02 January 2014

Old Lutheran Quote of the Day

Members of the congregation in calling a minister to perform these public functions do not abdicate their rights, gifts, or privileges as kings and priests to whom the Lord has committed the means of grace. They still retain all their rights and privileges as spiritual priests and still administer them in their private capacity. They simply appoint someone as a minister to discharge the public functions which they cannot discharge directly in their own persons.—C.H. Little, Lutheran Confessional Theology. 


Chris Jones said...

This does not seem right to me, that this:

to whom the Lord has committed the means of grace

... may refer to lay persons. I thought that the means of grace were committed to the Apostolic Ministry ("stewards of the mysteries of God"), not to the laity whether individually or collectively. I think the author is confusing the role of the congregation in helping to discern a man's call to the Apostolic Ministry, with the ministry itself and its exercise.

Please explain.

William Weedon said...

Chris, I think his point is the same as St. Paul's in 1 Corinthians: "All things are yours!" The means of grace belong to the Bride. He's not arguing that she administers them to herself, for the apostolic ministry exists to serve them to the Bride, but nonetheless what the ministry serves up to the Bride is specifically that which her Bridegroom has given her as her very own.