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Lutheran Churches

Lutheran Churches. Those churches formed in response to Luther's teaching. Their doctrinal convictions are given expression in the Book of Concord (1580). Scripture is affirmed as the sole rule of faith, and justification by grace alone is the principal tenet.

From its beginnings in Germany Lutheranism quickly spread throughout Europe, gaining dominance in Scandinavia, Iceland, Prussia, and the Baltic Provinces, but its energies were diverted in the late 16th cent. by internal conflicts. The Lutheran Churches have produced outstanding theologians, philosophers, biblical scholars, composers, and musicians. They now have a worldwide membership of over 75 million.

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