Last week saw the International Lutheran Theological Conference take place in Prague (Czech Republic) from October 4th through the 7th. Focusing on the subject of “Lutheranism in the 21st Century,” representatives from across Western and Eastern Europe, the United States, and Japan gathered to discuss the challenges facing confessional Lutheran witness in our day and age – focusing primarily on the importance (and difficulty) of theological education. Topics included Lutheran encounters with Pentecostalism in India, the formation of Lutheran identity in eastern European nations, communicating confessional Lutheranism in an increasingly secular world, and developing a vision for theological education in specific and Lutheranism in general in the 21stcentury. See the conference brochure for more details on papers presented and the presenters.

At a vesper service held at the end of the first day of the conference, President Matthew Harrison of the LCMS delivered a sermon on Matthew 17:1-8 (The Transfiguration), focusing especially on verse 8: “And when they lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only” (ESV). The sermon was inspired by Henric Schartau‘s sermon “Jesus Only” (a text which, by the by, features prominently in Bo Giertz’ classic Swedish novel The Hammer of God). You can read Schartau’s original sermon (translated into English) here.

President Harrison’s sermon below focuses our attention on Christ, teaching as Schartau did so many years ago to put our confidence solely in Christ – that we, like the witnesses of the Transfiguration, may look at the last and see “Jesus only”.