REDEEMER LUTHERAN News:
This month marks the 490th anniversary of Luther’s evangelical catechisms.
While teaching at the University of Wittenberg in Germany, Dr. Martin Luther became aware of the lack of knowledge that the average Christian had regarding the basics of the Christian Faith. Thus, he wrote two evangelical catechisms, which were based on sermons he preached in 1528.
A catechism is a simple handbook used for instruction. The first catechism appeared at the beginning of 1529. It was a concise summary of the Christian Faith to be used in the household. It is known affectionately as the Small Catechism and later it was even referred to as the “layman’s Bible”. The second catechism was a larger more in-depth edition meant for further theological and spiritual training.
It is known affectionately as the Large Catechism. In April of 1529, Martin Luther published the Large Catechism.
The Reformation was an educational movement flowing forth from the University of Wittenberg. With the Gutenberg printing press as the social media of the day, information was distributed throughout Europe in the form of pamphlets and books. Yet, the Reformation movement was more than just educational, it was a spiritual undertaking for the reorientation of the heart toward God.
These evangelical catechisms were summaries of the Bible. Keep in mind the average person was not reading the Bible. Thus, Luther summarized the Christian Faith by instructing Christians on what God desires of us (Ten Commandments), what God has done for us (Apostles’ Creed), and how we are to pray to God (the Lord’s Prayer).
In addition, he guided the Christian into a richer understanding of his or her identity in Christ as one who daily dies to sin and lives to God’s glory (Baptism), who confesses sins and receives forgiveness (Confession), and who is sustained in body and soul by eating (Lord’s Supper).
Redeemer Evangelical Lutheran Church is offering a free six-week long course studying Reformation theology as as laid out in the Large Catechism. Participants will receive a free copy of Luther’s Lage Catechism.
The course begins at 7 p.m. April 30 and will address Reformation theology as laid out in Large Catechism. Redeemer Lutheran is at 2000 Diamond Dr. For more information visit www.redeemerlosalamos.org