An Australian "Lutheran Catholic"?

I know that there are plenty of Lutheran pastors in the states who have “come out” as “evangelical catholics”, but Australian Luthero-Catholics (or should that be “Catholo-Lutherans”? The latter is my daughter’s favourite) are fairly thin on the ground. Thinner than ever since Easter 2001.

Nevertheless, wonder of wonders, behold a new blog on the landscape called “Lutheran Catholicity”. It is barely conceived yet, with one entry from yesterday which reads:

Thursday, October 8, 2009
Coming Soon!

Evidences for the catholicity of the Lutheran Reformation.
Posted by Acroamaticus at 5:06 AM 1 comments
Labels: Blog Purpose

Needless to say, we here at the after-dinner table of Sentire Cum Ecclesia wait with bated breath for the first installments.

The blogger, who goes by the name of “Acroamaticus” (which according to one on-line dictionary means “of/belonging/pertaining to a musical/reading entertainment”), identifies himself as a pastor of the Lutheran Church of Australia, a convert to Lutheranism from Anglicanism, and of Anglo-Scottish descent. At one time, anyone answering such a description would have stood out like a sore toe in the ministerium of the LCA, but not today. Still, I am sure that someone out there knows who he is!

Acroamaticus has two other blogs, What Sasse Said and Glosses From An Old Manse that make interesting reading. (Sasse was a very famous theologian, a contemporary and colleague of Barth and Bonhoeffer, who took the path less travelled and ended up at North Adelaide at the Seminary where I was trained. His writings had a very formative effect on me as a young seminarian).

So, as they say, “watch that spot”.

P.S. We would also welcome Acroamaticus to the table at SCE. Despite his “Anglo-Scottish” heritage, we hope the Lutherans have taught him something about drinking port in the last 14 years!

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10 Responses to An Australian "Lutheran Catholic"?

  1. Weedon says:

    Lutherans drink port???

  2. Acroamaticus says:

    Ah! I’m the subject of a post on Sentire Cum Ecclesia; fame beckons (or will it be notoriety?)
    Being the retiring type it makes me feel more than a little uneasy. Perhaps I should have put less personal information in my profile, but then maybe some of those details are red herrings? (herrings… how appropriate)
    Seriously, thanks for the publicity (I think) David, and for the welcome to your table, where I promise to always have my best manners on display.

  3. Schütz says:

    Deary me, you Yankees…

    What do you drink? Beer, I gather from the various Lutheran blogs from the US.

    Now, I am told, that when I say “port”, I need to explain myself. Apparently our “port” is somewhat different from overseas port. Ours is the nectar of the gods. I don’t know what foreign port tastes like, since I have never had the need to branch out further. In any case, it was the staple drink of my Barossa Valley forebears, and I’m addicted.

    Here’s what this website ( has to say:

    Vintage and Tawny

    As with all wines, the production of vintage and tawny style fortified wines begins in the vineyard. Tawny style wines are made from grape varieties – including Shiraz, Grenache, Touriga, Mataro and Cabernet Sauvignon – picked when the sugar level is high, and then crushed and fermented on skins for a short time to extract some colour and flavour, before pressing and transfer to tanks for further fermentation. A fortifying spirit is then added, increasing the alcohol level to about 17.5% v/v, and stopping further fermentation. The wine is then clarified and transferred to casks, where slow controlled oxidation and further rancio character develops over a period of 50 – 60 years. Some winemakers use the solera system or blend wines of different vintages (which have been stored separately) to maintain consistency.

    Vintage styles differ from Tawny as they are produced exclusively from grapes harvested during a declared ‘vintage’ year and then bottled after one or two years in oak casks. Late-Bottled Vintage (LBV) is also produced from a single vintage year, but is only declared as vintage after the wine has been in cask for 4-6 years. As the winemaker is unable to blend wine from different years, vintage fortified wines are only produced in years when the grapes ripen with all the right characters (high sugar level, intense varietal aroma, flavour and colour profile). The fermentation on skins prior to pressing, is generally longer than for Tawny production, then the wine is pressed to obtain maximum extraction of colour, tannin and flavour and finally spirit is added to increase the alcohol level.

  4. Weedon says:

    I do drink beer, but not often. My usual beverage is a fine chardonnay, served from a box of the Franzia variety…

  5. Acroamaticus says:


    I assure you, an Anglo like me doesn’t need to be introduced to Port by Barossa Lutherans. Port was originally developed (albeit accidentally) for the English market when wine from Portugal was fortified with Brandy spirit to preserve it on the journey over the seas. It has been the staple after-dinner drink of the cultivated Englishman ever since. I prefer a Cognac myself, but alas that is a pleasure I cannot often afford these days.

    Btw, while on the subject of the finer things in life, Acroamaticus = “one devoted to higher things”, adapted from the term “acroamatics”, pertaining to the science of theology in 17th century Lutheran dogmatics.

    • Schütz says:

      I likewise find my spirits budget in depletion. Port, on the other hand, I can still get for $4-5 a litre. “A cheese-glassful every night helps switch out the light”, as they say.

  6. Matthias says:

    Mine is a guiness or black ale.

  7. PM says:

    And on the other side of the Luthero-Catholic house, let’s not forget Belloc:

    ‘Wherever the Catholic sun doth shine
    There’s music and laughter and good red wine
    At least they like to tell it so
    Benedicamus Domino’

    And there is an historical precedent of sorts. When the Dominicans and Jesuits were going head to head over grace in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, some Jesuits accused the Dominicans of being closet Lutherans.

  8. Schütz says:

    Dominicans drink port rather than red wine?

    I like chardonnay too, Pastor W. But it is a bit “poncy” here (associated with the chattering classes). Now, a decent shiraz is the way to go for strong theological discussion.

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