Archive for the ‘Lutheranism 101’ Category

Lutheranism 101 for Kids — Great Resource at a Great Price

August 22nd, 2012 Comments off

Folks, I’m really happy to tell you about a great new resource from Concordia Publishing House, part of our “Lutheranism 101″ family of products. It is Lutheranism 101: For Kids. Following on the heels of the spectacularly successful book: Lutheranism 101, which we are continuing to reprint and sell hand-over-fist, comes this great children’s version of the book. Written by Julie and Scott Stiegemeyer, a pastor and wife team, the book brings the core beliefs and teachings of the Lutheran Church down to a child-friendly level in an appealing format with great illustrations.

And, best news of all, you can stock up on this book for your congregation for only $4.99 when you purchase ten or more. Be sure to use promo code YKD when you place your order. You can order online here.

Lutheranism 101 for Kids is part of the best-selling Lutheranism 101 series and written in the same easy-to-read and understand format giving the student a useable and comprehensive overview of the Lutheran faith and practice. Its short articles, sidebar features, glossary of terms, and topical index create a solid foundation that helps prepare fourth through sixth graders for confirmation.
Lutheranism 101 for Kids helps pre-confirmation children learn more about God’s love for them in Christ and about faith as a Christian using:

  • A Glossary of Terms
  • A Topical Index
  • A Scripture Index
  • Short easy-to-read and age appropriate article
  • Stuff You Need to Know (sidebar call outs)
  • From the Bible! - Quotations from the Bible
  • Believe, Teach, Confess! - Quotations from creeds or Lutheran teachings
  • Word Alert! - Words and phrases quickly defined


Lutheranism 101: The Lord’s Supper — Coming Soon

June 14th, 2012 3 comments

We’re getting pretty excited to introduce our latest addition to the Lutheranism 101 family: The Lord’s Supper. We expect it to arrive at CPH by the early July.

For details about the book, and to pre-order, click here! We will be adding helpful resources when the book is available.

The author, Rev. Kenneth Wieting, has served parishes in Wisconsin for nearly 30 years. God has blessed him and his wife, Barbara, with five children.

Rev. Wieting has given numerous presentations on the Lord’s Supper. His interest in the topic grew from question a layman asked several years ago. The scriptural, confessional, and historical materials studied since then gave Rev. Wieting a fuller understanding of the treasures of the Lord’s Supper. It is this understanding that he seeks to convey in his writings and through presentations.

A Crucifix Restored

March 8th, 2012 4 comments
Kudos to Pastor Anthony R. Voltattorni for this blog post:
Sometime after the inception of Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Standish MI, in 1903 a crucifix was placed on the altar.  [A crucifix is a cross upon which the statue of Jesus’ crucified body is depicted.]  This cross stood proudly on the altar of the Church for decades until sometime in between 1948 and 1950 when it was taken down.  Although there are theories, no one knows exactly why it was taken down from the altar but we do know that its home for the last 60+ years has been the basement.  Except that as long as anyone can remember it hasn’t been a crucifix.  The cross has been empty.  A nice, plain, black cross, but empty.  It has lost the corpus, the statue of the body of Christ, once fixed onto its wood.
Now there’s certainly nothing “wrong” with an empty cross, per se.  We have many empty crosses in our church.  However, it should be understood that using an empty cross on a Lutheran altar is a practice that comes from non-Lutherans.
At the time of the Reformation there was conflict between Lutherans and Reformed Christians over the use of such art in the church.  Lutherans stood with historic Christendom in realizing that art in the church is not “wrong” as many suggested, but is a great aid for helping us focus on the truths of God’s Word.  This protest, however, continued, and was especially taken up in the age of Lutheran Pietism, which strongly rejected much of Lutheran teaching and practice, including the use of the crucifix.  As a result, many misinformed individuals, including life-long Lutherans, still question the crucifix:

“Isn’t the crucifix a Roman Catholic thing?”
“Didn’t Jesus got down from the cross?”
“Doesn’t an empty cross remind us of the Resurrection?”


Categories: Lutheranism 101

Praise for Lutheranism 101: The Course

September 13th, 2011 Comments off

Just got this from Pastor Greg Michel:

I know I wrongly “bugged” you last month about the delay of the release of Lutheranism 101: The Course… but I must say that it was well worth the wait. I am using it for my adult instruction class (which is also a “refresher” for our current members), and I had 20 people show up last night for the first class (twice as many that had actually signed up)… I had to put an order in for additional copies after class last night… such a “problem” to have It sounds like from your blog post that I should “get ‘em while they’re hot.” I think this resource will prove to be a wonderful blessing to our congregation. Ongoing thanks to you and to everyone at CPH for producing some great resources… and above all, thanks be to God!

Lutheranism 101: The Course — Instant Smash Hit — Get Your Order in For Copies Now — Special Pricing Options Available

September 13th, 2011 3 comments


Lutheranism 101: The Course has become an instant smash hit. In only a couple weeks after the first printing arrived, we are already rapidly depleting supplies. And, the promotional mailing on it is just now going out in the mail. So, my advice to you, faithful reader, is strike while the iron is hot, and get your orders in, now, to get your copies. Here’s more information.

We are offering special pricing now on “The Course” of only $5 bucks a copy, that’s a substantial saving from the full price of $6.99 per copy. To get your $5 copies, you can place your order on our web site or call 800-325-3040, and ask for item 12-4388YTH. If you place your order online, you must use promo code YTH, if you call, please mention promotional code YTH.

And if you choose now to buy “The Course” with the book itself, you can get both the book, Lutheranism 101 and Lutheranism 101: The Course, together, for only $19.99 per pack, that’s a $26.98 retail value. To get this special bundle pricing, you can order on our web site, or call 800-325-3040 and ask for item number: 12-4401YTH.

You can take a gander at a sample of Lutheranism 101: The Course, by clicking this link.

These special offers expire January 1, 2012.


We have a free leader’s guide for you to use with “The Course” and we have graphics you can use to promote it in your congregation. Download the leader’s guide here. Grab the graphics here.


Lutheranism 101: The Course – Coming Soon – Here’s a Preview

July 7th, 2011 3 comments

Lutheranism 101 has proven to be a big hit, with tens of thousands of copies already sold. We’ve had to go back on press with it several times already. A big request we have received is that we prepare a course based on Lutheranism 101 that can be used in congregations for adult instruction, confirmation, new member orientation, small group study, Bible classes, you name it, the possibilities are endless. Well….here you go. I’m pleased to tell you about Lutheranism 101: The Course. It will not be out until this August, but I wanted to give you advanced notice about it and tell you more about it. When it comes into inventory, I’ll let you know. So keep your eyes open for further news.

Lutheranism 101: The Course works closely with Lutheranism 101 to take the reader deeper into the teaching, doctrine, or practice being presented. Sometimes that means digging into the text of Lutheranism 101 and exploring connections that are being made. Other times it means working with Scripture or some of the primary Lutheran resources for doctrine and practice.

For those new to Lutheranism and for those who want a fresh approach to the heritage of what Lutherans believe, teach, and confess, Lutheranism 101 together with Lutheranism 101: The Course helps create a solid foundation upon which a lifetime of sound teaching can be built. Besides your personal copy of Lutheranism 101, it will be useful to have these books with you as you work through The Course:

A Bible
Comments and quotations in Lutheranism 101 and The Course are based upon the English Standard Version (ESV). When choosing a Bible, we suggest that it is best to use a translation instead of a paraphrase. The best Bible to use with The Course is The Lutheran Study Bible.

Book of Concord
The Book of Concord is a collection of statements of faith written by Lutheran Christians in the sixteenth century when they were risking their lives to stand up for the Bible being the basis for belief and practice in the Church. It was first published in 1580. The best version of the Book of Concord to use with Lutheranism 101 is the edition specifically prepared to aid understanding: Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions, 2nd ed. (St. Louis: Concordia, 2006). This is the edition The Course references.

Hymnals offer excellent resources for individual worship and prayer in addition to settings for worship (Divine Service) and hymns. Throughout The Course you will be directed to Lutheran Service Book, which is the hymnal used my much of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod.

Small Catechism
While the Small Catechism is included in the Book of Concord and in many contemporary Lutheran hymnals, recent English editions include extra explanations that make the catechism even more helpful as a teaching and learning tool. The best edition of the Small Catechism for this purpose is Luther’s Small Catechism With Explanation.

The Course can be used by groups, families, and individuals who want to dig deeper into what it means to be Lutheran. After reading a chapter in Lutheranism 101, turn to the corresponding chapter in The Course and work through the questions.

Lutheranism 101: Kindle Edition Now Available Along With Other New CPH Titles

March 22nd, 2011 13 comments

Greetings dear readers. I have good news. Lutheranism 101: Kindle Edition is now live on Amazon’s web site and ready to be downloaded. Keep checking Amazon for our latest Kindle title releases we have about 25 or so new titles that will be showing up over the next several days and weeks. As I write this blog post, we have a total of 102 titles in Kindle format. You can see them all here.

Other new offerings in Kindle format include, Kurt Senske’s popular book The Calling: How to Live a Life of Significance; Time of Grace by Mark Jeske; Blessings and Prayers for Expectant Mothers; On the Nature of Theology and Scripture by Johann Gerhard. A little something for everybody.

ePub versions of these books are also coming soon as well, sold directly from our CPH site. ePub can be used on a Nook and a variety of other devices.

Just FYI: People often ask about Apple’s iBookstore. At this point, due to Apple’s ever changing contractual demands, and the fact that the Kindle is, by far, still the leading eb0ok reading platform of choice: both the device itself, and the Kindle app for a huge variety of devices: computers, laptops, smartphones, tablets computers, Droid devices, Apple iPad, iPhone and iPod, we have not seen much need to move into the iBookstore when the Kindle format is able to reach far more people, less expensively and more robustly than

Video on Lutheranism 101

February 17th, 2011 3 comments

We continue to experience a tremendous response to Lutheranism 101. It’s now been through several printings and tens of thousands have been printed and distributed. We hosted an event at our bookstore on the campus of Concordia Seminary, Saint Louis and here’s a short video, capturing some reactions to the book, and comments about it:

Great Review of “Lutheranism 101″

January 31st, 2011 6 comments

Our friends in Canada posted a great review of Lutheranism 101 in the Canadian Lutheran Online. Here it is:

by Garry Heintz

When Lutheranism 101 first came out, pictures floated about on Facebook of people “caught” with their nose in the book. LCMS President Matt Harrison; a pastor eating sushi; a bust of Luther; an Octoberfest band; people’s pets and children. Even a few Canadians were found reading it! So who should read this book?

Although the title implies it is an introduction for those with little exposure to the Christian faith, Lutheranism 101 is a great resource to help any Christian understand why historic, reformation Christianity believes, teaches, and practices the faith as it does.

The editors and authors (including LCC’s Rev. Michael Keith) have ensured that Lutheranism 101 is an easy read for anyone. There are margin notes with quotes from Luther, explanations of Biblical words, Bible verses, and insights into the practice of the faith. The book opens with a quick-start guide and throughout provides resources like “How Should We Pray,” “Christian Denominations,” and “Bible Study Tools.”

Getting into the text, Lutheranism 101 goes through the main teachings of Christianity, but it is not a Mere Christianity-type book. It doesn’t only deal with articles of the faith on which most Christians agree: Who is God? What is sin? Who is Jesus? What has He done for us? The authors deal with all these basics of the Christian faith with the Lutheran emphasis on the Gospel.

And like the Lutheran Church, Lutheranism 101 strives to keep Jesus at the centre of its teaching. For example, while many churches make prophecy a confusing maze to navigate, this book simply explains the return of Christ as a joyful hope of the resurrection.

While much of Christianity is trying to look indistinguishable from the world, this book isn’t afraid to say, “Here is what Lutheranism is.” For example, the church isn’t just a group of like-minded individuals, but it is every redeemed sinner. God then gathers His Church to hear His Word and receive His gifts from men set apart for that task.

Lutheranism 101 is not designed to be a new edition of the Catechism

Lutheranism 101 offers no apologies when it presents the Word of God as the source for all Christian teaching, understood through the lens of Law and Gospel. The Word of God is applied to sinners, calling them to repentance and to the places where Jesus works through His Word to give forgiveness in Baptism, Absolution, and the Lord’s Supper.

So how did the Lutherans start teaching these things? A look at Luther’s life and times presents Luther’s rediscovery of the Gospel and how the Church has continued in that message. Christ’s saving work prompts Christians to gather for the Divine Service, the weekly gathering of believers, to receive God’s gifts. Having received God’s gifts, Christians live out the life of faith to the glory of God. Jesus’ saving work moves Christians to sacrifice for the sake of others and for the further proclamation of Jesus, visible for the entire world to see. That’s what you get in Lutheranism 101.

Some may criticize the book as being too traditional, spending too much time on things like history and worship. However, tradition is simply that which is handed on. The purpose of this book is to pass on that which is at the heart of the Christian faith. Likewise, some may gripe that this book doesn’t delve deeply enough into the core Christian teachings: it doesn’t look at each of the commandments; it doesn’t spend enough time focusing on prayer. But Lutheranism 101 is not designed to be a new edition of the Catechism.

However, in one of the appendices Lutheranism 101 points readers to other books which make up a Christian library. Other valuable resources in the appendices include timelines for Biblical and Christian history, overviews of major events and people who have gone before us in the faith, and a glossary of important words.

Perhaps the best comparison for Lutheranism 101 is a retract-a-bit screwdriver. It isn’t a specialized tool. It doesn’t fit every situation, but it sure is handy to have.

Pick up a copy. Use it to help your children with their confirmation homework. Use it for Bible study or adult instruction. Use it to remind yourself of the great good news of Jesus at work in your life. And get “caught” reading Lutheranism 101, so you can pass it on to a friend, a family member, or a co-worker who would also benefit from a better understanding of God’s gifts for them!

Rev. Garry Heintz is pastor at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Kakabeka Falls, Ontario.

Lutheranism 101 (309 pages, various authors) is published by Concordia Publishing House and is available online.

Lutheranism 101 Available for Only $14.99 Again!

December 1st, 2010 Comments off

I have great news. We ran a special promotional price on Lutheranism 101 through Oct. 31, for $14.99 . . . because of the overwhelming demand and enthusiastic reception of this book we have had to take it back into its fifth printing! And…we have decided to offer it for $14.99 from now until the end of the year. So, go for it. Get your congregational orders in. Any order for $75 or more will also receive free shipping and handling, since this title is part of our Christmas gift catalog promotion as well.

Please share this news with your various contacts: Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, web sites, etc.

Lutheranism 101

Order online or call 800-325-3040.

View a good sample of the book.

And here are a couple promotional videos:

LCMS President Video Interview about Lutheranism 101

October 27th, 2010 Comments off

Remain Calm. Don’t Panic. Lutheranism 101 is Out of Stock. More on the Way. Great Price Still Available!

October 20th, 2010 2 comments

This is a public service announcement.

Remain calm. Do not panic.

Lutheranism 101 is out of stock. Due to overwhelming, unanticipated, awesome, amazing, spectacularly high demand, we blew through the first print run in about three weeks. So, we are having the scribes in the basement make more copies. Not to worry though. You will get the copies you ordered, and the special web-only price of $14.99 is still available through October 31. So, place your order by then, and you’ll get your copies at that price, and we’ll ship your copies to you when we replenish our supplies.

You may now return to your regular scheduled programming.

Dr. Gene Edward Veith Praises Lutheranism 101

October 19th, 2010 2 comments

I finally got my copy of Lutheranism 101, and I recommend it highly.  And not just because I wrote the last chapter, “Putting It All Together.”  It’s not exactly “Lutheranism for Dummies,” since it goes into some real depth, but it is in that family of books that explain things concisely, clearly, visually, and with a light touch.   Here is the publisher’s description:

Lutheranism 101 examines Lutheran beliefs and heritage in a fresh way. If you are a lifelong Lutheran searching for more information or new to Lutheranism looking to understand what we believe, this book will be your guide. It is written in an easy-to-read conversational style with short articles, side-bar features, and some humor. Lutheranism 101 helps create a solid foundation of reference upon which a lifetime of sound teaching can be built.

Explore the basics of Lutheran theology by digging into the history of Lutheranism and making connections between what Lutherans believe and what Lutherans do.

In addition to treating the big issues regarding sin, Christ, and salvation, and the basics of Lutheranism (why they worship the way they do, how Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are part of justification by faith, etc.), the book has priceless little boxed essays (such as one by John Pless on vocation and the Christian life), interesting tidbits (a list of church bodies in world Lutheranism), and useful factoids (how to make the sign of the Cross).

This book is really striking a chord with people. Paul McCain, the publisher at Concordia Publishing House, reports that they sold out the print run after only two and a half weeks and have had to print more already. Clearly, contrary to what some say, laypeople are hungry to learn about theology.

And CPH has it on sale. If you buy it between now and Reformation Day (October 31, as the book will teach you), you can get it for a mere $14.99, a savings of ten bucks! You can take advantage of that offer

Lutheranism 101

Those of you who have read it, please report.

Knowledge is Good! (Why Lutheranism 101 is So Popular)

October 15th, 2010 3 comments

I came in yesterday morning to my office here at Concordia Publishing House and find a reprint order waiting for me to sign. I get these constantly. We are always reprinting things, as they sell through. But this one was different. It was unique, unlike any other reprint order I’ve ever signed here. After only 2.5 weeks we have just about depleted the first print run of Lutheranism 101. Consider that with me: after only 2.5 weeks of the book coming into inventory we are headed back to the presses for yet thousands of additional copies. I’ve never seen a response like this to anything we’ve published before.

Let me explain. Usually when we are publishing a new book or resource, we give it quite a lot of publicity before it is published. We mention it everywhere. So, for example, Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions was, and still is, a big hit. Ditto with The Lutheran Study Bible. And of course, with Lutheran Service Book. But we did not do this much pre-publication publicity with Lutheranism 101. We had a hundred pre-orders for it, but the minute it hit the distribution center, the orders started pouring in, flooding in. Thousands of copies later, and only 2.5 weeks into this thing, we are getting back on press as fast as we can. I’m hearing from pastors and laity alike who are telling me, “I showed it to my Bible class and 25 people ordered one on the spot.” Another person just told me, “I brought it to church on Sunday and I had over thirty orders placed.”

To ask a good Lutheran question: What does this mean?

In Holy Scripture we read in Hosea 6:14 “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” The Lord through His prophet Isaiah said: “Therefore my people go into exile for lack of knowledge; their honored men go hungry, and their multitude is parched with thirst.” We, and our pastors, are warned not to let ourselves remain, “children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ” (Eph. 4:14-16). And, again, in Hebrews we are told: “Solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil” (Hebrews 5:14). Note those words trained by constant practice. Hear more of God’s Word: “My people are foolish; they know me not; they are stupid children; they have no understanding.They are ‘wise’—in doing evil! But how to do good they know not” (Jeremiah 4:22).

The good news is that there is a growing hunger for good, solid, substantial teaching. And oh what a need there is. I was speaking with a colleague just this morning who reported how a dear lifelong Lutheran lady was scandalized when the words “confession and absolution” were printed in the bulletin. She had apparently ever noticed that Lutherans do believe in confession and do believe in absolution—confession, to a pastor, absolution, from a pastor. I know. This is basic Small Catechism stuff. But therein is precisely the problem. Have we been putting our people on a “liquid diet” and never helping them move up to the good, solid, sturdy food of the Word and doctrine drawn from that Word?

The Pew Foundation’s recent Religious Knowledge Survey proved, once again, how appallingly ignorant many Christians are. And we should not fool ourselves by thinking, “Oh, well, our conservative Lutherans would do a lot better.” Really? I think we would all be in for a great shock were we to dig deeply into what the people who attend our Lutheran congregations actually know and actually believe. Let me go back again to the conversation with my colleague. He told me also about the person who asked the pastor in a Bible class. “Why do we sing the Sanctus? Where do those words come from?” The pastor gently showed the person where, from the Bible, the words we sing are given to us. “Oh, I never realized the liturgy was all from the Bible!” was the response.

And, I’m sure you can cite many such examples. All of which is to say, I think the reason why Lutheranism 101 is flying off the shelves around here at Concordia Publishing House is because it has met a deep need on the part of our people for good, solid, basic teaching, good, solid instruction, clear and to the point presentations of truth, presented well and winsomely, in an attractive and accessible manner. That’s my take on the situation. What’s yours?

Why the Managing Editor of the Lutheran Witness is a Lutheran

October 13th, 2010 Comments off

If you are not following the Lutheranism 101 blog site, please let me encourage you to do so. Great stuff to be found there, for example, in the ongoing series of posts from various people explaining why they are a Lutheran comes this one:

Christ’s forgiveness inserts itself into everything that Lutherans do and are, and it is in this forgiveness that I—a lifelong LCMS member—find comfort and solace in the midst of my own sin and suffering. The world tells us young people that theology is boring, God is irrelevant, and Lutheranism is archaic and old-fashioned. Yet it is exactly because of those very things that my faith is strengthened and I am continually reminded of God’s love for me in Christ.

One of my most formative experiences in the LCMS was studying at Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne. There I was taught the Church’s rhythm of daily prayer, received Word and Sacrament each Sunday from a faithful pastor, learned how to view the postmodern world around me from a distinctly Lutheran perspective, and was surrounded by young, excited Lutherans who were likewise eager to be formed by and discuss the deep, rich theology of the LCMS.

I am a sinner. I am a Lutheran. And I am the Lord’s. Truly, He does all things well.

Because it is helpful to spend time in God’s Word each morning and evening, I use the daily lectionary found in the Treasury of Daily Prayer. I’m also slowly working my way through the new Reader’s Edition of Walther’s Law and Gospel: How to Read and Apply the Bible.

Adriane Dorr,
Managing Editor, The Lutheran Witness