19 January 2008

All You One Year Folk!

A new blog resource for you:

Historic Lectionary

Check it out!

3 comments:

Doug Dillon said...

Who Is "Us"?

Bill, this is always one of the most profound questions. Jesus' good samaritan is a significant teaching on this.

Would you consider opening a discussion on your blog asking the question "Who is 'US'"?

I found this morning, reading the Augsburg confession for the first time, the following interesting quote on the Church:
"...one holy Christian church... is the assembly off all believers among whom the Gospel is preached in its purity and the holy sacraments are administered according to the Gospel."

The plain reading of this to me is that confessional Lutherans consider the holy Christian Church to basically only be other Lutherans as the authors of the Augsberg confession clearly didn't consider the Roman Catholics to be those "among whom the Gospel is preached in purity" and its pretty clear that the baptists and other evangelicals are not those among whom "the holy sacraments are administered according to the Gospel."

So, this raises quite a few "Who is "us"" questions:
(1) Does this mean that confessional Lutherans cannot consider Roman Catholics or Baptists (among others) as part of the holy Christian Church?
(2) If they aren't part of the "holy Christian Church" what are they? In what sense are they "us"?
(3) Do you really have to hold (1) to be a confessional Lutheran and to be ordained in the LCMS?

Doug..............

Doug Dillon said...

Who Is "Us"?

Bill, this is always one of the most profound questions. Jesus' good Samaritan is a significant teaching on this.

Would you consider opening a discussion on your blog asking the question "Who is 'US'"?

I found this morning, reading the Augsburg confession for the first time, the following interesting quote on the Church:
"...one holy Christian church... is the assembly off all believers among whom the Gospel is preached in its purity and the holy sacraments are administered according to the Gospel."

The plain reading of this to me is that confessional Lutherans consider the holy Christian Church to basically only be other Lutherans as the authors of the Augsberg confession clearly didn't consider the Roman Catholics to be those "among whom the Gospel is preached in purity" and its pretty clear that the baptists and other evangelicals are not those among whom "the holy sacraments are administered according to the Gospel."

So, this raises quite a few "Who is "us"" questions:
(1) Does this mean that confessional Lutherans cannot consider Roman Catholics or Baptists (among others) as part of the holy Christian Church?
(2) If they aren't part of the "holy Christian Church" what are they? In what sense are they "us"?
(3) Do you really have to hold (1) to be a confessional Lutheran and to be ordained in the LCMS?
(4) How does this make confessional Lutherans different from all the other Christian sects (Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, fundy baptists) who claim they are the only real Christians?
(5) Where does this leave me as a baptized attender of an LCMS church who has a broader view of what Christ's church is?

Doug..............

William Weedon said...

Hi, Doug!

The "us" in the AC was not trying to cut out Rome - the whole point of the AC was a plea to Rome not to cut out US (the evangelical pastors and parishes) - to argue that the Roman US should include US!

Thus, the AC, Part 1, concludes: "As can be seen, there is nothing that varies from the Scriptures or from the Church Universal, or from the Church of Rome, as known from its writers. *Since this is the case, those who insist that our teachers are to be regarded as heretics are judging harshly* There is, however, disagreement on certain abuses that have crept into the Church without rightful authority. Even here, if there are some differences, the bishops should bear with us patiently because of the Confession we have just reviewed." You see, they really expected and hoped that somehow unity could be preserved: "Then we may embrace and maintain the future of one pure and true religion under Christ, doing battle under Him, living in unity and concord in the one Christian Church." (Preface)

The AC was defining Church in such a way that it didn't hang on obedience to the Roman Pontiff, but recognized that wherever the Word of God is proclaimed in its purity (meaning that the Gospel is heard as the good news of the sinner's justification for the sake of Christ), the Holy Spirit works to create the faith that binds a heart to Jesus and thus unites a person to the one holy Church.

To move beyond the AC, the Smalcald Articles gives you this definition, and it's my favorite of them all: The Church "is namely, the holy believers and lambs who hear the voice of their Shepherd." (III:XII:2)

Thus, Piepkorn, I think gives the typical Lutheran understanding:

"The Lutheran Church does not equate any ecclesial community - its own, the Roman Catholic, or any other large or small - with the one holy catholic and apostolic church."

We recognize the TRUE TEACHING to be best expressed in the Lutheran Symbols, but we rejoice that Baptism and faith save people, joining them to Christ, in many a Christian jurisdiction - Eastern, Roman, or other Protestant.