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Another Important Way To Celebrate The Lutheran Reformation

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Lutherans should remember that as necessary and inevitable as the Reformation was, it was also tragic. Tragic in that it created an ugly divorce within the church, and that's always terrible, even if unavoidable. Had cooler heads prevailed the church may well have reformed, and that would have been good in every way. But that isn't want happened. As a result there are now dozens, if not several hundred sects and sub-sects within the church, and sectarianism is a sin, a "work of the flesh". (Galatians 5:20)

However the church's splintering is not necessarily permanent, and "Blessed are the peacemakers." (Matthew 5:9)

To that end I offer this ecumenical panel discussion between an Evangelical theologian, a RC Cardinal, and our own LCMS President Rev. Matthew Harrison. The occasion was the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation, and it was held at Concordia University in Chicago. The video is an hour long, but in my opinion well worth the time for God's people.

In the past ecumenical discussions were usually quite dishonest. Everyone was willing to give away the farm for the sake of outward unity, when no inward unity existed. But in this discussion each party, though in considered theological disagreement with the other, voiced his faith and concerns. One of the participants said it nicely, something to the effect that: it takes great courage to sit across the table from your adversary, and calmly listen as he tells you where he thinks you are wrong. That is courage, but it is also progress. Five hundred years ago this was impossible. A hundred years ago it was unlikely. But now it is here. In the words of John to Peter after the resurrection, "It is the Lord." (John 21:7)

For the record I believe that President Harrison did an extraordinary job in articulating our faith in a way that was true, accurate and greatly comforting: for our faith is nothing else than the clear Gospel of Jesus Christ. The happy message of salvation for sinners accomplished by Christ, and Christ alone. By his victorious death and resurrection. We need do nothing, indeed can do nothing to merit the love of God. But it is a great gift! that we have all obtained in baptism, kept alive by God's Word and Sacraments come what may. In the words of our Lord, "This is eternal life, that they may know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent." (John 17:3).

May God's love for us, spur us on to great love God-ward, and toward others. "By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." (John 13:35)

1 Comment

Looking forward to listening as I travel this month.

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