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(from Introduction)

Among Lutherans liturgical inculturation is not a novelty. When Martin Luther translated the Latin liturgy into German and adopted popular songs for church services, he embarked on liturgical inculturation. The vernacular, unlike Latin, is a living language and is thus a sure vehicle of culture. It expresses the people’s thought and behavioral patterns and is an established bearer of their values and institutions. In short, the use of the vernacular in the liturgy is in itself a sign that inculturation has taken place. On the other hand, the type of the vernacular defines the quality of inculturation. There are many types of vernacular language. Some are suited to church worship, others to theological discourse in classroom; some are formal, solemn, and dignified; others are familiar, informal, and banal. The use of the vernacular is a first and important step, but its suitability is second and qualitative step of inculturation.

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