Lexington Books / Fortress Academic
Trim: 6 x 9
978-1-9787-0285-1 • Hardback • June 2019 • $111.00 • (£85.00)
978-1-9787-0286-8 • eBook • June 2019 • $99.50 • (£77.00)
Jonathan Mumme is associate professor of theology at Concordia University Wisconsin.
Richard J. Serina, Jr. is adjunct professor of theology at Concordia College New York.
Mark W. Birkholz is adjunct professor of theology at Concordia University Chicago.
The Individual and the Communal
1. Under Authority: The Freedom of the Church Under Christ—Jeremiah Johnson
2. Community and Closure: The Church in the Individual Complaint Psalms—Paul M. C. Elliott
3. The Reception of Luther’s Ecclesiology in Contemporary German Dogmatic Theology—Alexander Kupsch
The Personal and the Institutional
4. Hermeneutical Considerations in Applying Acts to Ecclesiological Concerns—Mark W. Birkholz
5. The Ministry of the Saints and the Office of the Ministry: Translation and Theology in Ephesians 4:12—James B. Prothro
6. Rightly Called . . . More or Less: A Primer on Medieval Church and Ministry for the Modern Lutheran—Richard J. Serina, Jr.
The Particular and the Universal
7. Et Placet Nobis Vetus Partitio Potestatis: The Power of Order and the Power of Jurisdiction in Aquinas and the Augustana—Roy Axel Coats
8. Realizing the Potential of a Confessional Lutheran Ecclesiology: Ernst Kinder on the Church—Jonathan Mumme
9. Are the Marks of the Church Enough to Authenticate Confessional Lutheranism Then and Now?—John J. Bombaro
The Ecumenical to the Lutheran
10. The Church: A Body under Law and Gospel—Jakob Rinderknecht
11. Unity and Diversity in Anglican and Lutheran Ecclesiology—Thomas L. Holtzen
12. From an American Geneva: How Confessional Lutherans and Reformed can Mutually Sharpen ‘Evangelical’ Today—Robbie Crouse
13. Confessional Lutheranism in a Post-Constantinian, Postmodern, and Postlocal Context—Jari Kekäle
About the Contributors
In the modern West, the church has become a contested idea too often co-opted into artificial schemes that privilege either adherence to institutions and propositions or the expression of personal faith and piety. Avoiding such facile polarities, the contributors broaden our ecclesiological story by showing us constructive ways in which Lutheran thinking can account for the deeply interrelated individual and communal, personal and institutional, and particular and universal dimensions of the church. By bringing critical voices outside of Lutheranism into the conversation, the contributors invite us to reflect on the challenge and promise of a Lutheran ecclesiology that is not merely centripetal but also centrifugal in its confessional and ecumenical potential.
— Leopoldo A. Sánchez M., Concordia Seminary
This collection of essays by Lutheran, Anglican, Reformed, and Roman Catholic theologians and practitioners seeks to encourage Christians in the pursuit of unity, communion, and community in the church. All who take ecclesiology seriously—whatever their Christian tradition—will find this book beneficial and profitable toward those ends.
— Glenn R. Kreider, Dallas Theological Seminary
This is an important book. The chapters it comprises explore the intriguing premise that Lutheran ecclesiology lapses into distortion so long as it fails to reflect upon the nature of the church from within an ecumenical frame of reference. It follows from this vantage point that inter-confessional dialogue should be viewed not merely as a supplementary exercise, but rather as an integral moment within the pursuit of Lutheran ecclesial self-understanding. If this premise is correct—and I am convinced it is—then this book makes a very valuable contribution to contemporary discourse about the doctrine of the church. It will reward the attention of any reader who wishes carefully to consider what it means to confess and belong to the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church.
— David J. Luy, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
Lutherans desire to know more about the church. They confess it in their creeds, and they find it in their congregations and among fellow believers confessing Christ. The church is manifest to them where the Word is preached and the Sacraments are distributed to God's people. But the church is also "hidden" in other traditions and denominations with a different history. In this book thirteen scholars offer thoughts, convictions, and the results of research that guide the reader into ecclesiology from—and around—the Lutheran tradition, making this topic speak on biblical, confessional, and ecumenical levels today. Planting the fruits of Lutheran deliberations in a broader landscape of ecumenical estimations ensures that any reader interested in the church and its relationship to Lutheran theology will come away richer after reading.
— Jobst Schöne, bishop emeritus of the Independent Evangelical Lutheran Church (SELK, Germany)
The late J.A.O. Preus II (LCMS President 1969-81), master of wit that he was, was fond of saying: “The Smalcald Articles state: ‘Thank God, even a seven year-old child knows what the church is. …I’d like to meet that kid.’” The thirteen contributors of Church as Fullness in All Things are to be commended for casting the bright beam of the Scriptures and Confessions on our Lutheran understanding of the doctrine and practice of the church.
It’s perhaps no understatement to say that Lutheran ecclesiology is more implicit than explicit. Consequently, many convinced and committed Lutherans are hard pressed to articulate why the church is especially important in our age of rampant individualism. Yet when personal autonomy carries the day, it’s all the more essential that we exhibit a vibrant and robust community – in worship, evangelization, and parish life.
The catholicity of the church is inherent in our Lutheran confession of the faith once delivered to the saints. This book may be of great help in the crucial ecumenical dialog we need in our time, but I would say it’s even more important for our own pastors and laity. Having been enriched by these essays, they will have a sharper grasp of what they mean when they confess: “I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Christian Church, the Communion of saints….”
— Harold Senkbeil, executive director for spiritual care, Doxology: The Lutheran Center for Spiritual Care and Counsel
Church as Fullness in All Things, a volume of timely and learned essays by professors and pastors, constructively examines Lutheran ecclesiology by returning to scripture and the history of the church and by considering modern expressions of the Lutheran church in both European and American contexts. Especially welcomed are essays by Roman Catholics, Anglicans, and Reformed theologians that sympathetically and critically engage Lutheran ecclesiology. Pastors and lay people, teachers and students, will benefit from its insight and irenic tone.
— Carl Beckwith, Samford University
All ecumenical dialogues of recent decades have flagged ecclesiology as a key question and shown that coming to joint understanding of the church is no small undertaking. Capacity for ecumenical dialogue grows only from the historical investigation and dogmatic contemplation of this important topic. Following Luther the reformer, Lutheran theology has much to say about how unity of doctrine is preserved as unity in doctrine is sought. Both should be bound together in the strong and ardent belief in the unity of the truth. May this volume contribute to those ends.
— Hans-Jörg Voigt, bishop of the Independent Evangelical Lutheran Church (SELK, Germany)
Numerically facing near oblivion among the German and Nordic Volkskirchentum, having seemingly almost no entertainment value compared to the thriving mega churches with their endless innovations in America, being void of the spirit and charisma of the Neo-Pentecostal movement in Africa and Latin America and all this being surrounded by the post-modern culture, does the Lutheran church stand a chance to influence the oikumene? What about the Roman Catholics, Anglicans and the serious Reformed? The sole hope of the church universal is in the Gospel being preached and given through the sacraments. But this is not uniquely the situation of our day, it was always so. "I will build my Church" is the promise Jesus gave the Apostles. This book is a vivid and profound testimony to this truth. We are grateful for the 13 contributors for their work.
— Risto Soramies, bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Mission Diocese of Finland