Rev. Adam Roe, in his series on vocation at Mission: Work, observes that Philip Melanchthon, author of the Augsburg Confession and other key texts in the Book of Concord, was a layman. Pastor Roe uses this fact as an example of “the priesthood of all believers,” going on to show how the doctrine of vocation shows how God is graciously active and present in all of life.
Now Rev. Roe is a pastor in the Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ (LCMC). I’m in the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS). There are, indeed, different strains of Lutheranism. I get the feeling that we Missouri Synod Lutherans have a higher view of the pastoral office than the LCMC. Rev. Roe emphasizes God’s real presence in lay vocations, such as farming and parenthood, but he seems to have more of a functionalist view of the pastoral office. My impression is that neither kind of calling is just a function, but that both are genuine channels for God’s workings, though in different ways. Then again, I’m aware that within the LCMS are some differences in the theology of the pastoral office. Then again, I, like Melanchthon, am a humble layman, but unlike Melanchthon, I’m not up on all of the theological nuances. Read what Rev. Roe has to say, excerpted and linked after the jump, and help me out here. [Read more…]