Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions
based on the translation by William Hermann Theodore Dau and Gerhard Friedrich Bente; Revised, Updated, and Annotated by Paul Timothy McCain, Robert Cleveland Baker, Gene Edward Veith, and Edward Andrew Engelbrecht
Five hundred years ago, a group of people sought to reform the Roman Catholic Church. These reformers were forced, time and again, to present what they believed, what they didn’t, and why. These people eventually became known as Lutherans, and this book collects their confessions. These writings bind the Lutheran church; if a person denies them, he may be a Christian, but they cannot say they’re Lutheran. For that reason, this collection is incredibly important for my church body, particularly pastors! This edition includes a new and updated translation using modern English, as well as historical introductions for not only each confession, but for each article within each confession.
Before I continue, I should say: I have a very… contentious relationship with the writings collected in this book. While I value a united statement of beliefs and find such unity necessary to declare fellowship with any church body, my history with these writings in particular is rather rocky. You see, I’ll get into discussions with other pastors within my church body, and often enough they’ll bring out quotes from the Confessions. When I respond with Bible verses, I’m often either seemingly ignored or told that while sure, maybe I’m right there, the Confessions say…
Basically, because some people use these writings to say things that I honestly do disagree with and even find harmful, I approached this particular book with… suspicion. (more…)