Monday, April 14, 2008

It will be good, one day

we look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come.

I have been reading FC, Epitome on Original Sin. Here is what it says...
6] In like manner Christ has also redeemed it (human nature) as His work,
sanctifies it as His work, raises it from the dead, and gloriously adorns it as
His work. But original sin He has not created, assumed, redeemed, sanctified;
nor will He raise it, will neither adorn nor save it in the elect, but in the
(blessed] resurrection it will be entirely destroyed.

It will all be good one day. When I see the effects of my sin to myself and to others and I see their sin's effects on me, I do want to recall what we have in the creed about the the resurrection, sin will be no more. When life here is not the way it should be, it is amazing how the heart hopes and becomes eager for that day, when tears and sorrows he will wipe away. Sin is the cause of these sad days, I mean in the ultimate sense. But what a day will it be when it is no day, it will be no more.

Romans 6:5 (New King James Version)
5 For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection,


Past Elder said...

Hey Lito -- if you'll permit an off the subject post:

Three days ago I put a stat counter on my blog -- one from an Aussie company I think. Reason was, I was wondering if anyone actually read the bleeder and was thinking of stopping.

I thought you might be interested to know that among the visitors in the last three days were three hits to the Runza post some time ago!

The "someday" thing -- to redeem myself by getting on subject -- was one of the major points in Nietzsche's rejection of Christianity, which he considered a rejection of What Is by those who can't navigate it anyway for a made-up What Will Be in which they come out on top.

Pastor Rasburry addressed this in his Jubilate sermon on his blog, although I don't think he quite got Nietzsche's point because the source of the jubilation he correctly points to is exactly what Nietzsche saw as Bad News, a lie embraced to make up for not liking reality. IOW Nietzsche knew no less than you or I what is the source of Christian joy, he just considered it buying into a lie.

Anyway, my blog does get some readership, so I guess I'll continue. I don't post much about my life, because frankly I hardly think it's world-wide news, so my posts tend to come and go as the liturgical year and newsworthy events come and go.

L P Cruz said...


Blogging is like radio broadcasting. You have listeners but they do not call to tell you they are there. It also involves a lot of faith in God because you sometimes you feell you are just simply speaking into thin air (or writing for yourself).

FWIW, who knows my children's children, if not my children, may one day find interesting what their ancestor once said,huh?

It is hard to let go of that resurrection hope, it brings such great joy that makes the bad in here so endurable. That is right, endurable, not enjoyable (LOL).


L P Cruz said...



That comment on the Issues Etc you made is one of your best posts. How come no LC-MS picked up on your point?

Very very insightful.

How come the silence on your post? The truth is sometimes like that, it leaves the rest speechless.


Past Elder said...

I don't know, Lito.

I am something of what Data called an "anomalous configuration" on Star Trek.

I notice that on your cross-town counterpart's blog, when I post there now there is simply silence, as if it didn't happen. The issues I raised there -- really only one, the RC church is a new church not to be confused with the RC church of the past -- is never addressed except to be dismissed as "same old, same old".

In confessional Lutheran circles, unlike most I find the Vatican II worship in our recent service books no less a departure from and betrayal of the historic worship of the church the confessions say we zealously guard and defend than the happy-clappy Willow Creek/Saddleback crowd, just in a liturgical way. As you might remember from a post some time ago, our local ELCA church broadcasts a Vatican II For Lutherans service to the T -- right along with its female clergy and liberal politics, while the non liturgical Baptist mega-church preacher, who knows nothing of the sacraments, at least preaches salvation by faith in the merits of Christ. Just plain wierd. We Lutherans have it all, yet we continually seem to want to jettison this or that part of it.

I notice I do get some hits from Google searches too, so I'll keep blogging for a while anyway.

L P Cruz said...

We Lutherans have it all, yet we continually seem to want to jettison this or that part of it.

Synods and local churches morph and move, it is an organism that is the reason why. What I find scary is when we do not trust that the Word will do its job.

It seems though that the Issues issues did not go beyond as what you said, the truth that there has already been a transition already and it is not only from the Church Growth movement but from the crypto-Romanist too.


Augustinian Successor said...

Dear Big Bro. Lito,

Too true. The crypto-Romanist is like the CGM folks. Both fear for the future survival of the Church. Both are concerned with NUMBERS. One pins his hope on reconciliation with Rome for the sake of a visible unity. The other pins his hope on techniques for the sake of producing results.

But the Holy Spirit does not "manifest" or "reveal" Himself apart from the Word and Sacraments. Visible unity is a farce. Likewise, techniques are farcical. Both detract from the catholicity of the Church which is ever and always by FAITH. Both are grounded in a theology of GLORY. Hence, both cryto-Romanists and CGM folks are theologians of glory, who do not know how to properly distinguish between Law and Gospel --- the God not-preached and the God preached --- the hidden God and the revealed God --- the alien work of God and the proper work of God.

This is why we have fools who delude themselves that they can stand in one foot on the Bosphorus or Rome as the case might be. What is clearly the monergism of the Book of Concord is twisted to mean synergism. Talk about subjectivity!!!

Our Lord says that broad is the road to destruction, but narrow is the gate to eternal life. The Law condemns all equally to hell, but only a remnant will be saved by the Gospel, at the end. This is the meaning of predestination. Predestination precisely means that the company of the elect is hidden in the church here on earth for the time being, temporally and spatially. To insist on visible (aka *structural*) unity is a blatant of denial of predestination, hence it is an un-Lutheran concept.

It also involves a a confusion of Law and Gospel, since the unity of the Catholic Church is not something that we do, i.e. strive for, but something which is already a given reality, to be received. The Church is a creatura evangelii (creature of the Gospel), and as such her unity is a gift of the Gospel, nothing more, nothing less.

So, separation from Rome is not tragic necessity, but a joyful cause to be celebrated. The Reformation was not a breach of church unity, but precisely the re-manifestation - *by faith* - of the self-same unity which was obscured for a while. This is because according to the Lutheran understanding, the Church is either hidden or revealed. Hence by extension, the one mark of her unity is both hidden or revealed.

It is "hidden" only to be "revealed" - *by faith* - in the proclamation of the Word and Sacrament. Beyond that, to repeat, the unity of the Church is hidden. We discern the unity of the Church only through the proclamation of the Gospel by the churches throughout the world.

Thus, visible unity is to be distinguished from revealed unity which is an "action from above" (eschatological). Visible unity is an "action from below" (metaphysical). Here we discern the Law at work -- the theology of the ladder which seeks to establish the Kingdom of God by means of immanent progression.

This is contrary to the Incarnation which assumed the Church as the Body of Christ Himself. The Church is His Body. Thus, the unity of the Church here on earth cannot be separated from union and communion with Jesus. To be in union and communion with Jesus is precisely to be in union and communion with one another as the Body of Christ! The means is Word and Sacrament. All other means, by divine appointment, mandate, etc. that is, belongs to the Law, which is bondage.

So, the unity of the Church is the unity of a people liberated, set free from bondage by the power and authority of the Gospel. The Gospel which is set against the Law as its polar opposite has the power and authority of binding and loosing sins -- the power and authority to forgiven or retain sins. Actually, in anathematising the Gospel at Trent, Rome ended up anathematising itself since it remained in bondage to the Law, officially and formally -- a self-indictment if there ever was ...

In the final analysis, church unity by a visible means is inevitably an imposition, hence leads to bondage. This is since structure is made the condition of visible unity. So, structure is used to BIND the unity of the church. This presumes that lack of structure implies lack of unity. Hence, freedom from the constraints of structure is disunity. So, this freedom must be curtailed or bound if church unity, true church unity is to be achieved.

On the other hand, the Lutheran understanding of the two natures of the Church (simul iustus et peccator) assumes that the Church is torn between freedom and bondage. Being justified by faith, the Church is free to receive and live into the reality of her unity. But according to her sinful nature, she manifests disunity through her words and deeds. Hence, the proclamation of the Gospel in its oral and sacramental forms must is to do the task of liberating the Church so that she is again free to manifest her unity.

Hence, church unity is never artificial and superficial, but real and true. It is to switch the philosophical terminology, transcendentally REAL, but empirically IDEAL. Saint and Sinner at the same time. Physically divided but spiritually united.

L P Cruz said...


So many good points here.

To be in union and communion with Jesus is precisely to be in union and communion with one another as the Body of Christ

This is the one kernel element that should be the cause of unity.

In Lutheranism (Confessional) I noticed that there is talk that goes beyond the BoC. In otherwords there are some adiaphoras that are not being treated as adiaphoras. Some want to recreate or take a cue from the practice of some 16th centurity theologians, which is not in the BoC.

Let me give an example, if I were pastor, I will offer the Supper each week. However, if my people think there is an ex opere operato understanding of this, then I will offer it once a month. It is important that proper faith is understood rather than the ritual that goes with the faith. Hence, I will not frown on one who is offering it every other week.

This is just an example. Take the case of baptism, some will face the east, spit at the wind etc. The tradition like this can be taken as a form of spirituality. But the Bible does not command any fanfare on the Sacraments.

Ceremonies are to be used not adored, but Crypto-Romanism just does the opposite, these rituals and formalities are adored.


Augustinian Successor said...

"Let me give an example, if I were pastor, I will offer the Supper each week. However, if my people think there is an ex opere operato understanding of this, then I will offer it once a month. It is important that proper faith is understood rather than the ritual that goes with the faith. Hence, I will not frown on one who is offering it every other week."

Yes, I am all the way behind you, Big Brother! The crypto-papist tend to forget that the definitive presence is a "particular" objective presence, not a "general" objective presence like the repletive presence or circumscriptive. It is a FOR YOU presence. It is not an ubiquitious presence although grounded in it.

Luther says, "There is a difference between his presence and your taking," in Dass diese Worte Christi, "Das ist mein Leib," noch fest stehen (1527).

[God] is free and unbound wherever he is and does not have to stand there like a scoundrel locked in the stocks or wearing an iron collar... The same thing is true of Christ. Even though he is present everywhere, he does not let you take hold of him or catch him. He can divest himself of his shell, so that you get the shell and do not take hold of the kernel. Why? Because it is one thing when God is there and another when he is there for you. But he is there for you when he adds his word, binds himself with it, and says: "Here you shall find me." Now when you have the word, you can with assurance take hold of him and have him and say: "Here I have you, just as you say."
(From Semper Reformanda)

The Lord's Supper, like Baptism, spells the end of the Old Being and the start of the New Man. To those who partake of the Body and Blood impiously, it is the descend into death of which there is no return.The definitive presence is none other than Our Lord's gracious presence -- the will of grace, rather than the will of power by which He is present everywhere and in all place as all are in Him.

In other words, the definitive presence in the Lord's Supper is none other than the presence of the revealed or proclaimed God to His people. Whereas, the repletive presence is the presence of the hidden God in all His terrifying majesty.

Apart from faithful reception of the species, we can lay no claim to be being elected by the hidden God. But thanks be to God the Son Who says to us, here and now in the living present, Take eat, This is My Body which is Broken for you ...