Friday, November 18, 2011
Welcome to Lutheranism
Last week I wrote about how I have come to peace with my place in the tradition of the Church. My new personal statement of identity is: “I am a Christian, and I practice my faith in the Lutheran tradition.” I am the first to admit that I have a long way to go in understanding all that this means, but in a few posts over the next couple of days I want to highlight distinctive Lutheran teachings that, in my view, answer many concerns about the revivalistic evangelicalism I have left behind.
This was a work in progress for him:
In May 2010, after Michael’s sad passing, I wrote a series of posts called, “My Issues with Evangelicalism.” In those pieces, I identified three main areas of disillusionment with the culture of American evangelicalism: (1) Worship, (2) Pastoral Ministry, (3) Missional living.
He identified the centrality of Christ and the Lutheran Law and Gospel paradigm as two primary reasons for his switch:
I can testify that, even after more than 25 years of ministry in evangelical churches, I have never gotten to know Jesus as well as I have in the past few years as a member of Lutheran congregation.
The problem is that many churches are, in essence, preaching the Law and calling it good news. Viewing the Bible as a detailed instruction manual for human living, week after week preachers are giving “precepts” and “principles” designed to help people experience “transformation” (which may mean little more, practically speaking, than conformity) so that they will enjoy healthy, happy, and holy lives, families, and careers. All this, and heaven too, because Jesus died for us.
You can read it all in his own words here: Part 1 and Part 2 and Part 3. And don't forget to read the comments! I guess this is not the last word we will hear from Chaplain Mike!