30 March 2009

The Pastoral Element

is never far beneath the surface of the Lutheran Symbols. This is so beautifully driven home in many places, but today I noted it especially in Article XI:91

"If anyone presents the teaching about God's gracious election in such a way that troubled Christians cannot get comfort out of it, but are pushed to despair; or if anyone teaches it so that the impenitent are confirmed in their sinfulness, then it is undoubtedly sure and true that such a doctrine is not taught according to God's Word and will."

The concern is not that it "makes sense" logically; but that it "makes sense" pastorally. The goal of this doctrine as of every doctrine is to keep the Christian in repentance (godly fear) and in faith (trust in God's mercy that comforts the heart). May God grant it!

1 comment:

X said...

Amen to that. I had that despair.