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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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'No longer Jew or Greek'

Multiculturalism in ELCA has Pauline roots

The Pauline roots of Lutheran theology are as strong as they are well-known. Most Lutherans have heard innumerable times: “For there is no distinction, since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; they are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus ...” (Romans 3:22-24). Lutherans love the emphasis on grace.

Anne Lalsingh worships at Advent Lutheran
Anne Lalsingh worships at Advent Lutheran Church, Manhattan, which also has a strong young adult population. Read more about Advent in "Reflecting the neighborhood."
Paul’s emphasis on God’s grace came out of a specific context. A few years after Jesus’ death, Paul was already trying to make God’s church multicultural. Many biblical passages reflect the first-century multicultural context. Take Pentecost: “And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language?” (Acts 2:8). And Jesus’ command to his disciples: Go make disciples “of all nations” (Matthew 28:19). Because Jesus’ disciples obeyed his command, we are now Christians. If not, we probably would be pagans.


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September issue

SEPTEMBER issue:

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