Sunday, January 20, 2008

Protestant? yep and original too.

[only for those whose feelings are not easily hurt]

Some "confessing" Lutherites are allergic to this term. Some do not want this label pinned at them. They even protest at being called Protestant, which is kinda peculiar. Because standing from my former days as an RC young man living in a dominated RC country, we thought anyone who was pro-Bible and allergic to the Pope was a Protestant. Well, like it or not, that was the term they were called and they did not deny that.

For my case, I do not mind. In fact my synod uses that term in telling the public who we are, see here. In this particular issue, I can not tell you how I so much respect my synod for not engaging in controversy over words like these. I thank them that in this instance, they did not go the route of historic revisionism.

Let me tell you my thoughts why I do not protest and infact I identify myself as one, Protestant. Sure you may say you are not that sort of protestant over there like - Presbyterians, Baptists or Methodists, but Lutherans are confessing something and most of what it confesses came from the historical period of the Church called the Reformation. The fact that it confesses contrary teaching with the RCC, stands to reason that they are "in protest" already. See wikipaedia definition of the term Protestant here. To deny this is to be like an ostrich who hides its head in the sand, or a boy being spoken to who plugs his ears with his fingers saying "la la la la la, I am not listening".

Here are my reasons:

1. Some of these "confessional" ones reason that it is not society who has the right to dictate the labeling. For example one said "I don't see why I *should* use a word that others use to describe us ". I smiled when I read this. In a civilized society, you are not free to call yourself by whatever label you may wish to call yourself! Let me give you an example, say I tell you - I want you to call me "Attorney L P Cruz". So you asked, do you have a license from the bar association, do you have an L.L.B. from a university, can you show them please? Well I do not have such documents to show you. So you reply "You are not an Attorney Lito"! What then if I turn around and say ---" I refuse let you describe what I am"! I say to you --- I want to be identified as an Attorney! - Why, you would call the white men to take me away, wouldn't you?

BTW, do you know where you can find a corner in the world where people there call themselves by whatever title they wish to be called? Only in Christian ministry! In some sectors of it, it is easy to call yourself a "Pastor", but wait; some even call themselves "Fathers" too. For another Lutheran who is buggered by this, look here.

2. The word "Protestant" is a historico-religious appellation. So I do not mind it because in that sense, it is more honest to agree that I am. True, today it is by population dominated by Arminians and Calvinists but saying you are not one is rather evasive and dishonest unless you want to start a controversial discussion. It is more accurate to identify why you are different, but at the same time admit it because there are some aspects of it you happen to agree with.

3. Some do not like it because they could not find the term in the BoC. In my field this is called argument from silence with special pleading too! Of course, it is not found there in the Formula of Concord but the very fact that the term is not found there how can it be refuted by the BoC then? And here is the kicker, if you are only going to use the term if it is found in the BoC, you ought to drop as well the use of “universal objective justification” or “voter’s assembly” because they are not found in the BoC too. Can you see how silly that reasoning happens to be?

4. Some want to be identified as Evangelical(Reformed) Catholic, like this minister here. Fair enough. So ok but I find that amazing. Why fight the word Protestant too? No disrespect, but isn’t it true that the Protestants that these ones do not want to be identified with identify themselves as Evangelicals? Let me explain, so you do not like to be associated with these Protestants who identify themselves as Evangelicals but you like to be identified as an Evangelical – Catholic. Why even use the word “Evangelical” at all, why not go all the way and drop it since it has Protestant associations which are hazy and undesirable, but then again maybe that is the transition that this leads up to.

BTW, it is really interesting because the RCC calls Protestants to which these people do not like to be associated with as "separated brethren". Yes Virginia, the term applies to your Fundamental Baptists, non-denominational Charismatic groups, Seventh Day Adventists etc etc and a swag of the so called (but mythical) 30,000 denominations.

Let me get back now and be my cynical self. I imagine this scenario which I hope may be proven wrong...

First stop being identified as a Protestant, (big P), then stop even being identified as a protestant (small p). Since that is dropped you are left with small c – catholic. Keep on speaking that you are small c catholic but not Protestant, pretty soon, the small c becomes big C. So you speak of yourself as Catholic (as Roman Catholics speak of themselves). Keep on doing that saying that you are Catholic (no longer small c but big C). Then there you go, heck since you speak of yourself as Catholic like RCs do, you might as well be one, (change your C to RC). Then when you are done, say what J. Pelikan said (when he went to EO) , this time with an RC version– say it was the completion of your Lutheranism, after all.

35 comments:

Past Elder said...

"Protestant" is an interesting word. Like "liberal", usage has given it meanings different than and even opposed to its original meaning.

In general usage, Protestant simply means non-Catholic. That's fine, and in general usage I have no problem with that. The EO are kind of ignored in all that, and the church having an eastern and western face, "Protestant" originating only in the Western face, the general usage isn't very well informed, and leads to a misunderstanding that there are three general forms of Christianity, Catholic, Orthodox (where acknowledged at all) and Protestant, where there are actually only two, but hey, in casual conversation Protestant means non Catholic and non Orthodox too so for purposes of casual communication, fine.

However, serious discussion of faith is far from casual converstation. For starters, Protestant does not mean a protest against the Roman church or its teachings. Protestant originally comes from a Letter of Protestation by Lutheran princes, and what was protested was not the Roman church but a decision by the Second Diet of Speyer in 1529. That was to rescind the suspension by the First Diet of Speyer in 1526 to allow each prince to hold whatever religion he wants to thus ending the decision by the Diet of Worms in 1521 banning Luther from the Holy Roman Empire, and get back to the spirit of the Diet of Worms. From there the term has acquired a usage as described above. The first point is, then, "protestant" in origin has nothing to do with the Roman church per se but secular determinations of religious belief.

Serious as distinct from casual usage must take this into account. Further, the unity of the visible church was of great concern to Lutherans, both in the sense of if at all possible retaining it within the existing structure, and, if impossible, as it turned out to be and still is, at least in the sense of recognition of reformed teachings and churches as truly part of the church visible. This is an essential part of the Lutheran vision.

Sadly, it has been lost, and equally sadly, imagined to have been regained, not by confessional types but by apostate "Lutherans" in heterodox bodies attempting a false ecumenism. The irony of the general usage of the term is that those to whom it applies therein were actually to be excluded by Speyer -- those who did not have a true Eucharist as classically understood. Lutherans and Catholics were OK but these other guys, no; now the term generally means these other guys. We Lutherans are not these other guys. Our confessions make that clear. Therefore, one of the first things to be made clear in serious discussion is that we are not Protestant in that sense, at all.

Or in other words, the general usage of "Protestant" misses entirely an essential aspect of Lutheran faith. Including to us. To recover a clear understanding of that is hardly a danger, since it clarifies both that we are not Protestant and that we are not Catholic. So for casual conversation, fine, but for anything like a serious discussion, the term neither defines nor represents my faith as a Lutheran unconditionally subscribing to the BOC at all.

Augustinian Successor said...

of course, Lutherans ARE Protestants. Martin Luther was a Protestant. He protested against the Roman Church of his day. R+The Reformation was the PROTESTANT Reformation which protested against Rome. To deny one is a Protestant is denying one is a Lutheran, precisely because Lutherans are Protesting Catholics, thus claiming continuity with the Roman Church as western Catholics. The term Protestant emphasises continuity and hence is used precisely against sectarianism. This is why Lutherans are true Protestants aso pposed to Baptists, Methodists, Pentecostals, etc.

Lutherans are in a state of confessional protest against Rome, and will be until the end of the eschatological line,, until He comes again. There's no escaping that. The LCMS is a Protestant body. Walther, Pieper, Preus, were all Protestants. We are Protestants precisely because we are Catholics.

Sure, the term Protestant is subject to abuse. So is the term, CONFESSIONAL (hint, hint), so is the term, EVANGELICAL (hint, hint), so is the term LUTHERAN A(hint, hint) ... no?

We need to reclaim the term Protestant, Evangelical, Confessional Lutheran, Catholic, etc from people who are none of the above, even within the LCMS or any orthodox body.

Augustinian Successor said...

I affirm the licitness of elevation as a dramatic proclamation of the Gospel. I'm a PROTESTANT.

I affirm the licitness and appropriateness of adoration of Jesus in bread and wine. I'm a PROTESTANT.

I affirm the appropriateness according to the broader ecumenical tradition of prayers for the dead (though not its necessity). I am a PROTESTANT.

I affirm the appropriateness according to the broader ecumenical tradition of comprecation, i.e. indirect address of the Church Triumphant in heaven at prayer (though not its necessity). I am a PROTESTANT.

I affirm the appropriateness according to the broader ecumenical tradition of veneration of icons (though not its necessity). I am a PROTESTANT.

I affirm the appropriateness according to the broader ecumenical tradition of the Crucifix as an object of devotion(though not its necessity). I am a PROTESTANT.

jim cronfel said...

Eventhough I am a Calvinist I am from Chicago and have attended services at:

http://www.fspauls.org/church_history

in fact I used to live two blocks from the Church and walked a five minute walk there. It was closer than Moody Memorial Church to me.

jim cronfel said...
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L P Cruz said...

Hi P.E./A.S.

So for casual conversation, fine, but for anything like a serious discussion, the term neither defines nor represents my faith as a Lutheran unconditionally subscribing to the BOC at all.

Agreed indeed. However it really depends on who we are talking to and I would say who wants to know or who is asking. I would say by all means we can say we are not Reformed Protestants, but Protestants nevertheless. My anecdotal experience in witnessing is that the secular world is not interested in doctrinal branding minutae, they are so pre-occupied with themselves that God is not even in the radar. The starting point isn't even there.

The first point is, then, "protestant" in origin has nothing to do with the Roman church per se but secular determinations of religious belief.

I wonder about this though. At that time, The Holy Roman Empire can not be separated from its religion versus its politics. The two were one, and the political protest even if I grant it, contained religious context. Also I find it odd that to say that Lutherans are not "protesting" means that Article IV (Of the Papacy) of the Smalcald articles are no longer in effect. The articles are protesting in tone not to mention the start of it all-- the 95 Theses.

The Lutheran Reformation as I understand it is a conservative reformation, but a Reformation nevertheless. So I think the Protestant term must be recovered by the Lutherans but not chucked away as some crypto-papists Lutherans are doing. As A.S. said, it is to show that it is Catholic in Protest against the Magisterium, pointing at them that they departed from the faith and are calling them back.

Unlike what some ministers are doing, it should be recovered i.e that the Lutherans are the original Protestants and those Calvinistic off springs are overshooting the Reformation.

Chucking the term is I think what Luther called falling on the other side of the horse.


LPC

Augustinian Successor said...

Serious discussion or not, Protestant defines who I am as a Lutheran. I am a Protestant precisely because I am a true Protestant by the grace of God. The Reformation and post-Reformation calls the Romanists papists and identified themselves as Protestants. I don't care whether you're talking about high church or not, they identify themselves expressly as Protestant!

To the Roman Catholic, I'm a Protestant precisely because I represent the authentic version of western catholicism. To the Anabaptist, I am a Protestant precisely because I'm a true Protestant. Period.

No scholar worth his salt is gonna deny that fact, that truth. And hell better get used to it, because there are those who wish to rip the heart of Lutheranism out of Lutheranism itself. The LCMS IS Protestant and I as a non-member deny the legitimacy of so-called ministers there and others who refuse the title.

Augustinian Successor said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
jim cronfel said...

Hugely influencial upon me was the White Horse Inn.

And the most influencial resourse was Dr. Rod Rosenbaldts
"Law/Gospel distinction" tape. He does not claim to be a Calvinst in the tape. He says that Luther considered the Law and the Gospel to be "more opposite than opposites" and that Calvin would have said to Luther "bite your tongue" because Calvin "tried to work everything out more rationally". He implies that Calvin would not have been so boldly illogical.

Rosenbladt say on the tape that Luther believed in the Law/Gospel distinction so much that he believed that there was "an internal collision in the Godhead itself." I.E. part of God condemned while part forgave.

Rosenbladt's tape is very very stiring to Calvinsts. Calvinits don't discuss the Law/Gospel distinction was much as Lutherans or Micheal Horton. We know about it but it isn't up front in the liturature as it is in LCSM.

Most Calvinists focus upon TULIP in thier preaching and teaching but the White Horse Inn is special for its focus on the "pedogical (schoolmaster) use of the law".

I almost got booted off of (and sort of did get booted off of) this blog when I said that there was no progresive sancitifcation:

www.oldtruth.com

Jim Bulbitz came after me very hard and most of the blog is still convinced I am a dangerous heretic for saying that there is no such thing as progressive sancitifcation.

But rigor of the Law/Gospel distinction means that there is no progress in the law. "The Law only condemns and shows me my need for a Savior". Amen.

L P Cruz said...

A.S. said...(just edited a bit)

As Bro. Lito said, we ain't gonna buy the sophistry of the jokers of the SPS and STS and what not. I don't give a damn if they gaining currency or even ascendancy. Bottom line is the fact the LCMS is Protestant and nothing is every going to change that. Nothing. If you insist otherwise, you're not LCMS and you sure hell oughta get out of LCMS instead of hanging in there.

L P Cruz said...

Jim,

I do not know why they like the category "progressive sanctification" when in fact the Bible does not depict sanctification that way.

There is sanctification but we should not quantify it like you can monitor progress in a graph.

This is bad because this teaching is responsible for the evangelical burn outs happening all over the place.

I meet folk in the internet so hurt by the church because of this teaching... oh BTW I have Rosenbladt recommendation...

See here his new MP3...

http://www.newreformationpress.com/

"The Gospel For Those Broken By The Church"....


LPC

jim cronfel said...

http://www.newreformationpress.com/

scroll down the page and check out the Tee-Shirt "Weak on Sanctification."



Ha! Ha! I gotta get one!

jim cronfel said...

Come to think of it I began to notice that within Calvinism there is a specific hypocrictal and crusing and inecapable over emphasis and mantra-like quoting of:

2 Peter 1:10 Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall,

Where they specifcally mean that one MUST INDEED QUANTIFY AND MONITOR AND GRAPH ONE'S OUTWARD WORKS... to make one's own "calling and election sure."

Calvinsts go around claiming to be Noah's-the only one saved in a world of reprobates; not because of the gospel but because they have made thier calling and election outwardly sure.



It is this "third use of the Law" that you mentioned in the blog about John Piper that is to blame.


This is the difference between Lutherans and Calvinists.

While I accept TULIP I fall in step with Lutherans against the "third use of the Law."


I admire the staunchness of the LCMS against what I think I am in agreement with as heresy as being an emphsis upon sanctification and good works.

I found in Calvin's Institutes where he writes that he thinks that "it is too harsh" to not allow for partial progress in the law and that there must be partial growth. He say that otherwise his followers would be in too much despair.


But he forgot that despair points to Christ and he has weakned the law and thereby only weakened the gospel and its joy!

As a Calvinst I am grateful for the defense of the Law/Gospel distinction against even Calvinst heretics--even Calvin himself--and John Piper... and www.oldtruth.com.

Past Elder said...

What? Lutherans against the third use of the Law? We teach three uses of the Law: curb, mirror and guide.

We differ with Catholics and Protestants not in the doing of works, but in why we do them.

The Holy Roman Empire is not the Roman Catholic Church.

It is not the heart of Lutheranism to protest against Rome. It is the heart of Lutheranism to confess the faith taught as stated in the Book of Concord. It is about what we are for, not what we are therefore against. We would not oppose what we oppose if we did not maintain what we maintain, which "protests" not only against Rome but most of what is called Protestant.

Certainly, spreading the faith does not begin with historical and doctrinal detail.

It will only be later that one may be interested to know that "protest" arises historically not from the Lutheran symbols but from the protest against the Second Diet of Speyer, and now refers mostly to faiths left out in the cold by that Diet either way. Apparently, later is yet to come in some cases.

L P Cruz said...

P.E.

We differ with Catholics and Protestants not in the doing of works, but in why we do them.

Agree, and on the 3rd Use is that we do them because they are right to be done. That is my take

I think Jim's reference to Piper is that the latter produces another Law, the New Law. That is, Piper is misusing how the Law is supposed to be used in the 3rd way. In fact, Piper probably does not have that category that is why he stumbles on it by inventing the commands of God as do-able. It is Piper's outdoing if he misinterprets how we define the 3rd Use, but I doubt if he even studied our documents, he did get his PhD in a German uni.

Certainly, spreading the faith does not begin with historical and doctrinal detail.

Spreading the faith is doctrinal, it can not be otherwise, I am hard pressed to believe it is not so.

I just cited Smalcald Articles which Luther wrote and is part of the BoC on the Papacy. Unless we are not using the hermeneutical tools I find it hard not to see it as a protest at false doctrines.

Standing in the truth by default means protesting at what is false even though one does not use the word "I protest". Teaching truth by definition is countering error no matter how positive that truth happens to be presented.

Ideas have consequences, even false ideas.

Take for example "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, no one comes to the Father except through Me" Jesus said this, so being a Christian by default means being exclusivistic and inclusivistic in the God ordain truthful way.

The pagans I share the Gospel with always dislike Christianity's exclusivism, I point that it is not the Christian doing this, it is their Lord who does this.

I agree the Holy Roman Empire was not the Roman Catholic Church but the two were linked. If you do not take the association, then technically would you not associate the atrocities of the Inquisition with them? They reason similarly as you do -- ie it was the state that placed the condemned to death not them though they devised torture machines themselves, this is fully documented. The state was their arm, they were the head.

IMHO, it is a bit revisionistic, to chuck the Protestant word outside the window.

Well bro, by this exchange we are proving the critics wrong that we are just a bunch of people lacking attention and that we are really in to mutual admiration amongst ourselves.

At least we prove them that we are not boring in our discussions, no?


LPC

jim cronfel said...

I don't know what you mean by 3rd use of the law but I know that the law is never "do-able" 1st, 2nd, or 3rd use; and that it only points to our need of Christ in all cases.

BUT THAT ALSO THE LAW AND/OR GOSPEL IS NOT CONTRARY TO THE PROMISES.

L P Cruz said...

A.S.

Serious discussion or not

I went back on this and I reflected on this thing you said and I believe you are right!

In fact I identify or at least should, identify myself as a Prot in whatsoever discussion!....If I am asked what is my difference then that is where I should say where, but in any discussion, I should be identified as one, a Prot.

Good on that one.


LPC

Augustinian Successor said...

Luther never taught the third use of the law. Gerhard Forde in following Luther rejected a third of the law. NOT all Lutherans are agreed on the third use of law.

YOU CANNOT TAME THE LAW FROM THE BACKDOOR WAY. Christ is the END of the Law to all who believe.

And yes, Lutheranism is protest against Rome. That is why Lutherans are evangelical catholics, not Roman Catholics which is to say that they are Protestants. If it were not so, there would be no Lutheranism in the first place. Remember, Luther was an obedient rebel, a loyal son of the Church.

The LCMS is Protestant body ... she follow Walther first and then only Loehe. NOT the other way round.

If those Lutherans do not want to be called Protestant, they should stop calling themselves Lutherans too. And stop calling themselves evangelicals too. In fact, they should only call themselves Christians. That's all there is to it.

I am a Lutheran and I am a Protestant. I am a Protestant because I am a Catholic. I am a Catholic because I belong to the continuation of the Western Catholic Church. This is the truth, and this will always be the truth.

Augustinian Successor said...

Dear Bro. Lito,

The denial syndrome of not recognising oneself to be a Protestant is late thing. The Diet of Spiers ... who can argue with that? Protestant. The BoC = Evangelical. And we are Lutherans because we claim to follow the teachings of Martin Luther. Martin Luther was a PROTESTANT. He protested against Rome. Until the day the Church of Rome is destroyed, we must continue to protest because that is our reason for separation from Rome!

Having said this, I'm you and I and other like-minded brethren have the sense to see the truth. I mean it's just downright ridiculous to insist on NOT being called a Protestant ... I mean it's like denying who you are in the first place!

Augustinian Successor said...

From the official website of the LCMS ...

Q. Does the Lutheran Church consider itself part of the "Protestant" church?

A. The answer to your question depends on how the term "Protestant" is understood, perceived or defined. From a purely historical perspective, it is hard to disassociate Lutheranism from the "Protestant" movement, since the term itself arose out of the "protests" of those who supported Luther's Reformation (against Roman Catholic political pressures) at the Diet of Speyer in 1529. Accordingly, many editions of Webster's Dictionary define the term "Protestant" as "any Christian not belonging to the Roman Catholic Church or Eastern Orthodox Church: in the 17th century the term was restricted to Lutherans and Anglicans." If, however (as is often the case today), the term "Protestantism" is loosely or simplistically associated with various Reformed, Anabaptist or "fundamentalist" theological views, many of which do not correspond to what Lutherans believe and teach, then (obviously) the term would not be appropriately or accurately applied to Lutherans.

Precisely! Lutherans are the FIRST Protestants, FIRST Evangelicals. Lutherans are CLASSICAL Protestants, whereas Baptists, Methodists, Pentecostals are atrictly speaking not really Protestants, have much more in common with Rome than Lutheranism! Why? The Law-Gospel distinction, extra nos, etc. makes all the difference despite outward forms.

Augustinian Successor said...

From the official website of the LCMS ...

Q. Does the Lutheran Church consider itself part of the "Protestant" church?

A. The answer to your question depends on how the term "Protestant" is understood, perceived or defined. From a purely historical perspective, it is hard to disassociate Lutheranism from the "Protestant" movement, since the term itself arose out of the "protests" of those who supported Luther's Reformation (against Roman Catholic political pressures) at the Diet of Speyer in 1529. Accordingly, many editions of Webster's Dictionary define the term "Protestant" as "any Christian not belonging to the Roman Catholic Church or Eastern Orthodox Church: in the 17th century the term was restricted to Lutherans and Anglicans." If, however (as is often the case today), the term "Protestantism" is loosely or simplistically associated with various Reformed, Anabaptist or "fundamentalist" theological views, many of which do not correspond to what Lutherans believe and teach, then (obviously) the term would not be appropriately or accurately applied to Lutherans.

Precisely! Lutherans are the FIRST Protestants, FIRST Evangelicals. Lutherans are CLASSICAL Protestants, whereas Baptists, Methodists, Pentecostals are atrictly speaking not really Protestants, have much more in common with Rome than Lutheranism! Why? The Law-Gospel distinction, extra nos, etc. makes all the difference despite outward forms.

Jeff Tan said...

Interesting discussion here. I was forming a thesis in my mind recently about Evangelicals, confessional Protestants, and Roman Catholics. There seems to be a trajectory for Evangelicals towards an increasingly Roman Catholic outlook, which seems to also translate a diminishing level of hostility towards Roman Catholics. The thesis is simple, really: by identifying themselves as Evangelicals, born again, or simply Christians, these folks are not as grounded on the Reformation. Hence they are no longer steeped in the bitterness of the Reformation.

Now I would not deny that learning from the past need not be sacrificed in the name of healing. While grudges have no place in the heart of Christians, we must never forget mistakes made all around. For example, I believe that the pope should have handled Luther with more pastoral concern. Eck should not have been sicced on him. Those are some of my observations from our side. In any case, done is done, but too much bitterness remains. In my limited experience, I see this bitterness most among the Protestants who sound like they are blaming me for the corruption of the Church in the 16th century. ;-)

I just think that holding on to the bitterness of the 16th century goes against the Spirit of unity. At times, the continued jibes, barbs and accusations sound improportionately contrary to charity, so that calm, charitable criticism can be so lost in the depths of bitterness and blame.

Many Evangelicals I know today are perfectly willing to consider Catholics, on an individual basis, fellow Christians. I am thankful that Lito accords me the same concession, although it may be biased since he knows me and he considers me to be an Evangelical who remains a member of the Catholic Church. ;-)

Anyway, the Evangelicals I know seem to have shed all identification with being "Protestant" and, instead of defining themselves as being against something, are embracing the way forward as being for something else.

I do not think that a visible unity among all Christians is impossible in this age. That would seem odd when you look at John 17 and various passages of St. Pauls as in 1 Cor 12.

The crucial step which I hope all Christians would take -- and there are unwililing parties on all sides -- is to concede Christ's will for unity, the purpose of that unity, and trust in the power of the Holy Spirit to bring about such a unity, despite some rather depressing failings of human nature, e.g., a penchant for squabbling.

I would also be so bold to say that, holding on to the bitterness and the need to be angry makes the Spirit of unity sad. I'm not at this point saying that all Protestants should consider what it would be like to become Roman Catholics. That is too specific, and no one asks the eastern Catholics to subscribe to the Roman rite, nor the Melkite, Coptic, Assyrian, etc. Simply be open to the possibilty -- and pray for it -- that the journey towards Christ should necessarily bring about a single communion within the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.

It isn't that we will ask the Holy Spirit to help us in our work of unity: it is more in asking the Holy Spirit to aid us so that we do not resist in His work of unity.

L P Cruz said...

A.S.

In fact, Lutherans are Historic Protestants. The early Lutherans did not reject the term in fact they wore it proudly that is what I read somewhere that the old Lutheran public at that time did not mind it at all, the term. Sure they were not Calvinists, but Prots nevertheless. Only the popesters are adamant about this rejection of the term.

I do not think this re-writing of history will pass academic respectability.

Yes if they do not like the term the only option is call themselves Christian or "catholic" which Fr. Bollywood suggested, and as I say, pretty soon without qualification, the small c becomes big C [atholic] and again with out qualification it now becomes big RC. The transition is easy.

But you know these types cower when challenged and will not let you post on their blogs. They won't even post the whole context of your question but take your isolated comment without the whole context, making you look like a terrible commenter.

You are thought of being nasty when you have a dissenting question.

What is this but pure sophistry. It is sophistry in the making, and pure sophistry I might add.

This is what I call Fundamentalist Lutherans. If you have Fundamental Baptist, you got Fundamental Lutherans too.


LPC

Past Elder said...

Read the black, AS.

I agree with the quotation from our synod's site in its entirety.

Well, Jeff, we could have this same go around about the word "evangelical" too. A vestige of its original usage among us Lutherans (that we confess the pure evangel) is still to be found in many Lutheran parishes' names. But in anything like current usage, the term is not a reference to or synonym for Lutheranism -- itself another term that strictly speaking is not correct -- but to something quite at odds with Lutheranism.

To understand the third use of the the Law (guide) as a backdoor taming of the Law is to understand neither the Law nor its third use.

I hear a good deal more Geneva than Wittenberg in this thread. I have no more intention of heading to Geneva than to Rome or Constantinople.

L P Cruz said...

Jeff,

My beef is with the teaching of Mother Church not with her children. I was her child too and so was Luther. I was baptized by a priest whose pedigree I know has apostolic succession if that at all mattered. May be that is why I do not have this burning lust for the identity of being really really "Catholic".


However, I must commend you for saying exactly what is true and amazingly from an RC!

The thesis is simple, really: by identifying themselves as Evangelicals, born again, or simply Christians, these folks are not as grounded on the Reformation. Hence they are no longer steeped in the bitterness of the Reformation.

Well done Jeff, thank you for this lovely insight.


I wish these "popesters" realize what they are doing. I do not mean RCs here, that term is what I use for Lutherans who are "poping" so that is not a jibe to you but to those within the camp. The same way you probably have something to identify RC priests like Fitzmyer and R Brown who are agreing with Prots, I do not know what the traditionalist RCs will call them I think they call them RC liberals etc.

It is the view of unity Jeff.

Protestants who sound like they are blaming me for the corruption of the Church in the 16th century

Sometimes the rhetorics are emotionally charged but dissent and disagreement need not be bitter, I do not think I am bitter at RCs, Love does not rejoice though in what it sees is false, I heartily disagree with RC teachings not with its people.

You can not hate the people you are trying to reach. Even though I have disappointments to what is happening with my former associations in Evangelia, I know that they are like that because of what they have been led to believe. I have been shunned since I moved but I have no bitterness I believe at least towards the people in RCC nor Evangelia.

Jesus wants us to love fellow sinners like us, to share with them the truth but not just that but to share it in a loving and respectful way is what the Scripture wants from us.

I applaud the other things you said though we have a different take on how this unity may be worked out and of course nothing is impossible with God we can all be led to repent of what he needs us to repent of.


LPC

William Weedon said...

Lito,

I have no qualms with the word "Protestant" per se. But it is interesting that the Book of Christian Concord uses neither the term "protestant" nor "Lutheran" to describe the position of what we call the Lutheran (and hence, Protestant) churches. When Lutherans nowadays reject the term "protestant" to describe themselves, they're usually asserting:

1. We believe in Baptismal regeneration.
2. We believe that in the Holy Eucharist we receive the true body and blood of the Savior under the forms of bread and wine.
3. We believe that in holy absolution the called and ordained servants of Christ forgive our sins.
4. We believe that ordinarily no one but the called and ordained servants of Christ should be publicly administering the Word and Sacraments in Christ's Church.

But if you call "Protestant" a person who believes that we are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, for Christ's sake alone, as this is witnessed in the Scriptures alone, which are accounted the sole judge of that which is true and faithful, then count me a Protestant.

It's not all logomachy. Words carry not only denotation, but connotation, and I suspect that Lutherans have little problem with the denotation, but major issues with the connotation of the term. My mother was United Methodist and she was taught in Sunday School by a very wise old woman who studied history: "The Lutherans are the only Protestants." I couldn't agree more! :)

L P Cruz said...

Pr. Will,

I heartily agree of the Lutheran uniqueness compared to the majority of Protestants' view.

And BTW, I like to meet your momma! No, serious, I believe she is a sensible woman ;-)

The word Lutheran though does occur in BoC
Article XV (VIII): Of Human Traditions in the Church para 42.

A few better ones begin now to speak of good works; but of the righteousness of faith, of faith in Christ, of the consolation of consciences, they say nothing; yea, this most wholesome part of the Gospel they rail at with their reproaches. [This blessed doctrine, the precious holy Gospel, they call Lutheran.]

Perhaps those in brackets are commentaries? But that is not my point.

Labels are good for conversation and dialog they are quick short cuts or names for concepts that are shorthand way rather than keeping on mentioning strings of words. It exposes to the public who and what you stand for in a jiffy.

I like what once mentioned by one of our pastors from LCAust. Pr Mark, said not in exact words, but something like this... the word Protestant was high jacked from us, the word Evangelical was also high jacked from us, one day they may even high jack the word Lutheran from us too and deny us the name... and we will gladly give it away.


But Pr. Mark's point is that it is not the label that is important, it is the Gospel we hang on to and yes if by my sharing a dissenting opinion here on this issue some in the community deny me the label "confessing Lutheran", I will be glad to give it away too.

I suffered the loss of good will of men when I became Lutheran being alone again is just being back to square one. I joined the Lutheran community because I saw there people who have level headed view of things, they have no idolatry of their confession or their label. That is what I saw where they debated disagreed without doubting each other's sincerity.

I was a Calvinist before and they have that, when I was there, and even now to be Truly Reformed is to be a real Christian. I have had enough of that fanaticism, and fanaticism of all sorts.

I must not put my comfort or acceptability of men by the label I wear, I must put comfort in the Gospel I must trust. There is always temptation not to do so...

I was again trying to be a good RC boy who followed one of the RC priests, he said to find the Church, find where the Gospel is preached and the Sacraments rightly administered I found some Lutheran churches doing this so the rest is history.



LPC

Augustinian Successor said...

P.E., read the LCMS quote carefully and tell us if Lutherans are NOT Protestants. What you're saying is not Lutheran, actually. I tell you why, you listen carefully. The true meaning of Protestant is emphatically NOT the meaning that modern-day evangelicals give it. So, why aren't you RECLAIMING back the term???

You are not paying attention to Wittenberg enough.

Augustinian Successor said...

"To understand the third use of the the Law (guide) as a backdoor taming of the Law is to understand neither the Law nor its third use."

Well, then you have just accused Luther of not understanding the Law nor its use. Bottom line is there is no Lutheran consensus on this issue unlike baptismal regeneration and the Lord's Supper.

Augustinian Successor said...

As Protestants and therefore true Catholics, we shun the mystical tradition of the Roman Church. In other words, we have nothing in common with mysticism even in Christian garb. Why? Because as Protestants, unlike Rome and Anabaptism, we don't interpret the text as the subject standing over the object. No, the text interprets us (Law and Gospel) and drives us, in turn, to proclamation. This is how tradition passes on the Gospel. This means that as classical Prots, we don't isolate sola Scriptura from sola fide. Both stand or fall together. In other words, the Word of God comes to us, not the other way round. Hermeneutics is NOT an ascent, but the descent of the Son of God in, with and by His Word and Sacraments. Such a paradigm completely shatters the vision of the mystics who would want to make the text to be sign-posts of a higher reality when in reality, the text itself is the reality. Where the text is, there the Word is.

In addition, this means that the Word is not first and foremost a source of divine wisdom in the regulative sense of the word. This would make inerrancy as the support base for the Bible as Law. The sequence in proclamation would Law-Gospel-Law = Puritanism and Fundamentalism - the type of biblicism that the Lutheran Reformers rejected. The Bible would then be the authentic guide-book for regulating every conceivable aspect of church's life and witness since it is undoubtedly the inspired and inerrant Word of God. But inerrancy implies the abiding presence of the Spirit in the Word. And the Word is the means by which the Spirit uses to work and create faith in them that hear - Law and Gospel. Inerrancy is none other than the sacramental union between the Word and Spirit SPEAKING with one DIVINE voice.

Past Elder said...

There is nothing to reclaim in the word Protestant. It is not our term. It was applied to us by others, orginally from the Letter of Protestation by Lutheran princes to the Second Diet of Speyer. In its original meaning, Lutherans are indeed the only Protestants. That is not its meaning now. Most of what travels under the name Protestant now was excluded by Worms and both Speyers and were not tolerated until Westphalia.

What an irony it is to see Reformation Sunday observed and Luther championed in Protestant churches which hold beliefs Luther soundly rejected as clearly as the errors of Rome, and did not even see as legitimately Christian.

What I hear here is not reclaiming Protestant for Lutheranism, but claiming Luther for Protestantism as generally understood.

We are the only real evangelicals too, in the historical sense of the word. But as with Protestant, the word does not have in its usual meaning the historical sense. It seems pointless to me to lead off with terms like Protestant or evangelical, which right off the bat carry meanings that are not Lutheran any more than Romanism, and thereupon dive into an historical discussion of the term and explain how this and that associated with the term Protestant or Evangelical is not our teaching. Rather, confess what we confess.

I suppose I should stop now, as apparently I must rip out of both my editions of the Little Catechism the explanations of the three uses of the Law.

Again, it is not my identity to protest against Rome. All kinds of other groups protest against Rome too. Protesting against Rome conveys no information whatever about what one confesses, Lutheran or otherwise.

L P Cruz said...

Obviously bro P.E.

with much love and appeal, I beg to disagree. See the latest of my post on what Dr. Jeff Tan said [my colleague across the room]

I do disagree for the following reasons I have outlined already... but here is more.

1.) The early Lutherans as I said did not protest with the term Protestant. The protest against the term Protestant is an American Lutheran phenomenon and is Whalterian with a twist. Whalter was a wise man but he ain't the Lutheran Pope, the same way with Luther.

Here is what I think is happening amongst LCMS folks. From protesting that they are NOT like Protestants out there, they transition to saying they are not Protestants at all.


2.) We keep letting labels hi-jacked from us. Although in the eternal scheme of things these do not matter but the Gospel, for proper identification in the world around us, I will keep the term, because not to say so is dishonest to my RC friends even though I am not a Calvinist Protestant.

3.) I am surprised you say you have nothing to protest against Rome, you just wrote a few things in the earlier post why you are not an RC, bro., what happened with that? I read you somewhere quoting Scripture for people to come out from among her and be separate... so this is not protesting?


As to the 3rd use of the Law we have this...
http://www.bookofconcord.org/fc-sd/thirduse.html

Bro. Jason (A.S.) as Lutheran in Malaysia, I think should be made aware of this, that the BoC has made the controversy settled for us

3rd-Use is this way to me, we use it as the right way to conduct our lives, but even though we use it as guide we fall short of it. Also above all, we do not use it to get merits or brownie points from God..
To me we do it because it is right not because we will gain merits before God, because that has already been done by Christ for us.

At any rate, it is summarized to loving my neighbor as I love myself.

LPC

L P Cruz said...

To add....

3rd-use of the Law has something to do with sanctification which can not be quantified but at anyrate, it is the Gospel that produces said sanctification nevertheless.

26] Accordingly, we reject and condemn as an error pernicious and detrimental to Christian discipline, as also to true godliness, the teaching that the Law, in the above-mentioned way and degree, should not be urged upon Christians and the true believers, but only upon the unbelieving, unchristians, and impenitent.

L P Cruz said...

What an irony it is to see Reformation Sunday observed and Luther championed in Protestant churches which hold beliefs Luther soundly rejected as clearly as the errors of Rome, and did not even see as legitimately Christian.

I agree with you, Luther is their icon.


But would you be, like Luther, and honestly, not think they are Christian?

Luther was no infallible Pope. We do not subscribe to Luther's Works... Weimar Edition, we subscribe to the BoC, right?

I do not think the BoC calls them as not-Christians - the Ana Baptist I mean, their teaching (some listed in the BoC) were condemned, but I miss any categorical statement from the BoC that they are none Christians. Please point to me where as that will really straighten my thinking.

Certainly I will not participate in drowning them, I completely acknowledge that error and I do reject such a thing.

LPC

jim cronfel said...

There is a Calvinst preacher at sermonaudio.com that was preaching in one of his sermons about how some lady was getting a divorce and she was poor and sick and how she DID NOT need to hear another sermon on predestination but on practical things.

But there is a difference between the gift of "helps" and the gift of "doctrine".

A lady like that needs someone with the gift of helps and mercy and someone to give her food and clothing.

But as far as sermons go she needs to hear about predestination... and the spiritual gifts.

But to preach to her "practical advice" from a "do-able" 3rd use of the law that truly is niether comprehedable or do-able is not good. "3rd use" of what law? The law that does not condemn?

For example:

"The pig is a dirty animal?"

"Don't wear clothing with mixed fibers?"

"Do not covet your nieghbors wife?" (HA HA)

"Sell all you have and give to the poor and follow Jesus?"

"Cut off your hand rather than burn in hell?"

"The meek shall inherit the earth?"

"Yeah though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I shall fear no evil?"



God ALWAYS requires what both believers AND unbelievers cannot do.

BELIEVERS CANNOT FULLFILL THE LAW.

YES THE LAW EXISTS FOR BELIEVERS AS WELL AS TO THE UNBELIEVERS---BUT ONLY AS A REMINDER OF GRACE. WITHOUT THE LAW BELIEVERS WOULD FORGET GRACE.

AND ONCE THE LAW BECOMES DO-ABLE GRACE BECOMES UNNECCESARY AND FORGOTTEN.





Rod Rosenbladt teaches that Luther did not want a Church to be named after him.