Douglas Wilson, who is associated with the “Federal Vision” movement, weighs in on the Crypto-Lutheran controversy within Calvinism. Read his whole post, but I give an excerpt after the jump. [Read more…]
Back in the 19th century, Lutherans went through a “crypto-Calvinist” controversy. But today, Calvinists are undergoing a “crypto-Lutheran” controversy. It seems a number of Reformed pastors are realizing that the Bible teaches a higher doctrine of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper than is common among Calvinists and are introducing liturgical worship. It appears that the controversy has something to do with the “Federal Vision” movement, which does emphasize Baptism but is far from Lutheran. I suspect that some of those attracted to the Federal Vision are finding that Lutheranism gives them what they are looking for without falling into the problems of that newer Reformed theology. Anyway, Calvinist firebrand Tim Bayly calls out the “neo-Lutherans” and sounds the alarm of our “sacramentalism,” which “has always been one of our Enemy’s principal tools of leading souls to Hell.” Read what he says after the jump. [Read more…]
Carl Trueman argues that Christianity is going into a kind of cultural exile, and he tries to make the case that the church tradition best equipped to endure what awaits us is Reformed theology. Rod Dreher counters by making the case for why his own Eastern Orthodoxy is best equipped to carry Christianity through the exile. Roman Catholics are arguing that Roman Catholicism is.
But Mr. Dreher also called for people of other persuasions to make the case for their theological tradition. So, naturally, we Lutherans need to step up.
What about Lutheranism makes it best equipped to preserve historic Christianity through a time of cultural exile? After the jump, Mr. Dreher’s rules for the conversation, and my first stab at it. [Read more…]
Short answer: NO! But Calvinists often claim him for their own. Douglas Sweeney,Trinity Evangelical Seminary church historian, takes up this question at the Gospel Coalition site, showing where Luther and Lutherans stand vis a vis the Five Points of Calvinism. It’s a good discussion.
Prof. Sweeney stresses that the controversy between Calvinism and Arminianism, according to which Calvinists evaluate all theologies, is very much a disagreement among Reformed Christians, and isn’t easily applicable to separate theological traditions, such as the Lutherans, Anglicans, and Anabaptists. What sets apart Lutheranism from the Reformed, of course, whether Calvinist or Arminian, is the issue of the Sacraments, which aren’t discussed here. Still, read the analysis. Is there anything missing? [Read more…]
Many evangelicals are trying to come to grips with the catholicity of the Church and are looking for ways to fit themselves into the historical universal Church. Some are searching for ways to integrate the Protestant with the Catholic traditions. Some are saying we should downplay denominational differences as a way to be more “catholic,” as the ecumenical movement did.
But the estimable Mathew Block, communications director for the Lutheran Church Canada, has written a thoughtful essay on this subject, focusing on the catholicity of Lutherans and how Lutherans already embody the kind of Evangelical Catholicism that many people are looking for. The essay, which you should read completely, is linked after the jump, but I give his conclusion. [Read more…]
Check out this new website, which, in turn is a forum for a new ministry and resource group whose goal is nothing less than “igniting a second Reformation.” It’s all about Lutheran apologetics–defending Christianity and specifically defending the teachings of the Lutheran Confessions. Not just defending, but promoting and evangelizing. Lutherans often just talk with each other, but the idea here is getting the Word out into the world.