Establishing the Fellowship

A Letter of Invitation

Dear Fellow Confessors of the Lutheran Tradition:

As we move into the dramatic reconfiguring of North American Lutheranism, each additional voice emerging from the restless milieu eagerly shouts: “Look at me!” Some of those voices have been around for awhile and sound with the throats of millions while in contrast others have not quite been birthed and speak with only the tongues of hundreds or thousands. Yet—as each one demands to be heard, covets attention, and attracts recruits—a common note rings in all of them: the note of glory.

This, of course, is to be expected. Religion is a tough market-place. For its success an institution cannot help but point out its achievements, promote the benefits of belonging, and produce a product satisfying to the enlightened expectations of American consumers of religious services. Competition reigns throughout the landscape populated by our Lutheran congregations and their pastors. Inundated by theologies of glory and their practitioners, those congregants and their pastors are at risk of having their confessional Lutheran identity as theologians of the cross washed away on the rising tide of religious triumphalism.

There are those working against that triumphant tide. As the Manifesto declares, we seek to establish a fellowship—not an institution, organization, or corporation—but a fellowship of sinners who know they sin but who have also heard the Word of Jesus Christ in forgiveness, sinners beneath the cross. We have no achievements of which to boast; no benefits of belonging to promote; and no products to offer but these: “the punishments, crosses, and death [which] are the most precious treasury of all and the most sacred relics which the Lord of this theology himself has consecrated and blessed…” (LW 31:225f)

Societas Crucis—the Fellowship of the Cross—will be that fellowship. Its members will be confessors from many traditions and denominations. The fellowship seeks only to embrace the thin tradition of “CRUX sola est nostra Theologia” within the great tradition of Christendom. Through collegial conversation, preaching events, publications and journals, the fellowship will seek to connect, establish and train theologians of the cross.

We welcome your participation. We anticipate hearing from you. We embrace you as one upon whom God’s Word is working to form and fashion you—damning you to hell and raising you to heaven—that you might become … not just any old theologian … but a theologian of cross.

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