Despite their near-scriptural status, the Lutheran Confessions are not widely used in Lutheran circles, the authors believe, because presentation of them has been too technical for non-specialists. Geared specifically for classroom and parish use, this concise and accessible introductory text includes the latest historical and theological research, sections on contemporary Lutheranism, and discussion questions.
Gassmann and Hendrix expertly present the historical context for the Reformation, in its beginnings and development, as background to the emergence and gathering of the Confessions. Core chapters then explore (1) the structure of faith (Scripture as norm, law-gospel framework, the Trinity, and justification), (2) Christian community (the sacraments, ministry, the nature of the church), and (3) the Christian life (the two reigns, sin, sanctification, eternal life). A final chapter examines the role the Confessions play in today's ecumenical, pluralistic environment.