Formula of Concord Study: Article VIII

by Rev. Mark Bestul As my congregation’s Book of Concord study group hears me speak of the contents of the Formula of Concord, they might hear the expression “Articles VII and VIII.” Both historically- and theologically-speaking, seeing these two articles together is proper and useful. They almost serve as “A and B” of the same conversation,… Read More >

The Gloria in Excelsis

by Rev. Dr. Mark Birkholz I grew up attending Trinity Lutheran School in Clinton Township, Michigan. Every year the children of the school presented a Christmas program. It was a little different each year, but one part was always the same: the kindergarten angels. Every year the kindergarten students would dress in white robes with… Read More >

Katharina von Bora Luther

by Dr. Jack Kilcrease Katharina von Bora is most famous for being the wife of Martin Luther. Traditionally, sources have suggested she was born in 1499. Nevertheless, because early modern Europe was lacking in birth certificates, there is no direct evidence of this. There is also something of a dispute about the location of her… Read More >

Joseph, Guardian of our Lord

by Rev. Stephen Preus Luther had much more to say about Mary, the mother of our Lord, than her husband Joseph. This is hardly surprising given that much of Luther’s comments on Joseph revolve around how he is not Jesus’ natural father because Jesus is conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin… Read More >

Formula of Concord Study: Article VII

by Rev. Michael Schuermann The seventh article in the Formula of Concord deals chiefly with the controversy stirred up within the churches of the Lutheran confession by the Sacramentarians. According to the Christian Cyclopedia (link:, the term “Sacramentarian” was “applied by Martin Luther to Hulrich Zwingli, Johannes Oecolampadius, and others (cf. St. L. ed.,… Read More >

A Kingdom of the Word and Faith, Part II

by Rev. A. Brian Flamme The devil hates and attacks the kingdom of grace. He stands in opposition with his weapons of the flesh, sin, and death. Therefore, Jesus wants us to pray that the kingdom that he purchased by his blood and resurrected life, that he extends to the ends of the earth by… Read More >

A Kingdom of the Word and Faith, Part I

by Rev. A. Brian Flamme Praying for a kingdom seems a bit strange for citizens of the 21st century. We’re used to parliaments, congresses, representatives, and presidents. In our minds kings and kingdoms seem more at home in the distant past and fairy tales. Even in countries with a royal family and aristocracy, they exist… Read More >

Luther’s Letters

by Rev. Matthew Zickler Those who have read Luther’s public writings might have a certain perception of what they would expect his other works to look like.  In these public writings, Luther took on such opponents as the pope, the Anabaptists and Zwingli among others.  In these works, Luther often gets the reputation for being… Read More >

Bible Study with Luther: Galatians 5:16-26

by Rev. Jesse Burns St. Paul writes, “For freedom Christ has set us free (5:1).” Because of the forgiveness of sins, received from Christ Jesus, the Christian is declared righteous before God. One does not need to look to works of the law in order to have a clear conscience before God. Through faith in… Read More >

Lutheran Advent Traditions

by Dcs. Betsy Karkan At a time when much of the world is frantically gift shopping, putting up Christmas lawn decorations and anticipating the arrival of Santa Claus, Christians around the world are observing the liturgical season of Advent. From the Latin word for “coming”, Advent is a time of preparation and anticipation for the… Read More >