CHI exhibit features books, coins from Luther’s time

Artifacts such as Martin Luther’s 1555 Articles of Christian Teaching (also known as the “Smalcald Articles”) spelling out the differences between Lutherans and Roman Catholics — at top left of display — are part of Concordia Historical Institute’s “Pressed into Service by the Word of God” exhibit, open through Nov. 9, 2018. (Concordia Historical Institute/Daniel Harmelink)

An exhibit at Concordia Historical Institute (CHI), “Pressed into Service by the Word of God,” features rare books and coins from the time of Martin Luther (who lived from 1483 to 1546) and the Reformation that began on Oct. 31, 1517.

“For 500 years, both the printing press and the coin press have given witness to the truths of the Word of God rediscovered,” notes CHI Executive Director Rev. Dr. Daniel N. Harmelink. “But more importantly, the exhibit focuses on men and women pressed into service for the sake of Christ and the Gospel.”

The theme of the exhibit is tied to Luther’s confession at the Diet of Worms on April 18, 1521: “I am bound by the Scriptures I have quoted; my conscience is captive to the Word of God.”

Harmelink considers the exhibit “a special opportunity to view choice books, coins and medals — some from the 16th and 17th centuries — from Concordia Historical Institute’s Rare Book Collection and Reformation Coin and Medal Collection.”

These artifacts, he adds, are “rarely on exhibit and have been hand-selected to give a fresh and challenging perspective on the Reformation and its ongoing influence over the last 500 years.”

Regular exhibit hours are weekdays from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at CHI, located on the campus of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis.

Harmelink encourages adults and youth — especially those preparing for First Communion or Confirmation — to visit the exhibit, which runs through Nov. 9, 2018. CHI and the exhibit are wheelchair accessible.

For more information about the exhibit or CHI, call 314-505-7900 or visit

Concordia Historical Institute is the Department of Archives and History of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod and the largest archive of Lutheran history in North America.

The institute offers Lutheran history research services, publishes the Concordia Historical Institute Quarterly, operates two museums (at Concordia Seminary and the LCMS International Center) and oversees two historic sites in Perry County, Mo. (Saxon Lutheran Memorial in Frohna, Mo., and Hill of Peace Lutheran Church memorial in Friedenberg, Mo.).

Posted August 14, 2017

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