Since 2009, members of the Institute staff have taught the two-week Studying Luther in Wittenberg program every November, which gathers Lutheran pastors from all over the world. It has been an eye-opening and inspiring experience to see how the writings of a sixteenth-century reformer can still speak so powerfully to people half a millennium later—and not just in the old territory of Christendom but all around the world. More than once we have asked ourselves how to carry this amazing experience of careful reading of Luther’s theology in a global setting to a bigger audience.
While we can’t invite every person interested in Luther from the whole world to join us in Wittenberg, we can at least take advantage of our new interconnectedness via the World Wide Web! So we invite you to join the Luther Reading Challenge, a new initiative of the Strasbourg Institute to foster international, cross-confessional conversation about Martin Luther as a preparation for the forthcoming Reformation anniversary.
From now until October 2017, we’ll be featuring various writings of Luther’s on the LRC website—starting with the 95 Theses and including his pastoral and spiritual writings, portions of his biblical commentaries, his Catechisms, his will and his hymns. While it is impossible to avoid polemical or controversial elements, our focus is on Luther as a teacher and preacher of the Christian faith. Too often theology is taught with reference to enemies; our hope is to present here a Luther for the whole church.
To participate in the Challenge, simply visit the site: www.lutherreadingchallenge.org and sign up for a free account. Each text begins with a brief introduction, explaining the context and the key points. Readers can add their comments and questions on the righthand side of the page. New features will be added as we go. Come and join us!