Monday, March 2, 2020
Feast of the Word
Most distressing is the fact that Protestants have become adept at hearing the Word as general direction while ignoring and dismissing specific words within Scripture. While we see this most clearly in the acceptance of the LGBTQ+, it is typical in the way that cultural change both informs and trumps the truth of God's Word and its consistent address through the ages. This radical departure has eviscerated the claim of Protestantism to herald the Word in the face of Roman preoccupation with the Sacraments. The claim is now rendered hollow and empty by the refusal of most Protestants to let the Word inform them and by their insistence that individual and corporate reason sift the truth of Scripture for the precious ore and for the slag that must be discarded. At the same time, Roman Catholics had led the way in a renewal of Biblical theology in the past fifty years. Yet even Rome is not immune from the great temptation to either tailor the Scriptures to fit their pre-existing conclusions or the press of culture against the witness of the faith. Some in Rome have been adept at accepting historical criticism of Scripture with its inherent skepticism toward the text and the content of the Word.
Finally, something must be said by the trivial use of Scripture. The plethora of Bible versions and study Bibles directed to individuals and individual circumstance belies the central truth of Scripture that it is one Word with one message and story. In this way those who often lay claim to being Biblical have betrayed their claim by treating the Scriptures as a curious book of niceties whose appeal is to sentiment more than truth and to the moment more than through the ages. It is an embarrassment not of riches but of our poverty that you can walk into any book store and see the Scriptures treated as an article of clothing chosen for taste, preference, and fit to the individual. The variety of opinions about what the Scriptures say only reinforces the idea that its message is not clear or different to different hearers and times or it does not really matter all that much. It was not without a prescient view toward the future that the Missouri Synod was organized in part to publish orthodox materials and faithful study Bibles.