Dr. Bartelt started off the event on a very clever note and that entirely refers to his choice in sunglass wear. This may seem a little odd coming from a man of his nature, but he sure wanted to have the crowd get a chuckle out of it. Before long, he started getting into the issues that would have made sense due to the title of the lecture. First and foremost, he talked about the big issue of church attendance which has been a struggle world-wide and he gave the jaw-dropping statistic that nearly 44% of adults who went to church are now post Christians. Furthermore, he began talking about ethnic diversity in the church and how Lutherans are the worst church when it comes to diversity. He continues on by talking about Lutherans and their ability to keep things in tension. A good tension that allows the church to see both sides. Dr. Bartelt chooses to end his time by talking about linking the past to the future and the answer to that is the next generation.
His entire lecture refers back to the title that states, “After 500 years, does Lutheranism still matter?” He references the fact that the human race can and should continue to move forward through communication. “We can move forward together,” declared Dr. Bartelt. That is a key way that his lecture references back to the Honor’s Class. Communication is the key to success and if people are unwilling to talk and understand both sides, then nothing will ever get accomplished.
I believe that the most important thing that Dr. Bartelt talked about was that everyone needs to know how they identify. We need to understand that we are saved by grace and that there is nothing that we can possibly do that will change that. We need to be the change that gets people coming back to church and not by spicing it up and taking the will of God out of the church service, but by showing everyone the Grace that is God. Lutheranism may need to get realigned every now and then, but the basis of who we are should never change. I thoroughly enjoyed the lecture and learned a lot about Lutheranism that I may not have otherwise. So after 500 years, Lutheranism does still matter!