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