Ryan P. Cumming & Conrad A. Braaten join Spirited Book Club to discuss ‘The Forgotten Luther III: Reclaiming a Vision of Global Community.’
This book, the third in the Forgotten Luther series, invites congregations, with the help of five prominent church leaders and Luther scholars, to consider the shape of global mission in today’s world. This study draws global implications from Luther’s reforms and from the theology that shaped them. Accompanied by a discussion guide and videos of lectures and interviews, The Forgotten Luther III provides an excellent tool to help congregations engage the global mission of the church.
Reviews for The Forgotten Luther III
“This book is a call to action to be taken seriously within Lutheran traditions as well as ecumenical and interfaith circles worldwide.” — Amos Nascimento, University of Washington
“The Forgotten Luther III will start lively conversations about the life and purpose of congregations in our time. To get beyond pandemic and politics, the church needs to wrestle with its identity and mission. These authors will help bring Luther, and congregations that carry his legacy, into step with the global reality of the church today.” — The Rev. Dr. Maria Erling, United Lutheran Seminary
“This small, powerful book continues a vital mission: reintroducing Luther to the Lutherans. The writing is thoughtful and persuasive. In the midst of our present messes, the message is that Christian hope can bear fruit both for the churches and for the common good.” — The Rev. Richard H. Graham, Retired Bishop, Metropolitan Washington, D.C. Synod
“Prickly, earthy, and contentious as he often was, the ‘domestication’ of Martin Luther by subsequent generations of pious Lutherans has been an odd kind of achievement. This book continues the re-discovery of ‘the forgotten Luther,’ and restores some of his fiery critique of false images and ideas of godliness and systems that oppressed ordinary people.” — The Rev. R. Guy Erwin, Ph.D., president, United Lutheran Seminary
Suggested additional reading:
- The Forgotten Luther: Reclaiming the Social-Economic Dimension of the Reformation — Carter Lindberg and Paul A. Wee, eds.
- The Forgotten Luther II: Reclaiming the Church’s Public Witness — Ryan P. Cumming, ed.
FIRST BOOK CLUB MEETING for October 7: Read Introduction: “A New Heaven and a New Earth” and Chapter 3: “Reclaiming the Gospel Legacy” and Watch ONE interview video from either Forgotten Luther I or Forgotten Luther II
SECOND BOOK CLUB MEETING for October 21: Read Chapter 4: “‘And Though This World with Devils Filled’: Reshaping the World in Hope” and we recommend Chapter 7: “Martin Luther for the Life of the Church”
- What did you learn or hear about in the interview video you watched?
- Why do you think Luther’s teachings might be important for us to hear again today?
- Lindberg quotes Hans J. Hillerbrand, who cites Luther in writing, “Lutheran spirituality begins and ends with the celebration of the mundane, the ordinary life as the vehicle for glorifying God.” What do you think it means to “celebrate the mundane”?
- How might remembering that we are sinners saved by grace help motivate the church to work for justice in the world?
- Thinking of Lindberg’s critique of Pietism, where do you see Pietism at work today?
- How do Scripture and Lutheran theology help the people of Palestine sustain hope?
- How does where we are at (our community, our life situation, etc.) shape how we read the bible or understand God?
- Raheb quotes the words of the founding members of the Christian Academic Forum for Citizenship in the Arab World on pages 52-53. What stands out to you in their confession of faith?
- Raheb writes, “Hope is what we do today even though the world might come to an end tomorrow.” What actions does hope in the future that God has promised lead the church to today? How does the church reflect hope in a world that can so often seem hopeless?
- What programs or ministries in the church have helped change or shape your understanding of the church’s role in the world?
- What does it mean to be “created in relationship and for relationships”?
- What does it mean to be part of the community created in baptism and Holy Communion?
- What does it mean to you to be the church in the world today? Where is God calling the church to be?
- What does the FL project envision would be different today if the Church and we who call ourselves Disciples had not “domesticated” the gospel ~300 AD, had not “domesticated” Luther 500 years ago?
- What specific things can my Faith Community do to move closer to the vision of What Could Be?
++Book discussion facilitated by Sheri Brown
Conrad A. Braaten is a retired ELCA pastor responsible for initiating the Forgotten Luther project. He has also served on the staff of the ELCA’s division for Congregational Life in the areas of urban ministry and social ministry.
Ryan P. Cumming is the director of ELCA World Hunger Education.