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The Augsburg Concession

From the May 2019 Print Edition

In 1869, the faithful of what was to be the Lutheran Free Church named their seminary and college in Minneapolis after the Augsburg Confession, because they believed the Confession aligned with biblical truth. They were shaped by a Lutheran pietism that emphasized conversion, service to the church, . . . . Continue Reading »

ELCA Hits Bottom

From the October 2018 Print Edition

Schism is a serious matter. Even though the leaders of the congregations that left the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) to establish the North American Lutheran Church (NALC) in 2010 considered the ELCA to be the schismatic party, having broken from the apostolic tradition, they . . . . Continue Reading »

Political Supersessionism

From the March 2018 Print Edition

Last spring I attended a conference at the newly established St. Olaf Institute for Freedom and Community, which is dedicated to “free inquiry and meaningful debate of important political and social issues.” The institute invited four professors to talk about religious conflict: a well-known . . . . Continue Reading »

How a Decadent Culture Makes Me Think Like Sorokin

From Web Exclusives

The more I am hit by the decadence and vulgarity of American culture, the more I return to the thought of Pitirim A. Sorokin (1889-1968). Now out of favor in spite of his enduring scholarship and his central role in the development of academic sociology, Sorokin was already beginning to fade when I entered graduate school in the late-1950s. His stout anti-communism, critique of loosening sexual mores, and cultural conservatism ran squarely against the academic trends of the time. And it didn’t help that his life story gave him far more credibility than his colleagues to discuss the great ideological debates of the Cold War. Continue Reading »

Love Appropriate to Form

From Web Exclusives

“Pray for us,” asked a classmate from our long-ago college days who is awaiting a signal from his gay son that his artificially inseminated twins are born in Thailand. Even though I knew Dan and his wife, Jan, were strong supporters of their gay son’s wishes, I was shocked by how far they would go to pursue them. Other acquaintances of the couple were as stunned as I was. . . . Continue Reading »

Lutherans in Search of a Church

From Web Exclusives

In its August 2009 Churchwide Assembly, the Evangelical Lutheran Church decided formally to leave the Great Tradition of orthodox Christianity for a declining and desiccated liberal Protestantism. The decisions it made”accepting a weak and confused social statement on sexuality, allowing blessings of gay unions … Continue Reading »