Theology is the study of God and the relationship between God and the universe. Lutheran theology, while inheriting the rich tradition of the western Church, has a distinct hermeneutic, or interpretive principle: The doctrine of justification by grace for Christ's sake through faith norms Lutheran understanding of God and God's actions in creation.
Formally, Lutheran theology is often divided into four broad disciplines: 1) Exegetical (Biblical) Theology; 2) Systematic Theology; 3) Historical Theology; 4) Practical Theology. These four major categories are represented in the ODP and have been somewhat expanded to expedite searches.
Less formally, Lutheran theology often organizes internally along the lines of reactions to current issues, often seen in liberal vs. conservative, traditional vs. modern, or synod vs. synod construction.
Submissions should be significant and not be duplicated elsewhere in the Open Directory. For instance, even if the URL is different, links to identical material already listed ordinarily should not be submitted. Fresh commentary on existing subjects is, however, allowed and encouraged.
Please try to determine the appropriate discipline (i.e., Systematic, Exegetical, Historical, or Practical) of Lutheran Theology to which your site belongs, based upon the category description. If the site contains significant information in multiple disciplines, then submit it to this general Lutheran Theology category.
If this submission is of a personal site, please see that it contains a significant amount of theological writing not duplicated in this category. If you are a Lutheran and you talk a bit about your congregation, your faith, or Lutheranism in general as part of a larger statement about yourself, you can join others who do the same in category Lutheran personal pages. Finally on this subject, if the page is a mixed bag, follow the procedure listed below for congregations.
If yours is a congregational site, please submit it in the Congregations category under the appropriate Synod and, if it also has major theological content, submit the page or relevant sub-page(s) to the appropriate area of Lutheran Theology.
Listings in this category are of multi-disciplinary lists of links to other URLs or on-site resources. These directories may have a very specific agenda or point of view and may contain editorial commentary.
Please submit well catalogued and organized lists of links and resources, especially those that are annotated. Editorial comments about these linked sites are welcomed and encouraged.
Exegetical Theology is Biblical interpretation, including isagogics (introductory study, history of the Bible, and versions), hermeneutics (principles of interpretation), and textual criticism.
Sites submitted should deal with the principles, application, and methodology of interpretation. Actual Bible studies, especially those intended for lay use, should be submitted to the Bible Studies
Historical Theology includes Biblical archaeology, the history of the Christian Church, history of doctrine and confessions, and patristics (study of the Church fathers). It may also involve smaller things, such as individuals who are members of the Lutheran Church and are prominent in non-theological fields.
Submissions should contribute to the history of Lutheranism or to a Lutheran interpretation of pre-Reformation events. Included may be writings by Lutheran Biblical archaeologists or Lutheran studies of the Church fathers.
Please note that there is a separate category (Lutheran: Theology: Theologians) intended specifically for writings about major Lutheran theologians or those theologians who spent major parts of their lives involved in Lutheranism.
Because of its impact not only on the church, but also society, the Reformation is covered separately, so historical submissions in this area are catalogued in the category The Reformation: Lutheran Reformation.
Online publications and subscription information for official and unofficial Lutheran print theological periodicals.
Submissions to this category should be of regularly published works dealing primarily with theology by synods, seminaries, colleges, other church agencies, or independent organizations which exist online or are in print form and are available for subscription.
Practical Theology is the application of the other three theological disciplines (Exegetical, Systematic, and Historical), including pastoral theology, church polity, catechetics and education, homiletics, liturgics and hymnody, and ecclesiastical art and architecture.
Submit sites dealing with the theological and biblical rationale for evangelism, case studies, theory, and proposed application. These may deal with Gospel outreach on church-wide, congregational, small group, or individual levels, both official and unofficial. Include analysis of "target audiences" and their unique social, cultural, or religious status and how they can be addressed.
Systematic Theology, including dogmatics or doctrinal theology, involves the study of symbolic or confessional books, moral philosophy and ethics, and apologetics (defending the faith) and polemics (attacking the positions held by others for doctrinal reasons). It also includes inter-church relations and ecumenical endeavors.
Doctrinal writings and confessional studies, whether old or new, are proper additions to this category.