22 May 2010

Cleaning house: Lutheran books available

I'm going through my library to cull it. I'll list books for sale in this space; from time to time I'll add more. (Note: Buyer pays shipping too--usually < $4.00)

Lindemann, Fred H. "The Sermon and the Propers" 4 vols, hardcover, 1959. Some minor underlining, otherwise in good condition. $40.00

Koestlin, Julius. "The theology of Martin Luther." Philadelphia, Lutheran Publication Society, 1897. Hardcover, mint condition. $25.00

Kirchenagende fuer Ev-Luth Gemeinden ungeaenderter Augsburgischer Konfession. St. Louis: Concordia, 1922. 329 pp. *Mint* condition. $20.00

Luther, Martin. Kirchen-postille (2 vols). Stuttgart, 1845. Available on Abe Books for $79; I'm asking $50 plus shipping.

Schmucker, S.S. American Lutheranism Vindicated. Baltimore: T. Newton Kurtz, 1856. $40

Various authors. Various old LC-MS writings--including "Die heutigen Arbeiterverbindungen und die christliche Ortsgemeinde" (Graebner), "Fuenf Thesen ueber die Ehe mit der Schwester der verstorbenen Frau" (Hoenecke), "Captain William Morgan: Ein geschichtlicher Beitrag zur Beleuchtung des Logenwesens" (Krafft), "Ich glaube, darum rede ich" (Pieper) etc. Binding poor. Make an offer.

Die Bekenntnissschriften der evangelisch-lutherischen Kirche. Berlin 1868. Binding needs work. $20.

Die unveränderte Augsburgische Konfession, deutsch und lateinisch, nach den besten Handschriften aus dem Besitze der Unterzeichner, Text-Ausgabe von Paul Tschackert, von Paul Tschackert. Good condition. $25

Pieper, F. "What is Christianity? And Other Essays..." St. Louis: Concordia 1933. $60.

LCMS. "Another Fraternal Endeavor". ?1950's? $5.00

Reinboth. "Calls and Vacancies". St. Louis: Concordia 1967. $5.00

Gerhard. "Sacred Meditations" Philadelphia: Lutheran Publication Society, 1896. 2 copies: one (good binding) $60, another (poor binding) $25.

Jacobs. "The Book of Concord." Vol 1 only. Good shape. $25.

Lilje, Hanns. "Luther" (in German). Some spotting inside front cover; otherwise fine shape. $5.00

04 May 2010

Subterranean scribbling: the meaning of "espouse"

Pr. Weedon has quoted the following words of AC Piepkorn on his blog:

Because of the confessional position of the Lutheran Church, there is no reason why Lutherans should not still be Lutheran. Espousing the catholic and apostolic faith with Christ as center and Scripture as source, Lutherans are part of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church. Therefore, they do not have to ask whether they should be part of a church body with a name other than Lutheran. They do, of course, need to be concerned about the barriers that divide Christians from each other and must listen to other Christians for what the Holy Spirit may have to say through them. But they do not need to be concerned, as some other Christians have insisted they should be concerned, that they are somehow not the true church of Christ. -- A. C. Piepkorn, *The Sacred Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions* pp. 195, 196.

The argument beneath this paragraph seems to be as follows (I welcome any correction):

Lutherans espouse the catholic and apostolic faith with Christ as center and Scripture as source.
Therefore, they are part of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church.

I note at least three things about the quotation and its underlying argument:

1. What does Piepkorn mean by "Church"? How does his "Church" (whether "Lutheran" or "one, holy, catholic and apostolic") relate to actually existing bodies (e.g. the LCMS, WELS etc)? How do the members of those bodies relate to it?

2. Does the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church have "parts"? There are, to be sure, jurisdictions in the Church. But are those jurisdictions "parts"? And how is that unity demonstrated, if not in the sharing of one font and one cup?

3. What does "espouse" mean? Is espousing a matter of mere words? Or does it also require actions in accord with those words? There is a move among some Lutherans, for example, to moralize their confessional position--i.e. "We are trying/we strive to be the Church described in the Confessions." But when confessions are moralized, they show themselves to be vacuous. Imagine, for example, someone saying "I try my best to believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth" etc. It just doesn't ring true as a statement of faith.

I welcome thoughts and responses from either of my readers.

03 May 2010

Subterranean scribbling: Two rites, one wrong

"I would argue that when the documents comprising the Lutheran Symbols, the Christian Book of Concord, are no longer permitted to critique and challenge current teaching or practice; when instead our Church's Confession is relegated to the museum as an interesting artifact of what was once the case, then we have lost the right to the name 'Lutheran.'" Rev'd. William Weedon

Some six or seven years ago, when I was still an LCMS pastor, I was a doctrinal reviewer for the hymnal--specifically, for the rite of baptism. I rejected the proposed rite, because it didn't include exorcisms. When I argued that the baptismal rite should include exorcisms, since Luther's rite (which is found in the Book of Concord) had them, I was told that Luther's rite exercised 'no normative role' in regard to current Lutheran baptismal practice.

Someone may note that the agenda has the exorcisms included. What's relevant, however, is the reasoning for not including them in the hymnal's rite.

Let the reader draw his conclusion.

02 May 2010

Sermon from the Sunday of the Samaritan Woman

One of the many ways the Lord proved himself to be alive after his passion, was all the different places and occasions he appeared. He showed himself to the women at the tomb…the disciples on the road to Emmaus…the apostles in the Upper Room, and at the Sea of Galilee, and on the Mount of Olives. He came at morning and at evening; he came not just when they gathered for prayer, but also when they went fishing. When God the Son who fills all things became incarnate, he made his humanity to share in his divine omnipresence. To put it in simple terms, any place, any time can be the occasion for an encounter with the crucified and risen Lord.

We get a foretaste of that in today’s gospel, the account of St. Photini. She went to the well at midday for water, to slake her thirst; but she met Christ, who gave her the spring of water welling up to eternal life.

Did you notice that in the middle of the conversation she brings up “our father Jacob”? Jacob was Isaac’s son, the one who had dug that well so many years before…who left it to his son Joseph and his heirs. How much this woman shows herself to be a child of Jacob, who met the pre-incarnate Christ in a wrestling match!

Like Jacob, when she met God she was on the run.
Jacob, from Esau…had stolen Esau’s blessing…lived by taking.
She, from the townspeople…married five times, now with another.

Like Jacob, she wrestles with God.
Jacob, literally, as he struggled against the Angel of the Lord.
She, figuratively, as she enters a discussion with Christ.
“Where should we worship? I know that Messiah comes…”

Like Jacob, she is wounded in the encounter.
Jacob had his hip thrown out of joint…for the rest of his life he limped.
She, when Christ reveals her source of deepest pain: 5 husbands.

And like Jacob, she receives a new name.
Jacob becomes “Israel,” the one who wrestles against God and man.
She becomes “Photini,” the enlightened one.

Enlightened, she bears witness of Christ to the people of Samaria.
Later, she even bore witness to Nero, and ended her life as a martyr by being thrown down a well.

Let us learn from Photini, beloved.
* We can meet the true, Triune God in any and every situation of life. Western thought began to fall when men made a distinction between the “sacred” and the “secular.” And now the secular has taken over the sacred. A week ago, a school board in Rhode Island was sued because they held their commencement in a mega-church. The head of the school board, a minister, argued that the suit was without merit because the mega-church building looked nothing like a church!
But that’s not the Christian view! All of life belongs to God, and our call as Christians is to sacralize the world—not by political action, but by constant prayer and acts of love
* He uncovers our deepest hurts and pain, not to humiliate us but to heal us. Christians always walk with a limp: the glory belongs to him, and he shares it with us.
* He leads us to worship the Holy Trinity: the Father, the Truth and the Spirit.

(Note: the audio of this sermon is available on our website: holycross-aoc.org)