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The cross stands steady as the world turns
Memories of Hanns Lilije (1899-1977)
One of the most prominent personalities of Lutheranism in the 20th century was Hanns Lilje. The most outstanding characteristic of this theologian was his profound versatility, his excellence in all areas in which he had to prove himself in the course of his life. He was pastor and pastor, bishop and organizer, author and editor, networker in the national and international framework, between church bodies and in the worldwide ecumenical network.
Author: Klaus Weigelt *** Category: Lutheran profiles
"Bear one another's burden" (Gal 6,2)
Sermon in the service after the “March for Life” in Berlin on September 22, 2018
Author: Hans-Jürgen Abromeit *** Category: Documentation
A Christmas carol viewing
The richness of Christmas is reflected in the abundance of beautiful Christmas carols. We want to take a closer look at one of them, the song “Now sing and be happy!” (EKG 26; EG 35). It is one of the oldest songs in our hymnal. It has come to us from a distant, strange time and yet it sings quickly in our ears and hearts. What is not the product of some fashion does not have a difficult time bridging the centuries. It also speaks powerfully and directly to a later gender.
Author: Reinhard Deichgräber *** Category: Church year
"Double prayer who sings"
The Advent and Christmas season - a special time to sing!
“Let the word of Christ dwell abundantly among you, teach and exhort yourselves in all wisdom; God sing gratefully in your hearts with psalms and hymns of praise and spiritual songs ”(Col 3:16). With these words, the apostle Paul calls us today to let God's word dwell among us and to sing to God in all sorts of ways.
Author: Detlef Graf von der Pahlen *** Category: Church year
An Advent story based on Luke
"The Son of Man has come to seek and save what is lost." (Lk 19:10)
Author: Wolfhard Düver *** Category: Church year
A Christian advent calendar
At Christmas today we Christians actually celebrate the pagan festival of lights comfortably with our family and friends and, based on the crib that has been set up, remember that God sent his Son to us as a human being.
Author: Alexandra von Livonius Freifrau von Eyb *** Category: Church year
How to walk in the light
The “Christmas Art” in Luministic Realism Painting
Even the dating of the birth of Jesus connects the occidental Christmas with light symbolism. After the winter solstice on December 21st, solar radiation in the northern hemisphere increases from day to day until summer. “The darkness is passing and the true light is now shining” (1 Jn 2: 8). Jesus called himself “the light of the world” (Jn 8:12). And the sentence: “The light shines in the darkness” (Jn 1, 5) can be read as an interpretation of his birth.
Author: Wolfhart Schlichting *** Category: Culture
"The night has advanced ..."
Christmas with Jochen Klepper
Author: Martin Fromm *** Category: Culture
Letter from Bishoftu to the Lutheran churches
Worldwide Lutheran Confession and Mission Forum, Bishoftu, Ethiopia
Author: Anonymous author *** Category: Featured
The Worldwide Lutheran Confession and Mission Forum publishes the letter from Bishoftu to the Lutheran churches
The Global Confessional and Missional Lutheran Forum (Global Forum) met from September 4 to 6, 2018 at the Lisak Resort, Bishoftu, Ethiopia. In August 2015, at the invitation of the North American Lutheran Church (NALC), Lutheran church leaders and representatives of reform and renewal movements from around the world gathered in connection with NALC Lutheran Week in Dallas, Texas.
Author: David Wendel *** Category: Introduced
The Confession Movement "No Other Gospel"
In 1941 Rudolf Bultmann published the essay "New Testament and Mythology". In it he explained all statements about Jesus that are not compatible with the worldview of "modern man" as unhistorical, the reported events as never happened. For him they were only a means of expressing the importance of Jesus. So the resurrection of Jesus was nothing more than that the disciples realized the meaning of the death of Jesus.
Author: Johannes Frey *** Category: Introduced
"Hail Mary, full of grace ..."
This address is not just Roman Catholic, but Biblical (Luke 1:28). About 65 years ago I was standing in front of a Protestant St. Mary's Church with a Protestant theology student. “This does not mean ', the' Maria”, he warned me, “but Martha's sister.” I leave it open whether he was right. In any case, his reference showed the need to distance oneself from “Catholic” in a denominational way.
Author: G. R. Schmidt *** Category: Theology
"You, touch Christ in the diapers!"
Jesus' birth - considered anew
"Delicious Christmas". When I read this advertisement, I felt really sick: it's about money, as always. Expensive goods are needed. The best is just good enough. We don't want to be accused, we didn't make an appropriate effort. Many fear these family get-togethers. Because occasionally the old, still not forgotten inheritance disputes come up. Or a bitter angry word that was thundered at my head, that my soul was still hurt and of course not forgiven. It could be very different. Because:
Author: Gerhard Müller *** Category: Theology
How Christmas came about
Everyone celebrates Christmas somehow. Even non-Christians enjoy the scent of the Christmas markets, the light-wreathed conifers and, last but not least, the giving and receiving of presents. Christmas is no longer an exclusively Christian festival, but a cultural common good. "Most people celebrate Christmas because most people celebrate Christmas," Kurt Tucholsky once said succinctly. Basically, despite the social change, hardly anything has changed in this regard, even if the “Christmas markets” have recently been neutralized to “winter markets”. But how did the Christmas festival come about? The celebration on December 25th was still unknown to Christians of the first three centuries.
Author: Thomas Kothmann *** Category: Church
"Jesus, the Savior is here!"
200 years of “Silent Night” - a theologically remarkable Christmas carol
Sung all over the world, translated into 300 languages, this song nevertheless has a hard time winning appreciation from experts. It was only included in the main part of the hymn book in 1993 because of the insight that you can't decree people's most popular songs away. This year marks the 200th anniversary of the first performance in Oberndorf, down the Salzach from Salzburg. With a state exhibition in several places, there will be a lot of drumming and the Salzburg tourism will be further fueled during Advent.1 The anniversary can also be used to take a new look at the linguistic and content-related potential of the song.
Author: Konrad Klek *** Category: Church
Elegant conclusion after a painful year: Better "Te absolvo" than Gender Mumpitz
Sometimes I despair of how roughly my compatriots are with their mother tongue. When I read or hear the bumpy German of journalists, clergy and parliamentarians from a distance, one thing strikes me aside from a jumble of Americanisms above all: They are constantly entangled in feminist slaps: citizens, Christians, pastors and believe that the dignity of women stands or falls with a "sniff" at the end of a noun.
Author: Uwe Siemon-Netto *** Category: Society
"And because now I can't do anything else ..."
Winter landscape with a church by Caspar David Friedrich. A picture of Luke 2:30
With the exception of a very early attempt, Caspar David Friedrich did not take up a single story from the Bible, did not paint a single scene from it, or made a single figure shine in it. And that despite the fact that he was deeply influenced by his Protestant parents in Greifswald and repeatedly traced the basic statements of the Christian faith. But now just so completely different, so completely unique, almost mystically deepening everything.
Author: Eberhard Süße *** Category: Word of God
A man with God is always in the plural
Shown in the life of Pastors Wilhelm Löhe and Louis Harms
The 19th century was by no means an ideal world in church and state. The “civil religion” was throne and altar. Wherever spiritual life arose, it mostly went back to conversion experiences and spiritual changes in individuals. Often it was individual pastors who had broken away from the fashion theology of the Enlightenment and rationalism and now proclaimed the biblical Son of God Jesus Christ.
Author: Rolf Sauerzapf *** Category: Lutheran profiles
A commitment in the face of Europe's intellectual crisis
"No one has ever seen God, the only-born God who is in the womb of the Father has announced him to us." (John 1:18)
Author: Brother Klaus Foundation *** Category: Documentation
The name of Jesus in liberal Switzerland
Brother Klaus von Flüe, a Catholic witness for the power of the word
Author: Paul Bernhard Rothen *** Category: Introduced
Teresa's ecstasy and Marina's death in flames
The different spirituality of Spanish nuns in 1558
Spain opted for the Counter Reformation. Teresa of Avila followed the leaders in state and church when she suspected Luther with Arius, Mohammed and other heinous heretics in hell. She became one of the most prominent saints in the Roman Catholic Church. Avila attracts pilgrims. The room in which she was born is designed as a chapel. Her image stands on the altar like that of a goddess.
Author: Wolfhart Schlichting *** Category: History
The breakdown of Christian culture
Ernst Wiechert (1887-1950) in the Buchenwald concentration camp
He is the poet of silence, silence and nature against the roar and noise of the world and civilization. He is the poet of humanity and love against brutality and hatred. He is the poet of youth and the future against seduction and cowardice. He is a poet of true language against superficiality and lies.
Author: Klaus Weigelt *** Category: Culture
What makes you sound
I became aware of Martin Schleske through a recording of the 2014 Willow Creek Management Congress. There he presented excerpts from his book “The Sound”. Since then, his publications have become a source of inspiration for my personal beliefs.
Author: Vera Glowatzki *** Category: Culture
Spiritually grow in the home group
“But they remained steadfast in the teaching of the apostles and in community and in breaking bread and in prayer.” This is what the book of Acts says of the first followers of Jesus. As pious Jews they met in the temple and at the same time gathered in the houses (Acts 2, 42ff).
Author: Hans-Joachim Vieweger *** Category: Spirituality
talk - be silent - listen
“As my prayer became more and more devout, I had less and less to say. At last I became very still. I became, which is possibly even more of a contrast to talking, I became a listener. At first I thought that praying was talking. But I learned that prayer is not just silence, it is listening. So it is: praying does not mean hearing oneself speak, praying means becoming still and being still and waiting until the person praying hears God. (Sören Kirekegaard)
Author: Detlef Graf von der Pahlen *** Category: Spirituality
A way to inner peace
A pilgrim travels from monastery to monastery through the vastness of ancient Russia. He is driven by a question: How do I follow the instruction of the Apostle Paul: “Pray without ceasing!” (1 Thes 5, 17). Finally he finds an answer from a monk: “You have to keep praying humbly like the tax collector in the temple:“ God, be merciful to me sinner! ”
Author: Jean Ritzke-Rutherford *** Category: Spirituality
Evangelical on pilgrimage routes
Author: Oliver Gußmann *** Category: Spirituality
Hear God's voice in the silence
Author: Alexandra von Livonius Freifrau von Eyb *** Category: Spirituality
Exercises in everyday life are exercises in order to discover the presence of God and his work in everyday life, in order to regulate one's own life towards him and to let it be shaped by him, in order to seek Jesus Christ as the way, truth and life and to relate to him walk. Anyone can take part!
Author: Jochen Amarell *** Category: Spirituality
Spiritual life in marriage and family
In our country, belief has largely become a private matter. It is therefore difficult for us to talk about our faith. But if you want to lead a spiritual life with your spouse, you must also talk to him about your faith. Otherwise he will remain lonely in this area of ​​life. And that's what many couples suffer from. Everything is shared, just not the experiences in the realm of belief.
Author: Friedrich E. Walter *** Category: Spirituality
"... people who make it easier for others to believe in God"
Protestant memory of saints
Canonizations, saints 'altars, saints' festivals and reliquary shrines still cause a certain astonishment among Protestants. On the one hand, this is due to the fact that Protestants usually struggle with the ideal of ethical perfection. On the other hand, there is the Roman Catholic idea that the “excellent masters of religion” have a special influence with God, which is why they are called upon not only for spiritual, but sometimes also for very material benefits.
Author: Thomas Kothmann *** Category: Theology
Expectant in the service
On March 31, 591, Gregory, who is called "the Great" in historiography, preached to a gathering of clergy in the Baptistery of the Lateran Basilica in Rome. He said: "We are busy with so many secular tasks that we become insensitive inwardly to the extent that we are committed outwardly." The more carefully we take care of our organizational and administrative tasks, the duller we become for spiritual experiences.
Author: Wolfhart Schlichting *** Category: Theology
Basic forms of evangelical spirituality
To this day, reflections on evangelical spirituality are confronted with two prejudices that are difficult to overcome. According to this, belief as a matter of inwardness is a purely individual matter. It is immediately obvious that against this background the importance of the community for evangelical spirituality does not come into view.
Author: Peter Zimmerling *** Category: Theology
Why spirituality is in and church out
While the big churches lose hundreds of thousands of members every year and we are debating the advancing secularization, a new generation of spiritually seeking young people is developing at the same time, who are not bound by confessional boundaries, but determined by a longing for a religion that can be experienced. That only looks like a contradiction at first glance.
Author: Tobias Faix *** Category: Society
Spiritual life is like water to the thirsty
Johannes 7, 37-39 interpreted by Hans-Jürgen Abromeit
Author: Hans-Jürgen Abromeit *** Category: Word of God
"The truth may be painful for the church, more painful is the untruth."
The Protestant church historian Klaus Scholder (1930-1985)
At a time when the young theology student was studying the Latin and Greek Church Fathers in the subject of church history or when Martin Luther's “Vom unfree will” (1525) was translating into German for a seminar paper, the young private lecturer Klaus Scholder offered his seminar “Die Churches and the Third Reich ”. That was topical and exciting, a glimpse into the recent National Socialist past, not trite as is often the case today, but new and fresh for the future, the lecturer himself in his mid-thirties, dynamic, courageous, captivating. You went there, that was promising.
Author: Klaus Weigelt *** Category: Lutheran profiles
At the side of Christians in Syria and Iraq
Impressions from the work of the Christian Aid Association in the Orient e.V.
We all have them in mind: the terrible images of destruction. Entire districts in Aleppo, Syria, are in ruins. It is not much better in the Christian cities of the Nineveh Plain in northern Iraq: where the Islamic State resided, burned churches, destroyed houses and looted shops are left behind. But that's just the external damage. Behind it are people, fates, trauma ...
Author: Andreas Baumann *** Category: Introduced
The church must not shake questions of salvation
Thomas Kothmann in conversation with Matthias Pankau
Matthias Pankau (41) has been the general manager and editor-in-chief of the evangelical news agency idea since the beginning of the year. The studied theologian is a pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Saxony. Thomas Kothmann spoke to him.
Author: Matthias Pankau and Thomas Kothmann *** Category: Introduced
"God of Heaven and Earth"
Well-known hymns and their lesser-known poets
In my library I keep a hymn book from the 1950s as a special treasure, which I refer to again and again because it contains a list of the authors of the texts and melodies of all hymn book songs. There is no longer such a directory in the new Evangelical Hymnal, edition for the Evangelical Lutheran Churches in Bavaria and Thuringia. This is a shame, because behind the often unknown names among the song texts and melodies there are mostly important witnesses of faith, about which one should at least know something without falling into inappropriate veneration of saints.
Author: Klaus Weigelt *** Category: History
The brazen serpent in Toledo
A unique find from the Inquisition archives
At the end of the interrogation on September 22, 1565, Dr. Sigismondo Arquer to hand him “his Plato or Cicero” so that he could “pass the time”. The books of the Sardinian scholar are kept in the “Holy Office” of the Inquisition Court in Toledo; they may serve as evidence against the accused, if necessary. The list of book titles has been preserved, as have handwritten notes by the prisoner. The Rostock historian Ernst Schäfer viewed them together with the transcripts of the interrogations in a Spanish inquisition archive, translated them in part and published them in 1903.
Author: Wolfhart Schlichting *** Category: History
"Here and now a word sounds, carries you away and makes sense ..."
To a newly published volume with Christian poems
There are different ways of expressing something. In theology - as in the other sciences - the main aim is to develop trains of thought discursively, i.e. to present them as the result of broadly elaborated arguments. This breadth of presentation makes them particularly easy to understand. The poem goes the opposite way: It wants to condense and, precisely through this concentration, enable a different kind of understanding: Not the development, so to speak, in conversation and thus in time, but the tracing back to the moment of knowledge is the focus of this type of understanding.
Author: Matthias Heesch *** Category: Culture
I am very grateful to the Bavarian Prime Minister Dr. Markus Söder that his decree to have crosses hung in public buildings triggered a debate that probably surprised him too.
Author: Detlef Graf von der Pahlen *** Category: Current Debate
Joint statement by Bishop Dr. Rudolf Voderholzer and Regional Bishop Dr. Hans-Martin Weiss on the debate about the cross in public spaces of state institutions
Author: Anonymous author *** Category: Documentation
1968 in tranquil Erlangen
On June 2, 1967, the student Benno Ohnesorg was shot in West Berlin during a demonstration against the visit of the Shah of Persia. Many people said at the time that this Shah was leading an undemocratic, authoritarian regime that did not deserve the honor of a state visit to the Federal Republic of Germany. That's why they took to the streets. The death of Benno Ohnesorg became a symbol that things couldn't go on like this in West Germany either. As is generally the case, “1968” does not stand for the calendar year, but for a movement that began earlier and the effects of which continue to our present day.
Author: Gerhard Müller *** Category: Theology
Should everyone also have the same say in the service?
The fresh wind ran through my hair too. The metaphor means a mood of departure. In 1968 my vicariate started. I was serving in a makeshift emergency church on the outskirts of a university town. The doctoral thesis was submitted. A broadcast to the Third World was planned for the end of the following year. When preparing the sermon, the Marx quote was within reach, which the philosophers said they had always interpreted the world in different ways, "but what matters is to change it."
Author: Wolfhart Schlichting *** Category: Theology
An evangelical crucial question
Should the Protestants interfere more or less in worldly affairs?
The debate about the politicization of the Evangelical Church is in full swing, and it doesn't look like the Church will get rid of this debate anytime soon. The big church events for the Reformation anniversary in 2017 aroused criticism because the church was not concerned with faith, but above all with social politics, from poverty to gender to racism. “Reformation means questioning the world,” is the official motto.
Author: Benjamin Hasselhorn *** Category: Theology