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LTJ – December issue out now

This third and final issue of the Lutheran Theological Journal (LTJ) for 2021 contains four articles: two on different aspects of Lutheran theology and two with something of a female focus in relation to the reading of scripture, as well as three book reviews—topics relevant to the contemporary church.

The first article, authored by Pastor Roger Whittall, presents key findings from his recently completed Doctor of Theology, for which he was awarded a University Medal. In his thesis, Roger set out to unpack what Luther meant by the common priesthood in relation to the church and how and whether his theology on the topic, developed throughout his writings. The topic is of particular significance to the LCANZ as the number of available ordained clergy declines in parallel with a decline in the capacity of parishes to afford an ordained pastor. Understanding Luther’s teaching on the common priesthood, contributes to conversation about how to remain faithful to Lutheran theology in a rapidly changing church, in which increasingly, lay volunteers are being required to work alongside pastors in the provision of worship leadership, and, in some regions, word and sacrament.

In the second article, Michelle Eastwood, who recently completed her doctorate in Old Testament, provides us with a thoughtful literary reading of Proverbs 31:10–31 on the wise woman. Her approach to this familiar text challenges us to think about its application in new, and perhaps less familiar, ways. The article is intentionally written in a way that is useful for bible study in both schools and parishes.

The third article, by Samuel Deressa, who is Assistant Professor of Lutheran Theology and the Global South at Concordia University, St Paul, Minnesota, takes up Luther’s two kingdoms theology and applies it to the field of Christian education. As this article points out, the provision of Christian education is deeply embedded in and a natural expression of Luther’s two-kingdoms theology.

In the fourth article, Ray Schulz returns to his argument that which New Testament Greek text is used by pastors and translators necessarily influences the interpretation of scripture. In this brief piece, a number of key examples relating to the role of women are presented.

The three book reviews alert us to topics of high relevance to the contemporary church. The first introduces Steen Olsen’s reflections on the Jacob’s Ladder community, an experimental Lutheran young adult movement in 1970s Australasia. What can we learn from that experiment as we explore new ways of doing church fifty years later? The second takes up the idea of a church in transition, this time in 2020s post-Christendom. The focus here is on how to lead a missional congregation in that liminal space. The third presents what will undoubtedly be an invaluable book for pastors and male parishioners engaging with male midlife crisis.

This issue concludes Professor Wendy Mayer’s tenure as editor of LTJ. Over these past five years she has helped to transition the journal to more fully serve the workers of the LCANZ in their diverse ministries.

In 2022 James Winderlich, Principal of ALC, and Anna Nuernberger, Co-Director with Michelle Eastwood of ALC Research, will assume co-editorship of the journal. If you are enjoying the refreshed journal, please spread the word and nudge your fellow church workers to subscribe. You may even like to purchase a subscription for someone as a Christmas gift.

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