Author Topic: CoWo, What's Wrong with It?  (Read 43705 times)

Weedon

  • Guest
Re: CoWo, What's Wrong with It?
« Reply #255 on: February 06, 2011, 10:59:20 PM »
Padre,

I hear you.  Today before the prayers I had to announce that one of our families had suffered a terrible house fire (no life lost - Deo gratias!) and a young mother of triplets was recently diagnosed with breast cancer.  LOTS of hugs and tears in Church this a.m.  Both families were present and I think they both could sense the love that was enveloping them.  It's what the Body of Christ is all about...

P.S.  And the humor this a.m. of announcing - for those of us who follow the one year - this Sunday (5 Epiphany) will not recur again for 27 years - after which time I'll either be in my grave or out to pasture!
« Last Edit: February 06, 2011, 11:00:57 PM by Weedon »

George Erdner

  • Guest
Re: CoWo, What's Wrong with It?
« Reply #256 on: February 06, 2011, 11:05:34 PM »
By God's grace, we are getting a reputation of being a VERY friendly church


Does "we" refer to Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church or to the LC-MS?

George Erdner

  • Guest
Re: CoWo, What's Wrong with It?
« Reply #257 on: February 06, 2011, 11:20:03 PM »
And now (and this is the part that’s gonna get me sent to Reeducation Camp), here’s something else.  Sunday morning worship services are about more than teaching theology – via the liturgy, the sermon, or the hymns.  Sunday morning is also a time for people to actually, you know, worship.  It is a time for people to express praise and love and gratitude and adoration – and frustration and lack of understanding and fear and trust-and-hope-nonetheless – to God, the Lover of our souls.  If we are so hung up on using only hymns that are dissertation-ready because of their theological perfection and educational value, but that fail to actually touch people’s hearts, allow them to connect with God and express themselves, then we will end up with congregations either a) full of people who can “sign off” on the Nicene Creed but might never know what it feels like to say, “I love you, God,” or b) empty because everyone has gone to a place where they are actually allowed to worship and say what’s on their hearts. 

Is a lot of “CCM” junk?  Yes.  But a lot of it is good, too.  I’ve posted links to a few videos above, and others abound.  We needn’t throw good theology, or historical format, or the entire liturgy overboard.  We needn’t set up our congregations to accommodate to every passing whim of contemporary culture.  We needn’t eliminate the faith once delivered in favor of postmodern feel-good theology.  But we also needn’t be so obsessed with what was great and helpful about the past that we fail to appreciate what is great and helpful about our own era. 


You make an excellent point that too many people seem to miss and forget. Scripture doesn't say "intone a mournful sounding dirge unto the Lord". It says "Make a joyful noise".

One caveat about using most CCM songs in worship. There are a great many excellent SATB choir arrangements of traditional hymns that turn them into musical performance pieces. There is nothing wrong with that. If a church choir works to learn a special arrangement of a hymn that is so arranged that an ordinary congregation cannot sing along with it, and they perform that specially arranged hymn as an anthem or other "special music" during the gathering of the offering or some other appropriate time, that is a good thing. One example that springs to mind is "Beautiful Savior", which can be a nice congregational hymn or a powerful anthem if one of the special choir arrangements are used.

In the case of CCM songs, what is put out on recordings are the highly arranged "anthem" versions of those songs. Just as a simply hymn can be fancied up into a choir performance piece, CCM songs need to be stripped down to their basic melody and lyrics for use in congregational singing. If anyone says that CCM songs cannot be used in worship because they aren't suitable for congregational singing, that's a false straw-man argument. It just takes a reasonably good music director.

Drive-by Lutheran

  • Guest
Re: CoWo, What's Wrong with It?
« Reply #258 on: February 06, 2011, 11:24:45 PM »

And here is where people show their ignorance.

1.  Which school of CG Theory is being pushed to be adopted in total?  Who is demanding this?

2.  Rick Warren, a Calvinst?  Really?  If you ever bump into John Piper, you might tell him that... then again don't - his heart may not be able to take the laughter.



Would it be incorrect to call Rick Warren Reformed, or should he be considered a generic Calvinist.  His theology is not Lutheran.  But you know that.

How many people graduate from the seminary as trained LCMS pastors, but then they do an 180 degree turn and encourage the teachings of Reformed/Calvinists such as Rob Bell, Beth Moore, Rick Warren, etc.  in small groups.  How many Nooma DVDs are in your church library, J & S?  Busted!  I rest my case.  ;D



Rev. Kevin Scheuller

  • Guest
Re: CoWo, What's Wrong with It?
« Reply #259 on: February 07, 2011, 12:37:34 AM »
Rob Bell isn't a Calvinist.  If anything, he is a Fuller Grad, and a liberal Evangelical.  I know, I didn't know there was such a thing.  Well - the American Baptist's, I suppose.  Sometimes, to hear Bell preach, or expound, he may as well be a Unitarian Universalist or - he may need to explore the Bahai faith. 

Calvin favored infant baptism, Evangelicals (a.k.a. "Baptists") do not.  So, Rick Warren is not a Calvinist, although he is puritanical. Lately, with his new "Daniel Plan" weight loss gimmic, as I've heard about on Issues, Etc., what he's teaching there is hardly Christian.  "Biggest Loser with a praise band," is what they called it on Issues, Etc.

pr dtp

  • Guest
Re: CoWo, What's Wrong with It?
« Reply #260 on: February 07, 2011, 01:35:49 AM »

And here is where people show their ignorance.

1.  Which school of CG Theory is being pushed to be adopted in total?  Who is demanding this?

2.  Rick Warren, a Calvinst?  Really?  If you ever bump into John Piper, you might tell him that... then again don't - his heart may not be able to take the laughter.



Would it be incorrect to call Rick Warren Reformed, or should he be considered a generic Calvinist.  His theology is not Lutheran.  But you know that.

How many people graduate from the seminary as trained LCMS pastors, but then they do an 180 degree turn and encourage the teachings of Reformed/Calvinists such as Rob Bell, Beth Moore, Rick Warren, etc.  in small groups.  How many Nooma DVDs are in your church library, J & S?  Busted!  I rest my case.  ;D




Driveby,

Not one Nooma dvd, and Rich Warren isn't even a two point calvinist, nor is he truly reformed in any classical sense.  Not even close to Zwingli in this theology.

One of the papers I did a long time ago noted at least 8 different schools of though in church growth.  The Fuller school of thought is based on statistical analysis and replication of methodology, and tries to apply lessons learned.  (the first theorist was really Allen, an Anglican missionary who tried to apply his missionary techniques to the churches he returned to) It has a significant problem, because it look at symptoms, rather than causes, studies rather than relationships.

There are other schools of thought, such as Jack Hayford, who is more concerned with the spiritual development of the pastor and leaders of the church.  A form of pietism perhaps, but nothing to do with statistical analysis.

Schuler and two of those who were closely associated with this theory, Hybels and Warren, do not share common methodologies, save that they talk a lot about the people who they see God making a difference in their lives.  (Schuler is a Calvinist)  Heck the Crystal Cathedral still uses its pipe organ primarily, along with choirs, robes etc.  Not exactly the canned stuff I see criticized by those that lump all CG together.

There are other theorists, some who base in discipleship, and those who actually develop their theories from the mission fields, or from Patristic sources.

I left the CG stuff - the stat analyst stuff, that dominated my old denom, for a reason.  Stats may reveal some interesting things, but they only show the surface... dig deeper, read the stories, talk to the guys, and you find out it's all about introducing people who have no hope, to their hope of glory, being in Christ through baptism.






Team Hesse

  • Guest
Re: CoWo, What's Wrong with It?
« Reply #261 on: February 07, 2011, 09:34:00 AM »

And here is where people show their ignorance.

1.  Which school of CG Theory is being pushed to be adopted in total?  Who is demanding this?

2.  Rick Warren, a Calvinst?  Really?  If you ever bump into John Piper, you might tell him that... then again don't - his heart may not be able to take the laughter.



Would it be incorrect to call Rick Warren Reformed, or should he be considered a generic Calvinist.  His theology is not Lutheran.  But you know that.

How many people graduate from the seminary as trained LCMS pastors, but then they do an 180 degree turn and encourage the teachings of Reformed/Calvinists such as Rob Bell, Beth Moore, Rick Warren, etc.  in small groups.  How many Nooma DVDs are in your church library, J & S?  Busted!  I rest my case.  ;D




Driveby,

Not one Nooma dvd, and Rich Warren isn't even a two point calvinist, nor is he truly reformed in any classical sense.  Not even close to Zwingli in this theology.

One of the papers I did a long time ago noted at least 8 different schools of though in church growth.  The Fuller school of thought is based on statistical analysis and replication of methodology, and tries to apply lessons learned.  (the first theorist was really Allen, an Anglican missionary who tried to apply his missionary techniques to the churches he returned to) It has a significant problem, because it look at symptoms, rather than causes, studies rather than relationships.

There are other schools of thought, such as Jack Hayford, who is more concerned with the spiritual development of the pastor and leaders of the church.  A form of pietism perhaps, but nothing to do with statistical analysis.

Schuler and two of those who were closely associated with this theory, Hybels and Warren, do not share common methodologies, save that they talk a lot about the people who they see God making a difference in their lives.  (Schuler is a Calvinist)  Heck the Crystal Cathedral still uses its pipe organ primarily, along with choirs, robes etc.  Not exactly the canned stuff I see criticized by those that lump all CG together.

There are other theorists, some who base in discipleship, and those who actually develop their theories from the mission fields, or from Patristic sources.

I left the CG stuff - the stat analyst stuff, that dominated my old denom, for a reason.  Stats may reveal some interesting things, but they only show the surface... dig deeper, read the stories, talk to the guys, and you find out it's all about introducing people who have no hope, to their hope of glory, being in Christ through baptism.







Interesting. How does one wean women from Beth Moore? The women's group locally has been hooked on her from before my time and that's an area where angels fear to tread as far as I can see.

Lou

SteveS

  • Guest
Re: CoWo, What's Wrong with It?
« Reply #262 on: February 07, 2011, 10:59:27 AM »

Ok, I'll bite.  Our adult Sunday school class has used some of the Nooma DVDs.  Some of the things that have been mentioned in some of the roughly 10 Nooma videos I have seen I have questioned.  But, overall, I feel they have generated very good discussion in our class.  Keep in mind that the DVDs are to be thought provoking, not the basis for our theology.  They are certainly no substitute for the creeds or for Luther's catechisms.

I try to go to Sunday school every week, but I'm an electrical engineer.  I get lost with some of the more advanced theological discussions here.  We struggle to get adults to participate in Sunday school.  We also haven't had the pastor lead the class in the 14 years I have been a member.  I simply don't understand why pastors must preside over communion while I, someone with no training is asked to lead an adult Sunday school class from time to time.  Compared to letting me teach for an hour, showing a 15 minute Rob Bell video and discussing it isn't a big risk in my opinion.  :-\  After all we don't expect all you pastors to do all your home wiring or fix your own computers and appliances.

Is this forum welcoming to those of us not ordained and not experienced in theology?  In discussing why the Non denominational churches are growing while the mainline churches are not, I think one overlooked aspect is that many folks do not want to feel like they are being looked down upon by their college professors.  Sometimes this forum makes me feel this way.  Rob Bell videos, for all their faults, do not.

Drive-by Lutheran

  • Guest
Re: CoWo, What's Wrong with It?
« Reply #263 on: February 07, 2011, 11:03:37 AM »

And here is where people show their ignorance.

1.  Which school of CG Theory is being pushed to be adopted in total?  Who is demanding this?

2.  Rick Warren, a Calvinst?  Really?  If you ever bump into John Piper, you might tell him that... then again don't - his heart may not be able to take the laughter.


Would it be incorrect to call Rick Warren Reformed, or should he be considered a generic Calvinist.  His theology is not Lutheran.  But you know that.

How many people graduate from the seminary as trained LCMS pastors, but then they do an 180 degree turn and encourage the teachings of Reformed/Calvinists such as Rob Bell, Beth Moore, Rick Warren, etc.  in small groups.  How many Nooma DVDs are in your church library, J & S?  Busted!  I rest my case.  ;D

Driveby,

Not one Nooma dvd, and Rich Warren isn't even a two point calvinist, nor is he truly reformed in any classical sense.  Not even close to Zwingli in this theology.

One of the papers I did a long time ago noted at least 8 different schools of though in church growth.  The Fuller school of thought is based on statistical analysis and replication of methodology, and tries to apply lessons learned.  (the first theorist was really Allen, an Anglican missionary who tried to apply his missionary techniques to the churches he returned to) It has a significant problem, because it look at symptoms, rather than causes, studies rather than relationships.

There are other schools of thought, such as Jack Hayford, who is more concerned with the spiritual development of the pastor and leaders of the church.  A form of pietism perhaps, but nothing to do with statistical analysis.

Schuler and two of those who were closely associated with this theory, Hybels and Warren, do not share common methodologies, save that they talk a lot about the people who they see God making a difference in their lives.  (Schuler is a Calvinist)  Heck the Crystal Cathedral still uses its pipe organ primarily, along with choirs, robes etc.  Not exactly the canned stuff I see criticized by those that lump all CG together.

There are other theorists, some who base in discipleship, and those who actually develop their theories from the mission fields, or from Patristic sources.

I left the CG stuff - the stat analyst stuff, that dominated my old denom, for a reason.  Stats may reveal some interesting things, but they only show the surface... dig deeper, read the stories, talk to the guys, and you find out it's all about introducing people who have no hope, to their hope of glory, being in Christ through baptism.


 J & S:  For a moment, I had thought you were an Ablaze! pastor, whom I had offended.  My apologies.

I have described one of the Church Growth activities going on at my LCMS church (small groups).  My church is a member of the Willow Creek Association.  I like the opportunity for fellowship, but not necessarily the curricula.  You may choose to debate whether it is Calvinist, Reformed, Universalist, Pietist, etc., but it is not Lutheran.  Some may ask what's wrong with that.  After all, many non-Lutherans have good ideas, too.  I would argue that many of the beliefs promoted by those theologians (Rick Warren, Rob Bell, Beth Moore, etc.) are hostile to Lutheran doctrine.   

The explosion in membership at those non-denominational churches illustrate that most church shoppers who buy that "church car" are not too interested in what theology is found "under the hood."  If non-denominational theology is a nebulous protestant mush, then that is "ok" for many people.  And if church shoppers don't care that much about doctrine, then they should not care whether the worship and bible study curricula is traditional or contemporary.  If the real issue is fellowship and friendship in a "cool" and relaxed setting, how does embracing non-Lutheran theology and practice encourage this? ??? ??? ???

Yes, I understand that Rob Bell and Beth Moore are fun "coffee house church" authors and that many LCMS Lutherans are addicted.  It is alluring stuff.  Where are the Lutheran authors?  (I do  like WorldView Everlasting a lot, but unfortunately the material is not organized in a DVD study guide format for Sunday school and small group instruction.) 

George Erdner

  • Guest
Re: CoWo, What's Wrong with It?
« Reply #264 on: February 07, 2011, 11:35:47 AM »
At the risk of this metaphor being warped and twisted beyond all reason, it strikes me that in some regards (and only some, not all), churches can be compared to restaurants. A restaurant is partly described by the type of food it serves, but it is also recognized for decor, how the food is served, etc. A Christian church is partly described by the type of theology it serves as its understanding of the Gospel, but it is also recognized by how the Gospel is served, etc.

All restaurants, regardless of the kind of food they server, can improve their basic operations. Those basic operations are common to all restaurants. Whether a restaurant specializes in Italian, Asian, American, or Mexican food, the principles of keeping the kitchen clean, having an attractive sign out front, easy to read menus, good wait staff, and other such common characteristics are universal to all restaurants. There is no reason why someone running an Italian restaurant couldn't benefit from advice from someone who runs a Mexican restaurant on how to get hungry people to walk in the door. Specific details may vary, but the principles are the same.

Likewise, though a Lutheran congregation shouldn't accept advice from non-Lutherans on what theological interpretation of the Gospel to preach, there's no reason why a Lutheran congregation couldn't benefit from advice from Baptists, Methodists, or even Jews on how to better organize a pot-luck supper, or get the building roof repaired, or to do any other church activity that is unrelated to the theological interpretations of the Gospel.

Lutheran theology might well shape the order of liturgy, but Lutheran theology doesn't shape how we do pot-lucks.

Drive-by Lutheran

  • Guest
Re: CoWo, What's Wrong with It?
« Reply #265 on: February 07, 2011, 12:04:57 PM »
Is this forum welcoming to those of us not ordained and not experienced in theology?  In discussing why the Non denominational churches are growing while the mainline churches are not, I think one overlooked aspect is that many folks do not want to feel like they are being looked down upon by their college professors.  Sometimes this forum makes me feel this way.  Rob Bell videos, for all their faults, do not.

SteveS:  Tough questions.  I too, am a layman.  It took me a solid year and a half of lurking before I worked up the courage to post.  The pastors on this forum have a minimum of a masters degree in Theology, with training in one or two languages (I think).  The discussions here run very deep, and I enjoy reading them.  Condescending?  I think I know what you mean, but I have always interpreted it to mean "snark."

Drive-by Lutheran

  • Guest
Re: CoWo, What's Wrong with It?
« Reply #266 on: February 07, 2011, 12:42:21 PM »
At the risk of this metaphor being warped and twisted beyond all reason, it strikes me that in some regards (and only some, not all), churches can be compared to restaurants. A restaurant is partly described by the type of food it serves, but it is also recognized for decor, how the food is served, etc. A Christian church is partly described by the type of theology it serves as its understanding of the Gospel, but it is also recognized by how the Gospel is served, etc.

All restaurants, regardless of the kind of food they server, can improve their basic operations. Those basic operations are common to all restaurants. Whether a restaurant specializes in Italian, Asian, American, or Mexican food, the principles of keeping the kitchen clean, having an attractive sign out front, easy to read menus, good wait staff, and other such common characteristics are universal to all restaurants. There is no reason why someone running an Italian restaurant couldn't benefit from advice from someone who runs a Mexican restaurant on how to get hungry people to walk in the door. Specific details may vary, but the principles are the same.

Likewise, though a Lutheran congregation shouldn't accept advice from non-Lutherans on what theological interpretation of the Gospel to preach, there's no reason why a Lutheran congregation couldn't benefit from advice from Baptists, Methodists, or even Jews on how to better organize a pot-luck supper, or get the building roof repaired, or to do any other church activity that is unrelated to the theological interpretations of the Gospel.

Lutheran theology might well shape the order of liturgy, but Lutheran theology doesn't shape how we do pot-lucks.

Yes, I agree with you George.  Thoughtful reflections.  Good stuff!  I hope these issues can be included in the LCMS Koinonia Project.

Consistency is key to a restaurant that wants to stay in business.  Consistency is also critical to the success of the restaurant if the owner decides to open several locations.  McDonald's is the same throughout the country no matter where you travel.  People expect that.

If I live in Illinois and attend a traditional worship service at an LCMS church, and then I move to a small city in Texas and need to travel across town to visit three LCMS congregations before I can even find a traditional service, then what does that say about consistency?  How many times is this scenario repeated across the country.  (And yes, I could easily reverse it to say:  If I originally attended a CoWo service...."). ;)

George Erdner

  • Guest
Re: CoWo, What's Wrong with It?
« Reply #267 on: February 07, 2011, 01:06:43 PM »
At the risk of this metaphor being warped and twisted beyond all reason, it strikes me that in some regards (and only some, not all), churches can be compared to restaurants. A restaurant is partly described by the type of food it serves, but it is also recognized for decor, how the food is served, etc. A Christian church is partly described by the type of theology it serves as its understanding of the Gospel, but it is also recognized by how the Gospel is served, etc.

All restaurants, regardless of the kind of food they server, can improve their basic operations. Those basic operations are common to all restaurants. Whether a restaurant specializes in Italian, Asian, American, or Mexican food, the principles of keeping the kitchen clean, having an attractive sign out front, easy to read menus, good wait staff, and other such common characteristics are universal to all restaurants. There is no reason why someone running an Italian restaurant couldn't benefit from advice from someone who runs a Mexican restaurant on how to get hungry people to walk in the door. Specific details may vary, but the principles are the same.

Likewise, though a Lutheran congregation shouldn't accept advice from non-Lutherans on what theological interpretation of the Gospel to preach, there's no reason why a Lutheran congregation couldn't benefit from advice from Baptists, Methodists, or even Jews on how to better organize a pot-luck supper, or get the building roof repaired, or to do any other church activity that is unrelated to the theological interpretations of the Gospel.

Lutheran theology might well shape the order of liturgy, but Lutheran theology doesn't shape how we do pot-lucks.

Yes, I agree with you George.  Thoughtful reflections.  Good stuff!  I hope these issues can be included in the LCMS Koinonia Project.

Consistency is key to a restaurant that wants to stay in business.  Consistency is also critical to the success of the restaurant if the owner decides to open several locations.  McDonald's is the same throughout the country no matter where you travel.  People expect that.

If I live in Illinois and attend a traditional worship service at an LCMS church, and then I move to a small city in Texas and need to travel across town to visit three LCMS congregations before I can even find a traditional service, then what does that say about consistency?  How many times is this scenario repeated across the country.  (And yes, I could easily reverse it to say:  If I originally attended a CoWo service...."). ;)

And that's where my metaphor breaks down. It is an open question as to whether or not all of the churches within any denomination, church body, or even faith tradition should be comparable to national franchise chains or if they should be comparable to independently owned and operated establishments. Consistency is critical to operating a franchise restaurant, but it is meaningless if opening an independent restaurant. I'm only attempting to make the point that there is nothing wrong with listening to advice from people of other faith traditions, so long as one does it with careful discrimination, and limits the acceptance of advice from people in other faith traditions on matters that do not affect the theological understanding of the Gospel. The metaphor I used stands up to illustrating that point, but it cannot be stretched any further to cover other issues.

Another way that my metaphor does not apply to churches is that churches aren't open seven days a week, offering multiple items on a menu. I suppose one could stretch the metaphor a little. I'd submit that if you move to a small city in Texas that has three LC-MS congregations, and each one only has one service per Sunday, and always has the exact same type of service every time, then there are other issues to be resolved. Maybe two of those congregations need to merge. Maybe at least one of those congregations should rotate among different musical styles in their services. Maybe the District President should sit down with the leaders of all three congregations and guide them towards maximizing the use of their different resources by at least one of them adopting a more traditional worship style. I don't know the answers. I'm not even sure of all the questions.




Darrell Wacker

  • Guest
Re: CoWo, What's Wrong with It?
« Reply #268 on: February 07, 2011, 01:23:12 PM »
Is this forum welcoming to those of us not ordained and not experienced in theology?  In discussing why the Non denominational churches are growing while the mainline churches are not, I think one overlooked aspect is that many folks do not want to feel like they are being looked down upon by their college professors.  Sometimes this forum makes me feel this way.  Rob Bell videos, for all their faults, do not.

SteveS:  Tough questions.  I too, am a layman.  It took me a solid year and a half of lurking before I worked up the courage to post.  The pastors on this forum have a minimum of a masters degree in Theology, with training in one or two languages (I think).  The discussions here run very deep, and I enjoy reading them.  Condescending?  I think I know what you mean, but I have always interpreted it to mean "snark."

I too am a layman and have usually found most of the pastors on the forum to be quite gracious, although there are certain exceptions.  Of course, some of the posters here seem to wake up snarky and go to sleep snarky, and never change in between!  ::)

Rev. Kevin Scheuller

  • Guest
Re: CoWo, What's Wrong with It?
« Reply #269 on: February 07, 2011, 01:36:46 PM »
Is this forum welcoming to those of us not ordained and not experienced in theology?  In discussing why the Non denominational churches are growing while the mainline churches are not, I think one overlooked aspect is that many folks do not want to feel like they are being looked down upon by their college professors.  Sometimes this forum makes me feel this way.  Rob Bell videos, for all their faults, do not.

SteveS:  Tough questions.  I too, am a layman.  It took me a solid year and a half of lurking before I worked up the courage to post.  The pastors on this forum have a minimum of a masters degree in Theology, with training in one or two languages (I think).  The discussions here run very deep, and I enjoy reading them.  Condescending?  I think I know what you mean, but I have always interpreted it to mean "snark."

My apologies to both of you if you found my attempt at clarification of denominational background as condescending.  I just wanted to clarify who was what, that's all.  It's true, Luther had major disagreements with the leaders of the Reformed Tradition (Calvin, Zwingli, et al.), especially with regards to what they taught about Holy Communion - that they believed about Christ only being "Spiritually Present," or the converse - that the believer, partaking of Holy Communion is "spiritually present" with Christ in the heavenly banquet yet to come.  The classic debate being between Ullrich Zwingli who insisted that Christ could only be spiritually present since He is seated at the Father's right hand and Luther, who held that Christ, being a member of the Godhead - the Holy Trinity - shared in his post-resurrection glory the ubiquity that the Father and the Holy Spirit have.  I think I remember hearing that Luther even went so far as to argue that Christ was in his cabbage soup to buttress Zwingli - to indicate the belief that His benefits to our lives can be found in everything that nourishes us, body and soul.    

Luther also had major problems with the Anabaptists (today's Baptists/Evangelicals).  If faith is not a gift - if it is something we have the power to subscribe to or give cognitive ascent to, then that robs the Holy Spirit of its role to "call, gather, enlighten, and sanctify" for God His holy catholic church.  In fact, Luther argued firmly against any sense that we come to faith or "accept" or "choose" Jesus Christ to become our Savior.  It is so difficult to read through Calvin's Institutes (it reads like a lawyer wrote it - I had a Presbyterian colleague who told me she couldn't do it).  But, I suspect that Calvin would agree more with Luther about the Holy Spirit than an Anabaptist (or today's Evangelicals) would.  

As Luther covers the Third Article of the Apostles' Creed on the Holy Spirit in his Small Catechism:

THE THIRD ARTICLE: SANCTIFICATION

“I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Christian church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.”
6 What does this mean?
Answer: I believe that by my own reason or strength I cannot believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to him. But the Holy Spirit has called me through the Gospel, enlightened me with his gifts, and sanctified and preserved me in true faith, just as he calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian church on earth and preserves it in union with Jesus Christ in the one true faith. In this Christian church he daily and abundantly forgives all my sins, and the sins of all believers, and on the last day he will raise me and all the dead and will grant eternal life to me and to all who believe in Christ. This is most certainly true.

The Book of Concord the confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. 1959 (T. G. Tappert, Ed.) (345). Philadelphia: Mühlenberg Press.

I did read that Calvin came out in favor of "Paedobaptism" (or "infant baptism" as we would call it) in his Institutes - something he takes a multitude of pages to arrive at.  I cannot speak confidently about whether or not infant baptism is practiced across the Reformed tradition.  While I cannot speak for everybody here, I would welcome requests for clarification from anyone if my "shop talk" gets a bit out of hand - either by a personal message or on the forum (if you promise to be gentle). One of the best words of advice I received from one of my Theology professors, Dr. Pete Pero of LSTC was that we must try to teach with "painstaking clarity."  I must confess, I'm hardly perfect at it.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2011, 01:43:27 PM by Rev. Kevin Scheuller »