What is Doctrinal Review?
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod has a process by which all materials published by its national entities are reviewed in order to certify that the content is faithful to the Holy Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions. As the publishing arm of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, Concordia Publishing House is required to submit its materials to the Synod’s doctrinal review process.
How does the Doctrinal Review process work?
The President of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod has the responsibility for appointing doctrinal reviewers every three years. He also appoints members of the Commission on Doctrinal Review, which is responsible for establishing processes and procedures for the doctrinal review process as well as dealing with appeals of doctrinal review decisions. All persons who serve as doctrinal reviewers do so on a volunteer basis. Reviewers are chosen from the roster of professional church workers in the Missouri Synod. Concordia Publishing House makes suggestions for reviewers to the Office of the President, and upon appointment, reviewers are assigned to CPH.
During the production process at CPH, a manuscript is sent to a reviewer who remains anonymous to those involved in the writing and editing of the material. The reviewer is given a defined timeframe to complete the review and return the manuscript to Concordia Publishing House, with an indication of any changes that need to be made prior to publishing the material. All material published has successfully passed the final step of a careful review that begins with the work done by the editorial staff at Concordia Publishing House and ends with final certification by the Synod’s doctrinal review process.
What is the benefit of Doctrinal Review?
For all people, but particularly for the churches, schools, and members of the LCMS, the Doctrinal Review process provides the assurance that the materials published by CPH are doctrinally sound and in accordance with the Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions. This should be a critical factor for all individuals in comparing CPH products with those of other publishers, none of whom can offer the same assurance that is offered by CPH.