Sunday, August 22, 2010

FW: "Our solemn duty not merely to understand the confession..." Sasse

Encouragement to keep reading our Concordia


Feed: Mercy Journeys with Pastor Harrison
Posted on: Saturday, August 21, 2010 9:58 AM
Author: Rev. Matt Harrison
Subject: "Our solemn duty not merely to understand the confession..." Sasse


That the Evangelical Lutheran Church is a confessional church in the strict sense of the word, and that it ceases to be the Church of the Lutheran Reformation as soon as it ceases to be the Church of the Lutheran Confessions, is a matter which admits of no doubt. Here our opponents often see better than we Lutherans when, awed by the constantly repeated charge of "confessionalism," we try to show that we are not so bad after all. One could fill an entire page with the terms of reproach that have been heaped upon us from the dawn of Pietism down to the days of the German Kirchenkampf (church struggle at the time of Hitler). And we must hear this reproach in an even stronger degree in our day because we are a confessional church, a church that takes seriously the confessions of the Fathers and dares to obligate its pastors to these confessions because (quia) they agree with the Word of God.

If one surveys this unending contumely, if one seeks to understand the passionate nature of the polemics that are directed against this Lutheran confessionalism and which equal the bitterness with which the several confessions fought with each other in the Era of Orthodoxy, then one begins to ask whether these are not more than human forces which are here assailing the Lutheran Church. This is comparable to the attacks launched against the Church of the Augsburg Confession in the sixteenth century, which are not to be explained as the result of merely human passions and human opinions. So much the more it now becomes our solemn duty not merely to understand the confession which we are called to defend, but increasingly and more deeply to comprehend just what is the nature of a true confession and what are its functions in the Church.

Herman Sasse

Letters to Lutheran Pastors 2



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