The bible is, literally, the word of God. God gave us the bible, and so it has no errors of any kind. By custom, Lutherans refer to the Bible's teachings as "doctrine".
When people ask about a church's doctrine, they are often refering to moral rules. For example, they wonder whether members are allowed to smoke or drink. Or they wonder what a church says about the issues such as homosexuality and abortion. Some also wonder what the church says about the end times or speaking in tongues. We do speak about such issues when the bible does. However, they are not our focus. Instead, Lutherans focus on the doctrine of salvation by grace through faith.
No one is saved by being right about some issue of the day, or by following some moral code. Instead we are saved by grace through faith. Grace is God's loving good will towards us. Faith is trust in Jesus as our savior. Faith is a gift God gives us in baptism. God feeds our faith when we hear his word(the bible) and recieve his sacrament(the Lord's Supper).
Sometimes a teacher will ask a student to repeat back something the teacher taught, in his or her own words. Likewise, a confession is our acknowledgement of what the bible teaches. Together with most Christian churches, Lutheran churches accept the Apostle's,Nicean and Athenasian creeds as true confessions of God's truth. We also accept certain other documents as true confessions of the bible's teaching. Lutherans call these documents the Lutheran Confessions.
Luther's Small Catechismn is still used in most Lutheran churches to teach basic Christian doctrine. It is simple enough for young children to understand. This is by far the most widely read of the Lutheran Confessions. If you want to learn what Lutherans believe, reading the Small Catechism is the simplest way to do it.
Another is the Augsburg Confession. This is generally held to be the most important of the Lutheran Confessions, as it details Lutheran beliefs in precise theological terms.
For More Information
- The Small Catechism - Just one more link in case you didn't get that this is important :).
- Lutheran Church Missouri Synod - this is an association of Lutheran churches across the United States. Holy Trinity is a member.
- The Book of Concord - If you want to go more in depth, read this book.
- Common Questions - For brief replies to commonly asked questions about our teachings.