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Lutheran Theological Journal - guided by principles past and present
7 August 2014

Tradition recognises 1517 AD, the year that Luther posted the 95 Theses on the door of the castle church in Wittenberg, as the start of the Reformation. In the year of the 450th Jubilee of the Reformation, 1967, Lutheran Theological Journal was born, the journal of the faculty of Luther Seminary, the fledgling seminary of the fledgling Lutheran Church of Australia. The first editor of LTJ, Dr Henry Hamann, did not fail to comment on the significance of the year in his inaugural editorial.

In that same editorial, Dr Hamann listed the principles that were to guide LTJ, principles that mesh with those that still guide the editorial team today: loyalty to the Bible and the Confessions, the professional growth of the Church’s pastors, teachers and lay leaders, sharing information and reflecting on contemporary theological trends and important church developments, and deep concern for the practice of ministry. It could be argued that in recent years spiritual formation and pastoral care have received more emphasis than previously.

From the day of its inauguration to this, LTJ appears in readers’ letter boxes in May, August and December. And once a faculty member becomes the editor, it would appear that he is reluctant to relinquish the position. Alternatively, nobody has ever rushed to take his place. There have been only four editors: Dr Hamann (1967–1985), Dr Joe Strelan (1986–1997), Dr Vic Pfitzner (1998–2004), and the undersigned from 2005.

If LTJ arose from its launching pad when the Reformation was 450 years of age, it now has its gaze focused on the up-coming 500th Jubilee year, 2017. Organisers of the so-called Luther Decade (2008–2017) have set aside each year of the decade for in-depth consideration of a different aspect of the Reformation. This year it’s the Reformation and Politics. The LTJ editorial team has decided to play our own small part by publishing in this year’s August edition five essays on that theme—the role played by the Reformers in the political life of sixteenth century Germany, with implications for today.

As a final note, the LTJ editorial team would like to thank our ever-growing band of loyal subscribers for their support and their words of encouragement. Those who would like to join their ranks may do so with a written request to:

Peter Lockwood