Thursday, March 23, 2017

ebook: The Bible in the Life of the Lutheran Communion - a study document on Lutheran Hermeneutics

 The Bible in the Life of the Lutheran Communion. A Study Document on Lutheran Hermeneutics
The commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017 provides the opportunity to highlight the special significance of the Bible for the vitality of the Church and the life of every Christian. This study document emphasizes that the heart of the Bible is its salvific message. The gospel is “the power of God for salvation” (Rom 1:16). The whole Bible is to be interpreted in light of the message that brings life.
Today, the Bible is read in hugely diverse cultural, political, economic and religious contexts. Therefore the document engages with the question how Lutheran churches in such varied contexts can reach a shared and mutual understanding regarding their reading and interpretation of biblical texts. The study text emphasizes the importance of theological education in order to prepare pastors, teachers and leaders effectively to interpret Scripture.

The Lutheran churches’ focus on the Bible and its interpretation
2. What does sola scriptura mean?
Reading the Bible in light of the Lutheran Reformation
2.1. Luther’s understanding and exegesis of the Bible
2.2 Sola scriptura and the tradition of the Church
2.3 The paradox of understanding: revelation and interpretation

3. Challenges of interpreting the Bible today 
3.1. Contextual interpretation of the Bible amidst the plurality of cultures 
3.2 Ongoing translation 
3.3. Historical-critical reading of the Word of God
3.4. The Bible as a book communicating experiences with the living God 
3.5. The Church as a “space of resonance” of the Bible 
3.6. The tension between the common and the particular 
3.7. Methodological considerations: various hermeneutical spirals

4. Opportunities for reading and understanding the Bible in the twenty-first century 
4.1. Common ground
4.2. Plurality of meaning
4.3. Global dialogues
4.4. Lutheran branding

The Bible in the life of the Lutheran Communion is available free here

Article: Martin Luther in Global Pentecostalism by Sarah Hinlicky Wilson

Global Pentecostalism encompasses three distinct waves or movements: 

  • the Classical Pentecostal denominations inspired by the Azusa Street revival in the early 20th century; 
  • the Charismatic renewal in historic mainline churches starting in the 1950s; 
  • and independent Neocharismatic congregations and networks that began to multiply dramatically starting in the 1980s. 

Early Classical Pentecostals tended to have a positive attitude toward Luther as the beginning of the “restoration” of the lost doctrine and practice of the apostolic church, but only Jonathan Paul and his Mühlheimer Verband in Germany engaged in any meaningful way with Lutheran theology.   Faced with fierce opposition within their denominations, Lutheran Charismatics such as Theodore R. Jungkuntz saw a need to correlate their spiritual distinctives with the Lutheran Confessions, which reached its most detailed expression in Welcome, Holy Spirit, edited by Larry Christenson.   The Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus in Ethiopia responded most positively to Charismatic renewal of all Lutheran churches in the world with its 1976 statement, “The Work of the Holy Spirit.”   While contemporary Classical Pentecostal theologians have only begun to engage with Luther, notable examples include Frank D. Macchia, Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen, and David J. Courey, who deal primarily with the doctrine of justification and the theology of the cross. The encounter of Lutheran theology with Pentecostalism suggests that both sides need to develop more comprehensive accounts of Christian experience and its role in doctrine, piety, and church life.

read the article here

EBook: Pauline Hermeneutics, exploring the power of the Gospel

Paul’s letters are of crucial importance for Christian theology and church life. The way in which the apostle Paul critically reflected on the meaning of the gospel message in light of Scripture, the traditions, ethics and Christian faith and hope, has had a significant and lasting impact on the Lutheran tradition.

In this publication, the fourth and final in a series of LWF publications on biblical hermeneutics, renowned international scholars from the fields of biblical studies and systematic theology reevaluate to what extent twenty-first-century Lutherans can rediscover the Pauline paradigm of the “power of the Gospel” and hereby overcome ambiguous perceptions of the so-called “Lutheran reading(s)” of Paul.

The “Gospel” as the Hermeneutic of Emancipation in Paul’s Letters: Contemporary Implications 
Exploring Paul and Pauline Hermeneutics How and Why Paul Deals with Traditions 
Principles of Paul’s Hermeneutics
Slave and Free: Hermeneutical Reflections on Paul’s Use of the Slave–Master Metaphor

Reading Pauline Texts and Contexts
Paul on Charismata (1 Corinthians 12–14): The Principles of Diversity and Community Edification
Rospita Deliana Siahaan
Creation and Reconciliation in 2 Corinthians 5: Impulses from Paul and Luther 
Towards an Intersectional Hermeneutics: Constructing Meaning with and not of Galatians 3–4

Pauline Hermeneutics: Exploring the “Power of the Gospel”
Paul on Citizenship: Pauline hermeneutics in Philippians 1:27 and 3:20 

Applying Paul’s Theology and Hermeneutics to Church and Society
The Paradox of Reading Paul in the Context of the Lutheran Churches in Africa
The Pauline Letters and (Homo)Sexuality: Examining Hermeneutical Arguments Used in the Estonian Discussion 
Called and Cold Saints: Some Thoughts on Holiness in the Hebrew Bible and in Paul
A New Life in Christ: Pauline Ethics and its Lutheran Reception 
Christians Engaging in Culture and Society and Hoping for the World to Come 

Obtain your free copy by visiting

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Book: A guide to Pentecostal movements for Lutherans

In just over a century, Pentecostalism has rocketed from its humble beginnings in an interracial congregation on Azusa Street in Los Angeles to a global movement counting more than six hundred million members. Confronted with the bewildering array of Pentecostal, Charismatic, and Neocharismatic beliefs and practices, Lutherans are often at a loss as to how to think about Pentecostals, much less how to engage them in positive ways that build up the whole body of Christ. In this guide, Lutherans will find tools for just such an engagement. Building on a foundation of Pentecostalism's history and varieties, Wilson undertakes an in-depth survey of biblical teaching on baptism, the Holy Spirit, and spiritual gifts. 
The guide then brings innovative new lenses to bear on the questions at stake: 

  • the use of church history in defending denominational borders, 
  • right and wrong approaches to prosperity, 
  • the power of the Spirit 
  • and corruptions of power, and the role of experience in theological discernment. 
Written in a style accessible to laity and clergy alike, this guide will strengthen Lutherans' appreciation of their own tradition while enabling them to encounter Pentecostals as fellow believers in the salvation given by the triune God.

What others are saying about the book
"Sarah Hinlicky Wilson guides her reader to understand the Pentecostal movement particularly in relation to the Lutheran tradition. This she does with the special care of a trained Lutheran theologian, and with the warm understanding of someone who has learned to appreciate the Pentecostal tradition through various ecumenical encounters and discussions. The result is a guide not only to the two Christian traditions, but a call to a journey for deeper understanding of the other."
Kaisamari Hintikka, Assistant General Secretary for Ecumenical Relations and Director for the Department for Theology and Public Witness, Lutheran World Federation

"Sarah Hinlicky Wilson has written a very welcome addition to the growing body of ecumenical literature concerning Pentecostals. A Guide to Pentecostal Movements for Lutherans is highly readable, sympathetic, and honest. Wilson has engaged in theological dialogue with Classical Pentecostals, done her homework in the relevant Biblical, theological, and historical fields, and delivered an honest and compelling volume that provides answers to serious questions and stereotypes that have often kept Pentecostals and Lutherans from taking one another seriously."

Cecil M. Robeck, Jr., Professor of Church History and Ecumenics, Director of the David du Plessis Center for Christian Spirituality, Fuller Theological Seminary

About the author
The author Sarah Hinlicky Wilson is an ordained Lutheran pastor, an Adjunct Professor of the Institute for Ecumenical Research in Strasbourg, France, and the editor of Lutheran Forum. She is the author of Woman, Women, and the Priesthood in the Trinitarian Theology of Elisabeth Behr-Sigel (2013) and of more than one hundred articles on theology in both popular and scholarly venues.

You can buy A guide to Pentecostal movements for Lutherans here

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Book: Lady Like - Living Biblically

In a society where conversations about gender have too often become stale and predictable, LadyLike: Living Biblically reimagines what it means to be a Christian woman in our feminized secular society.
Radically retro, freshly old-fashioned, and powerfully submissive, Rosie Adle and Rebekah Curtis, two playful and mischievous sisters, challenge us to rethink everything we thought we knew about men and women. Like a jolt of espresso, or a polar bear plunge, their writing enlivens the senses, helping us to see the world, as it were, for the first time.

You can buy the book here

  • Out of Order
  • The Pie-Eating Contest 
  • Products of Our Time
  • Brains for Women! 
  • Bridezilla of Christ 
  • Not Fair
  • The Real Winners of the Sexual Revolution 
  • Submission: Impossible?
  • The More, the Merrier? 
  • Deborah vs. She-Ra: Exception vs. Rule
  • Who Washes the Dishes After Feminism? 
  • Peace and/or Quiet
  • Put Your Name on It 

  • The Family of God
  • To the Virgins, to Make Much of What They Are 
  • Here Comes the Bride
  • Marriage: Not Actually the Most Christianest Thing Ever 
  • Earthen Vessels 
  • To My Friend Who Has No Babies Today
  • She Respects Her Husband 
  • The Fallen Ones
  • Widows and the Redemption
  • A Righteous Life 
  • Calling 

  • Is the Old Testament Misogynist?
  • What Would Lydia Do? 
  • Jesus the Feminist?
  • Fiat Mihi, Fiat Lux 
  • Sins of the Fathers 
  • Hey Mister Pastor Man 

  • What Is God Trying to Tell You?
  • Marthas, Marthas
  • If We Confess Our Sins 
  • The Sixth Commandment: Not Just for Men!
  • Eight, Nine, Ten—Last, but Not Least
  • Actually, God Might Give You More Than You Can Handle 
  • Sophia, Sophronia, and Babylon
  • Being Special Is Special! 
  • On a Search for Self 
  • Romans 12:15—Vicarious Rejoicing with a Whole Heart
  • Mirror, Mirror 
  • Dear Sisters
  • Selfies—Oh, Snap! .
  • Whac-a-Mole
  • When Life Gives You Lemonade 
  • The Belle Choir: A Parochial Fantasy 

What others are saying
"In this well-written book, Rose and Rebekah challenge women with clever, yet honest truths served up with a 'delicious gulp of Gospel.' Their striking insights and crisp language encourage us to see our lives in new ways. You will be blessed!"  
—Renee Gibbs, Women’s Retreat and Bible Study Leader, Concordia Seminary

“I guarantee you will not be able to put this book down. Sisters Rosie and Rebekah write in a style crystal clear and magically engaging, all the while gleefully butchering sacred cultural cows, and serving up a feast of rich meaty delights for anyone, especially any Christian woman, who has found herself wresting with what it means to be a child of God in today’s world. You’re gonna loves this book, even as its wit and brainy argumentation stretch you to new limits of genuine Christian faith, love and piety.”
—Rev. Matthew C. Harrison, President, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod

“Adle and Curtis don't pull any punches in their dash to ride the counter cultural wave of Biblical Truth about womanhood as Christ designed and redeemed her. With a healthy dose of sardonic wit, spiced with the right dash of caregiving reserve, their work is a breath of fresh air in a world of women caught up in the maelstrom of not being "good enough" unless they try to be men.”
—Rev. Jonathan Fisk, Pastor, Host of Worldview Everlasting, and Author of Broken: 7 "Christian" Rules That Every Christian Ought to Break as Often as Possible

“LadyLike strips away all flowery cross-stitch stereotypes while  exposing the burlap of what it means to be a Christian woman in 21st century society. Adle and Curtis hold nothing back as they take an uppercut at the lies of our modern era, simultaneously weaving in the delicate ribbons of mercy found in Christ's timeless Truth. These essays are at once strong and sassy, while maintaining the graceful art of what it means to be a woman in Christ. They contain the healing balm of Christ and Him crucified that is vital for staying the course on the lonely road of being a Christian woman, Christian mother, and Christian wife in today's world; a balm so soothing that the reader is left wanting more.”
—Meridith Fisk, Wife, Mother, and Homemaker

“One of the best 'hear and do' pieces I’ve read, out of hundreds. Rosie and Becky are freedom fighters and, in the sacred sense, burden bearers of women’s issues!  Lost your voice amidst the chaos of twenty-first century womanhood?  Find it here. Not to scream or demand, but to follow Christ into contentment, fulfillment, and with gusto resist the pull of lesser gods. This book is impossible to put it down!”
—Phyllis Wallace, Author, Speaker, Broadcaster