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Minneapolis Theses

(1925). Theses adopted Minneapolis, Minnesota, November 18, 1925, by representatives of the Ev. Luth. Joint Syn. of Ohio* and Other States, the Ev. Luth. Syn. of Iowa* and Other States, the Buffalo* Syn., and The Norw. Luth. Ch. of Am. (see Evangelical Lutheran Church, The, 13–14); they were adopted by the 4 bodies and were the doctrinal basis of the American* Luth. Ch. and of The American* Luth. Conf.

“Minneapolis Theses. I. The Scriptures. The synods signatory to these Articles of Agreement accept without exception all the canonical books of the Old and the New Testaments as a whole, and in all their parts, as the divinely inspired, revealed, and inerrant Word of God, and submit to this as the only infallible authority in all matters of faith and life.

“II. The Lutheran Symbols.

1. These synods also, without reservation, accept the symbolical books of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, not insofar as, but because they are the presentation and explanation of the pure doctrine of the Word of God and a summary of the faith of the Lutheran Church, as this has found expression in response to the exigencies arising from time to time.

“(The Norwegian Lutheran Church of America … has officially accepted only the three Ecumenical Creeds, the Unaltered Augsburg Confession, and Luther's Small Catechism. This position does not imply that the Norwegian Lutheran Church … rejects the remaining symbolical books of the Lutheran Church … but since the other symbolical books are not known to her constituency generally, it has not been deemed necessary to require formal subscription to the entire Book of Concord.)

“2. Adherence to our confessions pertains only to their doctrinal content, … but to these without exception or limitation. … All that pertains to the form of presentation (historical comments, questions purely exegetical, etc.) is not binding.

“III. Church Fellowship.

1. … presupposes unanimity in the pure doctrine of the Gospel and in the confession of the same in word and deed.

“Where the establishment and maintenance of church fellowship ignores present doctrinal differences or declares them a matter of indifference, there is unionism, pretense of union which does not exist.

“2. They agree that the rule, 'Lutheran pulpits for Lutheran pastors only, and Lutheran altars for Lutheran communicants only,' is not only in full accord with, but necessarily implied in, the teachings of the divine Word and the Confessions of the evangelical Lutheran Church. This rule, implying the rejection of all unionism and syncretism, must be observed as setting forth a principle elementary to sound and conservative Lutheranism.”

IV. In points of doctrine (1. The Work of Christ 2. The Gospel; 3. Absolution; 4. Holy Baptism; 5, Justification; 6. Faith; 7. Conversion; 8. Election the Minneapolis Theses endorse the Chicago* Theses (1919).

“V. The Lodge Question.

1. These synods agree that all organizations or societies, secret or open, as are either avowedly religious or practise the forms of religion without confessing as a matter of principle the Triune God or Jesus Christ as the Son of God, come into the flesh, and our Savior from sin, or teach instead of the Gospel, salvation by human works or morality, are anti-Christian and destructive of the best interests of the church and the individual soul, and that, therefore, the Church of Christ and its congregations can have no fellowship with them.

“2. They agree that a Lutheran synod should not tolerate pastors who have affiliated themselves with any anti-Christian society. And they admonish their pastors and congregations to testify against the sin of lodgery and to put forth earnest efforts publicly and privately to enlighten and persuade persons who are members of anti-Christian societies, to sever their connection with such organizations.” EL

Journal of Theology of The American Lutheran Conference, VI (1941), 13–15; TM VII (1927), 112–114; CTM I (1930), 688–690; XV (1944), 194–195; Doctrinal Declarations: A Collection of Official Statements on the Doctrinal Position of Various Lutheran Synods in America (St. Louis, Missouri, 1957), pp. 107–108; Documents of Lutheran Unity in America, ed. R. C. Wolf (Philadelphia, 1966), pp. 340–342.

Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission

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Content Reproduced with Permission

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