Not this weekend, but the next two Sundays in November, I’ll be teaching an adult Kairos class on The Pietist Option at Incarnation Lutheran Church in Shoreview, Minnesota. Here’s the course description:
In the history of Lutheranism few renewal movements have been as successful as Pietism. This led to revivals everywhere from 17th century Germany to 18th century India and 19th century Scandinavia. Dr. Chris Gehrz, Bethel University, will explain why Pietism is more relevant than ever for American Christianity, and suggest what it would look like for Lutheran churches to embrace an ethos that fuses personal devotion, social reform, and an overarching spirit of “hope for better times.”
I planned this “Pietist Option for Lutherans” course earlier this year, with no idea that I would find myself attending a (different) Lutheran church this fall. But as things have worked out, this topic is obviously of great personal importance, and I’m excited to talk through it with members and guests of Incarnation Lutheran!
Tentatively, I plan to spend our time on November 18th looking backwards, at the historic relationship between Pietism and Lutheranism in Germany, Scandinavia, and America. Then on the 25th, we’ll look to the present and future and ask what the six elements of our “option” might mean for Lutherans and Lutheran churches. Each class will be taught twice, at 8:55am and 10:05am.
Hope to see you there! (If you’re planning to attend… I think I’ll have copies of the book to sell, but you can always read ahead…)