Paul R. Schilf, Ph.D.

In a generation when many churches are trying to create an identity for themselves, the Lutheran Church can thank God for the abundant blessings of a rich heritage and tradition rooted in God’s Word and Sacraments. Christ Crucified is the center of our doctrine. By faith alone, a gift of the Holy Spirit, we are saved. This is the identity of the Lutheran Church.

A recent book by Rev. Daniel Preus, “Why I am a Lutheran,” looks at the serious theological implications of being Lutheran in a clear and readable manner. He expounds that the reason we are Lutheran is because Jesus Christ is at the very center of what we do and who we are. Christ is the focus of our very existence as Lutheran Christians and everything we do should provide others direction toward Him. This has been the reason, philosophy, and focus of Lutheran theologians, musicians and reformers for five centuries.

As Lutheran Christians it is important that we understand our heritage through the theologians, musicians, and reformers that have gone before us. Understanding provides us with support from the past that others, even in their sinful state, outlined to keep Christ at the center of who they were and what they did. Secondly, it allows us to view the Lutheran church as a historical tool for keeping Christ our only focus, patterning our lives and worship after the legacy recorded in historical writings and music.

I invite you all to attend a series of studies on the historical Lutheran Church, its leaders and its music. The studies will be held at Christ Lutheran Church in April and May of 2005. Specific topics for study will be Luther and his life, the church music of Bach and Mozart, Smetana, Beethoven, and Dvorak.