28 February 2008

Old Lutheran Quote of the Day

God the Lord created the first man so that he should be a temple and residence of the Holy Trinity. However, since he turned himself away from God, through this he became a dwelling of the Devil - even as Christ says of the evil spirits in Luke 11, that they reside in brutal, malicious criminals. For this misery to be averted and for the great grace to be achieved for us, so that God the Lord might once again set up residence within our hearts, Christ here allows Himself to be accused as a destroyer of the temple in Jerusalem, in which God the Lord dwelt among the cherubim and in which He had His fire and flock. -- Johann Gerhard, *Explanation of the History of the Suffering and Death of our Lord Jesus Christ* p. 132


jack kilcrease said...

It is interesting that Gerhard uses this Temple language. Modern scholarship on Genesis 1-2 has found a strong use of the idea of creation as a Temple for God's presence and Adam as its high priest. (part of this argument has to do with the fact that the Tabernacle is established with 7 speeches of God in Exodus 25-40, culminating in a speech commanding the Sabbath- the symbolism makes of the Tabernacle after all makes it a microcosm of creation) In other words, like Luther said, creation receives itself from God continously and therefore, when it functions properly, gives praise to God knowing him to be the source of the good out pure graciousness. Through Jesus, we are re-established as creatures of faith. As creatures of faith, we acknowledge God as the source of the good and therefore praise him for his goodness and grace. Therefore, created being possesses a liturgical structure. God's service to us free us for divine praise. By dying for our sins Christ destroys the Old Temple and thereby he establishes a new liturgy of creation. Hence the flawed nature of the "Church growth movement" and contemporary worship. God's nature is based on giving- as Luther says- and the law of prayer is the law of faith. Therefore our worship must be based on a prioritization of God's unilateral self-giving.

William Weedon said...

What can I say but "Amen!", Jack.