Sunday, December 9, 2007

Treasures of Lutheranism in denominational context, part II

As promised, here is the continuation of this particular study.
  • Treasure 4. Piety (how the Christian life is expressed). Freedom in the Gospel but constant confession of sin and reception of forgiveness. Strong liturgical emphasis leading to reverence. Not pietism (i.e. trusting in works, contrary to profession of faith). High church ("smells and bells" and ritual-heavy) vs. low church (e.g. American Evangelicalism--only after the 1940s or 50s). "Non-church" (low-ritual) churches are popular... Ephesians 5:21ff--submitting to one another (= piety) plus fear of God (= true focus; NOT ME-CENTERED, a.k.a. *contemporary*). Contrast traditional RC with Amer. Evang. in terms of the number of 1st-person pronouns used. God's primary relationship to us: Judge. Secondary: Friend. Reverent piety isn't living in fear--but we still confess sin. Apart from the Gospel, we have/are nothing. Have Law--or else, "freedom from what?" Prayer--some places may actually be inappropriate to pray in. Just keep worshiping...
  • Treasure 5. Law and Gospel (Sola Fides--Eph. 2:8-9). Scripture properly divided by law and Gospel. Salvation is by grace through faith. Take them together. God condemns sin--yet He forgives sin! RC adds works and purgatory...a constant state of fear. But we're already God's children!
We should finish this up next week. Two more treasures to go...

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