Are the Lutheran Confessions opposed to Scripture?

It occasionally happens in a conversation regarding a particular theological topic, many times among church workers in the Lutheran Church, where one person will quote or bring up a portion of the Lutheran Confessions and the other will object on the grounds that the person is not basing their discussion on Scripture (after all, Lutherans talk about “sola Scriptura”).

Now, I must first say, that having a high view of Scripture is a good thing (and in fact rather rare in this day and age), but when it comes to theological discussions, such an objection betrays an ignorance as to what exactly the Lutheran Confessions are.  Sadly, this often comes off as pitting the Lutheran Confessions against Scripture.

Yet the very nature of a confession is exactly the opposite of putting one thing against the other.  “Confess” comes from the Latin word confessio, which means to “same say”.  As a Lutheran Pastor, part of our seminary training was to study both Scripture in depth and to study the Confessions with the aim that we could in fact say that the Lutheran Confessions are in agreement with Scripture and a true exposition of Holy Scripture.

If you look through the Lutheran Confessions, they are replete with Scripture references.  In a sense, they are the ultimate topical Bible Study.  The reason a Lutheran in a theological conversation would quote or cite the Lutheran Confessions is because they say precisely what Scripture says.

This is why we teach the Small Catechism to children and adults along with Scripture.  Think of it like a road map.  The Catechism directs us as we navigate through Scripture.  This goes back to the idea of the rule of faith, that we do not come as blank slates to our study of Scripture, but have influences on our reading.  As Lutherans, and because of much study of Scripture and listening to the Church throughout her history, we can say with full confidence that Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions are not opposed to one another but speak with one voice and with one heart (Concordia means “with one heart).

One thought on “Are the Lutheran Confessions opposed to Scripture?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *