Nord-Europeisk Luther Akademi (NELA)

NELA ble stiftet i august 1998. Det arrangeres teologisk symposium hvert år i aug/sept. Programmene offentliggjøres bl.a. her på, det gjør også en del stoff fra samlingene. Du kan lese mer om prosjektet, stiftelsen av akademiet og bakgrunnen for det her: NELA: Til vern om den lutherske arven

The Foundations of the North European Luther Academy

The members of the board of NELA commit themselves to following statements of foundations:

Our mission is, on the foundation of The Holy Scripture and in faithfulness to the Evangelical-Lutheran confession (The Book of Concord), to pursue dynamic theological research and education, that rediscovers treasures in the theological heritage of our Churches and confronts the biblical truths with today's questions.

1) Concerning the Word of God and its authority

We believe according to the Lutheran confession that the Word of God in the prophetic and apostolic Scriptures is the only and the absolute authority for Christ's Church on earth. We believe that the words of the apostles and the prophets at the same time also are the words of God himself, given them by the Holy Spirit. This process is called "inspiration" (2 Tim 3:16) and it makes Holy Scripture different from all other writings, since the triune God reveals himself in and through these words.

We affirm that the Holy Scripture speaks clearly and univocal in everything that we need to know in order to obtain the forgiveness of sins, life eternal and blessedness. To state that the Holy Scripture is unclear, is equivalent to making the Church dependent upon other authorities than Gods own speaking in His word, and hence our salvation and blessedness becomes dependent on men instead of on God. We reject the thought that the Scripture contains such amount of unclarities and selfcontradictions that it would be impossible with certainty to distinguish between right and wrong, truth or lie.

Since the Scripture is the only source and norm of Church and faith, we reject every authority that exalt itself above Scripture. No ecclesiastical preinterpretative instance can justly state itself to "know better" than the Apostles and the Prophets, and so give new interpretations contrary to the apostolic word. Nor is the teaching of the Church submitted to any law of evolution, that makes the understanding of Scripture dependent on the fluctuating streams of the "Zeitgeist" so that "new experiences" could suppress apostolic belief.

Today there is reason to warn against the discernment between "central" and "non-central" truths in the Scripture in such a way that "less central truths" are put out of force. The Church is bound by the authority of Christ and the apostles, also when they speak about things that for us seem "less central".

The Holy Scripture and Christ belong together: The person and work of Christ is the center of Scripture; the Christ whom the Church worships, is the Christ of Holy Scripture; The Holy Scripture is the Word of God, which, read and preached, is the means by which we come to believe in Christ.

The Lutheran principle "Sola scriptura" demands a scholarly competent research of the Bible. We want to pursue this in the context of the life and confession of the church. We do not however believe that the historical-critical method in its dependence upon secular ideology is appropriate in the study of Holy Scripture. It has rather showed itself to severely damage the faith of many Christians.

2) Concerning some current issues

We reject the order of ordination of women to the ministry of pastors and bishops. We do this not because men and women are not equal - which the Word of God clearly states that the two sexes are. But the Word of God also teaches us that according to the order of creation men and women are different, because they are intended for different vocations and ministries. Hence, according to Gods orders, the office of the holy ministry is a vocation for men, whereas women are called other tasks in the congregation of God, such as deaconal charity, teaching of catechism and administration. The new ordination of women divides the Church and damages consciences, so that many limbs of the Body of Christ suffer.

Also according to the order of Gods creation men and women are meant to live together in holy matrimony, otherwise in sexual abstinence and chastity. Homosexual activity is a serious sin, that calls for special pastoral care for those who are involved. When churches start to teach in another way or even bless homosexual couples, that is a sign of severe theological decay and of the activity of the spirit of lawlessness. The Church is also in these questions called to be salt and light in the world. The church should point out that a Christian life and family life in particular should be a model of lifestyle in society in general.

3) Concerning ecumenism

We commit ourselves to search a consensus with each other concerning current ecumenical dialogues. In ecumenical matters we affirm that unity in doctrine always must be prior to practical manifestations of unity. We are specially prepared to defend those tenets of the faith of the universal church that we believe have come to its clearest expression in our Lutheran tradition.