Saturday, February 04, 2006

Lutheranism cum Platonism

Some thoughts from our friend Rev. William Weedon, pastor in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod:

Thus, Lutherans AGREE that private confession and absolution is a good thing. But don't ask them to do it! That would be "legalistic" (i.e., it would require moving out of the realm of ideas)...

Thus, Lutherans AGREE that the Symbols are a "true exposition of the Word of God" but don't refer to Mary with any of the titles that they do ("Blessed, Ever-Virgin, Most-holy, Pure and Holy", etc), or you're imposing personal beliefs on people (and you'd be moving out of the realm of ideas).Thus, Lutherans AGREE that the Saints are to be honored, but do it without mentioning them, please! We don't want to be mistaken for Rome (in other words, keep it in the realm of ideas, not practice).

...the typical Lutheran response among many so-called "Confessionalists" is to squirm with discomfort and cry foul...

Can Lutheranism survive merely as an idea? Can the idea of Lutheranism be disconnected from the concrete forms in which she has lived her life? I am thinking of how it was reported to me that a professor at one of our seminaries can argue that both Fr. High Church and Pastor Billy-Bob Church Growther are both fine and upstanding Lutheran pastors. Why? Because they hold to the same ideas, they hold opinions that mark them as Lutheran. Lutheranism as an idea is not Lutheranism at all in my book.

This should be an important message for all High Church Lutherans (and there are many more than you know): the "Confessionalists" are happy to have you remain in their denomination, just don't try to put your faith into practice there. "Pastor Billy-Bob Church Growther" per omnia saecula saeculorum.


Blogger The Wretched Sinner said...

That excerpt does hit the nail on the head. In most of my experiences with Lutheran associates there is very much the sense of a cerebral affirmation of the true faith, but never going so far as to put it in practice. A "form of of godliness, but denying the power thereof."

7:54 PM  

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