Friday, February 13, 2009

East, Rome, and Lutherans - Cultural Military Edition!

When it comes to attacking heresy, in the East, Rome, and Lutheranism, we see three different approaches.

The East remains steadfast behind tradition. Tradition will keep them safe.
Rome pontificates. . . and I don't mean "builds bridges". They say what is right, and threaten any who would oppose them.
Lutherans dive on into the Word and attack ideas on the basis of Scripture - let it be a battle of who handles the Word better.

Each of these might be compared to the parent culture's preferred style of fighting.

Consider the Phalanx of Ancient Greece. Heavily armored soldiers stood next to each other. . . behind their shields. The Shield was the most important part of the Phalanx - and in many cases Greeks won because united and protected behind their shields, the Phalanx would just steamroll opponents.

Likewise - the East's goal - be unified in the Tradition - wield the shield of the Faith, and outlast the troubles of the day.

Consider the Roman Legions. Rome created a vast network of roads so that it's army could move rapidly to any corner of the Empire and enforce its will, putting down rebellion. With ingenuity and superiority of movement, Rome conquered.

Likewise - Rome's goal - ensure unity by being asserting your position and expecting people to follow - and if they don't, deal with them rapidly.

Consider the Germanic Tribes and the Scandinavians - the two main Lutheran Cultures. The prized fighter was the hero - the swordsman who would rush in (most likely painted for battle) and strive to stab as many of the enemies before he himself is slain. It is an aggressive approach - kill quickly before they can kill you - and then head back home until the next season of plunder.

Likewise - a Lutheran's goal - use the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God - to dispatch their foes swiftly and quickly. The Word, the Word, the Word! The Battle Cry of the Hordes of Lutheran Theologians going to battle!

It makes sense to me.


William Weedon said...

But Eric, where does that leave us Englishmen who happen to also be Lutherans, but with no Germanic or Scandinavian blood in us (well, unless we go back a thousand years)?

Rev. Eric J Brown said...

Do not be ashamed of your British connections. Fair England is just the abandoned whelps of mighty Danes (see Beowulf). Ah, the tiniest drop of Viking blood runs strong. . . besides, we can toss the Celts into that Germanic grouping too.

Or at least if the theological discussion goes rough you'll keep a stiff upper lip?

William Weedon said...

And did those feet in ancient times
Walk on England's mountains green...