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Free Conference 2011

Lutheran Hymns:
Teaching the Faith in Both Church and Home

The hymnal is one of the most important books in teaching the Christian faith. Hymns are simply doctrine put into poetic form. Change the hymn and you change the faith.

Dr. Christopher Boyd Brown is assistant professor of Church History at Boston University. He received his Ph.D. in History from Harvard University (2001) and the M.Div. from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis (2003). Dr. Brown is the author of Lutheran Hymns and the Success of the Reformation (Harvard, 2005) and is the general editor of the extension of Luther's Works currently being published by Concordia Publishing House.

Dr. Brown will talk about how Lutheran hymns transformed the homes and hearts of sixteenth-century Germany. The Bohemian mining town of Joachimsthal, for example, sung hymns in the streets and homes as well as in the churches and schools. This preserved Lutheranism among them.

Dr. Richard Stuckwisch is pastor of Emmaus Lutheran Church in South Bend, Indiana. He received his M.Div. from Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne in 1993 and an S.T.M. from there in 2003. He also has a Ph.D. in Liturgical Studies from the University of Notre Dame in 2003. He is the author of numerous books and articles.

Dr. Stuckwisch will talk about hymnody and music in American Christianity. The church's music should be Christ–centered and not man–centered. It should focus on what the people need (i.e. the forgiveness of sins) and not on what they want. It should be centered on building faith in Christ and not building up the emotions. It should be holy and not casual. It should be a common form and language for everyone (old and young, rich and poor, parents and children) and not cater to one particular generation. It should focus on God'.s gift of sacrament to us and not on man's desire to appease God through sacrifice.

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1 The Influence of Lutheran Hymns on the Devotion and Piety of the Laity (Part I)
2 Hymnody and Music in American Christianity (Part I)
3 The Influence of Lutheran Hymns on the Devotion and Piety of the Laity (Part II)
4 Hymnody and Music in American Christianity (Part II)
5 Discussion Panel