Christology

We’ve been discussing the Christological dimensions of the Ascension, including the Lutheran view that not only Christ’s divine nature was taken into the Godhead, but that also His human nature–body and all–is now part of the Trinity, sharing in the divine attributes such as omnipresence.  Thus, Christ, in His body and blood, can be truly present on all the world’s altars celebrating Holy Communion.

I just had a related conversation with a friend of mine who said that he had been taught that only Christ’s human nature died on the Cross.  His divine nature did not.

A while back ago, we discussed the passage in the Lutheran Confessions that insists, against a number of opponents, that it is correct to say that “God died” on the cross.  Again, we have “the communication of attributes.”

Otherwise, it seems like the Incarnation is being split, if not undone.  The Son of God is both true God and true Man even in Heaven.  And the Son of God is both true God and true Man who is “with us always.”  God is still and always incarnate in Jesus Christ.

It’s hard to imagine how Christ’s death could have such an effect–bearing our sins and griefs and atoning for them–if it were just His human nature, or just His body that suffered.   Surely only the death of God–not the Father, but the Son–could accomplish things of such magnitude.

I’m starting to see how, as David Scaer has put it, “all theology is Christology.”

UPDATE:  Here is a link to the earlier post, along with a substantial quotation from the Formula of Concord, Article VIII: That God Died.

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.

  • Tom Hering

    Christology seems daunting because it seems to be about, well, Christology. Speculation upon speculation about great mysteries. But shouldn’t it limit itself to what the Scriptures reveal about Christ – remaining silent about things that Scripture is silent about? Shouldn’t Christology just be Bible study?

  • Tom Hering

    Christology seems daunting because it seems to be about, well, Christology. Speculation upon speculation about great mysteries. But shouldn’t it limit itself to what the Scriptures reveal about Christ – remaining silent about things that Scripture is silent about? Shouldn’t Christology just be Bible study?

  • Pr. Tom Fast

    Persons die.

    Can natures die?

  • Pr. Tom Fast

    Persons die.

    Can natures die?

  • http://www.trinitybaptistmuncie.org Tim Raymond

    For those who might be interested, here’s RC Sproul’s take on that exact question: http://www.ligonier.org/blog/it-accurate-say-god-died-cross/

  • http://www.trinitybaptistmuncie.org Tim Raymond

    For those who might be interested, here’s RC Sproul’s take on that exact question: http://www.ligonier.org/blog/it-accurate-say-god-died-cross/

  • Dan Kempin

    “Did God die?” etc.

    I believe the correct formulation is to say that CHRIST died on the cross–the person of the Christ encompassing the inseparable union of His divine and His human nature. The death He died as a whole person He died ACCORDING TO His human nature, just as His bodily presence in the sacrament is ACCORDING TO his divine nature. Yet we speak not of natures, but only of what Christ does as a whole person.

    To speak of what one or the other nature does independently lacks an understanding of the indivisible personal union–ONE person, TWO natures. (R. C. Sproul exhibits this error in his explanation, revealing his Reformed theological foundation.* I don’t say this to impugn R. C. Sproul, who is a fine Christian and has a much better mind than I, but to illustrate that he is a most excellent Calvinist–i.e. problems with the person union and communication of attributes.)

    *”We should shrink in horror from the idea that God actually died on the cross. The atonement was made by the human nature of Christ.”

  • Dan Kempin

    “Did God die?” etc.

    I believe the correct formulation is to say that CHRIST died on the cross–the person of the Christ encompassing the inseparable union of His divine and His human nature. The death He died as a whole person He died ACCORDING TO His human nature, just as His bodily presence in the sacrament is ACCORDING TO his divine nature. Yet we speak not of natures, but only of what Christ does as a whole person.

    To speak of what one or the other nature does independently lacks an understanding of the indivisible personal union–ONE person, TWO natures. (R. C. Sproul exhibits this error in his explanation, revealing his Reformed theological foundation.* I don’t say this to impugn R. C. Sproul, who is a fine Christian and has a much better mind than I, but to illustrate that he is a most excellent Calvinist–i.e. problems with the person union and communication of attributes.)

    *”We should shrink in horror from the idea that God actually died on the cross. The atonement was made by the human nature of Christ.”

  • Booklover

    When extremely intelligent men disagree on very important topics concerning the Most Important Person of all, and are able to defend their point of view with intelligent arguments, my brain cells start doing ping pong and

    I NEED TO GO EAT CAKE.

  • Booklover

    When extremely intelligent men disagree on very important topics concerning the Most Important Person of all, and are able to defend their point of view with intelligent arguments, my brain cells start doing ping pong and

    I NEED TO GO EAT CAKE.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in 21st Century

    I just had a related conversation with a friend of mine who said that he had been taught that only Christ’s human nature died on the Cross. His divine nature did not.

    ARRRRGGGHHHHH!!!!!!! Why cant you just die, Mr Nestorius?
    This is why I spend lots of time in confirmation talking Christology with my kids. It helps to eliminate a lot garbage in pop-theology. that and Scaer is right, all theology is Christology, because to truly know God is to know Christ.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in 21st Century

    I just had a related conversation with a friend of mine who said that he had been taught that only Christ’s human nature died on the Cross. His divine nature did not.

    ARRRRGGGHHHHH!!!!!!! Why cant you just die, Mr Nestorius?
    This is why I spend lots of time in confirmation talking Christology with my kids. It helps to eliminate a lot garbage in pop-theology. that and Scaer is right, all theology is Christology, because to truly know God is to know Christ.

  • Tom Hering

    R.C. Sproul would be right if his conception of death was correct. But it’s not. Death isn’t “ceasing to exist” – not even for a nanosecond. Rather, it’s passing on to another existence.

  • Tom Hering

    R.C. Sproul would be right if his conception of death was correct. But it’s not. Death isn’t “ceasing to exist” – not even for a nanosecond. Rather, it’s passing on to another existence.

  • S Bauer

    These mysteries go bey0nd us. Jesus Christ in both God and man. If we say Jesus Christ is God, then God was born in a manger. God became a curse, bearing the sin of the world. God died on a cross. But to try to go further than these statements threatens to entangle us in philosophical speculations. “How”, “In what way”, “To what extent” did the divine nature “share in”, “participate in” the death of the Son? Those things are beyond me.

    In the same vein, I would hesitate to say that Jesus’ human nature is now “part of” the Trinity. There is a sharing, a participation, a mysterious union, with the divine attributes but not an identification.

    Oh, that my copy of The Two Natures of Christ wasn’t put away somewhere so that I could grab it right now!

  • S Bauer

    These mysteries go bey0nd us. Jesus Christ in both God and man. If we say Jesus Christ is God, then God was born in a manger. God became a curse, bearing the sin of the world. God died on a cross. But to try to go further than these statements threatens to entangle us in philosophical speculations. “How”, “In what way”, “To what extent” did the divine nature “share in”, “participate in” the death of the Son? Those things are beyond me.

    In the same vein, I would hesitate to say that Jesus’ human nature is now “part of” the Trinity. There is a sharing, a participation, a mysterious union, with the divine attributes but not an identification.

    Oh, that my copy of The Two Natures of Christ wasn’t put away somewhere so that I could grab it right now!

  • EGK

    It is true, natures don’t die, people do. And Christ the person, God and Man, died. Our Confessions emphasize the fact that the second person of the Trinity died in accordance with the properties of His human nature. The Confessions (detailed most preceisely in Formula of Concord article eight) state that each nature retains its own properties, that the properties of each nature are exercised by Person, and that the human nature, taken up into the Divine Person, now exercises the divine attributes. End result: everything done by Christ done for oursalvation, is done as a single Divine-human (theanthropic) act.

    To say that God didn’t die is to say that there is a separate person upon whom the divine person fell, and that divine person left or was not involved in the death. But there is no separate human person, for the Divine Person took a human nature into Himself. To say, then, that God didn’t die, is senseless.

    From the hymn “O Darkest Woe,” LSB 448: “O sorrow dread! Our God is dead, Upon the cross extended.” (The original German says “God Himself is dead.”) From “Jesus, I Will Ponder Now,” LSB 440): “Make me see how scourge and rod, Spear and nails did wound You, How for them You died, O God, Who with thorns had crowned You.”

  • EGK

    It is true, natures don’t die, people do. And Christ the person, God and Man, died. Our Confessions emphasize the fact that the second person of the Trinity died in accordance with the properties of His human nature. The Confessions (detailed most preceisely in Formula of Concord article eight) state that each nature retains its own properties, that the properties of each nature are exercised by Person, and that the human nature, taken up into the Divine Person, now exercises the divine attributes. End result: everything done by Christ done for oursalvation, is done as a single Divine-human (theanthropic) act.

    To say that God didn’t die is to say that there is a separate person upon whom the divine person fell, and that divine person left or was not involved in the death. But there is no separate human person, for the Divine Person took a human nature into Himself. To say, then, that God didn’t die, is senseless.

    From the hymn “O Darkest Woe,” LSB 448: “O sorrow dread! Our God is dead, Upon the cross extended.” (The original German says “God Himself is dead.”) From “Jesus, I Will Ponder Now,” LSB 440): “Make me see how scourge and rod, Spear and nails did wound You, How for them You died, O God, Who with thorns had crowned You.”

  • Kelly

    “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn.” -Zech. 12:10

    This seems like a particularly good passage to ponder as we approach the day of Pentecost and Acts 2.

  • Kelly

    “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn.” -Zech. 12:10

    This seems like a particularly good passage to ponder as we approach the day of Pentecost and Acts 2.

  • Dan Kempin

    EGK, #9,

    +1. We must maintain the unity of the person, even as we distinguish (not separate) the persons.

    I do maintain, (though I have not said it before now), that it is flirting with misinterpretation to say that “God died.” It is certainly true insofar as it concerns Jesus, but the word “God” in more general usage also refers to the Father, to the Spirit, and to the Trinity as a whole. The bald statement “God died” lacks the clarity of explanation. The old terminology, while cumbersome, is still probably the safest: Christ, who is both God and Man, died.

    And I am sorry, EGK, but I cannot accept your apocryphal and possibly sinful reference to “Jesus, I Will Ponder Now.” Surely that hymn is only efficacious if it ends with the word “Thee.”

  • Dan Kempin

    EGK, #9,

    +1. We must maintain the unity of the person, even as we distinguish (not separate) the persons.

    I do maintain, (though I have not said it before now), that it is flirting with misinterpretation to say that “God died.” It is certainly true insofar as it concerns Jesus, but the word “God” in more general usage also refers to the Father, to the Spirit, and to the Trinity as a whole. The bald statement “God died” lacks the clarity of explanation. The old terminology, while cumbersome, is still probably the safest: Christ, who is both God and Man, died.

    And I am sorry, EGK, but I cannot accept your apocryphal and possibly sinful reference to “Jesus, I Will Ponder Now.” Surely that hymn is only efficacious if it ends with the word “Thee.”

  • Dan Kempin

    “A while back ago, we discussed the passage in the Lutheran Confessions that insists, against a number of opponents, that it is correct to say that “God died” on the cross.”

    I would not mind a link to that discussion, Dr. Veith.

  • Dan Kempin

    “A while back ago, we discussed the passage in the Lutheran Confessions that insists, against a number of opponents, that it is correct to say that “God died” on the cross.”

    I would not mind a link to that discussion, Dr. Veith.

  • fws

    tom herring @1

    Invert that. All bible study should be study of christ. “The Gospel and all it´s articles” as the augustana says.

    tom, tim and dan 2,3 &4

    Ask the wrong question and get the wrong answer. Tom @ 7… dang you come so very close then talk about death being a “passing”. argh. This deserves a longer treatment:

    It is so not! That would be to give death meaning. Death is the ultimate un-meaning. It is the ultimate un, not, us not, cannot, will not. Death is nothing. Nullity. The ultimate void. It is the absence of light and heat. It is precisely why we ” cannot by our own reason or strength”, and so it is also why we, who so very desperately seek to give it meaning, usually as sacrifice, want nothing else but to escape what it really does mean. And what does death mean? Nothing. And for us to die means what about us? What does death tell us about our lives and our thought that love can overcome that? Aha! Gotcha. Also nothing. What has meaning is Life, that One that the world would not know. But instead, as in romans 8, we insist on seeking meaning in life as well as in death rather than faith. Alone. Jesus is not the Lord of death. He is the Lord of Life precisely by being, in his flesh, person, godhead, and every single part of him, Life. as in: Jesus ceases, then Life ceases. This is not divine vs human. this is All vs nothing. Nothing is another word for death.

    Jesus as both Man AND God experienced that thing called death. Even Christ´s death meant? Nothing. Jesus is the meaning that passed through that. Life and Light passed through it. (see Tom @7 death is not a passing really is it? That does not say enough because it is about death and not Life… that is not where Sproul is wrong.) No more void. Void ceases to exist where Life and Light are. Even if it never really did exist to begin with.

    Voila.

    “Jesus Christ is the Light of the world, he is the Light the darkness could not overcome. Stay with us Lord for it is evening, and the day is almost over!”

    I was told 18 Easters ago, that I would be dead in a year. So I get to celebrate Easter every year as someone, who exactly like my Christ, died. Who is dead. But my first easter happened really 54 years ago. not 18 years ago. We learn. Well, me and the Holy Spirit are actually still working that one out, we are daily killing that old me. And then, someday soon, my physical self, along with that old nature will die. Yes natures can die. (pr tom fast @2) That is my hope in faith for death to happen. I can hardly wait most days! And I want to live too. And enjoy life! and be a joy to others! THAT is why I want that old nature to die. He is a party killer. He really is. Now there is someone new living. Me! I died body and soul. That is what new means. Old gets to die. New is clean-slate-new. Not re-condition-ed, not refurbished old. New. (THIS is where Sproul really is wrong. He looks at death as as sacrifice. Just as we and rome and anyone who wants to offer up something to our small g gods want to see things).

    I can tell you that looking at a dead Jew on a cross was the only thing that made sense when I was told I would be dead. It is still the only thing in my existence that makes any sense at all. So booklover! Enjoy that cake! Come down and we will bake one together.

    Thank you for wading through more than my 350 word alotment, if you got this far.

  • fws

    tom herring @1

    Invert that. All bible study should be study of christ. “The Gospel and all it´s articles” as the augustana says.

    tom, tim and dan 2,3 &4

    Ask the wrong question and get the wrong answer. Tom @ 7… dang you come so very close then talk about death being a “passing”. argh. This deserves a longer treatment:

    It is so not! That would be to give death meaning. Death is the ultimate un-meaning. It is the ultimate un, not, us not, cannot, will not. Death is nothing. Nullity. The ultimate void. It is the absence of light and heat. It is precisely why we ” cannot by our own reason or strength”, and so it is also why we, who so very desperately seek to give it meaning, usually as sacrifice, want nothing else but to escape what it really does mean. And what does death mean? Nothing. And for us to die means what about us? What does death tell us about our lives and our thought that love can overcome that? Aha! Gotcha. Also nothing. What has meaning is Life, that One that the world would not know. But instead, as in romans 8, we insist on seeking meaning in life as well as in death rather than faith. Alone. Jesus is not the Lord of death. He is the Lord of Life precisely by being, in his flesh, person, godhead, and every single part of him, Life. as in: Jesus ceases, then Life ceases. This is not divine vs human. this is All vs nothing. Nothing is another word for death.

    Jesus as both Man AND God experienced that thing called death. Even Christ´s death meant? Nothing. Jesus is the meaning that passed through that. Life and Light passed through it. (see Tom @7 death is not a passing really is it? That does not say enough because it is about death and not Life… that is not where Sproul is wrong.) No more void. Void ceases to exist where Life and Light are. Even if it never really did exist to begin with.

    Voila.

    “Jesus Christ is the Light of the world, he is the Light the darkness could not overcome. Stay with us Lord for it is evening, and the day is almost over!”

    I was told 18 Easters ago, that I would be dead in a year. So I get to celebrate Easter every year as someone, who exactly like my Christ, died. Who is dead. But my first easter happened really 54 years ago. not 18 years ago. We learn. Well, me and the Holy Spirit are actually still working that one out, we are daily killing that old me. And then, someday soon, my physical self, along with that old nature will die. Yes natures can die. (pr tom fast @2) That is my hope in faith for death to happen. I can hardly wait most days! And I want to live too. And enjoy life! and be a joy to others! THAT is why I want that old nature to die. He is a party killer. He really is. Now there is someone new living. Me! I died body and soul. That is what new means. Old gets to die. New is clean-slate-new. Not re-condition-ed, not refurbished old. New. (THIS is where Sproul really is wrong. He looks at death as as sacrifice. Just as we and rome and anyone who wants to offer up something to our small g gods want to see things).

    I can tell you that looking at a dead Jew on a cross was the only thing that made sense when I was told I would be dead. It is still the only thing in my existence that makes any sense at all. So booklover! Enjoy that cake! Come down and we will bake one together.

    Thank you for wading through more than my 350 word alotment, if you got this far.

  • fws

    Formula of Concord Epitome VIII “The Nature of Christ”.

    One of the ideas Lutherans reject about the Nature of Christ:

    26] 7. That there is merely communicatio [idiomatum] verbalis [without reality], that is, that it is nothing
    but words when it is said the Son of God died for the sins of the world.

    The context of this article of the FC:

    1] Another argument arose from disagreement on the Lord´s supper between Lutherans and the Calvinists.

    2] The chief question [is whether or not] the divine and human natures, as also their properties, have realiter, that is, in deed and truth, a communion with one another in
    the person of Christ, and how far this communion extends.

    3] The Calvinists have asserted that the divine and human natures in Christ are united personally …[ in name only. Metaphorically.]

    7 the ancient teachers of the
    Church explained this union and communion of the natures by the illustration of iron glowing with fire,
    and also by the union of body and soul in man.

    Then our confessions quote Luther at length:

    38] However, since beneath the words, when it is said that what is peculiar to one nature is ascribed to
    the entire person, secret and open Sacramentarians conceal their pernicious error, by naming indeed the
    entire person, but understanding thereby nevertheless only the one nature, and entirely excluding the
    other nature, as though the mere human nature had suffered for us, as Dr. Luther in his Large Confession
    concerning the Holy Supper has written concerning the alloeosis of Zwingli, we will here set down
    Luther’s own words, in order that the Church of God may be guarded in the best way against this error.
    His words are as follows:
    39] Zwingli calls that an alloeosis when something is said of the divinity of Christ which really belongs to
    the humanity, or vice versa. As Luke 24, 26: “Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter
    into His glory?” Here Zwingli juggles, asserting that [the word] Christ is understood of the human
    nature. 40] Beware, beware, I say, of the alloeosis! For it is a devil’s mask, for at last it manufactures
    such a Christ after whom I certainly would not be a Christian; namely, that henceforth Christ should be
    no more and do no more with His sufferings and life than any other mere saint. For if I believe this
    [permit myself to be persuaded] that only the human nature has suffered for me, then Christ is to me a
    poor Savior, then He Himself indeed needs a Savior. In a word, it is unspeakable what the devil seeks by
    the alloeosis.
    Formula of Concord — Solid Declaration
    http://wolf-359/boceng/Fc2eng.htm (68 of 97) [2/14/2001 10:24:49 AM]
    41] And shortly afterwards: If the old weather-witch, Dame Reason, the grandmother of the alloeosis,
    would say, Yea, divinity cannot suffer nor die; you shall reply, That is true; yet, because in Christ divinity
    and humanity are one person, Scripture, on account of this personal union, ascribes also to divinity
    everything that happens to the humanity, and vice versa. 42] And it is so in reality; for you must certainly
    answer this, that the person (meaning Christ) suffers and dies. Now the person is true God; therefore it is
    rightly said: The Son of God suffers. For although the one part (to speak thus), namely, the divinity, does
    not suffer, yet the person, which is God, suffers in the other part, namely, in His humanity; for in truth
    God’s Son has been crucified for us, that is, the person which is God. For the person, the person, I say,
    was crucified according to the humanity.
    43] And again, shortly afterwards: If the alloeosis is to stand as Zwingli teaches it, then Christ will have
    to be two persons, one divine and one human, because Zwingli applies the passages concerning suffering
    to the human nature alone, and diverts them entirely from the divinity. For if the works be parted and
    separated, the person must also be divided, since all the works or sufferings are ascribed not to the
    natures, but to the person. For it is the person that does and suffers everything, one thing according to
    one nature, and another according to the other nature, all of which the learned know well. Therefore we
    regard our Lord Christ as God and man in one person, non confundendo naturas nec dividendo
    personam, so that we neither confound the natures nor divide the person.
    44] Dr. Luther says also in his book Of the Councils and the Church: We Christians must know that if
    God is not also in the balance, and gives the weight, we sink to the bottom with our scale. By this I mean:
    If it were not to be said [if these things were not true], God has died for us, but only a man, we would be
    lost. But if “God’s death” and “God died” lie in the scale of the balance, then He sinks down, and we rise
    up as a light, empty scale. But indeed He can also rise again or leap out of the scale; yet He could not sit
    in the scale unless He became a man like us, so that it could be said: “God died,” “God’s passion,”
    “God’s blood,” “God’s death.” For in His nature God cannot die; but now that God and man are united
    in one person, it is correctly called God’s death, when the man dies who is one thing or one person with
    God. Thus far Luther.

    Lutherans always, always go back to their confessions understand how to interpret the Holy Scriptures. To be Lutherans means to bind ourselfs to interpret the scriptures through the eyeglasses of our Confessions.

  • fws

    Formula of Concord Epitome VIII “The Nature of Christ”.

    One of the ideas Lutherans reject about the Nature of Christ:

    26] 7. That there is merely communicatio [idiomatum] verbalis [without reality], that is, that it is nothing
    but words when it is said the Son of God died for the sins of the world.

    The context of this article of the FC:

    1] Another argument arose from disagreement on the Lord´s supper between Lutherans and the Calvinists.

    2] The chief question [is whether or not] the divine and human natures, as also their properties, have realiter, that is, in deed and truth, a communion with one another in
    the person of Christ, and how far this communion extends.

    3] The Calvinists have asserted that the divine and human natures in Christ are united personally …[ in name only. Metaphorically.]

    7 the ancient teachers of the
    Church explained this union and communion of the natures by the illustration of iron glowing with fire,
    and also by the union of body and soul in man.

    Then our confessions quote Luther at length:

    38] However, since beneath the words, when it is said that what is peculiar to one nature is ascribed to
    the entire person, secret and open Sacramentarians conceal their pernicious error, by naming indeed the
    entire person, but understanding thereby nevertheless only the one nature, and entirely excluding the
    other nature, as though the mere human nature had suffered for us, as Dr. Luther in his Large Confession
    concerning the Holy Supper has written concerning the alloeosis of Zwingli, we will here set down
    Luther’s own words, in order that the Church of God may be guarded in the best way against this error.
    His words are as follows:
    39] Zwingli calls that an alloeosis when something is said of the divinity of Christ which really belongs to
    the humanity, or vice versa. As Luke 24, 26: “Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter
    into His glory?” Here Zwingli juggles, asserting that [the word] Christ is understood of the human
    nature. 40] Beware, beware, I say, of the alloeosis! For it is a devil’s mask, for at last it manufactures
    such a Christ after whom I certainly would not be a Christian; namely, that henceforth Christ should be
    no more and do no more with His sufferings and life than any other mere saint. For if I believe this
    [permit myself to be persuaded] that only the human nature has suffered for me, then Christ is to me a
    poor Savior, then He Himself indeed needs a Savior. In a word, it is unspeakable what the devil seeks by
    the alloeosis.
    Formula of Concord — Solid Declaration
    http://wolf-359/boceng/Fc2eng.htm (68 of 97) [2/14/2001 10:24:49 AM]
    41] And shortly afterwards: If the old weather-witch, Dame Reason, the grandmother of the alloeosis,
    would say, Yea, divinity cannot suffer nor die; you shall reply, That is true; yet, because in Christ divinity
    and humanity are one person, Scripture, on account of this personal union, ascribes also to divinity
    everything that happens to the humanity, and vice versa. 42] And it is so in reality; for you must certainly
    answer this, that the person (meaning Christ) suffers and dies. Now the person is true God; therefore it is
    rightly said: The Son of God suffers. For although the one part (to speak thus), namely, the divinity, does
    not suffer, yet the person, which is God, suffers in the other part, namely, in His humanity; for in truth
    God’s Son has been crucified for us, that is, the person which is God. For the person, the person, I say,
    was crucified according to the humanity.
    43] And again, shortly afterwards: If the alloeosis is to stand as Zwingli teaches it, then Christ will have
    to be two persons, one divine and one human, because Zwingli applies the passages concerning suffering
    to the human nature alone, and diverts them entirely from the divinity. For if the works be parted and
    separated, the person must also be divided, since all the works or sufferings are ascribed not to the
    natures, but to the person. For it is the person that does and suffers everything, one thing according to
    one nature, and another according to the other nature, all of which the learned know well. Therefore we
    regard our Lord Christ as God and man in one person, non confundendo naturas nec dividendo
    personam, so that we neither confound the natures nor divide the person.
    44] Dr. Luther says also in his book Of the Councils and the Church: We Christians must know that if
    God is not also in the balance, and gives the weight, we sink to the bottom with our scale. By this I mean:
    If it were not to be said [if these things were not true], God has died for us, but only a man, we would be
    lost. But if “God’s death” and “God died” lie in the scale of the balance, then He sinks down, and we rise
    up as a light, empty scale. But indeed He can also rise again or leap out of the scale; yet He could not sit
    in the scale unless He became a man like us, so that it could be said: “God died,” “God’s passion,”
    “God’s blood,” “God’s death.” For in His nature God cannot die; but now that God and man are united
    in one person, it is correctly called God’s death, when the man dies who is one thing or one person with
    God. Thus far Luther.

    Lutherans always, always go back to their confessions understand how to interpret the Holy Scriptures. To be Lutherans means to bind ourselfs to interpret the scriptures through the eyeglasses of our Confessions.

  • fws

    dan @ 12

    I disagree. I push this in fact, with any new Lutherans coming out of a reformed or bapticostal background. Mary IS the mother of God is how I start this conversation.

    One reaction: “frank you almost drove me out of the Lutheran Church with all that. Later…. twins born to the man who said this… one is named martin the other is named luther. “Chemnitz” seemed a little clumsy I guess! ha!

    We live in a theological atmosphere that breathes reformed assumptions. The words of our public confession should reflect this reality and emphasize what it is they need to hear. You fear this very Lutheran wording will actualize in what confusion exactly? Example please.

  • fws

    dan @ 12

    I disagree. I push this in fact, with any new Lutherans coming out of a reformed or bapticostal background. Mary IS the mother of God is how I start this conversation.

    One reaction: “frank you almost drove me out of the Lutheran Church with all that. Later…. twins born to the man who said this… one is named martin the other is named luther. “Chemnitz” seemed a little clumsy I guess! ha!

    We live in a theological atmosphere that breathes reformed assumptions. The words of our public confession should reflect this reality and emphasize what it is they need to hear. You fear this very Lutheran wording will actualize in what confusion exactly? Example please.

  • fws

    We want the christian life to be sacrifice to avoid death. If we sacrifice then maybe we get to hang onto “us”.

    and so sanctification becomes holy sacrifice. works animated by faith. This is the most deadly form of sacrifice. It gives death meaning.

    No. Sanctification is all and only Christ-in-us. Christology! This is the new birth. It is our Election. It is pure grace. We simply are this. We don´t need to cooperate. “cooperate” implies conscious effort to do what is not of our nature to do. No. This is not it.

    Mortification is what is progressive and becomes entire. Not sanctification. And we do cooperate with this. We suffer the Holy Spirit to kill our Old Adam and pray for it. Calvinists and Rome label “sanctification” what is really “Mortification”.

    We simply, as Jesus told Nicodemus need to drop dead to this idea. WE need to drop dead. We must be born again, from above. Old must die before the new can come.

    How will we understand and grasp that we, as believer, are Old adam and new adam in one person ? We first need to get our Christology right. That is how. Follow the relation of bread/wine to body/blood in rome geneva and augsburg and you will see the direct implications as to the question “what is santification?” aka “what does it ‘look’ like to be a christian?”

    Lutheran: ” Sanctification and being a christian looks exactly like the “in, with and under” of the blessed sacrament, because it is exactly like that.

  • fws

    We want the christian life to be sacrifice to avoid death. If we sacrifice then maybe we get to hang onto “us”.

    and so sanctification becomes holy sacrifice. works animated by faith. This is the most deadly form of sacrifice. It gives death meaning.

    No. Sanctification is all and only Christ-in-us. Christology! This is the new birth. It is our Election. It is pure grace. We simply are this. We don´t need to cooperate. “cooperate” implies conscious effort to do what is not of our nature to do. No. This is not it.

    Mortification is what is progressive and becomes entire. Not sanctification. And we do cooperate with this. We suffer the Holy Spirit to kill our Old Adam and pray for it. Calvinists and Rome label “sanctification” what is really “Mortification”.

    We simply, as Jesus told Nicodemus need to drop dead to this idea. WE need to drop dead. We must be born again, from above. Old must die before the new can come.

    How will we understand and grasp that we, as believer, are Old adam and new adam in one person ? We first need to get our Christology right. That is how. Follow the relation of bread/wine to body/blood in rome geneva and augsburg and you will see the direct implications as to the question “what is santification?” aka “what does it ‘look’ like to be a christian?”

    Lutheran: ” Sanctification and being a christian looks exactly like the “in, with and under” of the blessed sacrament, because it is exactly like that.

  • Dan Kempin

    Fws, #15,

    You say you disagree with me @12.

    What are you disagreeing with?

  • Dan Kempin

    Fws, #15,

    You say you disagree with me @12.

    What are you disagreeing with?

  • Tom Hering

    In 25 words or less. :-)

  • Tom Hering

    In 25 words or less. :-)

  • fws

    dan @17

    oops. I meant that “other person” @11 who said….

    “The bald statement “God died” lacks the clarity of explanation. The old terminology, while cumbersome, is still probably the safest: Christ, who is both God and Man, died.”

    I think the Lutheran Confessions do not agree. Your post surprised me actually, being the uber Lutheran you seem to be. One can only be as uber Lutheran as one is uber confessional.

    I have even stopped quoting Luther and Chemnitz unless I am using them to clarify the confessions that actually are all that unite us as Lutheran.

    So that is why my later post slightly exceeded….ahem… the 350 limit the mortification of my flesh is seeming to require.

    Ditto for the expression “Mary was the mother of God”.

  • fws

    dan @17

    oops. I meant that “other person” @11 who said….

    “The bald statement “God died” lacks the clarity of explanation. The old terminology, while cumbersome, is still probably the safest: Christ, who is both God and Man, died.”

    I think the Lutheran Confessions do not agree. Your post surprised me actually, being the uber Lutheran you seem to be. One can only be as uber Lutheran as one is uber confessional.

    I have even stopped quoting Luther and Chemnitz unless I am using them to clarify the confessions that actually are all that unite us as Lutheran.

    So that is why my later post slightly exceeded….ahem… the 350 limit the mortification of my flesh is seeming to require.

    Ditto for the expression “Mary was the mother of God”.

  • EGK

    Dan #11:

    I presume you mistyped, and meant to say “we maintain the unity of the person even as we distinguish (not separate) the natures.” One person, two natures!

    The church from the very beginning has used the term “God” when referring to the individual persons. Re Christ: “In Him dwells the fullness of all Deity (Godhead) bodily” (Colossians 2:8).

    If we want to be grammatically precise, we would say “He who is God died on the cross.” And Mary is the Mother of Him who is God.” The shorthand was created by the Church, I am sure, precisely to create the shock of awareness of the Mystery of these events.

    OK, to restate “Jesus I will Ponder Now,” this time from TLH 140: “How for man Thou diedst, O God, Who with thorns had crowned Thee.” :)

  • EGK

    Dan #11:

    I presume you mistyped, and meant to say “we maintain the unity of the person even as we distinguish (not separate) the natures.” One person, two natures!

    The church from the very beginning has used the term “God” when referring to the individual persons. Re Christ: “In Him dwells the fullness of all Deity (Godhead) bodily” (Colossians 2:8).

    If we want to be grammatically precise, we would say “He who is God died on the cross.” And Mary is the Mother of Him who is God.” The shorthand was created by the Church, I am sure, precisely to create the shock of awareness of the Mystery of these events.

    OK, to restate “Jesus I will Ponder Now,” this time from TLH 140: “How for man Thou diedst, O God, Who with thorns had crowned Thee.” :)

  • fws

    EGK @20 great catch with col 2:8!

    Cool to be Lutheran to not to have to deal with …”Who was Babylon the Great – http://www.ldministries.net – of Revelation chapters 17 & 18? This was my quest…to find out!” which was the Gmail banner just above my email notification of your post.

  • fws

    EGK @20 great catch with col 2:8!

    Cool to be Lutheran to not to have to deal with …”Who was Babylon the Great – http://www.ldministries.net – of Revelation chapters 17 & 18? This was my quest…to find out!” which was the Gmail banner just above my email notification of your post.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    “If we want to be grammatically precise, we would say “He who is God died on the cross.” And Mary is the Mother of Him who is God.” The shorthand was created by the Church, I am sure, precisely to create the shock of awareness of the Mystery of these events.”
    Precisely EGK! It is shocking, and that shock is to bring home the greatness of the Mystery. It should instill wonder, amazement and awe. It is a shock that reinforces rather than scandalizes. At least it should but then Christ crucified is a stumbling block to the Jew, folly to the Greek.
    If you are scandalized by it, you might investigate it, and examine yourself. If boggles my mind when Christians hear this and can’t see its truth. Especially Lutherans who have been through a dogmatics course, even a cursory one. But yes we can use the name God, to refer to anyone of the Trinity or all three together.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    “If we want to be grammatically precise, we would say “He who is God died on the cross.” And Mary is the Mother of Him who is God.” The shorthand was created by the Church, I am sure, precisely to create the shock of awareness of the Mystery of these events.”
    Precisely EGK! It is shocking, and that shock is to bring home the greatness of the Mystery. It should instill wonder, amazement and awe. It is a shock that reinforces rather than scandalizes. At least it should but then Christ crucified is a stumbling block to the Jew, folly to the Greek.
    If you are scandalized by it, you might investigate it, and examine yourself. If boggles my mind when Christians hear this and can’t see its truth. Especially Lutherans who have been through a dogmatics course, even a cursory one. But yes we can use the name God, to refer to anyone of the Trinity or all three together.

  • Dan Kempin

    Fws, #19,

    Oh, I see.

    Just to clarify, I am not objecting to the use of the phrase,”God died.” It is certainly, as you pointed out, a striking way to confront the assumptions of reformed theology. My point was that care should be taken to explain further rather than use the “bald” (unexplained) statement, “God died.” That statement by itself is not sufficient.

    You interest me, though, in referencing the Lutheran Confessions. My recollection of the Confessions seems that they always qualify any such statement with an understanding of both natures and the personal union. If that is not the case, I would like you to instruct me. Is there a place in the confessions where it is said that “God died” without a deeper context? (My memory, along with my understanding, is by no means perfect.)

    Perhaps this comes from missing out on the previous discussion referred to by Dr. Veith.

    And I have never objected to calling Mary the “Mother of God.”

    Thanks for your feedback. I have enjoyed the discussion.

  • Dan Kempin

    Fws, #19,

    Oh, I see.

    Just to clarify, I am not objecting to the use of the phrase,”God died.” It is certainly, as you pointed out, a striking way to confront the assumptions of reformed theology. My point was that care should be taken to explain further rather than use the “bald” (unexplained) statement, “God died.” That statement by itself is not sufficient.

    You interest me, though, in referencing the Lutheran Confessions. My recollection of the Confessions seems that they always qualify any such statement with an understanding of both natures and the personal union. If that is not the case, I would like you to instruct me. Is there a place in the confessions where it is said that “God died” without a deeper context? (My memory, along with my understanding, is by no means perfect.)

    Perhaps this comes from missing out on the previous discussion referred to by Dr. Veith.

    And I have never objected to calling Mary the “Mother of God.”

    Thanks for your feedback. I have enjoyed the discussion.

  • fws

    Mysteries are God´s things hidden in plain sight. Things only faith can conprehend and reason cannot.

    They should still be allowed to subdue and stagger our reason even as christians and remain the Mysteries they are.

    This is what mortification of the flesh looks like for a theologian.

  • fws

    Mysteries are God´s things hidden in plain sight. Things only faith can conprehend and reason cannot.

    They should still be allowed to subdue and stagger our reason even as christians and remain the Mysteries they are.

    This is what mortification of the flesh looks like for a theologian.

  • Dan Kempin

    EGK, #20,

    EEK! My fingers have (mis)typed heresy! I recant! I repent! I retract my statement and affirm the truth: One person; two natures!

  • Dan Kempin

    EGK, #20,

    EEK! My fingers have (mis)typed heresy! I recant! I repent! I retract my statement and affirm the truth: One person; two natures!

  • fws

    Dan @23

    FC article VIII quotes Luther (cf my post 14 for more context):

    44 bente: Dr. Luther says also in his book Of the Councils and the Church:

    We Christians must know that if God is not also in the balance, and gives the weight, we sink to the bottom with our scale. By this I mean: If it were not to be said [if these things were not true], God has died for us, but only a man, we would be lost. But if “God’s death” and “God died” lie in the scale of the balance, then He sinks down, and we rise up as a light, empty scale. But indeed He can also rise again or leap out of the scale; yet He could not sit
    in the scale unless He became a man like us, so that it could be said: “God died,” “God’s passion,” “God’s blood,” “God’s death.” For in His nature God cannot die; but now that God and man are united
    in one person, it is correctly called God’s death, when the man dies who is one thing or one person with God. Thus far Luther.”

    Again Dan, I am not seeing the practical dangers of simply saying “god” or what confusion this would cause in a conversation. I usually lead off with this naked statement, and then get into the communication of attributes part in a very vernacular way as needed… I would be interested in hearing how this has presented a confusion or difficulty in your own experience dear brother!

  • fws

    Dan @23

    FC article VIII quotes Luther (cf my post 14 for more context):

    44 bente: Dr. Luther says also in his book Of the Councils and the Church:

    We Christians must know that if God is not also in the balance, and gives the weight, we sink to the bottom with our scale. By this I mean: If it were not to be said [if these things were not true], God has died for us, but only a man, we would be lost. But if “God’s death” and “God died” lie in the scale of the balance, then He sinks down, and we rise up as a light, empty scale. But indeed He can also rise again or leap out of the scale; yet He could not sit
    in the scale unless He became a man like us, so that it could be said: “God died,” “God’s passion,” “God’s blood,” “God’s death.” For in His nature God cannot die; but now that God and man are united
    in one person, it is correctly called God’s death, when the man dies who is one thing or one person with God. Thus far Luther.”

    Again Dan, I am not seeing the practical dangers of simply saying “god” or what confusion this would cause in a conversation. I usually lead off with this naked statement, and then get into the communication of attributes part in a very vernacular way as needed… I would be interested in hearing how this has presented a confusion or difficulty in your own experience dear brother!

  • fws

    Dan @ 25

    Now THAT is what sanctification looks like!

  • fws

    Dan @ 25

    Now THAT is what sanctification looks like!

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    Friends, I added the link to the post about God dying. Here is the quotation from the Formula of Concord, Article VIII, which Frank also referenced. It puts it really strongly. And then it quotes Luther, who, as we know, holds nothing back!:

    ” If the old weather-witch, Dame Reason. . .would say, Yea, divinity cannot suffer nor die; you shall reply, That is true; yet, because in Christ divinity and humanity are one person, Scripture, on account of this personal union, ascribes also to divinity everything that happens to the humanity, and vice versa. 42] And it is so in reality; for you must certainly answer this, that the person (meaning Christ) suffers and dies. Now the person is true God; therefore it is rightly said: The Son of God suffers. For although the one part (to speak thus), namely, the divinity, does not suffer, yet the person, which is God, suffers in the other part, namely, in His humanity; for in truth God’s Son has been crucified for us, that is, the person which is God. For the person, the person, I say, was crucified according to the humanity. . . .

    Dr. Luther says also in his book Of the Councils and the Church: We Christians must know that if God is not also in the balance, and gives the weight, we sink to the bottom with our scale. By this I mean: If it were not to be said [if these things were not true], God has died for us, but only a man, we would be lost. But if “God’s death” and “God died” lie in the scale of the balance, then He sinks down, and we rise up as a light, empty scale. But indeed He can also rise again or leap out of the scale; yet He could not sit in the scale unless He became a man like us, so that it could be said: “God died,” “God’s passion,” “God’s blood,” “God’s death.” For in His nature God cannot die; but now that God and man are united in one person, it is correctly called God’s death, when the man dies who is one thing or one person with God. “

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    Friends, I added the link to the post about God dying. Here is the quotation from the Formula of Concord, Article VIII, which Frank also referenced. It puts it really strongly. And then it quotes Luther, who, as we know, holds nothing back!:

    ” If the old weather-witch, Dame Reason. . .would say, Yea, divinity cannot suffer nor die; you shall reply, That is true; yet, because in Christ divinity and humanity are one person, Scripture, on account of this personal union, ascribes also to divinity everything that happens to the humanity, and vice versa. 42] And it is so in reality; for you must certainly answer this, that the person (meaning Christ) suffers and dies. Now the person is true God; therefore it is rightly said: The Son of God suffers. For although the one part (to speak thus), namely, the divinity, does not suffer, yet the person, which is God, suffers in the other part, namely, in His humanity; for in truth God’s Son has been crucified for us, that is, the person which is God. For the person, the person, I say, was crucified according to the humanity. . . .

    Dr. Luther says also in his book Of the Councils and the Church: We Christians must know that if God is not also in the balance, and gives the weight, we sink to the bottom with our scale. By this I mean: If it were not to be said [if these things were not true], God has died for us, but only a man, we would be lost. But if “God’s death” and “God died” lie in the scale of the balance, then He sinks down, and we rise up as a light, empty scale. But indeed He can also rise again or leap out of the scale; yet He could not sit in the scale unless He became a man like us, so that it could be said: “God died,” “God’s passion,” “God’s blood,” “God’s death.” For in His nature God cannot die; but now that God and man are united in one person, it is correctly called God’s death, when the man dies who is one thing or one person with God. “

  • fws

    More posts like these Dr Vieth! wish list: article FC art VI, AC/Apology arts II and XVIII.

    These are the Confessional articles that deal with everything about the “Culture Wars” and vocation at the points where there is confusion today about these things.

    My point: We Lutherans do not need to become biblicists, or pander after thomas aquinas and natural law theory or worse let rome or geneva tell us how to think. The answers are all there in the Confessions if we would just read them.

  • fws

    More posts like these Dr Vieth! wish list: article FC art VI, AC/Apology arts II and XVIII.

    These are the Confessional articles that deal with everything about the “Culture Wars” and vocation at the points where there is confusion today about these things.

    My point: We Lutherans do not need to become biblicists, or pander after thomas aquinas and natural law theory or worse let rome or geneva tell us how to think. The answers are all there in the Confessions if we would just read them.

  • Dan Kempin

    Fws, #26, (And lol at #27),

    I don’t think we have a disagreement, since I do not object to the phrase and after using it you go on to explain. (That, really, was all I was saying.)

    You provided a wonderful quote of Luther saying plainly that God died and the implications thereof. I was blessed for reading it. I did notice also these words:

    “For in His nature God cannot die; but now that God and man are united in one person, it is correctly called God’s death, when the man dies who is one thing or one person with God. ”

    Dr. Veith’s quote also (#28) very carefully explains the death of God according to the personal union of the two natures.

    Both quotes explain beautifully and magnificently better than I am able, yet they do explain. That, and nothing more, was my point.

  • Dan Kempin

    Fws, #26, (And lol at #27),

    I don’t think we have a disagreement, since I do not object to the phrase and after using it you go on to explain. (That, really, was all I was saying.)

    You provided a wonderful quote of Luther saying plainly that God died and the implications thereof. I was blessed for reading it. I did notice also these words:

    “For in His nature God cannot die; but now that God and man are united in one person, it is correctly called God’s death, when the man dies who is one thing or one person with God. ”

    Dr. Veith’s quote also (#28) very carefully explains the death of God according to the personal union of the two natures.

    Both quotes explain beautifully and magnificently better than I am able, yet they do explain. That, and nothing more, was my point.

  • Booklover

    I clicked on “That God died” hyperlink, and got Sarah Palin.

    Weird.

  • Booklover

    I clicked on “That God died” hyperlink, and got Sarah Palin.

    Weird.

  • Tom Hering

    “We Lutherans do not need to become biblicists …” – fws @ 29.

    What exactly do you mean, brother fws? Every definition of “biblicist” I can find states “an expert in the Bible.” Who among us Lutherans does NOT need to become one? Yes, our Confessions keep us from errors as we search the Scriptures, but they are not a replacement for Scripture, neither are they equal with Scripture (like some Book of Mormon).

  • Tom Hering

    “We Lutherans do not need to become biblicists …” – fws @ 29.

    What exactly do you mean, brother fws? Every definition of “biblicist” I can find states “an expert in the Bible.” Who among us Lutherans does NOT need to become one? Yes, our Confessions keep us from errors as we search the Scriptures, but they are not a replacement for Scripture, neither are they equal with Scripture (like some Book of Mormon).

  • fws

    Tom @ 32
    Excellent question! I use the word “biblicist” as AC Piepkorn used it. I mean by it, for lack of there being a better term, someone who has a flat bible. Who considers to the bible to be it´s own authority.

    In this blog, Dr Philip Secker presented this true/false question (in comment #53):
    http://www.geneveith.com/religion-of-the-tribe/_5287/

    T/F Missouri Synod pastors and teachers are sworn to preach and teach according to the Lutheran Symbolical Books, but are bound to interpret them according to the Sacred Scriptures.

    In his post #90 he uses the term “biblicist”. I agree with his assessment. Take a look and let me know if you also agree.

    Here is more context from post #90…

    “On the surface that looks like the schism [ at the LCMS seminaries in the 70´s] Piepkorn refers to was between the Bible and the Confessions. If that were the case, the Bible would have to be the winner since the Sacred Scriptures are “the only source, judge, touchstone and standard of theology by which all other dogmas and doctors are to be evaluated.” (103) ”

    The schism of authority, therefore, was not between Bible and the Confessions, but between the interpretation of the sense of the Sacred Scriptures found in the Confessions, and any other interpretations. Or, to use Piepkorn’s terms, it was between the Lutheran Symbols and “Biblicism.”

    “Note that it does not matter whether these other interpretations are correct or not. They may be correct. But even if they are, they cannot be made binding on consciences in our church without changing the Lutheran Confessions. If that is done, you no longer have the Lutheran Confessions, but a new confession of faith. Subscribing to it would create a new church body. Thus persons who want to add to what is binding on consciences in the LCMS are, in effect, calling for the organization of a new synod.

    Since all who appeal directly to the Bible claim that their interpretation of the Bible is correct, there is no way to decide who is right. With no way to decide who was right, the conflict became political and remains so today. And the Lutheran Symbols are still being largely ignored. (If that were not true, how could “today’s seminary students and pastors under the age 55 … have little if any knowledge of Piepkorn” who wrote more about them than anyone in Synod or even in the world? “

  • fws

    Tom @ 32
    Excellent question! I use the word “biblicist” as AC Piepkorn used it. I mean by it, for lack of there being a better term, someone who has a flat bible. Who considers to the bible to be it´s own authority.

    In this blog, Dr Philip Secker presented this true/false question (in comment #53):
    http://www.geneveith.com/religion-of-the-tribe/_5287/

    T/F Missouri Synod pastors and teachers are sworn to preach and teach according to the Lutheran Symbolical Books, but are bound to interpret them according to the Sacred Scriptures.

    In his post #90 he uses the term “biblicist”. I agree with his assessment. Take a look and let me know if you also agree.

    Here is more context from post #90…

    “On the surface that looks like the schism [ at the LCMS seminaries in the 70´s] Piepkorn refers to was between the Bible and the Confessions. If that were the case, the Bible would have to be the winner since the Sacred Scriptures are “the only source, judge, touchstone and standard of theology by which all other dogmas and doctors are to be evaluated.” (103) ”

    The schism of authority, therefore, was not between Bible and the Confessions, but between the interpretation of the sense of the Sacred Scriptures found in the Confessions, and any other interpretations. Or, to use Piepkorn’s terms, it was between the Lutheran Symbols and “Biblicism.”

    “Note that it does not matter whether these other interpretations are correct or not. They may be correct. But even if they are, they cannot be made binding on consciences in our church without changing the Lutheran Confessions. If that is done, you no longer have the Lutheran Confessions, but a new confession of faith. Subscribing to it would create a new church body. Thus persons who want to add to what is binding on consciences in the LCMS are, in effect, calling for the organization of a new synod.

    Since all who appeal directly to the Bible claim that their interpretation of the Bible is correct, there is no way to decide who is right. With no way to decide who was right, the conflict became political and remains so today. And the Lutheran Symbols are still being largely ignored. (If that were not true, how could “today’s seminary students and pastors under the age 55 … have little if any knowledge of Piepkorn” who wrote more about them than anyone in Synod or even in the world? “

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    Booklover, @ 31. I don’t know what happened! I suppose there are some who would associate Sarah Palin and the death of God! I think I fixed it. Try again.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    Booklover, @ 31. I don’t know what happened! I suppose there are some who would associate Sarah Palin and the death of God! I think I fixed it. Try again.

  • fws

    tom hering @32

    “brother fws” . My friends call me “frank” or “william.” Thanks!

    Where else but on Cranach would a homosexual be referred to as someone present in the room and included in that word “us”?

  • fws

    tom hering @32

    “brother fws” . My friends call me “frank” or “william.” Thanks!

    Where else but on Cranach would a homosexual be referred to as someone present in the room and included in that word “us”?

  • Tom Hering

    “Since all who appeal directly to the Bible claim that their interpretation of the Bible is correct, there is no way to decide who is right.” @ 33.

    This is a silly statement. Most interpretations of the Bible are built on selected passages – either ignoring other passages that would correct an interpretation, or doing violence to the plain meaning of those challenging passages.

    If you have the whole Bible at your disposal, you do indeed have a way to decide who is right.

  • Tom Hering

    “Since all who appeal directly to the Bible claim that their interpretation of the Bible is correct, there is no way to decide who is right.” @ 33.

    This is a silly statement. Most interpretations of the Bible are built on selected passages – either ignoring other passages that would correct an interpretation, or doing violence to the plain meaning of those challenging passages.

    If you have the whole Bible at your disposal, you do indeed have a way to decide who is right.

  • fws

    Tom Hering @36

    “This is a silly statement.”

    So then I would ask you what the utility is of having any creeds at all? Let´s fully include the apostle´s and nicene creed.

    So you would answer then “True” to the question posed at the beginning of this post?

    Ok. Any Lutherans care to different with our brother here? What does it mean to say “I am Lutheran”?

  • fws

    Tom Hering @36

    “This is a silly statement.”

    So then I would ask you what the utility is of having any creeds at all? Let´s fully include the apostle´s and nicene creed.

    So you would answer then “True” to the question posed at the beginning of this post?

    Ok. Any Lutherans care to different with our brother here? What does it mean to say “I am Lutheran”?

  • Tom Hering

    “So then I would ask you what the utility is of having any creeds at all?” – frank @ 37.

    The Bible has too many pages. ;-)

    “So you would answer then “True” to the question posed at the beginning of this post?” – frank @ 37.

    Which question is that?

  • Tom Hering

    “So then I would ask you what the utility is of having any creeds at all?” – frank @ 37.

    The Bible has too many pages. ;-)

    “So you would answer then “True” to the question posed at the beginning of this post?” – frank @ 37.

    Which question is that?

  • fws

    Tom Hering @ 38

    the true/false question is this one:

    “T/F Missouri Synod pastors and teachers are sworn to preach and teach according to the Lutheran Symbolical Books, but are bound to interpret them according to the Sacred Scriptures.” (from my post to you #33).

    So, in your opinion, the only use or purpose, intended or otherwise, is to present a reader´s digest version of the teachings of scripture? No other use Tom?

    What does it mean then to say ‘I am a lutheran?”

  • fws

    Tom Hering @ 38

    the true/false question is this one:

    “T/F Missouri Synod pastors and teachers are sworn to preach and teach according to the Lutheran Symbolical Books, but are bound to interpret them according to the Sacred Scriptures.” (from my post to you #33).

    So, in your opinion, the only use or purpose, intended or otherwise, is to present a reader´s digest version of the teachings of scripture? No other use Tom?

    What does it mean then to say ‘I am a lutheran?”

  • Tom Hering

    But seriously, frank, I think the value of the ancient creeds is that they are easy-to-memorize summations of what the Bible teaches. Lutheran editions of the Bible should include them in an appendix as study guides!

    As for the Book of Concord, well, I’m not a confessiophile. My approach to the BOC is to first check it against Scripture, and then use it as a guide and corrective in my studies of Scripture. The Bible is the main thing.

    For me, to say “I am a Lutheran” is to say I am convinced that Lutheran tradition has the best approach to, and understanding of, the Bible. I can see no other good reason to be a Lutheran – except for its proper administration of the Sacraments. But then that, too, comes down to fidelity to Scripture.

  • Tom Hering

    But seriously, frank, I think the value of the ancient creeds is that they are easy-to-memorize summations of what the Bible teaches. Lutheran editions of the Bible should include them in an appendix as study guides!

    As for the Book of Concord, well, I’m not a confessiophile. My approach to the BOC is to first check it against Scripture, and then use it as a guide and corrective in my studies of Scripture. The Bible is the main thing.

    For me, to say “I am a Lutheran” is to say I am convinced that Lutheran tradition has the best approach to, and understanding of, the Bible. I can see no other good reason to be a Lutheran – except for its proper administration of the Sacraments. But then that, too, comes down to fidelity to Scripture.

  • Tom Hering

    frank @ 39: “the true/false question is this one:

    ‘T/F Missouri Synod pastors and teachers are sworn to preach and teach according to the Lutheran Symbolical Books, but are bound to interpret them according to the Sacred Scriptures.’”

    True. And thank God for it! Subscription protects the laity from “creative” pastors.

  • Tom Hering

    frank @ 39: “the true/false question is this one:

    ‘T/F Missouri Synod pastors and teachers are sworn to preach and teach according to the Lutheran Symbolical Books, but are bound to interpret them according to the Sacred Scriptures.’”

    True. And thank God for it! Subscription protects the laity from “creative” pastors.

  • Tom Hering

    My last line @ 41 should have read “‘enthusiastic’ pastors” as in “our adversaries, the enthusiasts.”

  • Tom Hering

    My last line @ 41 should have read “‘enthusiastic’ pastors” as in “our adversaries, the enthusiasts.”

  • fws

    Tom @ 41

    You can be certain that the Lutheran confessors, including Martin Luther, would have answered “False ” to the question. It is good to ponder why that is true.

  • fws

    Tom @ 41

    You can be certain that the Lutheran confessors, including Martin Luther, would have answered “False ” to the question. It is good to ponder why that is true.

  • Tom Hering

    frank @ 43, ah! I see. They are not to reformulate the Confessions according to personal interpretation of Scripture. Thanks for the prompt to reread carefully.

  • Tom Hering

    frank @ 43, ah! I see. They are not to reformulate the Confessions according to personal interpretation of Scripture. Thanks for the prompt to reread carefully.

  • fws

    Tom @ 44

    Exactly!

    Note again what Piepkorn says through the good Dr Selker:

    “On the surface that looks like the schism [ at the LCMS seminaries in the 70´s] Piepkorn refers to was between the Bible and the Confessions. If that were the case, the Bible would have to be the winner since the Sacred Scriptures are “the only source, judge, touchstone and standard of theology by which all other dogmas and doctors are to be evaluated.” (103)

    “Note that it does not matter whether these other interpretations are correct or not. They may be correct. But even if they are, they cannot be made binding on consciences in our church without changing the Lutheran Confessions. If that is done, you no longer have the Lutheran Confessions, but a new confession of faith. Subscribing to it would create a new church body. Thus persons who want to add to what is binding on consciences in the LCMS are, in effect, calling for the organization of a new synod.

    Since all who appeal directly to the Bible claim that their interpretation of the Bible is correct, there is no way to decide who is right. With no way to decide who was right, the conflict became political and remains so today. And the Lutheran Symbols are still being largely ignored.”

    Lesson: We see “new challenges” like higher criticism being used in seminaries, women´s ordination, homosexuality , abortion, culture wars etc and we panic. We assume that we need to expand the confessions or maybe add to them.

    The problem with this then, is that our common agreed upon confession , how alone we have unity as “lutheran” is compromised. What is meant by that “silly statement” you called out earlier as silly. this is similar as to when a pastor decides to reword the nicene creed for a divine service. How is it that one person has authority to modify and make us mouth, what he alone has created and signed up to confess?

    Now hopefully the following makes more sense to you in our corporate existence together as “lutheran”:

    “Since all who appeal directly to the Bible claim that their interpretation of the Bible is correct, there is no way to decide who is right. With no way to decide who was right, the conflict became political and remains so today. And the Lutheran Symbols are still being largely ignored.”

    One can, and maybe even should appeal to franz pieper, the brief statement, luther, chemnitz, saase et all . and especially appeal to Holy Scripture. But as Lutherans, our unity and identity is delimited by that point of view in the confessions. This means that when we appeal to those, it is to clarify and sharpen and contemporize what the confessions tell us.

    When we talk to each other, as Lutherans, we need to make the confessions an organic part of our discussion, not just a proof text or something that is an “and also”.

  • fws

    Tom @ 44

    Exactly!

    Note again what Piepkorn says through the good Dr Selker:

    “On the surface that looks like the schism [ at the LCMS seminaries in the 70´s] Piepkorn refers to was between the Bible and the Confessions. If that were the case, the Bible would have to be the winner since the Sacred Scriptures are “the only source, judge, touchstone and standard of theology by which all other dogmas and doctors are to be evaluated.” (103)

    “Note that it does not matter whether these other interpretations are correct or not. They may be correct. But even if they are, they cannot be made binding on consciences in our church without changing the Lutheran Confessions. If that is done, you no longer have the Lutheran Confessions, but a new confession of faith. Subscribing to it would create a new church body. Thus persons who want to add to what is binding on consciences in the LCMS are, in effect, calling for the organization of a new synod.

    Since all who appeal directly to the Bible claim that their interpretation of the Bible is correct, there is no way to decide who is right. With no way to decide who was right, the conflict became political and remains so today. And the Lutheran Symbols are still being largely ignored.”

    Lesson: We see “new challenges” like higher criticism being used in seminaries, women´s ordination, homosexuality , abortion, culture wars etc and we panic. We assume that we need to expand the confessions or maybe add to them.

    The problem with this then, is that our common agreed upon confession , how alone we have unity as “lutheran” is compromised. What is meant by that “silly statement” you called out earlier as silly. this is similar as to when a pastor decides to reword the nicene creed for a divine service. How is it that one person has authority to modify and make us mouth, what he alone has created and signed up to confess?

    Now hopefully the following makes more sense to you in our corporate existence together as “lutheran”:

    “Since all who appeal directly to the Bible claim that their interpretation of the Bible is correct, there is no way to decide who is right. With no way to decide who was right, the conflict became political and remains so today. And the Lutheran Symbols are still being largely ignored.”

    One can, and maybe even should appeal to franz pieper, the brief statement, luther, chemnitz, saase et all . and especially appeal to Holy Scripture. But as Lutherans, our unity and identity is delimited by that point of view in the confessions. This means that when we appeal to those, it is to clarify and sharpen and contemporize what the confessions tell us.

    When we talk to each other, as Lutherans, we need to make the confessions an organic part of our discussion, not just a proof text or something that is an “and also”.

  • Tom Hering

    frank @ 45, can you make the point in your own words? It’s hard to have a discussion with quotations alone.

  • Tom Hering

    frank @ 45, can you make the point in your own words? It’s hard to have a discussion with quotations alone.

  • fws

    tom @ 46

    I think our posts crossed! I tried to do exactly that in post # 45. I am from the shallow end of the gene pool when it comes to being able to express stuff like this succinctly (those norwegian genes. ha!) so I won´t at all be offended if you redirect or say that what I am saying doesn´t make any sense.

    Peace!

  • fws

    tom @ 46

    I think our posts crossed! I tried to do exactly that in post # 45. I am from the shallow end of the gene pool when it comes to being able to express stuff like this succinctly (those norwegian genes. ha!) so I won´t at all be offended if you redirect or say that what I am saying doesn´t make any sense.

    Peace!

  • Tom Hering

    frank, I have no problem with the proposition that our Confessions define and unite us as Lutherans. (A very peculiar people!) But what exactly do they define us as? What exactly do they unite us around? Rightly preaching and teaching the Word of God – yes? Rightly administering the Sacraments (which are powerless apart from faith responding to the Word of God that’s connected to them) – yes? The Confessions are our language, but we speak from a love for that which is greater than our Confessions.

  • Tom Hering

    frank, I have no problem with the proposition that our Confessions define and unite us as Lutherans. (A very peculiar people!) But what exactly do they define us as? What exactly do they unite us around? Rightly preaching and teaching the Word of God – yes? Rightly administering the Sacraments (which are powerless apart from faith responding to the Word of God that’s connected to them) – yes? The Confessions are our language, but we speak from a love for that which is greater than our Confessions.

  • fws

    Tom @ 48

    Almost.

    What is the only teaching of the entire Lutheran Confessions? Augustana “The Gospel and all of it´s articles.” Only.

    Imagine. An entire thick book, the Book of Concord, the “Concordia” reduced to one short phrase. It invites us to also focus and “reduce” our theology in that same way. I would invite you to consider the following: There is not one single sentence in the entire Book of Concord that is not all and only about point to one article: The Forgiveness of Sins. Period. Isn´t that remarkable? It is true!

    This “reduce” is in quotes, because this type of “reduction” is about more, never less. It makes every single article of our faith, and there are so many, be all and only about supporting and illuminating that one single article of the Forgiveness of Sins. About our Jesus. My Jesus. Your Jesus. The Jesus who is truly “for you”!

    This is the very antithesis of “Gospel Reductionism” or “Cheap Grace” and it is also the very antithesis of “Bible as proof-text” or antinomianism or legalism or all those “isms” that are really reduced to the polar opposite of “the gospel and all it´s articles”: This opposite presents itself as “Our sanctified lives as religious sacrifice that makes us ‘christian’ “. This is ‘love’ as gospel, when love is really the fruit of the Law. This is not about capital L Love, who is also called Jesus or God in the flesh. And here I so do not mean Jesus-as-moral-example. He is that. But we need him desparately as savior, not as example.

    These facts also reduce the Evangelical Lutheran Church to one of many confessional movements within the catholic church. It is the only confessional and catholic witness [that I am aware of] which uniquely witnesses that there is only one Truth that gives the Bible or the church it´s Apostolic Authority: Proclaiming the Person and work of one Jesus of Nazareth and the Forgiveness of Sins.

    So I hope that both you and I become “keen confessionalists” for a set of confessions who´s intentional purpose is to resolve to “know nothing, but Christ, and him crucified” and to call us back to this, as opposed to some intricate system of doctrines and propositions to intellectually assent to.

    When you and I disagree, we can call one another back to being more radically “Lutheran”. Only in the Lutheran church does this always, and only, mean to call one back to Christ to literally die and to rise again with him in our baptisms and nothing beyond just that. To be a Lutheran, is to be only radically about only Christ. This is what our confessionalism protects. Name one other confession that has this as it´s sole identity, legacy, and gift to the church and to the watching and listening world. In any other communion, I would call them back to this one thing on what common basis I would share with them? Bible? westminster confession? council of trent?

    Ok Tom. there you have this all in my own words. I hope it makes sense.

  • fws

    Tom @ 48

    Almost.

    What is the only teaching of the entire Lutheran Confessions? Augustana “The Gospel and all of it´s articles.” Only.

    Imagine. An entire thick book, the Book of Concord, the “Concordia” reduced to one short phrase. It invites us to also focus and “reduce” our theology in that same way. I would invite you to consider the following: There is not one single sentence in the entire Book of Concord that is not all and only about point to one article: The Forgiveness of Sins. Period. Isn´t that remarkable? It is true!

    This “reduce” is in quotes, because this type of “reduction” is about more, never less. It makes every single article of our faith, and there are so many, be all and only about supporting and illuminating that one single article of the Forgiveness of Sins. About our Jesus. My Jesus. Your Jesus. The Jesus who is truly “for you”!

    This is the very antithesis of “Gospel Reductionism” or “Cheap Grace” and it is also the very antithesis of “Bible as proof-text” or antinomianism or legalism or all those “isms” that are really reduced to the polar opposite of “the gospel and all it´s articles”: This opposite presents itself as “Our sanctified lives as religious sacrifice that makes us ‘christian’ “. This is ‘love’ as gospel, when love is really the fruit of the Law. This is not about capital L Love, who is also called Jesus or God in the flesh. And here I so do not mean Jesus-as-moral-example. He is that. But we need him desparately as savior, not as example.

    These facts also reduce the Evangelical Lutheran Church to one of many confessional movements within the catholic church. It is the only confessional and catholic witness [that I am aware of] which uniquely witnesses that there is only one Truth that gives the Bible or the church it´s Apostolic Authority: Proclaiming the Person and work of one Jesus of Nazareth and the Forgiveness of Sins.

    So I hope that both you and I become “keen confessionalists” for a set of confessions who´s intentional purpose is to resolve to “know nothing, but Christ, and him crucified” and to call us back to this, as opposed to some intricate system of doctrines and propositions to intellectually assent to.

    When you and I disagree, we can call one another back to being more radically “Lutheran”. Only in the Lutheran church does this always, and only, mean to call one back to Christ to literally die and to rise again with him in our baptisms and nothing beyond just that. To be a Lutheran, is to be only radically about only Christ. This is what our confessionalism protects. Name one other confession that has this as it´s sole identity, legacy, and gift to the church and to the watching and listening world. In any other communion, I would call them back to this one thing on what common basis I would share with them? Bible? westminster confession? council of trent?

    Ok Tom. there you have this all in my own words. I hope it makes sense.

  • Tom Hering

    frank @ 49: “There is not one single sentence in the entire Book of Concord that is not all and only about point[ing] to one article: The Forgiveness of Sins. Period. Isn’t that remarkable? It is true!”

    Book of Concord / Solid Declaration, Article II: Free Will / KW 554.54: “Through these means (the preaching and hearing of his Word), God goes about his work and breaks our hearts and draws people, so that they recognize their sins and God’s wrath through the preaching of the law and feel real terror, regret, and sorrow in their hearts.”

    A sentence like that doesn’t point to the forgiveness of sins. Another sentence must follow:

    “Through the preaching of the holy gospel of the gracious forgiveness of sins in Christ and through meditating upon it, a spark of faith is ignited in them, and they accept the forgiveness of sins for Christ’s sake and receive the comfort of the promise of the gospel.”

    Followed by:

    “In this way the Holy Spirit, who effects ALL of this, is sent into their hearts.” (Emphasis added.)

    So the BOC is also about the Law, because (A.) the Word of God is about both Law and Gospel, (B.) the Law must be properly divided from the Gospel, and (C.) both the Law and the Gospel must be properly preached and taught.

  • Tom Hering

    frank @ 49: “There is not one single sentence in the entire Book of Concord that is not all and only about point[ing] to one article: The Forgiveness of Sins. Period. Isn’t that remarkable? It is true!”

    Book of Concord / Solid Declaration, Article II: Free Will / KW 554.54: “Through these means (the preaching and hearing of his Word), God goes about his work and breaks our hearts and draws people, so that they recognize their sins and God’s wrath through the preaching of the law and feel real terror, regret, and sorrow in their hearts.”

    A sentence like that doesn’t point to the forgiveness of sins. Another sentence must follow:

    “Through the preaching of the holy gospel of the gracious forgiveness of sins in Christ and through meditating upon it, a spark of faith is ignited in them, and they accept the forgiveness of sins for Christ’s sake and receive the comfort of the promise of the gospel.”

    Followed by:

    “In this way the Holy Spirit, who effects ALL of this, is sent into their hearts.” (Emphasis added.)

    So the BOC is also about the Law, because (A.) the Word of God is about both Law and Gospel, (B.) the Law must be properly divided from the Gospel, and (C.) both the Law and the Gospel must be properly preached and taught.

  • fws

    Tom @ 50

    Note that the confessions do not say that there is only one doctrine, rather it establishes the uniquely Lutheran relationship between the doctrines and the Doctrine: “The Gospel and all it´s articles”.

    The Law is an article that supports the Holy Gospel, and apart from that is just something earthly that will perish with the earth along with all who seek life in it. This is an abstract idea until we are told that the fruit of the Law is what we know and call “love”. It is often manifest in that wonderous thing that wed write poems and songs about. It is what the world needs now. We think. It is what makes the world go around. We hope.

    What a shock to be told that love is meant to kill us and unless we die with it´s assistance wielded by the Holy Spirit, we cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven? That love does not have “transformational power”? That it kills? This cannot be right can it?!

    The purpose of the doctrine of love (aka law, for love is the fullfillment of the law.) then is to bring us to the Holy Gospel. And it does this by killing us. And this is not a metaphorical “kill”. It means kill as in dead. as in die. as in what you see demonstrated by Jesus on the cross dead.

    Your quote demonstrates exactly what I am saying doesn´t it?

    Law serves Gospel. It is not opposed to it. The Gospel does not abolish it . The Gospel certainly is not to establish it.

    Note that for calvinists we are redeemed so that we can then keep the eternal law of a sovreign God. Man´s purpose is ultimately a Law purpose. Ditto roman catholicism and ditto your and my idolatries. Religion is about the proposition that is anything but Gospel. Anything.

  • fws

    Tom @ 50

    Note that the confessions do not say that there is only one doctrine, rather it establishes the uniquely Lutheran relationship between the doctrines and the Doctrine: “The Gospel and all it´s articles”.

    The Law is an article that supports the Holy Gospel, and apart from that is just something earthly that will perish with the earth along with all who seek life in it. This is an abstract idea until we are told that the fruit of the Law is what we know and call “love”. It is often manifest in that wonderous thing that wed write poems and songs about. It is what the world needs now. We think. It is what makes the world go around. We hope.

    What a shock to be told that love is meant to kill us and unless we die with it´s assistance wielded by the Holy Spirit, we cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven? That love does not have “transformational power”? That it kills? This cannot be right can it?!

    The purpose of the doctrine of love (aka law, for love is the fullfillment of the law.) then is to bring us to the Holy Gospel. And it does this by killing us. And this is not a metaphorical “kill”. It means kill as in dead. as in die. as in what you see demonstrated by Jesus on the cross dead.

    Your quote demonstrates exactly what I am saying doesn´t it?

    Law serves Gospel. It is not opposed to it. The Gospel does not abolish it . The Gospel certainly is not to establish it.

    Note that for calvinists we are redeemed so that we can then keep the eternal law of a sovreign God. Man´s purpose is ultimately a Law purpose. Ditto roman catholicism and ditto your and my idolatries. Religion is about the proposition that is anything but Gospel. Anything.

  • fws

    Tom @ 50.

    What I am saying is that all the teaching and passages of the bible are not equal in authority and importance being all God´s Word. In the Liturgy we stand and sing aleluia for the reading of the words of Christ. We do not do that for the reading of the prophets and apostles. This is your testimony from the ancient church that the understanding of the Confessions is a right understanding.

    We see the entire scripture through the eyeglasses of the words of christ and of those who had unique apostolic authority to speak his word, the apostles. two points of Authority. draw a line through those two points and you have an arrow that points only to the Lamb Who was Slain from before the foundation of the world.

    Whatever anyone says that is in line with that arrow we accept and embrace, whatever is said not along that line we ignore.

    every doctrine in the bible owes it´s existence there in service to the Holy Gospel. If something is taught that we cannot say “this is about christ, or this strengthens my faith that my sins are forgiven, or this brings me or another to christ, then something is wrong.

    Then we know that what is being said is not true, even if someone says: “it is in the bible”. Satan quoted scripture. He knows it is all true. The difference is faith in Christ. Alone. Scripture is all and only to bring us to Christ. No other understanding of any article or passage or scripture is a correct one.

    This is what the Lutheran Confessions hold us to and secure us in believing.

  • fws

    Tom @ 50.

    What I am saying is that all the teaching and passages of the bible are not equal in authority and importance being all God´s Word. In the Liturgy we stand and sing aleluia for the reading of the words of Christ. We do not do that for the reading of the prophets and apostles. This is your testimony from the ancient church that the understanding of the Confessions is a right understanding.

    We see the entire scripture through the eyeglasses of the words of christ and of those who had unique apostolic authority to speak his word, the apostles. two points of Authority. draw a line through those two points and you have an arrow that points only to the Lamb Who was Slain from before the foundation of the world.

    Whatever anyone says that is in line with that arrow we accept and embrace, whatever is said not along that line we ignore.

    every doctrine in the bible owes it´s existence there in service to the Holy Gospel. If something is taught that we cannot say “this is about christ, or this strengthens my faith that my sins are forgiven, or this brings me or another to christ, then something is wrong.

    Then we know that what is being said is not true, even if someone says: “it is in the bible”. Satan quoted scripture. He knows it is all true. The difference is faith in Christ. Alone. Scripture is all and only to bring us to Christ. No other understanding of any article or passage or scripture is a correct one.

    This is what the Lutheran Confessions hold us to and secure us in believing.

  • http://caughtnottaught.blogspot.com ED… who blogs at SINCERE IGNORANCE AND CONSCIENTIOUS STUPIDITY

    Chalcedon (451) is a useful place to begin. God is where salvation comes from, and humanity is salvation’s locus. Dyophysitism: Christ in two natures, with the substantial presence of God in Christ, and the understanding that exactly how the divine and human natures interact and relate is not immediately graspable by us.

    I’d say that the main area for worthwhile disputes in Christology is the issue of what is meant by “mediator” in Hebrews and 1 Timothy. I’ve always tried to understand it in terms of Jeremiah 31, but there’s more mystery than understanding, at least inside my little head.

  • http://caughtnottaught.blogspot.com ED… who blogs at SINCERE IGNORANCE AND CONSCIENTIOUS STUPIDITY

    Chalcedon (451) is a useful place to begin. God is where salvation comes from, and humanity is salvation’s locus. Dyophysitism: Christ in two natures, with the substantial presence of God in Christ, and the understanding that exactly how the divine and human natures interact and relate is not immediately graspable by us.

    I’d say that the main area for worthwhile disputes in Christology is the issue of what is meant by “mediator” in Hebrews and 1 Timothy. I’ve always tried to understand it in terms of Jeremiah 31, but there’s more mystery than understanding, at least inside my little head.

  • Tom Hering

    Well, frank, I’ll just say I’m thankful that the Holy Spirit used His Law to drive me to Christ. That’s love. :-)

  • Tom Hering

    Well, frank, I’ll just say I’m thankful that the Holy Spirit used His Law to drive me to Christ. That’s love. :-)

  • fws

    Tom @ 54

    back at ya!

  • fws

    Tom @ 54

    back at ya!

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