A Brief History of LOGIA Journal
[Adapted from "After Ten Years" from LOGIA, Epiphany 2003, Volume XII, Number 1]
The first issue was published at Reformation 1992. (Wishing to observe the church year, the editors decided to number Epiphany 1992 Vol. 2, No. 1.) Not everyone, including the editors, was convinced that the enterprise would last. At least one predicted less than a five-year life. Those of us at the heart of it didn’t even think about how long LOGIA would be on the scene. We were more interested in significant theological reflection.
For the longevity we’ve enjoyed, we thank our readers and contributors. The debate forums we envisioned for our journal pages have not always been as lively as we imagined they would be. But we have always been gratified to know that LOGIA provided discussion material for pastoral conferences, seminary classrooms, and personal study and discussion.The regular vote of confidence expressed through the renewal of subscriptions has been encouragement enough. Nearly always, our readers and contributing editors have offered us much more material than we could use, often forcing us to make some hard choices in what to include.
We thank our readers for tolerating our sometimes irregular appearance. The entire editorial staff is a volunteer staff, and all have regular duties in the parish and the classroom. Especially parish duties often have had to take precedence over beating a deadline, and those who labor in the classroom often have to give precedence to those duties. The support staff are paid pitifully little, and it is a labor of love that keeps them at their tasks.
For this issue (After Ten Years), we asked several of our contributing editors to write on issues they consider important. And you can see how they have responded: Baptism and the Supper; church unity, fellowship, and doctrine; the church’s confession and the identity crisis in the twenty-first century, Was Heisst Lutherisch?, What does it mean to be Lutheran?; and the church in the world, the problem of the state church, and more importantly, the Christian in the state, the doctrine of the two kingdoms. Other issues could have been addressed as well, but we think our contributing editors have aimed at issues that will continue to be our focus.
Early on LOGIA identified itself as “a free conference in print.” The contributing editors represent an approximation of a pan-Lutheran perspective, albeit from the side of conservative confessionalism. The working editors represent the Synodical Conference tradition, particularly Missouri, Wisconsin, and the Norwegian Synod, with a nod to the brethren to the north. The readership is worldwide, with every continent on the mailing list. The readership is largely Lutheran, but with a significant part outside of the Lutheran world as well.
Whether or not we have succeeded in our ideal of being a free conference in print, we will leave it to others to judge. But we have tried to give a voice to those who take the Lutheran Confessions seriously; who are committed to an inspired, inerrant Scripture and to a ministry that is truly apostolic; who believe that the Divine Service belongs to God himself, not to the whims of a trendy generation; and who are convinced that the proclamation of the gospel in this age does not require a revision of our confession.
LOGIA is a free conference in that the editors and writers speak for themselves and not for their churches. They presuppose a fellowship in the gospel that unites them before the throne of grace, but they do not presuppose a fellowship that can be expressed now in a visible way. They continue to pray for a time soon when confessional Lutherans around the world will come together with a unified confessional voice and practice.
LOGIA has provided a forum for professional theologians and parish pastors. While the larger part of this issue is written by teachers of theology, at least half the writing in LOGIA has come from parish pastors, and in a few cases, students preparing for the parish ministry. We have been happy also to hear the voices of some lay men and women.
Issues addressed in these ten years have reflected the concerns of the 1990s; the office of the ministry and the nature of worship have been at the forefront, but certainly were not the sole focus. In the present decade, the nature of church fellowship and ecumenical relations, the secularizing slide of world Lutheranism, and syncretism will be important. But it is doubtful that the issues of church and ministry will fade very quickly. The question of the ordination of women is certainly not likely to be discussed (or be discussable) in most of world Lutheranism, but it will undoubtedly be debated in the orb of the Synodical Conference churches and its world associates.
As a journal, LOGIA has not aimed to react immediately to the church news of the day. But we have tried to give deliberate attention to the theological issues behind the church news and the hotly debated issues. We intend to continue to formulate our agenda in that way and to invite our contributors and our readers to offer their study and reflection on current theological issues.
Finally, we wish to renew the pledge we made in LOGIA I:1, Reformation, 1992:
In sum, we wish to return to the one source—the Holy Scripture, and our Lutheran understanding of it expressed in the Book of Concord. That, and that alone, will inform and mold our thought in this journal. We do that in unity with the fathers of the church, of both ancient and reformation times as well as from more recent times. We appreciate their struggles and we look to them for guidance in our own struggles. We may not be able to return to the past. Who would want to? But if there is an ecumenical unity possible, surely we have it with our confessing fathers. We want to sit at their feet and hear their teaching and sing with them the praises of him who is the same yesterday, today, and forever.