Not just for Lutherans anymore

In answer to something that came up in one of the comment threads, I don’t want this to be just a “Lutheran blog.” I want all of our readers, including those from all kinds of church bodies and those from none at all, to feel welcome.

For those of you sick of all this Lutheran talk, please be patient. Actually, within American Christianity as a whole, the Lutheran perspective seldom even comes up. (Notice how all those books giving different positions on eschatology, government, etc., etc., almost never include Lutherans.) Part of that is our fault, since we often just talk with ourselves. This blog intends to be an exception.

I do think even non-Lutherans can benefit from the Lutheran take on things. We have famously been said to have a “different spirit” from other Christians (not as in the Holy Spirit, which we have in common) that can be interesting and even refreshing. Or obnoxious, so–my co-religionists–let’s don’t let it be that.

On the whole, as I keep saying, this is the best community of discourse that I have found anywhere on the internet. So JayfromCleveland, my longtime reader whom I actually met in the flesh–in Cleveland–and WebMonk, who apparently lives in the same small town I do, and the rest of you: Please stay with us!

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.

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

    As a convert to the Lutheran church from an evangelical culture, Lutherans do seem to be different! Most of the time there is the Catholic perspective and the evangelical perspective. I never fit in. I think that evangelicals would benefit greatly by getting to know “the Lutheran perspective” and I think that there is a lot we can learn from evangelicals. Yeah for Cranach!

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

    As a convert to the Lutheran church from an evangelical culture, Lutherans do seem to be different! Most of the time there is the Catholic perspective and the evangelical perspective. I never fit in. I think that evangelicals would benefit greatly by getting to know “the Lutheran perspective” and I think that there is a lot we can learn from evangelicals. Yeah for Cranach!

  • Ray

    As a frequent reader of this blog, but very infrequent poster, I have found it refreshing and enlightening. As a Baptist, I have found this blog to be very informative learning that theologically I truly do have much in common with those of other Christian denominations. And specifically, since the majority of the posters are Lutheran, I have learned so much more about Lutheran positions thus gaining a greater respect for them.

    I have participated on other fora and blogs that
    devolved into name calling and shear nastiness. The discussions here 99.9% of the time are respectful, even when the antagonist is someone whose worldview is vastly different than the majority’s. That is appreciated. Dr. Veith sets the tone and should be commended for this.

    My only complaint is when I read posters who bastardize the names of other denominations. It may appear to be cute, but can be demeaning and will tend to raise my hackles.

    I suspect there are many more like me who pop in to read and learn. Dr. Veith’s audience is wide and varied.

  • Ray

    As a frequent reader of this blog, but very infrequent poster, I have found it refreshing and enlightening. As a Baptist, I have found this blog to be very informative learning that theologically I truly do have much in common with those of other Christian denominations. And specifically, since the majority of the posters are Lutheran, I have learned so much more about Lutheran positions thus gaining a greater respect for them.

    I have participated on other fora and blogs that
    devolved into name calling and shear nastiness. The discussions here 99.9% of the time are respectful, even when the antagonist is someone whose worldview is vastly different than the majority’s. That is appreciated. Dr. Veith sets the tone and should be commended for this.

    My only complaint is when I read posters who bastardize the names of other denominations. It may appear to be cute, but can be demeaning and will tend to raise my hackles.

    I suspect there are many more like me who pop in to read and learn. Dr. Veith’s audience is wide and varied.

  • EconJeff

    To ask a somewhat related question: To what extent are non-Lutheran protestant church goers even familiar with the Lutheran confessions? A few posts in the past few days have pointed out things in the confessions that seem like second nature to me and reflect how I try to live and what I think about the government and other things. I really don’t know if members of other church bodies are aware that Lutherans have a fairly strong view of the world that is based on a biblical confession which are often good substitutes for popular or modern theological treatises.

    As an aside, as a resident of California and Maryland where the Lutherans tend to be more liberal, I wonder if the focus on social teachings in some of those churches scare some conservative protestants away from the church’s confessions. (This could work in the opposite direction in the Midwest, too.)

  • EconJeff

    To ask a somewhat related question: To what extent are non-Lutheran protestant church goers even familiar with the Lutheran confessions? A few posts in the past few days have pointed out things in the confessions that seem like second nature to me and reflect how I try to live and what I think about the government and other things. I really don’t know if members of other church bodies are aware that Lutherans have a fairly strong view of the world that is based on a biblical confession which are often good substitutes for popular or modern theological treatises.

    As an aside, as a resident of California and Maryland where the Lutherans tend to be more liberal, I wonder if the focus on social teachings in some of those churches scare some conservative protestants away from the church’s confessions. (This could work in the opposite direction in the Midwest, too.)

  • fwsonnek

    #2 Ray

    I have been using the term Bapticostal because non-denominational , megachurch, community church sorta looks like a blend of Baptist and Penticostal stuff. and evangelical is starting to mean less and less theologically now that it is also part of the political equation…

    I am not meaning to be cute, and now I realize I have maybe offended someone. I will stop with that, and I sincerely apologize. I hope you accept my apology. and I appreciate your charity in your comments towards us Luthurns.

  • fwsonnek

    #2 Ray

    I have been using the term Bapticostal because non-denominational , megachurch, community church sorta looks like a blend of Baptist and Penticostal stuff. and evangelical is starting to mean less and less theologically now that it is also part of the political equation…

    I am not meaning to be cute, and now I realize I have maybe offended someone. I will stop with that, and I sincerely apologize. I hope you accept my apology. and I appreciate your charity in your comments towards us Luthurns.

  • Steven

    Although I never actually post, I enjoy the discussion on this blog immensely, and I am not Lutheran. I am most closely associated with the Anglican Mission in America (www.theamia.org), and like the AMiA, I like the historical depth and richness that the Lutheran Church offers. Thanks for the blog.

  • Steven

    Although I never actually post, I enjoy the discussion on this blog immensely, and I am not Lutheran. I am most closely associated with the Anglican Mission in America (www.theamia.org), and like the AMiA, I like the historical depth and richness that the Lutheran Church offers. Thanks for the blog.

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

    Personally, I don’t get offended at a slightly tweaked church name unless the clear purpose of the user of that term is to insult others. “Bapticostal” or “fundagelical” or “Lutern” can, at least in the proper context, commute a profound truth if used respectfully.

    Like Frank’s “Bapticostal”; a lot of churches that believe the 1 Cor. 12 gifts like tongues are still working otherwise have fairly Baptistic theology. They immerse believers, have congregational church polity, hold to the Scriptures, and have a “low church” type of service. As long as Frank’s smiling (you are, right, brother?) when he says/writes it, it’s no problem with me.

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

    Personally, I don’t get offended at a slightly tweaked church name unless the clear purpose of the user of that term is to insult others. “Bapticostal” or “fundagelical” or “Lutern” can, at least in the proper context, commute a profound truth if used respectfully.

    Like Frank’s “Bapticostal”; a lot of churches that believe the 1 Cor. 12 gifts like tongues are still working otherwise have fairly Baptistic theology. They immerse believers, have congregational church polity, hold to the Scriptures, and have a “low church” type of service. As long as Frank’s smiling (you are, right, brother?) when he says/writes it, it’s no problem with me.

  • Ray

    Frank,

    You don’t need to apologize, I realize you haven’t meant to be offensive. And I have to admit when I wrote my post above, I couldn’t remember exactly who I was “complaining” about, so it definitely wasn’t personal.

    As Bike said, some Pentacostals are Baptistic theologically, but then some are far different. Regardless, I find myself closer positionally to many of you Lutherans than to many Pentacostals. Part of the reason for that is as an amateur classical and church musician, I tend more toward high church type worship practices. It just seems odd to me to lump those two groups together. But, over the years I would typically lump Presbyterians and Lutherans together and you may take great exception to that.

  • Ray

    Frank,

    You don’t need to apologize, I realize you haven’t meant to be offensive. And I have to admit when I wrote my post above, I couldn’t remember exactly who I was “complaining” about, so it definitely wasn’t personal.

    As Bike said, some Pentacostals are Baptistic theologically, but then some are far different. Regardless, I find myself closer positionally to many of you Lutherans than to many Pentacostals. Part of the reason for that is as an amateur classical and church musician, I tend more toward high church type worship practices. It just seems odd to me to lump those two groups together. But, over the years I would typically lump Presbyterians and Lutherans together and you may take great exception to that.

  • kerner

    Geez, I hope I didn’t hurt Jay’s feelings.

    Really, Jay, I apologize if I was rude. I believe the Bible supports Lutheran doctrine, but I didn’t mean to be unfriendly. I thought the ;o) was a the internet way of saying so. You know, as in “Never mind religion. If I really want to make you mad, I’ll tell you what I think about Cleveland ;o)” JUST KIDDING!

    I really should know better. I come from a pretty heavily Lutheran community (Milwaukee), and when I was younger I had friends who converted from Lutheranism to Evangelical protestant Christianity right about the time I was becoming a Lutheran. There was a time when I thought if I heard one more person say, “I used to be a Lutheran, but now I’ve become a Christian and…”, I would really lose my temper. But I stayed calm, somehow.

    Bror: I have been forced to devote my time to the demands of my vocation and my daughter’s wedding (and the costs thereof).

  • kerner

    Geez, I hope I didn’t hurt Jay’s feelings.

    Really, Jay, I apologize if I was rude. I believe the Bible supports Lutheran doctrine, but I didn’t mean to be unfriendly. I thought the ;o) was a the internet way of saying so. You know, as in “Never mind religion. If I really want to make you mad, I’ll tell you what I think about Cleveland ;o)” JUST KIDDING!

    I really should know better. I come from a pretty heavily Lutheran community (Milwaukee), and when I was younger I had friends who converted from Lutheranism to Evangelical protestant Christianity right about the time I was becoming a Lutheran. There was a time when I thought if I heard one more person say, “I used to be a Lutheran, but now I’ve become a Christian and…”, I would really lose my temper. But I stayed calm, somehow.

    Bror: I have been forced to devote my time to the demands of my vocation and my daughter’s wedding (and the costs thereof).

  • Don S

    I’m with Ray and Steven above. I was raised Baptist and now attend a non-denominational “evangelical” church with largely baptistic doctrinal positions, but I immensely enjoy the Lutheran dialogue on the site, and have learned a lot. I confine my comments, generally, to the more politically oriented posts, but read the theological posts with relish!

  • Don S

    I’m with Ray and Steven above. I was raised Baptist and now attend a non-denominational “evangelical” church with largely baptistic doctrinal positions, but I immensely enjoy the Lutheran dialogue on the site, and have learned a lot. I confine my comments, generally, to the more politically oriented posts, but read the theological posts with relish!

  • Ray

    I have to add, this blog has been a springboard for conversations with others. I often read something interesting that I can’t resist sharing or discussing with friends. Our church has a new pastor and he has been using our church constitution for discussion topics with the intent of understanding exactly why we believe as we do and use the practices we do. The other night he was referring to the Regulative Principle of worship and wondered if anyone had even heard of it. I had. From this blog. Well, I may/probably had learned it in college many years ago, but that was far in the recesses of my mind. That led to a discussion I had with my pastor talking about how we have really lost sight of the reasons behind our beliefs. Reading this blog is a theological education in itself.

  • Ray

    I have to add, this blog has been a springboard for conversations with others. I often read something interesting that I can’t resist sharing or discussing with friends. Our church has a new pastor and he has been using our church constitution for discussion topics with the intent of understanding exactly why we believe as we do and use the practices we do. The other night he was referring to the Regulative Principle of worship and wondered if anyone had even heard of it. I had. From this blog. Well, I may/probably had learned it in college many years ago, but that was far in the recesses of my mind. That led to a discussion I had with my pastor talking about how we have really lost sight of the reasons behind our beliefs. Reading this blog is a theological education in itself.

  • Ducky

    When person is raised Methodist, and become agnostic in college; then marries a reformed Baptist; then settles on United Presbyterian to raise the kids, that he helps become Evangelical Presbyterian, but now the wife leaves for a LCMS church and that person follows a few years later; then moves 50 miles and joins an EP Church only to leave for another LCMS Church, thereby becomes a “reformed Lutheran”, one wonders what is next?
    Actually it could be Cranach. But then church hopping is to be shunned.
    More seriously, his exposure to the Perspective Course from USCWM helps him to identify with the term “World Christian”; however, most Lutheran brothers and sisters wonder where this “worldly”, “ecumenical” type is coming from. Of course, so does his wife more often than not. (P.S… he sat under the Tabletalk ministry of RC Sproul for 25 years. Sure wish more LCMS Pastors felt able to do that during Communion)

    Regards,
    Ducky

  • Ducky

    When person is raised Methodist, and become agnostic in college; then marries a reformed Baptist; then settles on United Presbyterian to raise the kids, that he helps become Evangelical Presbyterian, but now the wife leaves for a LCMS church and that person follows a few years later; then moves 50 miles and joins an EP Church only to leave for another LCMS Church, thereby becomes a “reformed Lutheran”, one wonders what is next?
    Actually it could be Cranach. But then church hopping is to be shunned.
    More seriously, his exposure to the Perspective Course from USCWM helps him to identify with the term “World Christian”; however, most Lutheran brothers and sisters wonder where this “worldly”, “ecumenical” type is coming from. Of course, so does his wife more often than not. (P.S… he sat under the Tabletalk ministry of RC Sproul for 25 years. Sure wish more LCMS Pastors felt able to do that during Communion)

    Regards,
    Ducky

  • fwsonnek

    #7 Ray

    Thanks for that . Penticostalism came out of two streams, the holiness/wesleyan movement and the baptists as far as I can tell. I am not really lumping baptist with penticostals, there is a HUGE difference.

    That said, it seems like the larger church growth, non-denom, generic (if that is not an insult) looks sort of like charismatic or some fusion of baptist practice mixed with a low keyed penticostalism. but it is not really baptist OR penticostal as far as I can tell. What penticostal doctrine looks like is probably even more diffused as to meaning. I am suspecting that they deliberately try to avoid definition for whatever reason.

    I am always glad to see Baptists who know what they are and are not about. You baptists have a much richer variety of practice and doctrine than we Luthurns do. And we struggle with our own name. Lutheran? orthodox-catholic-evangelicals?

    Wouldnt it be nice if every christian sect, including Lutherans, could chose, and then stick to a label that truly describes what they are AND distinguishs them from what they are not. And that does not claim for their group more than belongs ONLY to them (eg THE Catholic Church, THE Christian Church, THE orthodox church, THE church of God)

    Thanks for the group hug guys. I continue to be really impressed by the standards of politeness here, and the willingness to consider honest and reasoned criticism of closely held ideas gracefully. I am (I hope ) learning to get better at all that.

    Thanks again.

    Come baaaaak Jay. we need you here.

  • fwsonnek

    #7 Ray

    Thanks for that . Penticostalism came out of two streams, the holiness/wesleyan movement and the baptists as far as I can tell. I am not really lumping baptist with penticostals, there is a HUGE difference.

    That said, it seems like the larger church growth, non-denom, generic (if that is not an insult) looks sort of like charismatic or some fusion of baptist practice mixed with a low keyed penticostalism. but it is not really baptist OR penticostal as far as I can tell. What penticostal doctrine looks like is probably even more diffused as to meaning. I am suspecting that they deliberately try to avoid definition for whatever reason.

    I am always glad to see Baptists who know what they are and are not about. You baptists have a much richer variety of practice and doctrine than we Luthurns do. And we struggle with our own name. Lutheran? orthodox-catholic-evangelicals?

    Wouldnt it be nice if every christian sect, including Lutherans, could chose, and then stick to a label that truly describes what they are AND distinguishs them from what they are not. And that does not claim for their group more than belongs ONLY to them (eg THE Catholic Church, THE Christian Church, THE orthodox church, THE church of God)

    Thanks for the group hug guys. I continue to be really impressed by the standards of politeness here, and the willingness to consider honest and reasoned criticism of closely held ideas gracefully. I am (I hope ) learning to get better at all that.

    Thanks again.

    Come baaaaak Jay. we need you here.

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

    I am not a Lutheran, but appreciate the writings of Dr. Veith, this blog, and the insights of Lutheran Christians.

    I grew up and was confirmed in the ALC/ELCA. In hindsight, our pastor when I was in Jr/Sr high was a confessional Lutheran, but we had some rather liberal associate pastors. By the time I graduated from high school, I was theologically confused. I had a high view of the Bible, but if one would have asked me how a person was “saved” I would have given the scales of justice as my answer: if my good deeds outweigh my bad deeds, then God would accept me. I also feared that if I died with any unconfessed sins, I would go to hell. Additionally, I hoped that when I died, it would be right after communion when my sins were forgiven.

    In my first year of college (University of Utah; heart of Mormon-land) some men from Campus Crusade for Christ came to my fraternity house and went through the Four Spiritual Laws. A lot of things clicked for me that night, and for the first time I understood what the phrase “Jesus died for my sins” meant. The verse that stood out to me more than any other was Ephesians 2:8,9. That evening I was filled with a joy in my salvation in Christ that overflowed. (I know that it is a heretical thought to some of you that I got a better sense of Justification by grace alone through faith alone through CCC than through the Lutheran church).

    For years I was bitter against the Lutheran church. I can relate to the person who says “I once was Lutheran, but now I’m a Christian.” I felt that way for several years.

    That all was almost thirty years ago. 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.

    ———————————————————-

    A side note: I live in Romania. There has been a considerable German minority in the Transylvania region since the 13th century, and most of them became Lutheran in the 1530s. Unfortunately, one’s religion in Romania has always been tied to nationality. If a person is Romanian, they are Orthodox; if Hungarian, then Catholic or Reformed; if German, then Lutheran. In the almost 500 years since the Reformation, the Lutheran church has had virtually zero theological influence on the broader community here. There is only one Lutheran church in the entire country that has a service in Romanian. Because most ethnic Germans have returned to Germany since 1989, many of the remaining churches are small, and function more as museums than as churches. It is unfortunate, because the Lutherans have much to offer, including a historical balance that is often missing in evangelical churches, here as well as in America. That is my perspective from the outside.

    Grace and Peace

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

    I am not a Lutheran, but appreciate the writings of Dr. Veith, this blog, and the insights of Lutheran Christians.

    I grew up and was confirmed in the ALC/ELCA. In hindsight, our pastor when I was in Jr/Sr high was a confessional Lutheran, but we had some rather liberal associate pastors. By the time I graduated from high school, I was theologically confused. I had a high view of the Bible, but if one would have asked me how a person was “saved” I would have given the scales of justice as my answer: if my good deeds outweigh my bad deeds, then God would accept me. I also feared that if I died with any unconfessed sins, I would go to hell. Additionally, I hoped that when I died, it would be right after communion when my sins were forgiven.

    In my first year of college (University of Utah; heart of Mormon-land) some men from Campus Crusade for Christ came to my fraternity house and went through the Four Spiritual Laws. A lot of things clicked for me that night, and for the first time I understood what the phrase “Jesus died for my sins” meant. The verse that stood out to me more than any other was Ephesians 2:8,9. That evening I was filled with a joy in my salvation in Christ that overflowed. (I know that it is a heretical thought to some of you that I got a better sense of Justification by grace alone through faith alone through CCC than through the Lutheran church).

    For years I was bitter against the Lutheran church. I can relate to the person who says “I once was Lutheran, but now I’m a Christian.” I felt that way for several years.

    That all was almost thirty years ago. 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.

    ———————————————————-

    A side note: I live in Romania. There has been a considerable German minority in the Transylvania region since the 13th century, and most of them became Lutheran in the 1530s. Unfortunately, one’s religion in Romania has always been tied to nationality. If a person is Romanian, they are Orthodox; if Hungarian, then Catholic or Reformed; if German, then Lutheran. In the almost 500 years since the Reformation, the Lutheran church has had virtually zero theological influence on the broader community here. There is only one Lutheran church in the entire country that has a service in Romanian. Because most ethnic Germans have returned to Germany since 1989, many of the remaining churches are small, and function more as museums than as churches. It is unfortunate, because the Lutherans have much to offer, including a historical balance that is often missing in evangelical churches, here as well as in America. That is my perspective from the outside.

    Grace and Peace

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

    Another side note:

    I’ve seen three Gene Edward Veith books in Romanian. Can you guess what these are? (Romanian is just living Latin, so some of you should be able to figure these out).

    –Crestini intr-o lume a .com-ului
    –Starea artelor
    –Citind printre rânduri

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

    Another side note:

    I’ve seen three Gene Edward Veith books in Romanian. Can you guess what these are? (Romanian is just living Latin, so some of you should be able to figure these out).

    –Crestini intr-o lume a .com-ului
    –Starea artelor
    –Citind printre rânduri

  • http://www.geneveith.com Veith

    Thanks, for both of these posts, Kevin. The first one is very helpful in showing what Lutherans and other Christians can learn from each other. As for the second, I didn’t realize that I had three books translated into Romanian! I was aware of two!

  • http://www.geneveith.com Veith

    Thanks, for both of these posts, Kevin. The first one is very helpful in showing what Lutherans and other Christians can learn from each other. As for the second, I didn’t realize that I had three books translated into Romanian! I was aware of two!

  • Paul S

    Did anyone catch the description Mitt Romney gave of Lutherans in his recent religion speech? He referred to the “confident independence” of Lutherans. This could be interpreted a couple of ways.
    Are Lutherans perceived as confident and independent because of a “nobody’s going to tell me nuthin” mindset rooted in most every Germanic northern European people groups?
    Or does the rightness of their theology cause Lutherans to stand alone in there convictions knowing on the surface they may not appear as winsome as the other faith options?
    Having been around the Lutheran for a long time I can tell you unequivocally that both options are at times true. This amuses me very much and also validates Mitts description?

  • Paul S

    Did anyone catch the description Mitt Romney gave of Lutherans in his recent religion speech? He referred to the “confident independence” of Lutherans. This could be interpreted a couple of ways.
    Are Lutherans perceived as confident and independent because of a “nobody’s going to tell me nuthin” mindset rooted in most every Germanic northern European people groups?
    Or does the rightness of their theology cause Lutherans to stand alone in there convictions knowing on the surface they may not appear as winsome as the other faith options?
    Having been around the Lutheran for a long time I can tell you unequivocally that both options are at times true. This amuses me very much and also validates Mitts description?

  • http://www.geneveith.com Veith

    Right, Paul! I’m going to do a whole separate post on that description next week.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Veith

    Right, Paul! I’m going to do a whole separate post on that description next week.

  • Booklover

    Please never never never stop giving the Lutheran perspective. I was raised Lutheran but married a Baptist-type “Bible Church” boy, and we ended up going to a sort of revivalist church. I was depressed because they seemed to make religion into something we do instead of what Christ has done for us. Every worship service held an invitation and seemed very shallow. I have a lot more complaints to add, but suffice it to say that I stayed in my depression until I listened to the White Horse Inn, and they reminded me again of the true Gospel which I had received as a child. Shout it from the mountaintops!!!!! Jesus has done the salvation work!! I love to read the Lutheran perspective. And I haven’t even begun to touch on “end times!!” Our revivalist church practically used the *Left Behind* series as gospel tracts! :-( Horrors!! Oh please! Never, never leave us without the Lutheran perspective! Christ alone!!

  • Booklover

    Please never never never stop giving the Lutheran perspective. I was raised Lutheran but married a Baptist-type “Bible Church” boy, and we ended up going to a sort of revivalist church. I was depressed because they seemed to make religion into something we do instead of what Christ has done for us. Every worship service held an invitation and seemed very shallow. I have a lot more complaints to add, but suffice it to say that I stayed in my depression until I listened to the White Horse Inn, and they reminded me again of the true Gospel which I had received as a child. Shout it from the mountaintops!!!!! Jesus has done the salvation work!! I love to read the Lutheran perspective. And I haven’t even begun to touch on “end times!!” Our revivalist church practically used the *Left Behind* series as gospel tracts! :-( Horrors!! Oh please! Never, never leave us without the Lutheran perspective! Christ alone!!

  • fwsonnek

    In short we do not hold that the Lutheran Church IS the WHOLE church.

    We instead argue the moral proposition that to our part SHOULD belong the whole.

    If we did not truly believe this second proposition, we would then lose our moral right to exist as a separate group.

    We would then be compelled, following conscience, to close our churches and join with another group that can make this moral claim, and so not need to stand in judgement at the last day, for needlessly dividing the church.

    So part of this dialog you see, is our constant Lutheran self doubting: “Do we have the right and moral necessity to continue to stand separately from the rest of christians who make up the ONE Holy Catholic (=universal) and Apostolic Church?”

    I believe that the answer to this important question is still an unqualified yes.

    It is a very sad and reluctant yes. Not a proud one.

    Let us pray for the increase of that true unity that all believers share in Christ Jesus. In the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

  • fwsonnek

    In short we do not hold that the Lutheran Church IS the WHOLE church.

    We instead argue the moral proposition that to our part SHOULD belong the whole.

    If we did not truly believe this second proposition, we would then lose our moral right to exist as a separate group.

    We would then be compelled, following conscience, to close our churches and join with another group that can make this moral claim, and so not need to stand in judgement at the last day, for needlessly dividing the church.

    So part of this dialog you see, is our constant Lutheran self doubting: “Do we have the right and moral necessity to continue to stand separately from the rest of christians who make up the ONE Holy Catholic (=universal) and Apostolic Church?”

    I believe that the answer to this important question is still an unqualified yes.

    It is a very sad and reluctant yes. Not a proud one.

    Let us pray for the increase of that true unity that all believers share in Christ Jesus. In the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

  • S Bauer

    Well said, frank.

  • S Bauer

    Well said, frank.

  • fwsonnek

    #20 s bauer

    Thanks ! few of my ideas are original to me. You can get the original of my pale comments in a book called “The Conservative Reformation” by Charles Porterfield Krauth.

  • fwsonnek

    #20 s bauer

    Thanks ! few of my ideas are original to me. You can get the original of my pale comments in a book called “The Conservative Reformation” by Charles Porterfield Krauth.

  • Patrick Kyle

    We have that book at New Reformation Press. See the link on the sidebar of this blog.

  • Patrick Kyle

    We have that book at New Reformation Press. See the link on the sidebar of this blog.

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

    Great dialogue. Two thoughts caught my eye.

    1. I know that it is a heretical thought to some of you that I got a better sense of Justification by grace alone through faith alone through CCC than through the Lutheran church). For years I was bitter against the Lutheran church. I can relate to the person who says “I once was Lutheran, but now I’m a Christian.” I felt that way for several years.

    2. Please never never never stop giving the Lutheran perspective. I was raised Lutheran but married a Baptist-type “Bible Church” boy, and we ended up going to a sort of revivalist church. I was depressed because they seemed to make religion into something we do instead of what Christ has done for us.

    I continue to be saddened by the number of people who have this same story: raised by a marginally Lutheran church and didn’t realize the “true” gospel until others came knocking at their door.
    That, too, was my story, but I came to realize that ONE Lutheran church raised me…not THE Lutheran church. If you want to blame someone, blame those in the early part of the 1900′s who agreed to compromise on doctrine in the name of “peace”. Of course, the blame game for doctrinal compromise goes back to Adam and Eve; we, in Christ’s church , continue to take our cue from them in believing the lie that we can choose our own salvation and be God for ourselves.

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

    Great dialogue. Two thoughts caught my eye.

    1. I know that it is a heretical thought to some of you that I got a better sense of Justification by grace alone through faith alone through CCC than through the Lutheran church). For years I was bitter against the Lutheran church. I can relate to the person who says “I once was Lutheran, but now I’m a Christian.” I felt that way for several years.

    2. Please never never never stop giving the Lutheran perspective. I was raised Lutheran but married a Baptist-type “Bible Church” boy, and we ended up going to a sort of revivalist church. I was depressed because they seemed to make religion into something we do instead of what Christ has done for us.

    I continue to be saddened by the number of people who have this same story: raised by a marginally Lutheran church and didn’t realize the “true” gospel until others came knocking at their door.
    That, too, was my story, but I came to realize that ONE Lutheran church raised me…not THE Lutheran church. If you want to blame someone, blame those in the early part of the 1900′s who agreed to compromise on doctrine in the name of “peace”. Of course, the blame game for doctrinal compromise goes back to Adam and Eve; we, in Christ’s church , continue to take our cue from them in believing the lie that we can choose our own salvation and be God for ourselves.

  • fwsonnek

    #22 Pat Kyle

    I stand duly chastized. I had a chance to plug you guys and i didn´t. It won´t happen again! u got da bomb site there going on!

  • fwsonnek

    #22 Pat Kyle

    I stand duly chastized. I had a chance to plug you guys and i didn´t. It won´t happen again! u got da bomb site there going on!

  • S Bauer

    frank,

    You don’t think I’m smart enough on my own to have recognized the truth in your words, do you? ;-) It was mostly through reading Krauth’s book and others like it, as well as the sources, that I was enlightened on what Lutheranism meant. Now if I could just get smart enough to pass it on better myself to those I catechize!

  • S Bauer

    frank,

    You don’t think I’m smart enough on my own to have recognized the truth in your words, do you? ;-) It was mostly through reading Krauth’s book and others like it, as well as the sources, that I was enlightened on what Lutheranism meant. Now if I could just get smart enough to pass it on better myself to those I catechize!

  • fwsonnek

    #25 S BAUER

    like a true Lutheran. U let me have some thunder even when u knew it was stolen thunder. bless you. one of noah´s good sons u are….

  • fwsonnek

    #25 S BAUER

    like a true Lutheran. U let me have some thunder even when u knew it was stolen thunder. bless you. one of noah´s good sons u are….

  • Pinon Coffee

    I agree with the general sentiment–by no means stop posting “Lutheran” posts! I’m not Lutheran either, but I heartily support your right to be so–especially in the blogosphere. Please, carry on. :-)

  • Pinon Coffee

    I agree with the general sentiment–by no means stop posting “Lutheran” posts! I’m not Lutheran either, but I heartily support your right to be so–especially in the blogosphere. Please, carry on. :-)


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