Bliese, Richard H., and Craig Van Gelder. The Evangelizing Church: A Lutheran Contribution. Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Fortress Press, 2005.
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.
The biggest take-away for me was the expansion of the sacraments from Word and Table to include Community. This move turns the focus of the church from an inward God-in-the-box tendency to one that is outward where the church is gathered and sent to be the sacramental presence of Jesus in the world, through the power of the Spirit.
- A Lutheran Confession
- The Gift Is a Call
- Addressing Captives in Babylon
- For the Sake of the World
- Called Out of Our Comfort Zone
- Navigating Difficult Questions
- After the Death of Evangelism—The Resurrection of an Evangelizing Church
A Lutheran Contribution to an Evangelizing Church
- Lutheran Evangelizing Is Realistic about the Human Condition. We are in bondage to sin and cannot free ourselves.
- Lutheran Evangelizing Centers on the Solas.
- Lutheran Evangelizing Connects with the Human Condition through the Simuls.
- Lutheran Evangelizing is all about the Gospel: God’s Promise.
- Lutheran Evangelizing Stresses Word, Sacrament, and Christian Community as the Means of Grace.
- Lutheran Evangelizing Understands the Missional Character of Christian Worship.
- Lutheran Evangelizing is Propelled by the Gift of Christian Freedom (from sin, for our neighbors).
- Lutheran Evangelizing Insists on the Ministry of All the Baptized.
- Lutheran Evangelizing Knows the Pain of the Cross and the Power of the Resurrection.
- Lutheran Evangelizing Depends on the Holy Spirit.
- Lutheran Evangelizing Invites Adults into Catechesis toward Baptism and Holy Communion.
- Lutheran Evangelizing Receives the Gift as a Call.