I wrote a post for First Things this past Thursday discussing the curious case of the German church:

Two days ago, the Catholic Herald posted a story about Pope Francis meeting with Rev. Dr. Nikolaus Schneider. The article is entitled “Lutheran pastor meets Pope Francis in Rome,” and the text of the article also refers to Dr. Schneider as a Lutheran pastor. There’s just one problem, as the friend who brought this story to my attention noted: Dr. Schneider isn’t Lutheran.

I go on to discuss a little of the historical development of the Evangelical Church in Germany, noting that it’s a federation of three denominational strains: Lutheran, Reformed, and United. That mix of theologies is important to remember when discussing news of the church in Germany. Case in point: just because Dr. Schneider is head of the Evangelical Church in Germany doesn’t make him Lutheran; he belongs to one of the other denominational groups.