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"Being Lutheran" —What Does This Mean?

New release offers a fresh look at how Lutheran theology relates to contemporary culture


In Being Lutheran, Sutton challenges the reader to understand why they are Lutheran, or if they aren’t Lutheran, why they aren’t. Sutton explains that being Lutheran is more than a hereditary default, or geography, or living a faith that is “closed, apathetic, confused, lazy, or pastel.” Being Lutheran is about boldly following Jesus.


St. Louis, Missouri—Honesty, theology, history, real people, real life, and above all else, Jesus. These are things you can expect to find in Being Lutheran, just released from author A. Trevor Sutton and Concordia Publishing House.

In Being Lutheran, Sutton challenges the reader to understand why they are Lutheran, or if they aren’t Lutheran, why they aren’t. Sutton explains that being Lutheran is more than a hereditary default, or geography, or living a faith that is “closed, apathetic, confused, lazy, or pastel.” Being Lutheran is about boldly following Jesus.

“Although this book is about being Lutheran, above all it is about Jesus. This book mentions Jesus far more than it does Luther, which is, of course, the main point of being Lutheran,” writes Gene Edward Veith in the foreword. “Every Lutheran doctrine comes back to Jesus . . . and this book makes that clear on virtually every page.”

Writing in an accessible style, Sutton clearly explains what Lutherans believe in order to help Lutherans defend their beliefs. “The core of Lutheranism radiates bold proclamation,” writes Sutton. “We do not cool our confession to appease others. We do not stick our beliefs in the fridge so that sensitive palates are not burned. Lutherans speak their beliefs. And then they defend their beliefs.”

Being Lutheran is ideal for individuals, small groups, new member classes, and more. Discussion questions for each chapter and a leader guide are included. Bulk discounts are available at cph.org.

For more information and/or to order Being Lutheran, visit cph.org/beinglutheran or call 1-800-325-3040. To schedule an interview with the author, contact Lindsey Martie, CPH Public Relations, at Lindsey.Martie@cph.org or 314-268-1303.

About the Author

Rev. A. Trevor Sutton is associate pastor at St. Luke Lutheran Church in Haslett, Michigan. He is currently a graduate student in writing and rhetoric at Michigan State University. Sutton has a BA from Concordia University in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and an MDiv from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri. Sutton lives in Lansing, Michigan, with his wife, Elizabeth, and daughter, Grace. He enjoys cycling, hiking, fly-fishing, and impromptu dance parties with his daughter.

Praise for Being Lutheran

“Sutton’s accessible style weaves references to hipsters, marital love, digital content, sacraments, quantum physics, hook-ups, ennui, the workplace, texting, bloodletting, and the problem of evil. With a global and multiethnic scope, Sutton remains insistently confessional, never over-simplifying Lutheran identity, focused unapologetically on the mystery and the clarity of Good News in the cross of Jesus Christ.”

—John Nunes, President, Concordia College—New York

Being Lutheran by Rev. Trevor Sutton is a must-read for all Christians wanting to dig deeper. It is a great resource for pastors and teachers to put into the hands of ‘new’ Christians and ‘old.’ It is good for anyone who seeks a better understanding of what it means to be a follower of Christ, one who desires even more to get to know Jesus and the power of His Word in their lives. This book would be excellent for any individual, but it is especially useful for small groups because of Sutton’s use of today’s relevant concerns and apathies as the context into which to speak the things of Jesus and the Good News of God’s grace. Complete with vignettes and discussion questions, this is a resource that is sure to bless.”

—Rev. Gregory Seltz, Speaker, The Lutheran Hour

“With a crisp and vivid style, Trevor Sutton’s Being Lutheran is a well-structured, easily digested overview of a faith that is uniquely spiritual and earthly, Christ-centered and creation-aware. This is a great book for a small-group book study; patiently thumbing through each chapter week after week will challenge readers to think and act in ways that fit with Scripture and the lavish grace of God in Christ. This is a hopeful book that sees faith in Jesus as more than just a ticket to heaven. Every page invites us to join many others (by name!) in the faithful discipleship that marks one who is truly Lutheran. In short, Being Lutheran helps faith work right.”

—Rev. Scott Seidler, DMin, Senior Pastor, Concordia Lutheran Church, Kirkwood, MO

“Is it a textbook? Is it a collection of short stories? Is it a Bible study? Is it a historical ‘fresh look’? Yes, yes, yes, and yes. A. Trevor Sutton’s work, Being Lutheran, is both a delightful and a truly helpful look at the depth and the richness of the biblical faith. . . . As I read the book, I was at different times encouraged, challenged, comforted, affirmed, and motivated in the truth of God’s love for me. Readers, be blessed!”

—Rev. Luke R. Schnake, DMin, Director of Ministries, Christ Lutheran Church, Lincoln, NE

“A far cry from ‘blatant Lutheran grandstanding,’ Sutton’s provocative text reclaims the Lutheran narrative with exceptional style and substance, extending to the lifelong congregant and the uninitiated alike a fresh invitation to live boldly under God’s open and expansive grace, grace that animates our thinking and doing. Every Lutheran should read this book and dive headlong into being what and who they are, in Christ.”

—Gretchen Jameson, Sr. Vice President, University Affairs, Concordia University Wisconsin and Ann Arbor

“What, at the essential core, is a Lutheran? In a fresh way, Sutton insists it’s more about a ‘who’ than a ‘what.’ First, it is an unhindered focus on Jesus Christ. From there, being Lutheran is a life of beliefs and actions that flow from the Gospel center. This is a useful tool for new generations exploring Lutheran thinking and practice.”

—Pastor Jeff Cloeter, Senior Pastor, Christ Memorial Lutheran Church, St. Louis, MO

Concordia Publishing House (CPH) is the publishing arm of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. For over 146 years, CPH has been providing individuals, churches, and schools with products that are faithful to the Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions. From books and Bibles to church supplies, curriculum, and software, CPH offers over 8,000 products to support the proclamation of the Gospel worldwide. Visit CPH online at cph.org.About Concordia Publishing House