially about a hundred different Lutheran groups in early America, by the mid-twentieth century they had combined into three main synods, or church councils -- The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod (1847), The Lutheran Church in America (1960), and The American Lutheran Church (1962) -- while about five percent of American churches and synods remain independent. Most Lutheran churches worldwide belong to the Lutheran World Federation, formed in 1947 as an international Lutheran organization for study and action. Many Lutheran churches in America belong to the Lutheran Council in the U.S.A., formed in 1967 as an agency through which U.S. Lutherans could participate in cooperative tasks. Many Lutheran churches also belong to the interdenominational World Council of Churches.

        After much discussion, Peter got up and addressed them: "Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe. God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. He made no distinction between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith. Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of the disciples a yoke that neither we nor our fathers have been able to bear? No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are." (Acts 15:7-11)

The American Association of Lutheran Churches

"The American Association of Lutheran Churches, a fellowship of congregations to which the Gospel of reconciliation has been given, seeks to focus and coordinate the purposes and resources of these Congregations to the end that the Triune God may be more fully known among men through a faithful ministry of God's Word and the Sacraments. The American Association of Lutheran Churches dedicates itself to bear witness to the eternal Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ in its fullness and purity, and to preserve and extend the unity of that faith as revealed in God's Holy Word... The AALC believes and confesses that the Bible, as a whole and in all its parts, is the inspired Word of God. In theological terminology, the AALC believes in the plenary inspiration (full inspiration) of the Scripture. This is based on the Bible's clear testimony regarding itself (II Timothy 3:16, II Peter 1:20-21, I Corinthians 2:13). Because the Bible is fully inspired, The AALC believes and confesses that the Bible is inerrant with respect to its nature and infallible as respecting its authority.We find support for our Statement of Faith in the clear testimony of the church fathers (Ireaneus, Clement of Rome, Athenagoras, Justin Martyr). The infallibility of Scripture is clearly taught by Augustine. Luther consistently holds to the position of the inerrancy and infallibility of Scripture... We believe that by the Providence of our Heavenly Father we have formed The American Association of Lutheran Churches. We came together because of our common conviction that the Bible is the inerrant and infallible Word of God and for the sake of proclaiming Jesus Christ as the only Savior of the world and the only rightful and reliable Lord of life... Because Christ is the fullness of the Deity, those who belong to Christ have everything He gives to them, including the Holy Spirit. Any emphasis on the work of the Spirit that treats the saving work of Christ as only initiatory or partial must be rejected. Since the message of the Holy Spirit is Jesus Christ, (John 16:14,15), that is our message as well. On the day of Pentecost, Peter preached the Lordship of Jesus Christ, and the Spirit did His convicting and convincing work. The Spirit has come to exalt Christ, not to draw attention to Himself... Christians are both saints and sinners and will not be perfected this side of eternity ("homo simul justus et peccator") cf. Book of Concord, Tappert Ed., 35:7, 130.166ff, 417.54, 432.86, 543.22. The gifts of the Spirit (charismata) are given sovereignly by the spirit and are received and exercised by faith. The fruit of the Spirit is developed in believers as they live in obedience to Christ. The development of the fruit of the Spirit, rather than the reception of any spiritual gift, is a mark of growing maturity... We reaffirm our acceptance of the Scriptures as the inspired and inerrant Word of God, and our unconditional subscription to the symbolic books of the Lutheran Church, without reservation, "not insofar as but because they are the presentation and explanation of the Word of God and a summary of the faith of the evangelical Lutheran Church." (Constitution, Article III, Section 8). We accept the Confessions because they are drawn from the Word of God and on that account regard their doctrinal content as a true and binding exposition of Holy Scripture and as authoritative for our work as ministers of Jesus Christ and servants of The American Association of Lutheran Churches."

Apostolic Lutheran Church of America

The Association of Free Lutheran Congregations

"The Association of Free Lutheran Congregations is sincerely grateful for the work of other Lutherans; yet it desires to have its own peculiar share in the mighty work and witness of the Lutheran Church. It does not seek to pass judgment on the relative contribution to Lutheranism of groups small or large; it earnestly seeks to be kept truly humble because of the imperfection of its achievements, and rightly proud because of the greatness of its heritage. Limited in numbers so that not even its name is known in many Lutheran circles of our country, and conscious that it will probably never be regarded as 'successful' in the eyes of the world, it still believes in the continuing urgency of its message. Willing if necessary to find its success in seeming failure, the Association of Free Lutheran Congregations is committed, together with others of like mind, to the struggle for true congregational life in the Lutheran Church, in America."

The Book of Concord

"What is a Lutheran? While there are a variety of ways one could answer this question, one very important answer is simply this, "A Lutheran is a person who believes, teaches and confesses the truths of God's Word as they are summarized and confessed in the Book of Concord." The Book of Concord contains the Lutheran confessions of faith. Perhaps you have attended an ordination of a pastor and heard him promise that he will perform the duties of his office in accord with the Lutheran Confessions. When people are received into membership into a Lutheran congretation through confirmation they are asked if they confess the doctrine of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, as they have learned to know it from the Small Catechism, to be faithful and true. These solemn promises indicate to us just how important the Lutheran Confessions are for our church. Let's take a look at the various items contained in the Book of Concord and then we will talk about why the Lutheran Confessions are so important for being a Lutheran."

The Association of Free Lutheran Congregations

"The Association of Free Lutheran Congregations is sincerely grateful for the work of other Lutherans; yet it desires to have its own peculiar share in the mighty work and witness of the Lutheran Church. It does not seek to pass judgment on the relative contribution to Lutheranism of groups small or large; it earnestly seeks to be kept truly humble because of the imperfection of its achievements, and rightly proud because of the greatness of its heritage. Limited in numbers so that not even its name is known in many Lutheran circles of our country, and conscious that it will probably never be regarded as 'successful' in the eyes of the world, it still believes in the continuing urgency of its message. Willing if necessary to find its success in seeming failure, the Association of Free Lutheran Congregations is committed, together with others of like mind, to the struggle for true congregational life in the Lutheran Church, in America."

Christian Classics Ethereal Library - Luther, Martin (1483-1546)

The Church of the Lutheran Brethren of America

"The Church of the Lutheran Brethren of America (CLBA) is a family of 123 congregations in the United States and Canada, with 1,500 daughter congregations in Cameroon, Chad, Japan and Taiwan now organized into four national churches. The CLBA congregations are Lutheran in theological tradition and evangelical in practice. The CLBA, as a denomination, exists to serve congregations in their obedience to the Great Commission, locally, nationally and internationally. This commission calls us to proclaim Christ, causing people to trust and follow Him. For the first 50 years of CLBA history over 50% of denominational funds were spent on overseas missions, living out the vision that was in the founders' hearts. Today the people of the CLBA are experiencing a growing desire to reach out to our communities and to plant more congregations in North America. Our vision is to found congregations that are aligned to the Scriptures as authoritative, and to the Gospel of Jesus Christ as central. We believe this is God�s primary way of bringing truth and meaning to a broken world. Congregations with living ministries of worship, nurture, evangelism, caring and loving fellowship that are well led are the hope for light and life in our communities and in our world. The prayer of our congregations is that the Lord will use us who have received grace through faith, to be centers for spiritual life."

Church of the Lutheran Confession

"The CLC is a confessional Lutheran church body which is dedicated to proclaiming the Good News of Christ crucified for sinners. It is made up of about 75 congregations in 24 states, as well as foreign mission fields in Canada, India, and Africa. Our teachings and practices are as narrow and broad as the Scriptures themselves, since we bow only to the authority of our Lord's inerrant Word. The salvation won for us through the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the driving force behind our efforts as a church body. All of the CLC member churches confess that the Bible is the inspired and unerring Word of God. They confess the creeds of the Lutheran Church without qualification, as they are found in the Book of Concord of 1580. Scripture itself is the source and foundation of Christian teaching and faith -- The Lutheran confessions are a faithful setting forth of what Scripture teaches. The name of our church body is a witness to what we believe; it is a continual reminder of our responsibility to be truly Lutheran, and therefore Scriptural in our teaching and in our practice. This principle holds true among us: "If it is not Scripture; it is not Lutheran!" The Church of the Lutheran Confession (CLC) considers itself to be the true spiritual descendant of the Evangelical Lutheran Synodical Conference, which was formed in 1872 and lasted until the early 1960s. As that association of formerly conservative Lutheran church bodies in North America was drawing its last breath, the CLC was just becoming a church body. The CLC emerged from three of the former member churches of the Synodical Conference: primarily from the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS), but also from the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS), and the Evangelical Lutheran Synod (ELS). The Synodical Conference had originally been formed on the basis of full agreement in doctrine and practice on the part of the member churches; it broke apart when that basis and the biblical doctrine of church fellowship on which it rested was no longer fully practiced by the member churches. As the ELCA is the most liberal of the Lutheran church bodies in the United States, so the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS) may be regarded as the moderate, more middle-of-the-road, wing of American Lutheranism. It does not as yet go so far, for example, as the ELCA in permitting women to serve as parish pastors (although a poll of LCMS pastors reported that more than 1,000 of them had no objection to women clergy), yet it has changed its former position (as held by earlier leaders C.F.W. Walther and F. Pieper) and now permits women to vote and hold office in the church. This is one illustration of the present-day attitude of the LCMS toward the inviolability of Scripture. The LCMS espouses the notion that the words of St. Paul regarding women in the church were culturally-affected and are no longer applicable in today's society. The CLC, on the other hand, holds that St. Paul, writing words which were verbally inspired and inerrant, was expressing the eternal will of God."

Concordia Lutheran Conference

"The Concordia Lutheran Conference (CLC) is not a "church" in the Scriptural use of that word (as some synodical organizations seek to represent themselves), but is an organization of local churches or congregations bound together in true God-pleasing fellowship based on complete unity of faith and confession in accordance with God's Word. Membership in such an outward body is not required by Holy Scripture, nor is a synodical organization anywhere exemplified in the Bible. Yet purely practical considerations often make it advantageous for local churches to engage in cooperative projects with others of the same fellowship--things that would be unlikely for a small church to pursue and accomplish on its own, such as the preparation of a future ministry, the publication of Christian education materials and periodicals, and large-scale missionwork. The Concordia Lutheran Conference is admittedly a small organization by anyone's standards, but there is good reason for its congregations to hang together under its banner rather than to join the larger, more powerful, and more influential church bodies in outward Lutheranism. Those "synods" are ridden with blatant heterodoxy, that is, false doctrine and practice contrary to the Word of God, concerning which they are unwilling to be admonished and to heed correction. Their errors are not matters of "minor moment" which they say should not be divisive of fellowship, but include, among others, denial of the inerrancy and authority of the verbally-inspired Scriptures, the deity of Christ, His vicarious atonement, the resurrection of the body, the virgin birth of Christ, and God's objective justification of the world for Christ's sake, as well as errors regarding the Church and Ministry, the creation of the world, the home and family, and numerous other matters. For us to join any of those bodies, having marked and knowing full well their false positions, would make us partakers of their sins (I Timothy 5:22) and dumb dogs returning to the vomit (II Peter 2:22) from which we disassociated ourselves when, in 1951, we left the already then heterodox Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod in obedience to God's clear command in Romans 16:17-18... There are also several small groups, both in the United States and abroad, that claim to be conservative, most of which we have carefully examined as to their doctrine and practice; but they too have positions which are not sustained by Holy Scripture. Unlike the larger groups mentioned above, these tend to be legalistic and to err on the side of fanaticism, binding Christian consciences to doctrines of human invention. We can no more associate with them than with the others, and for the very same reason. On the other hand, the Concordia Lutheran Conference is sincerely interested in seeking out those individuals, congregations, and church bodies who truly share our Scriptural position in doctrine and practice."

Conservative Lutheran Association

"The Conservative Lutheran Association (CLA) was formed in 1980 by Lutherans Alert National (LAN), an organization founded in 1965 by a group of pastors and lay people who were concerned about trends in the American Lutheran Church and other synods which were contrary to the historical beliefs and confessions of Lutheranism. Their purpose was to affirm the inerrancy of Holy Scripture and to warn the Church-at-large of deviations within the various Lutheran bodies... The establishment of the CLA church membership was the result of numerous requests from pastors who needed assistance and identification for their struggling congregations. They did not want to join a synod but desired to have Christian fellowship with like-minded people. The CLA is not a synod having hierarchical authority, but an association of churches holding to a common statement of faith and acceptance of the confessions of the Lutheran Church. The CLA provides participating congregations with those critical resources, expertise, leadership, fellowship and other assistance to advance the ministry of the congregation and to collectively accomplish certain ministries not possible by a single congregation. The Conservative Lutheran Association accepts all the canonical books of the Old and New Testaments as a whole and in all their parts as the divinely inspired, revealed, and inerrant Word of God, and submits to this as the only infallible authority in all matters of faith and life. Individual Lutheran congregations who affirm Biblical inerrancy and desire to hold fast to their conservative position are eligible for membership by subscribing to the Doctrinal Statement. An annual conference is held and member churches are expected to provide financial support to Faith Evangelical Lutheran Seminary, to encourage one another in their respective ministries and to develop cooperative plans for the establishment of new mission congregations. The goal of the CLA may be described as remaining a peaceful Christian church association that holds to God's Word and continues to expand through mission work. Becoming large in numbers is not an objective. Remaining faithful is a necessity to our reason for existence. Being servants of Christ and His Church is our desire."

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

"In 1960 the American Lutheran Church (German), United Evangelical Lutheran Church (Danish) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church (Norwegian) merged to form The American Lutheran Church (ALC). The Lutheran Free Church (Norwegian), which had dropped out of merger negotiations, came into the ALC in 1963. In 1962 the ULCA (German, Slovak and Icelandic) joined with the Augustana Evangelical Lutheran Church (Swedish), Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church and American Evangelical Lutheran Church (Danish) to form the Lutheran Church in America (LCA). Meanwhile, the Lutheran World Federation's (LWF) 1957 resolve to study contemporary Roman Catholicism with the possibility of entering "interconfessional conversations," and the reforms proposed by the Second Vatican Council, led to a series of theological dialogues. Lutherans also accepted the invitation of Reformed churches (Presbyterian) in America to begin discussions of possible pulpit and altar fellowship. The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS), not a member church of the NLC or the LWF, participated in these ecumenical dialogues at the national level, and joined the NLC churches in 1967 to form the Lutheran Council in the U.S.A. (LCUSA)."

Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada

"The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada is the major Canadian representative of the traditions of the Lutheran reformation of the catholic Christian church. Baptized membership was 193,915 members on December 31, 1998. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada came into being in 1986 through the merger of two predecessor bodies. We derive our teachings from the Holy Scriptures and confess the three ecumenical creeds of the Christian church. We hold to orthodox catholic theology as enunciated in the ecumenical councils of the first five centuries of Christianity. We trace our roots as a confessing movement to the reformation of the catholic church initiated by Dr. Martin Luther in Germany in the 1500s. See Project Wittenberg for a great deal of primary source information. From Germany, Lutheranism spread to Scandinavia and the Baltic states, as well as to other areas in central and eastern Europe. Today, Lutherans are to be found around the world. Lutherans have been continually present in Canada since the 1750s, when German Lutheran immigrants arrived in Halifax. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada holds membership in the Lutheran World Federation, the Canadian Council of Churches and the World Council of Churches. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada is in full communion with the Anglican Church of Canada. See the joint Waterloo Declaration for details. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada is composed of five synods. From west to east, they are the British Columbia Synod , the Synod of Alberta and the Territories , the Saskatchewan Synod , the Manitoba/Northwestern Ontario Synod , and the Eastern Synod . The presiding officer and chief pastor of each synod is a bishop."

Evangelical Lutheran Conference and Ministerium of North America

"We are a synodical federation, fellowship, and association of Centrist Evangelical Lutheran congregations and pastors. The point of origin for most of us has been the former Lutheran Church in America ( LCA ) and its successor body the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). We made the decision to leave the ELCA in November of 1991. Since that time we have searched for a Lutheran Church body to become part of that would be "centrist" in stance. While we searched we successfully planted our congregations and engaged in ongoing Mission efforts. Ours has been a wandering Aramean search and we found no truly "Centrist" Lutheran alternatives in existence. For the first 6 months of our existence we were Independent Free Lutherans and then we gave The Association of American Lutheran Churches (TAALC) a trial membership. Next we were part of a trial effort to establish the Lutheran Ministerium & Synod - USA (LMS-USA) and then we were back to "an Independent Free Lutheran" stance hoping that some of our relation from the Muhlenberg/General Council/Augustana/Suomi/United Synod of the South Lutheran tradition might join us (or we might join them) in forming a genuinely centrist ( Moderate to Middle Conservative in range of views) Evangelical Lutheran Synodical federation, fellowship or association . The criteria in our looking for a Lutheran Synodical federation, fellowship, or association home was that it be one that would have and hold to similarities we treasured from the United Lutheran Church in America (ULCA) and its predecessors (The General Council, Ministerium of New York, and the Ministerium of Pennsylvania as well as from the former Augustan Lutheran Synod, Suomi, and United Synod of the South tradition. ) days. A number of folk in our fellowship are former Augustana Synod Lutherans. We are thus a blend of Berkenmyer, Muhlenberg, and Augustana tradition Lutheran descendants. With these points of origin in mind "Centrist Lutheran" for us means "Lutherans who span a range from Moderate to Middle Conservative; who represent a middle ground between ELCA on the one hand and the other various Conservative Lutheran bodies on the other such as LC-MS, WELS, ELS, CLC etc. . We attempt to represent a bit "larger tent concept" than the approaches presently held by virtually all the other Lutheran alternative options to ELCA. Our experience has been that groups such as the AFLC, TAALC, LMS-USA, LCS, are more to the MIddle Conservative-Conservative end of the spectrum and thus are not truly "Centrist" in stance. Smaller groups that have formed in the past with a desire to be "Centrist" often have found themselves pulled more and more toward the conservative end of the spectrum primarily, we believe, because these were the only other Lutherans to talk too and dialogue with..."

Evangelical Lutheran Synod

"The Evangelical Lutheran Synod is today typically American, that is, it is a "melting pot" of every nationality and background. It had its origin, however, among the early settlers of Norwegian descent who came to America during the 19th century. As they settled in the wilderness of Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota and other states they had no churches, no pastors, no schools, no spiritual leadership. But by God's grace help soon came. Pastors from their homeland arrived and helped organize congregations. One of the first pastors held services in a barn and also outdoors under two oak trees at a place called �Koshkonong� near Madison, Wisconsin. Finally in 1853 the first church body among these settlers was organized. It was known as the "Norwegian Synod." The pioneers of the Synod soon came in contact with other Lutherans of older synods in the country. Many of these were found to be very lax in doctrine and practice. In the latter 1850s, however, they met an outstanding Lutheran leader named Dr. C.F.W. Walther and recognized in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod of that day a truly Lutheran church body with whom they could safely fellowship. In July of 1872 they joined with the Wisconsin Synod, the Missouri Synod and other synods in forming the Evangelical Lutheran Synodical Conference. The Church Militant here on earth will never find perfect peace and rest. In the 1880s a controversy over the doctrine of election divided the Synod, and in 1917 a merger brought together various groups of Norwegian churches into a new church body. A small group of pastors and congregations, however, refused to enter into this merger because it was based upon the false teaching that man could somehow cooperate in his conversion. The doctrine that our conversion is due to God's grace alone was therefore compromised. In order to retain the truth this little group bravely determined to reorganize the old Synod on the basis of the clear teachings of Scripture. They therefore gathered at Lime Creek Lutheran Church near Lake Mills, Iowa in June of 1918 and reorganized as the Norwegian Synod. The name was later changed to The Evangelical Lutheran Synod. The Lord blessed this little flock. It soon began to grow and become strong and healthy. In 1927 it began operating Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato, Minnesota. In 1946 it established its own theological seminary also at Bethany. It carries on an active home mission program and now has more than 125 congregations in many states. It also has foreign missionaries laboring in Peru and Chile in South America and in Ukraine and the Czech Republic in Eastern Europe. It also sponsors mission work in Australia. Having left the old Synodical Conference for doctrinal reasons, the Synod in 1993 joined in establishing a new alliance known as the Confessional Evangelical Lutheran Conference, composed of thirteen church bodies from around the world, including the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod in the USA. The Evangelical Lutheran Synod therefore represents conservative, confessional Lutheranism, and its prayer is that God by grace will preserve it in its total allegiance to the inspired and inerrant Word of God."

ICLnet - The Book of Concord: The Lutheran Confessions of 1529-1580

"This document results from a cooperative effort between Project Wittenberg and ICLnet, Reverend Bob Smith, Project Coordinator. What is Project Wittenberg? Project Wittenberg is an ad hoc group of individuals dedicated to posting on the internet a cross-section of classic and historic texts written by Lutherans. The project arose from the frustration felt by these librarians, archivists, scholars, pastors and others. A thorough search of the internet yielded few works by even Martin Luther, founder of Lutheranism, translator of the Bible, shaper of the German language, and a catalyst in the events that shaped the formation of modern western civilization. Project Wittenberg began with documents written by Luther himself. The documents are selected for their importance to the development of western civilization, their interest to a wide audience and their value in bringing Luther to life for those who have not had the opportunity to meet him in the pages of history. Project Wittenberg Documents are posted in their original languages, in English translation and other languages as they are available. Project Wittenberg selects texts that are in the public domain or whose translators are willing to yield rights to free distribution of their work on the internet. In all cases, full scholarly citation is made for the pieces converted and released by the Project. In some cases, excerpts from larger works are included."

LOGIA - A Journal of Lutheran Theology

"LOGIA is a journal of Lutheran theology. As such, Logia publishes articles on exegetical, historical, systematic, and liturgical theology that promote the orthodox theology of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. We cling to God's divinely instituted marks of the church: the gospel, preached purely in all its articles, and the sacraments, administered according to Christ's institution. Articles and reviews often pertain to church, ministry, worship, music, Baptism, the Lord's Supper, Confession and Absolution, Lutheran and classical education, missions, evangelism, and religion in the public square, just to name a few. LOGIA is published quarterly (not-for-profit) by the Luther Academy and is indexed in the ATLA Religion Database of the American Theological Library Association. Writers and staff are typically pastors, professors, teachers and other church workers worldwide."

Lutheran Central

"Lutheran Central formed to organize all the best Lutheran web sites, and web resources into one easy to navigate directory which will encourage Lutherans to connect to other Lutherans online. In today's busy world we realize Lutheran members, pastors, teachers, and church leaders are very busy and have precious little time to surf a myriad of Lutheran sites to find information and resources. That's why we have manually searched thousands of websites and have organized the best of the websites into a clear, easy to use Lutheran directory. As a result, we hope Lutherans will learn of and use Lutheran services and resources over others. That's why we use the byline "Connecting Lutherans." Lutheran Central is privately held and is therefore not owned, controlled, or influenced by any one particular Lutheran church body. We believe this is important to our users so they can expect to find all critical Lutheran resources in one place, without any bias to any particular Lutheran church body or subset of Lutheran beliefs. We are also striving to use editors and advisors from different points of view to create a site that reflects different Lutheran positions."

The Lutheran Church of Australia

"The Lutheran church is one of the major Christian churches. It is the largest Protestant church. At the beginning of 2001 there were nearly 64 million Lutherans in the world. European Lutheran churches have 36.9 million members, a decrease since 1999. The populations of Germany, Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Norway have a high Lutheran concentration. The fastest growing Lutheran population is in Africa with more than 10.5 million members. Ethiopia, Tanzania, Malawi and Cameroon have substantial Lutheran memberships. In Australia and New Zealand almost 255,000 people call themselves Lutherans. There are 648 congregations, 298 parishes, 533 pastors (including emeriti) and 92 lay workers. The Lutheran church is the oldest Protestant church. It dates back to the Reformation in the sixteenth century when Martin Luther challenged some of the teachings and practices of the church of his day. Luther insisted that the Bible is the authority that decides what the church should teach and do. The name 'Lutheran' was given to people who believed that Martin Luther was right in his interpretation of the Bible. The Lutheran church has been in Australia and New Zealand for 150 years. In the 1830's small groups of Lutherans emigrated in search of religious freedom. They settled mainly in rural areas in various parts of the country. Today the Lutheran church is made up of people from rural and urban areas and many different cultural backgrounds."

Lutheran Church - Canada

"Lutheran Church�Canada is comprised of congregations, pastors, and deacons committed to sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Our confessions and practises are based on the foundation of God's Word and the belief that God's gift of salvation is found only through faith in Jesus Christ, God's only Son. In more than 325 congregations, from British Columbia to New Brunswick, this message is proclaimed in word and deed. The Lutheran church is a direct result of the Protestant Reformation begun in 1517 by Martin Luther in Wittenberg, Germany. Lutheran Church�Canada was founded in 1988 when the Canadian congregations of St. Louis-based The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod formed an autonomous Canadian church with three districts. The Alberta-British Columbia District offices are in Edmonton, Alberta, the Central District in Regina, Saskatchewan and the East District in Kitchener, Ontario. The denomination retains close ties with the LCMS and other Lutheran church bodies around the world which follow the Biblically-based Lutheran Confessions."

The Lutheran Ministerium and Synod - USA

"The LMS-USA was formed in 1995 by pastors and congregations concerned with the lack of denominational alternatives in the mainstream of traditional Lutheranism. It describes its theological positions as "Biblical, Confessional, Evangelical, Liturgical, and Congregational." The LMS-USA traces its roots to four American Association of Lutheran Churches (AALC) pastors, who met in Chicago in March of 1994 to organize an effort to counteract the inroads of neo-orthodoxy and charismatic renewal movement theology in the AALC. These four pastors, with backgrounds, evenly divided in the former ALC and LCA, formed the AALC Forum" as an instrument of reform within that Synod. At the June 1994 convention of the AALC, it became evident that all such efforts were futile. Following that convention, the Forum added another pastor and congregation and subsequently organized the first Indianapolis Conference on Inerrancy which met in Indianapolis in August of 1994. The result of that conference was the Indianapolis Statement on Holy Scripture, which was given final form and adopted as the position of the new LMS-USA at the Second [1995] Indianapolis Conference. The Lutheran Ministerium and Synod - USA is a "coming together" of those who will covenant to "walk together" through the "signing under" of a series of doctrinal statements. Initial "subscription" was to: The three Ecumenical Creeds, Luther's Small Catechism, The Unaltered Augsburg Confession, The Annotated Indianapolis Statement on Holy Scripture, and The LMS-USA Constitution. Since then other Subscriptional Documents have been added which can be found elsewhere on this web site. The LMS-USA is also an 'ongoing Forum' for theological discussion for clergy and laity."

The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

"The Lutheran Church�Missouri Synod accepts the Scriptures as the inspired and inerrant Word of God, and subscribes unconditionally to all the symbolical books of the Evangelical Lutheran Church as a true and unadulterated statement and exposition of the Word of God. We accept the Confessions because they are drawn from the Word of God and on that account regard their doctrinal content as a true and binding exposition of Holy Scripture and as authoritative for all pastors, congregations and other rostered church workers of The Lutheran Church�Missouri Synod."


"Lutherans.Net was originally started by John Link of New York as a programming project. The site quickly became very popular holding a database of over 1500 organizations and also entertaining a very large discussion forum. In 2000, John turned over the site to Phil Grimpo of Inspirmedia Ministries in Lincoln, NE. Phil redesigned the site and is currently serving as the webmaster."

Lutheran Services in America

"Lutheran Services in America (LSA) is an alliance of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod, and their related social ministry organizations. LSA strengthens and adds value to the ministries of its member organizations, facilitates ministries best done together rather than as individual organizations, and enhances the witness of Lutheran social ministry. The national office is located at the Lutheran Center in Baltimore, Maryland. LSA's nearly 300 health and human service organizations provide care in 3,000 communities in the United States and the Caribbean. Last year, these organizations served 5.8 million unduplicated clients, meaning that they served one in 50 people in the service territory. The operating budgets of member organizations exceed $7.6 billion. Utilizing the skill and dedication of a quarter of a million staff and volunteers, LSA member organizations provide services ranging from health care to disaster response, from services for children and families to care for the elderly, from adoption to advocacy."

The Lutheran World Federation

"The Department for World Service (DWS) serves as the international relief, rehabilitation and development agency of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF). The Department for Mission and Development (DMD) works together with the member churches as they endeavor to create, maintain and develop ministries that integrate proclamation, service and advocacy for justice. In his Small Catechism Martin Luther repeatedly asks, "What does this mean?" The Department for Theology and Studies (DTS) continues in that same tradition by probing contemporary theological, spiritual, ethical, and interfaith issues that confront the Lutheran communion in today's world. The General Secretariat at the Geneva-based headquarters conducts the business of the Federation and carries out the decisions of the Assembly and Council. The LWF seeks to strengthen and support the ministries of its member churches in the area of international affairs and human rights. Critical issues of social and economic justice and the promotion of human dignity are fundamental concerns for Christian witness to the world's powers. The LWF is committed to the search for Christian unity and seeks to further the ecumenical involvement of its member churches on national and regional levels. An important part of this involvement is the co-sponsoring over the years of bilateral dialogues on the global level - with the Anglican Communion, Orthodox Churches, Roman Catholic Church, World Alliance of Reformed Churches and World Methodist Council. Ecumenical conversations have been held with the Baptist World Alliance and the Seventh-day Adventists."

Project Wittenburg

"Project Wittenberg is home to works by and about Martin Luther and other Lutherans. Here you will find all manner of texts from short quotations to commentaries, hymns to statements of faith, theological treatises to biographies, and links to other places where words and images from the history of Lutheranism live. Project Wittenberg is the first step towards an international electronic library of Lutheranism. As such, we are always adding and changing our sites. This site contains Project Wittenberg texts in final form. For the latest versions of our texts, many of which are still being assembled and refined, drop in at Project Wittenberg's Electronic Lutheran Web ."

Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod

"On Dec. 8, 1849, Johannes Muehlhaeuser (president serves until 1860), William Wrede (treasurer), John Weinmann (secretary), and Paul Meiss meet to discuss organizing a synod in Wisconsin. On May 27, 1850, original Wisconsin Synod forms at Granville, Wis. "The German Evangelical Ministerium of Wisconsin. 1860, John Bading elected president, Michigan Synod forms; Minnesota Synod organized. 1863, Gottlieb Rein, synod vice-president, serves as president while Bading travels to Europe seminary opened with 1 student. 1864, synod officially incorporated, Gottlieb Rein elected president... John Bading elected president in 1867 - 12,741 members. Muehlhaeuser dies on Sept. 15. Wisconsin Synod, previously viewed as very liberal and unionistic, is ready to stand in front ranks of those struggling for firm confessional Lutheranism in doctrine and practice. Wisconsin Synod joins General Council--group of church bodies... 1869, both Missouri and Wisconsin Synods ratify fellowship --lasts 92 years. Seminary moves to St. Louis to join the Missouri Synod seminary. Wisconsin Synod breaks from General Council... 1875 - 64 pastors, 119 congregations, 25th anniversary... 1876, Wisconsin Synod embarked on first foreign mission to Indian mission along tracks of recently built Union Pacific. This happens one week before Custer and Crazyhorse at Little Big Horn... 1891 - 150 pastors, 253 congregations, 179 schools. English mission accepted. Wisconsin Synod starts thinking of English as outreach language of the future. On Oct. 8, Northwestern Publishing House, the synodical publishing company, was founded. 1892-1917, Federation of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan Synods forms... 1900, Golden Anniversary--214 pastors, 84 teachers, 329 congregations, 49 preaching stations... 1904, Nebraska synod forms, joins Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan federation. 1907-1917, Catechisms in both German and English produced. 1917, Federation merges into Wisconsin Synod--known today as WELS. Six districts form: Northern Wisconsin, Southeastern Wisconsin, Western Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Nebraska... 1918, Pacific Northwest District forms. 1919 - 698 congregations, 438 pastors, 325 schools, 272 teachers, 13,952 students. 1920, Dakota-Montana District forms... 1929-1930, Because English is becoming so popular, WELS basically ceases to be a German- speaking synod... 1954, Arizona-California District forms.. 1961, WELS broke fellowship with Missouri Synod. 1963, WELS withdrew from synodical conference.."

        "But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions -- it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith -- and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God -- not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." (Ephesians 2:4-10)

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