The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


To confess

Testifying to our faith amid resistance has made Lutheranism resilient

For months we've explored one part of the Lutheran attic--the great theological concepts like justification and Christian freedom for which our tradition is famous. But if you step across the hall in the imaginary house of Lutheranism, you enter a different room. There we discover that the Reformation wasn't just about ideas and the mind. Part of the resilience of this tradition is that it has a whole set of verbs — action strategies for how to be the church in God's world.

The first of these verbs is "to confess." You likely want to complete the phrase with the words "to confess ... our sins." That is an important Lutheran activity. We don't live under an illusion that human beings are problem free. We need confession and absolution. But the meaning I explore here is "to confess ... one's faith."

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February issue


Embracing diversity