Thursday, June 9, 2011

Study What Gets Used Against You

Yesterday, I was in 1 Peter with a class for 2 hours. Today, it will be James for an hour (with yesterday spent in prep). This made me consider something.

It is a normal and natural response of human beings to seek to avoid sources that are used against them, even if those sources are ill-used or misquoted. This is just part of our sinful nature - take the path of least resistance.

Too often Lutherans have abandonned James and Peter. Why? People beat us over the head with James on works, and Rome talked on and on about Peter... so off to the side. Maybe not intentionally... but just... sort of out of focus.

Reading James again - it's a fantastic book that totally and repeatedly undercuts works righteousness. Seriously. Tells Christians not to be lazy jerks (in which case it often sounds like what Luther sounds like when he rants against his lazy, drunken Germans). 1 Peter - totally about hearing the Word of God and how that incorporates us into the Body of Christ... it's hupakuo all over the place. Wonderful - listen to the Word.

Kind of neat when the first Pope teaches us that our focus it to be upon listening to the Word. Doesn't say anything about the majestarium, or his own awesome sauce - the Word, the Word, the Word.

People abuse these Saints and their writings. Annoyance might lead us to ignore them -- but we ought to defend them, delight in their good theology, and rejoice at the riches of God's Word.


Mike Baker said...

And the moment someone seeks to protect his theological system by insulating it from the source truth, he is in great danger. In that moment, he has placed himself above the Scripture and presumes to pass judgement over it rather than become transformed by and conformed to it.

If we are truly lovers of God's Word, then we have nothing to fear from reading, marking, and learning from it.

Thomas Lemke said...

That's exactly why I like to spend solid time in the Gospel according to Mark - it's used by the Unitarians who deny Christ's Deity to say, "Hey, no preexistent Son here, blah blah blah". It's nice to be able to fight the theological battles on their chosen turf and not just rely on sitting in your comfort zone, so-to-speak.