Lutheranism?

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darinhouston
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Re: Lutheranism?

Post by darinhouston » Thu Jun 30, 2011 11:40 am

It's been a while, and the online version seems somewhat different from the one I read at my in-laws (a Lutheran family) -- most of the sections (such as infant baptism) have no scripture at all (there must be other versions, because I recall seeing scripture references in the catechism I read) but a couple of obvious ones that jump out from the online version for the few that seem to have scripture references:
What does Baptism give?

II. Q. What does Baptism give? What good is it?

A. It gives us the forgiveness of sins, redeems us from death and the Devil, and gives eternal salvation to all who believe this, just as God’s words and promises declare.

Q. What are these words and promises of God?

A. Our Lord Christ spoke one of them in the last chapter of Mark (Mark 16:16):

“Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; but whoever does not believe will be damned.”
I believe in baptism, but this verse doesn't necessarily teach that baptism does all those things --- belief and baptism (the belief and obedience through baptism together, not baptism itself necessarily) save. The Catechism suggests that it is the baptism itself and one's belief in the efficacy of the power of baptism that does the forgiveness and redemption and salvation.
Q. What is confession?

A. Confession has two parts:

First, a person admits his sin

Second, a person receives absolution or forgiveness from the confessor, as if from God Himself, without doubting it, but believing firmly that his sins are forgiven by God in Heaven through it.
funny - no citation -- where is repentance? The confessor gives absolution/forgiveness? I see why they add no scripture.



III. Q. How can water do such great things?

A. Water doesn’t make these things happen, of course. It is God’s Word, which is with and in the water. Because, without God’s Word, the water is plain water and not baptism. But with God’s Word it is a Baptism, a grace-filled water of life, a bath of new birth in the Holy Spirit, as St. Paul said to Titus in the third chapter (Titus 3:5-8):

“Through this bath of rebirth and renewal of the Holy Spirit, which He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ, our Savior, that we, justified by the same grace are made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. This is a faithful saying.”
Titus doesn't say anything about this relationship between simple water and water coupled with God's Word.

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darinhouston
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Re: Lutheranism?

Post by darinhouston » Thu Jun 30, 2011 11:45 am

Beyond the above, the Catechisms are replete with doctrinal assertions which have no scriptural authority whatsoever, so unless you have a different version, I suggest you go back and look again.

FM483
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Re: Lutheranism?

Post by FM483 » Thu Jun 30, 2011 11:52 am

Darin, did you know that a Lutheran Pastor takes an oath that the Book Of Concord is the correct summary of biblical doctrines? He does not place his hand on the bible, but instead the Book Of Concord. In Lutheranism, the ultimate authority source is the Word Of God, as contained within the bible, but the Book Of Concord states what the bible teaches. Everyone believes something. Whatever it is a person believes, that is their doctrine. Many church bodies maintain they are "non denominational". There is no such animal. Careful examination of a church body's teachings reveals their doctrine. It is an inescapable fact.

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darinhouston
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Re: Lutheranism?

Post by darinhouston » Thu Jun 30, 2011 12:29 pm

I guess by clarification I should say they have no citations of scriptural authority not that they had no authority. Certainly many of the doctrines are scripturally supportable and I would believe the, as well. Just want to avoid any misunderstanding there.

FM483
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Re: Lutheranism?

Post by FM483 » Thu Jun 30, 2011 3:43 pm

To Darin:

I amsurprised that you have never read the Book Of Concord. These Confessions were discussed and debated extensively during the centuries. I would encourage you to review them Concordia Publishing House has an excellent Readers Edition, with timetables,illustrations, and commentaries. I amcontinually amazedthat non-Roman Catholics are totally ignorant of their history and doctrinal backgrounds. As Ecclesiastes says in verse 1:9: " there is nothing new under the sun". If you are familiar with Luther's catechisms, then you have read a couple of documents includedin the Book Of Voncord. Your comments about being confused why certain Scripture verses were usedby Luther in his catechisms is interesting. Could you be more specific? Here is an interesting Reformationconcept: do you know what interprets Scripture? The Roman church has always maintained that the pope and his minions interprets Scripture. What do you thing the Reformers maintained on this matter?

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darinhouston
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Re: Lutheranism?

Post by darinhouston » Thu Jun 30, 2011 4:35 pm

FM483 wrote:To Darin:

I amsurprised that you have never read the Book Of Concord. These Confessions were discussed and debated extensively during the centuries. I would encourage you to review them Concordia Publishing House has an excellent Readers Edition, with timetables,illustrations, and commentaries. I amcontinually amazedthat non-Roman Catholics are totally ignorant of their history and doctrinal backgrounds. As Ecclesiastes says in verse 1:9: " there is nothing new under the sun". If you are familiar with Luther's catechisms, then you have read a couple of documents includedin the Book Of Voncord. Your comments about being confused why certain Scripture verses were usedby Luther in his catechisms is interesting. Could you be more specific? Here is an interesting Reformationconcept: do you know what interprets Scripture? The Roman church has always maintained that the pope and his minions interprets Scripture. What do you thing the Reformers maintained on this matter?
Having not read the Book of Concord does not equate to being totally ignorant of the history and doctrinal backgrounds of our faith. You will find very few here who meet this description. I gave you a couple of examples of scripture references while noting most assertions lack such. Don't be offended -- this is a problem with almost every creed or confession I've read -- the cited verses seem to be there to give credibility to a position, which almost always seems to me to go further than the verse cited.

FM483
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Re: Lutheranism?

Post by FM483 » Sat Jul 02, 2011 11:43 am

I would encourage the various bloggers to review The Lutheran Confessions, also known as the Book Of Concord. Although written and debated over many years, beginning with Luther's 95 Theses, the final form of these Confessions was completed in 1580 with The Formula Of Concord, authored by the brilliant theologian Martin Chemnitz. The Roman response to these Confessions was the Council Of Trent. There really was not a formal definition of medieval Roman Catholic beliefs until the Council Of Trent. That makes the Lutheran Confessions the earliest set of Confessional writings and as such the Lutheran Church precedes the Roman church. When I first read the Book Of Concord, I was amazed that I had not done so years earlier. All other denominations have similarities, but also diverge away from the Reformation doctrines set forth in the Book Of Concord. Most non-Lutheran denominations have some kind of doctrinal pronouncements, which when compared with the Lutheran Confessions and all the biblical references contained therein, are weak and full of theological inconsistencies and error. Over the years many other outstanding Lutheran theologians have written fantastic treatises which can aid believers in their understanding of Scripture and growth in their faith. I was particularly edified by the collection of sermons by C F W Walther "The Proper Distinction Between Law & Gospel". These "theses" were a collection of 19th century sermons given to seminary students and collected by his students for posterity. One hallmark of Lutheranism is to properly divide the Word Of God, which most others do not.

In order to clarify my comments, I was born and raised in a loving Roman Catholic home.I became Lutheran many years later and have attended other Protestant churchesover the years.

Frank

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darinhouston
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Re: Lutheranism?

Post by darinhouston » Sat Jul 02, 2011 2:46 pm

FM483 wrote:One hallmark of Lutheranism is to properly divide the Word Of God, which most others do not.
You may find that there are those who would disagree with this statement.

I do have a question for you -- is there a difference between the modern catechism used in Lutheran confirmation than that written by Luther which I find on Project Gutenberg, etc.? Are there "versions" or "editions"?

FM483
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Re: Lutheranism?

Post by FM483 » Sat Jul 02, 2011 5:07 pm

I am not positive, but a Lutheran abides by the unaltered Book Of Concord, which includes both the Large and Small catschisms of Luther. I have the Readers Edition, published by Concordia Publishing Housein 2005. There are other earlier versions, of course, going back both to the German and Latin editions released in 1580. I prefer the English translations because my German is elementary at best.

I am new to this blog and had no idea about Page 2 and so I will try to catch up. It seems to me that the question about bapyism revolves around just who is doing the work: is it the sinner or is it God Himself? The Lutheran understanding is that God always uses man to accomplish His will. Even salvation came through the man Christ Jesus. Similarly, God uses instruments in the form of people and attaches His promises to physical elements, such as water in baptism. I do not understand everything will my human reason, but confess that if God says it, then that settles it. Without repeating the various Scripture verses, God has decided to convey the forgiveness of sins through water baptism. It is one of the Means of Grace He has chosen to do this, along with the preached Word and the Lord's Supper. Sinful human beings simply cannot and will not take God at His Word, but look to other means to accomplish such things.It amazes me all the time that another person can take the punishment for my sins in my place. Go figure. That is the Good News. My favorite bible verse thus is 2Cor 5:21:

2 Cor. 5:21
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

FM483
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Re: Lutheranism?

Post by FM483 » Sat Jul 02, 2011 6:19 pm

I read the last several blogs from Darin and will attempt to catch up with his questions. Just how do you think that something God in Christ did 2000 years ago benefits a person today? Do you think merely mentally recalling something you read or heard about an historical event somehow benefits you? Most people do not really believe that God can do anything, that He is omipotent. If God could appear to Moses in a burning bush, why couldn't God somehow convey the forgiveness of sins and faith through baptism and the Lord's Supper? Is it possible for God to do this or are you limiting God based on your human reason?

Frank

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