15 December 2005

Behr Hits Another Homer!

If you love theology and have not discovered John Behr - by all means read this article and make a determination to become better acquainted with this outstanding theologian:

http://www.svots.edu/Faculty/Fr_John_Behr_Category/The_Church_in_Via/

Thanks to Fr. Shane Cota for pointing this one out!

4 comments:

Paul said...

Pastor Weedon
Sorry not trying to be a pest but-
Do you agree with all of this document? Some of it smacks of synergism. Especially the part where "we must preserve our state of being baptized". Christ preserves me in my baptism. Christ does it all.

William Weedon said...

Paul,

The Lutheran Confessions speak of "synergism" (if you will) in the area of sanctification. That we cooperate with the Holy Spirit in all aspects of our sanctification, though in great weakness:

"It follows from this, as has been said, that as soon as the Holy Spirit has begun his work of rebirth and renewal in us through the Word and the holy sacraments, it is certain that on the basis of his power we can and should be cooperating with him, though still in great weakness." (SD II:65)

Thus the Confessions also maintain:

"There is a GREAT DIFFERENCE between baptized and unbaptized people. For since all who have been baptized have put on Christ, and are therefore truly reborn, they now have arbitrium liberatum (a freed will), that is, as Christ says, "they have been made free again". For this reason they not only hear the Word but are also able to assent to it and accept it - although in great weakness." (SD II:67)

This leads to the exhortation:

"It also reminds us how these same gifts are retained, strengthened, and increased, and it admonishes us not to let God's grace have no effect in us, but *to exercise ourselves diligently* in considering what a grevious sin it is to impede and resist the working of the Holy Spirit." (SD II:72)

Paul said...

Ok I agree with the confessions. But don't the Eastern Orthodox believe that we cooperate in our salvation? So we remain in our baptism(our state of grace) by performing good works.

William Weedon said...

The difficulty is that the Orthodox use the word "salvation" to encompass the totality of what Lutherans distinguish as justification, sanctification and glorification.