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:
- Catechetical
- Hierarchical
- Sacramental
- Traditional
- Pietistic
- Rationalistic

The list of chapters in the book are:

I. Confirmation In the Reformation Church
II. The Development of Confirmation in Europe
III. Confirmation in the United States
IV. Recent Developments
V. The Theological Implications of Confirmation
VI. The Structure of Confirmation
VII. The Confirmation Service

The book, written in 1964, is a significant work in the study of the rite of confirmation. It should be read by any pastor looking for more insight into the world of this rite. The current LCMS practice of confirmation is really a hybrid of forms described in the book. This book would be useful in explaining to parishioners why a change in confirmation practice is not truly a break from Lutheran practice. 

Need to Read Level: 10/10
Need to Get Level: 9/10

If you have a direct relationship to catechesis you ought to get it. Otherwise, it might be worth borrowing from your pastor. This book really is the go to study for all things confirmation in the Lutheran Church. There isn’t another resource out there like this. If you have any involvement with catechesis this is a must read. It is a must own for those who might need it for reference in future work or research.

It is available at CPH, and used online.

Pr. Andrew Gray

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