Mother Hubbard's Cupboard

A look into the mind of one of the most random, crazy people in all the land.

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Location: East Peoria, Illinois, United States

A Lutheran seminarian eagerly awaiting the return of Our Lord. Soli Deo Gloria!

Monday, February 20, 2006

D-Day is HERE.....N!! It's been SOOOOOOOO long since I've written here. What have I done? Well, I actually have substituted on two occasions. One was for 5th grade at Concordia Lutheran School in Peoria, IL. The other was East Peoria High School for three days. I also get to substitute this Thursday at least for Ms. Westler at EPCHS so it'll be primarily biology and anatomy. I enjoy it quite a bit and I hope I get to do it much more (primarily for money for grad school, etc.).

I also visited Chicago this weekend with Eurick. We stopped by at Wheaton, IL and visited McG and Tagge (who just turned 23!). Then we stopped by the city of Chicago and walked around a little (but stayed in primarily because of the 30 below wind chill!). Really we just sat around, played video games, or watched Family Guy all weekend.

I'm almost done with the Servant Leadership class I'm taking from Scott at church and I've also joined the Brass and Winds group......and I'm surprisingly not as bad as I thought I'd be for not playing much in the last 4-5 years. I haven't heard back yet from University of Kansas about grad school, and Bradley apparently didn't have the transcripts yet was sitting in the UNDERGRAD! I did get my degrees in the mail finally.

So aside from all that the rest of my break has been spent reading. I finished "Three views on Evangelicalism and Eastern Orthodoxy" which was quite deep theologically (at least the first article was....the one that was ~112 pages). There's quite a bit of agreement but much of the problem with the book was that traditional misunderstandings continued to be used unabated. One Orthodox writer equated all evangelicals with Anabaptists in rejecting infant baptism and the sacraments and as a Lutheran I know that many true evangelicals do accept the sacraments. The evangelical writers had a tendancy to overplay justification as the only way of seeing the Atonement while the Orthodox writers didn't help matters by rejecting justification outright (which isn't really what the main body of Orthodoxy teaches) due to its legalistic appearance. Of course both West and East support Justification through faith.

The main problem is that evangelicals don't understand that Justification in the Eastern church is tied to many other aspects of church life.....but it does come through faith. Many evangelicals also make the mistake of seeing Justification as being the minimum requirement for salvation (it is of course the only requirement) and hence that's all you need. Of course genuine Lutheran thought while holding the belief of Luther that one is saved "by grace alone, through faith alone" which we know from the Scriptures alone, does not throw the baby out with the bathwater and reject the idea that some aspects of Scripture are interpreted via tradition which is simply the idea that the Holy Spirit didn't take a vacation until the Reformation and as a result it isn't surprising to find the Church Fathers quoted heavily by Luther (and for those other denominations out there....Calvin did as well). While Father Berzonsky makes the mistake of equating all evangelicals as minimalistic copies of each other, it isn't hard to understand where he gets the idea. So many modern church worship services, particularly non-denominational services have abandoned all the traditional forms, including the liturgy which is extremely important in order to fill the worship year with what is needed.

As Scott said once during our class, the reason we have a church year with Lent, Advent, Epiphany, etc., was so we don't have a sermon series on Matthew that takes six or seven weeks....we save that for Bible study. The sermon instead should focus on both Law and Gospel, be preceded by an invocation with Confession and Holy Absolution, readings from the Old Testament, Epistles, and New Testament, then be followed by prayers, the Creed and the sharing of the Peace, Holy Eucharist, and the benediction. It might be asked where in Scripture is this brought up. Perhaps rather than answer that with an answer, I ask where in Scripture is it not mentioned? Early churches from our records had some form of liturgy, not just praise bands, prayers, and a Bible study during church. Whose decision was it to just abandon these aspects of worship? What was their justification? If it was to return to the way worship was like in the New Testament, I've got some bad news for you........while the liturgy did not exist in its current form some form of organization occurred. Did not St. Paul require that the Lord's Supper not be done until all had arrived for worship?

Aside from the misunderstandings the book was quite good and a genuine thought experiment. However, if you are not familiar with Orthodoxy or you think it is simply Catholocism without the're going to be lost....BIG TIME. The best part of the book I feel is the first writer. He is an Orthodox writer who spent time as an evangelical. He focuses on the similarities and believes both are compatible. I might be more along the maybe category, believing the more traditional theological traditions of Christianity are more compatible.

Aside from that book I'm also reading many others. Still reading Dune: Butlerian Jihad, Hostage to the Devil, Darwin's Black Box, and The Mountain of Silence: A Search for Orthodox Spirituality (which was a gift from McG). I'll let you all know how they turn out. Till then, I'm going to sleep and pray I get a job tomorrow morning.....even though it's 1:30 am. NIGHT!


Anonymous Michael! said...

You were in Chicago bumming around and didn't tell me!?!?

*Sad face*

1:33 PM  
Blogger Tagge said...

you put the heren back in coherent. A pretty good job this time around I must say. I have been encountering the whole justification by faith/works thing and nobody knows exactly what the other teaches. Such a horrible mess. Anyway, in my little book on pride I write a little about the abandoning of tradition by modern evangelicals in not so nice terms. I say "in our "hip" churches of today we neglect anything of what may be considered old and put much more emphasis on what we want and think and do and feel and we just assume that the early churches didn't have praise and worship songs and bands like today because the piano and electric guitar hadn't been invented yet. We think that our generation is so much better than the hundreds of generations before that we can get rid of those "old" and "outdated" things known as tradition and the liturgy in favor of the "new and trendy". We somehow know better than they did and we do it better so they are now of no use to us"

4:59 PM  

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