The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

of Lutheran (and some other) Theological Sites on the Internet


The Good | The Bad |The Ugly | Some Afterthoughts…

Lee van Cleef (17k)

The Good

These are sites with good content that are, nonetheless, generally viewed as acceptable even by those who claim the name Lutheran but don’t agree with the position and purpose of Confess And Teach For Unity. Top of Page

Official Church-body/Institutional Sites

(listed alphabetically…)

The Association of Confessional Lutherans sponsors theological conferences that feature scholars from around the world, yet are accessible to the laity and parish pastors, as well as stimulating for academics Top of Page

The Association of Confessional Lutheran Churches (ACLC) was formed by pastors and congregations leaving the Evangelical Lutheran Synod in the wake of that body’s removal of the Rev. Rolf Preus for insisting that it false doctrine to speak of anyone holding ‘a part of the office of the Keys’ Top of Page

Concordia Historical Institute is the foremost source for the history of the Missouri Synod and Lutheranism in general Top of Page

Concordia Seminary, St. Louis Top of Page

Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne Top of Page

The Confessional Lutheran Education Foundation both helps to fund graduate level studies for pastors in the United States and facilitates education for pastors around the world, providing instructors, funding, and theological writings in dozens of languages Top of Page

The Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America (ELDoNA) Includes links to theological papers, parishes of member pastors, and the bishop’s excellent blog Top of Page

The Evangelical Lutheran Synod (ELS) Top of Page

The Luther Academy promotes genuine, confessional Lutheran theology and research throughout the world by means of conferences, scholarly exchanges, and publications (they are the publishers of Logia, for example, and the Confessional Lutheran Dogmatics series Top of Page

The Lutheran Church - Canada (LC-C) Top of Page

The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod (LCMS) Official Home Page provides one with links to LCMS entities and publications Top of Page

Luther Seminary, Adelaide Seminary of the Lutheran Church of Australia Top of Page

The Orthodox Lutheran Confessional Conference (OLCC) is a fellowship without organizational structure, formed by pastors and congregations leaving the Lutheran Churches of the Reformation Top of Page

Repristination Press publishes works that are essential for formation in the theology and practice of Lutheran orthodoxy Top of Page

The Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS) The WELS site is a great resource with an impressive array of services and links Top of Page

Top of Page

Publications and Other Resources

“Ask the Pastor” - religious questions answered by the Rev. Walter Snyder of Emma, Missouri. Don’t be shy with your questions! Top of Page

GOTTESDIENST Magazine: A Quarterly Journal of the Evangelical-Lutheran Liturgy, might well be more simply titled: The Journal of the Lutheran Liturgy! Whether rite, rubric, or ceremony, the definitive answer is to be found here. (Be sure to check out thee-columns written by two of its editors, The Shire and On Being Liturgical!) Top of Page

LOGIA Magazine is a great theological publication, accessible and interesting to laity and pastors alike (and you thought that only described beer!) Top of Page

Luther Concordance - a concordance to the works of St. Martin of Wittenberg (some German is required to get the most out of this) Top of Page

Luther Digest is an annual abridgment of transcontinental Luther studies Top of Page

The Lutheran Hymnal MIDI Project and The Lutheran Hymnal Online have merged into one website, Lutheran, to more easily bring the rich treasure of Lutheran hymnody to your soundcard and monitor Top of Page

Project Wittenberg Your best source for historical Lutheran documents in electronic form! Top of Page

The Bad

We really don’t see a great need to point you to the sites of those who teach error, nor do we wish to ‘run them into the ground’ as though we were any less worthy of condemnation by our perfectly holy God, but we offer the following denominational/institutional examples and others (which we will supply in the future) which are the ‘worst of the worst’ as a basis for comparison between true and false ‘Lutheranism’. If you wish, you may skip directly to The Ugly .

Top of Page

Official Church-body/Institutional Sites

(listed alphabetically…)

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is very difficult to abbreviate. They want us to call them ‘The ELCA’, with each letter pronounced, rather than ‘ELK-a’ (even though they allow lodge membership) or ‘elSA’ (even though this feminine ending is quite appropriate because of their rejection of St. Paul’s words concerning who is and is not to be a pastor, as well as his teaching concerning lesbianism/homosexuality, and their general ‘sell-out’ to militant feminism, including the permission of ‘Goddess worship’ in their conferences, writings of their professors, etc.). Also, with their emphasis not being, truly, on the Gospel, but on ‘social [in]justice’ issues, the word ‘Evangelical’ slips from their name (*LCA) and because they have rejected the doctrine of the Lutheran Confessions by (among other things) linking their altars and pulpits to those who teach completely contrary to those Confessions(like the United Church of Christ, the Presbyterian Church U.S.A., and the Reformed Church in America), the ‘Lutheran’ slips away as well (**CA). Since they are not really a ‘church’, but a federation of congregations committed to the promotion of false doctrine, the ‘Church’ seems a little odd, too (***A), and since they have routinely promoted (by teaching and by investments) ‘liberation theology’ that seeks to establish communist regimes to ‘free the people’, one wonders how they can claim ‘America’ in their title. Oh, well, enjoy your time at ****.org…! Top of Page


Other Organizations

Concord of Texas and Texas Confessional Lutherans are two separate, but excellent groups with one nasty problem: their webmaster allows the writings of false teachers to stand on equal footing with the otherwise excellent material found on their sites. It is hard to classify these sites as ‘bad’, but with this situation there is no way to call it ‘good’, despite the abundance of rich content. Top of Page

Another organization that has some wonderful content yet merits a designation of ‘bad’ is that of ‘Reclaiming Walther in the Missouri Synod’. While students of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod’s first president, C.F.W. Walther refer to the site as ‘Defaming Walther’ because of the site owner’s schismatic distortion of Walther’s statements regarding Church polity (Walther said that the form of governance was not mandated by God and, therefore, the congregation has the inalienable right to chose how it is to be governed, but the Reclaiming Walther owner claims that there is but one form of polity that must be enforced upon all the congregations of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod), this site and its ‘LutherQuest’ discussion board still have some useable resources…but, then again, so does the ELCA site, above, or that of the Mormons, etc. Top of Page

LCMS President

We used to start our ‘Ugly’ section with the page of the Rev. Dr. A. L. Barry, president of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod from 1992 ‘til his death in 2001, and some of his excellent resources remain accessible there—and other good resources may be added—BUT, when a site contains inaccurate information in spite of repeated requests for correction, we have no choice but to list that site as ‘Bad’, especially when such a refusal to correct gives a false impression that makes oneself and one’s actions look more acceptable to those who don’t know better. Thus, the inaction of President Kieschnick’s staff with regard to his defense of Atlantic District President David Benke, which contains what purports to be Benke’s prayer at Oprah Winfrey’s 10/23/01 “A Prayer for America” service, but, in fact, is not the prayer there given, merits him this ‘Bad’ rating. If the President of the LCMS will bring his report of this event into conformity with the truth, this rating might be reconsidered. Top of Page


The Ugly

The following sites are as good as the good…in fact, in many cases they are better. Yet, these sites are ‘ugly’ to many…for one simple reason: these are the ultimate Confessional Lutheran Links! Here are the URLs for the web pages of Confessional pastors, congregations, and organizations throughout the world…Top of Page

A new site in this category (as of 2008-05-10) is Virtually Lutheran, an attempt to assist the Lutheran Church—Canada reclaim Lutheran orthodoxy. It is ‘dedicated’ to those parishes that ‘would be Lutheran’ except for the notable errors that they promote on their websites, such as open Communion, substituting grape juice for the Lord’s Supper, re-baptism of adults, ministry without a Call, and so on.

Evangelical-Lutheran Liturgical Congregations is a website developed to assist Evangelical-Lutherans in locating congregations that use the historic liturgy of the Church in all their services and that practice Closed Communion. Whether people are traveling on vacation or business or moving to a new home, this directory will help them find Evangelical-Lutheran congregations that have not adopted worship customs from the surrounding culture, such as “contemporary worship,” “praise bands,” and “entertainment worship.” Top of Page

Consensus is an organization that seeks to educate the members of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod on the theological issues confronting that church body. Documents and conversations pertaining to every aspect of Lutheran theology can be found on their website. Top of Page

Confessional Lutherans Australia formed in 2003 to encourage the members of the Lutheran Church of Australia to uphold and conform to the Confession of that body. To accomplish this objective, they have loaded their site with fantastic theological resources—stuff of such high quality as one should expect from a church body that fills not only a country, but a continent! Top of Page

Reformation Today Magazine has been created by confessional Lutherans within the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod who “believe that the time has come to end the partisan politics, closed door dealings, straw man arguments, and abuse of power [that many have considered to be taking over their church body, as it has others] in favor of an approach based on Holy Scripture, the Lutheran Confessions, and Christian charity.” Reformation Today is “an independent publication,” their contributors, at times, “may even disagree somewhat in their analysis of issues and in their suggestions for remedies,” but they see this as a strength and, indeed, the only path by which “it is possible to forge out of the present chaos and lack of discipline, a church body where the undershepherds of Christ serve their Lord faithfully among lay people who contribute to the work of the church as full partners in the gospel, each according to vocation.” Top of Page

‘The Confessional Lutherans’ website is operated by Minnesota (North and South)Confessional Lutherans not only on their own behalf, but also for the Association of Confessional Lutherans and the Lutheran Concerns Association and not only contains some wonderful articles, but also a calendar of Confessional Lutheran events throughout the United States. (It is also quick-loading and very aesthetically pleasing!) Top of Page

Northern Illinois Confessional Lutherans is a group in northern Illinois (imagine that!) that seeks to study the theology of Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions to promote continued fidelity to them in The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod; to address publicly current doctrinal issues in our District and in our Synod; to provide an avenue for speaking with a united voice on doctrine and on practice; to provide an avenue for the dissemination of information; to provide occasional seminars and conferences for the general membership of our District; to identify and communicate with other groups which share our confessional basis and goals. Top of Page

Essays on Lutheranism are included on site of Pastor Terjesen of Peekskill, NY, a man who made a bold confession of the truth in leaving his former church body…and has never stopped since! Top of Page

The Lutheran Theology Website of the Rev. David Jay Webber has a fantastic variety of ammassed quotes from Luther and the Lutheran fathers. But that site is just the tip of Pastor Webber's iceburg! Check out the other websites maintained by pastor Webber, as well!

The Rev. Fr. Walter P. Snyder, Jr. has, quite simply, not only one of the best Lutheran websites, but, simply, one of the best sites on the web in any category. Top of Page

Some Afterthoughts…

When I first added the item ‘Some Afterthoughts’ to the menu at the top of this page, I had something in mind…but I’ve long since forgotten what it was. I’ll use this space, then, to simply encourage you to return here often and to be sure to get a fresh view of the page, as we will be constantly adding new things from here on out. Top of Page


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