From the Lutheranism 101 Blog…
I love books. Perhaps that is an occupational hazard for a pastor. I was browsing a Christian bookstore and I ran across a book I knew and loved and two others I hadn't heard of before. The two were Why I Am Not a Calvinist (by an Arminian author) and right next to it, Why I Am Not an Arminian (by a Calvinist author). For the sake of completeness, irony, and good old-fashioned Lutheran humor, I put Daniel Preus's Why I Am a Lutheran next to those other two books.
I am a Lutheran because I am a Christian. I want Jesus at the center of everything. I want the Gospel to predominate and for Law and Gospel to be properly distinguished in preaching, at worship, in books, and in pastoral care. I want to hear preaching and hymns that confess the Biblical truth that I am a poor, miserable sinner in need of a real Savior from real sin, real death, and an all-too-real Devil. I want to clearly hear that Jesus is 100% God and 100% man, two natures in one Christ. And Sunday morning should be Gospel-centered and Christ-focused, too.
I say these things as a Lutheran Christian baptized in the same month I was born. I grew up with The Lutheran Hymnal and was catechized with the 1943 LCMS edition of Luther's Small Catechism with Explanation in 1988! I was in Church and in Sunday School every Sunday. Then, I attended an LCMS campus ministry where that hymnal and catechism Lutheranism was fading away. And I was caught up in it, too. I didn't even know that the Book of Concord existed until my Senior year of college. My first week at seminary, even before classes begun, I read Dr. Barry's The Unchanging Feast. That booklet and good seminary professors brought me back to authentic Lutheranism. I now sing out of Lutheran Service Book, teach from the new LCMS edition of Luther's Small Catechism with Explanation, and preach according to Dr. Walther's Law & Gospel, but I am back at home with the confession of faith of my youth. And I love to tell the Good News About Jesus to young and old, long-time believers, and those brand-new to the faith.
Rev. Paul J Cain,