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ILT Receives the Lutheran Bible Institute of California Library and Archive

ILT Receives the Lutheran Bible Institute of California Library and Archive

This week the ILT Library received the remainder of the library and archive of the Lutheran Bible Institute of California from the Grand View University Theology Department. This collection consists of 32 boxes of books (primarily in the areas of Biblical theology, Lutheran theology, and Lutheran history) and 51 boxes of archive documents related to the life of LBI California and the history of the LBI movement across North America. These books will be added to the ILT library collection in the coming months where they will continue to fulfill their intended purpose to bring sound biblical teaching to congregations, pastors, and theologians from a Lutheran perspective. The archive will be preserved in ILT’s North American Lutheran Archive where it will document the role of the Lutheran Bible Institute movement in the realignment of North American Lutheranism for future generations of church historians.

In many ways LBI and ILT share a lot in common. The Lutheran Bible Institute movement – beginning over a century ago – was dedicated to the sound teaching of the Bible at a time when more secularized views of Scripture was becoming widespread. This same commitment is exemplified in ILT’s vision statement, “Centered in the Word of God and the Cross of Christ, ILT students will be grounded in the Bible, rooted in the classical Christian tradition, understand the contemporary cultural horizon, and think critically in the proclamation and advancement of the Gospel.” In the same way, ILT shares with the LBI movement a commitment to bring together the many voices of the classical Christian tradition from a Lutheran perspective in conversation and common cause. As Ray F. Kibler III, Ph.D. (former president of LBI California and historian of the LBI movement) wrote, “LBI was pan-Lutheran from its inception and expected each student and faculty member to remain loyal to the Lutheran church body in which they held their membership. But above this, they were to hold ultimate loyalty to all that the Bible revealed… LBI stood as a witness to renewal not only to Lutheran church bodies but also within Lutheran bodies,”1

We, at the Institute of Lutheran Theology, honor the generations of faculty and alumni of the LBI movement who committed their lives to preserving, promoting, and propagating the faithful teaching of Scripture, renewal of the Church, and the proclamation of the Gospel to the whole world. In receiving this trust, we renew our commitment to continue the path that they have trod. We give thanks to the Lord for the stewardship of the people of the LBI movement and ask his continued blessing as we continue that stewardship.

1Kibler, Ray F, III. “The Lutheran Bible Institute and the Augustana Synod.” Lutheran Quarterly 24, no. 1 (Spr 2010): 97–117.