Thursday, August 18, 2011

Why I am a Lutheran

Hey everyone. It's been a very long time since I last posted. I am going to attempt to resolve at least a weekly update from here on out.

For now, many of you may know that we have finally been liberated from being hostage to the Southern Baptist Convention. That's a dramatic way of saying I got a job with someone else.

As I told my friend who is a Presbyterian minister, "God in all his wisdom has sovereignly predestined my wife and I to become Lutherans."

We've been provided full time work with a congregation of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, and therefore we are finally able to settle in a tradition of reformation heritage. But just to be clear, we did choose the Lutheran tradition, and not just for occupational reasons. While it is true that we may have been able to get by with a congregation from the PCA or ACNA, confessional Lutheranism has had a distinct draw on my life in recent months. So here is the first in a series of posts on why I believe the Lutheran tradition is the best place for us, and the truest expression of the Christian faith consistent with the Biblical witness. For now, I will simply list the points. In the coming posts, I will elaborate on each of the reasons. They are:

1. The Law and Gospel hermeneutic.
2. Weekly communion. And a more meaningful theology than the memorialistic "doctrine of divine absence" which eats away at the reasons for even celebrating the Lord's supper. Is is is, if you know what I mean.
3. A more sacramental expression of Christian spirituality (as opposed to purely intellectual or pietistic).
4. A form of discipleship that involves catechism, or teaching people what they believe and why.
5. A spirituality that is rooted in the christian calendar, using the church year to integrate major themes of the Christian faith into an annual rhythm of life.
6. The use of creeds and confessions (Southern Baptist have them, most have no idea what they are or what they mean).
7. They tend to get the doctrine of Justification right at all costs. The good news is therefore always good, and not a to-do list.
8. Christ centered worship - Even non-Lutherans must admit that Lutherans typically do this better than every other Protestant tradition.
9. Outstanding musical heritage (J. S. Bach, St. Olaf).
10. A theology that welcomes the broken and failures, creating a community that that is a safe place for hurting and wounded sinners to find healing and forgiveness in the arms and death of Jesus.

Ok, so I elaborated just a tad on some of those points. But I will be expanding on each point once we get settled in and I have more time to write (soon!). Feel free to leave your reactions, but be warned, I will probably try to convert you. :P


  1. Greetings in the Name of Our Lord!

    I was a Presbyterian (PCUSA) until about 4 years ago. The Holy Spirit moved me one Ash Wednesday to visit Redeemer Evangelical Lutheran Church, LCMS, in the Bronx since my now former church was not having a service. And were my eyes opened! For the first time in years I was learning something - learning the distinctions between Law And Gospel and how truly good the Good News is. This past Sunday in Bible Study, we were studying the Formula of Concord from The Book of Concord and the topic was the Holy Eucharist. I now understand how the Presbyterians can have Holy Communion once a month but boy have they missed the point! I thank God and the Holy Spirit for bringing me to the Lutheran Church because He has brought me to a path that will lead me to faith and salvation. I thank God for my pastor, the Rev. Dr. Dien A. Taylor, who had me read The Book of Concord so that I would be sure that I was being lead in the right direction. I have not looked back but do speak to my Presbyterian brothers and sisters and am waiting for them to be lead by the Holy Spirit as well to a truly reformed denomination. I await prayerfully in peace and hope.

  2. Great story! Thanks for sharing. We're in the same district now, so perhaps we may meet up some time.