Thursday, May 8, 2014

Confirmation in the Lutheran Church by A.C. Repp

Confirmation in the Lutheran Church is an issue that has been debated from the beginning of the Reformation. There are many who are crying out for a reform of our current practice in the LCMS. For those who want to gain an understanding of the struggles and forms of confirmation in the Lutheran Church from the time of the reformation to the 1960’s Confirmation in the Lutheran Church by Arthur C. Repp is a must read.

Repp’s work begins with a look at the development of confirmation prior to the reformation. He then proceeds to identify six forms that catechesis and confirmation have taken in the church since the Reformation. His classifications do a good job of identifying some of the different strands of practice and understanding that have been used in the Lutheran Church.

His six types are:

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Old Testament History by Arthur W. Klinck (Concordia Leadership Training Series)

(Gotta love that coffee cup stain!)

The Concordia Leadership Training Series (earlier called Concordia Teachers Training Series) produced excellent, concise, yet comprehensive training booklets originally designed for Sunday School teachers to use for their own education and preparation. The first series of these booklets are superb in their summarization and presentation of what a teacher of religion ought to know concerning a particular subject. The second series of these booklets are almost exclusively focused on how to teach (certainly an important subject in itself), yet they are rather enthralled with modern psychology and teaching methods. Suffice to say, they are of a lesser quality than the first series (late 30's and early 40's). [For two excellent resources on pedagogy and the nuts and bolts of how to teach, see: A Christian Pedagogy and How to Teach in Sunday School.]

Arthur W. Klinck wrote two of the original series' booklets: Old Testament History and Home Life in Bible Times, which was revised twice and is still sold today by CPH as Everyday Life in Bible Times.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Theological Quarterly 1897-1920

Below are links to almost [update below] the entirety of the old Theological Quarterly of the Missouri Synod (1897-1920) that was succeeded by the Theological Monthly (1921-1929) until it was merged with two other publications into Concordia Theological Monthly (1930–72), and then became Concordia Journal. This list is only missing three years, 1900, 1901, and 1903.

It is a veritable goldmine of interesting, useful, and edifying articles. From the year 1897 alone I have greatly enjoyed articles such as: "What is Theology"; "Public Worship in the Lutheran Church"; "Sermon on the Christian Amendment Question"; "Bibliology"; "What is Exegetical Theology"; and "The MALUM PIETISTICUM in Spener's Pia Desideria." And that is but the tip of the iceberg.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Following the Faith of Our Fathers by Friedrich Bente

Here is another treat from Bente before we get to the second volume of American Lutheranism. It is an essay from the Missouri Synod's 1923 Convention. Bente hits the right note by calling upon the Synod to respect and honor her fathers, yet remembering that this is no hidebound traditionalism, but due to the fact that they were loyal to the Word of God.

Perhaps the most refreshing aspect of Bente's essay is that he does not shrink from the other necessary part of believing, teaching, and confessing in the church militant--rejecting and condemning. And he is as sharp in his condemnation as he is coordinately clear with joyous proclamation. He lays out the importance of confessional and biblical fidelity with an eye to the historic and current American Lutheran situation. From his conclusion:

Thursday, May 1, 2014

American Lutheranism Volume I: Early History of American Lutheranism and The Tennesse Synod by Friedrich Bente

Most famous for his Historical Introductions to the Lutheran Confessions (online here),  Friedrich Bente was one of the Synod's greatest historians. This first volume of Bente's American Lutheranism traces the early years of Lutheranism in America. He swiftly, but adequately, covers the colonial period and the establishment of the first Lutheran outposts: the Salzburgers, the Swedes, the Dutch, Falckner, Kochertal, etc. (Berkenmeyer in New York is a favorite of mine! (p.32-5)) By page 59, Muhlenburg rightly dominates the narrative of these early years.

Two sections stand out as especially important for the student of American Lutheran history: