40 Facts About Lutherans


Lutherans themselves began to use the term Lutheran in the middle of the 16th century, in order to distinguish themselves from other groups such as the Anabaptists and Calvinists.

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Religious disputes between the Crypto-Calvinists, Philippists, Sacramentarians, Ubiquitarians and Gnesio-Lutherans raged within Lutheranism during the middle of the 16th century.

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Until the end of the Counter-Reformation, some Lutherans worshipped secretly, such as at the Hundskirke, a triangle-shaped Communion rock in a ditch between crosses in Paternion, Austria.

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In 1806, Napoleon's invasion of Germany promoted Rationalism and angered German Lutherans, stirring up a desire among the people to preserve Luther's theology from the Rationalist threat.

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Many Lutherans, called "Old Lutherans", chose to leave the state churches despite imprisonment and military force.

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Lutherans led the Neo-Lutheran Repristination School of theology, which advocated a return to the orthodox theologians of the 17th century and opposed modern Bible scholarship.

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The Repristination school and Old Lutherans tended towards Kantianism, while the Erlangen school promoted a conservative Hegelian perspective.

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Traditionally, Lutherans hold the Bible of the Old and New Testaments to be the only divinely inspired book, the only source of divinely revealed knowledge, and the only norm for Christian teaching.

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Lutherans held that every passage of Scripture has one straightforward meaning, the literal sense as interpreted by other Scripture.

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Today, Lutherans disagree about the inspiration and authority of the Bible.

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Lutherans are confident that the Bible contains everything that one needs to know in order to obtain salvation and to live a Christian life.

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Lutherans understand the Bible as containing two distinct types of content, termed Law and Gospel .

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Book of Concord, published in 1580, contains 10 documents which some Lutherans believe are faithful and authoritative explanations of Holy Scripture.

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Lutherans believe that humans are saved from their sins by God's grace alone, through faith alone, on the basis of Scripture alone .

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Lutherans teach that sinners, while capable of doing works that are outwardly "good", are not capable of doing works that satisfy God's justice.

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Lutherans believe that individuals receive this gift of salvation through faith alone.

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Lutherans reject the idea that the Father and God the Son are merely faces of the same person, stating that both the Old Testament and the New Testament show them to be two distinct persons.

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Lutherans believe the Holy Spirit proceeds from both the Father and the Son.

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Lutherans believe Jesus is the Christ, the savior promised in the Old Testament.

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Lutherans hold that sacraments are sacred acts of divine institution.

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Lutherans earnestly offers to all who receive the sacrament forgiveness of sins and eternal salvation.

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Lutherans are not dogmatic about the number of the sacraments.

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Lutherans hold that Baptism is a saving work of God, mandated and instituted by Jesus Christ.

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Lutherans hold that within the Eucharist, referred to as the Sacrament of the Altar or the Lord's Supper, the true body and blood of Christ are truly present "in, with, and under the forms" of the consecrated bread and wine for all those who eat and drink it, a doctrine that the Formula of Concord calls the sacramental union.

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Many Lutherans receive the sacrament of penance before receiving the Eucharist.

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Lutherans adhere to divine monergism, the teaching that salvation is by God's act alone, and therefore reject the idea that humans in their fallen state have a free will concerning spiritual matters.

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Lutherans believe that although humans have free will concerning civil righteousness, they cannot work spiritual righteousness in the heart without the presence and aid of the Holy Spirit.

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Lutherans believe Christians are "saved"; that all who trust in Christ alone and his promises can be certain of their salvation.

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Lutherans disagree with those who make predestination—rather than Christ's suffering, death, and resurrection—the source of salvation.

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Unlike some Calvinists, Lutherans do not believe in a predestination to damnation, usually referencing "God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth" as contrary evidence to such a claim.

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Lutherans believe everything exists for the sake of the Christian Church, and that God guides everything for its welfare and growth.

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Lutherans believe that good works are the fruit of faith, always and in every instance.

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Lutherans do not believe that good works are a factor in obtaining salvation; they believe that we are saved by the grace of God—based on the merit of Christ in his suffering and death—and faith in the Triune God.

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Lutherans do not believe in any sort of earthly millennial kingdom of Christ either before or after his second coming on the last day.

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Lutherans teach that, at death, the souls of Christians are immediately taken into the presence of Jesus, where they await the second coming of Jesus on the last day.

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Lutherans believe that the actual body and blood of Jesus Christ are present in, with and under the bread and the wine.

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In Finland, Lutherans have experimented with the St Thomas Mass and Metal Mass in which traditional hymns are adapted to heavy metal.

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Lutherans were divided about the issue of church fellowship for the first thirty years after Luther's death.

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Presently, Lutherans are divided over how to interact with other Christian denominations.

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Some Apostolic Lutherans consider their movement as part of an unbroken line down from the Apostles.

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