02 July 2007

Wieder Krauth

Up to 355 now. Got a ways to go yet, obviously.

Not everything we learn from Rome is Romish. Not only so, but, as earnest Evangelical Protestants, we may admit, that deep and vital as are the points in which we differ from the Romanists, they are not so vital as those in which we agree with them, and that Evangelical Protestants are not so remote from Romanists as they are from false and heretical Protestants. p. 341,342

Our church in common with both the Roman and the Greek Churches, does hold to a true presence of the whole Christ, the factor of which is not our mind, but his own divine person. We do not think him into the Supper, but he is verily and indeed there. Faith does not put him there, but finds him there. p. 343


Past Elder said...

Krauth makes an excellent point.

Some points worth remembering:

The extent to which we have allowed ourselves to become Protestants (in the American sense) describes exactly where we have lost vital ground. The Confessions are no less forthright about our differences with them than about those with Rome. While it does not have the snap of something from a respected tome, the image from my first pot luck as a Lutheran, where the regular coffee was labelled Lutheran and the decaf Protestant, kind of sums it up for me.

We indeed with the Orthodox and Roman churches hold to the real presence of the whole Christ, but, and though one may have to scratch a little more these days to hear it, when push comes to shove these communions do not recognise that we have it, and that because of us being, well, Protestant, apart from the whole Christ as Church.

That was and remains a central challenge for Lutherans, to understand that not everything about Rome is Romish -- that our efforts affirmed the validity of the tradition, and sought to prune what is only Romish. To preserve what is catholic and reject what is Catholic, the Roman church being a mixture of both.

As to when Rome catches a cold -- Lutherans need to have plenty of Triaminic for the whole family! The situation now, where Rome's latest antics influence us and we allow it, is completely different that in the Reformation of Luther's time. Then, we began what we still do when we are true to ourselves, a zealous guarding and defending of the catholic church as distinct from the Catholic Church. The Reformation has begun, we are now several centuries into it, Rome's position remains clear regarding that even now though the words are politer, and adapting and adopting Rome's current worship several centuries on is absolutely nothing like the Reformation effort to zealously guard and defend the mass or anything else about the catholic church. Their current worship is theirs and designed to serve the course they are now on; it is not the catholic tradition in which we stand as was the case at the start of the Reformation.

Past Elder said...

Or to borrow Krauth's terms -- post conciliar Roman worship is all Romish, a situation not present when Krauth wrote in 1866, a hundred years or so before Vatican II. That makes a huge difference re the Roman church of history and the Roman church as it is now.

Sch├╝tz said...

A couple of great quotations. I must say that as far as "authentic Lutheranism" goes, it is important to hold on to these very notions. I owned and read a copy of Krauth many years ago as a Seminarian, and (when added to Sasse) it provided me with a very solid basis of development as an evangelical catholic Lutheran.

The difficulty comes when you try to separate what is "Catholic" from what is "Romish". Many of the teachings and practices condemned as "Romish" acted as "fences" around the essential doctrines that Krauth says makes Lutheranism distinct from the "false and heretical Protestants". When these fences are regarded as "Romish additions" and torn up, it doesn't take long before the essential doctrines the fences guarded are scattered, and the Lutheran Church ends up looking precisely the same as those other Protestants who are condemned as false and heretical.

Past Elder said...

Re fences -- I've often thought the only thing really comparable to being a real Roman Catholic is being a real Orthodox Jew.

Fences and all. One speaks of fences around the Torah. One Orthodox rabbi compared it to a mother whose real intent is to keep her kids from playing in the street, so she tells them not to go beyond the sidewalk, which of course ensures they will not be in the street.

The problem is, the fences often become more important than that which they serve -- pretty soon it's all about sidewalks and the real idea, don't play in the street, isn't the real idea any more.

Luther wrote about things which in their origin had a good purpose but become corrupted and lose sight of the original purpose and focus on themselves.

Maybe the idea is: don't play in the street, that's an order; now, I suggest you stay behind the sidewalk and then you won't have to worry about it, but that's a suggestion, don't play in the street is an order!