Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Thomas Keeley and I am a Lutheran pastor serving Benediction Lutheran Church in Tsawwassen. It is indeed an honour to be asked to write for the Minister’s Minute.
When “Lutheran” comes to mind, what do you think of?
For many, it is Martin Luther, the 16th century Augustinian monk, who ignited a religious revolution by pounding his 95 Theses on the church door in Wittenberg, Germany on Oct. 31, 1517.
While the emergence of what has become known as the “Lutheran Church,” as a denomination, certainly has a dramatic history, Lutheran Christianity is not rooted in Martin Luther, but Jesus Christ — the one and only saviour of humanity and creation, truly human and divine, the second person of the Holy Trinity!
Troubled by his own spiritual failings, Luther was gifted by God to see what the Bible plainly teaches — that we are not saved or made righteous by our works or efforts, but only by what Christ has done for us on the cross (Romans 3 and 4). This is the gospel — the Good News of Jesus Christ!
Though Lutherans have certainly not been, and are not, the only Christians to confess “Grace alone through faith alone,” the Lutherans were the first to seek to reform the church by emphasizing the centrality of this teaching — what some call the doctrine upon which the church stands or falls.
I look forward to discussing aspects of the Lutheran perspective in coming articles.