Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Danger of the New

A friend got me thinking on the Eastern Orthodox - and basically here is my quick and dirty take on Eastern Orthodoxy. For the first 800 years of Christianity in the East, they have very strong logical approach. They want to answer and define questions. This is why you have controversies in the East that never arise in the West (and are in general befuddling to the typical Westerner). But then, after 787 and 450 years of bloody theological fighting, the East says, "Enough! We will say nothing new about Jesus! Only repeat what has been said."

They became afraid of the new. New expressions lead to chaos and anger. . . and as a result of this, the end up having more and more of their creative energies expended upon mystical expressions and the like and move further and further away from precision in language. And of course, this can lead to wonky things.

However, they missed the point. The danger was not that an expression is "new" - but rather that it is wrong. That it is not faithful.

Likewise, Lutherans can be very traditional, very distrust of anything that is new. This isn't the way it should be. We shouldn't drink every glass of koolaid offered us, but rather we should with patience analyze and determine if something is good.

We acknowledge that the Church needs reform, needs to be restored - not to some mythical purity of the past, but needs to be restored and called to repentance because it is full of sinners who will wander according to their sinful nature. Simply trying to do what we did yesterday is not the repentant nature of the Reformation.

Do not be afraid of the new. . . rather repent of sin and constantly seek out error, and repent of it.

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