The Eucharist as a propitiatory sacrifice offered by the priest on behalf of the living and the dead was at the center of medieval ecclesial life.[i] The biblical scholar and later evangelical reformer will sharply critique the mass as a sacrifice and ex opere operato work in light of the doctrine of justification by faith […]
Beginning in February 2020 a new reality began to dawn on the world, a novel Coronavirus outbreak that quickly became a global pandemic named COVID-19. Suddenly we are told to wear masks, maintain social distance, and stay at home except for essentials. Events and group gatherings are canceled, including public worship. Churches are closed. We are connecting through online technology like Zoom and social media like Face Book. How do we maintain worship and pastoral care in a situation in which we can only communicate virtually?
We invite pastors and theologians to submit sermons and articles that address the COVID-19 pandemic from theological, liturgical, spiritual, and pastoral perspectives. It is precisely in crisis situations that we must draw deeply from the well of the theological tradition. Share how you are doing this.
We invite submission of papers and talks from members of the Metropolitan Chicago Synod of the ELCA, talks given to members of the Metropolitan Chicago Synod, or articles from other pastors and theologians, not limited to ELCA. Send submissions in Word docx. to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have used Lucas Cranach’s portrait of Martin Luther in a silk screen version as the logo for this Reformation 500 Jubilee issue of Let’s Talk. So much of the portraiture of the reformers and scenes of early Lutheran worship comes from Cranach that I thought he deserved some recognition in his own right. When […]
“The love of God does not find, but creates, that which is pleasing to it. The love of man comes into being through that which is pleasing to it.” I can still remember reading these lines, the twenty-eighth thesis of the Heidelberg Disputation. I don’t recall what prompted me to open Timothy Lull’s Luther anthology […]
Let’s Talk has invited readers to write what they appreciate about Martin Luther as we observe the 500th anniversary jubilee of the Reformation. I’m a cradle Lutheran who grew up in a church-going family, so I’ve had a long relationship with the reformer. I don’t know when I first became aware of Martin Luther, but […]
Johannes Bugenhagen was one of the most influential colleagues of Martin Luther. He was born in Pomerania, attended the University of Greifswald for two years, and served as rector of the Latin school in Treptow and as lecturer at the Premonstratensian cloister of Belbug. He was also ordained in 1509. Impacted by humanism, he was […]
Grace Lutheran Church and School in River Forest, Illinois, is celebrating 500 years of the Reformation in several ways, not the least of which is through music. The Fall of 2017 is full of music that celebrates the best of the Lutheran musical heritage, particularly the work of Luther himself. On September 10 at 4:00 […]
It all started in late January 2016 when a dedicated Week of Prayer for Christian Unity volunteer from an ELCA Lutheran church whispered into the ear of a dedicated WPCU volunteer from a Roman Catholic church, “Did you hear about the Pope and the woman Bishop?” The Vatican and the LWF had recently released news […]
On January 1, 2016 Messiah Evangelical Lutheran Church in Wauconda starting counting down to the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. We calculated this date as 95 weeks prior to this commemoration (October 31, 2017), constructed a replica of the Castle Church Door in Wittenberg, Germany, and began nailing, one each week, not Luther’s 95 thesis, […]
The first time I bought a copy for myself, I tucked it away at once, as if it were illegal, or a bit naughty. It didn’t look like much on the outside—a black cover, with a simple gold cross embossed on the front. I wasn’t really sure what I was supposed to do with it, […]
Indulge me. One of my Reformation heroes is a Swedish King, Johan III (1537-92; reigned 1568-92). Why? Because of his liturgical interests. He authored, with the help of his secretary Petrus Fecht (a student of Melancthon’s), a Liturgy that included offertory prayers and a full Eucharistic prayer, elements long considered not acceptable in a Lutheran […]
From the fourteenth century onwards, the Italian proponents of the movement we have come to call Renaissance Humanism boldly sought to uncover the textual, artistic, and material remains of antiquity: to renew the use of the Latin language by imitating the elegance of ancient Roman rhetoric; to explore the ancient sources of wisdom; and thereby […]
Please indulge me as I share my own odd Reformation-era enthusiasm: the Lollards. Originating in the work of priest and Oxford scholar John Wycliffe (d. 1384), Lollardy flourished as a movement for church and civil reform from the 1370s and the Peasants’ Revolt. After rebellions led or inspired by Lollards in 1414 and 1431 were […]
Martin Luther became a historical figure for a set of academic theses, but most of his German contemporaries knew him for his pastoral writings. By the time he was excommunicated in 1520 he had already written 25 pastoral writings, most of them in German. According to historian Mark Edwards, his German pastoral writings were printed […]
“Are you ignorant of what it means to be ignorant?” (LW 33:254) That’s my favorite Lutheran insult. I’ve used it often. It’s wonderful when people look at me after I say that to them and go, “Huh?” *** It all began in Kurt Hendel’s “Theology of Martin Luther” class. Dr. Hendel’s final project had two […]
When Frank Senn asked me to write an essay on what I appreciate/don’t appreciate about Luther I practically jumped at the chance. Why? Because writing out my answer gave me the chance to share one of my most perplexing observations of Lutherans. For what confuses me about Lutherans is not so much what they appreciate […]