It is a well-attested-to reality that church membership has been in significant decline among younger generations. While this is true across denominations, church decline is impacting Lutheran congregations more than those of other Christian traditions. For example, in his article titled "The LCMS in the Face of Demographic and Social Change: A Social Science Perspective," George Hawley notes the following regarding membership decline in the LCMS:
"While there was a decline in every decade since 1971, about half of that decline occurred between 2000 and 2010—the number of LCMS adherents dropped by 250,000 people over that ten year period."*
According to one study from Harvard University,** the age distribution of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod is the oldest of any major Protestant group in the United States. The chart below shows the age distribution among Lutheran church bodies in the United States compared to that of the Just & and Sinner audience.
Just & Sinner is reaching younger generations through Confessional Lutheran YouTube channels, podcasts, and resources—all available for free online. Just & Sinner Publishing, likewise, reprints, creates, and distributes accessibly priced Confessional Lutheran books.
As Martin Luther used the new technology of his day, the printing press, to spread the Gospel, we too can use innovative technologies like the internet to reach those who need to hear faithful biblical teaching. Prayerfully consider a donation to support Just & Sinner today, and help us reach the next generation. Visit our donate page to here.
Dr. Jordan B. Cooper
*Hawley, "Social Change," https://resources.lcms.org/newsletters/journal-of-lutheran-mission-december-2016/
**Cooperative Election Study, https://cces.gov.harvard.edu/home?fbclid=IwAR0k9ziBTH0UnT7QmQbRozHnGBFRAM0m02pidNsnGU5ENf-kAL1RUl2G_eA
We have just released a new devotional with the text of Luther's Small and Large Catechism with daily prayers and questions for daily meditation. You can purchase the work here.
George Henry Gerberding's The Lutheran Pastor is now available in a new edition. This new printing has brand new typesetting and cover art. Some typographical errors have also been fixed throughout the text.
If you are interested in submitting a book proposal to Just and Sinner, send it to Proposals@JustandSinner.org
Your proposal should contain the following:
Important things to note with regard to our publications:
Please note that if these guidelines are not followed, and we do not receive all the information requested, your manuscript will be rejected.
In a process of streamlining both our website and our communication, we have recently made some significant updates to the site.
First, we have combined the publishing and main websites for Just and Sinner, so that all of our books can be found right here on JustandSinner.org. At the time of writing this, most of our books are now up on this site, but you may find that a few works have not yet been brought over to our books page. So, if you are looking for something that is not there, this doesn't mean the work is out of print. It will up continually updated over the next week or so.
Second, Just and Sinner has retired the old JustandSinner@yahoo.com email address. We now have separate email addresses you can contact depending on the nature of the inquiry.
Questions can be sent to Questions@JustandSinner.org
Speaking or interview requests with our fellows can be sent to Requests@JustandSinner.org
Book manuscript submissions may be sent to Submissions@JustandSinner.org
You can contact Jordan Cooper directly at JordanBCooper@JustandSinner.org, but note that due to the large number of emails he receives, you may not receive a response.
Our new edition of Charles Porterfield Krauth's The Conservative Reformation and Its Theology is now available! The description is as follows:
Nineteenth century America was a time of self-definition for Lutherans. Competing visions of Lutheranism in the new world led to questions about the role of the Lutheran Confessions, the nature of the sacraments, and the order of worship. Pastor Samuel S. Schmucker argued for a uniquely American Lutheranism which departed from the historical Lutheran church in numerous ways. In response to this, Charles Krauth wrote this work, The Conservative Reformation, as a plea to return to a historically and theologically robust Lutheranism.
Krauth's book is a masterpiece of both historical and theological writing. In this work, Krauth provides a history of the Reformation and of the writing of the Lutheran Confessions. He then outlines the unique doctrines of Lutheranism and answers criticisms of Reformed theologians, Roman Catholics, and others. Krauth provides a vision of Lutheranism which is conservative, relying on the great truths of the past, without being strictly tied to a rote traditionalism.
Pick up your copy along with our other books at JSPublishing.org
Martin Luther, and the Reformation in general, famously insisted that human beings are saved by the work of Christ “by grace alone (sola gratia), by faith alone (sola fide).” The insistence on sola gratia was already an old one, especially in the Western Church, having been championed by St. Augustine against the Pelagians, and so on that point the Reformers simply had to point the wayward Semi-Pelagian teachers of their own day back to that great Doctor of the Church. Of course that was a lot harder than it sounds, but sola fide was a harder sell, because although Scripture teaches “that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law” (Rom. 3:28), and the Fathers followed suit, Scripture also teaches that God “will render to each one according to his works” (Rom. 2:6), and the Fathers said that too. How to combine both teachings in such a way that the first statement (the Gospel) cannot be undermined and taken away by the second, is one of the hardest and most important problems in Theology, and the most characteristic and important contribution of the Reformation—particularly in its pure Lutheran form. But this can make it seem as if it was a new idea in the 16th century, contrary not only to the teachings of the Late Medieval Church, but also the Ancient Fathers. This is an accusation that the Reformers were quite keen to disprove. They were convinced, and worked to convince friend and foe, that their teachings had Patristic roots as well as Scriptural ones. If you are similarly convinced, or want to be, or even if you want to evaluate the claim from an antagonistic position, this seminar is for you.
The Weidner Institute has just released our latest publication Union with Christ: Salvation as Participation by Jordan Cooper which is part of the A Contemporary Protestant Scholastic Theology series.
Marcus Johnson says of this book:
"This book is excellent. By emphasizing the importance of union with Christ in the Lutheran tradition, Jordan Cooper is recovering a gospel reality without which the Reformation is nearly impossible to understand. Though sometimes neglected in contemporary Protestant theology and worship, the believer’s union with Christ was one of Luther’s own deepest theological commitments. I hope that a great many people read this book and, by way of its deep historical and theological learnedness, come to appreciate the inestimable significance—both for the Reformational tradition and for the contemporary church—of life in Christ Jesus.”
You can pick up your copy here.
With the COVID 19 Pandemic, the question of online celebrations of the Sacrament of the Altar have arisen. In particular, a document has begun to circulate titled "In Defense of Christian Assemblies Gathering on the Internet for the Purpose of Receiving the Sacrament of the Altar," which makes an argument for the validity of the practice. This paper is a response to each of the thesis presented in that article. The primary author of this document is Jordan Cooper, but significant input, argumentation, and editing was contributed by Lewis Polzin, Matthew Fenn, Lisa Cooper, and Eric Phillips.
Find the document here:
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