Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Things I Just Thought I'd Say

I just felt like enunciating certain opinions:

1) I greatly admire C.F.W. Walther as a pastor and theologian.

2) I believe in the perpetual virginity of Mary. When people argue against it, their arguments always seem, well, sort of vulgar, which makes me think they're probably wrong.

3) I have through personal contact and writings known a number of people in Renewal in Missouri and Jesus First whom I greatly respect (haven't yet found any such in Daystar, though)

4) I feel a much greater sense of urgency about unity within our Evangelical confession (LCMS, WELS, ELS, etc.) than about similar unity with those outside our Confession.

5) The doctrinal differences on which the various confessional Lutheran churches separate themselves are both so subtle and so intimately related to the contemporary church's position in the USA that it seems to beggar imagination that one could actually draw a convincing Biblical argument to settle them.

6) Tongues, prophecy and other charismatic gifts were rife in the Apostles' church and the Biblical arguments made for the cessation of these particular spiritual gifts (tongues, prophecy, etc.) are an insult to the intelligence of humanity. (But the Bible never said that every church all the time will have these gifts.)

7) There is no salvation outside the Church, and hence wherever you acknowledges the regular provision of salvation, there you are, whether you like it or not, acknowledging the presence of the Church there.

8) One of the great things about being a confessional Evangelical is that you don't have to care what people in megachurches or "emerging" churches do with their worship services. Confessional evangelicals who do care get the worst of both worlds: denominational when it comes to helping and loving, and ecumenical when it comes to disciplining and attacking.

9) Justification by faith apart from any works of the law, baptismal regeneration, the Real Presence, the Bible as God's infallible word, the bondage to sin of the will of fallen and unregenerate man, the duty of men (as pastors and heads of family) to provide leadership in the church family: these don't seem to me like "doubtful" or "nit-picky" points. But when you affirm them all, all you've got left is confessional Lutheranism.