World Wide Wolfmueller

Law and Gospel in Joyful Clarity

Interview: Why there is no such thing as “Lutheranism”

For a while now I’ve been saying that there is no such thing as “Lutheranism.” “Lutheran” is not an “ism.”

The guys on the Gospel Asylum invited me on to talk about “-ism”s, and to defend myself.

This was a really fun interview.

Listen here:


Here’s the outline of the discussion:

6:30   Movements vs Institutions
8:00  Institutions (the basic work of theology)
9:30  Where the church is instituted in Scriptures
10:40  Authority vs Power
12:30  The use of words in movement vs institution
13:40  Jesus and authority and power, and how this comes into the church. office and institution
15:45  Minister vs Leader
16:20  Emergency and Order
19:50  What is the church instituted to do? or: How is the church instituted? And how the definition of the church precedes the ends of the church, which sets us free from worry.
23:50 What it means that Lutheran is not an -ism.
27:00 Why do we tend to emergency thinking?
31:00 How feminism and Islam coexist? How the movement must fight against institutions.
33:05 The comfort of knowing that the devil cannot create.
37:05 What life in the institutions looks like.
39:10 Mission and Vision in the movement
40:00 Institution vs Bureaucracy, and the immediacy of the Lord’s mediated work
41:10 Being in the office does not mean that we are free from sin
43:10 What is “Lutheran”? What is the Lutheran Church?
48:10 The sturdiness of life in the Gospel.


Let me know what you think.


1 Comment

  1. Loved this. Especially liked how you juxtaposed “a movement” with “an institution” (meaning that which is INSTITUTED by God). Funny how the word “institution” has a bad connotation nowadays along with other words like submission, humility, sin, truth…..

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