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Prof Insights: Faculty-Led Workshop Series – Professor Okamoto


June 29, 2020
July 1, 2020




Due to concerns about the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, this workshop will be held online.

Being Lutheran in a Post-Denominational Situation

Denominations mean less and less to American Christians, and the notion of being Christian is increasingly thin and personal. Recently, Christian researcher George Barna summarized the situation by saying, “People say: ‘I believe in God. I believe the Bible is a good book. Then I believe whatever I want’” (USA Today, Sept. 13, 2011). Similarly, among congregations it is increasingly unclear what “Lutheran” or “Methodist” or “Baptist” really mean, as differences in preaching, worship, theology and ethics grow between churches. This workshop will consider ways of defining, embodying and explaining a Lutheran identity for the church, practices, confession of faith and theology. It will discuss “good” answers to such questions as these:

  • What does it mean to be Lutheran?
  • How does being Lutheran matter today?
  • What makes a church Lutheran?
  • What is a Lutheran confession of faith?

Registration deadline: June 8, 2020

Dr. Joel Okamoto

Okamoto is Waldemar and Mary Griesbach Professor of Systematic Theology and chairman of the department of Systematic Theology at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. He is well known among Concordia Seminary graduates for bringing a thoughtful analysis to today’s increasingly non-Christian culture and exploring how the church can address issues it faces within that culture, such as normal nihilism and moral therapeutic deism. Thus, he has spent much time studying how Christians live faithfully today in both word and deed.

Tentative schedule

June 29 10-11:45 a.m. Session One
11:45 a.m.-noon Q&A
2-3:45 p.m. Session Two
3:45-4 p.m. Q&A
June 30 10-11:45 a.m. Session Three
11:45 a.m.-noon Q&A
2-3:45 p.m. Session Four
3:45-4 p.m. Q&A
July 1 10-11:45 a.m. Session Five
11:45 a.m.-noon Q&A

Note: The schedule is subject to change at the discretion of the faculty/staff presenters.