The annual summer institute of Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary has been held in various locations throughout the country in order to make it possible for more of our pastors to attend. This year the institute took place at Holy Cross Lutheran Church & School in Madison, Wisconsin, July 25, 2011.
The first portion of the institute was a presentation entitled “Age of Lutheran Orthodoxy.” This presentation included a general outline of this period, which included the distressing days of the Thirty Years’ War when much of central Europe was ravaged and depopulated. Then there was a study of the Lutheran devotional writers of the period, their devotional literature (Erbauungsliteratur), and Lutheran spirituality. Finally, the presentation included a study of the major seventeenth century dogmaticians and their writings.
The other segment of the institute was a presentation on “Major Themes in Preaching.” Here examples were given of presenting the Gospel using the major redemption themes, including the Christus victor, victim, and vicar themes. These presentations were delivered by Prof. Gaylin Schmeling.