After the death of Luther in 1546 many controversies rocked the nascent Lutheran church as it struggled against external and internal forces that tried to tear it away from the clear preaching of God’s Word found in the unaltered Augsburg Confession of 1530. To respond to this challenge the Lutheran princes in 1577 had Jacob Andreae, Nicholas Selnecker, Andrew Musculus, Christopher Cornerus, David Chytraeus, and Martin Chemnitz come together to produce the Formula of Concord to answer the various controversies that had erupted in the church. Along with this Formula of Concord the princes published the Book of Concord in 1580 as a summary and symbol of pure doctrine, which has remained as the primary confession of the Lutheran church to this day.
The Formula of Concord is the most theologically rigorous and deep part of the Book of Concord, but deals with many false doctrines we have today. The Summary, Rule and Norm confront the arguments of liberal theologians that Scripture has errors. The articles on Original Sin, Free Will, and Righteousness of Faith combat decision theology at its core. The articles on the Lord’s Supper and the Person of Christ destroy the theology of those who confess the Sacrament as a mere symbol. The article on Adiaphora fights against the worship wars which continue to rock Christianity. The article on Election shows us the comfort of Predestination in the face of the false doctrine of Double Predestination. This is a work which every modern Lutheran should know and learn for its clarity of confession and depth of teaching.
We will be starting our study of the Epitome of the Formula of Concord, which is a summary of the more lengthy Solid Declaration, in Lutheran Essentials on Wednesday April 3rd after the Lenten evening service which starts at 7pm. If you have ever wanted to go deeper into Lutheran theology, this is the class for you as we will cover the deepest and most difficult of the Lutheran Confessions. It is not for the faint of heart, but will show the “especially brilliant light” of Law and Gospel which pervades all of Lutheran theology. So if you are confused about any of the above topics or wish to learn more about the love of Christ for you on the cross join us on Wednesday nights as we study this wonderful confession of faith. For those who do not have a Book of Concord we are handing them out for free.
Please talk to the Pastor, Elders or Paul Edmon if you have any questions.