25 June 2007

Old Lutheran Quote of the Day

In this world we can hope to know only the church in her present aspect, hated by her foes, betrayed by the false sons within her pale, sore oppressed by the vast numbers of evil persons in her membership, rent asunder by schism, distressed by heresies, weeping amid toil and tribulation and tumult of her warfare. To want to know any other kind of church is presumption, a hankering after a theologia gloriae instead of the theologia crucis that is our earthly lot. The case of the church is parallel to that of the individual Christian. When we look at one another, each sees the other person in his unaestethic twentieth-century garb, with annoying mannerisms and habitual sins, with the constant dying of his mortal flesh apparent in wrinkling skin, trifocal spectacles, a balding pate, hoarse voice, and the symptoms and syndromes of the ailments he describes. That person will be completely different at the resurrection, so completely different that our experience furnishes no basis, according to the Scriptures, for imagining what he will be - or what even in this moment he really is in the sight of the heavenly Father, who, as He looks upon this person, sees him "in Christ." - Piepkorn, *The Church* p. 49

[Obviously a riff on The Church's One Foundation: Though with a scornful wonder The world sees her oppressed, By schisms rent asunder, By heresies distressed, Yet saints their watch are keeping, Their cry goes up, "how long?" And soon the night of weeping Shall be the morn of song. LSB 644:3]

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