Necessary Roughness on “First Thoughts on Walther Movie”

Dan Engle over on Necessary Roughness posted this “First Thoughts” of the Walther movie that has been sent to all congregations. We previously talked about this movie here.

Be sure to watch for the movie and see if you can get it used at your church!



My pastor asked if I was interested in watching the new Walther movie produced by Concordia Seminary in St. Louis and distributed to every congregation. I’ve not had a chance to check out all the discs in the 4-DVD set, but I watched the movie last night.

The target audience for the movie seems to be the Lutheran who already knows some history. It shows Lutherans persecuted for secret church services in Germany, but it doesn’t really go into the mandate of the Prussian Union that attempted to force Lutherans to worship with people who denied the doctrines of the sacraments.

The movie covers the voyage over, the landing in New Orleans and move to St. Louis, the attempted establishment of a Lutheran commune in Perry County, MO, and C.F.W. Walther’s wrestling with whether or not the Lutherans in America were actually a church, when their bishop who led them to America was discovered to be a chronic adulterer and was exiled.

The discussion of the governmental shift from bishop-led commune to individual and congregational self-effort was rather abrupt and needed more development. It seemed like people were angry at the bishop for his desire to build roads to his new house; then suddenly people were angry at the system of church government. There was opportunity for a discussion of vocation and letting the talents of the people dictate what they could do, but maybe this was a discussion that didn’t happen in the day.

The background hymns sung by Erin Bode were wonderful; I do hope she blesses Time Out with a hymn or two.

Some of the other audio work needed some improvement, though. A couple of times a person would address a group in a room, and the background noise was noticeably different from microphone to microphone.

I liked the “interviews” with some of the characters to explain some of the details that were going on. I felt that taking the movie into more of a documentary direction than a drama would have served it well.

I learned how to pronounce “Vehse” (veh-see) .

I commend the effort of Concordia Seminary in the making of this movie. Covering the history of the period for 2-3 weeks prior to viewing the movie would help it to be appreciated by those would can really stand to benefit.

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