Christian Books, Bibles, Music & More - 1.888.395.0572
Call our Toll Free Number:
Find us on:
Follow Us On 

Twitter!   Join Us On Facebook!

Christian Bookstore .Net is a leading online Christian book store.

Shop Christian Books, Bibles, Jewelry, Church Supplies, Homeschool Curriculum & More!

Authority Vested: A Story of Identity and Change in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod [Paperback]

By Mary Todd (Author)
Our Price $ 25.08  
Retail Value $ 29.50  
You Save $ 4.43  (15%)  
Item Number 143437  
Buy New $25.08

Item Specifications...

Pages   352
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.16" Width: 5.94" Height: 0.84"
Weight:   1.16 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Mar 1, 2000
Publisher   Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
ISBN  080284457X  
EAN  9780802844576  

Availability  123 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 23, 2016 02:23.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
Orders shipping to an address other than a confirmed Credit Card / Paypal Billing address may incur and additional processing delay.

Item Description...
In recounting the history of the denomination, TOdd uses the ministry of women as a case study to show how the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod has continually redefined its concept of authority in order to maintain its own historic identity. Based on oral histories and solid archival research, Authority Vested not only explores the internal life of a significant denomination but also offers critical insights for other churches seeking to maintain their Christian distinctives in religiously pluralistic America.

Publishers Description
Like other major Protestant denominations in the United States, the 2.6-million-member Luther Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS), founded in 1847, has struggled with issues of relevance and identity in society at large. In this book Mary Todd chronicles the history of this struggle for identity in the LCMS, critically examining the central--often contentious--issue of authority in relation to Scripture, ministry, and the role of women in the church. In recounting the history of the denomination, Todd uses the ministry of women as a case study to show how the LCMS has continually redefined its concept of authority in order to maintain its own historic identity. Based on oral histories and solid archival research, Authority Vested not only explores the internal life of a significant denomination but also offers critical insights for other churches seeking to maintain their Christian distinctives in religiously pluralistic America.

Buy Authority Vested: A Story of Identity and Change in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod by Mary Todd from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9780802844576 & 080284457X

The team at Christian Bookstore .Net welcome you to our Christian Book store! We offer the best selections of Christian Books, Bibles, Christian Music, Inspirational Jewelry and Clothing, Homeschool curriculum, and Church Supplies. We encourage you to purchase your copy of Authority Vested: A Story of Identity and Change in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod by Mary Todd today - and if you are for any reason not happy, you have 30 days to return it. Please contact us at 1-877-205-6402 if you have any questions.

More About Mary Todd

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Translator Mary Todd lives in Havana.

Mary Todd currently resides in the state of Illinois.

Are You The Artisan or Author behind this product?
Improve our customers experience by registering for an Artisan Biography Center Homepage.

Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > History > Americas > United States > State & Local - By State > Missouri   [117  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Church History > Protestant   [967  similar products]
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Protestantism > Lutheran   [280  similar products]
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Religious Studies > History   [4688  similar products]

Similar Products
God's No and God's Yes: The Proper Distinction Between Law and Gospel
Item: 357497

Reviews - What do our customers think?
Excellent insider history of the Synod  Apr 19, 2007
Todd's brilliant exploration of the shifting locus of authority in the LCMS reveals the causes of many of the Synod's troubling features -- inluding its separatism, its triumphalism, and its refusal to honor the calls and contributions of women. Her grasp on the Synod's history is firm, but her book is particularly valuable for getting at the heart of LCMS life in a way only a perceptive insider can. Authority Vested is feminist history at its best -- seeking to tell authentically the stories of all people, especially the marginalized. She speaks strong words against the Synod's "conformity to the fundamentalist Americanizing of Christianity."

But like most good insider accounts, Todd also reveals what is worthwhile and unique in the Synod's history. Though I find her continued struggle for the rights of women in the LCMS inspiring and courageous, I am no longer surprised at her tenacity. She is a loyal daughter of the Synod, and deeply critical of it precisely for that reason. I only wish the book had been published a bit later -- I'm curious to know how she believes the election of moderate Gerald Kieschnick to the presidency of the Synod in 2001 (and again in 2004) fits into her narrative of LCMS authority. Certainly 2007's convention will reveal just how significant any shifts toward a moderate position really are.

Highly recommended, but especially so for those with a connection to "our beloved Synod" (even those who, like me, have left it).
For a much clearer understanding of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod  May 31, 2006
Mary Todd has written the history of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod that I never knew (despite being born and raised in a Missouri Synod church). She is an engaging storyteller and an exhaustive researcher, which is a rare combination, and her book sheds much light on issues of authority within the LCMS institution.

The current struggles of the synod, for example those between the "Conservative" and the "Confessionalist" clergy factions (there are not really any moderates in the synod clergy -- only conservative and more-conservative-than-conservative), could have been taken out of the synod's history of a hundred or a hundred and fifty years ago. (This book was published in 2000, well before those debacles, which shows Dr. Todd's considerable insight.)

A few reviewers have criticized Todd's theology, which is odd, since this is a history book, not a theology book, and Todd never claims otherwise. I found her to be fair-minded, even-handed, and generous in her treatment of all sides of the issues she explores.
History of Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, Advocating Women's Ordination  Oct 11, 2005
Mary Todd was a professor of history at Concordia University in River Forest, Illinois and a life-long member of the Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod. This book is part history, part theological argumen in favor of women's ordination. Therefore, I will critique each aspect.

I found Todd's treatment of the LCMS interesting and well-written yet lacking in professional integrity. While her facts and dates are correct, her frequent editorial analysis of persons and events alerts the reader to an abnormal amount of "spin." Throughout the historical sections, Todd employs left-handed compliments and ad hominum attacks on certain figures, while treating others very sympathetically. For example, CFW Walther consistantly characterized as a Stephan-flunkie who talks big but lacks clear judgment; J.A.O Preus was a manipulative politician who refused to listen to sound reason. Meanwhile, those who challenge authority, Scripture, or advance the cause of women are--like Russell Prohl and the Seminary's "most moderate" (228) professors--sympathetic characters.

Furthermore, Todd's presentation of the various doctrinal arguments is weak. When she presents a view she agrees with (against Scriptural inerrancy, for women's ordination, etc.), she either presents them as self-evident or relies on brief references to "the Gospel" or socio-cultural equality. While she uses much ink to present opposing arguments, she focuses more on the arguments' political impact and never really treats them seriously. It never seems to occur to her that people might actually believe that an inerrant Bible prohibits women's ordination and that these people take this belief seriously. In all, the author is too emotionally invested in the subject matter for a reader to trust her historical analysis.

As a theologian, Todd fares much worse. Her theology is one based on a subjective reading of the Bible as opposed to a belief that theology is objective--not coming from within a person or culture, but from an unchanging God. As such, Todd is guilty of doing the very thing she accuses others of doing: beginning with a theological idea (women should be ordained), then creating a theological method that supports this idea. Her "support" ranges from insightful critiques of LCMS doctrine (e.g. an evolving theology of the ministry) to down-right silly arguments (e.g. implying that Martin Luther and CFW Walther never really believed in Scriptural inerrancy or a male-only priesthood). Most distrubing are her positions that Scripture is neither fixed nor inerrant (allowing whatever a particular reader wants it to say); that amorphous words like culture should dictate theology and practice; that the Gospel has destroyed ALL worldly differences between everyone; and that one should be ordained if he/she "feels a call" regardless of personal qualifications as specified by Scripture (inerrant or otherwise).

In all, I cannot recommend "Authority Vested." While I am willing to hear arguments on the role of women in the Church, the Ministry, and authority, I am not willing to hear such arguments from authors who subscribe to an "ends justify the means" approach. Todd sacrifices the doctrine of Scriptural inerrancy, the reputations of fellow Church members, and sound argument because she believes her end is just. I disagree and cannot recommend this book.
Overview of a Needed Debate  Jan 5, 2003
If you are in the LCMS and interested in your synod's history and current mindest, you will find this a great read, even if you disagree with some of the author's premises or conclusions.
It will be all the more worthwhile to read if you are curious about the role of women and men as leaders in the synod.

As the question of women's ordination in any denomination is typically a milemarker as to where the group is heading doctrinally, socially (ethically and politically), and liturgically, it is no big shock to see the issue causing such torment among both "conservatives" and "liberals" in the LCMS.

While I do not quite agree with the author's understanding of the priesthood, the very fact that she has wrestled with the issues and can present a reasoned defense laeds me to give the book four stars.

A final plus about the book: it has an incredible bibliography, which is used exhaustively throughout the text.

Other books that may be of interest on the question of authority and ministry are: "Priestesses in the Church" by C.S. Lewis found in his "God in the Dock"; of course Manfred Hauke's monumental "Women in the Priesthood?" is essential reading. WHile he is Roman Catholic, much of his theology could be used in the LCMS context (and is); "The Church and Women" with contributions by Von Balthasar, Kasper, Ratzinger; "God or Goddess" by Hauke; "Deaconesses" by Martimort; "Women in the Early Church" by Clark; "Women in the Church" by Louis Bouyer; "What Paul really Said About Women" by Bristow; "Women and the Priesthood" by Peter Kreeft and Alice von Hildebrand. These books are almost all oppossed to the ordination of women to the priesthood, but they are both scholarly, often rather neutral (not always!), and charitable.

For an Eastern Orthodox response to the question: "The Female Diaconate:An Historical Perspective" by Gvosdev; "Feminism in Christianity: An Orthodox Response" by Belonick; "Women in the Priesthood" ed. by Thomas Hopko; "Discerning the Signs of the Times" by Behr-Sigel.

For some thoughtful arguments that support "theologies of women's ordination" see: "Discerning the Signs of the Times" by Elizabeth Behr-Sigel; "Women at the Altar" by Lavina Bryne; Bristow's aforementioned book has an interesting chapter on the leadership of women in the New Testament. In my opinion he is sloppy in some of his exegesis (or should I say isogesis?) but it is worth the read if for nothing else but to understnad his approach, which is representative of the priestess position.


Good Behind-the-Scenes Info  Jan 1, 2001
Mary Todd is a professor of history at Concordia University in River Forest, Illinois, and a "feminist" by Missouri Synod standards. Martin Marty, in the book's Forward, wrote that she is "a partisan for ordination of women" in the LCMS (xii).

Nevertheless, Mary Todd does have some valid points in her book. Her contention that the LCMS--even in the beginning with Martin Stephan (Missouri Synod's only Bishop!) and Walther has never adequately defined its concept of ministry. We see this unclarity expressed in the old intersynodical conference days, when the LCMS, WELS, and ELS were all in fellowship, yet the WELS began having quite a different understanding on what the ministry is with the Wauwatosan theologians: Hoenecke, Schaller, and Koehler. Because Missouri could never define its concept of ministry with one clear voice, such differences did not lead to any conference splits.

Despite some of Mary Todd's "feminist" views, her book is still enjoyable. Her detailed description of the behind-the-scenes machinations that led to LCMS adopting women's suffrage at its 1969 convention is quite fascinating. To get a complete behind-the-scenes picture, a reader also may want to find "A Layman's Guide to Woman Suffrage in the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod" by James Hoke, 1998, Morris Publishing.

Unfortunately, Mary Todd also hopes that the same gradual acceptance of women's suffrage (and she goes over the gradual changes intra-synod wide in her book) will lead to the ordination of women pastors. Culturally, none of us would have problems with such a move; those of us, however, who hold to the scriptural position of women not having spiritual authority over men will disagree with her position.

In short, her book is noteworthy--if only for its historical value. However, her theology is not biblical, nor in line with LCMS's understanding of Scripture. Thus, this book gets a weak recommendation: the good in the book is too interesting to ignore. Besides, the book also contains an including Walther's 1875 theses on church and ministry, the 1945 Chicago Statement, and a thorough bibliography.


Write your own review about Authority Vested: A Story of Identity and Change in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod

Customer Support: 1-888-395-0572
Welcome to Christian Bookstore .Net

Our team at Christian Bookstore .Net would like to welcome you to our site. Our Christian book store features over 150,000 Christian products including Bibles, Christian music, Christian books, jewelry, church supplies, Christian gifts, Sunday school curriculum, purity rings, homeschool curriculum and many other items to encourage you in your walk with God. Our mission is to provide you with quality Christian resources that you can benefit from and share with others. The best part is that our complete selection of Christian books and supplies is offered at up to 20% off of retail price! Please call us if you have any questions or need assistance in ordering at 1-888-395-0572. Have a blessed day.

Terms & Conditions | Privacy Policy | Site Map | Customer Support