Reformation Lectures Recap

The forty-sixth annual Bjarne Wollan Teigen Reformation Lectures were held at the Ylvisaker Fine Arts Center, Mankato, Minnesota, on October 31–November 1, 2013. These lectures are sponsored jointly by Bethany Lutheran College and Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary.

This year there were two presenters. The first lecture was given by Prof. Mark Harstad of Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato, Minnesota. The second presenter was the Rev. Dr. Harold Senkbeil, executive director for spiritual care at the Doxology Institute of Brookfield, Wisconsin. The theme of the lectures was “Confessional Lutheranism’s Answers to the Challenges of Modern Society.” The first lecture, given by Prof. Harstad, was entitled “The Christian’s Vocation in the Three Estates: Family, Church, and Society.” The second lecture, presented by Dr. Senkbeil, was entitled “The Christian Faces Contemporary Challenges.” The Reformation Lectures were a study of the three estates and the estates relationship to the challenges of modern society. In the Reformation Luther provided structure for social life by using the three estates originating in the Middle Ages: those who provide nourishment (Nährstand), those who ensure order (Wehrstand), and those who teach God’s Word (Lehrstand). Luther indicated that people have responsibilities in all three estates. Understanding one’s duty in each of these estates will help one meet the challenges of modern society.