24 August 2008

Old Lutheran Quote of the Day

The unity of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, as a portion of the Holy Christian Church, depends upon her abiding in one and the same faith, in confessing which she obtained her distinctive being and name, her political recognition, and her history. -- C. P. Krauth, *The Conservative Reformation*


Phil said...

Thanks for the Krauth recommendation, Pastor! I've cruised through the first few chapters so far, and it's quite impressive.

Chris said...

Krauth's phrase, "as a portion of the Holy Christian Church" seems to indicate that he favors the Branch Theory of the Church. How can the Church be divided? Or is this just a poor translation?

Chris Jones said...

I'd like to echo Chris's question: how can the Church be divided?

In particular, how can the language of "a portion of the Church" be reconciled with the confession of one Apostolic Church in the Creed without recognizing the catholicity of the heterodox and without recourse to an un-Biblical, a-Traditional, and un-confessional notion of an "invisible Church"?

William Weedon said...

Check out the context in which Krauth wrote the statement. You can pick up the book at Google books for free and it is well worth reading.

He is definitely not an advocate of the branch theory; but he does define the church as the (singular) congregation of all believers (and as such it is an object of faith, not of sight, until the Parousia when "we also shall appear with Him in glory"); and these believers subsist in particular jurisdictions that have varying degrees of heterodoxy at various times and stages. When the word church is applied to one of these jurisdictions it is always in a derivative, improper sense, and thus to "part" of the Church. I'd encourage one and all to get the book from Google Books and enjoy the whole of it. Much, much to rejoice in.