Category Archives: why the elca

Why is this research focused on ELCA congregations?

Paper | A Missiology for the ELCA Suburban Congregation by Steve Thomason

This is the paper I wrote for CL8965 Missiology and the Missional Church with Craig Van Gelder in the Spring of 2012. ELCA Suburban Church_Thomason

A Missiology for the ELCA Congregation in the United States Suburban Context by Steve Thomason

 A Term Paper presented to Professor Craig Van Gelder

Luther Seminary

As a Requirement in Course CL8965 Missiology and the Missional Church

St. Paul, Minnesota

2012

Introduction

A new television show appeared on ABC this season. It’s called Suburgatory. Here is the show description: read more

A Missional Imagination for ELCA Polity by Steve Thomason

A Missional Imagination for ELCA Polity (pdf version)

Framing a Missional Polity for the ELCA by Steve Thomason

A Term Paper Presented to Dr. Craig Van Gelder | Luther Seminary

As a Requirement in Course LD8525 Congregational Leadership |St. Paul, Minnesota | 2011

Introduction

The purpose of this paper is to focus on the current polity of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and make suggestions for how the ELCA could modify its polity to embody a missional ecclesiology. Any discussion of this type is a hermeneutical endeavor and requires the proper framing of horizons before any fruitful interaction can take place. I will first briefly trace the historical roots of the ELCA from Martin Luther to the present and identify how this historical narrative has framed its ecclesiological horizon. I will then analyze the current structure of the ELCA as articulated in its constitution and identify significant incongruities between this formal structure and the reality of its informal structure and struggles. I will then briefly articulate the emerging missional ecclesiology in order to bring it into conversation with the ELCA. Finally, I will make some suggestions as to how the ELCA could address its incongruities and make polity changes that would align it within a missional ecclesiology. read more

Book | The Evangelizing Church: A Lutheran Contribution edited by Bliese and Van Gelder

0806651091hBliese, Richard H., and Craig Van Gelder. The Evangelizing Church: A Lutheran Contribution. Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Fortress Press, 2005.

My Thoughts

This book is a collection of essays about how Lutheran theology is inherently evangelistic. The culture and traditionalism of European immigration has tended to thwart the evangelizing nature of the Lutheran faith, but the ember still remains smoldering under the surface for those who would pray for the Spirit to reignite the Lutheran Church for evangelistic outreach. read more

Book | Which Way to Lutheran Unity by John Tietjan

41c2ToBOwUL._SY300_Tietjen, John H. Which Way to Lutheran Unity? A History of Efforts to Unite the Lutherans of America. Saint Louis: Concordia Pub. House, 1966.

The Author

John Tietjen

TietjenJohnJohn H. Tietjen (June 18, 1928 – February 15, 2004) was a Lutheran clergyman, theologian, and national church leader in the United States. He is best known both for his role in the Seminex controversy which roiled the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod (LCMS) in the mid-1970s, and for his efforts on behalf of Lutheran unity that resulted in the formation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).⁠1 read more