But Concordia Seminary in St. Louis has produced a large number of classes and lecture series through iTunes U. Here’s an introductory theology series called “The Lutheran Mind”, which I’m listening to right now.
This seems to me to be an appropriate way to introduce oneself to Lutheranism. Lutherans do seem to have a different “mind” from the Reformed. Over at Andrew Clover’s Lutheran and Reformed Discussion, I was very surprised to find some hostility to even some basic Reformed teachings, such as the Westminster Catechism Question 1: “Man's chief end is to glorify God, And to enjoy him forever.”
It seems as if Lutheran theology today relies very heavily on Luther’s “Theology of the Cross”, which really makes every person (believer or not) into either a “Theologian of the Cross” or a “Theologian of Glory”. At this point, I think some Lutherans might mistakenly tend to categorize the statement in WSC Question 1 as something that a “Theologian of Glory” might say.
At any rate, while Reformed theology is very well-ordered, “systematic”, perhaps even “scholastic”, Lutheran theology seems much more down-to-earth and practical. Luther’s Small Catechism is a series of instructions, for example, many of which begin with the phrase, “As the head of the family should teach it in a simple way to his household…”
Luther himself made this observation about his own writings:
by God’s grace a great many systematic books now exist, among which the Loci communes of Philip [Melanchthon] excel, with which a theologian and a bishop can be beautifully and abundantly prepared to be mighty in preaching the doctrine of piety, especially since the Holy Bible itself can now be had in nearly every language. But my books, as it happened, yes, as the lack of order in which the events transpired made it necessary, are accordingly crude and disordered chaos, which is now not easy to arrange even for me.
From John Dillenberger, “Martin Luther: Selections from his Writings”, New York, NY: Anchor Books, ©1962, “Preface to the Complete Edition of Luther’s Latin Writings, 1545”, pgs 3–4).
Still, several of Luther’s writings to this day are foundational, confessional documents for Lutherans, and they may be found in the Book of Concord.