Sunday, October 3, 2010

Sweeping Generalizations

Here are some sweeping theological generalizations.

1. The less you see the depths of your own sinfulness, the more likely you are to gravitate away from Confessional Lutheranism.

2a. If you love the liturgy but do not see you sin, you will gravitate towards the East.

2b. If you love your works and history but do not see your sin, you will gravitate towards Rome.

2c. If you love your works but disdain both history and your sin, you will gravitate towards Evangelicalism and Contemporary worship.

2d. If you decide to love your sin, you will gravitate towards theological liberalism or even depart from Christianity entirely.

3. We always tend to underestimate our own sin, which is why there are so few Lutherans in the world.


Rev. Josh Sullivan said...

Generally speaking, I agree. :)

Zach said...

Yes... it is hard to disagree with these points.

Kathy said...

I'll disagree. Could it be that people do see the depths of their sin and CHOOSE the Eastern churches or the Latin churches so they can be sacramentally forgiven by giving a good confession.

This post showed a lot of ignorance/prejudice on your part. But once again you've given me pause to pray for you that you'll one day see the light of Truth and "Come Home to Rome".

Chad Myers said...

"love your works" -- clearly you know very little to nothing about Catholicism and just repeat the canards of other Protestants.

Sweeping generalizations aren't necessarily bad unless they're completely false, such as these.

Let me re-write the Rome one:

If you love God, want to follow Jesus in his entirety of teaching, love the liturgy, hate your sin and wish to continue an ever-deepening dive into communion with Jesus Christ, you will gravitate towards Rome.

Rev. Eric J Brown said...

Okay folks,

It should be obvious from the start that as I am a Lutheran, there will be a Lutheran bias, so no, I'm not going to find Rome to be a more full expression of the teachings of Christ, nor will I find a better confession there. I tend to think absolution straight, without the rocks of works is more in line with the teachings of Christ.

There is sin in everything we do - in me there is nothing good, nothing meritorious. Apart from Christ I can do nothing. No place drives home the depths of sin as well as Lutheranism, for we provide ourselves no escape, no assuagement, no aid or balm other than Christ and His Word of absolution.

jim claybourn said...

Thanks for a great reminder on vocation!

jim claybourn said...

Kathy and Chad,

From the Roman confutation to Augsburg Confession article IV on justification:

"For it is entirely contrary to holy Scripture to deny that our works are meritorious."

That sounds like what Pr Brown said : grace + works = justification.

Not the same as grace alone, which the reformers confirmed that the Bible teaches.

jim claybourn said...

one more comment:

Kathy says:

"they can be sacramentally forgiven by giving a good confession. "

(1)Rome demands confession of EVERY sin (omnis utriusque), which we can't do. Therefore, there is no "good" confession.

(2) Rome also demands penance/satisfaction (works), in addition to confession to gain forgiveness.

If you believe in grace alone, that is great! But that is not what Rome teaches.

Rev. Eric J Brown said...

I will note one thing - Rome is currently such a big umbrella - if either Chad or Kathy is blessed with a priest who has roots in a strong stream focusing on Christ's Grace - fantastic. However, beware of things of which we Lutherans warn about popping up elsewhere within your fellowship (just as Lutherans must be concerned with our own shades of legalism that pop up often).