Veith, Gene Edward Jr., & A. Trevor Sutton. Authentic Christianity: How Lutheran Theology Speaks to a Postmodern World. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 2017. Chapter 9. “Conclusion” pp. 219-232.
Veith and Sutton view our culture as full of background noise which can drown out a right perception of the authentic and historic message of Christianity (Veith & Sutton 2017, 220). Their book, Authentic Christianity, has presented Lutheran theology in brief. But Veith and Sutton consider the context of the teaching to be very important. “Lutheran theology is always confessional and, in order for this to happen, there must be a shared confession. Moreover, Lutherans worship in a certain way” (Veith & Sutton 2017, 221). The traditional worship practices nurture a consistent and robust Christian faith. Granted, some versions of the Lutheran tradition have separated themselves from the heart of Christian doctrine, just as we see in some other church bodies. Lutheran churches are thriving and growing in much of the world, where the vibrant power of the pure Gospel is sought after (Veith & Sutton 2017, 223).
What bind Lutherans around the world together is their adherence to the confessional writings assembled in the Book of Concord, originally published in 1580 (Veith & Sutton 2017, 224). Here we find faithful expositions of the crucial doctrines of Scripture. In its essence, Lutheran doctrine is centered on the Gospel of Jesus for sinners. The church is the place where Jesus is found for us in Word and Sacrament (Veith & Sutton 2017, 225).
In the Divine Service, we are brought into this living presence of Jesus, where He comes as He promises to meet with us and deliver gifts of life and salvation. Veith and Sutton describe the parts of the historic liturgy in brief, showing how each element points to Christ for us (Veith & Sutton 2017, 226-229). The worship is purposely timeless, reflecting the way God works in every age and for all people around the world. In effect, the majesty of the service is also very simple, confronting us with the timeless relevance of Christ for us in terms we can readily grasp. God is there, as He promised, in Word, Sacrament, and our vocations (Veith & Sutton 2017, 230). Veith and Sutton conclude that this is the very old and new thing which Christians are actually longing for.