Good Morning, Sports Fans!

It is truly good, right and salutary that we should at all times and in all places give thanks to you, holy Lord, almighty Father, everlasting, who in the multitude of your saints did surround us with so great a cloud of witnesses that we, rejoicing in their fellowship, may run with patience the race that is set before us and, together with them, may receive the crown of glory that does not fade away. Therefore with angels and archangels and with all the company of heaven we laud and magnify your glorious name, evermore praising you and saying…

Holy, holy, holy Lord, Lord God of power and might: Heaven and earth are full of Your glory. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.
This is the day which the Lord has made,
let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24

 

 

 

 

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Appropriate for the Day

“O Lord, Look Down from Heaven, Behold”
by Martin Luther, 1483-1546

1. O Lord, look down from heaven, behold
And let Thy pity waken:
How few are we within Thy Fold,
Thy saints by men forsaken!
True faith seems quenched on every hand,
Men suffer not Thy Word to stand;
Dark times have us o’ertaken.

2. With fraud which they themselves invent
Thy truth they have confounded;
Their hearts are not with one consent
On Thy pure doctrine grounded.
While they parade with outward show,
They lead the people to and fro,
In error’s maze astounded.

3. May God root out all heresy
And of false teachers rid us
Who proudly say: “Now, where is he
That shall our speech forbid us?
By right or might we shall prevail;
What we determine cannot fail;
We own no lord and master.”

4. Therefore saith God, “I must arise,
The poor My help are needing;
To Me ascend My people’s cries,
And I have heard their pleading.
For them My saving Word shall fight
And fearlessly and sharply smite,
The poor with might defending.”

5. As silver tried by fire is pure
From all adulteration,
So through God’s Word shall men endure
Each trial and temptation.
Its light beams brighter through the cross,
And, purified from human dross,
It shines through every nation.

6. Thy truth defend, O God, and stay
This evil generation;
And from the error of their way
Keep Thine own congregation.
The wicked everywhere abound
And would Thy little flock confound;
But Thou art our Salvation.

Hymn 260
The Lutheran Hymnal
Text: Ps. 12
Author: Martin Luther, 1523
Translated by: composite
Titled: “Ach Gott vom Himmel, sieh darein”
Tune: “Ach Gott vom Himmel”
1st Published in: Enchiridion
Town: Erfurt, 1524

Redux

Undoing an error in my thinking and motivation for this site, I have deleted almost all of my posts, save for the few seen now.  Beginning with those, and especially this posting, I will begin my journey with a different motivation and line of direction.

I will still discuss politics – it is in my blood, and has proper inclusion, however, it will be done so in a bit of a different context which I hope will be noticeable.  Likewise, I will include personal experiences, andthe various sundry and mundane items of life in this world I wish to note.  Most important, I will return to a much higher profile for my first love – Orthodox, Lutheran Confessional theology – from the font and source of Luther and the Lutheran Confessions.  There will be more emphasis on homiletics, theological discussion, polemics, and so forth.

Oftentimes those will cross paths with the issues at the top this paragraph, but ever lurking in the background will be the foundation of Confessionalism.

The material below was written in a post today – Reformation Sunday 499, to my best theological compadre, day in and day out.  She is a laywomen whose journey and educational experiences are most unique!  Our conversations, or portions thereof, may show up from time to time.  And all along the way, I am sure you will read  words of my emotionalism on a given issue.  So be it, that.

All of that is sufficient explanation for my purposes.

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The Kidnapping of the Lutheran Confessional Reformation

Father Peters has an excellent piece on the Reformation, one which both gives hope and, sad to say, cause for dismay. The prase “intia Reformationis is initia Lutheri” translates roughly “the initial Reformation is fundamentally Lutheran.”

Peters rightly decries the wholesale kidnapping of the Reformation by other, far less confessional traditions that essentially change the meaning of “Reformation” to fit their histories.  Nowhere can that be seen more clearly than in the Weslyan pieces he links, in which you find this stunning jewel and example of how the Protestant “sects” (again, Luther and Lutherans are NOT Protestants!) have not only kidnapped the Reformation, but essentially changed its very essence as they see fit:

“And, let’s not make the mistake of thinking that confessional streams somehow secure a more orthodox understanding of scripture. History won’t allow us the luxury of such a misty-eyed vision.”

See?  What I find most devious is the blatant removal of “confessionalism” as an integral part of “the Reformation.  And yet, you will hear every denomination, every sect, every stage-prancing clown claim the Reformation as their own.  What unmitigated gall!  Luther would indeed be, as Peters highlights, outraged, perhaps even enraged, that these errant sects have made off with the Reformation, and essentially infused it with their own view of Justification, which is nothing but a thinly-veiled return to the errors of Rome.  The real knee-slapper in that piece was this little tidbit, mindlessly repeating without proper setting or context a couple of 20th Century “corrections” to the text of history:

“Indeed, Luther’s legacy is as complicated as the Reformation itself, involving complicity in the death of so many of his own people during the German Peasants’ revolt in the 1520s and a barrage of anti-Jewish polemics.”

Both are pieces of fiction which have been so perverted and wrongly used that Luther has been greatly reduced to little more than a Yeah, but to his own Reformation!  Incredible!

And – this piece of what I would usually call it – BS – is but a shallow attempt to re-write history, devilishly denying that the entire reformed gang is heart and soul noting but a bunch of conniving calvinists sneaking in under their own “brand name” – just as Joel Osteen, when all is boiled down, is a living, breathing son of Jean Cauvin!  And note how he essentially reduces Luther to the role of mystic, not the clear eyed reformers he finds in his proud Weslyan tradition!  Sounds like Clintonian reasoning! —

From this perspective, the best Reformed theologians stem not from Calvin and Geneva, but from Strasbourg and Zurich by way of Oxford and Cambridge. I am speaking, of course, of Martin Bucer, Peter Martyr Vermigli, and Heinrich Bullinger, in particular; the first two Cranmer brought to Oxford and Cambridge, respectively. Calvin is the lesser light amidst these greater witnesses. On the Lutheran side, something similar holds insofar as Luther is read in light of Rhineland mystics, whom he adopted. This Lutheran pietistic legacy moves from Johann Arndt to Philipp Spener’s Pia Desideria and flows into Wesleyanism.

All of the above is rank heresy and  an attempt to re-write history that would take the Clintons’ breath away in its sheer audacity!  How did we get the Osteens of the religious world, or the hundreds of sects out there all claiming to be The One Holy Faith?  That tripe written by Coulter is a perfect example of how the Reformation could go from a giant like Luther, whose feet these dim supposed intellectual candles are not worthy to kiss, to the scary heresy of the Weslyan faith, which has “re-costumed” the doctrines of Rome – in a classical show of how the devil counterfeits every good thing, or a stage-prancing self-help guru like Osteen.

To them, Luther is that troubled bad boy chained up in the barn that best be left ignored.  And they do leave him, and the entire confessional nature of the Reformation, ignorantly preferring rather their own sense of grandeur.

Indeed, very sad, and . . . a lie!  What ironically eludes the author is that Luther and the heart of the Confessional Reformation was not about the long, Weslyan pedigree he listed, but the proper understanding of the Doctrine of Justification, a fact to which Weslyans are, like most all the rest . . .

Oblivious.

A Blessed Reformation to all – anyway!