A Lutheran View of the Life of Faith
Sundays were long when I was a child. My dad, a CLB pastor of a four-point parish in North Dakota, would pile us into the car for the long commute between churches. On those drives we filled the time with lots of family discussions—which meant questions from me. Sometimes they were predictable: “When will we get there?” “Can I play outside with the other kids during the afternoon service, just this once?” But as I grew older, the questions grew more difficult: “Why do people say, ‘Once saved, always saved?’” “My friends go to the Baptist church. What’s the difference?”
And now, as Director of Women’s Ministries of the CLB, I hear more questions—thoughtful and earnest questions:
Do Lutherans believe people can “lose” their salvation?
Why are infants baptized?
What is the “prosperity gospel” and why does it matter?
What is an “emergent” church?
The recently published book, Rooted in the Word: A Lutheran View of the Life of Faith, was written in response to such questions from women’s groups that are using Bible studies from a wide range of Protestant theological traditions or streams. These studies are written by godly teachers of the Word, but sometimes there is confusion at points of disagreement. Women could fill a bookshelf-lined room in their homes with volumes on these topics, and spend every evening of the next ten years studying them, or we at Women’s Ministries could provide a tool, easily accessible and understandable, for their ready reference.
Along with the text, the book includes lists, charts, and quotations from noted writers. There are also references for more extensive study, a large glossary, and lists of people you should know—from Church fathers and martyrs to reformers and missionary pioneers. There are summaries of what various Churches teach about salvation, worship, living by faith, life after death, and the end times. There is information about the Protestant Reformation and warnings about heresies.
The book is not only being used for individual reference. It is presently being used for leadership training, confirmation classes, and Bible studies. A discussion guide will be available this summer.
I will always have questions, and so will you. But the Word of God—in which our faith is deeply rooted—has answers.
Ruth Aarhus Vallevik is Director of Women’s Ministries of the CLB. / Contact Ruth: firstname.lastname@example.org