Where are the Lutherans?

So asks Reformed blogger Kevin DeYoung:

What up with Lutherans?

More to the point: where are they? I’m looking for help from those of you out there who know the Lutheran world better than I do. I look around at what seems vibrant in evangelicalism and see lots of Baptists and Presbyterians. I see a lot of Free Church folks and a growing number of Anglicans. I see non-denominational guys aplenty. The Pentecostal world is a little outside my circles, but I certainly see continuationists and charismatics in conservative evangelical circles. But I don’t see many Lutherans.

I don’t know of Lutherans speaking at the leading conferences. I don’t know of many popular books written by Lutherans. I don’t know of church planting movements among Lutherans. I know lots of people who look up to Martin Luther, but I don’t see the influence of Lutherans.

I’m genuinely curious to know why the big tent of conservative, confessional evangelicalism doesn’t have more Lutherans. I understand that the Calvinist soteriology of TGC and T4G types doesn’t fit with Methodism or parts of the Holiness traditions, but Luther’s doctrine of predestination was Calvinist before there was Calvin.

I know Gene Veith is Lutheran. So is Doug Sweeney. White Horse Inn has worked hard to include the confessional wing of Lutheranism. But after that, I’m drawing a blank to come up with contemporary Lutheran leaders/theologians/pastors I know or read. I’m not blaming anyone–Lutherans or the Young, Restless, Reformed movement or the blogosphere or Sarah Palin. It’s just something I’ve thought about from time to time: Where have all the Lutherans gone? I know you exist outside of Lake Wobegon.

So which of the statements below best explains why quandry?

1. I’m ignorant. This is, no doubt, a  big part of the explanation. I’m sure there are thousands of good Lutheran churches and pastors. I just don’t know all the good they are doing and saying. And there may be thinkers and authors I like who are simply Lutheran without my knowing it.

2. With their high church, confessional tradition, Lutheranism has always been a little out of place with the sometimes rootless, low church expressions of evangelicalism. They never got on board with evangelicalism after the Great Awakening. This may be part of it, but evangelicalism has been influenced by many Anglican theologians and preachers, hasn’t it?

3. Lutherans are content to remain in ethnic enclaves. Again, that could be part of the issue, but then how do you explain the influence of the Dutch Reformed on evangelicalism?

4. The Lutheran view of the sacraments is a bridge too far for many evangelicals, and the faddish nature of evangelicalism is a bridge too far for many Lutherans.

5. Lutheranism in America has bigger problems and less influence than many people realize. The bulk of Lutherans have gone liberal and the rest have gone into bunker mode.

I’ll read the comments more carefully than usual. I blog so that I might understand. Help me out, especially if you are part of the tribe: What’s up with Lutherans?

via What’s Up With Lutherans? – Kevin DeYoung.

How would you answer him?  (Click the link and go to the comments to see what I said.  Also see what others have said, including the folks at Pirate Christian Radio.)

HT:  Justin Taylor

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.

  • Pete

    “4. The Lutheran view of the sacraments is a bridge too far for many evangelicals, and the faddish nature of evangelicalism is a bridge too far for many Lutherans.”

    This strikes me as the strongest of the possible reasons cited above. The classic Lutheran worship format is too retro for a lot of evangelicals and the “praise band, happy clappy” model is too irreverent for a lot of Lutherans.

  • Pete

    “4. The Lutheran view of the sacraments is a bridge too far for many evangelicals, and the faddish nature of evangelicalism is a bridge too far for many Lutherans.”

    This strikes me as the strongest of the possible reasons cited above. The classic Lutheran worship format is too retro for a lot of evangelicals and the “praise band, happy clappy” model is too irreverent for a lot of Lutherans.

  • SKPeterson

    Maybe its because I had umpteen Windows updates, Adobe Flash updates, and more, but the comments on DeYoung’s site will not open up, or perhaps in turning off comments, he’s inadvertently turned off comment-viewing.

    Oh well. His note at the end on closed communion may be telling (since I cannot see the comments, I’d appreciate others maybe reposting Veith’s reply or Chris Rosebrough’s or some of the other comments vis-a-vis Lutheranism and evangelicalism.)

    My initial take is that Item #4 is the crux – a higher view of the sacraments and of Who is acting through them, creates a chasm between Lutherans and the modern evangelical movement that the Calvinist contingent can sometimes more easily bridge.

  • SKPeterson

    Maybe its because I had umpteen Windows updates, Adobe Flash updates, and more, but the comments on DeYoung’s site will not open up, or perhaps in turning off comments, he’s inadvertently turned off comment-viewing.

    Oh well. His note at the end on closed communion may be telling (since I cannot see the comments, I’d appreciate others maybe reposting Veith’s reply or Chris Rosebrough’s or some of the other comments vis-a-vis Lutheranism and evangelicalism.)

    My initial take is that Item #4 is the crux – a higher view of the sacraments and of Who is acting through them, creates a chasm between Lutherans and the modern evangelical movement that the Calvinist contingent can sometimes more easily bridge.

  • Pete

    Nor can I open his comments. See, that’s the problem with these evangelicals – just shoddy. Luther said, “make a good, quality blogsite and sell it at a fair price.” Didn’t he?

  • Pete

    Nor can I open his comments. See, that’s the problem with these evangelicals – just shoddy. Luther said, “make a good, quality blogsite and sell it at a fair price.” Didn’t he?

  • Steve in Toronto

    Most evenjicals have never met a (confessional) Lutheran pastor or intellectual. Many sympathetic Christians (like me) don’t visit Lutheran churches when we travel because we know we would not be welcome at the rail. And most Lutheran intellectuals seem to be clustered inside the Concordia System where their impact on the larger church is very limited our host Dr. Veith (and his sometimes colleagues Dr. Montgomery and Dr. Rosenbladt) have show that there is an egger audience to the Lutheran message if it’s apostles will leave their fortifications and preach it to more ecumenical audiences. I wish more people would follow their example.

  • Steve in Toronto

    Most evenjicals have never met a (confessional) Lutheran pastor or intellectual. Many sympathetic Christians (like me) don’t visit Lutheran churches when we travel because we know we would not be welcome at the rail. And most Lutheran intellectuals seem to be clustered inside the Concordia System where their impact on the larger church is very limited our host Dr. Veith (and his sometimes colleagues Dr. Montgomery and Dr. Rosenbladt) have show that there is an egger audience to the Lutheran message if it’s apostles will leave their fortifications and preach it to more ecumenical audiences. I wish more people would follow their example.

  • Tom Hering

    Funny that no one at DeYoung’s site brought up vocation as an explanation. Maybe Lutheran theologians are too busy teaching Lutheran students. Maybe Lutheran pastors are too busy pastoring Lutheran congregations. Maybe Lutheran laity are too busy living in the world. So, maybe Lutherans lack the time for all the extras evangelicals engage in, both inside and outside their churches. Surely, Lutherans have n0 reason to seek meaning and purpose beyond their vocations. Vocation provides meaning and purpose enough. (Not to mention what the Divine Service provides.)

  • Tom Hering

    Funny that no one at DeYoung’s site brought up vocation as an explanation. Maybe Lutheran theologians are too busy teaching Lutheran students. Maybe Lutheran pastors are too busy pastoring Lutheran congregations. Maybe Lutheran laity are too busy living in the world. So, maybe Lutherans lack the time for all the extras evangelicals engage in, both inside and outside their churches. Surely, Lutherans have n0 reason to seek meaning and purpose beyond their vocations. Vocation provides meaning and purpose enough. (Not to mention what the Divine Service provides.)

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    1) Lutherans are seriously lacking in the blatant self promotion department. Rick Warren truly has nothing amazing to say yet sells tons of books. Lifeway publishers don’t have more fabulous stuff than CPH, more like the reverse, yet they sure can sell, even to Lutherans. Maybe its better marketing, hegemony.

    2) Too many introverts. I went to CCLE X last year and quickly figured out that most of the folks there knew each other. Not one person introduced himself. A bunch of them were pastors, which by definition means extravert, I would figure. I am not super outgoing, but I didn’t go 1,000 miles to spend three days and not talk to anyone at all, so I introduced myself to some folks. I called my husband and laughed as I told him, it was an entire conference of introverts! Everyone was nice and all and I learned a bunch of stuff, but it cracked me up, because I have been to plenty of other conferences, conventions, churches etc. No way could you go to a Baptist conference of any kind without some folks trying to get to know you. I also went to a Texas Confessional Lutherans conference with my family and once again, no one said hi. One guy did ask my husband for technical assistance with his computer. And I wandered around till I found a very sweet lady I had met at an LWML convention. I also figured I would have wound up on their email list or some such, but I haven’t heard a thing. Not exactly promoting themselves, not even to folks who seek them out and drive a couple of hours and stay overnight at a hotel to listen to what they have to say.

    3) Not limited to conservative Lutherans. I had the same experiences in the ELCA.

    These are just anecdotes, FWIW, but hey, I didn’t coin the phrase, frozen chosen.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    1) Lutherans are seriously lacking in the blatant self promotion department. Rick Warren truly has nothing amazing to say yet sells tons of books. Lifeway publishers don’t have more fabulous stuff than CPH, more like the reverse, yet they sure can sell, even to Lutherans. Maybe its better marketing, hegemony.

    2) Too many introverts. I went to CCLE X last year and quickly figured out that most of the folks there knew each other. Not one person introduced himself. A bunch of them were pastors, which by definition means extravert, I would figure. I am not super outgoing, but I didn’t go 1,000 miles to spend three days and not talk to anyone at all, so I introduced myself to some folks. I called my husband and laughed as I told him, it was an entire conference of introverts! Everyone was nice and all and I learned a bunch of stuff, but it cracked me up, because I have been to plenty of other conferences, conventions, churches etc. No way could you go to a Baptist conference of any kind without some folks trying to get to know you. I also went to a Texas Confessional Lutherans conference with my family and once again, no one said hi. One guy did ask my husband for technical assistance with his computer. And I wandered around till I found a very sweet lady I had met at an LWML convention. I also figured I would have wound up on their email list or some such, but I haven’t heard a thing. Not exactly promoting themselves, not even to folks who seek them out and drive a couple of hours and stay overnight at a hotel to listen to what they have to say.

    3) Not limited to conservative Lutherans. I had the same experiences in the ELCA.

    These are just anecdotes, FWIW, but hey, I didn’t coin the phrase, frozen chosen.

  • robert williams

    4 definitely 4

  • robert williams

    4 definitely 4

  • Tom Hering

    sg @ 6, thank God there’s at least one brand of Christianity in America that’s introvert friendly. American culture tells us often enough that we ought to be more “healthily” extroverted, without the Church telling us too. :-D

  • Tom Hering

    sg @ 6, thank God there’s at least one brand of Christianity in America that’s introvert friendly. American culture tells us often enough that we ought to be more “healthily” extroverted, without the Church telling us too. :-D

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com bike bubba

    Even here in Minnesota, you don’t hear a whole lot from our Lutheran brethren, really. Now unlike many “evenjicals”, I’ve met and even spoken with Lutheran pastors–I became aware of Answers in Genesis at a Missouri synod church, actually. And of course I know, at least online, one Lutheran intellectual.

    What works against most? Start with demographics; Scandinavians tend to not want to make waves, so you don’t see them “in public” as much as others, and Germans are often similar. Then go to the history of Lutherans as a state church, in contrast to evangelicals, with their roots (Puritan, Mennonites) in churches which were at best ignored, and at worst persecuted by the state. When everyone is a member by birth unless they opt out, you’re going to have a different attitude towards reaching out to your community than otherwise–especially if you don’t have bishops like the Anglicans or Catholics.

    Finally, you’ve got sacramentalism, and right or wrong, many are trusting in the sacraments for their salvation.

    OK, that’s enough for the Lutheran side. On the flip side, revivalism is going to propel “evanjicals” to be more public in outreach. Obviously, there are some positive sides and some very negative sides to this. I realized at a former church that the pastor was more or less making each service into a sparsely attended revival meeting, which resulted in a complete lack of spiritual depth among the congregants.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com bike bubba

    Even here in Minnesota, you don’t hear a whole lot from our Lutheran brethren, really. Now unlike many “evenjicals”, I’ve met and even spoken with Lutheran pastors–I became aware of Answers in Genesis at a Missouri synod church, actually. And of course I know, at least online, one Lutheran intellectual.

    What works against most? Start with demographics; Scandinavians tend to not want to make waves, so you don’t see them “in public” as much as others, and Germans are often similar. Then go to the history of Lutherans as a state church, in contrast to evangelicals, with their roots (Puritan, Mennonites) in churches which were at best ignored, and at worst persecuted by the state. When everyone is a member by birth unless they opt out, you’re going to have a different attitude towards reaching out to your community than otherwise–especially if you don’t have bishops like the Anglicans or Catholics.

    Finally, you’ve got sacramentalism, and right or wrong, many are trusting in the sacraments for their salvation.

    OK, that’s enough for the Lutheran side. On the flip side, revivalism is going to propel “evanjicals” to be more public in outreach. Obviously, there are some positive sides and some very negative sides to this. I realized at a former church that the pastor was more or less making each service into a sparsely attended revival meeting, which resulted in a complete lack of spiritual depth among the congregants.

  • http://www.sbtcross.org Robin Fish

    If one looks away from Lutheranism, one tends to miss seeing Lutherans. Odd, that.

  • http://www.sbtcross.org Robin Fish

    If one looks away from Lutheranism, one tends to miss seeing Lutherans. Odd, that.

  • Tom Hering

    Pastor Fish @ 10, Ha ha ha ha ha! :-D Maybe evangelicals don’t want to know where we are. Maybe they’ve preferred, for a long time, that we keep quiet and out of sight – that we not trouble them with our peculiar views and ways.

  • Tom Hering

    Pastor Fish @ 10, Ha ha ha ha ha! :-D Maybe evangelicals don’t want to know where we are. Maybe they’ve preferred, for a long time, that we keep quiet and out of sight – that we not trouble them with our peculiar views and ways.

  • Dennis Peskey

    I guess the problem is a proximity issue; Mr. Kevin DeYoung is not an immediate neighbor of mine. I do have plenty of neighbors with whom I share the Gospel – most are Methodist or Roman, some are atheist or have no opinion on religion.

    Lutherans tend to share the Gospel the old fashion way – one sinner at a time. And, we endeavor to proclaim Law and Gospel by proper means. This isn’t flashy or newsworthy; no headlines here. But we know it’s not our words we use. We say what God told us to say, no more and no less. We don’t need a program or a venue to proclaim this good news; God has provided all we need – our neighbor.

    Our doctrine can not be parsed in convenient evangelical packets for dissimulation to the masses. Both doctrines, Law and Gospel, must be proclaimed as part of the will of God. This does not mean it is necessary to unload the entire Book of Concord upon first encountering a receptive neighbor; we should be familiar with the contents to know what parts are needed in what order. As it is with a man thirsting for righteousness, having tasted the sweetness of Christ’s words and action for us, they will return for more.

    The problem Mr. DeYoung glossed over is we do not walk by sight, but by faith. He may want to consider we are a bit too busy with God’s word and neither seek nor desire to focus a spotlight on ourselves. If I may paraphrase, “It takes a sinner to find a sinner.” Finding the lost is more important than being discovered by evangelicals.
    Pax,
    Dennis

  • Dennis Peskey

    I guess the problem is a proximity issue; Mr. Kevin DeYoung is not an immediate neighbor of mine. I do have plenty of neighbors with whom I share the Gospel – most are Methodist or Roman, some are atheist or have no opinion on religion.

    Lutherans tend to share the Gospel the old fashion way – one sinner at a time. And, we endeavor to proclaim Law and Gospel by proper means. This isn’t flashy or newsworthy; no headlines here. But we know it’s not our words we use. We say what God told us to say, no more and no less. We don’t need a program or a venue to proclaim this good news; God has provided all we need – our neighbor.

    Our doctrine can not be parsed in convenient evangelical packets for dissimulation to the masses. Both doctrines, Law and Gospel, must be proclaimed as part of the will of God. This does not mean it is necessary to unload the entire Book of Concord upon first encountering a receptive neighbor; we should be familiar with the contents to know what parts are needed in what order. As it is with a man thirsting for righteousness, having tasted the sweetness of Christ’s words and action for us, they will return for more.

    The problem Mr. DeYoung glossed over is we do not walk by sight, but by faith. He may want to consider we are a bit too busy with God’s word and neither seek nor desire to focus a spotlight on ourselves. If I may paraphrase, “It takes a sinner to find a sinner.” Finding the lost is more important than being discovered by evangelicals.
    Pax,
    Dennis

  • V. williams

    Tom Hering has nailed it, in my opinion. If you haven’t ever enjoyed The Lutheran Satire videos, you might start with the one that depicts a Lutheran Pastor being solicited by an evangelical publishing company.

    http://www.youtube.com/user/TheLutheranSatire#p/u/16/4gI-R5_eV1A

  • V. williams

    Tom Hering has nailed it, in my opinion. If you haven’t ever enjoyed The Lutheran Satire videos, you might start with the one that depicts a Lutheran Pastor being solicited by an evangelical publishing company.

    http://www.youtube.com/user/TheLutheranSatire#p/u/16/4gI-R5_eV1A

  • Tom Hering

    “I would quite literally would rather have Texas fire ants lay eggs on my eyeballs …”

    I cracked when I heard that one! :-D

  • Tom Hering

    “I would quite literally would rather have Texas fire ants lay eggs on my eyeballs …”

    I cracked when I heard that one! :-D

  • http://www.cyberbrethren.com Rev. Paul T. McCain

    Where are the Lutherans? Where we’ve always been: here.

    The problem is that though Evangelicals/Protestants/Calvinists, etc. claim they want us around and to hear us out, the fact is that the moment Lutherans talk and sound like Lutherans, the warm welcome grows cold, very quickly.

    For you see, many Calvinists regard Martin Luther as one of their great “fathers” int he faith, but they are unwilling really to let him teach them.

    And so, when Lutherans, no matter how sweetly, kindly, nicely and/or gently assert our Biblical confession on the Lord’s Supper, to take but one example, we are shuffled off back into a corner.

    The Lutherans who buddy up with Calvinists, etc. generally do so at the expense of asserting the Lutheran Confessional position and rejecting the error of Calvinism.

  • http://www.cyberbrethren.com Rev. Paul T. McCain

    Where are the Lutherans? Where we’ve always been: here.

    The problem is that though Evangelicals/Protestants/Calvinists, etc. claim they want us around and to hear us out, the fact is that the moment Lutherans talk and sound like Lutherans, the warm welcome grows cold, very quickly.

    For you see, many Calvinists regard Martin Luther as one of their great “fathers” int he faith, but they are unwilling really to let him teach them.

    And so, when Lutherans, no matter how sweetly, kindly, nicely and/or gently assert our Biblical confession on the Lord’s Supper, to take but one example, we are shuffled off back into a corner.

    The Lutherans who buddy up with Calvinists, etc. generally do so at the expense of asserting the Lutheran Confessional position and rejecting the error of Calvinism.

  • Steve in Toronto

    Re Rev. McCain
    I have not noticed that Dr. Rosenbladt spends much time in the corner on the Whitehouse Inn. I have noticed however that they rairly discuss the sacraments. In any event is not the best way to defend and/or promote Lutheran Theology to forcefully engage in the debate rather then retreat behind institutional walls?

  • Steve in Toronto

    Re Rev. McCain
    I have not noticed that Dr. Rosenbladt spends much time in the corner on the Whitehouse Inn. I have noticed however that they rairly discuss the sacraments. In any event is not the best way to defend and/or promote Lutheran Theology to forcefully engage in the debate rather then retreat behind institutional walls?

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    “Lutherans tend to share the Gospel the old fashion way – one sinner at a time.”

    Yep.

    Nice one, Dennis Peskey!

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    “Lutherans tend to share the Gospel the old fashion way – one sinner at a time.”

    Yep.

    Nice one, Dennis Peskey!

  • V. williams

    @ Tom Hering:

    This episode, is another example of what happens when we conservative Lutherans encounter evangelicals and try to have a theological discussion:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/TheLutheranSatire#p/u/19/tFX8i8RQPEU

  • V. williams

    @ Tom Hering:

    This episode, is another example of what happens when we conservative Lutherans encounter evangelicals and try to have a theological discussion:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/TheLutheranSatire#p/u/19/tFX8i8RQPEU

  • Helen F

    As a St. Louis Seminary prof quipped one time: “Lutherans have nothing new to say!” Of course, that excludes the ELCA since they seem to think–along with those they’ve come to be in fellowship with–that, “the Holy Spirit is doing a new thing” etc.

  • Helen F

    As a St. Louis Seminary prof quipped one time: “Lutherans have nothing new to say!” Of course, that excludes the ELCA since they seem to think–along with those they’ve come to be in fellowship with–that, “the Holy Spirit is doing a new thing” etc.

  • http://pseudepigraphic.blogspot.com Trent

    I will forego venting my spleen here in this estimable comment-feed, but, alas, I cannot forego rolling my eyes.

    I don’t know who Mr. DeYoung is, but I frankly find his ignorance of Lutheran doctrine and practice astounding. This, and his question-begging (“I’m genuinely curious to know why the big tent of conservative, confessional evangelicalism doesn’t have more Lutherans.” Really? Are you?) leaves me a little rankled, though not entirely surprised. Still, he may as well wonder, and posit, “Why has the Roman Catholic church made so little progress in eliminating the papacy?” And, no, I do not think that this is a hyperbolic comparison: Mr. DeYoung’s puzzlement with why conservative Lutherans aren’t getting on board with the Great Camp Meeting of American evangelicalism is just as absurd.

    Much could be said by way of criticizing his statements, but I will try to be succinct:

    Lutherans are not the followers of Martin Luther. As Calvin is to Calvinists, Luther IS NOT to Lutherans. Calvinists love to situate Luther in their hagiography of ur-Protestant superstars, trotting out the whole “Luther was a Calvinist before Calvin was” bit as though it’s some ace-in-the-hole, but this belies, again, a great deal of ignorance with respect to the conservative Reformation and the churches of the Augsburg Confession. It was the goal of the Lutheran Reformers and their orthodox followers to preserve the Una Sancta, the one, holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, the faith once passed down to the saints. As such, the Lutherans were content to simply prune a tree which had become corrupt, whereas the more radical “reformers” more or less laid an axe to the root. Calvin believed that the only mark of the church that had survived under medieval Roman Catholicism was baptism (but let’s be honest, with Calvin’s understanding of baptism, that wasn’t much of an endorsement) — other than that, the Church had been entirely obscured and corrupted. A Lutheran, if he knows his doctrine, would never say that. Rather than going on at length here, I will say that it would behoove anyone interested in a succinct comparison of the Lutheran and Reformed approaches to the project of reformation to read Hermann Sasse’s excellent 1936 monograph Here We Stand.

    In sum, a good Lutheran ought to tell you that he is more Catholic than the pope, and that if he didn’t believe the Lutheran church was Catholic, then he wouldn’t be a Lutheran. The problem with the Roman Catholic church of the middle ages was not its catholicity, but its Romanism — this was the claim of the Lutheran fathers: Luther, Melanchthon (kind of), Chemnitz, and Gerhard, as well as the confessional Lutheran theologians of the past century and the present day.

    The drivel of the sort that DeYoung sets forth is tiresome. When you depart from Word and Sacrament as the marks of the Church, and instead seek to measure the health of the Body of Christ by a strange of ecumenical hustle and bustle, you have adopted an alien standard of orthodoxy. It should come as no surprise that the questions which follow from these begged premises make no sense.

  • http://pseudepigraphic.blogspot.com Trent

    I will forego venting my spleen here in this estimable comment-feed, but, alas, I cannot forego rolling my eyes.

    I don’t know who Mr. DeYoung is, but I frankly find his ignorance of Lutheran doctrine and practice astounding. This, and his question-begging (“I’m genuinely curious to know why the big tent of conservative, confessional evangelicalism doesn’t have more Lutherans.” Really? Are you?) leaves me a little rankled, though not entirely surprised. Still, he may as well wonder, and posit, “Why has the Roman Catholic church made so little progress in eliminating the papacy?” And, no, I do not think that this is a hyperbolic comparison: Mr. DeYoung’s puzzlement with why conservative Lutherans aren’t getting on board with the Great Camp Meeting of American evangelicalism is just as absurd.

    Much could be said by way of criticizing his statements, but I will try to be succinct:

    Lutherans are not the followers of Martin Luther. As Calvin is to Calvinists, Luther IS NOT to Lutherans. Calvinists love to situate Luther in their hagiography of ur-Protestant superstars, trotting out the whole “Luther was a Calvinist before Calvin was” bit as though it’s some ace-in-the-hole, but this belies, again, a great deal of ignorance with respect to the conservative Reformation and the churches of the Augsburg Confession. It was the goal of the Lutheran Reformers and their orthodox followers to preserve the Una Sancta, the one, holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, the faith once passed down to the saints. As such, the Lutherans were content to simply prune a tree which had become corrupt, whereas the more radical “reformers” more or less laid an axe to the root. Calvin believed that the only mark of the church that had survived under medieval Roman Catholicism was baptism (but let’s be honest, with Calvin’s understanding of baptism, that wasn’t much of an endorsement) — other than that, the Church had been entirely obscured and corrupted. A Lutheran, if he knows his doctrine, would never say that. Rather than going on at length here, I will say that it would behoove anyone interested in a succinct comparison of the Lutheran and Reformed approaches to the project of reformation to read Hermann Sasse’s excellent 1936 monograph Here We Stand.

    In sum, a good Lutheran ought to tell you that he is more Catholic than the pope, and that if he didn’t believe the Lutheran church was Catholic, then he wouldn’t be a Lutheran. The problem with the Roman Catholic church of the middle ages was not its catholicity, but its Romanism — this was the claim of the Lutheran fathers: Luther, Melanchthon (kind of), Chemnitz, and Gerhard, as well as the confessional Lutheran theologians of the past century and the present day.

    The drivel of the sort that DeYoung sets forth is tiresome. When you depart from Word and Sacrament as the marks of the Church, and instead seek to measure the health of the Body of Christ by a strange of ecumenical hustle and bustle, you have adopted an alien standard of orthodoxy. It should come as no surprise that the questions which follow from these begged premises make no sense.

  • Helen F

    Trent,
    All I can say to your post is, “Amen!”

  • Helen F

    Trent,
    All I can say to your post is, “Amen!”

  • WebMonk

    There are probably aspects of many of those options playing out, but as to what the largest factors are, I suspect a combination of numbers 4 and 5 as being the largest group of factors.

    I think we’ve had more than a few arguments on these boards about the flawed Lutheran view of the sacraments (number 4). I think that tends to feed the ‘bunker’ aspect mentioned in number 5. And as number 5 talks about the larger issues within Lutheranism, many of the issues are (from what I see from my POV) between the parts of Lutheranism that is joining evangelicalism and the parts that are remaining separate (numbers 4 and 5).

    Not mentioned in the list, is that Lutheranism of all flavors, WELS, LCMS, ELCA, etc, are all quickly shrinking numerically. (and might still be considerably over-inflated by people officially members of the church but not having attended for decades – this is an issue for many denominations, not just Lutheran ones)

    Wrap all those things up, and it’s almost guaranteed that Lutherans are going to have a very hard time even being noticed on the large-scale scene. To overcome those challenges, it would take some very dramatic and probably concerted efforts to get Lutheranism to register as more than a blip.

  • WebMonk

    There are probably aspects of many of those options playing out, but as to what the largest factors are, I suspect a combination of numbers 4 and 5 as being the largest group of factors.

    I think we’ve had more than a few arguments on these boards about the flawed Lutheran view of the sacraments (number 4). I think that tends to feed the ‘bunker’ aspect mentioned in number 5. And as number 5 talks about the larger issues within Lutheranism, many of the issues are (from what I see from my POV) between the parts of Lutheranism that is joining evangelicalism and the parts that are remaining separate (numbers 4 and 5).

    Not mentioned in the list, is that Lutheranism of all flavors, WELS, LCMS, ELCA, etc, are all quickly shrinking numerically. (and might still be considerably over-inflated by people officially members of the church but not having attended for decades – this is an issue for many denominations, not just Lutheran ones)

    Wrap all those things up, and it’s almost guaranteed that Lutherans are going to have a very hard time even being noticed on the large-scale scene. To overcome those challenges, it would take some very dramatic and probably concerted efforts to get Lutheranism to register as more than a blip.

  • rlewer

    Why should Lutherans want to become “Evangelicals”? We were the original Evangelicals. If Evangelicals want to degrade God’s sacraments, that is their problem.

    I agree with Trent.

    Why give into to falsehood?

  • rlewer

    Why should Lutherans want to become “Evangelicals”? We were the original Evangelicals. If Evangelicals want to degrade God’s sacraments, that is their problem.

    I agree with Trent.

    Why give into to falsehood?

  • Joe

    Another issue not discussed by Mr. DeYoung is that historically Lutherans have not focus their mass evangelism on populations that are churched – even if they are in the wrong church. We tend to focus on the unchurched. Thus, we don’t generally engage in the same sort of efforts that move Christians from one church to another that encompasses so much of what the evangelicals do.

    So where are all the Lutherans? In Africa, Asia, etc. proclaiming the Gospel.

  • Joe

    Another issue not discussed by Mr. DeYoung is that historically Lutherans have not focus their mass evangelism on populations that are churched – even if they are in the wrong church. We tend to focus on the unchurched. Thus, we don’t generally engage in the same sort of efforts that move Christians from one church to another that encompasses so much of what the evangelicals do.

    So where are all the Lutherans? In Africa, Asia, etc. proclaiming the Gospel.

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

    Trent, you beat me to the punch on that issue.

    In answer to the quoted blog, the big reason you do not see Lutheran writers and speakers is two fold.
    1. Our theology is not popular. It isn’t me centered enough, it doesn’t let me feel good about myself in that it doesn’t say I just need a bit o’ tweaking. It says I am totally wretched sinner. And the only reason I am not condemned is the all sufficient sacrifice of another man. People don’t like the fact that we say you cannot interpret the Bible in isolation. They also don’t like when we say that the popular “The Message” ought to be burned and never used to make a theological point. They don’t like the idea of spiritual headship in terms of the gospel rather than the law. They want works they can do, and we give them grace through the office of the Holy Ministry.

    2. Our books aren’t carried by Family Christian Bookstores. See above for why.

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

    Trent, you beat me to the punch on that issue.

    In answer to the quoted blog, the big reason you do not see Lutheran writers and speakers is two fold.
    1. Our theology is not popular. It isn’t me centered enough, it doesn’t let me feel good about myself in that it doesn’t say I just need a bit o’ tweaking. It says I am totally wretched sinner. And the only reason I am not condemned is the all sufficient sacrifice of another man. People don’t like the fact that we say you cannot interpret the Bible in isolation. They also don’t like when we say that the popular “The Message” ought to be burned and never used to make a theological point. They don’t like the idea of spiritual headship in terms of the gospel rather than the law. They want works they can do, and we give them grace through the office of the Holy Ministry.

    2. Our books aren’t carried by Family Christian Bookstores. See above for why.

  • Booklover

    Here’s yet another satire on why the Lutherans won’t mix with the “Geneva Boys.” :-)

    http://www.youtube.com/user/TheLutheranSatire#p/u/3/lD4784EdSvI

  • Booklover

    Here’s yet another satire on why the Lutherans won’t mix with the “Geneva Boys.” :-)

    http://www.youtube.com/user/TheLutheranSatire#p/u/3/lD4784EdSvI

  • WebMonk

    Joe @24 (and Denniswith a similar comment in 12),

    So where are all the Lutherans? In Africa, Asia, etc. proclaiming the Gospel.

    and

    Lutherans tend to share the Gospel the old fashion way – one sinner at a time.

    That’s a pleasant thing to believe, but not accurate as far as I can tell. Every denomination has large growth in other countries, but Lutheran denominations have considerably lower than average numbers of people becoming Christians in non-US countries than other denominations. Are there not as many Lutherans overseas sharing, or are they seeing fewer than normal results, or is some other factor at play?

    And as for sharing 1-on-1 here in the US … perhaps. But, either Lutherans aren’t doing this very much, or people just aren’t becoming Christians as a result of all the sharing. (or a third option – Lutherans are doing lots of sharing and lots of people are becoming Christians as a result, but there is a massive counter-balancing exodus from Lutheran churches which overwhelms the huge amounts of 1-on-1 sharing and outreaching going on)

    I don’t see that either view is at all accurate, though it sounds nice to say.

  • WebMonk

    Joe @24 (and Denniswith a similar comment in 12),

    So where are all the Lutherans? In Africa, Asia, etc. proclaiming the Gospel.

    and

    Lutherans tend to share the Gospel the old fashion way – one sinner at a time.

    That’s a pleasant thing to believe, but not accurate as far as I can tell. Every denomination has large growth in other countries, but Lutheran denominations have considerably lower than average numbers of people becoming Christians in non-US countries than other denominations. Are there not as many Lutherans overseas sharing, or are they seeing fewer than normal results, or is some other factor at play?

    And as for sharing 1-on-1 here in the US … perhaps. But, either Lutherans aren’t doing this very much, or people just aren’t becoming Christians as a result of all the sharing. (or a third option – Lutherans are doing lots of sharing and lots of people are becoming Christians as a result, but there is a massive counter-balancing exodus from Lutheran churches which overwhelms the huge amounts of 1-on-1 sharing and outreaching going on)

    I don’t see that either view is at all accurate, though it sounds nice to say.

  • Booklover

    Joe @24 has spoken truth. Excitement about the growth of non-denominational evangelical churches should wane when one realizes that their main growth comes from sheep-shifting, while the unchurched culture remains with their gods.

  • Booklover

    Joe @24 has spoken truth. Excitement about the growth of non-denominational evangelical churches should wane when one realizes that their main growth comes from sheep-shifting, while the unchurched culture remains with their gods.

  • Louis

    Last week, over at the Boars Head Tavern, my friend John H made the following comment on De Young’s question:

    The very fact that Kevin DeYoung sees Lutherans as a gap in the evangelical jigsaw of Baptists, Presbyterians, Free Church types, evangelical Anglicans and so on is revealing.

    ISTM that conservative evangelicals within those traditions have come to see their denominational identity as secondary to a broader “evangelical” identity that they all share: “we agree on the essentials of the gospel, even if we disagree on inessentials such as eschatology, baptism and so on.”

    Reformed Christians – and I’m probably using this term in the Lutheran sense of “pretty much any non-Lutheran Protestant” – then tend to assume that Lutherans will be willing and able to fit into that same framework of “shared evangelical identity” with “different denominational emphases”, and are puzzled (or even offended) when this doesn’t happen. Why doesn’t it happen? Partly, no doubt, because of Lutheran insularity; partly because of differences in geographical range; but to a large extent it’s because Lutherans don’t share that Reformed, “meta-denominational” framework – and don’t see any particular reason why we should.

    In the end, it comes down to the sacraments. It’s not just that Lutherans (as compared with Reformed Christians) ascribe a different meaning to the sacraments; the sacraments play a radically different role within our understanding of the gospel and the Christian life. In particular, for us the sacraments are not an “add-on” to the “essentials” of the gospel: they are part of the gospel itself. Hence we’re not able to set aside differences over the sacraments with as much ease as those from different “Reformed” traditions.

  • Louis

    Last week, over at the Boars Head Tavern, my friend John H made the following comment on De Young’s question:

    The very fact that Kevin DeYoung sees Lutherans as a gap in the evangelical jigsaw of Baptists, Presbyterians, Free Church types, evangelical Anglicans and so on is revealing.

    ISTM that conservative evangelicals within those traditions have come to see their denominational identity as secondary to a broader “evangelical” identity that they all share: “we agree on the essentials of the gospel, even if we disagree on inessentials such as eschatology, baptism and so on.”

    Reformed Christians – and I’m probably using this term in the Lutheran sense of “pretty much any non-Lutheran Protestant” – then tend to assume that Lutherans will be willing and able to fit into that same framework of “shared evangelical identity” with “different denominational emphases”, and are puzzled (or even offended) when this doesn’t happen. Why doesn’t it happen? Partly, no doubt, because of Lutheran insularity; partly because of differences in geographical range; but to a large extent it’s because Lutherans don’t share that Reformed, “meta-denominational” framework – and don’t see any particular reason why we should.

    In the end, it comes down to the sacraments. It’s not just that Lutherans (as compared with Reformed Christians) ascribe a different meaning to the sacraments; the sacraments play a radically different role within our understanding of the gospel and the Christian life. In particular, for us the sacraments are not an “add-on” to the “essentials” of the gospel: they are part of the gospel itself. Hence we’re not able to set aside differences over the sacraments with as much ease as those from different “Reformed” traditions.

  • Phillip

    One of my professors, a prominent Roman Catholic theologian, has complained to me that Lutherans no longer publish. He says we used to be the best academics in any denomination, including RC, but now you can’t find a book by a Lutheran in any major bookstore. We’re not mainline Protestants, but lots of non-Lutherans like Lutheran theology. We used to be the academics of Christianity in this country, but now the only academic or solid theology work you can find in big bookstores are RC. I have to agree with DeYoung, what happened?

  • Phillip

    One of my professors, a prominent Roman Catholic theologian, has complained to me that Lutherans no longer publish. He says we used to be the best academics in any denomination, including RC, but now you can’t find a book by a Lutheran in any major bookstore. We’re not mainline Protestants, but lots of non-Lutherans like Lutheran theology. We used to be the academics of Christianity in this country, but now the only academic or solid theology work you can find in big bookstores are RC. I have to agree with DeYoung, what happened?

  • Louis

    Trent @ 20 – a hearty AMEN!

    IOW, we are more Catholic than the pope, but a lot less Roman :)

  • Louis

    Trent @ 20 – a hearty AMEN!

    IOW, we are more Catholic than the pope, but a lot less Roman :)

  • WebMonk

    Yeah, but, but Louis! If you Lutherans would just realize that your whole ‘sacrament’ thing is just screwed up theologizing you’d get rid of all your problems! Just become like us!

    We are the Evangelical.
    You will be assimilated.
    Resistance is futile. :-D

  • WebMonk

    Yeah, but, but Louis! If you Lutherans would just realize that your whole ‘sacrament’ thing is just screwed up theologizing you’d get rid of all your problems! Just become like us!

    We are the Evangelical.
    You will be assimilated.
    Resistance is futile. :-D

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Lutherans no longer publish”

    That would be news to the folks at CPH.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Lutherans no longer publish”

    That would be news to the folks at CPH.

  • Rob

    My take, which echoes a fair bit above involves two reasons: sacramental theology and theological consistency.

    The first, as everyone has acknowledged, is Mr. DeYoung’s 4th hypothesis. Lutherans not only have an “idiosyncratic” view of the Sacraments (his term first struck me as condescending, but hey – it’s better than it’s counterpart: “syncretistic”), but that view necessitates that sacramental theology cannot be compromised. In other words, it is both unique to Lutheranism and non-negotiable. Those Lutherans willing to negotiate (a la Melanchthon in the mid- to late-1500s) have always done so by changing their Lutheran views to Zwinglian/Calvinist/Reformed views, not the reverse. Thus, the confessional Lutheran aversion to “Unionism”: the very thing that drove the founding of the LCMS.

    The second reason is Joe’s point, and is summed up nicely by Walther in Thesis XX of Law and Gospel (paraphrasing): It is false to think that one can only be saved in a Lutheran church. Lutherans aren’t out there trying to convince other Christians to become Lutherans because we actually believe that we are saved by grace. NOT by deeds. NOT by our proper understanding of grace. This latter statement could be interpreted as not taking doctrine seriously, but that is false. Because we believe sola gratia so seriously, there is no point in trying to “convert” a Baptist or a Calvinist. That time is better spent sharing the gospel with those who profess no faith at all.

    Contrast that with the Young, Restless, Reformed folks, who are in a constant campaign to convert all Christians into Calvinists. Isn’t that a little inconsistent for folks who teach double predestination? The problem with Calvinists is that they don’t consistently apply their own theological (and often philosophical) views. I guess that happens when you jettison 1500 years of church history, as both Calvin and the Anabaptists did.

    Confessional Lutherans have not been a more visible part of the “big tent of American evangelicalism” because we actually practice what we preach. We preach that we are sinners… and our lives prove it. We preach that we are saved only by God’s grace for Christ’s sake as the Spirit calls, enlightens and equips… and our theology and practice bear this out.

    Unless our vocations (as Dr. Veith’s or Dr. McCain’s have) bring us into the broader evangelical public square, don’t bother looking for us there.

  • Rob

    My take, which echoes a fair bit above involves two reasons: sacramental theology and theological consistency.

    The first, as everyone has acknowledged, is Mr. DeYoung’s 4th hypothesis. Lutherans not only have an “idiosyncratic” view of the Sacraments (his term first struck me as condescending, but hey – it’s better than it’s counterpart: “syncretistic”), but that view necessitates that sacramental theology cannot be compromised. In other words, it is both unique to Lutheranism and non-negotiable. Those Lutherans willing to negotiate (a la Melanchthon in the mid- to late-1500s) have always done so by changing their Lutheran views to Zwinglian/Calvinist/Reformed views, not the reverse. Thus, the confessional Lutheran aversion to “Unionism”: the very thing that drove the founding of the LCMS.

    The second reason is Joe’s point, and is summed up nicely by Walther in Thesis XX of Law and Gospel (paraphrasing): It is false to think that one can only be saved in a Lutheran church. Lutherans aren’t out there trying to convince other Christians to become Lutherans because we actually believe that we are saved by grace. NOT by deeds. NOT by our proper understanding of grace. This latter statement could be interpreted as not taking doctrine seriously, but that is false. Because we believe sola gratia so seriously, there is no point in trying to “convert” a Baptist or a Calvinist. That time is better spent sharing the gospel with those who profess no faith at all.

    Contrast that with the Young, Restless, Reformed folks, who are in a constant campaign to convert all Christians into Calvinists. Isn’t that a little inconsistent for folks who teach double predestination? The problem with Calvinists is that they don’t consistently apply their own theological (and often philosophical) views. I guess that happens when you jettison 1500 years of church history, as both Calvin and the Anabaptists did.

    Confessional Lutherans have not been a more visible part of the “big tent of American evangelicalism” because we actually practice what we preach. We preach that we are sinners… and our lives prove it. We preach that we are saved only by God’s grace for Christ’s sake as the Spirit calls, enlightens and equips… and our theology and practice bear this out.

    Unless our vocations (as Dr. Veith’s or Dr. McCain’s have) bring us into the broader evangelical public square, don’t bother looking for us there.

  • Louis

    Webmonk – just remember – the borg gets defeated in the end. :)

  • Louis

    Webmonk – just remember – the borg gets defeated in the end. :)

  • Abbie

    LCMS Lutherans are busy telling HIS story and not their own personal story and inserting a few Bible passages here and there….

  • Abbie

    LCMS Lutherans are busy telling HIS story and not their own personal story and inserting a few Bible passages here and there….

  • http://blog.captainthin.net/ Captain Thin

    We confessional Lutherans love to trumpet the excellence of our theology, and rightly so; our confessions are a true exposition of the Scriptures. But you’d think that knowledge would in and of itself would be an impetus to share what we believe with other Christians. If they’ve got some of it backwards, why in the world wouldn’t we tell them about it? Or do we forget the words of St. James? “My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins” (5:19-20).

    It’s very easy to criticize errant theology from a distance; confessional Lutherans have gotten quite good at it. But actually working lovingly to correct such errors? That seems to slip most of our minds. Too much of confessional Lutheranism sounds suspiciously like the prayer of a certain pharisee: “God, I thank you that I am not like other “Christians”: evangelicals, Catholics, liberals, or even like this Calvinist…”

  • http://blog.captainthin.net/ Captain Thin

    We confessional Lutherans love to trumpet the excellence of our theology, and rightly so; our confessions are a true exposition of the Scriptures. But you’d think that knowledge would in and of itself would be an impetus to share what we believe with other Christians. If they’ve got some of it backwards, why in the world wouldn’t we tell them about it? Or do we forget the words of St. James? “My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins” (5:19-20).

    It’s very easy to criticize errant theology from a distance; confessional Lutherans have gotten quite good at it. But actually working lovingly to correct such errors? That seems to slip most of our minds. Too much of confessional Lutheranism sounds suspiciously like the prayer of a certain pharisee: “God, I thank you that I am not like other “Christians”: evangelicals, Catholics, liberals, or even like this Calvinist…”

  • Ryan

    I guess I will wade in. I have tried to do as much as possible to highlight the teaching of the Gospel (ie Lutheranism). I’m a chaplain at the hospital, nursing home, I have a weekly two hour radio program on the local Christian station, the church has a booming childcare center, our members participate in various mercy groups in the community, I participate in the local ministers felowship, and… While this maybe walking, or crossing, the line for an LCMS guy, I will preach in any pulpit (not reciprocal of course!) and thus have preached at Methodist, baptist, and Roman congregations. The people eat up the Gospel in all these venues, like they never heard it before. Membership gain from all the above in 6 years, 0. I’m not the best evangelist, and I’m kinda out of ideas, so I just preach, teach, and pastor… as one sinner showing others where to get forgiveness. As was said before conservative Christians embrace the Lutherans as long as we shut up about justification by faith ALONE, and the sacraments… So that’s #4. I also have huge problems in my community with #2. In fact, besides other Christians being suspicious of us being closet Romanists, the low church around here (everyone else), just cannot wrap their mind around the Sacraments and the Liturgy… So the few that have come in the door because of hearing good solid law gospel on the radio or another venue, turn right around and walk out. Finally anyone that’s left think Lutherans are a bunch of extreme liberals thanks to the news media. I’m at a loss, all the reasons given above have their truth, as to leaking members I truly lose more to the idols of Sunday sports leagues for kids than anything else. Oh, and just one more thing, At least in my neck of the woods the Lutheran pew sitters seem to have this complex of embarrassment about their church, the Liturgy, and what we teach… Not hostility to it, just a shyness… I try to tell them we have the best thing in town going Sunday morning, I mean Jesus is here with gifts of forgiveness, but the answer I get is “no pastor the best service in town is a the “contemporary church”, we don’t like their service, but they are best” Again, I’m just at a loss.. Our culture seems Teflon to Confession Lutheranism sticking.

  • Ryan

    I guess I will wade in. I have tried to do as much as possible to highlight the teaching of the Gospel (ie Lutheranism). I’m a chaplain at the hospital, nursing home, I have a weekly two hour radio program on the local Christian station, the church has a booming childcare center, our members participate in various mercy groups in the community, I participate in the local ministers felowship, and… While this maybe walking, or crossing, the line for an LCMS guy, I will preach in any pulpit (not reciprocal of course!) and thus have preached at Methodist, baptist, and Roman congregations. The people eat up the Gospel in all these venues, like they never heard it before. Membership gain from all the above in 6 years, 0. I’m not the best evangelist, and I’m kinda out of ideas, so I just preach, teach, and pastor… as one sinner showing others where to get forgiveness. As was said before conservative Christians embrace the Lutherans as long as we shut up about justification by faith ALONE, and the sacraments… So that’s #4. I also have huge problems in my community with #2. In fact, besides other Christians being suspicious of us being closet Romanists, the low church around here (everyone else), just cannot wrap their mind around the Sacraments and the Liturgy… So the few that have come in the door because of hearing good solid law gospel on the radio or another venue, turn right around and walk out. Finally anyone that’s left think Lutherans are a bunch of extreme liberals thanks to the news media. I’m at a loss, all the reasons given above have their truth, as to leaking members I truly lose more to the idols of Sunday sports leagues for kids than anything else. Oh, and just one more thing, At least in my neck of the woods the Lutheran pew sitters seem to have this complex of embarrassment about their church, the Liturgy, and what we teach… Not hostility to it, just a shyness… I try to tell them we have the best thing in town going Sunday morning, I mean Jesus is here with gifts of forgiveness, but the answer I get is “no pastor the best service in town is a the “contemporary church”, we don’t like their service, but they are best” Again, I’m just at a loss.. Our culture seems Teflon to Confession Lutheranism sticking.

  • Rob

    But as a follow-up question, Captain Thin: correct it for what purpose? Do you believe that a Lutheran correcting a Calvinist is saving the Calvinist’s soul from death?

  • Rob

    But as a follow-up question, Captain Thin: correct it for what purpose? Do you believe that a Lutheran correcting a Calvinist is saving the Calvinist’s soul from death?

  • larry

    Rev. McCain pretty much nails it. They want a “house pet” Lutheran in name only, but the minute Lutheran confession comes out they don’t want it any more as Steve in Toronto alludes.

    When it gets right down to the nuts and bolts of the Gospel they really don’t want to go there because it is ultimately very revealing. Where is, then, the pro me.

    Secondly at many of these “conferences” worship and sermons are given, I know I’ve been to many of them in my past and that would be mingled heterodoxy by definition since multiple confessions partake. It’s in part why many Presby. and Reformed give up their pulpits to baptist pastors who have an ‘air’ of being calvinistic. Something that whould never, or should never, happen in orthodox worship.

    Thirdly, there is a danger that if one doesn’t defend the true faith in the starkest of ways at such, there is a danger in implying that “eh six one way, half a dozen another…together for the gospel nonetheless”, when nothing could be further from the truth.

  • larry

    Rev. McCain pretty much nails it. They want a “house pet” Lutheran in name only, but the minute Lutheran confession comes out they don’t want it any more as Steve in Toronto alludes.

    When it gets right down to the nuts and bolts of the Gospel they really don’t want to go there because it is ultimately very revealing. Where is, then, the pro me.

    Secondly at many of these “conferences” worship and sermons are given, I know I’ve been to many of them in my past and that would be mingled heterodoxy by definition since multiple confessions partake. It’s in part why many Presby. and Reformed give up their pulpits to baptist pastors who have an ‘air’ of being calvinistic. Something that whould never, or should never, happen in orthodox worship.

    Thirdly, there is a danger that if one doesn’t defend the true faith in the starkest of ways at such, there is a danger in implying that “eh six one way, half a dozen another…together for the gospel nonetheless”, when nothing could be further from the truth.

  • rlewer

    Lutherans publish.

    “Christian” bookstores do not carry books that do not toe their line of man centered theology and end times heresies along with do it yourself books.

    Lutheran books do not have a popular outlet.

  • rlewer

    Lutherans publish.

    “Christian” bookstores do not carry books that do not toe their line of man centered theology and end times heresies along with do it yourself books.

    Lutheran books do not have a popular outlet.

  • Steve in Toronto

    I don’t know if anyone realizes it but there are people who are not members of confessional Lutheran churches reading this blog. A good deal of the commenter’s (perhaps even the majority of them) sounds arrogant, self-righteous and defensive. Is this realy the face you want to present to the larger evangelical community who desperately need to hear the core message to the Lutheran faith (Grace, Grace and more Grace)?

  • Steve in Toronto

    I don’t know if anyone realizes it but there are people who are not members of confessional Lutheran churches reading this blog. A good deal of the commenter’s (perhaps even the majority of them) sounds arrogant, self-righteous and defensive. Is this realy the face you want to present to the larger evangelical community who desperately need to hear the core message to the Lutheran faith (Grace, Grace and more Grace)?

  • DonS

    Our local LCMS bodies here in Orange County, CA, including the larger Lutheran church across the street from our family’s church, Concordia University in Irvine, Orange Lutheran High School in Orange, and its newer offshoot, Crean Lutheran High School in Irvine, are all very much engaged in the local Christian evangelical community, and well as in the secular community at large. The three schools all have majority non-Lutheran student bodies and do an excellent job of providing a grounded Christian education. Our youth group has joint activities with the Lutheran youth group on a regular basis.

    John Crean, the founder of Fleetwood (huge manufacturer of RV’s), donated $10 million to found Crean Lutheran, and also was a principal donor to Crystal Cathedral, and is buried there. I have to admit, when I first started participating on this site, I was stunned to see how unusual was this integration into the larger Christian community by conservative Lutherans.

  • DonS

    Our local LCMS bodies here in Orange County, CA, including the larger Lutheran church across the street from our family’s church, Concordia University in Irvine, Orange Lutheran High School in Orange, and its newer offshoot, Crean Lutheran High School in Irvine, are all very much engaged in the local Christian evangelical community, and well as in the secular community at large. The three schools all have majority non-Lutheran student bodies and do an excellent job of providing a grounded Christian education. Our youth group has joint activities with the Lutheran youth group on a regular basis.

    John Crean, the founder of Fleetwood (huge manufacturer of RV’s), donated $10 million to found Crean Lutheran, and also was a principal donor to Crystal Cathedral, and is buried there. I have to admit, when I first started participating on this site, I was stunned to see how unusual was this integration into the larger Christian community by conservative Lutherans.

  • WebMonk

    Louis 35 – yeah, I know. That has always irritated me. Seriously. The manipulations they’ve had to do to defeat the Borg have almost always snipped my Suspenders of Disbelief.

    I usually wind up shaking my head at the poor story handling of the Borg. On the other hand, if they where to handle them realistically, they would have taken over the Federation long before – not much of a series if the good guys get assimilated right away.

  • WebMonk

    Louis 35 – yeah, I know. That has always irritated me. Seriously. The manipulations they’ve had to do to defeat the Borg have almost always snipped my Suspenders of Disbelief.

    I usually wind up shaking my head at the poor story handling of the Borg. On the other hand, if they where to handle them realistically, they would have taken over the Federation long before – not much of a series if the good guys get assimilated right away.

  • James

    Well, an outsider here who wasn’t going to weigh in, but I would challenge one point made on here, by Rob. Though I am not Reformed I do share agreement on many issues with them; that is one of the reasons I follow Kevin’s blog. I think it a big mis-characterization that folks like Kevin DeYoung are attempting to convert the whole world into Calvinists. Rather, my sense is that, as you say about Lutherans, “a proper understanding of the means of grace does not mean one is not saved by grace” is something that would very much describe the perspective of many in the Reformed and evangelical world, and, I think, Kevin DeYoung. I am much opposed to Arminian theology, but if one comes to faith in Christ by God’s gracious gift, yet thinks his own ability to decide is the proper means, then what do I do with that? We ultimately can agree to disagree, yet still cling to fellowship through our common confession of Christ’s finished work. My suspicion is that you will always be able to find many Lutheran, Reformed, evangelical, Pentecostal, etc., folk who will treat as unbelievers those who don’t share their particular views of a proper understanding of the means of grace. But it’s not all of us, and certainly not the bent of a blog like Kevin’s.

    One observation, if I may. Not all of us who, for lack of a better label, would be considered “evangelical” go in for the latest marketing techniques, champion a me-centered theology, preach a prosperity gospel, charm snakes, whatever ….I could go on and on, but you get the point. In reading some of the comments about evangelicals on this board and over at Restless, I can see why you want to steer clear of us, if indeed that is what you think. Hey, we are not as bad as all of that. I’m not suggesting you have to get out more, but maybe it wouldn’t be a bad thing now and again?

    BTW, I think the world of GEV.

  • James

    Well, an outsider here who wasn’t going to weigh in, but I would challenge one point made on here, by Rob. Though I am not Reformed I do share agreement on many issues with them; that is one of the reasons I follow Kevin’s blog. I think it a big mis-characterization that folks like Kevin DeYoung are attempting to convert the whole world into Calvinists. Rather, my sense is that, as you say about Lutherans, “a proper understanding of the means of grace does not mean one is not saved by grace” is something that would very much describe the perspective of many in the Reformed and evangelical world, and, I think, Kevin DeYoung. I am much opposed to Arminian theology, but if one comes to faith in Christ by God’s gracious gift, yet thinks his own ability to decide is the proper means, then what do I do with that? We ultimately can agree to disagree, yet still cling to fellowship through our common confession of Christ’s finished work. My suspicion is that you will always be able to find many Lutheran, Reformed, evangelical, Pentecostal, etc., folk who will treat as unbelievers those who don’t share their particular views of a proper understanding of the means of grace. But it’s not all of us, and certainly not the bent of a blog like Kevin’s.

    One observation, if I may. Not all of us who, for lack of a better label, would be considered “evangelical” go in for the latest marketing techniques, champion a me-centered theology, preach a prosperity gospel, charm snakes, whatever ….I could go on and on, but you get the point. In reading some of the comments about evangelicals on this board and over at Restless, I can see why you want to steer clear of us, if indeed that is what you think. Hey, we are not as bad as all of that. I’m not suggesting you have to get out more, but maybe it wouldn’t be a bad thing now and again?

    BTW, I think the world of GEV.

  • WebMonk

    Steve, the non-Lutheran readers here are long used to it. Don’t fret.

  • WebMonk

    Steve, the non-Lutheran readers here are long used to it. Don’t fret.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    Agree with Rob (34) and Ryan (38) and Trent (20) and Louis’ friend, John H. (29).

    Yesterday I was invited to another non-denominational conference where some very nice yet very perfect-sanctification/once-saved-always-saved folks seek an opportunity to lecture me about how to reach the youth. I would rather save my time and keep raising funds for next summer’s “Higher Things” conference. I wish I had a few more Lutherans who thought that endeavor was so worthwhile to help fund it so that I could invite my non-denom pastor friend to come along. But fund-raising for the future of Lutheranism is like pulling teeth sometimes. This is the reality that we must simply keep faithfully plugging away and doing the best we can in the midst of a religious culture that is almost completely wired against the current of sound theology and God actually delivering real gifts through word and sacrament to sinners.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    Agree with Rob (34) and Ryan (38) and Trent (20) and Louis’ friend, John H. (29).

    Yesterday I was invited to another non-denominational conference where some very nice yet very perfect-sanctification/once-saved-always-saved folks seek an opportunity to lecture me about how to reach the youth. I would rather save my time and keep raising funds for next summer’s “Higher Things” conference. I wish I had a few more Lutherans who thought that endeavor was so worthwhile to help fund it so that I could invite my non-denom pastor friend to come along. But fund-raising for the future of Lutheranism is like pulling teeth sometimes. This is the reality that we must simply keep faithfully plugging away and doing the best we can in the midst of a religious culture that is almost completely wired against the current of sound theology and God actually delivering real gifts through word and sacrament to sinners.

  • http://blog.captainthin.net/ Captain Thin

    Hi Rob @39,

    Far be it from me to suggest salvation comes in assenting to Lutheran doctrine! My point is that error is error and should be corrected wherever possible. Paul’s rebuke of Peter does not imply Peter is outside the church (which is, after all, an invisible entity not bound by the boundaries of any particular visible denomination); but it does remind us that the body of Christ should be willing to correct one another when we are being “hasty and miss the way”. I think a clear expression of the theology of the cross and the focus on God’s grace in Word and Sacrament are things which North American Christianity needs to hear and would benefit from if but more Lutheran writers and theologians were willing to engage in the discussion. I commend people like Gene Veith and Rod Rosenbladt for their work in this regard.

    Moreover, I suspect there are things which the broader Christian tradition could teach Lutherans if we were willing to listen. Our confessions are clear that God works his grace through fallen individuals in despite of their deficiencies; I have no doubt he works through erring Christian writers and theologians just as he does through sinful Lutheran pastors. So, while we have things to correct non-Lutherans on, I am just as certain they have things to correct us on – a primary example being Kevin DeYoung’s criticism of our lack of engagement with the rest of North American Christianity.

  • http://blog.captainthin.net/ Captain Thin

    Hi Rob @39,

    Far be it from me to suggest salvation comes in assenting to Lutheran doctrine! My point is that error is error and should be corrected wherever possible. Paul’s rebuke of Peter does not imply Peter is outside the church (which is, after all, an invisible entity not bound by the boundaries of any particular visible denomination); but it does remind us that the body of Christ should be willing to correct one another when we are being “hasty and miss the way”. I think a clear expression of the theology of the cross and the focus on God’s grace in Word and Sacrament are things which North American Christianity needs to hear and would benefit from if but more Lutheran writers and theologians were willing to engage in the discussion. I commend people like Gene Veith and Rod Rosenbladt for their work in this regard.

    Moreover, I suspect there are things which the broader Christian tradition could teach Lutherans if we were willing to listen. Our confessions are clear that God works his grace through fallen individuals in despite of their deficiencies; I have no doubt he works through erring Christian writers and theologians just as he does through sinful Lutheran pastors. So, while we have things to correct non-Lutherans on, I am just as certain they have things to correct us on – a primary example being Kevin DeYoung’s criticism of our lack of engagement with the rest of North American Christianity.

  • Steve in Toronto

    Re: Webmonk
    I know I have been reading this blog for years but it still realy bugs me. The world needs more Lutheran Theology but the only seem to only be hearing it from reformed preachers like Michael Horton and R.Scott Clark or Episcopalians like Paul Zahl and Robert Farrar Capon , odd Franciscans like Brennan Manning or the late Baptist Michel Spencer (boy do I miss that remarkable man). Let all stop for a minuet look up 1 peter 3:15 and then reboot this conversation.

  • Steve in Toronto

    Re: Webmonk
    I know I have been reading this blog for years but it still realy bugs me. The world needs more Lutheran Theology but the only seem to only be hearing it from reformed preachers like Michael Horton and R.Scott Clark or Episcopalians like Paul Zahl and Robert Farrar Capon , odd Franciscans like Brennan Manning or the late Baptist Michel Spencer (boy do I miss that remarkable man). Let all stop for a minuet look up 1 peter 3:15 and then reboot this conversation.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    If you want to know where most of the Lutherans are, in my experience, they are largely centered around the Portland area, where I live. I also know of an enclave in Dallas, where my parents live. I’ve heard that they can be found elsewhere, but I cannot personally attest to this. For what it’s worth, in my experience, Lutherans are the only Christians in Portland, the rest of the population being non-believers. I’m not sure why there are no other Christians involved in Portland, since I see their church buildings around town.

    Oh, and I’m making a fairly serious point here.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    If you want to know where most of the Lutherans are, in my experience, they are largely centered around the Portland area, where I live. I also know of an enclave in Dallas, where my parents live. I’ve heard that they can be found elsewhere, but I cannot personally attest to this. For what it’s worth, in my experience, Lutherans are the only Christians in Portland, the rest of the population being non-believers. I’m not sure why there are no other Christians involved in Portland, since I see their church buildings around town.

    Oh, and I’m making a fairly serious point here.

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Many prior commenters have cited Rev. DeYoung’s #4: “The Lutheran view of the sacraments is a bridge too far for many evangelicals”.

    Here’s one pastor’s assessment of the Lutheran view of the sacraments:

    “I do not think men should place their children, wives, or themselves under the care of Lutheran pastors and churches, today. Why not?

    Principally because modern Lutherans administer, teach, and write about the Sacraments in a way that leads tender souls to trust in the ritual and the elements rather than Jesus Christ. Here’s the opening paragraph from a Concordia Publishing House pamplet distributed at no cost in the foyers of Missiouri Synod Lutheran churches around the country. Titled “What About Holy Baptism,” it opens with this paragraph:

    Suppose for a moment that there was a doctor who had such incredible talent that he could prevent people from dying, and bring those who had died back to life, never to die again. Just imagine how people would do whatever they could to be treated by this doctor! No consider that in Holy Baptism, God actually does give us the gift of eternal life! Let’s learn more about this marvelous blessing. (The pamplet goes on to make statements about the connection between “the Word” and the water, and once or twice faith is mentioned, but the first paragraph is an accurate representation of the whole.)

    This is sacramentalism and it destroys souls.

    It is never, ever right to lead the souls under our care to believe that Baptism saves us…

    As Luther and Calvin warned constantly, sinful men are always tempted to exchange ceremony and ritual for heart religion and saving faith. Thus, promoting our rituals and ceremonies in such a way that hardened or ignorant sheep trust those ceremonies to save them or their children is betrayal of those souls and their children.”

    Excerpted from Calvin on Baptism: “hypocrites …glory in a naked and dead sign”.

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Many prior commenters have cited Rev. DeYoung’s #4: “The Lutheran view of the sacraments is a bridge too far for many evangelicals”.

    Here’s one pastor’s assessment of the Lutheran view of the sacraments:

    “I do not think men should place their children, wives, or themselves under the care of Lutheran pastors and churches, today. Why not?

    Principally because modern Lutherans administer, teach, and write about the Sacraments in a way that leads tender souls to trust in the ritual and the elements rather than Jesus Christ. Here’s the opening paragraph from a Concordia Publishing House pamplet distributed at no cost in the foyers of Missiouri Synod Lutheran churches around the country. Titled “What About Holy Baptism,” it opens with this paragraph:

    Suppose for a moment that there was a doctor who had such incredible talent that he could prevent people from dying, and bring those who had died back to life, never to die again. Just imagine how people would do whatever they could to be treated by this doctor! No consider that in Holy Baptism, God actually does give us the gift of eternal life! Let’s learn more about this marvelous blessing. (The pamplet goes on to make statements about the connection between “the Word” and the water, and once or twice faith is mentioned, but the first paragraph is an accurate representation of the whole.)

    This is sacramentalism and it destroys souls.

    It is never, ever right to lead the souls under our care to believe that Baptism saves us…

    As Luther and Calvin warned constantly, sinful men are always tempted to exchange ceremony and ritual for heart religion and saving faith. Thus, promoting our rituals and ceremonies in such a way that hardened or ignorant sheep trust those ceremonies to save them or their children is betrayal of those souls and their children.”

    Excerpted from Calvin on Baptism: “hypocrites …glory in a naked and dead sign”.

  • Rob

    To Steve in Toronto (42) – Doesn’t your concern underline why lining up different theological views at the table isn’t always a good idea? Ask Lutherans what they believe and most will tell you. You may not like their answer. And sometimes their answers will be arrogant, self-righteous, and defensive (Old Adam is always at work). But you started it – you asked them.

    In other words: Kevin DeYoung asked “What’s up with the Lutherans?” I don’t recall the Lutherans asking “What’s up with Kevin DeYoung?”

    This is why many Lutherans are quite cautious to rev up a public debate over theology. Few can carry it on with the grace and clarity of Dr. Veith and Dr. Witherington’s exchange (see posts from the past few days). And if we already know we disagree, exactly what are we trying to accomplish? Better to go out and plant in the unplanted fields. God will sort out the wheat and the tares.

  • Rob

    To Steve in Toronto (42) – Doesn’t your concern underline why lining up different theological views at the table isn’t always a good idea? Ask Lutherans what they believe and most will tell you. You may not like their answer. And sometimes their answers will be arrogant, self-righteous, and defensive (Old Adam is always at work). But you started it – you asked them.

    In other words: Kevin DeYoung asked “What’s up with the Lutherans?” I don’t recall the Lutherans asking “What’s up with Kevin DeYoung?”

    This is why many Lutherans are quite cautious to rev up a public debate over theology. Few can carry it on with the grace and clarity of Dr. Veith and Dr. Witherington’s exchange (see posts from the past few days). And if we already know we disagree, exactly what are we trying to accomplish? Better to go out and plant in the unplanted fields. God will sort out the wheat and the tares.

  • WebMonk

    tODD 50 – is your point that you are ensconced in your own tiny little enclave and haven’t ventured outside it? That’s what I’m going to pick out of your post!!! Who cares what your actual point was. :-D

  • WebMonk

    tODD 50 – is your point that you are ensconced in your own tiny little enclave and haven’t ventured outside it? That’s what I’m going to pick out of your post!!! Who cares what your actual point was. :-D

  • Grace

    Truth Unites… and Divides – 51

    “As Luther and Calvin warned constantly, sinful men are always tempted to exchange ceremony and ritual for heart religion and saving faith. Thus, promoting our rituals and ceremonies in such a way that hardened or ignorant sheep trust those ceremonies to save them or their children is betrayal of those souls and their children.”

    Exactly right!

    I thought of you over the weekend, the many wonderful posts you wrote, when you were here.

    God bless you my friend, keep up the good work.

  • Grace

    Truth Unites… and Divides – 51

    “As Luther and Calvin warned constantly, sinful men are always tempted to exchange ceremony and ritual for heart religion and saving faith. Thus, promoting our rituals and ceremonies in such a way that hardened or ignorant sheep trust those ceremonies to save them or their children is betrayal of those souls and their children.”

    Exactly right!

    I thought of you over the weekend, the many wonderful posts you wrote, when you were here.

    God bless you my friend, keep up the good work.

  • Rob

    To James (45),

    I do not know Mr. DeYoung, although my meandering theological path has resulted in the fact that he and I graduated from the same seminary, prior to my Lutheranism. I do not follow his blog regularly, have not read his books, and thus apologize for lumping him in with others who may or may not represent him or his views.

    What I have observed, in a background that has been quite ecumenical (including E-Free, American Baptist, Assemblies of God, and PCUSA before LCMS), is that in my experience, those who exhibited the greatest fervor for theological spats were the Reformed guys: the same ones who are now recommending DeYoung to me. He may not be one of them, but they think of him as one of them. Thus, my association of him with their tactics.

    And all of this among people who haven’t published popular books, spoken at big conferences, or started church planting movements. Thus, all of it without Mr. DeYoung’s knowing it.

    To Truth… (51) – You’re confusing the means with the cause. Something the Lutheran confessions are careful not to do. We do not teach that the acts save in and of themselves (ex opere operato), but they are the means God uses in salvation. On baptism, for instance, look to 1 Peter 3:21-22

    Wow, by the time I compose a post, it is already 5 posts too late. Sorry. Lunch break has long since ended. Back to lurking.

  • Rob

    To James (45),

    I do not know Mr. DeYoung, although my meandering theological path has resulted in the fact that he and I graduated from the same seminary, prior to my Lutheranism. I do not follow his blog regularly, have not read his books, and thus apologize for lumping him in with others who may or may not represent him or his views.

    What I have observed, in a background that has been quite ecumenical (including E-Free, American Baptist, Assemblies of God, and PCUSA before LCMS), is that in my experience, those who exhibited the greatest fervor for theological spats were the Reformed guys: the same ones who are now recommending DeYoung to me. He may not be one of them, but they think of him as one of them. Thus, my association of him with their tactics.

    And all of this among people who haven’t published popular books, spoken at big conferences, or started church planting movements. Thus, all of it without Mr. DeYoung’s knowing it.

    To Truth… (51) – You’re confusing the means with the cause. Something the Lutheran confessions are careful not to do. We do not teach that the acts save in and of themselves (ex opere operato), but they are the means God uses in salvation. On baptism, for instance, look to 1 Peter 3:21-22

    Wow, by the time I compose a post, it is already 5 posts too late. Sorry. Lunch break has long since ended. Back to lurking.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    One is walking by my window right now…

    Not sure, though…do people from other denominations wear Luther Rose T-shirts while eating a large chunk of lutefisk?

    Coulda been a Methodist…

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    One is walking by my window right now…

    Not sure, though…do people from other denominations wear Luther Rose T-shirts while eating a large chunk of lutefisk?

    Coulda been a Methodist…

  • Rob

    From Old Lutheran:

    Lutefisk – the piece of cod that passes understanding.

  • Rob

    From Old Lutheran:

    Lutefisk – the piece of cod that passes understanding.

  • Grace

    “For what it’s worth, in my experience, Lutherans are the only Christians in Portland, the rest of the population being non-believers.

    Oh, and I’m making a fairly serious point here.”

    The above statement, is not only false, but represents one of the reasons most Believers would never darken your church doors.

    The statement is UNLEARNED. Your many quips and comments directed to those who’s lives are centered on Christ Jesus, studying the Bible for years, loving the Lord with all their heart, and then reading such a line of offensive, false smugness, concerning Salvation and those who are Christians, warrants nothing but kicking the dust off the feet.

    Christ didn’t call anyone to a particular denomination. It all transpired because of Christ, because He came here to preach, teach, and die for our sins, it is, and always has been HIS Church, it isn’t a particular denomination. When those who are serious about spreading the Word of God, and leaving their so called ‘titled’ church in the background, people will listen.

    I have stayed away from this blog for about a week, I read off and on, but that’s it. The arrogance that many of you show as your shield of importance has no merit, it isn’t something the Bible teaches, nor is it anyone I want to listen to, the Word of God is His Holy word, it’s more important than denominational pride. Our joy should be in Christ.

  • Grace

    “For what it’s worth, in my experience, Lutherans are the only Christians in Portland, the rest of the population being non-believers.

    Oh, and I’m making a fairly serious point here.”

    The above statement, is not only false, but represents one of the reasons most Believers would never darken your church doors.

    The statement is UNLEARNED. Your many quips and comments directed to those who’s lives are centered on Christ Jesus, studying the Bible for years, loving the Lord with all their heart, and then reading such a line of offensive, false smugness, concerning Salvation and those who are Christians, warrants nothing but kicking the dust off the feet.

    Christ didn’t call anyone to a particular denomination. It all transpired because of Christ, because He came here to preach, teach, and die for our sins, it is, and always has been HIS Church, it isn’t a particular denomination. When those who are serious about spreading the Word of God, and leaving their so called ‘titled’ church in the background, people will listen.

    I have stayed away from this blog for about a week, I read off and on, but that’s it. The arrogance that many of you show as your shield of importance has no merit, it isn’t something the Bible teaches, nor is it anyone I want to listen to, the Word of God is His Holy word, it’s more important than denominational pride. Our joy should be in Christ.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Oh, good. The anti-Lutherans are here to quote other arguments that other people have made to us (@51) and hysterically misinterpret my point (@54).

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Oh, good. The anti-Lutherans are here to quote other arguments that other people have made to us (@51) and hysterically misinterpret my point (@54).

  • Grace

    tODD – 59

    Isn’t that what you’re looking for, a new and different disagreement, pitched at those who are not Lutherans’?

  • Grace

    tODD – 59

    Isn’t that what you’re looking for, a new and different disagreement, pitched at those who are not Lutherans’?

  • WebMonk

    I’m breaking my standard of not talking about troll posts because this one was truly epic in its blindness.

    Anyone have any clue how Grace @58 could have possibly misunderstood tODD’s post @50? How she could be so clueless as to what tODD was saying is beyond my ken. No theory too far-out to be considered.

  • WebMonk

    I’m breaking my standard of not talking about troll posts because this one was truly epic in its blindness.

    Anyone have any clue how Grace @58 could have possibly misunderstood tODD’s post @50? How she could be so clueless as to what tODD was saying is beyond my ken. No theory too far-out to be considered.

  • larry

    This is a constant false dilemma many present Lutherans with that is simply false accusation and more of a defensive move. The dilemma: When one says “X is false doctrine” that does mean “one is not a Christian”. By using this false dilemma false doctrine gets to go in disguise as “something we can agree to disagree with”. Why? Because in our day and age we don’t take seriously the soul damning nature of false doctrine so we wish to call it something else, another opinion, something we can agree to disagree about, etc… That removes the weight from the true doctrine, which is Gospel, and says, “well its however you decide it to be”.

    At the end of the day a false teaching, whatever it is, in simple principle must be from where….hell and the devil right? In principle all agree or should agree to this in principle. And as such deadly and soul murdering particularly to the weak and struggling who often will not voice themselves because the law, sin and the devil is besieging the consciences. So they dare not pipe up about what is meant by X sacrament.

    There are at any given moment two kinds of evangelicals. The compromisers simply wishing to reel in Lutherans to the mish mash doctrine so as to affirm it, and the genuine suffering seekers daily dying by the doctrine they are under needing the Gospel but outside of very few like Luther himself, not many wish to be forceful enough to speak it like it is. Jesus never soft pedaled false doctrine calling it “of your father the devil”, “brood of vipers”, Paul called it, “a doctrine of demons”, “damnable”, etc… Hardly cute and cuddly words.

    One of the stark reasons many from the outside came to Luther via LUTHER and not via the standard Lutheran witness of today is that Luther SPOKE emphatically and forcefully in his writings. To the suffering ear this is a refreshing reality, finally someone who speaks with authority and says, “black is black and white is white” rather than a putrid mélange of “weeelllll (squeak squeak) maybe, let’s not speak of that anymore”. Its as if some Lutherans are themselves ashamed of their sacraments, which is ironic. When I teach my kids about their baptism I don’t soft pedal it anymore than I’d soft pedal telling them not to play with a rattlesnake, I say, “false churches will attempt to tell you that God did not baptize you, did not forgive your sins and indeed you may not be baptized and need baptized into their church”. One may at first disagree with Luther but at least one knows he opposes them as opposed to, “well we shall just have to agree to disagree, your doctrine is good for you and mine for me and after all at the end of the day we are all Christians anyway so why at all even have a doctrine”. The spirit of liberalism does have its conservative flavor when the issue of heterodox versus orthodoxy comes into play.
    We ran into this in the PCA while we were there in which we allowed into fellowship and altar fellowship Baptist (in spite of the WCF’s statement on the matter we supposedly adhered to). That was more bothersome to us than anything because of what it taught the children about their baptisms and at length or by extensions adults (eeehhh six one way, half a dozen another), all under ecumenical so called fellowship. At length it told the baptized babies as they grow up, see here unbaptized baptist kids that wait until later and no harm done, all Christians, see no need for such a harsh doctrine on the sacraments. But then comes the anfechtung of election one , the soul murdering doctrine and now you don’t have baptism to pull you out because you’ve been taught, ‘eh didn’t mean that much, reformed, baptist, et. ali.’.

    The diminution of baptism in our PCA church, due to their direct ecumenical open doors to the baptist had become so great that the baptismal formula was absolutely horrible. They would, no joke, 20+ minute explaining what baptism is not, to more or less not offend nor appear offensive or “sensitive” to the baptist that one could hardly garner AT ALL what baptism actually WAS even according to Calvin and Reformed doctrine. Imagine a baptism in your Lutheran church in which the pastor spends 20 minutes telling you so as to not offend the Reformed or “be sensitive to them” what baptism is not according to the Reformed, then attempting to patch the whole bit up by pointing to the book of Concord for further reading if you are interested. Then one day that baptized baby grows older and is now aged wracked with cancer lay dying in the hospital, Satan attacking his life and lack thereof of good works or signs of “being saved” or “elected” or such, the hour has come and the devil attacks – what Word weapon then did you give them way back when you apologized for the baptist so as to not offend them or the Reformed?

    There is in fact real Cross bearing in the Christian faith and bearing witness in no uncertain terms and language against heterodoxy is part of that.

    Indeed God and God alone will separate the wheat from the tares (actual believers from actual unbelievers), but He has charged pastors and teachers to separate out false/heterodox doctrine from true orthodox doctrine. And Christ Himself, said Luther, has specifically commanded, authorized and empowered the believer (the laymen) with judging the content and doctrine of a pastor or teacher or denomination. NO WHERE in the entirety of Scripture, OT or NT, are we entreated to let pass false doctrine, but everywhere to identify it, mark them, come out from them, do not even entertain them.

    Confusing “who is a Christian” (reading the heart) with “distinguishing heterodoxy versus orthodoxy, false versus true doctrine” is an utter false dilemma.

  • larry

    This is a constant false dilemma many present Lutherans with that is simply false accusation and more of a defensive move. The dilemma: When one says “X is false doctrine” that does mean “one is not a Christian”. By using this false dilemma false doctrine gets to go in disguise as “something we can agree to disagree with”. Why? Because in our day and age we don’t take seriously the soul damning nature of false doctrine so we wish to call it something else, another opinion, something we can agree to disagree about, etc… That removes the weight from the true doctrine, which is Gospel, and says, “well its however you decide it to be”.

    At the end of the day a false teaching, whatever it is, in simple principle must be from where….hell and the devil right? In principle all agree or should agree to this in principle. And as such deadly and soul murdering particularly to the weak and struggling who often will not voice themselves because the law, sin and the devil is besieging the consciences. So they dare not pipe up about what is meant by X sacrament.

    There are at any given moment two kinds of evangelicals. The compromisers simply wishing to reel in Lutherans to the mish mash doctrine so as to affirm it, and the genuine suffering seekers daily dying by the doctrine they are under needing the Gospel but outside of very few like Luther himself, not many wish to be forceful enough to speak it like it is. Jesus never soft pedaled false doctrine calling it “of your father the devil”, “brood of vipers”, Paul called it, “a doctrine of demons”, “damnable”, etc… Hardly cute and cuddly words.

    One of the stark reasons many from the outside came to Luther via LUTHER and not via the standard Lutheran witness of today is that Luther SPOKE emphatically and forcefully in his writings. To the suffering ear this is a refreshing reality, finally someone who speaks with authority and says, “black is black and white is white” rather than a putrid mélange of “weeelllll (squeak squeak) maybe, let’s not speak of that anymore”. Its as if some Lutherans are themselves ashamed of their sacraments, which is ironic. When I teach my kids about their baptism I don’t soft pedal it anymore than I’d soft pedal telling them not to play with a rattlesnake, I say, “false churches will attempt to tell you that God did not baptize you, did not forgive your sins and indeed you may not be baptized and need baptized into their church”. One may at first disagree with Luther but at least one knows he opposes them as opposed to, “well we shall just have to agree to disagree, your doctrine is good for you and mine for me and after all at the end of the day we are all Christians anyway so why at all even have a doctrine”. The spirit of liberalism does have its conservative flavor when the issue of heterodox versus orthodoxy comes into play.
    We ran into this in the PCA while we were there in which we allowed into fellowship and altar fellowship Baptist (in spite of the WCF’s statement on the matter we supposedly adhered to). That was more bothersome to us than anything because of what it taught the children about their baptisms and at length or by extensions adults (eeehhh six one way, half a dozen another), all under ecumenical so called fellowship. At length it told the baptized babies as they grow up, see here unbaptized baptist kids that wait until later and no harm done, all Christians, see no need for such a harsh doctrine on the sacraments. But then comes the anfechtung of election one , the soul murdering doctrine and now you don’t have baptism to pull you out because you’ve been taught, ‘eh didn’t mean that much, reformed, baptist, et. ali.’.

    The diminution of baptism in our PCA church, due to their direct ecumenical open doors to the baptist had become so great that the baptismal formula was absolutely horrible. They would, no joke, 20+ minute explaining what baptism is not, to more or less not offend nor appear offensive or “sensitive” to the baptist that one could hardly garner AT ALL what baptism actually WAS even according to Calvin and Reformed doctrine. Imagine a baptism in your Lutheran church in which the pastor spends 20 minutes telling you so as to not offend the Reformed or “be sensitive to them” what baptism is not according to the Reformed, then attempting to patch the whole bit up by pointing to the book of Concord for further reading if you are interested. Then one day that baptized baby grows older and is now aged wracked with cancer lay dying in the hospital, Satan attacking his life and lack thereof of good works or signs of “being saved” or “elected” or such, the hour has come and the devil attacks – what Word weapon then did you give them way back when you apologized for the baptist so as to not offend them or the Reformed?

    There is in fact real Cross bearing in the Christian faith and bearing witness in no uncertain terms and language against heterodoxy is part of that.

    Indeed God and God alone will separate the wheat from the tares (actual believers from actual unbelievers), but He has charged pastors and teachers to separate out false/heterodox doctrine from true orthodox doctrine. And Christ Himself, said Luther, has specifically commanded, authorized and empowered the believer (the laymen) with judging the content and doctrine of a pastor or teacher or denomination. NO WHERE in the entirety of Scripture, OT or NT, are we entreated to let pass false doctrine, but everywhere to identify it, mark them, come out from them, do not even entertain them.

    Confusing “who is a Christian” (reading the heart) with “distinguishing heterodoxy versus orthodoxy, false versus true doctrine” is an utter false dilemma.

  • Louis

    Webmonk – it is because she is the dumbed-down version of Sheldon Cooper. You know, doesn’t get irony, sarcasm or most forms of humour, but knows very little, I mean very little, about anything. But just as arrogant as Sheldon too.

  • Louis

    Webmonk – it is because she is the dumbed-down version of Sheldon Cooper. You know, doesn’t get irony, sarcasm or most forms of humour, but knows very little, I mean very little, about anything. But just as arrogant as Sheldon too.

  • WebMonk

    YES!! Another Big Bang Theory fan!!!

    I knew I liked you Louis! Anyone who groks BBT has got to be good.

  • WebMonk

    YES!! Another Big Bang Theory fan!!!

    I knew I liked you Louis! Anyone who groks BBT has got to be good.

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Gospel versus emotional Lutheranism

    “Over at Beggars All, I’m discussing a bit with one Brigitte, who is a conservative Lutheran. She is apparently of the persuasion that Baptism is Gospel.

    Brigitte: “Baptism is Gospel. “God is favorably disposed towards you.” Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them. It is so simple. How shall they believe if they have not heard.”

    Rhology: “Gospel is Gospel. Baptism is baptism. It honestly really scares me when people talk like you’re talking.

    Baptism does not communicate that God is favorably disposed toward anyone. Regeneration does. They are not the same, and one can be present without the other.”

    Brigitte: “Rhology, this is a very important question. Is what I say scary or what you say scary? And does God want you to trust him or not?

    He does want you to trust him and this is the most important thing in the world. He is our good Father in heaven. Baptism is one more way he tells us. A pledge and promise and seal to his word. It would be immeasurably wrong to doubt him.

    What is the worst thing that could happen if someone believed that God is favorably disposed to them? They might believe.”

    Rhology: “What you say is scary, because you’re equating something one does (baptism) with the Gospel. Doesn’t get a whole lot scarier than that.

    Yes, God wants me to trust Him. The regenerate man can trust Him to bring him safely to glory. The unregenerate man needs the Law and the Gospel, not false talk about how baptism did something for him.

    Baptism is one way He tells US, yes, but not the unregenerate. So the focus needs to be on the SOUL, not the BAPTISM.

    No, the worst thing that could happen to someone falsely believing that God is favorably disposed toward them is that they may well go to Hell and be sorta surprised when they get there. Kind of like a huge horde of “good people” Americans. Preach the Gospel to your godchildren! Not baptism; baptism is for later.”

    (Read it all)

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Gospel versus emotional Lutheranism

    “Over at Beggars All, I’m discussing a bit with one Brigitte, who is a conservative Lutheran. She is apparently of the persuasion that Baptism is Gospel.

    Brigitte: “Baptism is Gospel. “God is favorably disposed towards you.” Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them. It is so simple. How shall they believe if they have not heard.”

    Rhology: “Gospel is Gospel. Baptism is baptism. It honestly really scares me when people talk like you’re talking.

    Baptism does not communicate that God is favorably disposed toward anyone. Regeneration does. They are not the same, and one can be present without the other.”

    Brigitte: “Rhology, this is a very important question. Is what I say scary or what you say scary? And does God want you to trust him or not?

    He does want you to trust him and this is the most important thing in the world. He is our good Father in heaven. Baptism is one more way he tells us. A pledge and promise and seal to his word. It would be immeasurably wrong to doubt him.

    What is the worst thing that could happen if someone believed that God is favorably disposed to them? They might believe.”

    Rhology: “What you say is scary, because you’re equating something one does (baptism) with the Gospel. Doesn’t get a whole lot scarier than that.

    Yes, God wants me to trust Him. The regenerate man can trust Him to bring him safely to glory. The unregenerate man needs the Law and the Gospel, not false talk about how baptism did something for him.

    Baptism is one way He tells US, yes, but not the unregenerate. So the focus needs to be on the SOUL, not the BAPTISM.

    No, the worst thing that could happen to someone falsely believing that God is favorably disposed toward them is that they may well go to Hell and be sorta surprised when they get there. Kind of like a huge horde of “good people” Americans. Preach the Gospel to your godchildren! Not baptism; baptism is for later.”

    (Read it all)

  • Tom Hering

    Though we’re a small minority among American Christians, we’re still a thorn in the side of anti-Lutherans like Grace and TUAD. The thought that our mere existence irritates them pleases me to no end. (Though it was even more pleasing, and more pleasant around here, when we didn’t hear from them for awhile.)

  • Tom Hering

    Though we’re a small minority among American Christians, we’re still a thorn in the side of anti-Lutherans like Grace and TUAD. The thought that our mere existence irritates them pleases me to no end. (Though it was even more pleasing, and more pleasant around here, when we didn’t hear from them for awhile.)

  • Steve in Toronto

    Re: Louis and Webmonk
    Stop it! you guys are making me want to start watch television again!

  • Steve in Toronto

    Re: Louis and Webmonk
    Stop it! you guys are making me want to start watch television again!

  • larry

    Take line 4 for example, “The Lutheran view of the sacraments is a bridge too far for many evangelicals, and the faddish nature of evangelicalism is a bridge too far for many Lutherans”. Now one cannot predict the intent of this but one answer is, regardless of intent, to not bridge that, the sacraments, is for a Lutheran to give up the Gospel (absolution is assumed to be within this). Right? For the Gospel Luther points out it is critical to have it “pro me” (for me). Without that do you actually have a Gospel? That’s a question an evangelical has to ask themselves and a Lutheran once pointed out to me as a Reformed person.

    Seriously, if you don’t know and are assured that it is for you, then do you have a Gospel, have you GIVEN the Good News. One can talk ABOUT the content of the Gospel, Jesus dying/forgiveness, but unless its “for you” in particular is that GOOD news to/for you?

    So you say we are ALL about the Gospel together. Really? Where do you give it to people in your worship or doctrine? Seriously, where do you actually give forgiveness (for absolution, forgiveness is nothing but Gospel), where do they RECEIVE Christ for them ACTUALLY? They hear a lot ABOUT Jesus and it sounds good at a distance, after all Peter and Paul “got saved”, but what about them. Where is the “for you/me” that makes the Gospel GOSPEL?

    Thus, for a Lutheran to give this up is to in fact and reality, not theory, the Gospel. If this is “ecumenical” then it is no different than Islam inviting us ‘just don’t mention Jesus’.

  • larry

    Take line 4 for example, “The Lutheran view of the sacraments is a bridge too far for many evangelicals, and the faddish nature of evangelicalism is a bridge too far for many Lutherans”. Now one cannot predict the intent of this but one answer is, regardless of intent, to not bridge that, the sacraments, is for a Lutheran to give up the Gospel (absolution is assumed to be within this). Right? For the Gospel Luther points out it is critical to have it “pro me” (for me). Without that do you actually have a Gospel? That’s a question an evangelical has to ask themselves and a Lutheran once pointed out to me as a Reformed person.

    Seriously, if you don’t know and are assured that it is for you, then do you have a Gospel, have you GIVEN the Good News. One can talk ABOUT the content of the Gospel, Jesus dying/forgiveness, but unless its “for you” in particular is that GOOD news to/for you?

    So you say we are ALL about the Gospel together. Really? Where do you give it to people in your worship or doctrine? Seriously, where do you actually give forgiveness (for absolution, forgiveness is nothing but Gospel), where do they RECEIVE Christ for them ACTUALLY? They hear a lot ABOUT Jesus and it sounds good at a distance, after all Peter and Paul “got saved”, but what about them. Where is the “for you/me” that makes the Gospel GOSPEL?

    Thus, for a Lutheran to give this up is to in fact and reality, not theory, the Gospel. If this is “ecumenical” then it is no different than Islam inviting us ‘just don’t mention Jesus’.

  • Grace

    When one makes a prideful comment, it’s the old “it’s humor, sarcasm, they just don’t understand” comment. Yes, we’ve all heard it numerous times, in order to save your ‘pride - it’s damage control to the rescue.

  • Grace

    When one makes a prideful comment, it’s the old “it’s humor, sarcasm, they just don’t understand” comment. Yes, we’ve all heard it numerous times, in order to save your ‘pride - it’s damage control to the rescue.

  • larry

    Bridgette is dead on for Peter said, “Repent and be baptized everyone of you, IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST (WHERE THE NAME OF GOD IS IS SALVATION (PSALM 57 among others) FOR THE FORGIVENESS OF YOUR SINS…for the promise is TO YOU, and TO YOUR CHILDREN, and all who are far off to Whom the Lord your God calls.”

    The reason baptist don’t see baptism as salvation is that all they see at the end of the day is water and not the name and Word, thus they deduce = nothing.

  • larry

    Bridgette is dead on for Peter said, “Repent and be baptized everyone of you, IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST (WHERE THE NAME OF GOD IS IS SALVATION (PSALM 57 among others) FOR THE FORGIVENESS OF YOUR SINS…for the promise is TO YOU, and TO YOUR CHILDREN, and all who are far off to Whom the Lord your God calls.”

    The reason baptist don’t see baptism as salvation is that all they see at the end of the day is water and not the name and Word, thus they deduce = nothing.

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Brigitte: “Baptism is Gospel.”

    Another commenter: “I do not want to slight the dignity of baptism, but I don’t think one can use such simplistic declarations like this.

    After all, it is written:

    “For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel”

    (1 Corinthians 1:17)”

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Brigitte: “Baptism is Gospel.”

    Another commenter: “I do not want to slight the dignity of baptism, but I don’t think one can use such simplistic declarations like this.

    After all, it is written:

    “For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel”

    (1 Corinthians 1:17)”

  • WebMonk

    Steve, want some spoilers for the latest season of BBT?

    Penny and Sheldon finally hook up in an alcohol-induced three-day stretch of passion. Leonard is doing the sometimes-horizontal hustle with Raj’s sister and is forced into an engagement with her. Raj gets stuck in a cave for a week with Wolowitz’s mother. And Howard finally finds a way to overcome his neurotic approach to the opposite sex … by finding true love in a gay bar.

  • WebMonk

    Steve, want some spoilers for the latest season of BBT?

    Penny and Sheldon finally hook up in an alcohol-induced three-day stretch of passion. Leonard is doing the sometimes-horizontal hustle with Raj’s sister and is forced into an engagement with her. Raj gets stuck in a cave for a week with Wolowitz’s mother. And Howard finally finds a way to overcome his neurotic approach to the opposite sex … by finding true love in a gay bar.

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

    “Luther was a calvinist before Calvin” this is true, but after Luther was a Calvinist before Calvin he discovered the gospel and left the Roman Catholic church and wrote books like the Bondage of the Will, where he refutes Calvinism. It was actually the Calvinist doctrine of Predestination that drove Luther to despair, and it is that that he left when he discovered the Gospel. This is what Uuraas Saarinivaara so aptly shows in his book “luther discovers the Gospel.” And ditto to what Trent and Louis have already said.

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

    “Luther was a calvinist before Calvin” this is true, but after Luther was a Calvinist before Calvin he discovered the gospel and left the Roman Catholic church and wrote books like the Bondage of the Will, where he refutes Calvinism. It was actually the Calvinist doctrine of Predestination that drove Luther to despair, and it is that that he left when he discovered the Gospel. This is what Uuraas Saarinivaara so aptly shows in his book “luther discovers the Gospel.” And ditto to what Trent and Louis have already said.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    TUaD (@71), I realize this is your tactic — to quote other people responding to Lutherans rather than doing your own thinking — but if you want to reply to other comments made on other blogs, then please do so on those other blogs.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    TUaD (@71), I realize this is your tactic — to quote other people responding to Lutherans rather than doing your own thinking — but if you want to reply to other comments made on other blogs, then please do so on those other blogs.

  • WebMonk

    Hmmm, and I realize I have taken the conversation completely off topic.

    Sorry everyone. I’ll stop now.

  • WebMonk

    Hmmm, and I realize I have taken the conversation completely off topic.

    Sorry everyone. I’ll stop now.

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

    Brigitte is awesome! Go girl.

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

    Brigitte is awesome! Go girl.

  • Louis

    Don’t stop Webmonk. I’m enjoying it….

    BTW, I also like Dr Who….

  • Louis

    Don’t stop Webmonk. I’m enjoying it….

    BTW, I also like Dr Who….

  • Tom Hering

    Though Grace and TUAD are extremists, they’re a pretty good indication that the answer to Kevin DeYoung’s question is: Lutherans aren’t welcome in the evangelical “big tent” unless they keep quiet about the sacraments, the proper distinction between Law and Gospel, liturgical form and content being inseparable, etc.

  • Tom Hering

    Though Grace and TUAD are extremists, they’re a pretty good indication that the answer to Kevin DeYoung’s question is: Lutherans aren’t welcome in the evangelical “big tent” unless they keep quiet about the sacraments, the proper distinction between Law and Gospel, liturgical form and content being inseparable, etc.

  • SKPeterson

    Well, Louis @ 63 hit it out of the park. I had no response to WM’s query. When obvious ironic/satiric statements (which do have serious meaning) are taken so blithely out of context, one is only left flabbergasted.

    Also, TU…AD – “Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you,…”. Seems pretty clear. Now, what you are misunderstanding is that Lutherans do not say that baptism is necessary, but that it is sufficient. Our “sacramentalism” does not rely upon belief in the physical elements themselves, but rather in the promises attached to those elements by Christ. Take and eat, this is my body. Take and drink, this is my blood. Do this, in remembrance* of me.

    *We can argue over the meaning of remembrance – the English doesn’t quite capture the full nuance and import of the Greek.

    Here’s Matthew:

    Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” 27 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, 28 for this is my blood of the [2] covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.

  • SKPeterson

    Well, Louis @ 63 hit it out of the park. I had no response to WM’s query. When obvious ironic/satiric statements (which do have serious meaning) are taken so blithely out of context, one is only left flabbergasted.

    Also, TU…AD – “Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you,…”. Seems pretty clear. Now, what you are misunderstanding is that Lutherans do not say that baptism is necessary, but that it is sufficient. Our “sacramentalism” does not rely upon belief in the physical elements themselves, but rather in the promises attached to those elements by Christ. Take and eat, this is my body. Take and drink, this is my blood. Do this, in remembrance* of me.

    *We can argue over the meaning of remembrance – the English doesn’t quite capture the full nuance and import of the Greek.

    Here’s Matthew:

    Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” 27 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, 28 for this is my blood of the [2] covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com bike bubba

    Another possible reason that Lutherans are outside what many would consider the “main stream” of evangelicalism–at least as the press might define it–is that Lutherans not only watch shows like BBT (whatever that is), but also cheerfully admit it. To oversimplify, one side of the argument all too often goes beyond the Scripture in holding back from pleasures of this world–I don’t drink and I don’t chew and I don’t go with girls that do– and the other almost seems to self-consciously cross those lines out of a purpose to be anti-pietistic.

    To put it mildly, that’s going to separate, and two groups of people are at fault here. In an effort to come to a peaceful middle ground, I’ll see some of you at the liquor store tonight, but I think I’ll skip BLT or whatever it is.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com bike bubba

    Another possible reason that Lutherans are outside what many would consider the “main stream” of evangelicalism–at least as the press might define it–is that Lutherans not only watch shows like BBT (whatever that is), but also cheerfully admit it. To oversimplify, one side of the argument all too often goes beyond the Scripture in holding back from pleasures of this world–I don’t drink and I don’t chew and I don’t go with girls that do– and the other almost seems to self-consciously cross those lines out of a purpose to be anti-pietistic.

    To put it mildly, that’s going to separate, and two groups of people are at fault here. In an effort to come to a peaceful middle ground, I’ll see some of you at the liquor store tonight, but I think I’ll skip BLT or whatever it is.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    You’re right Tom (78), Grace and TUAD are extreme examples of what me and the folks I serve get everytime they talk Christian “shop” with most of their families who simply see the Lutheran understanding of word and sacrament as so unchristian that it negates the gospel centered preaching that they say is great, but the sacraments (especially the Lutheran understanding of Holy Communion) is a huge barrier. Its so sad that the promised means where God delivers so great His action for sinners at the cross are so despised. This really does hurt Lutheran individuals and families. I personally have had great sadness over highly emotional very loving and heartfelt Christian family pressure to compromise on our stance of the Lord’s Supper. It is very hard to stand in the face of such pressure especially when it comes at you from those family members you love and respect so much. Most faithful Lutherans suffer this in silence.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    You’re right Tom (78), Grace and TUAD are extreme examples of what me and the folks I serve get everytime they talk Christian “shop” with most of their families who simply see the Lutheran understanding of word and sacrament as so unchristian that it negates the gospel centered preaching that they say is great, but the sacraments (especially the Lutheran understanding of Holy Communion) is a huge barrier. Its so sad that the promised means where God delivers so great His action for sinners at the cross are so despised. This really does hurt Lutheran individuals and families. I personally have had great sadness over highly emotional very loving and heartfelt Christian family pressure to compromise on our stance of the Lord’s Supper. It is very hard to stand in the face of such pressure especially when it comes at you from those family members you love and respect so much. Most faithful Lutherans suffer this in silence.

  • SKPeterson

    Follow up questions for you TU…AD -

    Who is doing the saving in the baptism Peter is talking about? To back it up, who saved Jonah from the belly of the fish and from the storm at sea? Who saved Noah and his family?
    Who’s blood is poured out for the forgiveness of sins?
    Who is the actor and who is the recipient?

    Finally, do you want to rely upon your decision for Christ, or upon Christ’s decision for you?

  • SKPeterson

    Follow up questions for you TU…AD -

    Who is doing the saving in the baptism Peter is talking about? To back it up, who saved Jonah from the belly of the fish and from the storm at sea? Who saved Noah and his family?
    Who’s blood is poured out for the forgiveness of sins?
    Who is the actor and who is the recipient?

    Finally, do you want to rely upon your decision for Christ, or upon Christ’s decision for you?

  • WebMonk

    bike, despite of your Lutheranness (or lack thereof), you are hereby anathema to me. Someone who isn’t a fan of Big Bang Theory just isn’t worth the space he takes up!

  • WebMonk

    bike, despite of your Lutheranness (or lack thereof), you are hereby anathema to me. Someone who isn’t a fan of Big Bang Theory just isn’t worth the space he takes up!

  • SKPeterson

    WM @ 83 – I have to confess, I’ve never seen the show myself. As a good Lutheran I go out of my way to be culturally behind the curve. Have you seen this show Happy Days? Hilarious stuff. Gotta love the Fonz.

  • SKPeterson

    WM @ 83 – I have to confess, I’ve never seen the show myself. As a good Lutheran I go out of my way to be culturally behind the curve. Have you seen this show Happy Days? Hilarious stuff. Gotta love the Fonz.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    At our church we even have an ATHIEST friend of the congregation who gets super upset at our Lutheran Ladies group for mixing “the good stuff” into the adult punch at some of our special gatherings. Its sure a lot more fun to be Lutheran!

  • Bryan Lindemood

    At our church we even have an ATHIEST friend of the congregation who gets super upset at our Lutheran Ladies group for mixing “the good stuff” into the adult punch at some of our special gatherings. Its sure a lot more fun to be Lutheran!

  • Tom Hering

    SK @ 84, Happy Days – really? You’re too hip and “with it” to be Lutheran. Have you seen Dobie Gillis?

  • Tom Hering

    SK @ 84, Happy Days – really? You’re too hip and “with it” to be Lutheran. Have you seen Dobie Gillis?

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

    @74 – I wish there was a like button or the up/down vote like on getreligion.org.

    @71 Seriously, feel free to respond to posts on this blog, but leave the comments from other blogs out of this discussion. Now if you want to explain how 1 Peter 3:21 doesn’t mean what it says or how Romans 6:3-5 is figurative please feel free to do so.

    I also want to say, you go Brigitte.

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

    @74 – I wish there was a like button or the up/down vote like on getreligion.org.

    @71 Seriously, feel free to respond to posts on this blog, but leave the comments from other blogs out of this discussion. Now if you want to explain how 1 Peter 3:21 doesn’t mean what it says or how Romans 6:3-5 is figurative please feel free to do so.

    I also want to say, you go Brigitte.

  • Jonathan

    @86 You may recall that Dobie’s Lutheran appeal was heightened by the presence of Maynard G. Krebs, the beatnik with the Teutonic surname who always cringed at the suggestion of ‘work.’ Most Lutherans misheard Krebs and piously assumed he was objecting to ‘works,’ particularly because said ‘work’ was usually offered by Gillis’ father, the Irish-Catholic storekeeper. Krebs’ goatee and hip language, though, perplexed WELS viewers, who refused to fellowship any longer once they pegged Krebs as ELCA. But LCMS viewers, who could not bring themselves to change the channel, much less anything else, politely stayed with Dobie and Krebs until CBS cancelled the show.

  • Jonathan

    @86 You may recall that Dobie’s Lutheran appeal was heightened by the presence of Maynard G. Krebs, the beatnik with the Teutonic surname who always cringed at the suggestion of ‘work.’ Most Lutherans misheard Krebs and piously assumed he was objecting to ‘works,’ particularly because said ‘work’ was usually offered by Gillis’ father, the Irish-Catholic storekeeper. Krebs’ goatee and hip language, though, perplexed WELS viewers, who refused to fellowship any longer once they pegged Krebs as ELCA. But LCMS viewers, who could not bring themselves to change the channel, much less anything else, politely stayed with Dobie and Krebs until CBS cancelled the show.

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Brigitte: “Baptism is Gospel.”

    Apostle Paul: “For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel.” (1 Cor. 1:17)

    Contradiction.

    Choose Apostle Paul.

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Brigitte: “Baptism is Gospel.”

    Apostle Paul: “For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel.” (1 Cor. 1:17)

    Contradiction.

    Choose Apostle Paul.

  • Tom Hering

    Bryan @ 81, it probably wouldn’t be enough to keep quiet about the sacraments, etc. We’d eventually be asked if we believe the stuff we keep quiet about. So the only way to fit into the evangelical “big tent” would be to abandon our distinctives, or modify them severely, or hide them under theological weasel words – so nobody can figure out what we really mean (if we’d even know, ourselves, what we really mean at that point). Lutherans have been, are, and always will be about keeping the Church on the straight and narrow path, and that’s no more welcome among evangelicals than it is among Roman Catholics. Heck, it’s just barely welcome among Lutherans. :-D

  • Tom Hering

    Bryan @ 81, it probably wouldn’t be enough to keep quiet about the sacraments, etc. We’d eventually be asked if we believe the stuff we keep quiet about. So the only way to fit into the evangelical “big tent” would be to abandon our distinctives, or modify them severely, or hide them under theological weasel words – so nobody can figure out what we really mean (if we’d even know, ourselves, what we really mean at that point). Lutherans have been, are, and always will be about keeping the Church on the straight and narrow path, and that’s no more welcome among evangelicals than it is among Roman Catholics. Heck, it’s just barely welcome among Lutherans. :-D

  • larry

    “For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel”; no better verse could prove Brigette’s point.

    This is in context people saying, “hey I was baptized by Paul”….”oh yea, I was baptized by Apollo”. As if one baptism was different or better than another based on WHO performed it. Paul is making the point that baptism is the Gospel and not “who” baptized you, something Luther makes. For baptism is not a baptism based upon who is doing it or the faith or lack thereof receiving it, but the Word and name of God. As Peter said, “Be baptized…FOR the forgiveness of YOUR sins…” (salvation, Gospel, to/for me). Paul’s point is the way both Rome and Baptist focus on baptism, its water external only not the Word and name of God. Paul was sent to baptize, the institution of Baptism is found in Matt. 28 (i.e. its not the “great commission” per se but the institution of baptism).

    Yet we are to confess ONE Lord, ONE faith, ONE baptism (the Nicene Creed) and NOT go looking for another baptism (as in RE-baptism) NOR some spiritualized baptism for Christians confess ONE Baptism for the remission (forgiveness) of sin, not two or three or four or some other.

    To receive baptism is to actually and truly receive forgiveness of sin and the Holy Spirit (Peter Acts 2) and to be forgiven of one’s sin IS salvation IS the Gospel. If you seek something other than forgiveness of sin, then its not baptism nor is it salvation nor is it the Gospel but another gospel.

  • larry

    “For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel”; no better verse could prove Brigette’s point.

    This is in context people saying, “hey I was baptized by Paul”….”oh yea, I was baptized by Apollo”. As if one baptism was different or better than another based on WHO performed it. Paul is making the point that baptism is the Gospel and not “who” baptized you, something Luther makes. For baptism is not a baptism based upon who is doing it or the faith or lack thereof receiving it, but the Word and name of God. As Peter said, “Be baptized…FOR the forgiveness of YOUR sins…” (salvation, Gospel, to/for me). Paul’s point is the way both Rome and Baptist focus on baptism, its water external only not the Word and name of God. Paul was sent to baptize, the institution of Baptism is found in Matt. 28 (i.e. its not the “great commission” per se but the institution of baptism).

    Yet we are to confess ONE Lord, ONE faith, ONE baptism (the Nicene Creed) and NOT go looking for another baptism (as in RE-baptism) NOR some spiritualized baptism for Christians confess ONE Baptism for the remission (forgiveness) of sin, not two or three or four or some other.

    To receive baptism is to actually and truly receive forgiveness of sin and the Holy Spirit (Peter Acts 2) and to be forgiven of one’s sin IS salvation IS the Gospel. If you seek something other than forgiveness of sin, then its not baptism nor is it salvation nor is it the Gospel but another gospel.

  • Tom Hering

    Jonathan @ 88, brilliant!

  • Tom Hering

    Jonathan @ 88, brilliant!

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com bike bubba

    Webmonk; I’m honored, whatever you’re getting at. :^) And I’m a Baptist who tries to keep away from revivalism and hyper-pietism.

    (my definitions; pietism was when Spener suggested Lutern pastors ought not be keeping mistresses, which they often did in his time. Hyper-pietism is “I don’t drink and I don’t chew and I don’t go with girls that do,” in other words, non-Scriptural cultural norms held up as evidence of salvation)

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com bike bubba

    Webmonk; I’m honored, whatever you’re getting at. :^) And I’m a Baptist who tries to keep away from revivalism and hyper-pietism.

    (my definitions; pietism was when Spener suggested Lutern pastors ought not be keeping mistresses, which they often did in his time. Hyper-pietism is “I don’t drink and I don’t chew and I don’t go with girls that do,” in other words, non-Scriptural cultural norms held up as evidence of salvation)

  • larry

    The larger question and the thing evangelicals should ask themselves is why would they want the Lutherans on board. For if as we say the sacraments are the Gospel, and we do, and they don’t, and they don’t, then it is to them (or should be) idolatry. If it’s “just bread and wine”, “just water” and one thinks he/she is receiving the flesh and blood of the Son of God for real that was actually given into death and shed for the forgiveness of their sins whereby in real time at that spot they are receiving from the very hand and mouth of God the forgiveness of their particular sin (absolution); and the other thinks it is not any of this – then the later should not want ANY communion with what would be in their doctrine shear idolatry.

    The evangelical, especially the Reformed evangelical to who Christ’s atonement does not extend to everyone, needs ask him or herself – then how, when, where and why did you or do you know that you actually received the forgiveness of YOUR sins and not just “Johnny over there who is not you in particular”.

    For these two worlds, two religions do not meet with each other anywhere.

  • larry

    The larger question and the thing evangelicals should ask themselves is why would they want the Lutherans on board. For if as we say the sacraments are the Gospel, and we do, and they don’t, and they don’t, then it is to them (or should be) idolatry. If it’s “just bread and wine”, “just water” and one thinks he/she is receiving the flesh and blood of the Son of God for real that was actually given into death and shed for the forgiveness of their sins whereby in real time at that spot they are receiving from the very hand and mouth of God the forgiveness of their particular sin (absolution); and the other thinks it is not any of this – then the later should not want ANY communion with what would be in their doctrine shear idolatry.

    The evangelical, especially the Reformed evangelical to who Christ’s atonement does not extend to everyone, needs ask him or herself – then how, when, where and why did you or do you know that you actually received the forgiveness of YOUR sins and not just “Johnny over there who is not you in particular”.

    For these two worlds, two religions do not meet with each other anywhere.

  • SKPeterson

    Tom @86 – I have seen Dobie Gillis, but I have just finished the great triptych sagas of Leave It To Beaver, My Three Sons, and Gilligan’s Island. I do hear tell of a fairly racy new show called The Love Boat, but I’ll wait until the kids have gone to bed.

  • SKPeterson

    Tom @86 – I have seen Dobie Gillis, but I have just finished the great triptych sagas of Leave It To Beaver, My Three Sons, and Gilligan’s Island. I do hear tell of a fairly racy new show called The Love Boat, but I’ll wait until the kids have gone to bed.

  • Tom Hering

    “… baptism now saves you … through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who is at the right hand of God …” It’s amazing to me that anyone has a problem with being saved through baptism. I mean, what is our dying and rising in baptism compared to the death and resurrection of God Himself? Like, He can accomplish the one but not the other? Sheesh.

  • Tom Hering

    “… baptism now saves you … through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who is at the right hand of God …” It’s amazing to me that anyone has a problem with being saved through baptism. I mean, what is our dying and rising in baptism compared to the death and resurrection of God Himself? Like, He can accomplish the one but not the other? Sheesh.

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Are there baptized Lutherans in Hell?

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Are there baptized Lutherans in Hell?

  • Bryan Lindemood

    exactly, Tom (90)!

    In my own family, it is another LCMS congregation which has been the worst contributor to our own family strife by doing exactly the opposite of the doctrine and practice we defend in the congregation I serve by allowing just about any other Christian confession to the communion rail. Too many Lutheran pastors sow not the seeds of the Word of God but of discontent in the hearts of God’s faithful people all for what they think is for the sake of love and mission. No – it does the opposite.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    exactly, Tom (90)!

    In my own family, it is another LCMS congregation which has been the worst contributor to our own family strife by doing exactly the opposite of the doctrine and practice we defend in the congregation I serve by allowing just about any other Christian confession to the communion rail. Too many Lutheran pastors sow not the seeds of the Word of God but of discontent in the hearts of God’s faithful people all for what they think is for the sake of love and mission. No – it does the opposite.

  • Tom Hering

    SK @ 95, The Love Boat??? Is that some kind of spin-off from Love, American Style?

  • Tom Hering

    SK @ 95, The Love Boat??? Is that some kind of spin-off from Love, American Style?

  • Grace

    I believe the Scripture as stated below, regarding the LORD’s Supper.

    53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.
    54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.
    55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.
    56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.
    57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.
    58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever. John 6

    Blood Strongs Greek – haima – hah’-ee-mah
    of uncertain derivation; blood, literally (of men or animals), figuratively (the juice of grapes) or specially (the atoning blood of Christ); by implication, bloodshed, also kindred:–blood.

    Regarding Baptism:

    An infant isn’t able to believe, repent of their sins, confess they are but babes. No one is automatically receives Salvation without repentance, faith and belief in Christ.

    Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
    John 14 :6

    Parents cannot circumvent or sidestep salvation by baptizing their children. Jesus is the way, no one receives Salvation because their parents had them baptized. They have had no opportunity to believe. This is a hard truth for those who have been taught that they were already saved, with no reason to repent, they were predestined, chosen, and that settles it in their mind.

    9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

    10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Romans 10

    Everyone who believes in Jesus Christ as their Savior has received Salvation.

    In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Ephesians 1:13

    For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
    Ephesians 2:8

    Repentance comes before Baptism -

  • Grace

    I believe the Scripture as stated below, regarding the LORD’s Supper.

    53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.
    54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.
    55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.
    56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.
    57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.
    58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever. John 6

    Blood Strongs Greek – haima – hah’-ee-mah
    of uncertain derivation; blood, literally (of men or animals), figuratively (the juice of grapes) or specially (the atoning blood of Christ); by implication, bloodshed, also kindred:–blood.

    Regarding Baptism:

    An infant isn’t able to believe, repent of their sins, confess they are but babes. No one is automatically receives Salvation without repentance, faith and belief in Christ.

    Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
    John 14 :6

    Parents cannot circumvent or sidestep salvation by baptizing their children. Jesus is the way, no one receives Salvation because their parents had them baptized. They have had no opportunity to believe. This is a hard truth for those who have been taught that they were already saved, with no reason to repent, they were predestined, chosen, and that settles it in their mind.

    9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

    10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Romans 10

    Everyone who believes in Jesus Christ as their Savior has received Salvation.

    In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Ephesians 1:13

    For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
    Ephesians 2:8

    Repentance comes before Baptism -

  • Tom Hering

    “Are there baptized Lutherans in Hell?” – TUAD @ 97.

    None of the elect are in Hell. Don’t know who the elect are (besides myself), but neither do you.

  • Tom Hering

    “Are there baptized Lutherans in Hell?” – TUAD @ 97.

    None of the elect are in Hell. Don’t know who the elect are (besides myself), but neither do you.

  • Grace

    Belief FIRST, then Baptism:

    In the passage below, the eunuch requests to be baptized, but Philip asks the eunuch - “If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” – that is the key, Philip wanted to know that the eunuch actually believed. Faith first then baptism.

    34 And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man?
    35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.
    36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?
    37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
    38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.
    39 And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing. Acts 8

  • Grace

    Belief FIRST, then Baptism:

    In the passage below, the eunuch requests to be baptized, but Philip asks the eunuch - “If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” – that is the key, Philip wanted to know that the eunuch actually believed. Faith first then baptism.

    34 And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man?
    35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.
    36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?
    37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
    38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.
    39 And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing. Acts 8

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

    @89, TUAD, you need to go back to school and learn what a contradiction is.
    That Paul is called to “preach” the gospel, does not negate baptism being gospel, it merely means that there is more than one aspect to the gospel. A person can preach baptism too. Of course, you divorce that from the rest of what Paul says in that same context where he admits to having baptized numerous people, and the rest of what he has to say about baptism in that same letter, which makes it out that baptism is actually gospel and does things like justify and sanctify, 1 cor. 6.

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

    @89, TUAD, you need to go back to school and learn what a contradiction is.
    That Paul is called to “preach” the gospel, does not negate baptism being gospel, it merely means that there is more than one aspect to the gospel. A person can preach baptism too. Of course, you divorce that from the rest of what Paul says in that same context where he admits to having baptized numerous people, and the rest of what he has to say about baptism in that same letter, which makes it out that baptism is actually gospel and does things like justify and sanctify, 1 cor. 6.

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Is a baptized Lutheran a member of the Elect because he or she has been baptized?

    Are there baptized Lutherans in Hell?

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Is a baptized Lutheran a member of the Elect because he or she has been baptized?

    Are there baptized Lutherans in Hell?

  • Tom Hering

    I believe the promise of baptism for myself, and I believe it in the case of others, too. So there’s no way, TUAD, I’m going to answer “yes” to your question – a question that only God knows the answer to.

  • Tom Hering

    I believe the promise of baptism for myself, and I believe it in the case of others, too. So there’s no way, TUAD, I’m going to answer “yes” to your question – a question that only God knows the answer to.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Jonathan (@88) wins the thread.

    TUaD (@89), however, continues to lose, mainly because he’s not participating in this thread. He’s taking part in a discussion on a completely different blog … but he’s doing so right here.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Jonathan (@88) wins the thread.

    TUaD (@89), however, continues to lose, mainly because he’s not participating in this thread. He’s taking part in a discussion on a completely different blog … but he’s doing so right here.

  • Tom Hering

    Obviously, TUAD, you believe there are baptized Lutherans in hell. In other words, you believe you know what only God can know. And I’m not going to question the baptism of others, as that would lead me to question my own, and then I would be without faith. So take a hike, pal.

  • Tom Hering

    Obviously, TUAD, you believe there are baptized Lutherans in hell. In other words, you believe you know what only God can know. And I’m not going to question the baptism of others, as that would lead me to question my own, and then I would be without faith. So take a hike, pal.

  • Grace

    Without repentance, and belief in Christ as Savior, there is no Salvation -

    Parents who believe they can baptize their children as an ‘insurance policy against hell, have decieved themselves -

  • Grace

    Without repentance, and belief in Christ as Savior, there is no Salvation -

    Parents who believe they can baptize their children as an ‘insurance policy against hell, have decieved themselves -

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    For Lutherans who don’t think there are baptized Lutherans in Hell, it sheds light on why Lutherans think Baptism is Salvific.

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    For Lutherans who don’t think there are baptized Lutherans in Hell, it sheds light on why Lutherans think Baptism is Salvific.

  • fws

    try this:

    The difference is vocation.

    1)For a Lutheran vocation is how one does Good Works. Good works ALWAYS require two more. It requires you and a neighbor. For reformed and Rome, a good work is primarily about pleasing God. So only one person, plus God is necessary.

    but here is the clincher:

    For a Lutheran, we look to our Good Works to kill us. We do not seek life in what we do. We seek our death! We seek to kill the Old Adam. This even includes what we think works have to do with sanctification or as we Lutherans like to call sanctification: baptismal regeneration.

    How? we are given our New Life that is faith alone, in Christ alone. That is what Baptism works in us and gives. The what happens?

    New Man immediately starts to do good works like crazy! How? he takes up the Law and starts beating up his old adam and makes him submit to the Law. This process looks exactly like an athlete training. It takes effort, focus, dedication and lots and lots of hard work! And it is all to do what? Help Old Adam live? transform Old Adam? no. Kill old adam!

    And does our new man , in Christ need to do all this effort and use the Law to be better or be transformed? No. New man already has all the Life in Christ that he will ever ever have. New man is Holy. Holy is like being pregnant. either you are or you ain’t.

    so for the reformed sanctification is progressive and eventually is entire. And good works are part of that process.

    for the Lutherans death of the Old Adam is progressive, and eventually is entire upon our physical death. And the progressive death part is how Lutherans do Good Works.

    This is sooooo not attractive to the Reformed. Good works are about death. ahem.

  • fws

    try this:

    The difference is vocation.

    1)For a Lutheran vocation is how one does Good Works. Good works ALWAYS require two more. It requires you and a neighbor. For reformed and Rome, a good work is primarily about pleasing God. So only one person, plus God is necessary.

    but here is the clincher:

    For a Lutheran, we look to our Good Works to kill us. We do not seek life in what we do. We seek our death! We seek to kill the Old Adam. This even includes what we think works have to do with sanctification or as we Lutherans like to call sanctification: baptismal regeneration.

    How? we are given our New Life that is faith alone, in Christ alone. That is what Baptism works in us and gives. The what happens?

    New Man immediately starts to do good works like crazy! How? he takes up the Law and starts beating up his old adam and makes him submit to the Law. This process looks exactly like an athlete training. It takes effort, focus, dedication and lots and lots of hard work! And it is all to do what? Help Old Adam live? transform Old Adam? no. Kill old adam!

    And does our new man , in Christ need to do all this effort and use the Law to be better or be transformed? No. New man already has all the Life in Christ that he will ever ever have. New man is Holy. Holy is like being pregnant. either you are or you ain’t.

    so for the reformed sanctification is progressive and eventually is entire. And good works are part of that process.

    for the Lutherans death of the Old Adam is progressive, and eventually is entire upon our physical death. And the progressive death part is how Lutherans do Good Works.

    This is sooooo not attractive to the Reformed. Good works are about death. ahem.

  • fws

    what bridgett says. she wins the prize for this thread. thanks for pointing us all to her blog!

  • fws

    what bridgett says. she wins the prize for this thread. thanks for pointing us all to her blog!

  • Tom Hering

    “For Lutherans who don’t think there are baptized Lutherans in Hell, it sheds light on why Lutherans think Baptism is Salvific.” – TUAD @ 109.

    When I said, “take a hike, pal,” I was being gentle. Now I’ll be straightforward: get thee behind me, Satan.

  • Tom Hering

    “For Lutherans who don’t think there are baptized Lutherans in Hell, it sheds light on why Lutherans think Baptism is Salvific.” – TUAD @ 109.

    When I said, “take a hike, pal,” I was being gentle. Now I’ll be straightforward: get thee behind me, Satan.

  • Grace

    There are no ‘prizes – there is however, false doctrine, based on what a denomination believes, and what another man decided to state as fact, and their congregants march in lock step, from cradle till………..

  • Grace

    There are no ‘prizes – there is however, false doctrine, based on what a denomination believes, and what another man decided to state as fact, and their congregants march in lock step, from cradle till………..

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    TUaD (@104), finally realizing that there is a conversation on this blog worth joining, and not merely interrupting, keeps asking, “Are there baptized Lutherans in Hell?”

    The first answer to which is, obviously, “Well, sometimes conversations with the ardent anti-Lutherans feels like that.” Apologies for the attempted joke, but we’re Lutherans, and we don’t like humor.

    The second answer to which is, “Define ‘Lutheran’.”

    And the third response to which is, “Are there people in Hell who, before dying, fully believed the promises found in God’s Word?”

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    TUaD (@104), finally realizing that there is a conversation on this blog worth joining, and not merely interrupting, keeps asking, “Are there baptized Lutherans in Hell?”

    The first answer to which is, obviously, “Well, sometimes conversations with the ardent anti-Lutherans feels like that.” Apologies for the attempted joke, but we’re Lutherans, and we don’t like humor.

    The second answer to which is, “Define ‘Lutheran’.”

    And the third response to which is, “Are there people in Hell who, before dying, fully believed the promises found in God’s Word?”

  • fws

    here is another difference that I have never seen pointed out but that lurks behind everything.

    Lutherans claim that Original righeousness and the Image of God is alone faith alone in Christ alone. period.

    so why does that matter?

    religion , all of them, is all about trying to get back in God’s good graces and maybe even more, trying to fix what is broken with creation. So all religions, including rome and the reformed and evangelicals and…… ALL imagine that to restore the Original Righeousness, and the Image of God, one must do what?

    One must get right with the LAW of God. Image of God = conformity to the Law of god. Original righeousness = conformity to what? The Law of God. so “natural LAW” is the path back to innocence and eden then, or some “third use of the Law (calvin)” is the way back. or… the Gospel exists ultimately to reconform us to the Law of God. Gospel serves the Law. Again Calvin. And Rome. And Wesley… and the Muslims. and….

    Lutherans claim, rather uniquely, that Original righteousness = alone, faith alone in Christ alone. The Image of God = alone faith alone in christ alone.

    This changes everything!

    The Apology to the Augsburg Confession. Article I “on Original sin”

  • fws

    here is another difference that I have never seen pointed out but that lurks behind everything.

    Lutherans claim that Original righeousness and the Image of God is alone faith alone in Christ alone. period.

    so why does that matter?

    religion , all of them, is all about trying to get back in God’s good graces and maybe even more, trying to fix what is broken with creation. So all religions, including rome and the reformed and evangelicals and…… ALL imagine that to restore the Original Righeousness, and the Image of God, one must do what?

    One must get right with the LAW of God. Image of God = conformity to the Law of god. Original righeousness = conformity to what? The Law of God. so “natural LAW” is the path back to innocence and eden then, or some “third use of the Law (calvin)” is the way back. or… the Gospel exists ultimately to reconform us to the Law of God. Gospel serves the Law. Again Calvin. And Rome. And Wesley… and the Muslims. and….

    Lutherans claim, rather uniquely, that Original righteousness = alone, faith alone in Christ alone. The Image of God = alone faith alone in christ alone.

    This changes everything!

    The Apology to the Augsburg Confession. Article I “on Original sin”

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace, why do you comment on this blog?

    What evidence would you offer against the claim that you’re merely a troll?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace, why do you comment on this blog?

    What evidence would you offer against the claim that you’re merely a troll?

  • fws

    and so ……the restoration of creation to its prefall state starts with the sound of the Blessed and Most Holy Name of the Trinity when it is spashed onto a crying little baby.

  • fws

    and so ……the restoration of creation to its prefall state starts with the sound of the Blessed and Most Holy Name of the Trinity when it is spashed onto a crying little baby.

  • Grace

    Tom – 109

    You telling Truth Unites… and Divides @109 to:

    get thee behind me, Satan.

    You Tom, have gone over the line. You are an EXAMPLE as to why Lutherans are thought of as they are. That remark is one of the crudest, dishonest statements I have ever read on this blog.

  • Grace

    Tom – 109

    You telling Truth Unites… and Divides @109 to:

    get thee behind me, Satan.

    You Tom, have gone over the line. You are an EXAMPLE as to why Lutherans are thought of as they are. That remark is one of the crudest, dishonest statements I have ever read on this blog.

  • Louis

    #118: Get thee behind me, troll!

  • Louis

    #118: Get thee behind me, troll!

  • Grace

    tODD – 116

    Those who disagree with you strongly, are called trolls, not just by you, but your groupies as well. You’re unable to have a discussion in which people disagree,….. they become TROLLS, in your vision.

  • Grace

    tODD – 116

    Those who disagree with you strongly, are called trolls, not just by you, but your groupies as well. You’re unable to have a discussion in which people disagree,….. they become TROLLS, in your vision.

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    If memory serves, I think fws has stated that he believes that there are baptized Lutherans in Hell from a prior thread.

    But if there are baptized Lutherans in Hell, then their baptism didn’t save them.

    Baptism didn’t save the baptized Lutherans in Hell, did it?

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    If memory serves, I think fws has stated that he believes that there are baptized Lutherans in Hell from a prior thread.

    But if there are baptized Lutherans in Hell, then their baptism didn’t save them.

    Baptism didn’t save the baptized Lutherans in Hell, did it?

  • Tom Hering

    Grace @ 118, I don’t know what to say about you being as offended as you are offensive, but I will say that that anyone who comes here – not to discuss differences – but with the specific purpose of destroying my trust in what God has done for me is a tool of Satan. No apology will ever be given for that.

  • Tom Hering

    Grace @ 118, I don’t know what to say about you being as offended as you are offensive, but I will say that that anyone who comes here – not to discuss differences – but with the specific purpose of destroying my trust in what God has done for me is a tool of Satan. No apology will ever be given for that.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Parents who believe they can baptize their children as an ‘insurance policy against hell, have decieved themselves”

    What about parents who trust that God can do what he says he can do?

    I used to get stuck on the “repent and be baptised” from Acts 2:38 because it seemed to be saying first repent then be baptized, which of course, makes sense. However, since we have to keep repenting every day, it can’t exclusively be understood that way. Plus the apostles were baptised and they still sinned and needed to be forgiven continually. Although, I don’t think that this is made clear often enough. So, I have come around to the Lutheran view.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Parents who believe they can baptize their children as an ‘insurance policy against hell, have decieved themselves”

    What about parents who trust that God can do what he says he can do?

    I used to get stuck on the “repent and be baptised” from Acts 2:38 because it seemed to be saying first repent then be baptized, which of course, makes sense. However, since we have to keep repenting every day, it can’t exclusively be understood that way. Plus the apostles were baptised and they still sinned and needed to be forgiven continually. Although, I don’t think that this is made clear often enough. So, I have come around to the Lutheran view.

  • James

    Note to self: Next time you post on a site to which you are unaccustomed to contributing, DO NOT check the “Notify me of followup comments via e-mail” notice. Otherwise, inbox fills up with lots of “stuff”. (Sheesh, and I thought some of the Reformed guys were kinda verbose).
    Followup note to self: GEV still rocks.

  • James

    Note to self: Next time you post on a site to which you are unaccustomed to contributing, DO NOT check the “Notify me of followup comments via e-mail” notice. Otherwise, inbox fills up with lots of “stuff”. (Sheesh, and I thought some of the Reformed guys were kinda verbose).
    Followup note to self: GEV still rocks.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    I will say that the Baptist church I attended in high school received as members anyone who was baptised and publicly stated their faith. I clearly recall my pastor saying, “We do not rebaptize people.”

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    I will say that the Baptist church I attended in high school received as members anyone who was baptised and publicly stated their faith. I clearly recall my pastor saying, “We do not rebaptize people.”

  • Louis

    TUAD doesn’t grasp the concept of “means of Grace”.

    Grace doesn’t grasp….

    SG – nice comment.

  • Louis

    TUAD doesn’t grasp the concept of “means of Grace”.

    Grace doesn’t grasp….

    SG – nice comment.

  • Louis

    James – it can get pretty lively here. Especially when we go a-troll huntin… :)

  • Louis

    James – it can get pretty lively here. Especially when we go a-troll huntin… :)

  • Grace

    Tom – 122

    YOU WROTE: ” I will say that that anyone who comes here – not to discuss differences – but with the specific purpose of destroying my trust in what God has done for me is a tool of Satan. No apology will ever be given for that.

    I quoted Scripture from the Bible to back up both Baptism and the LORD’s Supper @100 and 102. Your accusation is false. I did not come here to ‘destroy anything that is truthful and honest – but I do respond to false teaching.

  • Grace

    Tom – 122

    YOU WROTE: ” I will say that that anyone who comes here – not to discuss differences – but with the specific purpose of destroying my trust in what God has done for me is a tool of Satan. No apology will ever be given for that.

    I quoted Scripture from the Bible to back up both Baptism and the LORD’s Supper @100 and 102. Your accusation is false. I did not come here to ‘destroy anything that is truthful and honest – but I do respond to false teaching.

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    fws:

    “Yet Scripture clearly says that people will chose to be in hell. Many of those will be Baptized Lutherans, Roman Catholics, Baptists…. ”

    Baptism didn’t save the baptized Lutherans in Hell, did it?

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    fws:

    “Yet Scripture clearly says that people will chose to be in hell. Many of those will be Baptized Lutherans, Roman Catholics, Baptists…. ”

    Baptism didn’t save the baptized Lutherans in Hell, did it?

  • James

    So I see… :)

  • James

    So I see… :)

  • Louis

    TUAD – so you believe in eternal security, once saved always saved etc.?

    Also, what do you do with I Peter 3:21? You do not appear to want to answer that question.

  • Louis

    TUAD – so you believe in eternal security, once saved always saved etc.?

    Also, what do you do with I Peter 3:21? You do not appear to want to answer that question.

  • Tom Hering

    “I quoted Scripture from the Bible …” – Grace @ 128.

    Who else did that? :-D

  • Tom Hering

    “I quoted Scripture from the Bible …” – Grace @ 128.

    Who else did that? :-D

  • WebMonk

    Guys, guys. You can’t possibly have a fruitful conversation with Internet trolls.

    Grace = troll. If you ignore her she will eventually go away.

    TUAD is also a troll who has been banned on multiple other blogs.

    His habit of spouting random other blog nonsense all over various unrelated blogs is something of a hallmark of his and has led to him be banned on multiple blogs.

    I realize this place doesn’t ban people, and I think that’s a good thing, but a community needs to be self-defending on a blog that doesn’t ban. Typically that means very assiduously ignoring trolls in spite their vicious stupidity.

    For example, it’s possible TUAD and Grace may respond to this post – ignoring them is the only way to deal with them if you don’t want them to ruin a thread.

    Remember
    http://xkcd.com/386/

  • WebMonk

    Guys, guys. You can’t possibly have a fruitful conversation with Internet trolls.

    Grace = troll. If you ignore her she will eventually go away.

    TUAD is also a troll who has been banned on multiple other blogs.

    His habit of spouting random other blog nonsense all over various unrelated blogs is something of a hallmark of his and has led to him be banned on multiple blogs.

    I realize this place doesn’t ban people, and I think that’s a good thing, but a community needs to be self-defending on a blog that doesn’t ban. Typically that means very assiduously ignoring trolls in spite their vicious stupidity.

    For example, it’s possible TUAD and Grace may respond to this post – ignoring them is the only way to deal with them if you don’t want them to ruin a thread.

    Remember
    http://xkcd.com/386/

  • fws

    And here is what REALLY frosts the cake for the reformed and rome here while I am at it:

    lutherans claim that what happens in Vocation, the Law killing us into being Good is exactly, EXACTLY the same process that pagans do to be good. They HATE that!

    so what IS the difference between a pagan and a christian according to Lutherans if it is not at all in our behavior or transformation as to our lives?

    it is alone in faith in christ alone.

    How is that? Christians do not flee God’s judgement by doing more what? Good works! and seeking to justify. Instead they accept God’s judgement and their good works do what? Their own best good works terrify them! and so they do what? they present only the Good Works of Christ alone in response to their terrified conscience. and then they do what?

    They fear God. God says he WILL have his goodness and mercy done on earth, like it or not. So we learn to joyfully do Good Works so God does not need to send punishment and pestilence to make us do them for our neighbor. that’s why we study God’s Law and do it. We fear God and is wrath.

    And they do one more thing that is even more important! In Christ, they died to the Law. It can no longer accuse them! So they can truly love God in their hearts. God cannot ever become an Object of Love as long as one is being relentlessly accused by the Law of God. And so we begin to love God, and also we begin to Love our neighbor.

    So then the Law starts being kept both in our hearts and then also with our Good Works as well!

  • fws

    And here is what REALLY frosts the cake for the reformed and rome here while I am at it:

    lutherans claim that what happens in Vocation, the Law killing us into being Good is exactly, EXACTLY the same process that pagans do to be good. They HATE that!

    so what IS the difference between a pagan and a christian according to Lutherans if it is not at all in our behavior or transformation as to our lives?

    it is alone in faith in christ alone.

    How is that? Christians do not flee God’s judgement by doing more what? Good works! and seeking to justify. Instead they accept God’s judgement and their good works do what? Their own best good works terrify them! and so they do what? they present only the Good Works of Christ alone in response to their terrified conscience. and then they do what?

    They fear God. God says he WILL have his goodness and mercy done on earth, like it or not. So we learn to joyfully do Good Works so God does not need to send punishment and pestilence to make us do them for our neighbor. that’s why we study God’s Law and do it. We fear God and is wrath.

    And they do one more thing that is even more important! In Christ, they died to the Law. It can no longer accuse them! So they can truly love God in their hearts. God cannot ever become an Object of Love as long as one is being relentlessly accused by the Law of God. And so we begin to love God, and also we begin to Love our neighbor.

    So then the Law starts being kept both in our hearts and then also with our Good Works as well!

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    While I do think that fws is gravely mistaken on a number of vital Christian doctrines, I do applaud his honesty when he wrote:

    “Yet Scripture clearly says that people will chose to be in hell. Many of those will be Baptized Lutherans, Roman Catholics, Baptists…. ”

    So then the common-sense observation is:

    Baptism didn’t save the baptized Lutherans in Hell, did it?

    Simple.

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    While I do think that fws is gravely mistaken on a number of vital Christian doctrines, I do applaud his honesty when he wrote:

    “Yet Scripture clearly says that people will chose to be in hell. Many of those will be Baptized Lutherans, Roman Catholics, Baptists…. ”

    So then the common-sense observation is:

    Baptism didn’t save the baptized Lutherans in Hell, did it?

    Simple.

  • Louis

    Webmonk – I love that strip. Especially as it hits close to home far too often!

    Of course, there is that other way to get rid of trolls. Ask Todd. He’s a good troll hunter, but only if they leave enough evidence.

    So do you like Dr Who?

  • Louis

    Webmonk – I love that strip. Especially as it hits close to home far too often!

    Of course, there is that other way to get rid of trolls. Ask Todd. He’s a good troll hunter, but only if they leave enough evidence.

    So do you like Dr Who?

  • fws

    TUAD @ 129

    I publicly and formally repent of what I said as the false and satanic false doctrine that it is.

    I should know better than to make a statement that I can not possibly verify the truth of either from experience or God’s Word. And so I repent! What I said is in God’s hands alone, and it is for him to know.

    To be able to make that statement , i would need to be able to lo0k into someone’s heart and judge it. I can’t do that can I?

    So I completely and fully retract what I said ok?

  • fws

    TUAD @ 129

    I publicly and formally repent of what I said as the false and satanic false doctrine that it is.

    I should know better than to make a statement that I can not possibly verify the truth of either from experience or God’s Word. And so I repent! What I said is in God’s hands alone, and it is for him to know.

    To be able to make that statement , i would need to be able to lo0k into someone’s heart and judge it. I can’t do that can I?

    So I completely and fully retract what I said ok?

  • Tom Hering

    Space: 1999! (But only the first season.)

  • Tom Hering

    Space: 1999! (But only the first season.)

  • fws

    TUAD

    I am truly grateful that you quoted my error so I could correct it. Thanks!

  • fws

    TUAD

    I am truly grateful that you quoted my error so I could correct it. Thanks!

  • Tom Hering

    Way to go, Frank @ 137! Love ya, brother. :-)

  • Tom Hering

    Way to go, Frank @ 137! Love ya, brother. :-)

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Presybterian Pastor: “I do not think men should place their children, wives, or themselves under the care of Lutheran pastors and churches, today. Why not?

    Principally because modern Lutherans administer, teach, and write about the Sacraments in a way that leads tender souls to trust in the ritual and the elements rather than Jesus Christ.

    This is sacramentalism and it destroys souls.

    It is never, ever right to lead the souls under our care to believe that Baptism saves us…

    Do Lutherans believe that because they’ve been baptized, that their Baptism saves them?

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Presybterian Pastor: “I do not think men should place their children, wives, or themselves under the care of Lutheran pastors and churches, today. Why not?

    Principally because modern Lutherans administer, teach, and write about the Sacraments in a way that leads tender souls to trust in the ritual and the elements rather than Jesus Christ.

    This is sacramentalism and it destroys souls.

    It is never, ever right to lead the souls under our care to believe that Baptism saves us…

    Do Lutherans believe that because they’ve been baptized, that their Baptism saves them?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Principally because modern Lutherans administer, teach, and write about the Sacraments in a way that leads tender souls to trust in the ritual and the elements rather than Jesus Christ.”

    Maybe more like,

    trust in the ritual and the elements rather as Jesus Christ

    If the understanding is that Christ is truly present and truly forgives and saves, I am not sure they are trusting in elements instead of Christ because Christ is present in the elements.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Principally because modern Lutherans administer, teach, and write about the Sacraments in a way that leads tender souls to trust in the ritual and the elements rather than Jesus Christ.”

    Maybe more like,

    trust in the ritual and the elements rather as Jesus Christ

    If the understanding is that Christ is truly present and truly forgives and saves, I am not sure they are trusting in elements instead of Christ because Christ is present in the elements.

  • Tom Hering

    We trust that Christ works through His means of grace, as He said He would.

  • Tom Hering

    We trust that Christ works through His means of grace, as He said He would.

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

    Baptized Lutherans? Is there another kind?
    In Hell? Hell no.
    Just like there aren’t pentecostals, calvinists, chuck smithites, or Methodists in heaven. Everyone knows your converted to Lutheranism on the way up. Just as, well there’s no conversrion process on the way down, you just remain what you were, an unbeliever. And Lutheran’s are by definition believers.

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

    Baptized Lutherans? Is there another kind?
    In Hell? Hell no.
    Just like there aren’t pentecostals, calvinists, chuck smithites, or Methodists in heaven. Everyone knows your converted to Lutheranism on the way up. Just as, well there’s no conversrion process on the way down, you just remain what you were, an unbeliever. And Lutheran’s are by definition believers.

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

    There is somebody wrong on the internet. I must crush them with awesome quotes ” It’s not enough to bash in heads, you have got to bash in minds.”

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

    There is somebody wrong on the internet. I must crush them with awesome quotes ” It’s not enough to bash in heads, you have got to bash in minds.”

  • Tom Hering

    “Do Lutherans believe that because they’ve been baptized, that their Baptism saves them?” – TUAD @ 141.

    We trust that the resurrected and glorified Jesus Christ saves through the means of baptism, as His Word promises, “baptism now saves you … through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who is at the right hand of God …” Beyond that, we don’t speculate destructively, as you do.

  • Tom Hering

    “Do Lutherans believe that because they’ve been baptized, that their Baptism saves them?” – TUAD @ 141.

    We trust that the resurrected and glorified Jesus Christ saves through the means of baptism, as His Word promises, “baptism now saves you … through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who is at the right hand of God …” Beyond that, we don’t speculate destructively, as you do.

  • http://blog.captainthin.net/ Captain Thin

    Dr. Luther @145 – Do I detect references to both xkcd and Dr. Horrible? If so, you win the argument on this blog post. Everyone else should wrap it up as a result.

    Also, James @124 – I’m similarly beginning to think I should have skipped the “email me” option this time around. The comments have clearly lost sight of the original intent of the blog post – a frequent problem when comments are not moderated. *Le sigh.

  • http://blog.captainthin.net/ Captain Thin

    Dr. Luther @145 – Do I detect references to both xkcd and Dr. Horrible? If so, you win the argument on this blog post. Everyone else should wrap it up as a result.

    Also, James @124 – I’m similarly beginning to think I should have skipped the “email me” option this time around. The comments have clearly lost sight of the original intent of the blog post – a frequent problem when comments are not moderated. *Le sigh.

  • Holly

    Dr. Luther, you just made my day with that Captain Hammer quote. Thank you.

  • Holly

    Dr. Luther, you just made my day with that Captain Hammer quote. Thank you.

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Are there people who are in Heaven who haven’t been baptized?

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Are there people who are in Heaven who haven’t been baptized?

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

    @147 Webmonk came up with xkcd, which I also like, but Capt. Hammer ala Dr. Horrible is me.

    TUaD, not that I expect a coherent answer, but tell me why 1 Peter 3:18 doesn’t mean what it says or why Baptism isn’t doing what Paul says in Rm 6:3-5. But I don’t expect a reasonable answer seeing the how Johnny Snow your posts are.

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

    @147 Webmonk came up with xkcd, which I also like, but Capt. Hammer ala Dr. Horrible is me.

    TUaD, not that I expect a coherent answer, but tell me why 1 Peter 3:18 doesn’t mean what it says or why Baptism isn’t doing what Paul says in Rm 6:3-5. But I don’t expect a reasonable answer seeing the how Johnny Snow your posts are.

  • BW

    TUaD @ 149,

    Good question. Though we ultimately can’t say for sure, it’s certainly possible that someone came to faith in Christ, then died very shortly after. This doesn’t make baptism any less efficacious…just that God has all sorts of means He uses to bring faith to people…

  • BW

    TUaD @ 149,

    Good question. Though we ultimately can’t say for sure, it’s certainly possible that someone came to faith in Christ, then died very shortly after. This doesn’t make baptism any less efficacious…just that God has all sorts of means He uses to bring faith to people…

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Cap’n Thin (@147), perhaps this is an endorsement, then, of following blog comments via RSS feed? I know this isn’t a viable option for everyone, but it certainly reduces the attention-grabbing nature of metastasizing threads (which, on this blog, are pretty much any thread that starts out as or becomes a comparison of Lutherans and Evangelicals — mark that down for future reference). And I’m fairly certain it’s something you’re capable of.

    And while I don’t appreciate your injecting your foreign Canadian language (“Le sigh”) into this proper, American blog ;) I do wonder: what would you recommend as far as moderation goes? What rules would you establish, and what comments here could you say for sure transgress them?

    No, really, because I too am tired of the few trolls there are (and they aren’t many, and they threads they post on are fairly predictable) who don’t seem much interested in any sort of conversation. But I also happen to think that the meandering nature of the non-troll-riddled conversations on this blog is something of a feature, not a bug. Sometimes, we move on from the original topic, by mutual consent. (Other times, of course, it’s just TUaD posting some random quote from someone somewhere on the Internet and demanding that we all reply to it.)

    TUaD and Grace clearly want us to talk about them, and this conversation has been appropriately derailed by them, so let’s talk about them, I say. Unless you were talking about me. In which case, um, the comments are closed?

    But I did some research, and WebMonk is right (@133). TUaD has been banned elsewhere. It’s not at all hard to imagine why.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Cap’n Thin (@147), perhaps this is an endorsement, then, of following blog comments via RSS feed? I know this isn’t a viable option for everyone, but it certainly reduces the attention-grabbing nature of metastasizing threads (which, on this blog, are pretty much any thread that starts out as or becomes a comparison of Lutherans and Evangelicals — mark that down for future reference). And I’m fairly certain it’s something you’re capable of.

    And while I don’t appreciate your injecting your foreign Canadian language (“Le sigh”) into this proper, American blog ;) I do wonder: what would you recommend as far as moderation goes? What rules would you establish, and what comments here could you say for sure transgress them?

    No, really, because I too am tired of the few trolls there are (and they aren’t many, and they threads they post on are fairly predictable) who don’t seem much interested in any sort of conversation. But I also happen to think that the meandering nature of the non-troll-riddled conversations on this blog is something of a feature, not a bug. Sometimes, we move on from the original topic, by mutual consent. (Other times, of course, it’s just TUaD posting some random quote from someone somewhere on the Internet and demanding that we all reply to it.)

    TUaD and Grace clearly want us to talk about them, and this conversation has been appropriately derailed by them, so let’s talk about them, I say. Unless you were talking about me. In which case, um, the comments are closed?

    But I did some research, and WebMonk is right (@133). TUaD has been banned elsewhere. It’s not at all hard to imagine why.

  • Cincinnatus

    Here’s another thought that may be more significant, since I happen to think evangelicalism is a passing phenomenon, and one ought not worry whether one is assimilating properly or not:

    I am among a crowd of younger folks who have intentionally departed “low church” congregations, like those typical of evangelicalism, in search of high-church liturgical worship. I did not end up Lutheran, ultimately. Nor, for that matter, has any one of the other similarly situated and searching folks that I know. Maybe my personal experience is limited (though I know many folks like myself), maybe it has something to do with having resided for most of my life in the South (though now I live in the historic heart of Lutheranism), but Lutheranism doesn’t seem to appear on the radar of those searching for liturgical worship, which is a more enduring and important trend. Catholicism? Yes. Eastern Orthodoxy? Yes. Anglicanism? Certainly. Lutheranism? What’s that?

  • Cincinnatus

    Here’s another thought that may be more significant, since I happen to think evangelicalism is a passing phenomenon, and one ought not worry whether one is assimilating properly or not:

    I am among a crowd of younger folks who have intentionally departed “low church” congregations, like those typical of evangelicalism, in search of high-church liturgical worship. I did not end up Lutheran, ultimately. Nor, for that matter, has any one of the other similarly situated and searching folks that I know. Maybe my personal experience is limited (though I know many folks like myself), maybe it has something to do with having resided for most of my life in the South (though now I live in the historic heart of Lutheranism), but Lutheranism doesn’t seem to appear on the radar of those searching for liturgical worship, which is a more enduring and important trend. Catholicism? Yes. Eastern Orthodoxy? Yes. Anglicanism? Certainly. Lutheranism? What’s that?

  • Cincinnatus

    And no, I didn’t read the entire thread previous to my comment. My attention waned after Grace barged in, guests began appending extended excerpts from their book projects, and everyone else began trading BBT references.

  • Cincinnatus

    And no, I didn’t read the entire thread previous to my comment. My attention waned after Grace barged in, guests began appending extended excerpts from their book projects, and everyone else began trading BBT references.

  • Cincinnatus

    Also, why do Lutherans claim that they are not “Mainline Protestant” or even Protestant in general? Maybe that claim works among friends, but the outer world–including evangelicalism–isn’t buying it. Along with United Methodism, Episcopalianism, and other classic cases, Lutheranism is associated in the popular consciousness with mainline Protestantism, with all the liberalism commonly thought to be attendant thereto. And really, aren’t Lutherans truly the original Protestants?

  • Cincinnatus

    Also, why do Lutherans claim that they are not “Mainline Protestant” or even Protestant in general? Maybe that claim works among friends, but the outer world–including evangelicalism–isn’t buying it. Along with United Methodism, Episcopalianism, and other classic cases, Lutheranism is associated in the popular consciousness with mainline Protestantism, with all the liberalism commonly thought to be attendant thereto. And really, aren’t Lutherans truly the original Protestants?

  • Jonathan

    @155 Cincinnatus, what’s your opinion about why Lutheranism is not on the radar for folks seeking liturgical worship? I suggest it’s due to #5 above; lots of Lutherans have abandoned liturgy and the conservative synods that haven’t are in an unappealing “bunker mode.” I can’t prove that, but it’s been my experience.

  • Jonathan

    @155 Cincinnatus, what’s your opinion about why Lutheranism is not on the radar for folks seeking liturgical worship? I suggest it’s due to #5 above; lots of Lutherans have abandoned liturgy and the conservative synods that haven’t are in an unappealing “bunker mode.” I can’t prove that, but it’s been my experience.

  • Cincinnatus

    Jonathan@156: At this point, I haven’t many educated guesses, which is why I was appealing to the world of Lutheranism itself (though I suppose if they were aware of the problem, they would have fixed it).

    But you may be right. I’ve visited several Lutheran churches in my quest for meaningful worship, and it was difficult to find one that didn’t depart from traditional liturgical forms in favor of sappy guitars and modern decor. So there’s that. In other words, it may be the case that Lutheranism increasingly doesn’t even offer liturgical worship for seekers like myself. Couldn’t say if that’s a generalizable statement, though.

  • Cincinnatus

    Jonathan@156: At this point, I haven’t many educated guesses, which is why I was appealing to the world of Lutheranism itself (though I suppose if they were aware of the problem, they would have fixed it).

    But you may be right. I’ve visited several Lutheran churches in my quest for meaningful worship, and it was difficult to find one that didn’t depart from traditional liturgical forms in favor of sappy guitars and modern decor. So there’s that. In other words, it may be the case that Lutheranism increasingly doesn’t even offer liturgical worship for seekers like myself. Couldn’t say if that’s a generalizable statement, though.

  • Craig

    From the author:
    “I’m genuinely curious to know why the big tent of conservative, confessional evangelicalism doesn’t have more Lutherans. I understand that the Calvinist soteriology of TGC and T4G types doesn’t fit with Methodism or parts of the Holiness traditions, but Luther’s doctrine of predestination was Calvinist before there was Calvin.”
    Answer to the first sentence: Because “Big Tents” are for circus’s not Christianity. Lutherans prefer Altars.
    TGC and T4G are a total joke! It’s the usual set or “Rock Star” pseudo reformed “pastors” i.e. John MacDonalds rrr MacArthur, RC Cola, Mark Dever, Al Mohler, C.J. Mahaney and whinny J Piper etc. And they talk about the need for “exegetical” preaching and going through the Bible. And they fail to admonish each other to preach Christ and the Forgiveness of Sins, to Absolve their perish and feed them the body and blood of Christ. There is no room for Lutherans in this setting. Talking about predestination for 3.5 hours is what these crowds get off on. That’s really lame.
    The comment “Luther’s doctrine of predestination was Calvinist before there was Calvin” is just total BS. I am so sick of Reformed bozos babbling on and on about “Luther’s The Bondage of the Will.” Sorry Calvinists but the English translation you read (J.I Packer – A Calvinists) is pretty slanted. And Luther was not writing it to Theodore Beza but to Erasmus. And another point is that Lutherans are confessional. We confess the Book of Concord. We are Lutherans not Martin Lutherists. Calvinists have confessions all over the place but they all contradict each other so they can’t form a book. Calvinists are always more interested in the thoughts and theology of John Calvin than they are in their confessions. Except the Presybes do love their Westminster pamphlet with the “chief end of man” crap. Anyway Lutheran theology flows out of the Scriptures and it is not a manmade systematic theology therefore we do not need to have conferences and programs to feel that we are “really making a difference.” The Divine Service has everything that we need for our souls. Reformed theology is painfully void of a Loving Heavenly Father and the false doctrine of a Limited Atonement destroys souls. So please do not invite Lutherans to your circus we have a banquet that we need to attend.

  • Craig

    From the author:
    “I’m genuinely curious to know why the big tent of conservative, confessional evangelicalism doesn’t have more Lutherans. I understand that the Calvinist soteriology of TGC and T4G types doesn’t fit with Methodism or parts of the Holiness traditions, but Luther’s doctrine of predestination was Calvinist before there was Calvin.”
    Answer to the first sentence: Because “Big Tents” are for circus’s not Christianity. Lutherans prefer Altars.
    TGC and T4G are a total joke! It’s the usual set or “Rock Star” pseudo reformed “pastors” i.e. John MacDonalds rrr MacArthur, RC Cola, Mark Dever, Al Mohler, C.J. Mahaney and whinny J Piper etc. And they talk about the need for “exegetical” preaching and going through the Bible. And they fail to admonish each other to preach Christ and the Forgiveness of Sins, to Absolve their perish and feed them the body and blood of Christ. There is no room for Lutherans in this setting. Talking about predestination for 3.5 hours is what these crowds get off on. That’s really lame.
    The comment “Luther’s doctrine of predestination was Calvinist before there was Calvin” is just total BS. I am so sick of Reformed bozos babbling on and on about “Luther’s The Bondage of the Will.” Sorry Calvinists but the English translation you read (J.I Packer – A Calvinists) is pretty slanted. And Luther was not writing it to Theodore Beza but to Erasmus. And another point is that Lutherans are confessional. We confess the Book of Concord. We are Lutherans not Martin Lutherists. Calvinists have confessions all over the place but they all contradict each other so they can’t form a book. Calvinists are always more interested in the thoughts and theology of John Calvin than they are in their confessions. Except the Presybes do love their Westminster pamphlet with the “chief end of man” crap. Anyway Lutheran theology flows out of the Scriptures and it is not a manmade systematic theology therefore we do not need to have conferences and programs to feel that we are “really making a difference.” The Divine Service has everything that we need for our souls. Reformed theology is painfully void of a Loving Heavenly Father and the false doctrine of a Limited Atonement destroys souls. So please do not invite Lutherans to your circus we have a banquet that we need to attend.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Cincinnatus (@153), yours appears to be more of a marketing issue than anything (not to diminish your observation, but that’s my takeaway) — is that right? The Lutheran brand is somewhat busted and/or confused, and Lutherans really haven’t done enough to get their name out there into the Marketplace of Liturgical options? Something like that? Again, that’s not intended in a snarky fashion.

    Assuming I’m on the right track, what brought you into the church where you’re now a member?

    As for Lutherans arguing they’re not Protestant, I, too, am puzzled by this. Best I can figure, it’s a somewhat nonsensical attempt to avoid guilt by association, though I can’t quite figure out how that’s supposed to work. Etymologically, however, it’s a tricky argument.

    As for the argument that Lutherans aren’t “mainline Protestants”, I think that makes perfect sense — provided, of course, that you realize that Lutheranism isn’t a monolithic theology. It is, at the very least, splittable into “conservative” and “liberal” camps. No one that I know of argues that the liberal Lutherans aren’t also “mainline”. But to argue that the LCMS and WELS are mainline Protestants? On what basis would you do that?

    Also, as to this (@157):

    I’ve visited several Lutheran churches in my quest for meaningful worship, and it was difficult to find one that didn’t depart from traditional liturgical forms in favor of sappy guitars and modern decor.

    Was this all in your current city? Because that in no way mirrors my experience in visiting Lutheran churches far away from the American heartland.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Cincinnatus (@153), yours appears to be more of a marketing issue than anything (not to diminish your observation, but that’s my takeaway) — is that right? The Lutheran brand is somewhat busted and/or confused, and Lutherans really haven’t done enough to get their name out there into the Marketplace of Liturgical options? Something like that? Again, that’s not intended in a snarky fashion.

    Assuming I’m on the right track, what brought you into the church where you’re now a member?

    As for Lutherans arguing they’re not Protestant, I, too, am puzzled by this. Best I can figure, it’s a somewhat nonsensical attempt to avoid guilt by association, though I can’t quite figure out how that’s supposed to work. Etymologically, however, it’s a tricky argument.

    As for the argument that Lutherans aren’t “mainline Protestants”, I think that makes perfect sense — provided, of course, that you realize that Lutheranism isn’t a monolithic theology. It is, at the very least, splittable into “conservative” and “liberal” camps. No one that I know of argues that the liberal Lutherans aren’t also “mainline”. But to argue that the LCMS and WELS are mainline Protestants? On what basis would you do that?

    Also, as to this (@157):

    I’ve visited several Lutheran churches in my quest for meaningful worship, and it was difficult to find one that didn’t depart from traditional liturgical forms in favor of sappy guitars and modern decor.

    Was this all in your current city? Because that in no way mirrors my experience in visiting Lutheran churches far away from the American heartland.

  • Grace

    Craig @158

    ““Big Tents” are for circus’s not Christianity. Lutherans prefer Altars.”

    Many a tent has been pitched in this world to preach the Gospel, it’s not for ‘clowns, it’s for those who are hungry for God’s Word, who have an emptiness within their souls,…. that’s why they come to hear about Christ, whether it be in a tent, or elsewhere. A tent is below you? Who would have ever guessed!

    And then there are those who study the Word of God, and believe on the LORD Jesus Christ, repent and become baptized. They don’t all fall under the name of someone else, they use Christian, not the name of a mere man.

  • Grace

    Craig @158

    ““Big Tents” are for circus’s not Christianity. Lutherans prefer Altars.”

    Many a tent has been pitched in this world to preach the Gospel, it’s not for ‘clowns, it’s for those who are hungry for God’s Word, who have an emptiness within their souls,…. that’s why they come to hear about Christ, whether it be in a tent, or elsewhere. A tent is below you? Who would have ever guessed!

    And then there are those who study the Word of God, and believe on the LORD Jesus Christ, repent and become baptized. They don’t all fall under the name of someone else, they use Christian, not the name of a mere man.

  • Craig

    Oh ya to: Truth Unites… and Divides $147
    Are there people who are in Heaven who haven’t been baptized? You ask this because you’re a Calvinists and you have that P in you precious TULIP. Well it is possible for a baptized believer to shipwreck his faith. The Scriptures are full of warnings. But never mind the Word you have the TULIP.
    Did I say baptized believer…hummm that reminds me:
    incorrect fact
    American culture
    personal business
    steel wool
    real presence
    Reformed Calvinist
    traffic flow
    virtural reality
    unusal routine
    Union worker

  • Craig

    Oh ya to: Truth Unites… and Divides $147
    Are there people who are in Heaven who haven’t been baptized? You ask this because you’re a Calvinists and you have that P in you precious TULIP. Well it is possible for a baptized believer to shipwreck his faith. The Scriptures are full of warnings. But never mind the Word you have the TULIP.
    Did I say baptized believer…hummm that reminds me:
    incorrect fact
    American culture
    personal business
    steel wool
    real presence
    Reformed Calvinist
    traffic flow
    virtural reality
    unusal routine
    Union worker

  • Bryan Lindemood

    Why isn’t Cincinnatus Lutheran?!

  • Bryan Lindemood

    Why isn’t Cincinnatus Lutheran?!

  • Craig

    Grace please go find Biblists blog. Or a tent :)

    Does anyone know if 1 Tim. 2: 11-12 refers to blogs?

  • Craig

    Grace please go find Biblists blog. Or a tent :)

    Does anyone know if 1 Tim. 2: 11-12 refers to blogs?

  • Grace

    Craig @163

    24 And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus.

    25 This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John.

    26 And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly. Acts 18:24-26

    You see Craig, women did/do teach!

  • Grace

    Craig @163

    24 And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus.

    25 This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John.

    26 And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly. Acts 18:24-26

    You see Craig, women did/do teach!

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

    Hey you know what pastors love?

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

    Hey you know what pastors love?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace, why do you comment on this blog?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace, why do you comment on this blog?

  • Craig

    Wow you have such a gift, so glad to see that 1 Tim. 2: 11 doesn’t have to get in you way!
    Keep the insightful comments comming. I know that tODD really enjoys them and he learns so much!

  • Craig

    Wow you have such a gift, so glad to see that 1 Tim. 2: 11 doesn’t have to get in you way!
    Keep the insightful comments comming. I know that tODD really enjoys them and he learns so much!

  • Craig

    Back to the Question Where are the Lutherans?
    Answer: Sunday – Divine Service
    The rest of the week they are fast at work in their common earthly vocations. Not at mega stupid conferences on church growth, how to desiring God (like only a Calvinist can), THE SOVERENY OF GOD, or being resolved http://www.resolved.org/ (a new conference with the same cast of clowns), etc.

    BTW my pastor said to me a few weeks ago, “what’s with this John Piper guy and his Desiring God stuff? We have God here every Divine Service and He’s free.” I thought that was awesome and true. People look everywhere for God except in the Water and Word and the Bread and the Wine.

  • Craig

    Back to the Question Where are the Lutherans?
    Answer: Sunday – Divine Service
    The rest of the week they are fast at work in their common earthly vocations. Not at mega stupid conferences on church growth, how to desiring God (like only a Calvinist can), THE SOVERENY OF GOD, or being resolved http://www.resolved.org/ (a new conference with the same cast of clowns), etc.

    BTW my pastor said to me a few weeks ago, “what’s with this John Piper guy and his Desiring God stuff? We have God here every Divine Service and He’s free.” I thought that was awesome and true. People look everywhere for God except in the Water and Word and the Bread and the Wine.

  • Louis

    Delenda Trolli, as the great Cato said…

    To return to the topic at hand – DeYong talks about vibrancy in evangelicalism. He must be one of few – as the late Michael Spencer often remarked, evangelicalism is dying (my words). Anyone that talks about vibrancy in evangelicalism is bound to be of a completely different persuasion as to the goal of the Church as a Lutheran.

  • Louis

    Delenda Trolli, as the great Cato said…

    To return to the topic at hand – DeYong talks about vibrancy in evangelicalism. He must be one of few – as the late Michael Spencer often remarked, evangelicalism is dying (my words). Anyone that talks about vibrancy in evangelicalism is bound to be of a completely different persuasion as to the goal of the Church as a Lutheran.

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Q: “Are there people who are in Heaven who haven’t been baptized?”

    A by BW: “TUaD @ 149,

    Good question. Though we ultimately can’t say for sure, it’s certainly possible that someone came to faith in Christ, then died very shortly after. This doesn’t make baptism any less efficacious…just that God has all sorts of means He uses to bring faith to people…”

    Thank you BW.

    So let’s say that someone indeed come to faith in Christ, and died very shortly thereafter *WITHOUT* being baptized, and went to Heaven unbaptized.

    So there could be (and probably are) unbaptized souls in Heaven.

    And…

    There could be (and probably are) baptized Lutherans in Hell.

    Ergo, per a faithful Pastor:

    “It is never, ever right to lead the souls under our care to believe that Baptism saves us…”

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Q: “Are there people who are in Heaven who haven’t been baptized?”

    A by BW: “TUaD @ 149,

    Good question. Though we ultimately can’t say for sure, it’s certainly possible that someone came to faith in Christ, then died very shortly after. This doesn’t make baptism any less efficacious…just that God has all sorts of means He uses to bring faith to people…”

    Thank you BW.

    So let’s say that someone indeed come to faith in Christ, and died very shortly thereafter *WITHOUT* being baptized, and went to Heaven unbaptized.

    So there could be (and probably are) unbaptized souls in Heaven.

    And…

    There could be (and probably are) baptized Lutherans in Hell.

    Ergo, per a faithful Pastor:

    “It is never, ever right to lead the souls under our care to believe that Baptism saves us…”

  • fws

    craig @ 168

    Hey I have been reading Piper lately. He keeps talking about how we are supposed to desire God with our whole heart and that it is not enough to just DO the letter of the Law.

    He is right about that. It should be taught more.

    Here is where he is wrong: he teaches that we should desire God as though we can actually DO that. Like we need to do some emotional pushups or som’n. Here is the problem: we CAN’T do that. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and soul.”

    This is a command. This is the Law of God. This is what the first table of the Law demands that is about movements of the heart.

    And we all know what the Law ALWAYS does.

    The Law ALWAYS accuses. It always kills.

    THIS Law can only be kept alone by faith alone in Christ alone. This is when all of our doing truly terrifies us, so that then we know to only , and alone, present the Works of Christ to God in answer to our terrified conscience.

    God can only become an Object of Love when the Law can no longer accuse us.

    This happens when we no longer flee the judgement of God but accept God’s judgement as true, and then we are terrified by even our best works. “Be perfect as I am perfect” says God. and “the soul that sins, it shall die.” “if you break the Law in one point, you are guilty of all”.

    And this can happen only when , in Holy Baptism we have been given new heart movements, which is faith in Christ alone. In Baptism we are given the promise that we have put on the most blessed and holy works of Christ, and then we are dead to the threats and deathly claims of the Law .

    This is all contained in what the Holy Apostle Saint Paul says: “As many as were baptized have put on Christ”.

    and “christ came to die for sinners, of whom I am chief!”. “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us”. “Baptism … the washing of regeneration and the renewal of the Holy Spirit”.

  • fws

    craig @ 168

    Hey I have been reading Piper lately. He keeps talking about how we are supposed to desire God with our whole heart and that it is not enough to just DO the letter of the Law.

    He is right about that. It should be taught more.

    Here is where he is wrong: he teaches that we should desire God as though we can actually DO that. Like we need to do some emotional pushups or som’n. Here is the problem: we CAN’T do that. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and soul.”

    This is a command. This is the Law of God. This is what the first table of the Law demands that is about movements of the heart.

    And we all know what the Law ALWAYS does.

    The Law ALWAYS accuses. It always kills.

    THIS Law can only be kept alone by faith alone in Christ alone. This is when all of our doing truly terrifies us, so that then we know to only , and alone, present the Works of Christ to God in answer to our terrified conscience.

    God can only become an Object of Love when the Law can no longer accuse us.

    This happens when we no longer flee the judgement of God but accept God’s judgement as true, and then we are terrified by even our best works. “Be perfect as I am perfect” says God. and “the soul that sins, it shall die.” “if you break the Law in one point, you are guilty of all”.

    And this can happen only when , in Holy Baptism we have been given new heart movements, which is faith in Christ alone. In Baptism we are given the promise that we have put on the most blessed and holy works of Christ, and then we are dead to the threats and deathly claims of the Law .

    This is all contained in what the Holy Apostle Saint Paul says: “As many as were baptized have put on Christ”.

    and “christ came to die for sinners, of whom I am chief!”. “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us”. “Baptism … the washing of regeneration and the renewal of the Holy Spirit”.

  • fws

    tuad @ 170

    the exception does not disprove the rule or norm. there would be no exception if there was no “as a rule”. You are arguing from the exception and making the exception a rule. that is wrong.

    It is a command of Jesus that all be baptized and that we baptize and teach all nations into the Kingdom of God.

    So let me get this right TUAD, it is ok for someone to ignore the clear command of Jesus Christ? Is that what you are arguing? And you are trying to say that a true believer in Christ would actually think like that?!

    as tweety bird says… “are you cwazy?”

  • fws

    tuad @ 170

    the exception does not disprove the rule or norm. there would be no exception if there was no “as a rule”. You are arguing from the exception and making the exception a rule. that is wrong.

    It is a command of Jesus that all be baptized and that we baptize and teach all nations into the Kingdom of God.

    So let me get this right TUAD, it is ok for someone to ignore the clear command of Jesus Christ? Is that what you are arguing? And you are trying to say that a true believer in Christ would actually think like that?!

    as tweety bird says… “are you cwazy?”

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

    From a faithful pastor “Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,”

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

    From a faithful pastor “Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,”

  • BW

    TUaD @ 170,

    You’ve made a jump you shouldn’t have. One must look at what all the texts of Scripture say on baptism and stand with it. That those who have faith in what the Lord says on baptism does and gives receive those benefits. The Lord works through means, the Word preached, water sprinkled on a baby, His Body and Blood given and shed for you.

    To push back on what you said, should we not preach the Gospel because some may have heard and not believed?

  • BW

    TUaD @ 170,

    You’ve made a jump you shouldn’t have. One must look at what all the texts of Scripture say on baptism and stand with it. That those who have faith in what the Lord says on baptism does and gives receive those benefits. The Lord works through means, the Word preached, water sprinkled on a baby, His Body and Blood given and shed for you.

    To push back on what you said, should we not preach the Gospel because some may have heard and not believed?

  • trotk

    I am an Anglican. Why am I Anglican and not Lutheran?

    I guess I don’t know.

    I have read and studied the Bible (went to school for that), read and studied the 39 Articles and Book of Common Prayer, and read the Lutheran Confessions. Ultimately, I haven’t seen anything that tells me I am in the wrong place. I read the Lutheran confessions (including all the stuff on baptism and the Eucharist) and agree with the Lutherans. But it all fits with Anglicanism. Sure there are a couple differences. Anglicans don’t attempt to define the manner or way that the bread and wine are the body and blood. I am quite okay with that. Anglicans don’t believe that consecrated host delivered to an unbeliever are the body and blood. I am okay with that. Ultimately, if someone were to show me an argument from Scripture that demanded I should be Lutheran rather than Anglican, I would change. But that hasn’t happened.

  • trotk

    I am an Anglican. Why am I Anglican and not Lutheran?

    I guess I don’t know.

    I have read and studied the Bible (went to school for that), read and studied the 39 Articles and Book of Common Prayer, and read the Lutheran Confessions. Ultimately, I haven’t seen anything that tells me I am in the wrong place. I read the Lutheran confessions (including all the stuff on baptism and the Eucharist) and agree with the Lutherans. But it all fits with Anglicanism. Sure there are a couple differences. Anglicans don’t attempt to define the manner or way that the bread and wine are the body and blood. I am quite okay with that. Anglicans don’t believe that consecrated host delivered to an unbeliever are the body and blood. I am okay with that. Ultimately, if someone were to show me an argument from Scripture that demanded I should be Lutheran rather than Anglican, I would change. But that hasn’t happened.

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    This conversation reflects the impasse:

    Brigitte: “Baptism is Gospel. “God is favorably disposed towards you.” Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them. It is so simple. How shall they believe if they have not heard.”

    Rhology:Gospel is Gospel. Baptism is baptism. It honestly really scares me when people talk like you’re talking.

    Baptism does not communicate that God is favorably disposed toward anyone. Regeneration does. They are not the same, and one can be present without the other.”

    Brigitte: “Rhology, this is a very important question. Is what I say scary or what you say scary? And does God want you to trust him or not?

    He does want you to trust him and this is the most important thing in the world. He is our good Father in heaven. Baptism is one more way he tells us. A pledge and promise and seal to his word. It would be immeasurably wrong to doubt him.

    What is the worst thing that could happen if someone believed that God is favorably disposed to them? They might believe.”

    Rhology: “What you say is scary, because you’re equating something one does (baptism) with the Gospel. Doesn’t get a whole lot scarier than that.

    Yes, God wants me to trust Him. The regenerate man can trust Him to bring him safely to glory. The unregenerate man needs the Law and the Gospel, not false talk about how baptism did something for him.

    Baptism is one way He tells US, yes, but not the unregenerate. So the focus needs to be on the SOUL, not the BAPTISM.

    No, the worst thing that could happen to someone falsely believing that God is favorably disposed toward them is that they may well go to Hell and be sorta surprised when they get there.”

    Baptized Lutheran in Hell asks: “Why am I in Hell? I’ve been baptized! I can’t be here! I’ve been baptized! I’ve been baptized! My baptism is supposed to save me from Hell!”

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    This conversation reflects the impasse:

    Brigitte: “Baptism is Gospel. “God is favorably disposed towards you.” Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them. It is so simple. How shall they believe if they have not heard.”

    Rhology:Gospel is Gospel. Baptism is baptism. It honestly really scares me when people talk like you’re talking.

    Baptism does not communicate that God is favorably disposed toward anyone. Regeneration does. They are not the same, and one can be present without the other.”

    Brigitte: “Rhology, this is a very important question. Is what I say scary or what you say scary? And does God want you to trust him or not?

    He does want you to trust him and this is the most important thing in the world. He is our good Father in heaven. Baptism is one more way he tells us. A pledge and promise and seal to his word. It would be immeasurably wrong to doubt him.

    What is the worst thing that could happen if someone believed that God is favorably disposed to them? They might believe.”

    Rhology: “What you say is scary, because you’re equating something one does (baptism) with the Gospel. Doesn’t get a whole lot scarier than that.

    Yes, God wants me to trust Him. The regenerate man can trust Him to bring him safely to glory. The unregenerate man needs the Law and the Gospel, not false talk about how baptism did something for him.

    Baptism is one way He tells US, yes, but not the unregenerate. So the focus needs to be on the SOUL, not the BAPTISM.

    No, the worst thing that could happen to someone falsely believing that God is favorably disposed toward them is that they may well go to Hell and be sorta surprised when they get there.”

    Baptized Lutheran in Hell asks: “Why am I in Hell? I’ve been baptized! I can’t be here! I’ve been baptized! I’ve been baptized! My baptism is supposed to save me from Hell!”

  • Cincinnatus

    tODD@somewhere-up-above-I’m-too-lazy-to-verify:

    First, my personal “spiritual” experience mirrors trotk’s to some extent.

    As for your good question, you may be entirely correct about the character of Lutheranism elsewhere than in my current residence. As I noted, my personal experience may count for little, if anything.

    But I also wonder if the original post’s mention of “ethnic enclaves” might be a factor. In my very much churchified hometown, in the classic Bible-belt sense, there were no Lutheran churches of any kind, and Lutheranism was almost unheard-of. If I wanted a liturgical experience, I could visit a myriad of old-fashioned Methodist Churches, Episcopal/Anglican churches, Catholic, Presbyterian, and even some Baptist churches of a more historic mold. But Lutheranism, apparently, was something for Norwegians in obscure, wintery regions of the country.

    So I’m mostly fishing for explanations here, as I honestly have no predetermined conclusions. In my opinion, my supposition that Lutheranism doesn’t factor in the spiritual journeys of many evangelical ex-pats is a real phenomenon. Why is that? Do the author’s hypotheses have anything to do with it or are there other variables in play? I’m not concerned that Lutheranism doesn’t appeal to ardent evangelicals. In my view, that speaks well of Lutheranism. But you may face a more serious problem.

    As for the rest, duly noted on the complex etymology of Protestant and “mainline.” It’s just curious that Lutherans, on this blog at least, so vehemently deny “accusations” that they are Protestant. Claims of “true” catholicism may be accurate, at least to insiders, but not widely shared.

  • Cincinnatus

    tODD@somewhere-up-above-I’m-too-lazy-to-verify:

    First, my personal “spiritual” experience mirrors trotk’s to some extent.

    As for your good question, you may be entirely correct about the character of Lutheranism elsewhere than in my current residence. As I noted, my personal experience may count for little, if anything.

    But I also wonder if the original post’s mention of “ethnic enclaves” might be a factor. In my very much churchified hometown, in the classic Bible-belt sense, there were no Lutheran churches of any kind, and Lutheranism was almost unheard-of. If I wanted a liturgical experience, I could visit a myriad of old-fashioned Methodist Churches, Episcopal/Anglican churches, Catholic, Presbyterian, and even some Baptist churches of a more historic mold. But Lutheranism, apparently, was something for Norwegians in obscure, wintery regions of the country.

    So I’m mostly fishing for explanations here, as I honestly have no predetermined conclusions. In my opinion, my supposition that Lutheranism doesn’t factor in the spiritual journeys of many evangelical ex-pats is a real phenomenon. Why is that? Do the author’s hypotheses have anything to do with it or are there other variables in play? I’m not concerned that Lutheranism doesn’t appeal to ardent evangelicals. In my view, that speaks well of Lutheranism. But you may face a more serious problem.

    As for the rest, duly noted on the complex etymology of Protestant and “mainline.” It’s just curious that Lutherans, on this blog at least, so vehemently deny “accusations” that they are Protestant. Claims of “true” catholicism may be accurate, at least to insiders, but not widely shared.

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

    TUaD aka the Biblicist who never read the Bible.

    Hey everybody let’s sing…
    Way back when I was just a little bitty boy living in a box under the stairs in the corner of the basement of the house half a block down the street from Jerry’s Bait shop
    You know the place
    well anyway, back then life was going swell and everything was just peachy

    Except, of course, for the undeniable fact that every single morning
    My mother would make me a big ol’ bowl of sauerkraut for breakfast

    Awww – Big bowl of sauerkraut
    Every single mornin’
    It was driving me crazy

    I said to my mom
    I said “Hey, mom, what’s up with all the sauerkraut?”
    And my dear, sweet mother
    She just looked at me like a cow looks at an oncoming train,
    And she leaned right down next to me
    And she said,
    “IT’S GOOD FOR YOU!!!”
    And then she tied me to the wall and stuck a funnel in my mouth
    And force fed me nothing but sauerkraut until I was twenty six and a half years old

    That’s when I swore that someday
    Someday I would get outta that basement and travel to a magical, far away place
    Where the sun is always shining and the air smells like warm root beer
    And the towels are oh so fluffy
    Where the Shriners and the lepers play their ukuleles all day long
    And anyone on the street will gladly shave your back for a nickel

    Wacka wacka doodoo yeah

    Well, let me tell you, people, it wasn’t long at all before my dream came true
    Because the very next day, a local radio station had this contest
    To see who could correctly guess the number of molecules in Leonard Nimoy’s butt
    I was off by three, but I still won the grand prize
    That’s right, a first class one-way ticket to

    Albuquerque
    Albuquerque…

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

    TUaD aka the Biblicist who never read the Bible.

    Hey everybody let’s sing…
    Way back when I was just a little bitty boy living in a box under the stairs in the corner of the basement of the house half a block down the street from Jerry’s Bait shop
    You know the place
    well anyway, back then life was going swell and everything was just peachy

    Except, of course, for the undeniable fact that every single morning
    My mother would make me a big ol’ bowl of sauerkraut for breakfast

    Awww – Big bowl of sauerkraut
    Every single mornin’
    It was driving me crazy

    I said to my mom
    I said “Hey, mom, what’s up with all the sauerkraut?”
    And my dear, sweet mother
    She just looked at me like a cow looks at an oncoming train,
    And she leaned right down next to me
    And she said,
    “IT’S GOOD FOR YOU!!!”
    And then she tied me to the wall and stuck a funnel in my mouth
    And force fed me nothing but sauerkraut until I was twenty six and a half years old

    That’s when I swore that someday
    Someday I would get outta that basement and travel to a magical, far away place
    Where the sun is always shining and the air smells like warm root beer
    And the towels are oh so fluffy
    Where the Shriners and the lepers play their ukuleles all day long
    And anyone on the street will gladly shave your back for a nickel

    Wacka wacka doodoo yeah

    Well, let me tell you, people, it wasn’t long at all before my dream came true
    Because the very next day, a local radio station had this contest
    To see who could correctly guess the number of molecules in Leonard Nimoy’s butt
    I was off by three, but I still won the grand prize
    That’s right, a first class one-way ticket to

    Albuquerque
    Albuquerque…

  • trotk

    TUaD -

    We read that conversation when you first posted it. Unless you are planning to answer the questions asked of you, why are you still reposting what has already been responded to?

  • trotk

    TUaD -

    We read that conversation when you first posted it. Unless you are planning to answer the questions asked of you, why are you still reposting what has already been responded to?

  • Louis

    Delenda Trolli, as the great Cato said…

    Trotk @179, because he acts according to his nature, which is trollish.

  • Louis

    Delenda Trolli, as the great Cato said…

    Trotk @179, because he acts according to his nature, which is trollish.

  • Grace

    “Repent, and be baptized”

    37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?

    38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

    39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
    Acts 2

    Repentance and remission of sins in Christ are two principles of the Gospel and therefore of our salvation: and they are obtained by the promises apprehended by faith, and are ratified by us in baptism; and with our salvation comes the power of the Holy Spirit. Geneva Study Bible

  • Grace

    “Repent, and be baptized”

    37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?

    38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

    39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
    Acts 2

    Repentance and remission of sins in Christ are two principles of the Gospel and therefore of our salvation: and they are obtained by the promises apprehended by faith, and are ratified by us in baptism; and with our salvation comes the power of the Holy Spirit. Geneva Study Bible

  • trotk

    Louis, if I can correct your grammar -

    It ought to be “Trollus delendus est.”

  • trotk

    Louis, if I can correct your grammar -

    It ought to be “Trollus delendus est.”

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Trotk,

    It has not been responded to. Hence, the reminder.

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Trotk,

    It has not been responded to. Hence, the reminder.

  • Louis

    Trollus delendus est, as the great Cato said…

    Thanks, Trotk. I have only a little pig latin, I’m afraid.

  • Louis

    Trollus delendus est, as the great Cato said…

    Thanks, Trotk. I have only a little pig latin, I’m afraid.

  • trotk

    No problem.

  • trotk

    No problem.

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Didn’t Martin Luther call a pope the Anti-Christ? (And presumably, the Anti-Christ would go to Hell.)

    And didn’t Martin Luther think/know that the pope was baptized?

    So Martin Luther himself didn’t believe that getting baptized will always save one from Hell.

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Didn’t Martin Luther call a pope the Anti-Christ? (And presumably, the Anti-Christ would go to Hell.)

    And didn’t Martin Luther think/know that the pope was baptized?

    So Martin Luther himself didn’t believe that getting baptized will always save one from Hell.

  • Craig

    fws 171
    Watch a Piper vid and you see a clown getting all worked up about “passion” for God and stuff like that. He acts like his passion and conviction are a means of grace. Then all the cronies who mimic him sound like buffoons as they act like they have all of this conjured up passion. In the meantime the gospel of Christ crucified for the forgiveness of sins is gone. And you are left with your sinner in the hands of an angry God and your charismatic piety. There is truly nothing new under the sun. Except for Grace’s brilliant exposition of the Scriptures…how fresh!
    I haven’t been here for a while where is that Purcell guy? You know that angry Reformed dude.

  • Craig

    fws 171
    Watch a Piper vid and you see a clown getting all worked up about “passion” for God and stuff like that. He acts like his passion and conviction are a means of grace. Then all the cronies who mimic him sound like buffoons as they act like they have all of this conjured up passion. In the meantime the gospel of Christ crucified for the forgiveness of sins is gone. And you are left with your sinner in the hands of an angry God and your charismatic piety. There is truly nothing new under the sun. Except for Grace’s brilliant exposition of the Scriptures…how fresh!
    I haven’t been here for a while where is that Purcell guy? You know that angry Reformed dude.

  • Tom Hering

    TUAD, why is it so important for you to know that some of the baptized will be in hell? In what way does this turn you on?

  • Tom Hering

    TUAD, why is it so important for you to know that some of the baptized will be in hell? In what way does this turn you on?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “And really, aren’t Lutherans truly the original Protestants?”

    Hmm, interesting, not sure. Protestants seem to think so. I guess it matters what they protest. Now that I understand it better, Lutherans seem like reactionary Catholics who wanted to go back to what the Catholic church was before some innovations. When I first started catching on that Lutherans were so much like (old time) Catholics, it made me start asking how Lutherans were really so different from Orthodox. I am no expert for sure, but Lutherans seem closer to Orthodox than modern Catholics which some deride as sola ecclesia.

    “I am among a crowd of younger folks who have intentionally departed “low church” congregations, like those typical of evangelicalism, in search of high-church liturgical worship.”

    There may be something of a trend here. My son cannot stand happy clappy church at all, most especially if it seems pop culturish. He was never much of a VBS fan. Didn’t like all the gimmicky cartoony stuff or singing or dancing, etc. I like to say he was born old, but its an exaggeration. Maybe the trend is that type of service will never appeal to a certain segment of folks, kind of like Tom Hering aptly notes @ 8 that thankfully there is a place for folks who are more introverted or maybe contemplative.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “And really, aren’t Lutherans truly the original Protestants?”

    Hmm, interesting, not sure. Protestants seem to think so. I guess it matters what they protest. Now that I understand it better, Lutherans seem like reactionary Catholics who wanted to go back to what the Catholic church was before some innovations. When I first started catching on that Lutherans were so much like (old time) Catholics, it made me start asking how Lutherans were really so different from Orthodox. I am no expert for sure, but Lutherans seem closer to Orthodox than modern Catholics which some deride as sola ecclesia.

    “I am among a crowd of younger folks who have intentionally departed “low church” congregations, like those typical of evangelicalism, in search of high-church liturgical worship.”

    There may be something of a trend here. My son cannot stand happy clappy church at all, most especially if it seems pop culturish. He was never much of a VBS fan. Didn’t like all the gimmicky cartoony stuff or singing or dancing, etc. I like to say he was born old, but its an exaggeration. Maybe the trend is that type of service will never appeal to a certain segment of folks, kind of like Tom Hering aptly notes @ 8 that thankfully there is a place for folks who are more introverted or maybe contemplative.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Tom @188

    Do you remember those folks in Britain who were doing de-baptisms with hair dryers as a publicity stunt?

    Maybe those are the folks he is referring to.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Tom @188

    Do you remember those folks in Britain who were doing de-baptisms with hair dryers as a publicity stunt?

    Maybe those are the folks he is referring to.

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Answer:

    o “Gospel is Gospel. Baptism is baptism. It honestly really scares me when people [Lutherans] talk like you’re talking.”

    o “This is sacramentalism and it destroys souls.

    It is never, ever right to lead the souls under our care to believe that Baptism saves us…

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Answer:

    o “Gospel is Gospel. Baptism is baptism. It honestly really scares me when people [Lutherans] talk like you’re talking.”

    o “This is sacramentalism and it destroys souls.

    It is never, ever right to lead the souls under our care to believe that Baptism saves us…

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

    Since, this hasn’t been responded to, I will repost. Just as a reminder.

    From a faithful pastor “Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,”

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

    Since, this hasn’t been responded to, I will repost. Just as a reminder.

    From a faithful pastor “Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,”

  • Grace

    sg – 189

    “There may be something of a trend here. My son cannot stand happy clappy church at all, most especially if it seems pop culturish. He was never much of a VBS fan. Didn’t like all the gimmicky cartoony stuff or singing or dancing, etc. I like to say he was born old, but its an exaggeration”

    It appears your son went to a ‘strange VBS, hence, he is no ‘fan. It sounds very much like he went to an “Emergent Church” VBS, they are noted for such. Did you check out the VBS first, before sending him?

  • Grace

    sg – 189

    “There may be something of a trend here. My son cannot stand happy clappy church at all, most especially if it seems pop culturish. He was never much of a VBS fan. Didn’t like all the gimmicky cartoony stuff or singing or dancing, etc. I like to say he was born old, but its an exaggeration”

    It appears your son went to a ‘strange VBS, hence, he is no ‘fan. It sounds very much like he went to an “Emergent Church” VBS, they are noted for such. Did you check out the VBS first, before sending him?

  • Craig

    TUaD 186
    You are obsessed with Reformed magisterial logic and you have crafted this shitty little argument and it doesn’t hold water. Pun intended. You for whatever reason believe that you are really throwing Lutherans a curve ball with your “If he was baptized….fallacy” Sorry but it’s retarded. Maybe this will help you understand the Lutheran/Biblical position:

    Baptism saves. That’s a promise and a gift!

    If one is unable to be baptized i.e. if you convert on a Roman cross and you have the words of Jesus promising you eternal life great, take it. If one is baptized and later denies the faith, well your soul is in danger. The promise of baptism is still in effect but you have forfeited it benefits.

  • Craig

    TUaD 186
    You are obsessed with Reformed magisterial logic and you have crafted this shitty little argument and it doesn’t hold water. Pun intended. You for whatever reason believe that you are really throwing Lutherans a curve ball with your “If he was baptized….fallacy” Sorry but it’s retarded. Maybe this will help you understand the Lutheran/Biblical position:

    Baptism saves. That’s a promise and a gift!

    If one is unable to be baptized i.e. if you convert on a Roman cross and you have the words of Jesus promising you eternal life great, take it. If one is baptized and later denies the faith, well your soul is in danger. The promise of baptism is still in effect but you have forfeited it benefits.

  • Tom Hering

    TUAD, what is it about the baptized in hell that turns you on?

  • Tom Hering

    TUAD, what is it about the baptized in hell that turns you on?

  • Cincinnatus

    I’m 12 and wat is this

  • Cincinnatus

    I’m 12 and wat is this

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Answer:

    o “Gospel is Gospel. Baptism is baptism. It honestly really scares me when people [Lutherans] talk like you’re talking.”

    o “This is sacramentalism and it destroys souls.

    It is never, ever right to lead the souls under our care to believe that Baptism saves us…“

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Answer:

    o “Gospel is Gospel. Baptism is baptism. It honestly really scares me when people [Lutherans] talk like you’re talking.”

    o “This is sacramentalism and it destroys souls.

    It is never, ever right to lead the souls under our care to believe that Baptism saves us…“

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Did you check out the VBS first, before sending him?”

    It was at my own home church; a popular boxed set VBS program like Lifeway and others sell. I have seen plenty of congregations using such stuff. It is supposed to appeal to kids, I guess. I don’t know what exactly I should check out. It was all very usual VBS; story time, games, snack, music, crafts. I mean typical stuff. It just wasn’t his thing.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Did you check out the VBS first, before sending him?”

    It was at my own home church; a popular boxed set VBS program like Lifeway and others sell. I have seen plenty of congregations using such stuff. It is supposed to appeal to kids, I guess. I don’t know what exactly I should check out. It was all very usual VBS; story time, games, snack, music, crafts. I mean typical stuff. It just wasn’t his thing.

  • Grace

    Dr. Luther in the 21st Century – 192

    If you were baptized as an infant ….

    Did you “repent” before you were baptized, or had you received Salvation before “repenting” – therefore you were always saved since you were baptized as an infant/child? – even though you never repented FIRST?

    Now, if you weren’t baptized as an infant, but later decided to join the Lutherans’ …. did you “repent” first, or did you seek baptism and then choose to “repent”?

  • Grace

    Dr. Luther in the 21st Century – 192

    If you were baptized as an infant ….

    Did you “repent” before you were baptized, or had you received Salvation before “repenting” – therefore you were always saved since you were baptized as an infant/child? – even though you never repented FIRST?

    Now, if you weren’t baptized as an infant, but later decided to join the Lutherans’ …. did you “repent” first, or did you seek baptism and then choose to “repent”?

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

    These trolls are boring, I think I will now go rid Azeroth of a few trolls.

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

    These trolls are boring, I think I will now go rid Azeroth of a few trolls.

  • Grace

    sg – 198

    I wouldn’t send my child to a VBS without checking out the material, it’s too important. It’s isn’t all ‘just the same, there are is a wide variety between SOLID doctrine, and nonsense, cartoons’ and all the other garbage that goes with it.

  • Grace

    sg – 198

    I wouldn’t send my child to a VBS without checking out the material, it’s too important. It’s isn’t all ‘just the same, there are is a wide variety between SOLID doctrine, and nonsense, cartoons’ and all the other garbage that goes with it.

  • Grace

    It’s a tough night for you, …. take a break, you’re knocking yourself out, trying to understand truths that have vexed you for a long time.

  • Grace

    It’s a tough night for you, …. take a break, you’re knocking yourself out, trying to understand truths that have vexed you for a long time.

  • Craig

    191
    It scares you that the Lutherans talk about Lutheran theology on a Lutheran blog? Really?
    Then you say this:
    o “This is sacramentalism and it destroys souls.”
    Well ok Mr. Truth Unites, how is a soul destroyed by trusting in the promises of Jesus given to us through His selected means?

    It is never, ever right to lead the souls under our care to believe that Baptism saves us…“
    Look at 1 pet 3:21 that was posted on 192. Your statement contradicts the text. What’s wrong with you?

  • Craig

    191
    It scares you that the Lutherans talk about Lutheran theology on a Lutheran blog? Really?
    Then you say this:
    o “This is sacramentalism and it destroys souls.”
    Well ok Mr. Truth Unites, how is a soul destroyed by trusting in the promises of Jesus given to us through His selected means?

    It is never, ever right to lead the souls under our care to believe that Baptism saves us…“
    Look at 1 pet 3:21 that was posted on 192. Your statement contradicts the text. What’s wrong with you?

  • Grace

    CLARIFICATION:

    Post 202 is not to sg.

  • Grace

    CLARIFICATION:

    Post 202 is not to sg.

  • Craig

    Grace 202
    “you’re knocking yourself out, trying to understand truths that have vexed you for a long time.”

    You don’t know what vexes poeple? I can’t figure what has vexed you to make you want to fire off comments on a Lutheran blog. I don’t want to comment on your denom’s blog…whatever denom that may be?

  • Craig

    Grace 202
    “you’re knocking yourself out, trying to understand truths that have vexed you for a long time.”

    You don’t know what vexes poeple? I can’t figure what has vexed you to make you want to fire off comments on a Lutheran blog. I don’t want to comment on your denom’s blog…whatever denom that may be?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @201

    I am not an expert. I figure it is the pastor’s job to check out the stuff. It seems reasonable to just trust his judgement in the general case. I mean, my husband seems fine with what the church is teaching, so that should include the VBS. What am I supposed to check? The stories are just well known Bible stories. There is no blatant false doctrine. It is just that kiddie stuff didn’t appeal to my son. He went. He liked the stories, games, but not crafts and music. It ain’t weird. Not everyone likes all the same stuff.

    Anyway, most of my son’s friends are not Lutheran, but most are Christian. One of his friends goes to another LCMS church that is more contemporary in its services. So he told me that he and this other boy both agreed that church music should be hymns etc, not rock bands and the like. I just think that assuming young people will like new music more than hymns and traditional music is not a valid assumption.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @201

    I am not an expert. I figure it is the pastor’s job to check out the stuff. It seems reasonable to just trust his judgement in the general case. I mean, my husband seems fine with what the church is teaching, so that should include the VBS. What am I supposed to check? The stories are just well known Bible stories. There is no blatant false doctrine. It is just that kiddie stuff didn’t appeal to my son. He went. He liked the stories, games, but not crafts and music. It ain’t weird. Not everyone likes all the same stuff.

    Anyway, most of my son’s friends are not Lutheran, but most are Christian. One of his friends goes to another LCMS church that is more contemporary in its services. So he told me that he and this other boy both agreed that church music should be hymns etc, not rock bands and the like. I just think that assuming young people will like new music more than hymns and traditional music is not a valid assumption.

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Look at 1 pet 3:21 that was posted on 192.

    Craig,

    Read the entirety of Calvin on Baptism: “hypocrites …glory in a naked and dead sign”

    Hypocrites Glory in a Naked and Dead Sign

    Excerpt:

    “So the next time someone justifies the evil doctrine of baptismal regeneration by quoting “baptism now saves you,” tell them to finish the sentence. The second half of that declaration made by the Apostle Peter under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit could not be more clear in denouncing the trust in ceremonies and rituals that has permeated Christendom from its very beginning.”

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Look at 1 pet 3:21 that was posted on 192.

    Craig,

    Read the entirety of Calvin on Baptism: “hypocrites …glory in a naked and dead sign”

    Hypocrites Glory in a Naked and Dead Sign

    Excerpt:

    “So the next time someone justifies the evil doctrine of baptismal regeneration by quoting “baptism now saves you,” tell them to finish the sentence. The second half of that declaration made by the Apostle Peter under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit could not be more clear in denouncing the trust in ceremonies and rituals that has permeated Christendom from its very beginning.”

  • http://www.newreformationpress.com Patrick Kyle

    Grace and TUaD,

    Many people here, who are far smarter and more educated than you,
    who have sincerely prayed and studied God’s word for years, and deeply considered these things, have become convinced of the Scriptural faithfulness and truth of Lutheran doctrine.

    Your simple views and shallow reading of the biblical texts isn’t gaining any traction here. Give it a rest for awhile.

  • http://www.newreformationpress.com Patrick Kyle

    Grace and TUaD,

    Many people here, who are far smarter and more educated than you,
    who have sincerely prayed and studied God’s word for years, and deeply considered these things, have become convinced of the Scriptural faithfulness and truth of Lutheran doctrine.

    Your simple views and shallow reading of the biblical texts isn’t gaining any traction here. Give it a rest for awhile.

  • Tom Hering

    “So the next time someone justifies the evil doctrine of baptismal regeneration by quoting ‘baptism now saves you,’ tell them to finish the sentence.” – TUAD @ 207 channeling the Baylys.

    I did finish the sentence, more than once here. And it doesn’t say faith and repentance must precede baptism. Show us that it does, TUAD.

  • Tom Hering

    “So the next time someone justifies the evil doctrine of baptismal regeneration by quoting ‘baptism now saves you,’ tell them to finish the sentence.” – TUAD @ 207 channeling the Baylys.

    I did finish the sentence, more than once here. And it doesn’t say faith and repentance must precede baptism. Show us that it does, TUAD.

  • Craig

    TUaD 207
    Great quote from your god Calvin. I used to a Calvinist and I have since repented of that system. That quote you coughed up is all the more reason I can see how Calvin was a creator of an unbiblical system. He runs right over the Bible to make his pathetic points. Calvin was a **** and Geneva was a failure of the collision of the Right and Left hand kingdoms. And worst of ALL is that doctrine from the pit of Satan’s belly…the Limited Atonement! Total ******** and a killer of young Christians. Used by Huguenots and those who follow them to scorn God’s dear children with their devilish fear mongering. If I hear another Lutheran tell me that the Reformed are our cousins I’m gonna puke! You Calvinists are of another spirit! Calvin was so deceitful with the sacraments. When talking with the Lutherans Calvin (and his followers) use Lutheran language to deceive. When they are with the Zwinglians they use memorial language. Calvinists have been sneaking into Lutheran churches for centuries (google crypto-calvinists) because they are a dishonest sect who are totally jealous of the freedom of the Lutheran gospel.

  • Craig

    TUaD 207
    Great quote from your god Calvin. I used to a Calvinist and I have since repented of that system. That quote you coughed up is all the more reason I can see how Calvin was a creator of an unbiblical system. He runs right over the Bible to make his pathetic points. Calvin was a **** and Geneva was a failure of the collision of the Right and Left hand kingdoms. And worst of ALL is that doctrine from the pit of Satan’s belly…the Limited Atonement! Total ******** and a killer of young Christians. Used by Huguenots and those who follow them to scorn God’s dear children with their devilish fear mongering. If I hear another Lutheran tell me that the Reformed are our cousins I’m gonna puke! You Calvinists are of another spirit! Calvin was so deceitful with the sacraments. When talking with the Lutherans Calvin (and his followers) use Lutheran language to deceive. When they are with the Zwinglians they use memorial language. Calvinists have been sneaking into Lutheran churches for centuries (google crypto-calvinists) because they are a dishonest sect who are totally jealous of the freedom of the Lutheran gospel.

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Sound, valid Biblical arguments persuaded the following Christian to leave behind aberrant doctrinal teaching. Here are excerpts from a well-reasoned, well-argued review essay (but do read it all):

    “This post concerns a book written by Robert Kolb titled Bound Choice, Election, And Wittenberg Theological Method: From Martin Luther To The Formula Of Concord (Lutheran Quarterly Books).

    I recently finished reading this fine book. I got the book to help me answer the question, “How do Lutherans reconcile the idea of God’s sovereign activity in salvation, as expounded by Luther in his book `The Bondage Of The Will,’ with the Lutheran idea that a person can lose his salvation?”

    I should give some background on myself. I am 48 years old. I was raised in the LCMS. My father was a Lutheran teacher and principal. Though not destined to be a clergyman myself (I am a public school music teacher), I was passionate about doctrine, from my youth until today. As a teen, I used to stay up late at night reading Koehler’s “A Summary Of Christian Doctrine.” It was fascinating to me, and I appreciated the fact that Koehler pulled no punches in claiming that Lutherans were right and others were wrong, when it came to the Sacraments.

    I got married in 1985. My bride had been a Methodist, and we decided to look for a Lutheran church to attend, but could not find one in which we felt at home. So we expanded our search to non-Lutheran churches. We happened upon a Presbyterian church (PCA), and joined. This was around 1987. I was attracted to the Presbyterian church because they practiced infant baptism, albeit with a different meaning attached to the sacrament. I had planned to remain a sort of `covert Lutheran,’ maintaining my Lutheran views of the Sacraments, while participating in the life of this PCA church. But what I did not know is that these Presbyterians were just as passionate about their history and doctrine as any group of Lutherans I have known. I attended the new members’ class, and read a booklet called “The Five Points Of Calvinism.” When I reached the section on “Limited Atonement,” I could not believe what I was reading. How could any orthodox Christian group believe such a thing? (And how could I have been oblivious to this concept all these years? I had never heard of this.)

    But the more I read and studied, the more I became convinced that what Reformed people call the “Doctrines of Grace” really do accurately reflect what the Bible teaches regarding salvation. (I still believe this.) Books by R. C. Sproul and others helped me to grow in this understanding, as well as a 1000-page biography of George Whitefield, detailing Whitefield’s relationship with Wesley, and in so doing, illustrating the contrasts between Calvinism and Arminianism.

    (cont.)

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Sound, valid Biblical arguments persuaded the following Christian to leave behind aberrant doctrinal teaching. Here are excerpts from a well-reasoned, well-argued review essay (but do read it all):

    “This post concerns a book written by Robert Kolb titled Bound Choice, Election, And Wittenberg Theological Method: From Martin Luther To The Formula Of Concord (Lutheran Quarterly Books).

    I recently finished reading this fine book. I got the book to help me answer the question, “How do Lutherans reconcile the idea of God’s sovereign activity in salvation, as expounded by Luther in his book `The Bondage Of The Will,’ with the Lutheran idea that a person can lose his salvation?”

    I should give some background on myself. I am 48 years old. I was raised in the LCMS. My father was a Lutheran teacher and principal. Though not destined to be a clergyman myself (I am a public school music teacher), I was passionate about doctrine, from my youth until today. As a teen, I used to stay up late at night reading Koehler’s “A Summary Of Christian Doctrine.” It was fascinating to me, and I appreciated the fact that Koehler pulled no punches in claiming that Lutherans were right and others were wrong, when it came to the Sacraments.

    I got married in 1985. My bride had been a Methodist, and we decided to look for a Lutheran church to attend, but could not find one in which we felt at home. So we expanded our search to non-Lutheran churches. We happened upon a Presbyterian church (PCA), and joined. This was around 1987. I was attracted to the Presbyterian church because they practiced infant baptism, albeit with a different meaning attached to the sacrament. I had planned to remain a sort of `covert Lutheran,’ maintaining my Lutheran views of the Sacraments, while participating in the life of this PCA church. But what I did not know is that these Presbyterians were just as passionate about their history and doctrine as any group of Lutherans I have known. I attended the new members’ class, and read a booklet called “The Five Points Of Calvinism.” When I reached the section on “Limited Atonement,” I could not believe what I was reading. How could any orthodox Christian group believe such a thing? (And how could I have been oblivious to this concept all these years? I had never heard of this.)

    But the more I read and studied, the more I became convinced that what Reformed people call the “Doctrines of Grace” really do accurately reflect what the Bible teaches regarding salvation. (I still believe this.) Books by R. C. Sproul and others helped me to grow in this understanding, as well as a 1000-page biography of George Whitefield, detailing Whitefield’s relationship with Wesley, and in so doing, illustrating the contrasts between Calvinism and Arminianism.

    (cont.)

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    (cont.)

    Within the last few years, I have had the pleasure of becoming re-aquainted with my LCMS campus pastor from my undergrad years, through the miracle of e-mail. There was an LCMS chapel close to the campus of Ball State University. The pastor there was a great help to me, inviting me to anchor my faith in the trustworthiness of Scripture, and the reality of the existence of God. This renewal of our relationship has caused me to rethink my exit from the Lutheran church. I recently read Bainton’s “Here I Stand” and also Luther’s own “The Bondage Of The Will.” In the historical preface to BOTW, editor Packer writes of Luther’s views on predestination, and that “confessional Lutheranism did not follow Luther in this regard.” Why not, I wondered? I had always been given the impression as a youngster in the Lutheran church that whatever Luther believed, that’s what Lutherans believed. But could it be that Luther himself leaned to what became known later as the Reformed view? Why had I not heard about this? I have since learned that many Reformed scholars appeal with approval to Luther’s BOTW as a classic Reformation-era treatment of the subject of human free will and predestination. But I was ignorant of the work until rather recently. And because I had seen so many citations by Reformed scholars of BOTW as supporting a strict Calvinist view of predestination, I had to satisfy my curiosity and read BOTW for myself. I did find that Luther seemed to be much more Reformed in his thinking about election than I had ever realized.

    So I wanted to know why Lutherans apparently do not share Luther’s views views on predestination recorded in BOTW. So I began to search for resources, and happened upon Dr. Kolb’s very fine book. This book is an exhaustive resource of the views, discussions, and arguments that took place among the first generation of Lutherans after Luther and Melancthon. It will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about early Lutherans’ discussions about predestination and human free will. On that score, I give the book high marks. But alas, it left my question unanswered. I will attempt to flesh out the question:

    If you use the Formula of Concord as your guide to confessional Lutheran belief, you can find passages there which sound very Reformed in regard to election. For instance:

    That finally He will eternally save and glorify in life eternal those whom He has elected, called, and justified. (Election, 22]8.)

    So that sure sounds like the Reformed view of election. If He has called you and justified you, it sounds like you’re also elected, and that He will finally save you. Sounds very Calvinist. See chapter 3 of the Westminster Confession.

    But what the right hand gives, the left hand takes away:

    But when the baptized have acted against their conscience, allowed sin to rule in them, and thus have grieved and lost the Holy Ghost in them, they need not be rebaptized, but must be converted again, as has been sufficiently said before. (FoC, Free Will, 69)

    Hold on, now, FOC. If you need to be converted again, then apparently you have lost your salvation. But how can that happen, in light of 22.8 above? I think the Reformed view of things is more consistent here. Once God saves you, you stay saved, because God is the one who keeps you saved.

    (Cont.)

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    (cont.)

    Within the last few years, I have had the pleasure of becoming re-aquainted with my LCMS campus pastor from my undergrad years, through the miracle of e-mail. There was an LCMS chapel close to the campus of Ball State University. The pastor there was a great help to me, inviting me to anchor my faith in the trustworthiness of Scripture, and the reality of the existence of God. This renewal of our relationship has caused me to rethink my exit from the Lutheran church. I recently read Bainton’s “Here I Stand” and also Luther’s own “The Bondage Of The Will.” In the historical preface to BOTW, editor Packer writes of Luther’s views on predestination, and that “confessional Lutheranism did not follow Luther in this regard.” Why not, I wondered? I had always been given the impression as a youngster in the Lutheran church that whatever Luther believed, that’s what Lutherans believed. But could it be that Luther himself leaned to what became known later as the Reformed view? Why had I not heard about this? I have since learned that many Reformed scholars appeal with approval to Luther’s BOTW as a classic Reformation-era treatment of the subject of human free will and predestination. But I was ignorant of the work until rather recently. And because I had seen so many citations by Reformed scholars of BOTW as supporting a strict Calvinist view of predestination, I had to satisfy my curiosity and read BOTW for myself. I did find that Luther seemed to be much more Reformed in his thinking about election than I had ever realized.

    So I wanted to know why Lutherans apparently do not share Luther’s views views on predestination recorded in BOTW. So I began to search for resources, and happened upon Dr. Kolb’s very fine book. This book is an exhaustive resource of the views, discussions, and arguments that took place among the first generation of Lutherans after Luther and Melancthon. It will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about early Lutherans’ discussions about predestination and human free will. On that score, I give the book high marks. But alas, it left my question unanswered. I will attempt to flesh out the question:

    If you use the Formula of Concord as your guide to confessional Lutheran belief, you can find passages there which sound very Reformed in regard to election. For instance:

    That finally He will eternally save and glorify in life eternal those whom He has elected, called, and justified. (Election, 22]8.)

    So that sure sounds like the Reformed view of election. If He has called you and justified you, it sounds like you’re also elected, and that He will finally save you. Sounds very Calvinist. See chapter 3 of the Westminster Confession.

    But what the right hand gives, the left hand takes away:

    But when the baptized have acted against their conscience, allowed sin to rule in them, and thus have grieved and lost the Holy Ghost in them, they need not be rebaptized, but must be converted again, as has been sufficiently said before. (FoC, Free Will, 69)

    Hold on, now, FOC. If you need to be converted again, then apparently you have lost your salvation. But how can that happen, in light of 22.8 above? I think the Reformed view of things is more consistent here. Once God saves you, you stay saved, because God is the one who keeps you saved.

    (Cont.)

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    (Cont.)

    The reader may recall my original question, “How do Lutherans reconcile the idea of God’s sovereign activity in salvation, as expounded by Luther in his book `The Bondage Of The Will,’ with the idea that a person can lose his salvation?” I have a theory as to why Lutherans do not hold to the Reformed idea of eternal security. (Perhaps readers of this review can critique my theory, or point me to relevant resources.) I was hoping to find a discussion of this theory of mine in Dr. Kolb’s excellent book, but I did not find it there. My theory is that Lutherans were and are so committed to the idea of infant baptismal regeneration that they also must hold to its necessary corollary, that a person can lose his salvation, in spite of their strong teachings on man’s total depravity and God’s sovereign activity in election and conversion. Were it not for Lutherans’ strong attachment to infant baptismal regeneration, their theology might have evolved quite differently.

    It’s not difficult to identify adults who were baptized as infants, who never showed any evidence of regeneration later in life. So that must mean that either baptism is not a means of grace unto salvation, or if it is, such salvation is not necessarily permanent. Lutherans would of course reject the former view, which leaves them only the latter view as an option. This would necessarily mean that there are some people who can be saved, and truly know the grace of God, and enter into a saving relationship with Him, who will not ultimately reside with the Lord in heaven, because they have lost their salvation.

    But the difficulty here for Lutherans, I think, is the idea that a person could lose his salvation (Free Will 69 FOC). All of a sudden, once I’m saved, I am in charge of my own salvation. It was up to God to give it to me, but once I’ve got it, now it’s up to me to keep it. Conversely, in the Reformed view (and also in the Catechism paragraph above), God gives me salvation in spite of my lack of reason or strength to lay hold of it, and once I’ve got it, God keeps me in His kingdom, much as he will when I am in Heaven. God has truly “kept me in the true faith.” It seems to me that when Lutherans pay heed to paragraphs like this one from the Catechism, they are truly giving credit where credit is due, namely, to God, for all aspects of salvation, from regeneration to conversion to glorification in Heaven. Paul agrees in Philippians 1:6: “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

    The force of the argument that says God in His sovereignty chose me for salvation is the same force of the argument which says that God keeps me in His flock, and once I am His, I am His forever. Just as once I get to Heaven, I have no chance of losing salvation, so in this life also, God sees to it that I persevere to the end.

    But while Lutherans are willing to hold the first argument, they have no choice but to reject the second one, because it is obvious to all that if infant baptism is a means by which God imparts salvation, that salvation does not always continue to the end of life. But rather than adopt the idea of the perseverance of the saints, Lutherans would rather hold on to the idea of infant baptismal regeneration, and its unpleasant baggage, the idea that one can lose his salvation.

    For me, once I became convinced of the idea of the perseverance of the saints, I had to give up the idea of infant baptismal regeneration.”

    From From Lutheran to Reformed.

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    (Cont.)

    The reader may recall my original question, “How do Lutherans reconcile the idea of God’s sovereign activity in salvation, as expounded by Luther in his book `The Bondage Of The Will,’ with the idea that a person can lose his salvation?” I have a theory as to why Lutherans do not hold to the Reformed idea of eternal security. (Perhaps readers of this review can critique my theory, or point me to relevant resources.) I was hoping to find a discussion of this theory of mine in Dr. Kolb’s excellent book, but I did not find it there. My theory is that Lutherans were and are so committed to the idea of infant baptismal regeneration that they also must hold to its necessary corollary, that a person can lose his salvation, in spite of their strong teachings on man’s total depravity and God’s sovereign activity in election and conversion. Were it not for Lutherans’ strong attachment to infant baptismal regeneration, their theology might have evolved quite differently.

    It’s not difficult to identify adults who were baptized as infants, who never showed any evidence of regeneration later in life. So that must mean that either baptism is not a means of grace unto salvation, or if it is, such salvation is not necessarily permanent. Lutherans would of course reject the former view, which leaves them only the latter view as an option. This would necessarily mean that there are some people who can be saved, and truly know the grace of God, and enter into a saving relationship with Him, who will not ultimately reside with the Lord in heaven, because they have lost their salvation.

    But the difficulty here for Lutherans, I think, is the idea that a person could lose his salvation (Free Will 69 FOC). All of a sudden, once I’m saved, I am in charge of my own salvation. It was up to God to give it to me, but once I’ve got it, now it’s up to me to keep it. Conversely, in the Reformed view (and also in the Catechism paragraph above), God gives me salvation in spite of my lack of reason or strength to lay hold of it, and once I’ve got it, God keeps me in His kingdom, much as he will when I am in Heaven. God has truly “kept me in the true faith.” It seems to me that when Lutherans pay heed to paragraphs like this one from the Catechism, they are truly giving credit where credit is due, namely, to God, for all aspects of salvation, from regeneration to conversion to glorification in Heaven. Paul agrees in Philippians 1:6: “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

    The force of the argument that says God in His sovereignty chose me for salvation is the same force of the argument which says that God keeps me in His flock, and once I am His, I am His forever. Just as once I get to Heaven, I have no chance of losing salvation, so in this life also, God sees to it that I persevere to the end.

    But while Lutherans are willing to hold the first argument, they have no choice but to reject the second one, because it is obvious to all that if infant baptism is a means by which God imparts salvation, that salvation does not always continue to the end of life. But rather than adopt the idea of the perseverance of the saints, Lutherans would rather hold on to the idea of infant baptismal regeneration, and its unpleasant baggage, the idea that one can lose his salvation.

    For me, once I became convinced of the idea of the perseverance of the saints, I had to give up the idea of infant baptismal regeneration.”

    From From Lutheran to Reformed.

  • Craig

    TuaD 207
    ” Naked and Dead Sign”
    If this is true why do you Reformed baptize and commune? So you participate in a naked and dead covenant? Pick your poison Calvin, naked and dead or ascending to the right hand? The Reformed talk out both sides of their asses. Intellectual hypocrites! Please leave the Lutherans alone….don’t you have a Arminian to pick on?

  • Craig

    TuaD 207
    ” Naked and Dead Sign”
    If this is true why do you Reformed baptize and commune? So you participate in a naked and dead covenant? Pick your poison Calvin, naked and dead or ascending to the right hand? The Reformed talk out both sides of their asses. Intellectual hypocrites! Please leave the Lutherans alone….don’t you have a Arminian to pick on?

  • Craig

    TUaD
    So who cares about any of this since God has elected everything to happen just as planned? Why waste your time with the reprobate? Sorry pal but Calvinism is of the flesh/intellect not of the Spirit. Get over the Bondage of the Will. It’s a book not a confession. Yes the Reformed are more consistent to be sure but they are not biblical. Again Lutherans are BoC confessors not Lutherenists. The Reformed get off on consistency and logical arguments. Then the pride sets in…I’ve seen it so many times. Then all they can talk about is elections. And the dirty little secret is that they are really never sure if they are elect or not. So to heal the pain they go to great lengths to convert Evangelicals, and often ruin the poor bastards in the process. The Lutherans for the most part go to Church broken and well aware of their sin. There is so much love in the confessional Lutheran congregations and an amazing lack of judgmentalism. The pastors and people have the forgiveness of sins dripping from their baptism and they shower each other with this love. I would rather skip church then sit under a Limited Gospel “ministry.”

  • Craig

    TUaD
    So who cares about any of this since God has elected everything to happen just as planned? Why waste your time with the reprobate? Sorry pal but Calvinism is of the flesh/intellect not of the Spirit. Get over the Bondage of the Will. It’s a book not a confession. Yes the Reformed are more consistent to be sure but they are not biblical. Again Lutherans are BoC confessors not Lutherenists. The Reformed get off on consistency and logical arguments. Then the pride sets in…I’ve seen it so many times. Then all they can talk about is elections. And the dirty little secret is that they are really never sure if they are elect or not. So to heal the pain they go to great lengths to convert Evangelicals, and often ruin the poor bastards in the process. The Lutherans for the most part go to Church broken and well aware of their sin. There is so much love in the confessional Lutheran congregations and an amazing lack of judgmentalism. The pastors and people have the forgiveness of sins dripping from their baptism and they shower each other with this love. I would rather skip church then sit under a Limited Gospel “ministry.”

  • Grace

    214 Craig

    YOU WROTE:

    “If this is true why do you Reformed baptize and commune? So you participate in a naked and dead covenant? Pick your poison Calvin, naked and dead or ascending to the right hand? The Reformed talk out both sides of their asses. Intellectual hypocrites! Please leave the Lutherans alone….don’t you have a Arminian to pick on?

    Is this discussion an ‘upset to your usual drivel? – or are you able to handle this in an adult way?

  • Grace

    214 Craig

    YOU WROTE:

    “If this is true why do you Reformed baptize and commune? So you participate in a naked and dead covenant? Pick your poison Calvin, naked and dead or ascending to the right hand? The Reformed talk out both sides of their asses. Intellectual hypocrites! Please leave the Lutherans alone….don’t you have a Arminian to pick on?

    Is this discussion an ‘upset to your usual drivel? – or are you able to handle this in an adult way?

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Truth unites and divides,

    Brigitte is right. And you are wrong.

    Our Lord was not (is not) into empty religious ritual. He would never have COMMANDED us to Baptize, just for kicks.

    “If Baptism is just a symbol, then to hell with it.”

    (Flannery O’Connor – but about Holy Communion)

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Truth unites and divides,

    Brigitte is right. And you are wrong.

    Our Lord was not (is not) into empty religious ritual. He would never have COMMANDED us to Baptize, just for kicks.

    “If Baptism is just a symbol, then to hell with it.”

    (Flannery O’Connor – but about Holy Communion)

  • Grace

    Steve @ 214

    Jesus told us to repent – is that a side line, how does that line up with Scripture?

    Do you baptize as a in ‘insurance, hoping that your children will repent, or is there no repentance, EXCEPT just before they take the LORD’s supper? – waiting for a so called ‘absolution from the pastor, INSTEAD of Christ?

  • Grace

    Steve @ 214

    Jesus told us to repent – is that a side line, how does that line up with Scripture?

    Do you baptize as a in ‘insurance, hoping that your children will repent, or is there no repentance, EXCEPT just before they take the LORD’s supper? – waiting for a so called ‘absolution from the pastor, INSTEAD of Christ?

  • helen

    I don’t know where your friend thinks Lutherans should be, but it looks like a waste of time for them to be here. It’s one thing to have a liberal posting policy but when the trolls have taken over, perhaps it’s time to shut the topic down.
    To get back to the question:
    Real Lutherans are where they have always been. They publish materials on Lutheran doctrine and music, but they don’t do “pop Christianity”. The Preus family, Klemet, Robert, Daniel et alia, are writing. Matt Harrison is writing. Larry White is heard at pro-life meetings. Lutheran Heritage Foundation is translating core Lutheran materials into foreign languages and giving the books away… to non Lutheran missionaries as well as our own. (More “evangelicals” listen to Lutheran speakers overseas than in the US, quite probably.) The Lutheran Hour is still broadcasting around the world. Wallace Schultz is no longer on it, but he may have a wider audience with the Good News magazine, translated into 15-20 languages. James Heiser is reprinting classic Lutheran authors at Repristination Press. There are several other small publishing entities and there is CPH. Some years ago, when I was teaching confirmation (12-14 year olds) a friend gathered representatives of half a dozen denominations in our town to see what we were using for instruction. All of them had some Concordia Publishing House materials! (Where’s your friend, Dr. Veith!?)
    There are countless Lutheran blogs, some of doubtful value, some very good. Lutherans are on YouTube and podcasting which is supposed to be “where it’s at” these days.

    [Lutherans of the more liberal persuasion (sad to say) buy the books
    that make the evangelical {pop} authors famous. ] :(

  • helen

    I don’t know where your friend thinks Lutherans should be, but it looks like a waste of time for them to be here. It’s one thing to have a liberal posting policy but when the trolls have taken over, perhaps it’s time to shut the topic down.
    To get back to the question:
    Real Lutherans are where they have always been. They publish materials on Lutheran doctrine and music, but they don’t do “pop Christianity”. The Preus family, Klemet, Robert, Daniel et alia, are writing. Matt Harrison is writing. Larry White is heard at pro-life meetings. Lutheran Heritage Foundation is translating core Lutheran materials into foreign languages and giving the books away… to non Lutheran missionaries as well as our own. (More “evangelicals” listen to Lutheran speakers overseas than in the US, quite probably.) The Lutheran Hour is still broadcasting around the world. Wallace Schultz is no longer on it, but he may have a wider audience with the Good News magazine, translated into 15-20 languages. James Heiser is reprinting classic Lutheran authors at Repristination Press. There are several other small publishing entities and there is CPH. Some years ago, when I was teaching confirmation (12-14 year olds) a friend gathered representatives of half a dozen denominations in our town to see what we were using for instruction. All of them had some Concordia Publishing House materials! (Where’s your friend, Dr. Veith!?)
    There are countless Lutheran blogs, some of doubtful value, some very good. Lutherans are on YouTube and podcasting which is supposed to be “where it’s at” these days.

    [Lutherans of the more liberal persuasion (sad to say) buy the books
    that make the evangelical {pop} authors famous. ] :(

  • Steve in Toronto

    Reading the comments on this post has been incredibly depressing. At the root of my sadness is the firm conviction that the larger Evenjilical world desperately needs to hear the core message of the Lutheran faith that we are save solely by the blood of Christ (the Reformed get this too but their relentless focus on election sometimes obscures it). However it is becoming painfully obvious that the conservative Lutherans may not be up to the job. Please prove me wrong don’t retreat behind you confessional walls. Engage in the debate. When I here you preach about Justification I cheer but I scratch my head when you talk about baptism and the lords supper. This is not a reason to disengage from the discussion it; it is a reason to redouble your efforts. After all I am an Anglican (even if I do have Reformed Baptist roots) I am not apposed to sacramental theology in principal I just don’t understand why you use it to exclude yourself from fellowship with other Christians. It’s as if you think we are all so thick that you have given up even trying to change our minds or (perhaps even more unsettling) you are afraid that you that if you engage in a rigours debate you might be temped (like the great first generation Lutheran reformer Philip Melanchthon) to lose a few of your more “idiosyncratic” Lutheran distinctives. Perhaps the career and/or spiritual trajectories of the intellectual giants of the last generation of the LCMS Jaroslav Pelikan and Richard John Neuhaus (not to mention 45 of the 50 members of the 1974 faculty of Concordia Seminary St. Lewis) have frightened you. I don’t really know. all I can say for sure is that we need you don’t let us down.

  • Steve in Toronto

    Reading the comments on this post has been incredibly depressing. At the root of my sadness is the firm conviction that the larger Evenjilical world desperately needs to hear the core message of the Lutheran faith that we are save solely by the blood of Christ (the Reformed get this too but their relentless focus on election sometimes obscures it). However it is becoming painfully obvious that the conservative Lutherans may not be up to the job. Please prove me wrong don’t retreat behind you confessional walls. Engage in the debate. When I here you preach about Justification I cheer but I scratch my head when you talk about baptism and the lords supper. This is not a reason to disengage from the discussion it; it is a reason to redouble your efforts. After all I am an Anglican (even if I do have Reformed Baptist roots) I am not apposed to sacramental theology in principal I just don’t understand why you use it to exclude yourself from fellowship with other Christians. It’s as if you think we are all so thick that you have given up even trying to change our minds or (perhaps even more unsettling) you are afraid that you that if you engage in a rigours debate you might be temped (like the great first generation Lutheran reformer Philip Melanchthon) to lose a few of your more “idiosyncratic” Lutheran distinctives. Perhaps the career and/or spiritual trajectories of the intellectual giants of the last generation of the LCMS Jaroslav Pelikan and Richard John Neuhaus (not to mention 45 of the 50 members of the 1974 faculty of Concordia Seminary St. Lewis) have frightened you. I don’t really know. all I can say for sure is that we need you don’t let us down.

  • larry

    See this is where the amalgamation of Reformed and Baptist is really a stunning contradiction when they get ‘together for the gospel’ in our modern day, a thing Calvin would have NEVER done himself but his namesake for some odd reason do. One has to suspend the understandable broad category Lutherans use the term “reformed” for a minute, because Baptist, to their chagrin, are never really “Reformed” but still the gross enthusiasts that the Reformed, especially Calvin, rejected. And as theologian and Reformed scholar Muller has well demonstrated that one cannot just hold to the TULIP and BE reformed as Baptist pretend to do. The WCF is not the LBCF and the Heidelberg Confession of faith is not the Baptist Faith and Message.

    Thus, heterodoxy always, eventually shows itself as the “buffet religion” that it is when in great irony many like Grace, a baptist, quote the Geneva Study Bible (i.e. Calvin) to support their case when in that that very verse, Geneva vehemently condemns her.

    Calvin, Geneva, comments in particular on this passage in Acts Chapter 2 in his commentaries, “This place, therefore, doth abundantly refute the manifest error of the Anabaptists, which will not have infants, which are the children of the faithful, to be baptized, as if they were not members of the Church. They espy a starting hole in the allegorical sense, [130] and they expound it thus, that by children are meant those which are spiritually begotten. But this gross impudency doth nothing help them. It is plain and evident that Peter spoke thus because God did adopt one nation peculiarly. And circumcision did declare that the right of adoption was common even unto infants. Therefore, even as God made his covenant with Isaac, being as yet unborn, because he was the seed of Abraham, so Peter teacheth, that all the children of the Jews are contained in the same covenant, because this promise is always in force, I will be the God of your seed.”

    However, if your “confession of faith” is nothing more than a buffet of “I’ll have a little of Calvin here when it suites me, a little of Spurgeon there, and oh, oh let me try a little Luther…not too much because it gives me heart burn”, then one’s faith is little more than malleable play doe in which one toys with the Word of God at one’s will (blaspheme and idolatry all rolled up into one).

  • larry

    See this is where the amalgamation of Reformed and Baptist is really a stunning contradiction when they get ‘together for the gospel’ in our modern day, a thing Calvin would have NEVER done himself but his namesake for some odd reason do. One has to suspend the understandable broad category Lutherans use the term “reformed” for a minute, because Baptist, to their chagrin, are never really “Reformed” but still the gross enthusiasts that the Reformed, especially Calvin, rejected. And as theologian and Reformed scholar Muller has well demonstrated that one cannot just hold to the TULIP and BE reformed as Baptist pretend to do. The WCF is not the LBCF and the Heidelberg Confession of faith is not the Baptist Faith and Message.

    Thus, heterodoxy always, eventually shows itself as the “buffet religion” that it is when in great irony many like Grace, a baptist, quote the Geneva Study Bible (i.e. Calvin) to support their case when in that that very verse, Geneva vehemently condemns her.

    Calvin, Geneva, comments in particular on this passage in Acts Chapter 2 in his commentaries, “This place, therefore, doth abundantly refute the manifest error of the Anabaptists, which will not have infants, which are the children of the faithful, to be baptized, as if they were not members of the Church. They espy a starting hole in the allegorical sense, [130] and they expound it thus, that by children are meant those which are spiritually begotten. But this gross impudency doth nothing help them. It is plain and evident that Peter spoke thus because God did adopt one nation peculiarly. And circumcision did declare that the right of adoption was common even unto infants. Therefore, even as God made his covenant with Isaac, being as yet unborn, because he was the seed of Abraham, so Peter teacheth, that all the children of the Jews are contained in the same covenant, because this promise is always in force, I will be the God of your seed.”

    However, if your “confession of faith” is nothing more than a buffet of “I’ll have a little of Calvin here when it suites me, a little of Spurgeon there, and oh, oh let me try a little Luther…not too much because it gives me heart burn”, then one’s faith is little more than malleable play doe in which one toys with the Word of God at one’s will (blaspheme and idolatry all rolled up into one).

  • larry

    Craig,

    “He acts like his passion and conviction are a means of grace.”

    You captured it perfectly and I say that having been an ex-piperite. I like that phrase I may borrow in the future, its perfect and captures perfectly his effect.

  • larry

    Craig,

    “He acts like his passion and conviction are a means of grace.”

    You captured it perfectly and I say that having been an ex-piperite. I like that phrase I may borrow in the future, its perfect and captures perfectly his effect.

  • SKPeterson

    SiT @217 – I think the thing that lies behind thesis #4 and filters through the other theses, and which TUAD and Grace miss, is a fundamental difference in anthropology between Lutherans and the modern evangelicals. This has been touched on before and it is telling that I have not seen TUAD or Grace actually answer the questions framed in the anthropological context. This context centers precisely on who is the actor. TUAD cannot get past the ceremony and ritual. Grace thinks that her repentance is of herself. This betrays the difference – Lutherans recognize that we are not the ones who act; God acts, we receive the blessings of those actions. We also recognize that God acts through creaturely means – we are creatures of God, real, physical bodies with souls created in and for this world and for the world (real and physical) to come. In fact, I will argue that TUAD and Grace, by demeaning the real physical use of the means of grace through which the Trinity works, are actually imbibing from the pernicious (and heretical, btw) well of Gnosticism. Their anthropology relies upon themselves and their will to come to God. Essential difference – Lutherans have an emphasis on God and His role and expressly remove the role of man in the process of salvation where God carries us along the way, while TUAD and Grace emphasize the role of man as fully cooperative in his salvation, with God diminished to the role of lighting the way and applauding their work.

    Here’s the credo.

    God exists. He created all things, seen and unseen, even this real,physical world. God is not creation, and creation is not part of God. They are separate.

    Mankind stands in opposition to God. From the womb we are enemies of God and stand condemned under the Law. Even infants are condemned – original sin condemns us all, at all times, and in all places. We are not holy; we cannot change this and we cannot bring ourselves to God. He alone is holy and we are destroyed in His presence.

    God makes himself known and is present with us in Christ and the Holy Spirit. These are the mediating persons of the Trinity. Christ’s work and blood cover us and the Holy Spirit convicts us and points us to Christ who is the way to the Father. Only through Christ may we enter the presence of the Father. We cannot open the way ourselves – we cannot repent in and of ourselves, we cannot in any way save ourselves. Christ is salvation and the only salvation given entirely by the grace of God for a fallen humanity (even infants).

    Baptism and the Eucharist are the physical means by which this saving promise of God is united to the creature – through physical, created means: water, wine, bread. These remain water, wine and bread, but, by the power and promise of God, these are made the means by which we are able to commune with God and enter into His presence physically and spiritually, across the boundaries of time and space, united with all believers unto the Resurrection into eternity.

    Our faith is in these promises, not in the water, not in the bread, not in the wine, not in the ceremony, not in the ritual. Our faith is in the promise given in, with and under the water, the bread and the wine. The real promises of God are given to his Creation through simple elements of His creation. This is most certainly true. Amen.

  • SKPeterson

    SiT @217 – I think the thing that lies behind thesis #4 and filters through the other theses, and which TUAD and Grace miss, is a fundamental difference in anthropology between Lutherans and the modern evangelicals. This has been touched on before and it is telling that I have not seen TUAD or Grace actually answer the questions framed in the anthropological context. This context centers precisely on who is the actor. TUAD cannot get past the ceremony and ritual. Grace thinks that her repentance is of herself. This betrays the difference – Lutherans recognize that we are not the ones who act; God acts, we receive the blessings of those actions. We also recognize that God acts through creaturely means – we are creatures of God, real, physical bodies with souls created in and for this world and for the world (real and physical) to come. In fact, I will argue that TUAD and Grace, by demeaning the real physical use of the means of grace through which the Trinity works, are actually imbibing from the pernicious (and heretical, btw) well of Gnosticism. Their anthropology relies upon themselves and their will to come to God. Essential difference – Lutherans have an emphasis on God and His role and expressly remove the role of man in the process of salvation where God carries us along the way, while TUAD and Grace emphasize the role of man as fully cooperative in his salvation, with God diminished to the role of lighting the way and applauding their work.

    Here’s the credo.

    God exists. He created all things, seen and unseen, even this real,physical world. God is not creation, and creation is not part of God. They are separate.

    Mankind stands in opposition to God. From the womb we are enemies of God and stand condemned under the Law. Even infants are condemned – original sin condemns us all, at all times, and in all places. We are not holy; we cannot change this and we cannot bring ourselves to God. He alone is holy and we are destroyed in His presence.

    God makes himself known and is present with us in Christ and the Holy Spirit. These are the mediating persons of the Trinity. Christ’s work and blood cover us and the Holy Spirit convicts us and points us to Christ who is the way to the Father. Only through Christ may we enter the presence of the Father. We cannot open the way ourselves – we cannot repent in and of ourselves, we cannot in any way save ourselves. Christ is salvation and the only salvation given entirely by the grace of God for a fallen humanity (even infants).

    Baptism and the Eucharist are the physical means by which this saving promise of God is united to the creature – through physical, created means: water, wine, bread. These remain water, wine and bread, but, by the power and promise of God, these are made the means by which we are able to commune with God and enter into His presence physically and spiritually, across the boundaries of time and space, united with all believers unto the Resurrection into eternity.

    Our faith is in these promises, not in the water, not in the bread, not in the wine, not in the ceremony, not in the ritual. Our faith is in the promise given in, with and under the water, the bread and the wine. The real promises of God are given to his Creation through simple elements of His creation. This is most certainly true. Amen.

  • larry

    A couple of years ago some atheist over in England were making a big fuss about needing to be unbaptized having been baptized as infants, they seeing an objective reality in baptism that ironically baptist don’t. When I was an atheist I too would not BE baptized because I saw that it WAS real apart from “faith”, i.e. I denied it because it WAS. People generally don’t run from things that are not real.

    However, they should simply become baptist, that way they could say they never were really baptized being unbelievers and not elect and hence their first baptism was just water rite using the name of God in vain by them and the pastor according to the baptist doctrine.

    As Luther said paralleling Paul in Romans regarding the sacraments that some people reject the Gospel only verifies its reality, and that others believe it verifies its power. The same with baptism. Or as Paul put it regarding the OT and covenant sign (paraphrase), “So what that some reject it, all men be liars, yet God is true.” Same with baptism. As Luther well makes the point concerning the human population of hell that hell, after all, is for those that reject the salvation of Christ for them for real and not “in theory”.

    That men throw off and reject the sacraments rather PROVES that they are Gospel, because men only reject the Gospel and grace of God. So, yes, there are baptized in hell just like Judas is in hell but this does not make God a liar who washes with His holy name and forgives your sins IN baptism (Acts 2, Peter). Thus, the argument that men baptized, or women, are in hell only strengthens, “Yes but none the less I am baptized” and thereby know for certain I am elect because Christ is THE elected and where He is there I am also (Word and Sacraments, where the name of God is IS salvation, Psalm 57, and where the very and true flesh and blood of the Son of God IS IS salvation, there I am too and no where else).

    In fact for faith, the more men reject baptism, the more faith says, “OH YES it is so very real!!!”, because they reject the Cross, the Gospel and thus = baptism. Let the enthused have their religion and I cannot wait to but confess this before the thrown of Christ!

  • larry

    A couple of years ago some atheist over in England were making a big fuss about needing to be unbaptized having been baptized as infants, they seeing an objective reality in baptism that ironically baptist don’t. When I was an atheist I too would not BE baptized because I saw that it WAS real apart from “faith”, i.e. I denied it because it WAS. People generally don’t run from things that are not real.

    However, they should simply become baptist, that way they could say they never were really baptized being unbelievers and not elect and hence their first baptism was just water rite using the name of God in vain by them and the pastor according to the baptist doctrine.

    As Luther said paralleling Paul in Romans regarding the sacraments that some people reject the Gospel only verifies its reality, and that others believe it verifies its power. The same with baptism. Or as Paul put it regarding the OT and covenant sign (paraphrase), “So what that some reject it, all men be liars, yet God is true.” Same with baptism. As Luther well makes the point concerning the human population of hell that hell, after all, is for those that reject the salvation of Christ for them for real and not “in theory”.

    That men throw off and reject the sacraments rather PROVES that they are Gospel, because men only reject the Gospel and grace of God. So, yes, there are baptized in hell just like Judas is in hell but this does not make God a liar who washes with His holy name and forgives your sins IN baptism (Acts 2, Peter). Thus, the argument that men baptized, or women, are in hell only strengthens, “Yes but none the less I am baptized” and thereby know for certain I am elect because Christ is THE elected and where He is there I am also (Word and Sacraments, where the name of God is IS salvation, Psalm 57, and where the very and true flesh and blood of the Son of God IS IS salvation, there I am too and no where else).

    In fact for faith, the more men reject baptism, the more faith says, “OH YES it is so very real!!!”, because they reject the Cross, the Gospel and thus = baptism. Let the enthused have their religion and I cannot wait to but confess this before the thrown of Christ!

  • Steve in Toronto

    Thanks SKPeterson well said.

  • Steve in Toronto

    Thanks SKPeterson well said.

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    The following are unmet challenges:

    o “It’s not difficult to identify adults who were baptized as infants, who never showed any evidence of regeneration later in life. So that must mean that either baptism is not a means of grace unto salvation, or if it is, such salvation is not necessarily permanent.”

    o “But the difficulty here for Lutherans, I think, is the idea that a person could lose his salvation (Free Will 69 FOC). All of a sudden, once I’m saved, I am in charge of my own salvation.”

    o “because it is obvious to all that if infant baptism is a means by which God imparts salvation, that salvation does not always continue to the end of life. But rather than adopt the idea of the perseverance of the saints, Lutherans would rather hold on to the idea of infant baptismal regeneration, and its unpleasant baggage, the idea that one can lose his salvation.

    Lutherans presumably reject “Once Baptized, Always Saved.”

    Or do Lutherans teach “Once Baptized, Always Saved”?

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    The following are unmet challenges:

    o “It’s not difficult to identify adults who were baptized as infants, who never showed any evidence of regeneration later in life. So that must mean that either baptism is not a means of grace unto salvation, or if it is, such salvation is not necessarily permanent.”

    o “But the difficulty here for Lutherans, I think, is the idea that a person could lose his salvation (Free Will 69 FOC). All of a sudden, once I’m saved, I am in charge of my own salvation.”

    o “because it is obvious to all that if infant baptism is a means by which God imparts salvation, that salvation does not always continue to the end of life. But rather than adopt the idea of the perseverance of the saints, Lutherans would rather hold on to the idea of infant baptismal regeneration, and its unpleasant baggage, the idea that one can lose his salvation.

    Lutherans presumably reject “Once Baptized, Always Saved.”

    Or do Lutherans teach “Once Baptized, Always Saved”?

  • larry

    I suppose the real question for the Baptist especially (and by extension Calvinist), honestly, is this; “What is it you actually reject in baptism saving a person and likewise the Sacrament of the altar?” Is it in fact that you reject the forgiveness of sins? Or is it in fact that these give the forgiveness of sins? Or both?

    Once that is answered then one must ask, “then how do YOU know YOU (in particular and not Joe Blow over there) are forgiven YOUR sins (salvation/Gospel)?” Because YOU say that YOU are a Christian and if YOU are not forgiven YOUR sins, then YOU are not a Christian by definition.

    It’s really that simple.

  • larry

    I suppose the real question for the Baptist especially (and by extension Calvinist), honestly, is this; “What is it you actually reject in baptism saving a person and likewise the Sacrament of the altar?” Is it in fact that you reject the forgiveness of sins? Or is it in fact that these give the forgiveness of sins? Or both?

    Once that is answered then one must ask, “then how do YOU know YOU (in particular and not Joe Blow over there) are forgiven YOUR sins (salvation/Gospel)?” Because YOU say that YOU are a Christian and if YOU are not forgiven YOUR sins, then YOU are not a Christian by definition.

    It’s really that simple.

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Grace, #216: “Is this discussion an ‘upset to your usual drivel? – or are you able to handle this in an adult way?”

    Grace asks a reasonable question.

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Grace, #216: “Is this discussion an ‘upset to your usual drivel? – or are you able to handle this in an adult way?”

    Grace asks a reasonable question.

  • larry

    The reason one cannot see the Gospel is a lack of 200 proof Law, a killing Law is not heard for some reason. A person has put up some pseudo “firewall” that keeps the killing Law from penetrating (so they think). It’s a fantasy and delusion but nonetheless it works and thus keeps them from the grace of God. Self deception works that way, it deceives self 100%.

    Lutherans preach Law and Gospel, and normal heavy Law preaching works well with more or less Arminian structures because they understand they can fall away, i.e. they can in the present real time for themselves BE unbelievers and sinners, and thus have a true fear of God. So, normal killing Law can be somewhat more simple with them due to that “ever present state of being”, an Arminian can at LEAST see themselves in the ever present as REAL sinners and not just PRETEND sinners. Thus, an appeal of killing Law to the thoughts and conscience works, it slays and kills, and true Gospel can be seen and needed as they hunger and thirst for righteousness.

    For a Calvinist there are one of two types at any given moment. Those thinking they are pulling it off and certain of their election and those wonder, “I MUST be reprobate and fooling myself”. Keep in mind one, like with the Arminian, must consider ‘what is the ever present state of being of the conscience due to X doctrine’. To the despairing Calvinist, the Luther with 200 proof Gospel is desired for they too “hunger and thirst for righteousness” and so the living water of Christ and His baptism is truly LIVING water!

    However, to the “I’m elect and know I’m elect and in Calvinist”, keep in mind the ever present state of being due to the doctrine, has inoculated him/herself (with the doctrine) against any 200 proof Law so that the Law as THE LAW cannot penetrate. Why? Well, if I’m elect and I’ve somehow assessed this via the production of my fruits and am thus certain of it, I’ve crossed that line that I cannot recross nor fall away from. Thus, in my deluded state of being I can never commit a mortal sin that departs me from the grace of God (mortal sin in the since Luther uses it and not Rome), i.e. I’ve lost the fear of God because I can no longer view my sins as mortal but only venial whereas Luther points out (turning this against Rome) that the only venial sins there are are those considered to be mortal, for REAL not PRETEND .

    Thus, for this later group, the elect who cannot fall away in their ever present state of being established upon the fruits of the faith or even faith itself, 200 proof Law must go to more hammering of God to break this rock into pieces. Something like Jeremiah 17:9, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” might do. For in this passage the conscience must wrestle with the fact that the Word of God says your heart is so utterly deceitful that you could be fooling yourself that you are in fact elect and cannot fall away and your utterly self deluded according to this Word of God. And then hopefully the severity of that Law will erode the façade put up as barrier to both true Law and true Gospel.

  • larry

    The reason one cannot see the Gospel is a lack of 200 proof Law, a killing Law is not heard for some reason. A person has put up some pseudo “firewall” that keeps the killing Law from penetrating (so they think). It’s a fantasy and delusion but nonetheless it works and thus keeps them from the grace of God. Self deception works that way, it deceives self 100%.

    Lutherans preach Law and Gospel, and normal heavy Law preaching works well with more or less Arminian structures because they understand they can fall away, i.e. they can in the present real time for themselves BE unbelievers and sinners, and thus have a true fear of God. So, normal killing Law can be somewhat more simple with them due to that “ever present state of being”, an Arminian can at LEAST see themselves in the ever present as REAL sinners and not just PRETEND sinners. Thus, an appeal of killing Law to the thoughts and conscience works, it slays and kills, and true Gospel can be seen and needed as they hunger and thirst for righteousness.

    For a Calvinist there are one of two types at any given moment. Those thinking they are pulling it off and certain of their election and those wonder, “I MUST be reprobate and fooling myself”. Keep in mind one, like with the Arminian, must consider ‘what is the ever present state of being of the conscience due to X doctrine’. To the despairing Calvinist, the Luther with 200 proof Gospel is desired for they too “hunger and thirst for righteousness” and so the living water of Christ and His baptism is truly LIVING water!

    However, to the “I’m elect and know I’m elect and in Calvinist”, keep in mind the ever present state of being due to the doctrine, has inoculated him/herself (with the doctrine) against any 200 proof Law so that the Law as THE LAW cannot penetrate. Why? Well, if I’m elect and I’ve somehow assessed this via the production of my fruits and am thus certain of it, I’ve crossed that line that I cannot recross nor fall away from. Thus, in my deluded state of being I can never commit a mortal sin that departs me from the grace of God (mortal sin in the since Luther uses it and not Rome), i.e. I’ve lost the fear of God because I can no longer view my sins as mortal but only venial whereas Luther points out (turning this against Rome) that the only venial sins there are are those considered to be mortal, for REAL not PRETEND .

    Thus, for this later group, the elect who cannot fall away in their ever present state of being established upon the fruits of the faith or even faith itself, 200 proof Law must go to more hammering of God to break this rock into pieces. Something like Jeremiah 17:9, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” might do. For in this passage the conscience must wrestle with the fact that the Word of God says your heart is so utterly deceitful that you could be fooling yourself that you are in fact elect and cannot fall away and your utterly self deluded according to this Word of God. And then hopefully the severity of that Law will erode the façade put up as barrier to both true Law and true Gospel.

  • Fernando

    This is what I posted at the other site. It was phrased rather provocatively, which is pretty normal for me…

    This is an interesting question. I grew up in the Reformed tradition, in churches that were basically evangelical, and became a Lutheran almost by accident (or Providence, perhaps). I had to leave a church that had become too liberal to tolerate me, and the local LCMS church was a natural one to try. To my surprise, I discovered that this was home. On the sacraments, the liturgy, the preaching… much that I had pushed for in my early years turned out to be already there waiting for me.

    So why the lack of visibility, of presence? I think part of the answer is a sort of bunker mentality, yes. Lutherans have seen their churches torn apart and drifting away from their distinctive tradition, pulled in one direction by liberal theology and in the other by evangelical forms of worship. The ELCA is almost indistinguishable from mainline liberal churches these days, and all too many LCMS churches are going for “contemporary worship” that turns out to be “imitate the evangelicals” and giving up on things like closed communion. All this makes Lutherans (myself included, alas) leery of evangelicalism. In many ways I feel closer to the Catholic church than to the local megachurch.

    Of course, it is certainly true that evangelicalism isn’t quite the big tent it wants to be. Way back when I was still reading “Modern Reformation”, I read a blistering letter to the editor complaining that an author had stated that Christ died for all people. That, the letter writer said, was not acceptable reformed theology. The author of the article mildly pointed out that as a Lutheran he felt no need to be Reformed, but the message was clear.

    On the other hand, there is much fault on the Lutheran side as well. Much orthodox Lutheran theology these days is, well, BORING. Repeating old slogans and formulations does not make for lively expression, and the theological climate in the LCMS does not encourage creativity. As a layman interested in theology, I don’t have to read anything in particular; if it’s not engagingly written or well and newly thought out, then I’ll just stop reading. I find that I do this a lot with stuff coming out of Concordia Publishing House (sorry, Paul McCain…). Carl Henry long ago wrote that theology that is merely creative is usually heretical while theology that is merely repetitive is usually of no value. In general, we haven’t done well with that.

    I’d love to see a more dynamic Lutheran presence in the blogosphere and in the cultural world in general. We have much to contribute.

  • Fernando

    This is what I posted at the other site. It was phrased rather provocatively, which is pretty normal for me…

    This is an interesting question. I grew up in the Reformed tradition, in churches that were basically evangelical, and became a Lutheran almost by accident (or Providence, perhaps). I had to leave a church that had become too liberal to tolerate me, and the local LCMS church was a natural one to try. To my surprise, I discovered that this was home. On the sacraments, the liturgy, the preaching… much that I had pushed for in my early years turned out to be already there waiting for me.

    So why the lack of visibility, of presence? I think part of the answer is a sort of bunker mentality, yes. Lutherans have seen their churches torn apart and drifting away from their distinctive tradition, pulled in one direction by liberal theology and in the other by evangelical forms of worship. The ELCA is almost indistinguishable from mainline liberal churches these days, and all too many LCMS churches are going for “contemporary worship” that turns out to be “imitate the evangelicals” and giving up on things like closed communion. All this makes Lutherans (myself included, alas) leery of evangelicalism. In many ways I feel closer to the Catholic church than to the local megachurch.

    Of course, it is certainly true that evangelicalism isn’t quite the big tent it wants to be. Way back when I was still reading “Modern Reformation”, I read a blistering letter to the editor complaining that an author had stated that Christ died for all people. That, the letter writer said, was not acceptable reformed theology. The author of the article mildly pointed out that as a Lutheran he felt no need to be Reformed, but the message was clear.

    On the other hand, there is much fault on the Lutheran side as well. Much orthodox Lutheran theology these days is, well, BORING. Repeating old slogans and formulations does not make for lively expression, and the theological climate in the LCMS does not encourage creativity. As a layman interested in theology, I don’t have to read anything in particular; if it’s not engagingly written or well and newly thought out, then I’ll just stop reading. I find that I do this a lot with stuff coming out of Concordia Publishing House (sorry, Paul McCain…). Carl Henry long ago wrote that theology that is merely creative is usually heretical while theology that is merely repetitive is usually of no value. In general, we haven’t done well with that.

    I’d love to see a more dynamic Lutheran presence in the blogosphere and in the cultural world in general. We have much to contribute.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Grace (#215),

    Jesus gives the Holy Spirit in Baptism, along with the forgiveness of sins.

    When Jesus commands something of us, He gives it to us.

    St. Paul tells us, and rightly so, that the Holy Spirit leads us to repentance.

    And faith is also a gift. So, all that is required is given. “Faith comes by hearing.” So, when faith does come, then Baptism is complete.

    But, ALL of this is God’s work. ALL of it.

    Thanks, Grace.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Grace (#215),

    Jesus gives the Holy Spirit in Baptism, along with the forgiveness of sins.

    When Jesus commands something of us, He gives it to us.

    St. Paul tells us, and rightly so, that the Holy Spirit leads us to repentance.

    And faith is also a gift. So, all that is required is given. “Faith comes by hearing.” So, when faith does come, then Baptism is complete.

    But, ALL of this is God’s work. ALL of it.

    Thanks, Grace.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    This is an excellent piece on just what God does in Baptism:

    http://theoldadam.wordpress.com/2011/06/03/baptism-gods-decision-for-you/

    Lots of Bible references.

    Enjoy.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    This is an excellent piece on just what God does in Baptism:

    http://theoldadam.wordpress.com/2011/06/03/baptism-gods-decision-for-you/

    Lots of Bible references.

    Enjoy.

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

    @Steve in Toronto
    I am more than happy to engage the world of American Evangelicalism with the confessed truth of Lutheran teachings, what I am unwilling to do is feed the trolls. Hence, my completely non-nonsensical posts towards the end where I engaged in a tradition of some discussion boards where people post on trolled threads about everything and anything other than what the troll was driveling on about. TUaD is a troll no ifs, ands, or buts about it. Not a very good one albeit, I have seen much better. And I have found it pointless to approach Grace, because they are content to play with their strawmen rather than actually engage the arguments presented. So please do not take what happens here as par for the course, at least concerning myself.

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

    @Steve in Toronto
    I am more than happy to engage the world of American Evangelicalism with the confessed truth of Lutheran teachings, what I am unwilling to do is feed the trolls. Hence, my completely non-nonsensical posts towards the end where I engaged in a tradition of some discussion boards where people post on trolled threads about everything and anything other than what the troll was driveling on about. TUaD is a troll no ifs, ands, or buts about it. Not a very good one albeit, I have seen much better. And I have found it pointless to approach Grace, because they are content to play with their strawmen rather than actually engage the arguments presented. So please do not take what happens here as par for the course, at least concerning myself.

  • Frank Matheis

    Maybe because to Lutherans the term evangelical still means “good news.”
    It does not mean right wing.
    It does not mean that pastors should build their own empires and live like CEOs of corporations.
    It does not mean that our sole effort shall be on hate and condemnation, but rather on mercy, love and grace.
    It does not mean that we shall equate Christianity with Republicanism.

  • Frank Matheis

    Maybe because to Lutherans the term evangelical still means “good news.”
    It does not mean right wing.
    It does not mean that pastors should build their own empires and live like CEOs of corporations.
    It does not mean that our sole effort shall be on hate and condemnation, but rather on mercy, love and grace.
    It does not mean that we shall equate Christianity with Republicanism.

  • Cincinnatus

    Ok, since this thread has officially jumped the shark, I feel safe in posting this link:

    http://files.redux.com/images/ccd64dce0cd555719d85f69b9424d6c4/raw

    It DOES contain vulgar language, so avoid if you find that sort of thing inappropriate. But it does so perfectly describe Grace and TUaD.

  • Cincinnatus

    Ok, since this thread has officially jumped the shark, I feel safe in posting this link:

    http://files.redux.com/images/ccd64dce0cd555719d85f69b9424d6c4/raw

    It DOES contain vulgar language, so avoid if you find that sort of thing inappropriate. But it does so perfectly describe Grace and TUaD.

  • Steve in Toronto

    Re: Dr. Luther in 21st Century
    I have crossed swords with truth before and know what you’re talking about. Your posts are certainly civil but don’t think you are correctly identifying the problem. If evangelicals were realy as obsessed with “me centered” theology as you suggest we why are we now be experiencing such a revival of interest in reformed theology? Why is it that I am tripping over piles of John Piper books when ever I enter a Lifeway store? I see lots of Arch books so someone is looking at the Concordia catalog. My impression is that the overwhelming percentage of material produce by Lutheran pastors and scholars is written for Lutherans not the wider evangelical community. Contrast this with the work of Anglicans like John Stott, J.I Packer , C.S. Lewis and Tom Wright.

  • Steve in Toronto

    Re: Dr. Luther in 21st Century
    I have crossed swords with truth before and know what you’re talking about. Your posts are certainly civil but don’t think you are correctly identifying the problem. If evangelicals were realy as obsessed with “me centered” theology as you suggest we why are we now be experiencing such a revival of interest in reformed theology? Why is it that I am tripping over piles of John Piper books when ever I enter a Lifeway store? I see lots of Arch books so someone is looking at the Concordia catalog. My impression is that the overwhelming percentage of material produce by Lutheran pastors and scholars is written for Lutherans not the wider evangelical community. Contrast this with the work of Anglicans like John Stott, J.I Packer , C.S. Lewis and Tom Wright.

  • Craig

    larry 219
    It’s yours!

    Have you noticed that if you don’t get all worked up with “the Glory of God” the piperites look down on you as a lesser Christian?

  • Craig

    larry 219
    It’s yours!

    Have you noticed that if you don’t get all worked up with “the Glory of God” the piperites look down on you as a lesser Christian?

  • Tom Hering

    “My impression is that the overwhelming percentage of material produce by Lutheran pastors and scholars is written for Lutherans not the wider evangelical community.” – Steve @ 233.

    In the case of pastors, that’s as it should be. Their primary calling is to shepherd the sheep. In the case of scholars, we have a good example of engagement with the wider evangelical community right here – the author of this blog. Other Lutheran scholars who are well-known outside Lutheranism include John Warwick Montgomery and Paul L. Maier. And that’s just LCMS. (Also, all three men are creative in their approach, Fernando @ 227.)

  • Tom Hering

    “My impression is that the overwhelming percentage of material produce by Lutheran pastors and scholars is written for Lutherans not the wider evangelical community.” – Steve @ 233.

    In the case of pastors, that’s as it should be. Their primary calling is to shepherd the sheep. In the case of scholars, we have a good example of engagement with the wider evangelical community right here – the author of this blog. Other Lutheran scholars who are well-known outside Lutheranism include John Warwick Montgomery and Paul L. Maier. And that’s just LCMS. (Also, all three men are creative in their approach, Fernando @ 227.)

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

    In Lutheran eyes, Piper etc., are “me centered” theology, simply because Calvin’s soteriology boiled down to the only way you can think you are part of the elect is whether or not your works reflect one who is part of the elect.

    Our very theology is going to keep us out of Lifeway and Family Life, because the buyers of those stores coming from Armenian and/or Reformed background are going to be very uneasy purchasing books like “Christ Have Mercy” By Matt Harrison or “Spirituality of the Cross” by Gene Veith because they are very unabashedly Lutheran and that means talking about those subjects that the likes of Lewis and Packer avoided for the most part, the Sacraments. We are confessional, we are sacramental and if we are true to ourselves we are going to talk and write about those things and people in American Evangelicalism are going to be uncomfortable with that because for so long they have been wrongly taught that the sacraments are our works. It may come across as material written for Lutherans, but that is because we do not make the mistake of calling Baptism, Confession, and Communion unessential.

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

    In Lutheran eyes, Piper etc., are “me centered” theology, simply because Calvin’s soteriology boiled down to the only way you can think you are part of the elect is whether or not your works reflect one who is part of the elect.

    Our very theology is going to keep us out of Lifeway and Family Life, because the buyers of those stores coming from Armenian and/or Reformed background are going to be very uneasy purchasing books like “Christ Have Mercy” By Matt Harrison or “Spirituality of the Cross” by Gene Veith because they are very unabashedly Lutheran and that means talking about those subjects that the likes of Lewis and Packer avoided for the most part, the Sacraments. We are confessional, we are sacramental and if we are true to ourselves we are going to talk and write about those things and people in American Evangelicalism are going to be uncomfortable with that because for so long they have been wrongly taught that the sacraments are our works. It may come across as material written for Lutherans, but that is because we do not make the mistake of calling Baptism, Confession, and Communion unessential.

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

    Oh, BTW, my experience is that the Arch books found in Lifeway are usually the basic Bible story ones, not the ones that get into the Sacraments and church practice.

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

    Oh, BTW, my experience is that the Arch books found in Lifeway are usually the basic Bible story ones, not the ones that get into the Sacraments and church practice.

  • Tom Hering

    Then there’s Rod Rosenbladt (also LCMS) who’s very obviously well-known in wider evangelical circles, being one of the co-hosts of the White Horse Inn radio program.

  • Tom Hering

    Then there’s Rod Rosenbladt (also LCMS) who’s very obviously well-known in wider evangelical circles, being one of the co-hosts of the White Horse Inn radio program.

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    “What are the benefits of Baptism?”

    “Here the discussion becomes very serious. To claim that baptism (or circumcision, or church membership, or confirmation, or helping little old ladies across the street, or any other work) can actually “bring the sinner into union with the Savior, give forgiveness of sins, bring salvation, new birth and new life . . . regenerate . . . create saving faith” is a denial of the gospel of grace. It strikes at the very heart of Christianity itself. Throughout the books of Romans and Galatians especially, Paul goes to every length to show that anyone who teaches that salvation comes by any means but through faith alone by grace alone is a false teacher and is himself excluded from the pale of salvation. In Galatians 1 Paul is very dramatic to make the point: “whether it is I or even an angel from heaven–if anyone should teach you any different, let him be accursed!” (see verses 6-9; no wonder in verse 10 he says he is not writing to please men!). Make no mistake about this–this affects your eternal soul–if you (or I or any man) are resting your salvation on a few drops of water–or an ocean of water, for that matter–you are lost. God has set the terms–by grace alone, through faith alone; to add anything at all is to refuse it. God requires that we trust Jesus Christ and Him only to save. He requires that we come to Him boasting of no works whatever (Ephesians 2:8-9).

    ________, please don’t be offended or take me wrong; I am not being over-dramatic. This is not only error–it is error of the most serious kind. Baptism has never saved anyone and never will. Faith is the appropriating instrument in salvation, not baptism or any work. See Ephesians 2:8-9. Anything else added is what Peter calls “damnable heresy” (II Peter 2:1), for to believe it is to be condemned. This is not a question of what mode or how much water; this is a question of salvation itself. I do hope you do not believe what is in that pamphlet and are not relying on your “baptism” to save you. Anyone who teaches such a thing has turned from the very basic truth of the Christian gospel–grace.”

    Read the rest at Baptism: A Reply to a Lutheran Catechism.

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    “What are the benefits of Baptism?”

    “Here the discussion becomes very serious. To claim that baptism (or circumcision, or church membership, or confirmation, or helping little old ladies across the street, or any other work) can actually “bring the sinner into union with the Savior, give forgiveness of sins, bring salvation, new birth and new life . . . regenerate . . . create saving faith” is a denial of the gospel of grace. It strikes at the very heart of Christianity itself. Throughout the books of Romans and Galatians especially, Paul goes to every length to show that anyone who teaches that salvation comes by any means but through faith alone by grace alone is a false teacher and is himself excluded from the pale of salvation. In Galatians 1 Paul is very dramatic to make the point: “whether it is I or even an angel from heaven–if anyone should teach you any different, let him be accursed!” (see verses 6-9; no wonder in verse 10 he says he is not writing to please men!). Make no mistake about this–this affects your eternal soul–if you (or I or any man) are resting your salvation on a few drops of water–or an ocean of water, for that matter–you are lost. God has set the terms–by grace alone, through faith alone; to add anything at all is to refuse it. God requires that we trust Jesus Christ and Him only to save. He requires that we come to Him boasting of no works whatever (Ephesians 2:8-9).

    ________, please don’t be offended or take me wrong; I am not being over-dramatic. This is not only error–it is error of the most serious kind. Baptism has never saved anyone and never will. Faith is the appropriating instrument in salvation, not baptism or any work. See Ephesians 2:8-9. Anything else added is what Peter calls “damnable heresy” (II Peter 2:1), for to believe it is to be condemned. This is not a question of what mode or how much water; this is a question of salvation itself. I do hope you do not believe what is in that pamphlet and are not relying on your “baptism” to save you. Anyone who teaches such a thing has turned from the very basic truth of the Christian gospel–grace.”

    Read the rest at Baptism: A Reply to a Lutheran Catechism.

  • Tom Hering

    Oh God. Here we go again. Just when the discussion was returning to sanity.

  • Tom Hering

    Oh God. Here we go again. Just when the discussion was returning to sanity.

  • Jonathan

    Could one reason why Lutheranism is off the radar is its insistence on a literal 6-day understanding of creation? Here’s an article from a WELS church.
    http://www.peacesahuarita.com/god-created-all-things-in-six-days/

    I, frankly, don’t want to get into a discussion about Genesis, but if the WELS allows no room for someone who believes in creation but doubts that Genesis describes it occuring in 6 solar days, why bother to visit?

  • Jonathan

    Could one reason why Lutheranism is off the radar is its insistence on a literal 6-day understanding of creation? Here’s an article from a WELS church.
    http://www.peacesahuarita.com/god-created-all-things-in-six-days/

    I, frankly, don’t want to get into a discussion about Genesis, but if the WELS allows no room for someone who believes in creation but doubts that Genesis describes it occuring in 6 solar days, why bother to visit?

  • larry

    Craig,

    Excellent!

    Yea I’ve noticed that too. A few years back John MacArthur was a bit, how shall we say nicely, edgy with Piper in one of his sermons and said (my paraphrase from memory), “…I here a lot over there (at Desiring God Ministries) about ‘desiring God’…what about desiring Jesus”. I don’t agree with JM that often but sometimes he accidently in spite of himself and his theology says something that nails it.

    The entire thrust behind DG ministries (hence its name) and it comes out strong in all of his books, especially future grace, is “You need to get desiring God”. The anfechtung comes when, ‘what if I’m honest and inwardly dare to admit I don’t’. Or as Luther put it, “…have you ever dared to admit that you are angry with God”.

    But you nailed perfectly, their/his de facto means of grace is this emotional thruster he puts behind it. It’s also a reason he becomes “untouchable” when assessing his doctrine, “…you evil doer, can you not see the passion in this man”. But Jesus says (and Paul) assess the doctrine! It’s not a reading of a person’s heart but their expressed doctrine. I fully believe that every human being be they atheist, Buddhist, Islam, Mormon, heterodox or orthodox are all utterly sincere in their hearts. I don’t think a single person, not even a heretic says, “Hey this is deception and you know what, I know it’s false and untrue but I’m gonna preach and deceive ON PURPOSE this I know to be deception”. It doesn’t work like that. That’s why doctrine, Law and Gospel, MUST be objective and alien.

  • larry

    Craig,

    Excellent!

    Yea I’ve noticed that too. A few years back John MacArthur was a bit, how shall we say nicely, edgy with Piper in one of his sermons and said (my paraphrase from memory), “…I here a lot over there (at Desiring God Ministries) about ‘desiring God’…what about desiring Jesus”. I don’t agree with JM that often but sometimes he accidently in spite of himself and his theology says something that nails it.

    The entire thrust behind DG ministries (hence its name) and it comes out strong in all of his books, especially future grace, is “You need to get desiring God”. The anfechtung comes when, ‘what if I’m honest and inwardly dare to admit I don’t’. Or as Luther put it, “…have you ever dared to admit that you are angry with God”.

    But you nailed perfectly, their/his de facto means of grace is this emotional thruster he puts behind it. It’s also a reason he becomes “untouchable” when assessing his doctrine, “…you evil doer, can you not see the passion in this man”. But Jesus says (and Paul) assess the doctrine! It’s not a reading of a person’s heart but their expressed doctrine. I fully believe that every human being be they atheist, Buddhist, Islam, Mormon, heterodox or orthodox are all utterly sincere in their hearts. I don’t think a single person, not even a heretic says, “Hey this is deception and you know what, I know it’s false and untrue but I’m gonna preach and deceive ON PURPOSE this I know to be deception”. It doesn’t work like that. That’s why doctrine, Law and Gospel, MUST be objective and alien.

  • Tom Hering

    Jonathan @ 241, the article you linked to isn’t an official statement of the WELS, but a statement by the pastor (I’m assuming) of a particular WELS church. And even though it reflects what the WELS believes officially, I don’t see where it doesn’t leave room for you to visit or become a member of that particular church (in good conscience).

  • Tom Hering

    Jonathan @ 241, the article you linked to isn’t an official statement of the WELS, but a statement by the pastor (I’m assuming) of a particular WELS church. And even though it reflects what the WELS believes officially, I don’t see where it doesn’t leave room for you to visit or become a member of that particular church (in good conscience).

  • kerner

    Yeah, but I’ve been away for awhile, so I’ll jump into the crazyness.

    Look TUaD, your statements (and those in the source you are quoting) demonstrate a misunderstanding of both Lutheran doctrine but of scripture as well.

    You say that God saves apart from our own works, but even you would admit (at least I’m pretty sure you would) that God uses His people to win souls to Christ. Specifically, even you believe that God uses His people to preach His Word. “Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God” Romans 10:17.”

    Now, God could save people by having angels write His Word in the sky, or by some other means that did not involve His people, but for His reasons, He has chosen to save people by commanding us, His people, the body of Christ, the Church, or whatever name you want to call us by, to go out into the world baptizing and teaching, Matthew 28:19-20.

    So even you have to concede that (with very few exceptions) every person who has been saved in the New Testament has been saved (NOT BY HIS OWN WORKS), but by the means of the work of God’s people. That is, God’s people preach God’s Word, and the Holy Spirit works through the Word to change people’s hearts, which would be otherwise dead in sin.

    You do agree with me on this point, don’t you? I’m not going further if we can’t even agree on this much.

  • kerner

    Yeah, but I’ve been away for awhile, so I’ll jump into the crazyness.

    Look TUaD, your statements (and those in the source you are quoting) demonstrate a misunderstanding of both Lutheran doctrine but of scripture as well.

    You say that God saves apart from our own works, but even you would admit (at least I’m pretty sure you would) that God uses His people to win souls to Christ. Specifically, even you believe that God uses His people to preach His Word. “Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God” Romans 10:17.”

    Now, God could save people by having angels write His Word in the sky, or by some other means that did not involve His people, but for His reasons, He has chosen to save people by commanding us, His people, the body of Christ, the Church, or whatever name you want to call us by, to go out into the world baptizing and teaching, Matthew 28:19-20.

    So even you have to concede that (with very few exceptions) every person who has been saved in the New Testament has been saved (NOT BY HIS OWN WORKS), but by the means of the work of God’s people. That is, God’s people preach God’s Word, and the Holy Spirit works through the Word to change people’s hearts, which would be otherwise dead in sin.

    You do agree with me on this point, don’t you? I’m not going further if we can’t even agree on this much.

  • Steve in Toronto

    Re Tom Hering and Dr. Luther
    I am a big fan of Dr. Veith and Dr. Rosenbladt. I wish there were more men like them (I am much more ambivalent about Dr. Montgomery but this is not the time or place to go in that). I don’t know Paul L. Maier’s work but his Wikipedia entry looks fascinating (I especially like the fact that he is teaching at a none confessional intuition). Calling Dr. Pipper’s theology “me centered” is just nuts and I hope you are being hyperbolic. I am afraid you guys are just reinforcing my initial impression that you are far more interested in building walls then bridges. There are realy big problems with reformed theology that Lutheranism is well placed to address but if you guys don’t speak up the “young, restless and reformed” will burn out just like their spiritual ancestors in New England did 200 years ago and the LCMS and it’s sister confessional denomintions will continue to decline. Regarding Jonathan concerns about 6 day creation I don’t think this is the core of the problem but I do think it’s is a symptom of how dangerously insular the confessional Lutheran world has become.

  • Steve in Toronto

    Re Tom Hering and Dr. Luther
    I am a big fan of Dr. Veith and Dr. Rosenbladt. I wish there were more men like them (I am much more ambivalent about Dr. Montgomery but this is not the time or place to go in that). I don’t know Paul L. Maier’s work but his Wikipedia entry looks fascinating (I especially like the fact that he is teaching at a none confessional intuition). Calling Dr. Pipper’s theology “me centered” is just nuts and I hope you are being hyperbolic. I am afraid you guys are just reinforcing my initial impression that you are far more interested in building walls then bridges. There are realy big problems with reformed theology that Lutheranism is well placed to address but if you guys don’t speak up the “young, restless and reformed” will burn out just like their spiritual ancestors in New England did 200 years ago and the LCMS and it’s sister confessional denomintions will continue to decline. Regarding Jonathan concerns about 6 day creation I don’t think this is the core of the problem but I do think it’s is a symptom of how dangerously insular the confessional Lutheran world has become.

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

    Read the rest at Baptism: A Reply to a Lutheran Catechism.

    Now that thar is funny readin’. Not to mention crap. I don’t think the author ever opened up a Greek Lexicon in his life as BDAG 2nd edition states baptidzo – to wash by means of …

    Oh here I go feedin the trolls, but I could help but share what a comedy of errors the link was.

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

    Read the rest at Baptism: A Reply to a Lutheran Catechism.

    Now that thar is funny readin’. Not to mention crap. I don’t think the author ever opened up a Greek Lexicon in his life as BDAG 2nd edition states baptidzo – to wash by means of …

    Oh here I go feedin the trolls, but I could help but share what a comedy of errors the link was.

  • Jonathan

    Tom, I guess we read it differently.
    The pastor didn’t need to go there, but he does, since it is the WELS’ official view. And I suggest it’d be difficult for this church to accept someone who announces disagreement with a portion of WELS doctrine. Particularly since WELS ties the 6-day account to the right reading of Scripture.

  • Jonathan

    Tom, I guess we read it differently.
    The pastor didn’t need to go there, but he does, since it is the WELS’ official view. And I suggest it’d be difficult for this church to accept someone who announces disagreement with a portion of WELS doctrine. Particularly since WELS ties the 6-day account to the right reading of Scripture.

  • Tom Hering

    Steve @ 245, upholding a six-day creation may be a sign of many things, but it’s not a sign of insularity – not when only four out of ten Americans are firm believers in evolution. :-)

  • Tom Hering

    Steve @ 245, upholding a six-day creation may be a sign of many things, but it’s not a sign of insularity – not when only four out of ten Americans are firm believers in evolution. :-)

  • Craig

    Larry 242
    You’re a brilliant man! Sometimes I feel I am the only one sounding the Piper is a clown alarm. But I shudder when I hear you say J Mac nailed it. Even by accident. That deceiver is so divisive. He calls his show Grace to You. Listen to it and its Law to you. Also listen to this bit on children. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_3F2TnvB07E Listen to 1:18 The children of the Devil? Age of accountability? What a total dick! Didn’t Jesus mention millstones for stumbling little children? This guy’s doctrine is awful! Anyway Piper and Mac are so full of themselves and their doctrine/passion it is sick. I am so glad that my pastors put on a robe (our churches’ robe/clothes) and hide themselves behind an altar or pulpit. It is amazing now less of them ends up becoming more Jesus.

  • Craig

    Larry 242
    You’re a brilliant man! Sometimes I feel I am the only one sounding the Piper is a clown alarm. But I shudder when I hear you say J Mac nailed it. Even by accident. That deceiver is so divisive. He calls his show Grace to You. Listen to it and its Law to you. Also listen to this bit on children. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_3F2TnvB07E Listen to 1:18 The children of the Devil? Age of accountability? What a total dick! Didn’t Jesus mention millstones for stumbling little children? This guy’s doctrine is awful! Anyway Piper and Mac are so full of themselves and their doctrine/passion it is sick. I am so glad that my pastors put on a robe (our churches’ robe/clothes) and hide themselves behind an altar or pulpit. It is amazing now less of them ends up becoming more Jesus.

  • Tom Hering

    Jonathan @ 247, I can understand how it could be read differently, depending on where you’re coming from. But I don’t think it would be “difficult” for that church to accept you. It’s not like they’re asking you to confess a six-day creation before you visit or become a member. Now, if all you’re saying is you just wouldn’t feel comfortable there, given what they believe about Genesis, that’s fine. But I don’t think it’s fair to then conclude they’d also be uncomfortable with you.

  • Tom Hering

    Jonathan @ 247, I can understand how it could be read differently, depending on where you’re coming from. But I don’t think it would be “difficult” for that church to accept you. It’s not like they’re asking you to confess a six-day creation before you visit or become a member. Now, if all you’re saying is you just wouldn’t feel comfortable there, given what they believe about Genesis, that’s fine. But I don’t think it’s fair to then conclude they’d also be uncomfortable with you.

  • James

    Hey, I finally found the way to manage my subscription…no more deletete, delete! I may be interested in jumping in sometime in the future when there is something else to talk about. I am not Lutheran, but I do know a bit about the rules of the road in the blogosphere. I am in no way minimizing the importance of the issues being raised, but I would object that there is a time and a place for everything. I find it hard to believe that Dr. Veith posted this to bring about what has transpired in nearly 250 posts. To those who toll the board in order to smoke an opponent, it’s just bad manners, OK? I know that when someone from outside my immediate fellowship starts swinging in our enclaves, that’s not much appreciated. You think that might be the case here? It’s one thing to disagree and make arguments – that’s what we do in places like this. It’s quite another thing to get out the baseball bat and start whacking.
    Speaking of GEV, just want to re-iterate that the originator of this blog does knock down work. Thank you for that Dr. Veith.

  • James

    Hey, I finally found the way to manage my subscription…no more deletete, delete! I may be interested in jumping in sometime in the future when there is something else to talk about. I am not Lutheran, but I do know a bit about the rules of the road in the blogosphere. I am in no way minimizing the importance of the issues being raised, but I would object that there is a time and a place for everything. I find it hard to believe that Dr. Veith posted this to bring about what has transpired in nearly 250 posts. To those who toll the board in order to smoke an opponent, it’s just bad manners, OK? I know that when someone from outside my immediate fellowship starts swinging in our enclaves, that’s not much appreciated. You think that might be the case here? It’s one thing to disagree and make arguments – that’s what we do in places like this. It’s quite another thing to get out the baseball bat and start whacking.
    Speaking of GEV, just want to re-iterate that the originator of this blog does knock down work. Thank you for that Dr. Veith.

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Do Lutherans teach “Once Baptized, Always Saved”?

    Or do Lutherans reject “Once Baptized, Always Saved”?

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Do Lutherans teach “Once Baptized, Always Saved”?

    Or do Lutherans reject “Once Baptized, Always Saved”?

  • Craig

    Tom 238
    Dr Rosenbladt is a great man. He has personally been so gracious to me in my conversion to Lutheranism. The dirty little White Horse Inn secret is that it is 3 against one on purpose. Rod’s time is very limited and the Calvinists blowhards suck up most of the air time. Rod is a total gentleman and was invited by Horton to be the LCMS voice on the show. But make no mistake this show was intended to discuss American Revivalism. There have some precious moments on the show when Rod has said to the co-hosts “at least my God is not mean.” But make no mistake the WHI is reformed radio. WHI is not an open theological discussion. If it were you would hear Rod hand out a three sided ass whoopin’ on the Sacraments and the Two Natures of Christ! But Horton has seen to it that Reformed soteriology comes through but you never hear Rod say that his is a 1 & 1/2 point Calvinists. So don’t go thinking that the Reformed have given an open mic to the Lutherans. That is simply not true. Rod takes it on the chin from the Reformed and some LCMS synodocrats. God bless Rod and keep him strong for all the BS he faces from within and without. Rod has been God’s instrument to convert more people from Evangelicalism and Calvinism to Lutheranism than and anyone in the last 20 or so years.

  • Craig

    Tom 238
    Dr Rosenbladt is a great man. He has personally been so gracious to me in my conversion to Lutheranism. The dirty little White Horse Inn secret is that it is 3 against one on purpose. Rod’s time is very limited and the Calvinists blowhards suck up most of the air time. Rod is a total gentleman and was invited by Horton to be the LCMS voice on the show. But make no mistake this show was intended to discuss American Revivalism. There have some precious moments on the show when Rod has said to the co-hosts “at least my God is not mean.” But make no mistake the WHI is reformed radio. WHI is not an open theological discussion. If it were you would hear Rod hand out a three sided ass whoopin’ on the Sacraments and the Two Natures of Christ! But Horton has seen to it that Reformed soteriology comes through but you never hear Rod say that his is a 1 & 1/2 point Calvinists. So don’t go thinking that the Reformed have given an open mic to the Lutherans. That is simply not true. Rod takes it on the chin from the Reformed and some LCMS synodocrats. God bless Rod and keep him strong for all the BS he faces from within and without. Rod has been God’s instrument to convert more people from Evangelicalism and Calvinism to Lutheranism than and anyone in the last 20 or so years.

  • Jonathan

    I hear you, Tom, but given the way WELS frames the issue, I suspect the synod would be uncomfortable with someone who denies that Genesis 1 must be read to describe only a 6-solar-day account. But there are WELSmen who read this blog, and perhaps they can correct me.

    But why do Lutherans go there? Even the church fathers speculated that Genesis 1 might be allegorical. The better course, in my view, would be to affirm creation but leave the details up in the air.

  • Jonathan

    I hear you, Tom, but given the way WELS frames the issue, I suspect the synod would be uncomfortable with someone who denies that Genesis 1 must be read to describe only a 6-solar-day account. But there are WELSmen who read this blog, and perhaps they can correct me.

    But why do Lutherans go there? Even the church fathers speculated that Genesis 1 might be allegorical. The better course, in my view, would be to affirm creation but leave the details up in the air.

  • Craig

    Grace 213
    You wrote
    “Is this discussion an ‘upset to your usual drivel? – or are you able to handle this in an adult way?”

    First off how do you know what my usual drivel is? And 2nd why do you care? I care not for what you do with your day. Albee it drivel or not. I am just amazed that you spend time on a Lutheran blog spouting off your non-sense when clearly you are winning over no one. In fact most people think that you’re an annoyance at best. Tell me why are you so interested in setting Lutherans straight? What blog reflects your beliefs? I am open to everyone that I believe and confess the Book of Concord. Where do you fellowship? What is you confession? Don’t give me that I’m a Biblicist crap. That is total arrogance. As if you have the personal interpretation that is right all on your own. Did God give you a personal revelation that you should go and pester the Lutherans? Let’s handle this in an adult way. Pack your bags and go to a new site. I think that you misinterpreted your vision and you were supposed to go after the Reformed.

  • Craig

    Grace 213
    You wrote
    “Is this discussion an ‘upset to your usual drivel? – or are you able to handle this in an adult way?”

    First off how do you know what my usual drivel is? And 2nd why do you care? I care not for what you do with your day. Albee it drivel or not. I am just amazed that you spend time on a Lutheran blog spouting off your non-sense when clearly you are winning over no one. In fact most people think that you’re an annoyance at best. Tell me why are you so interested in setting Lutherans straight? What blog reflects your beliefs? I am open to everyone that I believe and confess the Book of Concord. Where do you fellowship? What is you confession? Don’t give me that I’m a Biblicist crap. That is total arrogance. As if you have the personal interpretation that is right all on your own. Did God give you a personal revelation that you should go and pester the Lutherans? Let’s handle this in an adult way. Pack your bags and go to a new site. I think that you misinterpreted your vision and you were supposed to go after the Reformed.

  • kerner

    TUaD @252:

    I’m getting to that. Slow down. Do you agree with me that God saves souls through the work of His (already saved) people (i.e. God’s people preach His Word, the Holy Spirit operates to convert the unsaved through the preaching of God’s Word by His people) or not?

  • kerner

    TUaD @252:

    I’m getting to that. Slow down. Do you agree with me that God saves souls through the work of His (already saved) people (i.e. God’s people preach His Word, the Holy Spirit operates to convert the unsaved through the preaching of God’s Word by His people) or not?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Why are the non-Lutherans (cf. Steve @245, among others) always threatening us Lutherans that if we don’t do thus-and-so, “the LCMS and it’s sister confessional denomintions will continue to decline”?

    I’m afraid such almost-threats reveal an incorrect emphasis on the part of those leveling them. After all, we Lutherans don’t do what we do in order to stave off decline, but because we believe it faithful to God’s Word. If that results in a decline, so be it.

    Of course, it is this unwillingness to compromise doctrine that other groups find so problematic. But then, I consider their ability to compromise on the truth — towards some apparent non-declining end — to be problematic. Is that the difference in a nutshell?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Why are the non-Lutherans (cf. Steve @245, among others) always threatening us Lutherans that if we don’t do thus-and-so, “the LCMS and it’s sister confessional denomintions will continue to decline”?

    I’m afraid such almost-threats reveal an incorrect emphasis on the part of those leveling them. After all, we Lutherans don’t do what we do in order to stave off decline, but because we believe it faithful to God’s Word. If that results in a decline, so be it.

    Of course, it is this unwillingness to compromise doctrine that other groups find so problematic. But then, I consider their ability to compromise on the truth — towards some apparent non-declining end — to be problematic. Is that the difference in a nutshell?

  • Craig

    TUaD 252
    Get over yourself and your stupid questions. You indicated that you grew up Lutheran so you should know. Clearly you have been brainwashed with that Calvinistic poison and you now fail to understand how/what Lutherans believe, teach and confess the Scriptures. You now look through those retarded Reformed glasses that have to make everything fit into a perfect logical system. Well pal I have some bad news for you….The Word is heard and believe by faith not systematics. You are never going to receive a satisfactory answer from a Lutheran on your poorly phrased questions. Sorry pal but you have to move on. You are simply not confounding any of us Lutherans. Yawn.

  • Craig

    TUaD 252
    Get over yourself and your stupid questions. You indicated that you grew up Lutheran so you should know. Clearly you have been brainwashed with that Calvinistic poison and you now fail to understand how/what Lutherans believe, teach and confess the Scriptures. You now look through those retarded Reformed glasses that have to make everything fit into a perfect logical system. Well pal I have some bad news for you….The Word is heard and believe by faith not systematics. You are never going to receive a satisfactory answer from a Lutheran on your poorly phrased questions. Sorry pal but you have to move on. You are simply not confounding any of us Lutherans. Yawn.

  • Steve in Toronto

    Re: Tom Hering
    40% of Americans believe Osama Bin Laden is still alive and the Obama was born in Kenya (yes I know I am being hyperbolic). My point is not that 6 day creation is indefensible (almost indefensible but not completely so). But this issue is now almost non negotiable in the LCMS (if I hear David Merton on Issues ECT one more time I think I am going to toss my laptop out the window) contrast this with the lively debate that is taking place in the reformed world where there is still room for an intelligent debate on origins (although the fate of Bruce Waltke and Peter Enns is troubling). I have no idea how anyone manages to teach biology in the Concordia system with out tying themselves in intellectual (and spiritual) knots.

  • Steve in Toronto

    Re: Tom Hering
    40% of Americans believe Osama Bin Laden is still alive and the Obama was born in Kenya (yes I know I am being hyperbolic). My point is not that 6 day creation is indefensible (almost indefensible but not completely so). But this issue is now almost non negotiable in the LCMS (if I hear David Merton on Issues ECT one more time I think I am going to toss my laptop out the window) contrast this with the lively debate that is taking place in the reformed world where there is still room for an intelligent debate on origins (although the fate of Bruce Waltke and Peter Enns is troubling). I have no idea how anyone manages to teach biology in the Concordia system with out tying themselves in intellectual (and spiritual) knots.

  • Tom Hering

    Craig @ 253, my favorite Rosenbladt line from The White Horse Inn, “The Reformed are a living argument for the doctrine of original sin.” Seriously, though, I don’t think his reason for being on the show is to champion Lutheranism in the face of the Reformed. It’s to participate in thoughtful, Reformation-based criticism of contemporary evangelicalism. He and the show are successful in that limited aim.

  • Tom Hering

    Craig @ 253, my favorite Rosenbladt line from The White Horse Inn, “The Reformed are a living argument for the doctrine of original sin.” Seriously, though, I don’t think his reason for being on the show is to champion Lutheranism in the face of the Reformed. It’s to participate in thoughtful, Reformation-based criticism of contemporary evangelicalism. He and the show are successful in that limited aim.

  • Tom Hering

    Steve @ 259, my only point was that upholding a six-day creation is not a form of insularity in American society.

  • Tom Hering

    Steve @ 259, my only point was that upholding a six-day creation is not a form of insularity in American society.

  • Steve in Toronto

    That should be “David Menton” of Answers in Genesis not “David Merton” and be sure to check out this post by Stephen Matheson (a Professor of Biology at Calvin College) http://sfmatheson.blogspot.com/2007/12/on-folks-science-and-lies-feedback-and.html#links if you think Menton deserve the prominent place he is giving in the world of confessional Lutheranism

  • Steve in Toronto

    That should be “David Menton” of Answers in Genesis not “David Merton” and be sure to check out this post by Stephen Matheson (a Professor of Biology at Calvin College) http://sfmatheson.blogspot.com/2007/12/on-folks-science-and-lies-feedback-and.html#links if you think Menton deserve the prominent place he is giving in the world of confessional Lutheranism

  • Tom Hering

    Steve @ 262, you’re still not presenting evidence that upholding a six-day creation separates theologically-conservative Lutherans from the rest of American society, thus contributing to the decline of said Lutheranism.

  • Tom Hering

    Steve @ 262, you’re still not presenting evidence that upholding a six-day creation separates theologically-conservative Lutherans from the rest of American society, thus contributing to the decline of said Lutheranism.

  • Craig

    James 251
    So nice of you as a non-Lutheran and to chide the Lutherans on how to discord on a Lutheran blog. I think that you may be breaking your own rules. Lutherans have all the right to defend the attacks of their beliefs on a Lutheran blog. Get off your soap box and jump in with a question about the topic. There are some amazing thinkers on this site you may get a really good answer. But if you think that you are above everyone you may want to reconsider your position.

  • Craig

    James 251
    So nice of you as a non-Lutheran and to chide the Lutherans on how to discord on a Lutheran blog. I think that you may be breaking your own rules. Lutherans have all the right to defend the attacks of their beliefs on a Lutheran blog. Get off your soap box and jump in with a question about the topic. There are some amazing thinkers on this site you may get a really good answer. But if you think that you are above everyone you may want to reconsider your position.

  • Craig

    Tom 260
    You are right so the most part. I just get a little pissed when they call him dad Rod and stuff like that. Also it is not a forum for Rod to really deliver the Lutheran position on the two natures, etc. I just feel that the Reformed get to champion their doctrine with little time and attention for the Lutheran position. But that is just me.

  • Craig

    Tom 260
    You are right so the most part. I just get a little pissed when they call him dad Rod and stuff like that. Also it is not a forum for Rod to really deliver the Lutheran position on the two natures, etc. I just feel that the Reformed get to champion their doctrine with little time and attention for the Lutheran position. But that is just me.

  • Jonathan

    @265 Craig, I’m no longer Lutheran, but I used to listen to a lot of WHI. I agree with your take on the show. I’m kind of puzzled by Rod’s role since he and the Baptist pastor (Jones?) have to suppress a lot of their differences with Horton, et al.

  • Jonathan

    @265 Craig, I’m no longer Lutheran, but I used to listen to a lot of WHI. I agree with your take on the show. I’m kind of puzzled by Rod’s role since he and the Baptist pastor (Jones?) have to suppress a lot of their differences with Horton, et al.

  • Steve in Toronto

    Re:Tom 261
    Maybe not in the working class Midwest but in the academy and in more sophisticated professional circles you will come across as a crank. I know lots of six day creationist (I was once one my self) but the only well read thoughtful people I know who have realy explored the issue from both a biblical and a scientific perspective that still subscribe to it are hardcore Reformed Van Tillians that have a theory of knowledge that is so eccentric that only a intellectual could possibly subscribe to it. I am an architect not a scientist so I am only going to refer you to a few books try Francis S. Collins, The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief and The Bible, Rocks, and Time by Davis A. Young and Ralph Stearley

  • Steve in Toronto

    Re:Tom 261
    Maybe not in the working class Midwest but in the academy and in more sophisticated professional circles you will come across as a crank. I know lots of six day creationist (I was once one my self) but the only well read thoughtful people I know who have realy explored the issue from both a biblical and a scientific perspective that still subscribe to it are hardcore Reformed Van Tillians that have a theory of knowledge that is so eccentric that only a intellectual could possibly subscribe to it. I am an architect not a scientist so I am only going to refer you to a few books try Francis S. Collins, The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief and The Bible, Rocks, and Time by Davis A. Young and Ralph Stearley

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Hello Kerner,

    As far as I understand your question properly: Yes. Sure.

    Pax.

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Hello Kerner,

    As far as I understand your question properly: Yes. Sure.

    Pax.

  • Tom Hering

    Craig @ 265, it’s a Reformed radio show because the host (Horton) is Reformed. It’s Lutheran and Baptist co-hosts are there to contribute their thoughts on the show’s subject, which is problems in contemporary evangelicalism. And because they’re friends of the host. “Dad Rod” never struck me as anything but a teasing term of endearment. Are you being too suspicious?

  • Tom Hering

    Craig @ 265, it’s a Reformed radio show because the host (Horton) is Reformed. It’s Lutheran and Baptist co-hosts are there to contribute their thoughts on the show’s subject, which is problems in contemporary evangelicalism. And because they’re friends of the host. “Dad Rod” never struck me as anything but a teasing term of endearment. Are you being too suspicious?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “I’m afraid such almost-threats reveal an incorrect emphasis on the part of those leveling them. After all, we Lutherans don’t do what we do in order to stave off decline, but because we believe it faithful to God’s Word. If that results in a decline, so be it.”

    Yeah, exactly. Ironically if we all changed to what they think, then we would instantly drop to zero and their number would increase by that number. Is there some unstated doctrine they hold that says whoever has the most folks wins? By that measure, perhaps Rome is winning and if they don’t go with Rome, they will decline.

    The whole premise is nonsense.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “I’m afraid such almost-threats reveal an incorrect emphasis on the part of those leveling them. After all, we Lutherans don’t do what we do in order to stave off decline, but because we believe it faithful to God’s Word. If that results in a decline, so be it.”

    Yeah, exactly. Ironically if we all changed to what they think, then we would instantly drop to zero and their number would increase by that number. Is there some unstated doctrine they hold that says whoever has the most folks wins? By that measure, perhaps Rome is winning and if they don’t go with Rome, they will decline.

    The whole premise is nonsense.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Craig (@264), take a deep breath and tone it down, will you?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Craig (@264), take a deep breath and tone it down, will you?

  • Tom Hering

    Steve @ 267, you’re not seriously bringing class division into this, are you? And ii terms of working class = dumb, professional class = sophisticatedt? Wow.

  • Tom Hering

    Steve @ 267, you’re not seriously bringing class division into this, are you? And ii terms of working class = dumb, professional class = sophisticatedt? Wow.

  • Tom Hering

    I’ll retype that: “And in terms of working class = dumb, professional class = sophisticated?”

  • Tom Hering

    I’ll retype that: “And in terms of working class = dumb, professional class = sophisticated?”

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “– waiting for a so called ‘absolution from the pastor, INSTEAD of Christ?”

    so called by whom?

    Who calls him to forgive in the place of Christ?

    21Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” 22And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.”

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “– waiting for a so called ‘absolution from the pastor, INSTEAD of Christ?”

    so called by whom?

    Who calls him to forgive in the place of Christ?

    21Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” 22And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.”

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Sorry forgot the citation, John 20:21-23

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Sorry forgot the citation, John 20:21-23

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    The reader may recall my original question, “How do Lutherans reconcile the idea of God’s sovereign activity in salvation, as expounded by Luther in his book `The Bondage Of The Will,’ with the idea that a person can lose his salvation?” I have a theory as to why Lutherans do not hold to the Reformed idea of eternal security. (Perhaps readers of this review can critique my theory, or point me to relevant resources.) I was hoping to find a discussion of this theory of mine in Dr. Kolb’s excellent book, but I did not find it there. My theory is that Lutherans were and are so committed to the idea of infant baptismal regeneration that they also must hold to its necessary corollary, that a person can lose his salvation, in spite of their strong teachings on man’s total depravity and God’s sovereign activity in election and conversion. Were it not for Lutherans’ strong attachment to infant baptismal regeneration, their theology might have evolved quite differently.

    It’s not difficult to identify adults who were baptized as infants, who never showed any evidence of regeneration later in life. So that must mean that either baptism is not a means of grace unto salvation, or if it is, such salvation is not necessarily permanent. Lutherans would of course reject the former view, which leaves them only the latter view as an option. This would necessarily mean that there are some people who can be saved, and truly know the grace of God, and enter into a saving relationship with Him, who will not ultimately reside with the Lord in heaven, because they have lost their salvation.

    But the difficulty here for Lutherans, I think, is the idea that a person could lose his salvation (Free Will 69 FOC). All of a sudden, once I’m saved, I am in charge of my own salvation. It was up to God to give it to me, but once I’ve got it, now it’s up to me to keep it. Conversely, in the Reformed view (and also in the Catechism paragraph above), God gives me salvation in spite of my lack of reason or strength to lay hold of it, and once I’ve got it, God keeps me in His kingdom, much as he will when I am in Heaven. God has truly “kept me in the true faith.” It seems to me that when Lutherans pay heed to paragraphs like this one from the Catechism, they are truly giving credit where credit is due, namely, to God, for all aspects of salvation, from regeneration to conversion to glorification in Heaven. Paul agrees in Philippians 1:6: “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

    The force of the argument that says God in His sovereignty chose me for salvation is the same force of the argument which says that God keeps me in His flock, and once I am His, I am His forever. Just as once I get to Heaven, I have no chance of losing salvation, so in this life also, God sees to it that I persevere to the end.

    But while Lutherans are willing to hold the first argument, they have no choice but to reject the second one, because it is obvious to all that if infant baptism is a means by which God imparts salvation, that salvation does not always continue to the end of life. But rather than adopt the idea of the perseverance of the saints, Lutherans would rather hold on to the idea of infant baptismal regeneration, and its unpleasant baggage, the idea that one can lose his salvation.

    For me, once I became convinced of the idea of the perseverance of the saints, I had to give up the idea of infant baptismal regeneration.”

    From Lutheran to Reformed

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    The reader may recall my original question, “How do Lutherans reconcile the idea of God’s sovereign activity in salvation, as expounded by Luther in his book `The Bondage Of The Will,’ with the idea that a person can lose his salvation?” I have a theory as to why Lutherans do not hold to the Reformed idea of eternal security. (Perhaps readers of this review can critique my theory, or point me to relevant resources.) I was hoping to find a discussion of this theory of mine in Dr. Kolb’s excellent book, but I did not find it there. My theory is that Lutherans were and are so committed to the idea of infant baptismal regeneration that they also must hold to its necessary corollary, that a person can lose his salvation, in spite of their strong teachings on man’s total depravity and God’s sovereign activity in election and conversion. Were it not for Lutherans’ strong attachment to infant baptismal regeneration, their theology might have evolved quite differently.

    It’s not difficult to identify adults who were baptized as infants, who never showed any evidence of regeneration later in life. So that must mean that either baptism is not a means of grace unto salvation, or if it is, such salvation is not necessarily permanent. Lutherans would of course reject the former view, which leaves them only the latter view as an option. This would necessarily mean that there are some people who can be saved, and truly know the grace of God, and enter into a saving relationship with Him, who will not ultimately reside with the Lord in heaven, because they have lost their salvation.

    But the difficulty here for Lutherans, I think, is the idea that a person could lose his salvation (Free Will 69 FOC). All of a sudden, once I’m saved, I am in charge of my own salvation. It was up to God to give it to me, but once I’ve got it, now it’s up to me to keep it. Conversely, in the Reformed view (and also in the Catechism paragraph above), God gives me salvation in spite of my lack of reason or strength to lay hold of it, and once I’ve got it, God keeps me in His kingdom, much as he will when I am in Heaven. God has truly “kept me in the true faith.” It seems to me that when Lutherans pay heed to paragraphs like this one from the Catechism, they are truly giving credit where credit is due, namely, to God, for all aspects of salvation, from regeneration to conversion to glorification in Heaven. Paul agrees in Philippians 1:6: “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

    The force of the argument that says God in His sovereignty chose me for salvation is the same force of the argument which says that God keeps me in His flock, and once I am His, I am His forever. Just as once I get to Heaven, I have no chance of losing salvation, so in this life also, God sees to it that I persevere to the end.

    But while Lutherans are willing to hold the first argument, they have no choice but to reject the second one, because it is obvious to all that if infant baptism is a means by which God imparts salvation, that salvation does not always continue to the end of life. But rather than adopt the idea of the perseverance of the saints, Lutherans would rather hold on to the idea of infant baptismal regeneration, and its unpleasant baggage, the idea that one can lose his salvation.

    For me, once I became convinced of the idea of the perseverance of the saints, I had to give up the idea of infant baptismal regeneration.”

    From Lutheran to Reformed

  • Tom Hering

    The elect are never lost. I know from the promises of the Word (and from these alone) that I’m elect, but only God knows who else is. Just as only God knows who will be in hell.

    The Reformed sure have a thing about things only God can know. :-D

  • Tom Hering

    The elect are never lost. I know from the promises of the Word (and from these alone) that I’m elect, but only God knows who else is. Just as only God knows who will be in hell.

    The Reformed sure have a thing about things only God can know. :-D

  • http://blog.captainthin.net/ Captain Thin

    For anyone still interested on the original topic of the blog post (ie, Lutheran engagement with wider Christendom) you might be interested in reading my recent blog post on recent ecumenical gestures between confessional Lutherans (ie, LCMS and LCC) and other church bodies.

  • http://blog.captainthin.net/ Captain Thin

    For anyone still interested on the original topic of the blog post (ie, Lutheran engagement with wider Christendom) you might be interested in reading my recent blog post on recent ecumenical gestures between confessional Lutherans (ie, LCMS and LCC) and other church bodies.

  • Craig

    tODD I fully acknowledge that you are a very smart guy. But you are not the master of this domain. I like reading your thoughts but please look over your comments and see how you blast people. Your tone is pretty funny at times and I appreciate that. However know your place. I was not nuking that guy I was simply trying to get him to be part of the conversation.

  • Craig

    tODD I fully acknowledge that you are a very smart guy. But you are not the master of this domain. I like reading your thoughts but please look over your comments and see how you blast people. Your tone is pretty funny at times and I appreciate that. However know your place. I was not nuking that guy I was simply trying to get him to be part of the conversation.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    TUaD (@276) said,

    I have a theory as to why Lutherans do not hold to the Reformed idea of eternal security.

    Me too. My theory is: because Scripture does not hold to the Reformed idea of eternal security (cf. 2 Peter 3, “be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position.” As well as 1 Cor. 10).

    Of course, it was Peter who also wrote that baptism saves us, so maybe the Reformed just don’t read his letters?

    Oh wait, I just realized you’re once again just quoting from someone else’s blog at length. And you expect us to reply to you. Even though you don’t appear to have any ideas of your own.

    Should I just start replying to your cut-and-paste sessions with links to Lutherans making arguments against the Reformed? Maybe we could just both set up computer programs to periodically copy posts from other blogs and paste them here, and pretend it’s a dialog?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    TUaD (@276) said,

    I have a theory as to why Lutherans do not hold to the Reformed idea of eternal security.

    Me too. My theory is: because Scripture does not hold to the Reformed idea of eternal security (cf. 2 Peter 3, “be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position.” As well as 1 Cor. 10).

    Of course, it was Peter who also wrote that baptism saves us, so maybe the Reformed just don’t read his letters?

    Oh wait, I just realized you’re once again just quoting from someone else’s blog at length. And you expect us to reply to you. Even though you don’t appear to have any ideas of your own.

    Should I just start replying to your cut-and-paste sessions with links to Lutherans making arguments against the Reformed? Maybe we could just both set up computer programs to periodically copy posts from other blogs and paste them here, and pretend it’s a dialog?

  • Craig

    Tom 277
    If the atonement is limited where does the Word tell you that you are elect? The Puritans were the very best of the Calvinists and they never had your sense of security. In fact their death beds were full of terror. Modern Calvinism is not real historic Calvinism. There is no certainty of salvation just a life full of works that hopefully proves to oneself that they are elect. You statement on 277 is foreign to 16th century Calvinism. Nice modern spin though :)

  • Craig

    Tom 277
    If the atonement is limited where does the Word tell you that you are elect? The Puritans were the very best of the Calvinists and they never had your sense of security. In fact their death beds were full of terror. Modern Calvinism is not real historic Calvinism. There is no certainty of salvation just a life full of works that hopefully proves to oneself that they are elect. You statement on 277 is foreign to 16th century Calvinism. Nice modern spin though :)

  • Steve in Toronto

    Re: Tom Hering 272
    There is nothing wrong with being working class (or being from the Midwest for that matter I grew up in Cleveland and my grandfathers were a cop and a baker respectively). I work with lots of contractors who are not only smarter then me but they also make more money. I do however think members of the professional classes usually at least some higher education and usually a certain amount of sophistication (not always a good thing by the way) and 6 day creationist are viewed by most educated people as hicks. About 15 years ago a very fine Christian man name Stockwell Day ran for prime minister here in Canada and it came out he was a young earth creationist he never recovered from the ridicule he received at the hands of a hostile press core. I am not say that you or any other 6 day creationists are not intelligent or well educated (I know enough Westminster graduates to know better) but I am prepared to say that out side your confessional bubble you will increasing be seen as eccentric at best and a freak at worst. There is no question that this fact will certainly comprise the effectiveness of the witness of confessional Lutherans in the future.

  • Steve in Toronto

    Re: Tom Hering 272
    There is nothing wrong with being working class (or being from the Midwest for that matter I grew up in Cleveland and my grandfathers were a cop and a baker respectively). I work with lots of contractors who are not only smarter then me but they also make more money. I do however think members of the professional classes usually at least some higher education and usually a certain amount of sophistication (not always a good thing by the way) and 6 day creationist are viewed by most educated people as hicks. About 15 years ago a very fine Christian man name Stockwell Day ran for prime minister here in Canada and it came out he was a young earth creationist he never recovered from the ridicule he received at the hands of a hostile press core. I am not say that you or any other 6 day creationists are not intelligent or well educated (I know enough Westminster graduates to know better) but I am prepared to say that out side your confessional bubble you will increasing be seen as eccentric at best and a freak at worst. There is no question that this fact will certainly comprise the effectiveness of the witness of confessional Lutherans in the future.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Craig (@279), “tu quoque” is not a valid defense.

    If you think that I, too, have been uncivil or unloving (and I have), then why not just point out where that has occurred?

    But perhaps it says something that even a rough-around-the-edges guy like me finds many of your comments here to be too abrasive as far as the wording goes?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Craig (@279), “tu quoque” is not a valid defense.

    If you think that I, too, have been uncivil or unloving (and I have), then why not just point out where that has occurred?

    But perhaps it says something that even a rough-around-the-edges guy like me finds many of your comments here to be too abrasive as far as the wording goes?

  • BW

    Craig,

    Tom is also a Lutheran

  • BW

    Craig,

    Tom is also a Lutheran

  • Steve in Toronto

    A sample of the press coverage surrounding Mr. Day campaign http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/1042814.stm I am however happy to report that his political career survived this fiasco and that he recently retired from 5 years of distinguish service in the cabinet of our current Prime mister Stephen Harper (also a evangelical Christian but one who has wisely keep his views on creation and evolution to himself)

  • Steve in Toronto

    A sample of the press coverage surrounding Mr. Day campaign http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/1042814.stm I am however happy to report that his political career survived this fiasco and that he recently retired from 5 years of distinguish service in the cabinet of our current Prime mister Stephen Harper (also a evangelical Christian but one who has wisely keep his views on creation and evolution to himself)

  • Tom Hering

    Steve @ 282, I’m currently reading Hale’s A Nation of Outsiders, and am learning that being an outsider is the most popular thing to be in America – even for Christians and conservatives. So I’m not worried. :-D

  • Tom Hering

    Steve @ 282, I’m currently reading Hale’s A Nation of Outsiders, and am learning that being an outsider is the most popular thing to be in America – even for Christians and conservatives. So I’m not worried. :-D

  • Rob

    TUaD

    A Request and four questions.

    Request: if you must quote something other than Scripture, for crying out loud, will you please be brief. If the quote is so long you have the bold the important parts… just quote those parts!

    Question 1 – (first raised by me at 55 and many others since) How do you understand 1 Peter 3:21ff

    Question 2 – In addition to tODD’s references, how do you understand Hebrews 6:4ff – the death knell of “perseverance of the saints”?

    Question 3 – Am I right in concluding you would describe yourself as a Reformed Baptist?

    Question 4 – Do you consider your views representative of that group?

    I am genuinely looking for dialogue here, as I don’t have any friends/relatives who are Reformed Baptists and the whole concept is odd to me, given that the Reformed church burned Anabaptists, as alluded to somewhere above.

  • Rob

    TUaD

    A Request and four questions.

    Request: if you must quote something other than Scripture, for crying out loud, will you please be brief. If the quote is so long you have the bold the important parts… just quote those parts!

    Question 1 – (first raised by me at 55 and many others since) How do you understand 1 Peter 3:21ff

    Question 2 – In addition to tODD’s references, how do you understand Hebrews 6:4ff – the death knell of “perseverance of the saints”?

    Question 3 – Am I right in concluding you would describe yourself as a Reformed Baptist?

    Question 4 – Do you consider your views representative of that group?

    I am genuinely looking for dialogue here, as I don’t have any friends/relatives who are Reformed Baptists and the whole concept is odd to me, given that the Reformed church burned Anabaptists, as alluded to somewhere above.

  • Steve in Toronto

    RE: Tom Hering
    I hope your right but in order to influence the culture you at least need to be in the conversation and right now confessional Lutherans aren’t

  • Steve in Toronto

    RE: Tom Hering
    I hope your right but in order to influence the culture you at least need to be in the conversation and right now confessional Lutherans aren’t

  • Tom Hering

    Steve @ 288, maybe not so much in professional circles, but we are everywhere else. I’d argue that has potentially greater impact.

  • Tom Hering

    Steve @ 288, maybe not so much in professional circles, but we are everywhere else. I’d argue that has potentially greater impact.

  • larry

    Craig,

    I hear your warnings on Johnny Mac. and concur, he to leads many down the primerose path of despair (Including myself at one time), so I should have warned “with caution” JM kind of by accident got it right. It’s kind of like watching china get upset with the former ussr for communism, ironic. So you are 100% right about JM, I should have caveated it better.

    Yea his Grace To You is ANYTHING BUT that!

    L

  • larry

    Craig,

    I hear your warnings on Johnny Mac. and concur, he to leads many down the primerose path of despair (Including myself at one time), so I should have warned “with caution” JM kind of by accident got it right. It’s kind of like watching china get upset with the former ussr for communism, ironic. So you are 100% right about JM, I should have caveated it better.

    Yea his Grace To You is ANYTHING BUT that!

    L

  • Tom Hering

    Indeed, I’d argue that Lutherans living out their vocations, common and otherwise, has a greater impact on the culture than engaging with the wider evangelical community would.

  • Tom Hering

    Indeed, I’d argue that Lutherans living out their vocations, common and otherwise, has a greater impact on the culture than engaging with the wider evangelical community would.

  • Steve in Toronto

    RE: Rob 287
    Your confusing Baptists with Anabaptists. The Baptists that we in North America are most familiar with are descended from English nonconformist puritans. The spiritual descendents of the Anabaptists are the Mennonites, Amish and Brethren in Christ (not to be confused with the Plymouth Brethren who are also descended from the puritans) the patron saint of Reformed Baptists would be Charles Spurgeon. John Pipper, Albert Mohler and Charles Stanley would be excellent representatives of the species. I know them and love them dearly they are my people but they are also a bit mad.

  • Steve in Toronto

    RE: Rob 287
    Your confusing Baptists with Anabaptists. The Baptists that we in North America are most familiar with are descended from English nonconformist puritans. The spiritual descendents of the Anabaptists are the Mennonites, Amish and Brethren in Christ (not to be confused with the Plymouth Brethren who are also descended from the puritans) the patron saint of Reformed Baptists would be Charles Spurgeon. John Pipper, Albert Mohler and Charles Stanley would be excellent representatives of the species. I know them and love them dearly they are my people but they are also a bit mad.

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Brigitte’s interlocutor made the following comment to her and has yet to receive a response:

    “Brigitte, Rhology answered you well when he wrote, “And plenty of others never actually have faith and end up living degenerate lives and die in their sin. Yet Jesus says that He cannot lose any of His own. You’ve got a biblical problem here.”

    Exactly, Rhology, thank you. Some people who are baptized as infants grow up to be Christians, and others do not. How do you account for this?

    I read a book by LCMS seminary professor David Scaer called “Law and Gospel and the Means of Grace.” On page 107, Dr. Scaer writes,

    “In the church’s administration of the means of grace God maintains His freedom and determines who will believe, so there are no mechanical or magical formulas whose results in every case can be assured.”

    I was very surprised to read that. Growing up in the LCMS, memorizing the Small Catechism, attending 13 years of Lutheran school, going through confirmation at a church in Fort Wayne, I never ever heard that. We were always taught that if a person baptized as a baby rejects the Christian faith later in life, then that person has lost his/her salvation. Never that the person may not have been saved at the time of his baptism. Water baptism was always assumed to be effective as a means of grace for God to grant salvation, every time it was performed.

    So which position is yours? The non-Christian person baptized as an infant:

    1) truly was saved at the time of his baptism, and rejected it later in life, or

    2) Dr. Scaer’s position, that perhaps God does not really save each infant who is presented for baptism?

    If you believe #1, you’ve got a problem with John 6, as Rhology pointed out.

    If it’s #2, it’s a position which is not well-known in confessional Lutheran circles, as far as I know.

    It appears to me to be a novel position originating with Dr. Scaer. I am willing to be corrected on this point.

    Having said all that, Brigitte, would you please respond to Rhology’s point regarding John 6?”

    From: Gospel Versus Emotional Lutheranism

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Brigitte’s interlocutor made the following comment to her and has yet to receive a response:

    “Brigitte, Rhology answered you well when he wrote, “And plenty of others never actually have faith and end up living degenerate lives and die in their sin. Yet Jesus says that He cannot lose any of His own. You’ve got a biblical problem here.”

    Exactly, Rhology, thank you. Some people who are baptized as infants grow up to be Christians, and others do not. How do you account for this?

    I read a book by LCMS seminary professor David Scaer called “Law and Gospel and the Means of Grace.” On page 107, Dr. Scaer writes,

    “In the church’s administration of the means of grace God maintains His freedom and determines who will believe, so there are no mechanical or magical formulas whose results in every case can be assured.”

    I was very surprised to read that. Growing up in the LCMS, memorizing the Small Catechism, attending 13 years of Lutheran school, going through confirmation at a church in Fort Wayne, I never ever heard that. We were always taught that if a person baptized as a baby rejects the Christian faith later in life, then that person has lost his/her salvation. Never that the person may not have been saved at the time of his baptism. Water baptism was always assumed to be effective as a means of grace for God to grant salvation, every time it was performed.

    So which position is yours? The non-Christian person baptized as an infant:

    1) truly was saved at the time of his baptism, and rejected it later in life, or

    2) Dr. Scaer’s position, that perhaps God does not really save each infant who is presented for baptism?

    If you believe #1, you’ve got a problem with John 6, as Rhology pointed out.

    If it’s #2, it’s a position which is not well-known in confessional Lutheran circles, as far as I know.

    It appears to me to be a novel position originating with Dr. Scaer. I am willing to be corrected on this point.

    Having said all that, Brigitte, would you please respond to Rhology’s point regarding John 6?”

    From: Gospel Versus Emotional Lutheranism

  • Tom Hering

    The concern that we should be more engaged with the wider evangelical community is itself a rather insular concern. Compared with Lutherans living out their common vocations in the world. Which is something we teach and encourage.

  • Tom Hering

    The concern that we should be more engaged with the wider evangelical community is itself a rather insular concern. Compared with Lutherans living out their common vocations in the world. Which is something we teach and encourage.

  • Tom Hering

    Having TUAD post here is like watching a TV that’s stuck between channels. I’m not sure which station I’m watching.

  • Tom Hering

    Having TUAD post here is like watching a TV that’s stuck between channels. I’m not sure which station I’m watching.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    TUaD (@293), until you can actually join in the conversation here, responding to people, and formulating your own ideas, why should anybody reply to you? You’re clearly upset that something isn’t happening on some other blog, and you’re whining about it to us. But we don’t care. Nor, apparently, do you care about what’s going on here.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    TUaD (@293), until you can actually join in the conversation here, responding to people, and formulating your own ideas, why should anybody reply to you? You’re clearly upset that something isn’t happening on some other blog, and you’re whining about it to us. But we don’t care. Nor, apparently, do you care about what’s going on here.

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

    Hat conversation? This is really just a big Cj consisting of evangelicals. Macarthur doesn’t write for lutherans or catholics or orthodox, he wirtes for evangelicals, same with piper, mohler, and the host of other names thrown about here. It isn’t big top, it just seems that way, because you in the ouse with peewee Herman. Seriously, its just evidence of what lutherans have said about the sacramentarians, and schwarmerei from the beginning, “you are all the same”n but you think polity rather than doctrine divides, so if you call yourself by a different name you thsome how atters. In the end though it is just a parlor trick. In truth lutherans are doing more to converse with people of other christian persuasions than most. We are just more upfront about it. We don’t join hands and sing kumbyah before there is actual agreement. But to point to a conversation of evangelicals and ask where are the lutherans? Well that’s like pointing to a conversation between lutherans and asking where are the evangelicals? Except that we normally invite a few to our conversations, like the ftm wayne symposium. But really what is being asked is why aren’t lutherans more poular than they are, and that doesn’t come down to bunker mentality at all. Not the “lutheran hour church” not the church invites conversation with other church bodies, repeatedly. It comes down to this, we aren’t reformed and we refuse to be. The english speaking world is reformed. That’s all. And the reformed don’t want lutheran, so lutheran doesn’t make it on reformed radio, lutheran doesn’t make it into reformed bookstores, lutheran doesn’t make it in reformed coffee houses. It just doesn’t sell in a reformed world. The fact is lutheran’s are much more likely to by reformed garbage than reformed are to even take for free the gospel.

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

    Hat conversation? This is really just a big Cj consisting of evangelicals. Macarthur doesn’t write for lutherans or catholics or orthodox, he wirtes for evangelicals, same with piper, mohler, and the host of other names thrown about here. It isn’t big top, it just seems that way, because you in the ouse with peewee Herman. Seriously, its just evidence of what lutherans have said about the sacramentarians, and schwarmerei from the beginning, “you are all the same”n but you think polity rather than doctrine divides, so if you call yourself by a different name you thsome how atters. In the end though it is just a parlor trick. In truth lutherans are doing more to converse with people of other christian persuasions than most. We are just more upfront about it. We don’t join hands and sing kumbyah before there is actual agreement. But to point to a conversation of evangelicals and ask where are the lutherans? Well that’s like pointing to a conversation between lutherans and asking where are the evangelicals? Except that we normally invite a few to our conversations, like the ftm wayne symposium. But really what is being asked is why aren’t lutherans more poular than they are, and that doesn’t come down to bunker mentality at all. Not the “lutheran hour church” not the church invites conversation with other church bodies, repeatedly. It comes down to this, we aren’t reformed and we refuse to be. The english speaking world is reformed. That’s all. And the reformed don’t want lutheran, so lutheran doesn’t make it on reformed radio, lutheran doesn’t make it into reformed bookstores, lutheran doesn’t make it in reformed coffee houses. It just doesn’t sell in a reformed world. The fact is lutheran’s are much more likely to by reformed garbage than reformed are to even take for free the gospel.

  • larry

    Craig,

    Very nice help on the WHI. When I first listened to it under the despair of Piper, JM, et. alii. It was a breath of fresh air. Psychologically at first one is so starving for Christ one doesn’t know the difference between the Reformed and the other, although one does at first wonder why a baptist is there (if you’ve been a Calvinistic baptist per se). But it doesn’t take very long listening that the real 200 proof Gospel and real Gospel nuggets keep coming from this baritone compressed voiced Lutheran fellow you’ve never heard from. After a while though you begin to realize, these guys are not really saying the same thing at length and while the sacraments of the Reformed seem to “aaaaalmost” get you some Gospel by comparison to the Baptist, they cannot quite get you their for they still see faith as a proof of (e.g. IF you believe these things, THEN you are elect). But the anfechtung of “do I have saving faith”, common in despairing Reformed (caused people to even kill and commit suicide among the Puritans) is not answered by such, Jer. 17 sees to that.

    One time while listening one of the reformed guys was talking about something that had to do with despair and the Gospel and Dr. Rosenbladt offered “we absolve our people”. The reformed person responded, ‘we do to’. To which Dr. Rosenbladt said, “do you?” (expecting a “no” answer of course). Point well made and the reformed KNOW they don’t really absolve to the man for real in the present time for the man and ALL reformed dogmatics express this. There is no pro me in the Reformed doctrine and we could quote reformed theologians all day on this very issue.

    This get’s around to the point you said Rod once stated, namely the picture a theology portrays of God, Who He is revealed in the heart of God via Christ. To paint a false picture of God, even by something as close as Reformed doctrine is really to make an idol of Him and bear false witness against Him by saying, “this is the picture of God” revealed to us. One cannot point to according to Reformed doctrine (or baptist) how the individual KNOWS with UTTER certitude they have been and are forgiven of God by God. That’s why the real question must be, “Do you despise the fact of forgiveness in these sacraments as a reality ‘for me’ (Lutheran doctrine on the issue) and/or “Do you despise forgiveness pro me/for me”. Because and this is particular to Calvinist and Calvinistic strains (i.e. tulip baptist). There’s no “pro me” in John 3:16 or other such verses they remove you in the particular from the pronouns and nouns and thus the Word, none baptism, none in the LS no reality and certainly no absolution (all Gospel). Their gospel is always “over there” just out of reach all the time.

    The analogy is this: If a Calvinist had been around when Jesus told Mary the prostitute, “I forgive your sins” they would have replied in kind with the Pharisees, “only God can forgive sin” while God was standing right in front of them speaking. Same thing with the Sacraments, “only God can forgive sins”, yet is right in front of them in the sacraments all the time doing just that.

    If you removed the Lutheran presence from that show, and I mean this, the Gospel would be lost within a show or two.

  • larry

    Craig,

    Very nice help on the WHI. When I first listened to it under the despair of Piper, JM, et. alii. It was a breath of fresh air. Psychologically at first one is so starving for Christ one doesn’t know the difference between the Reformed and the other, although one does at first wonder why a baptist is there (if you’ve been a Calvinistic baptist per se). But it doesn’t take very long listening that the real 200 proof Gospel and real Gospel nuggets keep coming from this baritone compressed voiced Lutheran fellow you’ve never heard from. After a while though you begin to realize, these guys are not really saying the same thing at length and while the sacraments of the Reformed seem to “aaaaalmost” get you some Gospel by comparison to the Baptist, they cannot quite get you their for they still see faith as a proof of (e.g. IF you believe these things, THEN you are elect). But the anfechtung of “do I have saving faith”, common in despairing Reformed (caused people to even kill and commit suicide among the Puritans) is not answered by such, Jer. 17 sees to that.

    One time while listening one of the reformed guys was talking about something that had to do with despair and the Gospel and Dr. Rosenbladt offered “we absolve our people”. The reformed person responded, ‘we do to’. To which Dr. Rosenbladt said, “do you?” (expecting a “no” answer of course). Point well made and the reformed KNOW they don’t really absolve to the man for real in the present time for the man and ALL reformed dogmatics express this. There is no pro me in the Reformed doctrine and we could quote reformed theologians all day on this very issue.

    This get’s around to the point you said Rod once stated, namely the picture a theology portrays of God, Who He is revealed in the heart of God via Christ. To paint a false picture of God, even by something as close as Reformed doctrine is really to make an idol of Him and bear false witness against Him by saying, “this is the picture of God” revealed to us. One cannot point to according to Reformed doctrine (or baptist) how the individual KNOWS with UTTER certitude they have been and are forgiven of God by God. That’s why the real question must be, “Do you despise the fact of forgiveness in these sacraments as a reality ‘for me’ (Lutheran doctrine on the issue) and/or “Do you despise forgiveness pro me/for me”. Because and this is particular to Calvinist and Calvinistic strains (i.e. tulip baptist). There’s no “pro me” in John 3:16 or other such verses they remove you in the particular from the pronouns and nouns and thus the Word, none baptism, none in the LS no reality and certainly no absolution (all Gospel). Their gospel is always “over there” just out of reach all the time.

    The analogy is this: If a Calvinist had been around when Jesus told Mary the prostitute, “I forgive your sins” they would have replied in kind with the Pharisees, “only God can forgive sin” while God was standing right in front of them speaking. Same thing with the Sacraments, “only God can forgive sins”, yet is right in front of them in the sacraments all the time doing just that.

    If you removed the Lutheran presence from that show, and I mean this, the Gospel would be lost within a show or two.

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Where are the Lutherans? How would you answer him?

    “4. The Lutheran view of the sacraments is a bridge too far for many evangelicals”

    In addition to #4 being cited and explored, this thoughtful Lutheran pastor wrote an article:

    Why Lutherans Can’t Evangelize.

    Excerpts:

    1) We more or less have no functioning eschatology (end times teaching). Martin Luther wrecked that for us. He thought the Antichrist was alive and that his name was Leo, and that he lived in Rome. Great Tribulation on its way? Heck, in Luther’s mind, it was already here. And Uncle Marty had a tendency to want to mow down “Heaven is coming on earth!” Millennialists (Thomas Muentzer, etc.) whenever he had the chance. We’ve had an eschatological hangover ever since. A dirty little family secret.

    2) We won’t even bring up Luther’s formative 16th century anti-Semitism which planted the seeds for all kinds of later nastiness. What he said about the Jews is not for polite publications like this one. And it was disgusting. I totally condemn it and there was no excuse for it.

    3) We have no theology of mission. Within the framework of our theology, we have no idea how to get someone saved. This will be the topic of our little essay today.

    Our theology, as Lutherans, is primarily confessional and not missional.

    But as Lutherans, we have an empty missiological toolbox.

    We’ve all heard the joke about crossing a Jehovah’s Witness with a Lutheran and getting someone who knocks at your door but doesn’t know what to say. There’s a lot of truth in that.

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Where are the Lutherans? How would you answer him?

    “4. The Lutheran view of the sacraments is a bridge too far for many evangelicals”

    In addition to #4 being cited and explored, this thoughtful Lutheran pastor wrote an article:

    Why Lutherans Can’t Evangelize.

    Excerpts:

    1) We more or less have no functioning eschatology (end times teaching). Martin Luther wrecked that for us. He thought the Antichrist was alive and that his name was Leo, and that he lived in Rome. Great Tribulation on its way? Heck, in Luther’s mind, it was already here. And Uncle Marty had a tendency to want to mow down “Heaven is coming on earth!” Millennialists (Thomas Muentzer, etc.) whenever he had the chance. We’ve had an eschatological hangover ever since. A dirty little family secret.

    2) We won’t even bring up Luther’s formative 16th century anti-Semitism which planted the seeds for all kinds of later nastiness. What he said about the Jews is not for polite publications like this one. And it was disgusting. I totally condemn it and there was no excuse for it.

    3) We have no theology of mission. Within the framework of our theology, we have no idea how to get someone saved. This will be the topic of our little essay today.

    Our theology, as Lutherans, is primarily confessional and not missional.

    But as Lutherans, we have an empty missiological toolbox.

    We’ve all heard the joke about crossing a Jehovah’s Witness with a Lutheran and getting someone who knocks at your door but doesn’t know what to say. There’s a lot of truth in that.

  • Craig

    tODD 283
    Too abrasive? You need to read more Luther :) jk I know that you are very well read with Luther. I’ll try to tone it down ’cause I don’t have the horses to race you.

  • Craig

    tODD 283
    Too abrasive? You need to read more Luther :) jk I know that you are very well read with Luther. I’ll try to tone it down ’cause I don’t have the horses to race you.

  • Rob

    Steve @297 – Tell me a point where Baptist doctrine differs from Anabaptist doctrine and I’ll concede the point. But, be forewarned – I am asking for differences of doctrine, not differences of practice or differences of lineage. I grew up in a Baptist church, so I am not blowing smoke here. Plenty of friends I grew up with happily moved from Baptist to Mennonite without a hiccup. They didn’t even see it as a theological change, since they weren’t conservative Mennonite and thus no head-coverings, free to participate in government, etc.

    But the point (which TUaD blithely ignores) remains. Reformed theology is monergistic; Baptist theology is synergistic. How on earth do they reconcile the two? I would love to hear from a self-described Reformed Baptist on the topic, but don’t know any.

  • Rob

    Steve @297 – Tell me a point where Baptist doctrine differs from Anabaptist doctrine and I’ll concede the point. But, be forewarned – I am asking for differences of doctrine, not differences of practice or differences of lineage. I grew up in a Baptist church, so I am not blowing smoke here. Plenty of friends I grew up with happily moved from Baptist to Mennonite without a hiccup. They didn’t even see it as a theological change, since they weren’t conservative Mennonite and thus no head-coverings, free to participate in government, etc.

    But the point (which TUaD blithely ignores) remains. Reformed theology is monergistic; Baptist theology is synergistic. How on earth do they reconcile the two? I would love to hear from a self-described Reformed Baptist on the topic, but don’t know any.

  • Steve in Toronto

    Re: Truth Unites… and Divides 299
    I ran across that piece a few weeks ago it’s very good. I am glad someone linked to it

  • Steve in Toronto

    Re: Truth Unites… and Divides 299
    I ran across that piece a few weeks ago it’s very good. I am glad someone linked to it

  • Steve in Toronto

    Re: Rob 301
    The Reformed Baptist have a Calvinist soteriology the Anabaptist are to a man (and woman as well most have had woman ministers) Armenian. They are realy two complexly different species as different as chalk from cheese.

  • Steve in Toronto

    Re: Rob 301
    The Reformed Baptist have a Calvinist soteriology the Anabaptist are to a man (and woman as well most have had woman ministers) Armenian. They are realy two complexly different species as different as chalk from cheese.

  • Rob

    Re: TUaD and Steve

    David Housholder is a Pentecostal preacher from a Pentecostal church saying he’s a Lutheran (and saying he’s a Pentecostal too, and generally sounding a little unhinged). Look at his self-description on that site. Look at his church’s description. See Lutheran anywhere?

    Now, does he have some helpful critiques to offer? Perhaps, but his writing seems woefully uninformed (e.g. Apparently amillenialism is no longer a qualifying eschatology. What episode did that one get voted off? Apparently Martin Luther’s late-in-life outbursts against Jews for their rejection of the gospel somehow has something to do with… um, anything.).

    And the biggest false assertion: Our missiological toolbox is empty. Umm… except for the Gospel. Now, remind me – what other tools did I need? Oh, I see it on his self-description – I need to preach barefoot.

  • Rob

    Re: TUaD and Steve

    David Housholder is a Pentecostal preacher from a Pentecostal church saying he’s a Lutheran (and saying he’s a Pentecostal too, and generally sounding a little unhinged). Look at his self-description on that site. Look at his church’s description. See Lutheran anywhere?

    Now, does he have some helpful critiques to offer? Perhaps, but his writing seems woefully uninformed (e.g. Apparently amillenialism is no longer a qualifying eschatology. What episode did that one get voted off? Apparently Martin Luther’s late-in-life outbursts against Jews for their rejection of the gospel somehow has something to do with… um, anything.).

    And the biggest false assertion: Our missiological toolbox is empty. Umm… except for the Gospel. Now, remind me – what other tools did I need? Oh, I see it on his self-description – I need to preach barefoot.

  • Rob

    Steve – are you my real, live Reformed Baptist commentator? Do you identify yourself in that way? Not being snarky, but serious. (unlike several comments in my last post)

    If so, and given that Baptist theology is deeply synergistic, why call yourself a Baptist? Why not just say “Reformed”? On what topics do you disagree with Calvin? How do you deal with the texts I put before TUaD?

  • Rob

    Steve – are you my real, live Reformed Baptist commentator? Do you identify yourself in that way? Not being snarky, but serious. (unlike several comments in my last post)

    If so, and given that Baptist theology is deeply synergistic, why call yourself a Baptist? Why not just say “Reformed”? On what topics do you disagree with Calvin? How do you deal with the texts I put before TUaD?

  • Steve in Toronto

    Re: Rob 301
    Its true that “General” as apposed to “Particular” Baptist are Armenian and do superficially resemble Mennonites but this is due to Methodist influence not continental Anabaptists (although I suppose you could blame the Moravians for introducing John Wesley to Armenian theology but you might just as easily blame Lutheran Pietism!)

  • Steve in Toronto

    Re: Rob 301
    Its true that “General” as apposed to “Particular” Baptist are Armenian and do superficially resemble Mennonites but this is due to Methodist influence not continental Anabaptists (although I suppose you could blame the Moravians for introducing John Wesley to Armenian theology but you might just as easily blame Lutheran Pietism!)

  • kerner

    TUaD @268:

    Thanks. So, we have established that God saves people by means of the work of His Church. We can know that preaching God’s Word is one work of the Church that God uses as such a means, because God’s Word says so. But this is not teaching salvation by works or anything like it, because it is not a work of the individual being preached to. It is the work of God’s (already saved) people, done at His command, and through which the Holy Spirit does His own work according to God’s will.

    Now, the Lutheran position is that baptism, like preaching God’s Word, is a work of the (already saved) people of God, done at God’s command, and through which the Holy Spirit does His own work according to God’s will. And like the preaching of God’s Word by the Church, the Holy Spirit does the work of saving souls through baptism.

    Calling this doctrine justification based on works is a fallacious argument, because the prospective believer is not relying on his/her own works at all. Rather, it is simply acknowledging that the Holy Spirit has changed that believer’s heart by means of an activity that God’s Word commands the Church to perform for this very purpose. This is no different than acknowledging that the Holy Spirit does the very same thing by means of the preaching of God’s Word, which the Church is likewise commanded to do for the very same purpose.

    Even though I think I have shown one fallacy in the argument against the Lutheran doctrine of baptism, I realize that other issues remain.

    We have agreed that preaching of God’s Word by the Church is one “means of grace” according to which the Church does as we are commanded and through which the Holy Spirit works to save souls. But your position, as I understand it, is that you believe that preaching God’s Word is the only such means.

    The Lutheran position is that baptism is another such means. So, the next question is obviously: does the Bible support the proposition that the Holy Spirit can work through baptism to save souls?

    In a bit, I’ll tell you why I think the Bible supports the Lutheran doctrine, but before we get there I want to pause to give you the chance to respond to what I have said here.

    One other thing to consider is that some people who have heard God’s Word preached are probably in hell, but that doesn’t mean that the Holy Spirit doesn’t work through preaching. It only means that preaching God’s Word didn’t save those individual persons. Why some people respond to preaching by being saved while others do not is another issue to be discussed later. I hope you don’t mind addressing these issues one at a time. I find it easier to preserve some clarity if we do.

    By the way, I think you have a good point when you say that the Lutheran doctrine of baptism is inconsistent with the Calvinist doctrine of perseverance of the saints. I’m sure we’ll get to that too.

    Pax back at you.

  • kerner

    TUaD @268:

    Thanks. So, we have established that God saves people by means of the work of His Church. We can know that preaching God’s Word is one work of the Church that God uses as such a means, because God’s Word says so. But this is not teaching salvation by works or anything like it, because it is not a work of the individual being preached to. It is the work of God’s (already saved) people, done at His command, and through which the Holy Spirit does His own work according to God’s will.

    Now, the Lutheran position is that baptism, like preaching God’s Word, is a work of the (already saved) people of God, done at God’s command, and through which the Holy Spirit does His own work according to God’s will. And like the preaching of God’s Word by the Church, the Holy Spirit does the work of saving souls through baptism.

    Calling this doctrine justification based on works is a fallacious argument, because the prospective believer is not relying on his/her own works at all. Rather, it is simply acknowledging that the Holy Spirit has changed that believer’s heart by means of an activity that God’s Word commands the Church to perform for this very purpose. This is no different than acknowledging that the Holy Spirit does the very same thing by means of the preaching of God’s Word, which the Church is likewise commanded to do for the very same purpose.

    Even though I think I have shown one fallacy in the argument against the Lutheran doctrine of baptism, I realize that other issues remain.

    We have agreed that preaching of God’s Word by the Church is one “means of grace” according to which the Church does as we are commanded and through which the Holy Spirit works to save souls. But your position, as I understand it, is that you believe that preaching God’s Word is the only such means.

    The Lutheran position is that baptism is another such means. So, the next question is obviously: does the Bible support the proposition that the Holy Spirit can work through baptism to save souls?

    In a bit, I’ll tell you why I think the Bible supports the Lutheran doctrine, but before we get there I want to pause to give you the chance to respond to what I have said here.

    One other thing to consider is that some people who have heard God’s Word preached are probably in hell, but that doesn’t mean that the Holy Spirit doesn’t work through preaching. It only means that preaching God’s Word didn’t save those individual persons. Why some people respond to preaching by being saved while others do not is another issue to be discussed later. I hope you don’t mind addressing these issues one at a time. I find it easier to preserve some clarity if we do.

    By the way, I think you have a good point when you say that the Lutheran doctrine of baptism is inconsistent with the Calvinist doctrine of perseverance of the saints. I’m sure we’ll get to that too.

    Pax back at you.

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

    I read the article tu ad linked to, for some reason. Nothing but the propogation of myths long ago thoroughly discredited. Shame the best discredidation of those myths is written by a calvinist, rooy, in ” lutero Y la mision” and him being a pentecostal, should be able to read it!

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

    I read the article tu ad linked to, for some reason. Nothing but the propogation of myths long ago thoroughly discredited. Shame the best discredidation of those myths is written by a calvinist, rooy, in ” lutero Y la mision” and him being a pentecostal, should be able to read it!

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    “Look at his church’s description. See Lutheran anywhere?”

    Yes.

    “So, is the church I pastor, Robinwood Church, Lutheran, because I am the primary teacher? Perhaps. We affirm (in our bylaws) the unaltered Augsburg Confession, the Small Catechism, and the ecumenical creeds. We would qualify, thus, for joining the Lutheran World Federation.

    But we are non-liturgical. Totally. More than you think. And we are very Pentecostal in our expression. It doesn’t look “Lutheran.” We have no Euro-centric trappings of any kind. We are a California beach church that meets in a warehouse. No Lent. No Advent. No lectionary. No altar table. No permanent cross. I don’t own a clerical collar. There isn’t a single hymnbook in the building. It would be hard to find the word “Lutheran” on our website. I only wear shoes if it’s a cold day. The music is loud.

    But if any trained theologian were to visit us for three Sundays, he or she would say:

    They sure aren’t Calvinists or Arminians. Not Roman Catholics. Not Southern Baptists. Not Eastern Orthodox. Not liberal North American PC activists. Not Anglicans. By default, they must be Lutherans. Expressive, non-legalistic, missional–but pretty dang Lutheran at the core.

    If Luther were to show up at Robinwood Church, I’d probably tell him off (privately) for that goofy Jew-bashing (and a few other things) of his, but we’d pour him a beer (and cut him off at two) and share his love of God’s Word, and the tensions that are simply there in it.

    Is Robinwood Church Lutheran? Yes and no. :-)”

    From Is Robinwood Church Lutheran?

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    “Look at his church’s description. See Lutheran anywhere?”

    Yes.

    “So, is the church I pastor, Robinwood Church, Lutheran, because I am the primary teacher? Perhaps. We affirm (in our bylaws) the unaltered Augsburg Confession, the Small Catechism, and the ecumenical creeds. We would qualify, thus, for joining the Lutheran World Federation.

    But we are non-liturgical. Totally. More than you think. And we are very Pentecostal in our expression. It doesn’t look “Lutheran.” We have no Euro-centric trappings of any kind. We are a California beach church that meets in a warehouse. No Lent. No Advent. No lectionary. No altar table. No permanent cross. I don’t own a clerical collar. There isn’t a single hymnbook in the building. It would be hard to find the word “Lutheran” on our website. I only wear shoes if it’s a cold day. The music is loud.

    But if any trained theologian were to visit us for three Sundays, he or she would say:

    They sure aren’t Calvinists or Arminians. Not Roman Catholics. Not Southern Baptists. Not Eastern Orthodox. Not liberal North American PC activists. Not Anglicans. By default, they must be Lutherans. Expressive, non-legalistic, missional–but pretty dang Lutheran at the core.

    If Luther were to show up at Robinwood Church, I’d probably tell him off (privately) for that goofy Jew-bashing (and a few other things) of his, but we’d pour him a beer (and cut him off at two) and share his love of God’s Word, and the tensions that are simply there in it.

    Is Robinwood Church Lutheran? Yes and no. :-)”

    From Is Robinwood Church Lutheran?

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    If one likes religion, and climbing up the spiritual ladder, getting better in God’s eyes….then have a low view of Baptism…keep it as a symbol. Then the whole project will revolve around you and you can remain religious.

    If you don’t want to be “religious”, but want to trust in what God has done (is doing, and will yet do) then trust that He does the Baptizing, and that He works in it as you return to those promises each day.

    And He wants you to so much have His love and forgiveness, that He crams it doen your throat in the Supper, as well.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    If one likes religion, and climbing up the spiritual ladder, getting better in God’s eyes….then have a low view of Baptism…keep it as a symbol. Then the whole project will revolve around you and you can remain religious.

    If you don’t want to be “religious”, but want to trust in what God has done (is doing, and will yet do) then trust that He does the Baptizing, and that He works in it as you return to those promises each day.

    And He wants you to so much have His love and forgiveness, that He crams it doen your throat in the Supper, as well.

  • Steve in Toronto

    Re: Rob 305
    No sadly I am no longer a reformed Baptist but it is the ground from which I grew and I do still occasionally worship with them (Most of the time I am an Anglican but when I am in the states I can also be found in PCA pews). These people take there Calvinism very seriously. Takes a look at the London Baptist confession of 1689 you won’t find an drop of synergistim there. I am not a historian but I think they have a legitimate calm to being the original Baptists
    (excluding John of course)

  • Steve in Toronto

    Re: Rob 305
    No sadly I am no longer a reformed Baptist but it is the ground from which I grew and I do still occasionally worship with them (Most of the time I am an Anglican but when I am in the states I can also be found in PCA pews). These people take there Calvinism very seriously. Takes a look at the London Baptist confession of 1689 you won’t find an drop of synergistim there. I am not a historian but I think they have a legitimate calm to being the original Baptists
    (excluding John of course)

  • kerner

    Rob @287:

    Excellent questions.

    @304:

    I have to concede that, in North America, I think Lutherans have concentrated on protecting what we have, sometimes at the expense of sharing it. How else do we explain holding services in German until the early 20th century? That doesn’t mean that we don’t try to be “missional”. It just means we don’t have a complex strategy for mission work. And I understand that relying on our own strategy could cross the line between preaching the Gospel and self-promotion. But I still think there is some room for improvement.

  • kerner

    Rob @287:

    Excellent questions.

    @304:

    I have to concede that, in North America, I think Lutherans have concentrated on protecting what we have, sometimes at the expense of sharing it. How else do we explain holding services in German until the early 20th century? That doesn’t mean that we don’t try to be “missional”. It just means we don’t have a complex strategy for mission work. And I understand that relying on our own strategy could cross the line between preaching the Gospel and self-promotion. But I still think there is some room for improvement.

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Where are the Lutherans?

    Are some of them over at Robinwood Church?

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Where are the Lutherans?

    Are some of them over at Robinwood Church?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “How else do we explain holding services in German until the early 20th century?”

    Out of love and concern for grandma and anyone else who didn’t know English. My g-g-grandmother was attending those German services till she died in 1918.

    My current church accommodates non English speakers with services in two foreign languages.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “How else do we explain holding services in German until the early 20th century?”

    Out of love and concern for grandma and anyone else who didn’t know English. My g-g-grandmother was attending those German services till she died in 1918.

    My current church accommodates non English speakers with services in two foreign languages.

  • Rob

    @ Steve – thanks for the info. I looked some stuff in my Creeds of the Churches. Even though I grew up Baptist (obviously “general” Baptist) I didn’t know that there were Calvinist Baptists and Arminian Baptists (always make sure it’s “Arminian” not “Armenian” – no need to blame Armenia for Jacob Arminius). So that’s a start. Still not sure why to be Reformed Baptist. Does it just mean Agree with Calvin, except on the sacraments? Kind of an odd spot, but farewell it.

    @TUaD – any plans to answer any of my questions except about Robinwood Church? I really would value it.

    And, by DeYoung’s original question about confessional Lutherans, we definitely cannot count Housholder and Robinwood among them. Nor do they do so themselves. Like I said – check his self-description and go to the church’s website. Can you find Lutheran? No. You had to dig up another somewhat nonsensical post to do that.

    Okay, about to go offline for the rest of the night. Don’t think I’m being rude if you don’t hear from me again.

  • Rob

    @ Steve – thanks for the info. I looked some stuff in my Creeds of the Churches. Even though I grew up Baptist (obviously “general” Baptist) I didn’t know that there were Calvinist Baptists and Arminian Baptists (always make sure it’s “Arminian” not “Armenian” – no need to blame Armenia for Jacob Arminius). So that’s a start. Still not sure why to be Reformed Baptist. Does it just mean Agree with Calvin, except on the sacraments? Kind of an odd spot, but farewell it.

    @TUaD – any plans to answer any of my questions except about Robinwood Church? I really would value it.

    And, by DeYoung’s original question about confessional Lutherans, we definitely cannot count Housholder and Robinwood among them. Nor do they do so themselves. Like I said – check his self-description and go to the church’s website. Can you find Lutheran? No. You had to dig up another somewhat nonsensical post to do that.

    Okay, about to go offline for the rest of the night. Don’t think I’m being rude if you don’t hear from me again.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “We’ve all heard the joke about crossing a Jehovah’s Witness with a Lutheran and getting someone who knocks at your door but doesn’t know what to say. There’s a lot of truth in that.”

    Probably the reverse.

    Lutherans don’t knock on the door but they do have something to say.

    Jehovah’s Witness are the ones who are knocking but only selling a box full of air.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “We’ve all heard the joke about crossing a Jehovah’s Witness with a Lutheran and getting someone who knocks at your door but doesn’t know what to say. There’s a lot of truth in that.”

    Probably the reverse.

    Lutherans don’t knock on the door but they do have something to say.

    Jehovah’s Witness are the ones who are knocking but only selling a box full of air.

  • kerner

    sg@314:

    Granted. Ministering to the believers in the congregation is a high priority. But preaching the Gospel to unbelievers is too. Balance between these priorities is required. All I’m saying is that we Lutherans have leaned a little too hard on the side of ministering to our own, sometimes at the expense of preaching to the lost. I don’t mean to imply that grandma isn’t important.

  • kerner

    sg@314:

    Granted. Ministering to the believers in the congregation is a high priority. But preaching the Gospel to unbelievers is too. Balance between these priorities is required. All I’m saying is that we Lutherans have leaned a little too hard on the side of ministering to our own, sometimes at the expense of preaching to the lost. I don’t mean to imply that grandma isn’t important.

  • kerner

    I meant to say that this criticism was more apt in the past, and it certainly didn’t apply to foreign missions, in which the Lutheran church has been very active.

  • kerner

    I meant to say that this criticism was more apt in the past, and it certainly didn’t apply to foreign missions, in which the Lutheran church has been very active.

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Where are the Lutherans?

    Do Lutherans have a problem with antinomianism? If so, that might be a partial explanation of where the Lutherans are.

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Where are the Lutherans?

    Do Lutherans have a problem with antinomianism? If so, that might be a partial explanation of where the Lutherans are.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Where are the Lutherans? Quite likely, many of them are off on different threads, having productive conversations with people who actually respond to questions and engage in discussion.

    Just a guess, though.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Where are the Lutherans? Quite likely, many of them are off on different threads, having productive conversations with people who actually respond to questions and engage in discussion.

    Just a guess, though.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “I meant to say that this criticism was more apt in the past,”

    I am not sure I follow. In the past, Lutherans have been very active in evangelizing to speakers of many languages here in the US and reaching out to folks in remote areas as well as in the South. Issues etc, had a very good program on the history of outreach and evangelism in the US. I wish I could find that link.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “I meant to say that this criticism was more apt in the past,”

    I am not sure I follow. In the past, Lutherans have been very active in evangelizing to speakers of many languages here in the US and reaching out to folks in remote areas as well as in the South. Issues etc, had a very good program on the history of outreach and evangelism in the US. I wish I could find that link.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “It just means we don’t have a complex strategy for mission work.”

    Do we need one? honest question.

    I remember going on and on about family issues (I think) on some thread when Tom Hering reminded me that Jesus started with just 12 men, whose strategy wasn’t too complex; teach, baptise.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “It just means we don’t have a complex strategy for mission work.”

    Do we need one? honest question.

    I remember going on and on about family issues (I think) on some thread when Tom Hering reminded me that Jesus started with just 12 men, whose strategy wasn’t too complex; teach, baptise.

  • kerner

    sg:

    Just sayin’ there was room for improvement. That’s all. and based on my anecdotal experience no less. You may disprove me.

  • kerner

    sg:

    Just sayin’ there was room for improvement. That’s all. and based on my anecdotal experience no less. You may disprove me.

  • Grace

    319 – Truth Unites… and Divides

    antinomianism definition:

    ” The doctrine or belief that the Gospel frees Christians from required obedience to any law, whether scriptural, civil, or moral, and that salvation is attained solely through faith and the gift of divine grace.”

    No sin can separate us from Him, even if we were to kill or commit adultery thousands of times each day. Do you think such an exalted Lamb paid merely a small price with a meager sacrifice for our sins? Pray hard for you are quite a sinner.
    Martin Luther
    On the day of the Feast of St. Peter the Apostle, 1521

    Epistle of August 1, 1521 to Melanchthon (This translation is taken from the official Lutheran American Edition of his complete works, vol. 42, pp. 281-82:

    Who fits – antinomianism ?

  • Grace

    319 – Truth Unites… and Divides

    antinomianism definition:

    ” The doctrine or belief that the Gospel frees Christians from required obedience to any law, whether scriptural, civil, or moral, and that salvation is attained solely through faith and the gift of divine grace.”

    No sin can separate us from Him, even if we were to kill or commit adultery thousands of times each day. Do you think such an exalted Lamb paid merely a small price with a meager sacrifice for our sins? Pray hard for you are quite a sinner.
    Martin Luther
    On the day of the Feast of St. Peter the Apostle, 1521

    Epistle of August 1, 1521 to Melanchthon (This translation is taken from the official Lutheran American Edition of his complete works, vol. 42, pp. 281-82:

    Who fits – antinomianism ?

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Grace: “Who fits – antinomianism ?”

    Suppose a baptized Lutheran S.S. officer murders a dozen Jews that week, goes to church on Sunday and takes the Lord’s Supper in closed communion, murders another dozen Jews next week, goes back to church on Sunday and again takes the Lord’s Supper in closed communion, and so on and so forth.

    Is he in a state of grace and given assurance of salvation because he partakes of Lutheran Sacraments and because his Lutheran Pastor has taught him and the rest of the parish that he and they have assurance of salvation?

    As Steve Martin said: “And He wants you to so much have His love and forgiveness, that He crams it doen your throat in the Supper, as well.”

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Grace: “Who fits – antinomianism ?”

    Suppose a baptized Lutheran S.S. officer murders a dozen Jews that week, goes to church on Sunday and takes the Lord’s Supper in closed communion, murders another dozen Jews next week, goes back to church on Sunday and again takes the Lord’s Supper in closed communion, and so on and so forth.

    Is he in a state of grace and given assurance of salvation because he partakes of Lutheran Sacraments and because his Lutheran Pastor has taught him and the rest of the parish that he and they have assurance of salvation?

    As Steve Martin said: “And He wants you to so much have His love and forgiveness, that He crams it doen your throat in the Supper, as well.”

  • Grace

    Truth,

    Martin Luther certainly thought so!

  • Grace

    Truth,

    Martin Luther certainly thought so!

  • Grace

    Truth

    Another point would be the ELCA, and all those who believe they have an excuse for homosexuality. They certainly fit into that camp as well.

    Camp Antinomianism -

  • Grace

    Truth

    Another point would be the ELCA, and all those who believe they have an excuse for homosexuality. They certainly fit into that camp as well.

    Camp Antinomianism -

  • SKPeterson

    Okay,

    Grace, TUAD you both win.

    You both get the persistent, willful and deliberately missing the point award. Two gold stars each. Now sit down and eat your graham cracker.

  • SKPeterson

    Okay,

    Grace, TUAD you both win.

    You both get the persistent, willful and deliberately missing the point award. Two gold stars each. Now sit down and eat your graham cracker.

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

    /sigh

    And now for something completely different.

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

    /sigh

    And now for something completely different.

  • Grace

    SKPeterson – 328

    Ahhhh – you can keep your so called ‘gold stars’ you deserve every one of them, hands down. After you finish your ‘cracker treat you can take a nap. :lol:

  • Grace

    SKPeterson – 328

    Ahhhh – you can keep your so called ‘gold stars’ you deserve every one of them, hands down. After you finish your ‘cracker treat you can take a nap. :lol:

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @325

    The SS officer would probably be excommunicated. George Tiller was excommunicated. It could depend on whether the SS officer was attending one of those Union churches or a confessional church. The Nazis co opted some Union churches if I remember correctly but persecuted confessional churches.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @325

    The SS officer would probably be excommunicated. George Tiller was excommunicated. It could depend on whether the SS officer was attending one of those Union churches or a confessional church. The Nazis co opted some Union churches if I remember correctly but persecuted confessional churches.

  • Grace

    sg – 331

    Really? – I studied WW2 – you might take some time to go a bit deeper into what happened, who took part, who turned a blind eye and the role the ‘church played in that horrific time !

  • Grace

    sg – 331

    Really? – I studied WW2 – you might take some time to go a bit deeper into what happened, who took part, who turned a blind eye and the role the ‘church played in that horrific time !

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    “Another point would be the ELCA, and all those who believe they have an excuse for homosexuality. They certainly fit into that camp as well.

    Camp Antinomianism -”

    Oh. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) fits into the camp of antinomianism, you say? These are baptized Lutherans, aren’t they?

    I wonder if there’s a connection between Lutheran teaching on baptism and the antinomianism seen in the lives of many Lutherans such as those in the ELCA.

    There might be an important thread linking all this.

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    “Another point would be the ELCA, and all those who believe they have an excuse for homosexuality. They certainly fit into that camp as well.

    Camp Antinomianism -”

    Oh. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) fits into the camp of antinomianism, you say? These are baptized Lutherans, aren’t they?

    I wonder if there’s a connection between Lutheran teaching on baptism and the antinomianism seen in the lives of many Lutherans such as those in the ELCA.

    There might be an important thread linking all this.

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    “Another point would be the ELCA, and all those who believe they have an excuse for homosexuality. They certainly fit into that camp as well.

    Camp Antinomianism -”

    Oh. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) fits into the camp of antinomianism, you say? These are baptized Lutherans, aren’t they?

    I wonder if there’s a connection between Lutheran teaching on baptism and the antinomianism seen in the lives of many Lutherans such as those in the ELCA.

    There might be an important thread linking all this.

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    “Another point would be the ELCA, and all those who believe they have an excuse for homosexuality. They certainly fit into that camp as well.

    Camp Antinomianism -”

    Oh. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) fits into the camp of antinomianism, you say? These are baptized Lutherans, aren’t they?

    I wonder if there’s a connection between Lutheran teaching on baptism and the antinomianism seen in the lives of many Lutherans such as those in the ELCA.

    There might be an important thread linking all this.

  • kerner

    So…um TUaD. Are you going to respond to me, or Rob?

  • kerner

    So…um TUaD. Are you going to respond to me, or Rob?

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Vocation calls. Not to mention family responsibilities as well.

    Pax in Christ alone.

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Vocation calls. Not to mention family responsibilities as well.

    Pax in Christ alone.

  • Tom Hering

    What? No vocation or family responsibilities from 8:08 am to 5:53 pm?

  • Tom Hering

    What? No vocation or family responsibilities from 8:08 am to 5:53 pm?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Really? – I studied WW2 – you might take some time to go a bit deeper into what happened, who took part, who turned a blind eye and the role the ‘church played in that horrific time !”

    If you have some info to share, that would be helpful.

    Anyway, Bonhoeffer was Lutheran and outspoken and conspired against the Nazis and was hanged. Now, that is not the whole story, but it is part of it. Nazis were not like the British in India. You couldn’t oppose Nazis with passive resistance and civil disobedience.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Really? – I studied WW2 – you might take some time to go a bit deeper into what happened, who took part, who turned a blind eye and the role the ‘church played in that horrific time !”

    If you have some info to share, that would be helpful.

    Anyway, Bonhoeffer was Lutheran and outspoken and conspired against the Nazis and was hanged. Now, that is not the whole story, but it is part of it. Nazis were not like the British in India. You couldn’t oppose Nazis with passive resistance and civil disobedience.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Hey, Tom.

    I like the kitty. Very fine looking.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Hey, Tom.

    I like the kitty. Very fine looking.

  • Tom Hering

    sg, thanks. That’s my youngest boy, Alfie. The original pic was taken a few days before I brought him home. https://docs.google.com/leaf?id=0B0LY_IA6TPrIZWVkZmM5ZjgtMjQ3My00MDA5LWJjMDgtOThkYzdhYmYwNDFh&hl=en_US

  • Tom Hering

    sg, thanks. That’s my youngest boy, Alfie. The original pic was taken a few days before I brought him home. https://docs.google.com/leaf?id=0B0LY_IA6TPrIZWVkZmM5ZjgtMjQ3My00MDA5LWJjMDgtOThkYzdhYmYwNDFh&hl=en_US

  • Grace

    So Nazis, Hitler and Germany are brought up as the least of those, using the British as your model of evil?

    Bonhoeffer, was but one man, there were more, just like him. There were countless others, who were ‘church going antisemities, marching to Martin Luther’s book, which was handed out in the late 30′s to those in Germany. The effects are still observed and mourned. I know, because I interviewed many in the West L.A. area during the late 70′s – the marks of numbers on their arms – the pain, always the pain.

  • Grace

    So Nazis, Hitler and Germany are brought up as the least of those, using the British as your model of evil?

    Bonhoeffer, was but one man, there were more, just like him. There were countless others, who were ‘church going antisemities, marching to Martin Luther’s book, which was handed out in the late 30′s to those in Germany. The effects are still observed and mourned. I know, because I interviewed many in the West L.A. area during the late 70′s – the marks of numbers on their arms – the pain, always the pain.

  • BW

    Grace,

    I think sg’s point is that the British were eventually impacted by passive resistance and civil disobedience, whereas the Nazis would crush passive resistance.

  • BW

    Grace,

    I think sg’s point is that the British were eventually impacted by passive resistance and civil disobedience, whereas the Nazis would crush passive resistance.

  • Tom Hering
  • Tom Hering
  • Tom Hering

    I’m amazed it took 340 comments before Grace got around to Luther and the Jews again. God willing, it will always take that long on future threads. :-D

  • Tom Hering

    I’m amazed it took 340 comments before Grace got around to Luther and the Jews again. God willing, it will always take that long on future threads. :-D

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “There were countless others, who were ‘church going antisemities, marching to Martin Luther’s book, which was handed out in the late 30′s to those in Germany.”

    By whom? To whom? That is the salient point.

    Some were opted, like I said. Not everyone was going along and the Nazis didn’t advertise that they were exterminating folks. They lied about it. Probably feared what would happen if normal folks found out.

    @343 Thanks for the link.

    “I’m amazed it took 340 comments before Grace got around to Luther and the Jews again.”

    It is an ad hominem attack. As though folks who agree with Book of Concord doctrine can somehow be made to feel that the BoC is wrong because Luther was involved in its writing and Luther went off later on some rant and then someone picked that up and used it for evil, so therefore, you shouldn’t baptise infants or believe in the real presence in communion.

    It is nonsense.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “There were countless others, who were ‘church going antisemities, marching to Martin Luther’s book, which was handed out in the late 30′s to those in Germany.”

    By whom? To whom? That is the salient point.

    Some were opted, like I said. Not everyone was going along and the Nazis didn’t advertise that they were exterminating folks. They lied about it. Probably feared what would happen if normal folks found out.

    @343 Thanks for the link.

    “I’m amazed it took 340 comments before Grace got around to Luther and the Jews again.”

    It is an ad hominem attack. As though folks who agree with Book of Concord doctrine can somehow be made to feel that the BoC is wrong because Luther was involved in its writing and Luther went off later on some rant and then someone picked that up and used it for evil, so therefore, you shouldn’t baptise infants or believe in the real presence in communion.

    It is nonsense.

  • Grace

    sg – 345

    “Some were opted, like I said. Not everyone was going along and the Nazis didn’t advertise that they were exterminating folks. They lied about it. Probably feared what would happen if normal folks found out.”

    sg, that’s the oldest excuse used by those in Germany, or those who choose to turn a ‘blind eye. The SMELL from the ovens in the camps was obvious. It was WELL KNOWN, to say otherwise is to continue the evil fairy tale of “we didn’t know.

    “Normal folks” as you call them had noses, they could smell. It took thousands of men and women working in the camps, do you think they wore ‘duck tape on their mouth when the went home?

    Jews knew what was going on, and so did families of those arrested know about the extermination camps. Thousands upon thousands were killed, they never left the camp, while thousands were added. The trains left empty, and returned FULL of people. And you think they “didn’t know”?

  • Grace

    sg – 345

    “Some were opted, like I said. Not everyone was going along and the Nazis didn’t advertise that they were exterminating folks. They lied about it. Probably feared what would happen if normal folks found out.”

    sg, that’s the oldest excuse used by those in Germany, or those who choose to turn a ‘blind eye. The SMELL from the ovens in the camps was obvious. It was WELL KNOWN, to say otherwise is to continue the evil fairy tale of “we didn’t know.

    “Normal folks” as you call them had noses, they could smell. It took thousands of men and women working in the camps, do you think they wore ‘duck tape on their mouth when the went home?

    Jews knew what was going on, and so did families of those arrested know about the extermination camps. Thousands upon thousands were killed, they never left the camp, while thousands were added. The trains left empty, and returned FULL of people. And you think they “didn’t know”?

  • Tom Hering

    Grace said “duck” tape. :-D If only there was a tape for the mouths of turkeys.

  • Tom Hering

    Grace said “duck” tape. :-D If only there was a tape for the mouths of turkeys.

  • Grace

    If there was, then you could tape yours!

  • Grace

    If there was, then you could tape yours!

  • Tom Hering

    You pushed me first. :-D

  • Tom Hering

    You pushed me first. :-D

  • http://Www.Toddstadler.com tODD

    Ooh, good ‘comeback, Grace (@348)! Oh ‘snap, Tom!

  • http://Www.Toddstadler.com tODD

    Ooh, good ‘comeback, Grace (@348)! Oh ‘snap, Tom!

  • Jonathan

    Tom, she’s right. The German wore duck tape. That’s why their war machine quacked up. :)

    Didn’t someone, like a hundred posts ago, advise not to answer certain people?

  • Jonathan

    Tom, she’s right. The German wore duck tape. That’s why their war machine quacked up. :)

    Didn’t someone, like a hundred posts ago, advise not to answer certain people?

  • Tom Hering

    I suppose “duck” tape is okay for the web.

  • Tom Hering

    I suppose “duck” tape is okay for the web.

  • Stephen

    The ovens were all in Poland.

  • Stephen

    The ovens were all in Poland.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “sg, that’s the oldest excuse used by those in Germany, or those who choose to turn a ‘blind eye. The SMELL from the ovens in the camps was obvious. It was WELL KNOWN, to say otherwise is to continue the evil fairy tale of “we didn’t know.”

    It’s not an excuse. It is true. By the time it was well known, it was also too late. Besides the men were off fighting, the women, kids and old men were supposed to do what exactly? Would you be the one to start something to stop them knowing you, your kids, your parents, etc, would be promptly packed off to ovens, too?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “sg, that’s the oldest excuse used by those in Germany, or those who choose to turn a ‘blind eye. The SMELL from the ovens in the camps was obvious. It was WELL KNOWN, to say otherwise is to continue the evil fairy tale of “we didn’t know.”

    It’s not an excuse. It is true. By the time it was well known, it was also too late. Besides the men were off fighting, the women, kids and old men were supposed to do what exactly? Would you be the one to start something to stop them knowing you, your kids, your parents, etc, would be promptly packed off to ovens, too?

  • Tom Hering

    More accurately, in Nazi-occupied Poland.

  • Tom Hering

    More accurately, in Nazi-occupied Poland.

  • Grace

    Stephen – 353

    The extermination camps were located:

    Buchenwald concentration camp Weimar Germany
    The photos, bottom of page – Crematorium at Buchenwald
    http://www.whale.to/b/buchenwald_p.html

    Ukraine, Croatia, Natzweiler-Struthof, France – Sajmiste, Serbia, and Poland

    7 different countries all headed up by Nazi Germany

  • Grace

    Stephen – 353

    The extermination camps were located:

    Buchenwald concentration camp Weimar Germany
    The photos, bottom of page – Crematorium at Buchenwald
    http://www.whale.to/b/buchenwald_p.html

    Ukraine, Croatia, Natzweiler-Struthof, France – Sajmiste, Serbia, and Poland

    7 different countries all headed up by Nazi Germany

  • Craig

    Larry 298 Very well stated! I commune with a growing group of former Calvinists. We were your standard evangelicals then in the early 90′s then heard WHI and RC Sproul and got hooked with the substance of what they were saying after years of a diet of Arminian Dispensational garbage. After about 5-7 years of steady Calvinism we looked in the mirror (the Law) and saw an unchanged sinner. The Limited Atonement was so crushing that it made many of us ready to walk out on Christianity. I would have friends tell me that they felt that everyone at church including their family was elect but that they weren’t chosen. This is another dark Reformed secret. The people who bark the loudest for the Limited Atonement ( i.e Limited Gospel) are the ones who believe the doctrine but deep down believe that they are excluded. Just ask a former Calvinists about the anfechtung that L in TULIP delivers. Lutherans live in real time. The Absolution is real forgiveness of real sins that I really commit. The Calvinists will do some declaration of forgiveness that took place before creation but it never really lands on the poor parishioners who feel the weight of their personal sin. Anyway I reached out to Rod and he graciously had lunch with me and a few other friends , we listened to issues etc, read Veith’s SotC and were met with the love of a local LCMS church with pastors and parishioners who loved and welcomed us without compromising their confession. Lutheranism saved me and a lot of my friends from terrible despair. So that is why I get a bit chippy with the Reformed and their Systematics. Pastor Cwrila once told me that Prof Nagel used to say Lutherans do not have a system and the Reformed are completely based on a system. Have you ever noticed that we have Pieper’s Dogmatics and Muellers (cliff notes) addition but the Reformed have dozens and dozens of systematic theologies? In fact I have heard the Horton has a new one. Oh joy more reformed systematics. Just watch all bet that he will try to inject some low form of Luther’s Law and Gospel hermeneutic in there but is will be subservient to his covenantal manure. And he will try to give meaning to baptism but that will fall short. Then he will try to convince the reader that Christ is really present in the Supper, well present except for His body….oh the little details. For Lutherans the Word never changes the promises are the promises. The reformed systematics are always under development. That is a good indication that it is not biblical but rather just another man made ladder. Larry keep your comments flowing I enjoy your insights!

  • Craig

    Larry 298 Very well stated! I commune with a growing group of former Calvinists. We were your standard evangelicals then in the early 90′s then heard WHI and RC Sproul and got hooked with the substance of what they were saying after years of a diet of Arminian Dispensational garbage. After about 5-7 years of steady Calvinism we looked in the mirror (the Law) and saw an unchanged sinner. The Limited Atonement was so crushing that it made many of us ready to walk out on Christianity. I would have friends tell me that they felt that everyone at church including their family was elect but that they weren’t chosen. This is another dark Reformed secret. The people who bark the loudest for the Limited Atonement ( i.e Limited Gospel) are the ones who believe the doctrine but deep down believe that they are excluded. Just ask a former Calvinists about the anfechtung that L in TULIP delivers. Lutherans live in real time. The Absolution is real forgiveness of real sins that I really commit. The Calvinists will do some declaration of forgiveness that took place before creation but it never really lands on the poor parishioners who feel the weight of their personal sin. Anyway I reached out to Rod and he graciously had lunch with me and a few other friends , we listened to issues etc, read Veith’s SotC and were met with the love of a local LCMS church with pastors and parishioners who loved and welcomed us without compromising their confession. Lutheranism saved me and a lot of my friends from terrible despair. So that is why I get a bit chippy with the Reformed and their Systematics. Pastor Cwrila once told me that Prof Nagel used to say Lutherans do not have a system and the Reformed are completely based on a system. Have you ever noticed that we have Pieper’s Dogmatics and Muellers (cliff notes) addition but the Reformed have dozens and dozens of systematic theologies? In fact I have heard the Horton has a new one. Oh joy more reformed systematics. Just watch all bet that he will try to inject some low form of Luther’s Law and Gospel hermeneutic in there but is will be subservient to his covenantal manure. And he will try to give meaning to baptism but that will fall short. Then he will try to convince the reader that Christ is really present in the Supper, well present except for His body….oh the little details. For Lutherans the Word never changes the promises are the promises. The reformed systematics are always under development. That is a good indication that it is not biblical but rather just another man made ladder. Larry keep your comments flowing I enjoy your insights!

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace would, of course, always prefer that the topic focus on — and never deviate from — Luther and the Jews. She loves to talk about other people’s sins. By which I refer specifically to Martin Luther, and more generally to Lutherans.

    (TUaD, on the other hand, would just rather quote from an anti-Lutheran argument he can find on the Web — and, when called upon to actually engage in discussion, claim that, whoops he has no time. Actually, that’s been Grace’s tactic on past threads, as well.)

    But rather than discuss pointless (and, more to the point, unknowable) hypotheticals involving the salvation of this or that SS officer (@325), let’s get real. Specifically, let’s talk about the sins of Grace and TUaD.

    Because they do sin. And they sin willingly. You can see it on display in this thread, among others. You can see all of us voluntarily sinning here — how many of us would hold up our comments here as examples of unblemished love for our neighbors? (And that’s just our comments. We all know there’s a politeness filter that keeps out the worst of what really passes through our brains.)

    So here’s my question for our two anti-Lutherans: do your overt, willful sins on display here separate you from the love of God? I mean, sure, you long ago prayed some prayer, or whatever it is that you look to for some sign that you’re saved, but here you are today, sinning. Grossly sinning against your neighbor. (Once more, I’m equally implicated in all this, as are the Lutherans, but we all know this stuff already.) So, are you still in a state of grace? Can you be assured of your salvation, if you behave like this?

    I’m pretty certain I know how you’ll respond to this (and hopefully it’ll be more than Grace’s go-to non-response, “Poor tODD!”), assuming that you have the courage to respond to it. We’ll see yet who the true antinomians are.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace would, of course, always prefer that the topic focus on — and never deviate from — Luther and the Jews. She loves to talk about other people’s sins. By which I refer specifically to Martin Luther, and more generally to Lutherans.

    (TUaD, on the other hand, would just rather quote from an anti-Lutheran argument he can find on the Web — and, when called upon to actually engage in discussion, claim that, whoops he has no time. Actually, that’s been Grace’s tactic on past threads, as well.)

    But rather than discuss pointless (and, more to the point, unknowable) hypotheticals involving the salvation of this or that SS officer (@325), let’s get real. Specifically, let’s talk about the sins of Grace and TUaD.

    Because they do sin. And they sin willingly. You can see it on display in this thread, among others. You can see all of us voluntarily sinning here — how many of us would hold up our comments here as examples of unblemished love for our neighbors? (And that’s just our comments. We all know there’s a politeness filter that keeps out the worst of what really passes through our brains.)

    So here’s my question for our two anti-Lutherans: do your overt, willful sins on display here separate you from the love of God? I mean, sure, you long ago prayed some prayer, or whatever it is that you look to for some sign that you’re saved, but here you are today, sinning. Grossly sinning against your neighbor. (Once more, I’m equally implicated in all this, as are the Lutherans, but we all know this stuff already.) So, are you still in a state of grace? Can you be assured of your salvation, if you behave like this?

    I’m pretty certain I know how you’ll respond to this (and hopefully it’ll be more than Grace’s go-to non-response, “Poor tODD!”), assuming that you have the courage to respond to it. We’ll see yet who the true antinomians are.

  • Stephen

    I know Tom. I was making a point to the self-proclaimed “expert” who seems to the believe German citizens could “smell the ovens” that’s all.

    I know, let’s blame the Jonestown Massacre on bible-thumping evangelicals in California with no doctrine who follow apocolyptic nut jobs!

  • Stephen

    I know Tom. I was making a point to the self-proclaimed “expert” who seems to the believe German citizens could “smell the ovens” that’s all.

    I know, let’s blame the Jonestown Massacre on bible-thumping evangelicals in California with no doctrine who follow apocolyptic nut jobs!

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Ukraine, Croatia, Natzweiler-Struthof, France – Sajmiste, Serbia, and Poland”

    Okay, and the folks in those places close by didn’t stop them because…what? Love of the Nazis?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Ukraine, Croatia, Natzweiler-Struthof, France – Sajmiste, Serbia, and Poland”

    Okay, and the folks in those places close by didn’t stop them because…what? Love of the Nazis?

  • Craig

    Where are the Lutherans?
    Nazi Germany?

    We shouldn’t be talking about Nazi ovens when we abort per capita 4 to 1 compared to Germany. Who is post Christian: Europe or the US when we kill more babies per capita?

    Thank God the LMCS and her Churches have held fast to the sanctity of life.

  • Craig

    Where are the Lutherans?
    Nazi Germany?

    We shouldn’t be talking about Nazi ovens when we abort per capita 4 to 1 compared to Germany. Who is post Christian: Europe or the US when we kill more babies per capita?

    Thank God the LMCS and her Churches have held fast to the sanctity of life.

  • Grace

    sg,

    If that’s your excuse, so be it.

    I am glad there were those who felt differently, who believed that it was their responsibility to help. Corrie ten Boom being one, her sister, father, cousins and many others died in those hideous camps. Corrie went on to tell the story, it’s been a banner for all those who stand for truth, even when it means putting their life on the line.

    Germany was not just filled with women, while all the men were off fighting. There were thousands of men who worked the camps.

    16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

    17 But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?

    18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. 1 John 3

    How many Christians died in those camps? Be it Poland, German, Ukraine, Croatia, France, Sajmiste, Serbia?

    Bravery was not the long suit of many! And just where was the Church?

  • Grace

    sg,

    If that’s your excuse, so be it.

    I am glad there were those who felt differently, who believed that it was their responsibility to help. Corrie ten Boom being one, her sister, father, cousins and many others died in those hideous camps. Corrie went on to tell the story, it’s been a banner for all those who stand for truth, even when it means putting their life on the line.

    Germany was not just filled with women, while all the men were off fighting. There were thousands of men who worked the camps.

    16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

    17 But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?

    18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. 1 John 3

    How many Christians died in those camps? Be it Poland, German, Ukraine, Croatia, France, Sajmiste, Serbia?

    Bravery was not the long suit of many! And just where was the Church?

  • Grace

    sg,

    Hitler and Germany began the war which killed over 6 million Jews. Where was the Church?

  • Grace

    sg,

    Hitler and Germany began the war which killed over 6 million Jews. Where was the Church?

  • Rob

    @Grace – if it is really an area where you would like to be informed, buy a copy of Uwe Siemon-Netto’s The Fabricated Luther which addresses the very topics/straw men/myths you are re-treading for the umpteenth time.

    Or, if you don’t trust those Lutherans because after all, we are all Jew-hating Nazi sympathizers, then read the evangelical Eric Metaxas’ biography of Bonhoeffer and you will understand that the Reichskirche was not the Lutheran church, but the bastard child of the Fuhrer and the Union church.

    “Union” as in forced union between Reformed and Lutheran. Once the union was forced and people got used to fudging it when it came to doctrine, very few really had the theological legs to stand on to oppose the Reichskirche. Those who did were often strongly confessional Lutherans like Hermann Sasse or primarily confessional Lutherans like Bonhoeffer.

    So we just worked our way back to another reason the Lutherans are leery of compromising doctrine. Start pulling out plugs and it’s hard to know where to stop.

  • Rob

    @Grace – if it is really an area where you would like to be informed, buy a copy of Uwe Siemon-Netto’s The Fabricated Luther which addresses the very topics/straw men/myths you are re-treading for the umpteenth time.

    Or, if you don’t trust those Lutherans because after all, we are all Jew-hating Nazi sympathizers, then read the evangelical Eric Metaxas’ biography of Bonhoeffer and you will understand that the Reichskirche was not the Lutheran church, but the bastard child of the Fuhrer and the Union church.

    “Union” as in forced union between Reformed and Lutheran. Once the union was forced and people got used to fudging it when it came to doctrine, very few really had the theological legs to stand on to oppose the Reichskirche. Those who did were often strongly confessional Lutherans like Hermann Sasse or primarily confessional Lutherans like Bonhoeffer.

    So we just worked our way back to another reason the Lutherans are leery of compromising doctrine. Start pulling out plugs and it’s hard to know where to stop.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Wasn’t the union of the churches an invention of the state? Also, didn’t the version of that church in the US later become the United Church of Christ?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Wasn’t the union of the churches an invention of the state? Also, didn’t the version of that church in the US later become the United Church of Christ?

  • Grace

    Bonhoeffer was a good man, however he does not cover the deeds of all others.

    I am well studied on the subject of WW2 – I have read many excuses, I have interviewed both those who were in the camps, and those who were not Jews but resented their position, education and all they had.

    I seen countlesss photos, some which have never been publicly printed. It is foolish and ignorant to make excuses for what happened, or Luther’s ‘little book.

  • Grace

    Bonhoeffer was a good man, however he does not cover the deeds of all others.

    I am well studied on the subject of WW2 – I have read many excuses, I have interviewed both those who were in the camps, and those who were not Jews but resented their position, education and all they had.

    I seen countlesss photos, some which have never been publicly printed. It is foolish and ignorant to make excuses for what happened, or Luther’s ‘little book.

  • Grace

    366 should read;

    “I have seen countlesss photos, ………….

  • Grace

    366 should read;

    “I have seen countlesss photos, ………….

  • http://Www.Toddstadler.com tODD

    Grace (@366), allow me to be blunt. If you were as “well studied” on this matter — or on any of the many matters for which you have asserted your expertise on this blog — you would not be saying the things here that you are. Your own comments belie your claims to expertise.

    Once again, allow me to remind you that true experts do not blithely assert their own expertise as a counterargument. No, their expertise shines through everything they say. It is obvious how much they know, because their comments are full of knowledge and understanding. 

    Let me be frank: this is not the case with you. You repeatedly trot the same few, tired arguments, never even showing that you have learned anything from the last time you brought this topic up for discussion, much less from any book.

    Now repeat after me, Grace: “Poor tODD!”

  • http://Www.Toddstadler.com tODD

    Grace (@366), allow me to be blunt. If you were as “well studied” on this matter — or on any of the many matters for which you have asserted your expertise on this blog — you would not be saying the things here that you are. Your own comments belie your claims to expertise.

    Once again, allow me to remind you that true experts do not blithely assert their own expertise as a counterargument. No, their expertise shines through everything they say. It is obvious how much they know, because their comments are full of knowledge and understanding. 

    Let me be frank: this is not the case with you. You repeatedly trot the same few, tired arguments, never even showing that you have learned anything from the last time you brought this topic up for discussion, much less from any book.

    Now repeat after me, Grace: “Poor tODD!”

  • Rob

    Where did I make excuses for what happened or for Luther’s little book? Have you read either of the books I mentioned? Recommend any that would counter their positions? If you are well-studied, then start giving some backing.

    Hitler (a non-observant Catholic) used his athiestic PR men to promote a little-known writing of Luther’s (which is not part of the Lutheran confession) to justify his unauthorized and unpublicized extermination of the Jews. His cultural attaches annexed the Union church into the Reichskirche. Sasse, Bonhoeffer, and others formed the Confessing Church in opposition. The world ecumenical movement ignored the pleas of the Confessing Church (and recognized the Muller-led Reichskirche). If you are well-studied on WWII, then you know these to be the facts.

  • Rob

    Where did I make excuses for what happened or for Luther’s little book? Have you read either of the books I mentioned? Recommend any that would counter their positions? If you are well-studied, then start giving some backing.

    Hitler (a non-observant Catholic) used his athiestic PR men to promote a little-known writing of Luther’s (which is not part of the Lutheran confession) to justify his unauthorized and unpublicized extermination of the Jews. His cultural attaches annexed the Union church into the Reichskirche. Sasse, Bonhoeffer, and others formed the Confessing Church in opposition. The world ecumenical movement ignored the pleas of the Confessing Church (and recognized the Muller-led Reichskirche). If you are well-studied on WWII, then you know these to be the facts.

  • Grace

    sg – 365

    Yes, use the excuse — Chapter 13 Romans was, and still is, cited as proof of Church and State. The Germans adopted Martin Luther’s anti Semitism and state authority.

  • Grace

    sg – 365

    Yes, use the excuse — Chapter 13 Romans was, and still is, cited as proof of Church and State. The Germans adopted Martin Luther’s anti Semitism and state authority.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Bonhoeffer was a good man, however he does not cover the deeds of all others.”

    Right. Nothing short of stopping the Nazis would be good enough to “cover the deeds of all the others” is that it? Anyway, it turns out stopping the Nazis was mighty hard. It took real trained armies years to stop Nazis. Those “good” folks who stood up to the Nazis got killed. Just like the Soviets and Red Chinese killed tons of civilians, the point is to stop stuff before it starts. By the Germans realized what they had done, it was too late.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Bonhoeffer was a good man, however he does not cover the deeds of all others.”

    Right. Nothing short of stopping the Nazis would be good enough to “cover the deeds of all the others” is that it? Anyway, it turns out stopping the Nazis was mighty hard. It took real trained armies years to stop Nazis. Those “good” folks who stood up to the Nazis got killed. Just like the Soviets and Red Chinese killed tons of civilians, the point is to stop stuff before it starts. By the Germans realized what they had done, it was too late.

  • Grace

    Rob,

    I have a library full of books on WW2. I don’t need to read every book that’s suggested by you or anyone else. The proof is there, it’s obvious. Those who can’t see it are blind.

    As far as Luther’s ‘little book – it was handed out in Germany in the mid to late 30′s – it kindled the fire, especially since the author was, Luther.

  • Grace

    Rob,

    I have a library full of books on WW2. I don’t need to read every book that’s suggested by you or anyone else. The proof is there, it’s obvious. Those who can’t see it are blind.

    As far as Luther’s ‘little book – it was handed out in Germany in the mid to late 30′s – it kindled the fire, especially since the author was, Luther.

  • Grace

    TIME MAGAZINE
    Religion: Luther Is to Blame
    Monday, Nov. 06, 1944

    “William Ralph Inge, now 84 and ten years retired as Dean of London’s St. Paul’s, rarely breaks into public print nowadays. But when he does, the “Gloomy Dean” is as pungent and provocative as ever. In the Churchman last fortnight he wrote:
    “If we wish to find a scapegoat on whose shoulders we may lay the miseries which Germany has brought upon the world . . . I am more and more convinced that the worst evil genius of that country is not Hitler or Bismarck or Frederick the Great, but Martin Luther. . . . Lutheranism is essentially German. … It worships a God who is neither just nor merciful. . . . The Law of Nature, which ought to be the court of appeal against unjust authority, is identified with the existing order of society, to which absolute obedience is due. . . . We must hope that the next swing of the pendulum will put an end to Luther’s influence in Germany.”

    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,803412,00.html

  • Grace

    TIME MAGAZINE
    Religion: Luther Is to Blame
    Monday, Nov. 06, 1944

    “William Ralph Inge, now 84 and ten years retired as Dean of London’s St. Paul’s, rarely breaks into public print nowadays. But when he does, the “Gloomy Dean” is as pungent and provocative as ever. In the Churchman last fortnight he wrote:
    “If we wish to find a scapegoat on whose shoulders we may lay the miseries which Germany has brought upon the world . . . I am more and more convinced that the worst evil genius of that country is not Hitler or Bismarck or Frederick the Great, but Martin Luther. . . . Lutheranism is essentially German. … It worships a God who is neither just nor merciful. . . . The Law of Nature, which ought to be the court of appeal against unjust authority, is identified with the existing order of society, to which absolute obedience is due. . . . We must hope that the next swing of the pendulum will put an end to Luther’s influence in Germany.”

    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,803412,00.html

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “The Germans adopted Martin Luther’s anti Semitism and state authority.”

    Yeah, but Lutheran Christians don’t. So, it is irrelevant.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “The Germans adopted Martin Luther’s anti Semitism and state authority.”

    Yeah, but Lutheran Christians don’t. So, it is irrelevant.

  • Grace

    sg – 374

    Not true – I’ve known those who were born in Germany, who are much older than I, who did adopt it.

    It isn’t “irrelevant” as you claim – not by a long shot!

  • Grace

    sg – 374

    Not true – I’ve known those who were born in Germany, who are much older than I, who did adopt it.

    It isn’t “irrelevant” as you claim – not by a long shot!

  • Cincinnatus

    Grace@372: Perhaps, then, you ought to read some of those books. I suggest, in particular, Hannah Arendt’s Origins of Totalitarianism and its excellent section on antisemitism (as she spells it). The books is 470 pages long with no illustrations or color photographs, so it might be a bit of a slog for you, but try anyway.

    Citing Luther as a cause for the antisemitism that inspired the worst crimes in human history is utterly and completely absurd. Wrong, wrong, wrong. I’m not a Lutheran, and I have nothing to gain from defending Lutheranism, but your claims are just stupid. Continental antisemitism in the decades prior to WWII was rooted in historical grievances both real and imagined that had nothing whatsoever to do with Luther and Lutheranism and more to do with the historical status of Jews as stateless financiers emerging from the Middle Ages, a class both indispensable to and removed from (and thus perceived as dangerous to) the state. And, in reality, France actually wrote the book on antisemitism prior to Germany (cf. the Dreyfus affair).

    And seriously, if you’re going to use Luther’s “little book” as an excuse to impugn Midwestern churchgoers, why not just hate everyone of German extraction? Or Russian–because they killed Jews too. Hey, I’m half-German by ancestry. Am I loathsome?

    One thing you are correct about is that it is now indisputable that the German populace (and subject populations in other nations) were perfectly aware of and thus complicit in the Holocaust, and not merely because they could smell the stench from the death camps. The Nazi regime enjoyed wide popularity until the final years of the War. But, according to Arendt (and this is why her book is controversial), so were the Allies and even the Jews themselves. Everyone was complicit in the Holocaust.

    But that still has nothing in particular to do with Lutheranism. Germany isn’t and wasn’t a devout nation at the time. The Union Church was nothing more than an instrument of the state, and the fact that the Nazis used a book by Luther as propaganda means nothing about the book itself. John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath–a fine work–was used by the Soviets as anti-American propaganda, but that doesn’t tarnish the book itself.

    /why do I bother?

  • Cincinnatus

    Grace@372: Perhaps, then, you ought to read some of those books. I suggest, in particular, Hannah Arendt’s Origins of Totalitarianism and its excellent section on antisemitism (as she spells it). The books is 470 pages long with no illustrations or color photographs, so it might be a bit of a slog for you, but try anyway.

    Citing Luther as a cause for the antisemitism that inspired the worst crimes in human history is utterly and completely absurd. Wrong, wrong, wrong. I’m not a Lutheran, and I have nothing to gain from defending Lutheranism, but your claims are just stupid. Continental antisemitism in the decades prior to WWII was rooted in historical grievances both real and imagined that had nothing whatsoever to do with Luther and Lutheranism and more to do with the historical status of Jews as stateless financiers emerging from the Middle Ages, a class both indispensable to and removed from (and thus perceived as dangerous to) the state. And, in reality, France actually wrote the book on antisemitism prior to Germany (cf. the Dreyfus affair).

    And seriously, if you’re going to use Luther’s “little book” as an excuse to impugn Midwestern churchgoers, why not just hate everyone of German extraction? Or Russian–because they killed Jews too. Hey, I’m half-German by ancestry. Am I loathsome?

    One thing you are correct about is that it is now indisputable that the German populace (and subject populations in other nations) were perfectly aware of and thus complicit in the Holocaust, and not merely because they could smell the stench from the death camps. The Nazi regime enjoyed wide popularity until the final years of the War. But, according to Arendt (and this is why her book is controversial), so were the Allies and even the Jews themselves. Everyone was complicit in the Holocaust.

    But that still has nothing in particular to do with Lutheranism. Germany isn’t and wasn’t a devout nation at the time. The Union Church was nothing more than an instrument of the state, and the fact that the Nazis used a book by Luther as propaganda means nothing about the book itself. John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath–a fine work–was used by the Soviets as anti-American propaganda, but that doesn’t tarnish the book itself.

    /why do I bother?

  • Rob

    I love the kind of scholarship that says, “I don’t need the full story. I already have a shelf full of books.” I would think you would be fascinated to know how Lutherans handled that period. Likewise, I would think anyone who cared at all about WWII, let alone WWII Germany would be interested in Metaxas’ biography. It made the non-fiction bestseller list for 2010, for Pete’s sake. It has its flaws, but the head-in-the-sand approach is at new heights if you aren’t even interested in reading other award-winning scholarship and biography.

    But I am still game, which book on your shelf-full disputes any of the facts as I have laid them out? You’re going to have to do better than a mid-war Anglican prelate’s article in Time magazine of all places. An interesting (and xenophobic) take, sure, but the fingerprints of bias are so great any historian or theologian worth two cents would take them into consideration.

  • Rob

    I love the kind of scholarship that says, “I don’t need the full story. I already have a shelf full of books.” I would think you would be fascinated to know how Lutherans handled that period. Likewise, I would think anyone who cared at all about WWII, let alone WWII Germany would be interested in Metaxas’ biography. It made the non-fiction bestseller list for 2010, for Pete’s sake. It has its flaws, but the head-in-the-sand approach is at new heights if you aren’t even interested in reading other award-winning scholarship and biography.

    But I am still game, which book on your shelf-full disputes any of the facts as I have laid them out? You’re going to have to do better than a mid-war Anglican prelate’s article in Time magazine of all places. An interesting (and xenophobic) take, sure, but the fingerprints of bias are so great any historian or theologian worth two cents would take them into consideration.

  • Cincinnatus

    Also, the reason Luther is occasionally identified as a philosophical “cause” (a very indirect cause, of course) of Nazism is because his early political philosophy insists upon a strict division between Church and State and Christian obedience to secular authorities without any exceptions. This is, within academic circles, often cited as one of the formative moments in the development of modern absolutism, etc.

    And it has nothing to do with antisemitism.

    Also, if personal experience counts, I know many Lutherans, and none of them are antisemites. In fact, all of them, to a man, love the Jews as irrationally as most American Christians.

  • Cincinnatus

    Also, the reason Luther is occasionally identified as a philosophical “cause” (a very indirect cause, of course) of Nazism is because his early political philosophy insists upon a strict division between Church and State and Christian obedience to secular authorities without any exceptions. This is, within academic circles, often cited as one of the formative moments in the development of modern absolutism, etc.

    And it has nothing to do with antisemitism.

    Also, if personal experience counts, I know many Lutherans, and none of them are antisemites. In fact, all of them, to a man, love the Jews as irrationally as most American Christians.

  • Holly

    I am in the middle of “Bonhoeffer” by Metaxas right now and it is a great book so far. I think he does a fair job of “putting the best construction” on Luther’s varied writings toward the Jews, without excusing him. What most resonated with me, however, was that Bonhoeffer had no idea Luther had ever written such things about the Jews until the Nazis started disseminating the material – since those particular writings have nothing to do with the Lutheran Confessions, many Lutherans are unaware of the things Luther wrote about the Jews (good or bad). I was unaware of it for many years – it’s not part of our theology, and Luther’s anti-Semitic writings are rightly condemned by Lutherans.

  • Holly

    I am in the middle of “Bonhoeffer” by Metaxas right now and it is a great book so far. I think he does a fair job of “putting the best construction” on Luther’s varied writings toward the Jews, without excusing him. What most resonated with me, however, was that Bonhoeffer had no idea Luther had ever written such things about the Jews until the Nazis started disseminating the material – since those particular writings have nothing to do with the Lutheran Confessions, many Lutherans are unaware of the things Luther wrote about the Jews (good or bad). I was unaware of it for many years – it’s not part of our theology, and Luther’s anti-Semitic writings are rightly condemned by Lutherans.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @373

    One man’s opinion, while interesting, is not proof.

    I was not familiar with Inge, so I looked at wiki.

    “Inge was a prolific author. In addition to scores of articles, lectures and sermons, he also wrote over 35 books.[4] He is best known for his works on Plotinus and neoplatonic philosophy, and on Christian mysticism. He was a strong proponent of a spiritual type of religion—”that autonomous faith which rests upon experience and individual inspiration”—as opposed to one of coercive authority; so he was outspoken in his criticisms of the Roman Catholic Church. His thought, on the whole, represents a blending of traditional Christian theology with elements of Platonic philosophy. He shares this much with one of his favorite writers, Benjamin Whichcote, the first of the Cambridge Platonists. In addition to this he was also a Eugenicist and wrote considerably on the subject. In his book Outspoken Essays he devotes an entire chapter to this subject.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Ralph_Inge

    How about Hitler and the Nazis are the culpable folks in WWII instead of long dead, Martin Luther, who was powerless to motivate such genocidal antisemitism from the time of his death till the Nazis, some 400 years.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @373

    One man’s opinion, while interesting, is not proof.

    I was not familiar with Inge, so I looked at wiki.

    “Inge was a prolific author. In addition to scores of articles, lectures and sermons, he also wrote over 35 books.[4] He is best known for his works on Plotinus and neoplatonic philosophy, and on Christian mysticism. He was a strong proponent of a spiritual type of religion—”that autonomous faith which rests upon experience and individual inspiration”—as opposed to one of coercive authority; so he was outspoken in his criticisms of the Roman Catholic Church. His thought, on the whole, represents a blending of traditional Christian theology with elements of Platonic philosophy. He shares this much with one of his favorite writers, Benjamin Whichcote, the first of the Cambridge Platonists. In addition to this he was also a Eugenicist and wrote considerably on the subject. In his book Outspoken Essays he devotes an entire chapter to this subject.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Ralph_Inge

    How about Hitler and the Nazis are the culpable folks in WWII instead of long dead, Martin Luther, who was powerless to motivate such genocidal antisemitism from the time of his death till the Nazis, some 400 years.

  • Stephen

    Grace you said “that’s the oldest excuse used by those in Germany, or those who choose to turn a ‘blind eye. The SMELL from the ovens in the camps was obvious. ” That was my point. It wasn’t as “obvious” as you imagine. Maybe to the Poles, but not to German citizens. Certainly Germans bear a degree of culpability for what happened and they still know it and feel it.

    Are you saying Luther caused Auschwitz and that is why Lutheranism is wrong? Is that why you are here raving about a forgotten book Luther wrote that Goebbels and Himmler dug up and reprinted as part of the Nazi propoganda machine? The project was already in the works I’m afraid. Luther was co-opted.

    Now, if you wan to make a case that Germany as a culture was increasingly anti-semetic since about the 18th c. or so, that is probably accurate. Even Neitzsche recognized that and he railed against anti-semitism, even breaking off a friendship with Richard Wagner because Wagner was anti-semetic. But then Neitzsche was also co-opted by the Nazis.

    You can believe what you want to believe, but you make a terrible historical argument. Not sure what books you have in your extensive library, but they are either not very good ones or you haven’t actually read them.

    And by the way, since when were you assigned the judge of others as to their salvation? I thought that was Jesus’ territory. Who are you tell people that thie Christian babptism is meaningless, the very thing Christ commanded us to do. Peter taught in Acts that this promise is “for and your children.” How can you tell so easily who has faith and who doesn’t , who God has chosen and who doesn’t?

    Which sins get forgiven and which do not? How do we know? Let me ask you Luther’s question, “Do you think such an exalted Lamb paid merely a small price with a meager sacrifice for our sins?”
    I’d say assuming a role that only Chirst has is a grave sin, and it sure seems like you and your friend TUAD are doing just that. Let me makea a suggestion:

    “Pray hard for you are quite a sinner.” – Luther

  • Stephen

    Grace you said “that’s the oldest excuse used by those in Germany, or those who choose to turn a ‘blind eye. The SMELL from the ovens in the camps was obvious. ” That was my point. It wasn’t as “obvious” as you imagine. Maybe to the Poles, but not to German citizens. Certainly Germans bear a degree of culpability for what happened and they still know it and feel it.

    Are you saying Luther caused Auschwitz and that is why Lutheranism is wrong? Is that why you are here raving about a forgotten book Luther wrote that Goebbels and Himmler dug up and reprinted as part of the Nazi propoganda machine? The project was already in the works I’m afraid. Luther was co-opted.

    Now, if you wan to make a case that Germany as a culture was increasingly anti-semetic since about the 18th c. or so, that is probably accurate. Even Neitzsche recognized that and he railed against anti-semitism, even breaking off a friendship with Richard Wagner because Wagner was anti-semetic. But then Neitzsche was also co-opted by the Nazis.

    You can believe what you want to believe, but you make a terrible historical argument. Not sure what books you have in your extensive library, but they are either not very good ones or you haven’t actually read them.

    And by the way, since when were you assigned the judge of others as to their salvation? I thought that was Jesus’ territory. Who are you tell people that thie Christian babptism is meaningless, the very thing Christ commanded us to do. Peter taught in Acts that this promise is “for and your children.” How can you tell so easily who has faith and who doesn’t , who God has chosen and who doesn’t?

    Which sins get forgiven and which do not? How do we know? Let me ask you Luther’s question, “Do you think such an exalted Lamb paid merely a small price with a meager sacrifice for our sins?”
    I’d say assuming a role that only Chirst has is a grave sin, and it sure seems like you and your friend TUAD are doing just that. Let me makea a suggestion:

    “Pray hard for you are quite a sinner.” – Luther

  • Rob

    Seriously, folks. Read Siemon-Netto’s Fabricated Luther from CPH. He’s an award-winning journalist who takes on the false caricatures of Luther’s Two Kingdoms which were promoted by the Reichskirche, by Monday Morning Quarterbacks as early as the mid-40′s (like Inge), and, unfortunately, are propagated in lesser forms by Metaxas in Bonhoeffer.

    Cincinattus just unwittingly promulgated it too in abstracting it as “Christian obedience to secular authorities without any exceptions.” But Luther himself broke this so-called rule with Charles V – before he wrote any of his pamphlets surrounding the Peasants Revolt. His take is far more nuanced and deserves better attention from well-read and intelligent people like many of the commenters here.

  • Rob

    Seriously, folks. Read Siemon-Netto’s Fabricated Luther from CPH. He’s an award-winning journalist who takes on the false caricatures of Luther’s Two Kingdoms which were promoted by the Reichskirche, by Monday Morning Quarterbacks as early as the mid-40′s (like Inge), and, unfortunately, are propagated in lesser forms by Metaxas in Bonhoeffer.

    Cincinattus just unwittingly promulgated it too in abstracting it as “Christian obedience to secular authorities without any exceptions.” But Luther himself broke this so-called rule with Charles V – before he wrote any of his pamphlets surrounding the Peasants Revolt. His take is far more nuanced and deserves better attention from well-read and intelligent people like many of the commenters here.

  • Rob

    Correction – “Cincinnatus”.

    Brain’s too tired now. I am off. Blessings on all.

  • Rob

    Correction – “Cincinnatus”.

    Brain’s too tired now. I am off. Blessings on all.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Seriously, folks. Read Siemon-Netto’s Fabricated Luther from CPH.”

    FWIW, that was one of the first books I bought for our church library when I became the librarian.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Seriously, folks. Read Siemon-Netto’s Fabricated Luther from CPH.”

    FWIW, that was one of the first books I bought for our church library when I became the librarian.

  • trotk

    “No sin can separate us from Him, even if we were to kill or commit adultery thousands of times each day.”

    I love this quote. Thanks, Grace.

    It is similar to another favorite:

    “But all the wickedness in the world which man may do or think is no more to the mercy of God than a live coal dropped in the sea.”

    The crazy thing is that this was written by William Langland, 14 century Catholic! It seems he might have known the Gospel.

    The Gospel! Grace, that’s the point you are missing. You have got a standard, and you judge others by it, but your standard isn’t God’s mercy. Instead, your standard is your bastardized view of the Law. Is there no room for the manifold mercy of God in your understanding of Christianity? If I confessed my sins to you, you would condemn me, unless I fixed the problem. But the whole point is that I can’t fix the problem! After all, blessed are the beggars in spirit, and blessed are those who mourn, and blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteous.

    Notice that none of those groups are standing on their own two feet.

  • trotk

    “No sin can separate us from Him, even if we were to kill or commit adultery thousands of times each day.”

    I love this quote. Thanks, Grace.

    It is similar to another favorite:

    “But all the wickedness in the world which man may do or think is no more to the mercy of God than a live coal dropped in the sea.”

    The crazy thing is that this was written by William Langland, 14 century Catholic! It seems he might have known the Gospel.

    The Gospel! Grace, that’s the point you are missing. You have got a standard, and you judge others by it, but your standard isn’t God’s mercy. Instead, your standard is your bastardized view of the Law. Is there no room for the manifold mercy of God in your understanding of Christianity? If I confessed my sins to you, you would condemn me, unless I fixed the problem. But the whole point is that I can’t fix the problem! After all, blessed are the beggars in spirit, and blessed are those who mourn, and blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteous.

    Notice that none of those groups are standing on their own two feet.

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

    TUAD, JI Packer and quite frankly, all the reformed are complete idiots when it comes to their interpretation of the boTw, better introductions and explanations of that work can be found in Loewench, ” Luther’s theology of the cross” and uuraas saarnivaara ” Luther discovers the gospel” or Forde’ in his many writings, but especially “on being a theologian of the cross”. The truth is it was the reformed position luther rejected when he left calvinism.
    As for being consistent, perhaps the reformed are, but they are much less scriptural. Lutheran’s like luther suspend reason when it would contradict scripture, which has plenty of warnings, and indeed examples of people losing faith, losing salvation. Even christ gives us the parable of the sower. t

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

    TUAD, JI Packer and quite frankly, all the reformed are complete idiots when it comes to their interpretation of the boTw, better introductions and explanations of that work can be found in Loewench, ” Luther’s theology of the cross” and uuraas saarnivaara ” Luther discovers the gospel” or Forde’ in his many writings, but especially “on being a theologian of the cross”. The truth is it was the reformed position luther rejected when he left calvinism.
    As for being consistent, perhaps the reformed are, but they are much less scriptural. Lutheran’s like luther suspend reason when it would contradict scripture, which has plenty of warnings, and indeed examples of people losing faith, losing salvation. Even christ gives us the parable of the sower. t

  • kerner

    TUaD @339:

    Vocation and family have kept me busy too. But I’ve got a few minutes, so I’ll press on.

    So, we agree that God commands His people to preach His Word, and I think we agree that the Holy Spirit uses the Church’s obedience to this command as a means of saving souls.

    Lutherans take the position that the Holy Spirit similarly works to save souls when the Church obeys God’s command to baptize. Here’s why. The Bible teaches:

    1. Baptism washes away the sins of the one being Baptized, Acts 22:16,

    2. In our baptisms we die and are resurrected in Christ Romans 6:2-4, Colossians 2:12,

    3. We are baptized into one body (of Christ) I Corinthians 12:12-14

    4. When a person is baptized that person “puts on” Christ, Galatians 3:27

    5. Baptism saves us I Peter 3:21.

    All of these verses indicate that when a person is baptized, something happens to that person. The baptized person’s sins are washed away, he dies and is reborn, he joins the body of Christ, he puts on Christ, and (last but certainly not least) the person is saved.

    But there are NO verses that say that baptism is only an empty ceremony and that nothing happens to the one being baptized.

    That being the case, I think Lutherans are justified in concluding that, when the Church obeys the command to baptize, the Holy Spirit uses this as a means to transform the one baptized into a saved person, just as He uses the Church’s act of preaching the Word of God to accomplish the same end. In fact, Lutherans believe that the Holy Spirit uses both these means of Grace,in tandem, to accomplish the salvation of the previously unsaved (at least most of the time). Sometimes there will be cases, such as the thief on the cross, when both means will not be available. Sometimes an individual, such as an infant or a mentally challenged person, will not be able to comprehend God’s Word as preached. But God’s Word is not limited by our understanding. God’s Word by the power of the Holy Spirit can save us through our baptisms even when we are too young to understand the Word we hear.

  • kerner

    TUaD @339:

    Vocation and family have kept me busy too. But I’ve got a few minutes, so I’ll press on.

    So, we agree that God commands His people to preach His Word, and I think we agree that the Holy Spirit uses the Church’s obedience to this command as a means of saving souls.

    Lutherans take the position that the Holy Spirit similarly works to save souls when the Church obeys God’s command to baptize. Here’s why. The Bible teaches:

    1. Baptism washes away the sins of the one being Baptized, Acts 22:16,

    2. In our baptisms we die and are resurrected in Christ Romans 6:2-4, Colossians 2:12,

    3. We are baptized into one body (of Christ) I Corinthians 12:12-14

    4. When a person is baptized that person “puts on” Christ, Galatians 3:27

    5. Baptism saves us I Peter 3:21.

    All of these verses indicate that when a person is baptized, something happens to that person. The baptized person’s sins are washed away, he dies and is reborn, he joins the body of Christ, he puts on Christ, and (last but certainly not least) the person is saved.

    But there are NO verses that say that baptism is only an empty ceremony and that nothing happens to the one being baptized.

    That being the case, I think Lutherans are justified in concluding that, when the Church obeys the command to baptize, the Holy Spirit uses this as a means to transform the one baptized into a saved person, just as He uses the Church’s act of preaching the Word of God to accomplish the same end. In fact, Lutherans believe that the Holy Spirit uses both these means of Grace,in tandem, to accomplish the salvation of the previously unsaved (at least most of the time). Sometimes there will be cases, such as the thief on the cross, when both means will not be available. Sometimes an individual, such as an infant or a mentally challenged person, will not be able to comprehend God’s Word as preached. But God’s Word is not limited by our understanding. God’s Word by the power of the Holy Spirit can save us through our baptisms even when we are too young to understand the Word we hear.

  • http://carolmsblog.blogspot.com/ Carol-Christian Soldier

    ? was-
    Where are the Lutherans?
    after the mobo jumbo-histrionics – explanations that Lutherans do not self aggrandize-
    the ? remains-

    I do know that the LCMS has closed a mission chapel at U of M- and is trying awfully hard to eradicate the mission chapel at UCLA- so
    I guess – Lutherans are trying to hide and to be no where…

    C-CS
    LA LFL

  • http://carolmsblog.blogspot.com/ Carol-Christian Soldier

    ? was-
    Where are the Lutherans?
    after the mobo jumbo-histrionics – explanations that Lutherans do not self aggrandize-
    the ? remains-

    I do know that the LCMS has closed a mission chapel at U of M- and is trying awfully hard to eradicate the mission chapel at UCLA- so
    I guess – Lutherans are trying to hide and to be no where…

    C-CS
    LA LFL

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Hitler and Germany began the war which killed over 6 million Jews. Where was the Church?”

    Persecuted by the same folks who persecuted Jews. We may as well ask why the Jews didn’t save Bonhoeffer.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Hitler and Germany began the war which killed over 6 million Jews. Where was the Church?”

    Persecuted by the same folks who persecuted Jews. We may as well ask why the Jews didn’t save Bonhoeffer.

  • Grace

    sg – 392

    “Persecuted by the same folks who persecuted Jews. We may as well ask why the Jews didn’t save Bonhoeffer.

    Spoken like a true Lutheran – I don’t think Bonhoeffer would be pleased with that snarky remark!

  • Grace

    sg – 392

    “Persecuted by the same folks who persecuted Jews. We may as well ask why the Jews didn’t save Bonhoeffer.

    Spoken like a true Lutheran – I don’t think Bonhoeffer would be pleased with that snarky remark!

  • http://thoughts-brigitte.blogspot.com Brigitte

    Summary of dialogue:

    Lutheran: “‘The promise is for you and your children’ preaches the Apostle Peter”.

    Reply from Rhology: None. or maybe “That’s sacramentalism. People who believe that God is favorably disposed to them will be in hell.”

    Reply from Grace (her favorite): “But you are an anti-semite.”

    Why is it again they are wondering what happened to us?

    What we are doing wrong is this kind of thing: Luther’s Small Catechism with Bible proofs has been removed from prominent sites because of copyright. So when we are talking to people like Rhology, we have to send them to read the Book of Concord, which is on-line, but that is too much reading for their level of studiousness. They want to talk with you but not this badly. Or else we send them to Lutheran Satire, which, with all respect to Pastor Fiene’s genius and the excellent content, is sometimes a little too “satirical” for me to send some individuals to.

    So, if I win the prize for this thread, as fsw said, then I will name my prize: I wish for the Catechism with Explanations to be pinned to every one of our sites.

  • http://thoughts-brigitte.blogspot.com Brigitte

    Summary of dialogue:

    Lutheran: “‘The promise is for you and your children’ preaches the Apostle Peter”.

    Reply from Rhology: None. or maybe “That’s sacramentalism. People who believe that God is favorably disposed to them will be in hell.”

    Reply from Grace (her favorite): “But you are an anti-semite.”

    Why is it again they are wondering what happened to us?

    What we are doing wrong is this kind of thing: Luther’s Small Catechism with Bible proofs has been removed from prominent sites because of copyright. So when we are talking to people like Rhology, we have to send them to read the Book of Concord, which is on-line, but that is too much reading for their level of studiousness. They want to talk with you but not this badly. Or else we send them to Lutheran Satire, which, with all respect to Pastor Fiene’s genius and the excellent content, is sometimes a little too “satirical” for me to send some individuals to.

    So, if I win the prize for this thread, as fsw said, then I will name my prize: I wish for the Catechism with Explanations to be pinned to every one of our sites.

  • Grace

    Kerner

    First of all you need to understand Acts 2

    Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Acts 2:38

    The above passage means “repent” first and be “baptized” next. That’s difficult for those who are determined to SIDESTEP REPENTANCE.

    Below you gave 5 steps to Baptism, but you completely ignore REPENTANCE.

    1. Baptism washes away the sins of the one being Baptized, Acts 22:16,

    (verse 10; ….. And I said, What shall I do, LORD? And the Lord said unto me, Arise, and go into Damascus; and there it shall be told thee of all things which are appointed for thee to do.

    The passage above is speaking of Paul – he had been on the Damascus road, he obviously believed. Read the entire chapter, it will become clearer.)

    2. In our baptisms we die and are resurrected in Christ Romans 6:2-4, Colossians 2:12,

    (This passage does not negate the fact one needs to repent first.

    The second passage does not state that one has NOT repented of their sins BEFORE Baptism)

    3. We are baptized into one body (of Christ) I Corinthians 12:12-14

    (Again, you are ASSUMING that there has been no repentance before Baptism)

    4. When a person is baptized that person “puts on” Christ, Galatians 3:27

    (Same answer)

    5. Baptism saves us I Peter 3:21.

    Have you totally ignored, forgotten the passages which speak of repentance. Is faith in Jesus Christ and repentance of sin so difficult for you to understand? You take these verses, and therefore negate repentance.

    Have you forgotten the portion of Scripture which deals with Baptism, repentance and Belief in Jesus? Here it is again.

    9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
    10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Romans 10

    Belief FIRST, then Baptism

    In the passage below, the eunuch requests to be baptized, but Philip asks the eunuch – “If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” – that is the key, Philip wanted to know that the eunuch actually believed. Faith first then baptism.

    34 And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man?
    35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.
    36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?
    37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
    38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.
    39 And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing. Acts 8

    IMPORTANT:

    Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Acts 2:38
    That’s it Kerner, “repent and be baptized” -

  • Grace

    Kerner

    First of all you need to understand Acts 2

    Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Acts 2:38

    The above passage means “repent” first and be “baptized” next. That’s difficult for those who are determined to SIDESTEP REPENTANCE.

    Below you gave 5 steps to Baptism, but you completely ignore REPENTANCE.

    1. Baptism washes away the sins of the one being Baptized, Acts 22:16,

    (verse 10; ….. And I said, What shall I do, LORD? And the Lord said unto me, Arise, and go into Damascus; and there it shall be told thee of all things which are appointed for thee to do.

    The passage above is speaking of Paul – he had been on the Damascus road, he obviously believed. Read the entire chapter, it will become clearer.)

    2. In our baptisms we die and are resurrected in Christ Romans 6:2-4, Colossians 2:12,

    (This passage does not negate the fact one needs to repent first.

    The second passage does not state that one has NOT repented of their sins BEFORE Baptism)

    3. We are baptized into one body (of Christ) I Corinthians 12:12-14

    (Again, you are ASSUMING that there has been no repentance before Baptism)

    4. When a person is baptized that person “puts on” Christ, Galatians 3:27

    (Same answer)

    5. Baptism saves us I Peter 3:21.

    Have you totally ignored, forgotten the passages which speak of repentance. Is faith in Jesus Christ and repentance of sin so difficult for you to understand? You take these verses, and therefore negate repentance.

    Have you forgotten the portion of Scripture which deals with Baptism, repentance and Belief in Jesus? Here it is again.

    9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
    10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Romans 10

    Belief FIRST, then Baptism

    In the passage below, the eunuch requests to be baptized, but Philip asks the eunuch – “If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” – that is the key, Philip wanted to know that the eunuch actually believed. Faith first then baptism.

    34 And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man?
    35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.
    36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?
    37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
    38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.
    39 And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing. Acts 8

    IMPORTANT:

    Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Acts 2:38
    That’s it Kerner, “repent and be baptized” -

  • Grace

    Brigitte @ 394

    “What we are doing wrong is this kind of thing: Luther’s Small Catechism with Bible proofs has been removed from prominent sites because of copyright. So when we are talking to people like Rhology, we have to send them to read the Book of Concord, which is on-line, but that is too much reading for their level of studiousness. They want to talk with you but not this badly. Or else we send them to Lutheran Satire, which, with all respect to Pastor Fiene’s genius and the excellent content, is sometimes a little too “satirical” for me to send some individuals to.”

    The problem you have Brigitte, is this; you believe you HAVE the level of ‘studiousness, but it’s transparent that you do not. That’s why only a small portion, mostly Lutherans agree with you. The reason they do is because they are cradle Lutherans, they have been fed Luther since childhood, they know nothing else for the most part. Those who have studied for years, see it right away.

    As for the B of C, it’s not too much reading, it’s not the Bible, Martin Luther nor anyone of his followers, are Christ’s chosen Apostles, they come 1500 years after Christ. We as Born Again Believers have the Word of God. God didn’t leave man in a void for centuries waiting for Martin Luther to be born and wake up the world, and then go ballistic as an anti Semitic. You can negate this, but the Christian world does not. If a pastor or teacher blew off anti Semitic statements, wrote a horrid book against the Jews, they would be thrown from behind the pulpit, … but Luther never was, nor is he today, or will he most likely be anytime soon. The answer to WHY is; because anti Semitic’s don’t want Martin Luther moved one inch from his pedestal.

    Most pastors and teachers today, from denominations and non denominational settings will not tolerate such ‘outbursts of hatred. However, there are several from the past who do, but that doesn’t mean everyone is following ‘lock step – they aren’t – that’s why non Denominational Bible teaching, Believing Churches are sprouting all over the globe. People are sick of the those who sin willfully and still stay behind the pulpit, OR or pedestaled as though it doesn’t matter……….but it DOES.

    The world watches, and the Church stands divided – it’s been divided ever since false doctrine, false teaching was expounded and exposed long ago (I’m not speaking of all the cults and ism’s) If there is one thing I stand firm on, it’s the Bible, His Word. Martin Luther didn’t have it right, and neither did John Calvin. They are men who began a good work, but their hatred for those who stood against them was/is unfathomable. Who could ever imagined such hatred from two men, and others?

    Where do we go from here? We study the Scriptures, we don’t depend on those who have tried to twist His Word. We as God’s children, Born Again Believers in Him are able to understand through the HOLY Spirit what God want’s us to know and impart to others.

  • Grace

    Brigitte @ 394

    “What we are doing wrong is this kind of thing: Luther’s Small Catechism with Bible proofs has been removed from prominent sites because of copyright. So when we are talking to people like Rhology, we have to send them to read the Book of Concord, which is on-line, but that is too much reading for their level of studiousness. They want to talk with you but not this badly. Or else we send them to Lutheran Satire, which, with all respect to Pastor Fiene’s genius and the excellent content, is sometimes a little too “satirical” for me to send some individuals to.”

    The problem you have Brigitte, is this; you believe you HAVE the level of ‘studiousness, but it’s transparent that you do not. That’s why only a small portion, mostly Lutherans agree with you. The reason they do is because they are cradle Lutherans, they have been fed Luther since childhood, they know nothing else for the most part. Those who have studied for years, see it right away.

    As for the B of C, it’s not too much reading, it’s not the Bible, Martin Luther nor anyone of his followers, are Christ’s chosen Apostles, they come 1500 years after Christ. We as Born Again Believers have the Word of God. God didn’t leave man in a void for centuries waiting for Martin Luther to be born and wake up the world, and then go ballistic as an anti Semitic. You can negate this, but the Christian world does not. If a pastor or teacher blew off anti Semitic statements, wrote a horrid book against the Jews, they would be thrown from behind the pulpit, … but Luther never was, nor is he today, or will he most likely be anytime soon. The answer to WHY is; because anti Semitic’s don’t want Martin Luther moved one inch from his pedestal.

    Most pastors and teachers today, from denominations and non denominational settings will not tolerate such ‘outbursts of hatred. However, there are several from the past who do, but that doesn’t mean everyone is following ‘lock step – they aren’t – that’s why non Denominational Bible teaching, Believing Churches are sprouting all over the globe. People are sick of the those who sin willfully and still stay behind the pulpit, OR or pedestaled as though it doesn’t matter……….but it DOES.

    The world watches, and the Church stands divided – it’s been divided ever since false doctrine, false teaching was expounded and exposed long ago (I’m not speaking of all the cults and ism’s) If there is one thing I stand firm on, it’s the Bible, His Word. Martin Luther didn’t have it right, and neither did John Calvin. They are men who began a good work, but their hatred for those who stood against them was/is unfathomable. Who could ever imagined such hatred from two men, and others?

    Where do we go from here? We study the Scriptures, we don’t depend on those who have tried to twist His Word. We as God’s children, Born Again Believers in Him are able to understand through the HOLY Spirit what God want’s us to know and impart to others.

  • Grace

    Brigitte @ 394
    “Reply from Grace (her favorite): “But you are an anti-semite.

    Brigitte - you have accused me in QUOTES of saying “But you are an anti-semite.” – - – - – where have I made that statement as you quote it? Post number and thread.

    Don’t bother playing the RE-PHRASEOLOGY game to make your case. That’s not the way I phrase my statements.

  • Grace

    Brigitte @ 394
    “Reply from Grace (her favorite): “But you are an anti-semite.

    Brigitte - you have accused me in QUOTES of saying “But you are an anti-semite.” – - – - – where have I made that statement as you quote it? Post number and thread.

    Don’t bother playing the RE-PHRASEOLOGY game to make your case. That’s not the way I phrase my statements.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace asked (@396), in regard to Luther and Calvin,

    Who could ever imagined such hatred from two men, and others?

    Um, anybody who has a biblical understanding of man’s sinful condition, that’s who (I do not include you in such a list, Grace). Come on, we’ve seen the hatred you spew on this blog at those you disagree with.

    Where do we go from here? We study the Scriptures, we don’t depend on those who have tried to twist His Word.

    But Lutherans do study the Scriptures. And you almost never have anything to say when we quote them to you. And when you do, you quote some other sinful man right back at us (your favorite being Matthew Henry, though you also quote Strong’s like it was God’s verbally inspired concordance or something).

    Besides, you are one of the people who tries to twist God’s Word. You outright deny John 20:23, not to mention the plain teaching of the verses that touch on baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

    Oh, but we’re supposed to ignore what those passages say and listen to you, even though you’re deluded enough to not even see the hatred in your own heart? Because you can’t bring yourself to admit that you willfully sin? Because you somehow think that your anti-Lutheran bias is more holy than anti-Semitism?

    Oh well, at least you’ve given up trying to convince us you’re some sort of WWII scholar (who refuses to learn anything that might affect your preconceived conclusions). For the moment.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace asked (@396), in regard to Luther and Calvin,

    Who could ever imagined such hatred from two men, and others?

    Um, anybody who has a biblical understanding of man’s sinful condition, that’s who (I do not include you in such a list, Grace). Come on, we’ve seen the hatred you spew on this blog at those you disagree with.

    Where do we go from here? We study the Scriptures, we don’t depend on those who have tried to twist His Word.

    But Lutherans do study the Scriptures. And you almost never have anything to say when we quote them to you. And when you do, you quote some other sinful man right back at us (your favorite being Matthew Henry, though you also quote Strong’s like it was God’s verbally inspired concordance or something).

    Besides, you are one of the people who tries to twist God’s Word. You outright deny John 20:23, not to mention the plain teaching of the verses that touch on baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

    Oh, but we’re supposed to ignore what those passages say and listen to you, even though you’re deluded enough to not even see the hatred in your own heart? Because you can’t bring yourself to admit that you willfully sin? Because you somehow think that your anti-Lutheran bias is more holy than anti-Semitism?

    Oh well, at least you’ve given up trying to convince us you’re some sort of WWII scholar (who refuses to learn anything that might affect your preconceived conclusions). For the moment.

  • Pete

    Grace @ 396: “Martin Luther didn’t have it right, and neither did John Calvin. They are men who began a good work, but their hatred for those who stood against them was/is unfathomable. Who could ever imagined such hatred from two men, and others?”

    Your last sentence here is very telling and tODD pounced on it more quickly than I could (he must have stronger coffee.) The extent of our fallenness – Luther’s, Calvin’s, yours, mine – makes “such hatred” eminently imaginable. Consider the beam in your own eye, as they say – as I follow this blog I note that your comments often have a pretty high snark quotient.
    And one comment on Luther’s anti-semitism: as a life long Lutheran, I must say that I was surprised to learn (as I got to an age to which I could ponder these things) that Lutherans were suspected of anti-semitism. Nowhere in my church or family upbringing was anti-semitism proffered. To the contrary, we tend to teach (as opposed to our dispensational counterparts) that we (Christians- not necessarily just Lutheran Christians) ARE Israel. And we are not making this up, as Dave Barry would say.
    All right – let’s push this stream over the 400 mark. Who’s next?

  • Pete

    Grace @ 396: “Martin Luther didn’t have it right, and neither did John Calvin. They are men who began a good work, but their hatred for those who stood against them was/is unfathomable. Who could ever imagined such hatred from two men, and others?”

    Your last sentence here is very telling and tODD pounced on it more quickly than I could (he must have stronger coffee.) The extent of our fallenness – Luther’s, Calvin’s, yours, mine – makes “such hatred” eminently imaginable. Consider the beam in your own eye, as they say – as I follow this blog I note that your comments often have a pretty high snark quotient.
    And one comment on Luther’s anti-semitism: as a life long Lutheran, I must say that I was surprised to learn (as I got to an age to which I could ponder these things) that Lutherans were suspected of anti-semitism. Nowhere in my church or family upbringing was anti-semitism proffered. To the contrary, we tend to teach (as opposed to our dispensational counterparts) that we (Christians- not necessarily just Lutheran Christians) ARE Israel. And we are not making this up, as Dave Barry would say.
    All right – let’s push this stream over the 400 mark. Who’s next?

  • Pete

    Nuts to that — I’ll push it over the 400 mark!

  • Pete

    Nuts to that — I’ll push it over the 400 mark!

  • Pete

    Well, to the 400 mark, technically. Now over.

  • Pete

    Well, to the 400 mark, technically. Now over.

  • larry

    Rob,

    Steven is alluding to a big point and a BIG mistake unfortunately Lutherans make (I too was baptist and I understand why Steve is saying they made the move without a theological hiccup – why is it that both arminians theology and reformed theology “meet” in the Baptist genre, often within the same church doors?). Inconsistency “kind of” answers this but actually its much deeper.
    The BIG mistake is saying “Reformed theology is monergistic; Baptist theology is synergistic. How on earth do they reconcile the two? I would love to hear from a self-described Reformed Baptist on the topic, but don’t know any.” This is why Reformed think they like Bondage of the Will by Luther and understand it. And the often made mistake is the BoW = (more or less) Total Depravity (ala Dort). And so Reformed, along with many Lutherans, think “here is a touch stone we can agree upon”. Where to start?

    Luther points, firstly, that the Christian faith/doctrine is a tapestry upon which if a single thread is altered the whole is ruined.
    First of all, no Reformed person can possibly understand BoW if they don’t understand Luther in the HD, which by the way slays the Reformed, both the way of works and the way of reason (religious speculation) define what Luther means by a “theology of glory” (Thesis 19 and 20). These are reciprocal of each other and in a way Arminian theology and Calvinistic theology are joined at the hip though they despise and think they oppose each other. In fact these two theologies find their expression in Luther’s day as proto-types for Arminian and Calvinism in the Scholastics on one side and the German Mystics on the other side (see “Luther Discovers the Gospel”). Arminian and Calvinism are nothing more than the unfettered versions of these moved from Rome’s monk houses into a more “feral” state of being under the broad “Reformed” of what would become in our day and age categorized as Arminian and Calvinistic theologies. In fact Bror is 100% right that Luther was a “Calvinist” before Calvin and his actual “Tower Experience” was not just a throw off of Rome and the way of works but a throw off of the predestinarian thought via Augustine and the German Mystics also under the headship of Rome that was more or less “proto-Calvinism” and what we call today “Calvinism”.

    Thus, we have on one side of the theology of glory the way of works (the scholastics/arminians) and on the other side of the theology of glory the way of reason/speculation (the german mystics/Calvinism), both reciprocal parallels of each other as Lowenwich (sp??) points out rooted in man’s fall into original sin whereby he seeks an unmediated and continuous communion with God (Thesis 19: “That person does not deserve to be called a theologian who looks upon the invisible things of God as though they were clearly perceptible by the things that have already occurred – NOTE: This is the reason baptist and Calvinist reject “baptism saves”, ‘look see, many fall away who were baptized’ = theology of glory, speculation by looking upon the things that have happened to as if to see CLEARLY how God is and choosing. This, then, begets the way of works = “thus I must know my salvation via another way, fruits of faith or the presence of faith”.)

    This is why the Reformed do not understand the BoW nor what it is and equate it with their concept of TD. But reformed BoW, as it were, is not Luther’s BoW, and likewise Lutheran TD, as it where, is not Reformed TD. The sacraments show this. For without the Sacraments and how they not just proclaim but GIVE the Gospel in reality TO THE MAN, even the Word of the Gospel via the preacher (e.g. John 3:16) cannot be grasped nor given correctly but withheld (ala Calvinism’s interpretation of John 3:16 and other similar passages).

    So, now that under Calvinism God does not “come all the way down to earth to the man specifically through earthly means” and actually confer His promise/Word to us (e.g. baptism and the LS), having “unhinged the sacraments” and by extension the Gospel Word, Calvinism sets men on to searching (the religious speculation TOG based on the works of God) for the path to communion to God (the reciprocal TOG way of works) by finding out if he/she is indeed elected to salvation either by fruits of faith and/or a sensory presence of faith (e.g. “if you believe, then you are elect” is their answer to that anfechtungen – this is a direct quote).

    Having thus unhinged the sacraments, as it were, and by extension the “doing of the pro me” of the Gospel to make it GOSPEL “pro me”, all man is left with is the religious speculation and then the way of works to achieve what is speculated. It is HERE that the Calvinistic Reformed synergism reveals itself.

    The ONLY real difference, functionally, in Arminianism and Calvinism is not monergism versus synergism, both have synergism (and Ex-Calvinist WELL recognize this, I know many and NOT just the laity), but that as theologies of glory the Arminians like their scholastic Roman proto-types lay the emphasis on the “way of works”, whereas the Calvinistic theologies of glory like their German mystic Roman proto-types lay the emphasis on the “way of reason/speculation”, ethics and epistemology reciprocals forming the same one theology of glory rooted in man’s desire to have unmediated and unbroken communion of God (the Fall).

    Two books I would HIGHLY recommend (to any and everyone), which I was recommended by my dear brother Bror, that really bring this out are: (1) “Luther Discovers The Gospel” by Uuras Saanivaara and (2) “Luther’s Theology of the Cross” by Walther von Loewenich.

  • larry

    Rob,

    Steven is alluding to a big point and a BIG mistake unfortunately Lutherans make (I too was baptist and I understand why Steve is saying they made the move without a theological hiccup – why is it that both arminians theology and reformed theology “meet” in the Baptist genre, often within the same church doors?). Inconsistency “kind of” answers this but actually its much deeper.
    The BIG mistake is saying “Reformed theology is monergistic; Baptist theology is synergistic. How on earth do they reconcile the two? I would love to hear from a self-described Reformed Baptist on the topic, but don’t know any.” This is why Reformed think they like Bondage of the Will by Luther and understand it. And the often made mistake is the BoW = (more or less) Total Depravity (ala Dort). And so Reformed, along with many Lutherans, think “here is a touch stone we can agree upon”. Where to start?

    Luther points, firstly, that the Christian faith/doctrine is a tapestry upon which if a single thread is altered the whole is ruined.
    First of all, no Reformed person can possibly understand BoW if they don’t understand Luther in the HD, which by the way slays the Reformed, both the way of works and the way of reason (religious speculation) define what Luther means by a “theology of glory” (Thesis 19 and 20). These are reciprocal of each other and in a way Arminian theology and Calvinistic theology are joined at the hip though they despise and think they oppose each other. In fact these two theologies find their expression in Luther’s day as proto-types for Arminian and Calvinism in the Scholastics on one side and the German Mystics on the other side (see “Luther Discovers the Gospel”). Arminian and Calvinism are nothing more than the unfettered versions of these moved from Rome’s monk houses into a more “feral” state of being under the broad “Reformed” of what would become in our day and age categorized as Arminian and Calvinistic theologies. In fact Bror is 100% right that Luther was a “Calvinist” before Calvin and his actual “Tower Experience” was not just a throw off of Rome and the way of works but a throw off of the predestinarian thought via Augustine and the German Mystics also under the headship of Rome that was more or less “proto-Calvinism” and what we call today “Calvinism”.

    Thus, we have on one side of the theology of glory the way of works (the scholastics/arminians) and on the other side of the theology of glory the way of reason/speculation (the german mystics/Calvinism), both reciprocal parallels of each other as Lowenwich (sp??) points out rooted in man’s fall into original sin whereby he seeks an unmediated and continuous communion with God (Thesis 19: “That person does not deserve to be called a theologian who looks upon the invisible things of God as though they were clearly perceptible by the things that have already occurred – NOTE: This is the reason baptist and Calvinist reject “baptism saves”, ‘look see, many fall away who were baptized’ = theology of glory, speculation by looking upon the things that have happened to as if to see CLEARLY how God is and choosing. This, then, begets the way of works = “thus I must know my salvation via another way, fruits of faith or the presence of faith”.)

    This is why the Reformed do not understand the BoW nor what it is and equate it with their concept of TD. But reformed BoW, as it were, is not Luther’s BoW, and likewise Lutheran TD, as it where, is not Reformed TD. The sacraments show this. For without the Sacraments and how they not just proclaim but GIVE the Gospel in reality TO THE MAN, even the Word of the Gospel via the preacher (e.g. John 3:16) cannot be grasped nor given correctly but withheld (ala Calvinism’s interpretation of John 3:16 and other similar passages).

    So, now that under Calvinism God does not “come all the way down to earth to the man specifically through earthly means” and actually confer His promise/Word to us (e.g. baptism and the LS), having “unhinged the sacraments” and by extension the Gospel Word, Calvinism sets men on to searching (the religious speculation TOG based on the works of God) for the path to communion to God (the reciprocal TOG way of works) by finding out if he/she is indeed elected to salvation either by fruits of faith and/or a sensory presence of faith (e.g. “if you believe, then you are elect” is their answer to that anfechtungen – this is a direct quote).

    Having thus unhinged the sacraments, as it were, and by extension the “doing of the pro me” of the Gospel to make it GOSPEL “pro me”, all man is left with is the religious speculation and then the way of works to achieve what is speculated. It is HERE that the Calvinistic Reformed synergism reveals itself.

    The ONLY real difference, functionally, in Arminianism and Calvinism is not monergism versus synergism, both have synergism (and Ex-Calvinist WELL recognize this, I know many and NOT just the laity), but that as theologies of glory the Arminians like their scholastic Roman proto-types lay the emphasis on the “way of works”, whereas the Calvinistic theologies of glory like their German mystic Roman proto-types lay the emphasis on the “way of reason/speculation”, ethics and epistemology reciprocals forming the same one theology of glory rooted in man’s desire to have unmediated and unbroken communion of God (the Fall).

    Two books I would HIGHLY recommend (to any and everyone), which I was recommended by my dear brother Bror, that really bring this out are: (1) “Luther Discovers The Gospel” by Uuras Saanivaara and (2) “Luther’s Theology of the Cross” by Walther von Loewenich.

  • BW

    Larry,

    Good post, it really looks like what you are saying, the Calvinists are trying to understand Luther and Lutheranism through a Calvinist lense using Calvinist ideas, which can’t be done. I’ll have to check out those books.

  • BW

    Larry,

    Good post, it really looks like what you are saying, the Calvinists are trying to understand Luther and Lutheranism through a Calvinist lense using Calvinist ideas, which can’t be done. I’ll have to check out those books.

  • Steve in Toronto

    I am uncomfortable about a trend I am noticing in recent comments. The commenter will sum up an apposing theological position and the critique it from his own perspective. Larry does this politely and Truth much less so. The problem is that in both situations proponents of the apposing position don’t recognize themselves in the summery. This is a real problem we are all just tearing up a bunch of straw men. I personally think we have reached the limit in what can be accomplished on this thread. I suspect the solution would be a moderated discussion between well read congenial pastors or theologians. Right now I fear we are creating a lot of smoke and very little light.

  • Steve in Toronto

    I am uncomfortable about a trend I am noticing in recent comments. The commenter will sum up an apposing theological position and the critique it from his own perspective. Larry does this politely and Truth much less so. The problem is that in both situations proponents of the apposing position don’t recognize themselves in the summery. This is a real problem we are all just tearing up a bunch of straw men. I personally think we have reached the limit in what can be accomplished on this thread. I suspect the solution would be a moderated discussion between well read congenial pastors or theologians. Right now I fear we are creating a lot of smoke and very little light.

  • Stephen

    Larry,

    “Having thus unhinged the sacraments, as it were, and by extension the “doing of the pro me” of the Gospel to make it GOSPEL “pro me”, all man is left with is the religious speculation and then the way of works to achieve what is speculated. It is HERE that the Calvinistic Reformed synergism reveals itself.”

    Excellent!!!

    Jesus says “Apart from me you can do nothing.” There is no gospel apart from the sacrament of Baptism into Christ. A “faith” that has so devalued baptism as in “Oh, we’ll get to that later, when we feel like it” does not by definition, preach the gospel (or to preach “another gospel” of which St. Paul warned). This is antithetical to scripture. Putting on Christ in baptism is just that – to have his merits given over to us for our salvation.

    I loved what Craig said. All these speculations/reasoning, faith “experience” are treated as new (unbiblical) means of grace. They are all works, as they are all situated in the believer rather than the external Word that is “for me.”

    And Craig if you are listening, Piper also promotes a false doctrine of subordinationism. I’m right with you brother. Contrary to my dear brother Todd, I say rage on. Drive them out with a whip if you are so inspired.

    Authentic reproduction (I think I got that one from Neil Postman about 20+ years ago).

  • Stephen

    Larry,

    “Having thus unhinged the sacraments, as it were, and by extension the “doing of the pro me” of the Gospel to make it GOSPEL “pro me”, all man is left with is the religious speculation and then the way of works to achieve what is speculated. It is HERE that the Calvinistic Reformed synergism reveals itself.”

    Excellent!!!

    Jesus says “Apart from me you can do nothing.” There is no gospel apart from the sacrament of Baptism into Christ. A “faith” that has so devalued baptism as in “Oh, we’ll get to that later, when we feel like it” does not by definition, preach the gospel (or to preach “another gospel” of which St. Paul warned). This is antithetical to scripture. Putting on Christ in baptism is just that – to have his merits given over to us for our salvation.

    I loved what Craig said. All these speculations/reasoning, faith “experience” are treated as new (unbiblical) means of grace. They are all works, as they are all situated in the believer rather than the external Word that is “for me.”

    And Craig if you are listening, Piper also promotes a false doctrine of subordinationism. I’m right with you brother. Contrary to my dear brother Todd, I say rage on. Drive them out with a whip if you are so inspired.

    Authentic reproduction (I think I got that one from Neil Postman about 20+ years ago).

  • larry

    Steve,

    That is not accurate. There is no straw man construction here. I do try to keep it “black and white” and polite even if the black and white calls a thing what it is. I actually was Reformed and held to the confessions. I readily confess that I’m laity, yet fairly well read. I also well know the confessions and their effects not just on myself but more example’s both first and second hand knowledge of.

    Paul and Christ said watch the doctrine, not just external ‘words’. Luther warned of this as well that heresy at the end of the day (his specific comment on such) does not directly oppose but comes in under the same and similar terms like faith, grace, gospel, christ, etc… The same applies in our time to the terms sacrament, monergism, sola fide, sola gratia, sola scriptura, sola Deo, bondage of the will, etc… If we do not examine the doctrine(s) then we could agree with Rome again and even Mormonism since they too speak of “grace” and “mercy”. But what is the doctrine and meant by these terms is to really examine the doctrine.

    What most often is glazed over rather blithely and quickly is that when is heard from another confession, for example, “monergism”, is, “Hey they agree with us and we with them”. That does not EXAMINE the doctrine but assumes a superficial connection that does not exist at all. The same issue happened concerning the Calvinistic lingo, as opposed to Zwingli, during the battle for the Sacrament during the time of the early Lutherans in and shortly after Luther’s death.

    The dirty secret is that there is a very real reason terrified and despairing consciences exists in certain confessions, not due to a “misunderstanding” of that confession but because of what that confession is saying doctrinally (e.g. am a reprobate is DUE TO a doctrine, not a misunderstanding on the suffers part). And Jesus Christ empowered and authorized the laity to examine a false teacher’s teaching, and one of the first things we are to see is “their fruits”, the fruits of what they teach, do they lead to repentance and faith or is the fruit of the doctrine despair and doubt of salvation IS a FRUIT of a (false) teaching/teacher.

    That is no straw man but a very real doctrine, anyone can read the confessions and writings to confirm and very real effects (fruits) of the same doctrine. All false teaching leads either to delusion or despair, it’s fruits.

    So, this sidetrack now aside, what I wrote stands.

  • larry

    Steve,

    That is not accurate. There is no straw man construction here. I do try to keep it “black and white” and polite even if the black and white calls a thing what it is. I actually was Reformed and held to the confessions. I readily confess that I’m laity, yet fairly well read. I also well know the confessions and their effects not just on myself but more example’s both first and second hand knowledge of.

    Paul and Christ said watch the doctrine, not just external ‘words’. Luther warned of this as well that heresy at the end of the day (his specific comment on such) does not directly oppose but comes in under the same and similar terms like faith, grace, gospel, christ, etc… The same applies in our time to the terms sacrament, monergism, sola fide, sola gratia, sola scriptura, sola Deo, bondage of the will, etc… If we do not examine the doctrine(s) then we could agree with Rome again and even Mormonism since they too speak of “grace” and “mercy”. But what is the doctrine and meant by these terms is to really examine the doctrine.

    What most often is glazed over rather blithely and quickly is that when is heard from another confession, for example, “monergism”, is, “Hey they agree with us and we with them”. That does not EXAMINE the doctrine but assumes a superficial connection that does not exist at all. The same issue happened concerning the Calvinistic lingo, as opposed to Zwingli, during the battle for the Sacrament during the time of the early Lutherans in and shortly after Luther’s death.

    The dirty secret is that there is a very real reason terrified and despairing consciences exists in certain confessions, not due to a “misunderstanding” of that confession but because of what that confession is saying doctrinally (e.g. am a reprobate is DUE TO a doctrine, not a misunderstanding on the suffers part). And Jesus Christ empowered and authorized the laity to examine a false teacher’s teaching, and one of the first things we are to see is “their fruits”, the fruits of what they teach, do they lead to repentance and faith or is the fruit of the doctrine despair and doubt of salvation IS a FRUIT of a (false) teaching/teacher.

    That is no straw man but a very real doctrine, anyone can read the confessions and writings to confirm and very real effects (fruits) of the same doctrine. All false teaching leads either to delusion or despair, it’s fruits.

    So, this sidetrack now aside, what I wrote stands.

  • larry

    BW,

    Exactly.

  • larry

    BW,

    Exactly.

  • larry

    post 406 is referencing Steve in Toronto not Stephen at 405, sorry about the confusion (a lot of Steve’s on here!)

  • larry

    post 406 is referencing Steve in Toronto not Stephen at 405, sorry about the confusion (a lot of Steve’s on here!)

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Spoken like a true Lutheran – I don’t think Bonhoeffer would be pleased with that snarky remark!”

    Goofy. The man was not that dumb. That is why he opposed Hitler from the very beginning. It was naïvité that allowed Hitler to rise to power. Bonhoeffer was a smart guy who tried to warn folks from the start. But Hitler was cool. So, people fell for it, as Cinncinatus pointed out, even the Jews were complicit.

    “First of all you need to understand Acts 2″

    We understand it.

    See comment @123

    We have repented. We have been baptised. We are still sinners. Also, in my experience, Baptists don’t rebaptise not even those baptised as infants. So, a person who confesses faith in Christ and has ever been baptised can join the church.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Spoken like a true Lutheran – I don’t think Bonhoeffer would be pleased with that snarky remark!”

    Goofy. The man was not that dumb. That is why he opposed Hitler from the very beginning. It was naïvité that allowed Hitler to rise to power. Bonhoeffer was a smart guy who tried to warn folks from the start. But Hitler was cool. So, people fell for it, as Cinncinatus pointed out, even the Jews were complicit.

    “First of all you need to understand Acts 2″

    We understand it.

    See comment @123

    We have repented. We have been baptised. We are still sinners. Also, in my experience, Baptists don’t rebaptise not even those baptised as infants. So, a person who confesses faith in Christ and has ever been baptised can join the church.

  • SKPeterson

    Come on sg, Comment 123 was so 287 ago. Dated, dated, dated. Get with it.

  • SKPeterson

    Come on sg, Comment 123 was so 287 ago. Dated, dated, dated. Get with it.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “If there is one thing I stand firm on, it’s the Bible, His Word.”

    Great, so did Luther. He held that the Bible was the only infallible source, not church teachers.

    “Martin Luther didn’t have it right, and neither did John Calvin.”

    Luther was right in so far as he and other contributors to the Book of Concord explain doctrine based solely on the Bible. Luther wasn’t right because he was Luther. He was right because all of his explanation of doctrine is based on the Word, all of it, not just selected verses that certain teachers prefer. Many have noted that denominations and non denominational churches are falling into much the same trap that the Roman Catholic popes did.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “If there is one thing I stand firm on, it’s the Bible, His Word.”

    Great, so did Luther. He held that the Bible was the only infallible source, not church teachers.

    “Martin Luther didn’t have it right, and neither did John Calvin.”

    Luther was right in so far as he and other contributors to the Book of Concord explain doctrine based solely on the Bible. Luther wasn’t right because he was Luther. He was right because all of his explanation of doctrine is based on the Word, all of it, not just selected verses that certain teachers prefer. Many have noted that denominations and non denominational churches are falling into much the same trap that the Roman Catholic popes did.

  • Tom Hering

    Grace @ 395, what does “repent” mean in Acts 2:38? According to Strong’s, it means “to change one’s mind or purpose,” not “to feel sorry for one’s sins.” (That’s contrition, not change.) So what was Peter doing? He was asking his fellow Israelites to change their minds about Jesus Christ. And he promised them that if they would change their minds, and be baptized, they would then – then – receive the Holy Spirit. You say, “belief first, then baptism.” But how could they believe first if they hadn’t yet received the Holy Spirit, and wouldn’t receive the Holy Spirit until they were baptized? Yes, they changed their minds about Jesus Christ before they were baptized, but that’s a work God accomplished in them, against their will to disbelieve. And it wasn’t yet the gift of faith. How do we know this? Because Acts says three thousand souls were added on the day they were baptized.

  • Tom Hering

    Grace @ 395, what does “repent” mean in Acts 2:38? According to Strong’s, it means “to change one’s mind or purpose,” not “to feel sorry for one’s sins.” (That’s contrition, not change.) So what was Peter doing? He was asking his fellow Israelites to change their minds about Jesus Christ. And he promised them that if they would change their minds, and be baptized, they would then – then – receive the Holy Spirit. You say, “belief first, then baptism.” But how could they believe first if they hadn’t yet received the Holy Spirit, and wouldn’t receive the Holy Spirit until they were baptized? Yes, they changed their minds about Jesus Christ before they were baptized, but that’s a work God accomplished in them, against their will to disbelieve. And it wasn’t yet the gift of faith. How do we know this? Because Acts says three thousand souls were added on the day they were baptized.

  • Steve in Toronto

    Sorry Larry
    Your posts are getting very long and I may not have read them carefully enough. Like you I am a layman and If you are looking for someone to go the mat to defend the Reformed Baptist Theology I am the wrong man (as an Anglican I am much more sympatric to the Lutheran perspective on the sacraments). The reason I am involved in this discussion is that I wish Lutheran would get out more and balance out what I feel are some of the more extreme aspects of Calvinism that have risen to prominence in recent years. I am steeling the time I spend writing this from proposal I need to be writing so I will leave a detailed defense of reformed theology to someone with more time and expertise then myself but I will say that I have worship in all kinds Reformed churches (independent Baptists, PCA, OPC and CRC) and in not one of them did I get the impression that I was saved by anything other then Christ Blood shed for me. I have also spent a far amount of time in more main stream Baptist, Non-denominational and even a few Brethren churches and the difference between them and the reformed was striking It was always Grace plus. I just don’t understand how you could conclude that the reformed aren’t Monergist.

  • Steve in Toronto

    Sorry Larry
    Your posts are getting very long and I may not have read them carefully enough. Like you I am a layman and If you are looking for someone to go the mat to defend the Reformed Baptist Theology I am the wrong man (as an Anglican I am much more sympatric to the Lutheran perspective on the sacraments). The reason I am involved in this discussion is that I wish Lutheran would get out more and balance out what I feel are some of the more extreme aspects of Calvinism that have risen to prominence in recent years. I am steeling the time I spend writing this from proposal I need to be writing so I will leave a detailed defense of reformed theology to someone with more time and expertise then myself but I will say that I have worship in all kinds Reformed churches (independent Baptists, PCA, OPC and CRC) and in not one of them did I get the impression that I was saved by anything other then Christ Blood shed for me. I have also spent a far amount of time in more main stream Baptist, Non-denominational and even a few Brethren churches and the difference between them and the reformed was striking It was always Grace plus. I just don’t understand how you could conclude that the reformed aren’t Monergist.

  • larry

    Steve,

    ” I just don’t understand how you could conclude that the reformed aren’t Monergist”, I just explained how according to the doctrine. Just ask any despairing Calvinist how or ex-calvinist, they will tell you exactly how and why they exhausted themselves to death “making certain of their election and calling”.

    It gets down to the pro me in the sacraments and by extension the Gospel, which I outlined. How do you KNOW it is for you given the limited atonement of those for whom Christ did not die whereby John 3:16 may not be YOU, and baptism doesn’t confer forgiveness of sin nor does the LS, etc, etc…

    You need to examine the doctrine and not the superficial wording that gives you an impression, you need to talk to the despairing among them or who have been among them for the doctrine’s effects.

    There’s a reason they don’t absolve folks nor allow baptism to confer forgiveness, or the LS or allow the body and blood to be present in your mouth. It boils down to, if you follow the doctrine, how do you in particular know since none these can be used.

    The irony is Luther’s discovery of the Gospel in Tower Experience was directly against this very issue, under Roman oversight and pre-official Calvinism.

  • larry

    Steve,

    ” I just don’t understand how you could conclude that the reformed aren’t Monergist”, I just explained how according to the doctrine. Just ask any despairing Calvinist how or ex-calvinist, they will tell you exactly how and why they exhausted themselves to death “making certain of their election and calling”.

    It gets down to the pro me in the sacraments and by extension the Gospel, which I outlined. How do you KNOW it is for you given the limited atonement of those for whom Christ did not die whereby John 3:16 may not be YOU, and baptism doesn’t confer forgiveness of sin nor does the LS, etc, etc…

    You need to examine the doctrine and not the superficial wording that gives you an impression, you need to talk to the despairing among them or who have been among them for the doctrine’s effects.

    There’s a reason they don’t absolve folks nor allow baptism to confer forgiveness, or the LS or allow the body and blood to be present in your mouth. It boils down to, if you follow the doctrine, how do you in particular know since none these can be used.

    The irony is Luther’s discovery of the Gospel in Tower Experience was directly against this very issue, under Roman oversight and pre-official Calvinism.

  • Louis

    Trollus Delendus Est, as the great Cato said…

    Seriously, I’m away for one day, and Grace begins her old tricks! C’mon people. The woman has no brains, no scruples, no consience and seems to be seriously lacking in self-awareness. Stop interacting with the troll. (Of course, the next thing I’ll do is probably interact with the troll, but lets ignore that, shall we? :) )

  • Louis

    Trollus Delendus Est, as the great Cato said…

    Seriously, I’m away for one day, and Grace begins her old tricks! C’mon people. The woman has no brains, no scruples, no consience and seems to be seriously lacking in self-awareness. Stop interacting with the troll. (Of course, the next thing I’ll do is probably interact with the troll, but lets ignore that, shall we? :) )

  • Rob

    @SG – for what it’s worth, I was re-baptized when I started attending the American Baptist church. Perhaps the church was not holding to its common practice, but then go to the American Baptist Churches website and they proclaim that they are not bound by any creeds, or something to that effect.

    Etymologically (though not theologically), then, I really am an anabaptist.

    @Grace (do I dare?) – Am I right in thinking that you then believe in an “age of accountability”? That there is some period of time when people are saved without either repentance or baptism? If so, how? What verses give you confidence that this is true?

    On the other side, when an infant turns to it’s mother’s breast for milk, believing that it will receive it, doesn’t that indicate that infants are capable of belief? Doesn’t the infant have faith in its mother to provide it with food? Who are we to say the infant does not believe in God? And if belief is possible, and they are to be raised in the Word of God, we can ask, like the Ethiopian eunuch: “Here is water. Why should they not be baptized?”

    And did you pick a book on WWII for me to read yet? You know, the one that refutes a single fact I conveyed last night. You’ve had over twelve hours now to peruse your shelf-full.

  • Rob

    @SG – for what it’s worth, I was re-baptized when I started attending the American Baptist church. Perhaps the church was not holding to its common practice, but then go to the American Baptist Churches website and they proclaim that they are not bound by any creeds, or something to that effect.

    Etymologically (though not theologically), then, I really am an anabaptist.

    @Grace (do I dare?) – Am I right in thinking that you then believe in an “age of accountability”? That there is some period of time when people are saved without either repentance or baptism? If so, how? What verses give you confidence that this is true?

    On the other side, when an infant turns to it’s mother’s breast for milk, believing that it will receive it, doesn’t that indicate that infants are capable of belief? Doesn’t the infant have faith in its mother to provide it with food? Who are we to say the infant does not believe in God? And if belief is possible, and they are to be raised in the Word of God, we can ask, like the Ethiopian eunuch: “Here is water. Why should they not be baptized?”

    And did you pick a book on WWII for me to read yet? You know, the one that refutes a single fact I conveyed last night. You’ve had over twelve hours now to peruse your shelf-full.

  • http://journeytoluther.blogspot.com/ moallen

    As a convert to Lutheranism after a journey through the broad Evangelical world (primarily Charismatic and Calvinist) I find great peace in the surety of Lutheran theology.

    I made a point of seeking out what was behind Lutheran theology after listening first to White Horse Inn, and then to Issues Etc. I did not know any Lutherans, so when my life changed and I had to go to Louisiana and work for a while – initially I attended a Presbyterian Church (what I was used to) and then when the project I was working on moved cities, I decided to go to a Lutheran Church. It was a predominantly African American Church but I was welcomed in. During this time, I had been reading Lutheran theology and listening to Issues Etc. These are the things that drew me to the crux and source of peace in Lutheran theology – Jesus on the cross for my sins. All of my sins. So Lutherans are out there and can be found – even if the Evangelical world does not notice. However, Lutherans need to be bold in their confession. Many more would be drawn to the amazing simplicity of the gospel.

    Interestingly, I had felt that something amazing had happened in my baptism (years ago when I was baptized). However, the next day a Baptist I knew stole that joy away – basically saying it was meaningless and had nothing to do with salvation. This brought on a downward trend of self-examination and fear that I really had not repented, that I really was not a believer, that my continuing sin was a sign I never converted, etc. etc. My simple trust in Christ was turned into an inward self-examination that never ended and shattered my hopes.

    Calvinism brought relief from this inward self-examination, at least the variety I was exposed to with a focus on Jesus – but ultimately I have found the answers in Biblical Lutheran theology. God has given us good gifts to keep us in the faith – baptism, the Lord’s Supper, Absolution – all of these things feed the simple faith and trust God has put in my heart. Jesus blood covers all my sins – I’ve never known that more clearly than now. I don’t have any theological questions any more – they have been answered and it is as simple as taking the Bible for what it says. I enjoy hearing the announcement of forgiveness on Sunday, hearing of Jesus on the Cross, receiving God’s good gift of Holy Communion – Jesus for my sins.

    I admit, at first I found the Lutheran view of the Sacraments odd and kind of troubling. But as I learned and grew I came to understand it’s really just Biblical truth – God uses physical earthly means to communicate His grace. It is God’s Word communicated through water, bread and wine, and preaching. Faith comes by hearing – as we receive God creates faith in our hearts – we are His adopted children.

  • http://journeytoluther.blogspot.com/ moallen

    As a convert to Lutheranism after a journey through the broad Evangelical world (primarily Charismatic and Calvinist) I find great peace in the surety of Lutheran theology.

    I made a point of seeking out what was behind Lutheran theology after listening first to White Horse Inn, and then to Issues Etc. I did not know any Lutherans, so when my life changed and I had to go to Louisiana and work for a while – initially I attended a Presbyterian Church (what I was used to) and then when the project I was working on moved cities, I decided to go to a Lutheran Church. It was a predominantly African American Church but I was welcomed in. During this time, I had been reading Lutheran theology and listening to Issues Etc. These are the things that drew me to the crux and source of peace in Lutheran theology – Jesus on the cross for my sins. All of my sins. So Lutherans are out there and can be found – even if the Evangelical world does not notice. However, Lutherans need to be bold in their confession. Many more would be drawn to the amazing simplicity of the gospel.

    Interestingly, I had felt that something amazing had happened in my baptism (years ago when I was baptized). However, the next day a Baptist I knew stole that joy away – basically saying it was meaningless and had nothing to do with salvation. This brought on a downward trend of self-examination and fear that I really had not repented, that I really was not a believer, that my continuing sin was a sign I never converted, etc. etc. My simple trust in Christ was turned into an inward self-examination that never ended and shattered my hopes.

    Calvinism brought relief from this inward self-examination, at least the variety I was exposed to with a focus on Jesus – but ultimately I have found the answers in Biblical Lutheran theology. God has given us good gifts to keep us in the faith – baptism, the Lord’s Supper, Absolution – all of these things feed the simple faith and trust God has put in my heart. Jesus blood covers all my sins – I’ve never known that more clearly than now. I don’t have any theological questions any more – they have been answered and it is as simple as taking the Bible for what it says. I enjoy hearing the announcement of forgiveness on Sunday, hearing of Jesus on the Cross, receiving God’s good gift of Holy Communion – Jesus for my sins.

    I admit, at first I found the Lutheran view of the Sacraments odd and kind of troubling. But as I learned and grew I came to understand it’s really just Biblical truth – God uses physical earthly means to communicate His grace. It is God’s Word communicated through water, bread and wine, and preaching. Faith comes by hearing – as we receive God creates faith in our hearts – we are His adopted children.

  • Rob

    @Larry – So if I read you rightly, your point is that while it seems a contradiction for the Reformed who claim monergism to identify with Baptists, some of whom claim synergism, it isn’t really a contradiction because both theologies eventually succumb to synergism.

    I don’t necessarily disagree. There certainly are ways in which Reformed thought ends up being less than monergistic because of their understanding of our role in our sanctification. But I was asking for a Reformed Baptist to explain it to me. In other words, I was looking for an answer of, “I believe this because…” not “They believe this because…” Steve helped, as I wasn’t well-versed in the (gaping) divide between particular and general Baptist theologies. Thanks to “Creeds of the Churches” and “Handbook of Denominations”, I am better read on that topic now than I was 24 hours ago and it goes some way in answering my question.

    Alas, no one is here to answer the question using the first person pronoun: “I identify myself this way because…” (not surprising on a blog most frequented by Lutherans). Ergo Steve’s (not Stephen’s) complaint that we are speaking for others and our typification of their beliefs may not be a portrayal with which they would agree.

  • Rob

    @Larry – So if I read you rightly, your point is that while it seems a contradiction for the Reformed who claim monergism to identify with Baptists, some of whom claim synergism, it isn’t really a contradiction because both theologies eventually succumb to synergism.

    I don’t necessarily disagree. There certainly are ways in which Reformed thought ends up being less than monergistic because of their understanding of our role in our sanctification. But I was asking for a Reformed Baptist to explain it to me. In other words, I was looking for an answer of, “I believe this because…” not “They believe this because…” Steve helped, as I wasn’t well-versed in the (gaping) divide between particular and general Baptist theologies. Thanks to “Creeds of the Churches” and “Handbook of Denominations”, I am better read on that topic now than I was 24 hours ago and it goes some way in answering my question.

    Alas, no one is here to answer the question using the first person pronoun: “I identify myself this way because…” (not surprising on a blog most frequented by Lutherans). Ergo Steve’s (not Stephen’s) complaint that we are speaking for others and our typification of their beliefs may not be a portrayal with which they would agree.

  • Steve in Toronto

    Re:Larry 414
    Part of why Calvinist fall into despair is that they are Monergist and as a result believe that even if they were baptized, communed and in church twice on Sunday, Wednesday night and living what to the entire world seem like a righteous life they might still not be elect. They believe in their very bones that salvation has nothing to do with there own virtue and that they are wholly dependent on God’s mercy. The Lutheran (and to a greater or lesser extent Anglican-depending on how low or high church you are) emphases on the sacraments addresses the pastoral problems this position inevitably raises but since in allows for the potential for apostasy it creates other problems. The Lutheran Position is probably more consistent with a straight forward reading of the key biblical texts but if you start to systemize Paul you rapidly find your self pulled towards the reformed. There are no easy answers to these questions and part of the reason I am an Anglican is that I am not required to come down hard on either side of this debate.

    By the way although is not nearly as regular a practice as it is in Lutheran and modern Anglican churches corporate confession and absolution is not unheard of in reformed churches where it almost always accompanies communion. The last Presbyterian service I attend was in England over New Years and their Liturgy was indistinguishable except in minor changes in phrasing from what you would have heard in an Anglican or Lutheran church during a service of Morning Prayer (at the church we attended the lords supper was only celebrated once a month).

  • Steve in Toronto

    Re:Larry 414
    Part of why Calvinist fall into despair is that they are Monergist and as a result believe that even if they were baptized, communed and in church twice on Sunday, Wednesday night and living what to the entire world seem like a righteous life they might still not be elect. They believe in their very bones that salvation has nothing to do with there own virtue and that they are wholly dependent on God’s mercy. The Lutheran (and to a greater or lesser extent Anglican-depending on how low or high church you are) emphases on the sacraments addresses the pastoral problems this position inevitably raises but since in allows for the potential for apostasy it creates other problems. The Lutheran Position is probably more consistent with a straight forward reading of the key biblical texts but if you start to systemize Paul you rapidly find your self pulled towards the reformed. There are no easy answers to these questions and part of the reason I am an Anglican is that I am not required to come down hard on either side of this debate.

    By the way although is not nearly as regular a practice as it is in Lutheran and modern Anglican churches corporate confession and absolution is not unheard of in reformed churches where it almost always accompanies communion. The last Presbyterian service I attend was in England over New Years and their Liturgy was indistinguishable except in minor changes in phrasing from what you would have heard in an Anglican or Lutheran church during a service of Morning Prayer (at the church we attended the lords supper was only celebrated once a month).

  • http://thoughts-brigitte.blogspot.com Brigitte

    Moallen, thanks so much for sharing. God bless you and us as we continue to trust in him through his word. God bless all our “evangelical” friends, too, and help them understand that there is no way that we can move away from this, so help us God.

  • http://thoughts-brigitte.blogspot.com Brigitte

    Moallen, thanks so much for sharing. God bless you and us as we continue to trust in him through his word. God bless all our “evangelical” friends, too, and help them understand that there is no way that we can move away from this, so help us God.

  • kerner

    Grace @395:

    Even if we assume for the sake of argument that everyone present in Acts 2, and the eunuch in Acts 8 had to believe first and be baptized afterward, why is it necessary that everyone proceed that way?

    The adults described in acts were capable of understanding the Word of God being preached to them and, assuming they do not harden their hearts against the Holy Spirit, they may very well respond with faith, and then they would presumably be baptized very soon after.

    But the people described in Acts were the first generation of Christians. Evangelism in the 1st century consisted almost entirely of adult Christians preaching to adult unbelievers. But things have changed. By the 2nd century and through history until today, a significant component of evangelism consists of discipling children.

    If the only way to be saved is to believe and “repent first”, does that mean that children who die in infancy, who have never “repented first”, are damned?

    And why do you think it matters whether baptism or an intellectual act of repentance comes before or after baptism? Some of us may have repented before our baptisms, but don’t we all have to continually repent afterward anyway? I mean, I am not suggesting that repentance can be skipped or gotten around. I just don’t see why it has to be in any particular order. Is there anywhere in the Bible that says that repentance has to come first? Not just that repentance did come first at some particular time, but that it always has to?

  • kerner

    Grace @395:

    Even if we assume for the sake of argument that everyone present in Acts 2, and the eunuch in Acts 8 had to believe first and be baptized afterward, why is it necessary that everyone proceed that way?

    The adults described in acts were capable of understanding the Word of God being preached to them and, assuming they do not harden their hearts against the Holy Spirit, they may very well respond with faith, and then they would presumably be baptized very soon after.

    But the people described in Acts were the first generation of Christians. Evangelism in the 1st century consisted almost entirely of adult Christians preaching to adult unbelievers. But things have changed. By the 2nd century and through history until today, a significant component of evangelism consists of discipling children.

    If the only way to be saved is to believe and “repent first”, does that mean that children who die in infancy, who have never “repented first”, are damned?

    And why do you think it matters whether baptism or an intellectual act of repentance comes before or after baptism? Some of us may have repented before our baptisms, but don’t we all have to continually repent afterward anyway? I mean, I am not suggesting that repentance can be skipped or gotten around. I just don’t see why it has to be in any particular order. Is there anywhere in the Bible that says that repentance has to come first? Not just that repentance did come first at some particular time, but that it always has to?

  • Grace

    Kerner 421
    “Even if we assume for the sake of argument that everyone present in Acts 2, and the eunuch in Acts 8 had to believe first and be baptized afterward, why is it necessary that everyone proceed that way?”

    There is nothing to ‘assume. It was Peter who was telling them to “Repent, and be baptized” – there is no reason to believe it was JUST for those Peter was talking to or when Philip spoke with the Eunuch in Acts 8. Repentance is a clear directive, not just from the Apostles, but the LORD Jesus Christ, made it clear as well.

    From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Matthew 4:17

    But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
    Matthew 9:13

    Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Acts 2:38
    “The adults described in acts were capable of understanding the Word of God being preached to them and, assuming they do not harden their hearts against the Holy Spirit, they may very well respond with faith, and then they would presumably be baptized very soon after. But the people described in Acts were the first generation of Christians. Evangelism in the 1st century consisted almost entirely of adult Christians preaching to adult unbelievers. But things have changed. By the 2nd century and through history until today, a significant component of evangelism consists of discipling children.

    Kerner, I don’t know the ages of those who believed, it isn’t specific in the Word of God. Jesus said “suffer the little children to come unto me for such is the kingdom of heaven” – that would indicate to me, that children can understand. I certainly did as a young child. When Jesus fed the 5,000 do you think there were children present? The Bible makes clear there was, “There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: John 6:9 – this young boy had brought a lunch, obviously wanting to hear Jesus.

    Another passage which makes clear there were children present. “And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children.” Matthew 14:21

    So you see Kerner, there were families with children, listening to Christ preach and teach. The Apostles didn’t stray away from how they were instructed from Christ,… during His ministry on earth, and in Acts 1, where Christ spent 40 days with his Disciples, teaching and instructing them.

    If the only way to be saved is to believe and “repent first”, does that mean that children who die in infancy, who have never “repented first”, are damned?

    I believe, that those who’s parents are Believers have a special place, and this is the reason.

    For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy. 1 Corinthians 7:14

    The above passage is most interesting, it makes one understand the importance of parents to Believe, at least one of them.

    “And why do you think it matters whether baptism or an intellectual act of repentance comes before or after baptism? Some of us may have repented before our baptisms, but don’t we all have to continually repent afterward anyway? I mean, I am not suggesting that repentance can be skipped or gotten around. I just don’t see why it has to be in any particular order. Is there anywhere in the Bible that says that repentance has to come first? Not just that repentance did come first at some particular time, but that it always has to?”

    Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Acts 2:38

    All the Scripture I have given makes clear that Repentance comes before Baptism. One must believe first, and that would include children. Some make the argument that children turn to their mothers breast to be fed, as though that is a comparison to turning and understanding who God is, but nowhere does it say in the Word of God that infants, without repentance receive Baptism.

    I repent all the time, my conscience drives me to pray and ask the LORD to forgive me, and He does.

  • Grace

    Kerner 421
    “Even if we assume for the sake of argument that everyone present in Acts 2, and the eunuch in Acts 8 had to believe first and be baptized afterward, why is it necessary that everyone proceed that way?”

    There is nothing to ‘assume. It was Peter who was telling them to “Repent, and be baptized” – there is no reason to believe it was JUST for those Peter was talking to or when Philip spoke with the Eunuch in Acts 8. Repentance is a clear directive, not just from the Apostles, but the LORD Jesus Christ, made it clear as well.

    From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Matthew 4:17

    But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
    Matthew 9:13

    Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Acts 2:38
    “The adults described in acts were capable of understanding the Word of God being preached to them and, assuming they do not harden their hearts against the Holy Spirit, they may very well respond with faith, and then they would presumably be baptized very soon after. But the people described in Acts were the first generation of Christians. Evangelism in the 1st century consisted almost entirely of adult Christians preaching to adult unbelievers. But things have changed. By the 2nd century and through history until today, a significant component of evangelism consists of discipling children.

    Kerner, I don’t know the ages of those who believed, it isn’t specific in the Word of God. Jesus said “suffer the little children to come unto me for such is the kingdom of heaven” – that would indicate to me, that children can understand. I certainly did as a young child. When Jesus fed the 5,000 do you think there were children present? The Bible makes clear there was, “There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: John 6:9 – this young boy had brought a lunch, obviously wanting to hear Jesus.

    Another passage which makes clear there were children present. “And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children.” Matthew 14:21

    So you see Kerner, there were families with children, listening to Christ preach and teach. The Apostles didn’t stray away from how they were instructed from Christ,… during His ministry on earth, and in Acts 1, where Christ spent 40 days with his Disciples, teaching and instructing them.

    If the only way to be saved is to believe and “repent first”, does that mean that children who die in infancy, who have never “repented first”, are damned?

    I believe, that those who’s parents are Believers have a special place, and this is the reason.

    For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy. 1 Corinthians 7:14

    The above passage is most interesting, it makes one understand the importance of parents to Believe, at least one of them.

    “And why do you think it matters whether baptism or an intellectual act of repentance comes before or after baptism? Some of us may have repented before our baptisms, but don’t we all have to continually repent afterward anyway? I mean, I am not suggesting that repentance can be skipped or gotten around. I just don’t see why it has to be in any particular order. Is there anywhere in the Bible that says that repentance has to come first? Not just that repentance did come first at some particular time, but that it always has to?”

    Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Acts 2:38

    All the Scripture I have given makes clear that Repentance comes before Baptism. One must believe first, and that would include children. Some make the argument that children turn to their mothers breast to be fed, as though that is a comparison to turning and understanding who God is, but nowhere does it say in the Word of God that infants, without repentance receive Baptism.

    I repent all the time, my conscience drives me to pray and ask the LORD to forgive me, and He does.

  • Rob

    What of Matt 28:19-20, where baptism precedes teaching?

    And if your answer is that this passage doesn’t imply a chronology, but only the important elements, why would that same logic not apply to Peter’s Pentecost speech?

  • Rob

    What of Matt 28:19-20, where baptism precedes teaching?

    And if your answer is that this passage doesn’t imply a chronology, but only the important elements, why would that same logic not apply to Peter’s Pentecost speech?

  • Stephen

    The jailer in Acts had his entire family baptized.

    Acts 16:31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” 32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. 33 At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his household were baptized. 34 The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole household.”

    Though Paul says “believe and youwill be saved” (which all Lutherans agree with) there is nowhere here that says the Holy Spirit gave him the gift of faith prior to baptism.

  • Stephen

    The jailer in Acts had his entire family baptized.

    Acts 16:31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” 32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. 33 At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his household were baptized. 34 The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole household.”

    Though Paul says “believe and youwill be saved” (which all Lutherans agree with) there is nowhere here that says the Holy Spirit gave him the gift of faith prior to baptism.

  • Rob

    I’m going to forestall an objection to Stephen’s post. The objection would be “We don’t know if the jailer had kids.”

    Well, we know he had a whole household. Thus, he was married. Otherwise he was still part of his father’s household. We know he was a jailer. Jailers were neither kids nor old men. Thus, he was of the age to have children. There is no statement of his wife being barren. The most Biblically sound conclusion? He must have had children.

    But, even if he did not. His household included all his servants and all their children. Are you trying to tell me everyone in his household was barren?

    But maybe just the adults were baptized? Sorry. The text says, “ALL his household.” And the term household (though written in Greek, the Hebrew concept of the “bet av” is the driving force here) absolutely and definitely includes children.

    Just saving us all a rabbit trail answer.

  • Rob

    I’m going to forestall an objection to Stephen’s post. The objection would be “We don’t know if the jailer had kids.”

    Well, we know he had a whole household. Thus, he was married. Otherwise he was still part of his father’s household. We know he was a jailer. Jailers were neither kids nor old men. Thus, he was of the age to have children. There is no statement of his wife being barren. The most Biblically sound conclusion? He must have had children.

    But, even if he did not. His household included all his servants and all their children. Are you trying to tell me everyone in his household was barren?

    But maybe just the adults were baptized? Sorry. The text says, “ALL his household.” And the term household (though written in Greek, the Hebrew concept of the “bet av” is the driving force here) absolutely and definitely includes children.

    Just saving us all a rabbit trail answer.

  • Grace

    Rob – 423

    “What of Matt 28:19-20, where baptism precedes teaching?

    And if your answer is that this passage doesn’t imply a chronology, but only the important elements, why would that same logic not apply to Peter’s Pentecost speech?”

    19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

    20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. Matthew 28

    Jesus made it clear that one had to “repent” – the Apostles knew this, hence “teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.” Christ didn’t need to set forth ‘in order, over and over again, each time He spoke to them the same list, as though the Apostles didn’t know what he meant, as you infer that “baptism precedes teaching” which verse 19 states the opposite “teaching” came first. Without understanding, without repentance there is no Baptism.

  • Grace

    Rob – 423

    “What of Matt 28:19-20, where baptism precedes teaching?

    And if your answer is that this passage doesn’t imply a chronology, but only the important elements, why would that same logic not apply to Peter’s Pentecost speech?”

    19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

    20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. Matthew 28

    Jesus made it clear that one had to “repent” – the Apostles knew this, hence “teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.” Christ didn’t need to set forth ‘in order, over and over again, each time He spoke to them the same list, as though the Apostles didn’t know what he meant, as you infer that “baptism precedes teaching” which verse 19 states the opposite “teaching” came first. Without understanding, without repentance there is no Baptism.

  • Louis

    Trollus Dellendus Est, as the great Cato said.

  • Louis

    Trollus Dellendus Est, as the great Cato said.

  • kerner

    Grace:

    Acts 2 is the story of Pentecost. This is hardly an everyday occasion. And Peter’s statement at Acts 2:38 is not a general one. It was his response to people who had witnessed the miracle of Pentecost, heard Peter preach, and then asked Peter what to do, Acts 2:37. I don’t know how old they were either, but they were old enough to understand what Peter had said and ask him what to do.

    And yet I believe that we can draw some general application from Peter’s statement in Acts 2, if we take the whole statement, which includes:

    ” 38Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

    39For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the LORD our God shall call.”

    But the fact that Peter mentioned repentance first and baptism second on the day of Pentecost does not prove that these things must be done in that order by every Christian for all time.

    What is it about baptism and repentance that makes you believe that baptism can never come before an intellectual act of repentance?

    I am also a little surprised by your statement about infants being a special case. You have spent many many comments stating that parents cannot substitute their belief for their children. Now you are telling us that the children of Christians are holy simply because they are the children of Christians? On the other hand, if our children really are holy without needing to first repent, why shouldn’t they be baptized? I’m sorry, but that is confusing.

  • kerner

    Grace:

    Acts 2 is the story of Pentecost. This is hardly an everyday occasion. And Peter’s statement at Acts 2:38 is not a general one. It was his response to people who had witnessed the miracle of Pentecost, heard Peter preach, and then asked Peter what to do, Acts 2:37. I don’t know how old they were either, but they were old enough to understand what Peter had said and ask him what to do.

    And yet I believe that we can draw some general application from Peter’s statement in Acts 2, if we take the whole statement, which includes:

    ” 38Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

    39For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the LORD our God shall call.”

    But the fact that Peter mentioned repentance first and baptism second on the day of Pentecost does not prove that these things must be done in that order by every Christian for all time.

    What is it about baptism and repentance that makes you believe that baptism can never come before an intellectual act of repentance?

    I am also a little surprised by your statement about infants being a special case. You have spent many many comments stating that parents cannot substitute their belief for their children. Now you are telling us that the children of Christians are holy simply because they are the children of Christians? On the other hand, if our children really are holy without needing to first repent, why shouldn’t they be baptized? I’m sorry, but that is confusing.

  • Rob

    Sorry, Grace, bad exegesis. What you have bolded and translated as “teach all nations” is actually better translated “make disciples” (matheteuo) and is the only command in the verse. Both “Baptizing” and “teaching” (didaskalo) are participles of means, explaining how the command is to be carried out.

    A typeset way to draw this out would be:

    “Going, therefore, into all the world, MAKE DISCIPLES of all nations, baptizing them … and teaching them to obey…”

    Thus, “going” is a prerequisite (called attendant circumstance by Greek grammarians), “make disciples” is the command, and “baptizing” and “teaching” are the means by which the command is to be done.

    So, then, your argument is that Jesus put them out of order because the apostles would have known he didn’t mean it to be in the order he stated. Because those sharp-as-a-tack apostles never misunderstood his teaching?

    I know you’re not going to change your mind on this. So, thus ends my dialogue on the topic. Just thought since this verse is (1) so frequently preached and (2) usually so badly exegeted, you might actually find the above helpful. Even if your views on baptism are set in stone.

    Got my book recommendation yet? I try to be thick-skinned, but I can’t help feel a little neglected.

  • Rob

    Sorry, Grace, bad exegesis. What you have bolded and translated as “teach all nations” is actually better translated “make disciples” (matheteuo) and is the only command in the verse. Both “Baptizing” and “teaching” (didaskalo) are participles of means, explaining how the command is to be carried out.

    A typeset way to draw this out would be:

    “Going, therefore, into all the world, MAKE DISCIPLES of all nations, baptizing them … and teaching them to obey…”

    Thus, “going” is a prerequisite (called attendant circumstance by Greek grammarians), “make disciples” is the command, and “baptizing” and “teaching” are the means by which the command is to be done.

    So, then, your argument is that Jesus put them out of order because the apostles would have known he didn’t mean it to be in the order he stated. Because those sharp-as-a-tack apostles never misunderstood his teaching?

    I know you’re not going to change your mind on this. So, thus ends my dialogue on the topic. Just thought since this verse is (1) so frequently preached and (2) usually so badly exegeted, you might actually find the above helpful. Even if your views on baptism are set in stone.

    Got my book recommendation yet? I try to be thick-skinned, but I can’t help feel a little neglected.

  • Stephen

    What Louis suggests is perhaps the most loving thing to do. The woman is mean and obdurate. She only engages others on her own terms, attending only to those things she can attack with her ugly, faith-murdering diatribes, attempting to pull people away from the promise of Christ given for each of us to her false doctrine of works. Baptism is worthless, and afterthought! That is heresy.

    I’m with Cinncinatus who said earlier “why bother?” Why bother anymore with her (and her friend)? Can we agree to shut her out? I’m game. And I mean completely. Close the door. Who is with me? Let her twist in the wind of her own works and the despair she peddles. She offers no one help, no one comfort, no one kindness let alone the truth of the Gospel, mired as she is in her own self-satisfaction.

  • Stephen

    What Louis suggests is perhaps the most loving thing to do. The woman is mean and obdurate. She only engages others on her own terms, attending only to those things she can attack with her ugly, faith-murdering diatribes, attempting to pull people away from the promise of Christ given for each of us to her false doctrine of works. Baptism is worthless, and afterthought! That is heresy.

    I’m with Cinncinatus who said earlier “why bother?” Why bother anymore with her (and her friend)? Can we agree to shut her out? I’m game. And I mean completely. Close the door. Who is with me? Let her twist in the wind of her own works and the despair she peddles. She offers no one help, no one comfort, no one kindness let alone the truth of the Gospel, mired as she is in her own self-satisfaction.

  • Grace

    Baptism is most important, but ONLY after one believes and repents.

  • Grace

    Baptism is most important, but ONLY after one believes and repents.

  • Louis

    Stephen, Amen!

    Trollus Delendus Est, as the great Cato said….

  • Louis

    Stephen, Amen!

    Trollus Delendus Est, as the great Cato said….

  • Steve in Toronto

    How on earth did a post on the (relative) absence of Lutherans from the world of conservative evangelical ecumenical dialog turn in to a forum to debate credo vs. paedobaptism? Funny how the lighting rod for Truth and Grace is baptism not the Lord’s Supper (maybe it’s because they are used to arguing with Presbyterians)

  • Steve in Toronto

    How on earth did a post on the (relative) absence of Lutherans from the world of conservative evangelical ecumenical dialog turn in to a forum to debate credo vs. paedobaptism? Funny how the lighting rod for Truth and Grace is baptism not the Lord’s Supper (maybe it’s because they are used to arguing with Presbyterians)

  • Louis

    Steve: It is simple. A certain troll showed up, and was joined by another. It has happened many, many times in the past.

    Hence…

    Trollus Delendus Est, as the great Cato said…..

  • Louis

    Steve: It is simple. A certain troll showed up, and was joined by another. It has happened many, many times in the past.

    Hence…

    Trollus Delendus Est, as the great Cato said…..

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    It is fascinating to watch someone (Grace) who quotes fairly liberally from Strong’s (one of her approved sinful-man-penned references) to suddenly seem to ignore the Greek when it comes to Acts 2:38.

    Here’s what Grace wants us to believe it says:

    Peter replied, “First repent, and only after you’ve done that, then be baptized, every one of you …”

    Here’s what God’s Word actually says:

    Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you …”

    Grace, the word “and” there is καὶ, Strong’s #2532. You tell me, where do you get the idea that it should be understood to imply chronology or causation, and not mere conjunction?

    Your reply to Rob (@423) is also lacking, in part because of your dependence on the KJV, which uses the English word “teach” twice to represent two different Greek words.

    Matthew 28:19-20 says:

    Therefore go and make disciples [μαθητεύσατε, Strong's #3100] of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching [διδάσκοντες, Strong's #1321] them to obey everything I have commanded you.

    Regardless, if we are to abide by your (frankly, unwarranted) assertion that word order necessarily denotes chronology and/or causation, then Matthew 28 clearly teaches us that baptism precedes teaching (both of which are preceded by being made a disciple).

    Of course, one might notice that these three verbs are not in parallel (they are not in the same tense), such that “baptizing” and “teaching” are an appositive phrase that explicates the command “make disciples”.

    As to your unique reading of 1 Corinthians 7:14, it’s, again, fascinating to see someone who rejects trusting in one’s baptism as the work of man instead urging children to trust in the salvation merited for them by their parents.

    Of course, if Paul’s saying “the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife” means that the husband is forgiven because of the wife’s faith, then why does Paul go on to say in vs. 15, “How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband?” Your interpretation of vs. 14 requires that the children of a believer necessarily are forgiven because of their parentage. But the full context suggests another meaning. As does, of course, the rest of Scripture.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    It is fascinating to watch someone (Grace) who quotes fairly liberally from Strong’s (one of her approved sinful-man-penned references) to suddenly seem to ignore the Greek when it comes to Acts 2:38.

    Here’s what Grace wants us to believe it says:

    Peter replied, “First repent, and only after you’ve done that, then be baptized, every one of you …”

    Here’s what God’s Word actually says:

    Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you …”

    Grace, the word “and” there is καὶ, Strong’s #2532. You tell me, where do you get the idea that it should be understood to imply chronology or causation, and not mere conjunction?

    Your reply to Rob (@423) is also lacking, in part because of your dependence on the KJV, which uses the English word “teach” twice to represent two different Greek words.

    Matthew 28:19-20 says:

    Therefore go and make disciples [μαθητεύσατε, Strong's #3100] of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching [διδάσκοντες, Strong's #1321] them to obey everything I have commanded you.

    Regardless, if we are to abide by your (frankly, unwarranted) assertion that word order necessarily denotes chronology and/or causation, then Matthew 28 clearly teaches us that baptism precedes teaching (both of which are preceded by being made a disciple).

    Of course, one might notice that these three verbs are not in parallel (they are not in the same tense), such that “baptizing” and “teaching” are an appositive phrase that explicates the command “make disciples”.

    As to your unique reading of 1 Corinthians 7:14, it’s, again, fascinating to see someone who rejects trusting in one’s baptism as the work of man instead urging children to trust in the salvation merited for them by their parents.

    Of course, if Paul’s saying “the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife” means that the husband is forgiven because of the wife’s faith, then why does Paul go on to say in vs. 15, “How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband?” Your interpretation of vs. 14 requires that the children of a believer necessarily are forgiven because of their parentage. But the full context suggests another meaning. As does, of course, the rest of Scripture.

  • Stephen

    Smalcald Articles – Part III of Article IX reads in part:

    ” . . . the true Christian excommunication, consists in this, that manifest and obstinate sinners are not admitted to the Sacrament and other communion of the Church until they amend their lives and avoid sin.”

    And what is that sin? Primarily, it is always rooted in false beliefs, to deny that God is God and to dismiss His promise to us as nothing, “exchanging truth fora lie” as Paul puts it. By her own words she condemns herself and denies the atoning work of Christ by denying the efficacious capacity of Holy Baptism to forgive sins and save (1 Peter 3:21) which is the water and word together.

    Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing[b] her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.

    Titus 3:5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit

    Acts 10:43 All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.” (“In the nameof the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” – baptism)

    She comes here and does nothing less than blaspheme the Holy Spirit as does TUAD. They should be set apart.

    1 Timothy 6:3 If anyone teaches otherwise and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, 4 they are conceited and understand nothing. They have an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions.

    And later Paul writes:

    1 Timothy 6:20 Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge, 21 which some have professed and in so doing have departed from the faith. Grace be with you all.

    And finally:

    2 Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.

    Grace should be excommunicated.

  • Stephen

    Smalcald Articles – Part III of Article IX reads in part:

    ” . . . the true Christian excommunication, consists in this, that manifest and obstinate sinners are not admitted to the Sacrament and other communion of the Church until they amend their lives and avoid sin.”

    And what is that sin? Primarily, it is always rooted in false beliefs, to deny that God is God and to dismiss His promise to us as nothing, “exchanging truth fora lie” as Paul puts it. By her own words she condemns herself and denies the atoning work of Christ by denying the efficacious capacity of Holy Baptism to forgive sins and save (1 Peter 3:21) which is the water and word together.

    Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing[b] her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.

    Titus 3:5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit

    Acts 10:43 All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.” (“In the nameof the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” – baptism)

    She comes here and does nothing less than blaspheme the Holy Spirit as does TUAD. They should be set apart.

    1 Timothy 6:3 If anyone teaches otherwise and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, 4 they are conceited and understand nothing. They have an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions.

    And later Paul writes:

    1 Timothy 6:20 Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge, 21 which some have professed and in so doing have departed from the faith. Grace be with you all.

    And finally:

    2 Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.

    Grace should be excommunicated.

  • http://journeytoluther.blogspot.com/ moallen

    Does baptism have any benefit?

    “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ” Galatians 2:7

    Can infants have faith? Point me to the Scripture that says they cannot, and baptism is not for them, and baptism is not the new covenant sign as circumcision was in the old covenant (the Apostle Paul directly identifies baptism with circumcision by directly comparing the two):

    “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the PROMISE is for you AND for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the LORD our GOD CALLS to Himself.”

    If baptism is only for believing children of the age of accountability, this would be a good place to have inserted that. But Peter did not say that.

    We teach our children that:

    “We are buried therefore with Him BY BAPTISM into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” Romans 6:4
    Every day we are to bury our old Adam/sinful nature in the waters of baptism. I am a baptized child of God and repent daily and ask for forgiveness. I put on the death and resurrection of Christ. My baptism is grounded in the death and resurrection of Jesus – He is my hope.

    Removed from Jesus, removed from any significance or grounding in anything, for many baptism becomes nothing but an outward work of obedience. A lot of people raised in homes where baptism is so de-emphasized go through their entire childhood and teen years without being baptized. I have a good friend who was raised in a Baptist home, went to Church, and was not baptized until he was a young adult because over and over again he heard how unimportant baptism is – so he figured, why bother? Does Scripture support this view of baptism? After his experience on the road to Damascus, the Apostle Paul was directed by God to someone who understood the gospel – what was the response? Baptism! He didn’t wait for a year or two. He put on Christ right then!

  • http://journeytoluther.blogspot.com/ moallen

    Does baptism have any benefit?

    “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ” Galatians 2:7

    Can infants have faith? Point me to the Scripture that says they cannot, and baptism is not for them, and baptism is not the new covenant sign as circumcision was in the old covenant (the Apostle Paul directly identifies baptism with circumcision by directly comparing the two):

    “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the PROMISE is for you AND for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the LORD our GOD CALLS to Himself.”

    If baptism is only for believing children of the age of accountability, this would be a good place to have inserted that. But Peter did not say that.

    We teach our children that:

    “We are buried therefore with Him BY BAPTISM into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” Romans 6:4
    Every day we are to bury our old Adam/sinful nature in the waters of baptism. I am a baptized child of God and repent daily and ask for forgiveness. I put on the death and resurrection of Christ. My baptism is grounded in the death and resurrection of Jesus – He is my hope.

    Removed from Jesus, removed from any significance or grounding in anything, for many baptism becomes nothing but an outward work of obedience. A lot of people raised in homes where baptism is so de-emphasized go through their entire childhood and teen years without being baptized. I have a good friend who was raised in a Baptist home, went to Church, and was not baptized until he was a young adult because over and over again he heard how unimportant baptism is – so he figured, why bother? Does Scripture support this view of baptism? After his experience on the road to Damascus, the Apostle Paul was directed by God to someone who understood the gospel – what was the response? Baptism! He didn’t wait for a year or two. He put on Christ right then!

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

    Did I miss something? I just can’t find the word “then” in Acts 2:38 lacking that clear indication negates any possibility of a hard and fast order.

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

    Did I miss something? I just can’t find the word “then” in Acts 2:38 lacking that clear indication negates any possibility of a hard and fast order.

  • Stephen

    Moallen –

    Only God can use water to light a fire. You are burnin’ up today. I know EXACTLY what you are saying. I have had the same experience in my own family – baptism doesn’t matter so why bother.

    God bless you brother!

  • Stephen

    Moallen –

    Only God can use water to light a fire. You are burnin’ up today. I know EXACTLY what you are saying. I have had the same experience in my own family – baptism doesn’t matter so why bother.

    God bless you brother!

  • Steve in Toronto

    I don’t get what going on here. It seems to me there are only two graceful ways to dealing with commenter’s like Truth and Grace. One way is to ignore them, the second is to patently and lovingly engage them in dialogue (and believe me I am sure it will require patience!). How ever the strategy that most of the people here seem to be pursuing is to engage them in a bitter, uncharitable and untimely futile theological debate with a lot of hyperbolic name calling throwen in for good measure. To me it all seems like a colossal waste of time for all concerned and a poor witness to boot.

  • Steve in Toronto

    I don’t get what going on here. It seems to me there are only two graceful ways to dealing with commenter’s like Truth and Grace. One way is to ignore them, the second is to patently and lovingly engage them in dialogue (and believe me I am sure it will require patience!). How ever the strategy that most of the people here seem to be pursuing is to engage them in a bitter, uncharitable and untimely futile theological debate with a lot of hyperbolic name calling throwen in for good measure. To me it all seems like a colossal waste of time for all concerned and a poor witness to boot.

  • Louis

    Steve – you don’t come here all that often do you? Believe me, the loving engagement was tried, many times over. So quite understandibly the patience has worn thin over time. The same debate has been waging, in one form or the other, for well over a year now (I think).

    Hence my repeating –

    Trollus Delendus Est, as the great Cato said…

  • Louis

    Steve – you don’t come here all that often do you? Believe me, the loving engagement was tried, many times over. So quite understandibly the patience has worn thin over time. The same debate has been waging, in one form or the other, for well over a year now (I think).

    Hence my repeating –

    Trollus Delendus Est, as the great Cato said…

  • Stephen

    Louis is right Steve. Sorry to disappoint you, but we long ago went way beyond niceties for the sake of these two, and especially Grace. But then, I had exactly the same reaction when I came around last fall that you are having – exactly! Don’t be surprised if someone takes umbrage with you for suggesting we all just be a little more patient and kind. That would seem like the loving thing to do, but that isn’t St. Paul’s one and only tactic for dealing with certain people who refuse to listen and persist. Did you read my scripture quotes?

    Grace is not interested in conversations. Look over this thread as an example. She doesn’t answer people’s questions and never has. She is only interested in taking over conversations (and sometimes she succeeds!) for the sake of denegrating Luther and Lutheranism. She has gone so far as to suggest that Lutherans are all antisemites and Nazis, especially Germans. She is underhanded, mean-spirited and vile in her attacks. She really is beyond unpleasant, and she isn’t here to have a dialogue, she is here to rerail anything she touches in such away that people are actually encouraged to lose their faith by detaching themselves fromt he promise of Christ. She would rather we trust in ourselves (well, more precisely, her). In this sense, she does what is wicked.

    Having said all that, no one is judging her heart. We can only judge here words/actions. And in this sense, she behaves like an unbeliever and pharisee who thinks she can lord it over others. She should be thrown out until she repents and amends her ways (her favorite topic!). If she is baptized, there is hope she will do this. As yet, she shows now signs of it. She should be removed for her wreckless, conceited, obstinate and false teaching.

  • Stephen

    Louis is right Steve. Sorry to disappoint you, but we long ago went way beyond niceties for the sake of these two, and especially Grace. But then, I had exactly the same reaction when I came around last fall that you are having – exactly! Don’t be surprised if someone takes umbrage with you for suggesting we all just be a little more patient and kind. That would seem like the loving thing to do, but that isn’t St. Paul’s one and only tactic for dealing with certain people who refuse to listen and persist. Did you read my scripture quotes?

    Grace is not interested in conversations. Look over this thread as an example. She doesn’t answer people’s questions and never has. She is only interested in taking over conversations (and sometimes she succeeds!) for the sake of denegrating Luther and Lutheranism. She has gone so far as to suggest that Lutherans are all antisemites and Nazis, especially Germans. She is underhanded, mean-spirited and vile in her attacks. She really is beyond unpleasant, and she isn’t here to have a dialogue, she is here to rerail anything she touches in such away that people are actually encouraged to lose their faith by detaching themselves fromt he promise of Christ. She would rather we trust in ourselves (well, more precisely, her). In this sense, she does what is wicked.

    Having said all that, no one is judging her heart. We can only judge here words/actions. And in this sense, she behaves like an unbeliever and pharisee who thinks she can lord it over others. She should be thrown out until she repents and amends her ways (her favorite topic!). If she is baptized, there is hope she will do this. As yet, she shows now signs of it. She should be removed for her wreckless, conceited, obstinate and false teaching.

  • Tom Hering

    What about your statement, Grace, “belief first, then baptism.” Acts 2:38 says the Holy Spirit would be given to the men of Israel in baptism. How then could they believe before baptism – how then could they believe without the Holy Spirit? (“No one can say, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ except by the Holy Spirit.”)

    “Peter said to them, ‘Repent [Strong's "change your mind"], and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’”

    If, as you argue, word order is the order in which things are to be done, then in this case that you love to cite, belief very clearly does NOT precede baptism.

  • Tom Hering

    What about your statement, Grace, “belief first, then baptism.” Acts 2:38 says the Holy Spirit would be given to the men of Israel in baptism. How then could they believe before baptism – how then could they believe without the Holy Spirit? (“No one can say, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ except by the Holy Spirit.”)

    “Peter said to them, ‘Repent [Strong's "change your mind"], and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’”

    If, as you argue, word order is the order in which things are to be done, then in this case that you love to cite, belief very clearly does NOT precede baptism.

  • Stephen

    That should be “derail” as in distort, distrub, distract, disorient, and dismember. “Dis-member” is just it. But as St. Paul affirms:

    Romans 8:38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[k] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

    And certainly not a heterodox pharisee who thinks she knows everything.

  • Stephen

    That should be “derail” as in distort, distrub, distract, disorient, and dismember. “Dis-member” is just it. But as St. Paul affirms:

    Romans 8:38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[k] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

    And certainly not a heterodox pharisee who thinks she knows everything.

  • Stephen

    Tom -

    She’s immersed in wickedness and false teaching. She should be put outside.

  • Stephen

    Tom -

    She’s immersed in wickedness and false teaching. She should be put outside.

  • Louis

    Steve in Toronto – for the record, there are many other non-Lutheran people that come here, enagage in vigorous debate etc etc., that do not act like Grace. (Don, Webmonk, Bike, Kirk, to name but a few). We’ve even had a Muslim and a pantheist show up (separate inidividuals, that is :) ), with whom we’ve had decent discussions. Of course there was also Peter, but he ran away ;)

    And then we often have vigorous non-theological discussions as well – we have people here from a great many political persuasions, we have YEC’ists and OEC/TE’ists etc etc.

    Really, it is the actions of the individual concerned that produces this kind of situation. We had a short boycott once before, but then someone went and broke it…

    Trollus Delendus Est, as the great Cato said…

  • Louis

    Steve in Toronto – for the record, there are many other non-Lutheran people that come here, enagage in vigorous debate etc etc., that do not act like Grace. (Don, Webmonk, Bike, Kirk, to name but a few). We’ve even had a Muslim and a pantheist show up (separate inidividuals, that is :) ), with whom we’ve had decent discussions. Of course there was also Peter, but he ran away ;)

    And then we often have vigorous non-theological discussions as well – we have people here from a great many political persuasions, we have YEC’ists and OEC/TE’ists etc etc.

    Really, it is the actions of the individual concerned that produces this kind of situation. We had a short boycott once before, but then someone went and broke it…

    Trollus Delendus Est, as the great Cato said…

  • Tom Hering

    Stephen, banning isn’t done here (that I’ve ever seen). So forget that. Ignoring doesn’t work, because the temptation to respond is too hard to resist. So forget that too. What we’re left with, then, is responding. How best to do that? I think by addressing the Scriptures Grace uses. It probably won’t do Grace any good, but it can’t help but do us good to discuss the Word among ourselves.

  • Tom Hering

    Stephen, banning isn’t done here (that I’ve ever seen). So forget that. Ignoring doesn’t work, because the temptation to respond is too hard to resist. So forget that too. What we’re left with, then, is responding. How best to do that? I think by addressing the Scriptures Grace uses. It probably won’t do Grace any good, but it can’t help but do us good to discuss the Word among ourselves.

  • kerner

    Steve @440:

    I see your point. Grace, among others some of whom have come and gone, seems to comment here primarily to convince us Lutherans that we are fundamentally wrong. Some of the Lutherans (even some of the non-Lutherans) regard Grace as our guest here and find her behavior , er, unseemly. And they have become hostile as a result.

    But, while often frustrating, I do not find our discussions to be a complete waste of time.

    1. I always find it best to learn about those with whom you disagree by interacting with them directly. And I don’t always think Grace is wrong. Although I do consistently disagree with her on this subject, I sometimes learn something from Grace.

    2. It may seem like a far-fetched dream, I know, but there is always a chance that Grace may learn something from us.

    3. I almost always learn something from my fellow Lutherans. Rob and tODD have both taught me something about Greek grammar, but it took till comments 429 and 435 to get there. And I learned something from a lot of others too. Larry and Moallen and other converts give my own thoughts perspective, for example.

    No, I don’t think this was time wasted.

  • kerner

    Steve @440:

    I see your point. Grace, among others some of whom have come and gone, seems to comment here primarily to convince us Lutherans that we are fundamentally wrong. Some of the Lutherans (even some of the non-Lutherans) regard Grace as our guest here and find her behavior , er, unseemly. And they have become hostile as a result.

    But, while often frustrating, I do not find our discussions to be a complete waste of time.

    1. I always find it best to learn about those with whom you disagree by interacting with them directly. And I don’t always think Grace is wrong. Although I do consistently disagree with her on this subject, I sometimes learn something from Grace.

    2. It may seem like a far-fetched dream, I know, but there is always a chance that Grace may learn something from us.

    3. I almost always learn something from my fellow Lutherans. Rob and tODD have both taught me something about Greek grammar, but it took till comments 429 and 435 to get there. And I learned something from a lot of others too. Larry and Moallen and other converts give my own thoughts perspective, for example.

    No, I don’t think this was time wasted.

  • Tom Hering

    “Error and heresy must come into the world so that the elect may become approved and manifest. Their coming is in the best interests of Christians if they take the proper attitude toward it. St. Augustine, who certainly was sufficiently annoyed by wretched sectaries, says that when heresy and offense come, they produce much benefit in the Christendom; for they cause Christians industriously to read Holy Scripture and with diligence to pursue it and persevere in its study. Otherwise they might let it lie on the shelf, become very secure, and say: Why, God’s Word and the text of Scripture are current in our midst; it is not necessary for us to read Holy Scripture. But now we are made vigilant and watchful by the heretics and their offense, and because of the conflicts and controversies we understand God’s Word better than we did before.” – Luther.

  • Tom Hering

    “Error and heresy must come into the world so that the elect may become approved and manifest. Their coming is in the best interests of Christians if they take the proper attitude toward it. St. Augustine, who certainly was sufficiently annoyed by wretched sectaries, says that when heresy and offense come, they produce much benefit in the Christendom; for they cause Christians industriously to read Holy Scripture and with diligence to pursue it and persevere in its study. Otherwise they might let it lie on the shelf, become very secure, and say: Why, God’s Word and the text of Scripture are current in our midst; it is not necessary for us to read Holy Scripture. But now we are made vigilant and watchful by the heretics and their offense, and because of the conflicts and controversies we understand God’s Word better than we did before.” – Luther.

  • kerner

    Louis @ 446:

    “Of course there was also Peter, but he ran away”

    Well, tODD chased him away. I haven’t decided whether that was for the best; sometimes I miss Peter.