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Archive for the ‘Lutheran Confessions’ Category

The Lutheran Confessions are Pastoral

The constant drum beat throughout them is the goal of comforting and caring for souls. The Lutheran Confessions are not theological speculations or abstractions. The times in which it was written called for pastoral care on a scale that could only be compared to a national emergency. Souls bruised and bullied by legalisms and demands placed on them outside of and beyond the Sacred Scriptures were healed by the healing and life-giving Gospel. Persons who were not hearing the comforting promises of the Holy Gospel, the free and full forgiveness of all salvation through Christ, received the mercy of God as they heard of the Savior who loved them and died and rose for them. The Lutheran Confessions speak to us today because they speak of the most important issues any of us ever face in our life. Who am I? What is life’s meaning? Who do I know God? Am I loved? How can I be sure? What am I do to with my life?

The Lutheran Confessions are Practical

They go right to the heart of the key issues and, even in spite of the length of some articles in them, never wander off on side paths. It is a book on a mission and that is to deliver the Gospel: purely, cleanly, correctly and practically, again, for the care of souls. They are not journal articles indulging in scholarly pursuits, or the pet interests of their authors in the pursuit of credibility and respect in the academic community. The Confessions are practical resources for people’s faith and life, as they live and especially, as they die. Why? Because the golden thread running throughout them is the chief and most important teaching of the Christian faith: justification by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, on account of Christ alone, the teaching drawn from Scripture, alone: the Gospel.

The Lutheran Confessions are Personal

The Book of Concord was written by people who had deep and long first-hand experience with the various theological ills they are decrying and had first-hand knowledge of just how powerfully comforting and consoling the Gospel is. Therefore, for example, when you read about monasticism in this book, always behind these discussions stands the man who spent well over a decade of his life in this lifestyle, tortured and tormented no end by the lack of Gospel: Martin Luther. The book could almost be said to be a spiritual autobiography of all those who contributed to it. They are not dispassionate scientific essays. They are not mystical and obscure texts. They are personal statements of faith expressed on behalf of the Church, and for the Church, in order to gather more and more into the Church.

Those are three reasons why I am so passionate about the Book of Concord.

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I found this today from cyberbrethren.com.  Happy Anniversary!

Before we go further we need to clear up a common misconception. While insisting on the truth of Lutheranism, we can never allow ourselves to do so in an arrogant, haughty or self-righteous manner. People who are passionate about the truth of Biblical Lutheranism know that the Bible teaches often and clearly that we are all sinful human beings in need of God’s constant mercy, which He so lavishly gives in Christ. To be truly Lutheran is to receive the gifts of God with humility, repentantly recognizing our great need. It is tempting for Lutherans to be proud and arrogant of their great heritage, but this is a terrible evil! To be Lutheran is to be always mindful of our great sin and our great need for a Savior. To be a Lutheran is to be a sinner calling out to fellow sinners, “Come and see!” Furthermore, we would never want anyone to think that we Lutherans are saying, “We, and we alone, are the only ones who will be in heaven. In fact, you can’t be a Christian unless you are a Lutheran.” Not so! Not at all. We realize that the Word of God is powerful and active, wherever and whenever it is heard, read or meditated on. There are many Christians in other denominations and churches. They are not Christians because of the errors in their churches, but in spite of those errors. Let’s then have none say, “You Lutherans think you alone are Christians.” We have never said that, we have never believed it, and we never will. The reason we insist on Lutheranism for everyone who will listen is because we believe so passionately that it truly is the most correct and most accurate understanding of the Word of God. (more…)

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Great spoof on an apple ad.

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I found this article from cyberbrethren.com.  Paul McCain is editor at Concordia Publishing House in St. Louis.  It’s a great article.  Enjoy!

True Peace and Harmony in the Church is The Result of Unity in Doctrine

A Survey of the Witness of Holy Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions

From time to time, there is put forward the theory that peace and unity in the church is not based on doctrinal unity. The Word of God makes it clear that it is God’s will that unity in the church be based on agreement with one another in doctrine. It is this God-given agreement in the teaching of the Apostles that provides the foundation for true peace and unity in the church, as the Scripture passages that follow this paragraph clearly demonstrate. Oftentimes disinterest in purity of doctrine comes disguised with statements about love. Pitting love against pure doctrine is a common error. “Love unites, doctrine divides” has been the slogan of much of liberal theology since the 19th century. It tends also to influence more confessional churches. It is an appealing slogan to pious and sincere Christians who do want to be loving people. It can be used easily to gloss over doctrinal errors and the importance of doctrinal differences.

The purpose of this collection of quotations is to present the witness of Holy Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions in order to demonstrate that the Lutheran Confessions clearly have unity in doctrine in mind when they refer to what makes for genuine peace, unity and harmony in the church. The consistent witness of both Scripture and the Lutherans Confessions demonstrates that for the orthodox and confessional Lutheran church true and lasting peace, unity and harmony is a gift of God that is nurtured and sustained by pure teaching of the Word andthe rejection of error. These two important emphases are summarized in two recurrent phrases in the Book of Concord: “We believe, teach and confess” and “We reject and condemn.”

(more…)

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Found this at cyberbrethren.com.

A Lutheran pastor recently made an observation that I found very well put. What do you think?

I believe there are a whole lot of voices in our theological community who think the Confessions are so 16th century. For me what is at the heart of the Lutheran Confessions, as noted so simply and repeatedly in Luther’s explanation of the three articles of the Creed in his Small Catechism, is that the action that makes a difference is in the hands of our Triune God. The result as the explanation to the second article concludes is that “I might be his own, live under him in his Kingdom, and serve him…”

For me this is simply bedrock truth for all centuries and especially needed today. Look at seminary continuing education offerings and ask yourself if there is much of any sense that our God holds any of the action that is at the heart of our faith. One offering after another focuses on some aspect of our leadership, management, etc. We are the players who must improve our skills at this or that or our witness will be crippled. Yes, we can be helped by some of that learning, but living under the sovereign Lordship of Jesus Christ to whom all authority has been given in heaven and on earth is ever so much more important.

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