“Imagine a church that is both evangelical – proclaiming the free forgiveness of sins through faith in Jesus Christ – and sacramental, centering its spiritual life in the regenerating waters of baptism and the real presence of Christ in Holy Communion.
“Imagine further a church that is strongly grounded on Scripture, but yet avoids the solipsism of individual interpretation in favor of a comprehensive, intellectually rigorous and imminently orthodox theological system.
“Imagine a worship service that features both strong preaching and the historic liturgy.
“Imagine that this is a historical church with a rich spiritual tradition, but without legalism.
“Imagine, in short, a church that has some of the best parts of Protestantism and the best parts of Catholicism.
“Finally, imagine that this church body is not some little made-up sect, but one of the largest bodies of Christians in the world.
“Such a church might seem like what many Christians, disaffected by both the vacuity of liberal theology and the shallowness of American evangelicalism, are dreaming of. Such a church exists. It goes by the admittedly inadequate name Lutheran.”
Gene Edward Veith, Jr., The Spirituality of the Cross (p. 114)