What is Christianity? Faith & Morality Reconsidered
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What is Christianity? Faith & Morality Reconsidered

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We hear from the Apostle Peter that Christians should always be ready to give a confession of the hope that is in them and to defend their faith in an ever-changing world.

Originally delivered as an address at a synod convention in 1902, Das Wesen des Christentums or What is Christianity? was written by pastor and professor Francis Pieper.

In What is Christianity?: Faith & Morality Reconsidered, Pieper takes up Peter’s task against those who would confess works, moral improvement, and other man-made projects over and against the confession of Christ and him crucified. He boldly confesses what it means to be a Christian and what Christianity looks like with Christ truly as the center. In so doing, Pieper equips the saints to defend and proclaim the good news of forgiveness of sins on account of Christ alone.

Pastor Philip Bartelt (translator of Pieper’s presentation) says, “For Pieper, to be Lutheran meant to believe in Jesus Christ as the perfect sacrifice for sins in our stead—that Jesus was put under the law, under our sin, and under our punishment, in our stead and on our behalf, so that by faith we may enjoy perfect freedom, righteousness, and salvation.”

About the Author: Francis Pieper, translated by Philip Bartelt

Francis Pieper (1852-1931) was a pastor, professor, and president of the Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod. During his lifetime he wrote prolifically on Lutheran doctrine and practice leaving behind a legacy of biblical, pastoral, and confessional Lutheranism.

Philip Bartelt is a pastor and missionary at large for the Atlantic District of the LCMS serving at Zion German Evangelical Lutheran Church in Brooklyn, New York. He holds a BA in Theological Studies from Concordia University, Irvine, and an M Div. from Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne. He is husband to Jaclyn and father to Anastasia.

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