WELS president on the two versions of the Luther movie

Great Stuff found over on patheos.com:


April 18, 2017 by Gene Veith

711x400-Prez-TogetherNot only did the writer/producer of the new Luther movie, Mark Trinklein, weigh in to explain why there are two versions. So did the president of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, Rev. Mark Schroeder.

He explains that it had nothing to do with fellowship issues or theological concerns about the other version.

I appreciate both gentlemen for participating in this blog (patheos.com) and for setting the record straight.

Sorry that we here at this blog and on FaceBook jumped to some conclusions. Please share these explanations in your circles.

From WELS President Mark Schroeder,The other version of the new Luther movie:

I am glad that Mike Trinklein will be giving a full answer. As the writer/producer, he is in the best position to do that. In the meantime, I would like to correct a few faulty observations or speculations in the post.

The purpose of the second version had nothing to do with any faults or concerns with the version planned for PBS regarding fellowship issues, ecumenical concerns, or any concern about Luther being the reformer of all Christendom or his wider influence on culture. (WELS has never stated the concerns that were expressed by the ELS pastor you quoted.) Rather, all involved in the project simply felt that a version for a broader audience may not be able to emphasize the theology of Luther as much as we would want. A second version, designed for use by confessional Lutherans (not just WELS) was produced to do just that. In fact, many LCMS congregations are using the “Return to Grace” version, and I would encourage them to do that.

We are very grateful to Mike Trinklein and Steve Boettcher for their efforts in producing a film that not only highlights Luther’s contributions to church and secular history, but especially that beautifully and accurately depicts the heart of his theology and the blessings that God brought to the church (and the world) through his work.

WELS President Mark Schroeder


WELS president on the two versions of the Luther movie — 7 Comments

  1. I really wish that there could be a true and full reconciliation between the confessional members of the LCMS and the (W)ELS. I don’t fully understand what the division is about, but there are good, staunch confessional brothers that I would like to see in full fellowship.

  2. Here’s a proposal for reconciliation as these 3 areas are what the division is about:

    LCMS agrees to agree with WELS regarding women suffrage and the ‘unit concept’ of the ministry.

    WELS agrees to agree with LCMS regarding prayer fellowship.

    We then have full fellowship.

  3. I’m a little confused. The producers of the film and the WELS President think that people in 2017 will not able to grasp the core message of the Reformation like people in the 16th century were able to do?

  4. The 16th century largely didn’t “get it” either.

    [But what you largely get from the WELS version is more lectures, more WELS lecturers.]

    Watched both…

  5. @John M. #4I don’t think we will have ever have fellowship with lc-ms again
    . Hopefully we will have fellowship with the church of the Lutheran confession synod . The LC-MS well there is a whole lot to like about them though. Such as Pirate christian radio ,issues broadcasts,and many Lutheran satire videos and world view everlasting . Also many Concordia publishing house materials and books by LC-MS pastors. We enjoy that stuff to and learn from it.

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