The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod resumes distribution of new annotated volume after detractors push back on essays.
The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod (LCMS) has resumed distributing its new annotated edition of Luther’s Large Catechism over the objections of some of the denomination’s most conservative members and pastors.
Luther’s Large Catechism with Annotations and Contemporary Applications contains the unaltered text of Luther’s Large Catechism, a core Lutheran doctrinal statement, with 80 essays applying Luther’s ideas in modern society. The book is over 700 pages long.
Concordia Publishing House released the work in mid-January, but two weeks ago, LCMS president Matthew Harrison announced that he had asked the denominational publisher to stop distribution so they could “evaluate the comments and critiques received and revisit our doctrinal process.”
Critics raised concerns that some of the essays, which are not Lutheran doctrine, mishandle current issues like racial justice, human sexuality, and gun rights.
In an email to Christianity Today, Harrison described the controversy as a “handful of quotations were taken out of context to allege some conspiracy to import CRT, sexual ambiguity, and woke issues in general into the LCMS.”
By February 2, he had asked Concordia Publishing House to resume distribution.
Harrison said he does not have the authority to halt a publication that has been through the doctrinal review process, and that “while some things might have been expressed more clearly, nevertheless, there is nothing in the content of the volume promoting critical race theory (CRT), confusion of sexuality issues, or any theological position at odds with biblical and confessional Lutheranism.” …
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