Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Alphabet Soup: Lutheranism in America

On today's program I discussed the various Lutheran church bodies in America. I gave some history and talked about the various theological and practical issues which divide these churches from one another. Here is the program.


Steve Martin said...

Thanks, Pastor.

You did a very nice job. Lots of info.

J. Dean said...

First off, congratulations and on the new baby boy! May God richly bless your family!

Second, this was very good and engaging. It's a very interesting and informative look into the history of the different branches of the Lutheran church.

Of particular note to me is the "seminary walk out" you referenced that happened in the 1970s. I'd heard that referenced before in passing by other Lutherans, but wasn't sure which side was the one walking out. It sounds like the Down Grade Controversy experienced by the British Baptists of the 19th century, except in that particular case it was the conservatives (and Charles Spurgeon in particular) who withdrew from the Baptist Union.

So does a lack of "altar pulpit fellowship" preclude co-belligerant work together outside of the ministry proper? For example, suppose you wanted to do something that addressed abortion, or wanted to put together some sort of charitable activity, such as a food drive: could you call the local WELS pastor (assuming there was one nearby) and ask him to help out?

inga said...

Justin, you don't need to apologize for the "dryness" of the topic. I am sure that even for ones who hate history it is still fascinating to hear about the plethora and diversity expressed by the different lutheran groups. I had no idea that there were Baptist-like-legalistic lutherans, or high-churchey ones, or still the overtly-pietystic (Covenant-Evangelical-like). For an armchair-historian like myself, it has been great to hear about their backgrounds and various mergers and splits. God bless you in your ministry and book projects. Gabriel (an LCMS lutheran, living in Denmark)

Jordan Cooper said...

J. Dean, I think that such works would be acceptable for a WELS member to participate in because they are not part of the church's worship life.

Martin Yee said...


Congrats and best wishes on the birth of your firstborn baby.


Jeremiah Caughran said...

Thanks for this podcast Jordan! (I'm a little behind on listening at the moment, haha). I'm glad to hear about all these different Lutheran bodies out there. I didn't realize there were so many (I knew about the big three or four in addition to the breakaways from the ELCA). I was sad to hear that the NALC and LCMC hold to historical critical methodology, as I once joked that I may have gone with one of those groups when I officially left the ELCA 4 years ago and became Anglican, but I wouldn't have even thought to ask a question about the historical critical method, since that is a major reason for why ELCA has gone as far as it has.

Great program. I always have to laugh when I explain the Anglican side of things and all the relationships between the different groups and I get blank stares. It seems like every denomination has all of these tiny off shoot groups, but people just don't ever seem to learn about them. Ever seen the Presbyterian family tree chart? http://genref.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/presbyterian-family-tree3.pdf

After listening to your program I realized the Lutherans in American have a similar history of coming together, separating, etc. Anglicans too. Hopefully one day, the distinct groups can work out their internal issues and reduce the number of groups through some mergers or at least make it explicit in regard to whom one is in fellowship with.

Keep up the good work!

Aaron said...

Very interesting podcast to me. I was also quite impressed with your mention of and sentiments on the Laestadian Lutherans as many have not heard of them but having lived in a county my whole life with two different Laestadian churches or Apostolic Lutheran as they are known, they are common to us.

Aaron said...

Interesting post and well worth my time listening. I was also impressed with your mention of and sentiments on Laestadian Lutherans. While not many have heard of them, I have lived my life in a county with two different Laestadian churches or Apostolic Lutheran as they are more often known here.