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Common Confession.

1. After the Mo. Syn. adopted the 1938 resolutions regarding fellowship with the ALC, attempts were made to unite the contents of the Brief* Statement and the Declaration. The resulting document, Doctrinal Affirmation, was adopted by neither of the bodies. The 1947 Mo. Syn. (LCMS beginning 1947) conv. instructed its Committee on Doctrinal Unity “to make every effort to arrive ultimately at one document which is Scriptural, clear, concise, and unequivocal.” (Proceedings, p. 510)

2. After meeting with the union committees of the syns. of the Synodical* Conf., the Committee on Doctrinal Unity met with the Fellowship Commission of the ALC May 17, 1948. Subsequently both groups selected subcommittees to draw up doctrinal theses. After lengthy study and criticism of preliminary drafts, a plenary meeting of the committees of the 2 chs. was held December 5–6, 1949, at the end of which the theses were unanimously approved. This Common Confession, Part I, was accepted 1950 by the LCMS and the ALC

3. The 12 topics of the Common Confession, Part I, treat the doctrines of God, man, redemption, election, means of grace, justification, conversion, sanctification, the ch., the ministry, the Luth. confessions, the last things.

4. The Common Confession, Part II, was unanimously adopted by the official committees of the ALC and the LCMS February 9, 1953, at a joint meeting in Chicago, Illinois

5. The purpose of Part II was to supplement and clarify Part I. Under the gen. heading “The Church in the World” it treats i. The Church's Mission; ii. The Church's Resources; iii. The Ch. and lts Ministrations; iv. The Ch. and the Home; v. The Ch. and Vocation; vi. The Ch. and Educ.; vii. The Ch. and Govt.; viii. The Ch. and Ch. Fellowship; ix. The Ch. and Anti-Christian Organizations; x. The Ch. and the World to Come.

6. The Common Confession, Part II, was approved and the confession in its entirety was adopted by the ALC 1954. The 1956 LCMS conv. resolved that “the Common Confession (Parts I and II) be not regarded or employed as a functioning basic document toward the establishment of altar and pulpit fellowship with other church bodies” and “that the Common Confession, one document composed of Parts I and II, be recognized as a statement in harmony with the Sacred Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions.” (Proceedings, p. 505)

See also American Lutheran Church, V 1.

Proceedings, LCMS, 1950, pp. 566–587; 1953, pp. 10, 11, 14–15, 485–490, 494–544; 1956, pp. 491 to 517; Official Reports … Convention of the American Lutheran Church, 1950, pp. 281, 286; 1954, pp. 331–344, 351; Doctrinal Declarations (St. Louis, 1957), pp. 71–91; Church in Fellowship, ed. V. Vajta (Minneapolis, 1963), pp. 63–65; Moving Frontiers, ed. C. S. Meyer (St. Louis, 1964), pp. 418 to 420; R. C. Wolf, Documents of Lutheran Unity in America (Philadelphia, 1966), pp. 323, 381, 408 to 444, 449, 608–609. EL

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

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