A snippet from the Introduction:
The beauty of the Augsburg Confession can be made even more so when fine art is employed to support its ideas. The work of Rev. Gaven Mize and Rev. Roberto Rojas does just that. More than simple “wine and cheese” pairings, the masterworks – from Grünewald to Michelangelo – have been chosen to help underscore Scripture and to give greater understanding to each article of the Confession. Here, as in the sanctuary, artwork does its best by pointing the viewer to Holy Scripture and by serving as a teaching tool. While the individual pieces might have originally had different purposes, in this book they are made slaves of Scripture and serve to enlighten the reader on what Lutherans confess.
LC-MS Artist, Art Theologian, and Art Historian
These authors had an amazing idea: take each piece of the Augsburg Confession and pair it with artwork and an informative devotion, demonstrating the Confession’s basis and application. Ever thought the Augsburg Confession must be academic and beyond you? It’s not and this book very well proves it!
Introductory material offers you some of the history. Then you see the first painting chosen and you realize just how real and intimate the Augsburg Confession is. Real men worshiping a real God staked their life on this confession of faith—and real men continue to do so! Taking the time to go through this, article by article, is not only worthwhile, but devotional, relevant, theologically soothing, and actually beautiful.
Let’s clarify a little here. The Augsburg Confession summarizes basic Lutheran teachings, sometimes saying, essentially, we believe this but not that. Some “articles” are as short as a single paragraph. Many are two. A few are several pages. A few more are, using this book’s layout and font, four or five.
In other words, this might be a great way to read a little every day and give yourself some time to think things through. You might even go back to reread the instruction following in reflection.
I love the meat of this package: meat in the sense of real substance prepared for digestion. Who is God? Who is Jesus? What is justification, ministry and pastors, new obedience, etc? Read the answers and digest them alongside the pastoral offering following each picture and quotation.
Like Bible references so you can check passages out for yourself? This is for you.
Here are the article topics:
Article 1: Of God
Article 2: Of Sin
Article 3: Of the Son of God
Article 4: Of Justification
Article 5: Of the Ministry
Article 6: Of New Obedience
Article 7: Of The Church
Article 8: What the Church Is
Article 9: Of Baptism
Article 10: Of the Lord’s Supper
Article 11: Of Confession
Article 12: Of Repentance
Article 13: Of the Use of Sacraments
Article 14: Of Ecclesiastical Order
Article 15: Of Ecclesiastical Uses
Article 16: Of Civil Affairs
Article 17: Of Christ’s Return to Judgment
Article 18: Of Free Will
Article 19: The Cause of Sin
Article 20: Good Work
Article 21: Worship of the Saints
Article 21: The Worship of the Saints
Article 22: Of Both Kinds in the Sacrament
Article 23: Of the Marriage of Priests
Article 24: Of the Mass
Article 25: Of Confession
Article 26: Of the Distinction of Meats
Article 27: Of Monastic Vows
Article 28: Of Ecclesiastical Power
Conclusion to the Augsburg Confession
And, as though this book weren’t a treasure enough, it looks like this will be a series! Beauty and the Augsburg Confession follows a 2017 release, also by Rev. Gaven Mize, Beauty and Catechesis, same premises, same format. (I reviewed that one here.)
It’s on sale TODAY so I’m blogging it even though I usually don’t post Sundays. Hardcover is still in the works.