1. Introduction
    1. To examine major denominations.

      1. Need first to know Lutheran teachings.

      2. That will establish basis for comparison.

    2. Definition of the Lutheran Church.

      1. Dr. C.F.W. Walther’s: “The Evangelical Lutheran Church is the sum total of all who without reservation profess the doctrine which was restored by the Reformation of Luther and was summarily submitted in writing at Augsburg in 1530 to the emperor and the realm, and was treated and expounded in the other so-called Lutheran symbols, as the pure doctrine of the divine Word.” (Walther, The True Visible Church, Thesis X)[1]

      2. “Lutheran”

        1. Luther originally opposed this.

        2. Consented in response to attempts to discredit the Reformation.

      3. “Evangelical”

        1. From Greek euaggelion (“good news”, “the Gospel”)

        2. L.C.-M.S. originally named “The Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Missouri, Ohio, and Other States” (until 1947).

        3. Inclusion emphasizes belief in salvation by grace through faith and not by works.

        4. We remain a true Gospel church.

  2. Confessional Standard of the Lutheran Church.

    1. The Scriptures.

      1. We accept all the canonical books of Old Testament and New Testament as the inspired and revealed Word of God.

      2. The only source and standard of doctrine.

      3. The only authority in matters of faith and life.

      4. “[T] he Word of God shall establish articles of faith and no one else, not even an angel.” (S.A., Part II, Art. II, 15; Tappert, p.295).[2]

      5. “…Holy Scripture remains the only judge, rule, and norm according to which as the only touchstone all doctrines should and must be understood and judged….” (F.C., Epit., Sum. Con. 7; Tappert, p. 465).

    2. The Lutheran Symbols, or Confessions.

      1. 1Pe 3:15.

      2. Our aim in the Confessions.

      3. A standard for common defense of the doctrines of the Scriptures against error.

      4. “…the true and genuine exposition of the doctrines of the Bible.” (Constitution, Article III – Doctrinal Standard, Zion Lutheran Church)

      5. Accepted by every member congregation, pastor, and lay member (at least Luther’s S.C.)

      6. The Ecumenical Creeds

        1. Namely:

          1. the Apostles’ Creed.

          2. the Nicene Creed.

          3. the Athanasian Creed.

        2. Officially declared acceptance to answer charge that the Lutheran Church has departed from the ancient faith of the Christian Church (see F.C., Epit., Sum. Con. 3; Tappert, p. 465)

      7. The Augsburg Confession.

        1. a.k.a. Augustana (Lat.)

        2. 1530.

        3. 28 articles.

          1. First 21 present Lutheran doctrine and summarize Luther’s teaching.

          2. To prove not teaching new doctrines contrary to Scripture.

          3. Art. 22-28 treat of medieval abuses which the Lutherans had corrected.

        4. Still the foremost Lutheran confession.

        5. A symbol of identification for Lutherans around the world (U.A.C.)

      8. The Apology.

        1. Roman Catholic theologians had written the Roman Confutation against the A.C.

        2. Written to defend the A.C.

        3. Is more elaborate presentation of Lutheran doctrine than A.C.

      9. The Smalcald Articles.

        1. Adopted at Smalcald in convention of Lutherans in 1537.

        2. Written by Luther.

        3. Three parts:

          1. 1st: treats doctrine of the Trinity and the person of Christ.

          2. 2nd: the fundamental differences between Lutherans and papists (e.g. salvation alone by faith in Christ).

          3. 3rd: mostly doctrinal questions (e.g. sin, Law, Gospel, sacraments).

        4. Melancthon added a “Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope.”

      10. Luther’s Small and Large Catechism.

        1. Both published in 1529.

        2. Accepted as confessional writings later.

        3. S.C.

          1. For instruction of both young and old.

          2. Written simply.

        4. L.C.

          1. Written in greater detail.

          2. Preachers more in mind as one’s needing instruction.

      11. The Formula of Concord.

        1. Last of the Lutheran confessions.

        2. Completed in 1577.

        3. Deals with controversies that arose after Luther’s death.

        4. Essentially is a restatement of the principal Lutheran doctrines.

      12. The Book of Concord.

        1. 50 years after A.C., published on June 25, 1580.

        2. Lat. Concordia.

        3. “Book of Concord” means “Book of Agreement”.

      13. Quia form of subscription required.

        1. Binds teachers.

          1. To the doctrine contained in the Confessions.

          2. Because it is the doctrine of Scripture.

        2. Some try to insist of quatenus form of subscription.

          1. i.e. “in so far as” Symbols teach the Scripture truth.

          2. Annuls the Symbols as a Confession of faith.

        3. See Pieper, Christian Dogmatics, Vol. I, p. 354 et.seq.[3]

[1] The True Visible Church, by C.F.W. Walther, translated by John Theodore Mueller, © 1961 CPH.

[2] The Book of Concord, translated and edited by Theodore G. Tappert, © 1959 Fortress Press.

[3] Christian Dogmatics, Volume 1, by Francis Pieper, D.D., © 1950 CPH.


Did you find this helpful?


Email Address:


Copyright ©  2001 CrossTies Counseling Ministries, Inc.
All Rights Reserved