The Wittenberg Trail

We cherish the solas of the Lutheran Reformation. Each one stems from anardor to uphold Holy Scripture as the sole source of doctrine (Sola Scriptura). Yet how many of the "sects" subcribe to the same ideal, even while failing to rightly divide the Word of Truth. In my own fairly conservative church I perceive a subtle surrendering of the Lutheran distinctives, an uncoupling from the Book of Concord that de-emphasizes Sacramental core of worship and discards key doctrines dear to the Reformers.

In the words of Francis Pieper, "Only dogmatics is edifying". As the walls of orthodoxy crumble around us can we consider another Sola? Perhaps Sola Dogmata?

Views: 61

Comment by The Lutheran Layman on December 22, 2013 at 10:02am

Amen! Your words "in my own fairly conservative church I perceive a subtle surrendering of the Lutheran distinctives" really resonated with me. Sadly, they could've been my own words in regards to the church where I'm a member too. "Sola Dogmata!" -- count me in. 

Comment by Chris Cason on December 22, 2013 at 8:45pm

I've considered if it would please God for us to start a society like the Lydia Society that would facilitate lay support for pastors in the area of what I could call Concord awareness..we could call it the Hesshussian Society (for Tileman Hesshusius, a most vigilant dogmatician!)

Comment by Chris Cason on December 22, 2013 at 8:50pm

We could network intersynodically, hold seminars on the Formula and encourage prayer for one another as we resist the seductive sacramentarian heterotoxic culture.

Comment by Jonathan Trost on December 26, 2013 at 11:07am

You have rightly described one of the problems within the Church (catholic). A significant cause of it is lack of sufficient and proper catechisis. Within the Church today, I don't hear words such as "dogma", "doctrine" and, dare I say it, "heresy" so often as we did formerly. Pastors in many churches avoid use of the  word "sin". But, doing so makes the Incarnation, Crucifixion, Resurrection and Ascension irrelevant, i.e., unnecessary. American civil religion tells us that, as best one can, attempting to live the Law is sufficient unto salvation. In other words, earn your salvation by "doing good and avoiding evil."

The Church needs to "go back to basics" by greater exercise of its Teaching Office, i.e., instruction, catechesis. And, instruction without unnecessary apology.

"Verbum Dei manet in aeternam." Doesn't it?:

Comment by The Lutheran Layman on December 26, 2013 at 12:26pm

Well stated. Sad, but true indeed. It's just so heart-breaking though. As an ex-Evangelical, I cringed at our Christmas Eve Service. We were told that the reason Jesus came was "to share your life with you" and it was all about "change" and a "better" this or that, and yet, the word "sin" and "sinner" wasn't mentioned beyond a single time, but not in the context of how it relates to us and what Christ did for us. I told my wife that if you were any of the first time visitors or non-Christians who were there that night and you were wondering why they call Jesus the "Savior" you'd leave there still not knowing what it is He saves us from let alone what we need to be saved for in the first place. If I was blind and our Pastor disguised his voice that night so that I didn't recognize it, I'd swear that both Joel Osteen and Rick Warren were taking turns giving the sermon, because the kinds of things that were said were straight our of their books and pep rallies than from the Bible let our our Lutheran faith. 

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