The Lutheran theologians explain, in the preface to the entire Book of Concord, that they never intended teach anything new, but only hold “to the ancient consensus which the universal and orthodox church of Christ has believed, fought for against many heresies and errors, and repeatedly affirmed” (Preface, 3).
First, “We believe, teach, and confess that the prophetic and apostolic writings of the Old and New Testaments are the only rule and norm according to which all doctrines and teachers alike must be appraised and judged…. Other writings of ancient and modern teachers, whatever their names, should not be put on a par with Holy Scripture. Every single one of them should be subordinated to the Scriptures and should be received in no other way and no further than as witnesses to the fashion in which the doctrine of the prophets and apostles was preserved in post-apostolic times…. The ancient church formulated symbols (that is, brief and explicit confessions) which were accepted as the unanimous, catholic, Christian faith and confessions of the orthodox and true church, namely, the Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed, and the Athanasian Creed. We pledge ourselves to these, and we hereby reject all heresies and teachings which have been introduced into the church of God contrary to them” (FC Ep Rule and Norm, 1-3). Concerning the non-doctrinal canons of the councils, “Nothing should be changed in the accustomed rites without good reason, and to foster harmony those ancient customs should be kept which can be kept without sin or without great disadvantage” (Ap XV 50).
Note: At the beginning of each class, there will be a 5-minute quiz, which will be included in the links below. Immediately after the quiz, we will go over the answers to that quiz. If you don’t want to hear the answers, take the quiz first, then start the audio of the class. Written answers will be included in the second link, which is the present class outline.
Quiz #4 (blue sheet): Quiz-4-for-Sep-22-Book-of-Concord-Scripture-Like-Creeds.pdf
Handouts (white sheet with answers to the quiz on the back): Class-4-Book-of-Concord-and-Councils.pdf