An Overview of The Book of Concord - The Lutheran Confessions
The Confessions provide a summary of the Lutheran beliefs and teaching
derived primarily from a compilation of confessional writings based
on Scripture by 16th century Lutheran theologians.
Concord means "harmony", and thus the Book of Concord expresses the
church's harmony in the teaching of God's Word, uniting us in a common conviction about God's Word.
Luther's Stand at the Diet of Worms, 1521
Lutherans trace their roots back to the 16th century when Martin Luther, an Augustinian Roman Catholic monk, challenged some of the teachings and practices of the Roman Catholic Church.
On October 31st 1517 Luther attached 95 theses (or propositions) to the front door of the church in Wittenburg, Germany criticizing the Roman Catholic Church's practice of selling indulgences, pieces of paper which claimed to save people from time spent in purgatory. Lutherans still celebrate the Reformation on October 31st and still hold to the basic principles of theology and practice established by Luther. These are:
Grace Alone - We are saved by the grace of God alone and not by anything we do.
Faith Alone - Our salvation is through faith in Christ alone and we only need to believe that our sins are forgiven because Christ died to redeem us.
Scripture Alone - The Bible is the only norm of doctrine and life and the only true standard by which teachings and doctrines are to be judged.
Luther's bold action turned out to be the spark that ignited the Protestant Reformation throughout Europe. As a result, in April 1521 Luther was summoned by the Holy Roman Emperor to appear before the Imperial Diet (general assembly of the Holy Roman Empire) held in the town of Worms in southwest Germany where he was asked to retract (renounce) his views and writings. There Luther made his historic stand to boldly uphold the authority of Scripture regardless of the outcome. This video segment from the 2003 movie, "Luther", staring Joseph Fiennes as Martin Luther, depicts Martin Luther's bold stand before the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles the Fifth.