Loehe - Questions and Answers to the Six Parts of the Small Catechism of Dr. Martin Luther

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Wilhelm Loehe (or Johann Konrad Wilhelm Loehe) was quite important to my theological development.  Way back I used For All the Saints, a Lutheran Breviary, and ran into some of his Prayers.  I had never heard prayers that connected prayers that had substance like that before...  So who was this guy?

He was a Lutheran Pastor in Neuendettelsau, Bavaria throughout the middle of the 19th Century.  This small town was hardly a major post in the Church.  But this didn't stop him from accomplishing many things.

He read a letter from some American Lutheran Pastors pleading for support because of the vast numbers of German Lutherans who didn't have trained pastors.  And in spite of being in no-wheresville, he asked around to see if any from his flock would be interested in helping.  He found some volunteers, trained them himself, and sent them over to America to finish their training, to be teachers or preachers as the Church here needed.  These "Loehe Men" where greatly valued, and so the Americans asked for more.  When Loehe found that there wasn't any solid Lutheran theology available in English, he had a Latin work by Hunnius translated into English, printed it in Germany, and sent the books over to America... (http://archive.org/details/cu31924029460460 )

Originally they went to the Joint Synod of Ohio, but Loehe came to view them as not being Lutheran enough.  Then they went to what became the Missouri Synod (probably half of the founding pastors of the Missouri Synod were Loehe men).  Then Loehe and Walther came to some arguments about the relationship between Pastors and Congregations and they split.  This eventually resulted in the next wave of Loehe men founding the Iowa Synod.

And if this isn't enough, a few times Loehe sent over whole communities to do mission work.  The first of these, Frankenmuth, MI was probably the most successful.  Some missionaries went to other countries as well.  Loehe became one of the most important figures in 19th Century American Lutheranism, and he never left Germany.

And in Germany he set up Deaconess communities for inner mission work - teaching, taking care of the sick, etc.  I have heard that these groups were some of the strongest fighters against Hitler's Eugenics attempts later...

He was quite involved with liturgical reform, and his liturgies became the standard works over here for many.  His prayer-book for the people, Seed Grains of Prayer, went through countless editions, and was translated into English.  (I am slowly working on making a PB of it)

He said of Luther's Catechism that it was the only catechism that could be prayed.  And he created this book for parents so that they could teach their children with some more understanding, with the goal not of teaching a whole system of doctrine, but rather for clarifying the Small Catechism.

After many squabbles with the State Church, which almost had him leaving it, he rather transformed it though his parish work.  He is probably the "means" the Holy Spirit used to plant the seed so the Bavarian Lutheran Church was NOT taken over by Hitler's German Christians...

Not bad for a pastor stuck in a small town.

And so I offer this to you all, to prepare for his commemoration on Jan 2nd.

Source for this book is http://archive.org/details/questionsanswers00loeh  Google searches can provide cover pictures a plenty.

SDG

Ken McGuire

The Gospel is not ... a "new law," on the contrary, ... a "new life." - William Julius Mann

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Martin Horn | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 27 2012 8:30 AM

Thank you for the catechism

 

Martin Horn

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Milford Charles Murray | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Dec 28 2012 8:29 AM

Kenneth McGuire:
And if this isn't enough, a few times Loehe sent over whole communities to do mission work.  The first of these, Frankenmuth, MI was probably the most successful.  Some missionaries went to other countries as well.  Loehe became one of the most important figures in 19th Century American Lutheranism, and he never left Germany.

Peace to you, Ken!                      And Great Joy from the Prince of Peace!             *smile*

                Thanks for your continuing efforts for us!  Much appreciated!                And   I thank the Lord for your lovely sense of humour!

Philippians 4:  4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand..........

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