As my blog title indicates, I prefer to think of myself as a "Benedictine Lutheran," but I suppose that I arguably fit into the category of Lutheranism referred to as as "Evangelical Catholicism." I have seen that term used in a variety of ways over the years, and there have been entire threads on the American Lutheran Publicity Bureau forum devoted to the question of how to define an "Evangelical Catholic," but no consensus was reached as far as I could tell.
Generally speaking, I use the term to refer to Lutherans who maintain the emphasis on salvation by grace through faith (the "Evangelical" part), but in doing so, emphasize the importance of the liturgy, and do not view the Lutheran Confessions in a vacuum, but interpret them in light of the faith of the entire Church, particularly the Early Church Fathers (the "Catholic" part). But, I admit that my somewhat vague definition is simply one among many.
Therefore, I have to admit I was somewhat jealous when I saw this concise explanation of what it means to be a "Catholic" from an Anglican perspective, as demonstrated in a slideshow devoted to the spirituality of the Book of Common Prayer:
So, this slideshow made me wonder if such a concise slideshow could ever be made about what it means to be a "Catholic" from an Evangelical Lutheran perspective. Or are we too fractured into varying groups who express their "Evangelical Catholicism" in disparate ways, such as a strict view of the Confessions, or taking an ultra "high church" view of the liturgy?
Certainly, many Lutheran theologians (Arthur Carl Piepkorn, Bishop Bo Giertz, Carl Braaten, and Robert W. Jenson to name a few) have written a great deal on the intended catholicity of the Lutheran movement. But, for me at least, the question of how to describe an "Evangelical Catholic" Lutheran remains unanswered. One of the reasons I started this blog was that I viewed it as a forum to air my thoughts and invite discussion on this subject, so there will be more on this subject to come.