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Luther and World Mission – New Book

March 30th, 2007
Marketing Advertising Blog — VuManhThang.Com

Have you ever heard the charge that Martin Luther was not "mission-minded"
or did not have much of a theology of evangelism and outreach? Sadly, I’ve even heard so-called Lutheran "experts" on mission make this claim. A new book, now
available from Concordia Publishing House, titled Luther and World
utterly destroys this myth. It is a magisterial work of
research and analysis by Luther Norwegian Luther scholar Ingemar Oberg showing
how deeply ingrained in Luther’s writings are themes of mission and outreach
with the Gospel. It is a large,
detailed, well researched and thoroughly footnoted book. Dr. Robert Kolb of
Concordia Seminary has provided an excellent foreword for the book.See the
comments of Dr. Detlev Schulz, Concordia Theological Seminary, below. We have an excerpt for you to

The list price on the book is: $49.99, but of course it qualifies for the
20% professional discount for pastors and other rostered church workers. You may
place your order
by calling 800-325-3040.
I’m taking a couple days off this week and am thoroughly enjoying this
masterful piece of study. Here is a thorough review by Gregory Lockwood published in Concordia Theological Quarterly. It is a PDF file.

Download jan01huhtinen.pdf


This book
provides a new interpretation of Luther and mission and serves to "rehabilitate"
the reformer in modern missiological studies. Öberg argues that Luther fully
embraced the missionary task to the world. Because Luther was foremost a teacher
and pastor, his writings interact with Scripture and address current, local
situations. Yet in Luther’s Bible exposition, pamphlets, and treatises, a clear
and passionate commitment to the Gospel and world mission emerges. Shaped by a
critical attitude toward Luther, past scholars have misinterpreted the reformer.
An honest portrait recognizes Luther’s subtle but solid contribution to
evangelical missiology. In Luther and World Mission, Luther emerges as
a mission-minded servant of the Gospel who laid the foundation for a Lutheran
theology of mission.
What Others Are

"The belief that Luther had nothing to do with mission is completely erased
upon reading Luther and World Mission. Oberg’s careful research
uncovers the richness, beauty, and depth of Luther’s insights on the topic as
expressed in his commentaries, lectures, and sermons. Not merely a theological
treatment, Luther and World Mission also offers practical insights from
Luther into the execution of mission. This superb study for theologians,
pastors, students, and church members will make an important contribution to
Lutheran theology and mission in North America. We are indebted to Dean Apel for
his enormous service in translating this book."
—  Klaus Detlev
Associate Professor and Chairman – Department of Pastoral
Ministry and Missions
Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne,

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Categories: Books
  1. Erich Heidenreich
    March 31st, 2007 at 14:33 | #1

    I was just reading Eugene Bunkowski’s essay “Was Luther a Missionary?” in the Concordia Theological Seminary Press book “A Lively Legacy: Essays in Honor of Robert Preus. It seems most people don’t realize that Luther was not AWOL on missions. I think the problem is a modern perversion of what mission work is all about.
    Bunkowski says much more than this, but here’s a good quote:
    “Luther did not think of missions as primarily individuated or privatized. He thought of missions as pertaining to the church; that is, he thought in terms of Christendom as a whole as well as of the world of nations. He thought of the people and the nations that had not as yet heard the Gospel and so he saw the Gospel moving from nation to nation, from _ta ethne_ to _ta ethne_.”
    Bunkowski also talks about Luther’s missionary attitude toward the Turks.
    The doctrine of vocation and the priesthood of all believers as well as his work in translating Scripture into the vernacular also played a role in Luther’s sense of missions. The ultimate working out of Luther’s theology as applied to missions in the rapidly expanding world which followed the Reformation seems not to have fully bloomed until the Nineteenth-Century. While the Roman Catholic missions were quite successful at “forced conversion” in his day, Luther’s more evangelical approach to missions must be considered to have won out in the end.

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