What is a Lutheran Christian? (2 of 6)
Being a Lutheran Christian is a Christian
with a particular history, theology, and worship.
Martin Luther (1483-1546) was a monk in Germany who wanted to reform the church. He didn’t want to leave the Roman Catholic Church.
He insisted that reforming people be called “Christians”—their opponents called them “Lutherans” as an insult.
Luther and other reformers struggled to maintain (1) unity with Rome and (2) faithfulness to the Gospel.
The Augsburg Confession was written in 1530 to try to agree on the essentials with Rome. They thought the first 21 Articles were not controversial, but they were wrong. Article 4, “Justification,” proved to be too much. Article 4 is the key to what Lutheran Christians believe:
We are saved by Jesus’ death and resurrection, not by good works.
The Book of Concord contains the Augsburg Confession, and other documents like Luther’s Small Catechism and the Formula of Concord.
A Lutheran Christian believes that these historical documents accurately describe Christian faith.
“Theology‟ is the language we use to talk about God. For example:
God is all-powerful.
Jesus died for our sins.
These are theological statements. They express our faith in words. Fallible, limited human language will never fully be able to express the truth of the perfect and infinite God. How we communicate always changes. So, we have to change our language to communicate timeless truths about God.