Saturday, July 30, 2011

Old Lutheran Theology of the Cross

Having some down time because of ill health ( I seem to be copping a lot lot of health issues lately), I flipped through my CD stacks and found a CD audio book from the work of Martin Moller (1547-1606) entitled Preparing for Death. It is a series of devotional expositions with prayer at the end of each topic. It is said that this was his contribution to the Lutheran Ars Moriendi (art of dying). I got it many years ago but never bothered to listen, so I decided to lend an ear this time.

I have been researching on this pastor. I am aware he was not without controversy. I do not of course have access to other things he wrote, and so my only source of evaluating him is that CD audio book. My teachers in uni taught me never to rely on secondary sources but this is all I have of him. He was not university trained, but I am so impressed by the richness of his Scripture quotations - with a couple of quotations from Deutero-Canonical books like Sirach and Tobias, here and there. The other that impressed me more was his theme of bringing the reader back to faith, bringing the reader back to the promises found in the Word of God. I often blurt that faith is a problem. I know certainly it is in my life. Jesus recognized this problem in people too. The CD was like good medicine.

Moller's Theology of the Cross does not leave you depressed but in triumphant hope in God. That impressed me. I imagine Moller as a pastor was not only someone who would simply listen to you and that was it, not even exposing his opinion. If what he was came through his work, then I would say he seemed rather the type who would stir up your faith, counselling you by Scripture to hope in God's Word, that might involve either a rebuke or a pat in the right direction.

If the Internet is used as a gauge to judge new Lutherans of today, and if Moller was typical of old Lutherans then, the old Lutherans are quite far in their spiritual life than that of the new Lutherans of today. The old Lutheran Theology of the Cross does not leave you in despair, but that does not seem to come out strong of new Lutherans today.
In this regard, I find the theology of old Lutherans from hymns like this of Samuel Rodigast - Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan, Whatever God Ordains is Right (Good) - different on how they carry in life, their Theology of the Cross. Theirs leave you with a smile in the midst of the storm.






Whatever God ordains is good:
This truth remains unshaken:
Though sorrow, need or death be mine,
I shall not be forsaken
I fear no harm,
For with His arm
He shall embrace and shield me;
So to my God I yield me.

25 comments:

William Weedon said...

Lito,

Comforting indeed. Have you had the joy of Starck's Prayer Book? I find it similarly full of such comfort.

Gregory L. Jackson said...

We prayed for your health again today in church, dear friend Lito.

J. K. Jones said...

Sorry to hear of your I'll health.

Great to see you blogging again.

LPC said...

Pr. Will,

Thanks for the info, I will try to get Stark's Prayer Book, I need materials on the practical side of Lutheran devotional life.

LPC

LPC said...

Pr. Greg,

Thank you for your friendship and continued prayers. They are great blessing.

LPC

LPC said...

JK,

My blogging will be sporadic but you will find me hanging out at Ichabod most of the time.

LPC

Larry said...

Lito,

I'm so sorry to here of your health issues. I will certainly have our family remember you in our nigthly prayers.

Your Brother In Christ,

Larry

LPC said...

Larry,

Thank you for including me in your prayers.

I also would like to pray for others at it will cause me not just to focus on my own needs.

Let me know if there is any.

LPC

Larry said...

Lito,

I would treasure your prayers. We are going through a bit of a rough patch ourselves. My wife has some how injured her back, either severe buldge or rupture, won't know for a week as we just had the MRI. Long story short, we've lost her income and its put us in survival mode, literally. Although I know we are not the only ones and that's small potatoes compared to what others are going through.


So when you have your prayer time if you remember that would be much appreciated.

You are so right in praying for others shifting focus from "me".

Always Your Brother In Christ,

Larry

LPC said...

Dear Larry,

I too had to lessen my work hours and thus will have lowered income.

Let us take hold of what David the Psalmist experienced when he said...

Psalm 37:25
I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging for bread.

God is very imaginative, he will supply our needs in ways we have never thought of.

I prayed for your dear wife last night and will do so the more.

LPC

Larry said...

Dear Lito,

That is such a true psalm and statement. I find often in such times that all my sinful worry and anxiety is for nothing and that "my plan" for the way out failed utterly, though it seemed very wise and smart at the time and I belly ached because it was not working. Yet that the answer and way out was something I'd never seen coming in a million years. It's always 'after the fact' in my slowness to believe, then I have to say with Peter after the fishing miracle, "Lord don't look at me I'm a sinful man".

Thanks for your continued prayers and I will do the same.

Your brother in Christ,

Larry

sma9231961 said...

I'll remember you in my prayers, Lito.

And your wife and your family, Larry.

And all that come to this site.


Wouldn't be great if the Lord would decide to wrap all this up and get us all "up" there?

Also praying for that.

LPC said...

Larry,

You and I have come from a scientific training and we have been trained to rely on our senses as part of our scholarship work. The drawback of this is that since we know how nature usually works we tend to walk by sight and not by faith.

It is my anxiety that causes me trouble specially when I follow it to its logical conclusion, making decisions based on what I know.

The latest incident in my health actually revealed that I rely more on my strength rather than on God who promises to take care of me.

Faith is still a problem as aptly Luther observed.

1 Peter 1:7-9.

We carry one another's burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ.

It is my joy to pray for you and your wife and will do so until the storm has passed by.

Lito

LPC said...

SMA,

Thank you for that.

Yes, I am all ready to leave this world behind so even so Lord Jesus, please come.


LPC

LutherRocks said...

Dear Lito...I've been meaning to swing by here for some time. I have been and will continue to pray for you. May the Lord continue to grant you His peace. Joeobils

LPC said...

Joe,

Thank you, been praying for Garrett too and hope he is recovering safely.

LPC

LPC said...

Larry,

I visited your blog, just worried why it is no longer on the radar.

Been praying for you and your wife.

He never leaves us nor forsakes us.


LPC

Larry said...

Lito,

Yea, in our decreased income due to her, hopefully temporary, injury had to make some major financial cuts which included the internet (I have limited access now). That and I was getting a bit burned out and struggling a bit with myself over it. So I yanked it. My wife said, "Why did you do that before giving it a day or two because you love doing it". I think, in hindsite she was right. Plus, I deleted not thinking that it would be "gone/gone". Live and learn huh!

Anyway, I'm hoping to start up a fresh blog in due time with a bit of a different format. I'm kind of formulating it in my mind and on paper during my down time. So for now I'm a limited visitor again to other's blogs.

Thanks as always for the prayers. She had her MRI and neurosurg. visit. The good news was no ruptured disc but two torn disc. So the hope is after a fairly lengthy period, barring further injury, she'll be back to "normal" in a few months. She's shown some progress and she's not the kind to let such get her down (much better than I am on such).

I'll have to give you my email to keep in touch also. I do maintain an email account for that.

How are you doing?

Yours In Christ,

Larry

LPC said...

Larry,

I am glad to here that your wife will just need to rest and let time heal.

I am a little better day by day but I was told by the doctors that my anemia will take sometime to be healed, I lost 30% of my blood and things could have been critical had I not been delivered to the hospital on time.

Up to now, I am still puzzled how my bleeding stopped for it was going down without any improvement. I can only point to God's mercy - I think I mentioned I passed out while the medics where attending to me and my pulse could not be found, they were very scared.

I praise the Lord each day for the capability that I enjoy of which I have taken for granted.

In prayer,

Lito

Gregory L. Jackson said...

Blogger has a backup feature. I saved my entire blog that way. I tried to make a mirror site with that backup but that did not work when I tried.

LPC said...

Hmmm, I did not know that you can back up. I will try it.

Thanks for this Pr. Greg.

LPC

joel in ga said...

LPC,

hope you are feeling better and stronger with each day. God grant you His grace, health and peace, and to your loved ones as well.

LPC said...

Hi Joel,

Thank you and for your prayers.

I feel generally better than a few weeks ago. There is still some anemia but I feel normal most times. I will go for another blood test to see how the blood count is doing.

LPC

Pr Mark Henderson said...

Will pray for you, Lito.
I concur with Pr Weedon, Starck's Prayer Book is another example of the old Lutheran piety.

LPC said...

Pr. Mark,

Thank you. I should get myself time to look for this Starck Prayer book.

LPC