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Testing the Boundaries to Lutheran Identity - Second Edition


by Charles Arand

Item #: 155185kin / 2011 / ebook / 288 Pages

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About This Book

This updated edition presents a thoughtful look at the role of the Lutheran Confessions among the various Lutheran church bodies in North America, including a new chapter on how the Confessions are interpreted and applied and a timeline of American Lutheranism.

This book explains and interprets the history of Lutheran confession in America during the past two centuries and explores how Lutherans have grappled with the theological heritage of their confessional writings within an American cultural setting. It examines models Lutherans have used to allow their confessional documents to speak to the contemporary scene. An awareness of this history should help Lutherans

  • find their identity in the spiritual pluralism of today
  • provide direction for navigating "through the various winds and storms of contemporary ideologies, theologies, and relativisms of post-modernity"
  • help prevent absorption by the alluring cultural currents that wreak havoc with identity and with Christianity in any form

What Others Are Saying

Arand’s concern is the confessional position of the various [Lutheran] synods, how these synods read the [Lutheran] Confessions, and how that reading shaped their understanding of Lutheran identity. . . . The final purpose of the book is, of course, not only to inform Lutherans of their past but also to challenge readers (Lutheran and otherwise) to consider the nature and character of their own reading of the Scripture and posture over against the Lutheran Confessions.
From the foreword by
Rev. Dr. Lawrence Rast Jr.
President, Concordia Theological Seminary Fort Wayne, Indiana

In this book, Charles Arand pre- sents a thoughtful analysis of the way Lutherans in North America have interpreted and applied the Lutheran Confessions both while dialoguing with one another and in communicating their message to the world. Surveying the landscape of American Lutheranism, Arand maps out the place of the Confessions among Lutheran churches, revealing how various Lutheran groups have sought to answer the question of what it means to be Lutheran in America. Looking beyond these borders, Arand identifies vital questions about the role of the Confessions across world Lutheranism and offers key insights for its observers.
Rev. Dr. Gerhard H. Bode
Assistant Professor of Historical Theology Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri

For the better part of two decades I have repeatedly turned to Charles Arand’s Testing the Boundaries as an accurate and wise compass charting various models of North American confessional fidelity. In this updated edition, Arand advances his earlier work by offering a fresh, viable, and contemporary vision of confessional interpretation and loyalty for a new century. His book is the definitive text describing North American Lutheran confessional identity.
Dr. Mark Mattes
Professor of Religion
Grand View University, Des Moines, Iowa

This is a peerless book that paints the entire landscape of American reception of the Lutheran Confessional documents, and what a picture that is! I tell my students they must pick up and read this text, since it truly addresses the fundamental issue for every Lutheran in America—how does the freedom of the Gospel fit with the freedom of American citizenship? No one tells the story of the various attempts to answer that question with such clarity as Dr. Arand. This book has only become more indispensable by the updated layer of history and interpretation in this second edition. Dr. Arand has done a great service to the Church by telling this fascinating, living story of what it means to subscribe to the Lutheran Confessions.
Steven D. Paulson
Professor of Systematic Theology, Luther Seminary, St. Paul, MN

About the Author

Dr. Charles P. Arand holds the Waldemar A. and June Schuette Endowed Chair in Systematic Theology and serves as chairman of the Department of Systematic Theology at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri.

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