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Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Publishes and Distributes 'Witness and Worship in Pluralistic America'

Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, recently sent a new book, “Witness and Worship in Pluralistic America,” to all active and retired pastors in The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS). Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, faculty members authored the chapters in the book, and Dr. John F. Johnson, the Seminary’s president, served as the book’s general editor and wrote its introduction. The book and its distribution were made possible by the generous gift of a donor who desires to remain anonymous.

“As a Seminary of the church, we are pleased to provide this significant theological contribution to the discussion of some very important issues in our church,” commented Johnson. “Our goal is to provide theological leadership and insight as our church and its pastors seek to exercise biblical and confessional fidelity in an increasingly pluralistic context.”

The book is divided into two major sections. The first addresses subjects facing the Christian church in “Pluralistic America” and includes the following chapters:

  • “Christians and the Disestablishments of Religion in the United States” by Dr. Joel P. Okamoto;
  • “Strategies for God-Talk in a Pluralistic Society” by Dr. Charles P. Arand;
  • “The Challenges of American Civil Religion for the Church” by Dr. David L. Adams;
  • “The Pastor as Religious and Civic Leader: Breaking with Quietism” by Dr. Richard H. Warneck.

Chapters in the second section of the book include:

  • “No Other Gods” by Dr. Andrew H. Bartelt;
  • “Proclamation, Intercession, and Praise in Mixed Company” by Dr. Paul R. Raabe;
  • “Unionism and Syncretism in the LCMS Constitution: Historical Context and Interpretive Development” by Dr. William W. Schumacher;
  • “‘What Am I Doing Here?’: The Semiotics of Participation in Public Gatherings” by Prof. Paul W. Robinson and Dr. James W. Voelz;
  • “That God’s Kingdom May Advance with Power Throughout the World” by Dr. Robert Kolb.

“I am very appreciative of this contribution our faculty members are making to the consideration of some exceedingly important issues facing our church,” commented Johnson. “These issues have generated a great deal of divisive discussion over the past couple of years. I believe that the best contribution that a seminary of the church can make at this time is to consider the pertinent issues from a theological perspective. Just as we form our future pastors to ‘think theologically’ about issues and questions they will confront in their years of pastoral ministry, so we also invite our church to do the same through this volume.”

In addition to distributing this book to LCMS pastors, Concordia Seminary sent copies to theological libraries, both Lutheran and non-Lutheran, throughout North America. The Seminary is making this volume available to the world free of charge on its Web site. The book may be viewed, downloaded and printed for personal use only by visiting https://www.csl.edu/WitnessandWorship.htm. Any other use of the volume requires permission from Concordia Seminary.

“We anticipate that many laypeople will want to access this book, and we are very happy that modern technology will make this possible,” commented Johnson.

For more information, contact Communications, Concordia Seminary, 801 DeMun Ave. St. Louis, MO 63105; 314.505.7374;