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Topics - Kurt Strause

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Your Turn / Lex orandi, lex credendi in Bidding Prayer for Good Friday
« on: March 02, 2010, 11:27:59 AM »
In preparing the liturgy for Good Friday I did a little comparing of the Bidding Prayer in SBH, LBW and ELW. One petition in particular really jumped out and reflects, I think, a profound change in teaching concerning those who aren't believers in Christ.

SBH: Let us pray for all who are without the Church, that our Lord God would deliver them from all their errors, call them to faith in the true and living God and his only Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, and gather them into his holy family the Church. Almighty and everlasting God, who seekest not the death but the life of all mankind; Hear our prayers for all those who have no right knowledge of thee; free them from their errors, and for the glory of thy Name bring them into the fellowship of thy holy Church; through Jesus Christ, they Son, our Lord.

LBW: Let us pray for those who do not believe in Christ, that the light of the Holy Spirit may show them the way of salvation. Almighty and eternal God, enable those who do not acknowledge Christ to receive the truth of the Gospel. Help us, your people, to grow in love for one another, to grasp more fully the mystery of your Godhead, and so to become more perfect witnesses of your love in the sight of all people. We ask this through Christ our Lord.

ELW: Let us pray for those who do not share our faith in Christ Jesus. Almighty and eternal God, gather into your embrace all those who call out to you under different names. Bring an end to inter-religious strife, and make us more perfect witnesses of the love made known to us in your Son. We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Many of us were catechized and shaped as Lutherans using the SBH as an important teaching tool. (possibly like me, reading through it as a kid sitting in the pew and not paying close attention to the sermon!). Bringing the gospel to unbelievers, though, was something I do remember hearing about and supporting in Sunday School. Beyond a vague "gather into your embrace all who call out to you" I believe that in this case an official liturgical text of the ELCA reflects a loss of confidence that God brings unbelievers to saving faith in Christ.

So my question for discussion is primarily directed to any who were shaped by the SBH and its theology, or who might even have led worship from it. Does its teaching persist in your life and ministry? What have you continued to hold on to, and what have you found necessary to put aside? Why?

Kurt Strause

Your Turn / Is the Three-Legged Stool Lutheran?
« on: October 21, 2008, 01:23:15 PM »
I'd like to start a new thread in order to carry over the conversation developing in the one devoted to TEC.

Mark Allen Powell, in his portion of the ELCA "Opening the Book of Faith"  makes the case for a Lutheran approach to understand Truth. He uses the image of a three-legged stool comprised of Divine Revelation, Reason and Experience, all held in balance with one another. Interestingly, he introduces this concept in his discussion of Sola Scriptura. He says that scripture is authoritative for the portion of Truth which is divinely revealed, but reason and experience are to be authoritative for Truth which is not divinely revealed. He goes on to say when experiential truth seemingly conflicts with divinely revealed truth it may be our understanding of scripture which needs to be re-examined.

The "three-legged stool" appears in both Anglican theology (Scripture, Tradition and Reason) and Roman Catholic theology (Scripture, Tradition and Magisterium). It doesn't often appear in Lutheran theology. I raise the question whether this approach is Lutheran, or helpful to Lutheran theology?

Kurt Strause

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