Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Liturgy, doctrine and missions

Christianity Today reports that Missouri Synod Lutherans are reaffirming their denominational distinctives:
The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod (LCMS) elected as its new president the leader of the church’s World Relief and Human Care division. Matthew Harrison received 54 percent of the vote, defeating incumbent Gerald Kieschnick, who received 45 percent of the vote in his third re-election attempt. ....

While the conservative denomination does not face conflict over many hot-button cultural issues, the election of Harrison represents a shift from the Kieschnick administration’s support of evangelical programs and style to a more traditional Lutheran identity. ....

The Kieschnick administration, which served for the past nine years, encouraged congregations to adopt praise teams, coffee house worship and small group ministries. It had also overseen the cancellation of Issues, Etc., the synod’s only nationally syndicated broadcast ministry. Harrison’s first post-election interview was with the program, which re-launched outside the denominational structure.

Harrison, leader of the LCMS mercy arm and possessing multiple degrees from the denomination’s Concordia Theological Seminary, was also the preferred candidate of those in the church body that favor a return to traditional Lutheran identity of liturgical preaching, hymns that teach doctrine, and the placement of ordained missionaries overseas. .... [more]
Missouri Synod Election Signals Shift Toward Denominational Distinctives | Liveblog | Christianity Today