Thursday, July 26, 2012
Being Genuinely Protestant
I continue this overview of how emphases in the historic tradition of Lutheranism have helped me with many concerns I’ve expressed about American evangelicalism.Now let's compare this careful reasoning with the reasons most people justify the typical evangelical choice. "I like it. "I have a lot of friends that go there." "The music is good." That would be fine if a few years later such people started to sound a little more like Chaplain Mike.
Thus far, I have introduced the following elements…
Today, let me begin to say a few words about some other theological distinctives upon which Lutherans focus.
- How I came to peace with finding a tradition,
- How I appreciate the priority of Word and Table liturgical worship in the Lutheran tradition,
- How I affirm their emphasis on pastoral ministry,
- How I love their healthy view of Christian vocation in the world.
- First, the centrality of Christ. [...]
- Second, distinguishing Law and Gospel. [...]
But more note that Mike talks about things other than himself - and that is the real key. If the church is not making of us people that think about something besides ourselves, then the church is failing.
As the mainlines die and all that is left of Protestantism is Evangelicalism, the church will have lost something vital. Protestantism will have become "Christianity Lite" instead of the "Christianity Reformed" it was supposed to be. Luther and Calvin would be ashamed.