19 December 2012

New Lutheran Quote of the Day

The fact that only Jesus has the right to call God His Father is a critical ingredient in a right perception of the meaning of this entire prayer. His instruction to say Our Father is given to those who have been baptized in His name, and who therefore in His stead claim God as Father. This provides boldness of access, as we call upon Him, particularly at Mass, to provide us with the means of salvation.—Dr. Burnell Eckardt, The New Testament in His Blood, p. 37.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Statements like this drive me up the wall, because they seem to convey profound eternal truth and in reality do no such thing.

His instruction to say Our Father is given to those who have been baptized in His name, and who therefore in His stead claim God as Father.”

In whose name are we baptized? In “His name” or in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit? We claim God as Father not “in his stead”, but by virtue of the fact that our Lord referred to the Father as “our Father” and us as “children of the Father” dozens of times. Luke 12: 32 “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” None of the Apostles, to whom the prayer was given were baptized at the time. Furthermore, the Jews even before our Lord knew from Scripture that God was their Father, and prayed to Him as such, “Avenu …”

“This provides boldness of access, as we call upon Him, particularly at Mass, to provide us with the means of salvation.”

What is this “means of salvation” which is provided to us in the Mass? If Dr. Eckardt is referring to “means of grace” that is one thing, but “means of salvation” have already been provided to the baptized, who come to the Mass because they know of their salvation and yearn for the “means of grace.” We do not come to Mass in order to be saved, but, in part, in acknowledgement of the fact that we are saved. That “particularly at Mass” really troubles me. Does our Father hear us at Mass in a different way, in a way more disposed to grant our prayers?

Certainly nobody outside of the Kingdom of God may rightfully call Him “Father”, but although we firmly believe in substitutionary atonement, there is no value in trying to extend the concept to God’s Fatherhood. Nor, to the best of my knowledge does Scripture speak of it anywhere. Our Lord is “the only begotten Son”, we are created sons and daughters, first according to the flesh and then according to the Spirit.

Peace and Joy!
George A. Marquart