Epiphany 2014, Volume XXIII, Number 1Table of Contents
(A feature article from the journal: The Long Road to Lutheran Unity in Australia by Erich Renner)
It will be necessary to bear in mind that the following survey will be somewhat selective. Many of the rifts among Lutherans in Australia were of minor significance, the details of which are fully treated and documented in the histories produced by authors in the past. The major divisions and sticking points on the path to unity in congregations, synods, and churches in Australian Lutheranism will receive more concentrated attention. If we look at Lutheran disunity in Australia there were serious issues which, though insignificant in themselves, could not be solved for many years, leaving painful scars on the life of these churches.
Before we explore the Australian Lutheran scene more fully, it may also be useful to remind ourselves that as long as the church of Christ has existed on this earth there have often been deep-seated problems leading to schisms and heresies. For example, the New Testament does not cover up the painful difficulties facing the Apostle Paul in his Corinthian church, where there were Pauline, Petrine, and Apollonic factions and even a Christ fellowship developing and threatening harmony. A study of church history reveals a continuing story of the dissensions that often developed to the detriment of the church at large. Sometimes these divisions were necessary and justified. From a Lutheran perspective the churches of the sixteenth-century Reformation were not spared their share of deformation and division.
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