Lutherans & Evangelicals learning from each other

Continuing the Lutheran identity discussion. . . .I want to draw your attention to Kevin N’s comments on the ‘Not For Lutherans Anymore” post. He tells about growing up in a liberal ELCA church that was all confused about the gospel. He heard and grasped what it meant that Christ died for his sins through a Campus Crusade witness in college. He went through the “are you a Lutheran or are you a Christian” phase, but now has come up to appreciate Lutheranism again, though he is a member of an Evangelical Free church. He is seeing that Lutheran theology can resolve controversies between Calvinists and Arminians–for example, on the doctrine of predestination–that are afflicting his denomination. At the same time, he sees certain gaps that the Lutheran confessions do not really address. I’ll let him tell it:

I am now in the Evangelical Free Church, and am happy with where I am at. Over the past seven years or so I have had a growing appreciation for Lutheran theology (I suppose I am 90% Lutheran in my thinking), and can see that Lutherans could make a valuable contribution in the overall discussions that go on in evangelicalism, but they are either silent or ignored. For example, in my denomination, 80% of pastors are Calvinist and 20% are Arminian, but few of either are even aware of the distinct Lutheran approach to issues such as predestination. I also believe that Lutheran Christians have a better sense of heritage and history than do most of us evangelicals.

I do see great value in the Lutheran confessions, but also believe they don’t sufficiently address issues such as evangelism, missions, or eschatology.

To non-Lutherans, I ask, what elements of Lutheran theology could you take profitably into your own church or personal beliefs, without becoming whole-hog Lutheran? Or, to all, do you think Lutheran teachings are so interlocked with each other that a person has to go all the way to Wittenberg? And, to Lutherans, I ask what you think about Kevin’s contention that our confessions do not sufficiently cover evangelism, missions, and eschatology? No one ever said that our confessions address EVERYTHING of importance that might come up, though it is possible to extrapolate applications, as we did with the doctrine of Scripture. Are there things Lutherans learn from evangelicals (keeping in mind that Lutherans were the first to go by that Gospel-centered name)?

P.S.: I also hope somebody can rise to Kevin’s challenge of identifying the titles of my books that have been translated into Romanian, since I don’t know myself!

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Dan

    Veith, could you explain how the Lutheran doctrine of predestination resolves the conflict between Calvinists and Arminians?

    I am a Dutch Calvinist and am convinced that the Reformed view of predestination is biblically sound and that Arminianism is an assault on the gospel. As far as I’m concerned, there’s no debate.

    But I am curious about the Lutheran doctrine of predestination. Can you explain further how Lutheranism sheds light on the Reformed/Arminian battle over predestination?

  • Dan

    Veith, could you explain how the Lutheran doctrine of predestination resolves the conflict between Calvinists and Arminians?

    I am a Dutch Calvinist and am convinced that the Reformed view of predestination is biblically sound and that Arminianism is an assault on the gospel. As far as I’m concerned, there’s no debate.

    But I am curious about the Lutheran doctrine of predestination. Can you explain further how Lutheranism sheds light on the Reformed/Arminian battle over predestination?

  • fwsonnek

    Kevin N:

    “[ Lutheran´s don´t ]sufficiently address issues such as evangelism, missions, or eschatology.”

    Tell us more. We respectfully can´t address your assertion without more information.

    Questions for you:

    Are these the ONLY main areas where you see deficiencies?

    If you are 80% Lutheran and 20% not, that begs an important question. You are in a church that is good for the 20%. This is intended as a friendly question, not a challenge to you.

  • fwsonnek

    Kevin N:

    “[ Lutheran´s don´t ]sufficiently address issues such as evangelism, missions, or eschatology.”

    Tell us more. We respectfully can´t address your assertion without more information.

    Questions for you:

    Are these the ONLY main areas where you see deficiencies?

    If you are 80% Lutheran and 20% not, that begs an important question. You are in a church that is good for the 20%. This is intended as a friendly question, not a challenge to you.

  • http://gpiper.org/katiesbeer Theresa K.

    “our confessions do not sufficiently cover evangelism, missions, and eschatology”

    For me, coming from a long background of Evangelicalism, the Lutheran approach to Christianity provided answers for me in the areas of evangelism, missions and eschatology. The answers weren’t necessarily written in the Book of Concord, but were found in my pastors who were more soundly educated in the faith than any others in my 30+ years as a confirmed Christian. To go into details would require quite a long comment and I’ve surely discussed these things on my BSITG blog, but a good summary would be that my pastor continually reminds us to bring people to the Word. I find the people and bring them to the Word. In my community, that Word is found as preached by my pastors at my church. No longer am I burdened with needing to read tons of books on missions or evangelism; I’m freed up to do the job of getting to know people in a natural and genuine way, show them love and caring and get them to the Word. I’m not the pastor; my job is to bring them to the Word. Of course, through a natural relationship with people, the Word will naturally come up and I need to be prepared to give an account for the joy that it is my heart. Again, I need to get myself to the Word through worship, fellowship and bible study at my church.

    To summarize, the questions I have are answered in scripture. The Book of Concord rests on top of scripture in that it is an accurate summary of the doctrine contained in scripture. I don’t have to know all the answers nor is God dependent on me to save anyone. Salvation is His realm, not mine. I “merely” have to live my life at the foot of the cross in repentance and grace. In doing so, I have some small hope of being helpful to others in showing them where to find the Word. And where they find the Word is the place where the gospel is preached accurately by men appointed by God – my church.

    That is what I have learned from Lutheran teachings.

  • http://gpiper.org/katiesbeer Theresa K.

    “our confessions do not sufficiently cover evangelism, missions, and eschatology”

    For me, coming from a long background of Evangelicalism, the Lutheran approach to Christianity provided answers for me in the areas of evangelism, missions and eschatology. The answers weren’t necessarily written in the Book of Concord, but were found in my pastors who were more soundly educated in the faith than any others in my 30+ years as a confirmed Christian. To go into details would require quite a long comment and I’ve surely discussed these things on my BSITG blog, but a good summary would be that my pastor continually reminds us to bring people to the Word. I find the people and bring them to the Word. In my community, that Word is found as preached by my pastors at my church. No longer am I burdened with needing to read tons of books on missions or evangelism; I’m freed up to do the job of getting to know people in a natural and genuine way, show them love and caring and get them to the Word. I’m not the pastor; my job is to bring them to the Word. Of course, through a natural relationship with people, the Word will naturally come up and I need to be prepared to give an account for the joy that it is my heart. Again, I need to get myself to the Word through worship, fellowship and bible study at my church.

    To summarize, the questions I have are answered in scripture. The Book of Concord rests on top of scripture in that it is an accurate summary of the doctrine contained in scripture. I don’t have to know all the answers nor is God dependent on me to save anyone. Salvation is His realm, not mine. I “merely” have to live my life at the foot of the cross in repentance and grace. In doing so, I have some small hope of being helpful to others in showing them where to find the Word. And where they find the Word is the place where the gospel is preached accurately by men appointed by God – my church.

    That is what I have learned from Lutheran teachings.

  • http://4scores.blogspot.com Cap Stewart

    Ditto what Dan (post #1) said/asked. I’m in a Reformed/Charismatic church–although I consider myself more of a Lutheran than a Calvinist, simply because I’m more familiar with Luther’s teachings than I am Calvin’s. My views on election have come mostly from my studies of “The Bondage of the Will” and the writings of John Piper, and none of these materials have seemed to contradict one another–or Scripture itself! So I’m not clear on the differences between the Lutheran view of election and the Reformed view of election.

  • http://4scores.blogspot.com Cap Stewart

    Ditto what Dan (post #1) said/asked. I’m in a Reformed/Charismatic church–although I consider myself more of a Lutheran than a Calvinist, simply because I’m more familiar with Luther’s teachings than I am Calvin’s. My views on election have come mostly from my studies of “The Bondage of the Will” and the writings of John Piper, and none of these materials have seemed to contradict one another–or Scripture itself! So I’m not clear on the differences between the Lutheran view of election and the Reformed view of election.

  • http://gpiper.org/katiesbeer Theresa K.

    Dan, excellent question! I looked up your question at the WELS Q&A site (answers are in the form of educated opinion from seminary professors- not an official opinion statement from the synod):

    Lutheranism rejects the Arminian view as much as it rejects the Calvinist view. Both Calvinism and Arminianism make the same mistake in tackling the question “why are some saved and not others?” The Calvinist says the difference is in God–he provided redemption for some but not for others. The Arminian says the difference is in man–some accepted Christ, some did not.

    Both make the same mistake–they try to supply one answer to two questions. Scripture answers this as two distinct questions: Why are some saved?

    There are many passages which say that Christ died for everyone, including unbelievers who are ultimately lost. A few of them are:

    1 Timothy 4:10–”God is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe.”

    Here “all men” is clearly a category that is larger than “those who believe.”

    2 Peter 2:1– “False teachers…introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them, bringing swift destruction on themselves.” This explicitly says that those going to destruction were bought by God.

    2 Corinthians 5:19–”God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them.” God forgives the sin of the world.

    These are just a few of the many passages that explicitly say that Christ paid for the sins of everyone. These in no way contradict passages that say he died for believers, because none of these say Christ died only for believers. It does not matter how many passages say “Jesus died for believers.” To make a scriptural case for a limited atonement, one has to cite a passage which says, “Christ died for believers, not for unbelievers.” There is no such passage in Scripture.

    Lutherans do not try to reconcile what our reason judges to be “tensions” in Scripture. We simply let them stand.

  • http://gpiper.org/katiesbeer Theresa K.

    Dan, excellent question! I looked up your question at the WELS Q&A site (answers are in the form of educated opinion from seminary professors- not an official opinion statement from the synod):

    Lutheranism rejects the Arminian view as much as it rejects the Calvinist view. Both Calvinism and Arminianism make the same mistake in tackling the question “why are some saved and not others?” The Calvinist says the difference is in God–he provided redemption for some but not for others. The Arminian says the difference is in man–some accepted Christ, some did not.

    Both make the same mistake–they try to supply one answer to two questions. Scripture answers this as two distinct questions: Why are some saved?

    There are many passages which say that Christ died for everyone, including unbelievers who are ultimately lost. A few of them are:

    1 Timothy 4:10–”God is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe.”

    Here “all men” is clearly a category that is larger than “those who believe.”

    2 Peter 2:1– “False teachers…introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them, bringing swift destruction on themselves.” This explicitly says that those going to destruction were bought by God.

    2 Corinthians 5:19–”God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them.” God forgives the sin of the world.

    These are just a few of the many passages that explicitly say that Christ paid for the sins of everyone. These in no way contradict passages that say he died for believers, because none of these say Christ died only for believers. It does not matter how many passages say “Jesus died for believers.” To make a scriptural case for a limited atonement, one has to cite a passage which says, “Christ died for believers, not for unbelievers.” There is no such passage in Scripture.

    Lutherans do not try to reconcile what our reason judges to be “tensions” in Scripture. We simply let them stand.

  • http://www.shempel.blogspot.com Sarah in Maryland

    One problem in our church in particular and I think is a problem in most ELCA churches is that people aren’t catechized well. I teach Sunday school and am pretty saddened by how little people know. Lutherans have great theology, which is why I became one in the first place. If we actually did anything about our theology, we’d be more than a sleeping giant. Our church is struggling with evangelism. Culturally Lutherans are very reserved and usual methods of evangelism don’t work well for reserved people. If you are a community of people saved by grace through faith, how can you NOT proclaim such Good News?

  • http://www.shempel.blogspot.com Sarah in Maryland

    One problem in our church in particular and I think is a problem in most ELCA churches is that people aren’t catechized well. I teach Sunday school and am pretty saddened by how little people know. Lutherans have great theology, which is why I became one in the first place. If we actually did anything about our theology, we’d be more than a sleeping giant. Our church is struggling with evangelism. Culturally Lutherans are very reserved and usual methods of evangelism don’t work well for reserved people. If you are a community of people saved by grace through faith, how can you NOT proclaim such Good News?

  • http://www.lutheransandcontraception.blogspot.com/ Erich Heidenreich, DDS

    Our formal, non-negotiable “Confessions” (i.e. the Symbols), to which our Pastors vow unconditional subscription, do not directly address the issues of evangelism, missions, and eschatology because these were not topics of debate at the time. However, we Lutherans certainly do “confess” a Biblical doctrine regarding all these and other issues.

    The point I’m trying to make is that just because some issue is not addressed in the Book of Concord doesn’t mean that Lutherans don’t have a firm confession of doctrine regarding that issue.

    We in the LCMS even have other documents which have been adopted as the official teachings of our synod. Some of these address the very topics mentioned above.

    For instance, the Brief Statement of 1932 (which is an official doctrinal statement in the LCMS and other conservative Lutheran churches) directly addresses eschatology. And for an even more detailed explanation of Lutheranism’s Biblical eschatology as compared to other beliefs, see the CTCR document “The ‘End Times’ – A Study on Eschatology and Millennialism.”

    Bottom line: The Book of Concord is not the only thing we Lutherans believe, teach, and confess. We confess a complete Biblical body of doctrine.

  • http://www.lutheransandcontraception.blogspot.com/ Erich Heidenreich, DDS

    Our formal, non-negotiable “Confessions” (i.e. the Symbols), to which our Pastors vow unconditional subscription, do not directly address the issues of evangelism, missions, and eschatology because these were not topics of debate at the time. However, we Lutherans certainly do “confess” a Biblical doctrine regarding all these and other issues.

    The point I’m trying to make is that just because some issue is not addressed in the Book of Concord doesn’t mean that Lutherans don’t have a firm confession of doctrine regarding that issue.

    We in the LCMS even have other documents which have been adopted as the official teachings of our synod. Some of these address the very topics mentioned above.

    For instance, the Brief Statement of 1932 (which is an official doctrinal statement in the LCMS and other conservative Lutheran churches) directly addresses eschatology. And for an even more detailed explanation of Lutheranism’s Biblical eschatology as compared to other beliefs, see the CTCR document “The ‘End Times’ – A Study on Eschatology and Millennialism.”

    Bottom line: The Book of Concord is not the only thing we Lutherans believe, teach, and confess. We confess a complete Biblical body of doctrine.

  • Dan

    Thanks for the response Theresa.

    How do you explain “tensions” in Scripture. Isn’t it true that God’s truth cannot contradict itself? The Bible is quite clear that Christ died not FOR ALL but for MANY (Isa. 53:11; Matt. 20:28; Matt; 26:28; Heb. 9:28). He died for HIS PEOPLE (Isa. 53:8; Matt. 1:21), FOR HIS SHEEP (John 10:14, 15, 26-28), and FOR THE CHURCH (Acts 20:28).

    Passages that speak of “all” or of “the world” don’t contradict this or create tension, because the Word of God cannot contradict itself. These text teach that Christ died for ALL KINDS of men (I Tim. 2:1-6), for all who are in him (I Cor. 15:22), or for the “world” of his own people (his elect from every nation). Compare John 3:16 and John 17:9.

    I still don’t see how the Lutheran view of predestination helps the Calvinist/Arminian conflict. Either God chooses His people (Calvinism) or man chooses God (Arminianism). Do Lutherans just refuse to answer the question because Scripture seems to create “tension” on this issue? Luther himself emphasized the “Bondage of the Will” and man’s complete inability to even desire salvation apart from God’s intervention.

    Thank you again for your time.

  • Dan

    Thanks for the response Theresa.

    How do you explain “tensions” in Scripture. Isn’t it true that God’s truth cannot contradict itself? The Bible is quite clear that Christ died not FOR ALL but for MANY (Isa. 53:11; Matt. 20:28; Matt; 26:28; Heb. 9:28). He died for HIS PEOPLE (Isa. 53:8; Matt. 1:21), FOR HIS SHEEP (John 10:14, 15, 26-28), and FOR THE CHURCH (Acts 20:28).

    Passages that speak of “all” or of “the world” don’t contradict this or create tension, because the Word of God cannot contradict itself. These text teach that Christ died for ALL KINDS of men (I Tim. 2:1-6), for all who are in him (I Cor. 15:22), or for the “world” of his own people (his elect from every nation). Compare John 3:16 and John 17:9.

    I still don’t see how the Lutheran view of predestination helps the Calvinist/Arminian conflict. Either God chooses His people (Calvinism) or man chooses God (Arminianism). Do Lutherans just refuse to answer the question because Scripture seems to create “tension” on this issue? Luther himself emphasized the “Bondage of the Will” and man’s complete inability to even desire salvation apart from God’s intervention.

    Thank you again for your time.

  • fwsonnek

    #1 Dan

    I think the more accurate answer is that we do not see a conflict in need of resolution. We instead see a very radical disconnect with all sides of the argument.

    We as Lutherans would freely agree that the Calvin/Arminius argument is eminently and utterly logical as framed. And we agree that it is a good and important question (depending on who is asking and why).

    This question is usually framed by both sides in two parts:
    “(1) Why are some saved? and , (2) why are others not? ”

    Calvin resolved this all in God´s sovreign and just decree. Arminians points to free will. Both rely heavily upon rules of reason and logic.

    We Lutherans stand apart from this debate with two objections: 1) Reason is not held sufficiently “captive to the Word of God”. 2) Apart from Jesus, any questions of theology are pure logic, opinion and ego-building abstraction for a Lutheran. We miss Jesus in all of this I am saying.

    So what DO we Lutherans believe then?

    As to the first proposition:

    “I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ nor come to him.” (Luther´s Small catechism). Or, to paraphrase ” I believe that I cannot believe”. Note: This is not a logical statement. Note again: Lutherans confess it as true.

    This belief is profoundly connected to EVERY single article we believe as Lutherans and cannot be understood in anyway OUTSIDE of our understanding of the Person of Jesus Christ as the central totality of what we believe (not I am not merely saying He is the chief doctrine or main doctrine. I am saying much more).

    What looks like a point of agreement to 5 points, is really not. We arrive at a similar conclusion for a radically different Reason. Orientation and the declared “essence” of the matter are both radically different between Lutherans, versus Calvinist, Armenians and all other protestants.

    Your spiritual ancestors felt that the Lutheran and their very consciously conservative reformation came to a complete stop and at rest in Jesus (!). I here confirm their judgement completely. It therefore did not go far enough at reform for them, and so they felt conscience-bound to separate from the Lutherans. We are having that same calm discussion again right now. It is a one sided bone-to-pick.

    Now as to the second proposition:

    We believe that whoever is lost and does not end up in heaven will be lost over Jesus dead body! Further they were all invited to the heavenly party. Their party favors and name cards are at their place at the wedding feast table. They are only out after having been fully in.

    Mankind are enemies of God. They are not merely “lost”. They do NOT seek God. No one does. They are in active, take-no-prisoner hand to hand combat with Him! They sense this is the fight to the death. It is. They have that part right. They fear death. The seek life in things that are dead. (Where we seek Life in a Death and look to our own death as our ultimate victory over death.)

    Hell was prepared for the devil and his angels. Not for man. The bible says that men WILL end up there. I accept this, sadly and reluctantly, as does God. And I believe with all my heart that this situation is violently at war with what God´s Will declares. That Will is Jesus. In the flesh. Lutherans look to Him ALONE to know anything at all about God´s Will.

    “God would have that NONE should perish but come to the knowledge of the Truth (ie Jesus)”

    This is not “proof-text”. It is the unitary message the Bible was built to proclaim. It is like there is only ONE passage in the entire Bible and this is it! No system here in the sense of Calvinisms.

    Let this sink in please for a moment to really understand the Lutheran position. Where do we Lutherans express this radical single-christ-mindedness? Everywhere. In fact, where we fail to say this, we claim that we cease to be Lutheran. It is THAT fundamentally definitional of who we are. You will find it in hundreds of phrases like “The Gospel and all it´s articles”. “True worship is Trust in Jesus Christ”. These are some of the many radical expressions of this One Truth in the Augsburg Confession. See a pattern?

    Think of what this deceptively simple second observation about what True Worship is, means for “evangelism, missions, and eschatology” which Kevin raised as shortcomings of ours.

    Maybe these shortcomings exist in that Lutherans don´t take seriously enough what they confess to be true about their worship or don´t really believe as they should what they claim to confess? Maybe we are not “Lutheran” enough??!! Now THIS thought in this form every Lutheran would heartily embrace and thank you for the kick in the ass in doing so! Thanks Kevin! 

    In summary, I have not compared Calvinism, Arminianism and Lutheranism in a side by side table or chart.

    I hope I have successfully shown, or at least have begun to, that this cannot, in fact be done. This is because the basic orientation and premises are so very radically different between Lutherans on the one hand, and the calvinists, armenians and the spiritual heirs of Zwingli and the anabaptists.

    I am lumping you all together in only ONE way. The frame for your arguments as to what the two (or three) sides are and the logical tools agreed upon to resolve the argument seem the same. You are all comfortable with the FRAME of your discussions.

    We Lutherans find this frame and the tools extremely foreign to us. This is probably why, historically Lutherans have been largely seen as outsiders to all of your larger debates between these groups.

    A true discussion between us would need to start at a far more basic level. I am sure then, that any differences such as Election and Predestination would then appear to be merely symptomatic of differences far deeper and basic.

    And note that THIS was a very long post. ( I am sure you have).

    Until we can have that larger discussion, let us all pray for the true unity of the church that can only be found and fully expressed the true worship of Jesus Christ!

  • fwsonnek

    #1 Dan

    I think the more accurate answer is that we do not see a conflict in need of resolution. We instead see a very radical disconnect with all sides of the argument.

    We as Lutherans would freely agree that the Calvin/Arminius argument is eminently and utterly logical as framed. And we agree that it is a good and important question (depending on who is asking and why).

    This question is usually framed by both sides in two parts:
    “(1) Why are some saved? and , (2) why are others not? ”

    Calvin resolved this all in God´s sovreign and just decree. Arminians points to free will. Both rely heavily upon rules of reason and logic.

    We Lutherans stand apart from this debate with two objections: 1) Reason is not held sufficiently “captive to the Word of God”. 2) Apart from Jesus, any questions of theology are pure logic, opinion and ego-building abstraction for a Lutheran. We miss Jesus in all of this I am saying.

    So what DO we Lutherans believe then?

    As to the first proposition:

    “I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ nor come to him.” (Luther´s Small catechism). Or, to paraphrase ” I believe that I cannot believe”. Note: This is not a logical statement. Note again: Lutherans confess it as true.

    This belief is profoundly connected to EVERY single article we believe as Lutherans and cannot be understood in anyway OUTSIDE of our understanding of the Person of Jesus Christ as the central totality of what we believe (not I am not merely saying He is the chief doctrine or main doctrine. I am saying much more).

    What looks like a point of agreement to 5 points, is really not. We arrive at a similar conclusion for a radically different Reason. Orientation and the declared “essence” of the matter are both radically different between Lutherans, versus Calvinist, Armenians and all other protestants.

    Your spiritual ancestors felt that the Lutheran and their very consciously conservative reformation came to a complete stop and at rest in Jesus (!). I here confirm their judgement completely. It therefore did not go far enough at reform for them, and so they felt conscience-bound to separate from the Lutherans. We are having that same calm discussion again right now. It is a one sided bone-to-pick.

    Now as to the second proposition:

    We believe that whoever is lost and does not end up in heaven will be lost over Jesus dead body! Further they were all invited to the heavenly party. Their party favors and name cards are at their place at the wedding feast table. They are only out after having been fully in.

    Mankind are enemies of God. They are not merely “lost”. They do NOT seek God. No one does. They are in active, take-no-prisoner hand to hand combat with Him! They sense this is the fight to the death. It is. They have that part right. They fear death. The seek life in things that are dead. (Where we seek Life in a Death and look to our own death as our ultimate victory over death.)

    Hell was prepared for the devil and his angels. Not for man. The bible says that men WILL end up there. I accept this, sadly and reluctantly, as does God. And I believe with all my heart that this situation is violently at war with what God´s Will declares. That Will is Jesus. In the flesh. Lutherans look to Him ALONE to know anything at all about God´s Will.

    “God would have that NONE should perish but come to the knowledge of the Truth (ie Jesus)”

    This is not “proof-text”. It is the unitary message the Bible was built to proclaim. It is like there is only ONE passage in the entire Bible and this is it! No system here in the sense of Calvinisms.

    Let this sink in please for a moment to really understand the Lutheran position. Where do we Lutherans express this radical single-christ-mindedness? Everywhere. In fact, where we fail to say this, we claim that we cease to be Lutheran. It is THAT fundamentally definitional of who we are. You will find it in hundreds of phrases like “The Gospel and all it´s articles”. “True worship is Trust in Jesus Christ”. These are some of the many radical expressions of this One Truth in the Augsburg Confession. See a pattern?

    Think of what this deceptively simple second observation about what True Worship is, means for “evangelism, missions, and eschatology” which Kevin raised as shortcomings of ours.

    Maybe these shortcomings exist in that Lutherans don´t take seriously enough what they confess to be true about their worship or don´t really believe as they should what they claim to confess? Maybe we are not “Lutheran” enough??!! Now THIS thought in this form every Lutheran would heartily embrace and thank you for the kick in the ass in doing so! Thanks Kevin! 

    In summary, I have not compared Calvinism, Arminianism and Lutheranism in a side by side table or chart.

    I hope I have successfully shown, or at least have begun to, that this cannot, in fact be done. This is because the basic orientation and premises are so very radically different between Lutherans on the one hand, and the calvinists, armenians and the spiritual heirs of Zwingli and the anabaptists.

    I am lumping you all together in only ONE way. The frame for your arguments as to what the two (or three) sides are and the logical tools agreed upon to resolve the argument seem the same. You are all comfortable with the FRAME of your discussions.

    We Lutherans find this frame and the tools extremely foreign to us. This is probably why, historically Lutherans have been largely seen as outsiders to all of your larger debates between these groups.

    A true discussion between us would need to start at a far more basic level. I am sure then, that any differences such as Election and Predestination would then appear to be merely symptomatic of differences far deeper and basic.

    And note that THIS was a very long post. ( I am sure you have).

    Until we can have that larger discussion, let us all pray for the true unity of the church that can only be found and fully expressed the true worship of Jesus Christ!

  • http://www.lutheransandcontraception.blogspot.com/ Erich Heidenreich, DDS

    God desires that all men be saved, and He died for the sins of the whole world, not just the elect. Lutherans reject the notion of a limited atonement because it is contrary to Scripture.

    Those who do not believe are damned 100% by their own unbelief. It’s entirely their fault. But those who do believe are saved 100% by God, contributing nothing to their own salvation.

    God saves us all by himself. Even faith is a gift from God (Ephesians 2:8). We were saved like Lazarus in the tomb. A dead man cannot make a decision for Christ, and I was dead in my sins when God saved me (Ephesians 2:5). God gives us faith by the Holy Spirit through the Word of God. We do not create faith in ourselves.

    So, we are left with the question: “Why are some saved and not others?”

    Every other Christian confession tries to answer this question. The only “logical” answers are

    1) God didn’t die for everyone’s sins and therefore created some people strictly to damn them. This is called “double predestination.”

    2) There’s something about those who are saved that makes them saved. This is works righteousness whether you say you are saved by faith plus works, or if you contradict yourself by saying salvation is only by faith and then turn around and make faith a work of man which he create in himself by decision.

    The Biblical answer is that we don’t answer this question because the Bible doesn’t answer it. We don’t know why some are saved and not others. Christ died for everyone, and no one is outside of God’s grace, because God desires that all be saved. Yet everyone isn’t saved. If you are saved, it is ENTIRELY God’s doing. If you are damned, it is entirely your fault.

    This is a paradox, and Lutheranism is the only Christian confession which has the guts to hold on to the Biblical paradox in faith and not have the arrogance to think we can solve it with our reason.

    Similarly, this holds true for the Lord’s Supper. Christ said “This IS my body.” Yet Scripture also describes it as bread. Roman Catholicism tries to explain this through their doctrine of transubstantiation. All others change the word “IS” to “represents.” Lutheranism ALONE just believes what Christ said without trying to explain it. Therefore, even “consubtantiation” doesn’t apply to Lutheran belief.

  • http://www.lutheransandcontraception.blogspot.com/ Erich Heidenreich, DDS

    God desires that all men be saved, and He died for the sins of the whole world, not just the elect. Lutherans reject the notion of a limited atonement because it is contrary to Scripture.

    Those who do not believe are damned 100% by their own unbelief. It’s entirely their fault. But those who do believe are saved 100% by God, contributing nothing to their own salvation.

    God saves us all by himself. Even faith is a gift from God (Ephesians 2:8). We were saved like Lazarus in the tomb. A dead man cannot make a decision for Christ, and I was dead in my sins when God saved me (Ephesians 2:5). God gives us faith by the Holy Spirit through the Word of God. We do not create faith in ourselves.

    So, we are left with the question: “Why are some saved and not others?”

    Every other Christian confession tries to answer this question. The only “logical” answers are

    1) God didn’t die for everyone’s sins and therefore created some people strictly to damn them. This is called “double predestination.”

    2) There’s something about those who are saved that makes them saved. This is works righteousness whether you say you are saved by faith plus works, or if you contradict yourself by saying salvation is only by faith and then turn around and make faith a work of man which he create in himself by decision.

    The Biblical answer is that we don’t answer this question because the Bible doesn’t answer it. We don’t know why some are saved and not others. Christ died for everyone, and no one is outside of God’s grace, because God desires that all be saved. Yet everyone isn’t saved. If you are saved, it is ENTIRELY God’s doing. If you are damned, it is entirely your fault.

    This is a paradox, and Lutheranism is the only Christian confession which has the guts to hold on to the Biblical paradox in faith and not have the arrogance to think we can solve it with our reason.

    Similarly, this holds true for the Lord’s Supper. Christ said “This IS my body.” Yet Scripture also describes it as bread. Roman Catholicism tries to explain this through their doctrine of transubstantiation. All others change the word “IS” to “represents.” Lutheranism ALONE just believes what Christ said without trying to explain it. Therefore, even “consubtantiation” doesn’t apply to Lutheran belief.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    What can we take from Lutheranism? I certainly differ with some of the specifics in Lutheran theology, but it was certainly worth my time to visit Worms, and it will be certainly worth my time to read a bit of Luther in the future.

    (interestingly, when I visited Worms, most Germans I spoke to didn’t understand the significance of that city in theological terms….they knew the Jewish quarter, but little about Dr. Luther)

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    What can we take from Lutheranism? I certainly differ with some of the specifics in Lutheran theology, but it was certainly worth my time to visit Worms, and it will be certainly worth my time to read a bit of Luther in the future.

    (interestingly, when I visited Worms, most Germans I spoke to didn’t understand the significance of that city in theological terms….they knew the Jewish quarter, but little about Dr. Luther)

  • Booklover

    <>

    I was raised Missouri Synod Lutheran, then followed my husband through a couple independent Bible churches and now a Baptist church. I think I am still Lutheran down in my soul. The Lutheran church is where I heard the Gospel. Here are elements of “Lutheranism” that I missed in the Bible churches:

    –a strong sense of the Awesomeness of God
    –beauty of music (Oh how I missed that!)
    –above all, the centrality of Christ. Lutherans put their hope in Christ, not in that moment that they walked down an aisle.
    –a depth of education and doctrine. A Lutheran father indoctrinates his son in the strong words of the catechism. A Bible church father prays that his son will accept Christ at the junior high bible camp with the big-name speaker, as he flicks his t.v. remote. Sorry, but that is what I observed.
    –Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are ordinances from Christ, not a casual happening. The Lord’s Supper has wine, NOT grape juice.
    –Strong sense of family. Families get baptized, catechized, and worship together. It is not so independent and individualistic as in the bible churches.
    –Lutherans observe the church calendar, which gives a sense of unity with other Christians, and a sense of belonging with saints from the past. I yearned for Advent and Lent in the bible church.
    –The Gospel is something Christ has done, not something we do.
    –Lutheranism has historicity. Christianity did not begin with D.L. Moody.
    –Lutherans hear from the Old Testament, Gospels, and Epistles every single Sunday through the word *and the music.* Bible church congregations may hear only from Corinthians for 6 months in a row if that is the Pastor’s current topic. A congregant misses the coherence of the whole Bible.
    –Orderliness and reverence. I’ll just leave it at that. I could go on and on.

    I’m sorry that I sound bitter against bible churches, but I for one tired of the statement, “I used to be a Lutheran, but now I am a Christian.” I went to a bible church made up of people who “used to be. . .” There were former Catholics, Lutherans, Presbyterians, etc. That was the only doctrine that tied us together–we all used to be some form of Christ-followers. That was the sad thing–we only seemed to convert “used-to-be’s.” We weren’t reaching pagans. It was a mega-church at one time, but it is now leveled to the ground. We had no unity, only the belief that we had now arrived and had now become the right type of Christian because we had walked down an aisle in some type of revival. It didn’t last. When a church focuses on Christ instead of an Experience, that church will last.

  • Booklover

    <>

    I was raised Missouri Synod Lutheran, then followed my husband through a couple independent Bible churches and now a Baptist church. I think I am still Lutheran down in my soul. The Lutheran church is where I heard the Gospel. Here are elements of “Lutheranism” that I missed in the Bible churches:

    –a strong sense of the Awesomeness of God
    –beauty of music (Oh how I missed that!)
    –above all, the centrality of Christ. Lutherans put their hope in Christ, not in that moment that they walked down an aisle.
    –a depth of education and doctrine. A Lutheran father indoctrinates his son in the strong words of the catechism. A Bible church father prays that his son will accept Christ at the junior high bible camp with the big-name speaker, as he flicks his t.v. remote. Sorry, but that is what I observed.
    –Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are ordinances from Christ, not a casual happening. The Lord’s Supper has wine, NOT grape juice.
    –Strong sense of family. Families get baptized, catechized, and worship together. It is not so independent and individualistic as in the bible churches.
    –Lutherans observe the church calendar, which gives a sense of unity with other Christians, and a sense of belonging with saints from the past. I yearned for Advent and Lent in the bible church.
    –The Gospel is something Christ has done, not something we do.
    –Lutheranism has historicity. Christianity did not begin with D.L. Moody.
    –Lutherans hear from the Old Testament, Gospels, and Epistles every single Sunday through the word *and the music.* Bible church congregations may hear only from Corinthians for 6 months in a row if that is the Pastor’s current topic. A congregant misses the coherence of the whole Bible.
    –Orderliness and reverence. I’ll just leave it at that. I could go on and on.

    I’m sorry that I sound bitter against bible churches, but I for one tired of the statement, “I used to be a Lutheran, but now I am a Christian.” I went to a bible church made up of people who “used to be. . .” There were former Catholics, Lutherans, Presbyterians, etc. That was the only doctrine that tied us together–we all used to be some form of Christ-followers. That was the sad thing–we only seemed to convert “used-to-be’s.” We weren’t reaching pagans. It was a mega-church at one time, but it is now leveled to the ground. We had no unity, only the belief that we had now arrived and had now become the right type of Christian because we had walked down an aisle in some type of revival. It didn’t last. When a church focuses on Christ instead of an Experience, that church will last.

  • Bror Erickson

    O.K. there must be some mass confusion either as to what the Lutheran confessions are, or to what Eschatology is. The Gospel is eschatological. The 3 eceumenical creeds are part and parcel of the Confessions. How does “from thence he will come again to judge the living and the dead” not address eschatology? Then there is the bit in Luther’s Small Catechism that on the last day he will raise me and all the dead,and give eternal life to me and all believers in Christ.” Then there is article 17 of the Augsburg Confession that repudiates millenialism, also known as chiliasm. There is treatment of the pope as being the anti-Christ, which normally fits somewhere into eschatological frameworks.
    Missions, I don’t know that the confessions need to address it, The Bible does a pretty good job of that, and evangelism also, Matt.28 springs to mind. But that being said, Lutheranism would not be exploding on the African and Asian continents if we were weak on Missions. And those Lutherans are now doing a pretty good job of returning the favor in Europe and elsewhere.
    Sorry someone touched a nerve here.

  • Bror Erickson

    O.K. there must be some mass confusion either as to what the Lutheran confessions are, or to what Eschatology is. The Gospel is eschatological. The 3 eceumenical creeds are part and parcel of the Confessions. How does “from thence he will come again to judge the living and the dead” not address eschatology? Then there is the bit in Luther’s Small Catechism that on the last day he will raise me and all the dead,and give eternal life to me and all believers in Christ.” Then there is article 17 of the Augsburg Confession that repudiates millenialism, also known as chiliasm. There is treatment of the pope as being the anti-Christ, which normally fits somewhere into eschatological frameworks.
    Missions, I don’t know that the confessions need to address it, The Bible does a pretty good job of that, and evangelism also, Matt.28 springs to mind. But that being said, Lutheranism would not be exploding on the African and Asian continents if we were weak on Missions. And those Lutherans are now doing a pretty good job of returning the favor in Europe and elsewhere.
    Sorry someone touched a nerve here.

  • Rose

    Our local LCMS church mission statement is:
    “To first go find my brother and bring him to the Lord.” (adapted from John 1:41). Evangelical, and a first grader can write it.

  • Rose

    Our local LCMS church mission statement is:
    “To first go find my brother and bring him to the Lord.” (adapted from John 1:41). Evangelical, and a first grader can write it.

  • http://bestronginthegrace.blogspot.com Theresa K.

    Dan,

    I believe you, I and the writer are saying the same thing. Perhaps the writer should have used the term “assumed” tensions. Lutherans see no tensions in scripture. All scripture is God-breathed, scripture cannot contradict itself and the purpose of all scripture is to point the way to Christ. We may not understand it all, but there are no tensions and no contradictions.

    Theresa

  • http://bestronginthegrace.blogspot.com Theresa K.

    Dan,

    I believe you, I and the writer are saying the same thing. Perhaps the writer should have used the term “assumed” tensions. Lutherans see no tensions in scripture. All scripture is God-breathed, scripture cannot contradict itself and the purpose of all scripture is to point the way to Christ. We may not understand it all, but there are no tensions and no contradictions.

    Theresa

  • fwsonnek

    #10

    “The Biblical answer is that we don’t answer this question because the Bible doesn’t answer it. We don’t know why some are saved and not others.”

    actually you DO know and you explained it well indeed! and better you said that the only answer worth knowing is found in Jesus.

    thanks Dentist guy!

  • fwsonnek

    #10

    “The Biblical answer is that we don’t answer this question because the Bible doesn’t answer it. We don’t know why some are saved and not others.”

    actually you DO know and you explained it well indeed! and better you said that the only answer worth knowing is found in Jesus.

    thanks Dentist guy!

  • fwsonnek

    #8 dan

    I still don’t see how the Lutheran view of predestination helps the Calvinist/Arminian conflict. Either God chooses His people (Calvinism) or man chooses God (Arminianism).

    You are so right Dan! The Lutherans dont help here at all!

    Do Lutherans just refuse to answer the question because Scripture seems to create “tension” on this issue?

    We don´t see any tension at all Dan. But this issue is only a symptom of far deeper differences.

    To answer your question would be alot like your trying to answer the question “Dan when are you going to stop beating your wife?!” without FIRST addressing all of the differing pressupositions that led up to the question. It cannot and should not be done.

    I hope that this makes some sense to you and you can see from my post how Lutheran theology is so utterly “other” than your own even though we confess a common Lord.

    frank

  • fwsonnek

    #8 dan

    I still don’t see how the Lutheran view of predestination helps the Calvinist/Arminian conflict. Either God chooses His people (Calvinism) or man chooses God (Arminianism).

    You are so right Dan! The Lutherans dont help here at all!

    Do Lutherans just refuse to answer the question because Scripture seems to create “tension” on this issue?

    We don´t see any tension at all Dan. But this issue is only a symptom of far deeper differences.

    To answer your question would be alot like your trying to answer the question “Dan when are you going to stop beating your wife?!” without FIRST addressing all of the differing pressupositions that led up to the question. It cannot and should not be done.

    I hope that this makes some sense to you and you can see from my post how Lutheran theology is so utterly “other” than your own even though we confess a common Lord.

    frank

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Slightly off topic, but to Frank’s point, I would dare suggest that “reading Calvin” and “reading Arminius” would be a very good way to address the “conflict” between Calvin & Arminius as is understood today. More or less, you cannot stuff Calvin into a bulb, and most “debates” over the issue involve two people who have never done the (hard) work of opening the “Institutes.” You could protect a lot of cornfields from crows with the straw men involved in a typical “Calvin/Arminius” debate, I’m afraid.

    (Arminius’ favorite book after the Bible: Calvin’s Institutes)

    On another note, Booklover makes a great point about one failing of “fundagelical” churches; we do tend to assume at times that members of any “mainline” church do not indeed know Christ. Regrettably, it’s too often a good assumption with the CPUSA (oops, PCUSA), ELCA, United Methodists, and others–and just as regrettably, the Missouri Synod unfairly gets lumped in with the Bible-denying denominations.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Slightly off topic, but to Frank’s point, I would dare suggest that “reading Calvin” and “reading Arminius” would be a very good way to address the “conflict” between Calvin & Arminius as is understood today. More or less, you cannot stuff Calvin into a bulb, and most “debates” over the issue involve two people who have never done the (hard) work of opening the “Institutes.” You could protect a lot of cornfields from crows with the straw men involved in a typical “Calvin/Arminius” debate, I’m afraid.

    (Arminius’ favorite book after the Bible: Calvin’s Institutes)

    On another note, Booklover makes a great point about one failing of “fundagelical” churches; we do tend to assume at times that members of any “mainline” church do not indeed know Christ. Regrettably, it’s too often a good assumption with the CPUSA (oops, PCUSA), ELCA, United Methodists, and others–and just as regrettably, the Missouri Synod unfairly gets lumped in with the Bible-denying denominations.

  • http://geochristian.wordpress.com Kevin N

    I’ll start with Dr. Veith’s question: “To non-Lutherans, I ask, what elements of Lutheran theology could you take profitably into your own church or personal beliefs, without becoming whole-hog Lutheran?”

    As an evangelical, the conservative Reformation is part of my heritage, and there is much from Luther that I already take into my belief system. Here are some that are core doctrines that I, as an evangelical, share with Luther and Lutherans:

    –Total depravity. Apart from Christ, I am dead in sin. I don’t even want to want to be right with God.

    –Christ alone. The gospel is about Christ and what he has done for us, not about what we do for him. Preaching, evangelism, and worship need to reflect this.

    –Justification by grace alone through faith alone.

    I know that many evangelicals don’t emphasize (or even know) these important truths, but there are many of us who cling to them.

    On the Calvinism vs. Arminianism issue, I appreciate the Lutheran approach. I have been mostly in Calvinist churches, but always found the idea of limited atonement to be unscriptural. There are too many “Christ died for the sins of the whole world” passages. If the only other option were Arminianism, I would stick with Calvinism. Arminianism puts the emphasis on what we do for God rather than on what he does for us in Christ. The Lutheran approach, with God getting all the credit for salvation, and us getting all the blame for our damnation, fits very nicely with a number of passages. I can live with whatever tension is left over.

    Grace and Peace

  • http://geochristian.wordpress.com Kevin N

    I’ll start with Dr. Veith’s question: “To non-Lutherans, I ask, what elements of Lutheran theology could you take profitably into your own church or personal beliefs, without becoming whole-hog Lutheran?”

    As an evangelical, the conservative Reformation is part of my heritage, and there is much from Luther that I already take into my belief system. Here are some that are core doctrines that I, as an evangelical, share with Luther and Lutherans:

    –Total depravity. Apart from Christ, I am dead in sin. I don’t even want to want to be right with God.

    –Christ alone. The gospel is about Christ and what he has done for us, not about what we do for him. Preaching, evangelism, and worship need to reflect this.

    –Justification by grace alone through faith alone.

    I know that many evangelicals don’t emphasize (or even know) these important truths, but there are many of us who cling to them.

    On the Calvinism vs. Arminianism issue, I appreciate the Lutheran approach. I have been mostly in Calvinist churches, but always found the idea of limited atonement to be unscriptural. There are too many “Christ died for the sins of the whole world” passages. If the only other option were Arminianism, I would stick with Calvinism. Arminianism puts the emphasis on what we do for God rather than on what he does for us in Christ. The Lutheran approach, with God getting all the credit for salvation, and us getting all the blame for our damnation, fits very nicely with a number of passages. I can live with whatever tension is left over.

    Grace and Peace

  • http://geochristian.wordpress.com Kevin N

    Grace and Peace

    In the Peanuts comic strip, Sally Brown began an essay with: “When writing about Church History, we have to go back to the very beginning. Our Pastor was born in 1930.”

    A strength of Lutheranism is that it has a much better awareness of history and heritage than do most evangelicals. Bruce Shelley’s book “Church History in Plain Language” has a chapter called “Rootless Immigrants in a Sick Society,” which is about American evangelicalism. The title reflects that many of us take a Sally Brown approach to church history; ignoring our deep roots. The kids in my church never get the kind of perspective of the continuity of the church through the ages that I got in Lutheran confirmation. I appreciate this heritage, as it is expressed in Lutheran liturgy and worship. This heritage gives Lutheranism a stability that is lacking in many evangelical churches, so they are not as susceptible to the latest fad that comes along.

    Here are things that I found very appealing about evangelicalism that were lacking in the Lutheran church I grew up in:

    –People read their Bibles. They studied their Bibles. They memorized verses. They talked about the Bible. I had never experienced anything like this.
    –People talked to others about Christ. Evangelism and missions were important values to the people I fellowshipped with. They didn’t talk about church, they talked about Christ.
    –Above all, the gospel was fresh to me. As I said before, I felt the Lutheran church had failed to teach me this. In hindsight, I can see that this was due as much to the hardness of my own heart as anything.

    So why am I not Lutheran?
    –Some doctrinal differences. I am fine with infant baptism, but take more of a reformed rather than Lutheran view. I am a premillenialist. I have no problem with saying that the bread and wine are the body and blood of Christ, but Lutherans tend to over-emphasize the forgiveness aspect of communion.
    –Evangelism and missions. Is there something fundamentally defective in Lutheran theology that has led to the negligence of these areas?
    –Culture. I would be perfectly fine with Lutheran the Lutheran liturgy, but my wife and kids look at it as boring.

    There is much more I could say.

    Grace and Peace

  • http://geochristian.wordpress.com Kevin N

    Grace and Peace

    In the Peanuts comic strip, Sally Brown began an essay with: “When writing about Church History, we have to go back to the very beginning. Our Pastor was born in 1930.”

    A strength of Lutheranism is that it has a much better awareness of history and heritage than do most evangelicals. Bruce Shelley’s book “Church History in Plain Language” has a chapter called “Rootless Immigrants in a Sick Society,” which is about American evangelicalism. The title reflects that many of us take a Sally Brown approach to church history; ignoring our deep roots. The kids in my church never get the kind of perspective of the continuity of the church through the ages that I got in Lutheran confirmation. I appreciate this heritage, as it is expressed in Lutheran liturgy and worship. This heritage gives Lutheranism a stability that is lacking in many evangelical churches, so they are not as susceptible to the latest fad that comes along.

    Here are things that I found very appealing about evangelicalism that were lacking in the Lutheran church I grew up in:

    –People read their Bibles. They studied their Bibles. They memorized verses. They talked about the Bible. I had never experienced anything like this.
    –People talked to others about Christ. Evangelism and missions were important values to the people I fellowshipped with. They didn’t talk about church, they talked about Christ.
    –Above all, the gospel was fresh to me. As I said before, I felt the Lutheran church had failed to teach me this. In hindsight, I can see that this was due as much to the hardness of my own heart as anything.

    So why am I not Lutheran?
    –Some doctrinal differences. I am fine with infant baptism, but take more of a reformed rather than Lutheran view. I am a premillenialist. I have no problem with saying that the bread and wine are the body and blood of Christ, but Lutherans tend to over-emphasize the forgiveness aspect of communion.
    –Evangelism and missions. Is there something fundamentally defective in Lutheran theology that has led to the negligence of these areas?
    –Culture. I would be perfectly fine with Lutheran the Lutheran liturgy, but my wife and kids look at it as boring.

    There is much more I could say.

    Grace and Peace

  • http://geochristian.wordpress.com Kevin N

    fwsonnek asked: “If you are 80% Lutheran and 20% not, that begs an important question. You are in a church that is good for the 20%. This is intended as a friendly question, not a challenge to you.”

    Actually, I had said that I am 90% Lutheran. I find Lutheran theology to be very rich and rewarding.

    I did not say that I find my own church (Evangelical Free) to be only 20% doctrinally correct. There is a tremendous amount of overlap between the core doctrine of the E Free church and the Lutheran church. I guess I am 95% EFC and only 90% Lutheran, so I’ll stick with the Free church.

    Grace and Peace

  • http://geochristian.wordpress.com Kevin N

    fwsonnek asked: “If you are 80% Lutheran and 20% not, that begs an important question. You are in a church that is good for the 20%. This is intended as a friendly question, not a challenge to you.”

    Actually, I had said that I am 90% Lutheran. I find Lutheran theology to be very rich and rewarding.

    I did not say that I find my own church (Evangelical Free) to be only 20% doctrinally correct. There is a tremendous amount of overlap between the core doctrine of the E Free church and the Lutheran church. I guess I am 95% EFC and only 90% Lutheran, so I’ll stick with the Free church.

    Grace and Peace

  • http://geochristian.wordpress.com Kevin N

    On evangelism and missions: Yes, I am aware of rapid growth of Lutheranism in parts of Africa, but that seems to be the exception rather than the rule.

    I hope Bror Erickson is right about some growth of confessional Lutheran churches in Europe. I don’t see it, but it could be happening somewhere. After 470 years of having numerous (German) Lutheran churches here in Romania, there are only 70 (!!!!) Romanian Lutherans in the entire country (according to a Romanian-language newspaper article I read recently). That represents a serious lack of evangelism and missions.

  • http://geochristian.wordpress.com Kevin N

    On evangelism and missions: Yes, I am aware of rapid growth of Lutheranism in parts of Africa, but that seems to be the exception rather than the rule.

    I hope Bror Erickson is right about some growth of confessional Lutheran churches in Europe. I don’t see it, but it could be happening somewhere. After 470 years of having numerous (German) Lutheran churches here in Romania, there are only 70 (!!!!) Romanian Lutherans in the entire country (according to a Romanian-language newspaper article I read recently). That represents a serious lack of evangelism and missions.

  • Another Kerner

    Theresa K and Heidenreich DDS….

    Thank you for the the thoughtful input and explanations here.

    Confessional Lutherans believe:

    Universal Grace
    and
    Only Grace
    are both Scriptural truths.

    Scripture must interpret Scripture.

    1. Christ atoned for the sins of the entire world: He died for all men without exception (universal).

    2. Those who are saved are saved by grace alone without any merit on their part (only).

    When Christians tell an “unregenerate” that Christ died for his/her sins, we *must* be telling them the truth, without reservation or qualification.

    The “unbeliever”, if he/she hardens the heart, has resisted God’s grace and perishes through their own unbelief.

    Lutherans do not accept the concept of “irresistable grace” and “limited atonement”.

    We accept *both* Scriptural stances of Universal Grace and Only Grace, and say with Luther:

    “God the Holy Ghost is a greater theologian than I”…….

  • Another Kerner

    Theresa K and Heidenreich DDS….

    Thank you for the the thoughtful input and explanations here.

    Confessional Lutherans believe:

    Universal Grace
    and
    Only Grace
    are both Scriptural truths.

    Scripture must interpret Scripture.

    1. Christ atoned for the sins of the entire world: He died for all men without exception (universal).

    2. Those who are saved are saved by grace alone without any merit on their part (only).

    When Christians tell an “unregenerate” that Christ died for his/her sins, we *must* be telling them the truth, without reservation or qualification.

    The “unbeliever”, if he/she hardens the heart, has resisted God’s grace and perishes through their own unbelief.

    Lutherans do not accept the concept of “irresistable grace” and “limited atonement”.

    We accept *both* Scriptural stances of Universal Grace and Only Grace, and say with Luther:

    “God the Holy Ghost is a greater theologian than I”…….

  • Bror Erickson

    Kevin N,
    Pardon me if I take your assault that we over-emphasize forgiveness in communion as a deep compliment.
    but as a son of a Lutheran Missionary, and as a pastor, I’ll take your questionable assumption that we are negligent in missions and evangelism as a misunderstanding. We may not go about missions, and evangelism the way you do, but we do it. And I think we do it fairly well. Everyone could be better at it.
    as for your children and wife finding it boring. Well that only confirms some of my misgivings about how evangelicalism views worship. I don’t think it is supposed to be entertainment.
    I don’t know Kevin, I think you think your 90% Lutheran. Maybe maybe not. I tend to think you only think that because you haven’t quite grasped that other ten percent, and if you grasped that you would understand you are far from the 90 % you think you are. From where I stand, no one who was 90% Lutheran would claim pre-millenialism, for the assault on Biblical Eschatology and the Gospel that that is, or say anything close to the idea that one could over-emphasize forgiveness in any aspect of doctrine. Forgiveness, justification, is the heart of what we believe.

  • Bror Erickson

    Kevin N,
    Pardon me if I take your assault that we over-emphasize forgiveness in communion as a deep compliment.
    but as a son of a Lutheran Missionary, and as a pastor, I’ll take your questionable assumption that we are negligent in missions and evangelism as a misunderstanding. We may not go about missions, and evangelism the way you do, but we do it. And I think we do it fairly well. Everyone could be better at it.
    as for your children and wife finding it boring. Well that only confirms some of my misgivings about how evangelicalism views worship. I don’t think it is supposed to be entertainment.
    I don’t know Kevin, I think you think your 90% Lutheran. Maybe maybe not. I tend to think you only think that because you haven’t quite grasped that other ten percent, and if you grasped that you would understand you are far from the 90 % you think you are. From where I stand, no one who was 90% Lutheran would claim pre-millenialism, for the assault on Biblical Eschatology and the Gospel that that is, or say anything close to the idea that one could over-emphasize forgiveness in any aspect of doctrine. Forgiveness, justification, is the heart of what we believe.

  • http://www.lutheransandcontraception.blogspot.com/ Erich Heidenreich, DDS

    “…but Lutherans tend to over-emphasize the forgiveness aspect of communion.” ~Kevin N.

    Kevin, how is that possible?

    When instituting the Sacrament, Christ said it was poured out: “for the forgiveness of sins.” The forgiveness of sins is the Gospel! How can the Gospel be over-emphasized?

    If the blood of Christ is not for forgiveness, what’s it for?

    What aspect of communion should we be emphasizing more than this?

    Weak on evangelism and missions? Check out a few third world countries and ask them if they’ve heard from the Lutherans lately. You’d be surprised with the answer. I suggest you take a look at the work of Lutheran World Relief, etc.

    Liturgy “boring?” You might want to define what the purpose of liturgical worship is. It’s not about entertainment, but rather being fed what we need (whether we like it or not).

  • http://www.lutheransandcontraception.blogspot.com/ Erich Heidenreich, DDS

    “…but Lutherans tend to over-emphasize the forgiveness aspect of communion.” ~Kevin N.

    Kevin, how is that possible?

    When instituting the Sacrament, Christ said it was poured out: “for the forgiveness of sins.” The forgiveness of sins is the Gospel! How can the Gospel be over-emphasized?

    If the blood of Christ is not for forgiveness, what’s it for?

    What aspect of communion should we be emphasizing more than this?

    Weak on evangelism and missions? Check out a few third world countries and ask them if they’ve heard from the Lutherans lately. You’d be surprised with the answer. I suggest you take a look at the work of Lutheran World Relief, etc.

    Liturgy “boring?” You might want to define what the purpose of liturgical worship is. It’s not about entertainment, but rather being fed what we need (whether we like it or not).

  • Bror Erickson

    Kevin,
    Lutherans have always had their issues with Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox doctrine, but we have always believed that they are christians too. So we didn’t spend much time evangelising in countries where the gospel (however muddled) was being taught by another christian church body. That is not what we considered to be mission work. Nor is converting christians considered by us to be evangelism.
    Now I will share my faith with other Christians, and if they want to join my church I am hard pressed to say no. But I would never give them the idea that they weren’t Christians before they became Lutherans, while they were in the E.O, or the R.C. or that they couldn’t be Christians in those Churches.

  • Bror Erickson

    Kevin,
    Lutherans have always had their issues with Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox doctrine, but we have always believed that they are christians too. So we didn’t spend much time evangelising in countries where the gospel (however muddled) was being taught by another christian church body. That is not what we considered to be mission work. Nor is converting christians considered by us to be evangelism.
    Now I will share my faith with other Christians, and if they want to join my church I am hard pressed to say no. But I would never give them the idea that they weren’t Christians before they became Lutherans, while they were in the E.O, or the R.C. or that they couldn’t be Christians in those Churches.

  • Booklover

    Thank you, Bror Erickson, for sharing (#26) some of what my heart is sick about. That was part of what I was trying to share in my post (#12). The revival church that I attended (the one that is now flattened to the ground) was so busy telling Bible-believing Lutherans, Presbyterians, etc., that they were wrong; that they totally ignored the pagans. The fundy church was preaching to convert those who already knew what sin was, who Christ is. It was almost as if they had used those mainline churches as pre-evangelization centers.

    One other interesting thing of note was that this once mega-church, now flattened, existed peacefully next to an abortion clinic. The abortion clinic still stands. :-(

  • Booklover

    Thank you, Bror Erickson, for sharing (#26) some of what my heart is sick about. That was part of what I was trying to share in my post (#12). The revival church that I attended (the one that is now flattened to the ground) was so busy telling Bible-believing Lutherans, Presbyterians, etc., that they were wrong; that they totally ignored the pagans. The fundy church was preaching to convert those who already knew what sin was, who Christ is. It was almost as if they had used those mainline churches as pre-evangelization centers.

    One other interesting thing of note was that this once mega-church, now flattened, existed peacefully next to an abortion clinic. The abortion clinic still stands. :-(

  • http://geochristian.wordpress.com Kevin N

    Bror Erickson: “Pardon me if I take your assault that we over-emphasize forgiveness in communion as a deep compliment.”

    It certainly was not meant as an assault. I’ll explain my thinking a little further.

    If I take communion, my sins are forgiven.
    If I don’t take communion, does that mean my sins are not forgiven?

    When I was a Lutheran, I lived in fear of this. “Forgiveness” was never defined. I have yet to see it defined in a discussion of communion. Rather than defining what they mean, Lutherans reaffirm, “yes, there is forgiveness in communion.” In what sense is there “forgiveness” in communion? Without clarification on this, I feared the worst, and I know Lutherans who live in fear rather than in confident hope.

    This issue was central when the Evangelical Free Churches split from the Lutheran churches in the 1800s.

    The same applies to confession of sins. What does it mean to say that one is forgiven when they confess their sins?

    Here is how I understand forgiveness in communion and confession: I am justified and forgiven of all my sins in Christ. If I don’t take communion and neglect to confess my sins (I know I don’t even know all of my sins), then I am still justified in Christ, and therefore forgiven of all my sins. Communion, however, is full of deep meaning for me. In communion, I experience forgiveness anew–even though my sins are already forgiven. Same with confession. I would wither spiritually without them, but still have that basic forgiveness in Christ.

    How does this compare?

    I’m eager to learn.

  • http://geochristian.wordpress.com Kevin N

    Bror Erickson: “Pardon me if I take your assault that we over-emphasize forgiveness in communion as a deep compliment.”

    It certainly was not meant as an assault. I’ll explain my thinking a little further.

    If I take communion, my sins are forgiven.
    If I don’t take communion, does that mean my sins are not forgiven?

    When I was a Lutheran, I lived in fear of this. “Forgiveness” was never defined. I have yet to see it defined in a discussion of communion. Rather than defining what they mean, Lutherans reaffirm, “yes, there is forgiveness in communion.” In what sense is there “forgiveness” in communion? Without clarification on this, I feared the worst, and I know Lutherans who live in fear rather than in confident hope.

    This issue was central when the Evangelical Free Churches split from the Lutheran churches in the 1800s.

    The same applies to confession of sins. What does it mean to say that one is forgiven when they confess their sins?

    Here is how I understand forgiveness in communion and confession: I am justified and forgiven of all my sins in Christ. If I don’t take communion and neglect to confess my sins (I know I don’t even know all of my sins), then I am still justified in Christ, and therefore forgiven of all my sins. Communion, however, is full of deep meaning for me. In communion, I experience forgiveness anew–even though my sins are already forgiven. Same with confession. I would wither spiritually without them, but still have that basic forgiveness in Christ.

    How does this compare?

    I’m eager to learn.

  • PeteS

    Kevin said (#20) “Evangelism & Missions – Is there something fundamentally defective in Lutheran theology that has led to the negligence of these areas?”

    I appreciate others pointing out where there is evangelism being done by Lutherans. I’ll add a couple of other thoughts:

    I am skeptical when I see huge, fast growth in a Christian congregation. As someone else pointed out, often that growth is from the “used-to-be’s”: former Catholics, Lutherans, etc. Usually such people leave their old church because they are dissatisfied with something. Sometimes it’s legitimate, sometimes it’s not.

    When it’s the unbelievers that are joining a church in droves (does that happen?) I wonder why. I don’t doubt the power of God’s word, but I do know that the sinful mind is hostile to God, and it seems that many of those new people bring a revolving door with them (think of the parable of the seed falling on the different kinds of soil). Just as an observation, it seems that slow growth in the church is the best kind of growth, where people are methodically, purposefully taken through the Scriptures rather than rushed through a membership class, if they even have one.

    But whatever the growth, we know only God can grant real growth through the gospel, which not only saves but is also a stumbling block and foolishness. So, in these last days, if we get the message right, it wouldn’t be surprising to see few being drawn by it. But finally it is God’s work. Whether fast or slow, he grants the increase through the gospel. We are just messengers.

    My other point is the other side of the evangelism equation which you addressed: Any deficiency is in people, not Lutheran theology. Lutheran Christians who don’t share the gospel or support the spread of the gospel may be dissuaded by fear, apathy, or any other sinful reason, but not by Lutheran theology. My sinful nature still fights against EVERYT part of the Christian life, including evangelism. We will always struggle with sin, as St. Paul said. But God’s law leads us to repentance and the gospel, in word and sacrament, grants us forgiveness through the blood of Christ, and that gospel also strengthens us to do what is right, “For it is God who works in you both to will and to act according to his good purpose.”

  • PeteS

    Kevin said (#20) “Evangelism & Missions – Is there something fundamentally defective in Lutheran theology that has led to the negligence of these areas?”

    I appreciate others pointing out where there is evangelism being done by Lutherans. I’ll add a couple of other thoughts:

    I am skeptical when I see huge, fast growth in a Christian congregation. As someone else pointed out, often that growth is from the “used-to-be’s”: former Catholics, Lutherans, etc. Usually such people leave their old church because they are dissatisfied with something. Sometimes it’s legitimate, sometimes it’s not.

    When it’s the unbelievers that are joining a church in droves (does that happen?) I wonder why. I don’t doubt the power of God’s word, but I do know that the sinful mind is hostile to God, and it seems that many of those new people bring a revolving door with them (think of the parable of the seed falling on the different kinds of soil). Just as an observation, it seems that slow growth in the church is the best kind of growth, where people are methodically, purposefully taken through the Scriptures rather than rushed through a membership class, if they even have one.

    But whatever the growth, we know only God can grant real growth through the gospel, which not only saves but is also a stumbling block and foolishness. So, in these last days, if we get the message right, it wouldn’t be surprising to see few being drawn by it. But finally it is God’s work. Whether fast or slow, he grants the increase through the gospel. We are just messengers.

    My other point is the other side of the evangelism equation which you addressed: Any deficiency is in people, not Lutheran theology. Lutheran Christians who don’t share the gospel or support the spread of the gospel may be dissuaded by fear, apathy, or any other sinful reason, but not by Lutheran theology. My sinful nature still fights against EVERYT part of the Christian life, including evangelism. We will always struggle with sin, as St. Paul said. But God’s law leads us to repentance and the gospel, in word and sacrament, grants us forgiveness through the blood of Christ, and that gospel also strengthens us to do what is right, “For it is God who works in you both to will and to act according to his good purpose.”

  • fwsonnek

    #26 Amen Bror!

  • fwsonnek

    #26 Amen Bror!

  • http://geochristian.wordpress.com Kevin N

    Regarding evangelism:

    I certainly don’t believe someone is not a Christian because they are Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox.

    But that does not mean that I will not tell them about Christ. My assumption is that there are too many in all kinds of churches (including my own) who don’t understand the gospel in even the most basic way. We need to hear the gospel over and over and over, and so do our neighbors in RC, EO, Presbyterian, Methodist, Lutheran, and yes even E Free churches.

    A question: I was baptized as an infant in the Lutheran church. By the time I was 18, I had no clue as to what the gospel was. As I said before, if you had asked me, I would have said that if my good works outweighed my bad works, then God would certainly accept me. I knew the phrase “Jesus died for my sins” but had absolutely no idea what that meant.

    Was I in need of better instruction, or in need of the gospel?

    How about the EO seminary professor here in Romania who answered the question “What must a person do to be saved?” by saying “Go to church, do good works.” Is he in need of better instruction, or in need of the gospel?

  • http://geochristian.wordpress.com Kevin N

    Regarding evangelism:

    I certainly don’t believe someone is not a Christian because they are Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox.

    But that does not mean that I will not tell them about Christ. My assumption is that there are too many in all kinds of churches (including my own) who don’t understand the gospel in even the most basic way. We need to hear the gospel over and over and over, and so do our neighbors in RC, EO, Presbyterian, Methodist, Lutheran, and yes even E Free churches.

    A question: I was baptized as an infant in the Lutheran church. By the time I was 18, I had no clue as to what the gospel was. As I said before, if you had asked me, I would have said that if my good works outweighed my bad works, then God would certainly accept me. I knew the phrase “Jesus died for my sins” but had absolutely no idea what that meant.

    Was I in need of better instruction, or in need of the gospel?

    How about the EO seminary professor here in Romania who answered the question “What must a person do to be saved?” by saying “Go to church, do good works.” Is he in need of better instruction, or in need of the gospel?

  • http://geochristian.wordpress.com Kevin N

    In regards to liturgy, evangelicalism, and entertainment:

    Not all evangelical worship is man-centered entertainment. My wife (who doesn’t like liturgy) and I (who likes liturgy) are both in complete agreement when it comes to the its-all-about-me “worship” that occurs in some places.

    Don’t lump us all in the same box

  • http://geochristian.wordpress.com Kevin N

    In regards to liturgy, evangelicalism, and entertainment:

    Not all evangelical worship is man-centered entertainment. My wife (who doesn’t like liturgy) and I (who likes liturgy) are both in complete agreement when it comes to the its-all-about-me “worship” that occurs in some places.

    Don’t lump us all in the same box

  • fwsonnek

    #28 Kevin N

    “True worship is Trust in Jesus Christ” Your entire life therefore is worship according to Lutherans. Sacred and profane are false distinctions in your life Kevin.

    Trust is created ONLYwith the living Word of forgiveness. That Word is Jesus. Where does He tell us we can find Him to get our strength? We must look for Him there.

    That Word of Forgiveness is really present “in , with and under… the words of the pastor in the sermon, in private and public absolution, your water/spirit baptism, the conversation of the saints, forgiveness you hear from other christians.

    Jesus is present in a special way with the very body and blood He offered up for you on calvary in the Holy Supper.

    These are ALL exactly the same Jesus you are receiving. You are forgiven before during and after your encounter with the Word in any of these forms.

    This Word is not mere proclamation, announcement , exhortation or argument. This is the part that you miss.

    It LITERALLY brings you Christ and all of His gifts. Where Christ is, THERE is life and salvation.

  • fwsonnek

    #28 Kevin N

    “True worship is Trust in Jesus Christ” Your entire life therefore is worship according to Lutherans. Sacred and profane are false distinctions in your life Kevin.

    Trust is created ONLYwith the living Word of forgiveness. That Word is Jesus. Where does He tell us we can find Him to get our strength? We must look for Him there.

    That Word of Forgiveness is really present “in , with and under… the words of the pastor in the sermon, in private and public absolution, your water/spirit baptism, the conversation of the saints, forgiveness you hear from other christians.

    Jesus is present in a special way with the very body and blood He offered up for you on calvary in the Holy Supper.

    These are ALL exactly the same Jesus you are receiving. You are forgiven before during and after your encounter with the Word in any of these forms.

    This Word is not mere proclamation, announcement , exhortation or argument. This is the part that you miss.

    It LITERALLY brings you Christ and all of His gifts. Where Christ is, THERE is life and salvation.

  • http://geochristian.wordpress.com Kevin N

    Bror: I have a hard time seeing premillenialism as an “assault on the gospel.” I’ll be the first to admit that the Left Behind series and such are goofy and I don’t read that stuff. Don’t base premillenialism on Tim Lahaye or Hal Lindsay.

    Anyways, I’ve stated what I feel is valuable for me in Lutheranism as a non-Lutheran Christian, which was the initial point of the post. It is past my bedtime here in Bucharest.

    Thanks to all for your Christ-centeredness.

    Grace and Peace

  • http://geochristian.wordpress.com Kevin N

    Bror: I have a hard time seeing premillenialism as an “assault on the gospel.” I’ll be the first to admit that the Left Behind series and such are goofy and I don’t read that stuff. Don’t base premillenialism on Tim Lahaye or Hal Lindsay.

    Anyways, I’ve stated what I feel is valuable for me in Lutheranism as a non-Lutheran Christian, which was the initial point of the post. It is past my bedtime here in Bucharest.

    Thanks to all for your Christ-centeredness.

    Grace and Peace

  • http://geochristian.wordpress.com Kevin N

    fwsonnek: You still didn’t define what you mean by “forgiveness” that is found in communion. And I didn’t say anything about having separate “sacred” and “profane” areas in my life.

  • http://geochristian.wordpress.com Kevin N

    fwsonnek: You still didn’t define what you mean by “forgiveness” that is found in communion. And I didn’t say anything about having separate “sacred” and “profane” areas in my life.

  • Bror Erickson

    Kevin N,
    Forgiveness is forgiveness no matter where you get it. But you shouldn’t play one source off on another. Jesus gave us communion for the forgiveness of sins, We can’t over emphasize that.
    You were the one who was bringing up Romania as the place where you don’t see Evangelism happening. Well I’m fairly sure that most of the people there belong to the E.O or the Roman Catholic, which is maybe why the Lutherans there never bothered doing much “Evangelizing” there. Also before getting to smug in this, remember for most of those 470 years the lutherans have been in a very precarious position. Evnagelism between churches was very rarely permitted.
    Third you were the one who said the liturgy was boring which is why you didn’t want to worship that way. Which opens you up to the position that you think worship needs to be entertaining.
    As far as premillenialism goes, it is a pseudo-gospel, and dangerous. Nothing more than the resurrection of the Jewish Myths that Paul warns Titus about. I’ll be willing to discuss it with you in more detail. So email me as we are getting off topic here. And when you Email me explain what you believe and why.

  • Bror Erickson

    Kevin N,
    Forgiveness is forgiveness no matter where you get it. But you shouldn’t play one source off on another. Jesus gave us communion for the forgiveness of sins, We can’t over emphasize that.
    You were the one who was bringing up Romania as the place where you don’t see Evangelism happening. Well I’m fairly sure that most of the people there belong to the E.O or the Roman Catholic, which is maybe why the Lutherans there never bothered doing much “Evangelizing” there. Also before getting to smug in this, remember for most of those 470 years the lutherans have been in a very precarious position. Evnagelism between churches was very rarely permitted.
    Third you were the one who said the liturgy was boring which is why you didn’t want to worship that way. Which opens you up to the position that you think worship needs to be entertaining.
    As far as premillenialism goes, it is a pseudo-gospel, and dangerous. Nothing more than the resurrection of the Jewish Myths that Paul warns Titus about. I’ll be willing to discuss it with you in more detail. So email me as we are getting off topic here. And when you Email me explain what you believe and why.

  • fwsonnek

    #35 Kevin.

    bror is saying it all better than I am. I am gonna listen here.

  • fwsonnek

    #35 Kevin.

    bror is saying it all better than I am. I am gonna listen here.

  • http://lutheransandcontraception.blogspot.com Erich Heidenreich, DDS

    Kevin,

    I think what you’re missing here is the distinction between the “fact” that you are forgiven and the bountiful means by which this “forgiveness” is graciously delivered to you.

    We are in constant need of forgiveness, so God has provided “means” by which he showers us with His forgiveness. We receive forgiveness through the washing of holy baptism, through the eating and drinking of the Sacrament of Christ’s body and blood, and through the hearing of the Gospel in God’s Word.

    The thief on the cross was forgiven even though he was not baptized, and even though he never received holy communion. I believe Anabaptists are forgiven through the Gospel in God’s Word. But I am grateful that Christ saw fit to place me in the Lutheran church where this forgiveness is showered upon me in so many meaningful and physical ways.

    If you were in a Lutheran church that made you feel like you might not be forgiven unless you received communion or confessed your sins, then you were in a church that didn’t do a good job of teaching the Gospel. Confession and communion are not law – they’re Gospel !!!

    Forgiveness is not something that was an event in our lives that we can point to. It’s not something we get past. Yes, it was accomplished on the cross, but it is delivered personally to you through the means God has appointed for that purpose: “take drink, this cup is the New Testament in my blood, which is shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.”

    This forgiveness nourishes our bodies and souls. The Word of God is food, indeed, and it saves. But God has prepared a banquet of forgiveness and salvation for you that, through His Word, also includes His very body and blood. A heavenly feast! Christ washes you in holy baptism, dressing you up in His righteousness, and then continues to feed you at this heavenly banquet, now and for all eternity.

    Thanks be to God!

  • http://lutheransandcontraception.blogspot.com Erich Heidenreich, DDS

    Kevin,

    I think what you’re missing here is the distinction between the “fact” that you are forgiven and the bountiful means by which this “forgiveness” is graciously delivered to you.

    We are in constant need of forgiveness, so God has provided “means” by which he showers us with His forgiveness. We receive forgiveness through the washing of holy baptism, through the eating and drinking of the Sacrament of Christ’s body and blood, and through the hearing of the Gospel in God’s Word.

    The thief on the cross was forgiven even though he was not baptized, and even though he never received holy communion. I believe Anabaptists are forgiven through the Gospel in God’s Word. But I am grateful that Christ saw fit to place me in the Lutheran church where this forgiveness is showered upon me in so many meaningful and physical ways.

    If you were in a Lutheran church that made you feel like you might not be forgiven unless you received communion or confessed your sins, then you were in a church that didn’t do a good job of teaching the Gospel. Confession and communion are not law – they’re Gospel !!!

    Forgiveness is not something that was an event in our lives that we can point to. It’s not something we get past. Yes, it was accomplished on the cross, but it is delivered personally to you through the means God has appointed for that purpose: “take drink, this cup is the New Testament in my blood, which is shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.”

    This forgiveness nourishes our bodies and souls. The Word of God is food, indeed, and it saves. But God has prepared a banquet of forgiveness and salvation for you that, through His Word, also includes His very body and blood. A heavenly feast! Christ washes you in holy baptism, dressing you up in His righteousness, and then continues to feed you at this heavenly banquet, now and for all eternity.

    Thanks be to God!

  • fwsonnek

    # 38 Tiradente

    Wow. that was excellent. Your post made me think to say this:

    We daily sin much. we deserve punishment for this now and for eternity. We need to be forgiven daily, hourly, by the minute.

    In the Our Father and in our prayers we ASK for forgiveness.

    In the Word, of Baptism and Body and Blood and absolution we RECEIVE , actually, the literal answer to those prayers.

  • fwsonnek

    # 38 Tiradente

    Wow. that was excellent. Your post made me think to say this:

    We daily sin much. we deserve punishment for this now and for eternity. We need to be forgiven daily, hourly, by the minute.

    In the Our Father and in our prayers we ASK for forgiveness.

    In the Word, of Baptism and Body and Blood and absolution we RECEIVE , actually, the literal answer to those prayers.

  • fwsonnek

    #38 tiradentes = tooth yanker (portuguese)

  • fwsonnek

    #38 tiradentes = tooth yanker (portuguese)

  • http://lutheransandcontraception.blogspot.com Erich Heidenreich, DDS

    Thanks, but I refer all extractions to an oral surgeon. I don’t like blood and gore. I am a “Zahnarzt.” I prefer the preventive and “artistic” side of dentistry. ;-)

  • http://lutheransandcontraception.blogspot.com Erich Heidenreich, DDS

    Thanks, but I refer all extractions to an oral surgeon. I don’t like blood and gore. I am a “Zahnarzt.” I prefer the preventive and “artistic” side of dentistry. ;-)

  • Booklover

    “what elements of Lutheran theology could you take profitably into your own church or personal beliefs, without becoming whole-hog Lutheran?”

    I forgot to add “Beauty.” Lutheran churches are beautiful–wood, stained glass, and other aesthetically pleasing articles are often used. The revivalist church used lots of cement. It was an “evangelistic,” radio church. What does this say about who comes first–God or people? Jesus verbally applauded the woman who used her expensive nard to anoint him, even though it cost a year’s wages. Why, then, would we build an ugly church??

  • Booklover

    “what elements of Lutheran theology could you take profitably into your own church or personal beliefs, without becoming whole-hog Lutheran?”

    I forgot to add “Beauty.” Lutheran churches are beautiful–wood, stained glass, and other aesthetically pleasing articles are often used. The revivalist church used lots of cement. It was an “evangelistic,” radio church. What does this say about who comes first–God or people? Jesus verbally applauded the woman who used her expensive nard to anoint him, even though it cost a year’s wages. Why, then, would we build an ugly church??

  • kerner

    I hope my fellow Lutherans don’t think I’m being too critical, but I wonder whether Lutheran hesitancy to “evangelize” Christians of other denominations hasn’t been a mistake, at least to some degree. If our doctrine is the truth, shouldn’t we tell it to everyone? Even the heterodox (as politely as posible)? Especially in some denominations (hint: the Lutheran concept of Antichrist has been mentioned here) that tend to lose the Gospel in their doctrines concerning good works?

    I’m not suggesting that RC’s aren’t Christian, but as individuals, plenty of members of any denomination may be hypocrites. So, I don’t know that we should assume that all churched people are Christians either.

    Also, I really think this Evangelical fixation on being able to pinpoint the time when one goes from unbelief to belief is very un-Lutheran. If we don’t become Christians by our own reason or strength, how do WE know exactly when we went from point A to point B. I mean grace through faith by means of Word and sacraments is HOW we get there. But, WHEN? Who knows? Or cares?

  • kerner

    I hope my fellow Lutherans don’t think I’m being too critical, but I wonder whether Lutheran hesitancy to “evangelize” Christians of other denominations hasn’t been a mistake, at least to some degree. If our doctrine is the truth, shouldn’t we tell it to everyone? Even the heterodox (as politely as posible)? Especially in some denominations (hint: the Lutheran concept of Antichrist has been mentioned here) that tend to lose the Gospel in their doctrines concerning good works?

    I’m not suggesting that RC’s aren’t Christian, but as individuals, plenty of members of any denomination may be hypocrites. So, I don’t know that we should assume that all churched people are Christians either.

    Also, I really think this Evangelical fixation on being able to pinpoint the time when one goes from unbelief to belief is very un-Lutheran. If we don’t become Christians by our own reason or strength, how do WE know exactly when we went from point A to point B. I mean grace through faith by means of Word and sacraments is HOW we get there. But, WHEN? Who knows? Or cares?

  • fwsonnek

    #43 Kerner

    Our reason for not trying to pull people from their pastor we believe God has placed over them, is the SAME reason we don’t normal advocate the overthrow of governments or dictatorships. It is about the order God imposes on the world and works “in, with and under”.

    It is more interesting than that Kerner. We actually believe the the dividing line between in the church and outside of it, in a sense passe through the middle of each of us.

    the formula of concord talks about Christians “in sofar as they are reborn.” this says there is a part of us “the old adam” in fact, that needs to be reborn, threatened with the law, and evangelized!

  • fwsonnek

    #43 Kerner

    Our reason for not trying to pull people from their pastor we believe God has placed over them, is the SAME reason we don’t normal advocate the overthrow of governments or dictatorships. It is about the order God imposes on the world and works “in, with and under”.

    It is more interesting than that Kerner. We actually believe the the dividing line between in the church and outside of it, in a sense passe through the middle of each of us.

    the formula of concord talks about Christians “in sofar as they are reborn.” this says there is a part of us “the old adam” in fact, that needs to be reborn, threatened with the law, and evangelized!

  • http://lutheransandcontraception.blogspot.com Erich Heidenreich, DDS

    “I don’t know that we should assume that all churched people are Christians either.” ~Kerner

    That goes equally for those in Lutheran churches.

  • http://lutheransandcontraception.blogspot.com Erich Heidenreich, DDS

    “I don’t know that we should assume that all churched people are Christians either.” ~Kerner

    That goes equally for those in Lutheran churches.

  • Booklover

    “Also, I really think this Evangelical fixation on being able to pinpoint the time when one goes from unbelief to belief is very un-Lutheran.”

    Agreed. Even Paul, who had a dramatic and drastic Damascus Road experience, talked about it some, but talked mostly about Christ.

  • Booklover

    “Also, I really think this Evangelical fixation on being able to pinpoint the time when one goes from unbelief to belief is very un-Lutheran.”

    Agreed. Even Paul, who had a dramatic and drastic Damascus Road experience, talked about it some, but talked mostly about Christ.

  • http://geochristian.wordpress.com Kevin N

    Bror and others,

    Regarding liturgy:
    –I never said liturgical worship is boring. I did say my kids think so, but perhaps only because they have only experienced it presented in a liberal ELCA church. A few years ago I attended a funeral at an LCMS church and it was beautiful in its simple focus on Christ.
    –I think that the stability and Christ-centeredness of the liturgy is something Lutheran churches have to offer to evangelicals, as a Biblical alternative to entertainment and following the latest fad.

    Regarding premillenialism:
    –Perhaps you are confusing dispensationalism with premillenialism. Dispensationalism has different methods of salvation in different ages. Not all premillenialists are dispensationalists. I don’t see premillenialism as being at all in conflict with the creeds. I have read much of the Book of Concord, but don’t remember much about what it says about eschatology.
    –I do believe we premillenialists too often dismiss other positions without understanding them, and perhaps the Lutherans have something to offer here. I understand your rejection of much of popular premillenialism (Left Behind, etc.). My denomination had a push in the past several years, initiated from the top, to remove the reference to premillenialism from its doctrinal statement and replace it with a more general statement about Christ’s return. I was strongly in favor of this change, but it was not approved at the most recent national convention.

  • http://geochristian.wordpress.com Kevin N

    Bror and others,

    Regarding liturgy:
    –I never said liturgical worship is boring. I did say my kids think so, but perhaps only because they have only experienced it presented in a liberal ELCA church. A few years ago I attended a funeral at an LCMS church and it was beautiful in its simple focus on Christ.
    –I think that the stability and Christ-centeredness of the liturgy is something Lutheran churches have to offer to evangelicals, as a Biblical alternative to entertainment and following the latest fad.

    Regarding premillenialism:
    –Perhaps you are confusing dispensationalism with premillenialism. Dispensationalism has different methods of salvation in different ages. Not all premillenialists are dispensationalists. I don’t see premillenialism as being at all in conflict with the creeds. I have read much of the Book of Concord, but don’t remember much about what it says about eschatology.
    –I do believe we premillenialists too often dismiss other positions without understanding them, and perhaps the Lutherans have something to offer here. I understand your rejection of much of popular premillenialism (Left Behind, etc.). My denomination had a push in the past several years, initiated from the top, to remove the reference to premillenialism from its doctrinal statement and replace it with a more general statement about Christ’s return. I was strongly in favor of this change, but it was not approved at the most recent national convention.

  • Dan

    Theresa and Frank,

    Thank you for the discussion.

    As a Protestant Reformed Calvinist and a teacher of church history, I can appreciate the high regard that Lutherans have for tradition and “the old paths.”

    The discussion about limited atonement was especially interesting to me. I hadn’t realized the immense doctrinal differences between our Protestant traditions.

    Limited atonement, better called particular atonement, is a doctrine firmly rooted in both Scripture and Jesus Christ, and insisting on it is not an exaltation of reason or a refusal to submit to the mystery of God’s Word. Scripture speaks very plainly and consistently about Christ dying for His people, His sheep, and His church.

    First of all, the doctrine is firmly rooted in Scripture. Christ’s prayer to the Father immediately before He suffers for the sins of His people on the cross in John 17 makes this very clear: “Thou [the Father] hast given him [Christ] power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him” (vs. 2). “I pray for them: I pray not for the world, bur for them which thou hast given me” (vs. 9). Would Christ refuse to pray for the world, yet die for their eternal salvation hours later?

    Secondly, particular atonement alone gives glory to God. What a comfort it is to know that Christ is my Savior, not because I chose Him, but because He chose me. What a comfort it is to know that I cannot fall away from His free gift of grace and His infinite mercy to His people. To say that Christ died for the sins of all people and that not all people are saved makes Christ’s work ineffective and denies God’s sovereignty over salvation.

    The Holy Spirit is indeed a better theologian than we. But thanks be to God that the Holy Spirit reveals His Word to us and gives us spiritual eyes to see. “All Scripture is given for doctrine, for reproof, for instruction in righteousness.”

    Thank you again for an interesting theological discussion. We certainly have our differences. I do appreciate the thoughts of this group and the Christian intellectual stimulation it provides on so many issues from day to day.

    Dan

  • Dan

    Theresa and Frank,

    Thank you for the discussion.

    As a Protestant Reformed Calvinist and a teacher of church history, I can appreciate the high regard that Lutherans have for tradition and “the old paths.”

    The discussion about limited atonement was especially interesting to me. I hadn’t realized the immense doctrinal differences between our Protestant traditions.

    Limited atonement, better called particular atonement, is a doctrine firmly rooted in both Scripture and Jesus Christ, and insisting on it is not an exaltation of reason or a refusal to submit to the mystery of God’s Word. Scripture speaks very plainly and consistently about Christ dying for His people, His sheep, and His church.

    First of all, the doctrine is firmly rooted in Scripture. Christ’s prayer to the Father immediately before He suffers for the sins of His people on the cross in John 17 makes this very clear: “Thou [the Father] hast given him [Christ] power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him” (vs. 2). “I pray for them: I pray not for the world, bur for them which thou hast given me” (vs. 9). Would Christ refuse to pray for the world, yet die for their eternal salvation hours later?

    Secondly, particular atonement alone gives glory to God. What a comfort it is to know that Christ is my Savior, not because I chose Him, but because He chose me. What a comfort it is to know that I cannot fall away from His free gift of grace and His infinite mercy to His people. To say that Christ died for the sins of all people and that not all people are saved makes Christ’s work ineffective and denies God’s sovereignty over salvation.

    The Holy Spirit is indeed a better theologian than we. But thanks be to God that the Holy Spirit reveals His Word to us and gives us spiritual eyes to see. “All Scripture is given for doctrine, for reproof, for instruction in righteousness.”

    Thank you again for an interesting theological discussion. We certainly have our differences. I do appreciate the thoughts of this group and the Christian intellectual stimulation it provides on so many issues from day to day.

    Dan

  • http://www.lutheransandcontraception.blogspot.com/ Erich Heidenreich, DDS

    Dan,

    You are clearly using reason to draw what you think is a logical conclusion from John 17:9. There are other clear explanations for Christ’s specific prayer for His disciples. There are NOT, however, other explanations for the plain words of Scripture here:

    “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29

    “…in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.” 2 Corinthians 5:19

    “He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.” 1 John 2:2

    Use the clear words of Scripture to help understand the ones which seem to not make sense.

  • http://www.lutheransandcontraception.blogspot.com/ Erich Heidenreich, DDS

    Dan,

    You are clearly using reason to draw what you think is a logical conclusion from John 17:9. There are other clear explanations for Christ’s specific prayer for His disciples. There are NOT, however, other explanations for the plain words of Scripture here:

    “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29

    “…in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.” 2 Corinthians 5:19

    “He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.” 1 John 2:2

    Use the clear words of Scripture to help understand the ones which seem to not make sense.

  • Bror Erickson

    Kerner,
    At various levels I do think it is a mistake not to talk to others about our theological distinctives, very much so.
    When I was a boy going through confirmation and first beginning to understand what these distinctives were, my dad had to reign me in as I began to think members of other churches were going to Hell, (no need for hockey sticks here bike bubba) for being members there. He assured me that they were Christian. they believed in the trinity, that Christ is God, and so forth.
    It wasn’t until I was in the Air Force then that I realized many people had gone to church their whole lives and never heard the Gospel. The really sad thing is that it is ditto for many Lutherans. But I really began to understand the importance of our distinctives.
    Therefore I do not hesitate to talk to people of any church about Lutheranism. At the same time, I still believe that there are Christians in all denominations. Lutherans aren’t the only ones going to heaven, even if I believe we’ll all be Lutherans once we get there.

  • Bror Erickson

    Kerner,
    At various levels I do think it is a mistake not to talk to others about our theological distinctives, very much so.
    When I was a boy going through confirmation and first beginning to understand what these distinctives were, my dad had to reign me in as I began to think members of other churches were going to Hell, (no need for hockey sticks here bike bubba) for being members there. He assured me that they were Christian. they believed in the trinity, that Christ is God, and so forth.
    It wasn’t until I was in the Air Force then that I realized many people had gone to church their whole lives and never heard the Gospel. The really sad thing is that it is ditto for many Lutherans. But I really began to understand the importance of our distinctives.
    Therefore I do not hesitate to talk to people of any church about Lutheranism. At the same time, I still believe that there are Christians in all denominations. Lutherans aren’t the only ones going to heaven, even if I believe we’ll all be Lutherans once we get there.

  • Bror Erickson

    Kevin,
    -liturgy, when i was groing up my parents could care less what I thought of it. And I thank them for it.
    -Premillenialism,
    First I haven’t read the left behind series, and could care less about any distinctions brought up between dispensationalism and “classic” premillenialism.
    If you have a Book of Concord read Article 17 it addresses all millenialism, pre and post in one fell swoop.
    In anycase, the idea that we will be spared the tribulation, the idea that Christ after rejecting an earthly kingdom to go to the cross, will now come back to set one up, the idea that Jews are saved by a different manner than are Gentiles, that there will be a second chance (however slim) after Christ comes back. All these are patently false, and constitute a gospel other than the one Paul gave the Galatians.
    Christ accomplished all he wanted to accomplish, all he needed to accomplish on the cross with His first coming. When he comes again it is to judge the living and the dead, the end. He has no need of an earthly kingdom, and no use for an earthly kingdom.

  • Bror Erickson

    Kevin,
    -liturgy, when i was groing up my parents could care less what I thought of it. And I thank them for it.
    -Premillenialism,
    First I haven’t read the left behind series, and could care less about any distinctions brought up between dispensationalism and “classic” premillenialism.
    If you have a Book of Concord read Article 17 it addresses all millenialism, pre and post in one fell swoop.
    In anycase, the idea that we will be spared the tribulation, the idea that Christ after rejecting an earthly kingdom to go to the cross, will now come back to set one up, the idea that Jews are saved by a different manner than are Gentiles, that there will be a second chance (however slim) after Christ comes back. All these are patently false, and constitute a gospel other than the one Paul gave the Galatians.
    Christ accomplished all he wanted to accomplish, all he needed to accomplish on the cross with His first coming. When he comes again it is to judge the living and the dead, the end. He has no need of an earthly kingdom, and no use for an earthly kingdom.

  • Dan

    Erich,

    The Scriptures are indeed clear; and Scripture interprets Scripture, because Scripture is one.

    What are we to make of the following passages in Scripture:

    “He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.” 1 John 2:2

    “I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.” John 17:9

    Because the Word of God cannot contradict itself, we must conclude that God uses the word “world” differently in different contexts. In passages such as 1 John 2:2, for example, God is referring to the “world” of His own people, the elect. In passages such as John 17:9, God is referring to the “world” of the wicked, the reprobate.

    However, Scripture makes limited (particular) atonement abundantly clear in other passages:

    “He shall see the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify MANY; for he shall bear their iniquities.” Isaiah 53:11

    “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save HIS PEOPLE from their sins.” Matthew 1:21

    “For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for MANY for the remission of sins.” Matthew 26:28

    “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of MANY; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” Hebrews 9:28

    “He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? For he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the trangression of MY PEOPLE was he stricken.” Isaiah 53:8

    “Even as the Son of man came not to be minsterd unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for MANY.” Matthew 20:28

    “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock over which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the CHURCH of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.” Acts 20:28

    “I am the good shepherd, and know MY SHEEP, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life FOR THE SHEEP…But ye believe not, becaue ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” John 10:14, 15, 26-28

  • Dan

    Erich,

    The Scriptures are indeed clear; and Scripture interprets Scripture, because Scripture is one.

    What are we to make of the following passages in Scripture:

    “He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.” 1 John 2:2

    “I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.” John 17:9

    Because the Word of God cannot contradict itself, we must conclude that God uses the word “world” differently in different contexts. In passages such as 1 John 2:2, for example, God is referring to the “world” of His own people, the elect. In passages such as John 17:9, God is referring to the “world” of the wicked, the reprobate.

    However, Scripture makes limited (particular) atonement abundantly clear in other passages:

    “He shall see the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify MANY; for he shall bear their iniquities.” Isaiah 53:11

    “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save HIS PEOPLE from their sins.” Matthew 1:21

    “For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for MANY for the remission of sins.” Matthew 26:28

    “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of MANY; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” Hebrews 9:28

    “He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? For he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the trangression of MY PEOPLE was he stricken.” Isaiah 53:8

    “Even as the Son of man came not to be minsterd unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for MANY.” Matthew 20:28

    “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock over which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the CHURCH of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.” Acts 20:28

    “I am the good shepherd, and know MY SHEEP, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life FOR THE SHEEP…But ye believe not, becaue ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” John 10:14, 15, 26-28

  • Bror Erickson

    Dan,
    That God died for the whole world and all people in it. That his death was sufficient for the sins of the whole world is a truth of scripture that cannot be denied. After all it was God who died on the cross, He being infinite, his blood has infinite value.
    That not all people are saved is another truth of Scripture, and reality in general shows us this. Faith in Jesus Christ alone saves, and not everyone we run into has faith in Jesus Christ.
    The other truth of Scripture that is being ignored here is that it is God’s Desire that ALL men be saved.
    Romans 5:18 (ESV)
    Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men.

    Ezekiel 18:23 (ESV)
    Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, declares the Lord God, and not rather that he should turn from his way and live?

    1 Tim. 2:3-6 (ESV)
    This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, [4] who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. [5] For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, [6] who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.

    So to say differently, however much it may go against your idea of God’s sovereignty, is to speak against the clear words of Scripture and God does not lie.
    So we have to turn else where to the answers to our questions. That we are saved is a 100 % the glory of God. That some are damned is their own literally damned fault. If God does not see a person’s resistance of his will as an attack on his sovereignty neither should we.
    This gives me the confidence last night in jail to tell everyone their Christ died for them, and not to hesitate or quallify.

  • Bror Erickson

    Dan,
    That God died for the whole world and all people in it. That his death was sufficient for the sins of the whole world is a truth of scripture that cannot be denied. After all it was God who died on the cross, He being infinite, his blood has infinite value.
    That not all people are saved is another truth of Scripture, and reality in general shows us this. Faith in Jesus Christ alone saves, and not everyone we run into has faith in Jesus Christ.
    The other truth of Scripture that is being ignored here is that it is God’s Desire that ALL men be saved.
    Romans 5:18 (ESV)
    Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men.

    Ezekiel 18:23 (ESV)
    Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, declares the Lord God, and not rather that he should turn from his way and live?

    1 Tim. 2:3-6 (ESV)
    This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, [4] who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. [5] For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, [6] who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.

    So to say differently, however much it may go against your idea of God’s sovereignty, is to speak against the clear words of Scripture and God does not lie.
    So we have to turn else where to the answers to our questions. That we are saved is a 100 % the glory of God. That some are damned is their own literally damned fault. If God does not see a person’s resistance of his will as an attack on his sovereignty neither should we.
    This gives me the confidence last night in jail to tell everyone their Christ died for them, and not to hesitate or quallify.

  • kerner

    Dan:

    There are also the words of Christ:

    “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!”
    Luke, 13:34

    We can’t choose Him, but we CAN reject Him, and we are responsible for it when we do.

  • kerner

    Dan:

    There are also the words of Christ:

    “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!”
    Luke, 13:34

    We can’t choose Him, but we CAN reject Him, and we are responsible for it when we do.

  • Joe

    Dan have you ever given thought to the possibility that “His People” are all people? Plus, as early as Genesis Chapter 28 we are told that “all people will be blessed” by Isreal and his decendants.

  • Joe

    Dan have you ever given thought to the possibility that “His People” are all people? Plus, as early as Genesis Chapter 28 we are told that “all people will be blessed” by Isreal and his decendants.

  • Joe

    Dan, if we are going to ascribe any limited definition to who are Jesus’ sheep or who are His people – the only limited definition that could be supplied by scripture would exclude everyone except the Messianic Jews. See Matthew 15:24 (“I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”)

    So if you believe there is a limited atonement that is reserved for His sheep or His people please explain how any of us have hope?

  • Joe

    Dan, if we are going to ascribe any limited definition to who are Jesus’ sheep or who are His people – the only limited definition that could be supplied by scripture would exclude everyone except the Messianic Jews. See Matthew 15:24 (“I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”)

    So if you believe there is a limited atonement that is reserved for His sheep or His people please explain how any of us have hope?

  • Fred

    I would take issue that reason is not to be used or that it is overused. Reason is the stamp of God in Man. When we read words , our reason kicks into gear. It must make sense or it is unreasonable–illogical. I am not saying that there is not mystery, but I do not believe that mystery is as prevalent as many “reason” it to be. God spoke. We understand this speaking as words. Words have a sense to them which must be understood. It seems in some ways what some are purporting here is the same idea that Postmodern Emergents are purporting. Mystery over reason.

    I do assert that reason must be over mystery or unknowing. If it is not , then all is mystery and all unknowable in any absolute sense. Again—Postmodernism.

    “These things are written that you may know…..” “The secret things belong to God but that which is revealed belongs to us and our children.” The Word is that which God has revealed and they are knowable–reasoned. But this reason must be according to God—in other words—dadactic—not dialectic. We must take it as it is,the WHOLE counsel of God, and not with a lack of attempting reason , therefore allow for mystery. The RC church did this and it {mystery) led to the infallible Magesterium. We can not all live in a state of mystery, though it seems that today’s world would like to. Look at the amount of mystery/spiritual/otherworldly films and books that are being produced. We love mystery and the unknown. But that is just the thing that gets us into trouble, Eve thought , “what mystery is God withholding from me”, instead of God hath said.

    I was raised Lutheran, though I am now more Calvinistic in my beliefs and do not attend a Lutheran church My heart though has neber left my Lutheran bretheran. There is much to Lutheranism that I am greatful for and appreciative of. But this mystery concept always bothered me. It was too RC. We are reasoning creatures. Though I do not know why God does what He does in everything, I do know what I believe the whole of Scripture teaches, for Scripture can not be broken. God is sovereign and we are responsible. This has always been. Yet God knew before He made Adam that Adam would sin and He knew before He made the world that Christ would redeem His people, who were chosen to be redeemed before the foundations were ever laid. Is it fair? Is it right? Or is it mystery?

  • Fred

    I would take issue that reason is not to be used or that it is overused. Reason is the stamp of God in Man. When we read words , our reason kicks into gear. It must make sense or it is unreasonable–illogical. I am not saying that there is not mystery, but I do not believe that mystery is as prevalent as many “reason” it to be. God spoke. We understand this speaking as words. Words have a sense to them which must be understood. It seems in some ways what some are purporting here is the same idea that Postmodern Emergents are purporting. Mystery over reason.

    I do assert that reason must be over mystery or unknowing. If it is not , then all is mystery and all unknowable in any absolute sense. Again—Postmodernism.

    “These things are written that you may know…..” “The secret things belong to God but that which is revealed belongs to us and our children.” The Word is that which God has revealed and they are knowable–reasoned. But this reason must be according to God—in other words—dadactic—not dialectic. We must take it as it is,the WHOLE counsel of God, and not with a lack of attempting reason , therefore allow for mystery. The RC church did this and it {mystery) led to the infallible Magesterium. We can not all live in a state of mystery, though it seems that today’s world would like to. Look at the amount of mystery/spiritual/otherworldly films and books that are being produced. We love mystery and the unknown. But that is just the thing that gets us into trouble, Eve thought , “what mystery is God withholding from me”, instead of God hath said.

    I was raised Lutheran, though I am now more Calvinistic in my beliefs and do not attend a Lutheran church My heart though has neber left my Lutheran bretheran. There is much to Lutheranism that I am greatful for and appreciative of. But this mystery concept always bothered me. It was too RC. We are reasoning creatures. Though I do not know why God does what He does in everything, I do know what I believe the whole of Scripture teaches, for Scripture can not be broken. God is sovereign and we are responsible. This has always been. Yet God knew before He made Adam that Adam would sin and He knew before He made the world that Christ would redeem His people, who were chosen to be redeemed before the foundations were ever laid. Is it fair? Is it right? Or is it mystery?

  • Fred

    ” So if you believe there is a limited atonement that is reserved for His sheep or His people please explain how any of us have hope?”

    Joe, Not to butt in here, but to me the answer is believe and you will be saved. If you believe, then you are one that Christ has died for. There is the sense that Christ died for “all” in that “all” who will believe shall be saved.

    If Christ did not die for His elect and it was up to man to freely choose under his own volition entirely, to come to salvation—-what if no one came? Could Christ have died for nothing? Now , if He gives faith, then that would mean that we will come to Him. But that faith is not given until God makes one alive. And if he makes alive, then that “aliveness” is to Christ, not to choice, for if it was to choice, then man could boast.

    So if man was made alive unto faith in Christ, then we must also concur that not all are made alive unto faith, for not all believe and of those that do not believe have not been made alive and therefore not chosen to that fact.

    Our position is not to decide who is elect, for all that believe, believe because they were elected to eternal salvation. If one says , “I will not believe because I am not Elect”, then he has shown that he is not, by his unbelief. We are to preach the word to every soul, God brings them to salvation and those that He does are Mine Elect. Therefore limited atonement only refers to the fact that the salvific work of Christ is only effectual to those that believe, though it is effectual to the damned in as it seals their destruction, but that is not salvific. If we deny this , then it either leads to man’s free choice,whereby man is ultimately sovereign or else, universalim .

  • Fred

    ” So if you believe there is a limited atonement that is reserved for His sheep or His people please explain how any of us have hope?”

    Joe, Not to butt in here, but to me the answer is believe and you will be saved. If you believe, then you are one that Christ has died for. There is the sense that Christ died for “all” in that “all” who will believe shall be saved.

    If Christ did not die for His elect and it was up to man to freely choose under his own volition entirely, to come to salvation—-what if no one came? Could Christ have died for nothing? Now , if He gives faith, then that would mean that we will come to Him. But that faith is not given until God makes one alive. And if he makes alive, then that “aliveness” is to Christ, not to choice, for if it was to choice, then man could boast.

    So if man was made alive unto faith in Christ, then we must also concur that not all are made alive unto faith, for not all believe and of those that do not believe have not been made alive and therefore not chosen to that fact.

    Our position is not to decide who is elect, for all that believe, believe because they were elected to eternal salvation. If one says , “I will not believe because I am not Elect”, then he has shown that he is not, by his unbelief. We are to preach the word to every soul, God brings them to salvation and those that He does are Mine Elect. Therefore limited atonement only refers to the fact that the salvific work of Christ is only effectual to those that believe, though it is effectual to the damned in as it seals their destruction, but that is not salvific. If we deny this , then it either leads to man’s free choice,whereby man is ultimately sovereign or else, universalim .

  • Bror Erickson

    Fred,
    Don’t confuse God’s knoweldge with His will.
    God has given us his scripture. He tells us very clearly what his will, desire is, That ALL men be saved. However much it may go against our reason we may not doubt that.
    I agree reason is a gift of God. But it is not a useful tool for prying into the mysteries of God. Some things are just closed to us. We have no right to forsake the revealed God in Scripture, to climb into the deus abscondus, The hidden God. If reason contradicts scripture than we need to leave it at the door.
    This is far from Roman Catholic teaching that leads to the magisterium.

  • Bror Erickson

    Fred,
    Don’t confuse God’s knoweldge with His will.
    God has given us his scripture. He tells us very clearly what his will, desire is, That ALL men be saved. However much it may go against our reason we may not doubt that.
    I agree reason is a gift of God. But it is not a useful tool for prying into the mysteries of God. Some things are just closed to us. We have no right to forsake the revealed God in Scripture, to climb into the deus abscondus, The hidden God. If reason contradicts scripture than we need to leave it at the door.
    This is far from Roman Catholic teaching that leads to the magisterium.

  • Bror Erickson

    Fred,
    “If Christ did not die for His elect and it was up to man to freely choose under his own volition entirely, to come to salvation—-what if no one came? Could Christ have died for nothing? Now , if He gives faith, then that would mean that we will come to Him. But that faith is not given until God makes one alive. And if he makes alive, then that “aliveness” is to Christ, not to choice, for if it was to choice, then man could boast.”

    This shows a patent misunderstanding to everything that has been said here, and to the Lutheran understanding of Election. Lutherans do not believe in Free will (not in spiritual matters anyway). Faith is the work of the Holy Spirit. Who works throguh means, the word and sacraments. It is through these we are elected in time from eternity. But we can resist his will.
    Say one drowns and is brought back to life. He did not choose life, it was given to him. But that same person could go home and shoot himself.
    just as Adam and Eve freely chose to eat the apple (or what ever it was) in the garden. That was their choice not God’s. That was their will, not God’s.

  • Bror Erickson

    Fred,
    “If Christ did not die for His elect and it was up to man to freely choose under his own volition entirely, to come to salvation—-what if no one came? Could Christ have died for nothing? Now , if He gives faith, then that would mean that we will come to Him. But that faith is not given until God makes one alive. And if he makes alive, then that “aliveness” is to Christ, not to choice, for if it was to choice, then man could boast.”

    This shows a patent misunderstanding to everything that has been said here, and to the Lutheran understanding of Election. Lutherans do not believe in Free will (not in spiritual matters anyway). Faith is the work of the Holy Spirit. Who works throguh means, the word and sacraments. It is through these we are elected in time from eternity. But we can resist his will.
    Say one drowns and is brought back to life. He did not choose life, it was given to him. But that same person could go home and shoot himself.
    just as Adam and Eve freely chose to eat the apple (or what ever it was) in the garden. That was their choice not God’s. That was their will, not God’s.

  • Ray

    Booklover,

    A little off topic…. you mentioned in an early post your deep appreciation for Lutheran music. That interests me as a church musician. How would you characterize Lutheran music?

  • Ray

    Booklover,

    A little off topic…. you mentioned in an early post your deep appreciation for Lutheran music. That interests me as a church musician. How would you characterize Lutheran music?

  • Dan

    Bror,

    Fred has very clearly demonstrated the serious mistake of rejecting limited atonment.

    I would like to add further that if you insist that Christ died for everyone and that God desires the salvation of everyone, then you must also say that Christ failed, for not everyone is saved.

    Are you really willing to say that Christ was not able to achieve what He set out to do? This is a rejection of God’s sovereignty. If God desires the salvation of all men, all men will certainly be saved.

    “The Lord of hosts has sworn, saying, “Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand.”" Isaiah 14:24

    “For the Lord of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it? And his hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?” Isaiah 14:24, 27

    If God purposes to save a man, that man cannot disanull or turn it back. The Lord Himself teaches us to pray, “THY will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

  • Dan

    Bror,

    Fred has very clearly demonstrated the serious mistake of rejecting limited atonment.

    I would like to add further that if you insist that Christ died for everyone and that God desires the salvation of everyone, then you must also say that Christ failed, for not everyone is saved.

    Are you really willing to say that Christ was not able to achieve what He set out to do? This is a rejection of God’s sovereignty. If God desires the salvation of all men, all men will certainly be saved.

    “The Lord of hosts has sworn, saying, “Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand.”" Isaiah 14:24

    “For the Lord of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it? And his hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?” Isaiah 14:24, 27

    If God purposes to save a man, that man cannot disanull or turn it back. The Lord Himself teaches us to pray, “THY will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

  • Another Kerner

    Would one of our Calvinist brothers/sisters out there please explain the term “double predestination” within the framework of the Reformed T.U.L.I.P. to us confessional Lutherans, please?

    When presenting the Law/Gospel to the “unbeliever”, isn’t the Christian obliged to tell him/her the truth, without reservation (Called full disclosure in legal lingo)?

    If the atonement is limited, wouldn’t I be obliged to say to the unregenerated………”*Maybe* Christ didn’t die for *your* sins because the atonement is limited to the elect, but I am instructed by the Savior to tell you about the Gospel, because you *might* be one of the elect……….or not.”

    God cannot be resisted in His sovereign majesty (when He called the world into being or when He will call the dead from their graves. They will not be allowed to refuse to arise, just as the elements could not refuse to come into existance).

    When God approaches man through “means” (Word and Sacrament), Scripture tells us that He can be resisted.
    People can and do harden their hearts.

    Does God ever offer His grace less than earnestly?

    Isn’t He really serious about it when grace and salvation are proclaimed through the Word to *all* the unbelieving?

    Lutherans believe that by His death Christ atoned for all the sins of the world.

    I don’t see any evidence in Scripture for a “secret” effectual inner call to only the limited elect.

    That would suggest an acceptance of some sort of “infused” grace, wouldn’t it?

  • Another Kerner

    Would one of our Calvinist brothers/sisters out there please explain the term “double predestination” within the framework of the Reformed T.U.L.I.P. to us confessional Lutherans, please?

    When presenting the Law/Gospel to the “unbeliever”, isn’t the Christian obliged to tell him/her the truth, without reservation (Called full disclosure in legal lingo)?

    If the atonement is limited, wouldn’t I be obliged to say to the unregenerated………”*Maybe* Christ didn’t die for *your* sins because the atonement is limited to the elect, but I am instructed by the Savior to tell you about the Gospel, because you *might* be one of the elect……….or not.”

    God cannot be resisted in His sovereign majesty (when He called the world into being or when He will call the dead from their graves. They will not be allowed to refuse to arise, just as the elements could not refuse to come into existance).

    When God approaches man through “means” (Word and Sacrament), Scripture tells us that He can be resisted.
    People can and do harden their hearts.

    Does God ever offer His grace less than earnestly?

    Isn’t He really serious about it when grace and salvation are proclaimed through the Word to *all* the unbelieving?

    Lutherans believe that by His death Christ atoned for all the sins of the world.

    I don’t see any evidence in Scripture for a “secret” effectual inner call to only the limited elect.

    That would suggest an acceptance of some sort of “infused” grace, wouldn’t it?

  • Dan

    Election and reprobation together are called “double predestination.” One cannot be true without the other. The truth of double predestination is easily proven from Scripture.

    What about election?
    Romans 9:10-13 and Ephesians 1:3-6 clearly teach that God has chosen some from “before the foundations of the world.” I John 4:19 shows us that God was the first to love His people, and that from eternity.

    What about reprobation?
    In Romans 9:10-13, God reveals that he loved Jacob and hated Esau. Romans 9:21-22 calls some people “vessels made unto dishonor” and “vessels of wrath fitted to destruction.” I Peter 2:6-8 says that some people were appointed to stumble through disobedience. Jude 4 speaks of men ordained to condemnation.

  • Dan

    Election and reprobation together are called “double predestination.” One cannot be true without the other. The truth of double predestination is easily proven from Scripture.

    What about election?
    Romans 9:10-13 and Ephesians 1:3-6 clearly teach that God has chosen some from “before the foundations of the world.” I John 4:19 shows us that God was the first to love His people, and that from eternity.

    What about reprobation?
    In Romans 9:10-13, God reveals that he loved Jacob and hated Esau. Romans 9:21-22 calls some people “vessels made unto dishonor” and “vessels of wrath fitted to destruction.” I Peter 2:6-8 says that some people were appointed to stumble through disobedience. Jude 4 speaks of men ordained to condemnation.

  • http://www.cockahoop.com/ tODD

    Dan (@62), your comment seems to ignore Jesus’ words to Jerusalem, quoted by Kerner (@54): “how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!”

    By your logic, Jesus did in fact “gather [them] together” in spite of their rejection, or else he would not be sovereign. And yet he himself tells us that he did not “gather [them] together” because they “were not willing”.

    Christ did not fail in his mission, but many did reject him. And yet God’s sovereignty remains — it was in his sovereignty that he gave us the ability to reject him.

  • http://www.cockahoop.com/ tODD

    Dan (@62), your comment seems to ignore Jesus’ words to Jerusalem, quoted by Kerner (@54): “how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!”

    By your logic, Jesus did in fact “gather [them] together” in spite of their rejection, or else he would not be sovereign. And yet he himself tells us that he did not “gather [them] together” because they “were not willing”.

    Christ did not fail in his mission, but many did reject him. And yet God’s sovereignty remains — it was in his sovereignty that he gave us the ability to reject him.

  • http://www.cockahoop.com/ tODD

    Dan (@64), since I do not disagree with what you term “election”, I will only address what you term “reprobation”.

    Romans 9:11-12 tells us that God called Jacob before he had done anything to merit it: “Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad—in order that God’s purpose in election might stand: not by works but by him who calls—she was told, ‘The older will serve the younger.’” It does not, however, tell us that God hated Esau before he was born. Instead, it quotes Malachi 1:2-3 as proof of God’s election. Esau (and his descendents) had rejected God and turned away from him when that was written. God does not tell us that he “hated” Esau before he rejected him.

    With Romans 9:21-22, I don’t have the ability to research it more now (and I’m no Greek scholar, regardless), but I remember looking at the Greek for both words the NIV translates as “prepared”, and they are not the same. In fact, your quote from the KJV uses the phrase “fitted to destruction”, which makes it clear to me it’s not about predestination to hell.

    There are similar translation issues with Jude 4. The NIV translates it as “certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago”, marking it as a prophecy, not predestination.

    I don’t have a good answer right now for the remaining reference (1 Peter 2:4-8), but I would certainly be interested in what the underlying Greek says, given all this.

  • http://www.cockahoop.com/ tODD

    Dan (@64), since I do not disagree with what you term “election”, I will only address what you term “reprobation”.

    Romans 9:11-12 tells us that God called Jacob before he had done anything to merit it: “Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad—in order that God’s purpose in election might stand: not by works but by him who calls—she was told, ‘The older will serve the younger.’” It does not, however, tell us that God hated Esau before he was born. Instead, it quotes Malachi 1:2-3 as proof of God’s election. Esau (and his descendents) had rejected God and turned away from him when that was written. God does not tell us that he “hated” Esau before he rejected him.

    With Romans 9:21-22, I don’t have the ability to research it more now (and I’m no Greek scholar, regardless), but I remember looking at the Greek for both words the NIV translates as “prepared”, and they are not the same. In fact, your quote from the KJV uses the phrase “fitted to destruction”, which makes it clear to me it’s not about predestination to hell.

    There are similar translation issues with Jude 4. The NIV translates it as “certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago”, marking it as a prophecy, not predestination.

    I don’t have a good answer right now for the remaining reference (1 Peter 2:4-8), but I would certainly be interested in what the underlying Greek says, given all this.

  • Bror Erickson

    Dan,
    I’m not the one insisting that God desires all men to be saved. Scripture is the one insisting on that. The Apostle Paul insists on that. So take up your argument with what scripture has said. just realize who your are arguing with, it’s not me.
    As to whether or not Christ failed. Well He died for everyone, his death is sufficient for all sins. That some choose to reject, that some don’t hear at all, that is not His failing.
    So in light of this I think you need to go back to the drawing board, and rework your pardigms, on God’s Sovereignty, and what exactly eternity is.

  • Bror Erickson

    Dan,
    I’m not the one insisting that God desires all men to be saved. Scripture is the one insisting on that. The Apostle Paul insists on that. So take up your argument with what scripture has said. just realize who your are arguing with, it’s not me.
    As to whether or not Christ failed. Well He died for everyone, his death is sufficient for all sins. That some choose to reject, that some don’t hear at all, that is not His failing.
    So in light of this I think you need to go back to the drawing board, and rework your pardigms, on God’s Sovereignty, and what exactly eternity is.

  • http://www.lutheransandcontraception.blogspot.com/ Erich Heidenreich, DDS

    “Lutherans and Evangelicals learning from each other.”

    Hmmm…

    I think what this discussion should teach us is that we all approach Scripture with certain first principles.

    Evangelicals (in general) come to the Word with the first principle of God’s sovereignty. There are very few world religions that would argue that point. But what is uniquely Christian about such an idea?

    Lutherans, while agreeing that God is sovereign, come to the Word with the first principle of the Gospel that Christ died for the sins of the whole world.

    There’s no comfort or security in the idea that I may or may not be part of a group called “the reprobate” – a people for whom Christ did NOT die. Such a notion is foreign to the Gospel. Where is the “good news” in that? How can I believe that Christ died for ME if I don’t know if I am part of the elect?

    On the other hand, the fact that Christ died for the sins of the whole world offers unquestionable comfort. There is the Gospel in its fullest! Are you part of this world? Then believe that Christ died for you!

    It’s soon Christmas! What did the angels say to the shepherds?

    “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying:

    ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.’”

    Christ came to reconcile the world unto himself. The angels announced that Christ’s begin born in the manger brought God’s peace and good will toward all mankind.

    I’m part of this world, so this is good news to me!

  • http://www.lutheransandcontraception.blogspot.com/ Erich Heidenreich, DDS

    “Lutherans and Evangelicals learning from each other.”

    Hmmm…

    I think what this discussion should teach us is that we all approach Scripture with certain first principles.

    Evangelicals (in general) come to the Word with the first principle of God’s sovereignty. There are very few world religions that would argue that point. But what is uniquely Christian about such an idea?

    Lutherans, while agreeing that God is sovereign, come to the Word with the first principle of the Gospel that Christ died for the sins of the whole world.

    There’s no comfort or security in the idea that I may or may not be part of a group called “the reprobate” – a people for whom Christ did NOT die. Such a notion is foreign to the Gospel. Where is the “good news” in that? How can I believe that Christ died for ME if I don’t know if I am part of the elect?

    On the other hand, the fact that Christ died for the sins of the whole world offers unquestionable comfort. There is the Gospel in its fullest! Are you part of this world? Then believe that Christ died for you!

    It’s soon Christmas! What did the angels say to the shepherds?

    “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying:

    ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.’”

    Christ came to reconcile the world unto himself. The angels announced that Christ’s begin born in the manger brought God’s peace and good will toward all mankind.

    I’m part of this world, so this is good news to me!

  • Fred

    Bror, Thanks for your reply and thoughts. You stated:

    “Say one drowns and is brought back to life. He did not choose life, it was given to him. But that same person could go home and shoot himself.”

    If this is true then how does God perserve his own? I was under the assumption that the perseverence that God offers, “not one will be lost” was a guarantee of His ability to keep us. If it is dependant on my faith, then I fear for my own salvation, for I must by works of believing stay true. Again, God is true even when I am not. So then according to you “one can be lost”. Christ is not able to keep us because we may choose to disbelieve. I believe God puts in His Spirit, His heart in us when we are saved. This Spirit is stronger than he that is in the world. It is a deposit of a sure salvation. God is able to keep what is His. This does not mean that He can keep it, or has the ability to keep it. It means to me that He will keep it and by no means , even our wills will He lose it. He is God.

    Yes we can resist His will, but not when it comes to salvation. We can resist before salvation and all do. We can resist His will in sanctification , but that will have consequences of discipline. If we fall from the faith, then we were not of the faith. Now here is a mystery. At what point is falling away proof that one was never in the faith? We do not really know for only God sees the heart.

    I agree that we can not let reason take us where Scripture does not go. But all Scripture is interrpretation and therefore is reasoned. I think it better to say that if Scripture forbids us to go there, then we should not use reason to go there, rather than if it must be reasoned out of the text that it is then a mystery.

  • Fred

    Bror, Thanks for your reply and thoughts. You stated:

    “Say one drowns and is brought back to life. He did not choose life, it was given to him. But that same person could go home and shoot himself.”

    If this is true then how does God perserve his own? I was under the assumption that the perseverence that God offers, “not one will be lost” was a guarantee of His ability to keep us. If it is dependant on my faith, then I fear for my own salvation, for I must by works of believing stay true. Again, God is true even when I am not. So then according to you “one can be lost”. Christ is not able to keep us because we may choose to disbelieve. I believe God puts in His Spirit, His heart in us when we are saved. This Spirit is stronger than he that is in the world. It is a deposit of a sure salvation. God is able to keep what is His. This does not mean that He can keep it, or has the ability to keep it. It means to me that He will keep it and by no means , even our wills will He lose it. He is God.

    Yes we can resist His will, but not when it comes to salvation. We can resist before salvation and all do. We can resist His will in sanctification , but that will have consequences of discipline. If we fall from the faith, then we were not of the faith. Now here is a mystery. At what point is falling away proof that one was never in the faith? We do not really know for only God sees the heart.

    I agree that we can not let reason take us where Scripture does not go. But all Scripture is interrpretation and therefore is reasoned. I think it better to say that if Scripture forbids us to go there, then we should not use reason to go there, rather than if it must be reasoned out of the text that it is then a mystery.

  • Bror Erickson

    Fred,
    Sorry we must be using different translations here, would you mind giving me the verse, for not one will be lost?
    You say if scripture forbids us to go there. Well, I think we are forbidden to call God a liar, Now when he say he desires all men to be saved, I believe him. That is his will. Yet we know it doesn’t happen.So attack my analogy if you like, those are fallible, but then tell me how God, doesn’t mean exactly what he says in 1 Tim 2:4.

  • Bror Erickson

    Fred,
    Sorry we must be using different translations here, would you mind giving me the verse, for not one will be lost?
    You say if scripture forbids us to go there. Well, I think we are forbidden to call God a liar, Now when he say he desires all men to be saved, I believe him. That is his will. Yet we know it doesn’t happen.So attack my analogy if you like, those are fallible, but then tell me how God, doesn’t mean exactly what he says in 1 Tim 2:4.

  • Another Kerner

    Hello Fred…….

    Lutherans believe and teach that the elect have their names written in the Lamb’s Book of Life and will be kept in the faith.

    The good work that the Lord has begun in His elect, He is faithful to finish. He preserves His elect.

    Thor. Decl., XI, 45.46. says this: “….He ordained it in His eternal purpose, which cannot fail or be overthrown and placed it for preservation in the almighty hand of our Savior Jesus Christ, from which no one can pluck us., John 10:28.”

    We embrace the doctrine of election as a “glorious consolation”.

    It is eternal decree of reprobation that we and Scripture reject.

    Men harden their own hearts: God only hardens the hearts of those who first harden themselves.

    The question remains: Is God earnest and serious when the Scripture asserts that Christ died for the sins of the world…………when it is proclaimed that the “Lamb of God takes away the sins of the world”?

  • Another Kerner

    Hello Fred…….

    Lutherans believe and teach that the elect have their names written in the Lamb’s Book of Life and will be kept in the faith.

    The good work that the Lord has begun in His elect, He is faithful to finish. He preserves His elect.

    Thor. Decl., XI, 45.46. says this: “….He ordained it in His eternal purpose, which cannot fail or be overthrown and placed it for preservation in the almighty hand of our Savior Jesus Christ, from which no one can pluck us., John 10:28.”

    We embrace the doctrine of election as a “glorious consolation”.

    It is eternal decree of reprobation that we and Scripture reject.

    Men harden their own hearts: God only hardens the hearts of those who first harden themselves.

    The question remains: Is God earnest and serious when the Scripture asserts that Christ died for the sins of the world…………when it is proclaimed that the “Lamb of God takes away the sins of the world”?

  • Fred

    Another Kerner,

    Hello. I am so very glad I entered into this conversation. I have had my eyes opened, and found out things about my Lutheran brethren that I did not know in earnest. I just always had a inkling that we were not on the same page. This does not mean that I think less at all. As I said above. My heart is still with Lutherans. I just disagree in some issues. That being said, I would like to explain, (as poorly as I do it ), my position ,as I understand it, on something you said and that someone said above.

    “when it is proclaimed that the “Lamb of God takes away the sins of the world”?”

    (This is sin of the world–singular)

    He is earnest. Jesus takes away the sin of the world, the sin that condemns all the world. Creation will be redeemed and man will be redeemed as a part of the creation. But not all men. Nor all creation. The flash flood will not become a good flash flood. It will disappear as will evil. So Christ indeed takes away the sin of the world because He will judge it and remove it as he creates a new heaven and earth. It no longer has dominion over the world, though it has not been completely eradicated until the Lord’s return.

    Now for the reprobation. I agree that men harden their own hearts. From our perspective this is very true. But God being sovereign and if He predestines the Elect to salvation,by bringing them back to spiritual life so that they will confess , repent and believe, then it must also be said that He does not do this for some. He leaves them in their fallen state. Now comes the hard part.

    If God knows all things and nothing happens outside of His providence,( for to say something does is to imply that there is another power that is equal to God in that He does not control it ), then by this omniscient , omnipotent power he ordains all that comes to pass, even evil as He Himself states in Scripture. This has to imply that God ordains certain men to salvation and certain men to reprobation. But this is in the private counsel of His own will and not for us to know in the sense of who is and isn’t. But that it is is present in Scripture and we can not throw that out.

    So what of the passages that state that God desires that none should perish? That has to be true too. So how do we reconcile this?(I am not willing to just leave it alone and call it mystery} I believe it is like this. God is good, perfect , righteous , holy , etc. He alone determines those qualities, not us. Since He is good and holy, he does not with capriciousness say “Joe goes to hell and Sam goes to heaven”. This would be by our standards, wicked. But God does not answer to us. Where were we when He set the stars and called them by name? Did He ask our counsel? What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? Why would He do that? Because. We do not know for this He does not tell us. But it must be grand and absolutely holy, even if we can not see this now.

    This is difficult and I agree that there are some problems for the Calvinists. But I see more problems for any other interpretation. Blessings to all.

  • Fred

    Another Kerner,

    Hello. I am so very glad I entered into this conversation. I have had my eyes opened, and found out things about my Lutheran brethren that I did not know in earnest. I just always had a inkling that we were not on the same page. This does not mean that I think less at all. As I said above. My heart is still with Lutherans. I just disagree in some issues. That being said, I would like to explain, (as poorly as I do it ), my position ,as I understand it, on something you said and that someone said above.

    “when it is proclaimed that the “Lamb of God takes away the sins of the world”?”

    (This is sin of the world–singular)

    He is earnest. Jesus takes away the sin of the world, the sin that condemns all the world. Creation will be redeemed and man will be redeemed as a part of the creation. But not all men. Nor all creation. The flash flood will not become a good flash flood. It will disappear as will evil. So Christ indeed takes away the sin of the world because He will judge it and remove it as he creates a new heaven and earth. It no longer has dominion over the world, though it has not been completely eradicated until the Lord’s return.

    Now for the reprobation. I agree that men harden their own hearts. From our perspective this is very true. But God being sovereign and if He predestines the Elect to salvation,by bringing them back to spiritual life so that they will confess , repent and believe, then it must also be said that He does not do this for some. He leaves them in their fallen state. Now comes the hard part.

    If God knows all things and nothing happens outside of His providence,( for to say something does is to imply that there is another power that is equal to God in that He does not control it ), then by this omniscient , omnipotent power he ordains all that comes to pass, even evil as He Himself states in Scripture. This has to imply that God ordains certain men to salvation and certain men to reprobation. But this is in the private counsel of His own will and not for us to know in the sense of who is and isn’t. But that it is is present in Scripture and we can not throw that out.

    So what of the passages that state that God desires that none should perish? That has to be true too. So how do we reconcile this?(I am not willing to just leave it alone and call it mystery} I believe it is like this. God is good, perfect , righteous , holy , etc. He alone determines those qualities, not us. Since He is good and holy, he does not with capriciousness say “Joe goes to hell and Sam goes to heaven”. This would be by our standards, wicked. But God does not answer to us. Where were we when He set the stars and called them by name? Did He ask our counsel? What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? Why would He do that? Because. We do not know for this He does not tell us. But it must be grand and absolutely holy, even if we can not see this now.

    This is difficult and I agree that there are some problems for the Calvinists. But I see more problems for any other interpretation. Blessings to all.

  • Fred

    Bror,

    Thanks again for your response. I truly enjoy the discussion here. It is civil and good spirited. Iron sharpens iron. This is the first time I have ever discussed these things with my Lutheran Brothers and Sisters in Christ.

    John 6:39
    And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day.

    Romans 8:35
    Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?

    Romans 8:39
    neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

    Ezekiel 11:19
    I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.

    Jeremiah 24:7
    I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the LORD. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart.

    Then the people of Israel will no longer stray from me, nor will they defile themselves anymore with all their sins. They will be my people, and I will be their God, declares the Sovereign LORD.’ ”

    All these passages and many many more imply implicitly and explicitly that God is sovereign and what He decrees will come to pass. It is not left up to man. If God calls a man effectually, he will come for he is born again to that purpose. If once saved and then we could be lost, then we are no better than Adam had it. This is not true. We have a sure salvation. we are no longer under that covenant of works. If the Father gives us to the Son, and the Son promises that nothing will pluck us from His hand then that must be true. This verses has a far stronger sense than God is not willing that none should perish. I am not willing that any should perish. I can relate to God’s desire. He is not capricious, though I may be as I am only a man.

    Paul speaks of nothing can separate us from the love of Christ, and he lists many things and the list is not meant to be comprehensive in itself , but all inclusive. What is this love of Christ but that He lay ed down His life for the Brethren (1 John 3:16
    We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.}

    I will be their God. How can God know this for sure if we can fall away? What good is it to tell us that, if we can never be sure of it? Now if we decide after salvation to live a life of sin , then of course the Spirit will not give us a sense of security. But also we are warned in 1 John that if we live a life of sin then the love of the Father is not in us.

    Since you are using analogies , I agree that God desires that all be saved. If this desire was God’s will then all would be saved for who can stay the hand of God? Universalsists appeal to precisely this text. But in analogy,— I desire that all children be loved. In reverse, I do not desire that any be hated. So is it with God. He does not desire that men go to hell. That would make Him evil. He would rather that all go to heaven. But God can not deny Himself. he is Holy and Righteous. He must punish sin. So either all are saved by Christ, or all are saved that are chosen by God before the foundation of the world. I believe and so do you in the second. But what if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? —–It is obvious by this text that God does prepare beforehand those for destruction. But we know that He is good and Holy. This is not evil. It is God’s plan. Does the clay say to the potter , why are you making me like this?

    Thanks again for the conversation. I only hope I made sense and that it is comprehensible. I can understand that you may not agree with me and I with you. When we get into God’s presense , then we will probably both laugh with each other on how blind we all were.

  • Fred

    Bror,

    Thanks again for your response. I truly enjoy the discussion here. It is civil and good spirited. Iron sharpens iron. This is the first time I have ever discussed these things with my Lutheran Brothers and Sisters in Christ.

    John 6:39
    And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day.

    Romans 8:35
    Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?

    Romans 8:39
    neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

    Ezekiel 11:19
    I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.

    Jeremiah 24:7
    I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the LORD. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart.

    Then the people of Israel will no longer stray from me, nor will they defile themselves anymore with all their sins. They will be my people, and I will be their God, declares the Sovereign LORD.’ ”

    All these passages and many many more imply implicitly and explicitly that God is sovereign and what He decrees will come to pass. It is not left up to man. If God calls a man effectually, he will come for he is born again to that purpose. If once saved and then we could be lost, then we are no better than Adam had it. This is not true. We have a sure salvation. we are no longer under that covenant of works. If the Father gives us to the Son, and the Son promises that nothing will pluck us from His hand then that must be true. This verses has a far stronger sense than God is not willing that none should perish. I am not willing that any should perish. I can relate to God’s desire. He is not capricious, though I may be as I am only a man.

    Paul speaks of nothing can separate us from the love of Christ, and he lists many things and the list is not meant to be comprehensive in itself , but all inclusive. What is this love of Christ but that He lay ed down His life for the Brethren (1 John 3:16
    We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.}

    I will be their God. How can God know this for sure if we can fall away? What good is it to tell us that, if we can never be sure of it? Now if we decide after salvation to live a life of sin , then of course the Spirit will not give us a sense of security. But also we are warned in 1 John that if we live a life of sin then the love of the Father is not in us.

    Since you are using analogies , I agree that God desires that all be saved. If this desire was God’s will then all would be saved for who can stay the hand of God? Universalsists appeal to precisely this text. But in analogy,— I desire that all children be loved. In reverse, I do not desire that any be hated. So is it with God. He does not desire that men go to hell. That would make Him evil. He would rather that all go to heaven. But God can not deny Himself. he is Holy and Righteous. He must punish sin. So either all are saved by Christ, or all are saved that are chosen by God before the foundation of the world. I believe and so do you in the second. But what if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? —–It is obvious by this text that God does prepare beforehand those for destruction. But we know that He is good and Holy. This is not evil. It is God’s plan. Does the clay say to the potter , why are you making me like this?

    Thanks again for the conversation. I only hope I made sense and that it is comprehensible. I can understand that you may not agree with me and I with you. When we get into God’s presense , then we will probably both laugh with each other on how blind we all were.

  • Fred

    ““how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!”

    I believe many are taking this out of context. Christ is actually scolding the Pharisees , the religious system that was now in place. —–Oh Religious System that you’ve made, religious system that you’ve made. How I desired to gather you under my true teachings but you were not willing. So I have made you desolate {I have removed your lamp stand}. This is actually a curse on the religious system that the Pharisees had made and on Israel. It is not to be taken as a desire that people would come to Him for salvation and refused, but rather that evil men place stumbling blocks {impede}in front of the truth. But that never stops the truth from having effect. Even the gates of hell will not prevail over God’s purposes to save His people. For though Jerusalem {Temple, religious system}was made desolate, Jews still were being saved. The old system just did not work. Oh Jerusalem Jerusalem!—This has nothing to do wih personal salvation.

  • Fred

    ““how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!”

    I believe many are taking this out of context. Christ is actually scolding the Pharisees , the religious system that was now in place. —–Oh Religious System that you’ve made, religious system that you’ve made. How I desired to gather you under my true teachings but you were not willing. So I have made you desolate {I have removed your lamp stand}. This is actually a curse on the religious system that the Pharisees had made and on Israel. It is not to be taken as a desire that people would come to Him for salvation and refused, but rather that evil men place stumbling blocks {impede}in front of the truth. But that never stops the truth from having effect. Even the gates of hell will not prevail over God’s purposes to save His people. For though Jerusalem {Temple, religious system}was made desolate, Jews still were being saved. The old system just did not work. Oh Jerusalem Jerusalem!—This has nothing to do wih personal salvation.

  • Bror Erickson

    Fred,
    “Since you are using analogies , I agree that God desires that all be saved. If this desire was God’s will then all would be saved for who can stay the hand of God?”
    I’m sorry Fred, What you desire to be comprehendable is not. You will have to do a better job of explaining how God’s desire is not His will.
    Now as for the faith thing, and perseverence of the saints. (Thank you for the discussion that sends me back to the BOC.) As long as we remain Christian’s it is too God’s glory. This does not subtract from the fact that some people at one time or another have faith, and leave it. Parable of the sower comes to mind here. Some of the seed actually does sprout to life, before it is scorched by the sun. We have not credit for maintaining our faith, that is to God. But we do have the blame for leaving the faith. So Jesus is not responsible for any lost souls. And that is what those texts are getting at.
    As far as God’s sovereignty goes. That God allows things to happen against his will, is ultimately a show of how powerful He is, it is not an attack on his sovereignty or a show that there is another power out there equal to his. That is a false assumption that leads down a really bad road. God is powerful enough that he is able to restrain himself. For instance, I am of the mind that God let Jacob win the wrestling match. He isn’t like a log splitter that has to split at ramming speed every time. He is more like a pool player that knows just how hard to hit the cueball.
    So in essence, I believe things happen against God’s will all the time, its called sin. This insights his wrath, but He is powerful enough to keep his anger in check until the last day, so that he can accomplish his over all goals. Which is as far as I can tell, he lets this evil world continue day by day, so that one more person might hear the word and be saved.

  • Bror Erickson

    Fred,
    “Since you are using analogies , I agree that God desires that all be saved. If this desire was God’s will then all would be saved for who can stay the hand of God?”
    I’m sorry Fred, What you desire to be comprehendable is not. You will have to do a better job of explaining how God’s desire is not His will.
    Now as for the faith thing, and perseverence of the saints. (Thank you for the discussion that sends me back to the BOC.) As long as we remain Christian’s it is too God’s glory. This does not subtract from the fact that some people at one time or another have faith, and leave it. Parable of the sower comes to mind here. Some of the seed actually does sprout to life, before it is scorched by the sun. We have not credit for maintaining our faith, that is to God. But we do have the blame for leaving the faith. So Jesus is not responsible for any lost souls. And that is what those texts are getting at.
    As far as God’s sovereignty goes. That God allows things to happen against his will, is ultimately a show of how powerful He is, it is not an attack on his sovereignty or a show that there is another power out there equal to his. That is a false assumption that leads down a really bad road. God is powerful enough that he is able to restrain himself. For instance, I am of the mind that God let Jacob win the wrestling match. He isn’t like a log splitter that has to split at ramming speed every time. He is more like a pool player that knows just how hard to hit the cueball.
    So in essence, I believe things happen against God’s will all the time, its called sin. This insights his wrath, but He is powerful enough to keep his anger in check until the last day, so that he can accomplish his over all goals. Which is as far as I can tell, he lets this evil world continue day by day, so that one more person might hear the word and be saved.

  • Bror Erickson

    Fred,
    So God is able to control people just not religious systems? What does that say for His sovereignty?

  • Bror Erickson

    Fred,
    So God is able to control people just not religious systems? What does that say for His sovereignty?

  • http://gpiper.org/katiesbeer Theresa K.

    The topic of the history of the Lutheran church in modern times has not yet been hashed. I think it is REALLY important to know why the various synods split off from each other. Some of us claim to have grown up in Lutheran churches, but how Lutheran were our churches…really? Not very, in some cases. In my journey from Evangelicalism to Lutheranism, it was crucial that I understand why my family’s church was the way it was.

    You mentioned that the Evangelical Free church split from Lutherans in the 1800′s. The EFCA website says that the Evangelical Free Church of America was formed in 1950 by the merger of two church bodies: the Swedish Evangelical Free Church and the Norwegian-Danish Evangelical Free Church Association. Both groups had been birthed in the revival movements of the late nineteenth century. The two small Swedish Lutheran synods in question were heavily pietistic in nature and were soon to leave orthodox Lutheran fellowship.

    I think that to understand Lutheran practice one must know Lutheran history. Too many churches claim to be Lutheran or claim to be bore of Lutheran practice (but improved upon), but in practice they are not so. I’m sure there are several good books on the subject, but one I found helpful and readable is What’s Going On Among the Lutherans by Leppien and Smith. You can find it at Northwestern Publishing House.

    http://online.nph.net/cgi-bin/site.pl?10418&productID=150544

  • http://gpiper.org/katiesbeer Theresa K.

    The topic of the history of the Lutheran church in modern times has not yet been hashed. I think it is REALLY important to know why the various synods split off from each other. Some of us claim to have grown up in Lutheran churches, but how Lutheran were our churches…really? Not very, in some cases. In my journey from Evangelicalism to Lutheranism, it was crucial that I understand why my family’s church was the way it was.

    You mentioned that the Evangelical Free church split from Lutherans in the 1800′s. The EFCA website says that the Evangelical Free Church of America was formed in 1950 by the merger of two church bodies: the Swedish Evangelical Free Church and the Norwegian-Danish Evangelical Free Church Association. Both groups had been birthed in the revival movements of the late nineteenth century. The two small Swedish Lutheran synods in question were heavily pietistic in nature and were soon to leave orthodox Lutheran fellowship.

    I think that to understand Lutheran practice one must know Lutheran history. Too many churches claim to be Lutheran or claim to be bore of Lutheran practice (but improved upon), but in practice they are not so. I’m sure there are several good books on the subject, but one I found helpful and readable is What’s Going On Among the Lutherans by Leppien and Smith. You can find it at Northwestern Publishing House.

    http://online.nph.net/cgi-bin/site.pl?10418&productID=150544

  • fw

    Change of Address notification:

    FWSonnek has been saying that there are 3 essential things to remember in any theological or other debate. Those three things are Jesus, Son of God, Our Savior.

    I have been told that this is looking boring.

    I am now converted to this way of thinking! (insert happy face here. But not TOO happy now.). This back and forth cuisinarting of humanity called Double Predestination has finally pushed FWSonnek over the edge. (No he wasn´t quite there yet, even if you thought he was).

    My new nome-de-plume here shall now be Legalistic Lutheran :) tm. My mission here shall be to push the Law to it´s ultimate conclusions. Whether you all like it or not. Why should I care about that? I got the Big Guy on my side.

    Truth in advertising:

    All that nicey-nice stuff about Jesus will still be ALL there “in, with and under” Mr. Lutheran Legalist :) in spite of his new slogan:

    “More of the Disciplined Comfort of Law and Order that you little neo-idolators crave,
    Less of the Free Discomfort of Gospel that bores you.” Lutheran Legalist :) feels he has a good start on developing an “Ablaze”-like program´s mission statement.

    Lutheran Legalist :) is FWSonnek. Or was. He has just not gotten around to filing the DBA yet. He will. He is a legalist for pete´s sake. 200 proof Law and Order. Yeah I get to drink. In moderation always. When I fill out forms. I NEVER write outside those little boxes on the form by the way. And neither should you.

    Since this Law stuff is a “foreign work” for Lutheran Legalist :) . You all shall refer to Mr Lutheran Legalist in the 3rd person only. As shall He.

    Good grammar and logic shall now be insisted upon requirements, as shall be good manners. No spitting please. Floss daily. Your mileage will NOT vary.

    So Dr Vieth: your demanded blog is on the way. Now for the banner/name…“Entire Sanctification Lutheranism” has a nice definitive air. Fire and Brimstone Lutheranism” also has that nice Old (really old) time religion ring to appeal to traditionalists and the neo-restorationists here who think it would be cool to stone me to death publicly according to Divine command (Regardless of whether Lev 20:13 applies to me or not…).

    “Love the sinner and hate the sin!” “It works if you work it (courtesy of AA)!” have the u-rah, and conservative-don´t-give-em-TOO-much dollop of compassion, but unfortunately lack that one essential of morality, truth with no confusion of law and gospel. “We report, YOU decide” would invite a lawsuit from FoxNews and unfortunately would invite you to meditate on His Law and not merely obey the Almighty in the abstract way that I am seeing we all love here.

    So I am stumped on a name.

    Any suggestions? Whatever it is, it need to say “Lutheran Legalist :) is relentless and unyielding.”

    So let´s start taking the fun out of all this. Lutheran Legalist :) lives now to put the X in the word “fun”! :) :) :)

    Lutheran Legalist :) is impressed at the profound way Luthruns here proclaim Jesus in the positive proclamation on election here. Lutheran Legalist :) is comforted, and needs it what with spending so much time with the Law and all… Lutheran Legalist :) however sees alot of change left on the table by those same Luthruns however when it comes to applying Christ to that other proposition as to why THOSE people are lost.

    Sure it´s THEIR fault. And THEY need to all just stop whining about that fact! THEY need to grow a pair.

    Opps. I noticed that THEY (who could not possibly be any of US here. No. Never.) are not personally participating anywhere here in this debate. I totally missed that. How COULD I have missed that being as sharp as I am and all? (Lutheran Legalist  hereby points out that false modesty is a sin so he will, therefore, repeatedly point out how sharp and smart he is. If you are annoyed at this due to (realistically founded) envy or your other own sins, my advice is to get your OWN law mirror and stop messing with mine.).

    THEY are totally absent in this stimulating and highly abstract debate (Lutheran Legalist :) likes a good abstraction like any other legalist I point out so this is not a criticism at all..

    None of THEM are speaking up here. Just “who in hell :) “ tm, are the THEM or the THEY I ask? THEY lack a voice and a face in this discussion.

    How COULD I have missed that.

    Lutheran Legalist :) has recently taken a look at his Law mirror and concluded that in fact HE is probably strongly indicated as heretofore referenced as said party and herein named variously as THEY, THEM, THOSE PEOPLE! THE REPROBATE! THE CHOSEN VESSEL OF DESTRUCTION, ET AL. After all Lutheran Legalist :) does happen to be a homosexual, and that is not even the worst of it. That is actual the nicest part, relatively speaking.

    To all you Calvinists here: Lutheran Legalist :) (1) sees the shoe you have brought him for his consideration, (2) it appears to fit Lutheran Legalist  quite nicely by looking in that Law mirror he likes so much, and the Calvinists are all urging Lutheran Legalist  to put it on ( I see in them no exhortation or basis for such to the contrary).

    Lutheran Legalist´s :) question to both sides is rather simple:

    Should Lutheran Legalist :) put the shoe on and walk (away from Jesus in this case) in it or not? Putting it on and walking a way in it would certainly resolve a lot of the tensions of being both Christian in society, and being gay.
    On the other hand, I am pretty ecstatically happy with Jesus in my life (who wouldn´t be when you see what Lutheran Legalist :) is forced to look at in the mirror before and after his morning cup o´ Joe), but maybe Lutheran Legalist :) not really one of His and Lutheran Legalist :) is only fooling myself. Oops! It went first person and got personal. Sorry.

    Further Lutheran Legalist :) clearly sees all the legal evidence and arguments necessary to lock him up, for several consecutive mandatory sentences of eternity, fully accessorized with John Milton´s snazzy adamantine chains. They would match a couple of outfits Lutheran Legalist :) has. It would look damn good with Lutheran Legalist´s Pradas to be exact. We legalists like to be exact, don´t get us twisted on that.

    This appeals to Lutheran Legalist´s :) gay aethetics, yet still Lutheran Legalist :) hesitates to embrace the scenario for rather obvious reasons that have to do with liking air conditioning, and not having Jesus. Lutheran Legalist :) of course likes flowers, but is not feeling cool about TULIPs just now. Help Lutheran Legalist :) out here fellas!

    Make it personal.

  • fw

    Change of Address notification:

    FWSonnek has been saying that there are 3 essential things to remember in any theological or other debate. Those three things are Jesus, Son of God, Our Savior.

    I have been told that this is looking boring.

    I am now converted to this way of thinking! (insert happy face here. But not TOO happy now.). This back and forth cuisinarting of humanity called Double Predestination has finally pushed FWSonnek over the edge. (No he wasn´t quite there yet, even if you thought he was).

    My new nome-de-plume here shall now be Legalistic Lutheran :) tm. My mission here shall be to push the Law to it´s ultimate conclusions. Whether you all like it or not. Why should I care about that? I got the Big Guy on my side.

    Truth in advertising:

    All that nicey-nice stuff about Jesus will still be ALL there “in, with and under” Mr. Lutheran Legalist :) in spite of his new slogan:

    “More of the Disciplined Comfort of Law and Order that you little neo-idolators crave,
    Less of the Free Discomfort of Gospel that bores you.” Lutheran Legalist :) feels he has a good start on developing an “Ablaze”-like program´s mission statement.

    Lutheran Legalist :) is FWSonnek. Or was. He has just not gotten around to filing the DBA yet. He will. He is a legalist for pete´s sake. 200 proof Law and Order. Yeah I get to drink. In moderation always. When I fill out forms. I NEVER write outside those little boxes on the form by the way. And neither should you.

    Since this Law stuff is a “foreign work” for Lutheran Legalist :) . You all shall refer to Mr Lutheran Legalist in the 3rd person only. As shall He.

    Good grammar and logic shall now be insisted upon requirements, as shall be good manners. No spitting please. Floss daily. Your mileage will NOT vary.

    So Dr Vieth: your demanded blog is on the way. Now for the banner/name…“Entire Sanctification Lutheranism” has a nice definitive air. Fire and Brimstone Lutheranism” also has that nice Old (really old) time religion ring to appeal to traditionalists and the neo-restorationists here who think it would be cool to stone me to death publicly according to Divine command (Regardless of whether Lev 20:13 applies to me or not…).

    “Love the sinner and hate the sin!” “It works if you work it (courtesy of AA)!” have the u-rah, and conservative-don´t-give-em-TOO-much dollop of compassion, but unfortunately lack that one essential of morality, truth with no confusion of law and gospel. “We report, YOU decide” would invite a lawsuit from FoxNews and unfortunately would invite you to meditate on His Law and not merely obey the Almighty in the abstract way that I am seeing we all love here.

    So I am stumped on a name.

    Any suggestions? Whatever it is, it need to say “Lutheran Legalist :) is relentless and unyielding.”

    So let´s start taking the fun out of all this. Lutheran Legalist :) lives now to put the X in the word “fun”! :) :) :)

    Lutheran Legalist :) is impressed at the profound way Luthruns here proclaim Jesus in the positive proclamation on election here. Lutheran Legalist :) is comforted, and needs it what with spending so much time with the Law and all… Lutheran Legalist :) however sees alot of change left on the table by those same Luthruns however when it comes to applying Christ to that other proposition as to why THOSE people are lost.

    Sure it´s THEIR fault. And THEY need to all just stop whining about that fact! THEY need to grow a pair.

    Opps. I noticed that THEY (who could not possibly be any of US here. No. Never.) are not personally participating anywhere here in this debate. I totally missed that. How COULD I have missed that being as sharp as I am and all? (Lutheran Legalist  hereby points out that false modesty is a sin so he will, therefore, repeatedly point out how sharp and smart he is. If you are annoyed at this due to (realistically founded) envy or your other own sins, my advice is to get your OWN law mirror and stop messing with mine.).

    THEY are totally absent in this stimulating and highly abstract debate (Lutheran Legalist :) likes a good abstraction like any other legalist I point out so this is not a criticism at all..

    None of THEM are speaking up here. Just “who in hell :) “ tm, are the THEM or the THEY I ask? THEY lack a voice and a face in this discussion.

    How COULD I have missed that.

    Lutheran Legalist :) has recently taken a look at his Law mirror and concluded that in fact HE is probably strongly indicated as heretofore referenced as said party and herein named variously as THEY, THEM, THOSE PEOPLE! THE REPROBATE! THE CHOSEN VESSEL OF DESTRUCTION, ET AL. After all Lutheran Legalist :) does happen to be a homosexual, and that is not even the worst of it. That is actual the nicest part, relatively speaking.

    To all you Calvinists here: Lutheran Legalist :) (1) sees the shoe you have brought him for his consideration, (2) it appears to fit Lutheran Legalist  quite nicely by looking in that Law mirror he likes so much, and the Calvinists are all urging Lutheran Legalist  to put it on ( I see in them no exhortation or basis for such to the contrary).

    Lutheran Legalist´s :) question to both sides is rather simple:

    Should Lutheran Legalist :) put the shoe on and walk (away from Jesus in this case) in it or not? Putting it on and walking a way in it would certainly resolve a lot of the tensions of being both Christian in society, and being gay.
    On the other hand, I am pretty ecstatically happy with Jesus in my life (who wouldn´t be when you see what Lutheran Legalist :) is forced to look at in the mirror before and after his morning cup o´ Joe), but maybe Lutheran Legalist :) not really one of His and Lutheran Legalist :) is only fooling myself. Oops! It went first person and got personal. Sorry.

    Further Lutheran Legalist :) clearly sees all the legal evidence and arguments necessary to lock him up, for several consecutive mandatory sentences of eternity, fully accessorized with John Milton´s snazzy adamantine chains. They would match a couple of outfits Lutheran Legalist :) has. It would look damn good with Lutheran Legalist´s Pradas to be exact. We legalists like to be exact, don´t get us twisted on that.

    This appeals to Lutheran Legalist´s :) gay aethetics, yet still Lutheran Legalist :) hesitates to embrace the scenario for rather obvious reasons that have to do with liking air conditioning, and not having Jesus. Lutheran Legalist :) of course likes flowers, but is not feeling cool about TULIPs just now. Help Lutheran Legalist :) out here fellas!

    Make it personal.

  • Bror Erickson

    Lutheran Legalist,
    I’m partial to the daisy. He loves me, He loves me not…
    Or maybe its that rose with the cross in the middle. Yeah I like that one any flower with a cross at the center.

  • Bror Erickson

    Lutheran Legalist,
    I’m partial to the daisy. He loves me, He loves me not…
    Or maybe its that rose with the cross in the middle. Yeah I like that one any flower with a cross at the center.

  • Lutheran Legalist :)

    Lutheran Legalist :) is REALLY fond of that one too. The one with the black sin-bearing cross in the middle that does not kill the red heart that it is the center of.

    The question for all you TULIP lovers here is:

    Do you have anything at all to offer Lutheran Legalist :) even the slightest REAL hope that THAT flower is meant to be for him?

    (Brother Bror is talking about the Luther Seal here. Google it).

  • Lutheran Legalist :)

    Lutheran Legalist :) is REALLY fond of that one too. The one with the black sin-bearing cross in the middle that does not kill the red heart that it is the center of.

    The question for all you TULIP lovers here is:

    Do you have anything at all to offer Lutheran Legalist :) even the slightest REAL hope that THAT flower is meant to be for him?

    (Brother Bror is talking about the Luther Seal here. Google it).

  • Lutheran Legalist :)

    Here is a Puritan/Calvinist blog. and a summary of their lead-in explanation of TULIP.

    http://mikeratliff.wordpress.com/about/the-doctrines-of-grace/tulip/

    “The essential doctrineS concerning salvation, which the Puritans and ALL good Christians cling to, summed in… acronym T.U.L.I.P…. a flower,… all intertwining,… one petal removed ceases,… to be complete…. same with salvation. Each doctrine is essential …[to]… the others. one removed, whole SYSTEM falls into absurdity and contradiction.”

    Logical total SYSTEM. Miss one thing and…. Lutheran Legalist´s :) ego takes a hit as being absurd and contradictory. Ouch.

    Lutheran Legalist :) assumes that after this , issue of salvation are beside the point?

    Jesus IS in there. Really. Keep digging.

    The “Tag Cloud” where the topic headings get larger depending on the number of blogs is quite revealing. What´s missing? Where´s Waldo?

  • Lutheran Legalist :)

    Here is a Puritan/Calvinist blog. and a summary of their lead-in explanation of TULIP.

    http://mikeratliff.wordpress.com/about/the-doctrines-of-grace/tulip/

    “The essential doctrineS concerning salvation, which the Puritans and ALL good Christians cling to, summed in… acronym T.U.L.I.P…. a flower,… all intertwining,… one petal removed ceases,… to be complete…. same with salvation. Each doctrine is essential …[to]… the others. one removed, whole SYSTEM falls into absurdity and contradiction.”

    Logical total SYSTEM. Miss one thing and…. Lutheran Legalist´s :) ego takes a hit as being absurd and contradictory. Ouch.

    Lutheran Legalist :) assumes that after this , issue of salvation are beside the point?

    Jesus IS in there. Really. Keep digging.

    The “Tag Cloud” where the topic headings get larger depending on the number of blogs is quite revealing. What´s missing? Where´s Waldo?

  • Bror Erickson

    Wow! How enlightening that field trip was to the field of Tulips. Thanks lutheran legalist. Now, I have my beef with both Calvinists and Arminians and Calvinists, but I would throw neither of them into the category of unbelief. How charitable that is. Misunderstanding, misguided belief may be. But wow, I’m not a Calvinist because I don’t believe enough?!!! Hardly.

  • Bror Erickson

    Wow! How enlightening that field trip was to the field of Tulips. Thanks lutheran legalist. Now, I have my beef with both Calvinists and Arminians and Calvinists, but I would throw neither of them into the category of unbelief. How charitable that is. Misunderstanding, misguided belief may be. But wow, I’m not a Calvinist because I don’t believe enough?!!! Hardly.

  • Dan

    Does Lutheran Legalist feel better now?

  • Dan

    Does Lutheran Legalist feel better now?

  • Lutheran Legalist :)

    #83 Mr D.

    Nope. Lutheran Legalist :) is NOT waiting for you to tell me something that will let Lutheran Legalist :) feel better. Lutheran Legalist :) knows that puritans are not about that. Lutheran Legalist :) would like hear some objective reason to feel hope in Jesus. Lutheran Legalist :) is hoping that you Puritans ARE about that in some way.

    Tell Lutheran Legalist :) hopefully , why you think he has more than the chance of the proverbial snowball in you-know-where (trying hard not to swear in front of you calvinists here, He has dug his hole deep enuf with you guys by telling you Lutheran Legalist :) is gay he thinks…).

    How would Lutheran Legalist :) hope that he is not a “vessel prepared for destruction” (not to put words in your mouth, that would be sin to do that, but he thinks that is how you described him….).

    Thanks for referring to Lutheran Legalist :) in the 3rd person by the way. Someone (finally (!)) with some manners. It would be improper for us to become too familiar just yet sir.

    Luthruns don´t appreciate Lutheran Legalism. You Puritans DO. Thanks again. That part feels nice.

    For Hillary it takes a village, for Luthruns maybe it just takes a few nice Puritanical types to inject some civility among us of sturdy Viking rape-and-pillage stock. Thank you for that Sir. You truly have all the markings of being Elect-able so far as Lutheran Legalist :) can see. But then what do I know. Seeing isn´t always believing. Lutheranism probably isn´t necesssary for you. Lucky you.

    And by the way. Next time don´t forget the smiley face. :) It´s REALLY annoying to have people get your name wrong. ok?

    I hope that request doesn´t make me come across as TOO uptight and demanding. But then consider my name.

    Trusting in your sense of humor Dan, I sign,

    Lutheran Legalist :)

  • Lutheran Legalist :)

    #83 Mr D.

    Nope. Lutheran Legalist :) is NOT waiting for you to tell me something that will let Lutheran Legalist :) feel better. Lutheran Legalist :) knows that puritans are not about that. Lutheran Legalist :) would like hear some objective reason to feel hope in Jesus. Lutheran Legalist :) is hoping that you Puritans ARE about that in some way.

    Tell Lutheran Legalist :) hopefully , why you think he has more than the chance of the proverbial snowball in you-know-where (trying hard not to swear in front of you calvinists here, He has dug his hole deep enuf with you guys by telling you Lutheran Legalist :) is gay he thinks…).

    How would Lutheran Legalist :) hope that he is not a “vessel prepared for destruction” (not to put words in your mouth, that would be sin to do that, but he thinks that is how you described him….).

    Thanks for referring to Lutheran Legalist :) in the 3rd person by the way. Someone (finally (!)) with some manners. It would be improper for us to become too familiar just yet sir.

    Luthruns don´t appreciate Lutheran Legalism. You Puritans DO. Thanks again. That part feels nice.

    For Hillary it takes a village, for Luthruns maybe it just takes a few nice Puritanical types to inject some civility among us of sturdy Viking rape-and-pillage stock. Thank you for that Sir. You truly have all the markings of being Elect-able so far as Lutheran Legalist :) can see. But then what do I know. Seeing isn´t always believing. Lutheranism probably isn´t necesssary for you. Lucky you.

    And by the way. Next time don´t forget the smiley face. :) It´s REALLY annoying to have people get your name wrong. ok?

    I hope that request doesn´t make me come across as TOO uptight and demanding. But then consider my name.

    Trusting in your sense of humor Dan, I sign,

    Lutheran Legalist :)

  • Lutheran Legalist :)

    #83 Mr Dan

    Oh.

    Lutheran Legalist GETs it now.

    You Puritans send all our types for the Lutherans to comfort.

    You haven´t got anything for us.

    Neat trick!

  • Lutheran Legalist :)

    #83 Mr Dan

    Oh.

    Lutheran Legalist GETs it now.

    You Puritans send all our types for the Lutherans to comfort.

    You haven´t got anything for us.

    Neat trick!

  • Lutheran Legalist :)

    And if the darned Português keyboard(is that a swear word for you all? darned He means, not Português) would just get the happy face right…

  • Lutheran Legalist :)

    And if the darned Português keyboard(is that a swear word for you all? darned He means, not Português) would just get the happy face right…

  • Iohannes

    I’ve joined several Lutheran missions overseas and while I can’t comment on the doctrine behind it I will say they have a very established presence in every part of the world I’ve worked in, especially in Africa and the Middle East. They don’t seem to hype up their actions as much as many Evangelical outreaches, but they are there and their impact is amazing and certainly no less than any other church’s. None of the missions I worked with were American in origin, but in my own community I hear a lot about their ministries to the homeless and refugee population in my town, so it seems they are not idle stateside. Frankly, if I were looking at missions as a factor in choosing a church, Lutherans would take high marks (I’m too happy in my African Anglican church to go anywhere, but still).

  • Iohannes

    I’ve joined several Lutheran missions overseas and while I can’t comment on the doctrine behind it I will say they have a very established presence in every part of the world I’ve worked in, especially in Africa and the Middle East. They don’t seem to hype up their actions as much as many Evangelical outreaches, but they are there and their impact is amazing and certainly no less than any other church’s. None of the missions I worked with were American in origin, but in my own community I hear a lot about their ministries to the homeless and refugee population in my town, so it seems they are not idle stateside. Frankly, if I were looking at missions as a factor in choosing a church, Lutherans would take high marks (I’m too happy in my African Anglican church to go anywhere, but still).

  • Booklover

    “How would you characterize Lutheran music?”

    I’ll change the topic and do my best to answer this question since Ray, #61, brought it up. One always gets in trouble over this topic. :-)

    Let’s see, Lutheran music is characterized by:
    –a definite sense of transcendence.
    –beautiful melodies.
    –theology-laden lyrics.
    –scripture-laden liturgy.
    –classical sound.
    –the sound of many different centuries.

    It is not characterized by:
    –repetitious, inane words.
    –repetitious, inane chords.
    –music from only one decade, or one pop person or group.
    –feelings.
    –”I” words–instead, it focuses on “God” words.

    Examples of beautiful Lutheran hymnody–
    –the haunting loveliness of “Stricken, Smitten, and Afflicted”
    –the lively rhythm of “A Mighty Fortress is Our God,” *original version*
    –the jubilance of the liturgy piece, “This is the Feast of Victory to Our God”

    Lutheranism also claims probably history’s greatest musician–J.S. Bach. :-)

  • Booklover

    “How would you characterize Lutheran music?”

    I’ll change the topic and do my best to answer this question since Ray, #61, brought it up. One always gets in trouble over this topic. :-)

    Let’s see, Lutheran music is characterized by:
    –a definite sense of transcendence.
    –beautiful melodies.
    –theology-laden lyrics.
    –scripture-laden liturgy.
    –classical sound.
    –the sound of many different centuries.

    It is not characterized by:
    –repetitious, inane words.
    –repetitious, inane chords.
    –music from only one decade, or one pop person or group.
    –feelings.
    –”I” words–instead, it focuses on “God” words.

    Examples of beautiful Lutheran hymnody–
    –the haunting loveliness of “Stricken, Smitten, and Afflicted”
    –the lively rhythm of “A Mighty Fortress is Our God,” *original version*
    –the jubilance of the liturgy piece, “This is the Feast of Victory to Our God”

    Lutheranism also claims probably history’s greatest musician–J.S. Bach. :-)

  • Fred

    I used to think alot more of Lutheranism. I guess I have been enlightened, though I have also found out that they have a whole smorgasboard of thought also. They are not far from Rome.

  • Fred

    I used to think alot more of Lutheranism. I guess I have been enlightened, though I have also found out that they have a whole smorgasboard of thought also. They are not far from Rome.

  • Lutheran Legalist :)

    #89 Fred

    Lutheran Legalist :) says geez…..

    Ok. so we are like Rome. Luttheran Legalist :) admits it:

    We AND Rome believe….

    that God is the Father, that he is almighty, that he made the universe. We believe in Jesus His Son , that Mary was His mother, therefore the mother of God, Gods only Son, that he suffered under pontius pilate, was crucified , died and was buried, that He rose again on the third day, that he ascended into heaven , that he sits at the right hand of the father, that he will come again as judge. We believe in the Holy Spirit , that there is a one holy catholic and apostolic church (slight difference here he notes…;) ), we believe in one baptism for the forgiveness of sins, we believe in the resurrection of the body. we believe in the life everlasting.

    OK Fred. so you DON´T believe in any of these things?

    Being a Norwegian, Lutheran Legalist :) DOES like Smorgasboards…..

    Oh. he gets it, you think we are not not united in what we believe. Really. Tell Lutheran Legalist :) more please.

    Are you from Meenesoohta? Geez. Lutheran Legalist :) hasn´t hurd dat der “Smorgasbord” adjective in years.

  • Lutheran Legalist :)

    #89 Fred

    Lutheran Legalist :) says geez…..

    Ok. so we are like Rome. Luttheran Legalist :) admits it:

    We AND Rome believe….

    that God is the Father, that he is almighty, that he made the universe. We believe in Jesus His Son , that Mary was His mother, therefore the mother of God, Gods only Son, that he suffered under pontius pilate, was crucified , died and was buried, that He rose again on the third day, that he ascended into heaven , that he sits at the right hand of the father, that he will come again as judge. We believe in the Holy Spirit , that there is a one holy catholic and apostolic church (slight difference here he notes…;) ), we believe in one baptism for the forgiveness of sins, we believe in the resurrection of the body. we believe in the life everlasting.

    OK Fred. so you DON´T believe in any of these things?

    Being a Norwegian, Lutheran Legalist :) DOES like Smorgasboards…..

    Oh. he gets it, you think we are not not united in what we believe. Really. Tell Lutheran Legalist :) more please.

    Are you from Meenesoohta? Geez. Lutheran Legalist :) hasn´t hurd dat der “Smorgasbord” adjective in years.

  • Lutheran Legalist :)

    #88 Booklover #61 Ray

    Lutheran Legalist :) prefers Hip hop, rap and now Brasilian Pagode and Funk. He was raised on Bach and Baroque. He knows them well.

    He respectfully disagrees with Pastor McCain and most other Lutherans who say “if it ain´t Baroque , fix it!”

    Outsida church Baroque don´t float Lutheran Legalist´s :) boat. He prefers Jayz. Sometimes Bone Thugz. The new Wil-I-am CD is very cool. He is part of the Black Eyed Peas in the unlikely case some here don´t know who he is.

    During the Divine Service, to see how Bach´s music is the humble clasp the holds the Jewel of God´s Word is awe inspiring.

    Suggestion:

    Get a video version of St Matthew´s Passion in German with subtitles. You will be amazed at just how well melody, instrument, and the human voice can be made captive to the Word of God.

    Bach gave up on motets (“musical rounds as in row,row, row your boat”) precisely because you can´t hear the words as clearly. He was REALLY picky about this point. Lutheran Legalist :) loves THIS kinda picky.

    Lutheran Legalist :) finds it interesting and validating to his LLegalism in reading Bach´s biographies, how much the idea of “Order” and “ordinating” things comes up with Bach with regards to the Divine Service and it´s music. Lutheran Legalist also :) resonates richly with the mathematicians who see profound mathematical order, symetry, and ordered complexity underlying the music of Bach.

    Lutheran Legalist :) would be negligent, to fail to mention that for Lutherans “True worship is Trust in Jesus Christ.” This is the official Lutheran definition of worship. You might ask where music is in these 6 words.

    Lutheran music , employed for Lutheran worship, must be all about trust in Jesus. JS Bach is exhibit A for this actually. His music alway, very consciously, takes second place to the “Trust in Jesus Christ” it clasps.

    Leonard Bernstein, Lutheran Legalist :) has read somewhere, was once said to express the wish that he could be a Lutheran Christian for just a moment, so he could then understand how Bach could be so profoundly happy AND sad at the thought of the crucifixion and death of Our Lord.

    Thanks for bringing this up Booklover. You are the coolest!.

  • Lutheran Legalist :)

    #88 Booklover #61 Ray

    Lutheran Legalist :) prefers Hip hop, rap and now Brasilian Pagode and Funk. He was raised on Bach and Baroque. He knows them well.

    He respectfully disagrees with Pastor McCain and most other Lutherans who say “if it ain´t Baroque , fix it!”

    Outsida church Baroque don´t float Lutheran Legalist´s :) boat. He prefers Jayz. Sometimes Bone Thugz. The new Wil-I-am CD is very cool. He is part of the Black Eyed Peas in the unlikely case some here don´t know who he is.

    During the Divine Service, to see how Bach´s music is the humble clasp the holds the Jewel of God´s Word is awe inspiring.

    Suggestion:

    Get a video version of St Matthew´s Passion in German with subtitles. You will be amazed at just how well melody, instrument, and the human voice can be made captive to the Word of God.

    Bach gave up on motets (“musical rounds as in row,row, row your boat”) precisely because you can´t hear the words as clearly. He was REALLY picky about this point. Lutheran Legalist :) loves THIS kinda picky.

    Lutheran Legalist :) finds it interesting and validating to his LLegalism in reading Bach´s biographies, how much the idea of “Order” and “ordinating” things comes up with Bach with regards to the Divine Service and it´s music. Lutheran Legalist also :) resonates richly with the mathematicians who see profound mathematical order, symetry, and ordered complexity underlying the music of Bach.

    Lutheran Legalist :) would be negligent, to fail to mention that for Lutherans “True worship is Trust in Jesus Christ.” This is the official Lutheran definition of worship. You might ask where music is in these 6 words.

    Lutheran music , employed for Lutheran worship, must be all about trust in Jesus. JS Bach is exhibit A for this actually. His music alway, very consciously, takes second place to the “Trust in Jesus Christ” it clasps.

    Leonard Bernstein, Lutheran Legalist :) has read somewhere, was once said to express the wish that he could be a Lutheran Christian for just a moment, so he could then understand how Bach could be so profoundly happy AND sad at the thought of the crucifixion and death of Our Lord.

    Thanks for bringing this up Booklover. You are the coolest!.

  • http://bestronginthegrace.blogspot.com Theresa K.

    I guess smiley faces win out over boring old church history today…. oh well.

  • http://bestronginthegrace.blogspot.com Theresa K.

    I guess smiley faces win out over boring old church history today…. oh well.

  • Lutheran Legalist :)

    #92 Theresa K.

    What u got somn against happy?

  • Lutheran Legalist :)

    #92 Theresa K.

    What u got somn against happy?

  • Ray

    Booklover #88

    There are a few of us Puritanical Baptists left who share your appreciation for fine church music. But, often our choice of music, in part, labels us as legalistic. And I agree, Bach is probably history’s greatest musician.

    Lutheran Legalist :-) , though my church music standards mirror Booklover’s, and most of my CD’s are in the so-called serious music vein, I do listen to the oldies station in my car during my daily commute.

  • Ray

    Booklover #88

    There are a few of us Puritanical Baptists left who share your appreciation for fine church music. But, often our choice of music, in part, labels us as legalistic. And I agree, Bach is probably history’s greatest musician.

    Lutheran Legalist :-) , though my church music standards mirror Booklover’s, and most of my CD’s are in the so-called serious music vein, I do listen to the oldies station in my car during my daily commute.

  • Dan

    How did a worthwhile debate about doctrine, salvation, and church history degenerate into worthless tirade about legalism, cursing, and homosexuality?

    Unfortunately, this thread has become a microcosm of our age.

  • Dan

    How did a worthwhile debate about doctrine, salvation, and church history degenerate into worthless tirade about legalism, cursing, and homosexuality?

    Unfortunately, this thread has become a microcosm of our age.

  • kerner

    Easy there Fred. Watch out for those “close to Rome” statements. What we Lutherans try to do is find Biblical truth. We do this by consistently taking Scripture at face value, and trying not to twist it into something we would like it to be (this is not to say we do this perfectly, but that’s another topic).

    The Lutheran reformers sought reformation of, not separation from, the western church of their day. However, separation is what they received in the form of excommunication and the anathemas of the council of Trent. But even today, Lutherans do not define Scriptural truth in terms of its distance from Rome, or in terms of its distance from Calvinism for that matter. Where Rome swerves close to the truth (in spite of itself perhaps) then we have no choice but to be close to Rome. When Calvinists, in their haste to run away from Rome, run away from the truth as well, then they run away from Lutherans too.

    To really understand Lutheran doctrine, you have to read the Lutheran confessions, which I have found to be amazingly interconnected and internally consistent.

    You can find them here: http://www.bookofconcord.org/whatisalutheran.html

  • kerner

    Easy there Fred. Watch out for those “close to Rome” statements. What we Lutherans try to do is find Biblical truth. We do this by consistently taking Scripture at face value, and trying not to twist it into something we would like it to be (this is not to say we do this perfectly, but that’s another topic).

    The Lutheran reformers sought reformation of, not separation from, the western church of their day. However, separation is what they received in the form of excommunication and the anathemas of the council of Trent. But even today, Lutherans do not define Scriptural truth in terms of its distance from Rome, or in terms of its distance from Calvinism for that matter. Where Rome swerves close to the truth (in spite of itself perhaps) then we have no choice but to be close to Rome. When Calvinists, in their haste to run away from Rome, run away from the truth as well, then they run away from Lutherans too.

    To really understand Lutheran doctrine, you have to read the Lutheran confessions, which I have found to be amazingly interconnected and internally consistent.

    You can find them here: http://www.bookofconcord.org/whatisalutheran.html

  • Bror Erickson

    Kerner,
    good post. I think it should also be said, that froma lutheran perspective Rome and Geneva are in the same legalistic ditch. And we are not the only ones who share that perspective. What ever might be said of Pullman, I think he reflects this view well locating the Vatican in Geneva, and envisioning a Pope John Calvin. I’m fairly sure Pullman though is no more enamoured with Lutheranism, as he seems to hate religion in general. My thought is that his only experiences with religion were Roman, and Calvinism. I would be turned off too.

  • Bror Erickson

    Kerner,
    good post. I think it should also be said, that froma lutheran perspective Rome and Geneva are in the same legalistic ditch. And we are not the only ones who share that perspective. What ever might be said of Pullman, I think he reflects this view well locating the Vatican in Geneva, and envisioning a Pope John Calvin. I’m fairly sure Pullman though is no more enamoured with Lutheranism, as he seems to hate religion in general. My thought is that his only experiences with religion were Roman, and Calvinism. I would be turned off too.

  • Bror Erickson

    Dan,
    I think to answer you rhetorical question, it is that You and Fred stopped probing.

  • Bror Erickson

    Dan,
    I think to answer you rhetorical question, it is that You and Fred stopped probing.

  • http://lutheransandcontraception.blogspot.com Erich Heidenreich, DDS

    Theresa has made an excellent point. There is much confusion out there about what true Lutheranism teaches and practices because there are so many churches out there which are unfortunately either Lutheran in name only or in serious error in practice and teaching. Since these account for the majority of “Lutheran” churches out there, many people think Lutheranism is something it isn’t.

    However, some clear and significant differences between Lutheranism and Calvinism have been born out very clearly in this conversation (such as universal objective justification vs. limited atonement). At the same time, many of the objections to Lutheranism have been shown to be false (for instance the false allegation that we’re soft on missions or don’t confess much on eschatology).

    What I found most eye-opening was Kevin N’s comment #20 as follows:

    “I have no problem with saying that the bread and wine are the body and blood of Christ, but Lutherans tend to over-emphasize the forgiveness aspect of communion.”

    That someone could make such a combined statement is truly mind-blowing to me. I’m still trying to digest that concept. I already knew why people believe in a limited atonement, but I can’t fathom how someone could believe the Sacrament is the true body and blood of Christ yet think one could over-emphasize the forgiveness aspect of it.

    I could conceive of someone denying the real presence, but not denying that communion is all about forgiveness. How can anyone miss the fact that Christ’s body and blood is given for the forgiveness of sins? What else could it be for?

    Is such a concept found in any denomination’s official teaching?

  • http://lutheransandcontraception.blogspot.com Erich Heidenreich, DDS

    Theresa has made an excellent point. There is much confusion out there about what true Lutheranism teaches and practices because there are so many churches out there which are unfortunately either Lutheran in name only or in serious error in practice and teaching. Since these account for the majority of “Lutheran” churches out there, many people think Lutheranism is something it isn’t.

    However, some clear and significant differences between Lutheranism and Calvinism have been born out very clearly in this conversation (such as universal objective justification vs. limited atonement). At the same time, many of the objections to Lutheranism have been shown to be false (for instance the false allegation that we’re soft on missions or don’t confess much on eschatology).

    What I found most eye-opening was Kevin N’s comment #20 as follows:

    “I have no problem with saying that the bread and wine are the body and blood of Christ, but Lutherans tend to over-emphasize the forgiveness aspect of communion.”

    That someone could make such a combined statement is truly mind-blowing to me. I’m still trying to digest that concept. I already knew why people believe in a limited atonement, but I can’t fathom how someone could believe the Sacrament is the true body and blood of Christ yet think one could over-emphasize the forgiveness aspect of it.

    I could conceive of someone denying the real presence, but not denying that communion is all about forgiveness. How can anyone miss the fact that Christ’s body and blood is given for the forgiveness of sins? What else could it be for?

    Is such a concept found in any denomination’s official teaching?

  • http://geochristian.wordpress.com Kevin N

    Erich and others:

    My hope is the evangelicals can learn from Lutherans, and even that Lutherans can learn from evangelicals. But that cannot happen when we talk past each other without defining terms. Again, I think that strengths of the Lutheran church include stability in doctrine and practice, and a focus on Christ and what he has done for us rather than on what we need to do for him.

    I feel misunderstood on the whole issue of forgiveness in communion (and confession). You stated, “How can anyone miss the fact that Christ’s body and blood is given for the forgiveness of sins? What else could it be for?” I agree with this 100%. Christ’s sacrifice was a propitiation for my sins, the righteous for the unrighteous. All of my sins were atoned for and I am completely forgiven because of what he has done for me. I think all of us here are in agreement on that. Even the sins that I commit after communion, or the sins that I don’t even know I need to confess. I think we are all in agreement on that as well.

    I know I am in need of the reminders of forgiveness every day. I need the gospel every day, because I sin every day. The gospel isn’t just a message to convert lost sinners to Christ, it is good news for me every moment of my life.

    So I ask again, what do you mean by “forgiveness”? The only answer I have received so far is that by “forgiveness” you mean “forgiveness.” That implies that I wasn’t forgiven in some sense before I took communion or confessed my sins. In what sense was I not forgiven before I took communion? My understanding is that I was already 100% forgiven before communion, because Christ’s work on the cross is 100% effective. So, the forgiveness I receive through communion or confession has to be of a different nature than the forgiveness I already have.

    I’m really trying to understand the distinction between forgiveness and forgiveness in Lutheran theology.

  • http://geochristian.wordpress.com Kevin N

    Erich and others:

    My hope is the evangelicals can learn from Lutherans, and even that Lutherans can learn from evangelicals. But that cannot happen when we talk past each other without defining terms. Again, I think that strengths of the Lutheran church include stability in doctrine and practice, and a focus on Christ and what he has done for us rather than on what we need to do for him.

    I feel misunderstood on the whole issue of forgiveness in communion (and confession). You stated, “How can anyone miss the fact that Christ’s body and blood is given for the forgiveness of sins? What else could it be for?” I agree with this 100%. Christ’s sacrifice was a propitiation for my sins, the righteous for the unrighteous. All of my sins were atoned for and I am completely forgiven because of what he has done for me. I think all of us here are in agreement on that. Even the sins that I commit after communion, or the sins that I don’t even know I need to confess. I think we are all in agreement on that as well.

    I know I am in need of the reminders of forgiveness every day. I need the gospel every day, because I sin every day. The gospel isn’t just a message to convert lost sinners to Christ, it is good news for me every moment of my life.

    So I ask again, what do you mean by “forgiveness”? The only answer I have received so far is that by “forgiveness” you mean “forgiveness.” That implies that I wasn’t forgiven in some sense before I took communion or confessed my sins. In what sense was I not forgiven before I took communion? My understanding is that I was already 100% forgiven before communion, because Christ’s work on the cross is 100% effective. So, the forgiveness I receive through communion or confession has to be of a different nature than the forgiveness I already have.

    I’m really trying to understand the distinction between forgiveness and forgiveness in Lutheran theology.

  • Bror Erickson

    Kevin,
    There is no distinction, that’s the thing. But we aren’t reminded of forgiveness in confession and absolution, or in Communion, or in Baptism. We are forgiven, plain and simple. now are there other benefits to these means of Grace? Yes, but forgiveness is primary.
    So are you not forgiven if you don’t take communion? well maybe that depends on why you aren’t taking communion. If it is because you are living an open and unrepentant sinful life for which the pastor has had to ask that you don’t come. Then no, you are not forgiven.
    Nor are you then forgiven when the pastor announces the general absolution, for that matter.
    But if it was because your car broke down and you couldn’t make it well then yes your sins are still forgiven.
    But there is no distinction in forgiveness, not within Lutheran Theology.

  • Bror Erickson

    Kevin,
    There is no distinction, that’s the thing. But we aren’t reminded of forgiveness in confession and absolution, or in Communion, or in Baptism. We are forgiven, plain and simple. now are there other benefits to these means of Grace? Yes, but forgiveness is primary.
    So are you not forgiven if you don’t take communion? well maybe that depends on why you aren’t taking communion. If it is because you are living an open and unrepentant sinful life for which the pastor has had to ask that you don’t come. Then no, you are not forgiven.
    Nor are you then forgiven when the pastor announces the general absolution, for that matter.
    But if it was because your car broke down and you couldn’t make it well then yes your sins are still forgiven.
    But there is no distinction in forgiveness, not within Lutheran Theology.

  • Another Kerner

    Hello Kevin……

    You are correct…….defining terms is very important.
    And sometimes a discourse like this one is a little more difficult because of its obvious limitations.

    Sometimes we talk around and past each other, not intending some of the results.

    Lutherans regard Scripture, Baptism and Communion as a “means of grace”.

    “The Lord’s supper is a means of grace by which the forgiveness of sins is preached” (Smalcald Articles Part III, Art.IV).

    In the Sacrament of Communion Christ confirms, seals and assures us of His “gracious forgiveness of sins”.

    “The Sacrament was instituted for the purpose of being a seal and a testimony of the free remission of sins, and accordingly it ought to admonish alarmed consciences to be *truly* confident and believe that their sins are freely remitted.”
    (See Apology, Art XXIV [XII])

    We receive forgiveness of sins when we receive Communion.
    The Pastor tells us at the communion rail that Christ’s body and blood was “given for you”, “poured out for you”.

    Christ said, “Drink ye all of it: this cup is the New Testament in My blood, which is shed for you for the remission of sins”.
    Matt. 26:28

    And where there is remission of sins, there is life and salvation.

    Hope that helps a bit.

    May I suggest that you might like to consider reading Luther’s Small Catechism (Or even Luther’s Large Catechism).

    I have found that reading through some Calvinist documents has been very helpful to me in grasping some of the differences in nomenclature and understanding the doctrine and how it differs from Lutheran doctrine.

    And, as we already believe together, Heaven is ahead of all of us who believe in the finished work of Christ on the Cross.

    We can all say Amen to that!!

  • Another Kerner

    Hello Kevin……

    You are correct…….defining terms is very important.
    And sometimes a discourse like this one is a little more difficult because of its obvious limitations.

    Sometimes we talk around and past each other, not intending some of the results.

    Lutherans regard Scripture, Baptism and Communion as a “means of grace”.

    “The Lord’s supper is a means of grace by which the forgiveness of sins is preached” (Smalcald Articles Part III, Art.IV).

    In the Sacrament of Communion Christ confirms, seals and assures us of His “gracious forgiveness of sins”.

    “The Sacrament was instituted for the purpose of being a seal and a testimony of the free remission of sins, and accordingly it ought to admonish alarmed consciences to be *truly* confident and believe that their sins are freely remitted.”
    (See Apology, Art XXIV [XII])

    We receive forgiveness of sins when we receive Communion.
    The Pastor tells us at the communion rail that Christ’s body and blood was “given for you”, “poured out for you”.

    Christ said, “Drink ye all of it: this cup is the New Testament in My blood, which is shed for you for the remission of sins”.
    Matt. 26:28

    And where there is remission of sins, there is life and salvation.

    Hope that helps a bit.

    May I suggest that you might like to consider reading Luther’s Small Catechism (Or even Luther’s Large Catechism).

    I have found that reading through some Calvinist documents has been very helpful to me in grasping some of the differences in nomenclature and understanding the doctrine and how it differs from Lutheran doctrine.

    And, as we already believe together, Heaven is ahead of all of us who believe in the finished work of Christ on the Cross.

    We can all say Amen to that!!

  • Erich Heidenreich, DDS

    “That implies that I wasn’t forgiven in some sense before I took communion or confessed my sins.” ~Kevin

    You’re thinking too much in terms of time lines, but if I may borrow your thinking for a moment, please permit me an analogy. If I eat supper tonight, does that imply I didn’t eat lunch? Forgiveness is fed to us in many ways. The fact that I receive it in the Lord’s Supper does not imply that I did not receive it in the corporate absolution.

    You wouldn’t say “once fed, always fed.” You want to continue being fed throughout the day and throughout your life. So why would you say “once forgiven, always forgiven?” Of course it’s true, if understood correctly, but I hope you get what I mean.

    We need forgiveness in much the same way we need nourishment. Thankfully, we don’t need to wait until the next time the Lord’s Supper is served in order to be fed this forgiveness. It is present in the Word, which is always available to us. God provides a banquet of forgiveness to us in the divine service, but he also provides a constant source of sustenance in His Word, especially the Lord’s Prayer – a prayer in which Christ instructs us to pray for and receive forgiveness.

    If your attitude is “once forgiven, always forgiven,” then why pray to God to forgive you? Why did the Lord give us this prayer? So we could appeal to God for His forgiveness whenever and wherever we are. Why ask for something we “already” have? Because we know He gives it to us when we ask.

    The means of grace are the ways in which God serves us abundant helpings of forgiveness. Forgiveness is something you can never get too much of! Each time we partake of a means of grace, it’s not just a fuzzy reminder, like a picture of a good meal to remind us of what we once enjoyed. It’s another heaping helping of the same perfect food that never runs out (think of the feeding of the five thousand).

    Christ’s body and blood is provided in the same endless supply, and always for the forgiveness of sins! Yes, that forgiveness was won for us, once and for all, on the cross. We receive it through the Word of the gospel, and through the washing holy baptism. And it is also delivered to us in abundant, unending, physical form through the eating of the Lord’s very body and blood in the Sacrament. And if all that isn’t enough and we find ourselves hungering for forgiveness, we have the Word, especially the Lord’s prayer. We are never without the means of grace.

    I suppose one might ask: can Christians survive without the Sacrament? But this is really the wrong question.

    If you go to a restaurant, why settle for just the water or just the appetizer when the whole menu is offered to us FREE!

    Christ says “take eat!”

  • Erich Heidenreich, DDS

    “That implies that I wasn’t forgiven in some sense before I took communion or confessed my sins.” ~Kevin

    You’re thinking too much in terms of time lines, but if I may borrow your thinking for a moment, please permit me an analogy. If I eat supper tonight, does that imply I didn’t eat lunch? Forgiveness is fed to us in many ways. The fact that I receive it in the Lord’s Supper does not imply that I did not receive it in the corporate absolution.

    You wouldn’t say “once fed, always fed.” You want to continue being fed throughout the day and throughout your life. So why would you say “once forgiven, always forgiven?” Of course it’s true, if understood correctly, but I hope you get what I mean.

    We need forgiveness in much the same way we need nourishment. Thankfully, we don’t need to wait until the next time the Lord’s Supper is served in order to be fed this forgiveness. It is present in the Word, which is always available to us. God provides a banquet of forgiveness to us in the divine service, but he also provides a constant source of sustenance in His Word, especially the Lord’s Prayer – a prayer in which Christ instructs us to pray for and receive forgiveness.

    If your attitude is “once forgiven, always forgiven,” then why pray to God to forgive you? Why did the Lord give us this prayer? So we could appeal to God for His forgiveness whenever and wherever we are. Why ask for something we “already” have? Because we know He gives it to us when we ask.

    The means of grace are the ways in which God serves us abundant helpings of forgiveness. Forgiveness is something you can never get too much of! Each time we partake of a means of grace, it’s not just a fuzzy reminder, like a picture of a good meal to remind us of what we once enjoyed. It’s another heaping helping of the same perfect food that never runs out (think of the feeding of the five thousand).

    Christ’s body and blood is provided in the same endless supply, and always for the forgiveness of sins! Yes, that forgiveness was won for us, once and for all, on the cross. We receive it through the Word of the gospel, and through the washing holy baptism. And it is also delivered to us in abundant, unending, physical form through the eating of the Lord’s very body and blood in the Sacrament. And if all that isn’t enough and we find ourselves hungering for forgiveness, we have the Word, especially the Lord’s prayer. We are never without the means of grace.

    I suppose one might ask: can Christians survive without the Sacrament? But this is really the wrong question.

    If you go to a restaurant, why settle for just the water or just the appetizer when the whole menu is offered to us FREE!

    Christ says “take eat!”

  • WebMonk

    I’m with Kevin on this one guys. Lutherans talk in circles on this subject.

    For one, non-Lutherans don’t have the Lord’s Supper in any meaningful way (according to Lutherans). That’s why we aren’t allowed to have communion when visiting a Lutheran church – we would be doing the whole drinking judgment upon ourselves – which means no forgiveness, at the very least. So basically, nobody outside of the LCMS (and co-communicants) is really receiving the Lord’s Supper.

    A Lutheran rightly believes he is forgiven of all sins before taking the Supper. Upon taking the Supper, he receives forgiveness for what? He was already forgiven of all sins. The Supper can’t bring about more forgiveness – we’re already totally forgiven. The Supper isn’t part of bringing about forgiveness because Christians who never receive the Supper are saved. Remember, no one outside the LCMS actually receives a real Supper, but they are still saved by complete and full forgiveness.

    I think that’s a bit of a non-sequitor within the Lutheran theology because the theology misinterprets the Lord’s Supper.

    The Lord’s Supper was instituted as a remembrance, not to actualize forgiveness. The blood of Christ pays the sins, and while the wine (juice) we take is the blood of Christ, we do not take it to receive forgiveness, but to remember the sacrifice of Christ. It is a misuse of the blood of Christ to take it for a purpose that He did not give.

    I know Lutherans will disagree with this, and I’ve gone ’round and ’round with a couple.

  • WebMonk

    I’m with Kevin on this one guys. Lutherans talk in circles on this subject.

    For one, non-Lutherans don’t have the Lord’s Supper in any meaningful way (according to Lutherans). That’s why we aren’t allowed to have communion when visiting a Lutheran church – we would be doing the whole drinking judgment upon ourselves – which means no forgiveness, at the very least. So basically, nobody outside of the LCMS (and co-communicants) is really receiving the Lord’s Supper.

    A Lutheran rightly believes he is forgiven of all sins before taking the Supper. Upon taking the Supper, he receives forgiveness for what? He was already forgiven of all sins. The Supper can’t bring about more forgiveness – we’re already totally forgiven. The Supper isn’t part of bringing about forgiveness because Christians who never receive the Supper are saved. Remember, no one outside the LCMS actually receives a real Supper, but they are still saved by complete and full forgiveness.

    I think that’s a bit of a non-sequitor within the Lutheran theology because the theology misinterprets the Lord’s Supper.

    The Lord’s Supper was instituted as a remembrance, not to actualize forgiveness. The blood of Christ pays the sins, and while the wine (juice) we take is the blood of Christ, we do not take it to receive forgiveness, but to remember the sacrifice of Christ. It is a misuse of the blood of Christ to take it for a purpose that He did not give.

    I know Lutherans will disagree with this, and I’ve gone ’round and ’round with a couple.

  • http://lutheransandcontraception.blogspot.com Erich Heidenreich, DDS

    WebMonk wrote: “For one, non-Lutherans don’t have the Lord’s Supper in any meaningful way (according to Lutherans).”

    REPLY: Actually, that is absolutely false. Even if you do not believe in the real presence we do not claim to know what it is you have or do not have. We simply do not know what it is you have, and we would refrain from partaking of it ourselves. Out of love, we also fear that you may be taking it in a very meaningful but negative way.

    WebMonk wrote: “That’s why we aren’t allowed to have communion when visiting a Lutheran church – we would be doing the whole drinking judgment upon ourselves – which means no forgiveness, at the very least.”

    REPLY: This shows an ignorance of the historic practice of closed communion. There are two important reasons for closed communion. One is out of love for those who do not believe the body and blood of the Lord actually partaking of the Sacrament in our church, in which we KNOW that we have the true body and blood of the Lord. Those are the ones who drink judgment unto themselves according to Scripture. The other reason is that we believe what the Word says about communion being a confession of faith. By communing with others you express that you agree with them. We do not commune with those with whom we are not in doctrinal agreement. This is the historic Christian practice, and it squares perfectly with Scripture.

    WebMonk wrote: “So basically, nobody outside of the LCMS (and co-communicants) is really receiving the Lord’s Supper.”

    REPLY: False. We believe that those who teach the real presence most certainly have the true body and blood of Christ. This includes the majority of Christians, including Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, and a few others. As for those who deny the words “this IS my body/blood,” we simply do not know what it is they are doing when they have “communion.”

    WebMonk wrote: “A Lutheran rightly believes he is forgiven of all sins before taking the Supper. Upon taking the Supper, he receives forgiveness for what?”

    REPLY: His sins!

    WebMonk wrote: “He was already forgiven of all sins. The Supper can’t bring about more forgiveness – we’re already totally forgiven.”

    REPLY: Perhaps your wording explains your misunderstanding of Lutheran theology. The Supper does not “bring about” more forgiveness. Christ already obtained full forgiveness for all sin. But the various means of grace deliver this forgiveness to us. This goes back to the doctrine of universal atonement. Christ paid for the sins of the world. We call this “objective justification.” However, justification does no one any good if it isn’t received. We call that “subjective justification.” Unlike those who believe in decision theology, subjective justification is not looked at as something that occurred at a specific time in the conversion process. The point at which someone is converted is a moment in time, but justification is something which we don’t experience and then get past. It is like repentance. We live IN it. We live a life of repentance and justification. It’s not a teeter-totter either. We don’t bounce back and forth between repentance and forgiveness. We don’t say we “were” forgiven. We say we “are” forgiven.

    WebMonk wrote: “The Supper isn’t part of bringing about forgiveness because Christians who never receive the Supper are saved.”

    REPLY: Other than the distinction I just made about “bringing about,” this is also a completely false statement. It’s like saying serving dinner doesn’t feed anyone because they’ve already been fed to the fullest at lunch.

    WebMonk wrote: “Remember, no one outside the LCMS actually receives a real Supper, but they are still saved by complete and full forgiveness.”

    REPLY: As I already explained, the first half of this statement is false, but the second half of the statement is most certainly true.

    WebMonk wrote: “I think that’s a bit of a non-sequitor within the Lutheran theology because the theology misinterprets the Lord’s Supper.”

    REPLY: But it most certainly DOES follow from our theology, even if you disagree with it. And how, pray tell, does our theology misinterpret the Lord’s Supper?

    WebMonk wrote: “The Lord’s Supper was instituted as a remembrance, not to actualize forgiveness.”

    REPLY: It’s not an either/or, but a both/and. But, more specifically, it is a proclamation (confession) more than a “remembrance.” But don’t forget the words of Christ who instituted the Supper: “for the forgiveness of sins.”

    WebMonk wrote: “The blood of Christ pays the sins, and while the wine (juice) we take is the blood of Christ,”

    REPLY: OK, here I have to stop you. What do you mean when you say “..IS the blood of Christ?” I guess that depends on what the definition of the word “IS” is. ARGGHHH!

    WebMonk wrote: “…we do not take it to receive forgiveness, but to remember the sacrifice of Christ.”

    REPLY: Why one and not the other? Why remembrance only when Christ says it is for forgiveness?

    WebMonk wrote: “It is a misuse of the blood of Christ to take it for a purpose that He did not give.”

    REPLY: I couldn’t agree with you more. But you forgiveness is the expressed purpose given by Christ himself!

    WebMonk wrote: “I know Lutherans will disagree with this, and I’ve gone ’round and ’round with a couple.”

    REPLY: Your misunderstanding of Lutheran theology shows you either weren’t paying attention or that you need to go ’round a few more times with someone who knows what he’s talking about.

  • http://lutheransandcontraception.blogspot.com Erich Heidenreich, DDS

    WebMonk wrote: “For one, non-Lutherans don’t have the Lord’s Supper in any meaningful way (according to Lutherans).”

    REPLY: Actually, that is absolutely false. Even if you do not believe in the real presence we do not claim to know what it is you have or do not have. We simply do not know what it is you have, and we would refrain from partaking of it ourselves. Out of love, we also fear that you may be taking it in a very meaningful but negative way.

    WebMonk wrote: “That’s why we aren’t allowed to have communion when visiting a Lutheran church – we would be doing the whole drinking judgment upon ourselves – which means no forgiveness, at the very least.”

    REPLY: This shows an ignorance of the historic practice of closed communion. There are two important reasons for closed communion. One is out of love for those who do not believe the body and blood of the Lord actually partaking of the Sacrament in our church, in which we KNOW that we have the true body and blood of the Lord. Those are the ones who drink judgment unto themselves according to Scripture. The other reason is that we believe what the Word says about communion being a confession of faith. By communing with others you express that you agree with them. We do not commune with those with whom we are not in doctrinal agreement. This is the historic Christian practice, and it squares perfectly with Scripture.

    WebMonk wrote: “So basically, nobody outside of the LCMS (and co-communicants) is really receiving the Lord’s Supper.”

    REPLY: False. We believe that those who teach the real presence most certainly have the true body and blood of Christ. This includes the majority of Christians, including Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, and a few others. As for those who deny the words “this IS my body/blood,” we simply do not know what it is they are doing when they have “communion.”

    WebMonk wrote: “A Lutheran rightly believes he is forgiven of all sins before taking the Supper. Upon taking the Supper, he receives forgiveness for what?”

    REPLY: His sins!

    WebMonk wrote: “He was already forgiven of all sins. The Supper can’t bring about more forgiveness – we’re already totally forgiven.”

    REPLY: Perhaps your wording explains your misunderstanding of Lutheran theology. The Supper does not “bring about” more forgiveness. Christ already obtained full forgiveness for all sin. But the various means of grace deliver this forgiveness to us. This goes back to the doctrine of universal atonement. Christ paid for the sins of the world. We call this “objective justification.” However, justification does no one any good if it isn’t received. We call that “subjective justification.” Unlike those who believe in decision theology, subjective justification is not looked at as something that occurred at a specific time in the conversion process. The point at which someone is converted is a moment in time, but justification is something which we don’t experience and then get past. It is like repentance. We live IN it. We live a life of repentance and justification. It’s not a teeter-totter either. We don’t bounce back and forth between repentance and forgiveness. We don’t say we “were” forgiven. We say we “are” forgiven.

    WebMonk wrote: “The Supper isn’t part of bringing about forgiveness because Christians who never receive the Supper are saved.”

    REPLY: Other than the distinction I just made about “bringing about,” this is also a completely false statement. It’s like saying serving dinner doesn’t feed anyone because they’ve already been fed to the fullest at lunch.

    WebMonk wrote: “Remember, no one outside the LCMS actually receives a real Supper, but they are still saved by complete and full forgiveness.”

    REPLY: As I already explained, the first half of this statement is false, but the second half of the statement is most certainly true.

    WebMonk wrote: “I think that’s a bit of a non-sequitor within the Lutheran theology because the theology misinterprets the Lord’s Supper.”

    REPLY: But it most certainly DOES follow from our theology, even if you disagree with it. And how, pray tell, does our theology misinterpret the Lord’s Supper?

    WebMonk wrote: “The Lord’s Supper was instituted as a remembrance, not to actualize forgiveness.”

    REPLY: It’s not an either/or, but a both/and. But, more specifically, it is a proclamation (confession) more than a “remembrance.” But don’t forget the words of Christ who instituted the Supper: “for the forgiveness of sins.”

    WebMonk wrote: “The blood of Christ pays the sins, and while the wine (juice) we take is the blood of Christ,”

    REPLY: OK, here I have to stop you. What do you mean when you say “..IS the blood of Christ?” I guess that depends on what the definition of the word “IS” is. ARGGHHH!

    WebMonk wrote: “…we do not take it to receive forgiveness, but to remember the sacrifice of Christ.”

    REPLY: Why one and not the other? Why remembrance only when Christ says it is for forgiveness?

    WebMonk wrote: “It is a misuse of the blood of Christ to take it for a purpose that He did not give.”

    REPLY: I couldn’t agree with you more. But you forgiveness is the expressed purpose given by Christ himself!

    WebMonk wrote: “I know Lutherans will disagree with this, and I’ve gone ’round and ’round with a couple.”

    REPLY: Your misunderstanding of Lutheran theology shows you either weren’t paying attention or that you need to go ’round a few more times with someone who knows what he’s talking about.

  • Bror Erickson

    Erich,
    Good job.
    Webmonk,
    It really is about just holding to what the word of god say’s not just part, but the whole. To do a hatchet job on the Lord’s Supper, and to say it is for rememberance, but not forgiveness, despite the fact that both those aspects are refferred to explicitly, shows a willingness to ignore God’s word, especially when it talks about forgiveness.
    These word’s were spoken on thight that jesus was beterayed, when jesus was watching his impending death approach, they should not be taken lightly. Jesus Himself says of the Lord’s Supper that it IS the New Testament. Showing that He Himself took this very seriously.
    just as the Israelites had to eat the passover lamb. So we Christians are to eat ours. Sacrifices in the Old Testament were allways eaten by someone. It was through eating that they received the benefits of the sacrifice.

  • Bror Erickson

    Erich,
    Good job.
    Webmonk,
    It really is about just holding to what the word of god say’s not just part, but the whole. To do a hatchet job on the Lord’s Supper, and to say it is for rememberance, but not forgiveness, despite the fact that both those aspects are refferred to explicitly, shows a willingness to ignore God’s word, especially when it talks about forgiveness.
    These word’s were spoken on thight that jesus was beterayed, when jesus was watching his impending death approach, they should not be taken lightly. Jesus Himself says of the Lord’s Supper that it IS the New Testament. Showing that He Himself took this very seriously.
    just as the Israelites had to eat the passover lamb. So we Christians are to eat ours. Sacrifices in the Old Testament were allways eaten by someone. It was through eating that they received the benefits of the sacrifice.

  • WebMonk

    Obviously you’ve read the Bible an the passages in which Jesus institutes the Lord’s Supper. I’m sure you’ve read all the other passages about the Lord’s Supper. Where does it say that the Lord’s Supper gives forgiveness to the partaker? Christ’s blood is poured out for forgiveness, but “poured out” isn’t referring to being poured out from a pitcher or cup – it’s referring to his blood pouring out from his body on the cross.

    I may be insulting y’alls intelligence here, but I’ll still quote scripture.

    Mt 26:27-28 “Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”
    Mk 14:24 “This is my blood of the covenant which is poured out for many.”
    Lk 22:19-20 “This is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me. Likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.”
    1Cor 11:26 “For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.”

    Nowhere does it say anything about the wine/blood being drunk for forgiveness. It is always poured out for forgiveness. I have no trouble accepting that things can have two purposes, remembrance and forgiveness, but the Bible only gives the one purpose for the taking of the Lord’s Supper.

    If there’s somewhere that the Bible says the Lord’s Supper is taken to receive forgiveness, I would certainly appreciate if someone would point it out. I have been wrong before, and will be wrong again, but until someone shows me my error I’m not about to change just because of unbacked-up accusations.

    Is the Lord’s Supper about forgiveness? Absolutely! Does it transmit or forgiveness? Not that the Bible says.

    Erich, I realize that I don’t understand what Lutherans mean by what they say. I’ve gotten used to the fact that while they say one thing, it usually means something quite different from what every non-Lutheran understand it to mean.

    So I’ve long since stopped trying to say in my own words what Lutherans believe. Every single thing I said in the 2nd and 3rd paragraph above is a statement as close to verbatim as I could make it from a talk or posting by a Lutheran.

    My sentence “For one, non-Lutherans don’t have the Lord’s Supper in any meaningful way (according to Lutherans).” was a direct quote from another discussion. I should have changed the quote to say “in a positive meaningful way.” Every Lutheran I’ve talked with agrees with what you’ve stated – that the Supper is still meaningful when a Baptist takes it, but meaningful in a very negative consequence. That’s what the guy who said that meant, but his further explanation of “meaningful” wasn’t concise enough to include here.

    You’re actually in the minority of Lutherans I’ve talked with in your statement that Catholics and EO’s have a valid/beneficial Supper. Most of them said that errors in Catholic and EO understanding of the Supper disqualify them from having a beneficial Supper, the same as Presbys, Bapts, and AOGers.

    “That’s why we aren’t allowed to have communion when visiting a Lutheran church – we would be doing the whole drinking judgment upon ourselves – which means no forgiveness, at the very least.” This is an exact quote from a Lutheran about why they don’t allow people to have Communion in their churches except that I changed the voice. Besides, you agreed with the statement, just added another reason non-Lutherans aren’t allowed to partake in the Communion in a Lutheran church.

    I can go through each sentence in the second and third paragraphs and talk one-by-one about how they are each quotes from other Lutherans, but I hate the uber-long comments and this is too long for my comfort already.

    Suffice it to say that they are. As for the rest of the comment – show from scripture how eating and drinking of the Lord’s Supper actually gives forgiveness. If you can show that, THEN you have a leg to stand on in all your statements.

    Bror -
    “Sacrifices in the OT were always eaten by someone. It was through eating that they received the benefits of the sacrifice.”
    No they weren’t – many were to be burnt whole. Many were to have a part given as a tithe given to the priests, and then burnt. Very few were to be eaten, only the Passover lamb was to be wholly eaten. What is said of how the Passover lamb brings God’s mercy?

    Ex 12:13 “The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you….”
    Ex 12:23 “For the Lord will pass through to strike the Egyptians, and when he sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the Lord will pass over the door….”

    Doing a hatchet job on scriptures to claim that Christ was saying that the Supper was to be taken as part of receiving forgiveness is a shame. Show me how you aren’t doing a hatchet job before you say I’m doing a hatchet job.

  • WebMonk

    Obviously you’ve read the Bible an the passages in which Jesus institutes the Lord’s Supper. I’m sure you’ve read all the other passages about the Lord’s Supper. Where does it say that the Lord’s Supper gives forgiveness to the partaker? Christ’s blood is poured out for forgiveness, but “poured out” isn’t referring to being poured out from a pitcher or cup – it’s referring to his blood pouring out from his body on the cross.

    I may be insulting y’alls intelligence here, but I’ll still quote scripture.

    Mt 26:27-28 “Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”
    Mk 14:24 “This is my blood of the covenant which is poured out for many.”
    Lk 22:19-20 “This is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me. Likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.”
    1Cor 11:26 “For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.”

    Nowhere does it say anything about the wine/blood being drunk for forgiveness. It is always poured out for forgiveness. I have no trouble accepting that things can have two purposes, remembrance and forgiveness, but the Bible only gives the one purpose for the taking of the Lord’s Supper.

    If there’s somewhere that the Bible says the Lord’s Supper is taken to receive forgiveness, I would certainly appreciate if someone would point it out. I have been wrong before, and will be wrong again, but until someone shows me my error I’m not about to change just because of unbacked-up accusations.

    Is the Lord’s Supper about forgiveness? Absolutely! Does it transmit or forgiveness? Not that the Bible says.

    Erich, I realize that I don’t understand what Lutherans mean by what they say. I’ve gotten used to the fact that while they say one thing, it usually means something quite different from what every non-Lutheran understand it to mean.

    So I’ve long since stopped trying to say in my own words what Lutherans believe. Every single thing I said in the 2nd and 3rd paragraph above is a statement as close to verbatim as I could make it from a talk or posting by a Lutheran.

    My sentence “For one, non-Lutherans don’t have the Lord’s Supper in any meaningful way (according to Lutherans).” was a direct quote from another discussion. I should have changed the quote to say “in a positive meaningful way.” Every Lutheran I’ve talked with agrees with what you’ve stated – that the Supper is still meaningful when a Baptist takes it, but meaningful in a very negative consequence. That’s what the guy who said that meant, but his further explanation of “meaningful” wasn’t concise enough to include here.

    You’re actually in the minority of Lutherans I’ve talked with in your statement that Catholics and EO’s have a valid/beneficial Supper. Most of them said that errors in Catholic and EO understanding of the Supper disqualify them from having a beneficial Supper, the same as Presbys, Bapts, and AOGers.

    “That’s why we aren’t allowed to have communion when visiting a Lutheran church – we would be doing the whole drinking judgment upon ourselves – which means no forgiveness, at the very least.” This is an exact quote from a Lutheran about why they don’t allow people to have Communion in their churches except that I changed the voice. Besides, you agreed with the statement, just added another reason non-Lutherans aren’t allowed to partake in the Communion in a Lutheran church.

    I can go through each sentence in the second and third paragraphs and talk one-by-one about how they are each quotes from other Lutherans, but I hate the uber-long comments and this is too long for my comfort already.

    Suffice it to say that they are. As for the rest of the comment – show from scripture how eating and drinking of the Lord’s Supper actually gives forgiveness. If you can show that, THEN you have a leg to stand on in all your statements.

    Bror -
    “Sacrifices in the OT were always eaten by someone. It was through eating that they received the benefits of the sacrifice.”
    No they weren’t – many were to be burnt whole. Many were to have a part given as a tithe given to the priests, and then burnt. Very few were to be eaten, only the Passover lamb was to be wholly eaten. What is said of how the Passover lamb brings God’s mercy?

    Ex 12:13 “The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you….”
    Ex 12:23 “For the Lord will pass through to strike the Egyptians, and when he sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the Lord will pass over the door….”

    Doing a hatchet job on scriptures to claim that Christ was saying that the Supper was to be taken as part of receiving forgiveness is a shame. Show me how you aren’t doing a hatchet job before you say I’m doing a hatchet job.

  • http://www.lutheransandcontraception.blogspot.com/ Erich Heidenreich, DDS

    As for your “direct quotes” from other Lutherans, you may disregard them as inconsistent with official Lutheran theology. What I have told you is what you will find our Confessions supporting and our seminaries teaching.

    It is very common that we withhold the Sacrament from worthy communicants (who would NOT drink judgment unto themselves) only because of the fellowship aspect of communion. We would not commune a Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, or even an ELCA member who believes in the real presence, yet none of these would drink judgment unto himself at our altar. So I have not just “added” another reason for closed communion, but rather clarified that it can be for two very different reasons.

    As for your arguments about the blood of Christ and forgiveness, let me return to the point that began this discussion. I found it amazing that someone could believe the Sacrament truely is the reception of the physical body and blood of Christ shed on the cross and not hold that it is given and received for forgiveness.

    I’m not going to spend time here trying to convince a Calvinist to become a Lutheran. That is not my intent. All I am doing is clarifying and defending the true Lutheran position on the Supper against the false notions you have been led to think Lutheranism holds. You have stated that our theology of the Supper is a non-sequitur (does not follow). But it does follow. Let me explain further:

    If one believes the word “is” means “is,” then it absolutely follows that the Sacrament is for the forgiveness of sins. Matthew 26:27-28 reads: “Drink of it, all of you. For this IS my blood of the new covenant which IS shed for many FOR the forgiveness of sins.”

    We believe that sentence is all talking about the same thing, because IS means is.

    If one believes as Lutherans, Roman Catholics, and Eastern Orthodox do that “is” means “is,” then this cup we drink is the very blood of Christ which was shed. If what we drink is the very blood which was shed, then we also believe what Christ says, that it “is” for the forgiveness of sins. Christ continues to pour out His true blood into the cup we drink, and it IS for the forgiveness of sin, just as His words tell us.

    Not only do we have a firm Scriptural “leg to stand on,” we also stand on the shoulders of ALL Christians prior to Calvin and Zwingli. Even now, those who do NOT believe it is the true physical blood of Christ poured out into the cup for us to drink for the forgiveness of sins are still in the minority in Christendom.

    IS means IS. The Sacrament Christ instituted IS for the forgiveness of sins.

  • http://www.lutheransandcontraception.blogspot.com/ Erich Heidenreich, DDS

    As for your “direct quotes” from other Lutherans, you may disregard them as inconsistent with official Lutheran theology. What I have told you is what you will find our Confessions supporting and our seminaries teaching.

    It is very common that we withhold the Sacrament from worthy communicants (who would NOT drink judgment unto themselves) only because of the fellowship aspect of communion. We would not commune a Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, or even an ELCA member who believes in the real presence, yet none of these would drink judgment unto himself at our altar. So I have not just “added” another reason for closed communion, but rather clarified that it can be for two very different reasons.

    As for your arguments about the blood of Christ and forgiveness, let me return to the point that began this discussion. I found it amazing that someone could believe the Sacrament truely is the reception of the physical body and blood of Christ shed on the cross and not hold that it is given and received for forgiveness.

    I’m not going to spend time here trying to convince a Calvinist to become a Lutheran. That is not my intent. All I am doing is clarifying and defending the true Lutheran position on the Supper against the false notions you have been led to think Lutheranism holds. You have stated that our theology of the Supper is a non-sequitur (does not follow). But it does follow. Let me explain further:

    If one believes the word “is” means “is,” then it absolutely follows that the Sacrament is for the forgiveness of sins. Matthew 26:27-28 reads: “Drink of it, all of you. For this IS my blood of the new covenant which IS shed for many FOR the forgiveness of sins.”

    We believe that sentence is all talking about the same thing, because IS means is.

    If one believes as Lutherans, Roman Catholics, and Eastern Orthodox do that “is” means “is,” then this cup we drink is the very blood of Christ which was shed. If what we drink is the very blood which was shed, then we also believe what Christ says, that it “is” for the forgiveness of sins. Christ continues to pour out His true blood into the cup we drink, and it IS for the forgiveness of sin, just as His words tell us.

    Not only do we have a firm Scriptural “leg to stand on,” we also stand on the shoulders of ALL Christians prior to Calvin and Zwingli. Even now, those who do NOT believe it is the true physical blood of Christ poured out into the cup for us to drink for the forgiveness of sins are still in the minority in Christendom.

    IS means IS. The Sacrament Christ instituted IS for the forgiveness of sins.

  • Bror Erickson

    Yes Webmonk,
    why would the words for the forgiveness of sins even be in there if we weren’t to drink it for the forgiveness of sins.
    i thin you need to take a look at Leviticus. Very few sacrifices were ever burnt whole. Almost all a portion was left either to the priest or to the person presenting it. They ate that with God and received then the benefits of the Sacrifice. Might try Kleinig’s commentary on it since I know you like to read. then there is the issue of blood, which the isrealites were not allowed to consume, because it was the life. So in drinking the blood of Jesus we drink his life! And His life is full of forgiveness.

  • Bror Erickson

    Yes Webmonk,
    why would the words for the forgiveness of sins even be in there if we weren’t to drink it for the forgiveness of sins.
    i thin you need to take a look at Leviticus. Very few sacrifices were ever burnt whole. Almost all a portion was left either to the priest or to the person presenting it. They ate that with God and received then the benefits of the Sacrifice. Might try Kleinig’s commentary on it since I know you like to read. then there is the issue of blood, which the isrealites were not allowed to consume, because it was the life. So in drinking the blood of Jesus we drink his life! And His life is full of forgiveness.

  • WebMonk

    In neither of your posts do you even try to study what the Bible says. Unfortunately this is a universal (as far as I can tell) Lutheran trait.

    The comment “If what we drink is the very blood which was shed, then we also believe what Christ says, that it “is” for the forgiveness of sins. Christ continues to pour out His true blood into the cup we drink, and it IS for the forgiveness of sin, just as His words tell us.”

    That conflates two statements – Christ says that the blood he shed is for forgiveness at the same time he says we are to drink it. Does that mean Christ is saying that we are to drink the cup for forgiveness? No!

    You quoted it yourself Erich: “For this IS my blood of the new covenant which IS shed for many FOR the forgiveness of sins.” It was SHED for the forgiveness of sins. Christ doesn’t say it is consumed for the forgiveness of sins.

    Erich said “I found it amazing that someone could believe the Sacrament truely is the reception of the physical body and blood of Christ shed on the cross and not hold that it is given and received for forgiveness.”

    And yet, Christ doesn’t say it is taken for forgiveness, and I’m not about to add or subtract from what he said the Supper is for. I find it amazing that you add meaning into what Christ states. (actually, I don’t, I’m just copying what you said.)

    Btw, I’m most certainly not a Calvinist! As a broad stroke,I’ve found they’re a nasty bunch of people (personality-wise). Unfortunately, I have a number of friends who are Calvinists.

  • WebMonk

    In neither of your posts do you even try to study what the Bible says. Unfortunately this is a universal (as far as I can tell) Lutheran trait.

    The comment “If what we drink is the very blood which was shed, then we also believe what Christ says, that it “is” for the forgiveness of sins. Christ continues to pour out His true blood into the cup we drink, and it IS for the forgiveness of sin, just as His words tell us.”

    That conflates two statements – Christ says that the blood he shed is for forgiveness at the same time he says we are to drink it. Does that mean Christ is saying that we are to drink the cup for forgiveness? No!

    You quoted it yourself Erich: “For this IS my blood of the new covenant which IS shed for many FOR the forgiveness of sins.” It was SHED for the forgiveness of sins. Christ doesn’t say it is consumed for the forgiveness of sins.

    Erich said “I found it amazing that someone could believe the Sacrament truely is the reception of the physical body and blood of Christ shed on the cross and not hold that it is given and received for forgiveness.”

    And yet, Christ doesn’t say it is taken for forgiveness, and I’m not about to add or subtract from what he said the Supper is for. I find it amazing that you add meaning into what Christ states. (actually, I don’t, I’m just copying what you said.)

    Btw, I’m most certainly not a Calvinist! As a broad stroke,I’ve found they’re a nasty bunch of people (personality-wise). Unfortunately, I have a number of friends who are Calvinists.

  • http://lutheransandcontraception.blogspot.com Erich Heidenreich, DDS

    I apologize for assuming you were a Calvinist. It wasn’t meant as an insult.

    Anyway, thank you for clearing up how it is that a person can believe the Sacrament is the blood of Christ but not for the forgiveness of sins. This was a real conundrum to me until you explained the gymnastics. I see now how someone could conceivably believe it is the blood of Christ, is shed for the forgiveness of sins, but yet is not RECEIVED for the forgiveness of sins.

    As for the Lutheran belief, I hope you can see (even though you obviously are in disagreement) that we see that if Christ’s blood is shed for the forgiveness of sins then it is received for the purpose for which it is shed. The blood which is shed is always applied for the purpose for which is is shed. In the OT, the blood which is shed in the sacrifice is sprinkled. It isn’t just shed on the ground and that’s it. It is applied for the purpose for which it is shed. We see the Sacrament as delivering the very blood of Christ to us for the purpose for which it is shed.

    As for this comment:

    “In neither of your posts do you even try to study what the Bible says. Unfortunately this is a universal (as far as I can tell) Lutheran trait.”

    I stand insulted beyond your wildest imagination. If Lutheranism is anything, it is based upon Scripture as the only pure fount and source of doctrine. And Scripture is ALL about Christ and His forgiveness. To the Lutheran, Christianity is ALL about forgiveness. It is FORGIVENESS IN CHRIST that we see spelled out throughout the Old and New Testament. Forgiveness in Christ is the heart of the Gospel and therefore of everything we preach and teach.

    Good day!

  • http://lutheransandcontraception.blogspot.com Erich Heidenreich, DDS

    I apologize for assuming you were a Calvinist. It wasn’t meant as an insult.

    Anyway, thank you for clearing up how it is that a person can believe the Sacrament is the blood of Christ but not for the forgiveness of sins. This was a real conundrum to me until you explained the gymnastics. I see now how someone could conceivably believe it is the blood of Christ, is shed for the forgiveness of sins, but yet is not RECEIVED for the forgiveness of sins.

    As for the Lutheran belief, I hope you can see (even though you obviously are in disagreement) that we see that if Christ’s blood is shed for the forgiveness of sins then it is received for the purpose for which it is shed. The blood which is shed is always applied for the purpose for which is is shed. In the OT, the blood which is shed in the sacrifice is sprinkled. It isn’t just shed on the ground and that’s it. It is applied for the purpose for which it is shed. We see the Sacrament as delivering the very blood of Christ to us for the purpose for which it is shed.

    As for this comment:

    “In neither of your posts do you even try to study what the Bible says. Unfortunately this is a universal (as far as I can tell) Lutheran trait.”

    I stand insulted beyond your wildest imagination. If Lutheranism is anything, it is based upon Scripture as the only pure fount and source of doctrine. And Scripture is ALL about Christ and His forgiveness. To the Lutheran, Christianity is ALL about forgiveness. It is FORGIVENESS IN CHRIST that we see spelled out throughout the Old and New Testament. Forgiveness in Christ is the heart of the Gospel and therefore of everything we preach and teach.

    Good day!

  • WebMonk

    I can see why my statement is insulting, but it’s still the truth. Should I lie and say that Lutherans are always discussing scripture with me? I’ve NEVER had a Lutheran discuss the meaning of a verse or set of verses in a substantial way, and I still haven’t. The way in which you have(n’t) is exactly what I mean.

    Do you actually talk about a passage in any detail? Do you try to explain how when Jesus says His blood is shed for us on the cross, that we somehow receive the forgiveness by drinking it? Only in the most general sort of fashion, and not through any sort of basis in scripture – only by stating your belief.

    For the Old Testament sacrifices, the offering was either burnt whole or a portion was given to the priests. The one for whom the sacrifice was an atonement never ate of the sacrifice. I’ve never read Kleinig’s commentary, but I have read a number of other commentaries on OT sacrifices – it’s an area of interest for me – and none of them have ever mentioned the offerer eating of the offering, and I’ve never seen that in the scriptures either. I just read through Leviticus as a quick double-check before commenting here, and nowhere does it mention that a portion of any of the offerings are to be given back to the offerer. I’ll track down Kleinig’s commentary and I will track you down and admit it if I am shown to be in error by it.

    How does sprinkling someone with the blood of the sacrifice, or spreading it on the door of the house, equate to drinking it? If the NT doesn’t support the supposition that drinking the Supper conveys forgiveness (if it does, show me where) then you have to find support in the OT. God saw the blood on the doorway of Passover and passed over – he didn’t see that they had eaten the lamb too and then pass over. None of the offerers ever ate of their own offering, certainly not of the sin, burnt or peace offerings. Even the blood of those offerings weren’t sprinkled on the offerer – some was sprinkled on the altar and the rest poured out before the altar. Most of the sacrifices didn’t even involve sprinkling the sacrificer, the cleanliness and purification sacrifices being the major sprinkling sacrifices.

    I realize that you are offended by my statement that Lutherans have never actually talked of scripture to me, and I’m sorry that you’re offended, but it doesn’t change the truth that I’ve never had a Lutheran discuss scripture directly. I still haven’t. You’re more than welcome to be the first.

  • WebMonk

    I can see why my statement is insulting, but it’s still the truth. Should I lie and say that Lutherans are always discussing scripture with me? I’ve NEVER had a Lutheran discuss the meaning of a verse or set of verses in a substantial way, and I still haven’t. The way in which you have(n’t) is exactly what I mean.

    Do you actually talk about a passage in any detail? Do you try to explain how when Jesus says His blood is shed for us on the cross, that we somehow receive the forgiveness by drinking it? Only in the most general sort of fashion, and not through any sort of basis in scripture – only by stating your belief.

    For the Old Testament sacrifices, the offering was either burnt whole or a portion was given to the priests. The one for whom the sacrifice was an atonement never ate of the sacrifice. I’ve never read Kleinig’s commentary, but I have read a number of other commentaries on OT sacrifices – it’s an area of interest for me – and none of them have ever mentioned the offerer eating of the offering, and I’ve never seen that in the scriptures either. I just read through Leviticus as a quick double-check before commenting here, and nowhere does it mention that a portion of any of the offerings are to be given back to the offerer. I’ll track down Kleinig’s commentary and I will track you down and admit it if I am shown to be in error by it.

    How does sprinkling someone with the blood of the sacrifice, or spreading it on the door of the house, equate to drinking it? If the NT doesn’t support the supposition that drinking the Supper conveys forgiveness (if it does, show me where) then you have to find support in the OT. God saw the blood on the doorway of Passover and passed over – he didn’t see that they had eaten the lamb too and then pass over. None of the offerers ever ate of their own offering, certainly not of the sin, burnt or peace offerings. Even the blood of those offerings weren’t sprinkled on the offerer – some was sprinkled on the altar and the rest poured out before the altar. Most of the sacrifices didn’t even involve sprinkling the sacrificer, the cleanliness and purification sacrifices being the major sprinkling sacrifices.

    I realize that you are offended by my statement that Lutherans have never actually talked of scripture to me, and I’m sorry that you’re offended, but it doesn’t change the truth that I’ve never had a Lutheran discuss scripture directly. I still haven’t. You’re more than welcome to be the first.

  • WebMonk

    Oh, one more thing.

    “And Scripture is ALL about Christ and His forgiveness. To the Lutheran, Christianity is ALL about forgiveness. It is FORGIVENESS IN CHRIST that we see spelled out throughout the Old and New Testament. Forgiveness in Christ is the heart of the Gospel and therefore of everything we preach and teach.”

    I agree completely! How does that somehow change what Jesus and Paul say about partaking of the Lord’s Supper? The say it is remembrance. They say it is proclaiming the Lord’s death until He comes again. They say it is part of the covenant between God and man. I don’t have a problem that it could also be for giving forgiveness IF the Bible said so. Where does it say so?

  • WebMonk

    Oh, one more thing.

    “And Scripture is ALL about Christ and His forgiveness. To the Lutheran, Christianity is ALL about forgiveness. It is FORGIVENESS IN CHRIST that we see spelled out throughout the Old and New Testament. Forgiveness in Christ is the heart of the Gospel and therefore of everything we preach and teach.”

    I agree completely! How does that somehow change what Jesus and Paul say about partaking of the Lord’s Supper? The say it is remembrance. They say it is proclaiming the Lord’s death until He comes again. They say it is part of the covenant between God and man. I don’t have a problem that it could also be for giving forgiveness IF the Bible said so. Where does it say so?

  • http://lutheransandcontraception.blogspot.com Erich Heidenreich, DDS

    WebMonk,

    The purpose of this discussion is for Lutherans and Evangelicals to understand each other. I believe I understand you now, but I do not believe you are even making an attempt to understand what Lutherans believe. You continue to refer to what you have erroneously heard elsewhere (i.e. hearsay) from Lutherans who I have told you do not agree with the Confessions of the Lutheran Church. And you continue to insult Lutheranism as ignoring Scripture. Why don’t you try to understand our position instead of continuing to put forth a false caricature of it?

    I’m sorry you feel I’m not talking about the verse I’m using as a proof text, but the fact of the matter is that I am, while you are NOT. The verse in question is Matthew 26:28. Nowhere in that verse is “remembrance” mentioned, but “forgiveness” IS. Luke and Paul talk about forgiveness AND remembrance, but here we have Jesus speaking only about forgiveness. That is one reason I chose that verse. Now, let’s include the preceding verse:

    27 And He took the cup and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink all of it. 28 For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

    In verse 27 Christ says we are to drink it. In verse 28 he tells us why. The “For” that begins verse 28 can be seen as connecting everything said in verse 28 with the action commanded in verse 27. This is a perfectly acceptable interpretation of the language of this verse. In fact, I believe it is the only correct interpretation, and it is the interpretation favored by all of Christendom until Calvin and Zwingli, and it is still the interpretation favored by the majority of Christians in the world.

    The verbally inspired writer Matthew left out what Jesus also said at the Supper about remembrance. Were those to whom Matthew wrote able to find a purpose for drinking the blood of Christ other than the one Matthew gave them? If they didn’t also have the writings of Luke and Paul, they would have had a hard time figuring out the singular purpose of the Sacrament that you hold to.

    The interpretation that the Sacrament IS the true body and blood and yet is NOT for forgiveness is an interpretation that I have heard for the VERY FIRST TIME in this discussion. I could not even see how you could come up with that interpretation, which is why I have pushed this one issue.

    The purpose Dr. Veith had for this discussion was for us to understand each other. I understand you now. But I do not believe you have an equal understanding of what Lutherans (and the vast majority of Christendom) believe and how we come to believe what we do from the same verse you find another meaning in.

    So, this brings up another point that I think is worth mentioning if we are all going to understand each other. While Lutheranism is firmly grounded in Scripture, we do not believe we have the right to interpret it as individuals. We read Scripture and interpret it as the body of Christ. We believe that to interpret Scripture the way you have is to consider yourself better at interpreting Scripture than virtually all those who have come before you and currently surround you.

    We believe the Fourth Commandment (honor thy father and thy mother) extends to our spiritual fathers, including all those fathers who have come before us. We honor them as better than ourselves at interpreting Scripture. To quote a writer who puts this principle into words better than I can:

    “If we attach great importance to the opinion of ordinary men in great unanimity when we are dealing with daily matters, there is no reason why we should disregard it when we are dealing with history or fable. Tradition may be defined as an extension of the franchise. Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking about. All democrats object to men being disqualified by the accident of birth; tradition objects to their being disqualified by the accident of death. Democracy tells us not to neglect a good man’s opinion, even if he is our groom; tradition asks us not to neglect a good man’s opinion, even if he is our father. I, at any rate, cannot separate the two ideas of democracy and tradition; it seems evident to me that they are the same idea. We will have the dead at our councils. The ancient Greeks voted by stones; these shall vote by tombstones. It is all quite regular and official, for most tombstones, like most ballot papers, are marked with a cross.”

    ~ from ORTHODOXY, by G. K. Chesterton

    I hope you can understand where Lutheranism gets what it believes, even if you disagree with it. If you wish to understand and still do not, please ask questions rather than insulting us. I have gone to the trouble of trying to understand your very individual interpretation of this verse. While I don’t agree with it, I get it. Do you understand the corporate understanding of Lutherans, Roman Catholics, and Eastern Orthodox?

    If so, I believe this discussion has been worthwhile. If not, please tell me how I might help you to understand. I’m not expecting you to agree – just to respectfully understand.

    If you don’t wish to understand what Lutherans believe and why they believe it, then I respectfully refuse to carry on this dialog any more.

    Peace in Christ,

    Erich

  • http://lutheransandcontraception.blogspot.com Erich Heidenreich, DDS

    WebMonk,

    The purpose of this discussion is for Lutherans and Evangelicals to understand each other. I believe I understand you now, but I do not believe you are even making an attempt to understand what Lutherans believe. You continue to refer to what you have erroneously heard elsewhere (i.e. hearsay) from Lutherans who I have told you do not agree with the Confessions of the Lutheran Church. And you continue to insult Lutheranism as ignoring Scripture. Why don’t you try to understand our position instead of continuing to put forth a false caricature of it?

    I’m sorry you feel I’m not talking about the verse I’m using as a proof text, but the fact of the matter is that I am, while you are NOT. The verse in question is Matthew 26:28. Nowhere in that verse is “remembrance” mentioned, but “forgiveness” IS. Luke and Paul talk about forgiveness AND remembrance, but here we have Jesus speaking only about forgiveness. That is one reason I chose that verse. Now, let’s include the preceding verse:

    27 And He took the cup and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink all of it. 28 For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

    In verse 27 Christ says we are to drink it. In verse 28 he tells us why. The “For” that begins verse 28 can be seen as connecting everything said in verse 28 with the action commanded in verse 27. This is a perfectly acceptable interpretation of the language of this verse. In fact, I believe it is the only correct interpretation, and it is the interpretation favored by all of Christendom until Calvin and Zwingli, and it is still the interpretation favored by the majority of Christians in the world.

    The verbally inspired writer Matthew left out what Jesus also said at the Supper about remembrance. Were those to whom Matthew wrote able to find a purpose for drinking the blood of Christ other than the one Matthew gave them? If they didn’t also have the writings of Luke and Paul, they would have had a hard time figuring out the singular purpose of the Sacrament that you hold to.

    The interpretation that the Sacrament IS the true body and blood and yet is NOT for forgiveness is an interpretation that I have heard for the VERY FIRST TIME in this discussion. I could not even see how you could come up with that interpretation, which is why I have pushed this one issue.

    The purpose Dr. Veith had for this discussion was for us to understand each other. I understand you now. But I do not believe you have an equal understanding of what Lutherans (and the vast majority of Christendom) believe and how we come to believe what we do from the same verse you find another meaning in.

    So, this brings up another point that I think is worth mentioning if we are all going to understand each other. While Lutheranism is firmly grounded in Scripture, we do not believe we have the right to interpret it as individuals. We read Scripture and interpret it as the body of Christ. We believe that to interpret Scripture the way you have is to consider yourself better at interpreting Scripture than virtually all those who have come before you and currently surround you.

    We believe the Fourth Commandment (honor thy father and thy mother) extends to our spiritual fathers, including all those fathers who have come before us. We honor them as better than ourselves at interpreting Scripture. To quote a writer who puts this principle into words better than I can:

    “If we attach great importance to the opinion of ordinary men in great unanimity when we are dealing with daily matters, there is no reason why we should disregard it when we are dealing with history or fable. Tradition may be defined as an extension of the franchise. Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking about. All democrats object to men being disqualified by the accident of birth; tradition objects to their being disqualified by the accident of death. Democracy tells us not to neglect a good man’s opinion, even if he is our groom; tradition asks us not to neglect a good man’s opinion, even if he is our father. I, at any rate, cannot separate the two ideas of democracy and tradition; it seems evident to me that they are the same idea. We will have the dead at our councils. The ancient Greeks voted by stones; these shall vote by tombstones. It is all quite regular and official, for most tombstones, like most ballot papers, are marked with a cross.”

    ~ from ORTHODOXY, by G. K. Chesterton

    I hope you can understand where Lutheranism gets what it believes, even if you disagree with it. If you wish to understand and still do not, please ask questions rather than insulting us. I have gone to the trouble of trying to understand your very individual interpretation of this verse. While I don’t agree with it, I get it. Do you understand the corporate understanding of Lutherans, Roman Catholics, and Eastern Orthodox?

    If so, I believe this discussion has been worthwhile. If not, please tell me how I might help you to understand. I’m not expecting you to agree – just to respectfully understand.

    If you don’t wish to understand what Lutherans believe and why they believe it, then I respectfully refuse to carry on this dialog any more.

    Peace in Christ,

    Erich

  • http://lutheransandcontraception.blogspot.com Erich Heidenreich, DDS

    Correction: I wrote – “In fact, I believe it is the only correct interpretation, and it is the interpretation favored by all of Christendom until Calvin and Zwingli…”

    Actually, I think Calvin and Zwingli also believed forgiveness is received in the taking of the Sacrament. The main disagreement we had with them (if I may oversimplify) is that they saw the bread and wine only as representing the physical body and blood. I don’t believe the argument at that time was about forgiveness being received.

    So, I’m interested: When did this “remembrance only” doctrine arise, and from whom? What is the earliest evidence of this interpretation you are putting forth, WebMonk?

  • http://lutheransandcontraception.blogspot.com Erich Heidenreich, DDS

    Correction: I wrote – “In fact, I believe it is the only correct interpretation, and it is the interpretation favored by all of Christendom until Calvin and Zwingli…”

    Actually, I think Calvin and Zwingli also believed forgiveness is received in the taking of the Sacrament. The main disagreement we had with them (if I may oversimplify) is that they saw the bread and wine only as representing the physical body and blood. I don’t believe the argument at that time was about forgiveness being received.

    So, I’m interested: When did this “remembrance only” doctrine arise, and from whom? What is the earliest evidence of this interpretation you are putting forth, WebMonk?

  • http://lutheransandcontraception.blogspot.com Erich Heidenreich, DDS

    P.S. More specifically, WebMonk, what denomination, if any, believes in the real physical presence of the body and blood of Christ in the Sacrament and yet believes it is a remembrance only? This is really the first time I’ve heard of this.

  • http://lutheransandcontraception.blogspot.com Erich Heidenreich, DDS

    P.S. More specifically, WebMonk, what denomination, if any, believes in the real physical presence of the body and blood of Christ in the Sacrament and yet believes it is a remembrance only? This is really the first time I’ve heard of this.

  • Bror Erickson

    Webmonk,
    Go back, read leviticus more slowly.
    There isn’t just one sacrifice. There are different sacrifices done for different reasons. But as pasrt of the sacrifice something is almost always eatne either by the priest or the person offering it. The Passover was not by far the only sacrifce that had to be eaten, but the command was that it had to be eaten. This one applies more so to christ than the others. because the N.T. identifies Christ as the Passover lamb.
    We are not told what happened to those who didn’t eat the passover lamb. but only spread blood on the door posts. In any case, I remember the first time I read Leviticus when I was 16 two things struck me. Blood has life in it, and is used for atonement. (at the base of the altar, painted on a door post, sprinkled on a crowd, but always for atonement-forgiveness.) And the sacrifices were eaten. Kleinig’s commentary fleshed a lot of this out for me. But soem of it is just common sense. We are the priesthood of the N.T. all Christians are. So we eat from the N.T. Sacrifice, Christ himself, this sacrifice embodying all. then The blood always used for atonement, in the Old Testament, is now drunk, the purest most precious blood of Christ, we are not told to drink, So we drink the life of Christ, and it is used for atonement-forgiveness.
    But to get back to the words of institution. I don’t know how you can keep a straight face, when you deny the blood is consumed for the forgiveness of sins. I’m guessing you don’t believe our Lord when he tells us it is his blood. If you believed that, and Christ links it to forgiveness, and tells us to drink it. Why would he tell us to drink it if it wasn’t for forgiveness? Is it only some sick fraternity initiation? He doesn’t give us anyother reason. Come on there are plenty of better, more acceptable ways of remembering someone aside from drinking their blood. Something more is going on here, a lot more.

  • Bror Erickson

    Webmonk,
    Go back, read leviticus more slowly.
    There isn’t just one sacrifice. There are different sacrifices done for different reasons. But as pasrt of the sacrifice something is almost always eatne either by the priest or the person offering it. The Passover was not by far the only sacrifce that had to be eaten, but the command was that it had to be eaten. This one applies more so to christ than the others. because the N.T. identifies Christ as the Passover lamb.
    We are not told what happened to those who didn’t eat the passover lamb. but only spread blood on the door posts. In any case, I remember the first time I read Leviticus when I was 16 two things struck me. Blood has life in it, and is used for atonement. (at the base of the altar, painted on a door post, sprinkled on a crowd, but always for atonement-forgiveness.) And the sacrifices were eaten. Kleinig’s commentary fleshed a lot of this out for me. But soem of it is just common sense. We are the priesthood of the N.T. all Christians are. So we eat from the N.T. Sacrifice, Christ himself, this sacrifice embodying all. then The blood always used for atonement, in the Old Testament, is now drunk, the purest most precious blood of Christ, we are not told to drink, So we drink the life of Christ, and it is used for atonement-forgiveness.
    But to get back to the words of institution. I don’t know how you can keep a straight face, when you deny the blood is consumed for the forgiveness of sins. I’m guessing you don’t believe our Lord when he tells us it is his blood. If you believed that, and Christ links it to forgiveness, and tells us to drink it. Why would he tell us to drink it if it wasn’t for forgiveness? Is it only some sick fraternity initiation? He doesn’t give us anyother reason. Come on there are plenty of better, more acceptable ways of remembering someone aside from drinking their blood. Something more is going on here, a lot more.

  • Dennis Peskey

    Dear fellow Saints;
    If you will permit me, perhaps I may be able to shed a bit of (lite) light on your discussion. Forthwith, I believe, teach and confess I am a Lutheran. Having recently attended a seminar presented by Dr. Kleinig on his favorite topic, Leviticus, I wish to offer this insight. Leviticus actually begins at Exodus 24 and continues though Numbers 6.

    In the morning and again in the evening, several different sacrafices were offered in the tabernacle. The Burnt Offerings was solely to God; therefore, after the blood was removed, “the priest shall burn all of it on the altar” Lev 1:9. All of the remaining offerings were given in part to God and a portion to the High Priest and/or the assisting priests depending upon the type of offering. This applied to all offering (except the Burnt Offering and the Sin Offering for the High Priest) with one notable exception – the Peace Offering.
    For the Peace Offering, the choice portions (the fat, kidneys and lobe of the liver) were offered on the Altar of Burnt Offering to God. The remaining meat was returned to the presenter (the ordinary Israelite who brought the offering) to be taken back to his tent for consumption by his family. Note also that the presenter was required to present to the High Priest a gift of this peace offering (the breast and right thigh) for consumption by the priests and their families. (Lev 3, 7:11-36)

    Although this summary is a bit brief, the formulation was the sacrifice was made holy by the splashing of its blood against all four sides of the Altar and the offering of it’s choice portions to God. By receiving the holy sacrifice as a gift from God, the presenter received God’s peace and forgiveness of sins. This part is most important to the second part of this discussion.

    Having followed this discussion for several days now, I wish to offer the following points. From Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, 3:13-22, we read we have been reconciled by the blood of Christ “for he himself is our peace.” Again, St Paul writes in Romans 3:24-25 redemption comes through Christ Jesus “whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood.” (note the “passing over of former sins) In 1 John 1:7-9, “… the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.”

    The blood of Christ Jesus is our reconcilation, our redemption, our cleansing from all sin – the word we seek is atonement. This is what his blood accomplished for us. We dare not approach the most Holy God without this blood.

    From the time of Leviticus at the foot of Mt Sinai until that Good Friday at Mt Calvary, our Holy God accepted the blood shed by animals as purification for sin; now, our new covenant, sealed with Christ’s holy blood on the cross and presented by our great High Priest “into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf.” (Please read Hebrews 8, 9 & 10)

    This holy meal is both bread and wine, and Christ’s body and blood. When I eat this body and drink this blood, I know my sins are forgiven. This strengthens and preserves me in the true faith until life everlasting. By this, I comprehend the meaning of the end of Leviticus (Numbers 6), “the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you PEACE! Amen. Go in peace. Amen.

  • Dennis Peskey

    Dear fellow Saints;
    If you will permit me, perhaps I may be able to shed a bit of (lite) light on your discussion. Forthwith, I believe, teach and confess I am a Lutheran. Having recently attended a seminar presented by Dr. Kleinig on his favorite topic, Leviticus, I wish to offer this insight. Leviticus actually begins at Exodus 24 and continues though Numbers 6.

    In the morning and again in the evening, several different sacrafices were offered in the tabernacle. The Burnt Offerings was solely to God; therefore, after the blood was removed, “the priest shall burn all of it on the altar” Lev 1:9. All of the remaining offerings were given in part to God and a portion to the High Priest and/or the assisting priests depending upon the type of offering. This applied to all offering (except the Burnt Offering and the Sin Offering for the High Priest) with one notable exception – the Peace Offering.
    For the Peace Offering, the choice portions (the fat, kidneys and lobe of the liver) were offered on the Altar of Burnt Offering to God. The remaining meat was returned to the presenter (the ordinary Israelite who brought the offering) to be taken back to his tent for consumption by his family. Note also that the presenter was required to present to the High Priest a gift of this peace offering (the breast and right thigh) for consumption by the priests and their families. (Lev 3, 7:11-36)

    Although this summary is a bit brief, the formulation was the sacrifice was made holy by the splashing of its blood against all four sides of the Altar and the offering of it’s choice portions to God. By receiving the holy sacrifice as a gift from God, the presenter received God’s peace and forgiveness of sins. This part is most important to the second part of this discussion.

    Having followed this discussion for several days now, I wish to offer the following points. From Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, 3:13-22, we read we have been reconciled by the blood of Christ “for he himself is our peace.” Again, St Paul writes in Romans 3:24-25 redemption comes through Christ Jesus “whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood.” (note the “passing over of former sins) In 1 John 1:7-9, “… the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.”

    The blood of Christ Jesus is our reconcilation, our redemption, our cleansing from all sin – the word we seek is atonement. This is what his blood accomplished for us. We dare not approach the most Holy God without this blood.

    From the time of Leviticus at the foot of Mt Sinai until that Good Friday at Mt Calvary, our Holy God accepted the blood shed by animals as purification for sin; now, our new covenant, sealed with Christ’s holy blood on the cross and presented by our great High Priest “into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf.” (Please read Hebrews 8, 9 & 10)

    This holy meal is both bread and wine, and Christ’s body and blood. When I eat this body and drink this blood, I know my sins are forgiven. This strengthens and preserves me in the true faith until life everlasting. By this, I comprehend the meaning of the end of Leviticus (Numbers 6), “the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you PEACE! Amen. Go in peace. Amen.

  • WebMonk

    Thank you Dennis, your explanation of the sacrifices was quite excellent, and is exactly what I agree with. When Bror said Kleinig said that the presenters ate part of their sacrifices I was more than a little leary of his scholarship, but seeing that you clarified that he adds in the offerings as part of the ‘sacrifices’ of which the presenter eats. The sacrifices, primarily exemplified by the sin and burnt sacrifices, were never eaten by the offerer, and ditto for the sacrifices of cleansing. Go read your Leviticus Bror.

    Also, we are not the NT version of the OT Levitical priesthood – Christ takes that role. We are a royal priesthood, but not of the type of priest who offered the sacrifices for the people. Also, the eating of the sacrifices by the priest was a part of their support by the people, not a part of the atonement for sins or other purposes of the sacrifices.

    Eating the sacrifices never had anything to do with the efficacy of the sacrifice whether it was done by the priest or the offerer. We aren’t NT versions of the OT priests, and neither are we doing a NT version of offering sacrifices.

    I’m not going to press this next issue because I do see where Lutherans get the idea that consumption brings forgiveness. It’s reached by lousy interpretation which I hope they would condemn if used in other areas. It’s a mistaken interpretation, not certainly NOT a horrible or particularly damaging one.

    You can’t take a single version of the story given in the Gospels divorced from the others. When you take JUST the Matthew version and ignore the fact that Matthew is only presenting a part of what Jesus said, it’s easy to get a twisted understanding. Neither can you ignore what 1 Cor says.

    Put all the versions together to get the fullest picture of what is being said. There is lots of direct talk of remembrance, and Paul talks of proclamation which is pretty closely tied to remembrance. The only statement which hints at the Supper being taken for forgiveness is in the way Matthew gives it. And even that is only because of conflation of statements, not because the text actually says do x because doing it brings y.

    If I say to my son, “Display this gun in a case, for I saved your life with it,” does that mean that his displaying the gun saves his life? No! (I’m only displaying the grammar, not comparing guns to blood or anything like that.) In the same way Jesus saying “Drink this, for it is shed for the forgiveness of many,” doesn’t mean that drinking it brings forgiveness. It’s basic grammar.

    As a supporting reason to NOT interpret Matt as meaning consumption brings forgiveness, Matt is the ONLY place where this is even close to “clearly” stated. If this was actually meant to be a major foundational doctrine, it would be strongly supported by other areas (especially in the other gospels), or at the very least it would be stated unequivocally. Instead, there is only one (sort of two if you include Mark) passage that is a vague sort of support. In reality it’s not support.

    Base doctrine on clear scripture. Trying to base it on a counter-grammatical use of Matt, and then supporting it through questionable comparisons to OT sacrifices is NOT the way to develop good doctrine.

  • WebMonk

    Thank you Dennis, your explanation of the sacrifices was quite excellent, and is exactly what I agree with. When Bror said Kleinig said that the presenters ate part of their sacrifices I was more than a little leary of his scholarship, but seeing that you clarified that he adds in the offerings as part of the ‘sacrifices’ of which the presenter eats. The sacrifices, primarily exemplified by the sin and burnt sacrifices, were never eaten by the offerer, and ditto for the sacrifices of cleansing. Go read your Leviticus Bror.

    Also, we are not the NT version of the OT Levitical priesthood – Christ takes that role. We are a royal priesthood, but not of the type of priest who offered the sacrifices for the people. Also, the eating of the sacrifices by the priest was a part of their support by the people, not a part of the atonement for sins or other purposes of the sacrifices.

    Eating the sacrifices never had anything to do with the efficacy of the sacrifice whether it was done by the priest or the offerer. We aren’t NT versions of the OT priests, and neither are we doing a NT version of offering sacrifices.

    I’m not going to press this next issue because I do see where Lutherans get the idea that consumption brings forgiveness. It’s reached by lousy interpretation which I hope they would condemn if used in other areas. It’s a mistaken interpretation, not certainly NOT a horrible or particularly damaging one.

    You can’t take a single version of the story given in the Gospels divorced from the others. When you take JUST the Matthew version and ignore the fact that Matthew is only presenting a part of what Jesus said, it’s easy to get a twisted understanding. Neither can you ignore what 1 Cor says.

    Put all the versions together to get the fullest picture of what is being said. There is lots of direct talk of remembrance, and Paul talks of proclamation which is pretty closely tied to remembrance. The only statement which hints at the Supper being taken for forgiveness is in the way Matthew gives it. And even that is only because of conflation of statements, not because the text actually says do x because doing it brings y.

    If I say to my son, “Display this gun in a case, for I saved your life with it,” does that mean that his displaying the gun saves his life? No! (I’m only displaying the grammar, not comparing guns to blood or anything like that.) In the same way Jesus saying “Drink this, for it is shed for the forgiveness of many,” doesn’t mean that drinking it brings forgiveness. It’s basic grammar.

    As a supporting reason to NOT interpret Matt as meaning consumption brings forgiveness, Matt is the ONLY place where this is even close to “clearly” stated. If this was actually meant to be a major foundational doctrine, it would be strongly supported by other areas (especially in the other gospels), or at the very least it would be stated unequivocally. Instead, there is only one (sort of two if you include Mark) passage that is a vague sort of support. In reality it’s not support.

    Base doctrine on clear scripture. Trying to base it on a counter-grammatical use of Matt, and then supporting it through questionable comparisons to OT sacrifices is NOT the way to develop good doctrine.

  • http://lutheransandcontraception.blogspot.com Erich Heidenreich, DDS

    WebMonk,

    You did not answer my questions. Do you lack answers?

  • http://lutheransandcontraception.blogspot.com Erich Heidenreich, DDS

    WebMonk,

    You did not answer my questions. Do you lack answers?

  • Dennis Peskey

    Dear WebMonk;
    Some clarification is in order. The information I proffered concerning Leviticus was limited, and obviously insufficient to make my point. Only the Burnt Offering and the Sin Offering for the High Priest were entirely consumed in fire. Sin offerings for the remaining priests and/or the people of Israel required consumption of a portion of the sacrifice by the presiding priesthood as a measure of atonement for the presenter. I regret this subject does not lend itself to a proper exposition in this forum; my point being both the priestly eating of the flesh of the sacrifice and the sprinkling and/or splashing of its blood were required for atonement to occur.

    More importantly, the sacrificial system is not the most important instruction contained in Leviticus. I direct your attention to Lev 10:10. Kleinig makes this point regarding this address by the Lord directly to Aaron. In the entirety of Leviticus, the Lord addresses Moses and/or Aaron 36 times. Three addresses are to Moses alone; 32 times, the address is to Moses and Aaron.

    Only one is solely to Aaron – Leviticus 10:9-11 and in the middle of this address is the essence of Leviticus: “You are to distinguish between the holy and the common, between the unclean and the clean.” The distinction is between what is of God, clean and holy, and what is of the demonic rehlm, common and unclean. Holiness can only come from God; before we can move from common to holy, we must be cleansed of our sin. God forgives this debt of sin we earn by the offering of His Son – the perfect sacrifice. He gives us this atonement daily through his Word and the Sacraments. We can joyfully accept this gift of grace and reside in his kingdom daily, or we can reject this gift and remain outside his salvation.

    What was stated by Bror remains essentially correct and to which the Scriptures agree. When God attaches his word to sacramental elements, be they either water (Holy Baptism) or bread and wine (Holy Communion), they accomplish that which he purposes. We are purified of our sins by the atonement purchased by the blood of Christ Jesus and made clean. We Lutherans are priviledged to enjoy this gift of forgiveness in our Divine Service.

    If you truely divorce God’s forgiveness from the reception of his body and blood, you’ll realize the lament of Isaiah; “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips…” All this lament from merely being in his presence; to eat and drink the Lord without proper discernment invites the judgment of the Lord. I do not wait for a seraphim to touch me with a burning coal from the heavenly altar to remove my guilt and atone for my sin. Christ Jesus has accomplished this atonement through the shedding of his blood. This same blood he offers at his altar in the Divine Worship – I can only offer him my sin and cling to his promise of forgiveness by the very faith he gives me. This is our assurance; by this, we receive His Peace. I pray you understand this and will further respond to Erich’s question so I may understand your position.

  • Dennis Peskey

    Dear WebMonk;
    Some clarification is in order. The information I proffered concerning Leviticus was limited, and obviously insufficient to make my point. Only the Burnt Offering and the Sin Offering for the High Priest were entirely consumed in fire. Sin offerings for the remaining priests and/or the people of Israel required consumption of a portion of the sacrifice by the presiding priesthood as a measure of atonement for the presenter. I regret this subject does not lend itself to a proper exposition in this forum; my point being both the priestly eating of the flesh of the sacrifice and the sprinkling and/or splashing of its blood were required for atonement to occur.

    More importantly, the sacrificial system is not the most important instruction contained in Leviticus. I direct your attention to Lev 10:10. Kleinig makes this point regarding this address by the Lord directly to Aaron. In the entirety of Leviticus, the Lord addresses Moses and/or Aaron 36 times. Three addresses are to Moses alone; 32 times, the address is to Moses and Aaron.

    Only one is solely to Aaron – Leviticus 10:9-11 and in the middle of this address is the essence of Leviticus: “You are to distinguish between the holy and the common, between the unclean and the clean.” The distinction is between what is of God, clean and holy, and what is of the demonic rehlm, common and unclean. Holiness can only come from God; before we can move from common to holy, we must be cleansed of our sin. God forgives this debt of sin we earn by the offering of His Son – the perfect sacrifice. He gives us this atonement daily through his Word and the Sacraments. We can joyfully accept this gift of grace and reside in his kingdom daily, or we can reject this gift and remain outside his salvation.

    What was stated by Bror remains essentially correct and to which the Scriptures agree. When God attaches his word to sacramental elements, be they either water (Holy Baptism) or bread and wine (Holy Communion), they accomplish that which he purposes. We are purified of our sins by the atonement purchased by the blood of Christ Jesus and made clean. We Lutherans are priviledged to enjoy this gift of forgiveness in our Divine Service.

    If you truely divorce God’s forgiveness from the reception of his body and blood, you’ll realize the lament of Isaiah; “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips…” All this lament from merely being in his presence; to eat and drink the Lord without proper discernment invites the judgment of the Lord. I do not wait for a seraphim to touch me with a burning coal from the heavenly altar to remove my guilt and atone for my sin. Christ Jesus has accomplished this atonement through the shedding of his blood. This same blood he offers at his altar in the Divine Worship – I can only offer him my sin and cling to his promise of forgiveness by the very faith he gives me. This is our assurance; by this, we receive His Peace. I pray you understand this and will further respond to Erich’s question so I may understand your position.

  • WebMonk

    “When God attaches his word to sacramental elements, be they either water (Holy Baptism) or bread and wine (Holy Communion), they accomplish that which he purposes.”

    You are so right! It’s just that you’ve wrongly interpreted what God has said Holy Communion is about. If the Bible said that in taking Communion, we receive forgiveness, then I would be 100% with you, but it doesn’t. It’s not that I disagree that the Lord’s Supper can’t deliver forgiveness, but rather that the Bible doesn’t say it can. The NT certainly doesn’t. Matt only mentions forgiveness, but mentioning forgiveness is NOT the same as saying forgiveness is what consuming the Supper brings. Again, study the scripture and what it is actually saying. Maybe make a sentence-diagram if you need to figure out how the “which is shed…” segment modifies the previous phrase .

    As for the OT support, reasoning that the OT practices of the priesthood eating part of the offerings (not the sin or burnt sacrifices which were for the forgiveness of sin) somehow indicates that we are to eat part of Christ to receive forgiveness is hardly a clear statement, at best.

    It assumes that the eating was necessary for the forgiveness to take place. While the priests were given the choice parts of the non-sin offerings to eat if they desired, they did not eat everything. There were far too many sacrifices being made each day for the priests to eat ALL the portions to which they were entitled. Instead, as Leviticus stated, everything they didn’t eat was burned, and that was a LOT.

    You’re lumping all the sacrifices and offerings together, in speaking of eating portions, but you ignore that the most vital sacrifices (sin and burnt) which are the most direct correspondent of Christ’s death for us had NOTHING eaten from them.

    You’re also assuming that WE are taking the place of the priests who are offering the sacrifice for the sinners. We don’t!

    Erich – I am ignoring your tradition comments for the main reason that going into the role of tradition and what tradition actually says on this specific topic would take us drastically off-topic. I’ve argued it back and forth before, and it’s taken up hundreds of posts by dozens of people. Besides, on this topic, while the traditional teaching of the church was that that Supper brings forgiveness, it is far from the universal or unanimous belief of the historic Church. Basically, going into it would assure that every other point of Bible study would quickly be lost.

    Besides, few of the Lutherans I’ve dealt with would agree with you. Most of the Lutherans I’ve heard would disagree with your statement. Even about half of the LCMS-flavor of Lutherans that I’ve talked with would disagree with your statement of “we do not believe we have the right to interpret it as individuals. We read Scripture and interpret it as the body of Christ.” If I had to guesstimate, a full 4/5 of Lutherans (of all types) I’ve heard on this topic disagree with you.

    Short and long – I’m not about to be part of yet another what-does-tradition-really-say, how-should-it-affect-us, and how-do-we-know-tradition-is-inspired type of debate.

    As far as your interpretation of Matt – if the grammar of what Christ said disagrees with you, do you give up and go to a totally different sort of support? That’s trying to get around the clear speaking of scripture to support a doctrine, not fitting your doctrine to the Word.

  • WebMonk

    “When God attaches his word to sacramental elements, be they either water (Holy Baptism) or bread and wine (Holy Communion), they accomplish that which he purposes.”

    You are so right! It’s just that you’ve wrongly interpreted what God has said Holy Communion is about. If the Bible said that in taking Communion, we receive forgiveness, then I would be 100% with you, but it doesn’t. It’s not that I disagree that the Lord’s Supper can’t deliver forgiveness, but rather that the Bible doesn’t say it can. The NT certainly doesn’t. Matt only mentions forgiveness, but mentioning forgiveness is NOT the same as saying forgiveness is what consuming the Supper brings. Again, study the scripture and what it is actually saying. Maybe make a sentence-diagram if you need to figure out how the “which is shed…” segment modifies the previous phrase .

    As for the OT support, reasoning that the OT practices of the priesthood eating part of the offerings (not the sin or burnt sacrifices which were for the forgiveness of sin) somehow indicates that we are to eat part of Christ to receive forgiveness is hardly a clear statement, at best.

    It assumes that the eating was necessary for the forgiveness to take place. While the priests were given the choice parts of the non-sin offerings to eat if they desired, they did not eat everything. There were far too many sacrifices being made each day for the priests to eat ALL the portions to which they were entitled. Instead, as Leviticus stated, everything they didn’t eat was burned, and that was a LOT.

    You’re lumping all the sacrifices and offerings together, in speaking of eating portions, but you ignore that the most vital sacrifices (sin and burnt) which are the most direct correspondent of Christ’s death for us had NOTHING eaten from them.

    You’re also assuming that WE are taking the place of the priests who are offering the sacrifice for the sinners. We don’t!

    Erich – I am ignoring your tradition comments for the main reason that going into the role of tradition and what tradition actually says on this specific topic would take us drastically off-topic. I’ve argued it back and forth before, and it’s taken up hundreds of posts by dozens of people. Besides, on this topic, while the traditional teaching of the church was that that Supper brings forgiveness, it is far from the universal or unanimous belief of the historic Church. Basically, going into it would assure that every other point of Bible study would quickly be lost.

    Besides, few of the Lutherans I’ve dealt with would agree with you. Most of the Lutherans I’ve heard would disagree with your statement. Even about half of the LCMS-flavor of Lutherans that I’ve talked with would disagree with your statement of “we do not believe we have the right to interpret it as individuals. We read Scripture and interpret it as the body of Christ.” If I had to guesstimate, a full 4/5 of Lutherans (of all types) I’ve heard on this topic disagree with you.

    Short and long – I’m not about to be part of yet another what-does-tradition-really-say, how-should-it-affect-us, and how-do-we-know-tradition-is-inspired type of debate.

    As far as your interpretation of Matt – if the grammar of what Christ said disagrees with you, do you give up and go to a totally different sort of support? That’s trying to get around the clear speaking of scripture to support a doctrine, not fitting your doctrine to the Word.

  • Dennis Peskey

    Dear WebMonk

    Would you encourage a sinner to come to the Lord’s Table?

  • Dennis Peskey

    Dear WebMonk

    Would you encourage a sinner to come to the Lord’s Table?

  • WebMonk

    Sinner? Yes, everyone is a sinner.

    Disbeliever? No.

  • WebMonk

    Sinner? Yes, everyone is a sinner.

    Disbeliever? No.

  • Dennis Peskey

    Dear WebMonk
    St Luke and St Paul both refer to a “new covenant in my blood” in the institution of the Lord’s Supper. What do you believe is this “new covenant” they speak about?
    Soli Deo Gloria!

  • Dennis Peskey

    Dear WebMonk
    St Luke and St Paul both refer to a “new covenant in my blood” in the institution of the Lord’s Supper. What do you believe is this “new covenant” they speak about?
    Soli Deo Gloria!

  • WebMonk

    Hmmm, I figured this was over due to lack of interest. If you want to continue this, drop me an email at jwebmonk@gmail.com

    If you never read this, then don’t bother sending an email. :^)

  • WebMonk

    Hmmm, I figured this was over due to lack of interest. If you want to continue this, drop me an email at jwebmonk@gmail.com

    If you never read this, then don’t bother sending an email. :^)

  • http://mortgage.iseemore.net/ Galena

    Good evening. One’s destination is never a place but rather a new way of looking at things.
    I am from Republic and bad know English, give please true I wrote the following sentence: “This fact sheet offers suggestions for choosing a physician and facility for cancer treatment.”

    Thank you so much for your future answers 8-). Galena.

  • http://mortgage.iseemore.net/ Galena

    Good evening. One’s destination is never a place but rather a new way of looking at things.
    I am from Republic and bad know English, give please true I wrote the following sentence: “This fact sheet offers suggestions for choosing a physician and facility for cancer treatment.”

    Thank you so much for your future answers 8-). Galena.

  • Pingback: cheap real oakleys

  • Pingback: lunette femme ray ban

  • Pingback: tigers asics

  • Pingback: asics gel 170 tr

  • Pingback: asics gt 2000 amazon

  • Pingback: asics 2170 women


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X