Throw out all those notions you might have about what it means to be Lutheran.
When it comes down to it, being Lutheran is really very simple. It’s about following Jesus. We go where Jesus goes, we listen when Jesus speaks, we trust when Jesus promises. And we live because Jesus lives.
From the Foreword
"Pastor Sutton treats not only Lutheran beliefs, but he also treats the attitudes and mindsets that those beliefs inform. Thus, he divides his book into two parts: what Lutherans challenge (being closed, lukewarm, confused, lazy, and 'pastel'), followed by what Lutherans cherish (the new, the ordinary, the unresolved, purpose, and the local). This helps explain the quirks of Lutherans—why they are so doctrinally rigorous, yet so fond of paradoxes and unresolved doctrinal tensions; why they seem both conservative and radical; how their theological strictness manifests itself in a spirit of freedom; how they can make such strong supernatural claims, while also focusing on the much-neglected spiritual significance of what is ordinary—while also accounting for what we could describe as the Lutheran theological culture.
"American Christianity teaches the centrality of the individual, my will, my experiences, my decision, my heart, my work and dedication, Yet we couldn’t be more unaware that Christ and His saving and comforting work are being lost."
—Dr. Gene Edward Veith, Provost and Professor of Literature, Patrick Henry College
Praise for Being Lutheran
Here is a contemporary presentation of Lutheranism on a popular level which does not stray from this ancient faith. It is an easy read with the depth of the Scriptures and the Catechism applied to our very real everyday situations. It covers modern concepts with an unflinching honesty and a clear-cut confession of the truth as revealed to us in Jesus. In fact, Jesus is the reason, purpose, and focus of every paragraph, page, and chapter. It is practical and useful to be given as a gift to someone who is looking for some devotional reading. It could be used as supplemental to an adult instruction class. I see how this could be used in a congregation as a basic review of the faith in a Bible Class setting. This is a doctrinal examination fit for laity to come to grips with why they believe what they do and a help for a pastor to better communicate the living, breathing Gospel of Jesus Christ, a truly Lutheran enterprise.
Rev. Mark A. Miller, President, Central Illinois District, Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod
“A far cry from ‘blatant Lutheran grandstanding,' Sutton’s provocative text reclaims the Lutheran narrative with exceptional style and substance, extending to the lifelong congregant and the uninitiated alike a fresh invitation to live boldly under God’s open and expansive grace, grace that animates our thinking and doing. Every Lutheran should read this book, and dive headlong into being what and who they are, in Christ.”
—Gretchen Jameson, Sr. Vice President, University Affairs, Concordia University Wisconsin and Ann Arbor
“Not religious bravado! Not highbrow stuffiness! Rather, Pastor Sutton refreshingly shows us how God uses the ordinary to do the extraordinary: humankind created from earth, sinners saved with water, everyday believers motivated by ordinary words in God’s Word, doing a world of good.”
“Sutton’s accessible style weaves references to hipsters, marital love, digital content, sacraments, quantum physics, hook-ups, ennui, the workplace, texting, bloodletting, and the problem of evil. With a global and multiethnic scope, Sutton remains insistently confessional, never over-simplifying Lutheran identity, focused unapologetically on the mystery and the clarity of Good News in the cross of Jesus Christ.”
—John Nunes, President, Concordia College New York
“Being Lutheran by Rev. Trevor Sutton is a must-read for all Christians wanting to dig deeper. It is a great resource for pastors and teachers to put into the hands of ‘new’ Christians and ‘old.’ It is good for anyone who seeks a better understanding of what it means to be a follower of Christ, one who desires even more to get to know Jesus and the power of His Word in their lives. This book would be excellent for any individual, but it is especially useful for small groups because of Sutton's use of today's relevant concerns and apathies as the context into which to speak the things of Jesus and the Good News of God's Grace. Complete with vignettes and discussion questions, this is a resource that is sure to bless.”
—Rev. Gregory Seltz, Speaker, The Lutheran Hour
"Here is a contemporary presentation of Lutheranism on a popular level which does not stray from this ancient faith. It is an easy-read, with the depth of the Scriptures and the Catechism applied to our very real every-day situations. It covers modern concepts with an unflinching honesty and a clear-cut confession of the truth as revealed to us in Jesus. In fact, Jesus is the reason, purpose, and focus of every paragraph, page, and chapter. It is practical and useful to be given as a gift to someone who is looking for some devotional reading. It could be used as supplemental to an adult instruction class. I see how this could be used in a congregation as a basic review of the faith in a Bible Class setting. This is a doctrinal examination fit for laity to come to grips with why they believe what they do and a help for a pastor to better communicate the living, breathing Gospel of Jesus Christ, a truly Lutheran enterprise."
—Rev. Mark A. Miller, President, Central Illinois District, LC–MS
"In our culture today where political correctness abounds and being Christian much less Lutheran is lumped into a category of spirituality, Trevor Sutton does a masterful job of articulating what it really means to be a Lutheran. Whether you are a lifelong Lutheran, a Christian struggling in a pluralistic world, or just someone seeking answers about who Jesus is, this book is well worth the experience of reading. At a time when there are conflicting opinions regarding what it means to be a Lutheran, Sutton has set the record straight. He makes me proud to be a Lutheran."
—Pastor Tim Niekerk, Senior Pastor, Salem Lutheran Church, Tomball, TX
"In an increasingly multi-ethnic America and global landscape, being Lutheran has to be more than being German. What, at the essential core, is a Lutheran? In a fresh way, Sutton insists it’s more about a “who” than a “what.” First, it is an unhindered focus on Jesus Christ. From there, being Lutheran is a life of beliefs and actions that flow from the gospel center. This is a useful tool for new generations exploring Lutheran thinking and practice."
—Pastor Jeff Cloeter, Senior Pastor, Christ Memorial Lutheran Church, St. Louis, MO
"Being Lutheran is a refreshing approach to learning more about what a Lutheran is, does, says, and lives. Trevor does a great job of applying real people and life, to our theology. I found myself engaged, learning, and pressed in my approach. From the early pages to the last page, Being Lutheran reinforces the greatest reality of Lutherans…that we seek to share God’s love for all people. Anyone who reads this book, will be encouraged, eager, and empowered to follow Jesus and share His love with many."
—Greg S. Griffith, Lead Pastor, Immanuel Lutheran, Macomb, MI
About the Author
Rev. A. Trevor Sutton is associate pastor at St. Luke Lutheran Church in Haslett, Michigan. A frequent speaker and writer, Sutton has been published by various Christian publishers, and his work has appeared in Faith & Leadership
(Duke Divinity School), The Cresset
(Valparaiso University), and Concordia Journal
(Concordia Seminary). Sutton has a BA from Concordia University in Ann Arbor and an MDiv from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, and is currently a graduate student in Writing and Rhetoric at Michigan State University.