Confession and Absolution – Setting Free the Conscience

by Rev. Michael Schuermann One of the chief concerns of the Lutheran Reformers was to protect the conscience of each believer from being harmed by the burdens of works-righteousness or other sorts of legalism. They recognized that because of sin, man’s burdened conscience was driving him to seek relief in some way. God provided true… Read More >

Formula of Concord Study: Article IV

by Rev. Mark C. Bestul One might think the question “Are good works necessary?” is a pretty straight forward question. But, without clearly defining the terms “good works” and “necessary”… well, that leaves just the “are” to be straight forward! The Lutherans of the Reformation era found that answering this question about good works wasn’t so… Read More >

Dürer’s Praying Hands

by Dcs. Carolyn S. Brinkley The Praying Hands is a unique icon in Western art that has transcended the sacred and entered the world of pop culture. It is seen on almost every kind of object imaginable: tattoos, necklaces, bumper stickers, clip art, plaques, charm bracelets, tee-shirts, bookends, street art, afghans, cremation urns, soap, and… Read More >

Bible Study with Luther: Galatians 4:21-31

by Rev. Paul Doellinger The propensity of the sinner is to trust in the visible works of the Law; to place our confidence in our own deeds, rather than the saving act of Jesus’ death and resurrection. The Law gives us something to follow and do. If we keep it, we feel secure and accomplished…. Read More >

Reformation Martyrs

by Dr. Jack Kilcrease Although in modern parlance, the term “martyr” has come to mean a person who suffers and dies for a cause, the original meaning of the Greek word is merely “a witness.”  Throughout the early Church one of the main ways that people testified to their faith was through suffering and death… Read More >

Lutheran Preaching

by Rev. Dr. Mark Birkholz The Reformation was not just a movement among the cultural and religious elite. Ordinary people of Germany and beyond were captivated by the gospel, newly presented to them by Luther and the Reformers. The laity were engaged by the gospel in many different ways, through newly composed German hymns, the… Read More >

Formula of Concord Study: Article III

by Rev. Jason Lane In this study of Article III of the Formula of Concord (FC) concerning the righteousness of faith or the righteousness of God, we will see how the Lutheran Confessions address and faithfully refute old and new efforts to refashion the doctrine of justification as some change within us. The doctrine of… Read More >


by Rev. Stephen Preus In Psalm 119 Luther found “three rules” for the correct study of God’s Word: oratio, meditatio, tentatio. Concerning tentatio he writes: “This is the touchstone which teaches you not only to know and understand, but also to experience how right, how true, how sweet, how lovely, how mighty, how comforting God’s… Read More >


by Rev. Travis Berg For most of us, meditation seems to be antithetical to orthodox Christianity. We associate it with techniques like deep breathing, posture, and the recitation of words without content. The introduction of Eastern religions into Western thought, especially during the 1960’s period of American history, has formed our preconceptions about what meditation… Read More >