Invitation to Conversation, Part 2: Bob Kolb on the Ecclesiology of the Lutheran Confessional Writings
A few weeks ago we posted the first of a series of questions used as the basis of discussion for a Faculty Forum, centered on Bob Kolb’s article, in the Fall 2010 Concordia Journal: “The Sheep and the Voice of the Shepherd: The Ecclesiology of the Lutheran Confessions” (the article is available here, beginning on p. 324).
This question should provide some interesting thought and reaction. For context, see Bob’s article, p. 330:
Is Melanchthon’s list of “Lutheran” topics for sermons a good list for us to prepare our students to preach: ““repentance, fear of God, faith in Christ, the righteousness of faith, consolation of consciences through faith, the exercise of faith, prayer (what it should be like and that everyone may be completely certain that it is efficacious and is heard), the cross, respect for the magistrates and all civil orders, the distinction between the kingdom of Christ (the spiritual kingdom) and political affairs, marriage, the education and instruction of children, chastity, and all the works of love” (Ap XV, 42.43) (p. 330)
So, the Lutheran Confession actually list the topics our sermons should cover — and a lot of these, perhaps surprisingly, are “law.” So, given this list, is you or your pastor a “confessional” preacher?
Rob Donaldson March 21, 2011
Well, I just posted a link to this on St. John’s Facebook page. Let’s see if the folks at St. Johns have any comment.
C Loeber March 22, 2011
Well, if the question from our pastors is “How are we at St. John’s doing?” I’d have to say, based on this excerpt, our teaching, sermon series, retreats and such would make us appear to be “confessionally driven”. That being said, and my world being rather small and not always the best ‘read’, my concern with being classified as “confessional Lutherans” is that we sound ‘closed’…without open minded willingness to seek and save the lost that don’t yet ‘confess’ identical theologies, but need to be met where they are, not where we want them to be, or think they should be…first of all, let us confess to know nothing other than Christ crucified…and to foremost share that with a lost and hurting generation!
Rob Donaldson March 23, 2011
Thanks C for the response. I think you are answering your own concern. We should ask for whom is preaching and worship? Preaching is for the believer, not the unbeliever. So as we preach from our confession (Christ crucified as you say), all the baptized at St Johns are sent to meet and live with a lost and hurting generation right where they are.