04 April 2011

New Lutheran Quote of the Day

Christ did not institute some abstract sacramentum.  He instituted the office of the ministry, Baptism, Holy Communion, and the office of the keys.  Only if we regain this freedom of the Lutheran Reformation will we be able to go all the way to the heart of what is uniquely referred to by the term "sacrament," whose essence is not to be found in any phenomena from the history of religions or in any human speculation about what God must do to redeem us.  It is in the institution of the Lord that eludes every human why and in the incomprehensible wonder of the Incarnation.  If we take that seriously, then the problem of Word and Sacrament takes on a completely different appearance. -- Hermann Sasse, *We Confess:  the Sacraments* p. 15.


Anonymous said...

how is the office of the ministry distinct from the office of the keys?

William Weedon said...

He's running with Luther's typical terminology in which the keys, being the possession of the whole church, are exercised by laity privately and by the clergy publicly. The Office of the Ministry has one of its charges the public and responsible administration of the keys, but also the public preaching of the Gospel, the administration of Baptism and Eucharist, and superintending the church's works of mercy. Melanchthon, of course, simply equates "Office of the Keys" with "power of bishops."