CTCR Library — LCMS Doctrinal Statements

The LCMS Commission on Theology and Church Relations has archived three historic yet timeless documents: C.F.W. Walther’s "Theses on the Ministry," a "Brief Statement of the Doctrinal Position of the Missouri Synod," and "A Statement of Scriptural and Confessional Principles."

Smalcald Article Study: Baptism

For this topic, there is really only one question to be considered: What is the importance of this sentence: “Baptism is nothing other than God’s Word in the water, commanded by His institution”?

Smalcald Article Study: The Gospel

The heart of the Scriptures, the heart of Luther’s preaching and teaching, and the heart of Lutheran theology, is the Gospel. This time we read Part III, Article 4 of the Smalcald Articles, which brings us back to this heart.

Smalcald Article Study: Repentance

While we often think of repentance being poorly understood because of Papist emphasis on man’s efforts, the Reformers (and we still to this day) also recognized that many are burdened in conscience by the notion that Christians shouldn’t need to repent.

The Large and Small Catechisms of Dr. Luther

The Large and Small Catechisms of Dr. Luther were born of pastoral necessity. In 1528, Luther and his colleagues visited the congregations in Saxony to assess their spiritual health. Luther was horrified.

Smalcald Article Study: The Law

Luther, in the Smalcald Articles, isn't so much confronting an error directly (that comes in the next Article on Repentance), but is instead making a positive confession about what the Law is and what role it plays in the world.

Smalcald Article Study: Sin

A lot of people think they know what “sin” is, but usually see their remedy to sin as “try harder, do better.” This not only confuses the remedy, but also the ailment!

How The Formula of Concord Came to Be

The Formula of Concord has two parts, the Epitome and the Solid Declaration. Together, these comprise the final document of the Book of Concord (1580), or the Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church.

Smalcald Articles Study: The Papacy

Luther states that the papacy demands obedience to itself (to the pope) and to whatever is said from that office of pope, even to the point of tying salvation to that obedience. What is the true Gospel?

The Marriage Booklet in the Catechism

The culture increasingly maintains that marriage is man’s institution. Thus marriage can be defined according to the shifting winds of popular opinion, and ultimately government mandate. This is to rob marriage of any real objective meaning.

Sources of the Augsburg Confession

Philipp Melanchthon composed the Augsburg Confession in preparation for the Diet of Augsburg in 1530. The emperor Charles V called the diet in order to resolve the religious issues that were divided the empire.

Smalcald Articles Study: Chapters and Cloisters

In article III, Luther confesses how dangerous the monastic life was to him and to all ensnared by its promises of “grace through holy living;” Such reasoning robs Christ of His glory as the Savior.

Smalcald Articles Study: The Mass

Luther understood the danger behind the Mass was not simply a smattering of errors in otherwise Christian worship, rather it was an entire system of a false theology of worship.