Luther and Erasmus

by Rev. A. Brian Flamme There are few men of the 15th and 16th centuries that deserve our attention more than Erasmus Desiderius of Rotterdam. He represents the pinnacle of Christian humanism, an intellectual movement that revitalized classical and biblical scholarship north of the Alps. There is some confusion over the date of his birth… Read More >

“Come, Holy Ghost, God and Lord”

by Mr. Jonathan Swett Numerous treasures of the current body of Lutheran hymnody arose in the Reformation period, the chief contributor of which was Martin Luther. Several of these hymns have been explored over the course of this blog in anticipation of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation!  Although “Come, Holy Ghost, God and Lord”… Read More >

Bible Study with Luther: Genesis 6:1-8

by Rev. Jesse Burns In Genesis 3:15 we hear of the great promise of redemption for fallen mankind. The Lord promised that the Seed of the woman would crush the head of the serpent. Adam and Eve trusted this promise, possibly even looking at the birth of their first born son, Cain, as its fulfillment… Read More >

Luther’s Love for St. Mary, Queen of Heaven

by Deac. Betsy Karkan It’s probably not what you think. In his devotional writings on the Magnificat, Luther carefully outlines how we should and should not honor this “Most Blessed Virgin Mother.” Luther neither wants to give her false attributes or idolatrous devotion, nor does he want to depreciate “her unique place in the whole… Read More >

The Three Estates

by Rev. Dr. Jonathan Mumme Many Lutherans are familiar with the category of the two kingdoms, but few, at least in English-speaking Lutheranism, are familiar with a category equally important to Luther’s thinking about human beings and their lives with one another: the three estates. Variously named the “the three estates” or “the three hierarchies,”… Read More >

The Reformers on the Ascension

by Rev. Aaron Moldenhauer The Festival of the Ascension marks Jesus’ ascension into heaven forty days after Easter. The scriptural accounts[1] of the event are straightforward. Jesus, while blessing his disciples, is taken up and a cloud hides him from their sight. Two angels appear and tell the disciples that this Jesus will return in… Read More >

The Resurrection of Christians in the Lutheran Confessions

by Rev. Travis Berg The resurrection of the body is the culmination of the Holy Spirit’s work. The Large Catechism’s explanation of the Third Article of the Apostles’ Creed points this out clearly: “I believe that the Holy Spirit makes me holy. . . By the Christian Church, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of… Read More >

Smalcald Articles Study: Invocation of the Saints

by Rev. Michael Schuermann When I jog or walk through my neighborhood, getting exercise, I pass a lovely home down the street. In the corner of it’s well-tended landscaping stands a statue of about 1 foot high. There stands St. Joseph–or, at least, his effigy–the adoptive father of our Lord Jesus Christ. And in the… Read More >

The Four Holy Men: Albrecht Dürer’s Confession of Faith

by Deac. Carolyn Brinkley Both Lutherans and Roman Catholics claim Albrecht Dürer as their own. So what was he? Lutheran or Roman Catholic?  Dürer’s life (1471-1528) spanned the tumultuous period of dynamic social, ecclesiastical, political, and theological change brought about by the Reformation. For years the artist gave visual expression to his ardent Roman Catholic… Read More >

500th Anniversary Summer Reading

by Rev. John Pless A number of pastors have asked for suggestions for recent books on Luther as we are now into the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. What follows is my suggestions for books that would be valuable in a congregational library and for reading by interested laity. Several of these books would serve… Read More >