02 October 2010

Attention Ladies!

Theology is not and has never been just for men.  I am so happy to announce that there is now a website devoted to the Book of Concord FOR WOMEN!  It's name is Women United for the Christian Book of Concord - Pure Doctrine for All!  Check it out here.  The impetus for this site was a dear laywoman who found so much comfort and blessing from the Book of Concord that she wanted to know why on earth EVERYONE wasn't reading and talking about this good stuff.  So enjoy the discussions!


Sandra Ostapowich said...

I'm sorry, I just don't get it. There's no discussion, there's no forum, just an urging to read (and own) the Book of Concord.

There are no names or organizations listed anywhere to show who is leading this effort. Information regarding the owner of the domain name is even protected.

I'm all for women (and men) reading the Book of Concord. But I don't see a reason for all the hype over this site/"group".

Anonymous said...

Frankly, I think all we need is a Book of Concord site for humans. I'm not sure the book needs a gender-specific approach. On the other hand, as much as I dislike gender-specific Bibles, Bible studies, and marketing ploys, at least there aren't any flowers or butterflies on the website. Also, it's written above a 5-grade reading level, so I guess that's a plus too. In my experience, women in the LCMS are often treated like they have the mental capacity of children when it comes to theology. CPH has been putting out terrific stuff lately, but I've seen some truly horrific women's Bible studies. I remember going to one at my church in Boston with the student/young adult group. Most of us either had Ph.Ds (generally in the hard sciences) or were getting them or some other advanced degrees (the reason all those midwestern Lutherans were in Boston in the first place [you would probably be shocked to know how many confessional Lutherans there are running around with MIT and Harvard degrees in micro-biology and bio-chemical engineering]). The Bible study included stationary with flowers and butterflies, writing implements, and other do-dads, but was so fluff laden and lacking in any theological depth and we all found it insulting. It was for adult women but probably only written at the junior-high level, if that. That was the last time we split up by sex and did gender-specific Bible studies (oh, the men's study was much better, by the way). Anyhow, any call to read the BOC is good, so kudos to the website lady, even if it isn't quite my favorite approach.

Bethany Kilcrease

revmlk said...

We need a gender-based BOC study group? Why? That's akin to all of the men's, women's, couple's, etc. types of bibles I see in the Christian book stores. Why? Is not the Word of God the same for us all. Likewise, are not the Lutheran Confessions an exposition of Holy Scripture for all? Actually, I'm quite surprised that you're all excited about this William!

William Weedon said...

Hey, I'm excited about ANYTHING that gets folks reading the BOC - and that is the aim of this particular site. The who (the person behind it) isn't the focus; the focus is just: let's get women reading the Book of Concord. MEN TOO - but they can organize their own site if they'd like. :) I say: the more women reading the BOC the better!

Myrtle said...

Two women regularly encourage others to read, study, and share the Book of Concord. A few more agreed a public approach might help further those efforts. So, the website is a first step, with an overview, resource links, and goals.

The first guiding principle is that doctrine is for all. The rest focus on women because those who started this found that few women in their circles, few Lutherans for that matter, daily/regularly read our Confessions.

None of the goals are gender specific in the least, even the hope for free systematic, age-appropriate study materials. Males are free to sign up for the regular emails of snippets of the Book of Concord. Should God help establish a mechanism to donate copies domestically and internationally, those would certainly be for both genders.

Perhaps the discussion Pastor Weedon means would be the ones which can begin between those who actually start reading the Book of Concord. It doesn't need to be an online forum. It needs to be in the home, in the bible classroom, and at gatherings. I have lost track of how many times I have explained the Office of the Keys, for example, to my new Lutheran brothers and sisters.

Many faithful confessional Lutheran pastors are rightly dividing Law and Gospel for their flocks each Lord's Day. This is so very important. But Lutherans also need to understand their doctrine in order to share their faith. I am not sure that can happen by listening to brief sermons alone or having bits and pieces come out in adult bible class (Sunday School).

Surveys for this and that have popped up online of late, the impending synod presidency vote for one and most recently commonly used hymns, for another. I wonder what the results would be if there were a survey to see how many parishes offer on-going systematic instruction on the Book of Concord for adults and young adults. The four closest parishes to me do not, though one currently has an evening study of the Smalcald Articles (note: when first offered as the Smalcald Articles only one or two signed up, so it was re-offered the next season as the Last Will and Testament of Luther). The only bible study my parish offers is on Wednesday mornings, so that all who work cannot attend.

Even more curious to me would be how many homes have at least one copy of the Book of Concord, how many adults and young adults read the Book of Concord daily/regularly, and how many of them have their own copy.


Myrtle said...


I have gotten many a strange look for quoting the Book of Concord at bible studies and social gatherings. I regularly lug it with me and flip open to relevant sections with little or no encouragement, if the occasion fits, for I am still, fifteen months later, utterly amazed that God would give me this precious resource, that I don't have to go to seminary and attend lectures, but that it is all written out for me to delve into, savor, and share with others. And it genuinely puzzles me how few Lutherans I have met actually study it, how its catechesis does not seem prevalent, if present at all beyond the Small Catechism instruction for catechumens that does not extend past the time they gain the altar/are confirmed, and how many parents do not see it as a precious gift to bestow upon their older children. I do not mean for these to be sweeping generalizations, but having been a part of two staunch confessional parishes I still see little evidence of a working knowledge of our Confessions beyond the pastoral staff.

For those who have already signed up for the emails, I shall joyfully type up snippets for them to read each day as the Lord enables me. For those who have already offered to help figure out a way to get some free study materials to help others discover the riches and depths of this resource, I shall eagerly receive their input, assistance, and encouragement for this daunting task. For the one who has already offered to help figure out an easy way for people to donate copies for those who cannot afford them, especially the men being trained as pastors overseas who also long to learn and share our Confessions, I shall be eternally grateful that God provided someone to help begin to navigate those waters so that all that is done is transparent and above reproach, even if I am the only one making the donations.

But it is my true sorrow that launching this has raised suspicion and criticism here and elsewhere. That is the last thing that any of us would want. I grieve that the messaging about the value of the Book of Concord and this effort to encourage others to read, study, and share this truly wondrous gift has been unclear, distorted, or misperceived. And I am heartily sorry for such and ask forgiveness.

I want nothing more for there to not be a need for any group, women or men or both, to advocate for the regular reading, studying, and sharing of our Confessions. I just don't think that is reality.

Humbly speaking, there was too much enthusiastic reception for my first effort, Dare to Read: The Book of Concord (http://www.justanote.com/p/dare-to-read-again.html), a free booklet to help people have an overview of our confessions and woo them to start diving into them for me to think there is no need for further encouragement and support and free study materials.

But, again, I am truly sorry if my effort has stumbled out of the gate.

Anonymous said...

I started attending the Lutheran Church about two years ago and would like to offer a few comments.

First, Bethany is right about how the Lutheran church treats women. It is as if we are witless and childish!

Secondly, I am thrilled to know there are intelligent, educated women who are excited about their faith and want to be in a serious Bible study.

Third, I read the Book of Concord, readers edition this summer. I enjoyed it. I will sign up so I can continue to learn. It is a lot to digest.

Lastly, with all the educated women in the workforce it would appear to me there is a great mission field. Materials written to appeal to this group versus the studies with flowers and butterflies and shallow studies would prove to be beneficial.


Rebekah said...

Aw, come on, girls. We can't blame CPH for noticing that a lot of chicks DO like flowers and butterflies, trite personal reflections with some Bible verses squeezed in, and buying matchy junk. And for those who aren't inclined in that direction, CPH has To Live With Christ, Meditations On the Gospels, God Grant It, TDP, and plenty o' Confessions and Heilege Schrift. Easy enough to write up a few study questions for a chapter in one of those to use at the Hard Scientist Girls' Bible Study.

Of course, if CPH were looking for ideas about some serious products for women, a new edition Starck's Motherhood Prayers to go with our gracious host's reworking of the main volume and a Lutheran response to The Eternal Woman would have to be at the top of the list. Imagine reading something about women in the church besides "They just can't be pastors, that's all."!

Anonymous said...


Thanks for the website, your goals are admirable - and thanks for not including flowers and butterflies (although I actually do really like both). Sorry if I came off as overly critical. Keep up the good work! :)
Bethany Kilcrease