Thursday, January 15, 2009

That Krauth Quote


In the Combox to a blog below, Pastor Weedon gives us a quotation from a 19th Century American Lutheran theologian, C.P. Krauth. He gives the source of the quotation as an essay entitled "The Relations of the Lutheran Church to the Denominations Around Us", a rather obscure paper that was published in the published proceedings of "The First Free Lutheran Diet in America" (1878). That work can be found here on the internet - and I recommend the pdf version of the original as the scanned text file is very poor indeed.

This booklet actually contains some very interesting articles. The article in question is itself worth reflecting on, especially in the light of what is understood by the term "denomination" ("a class or collection of individuals called by the same name; a body of persons who have separated, or are separate from others, in virtue of their holding in common some special doctrine, or set of doctrines, or government, or usage, or discipline"), and the kind of ecclesiology that is envisaged in it. I am only mildly surprised to recognise in it something of the sort of ecclesiology I grew up with - which I learned from another American LCMS book entitled simply "Our Church and Others". The fact that this pre-Vatican II book is still in production and regularly used as a textbook by the LCMS speaks volumes in itself. Brought up on this stuff, you can perhaps understand why it was that the truths confessed in the document "Dominus Iesus" were so readily apparent to me. The way that Krauth uses the term "denomination" is oddly akin to the way the Catholic Church speaks of "ecclesial communities" (ie. not churches in the "proper sense").

But enough of the idle chit chat. Let's look at the quotation.
And this leads us to ask as preliminary to our just relations to them, on what grounds of principle do the denominations around us vindicate their right to exist? ... Yet this is a great question. It is THE question. The denomination which has not raised it is a self-convicted sect. The denomination which cannot return such an answer to it as at least shows sincere conviction that it has such reasons, should be shunned by all Christians who would not have the guilt of other men's sins. We draw a line then at once between those denominations which either give no reason for their rightful existence, or a reason so transparently false as to defy credulity; and those on the other hand which have reasons - reasons of such plausibility as to satisfy us that thoughtful men may sincerely hold them. [The Relation of the Lutheran Church to the Denominations Around Us]
In one respect, the question Krauth insists all sects should ask themselves is simply another version of the question I asked myself at the beginning of my journey into the Catholic Church, viz. "Why am I not Catholic?" For my right to exist as a Lutheran - a member of a denomination which "separated, or is separate from" the Catholic Church - depended to a large degree on the right of the Lutheran Church to exist. I believe every Lutheran (I do not speak for other denominations) should ask and answer this question if they are to go on living as Lutherans.

But let's get to the more interesting part of the quotation:
We must also look with different eyes on those bodies whose historical record and present acts are in accordance with their official principles on which they rest their right to exist; and those which desert the principles which gave them name, creeds, and position - these bodies which exist on one principle and act on another, which lengthen their lives by abandoning what they once considered sacred, ignoring their history, concealing their confessed doctrines, or evading the necessary consequences of them, and who make their name and their very right to existence a fraud, - and whose intensest hatred is inflicted on those who remind them of their history, and of the doctrines which gave them their original being. [The Relation of the Lutheran Church to the Denominations Around Us]
At this point, C.P. Krauth sounds remarkably like Past Elder in one of his milder and more rational moments. Krauth obviously has in mind the Lutheran denominations in America, which, at the time, were "deserting the principles which gave them name". The meeting at which this paper was delivered was intended to be precisely a "calling out" of faithful Lutherans into a new body which could and would justify its existence on the double ground that Krauth outlines in this essay. So the Lutheran Church "claims a right to exist because she is a Biblical Church", and the new Lutheran body they were forming (the "General Council of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America") would be consciously based upon the "doctrines which gave [Lutherans] their original being".

But could not the accusation be also applied to the Catholic Church, in the manner in which Past Elder argues? Is it not true that many Catholics today - bishops and priests, theologians and lay people - "exist on one principle and act on another", "abandon what they once considered sacred", "ignore their history", "conceal their confessed doctrines or evade the necessary consequences of them", and inflict their "intensest hatred...on those who remind them of their history, and of the doctrines which gave them their original being"?

Any sensible Catholic today - and I include Pope Benedict in this category - would have to (and in fact does) answer this accusation with the plea: "Guilty as charged".

Krauth's standard is a good standard. It is precisely NOT a double standard. I can use it equally to judge my Church and yours. You can do the same.

But I cannot agree with Krauth's conclusion. Although those individuals who live and teach and act in this way individually "make their name and their very right to existence" under that name "a fraud", they do not thereby invalidate the principles, sacred things, history, and confessed doctrines that gave the community after whom they are named its original being.

In other words, as Krauth well knew, the proper reaction in the face of such apostacy was not capitulation and renunciation of the original principles, doctrines, history, etc., but reformation and return to the original principles, doctrines, history, etc. The unfaithfulness of those now living does not invalidate the truth of the faith of those now past. The existence of unfaithful Lutherans does not, of itself, invalidate the Lutheran confession. Nor does the existence of unfaithful Catholics (something we have two millenia of experience at) invalidate the Catholic faith.

Krauth and his colleagues worked hard at reforming the Lutheran Church in America of his day to make it more like (what he conceived of as) Luther's original intention. The result was a Lutheran Church in America that bore very little resemblence to the European Lutheran Churches from which it had emerged.

The Catholic Church has a much longer history than the Lutheran Church. Just as the Lutherans believe in the principle "semper reformanda", so the Catholic Church believes in the principle of "semper purificanda" (just take a look at the number of times Benedict XVI uses the expression "to purify" in his teaching). The process of purification of the Church means that, in so far as it is successful, the Church of tomorrow will look different from the Church of yesterday. The Church will appear to have "changed her mind" on certain of her teachings - because she will have recongised (in accordance with her original divine mandate from Christ) where her teaching was deficient or required purification. Some might call this purification of doctrine a "development of doctrine" - although I think that might be putting to much of a "progressive" spin on it. Thus the doctrine of the Church's relation to the State has been purified in recent centuries - purified precisely in accordance with her founders declaration that one should "render unto Ceasar what is Ceasar's and unto God what is God's". Thus the Church's teaching on justification today is modulated - yes, horror of horrors, she has learnt something from the Lutherans in this regard.

I once encounted a clergyman of the Re-Organised Church of the Latter Day Saints, now known as the "Community of Christ". A Mormon sect, you might say. But in actual fact, this group was far closer to orthodox Christianity than it was to orthodox Mormonism. As such, despite the fact that it was unfaithful to the doctrines of Joseph Smith, it was more faithful to the doctrines of Jesus Christ and that of the rest of Christianity. Does this make this group a "fraud" or does it mean that it has less right to exist than the real "Latter Day Saints"? I think not.

Every historical ecclesial community will go through changes. What they are today will not necessarily be what they were yesterday. Change can happen in two directions - in the direction of greater faithfulness or the direction of greater unfaithfulness. When a community has been unfaithful, we thank God for the grace of his renewing Spirit by whom it is always possible for an errant ecclesial community to return to its roots in Jesus Christ.

Krauth is right. THE question is: "on what grounds of principle do the denominations around us vindicate their right to exist"? Although she has often been unfaithful to her original principle, yet the Catholic Church today confesses exactly the same original principle that she has always confessed, viz. that:
The sole Church of Christ [is that] which our Savior, after his Resurrection, entrusted to Peter's pastoral care, commissioning him and the other apostles to extend and rule it.... This Church, constituted and organized as a society in the present world, subsists in (subsistit in) the Catholic Church, which is governed by the successor of Peter and by the bishops in communion with him" [LG 8#2].

33 Comments:

At Thursday, January 15, 2009 4:29:00 pm , Anonymous Fr. Timothy D. May, SSP said...

Pastor Weedon is more attune to C.P. Krauth and his writings. I have not read much from him since seminary days when I did some research on him. However, another aspect of Krauth that may be of interest to Catholics is his writings on the Lord's Supper. I am thinking here of the book for which he is probably best known, "The Conservative Reformation and It's Theology." This is a general plug. Refer any questions to Pastor Weedon. :-)

 
At Thursday, January 15, 2009 6:01:00 pm , Anonymous William Weedon said...

Of course, David, my friend, both Krauth and Weedon would dispute the idea that the "Catholic" Church is older than the "Lutheran" Church for it is axiomatic for Lutherans that we ARE the catholic Church of the West, purified of certain medieval abuses. As a friend of mine likes to point out, the shocker of all shockers at Augsburg was that Rome disagreed with any of articles I-XXI. That was just plain, old solid catholic doctrine. Or, at least it was till Trent proscribed some of it. As Krauth put it our problem with Rome is that she isn't Catholic enough. :)

 
At Thursday, January 15, 2009 7:37:00 pm , Anonymous William Weedon said...

Dear David,

Oh, I think you quite misunderstood me. I by no means concede that any church calling itself "Lutheran" is the heir of the Western Catholic Church. It is the Church that adheres to the Augustana that such is true of. Even the extent to which my own Synod holds to this is problematic and painful for those of us who take the Confession on its face value and seek to BE that Church.

Yet I do not mean thereby to "unchurch" those who are not of that Confession, but to merely recognize that in them we (as Lutherans) see one of two problems: either adding to the Scriptural deposit (as opposed to developing from that deposit) or taking from it. Neither is an option for us. And so sadly, we do remain apart. Thus the Catholic Church to us is always the WHOLE of the baptized who have been joined in saving faith to the Son of God by the Holy Spirit's work. She's not in pieces, but the lot. This full assembly will be disclosed in glory only on the Day of our Lord's appearing. In the meantime, the Lutheran Church as legitimate heir of the Western Catholic Church means that in the various splinters of the Western Church, she remains "the pillar of the truth" because she maintains that truth which is revealed in the Sacred Scriptures, confessed in the Creeds, and does not allow this truth to be augmented with dogmas of men nor to be diminished by dismissing from it what is contrary to fallen reason's dictates.

To me as a Lutheran, Rome (and the East) have added to the deposit in such a way as to obscure the very Gospel itself. The Reformed of whatever stripe have taken away from it - and from the very heart of it, the Holy Eucharist.

 
At Thursday, January 15, 2009 8:43:00 pm , Anonymous William Weedon said...

P.S. Thus I totally concur with Krauth that "as earnest Evangelical Protestants, we may admit, that deep and vital as are the points where we differ from the Romanists, they are not so vital as those in which we agree with them, and the Evangelical Protestants are not so remote from Romanists as they are from false and heretical Protestants." (Conservative Reformation, p. 341,342) Said more simply: at least I know what the dickens you are talking about as a Roman Catholic Christian and often find myself on the same page with you.

 
At Thursday, January 15, 2009 10:31:00 pm , Anonymous Louise said...

PW, I think Belloc said that just because the Church needed a reformation (which it did) doesn't mean it needed the Reformation.

 
At Friday, January 16, 2009 12:08:00 am , Anonymous Past Elder said...

Nothing heartening about it. It's all fine and good, for example, that we both believe in the Real Presence, but who cares, what difference does it make, when if Rome is right we believe in something we do not have.

You speak of the East -- as if they have the same recognition of you that you do of them. Guess what, they don't, universally. For the most part, validity of ordination is not the sole criterion and is not sufficient when other criteria are lost, for example consensus of faith, which Rome lost in adding filioque to the Apostolic creed and faith, therefore voiding any succession.

The whole apostolic succession thing is itself an example of that which it does not produce, a single visible identifiable institution one in faith. Hell, the various churches that believe in apostolic succession don't even agree at all points on what it is, how it works, or who's got it. You're trying to indentify a church in this world but not of it as you do something of this world, which is easy enough when you're a state religion.

Ya wanna find the evangelical Lutheran church? Hop a flight to Omaha, tell the cabbie to take you to Lamb of God Lutheran Church at 72nd and I-80, get out and go in. Well, pay the cabbie too. Wanna find the catholic church, same deal.

That of course will only get you there in a physical earthly sense. It's not the same sort of criteria that will find you the evangelical Lutheran church or the catholic church, period, but if you keep insisting on finding it that way, all you'll get is old state religions that functioned that way.

 
At Friday, January 16, 2009 1:49:00 am , Anonymous William Weedon said...

Josh,

A quick rundown on matters that the Lutherans really expected no debate on:

I. Trinity
2. Original Sin
3. Person of Christ
4. Justification
5. Ministry
6. New Obedience
7. Church
8. Rejecting Donatism
9. Baptism
10. Eucharist
11. Repentance
12. Confession
13. Use of the Sacraments requiring faith
14. Church Order
15. Church Rites
16. Civil Government
17. Return of Christ
18. Free Will
19. Cause of Sin
20. Good Works
21. Cult of the Saints

On all these topics they expected agreement - basically a "we're on the same page with you." And I think this is the section that Ratzinger especially thought might have been acknowledged as catholic in its content (but not catholic - according to him - in its intent in justifying a separate ecclesiastical existence. But he seems to be forgetting that the plea of the Augustana was simply: "Don't kick us out! Don't judge us harshly as heretics!" and we WERE kicked out nonetheless).

Then the abuse articles that were corrected in our churches:

22. Both Kinds in the Sacrament
23. Marriage of Priests
24. The Mass (abolition of private masses and restoration of the single parochial mass)
25. Confession
26. Distinction of Meats
27. Monastic Vows
28. Church Authority (that the power of bishops is not secular rule but the authority of preaching the Gospel, administering the Sacraments, and exercising church discipline in regard to both doctrine and life)

 
At Friday, January 16, 2009 2:22:00 am , Anonymous William Weedon said...

David,

I should be in bed. Almost 10:30 and I'm getting to be an old man now and need my rest. :) But I have enjoyed the conversation a great deal. I know we don't interact all that much, but I do appreciate the tenor of your blog and the "maximally open" approach you take. God bless you for it. Remember us in your prayers - as I'm sure you do. By the bye, I like churches in communion with Rome very much. Is it offensive or wrong to speak about "under the Roman obedience"? I'm still feeling my way around how terms are heard. I'm guessing that Foul Papalist Swine is out of bounds! ;) Oh, you take all the FUN out of the ecumenical encounter! Signed: Foul Lutheran Heretic

 
At Friday, January 16, 2009 2:37:00 am , Anonymous William Weedon said...

Louise,

It's hard to get at the term "Reformation" because it comes to mean in the popular mind the Reforms also in Geneva, Canterbury, and the radical reformers such as Münzer. But if one restricts the term to the way it was intended in Luther's Wittenberg, then, I would respectfully insist that the Church DID need Reformation and that such is not alien to her (Augustine represented a Reformation of sorts against Pelagianism) but simply part of her ongoing battle for the truth of the Gospel and the acknowledgement that there's no part of the Church (parishes, priests or bishops) that cannot be corrupted, not merely morally, but even doctrinally.

 
At Friday, January 16, 2009 3:20:00 am , Anonymous Past Elder said...

This isn't some sort of cupcake 1960s sensitivity group where we all go round the room and find something nice to say about the guy next to you.

Look, passing a joint declaration to mean different things by the same terms is an utter waste of time, and a fraud when presented as some sort of dialogue. The fact is, it is false to the faith of either party -- Catholics who don't pull Newmanian rabbits out of Catholic hats find it dangerously close to placing the Roman church under its own anathemae, and Lutheran bodies which haven't long since compromised their Lutheran faith anyway find it a betrayal of anything like the faith of the Lutheran confessions. It ain't cold water to call it what it is, a shameful, disgraceful betrayal of both faiths.

You're quite technically correct re church nomenclature. That's a Roman specialty, word play. The fact of the matter is not one damn thing of consequence happens in the churches in communion with Rome without the active or passive approval of the Roman pontifex maximus and his functionaries, so Roman Church is quite apt functionally though like CEOs of other questionable corporations they love to hide behind word play to excuse themselves for what happened under their lack of leadership.

 
At Friday, January 16, 2009 5:18:00 am , Anonymous Joshua said...

Or, rather, God gives to those whom He wills to be priests the vocation both to the ministry and to celibacy.

 
At Friday, January 16, 2009 8:15:00 am , Anonymous Louise said...

Thankyou PE. Although I think we need more Monks here, not fewer.

 
At Friday, January 16, 2009 12:29:00 pm , Anonymous Christine said...

A few thoughts . . .

I damn near joined that church in the mid 70s, amid the self-immolation of the RCC and all these Protestant churches saying they got it right thinking let's look into the idea that God Himself stepped in to restore the true church directly.

I find that utterly fascinating! Again, I see how different my journey from Lutheran to Catholic was as opposed to PE's Catholic to Lutheran.

Yes, Benedict is very sympathetic to LCMS Lutherans because of their strong confessional stand. But even there the confessional position is not as uniform across the board as it was. It is informative to examine the information posted on various LCMS websites to discern how close or how far a particular LCMS congregation is from its confessional roots. For those still fighting the good fight, Deo Gratias!

I would also add that today both Lutherans and Catholics have far more to deal with from the Joel Osteens and Rick Warrens than they do from each other.

As regards the use of "Roman church" it really is very inappropriate. As David points out that specifically applies to the Diocese of Rome, for which the Pope is Bishop. All the Catholic churches in my area list themselves as "Catholic". The use of "Roman" became a perjorative in Europe after the Reformation just as the name "Lutheran" did on the other side. Luther did not want his name attached to the churches that adopted the Augsburg Confession.

I am very grateful to God for what Lutherans and Catholics continue to share as catholic Christians. Nevertheless, to be Catholic comes with certain expectations that are not negotiable.

 
At Friday, January 16, 2009 8:59:00 pm , Anonymous William Weedon said...

No, not disingenuous at all, my friend. It's what I honestly believe and I think it stands in the mainstream of catholic thought through the ages. It departs from scholastic thought a bit, granted, and how that scholastic thought was rather codified at Trent, but I think old Bernard of Clairvoux would have been nodding his head in agreement for the most part. He might have had a question or two about the matter of monastic vows, but recall it is the vows per se and treating them as equal to Baptism that is objected to, that and the notion that the monk by his deeds is in someway amassing surplus merit and such.

In any case, I find your reaction to the AC of great interest. It justifies, indeed, continuing apart as separate communions since the very understanding of the Gospel which undergirds the entirety of the AC is something you find to be "problematic."

Yet we do not cease to sing and pray:

Give Thy Church,
Lord, to see
Days of peace
And unity.
O Lord, have mercy!

 
At Saturday, January 17, 2009 4:17:00 am , Anonymous Past Elder said...

Yo Joshua, didn't you get the memo? What are you doing poking around in all those mediaeval blind alleys the Spirit of God has moved us beyond in the Council?

 
At Saturday, January 17, 2009 7:19:00 am , Anonymous Schütz said...

it was a sort of Lutheran 39 Articles!

Well, yes, that is precisely what it is, except the relationship is the other way around. The Augustana was used by the Anglicans as a model for their own confession.

And incidentally (arguing Pastor Weedon's case here) Newman would have found the Augustana a whole lot easier to do a "Tract 90" on than the 39 Articles.

Nevertheless, I tried it, and found I couldn't do it. Believe me, Pastor Weedon, if I could have been a Catholic and remained a Lutheran WITHOUT actually joining the Catholic Church (instead of being a Catholic AND remaining a Lutheran BY joining the Catholic Church), I would have done it. I was actually challenged to do it and invited to do it by my district president at the time. The fact was (as Newman found with the 39 articles) it was a position that just didn't hold water in my conscience.

 
At Saturday, January 17, 2009 7:22:00 am , Anonymous Schütz said...

That being said, I am far more able than Joshua to see the good points of the Augustana. You just have to know what you are looking for. For instance, Pastor Weedon said that your reaction shows we don't have the same understanding of "the Gospel". On the contrary, your reaction was not to what Pastor Weedon calls "the Gospel" in the Augustana, but to various true and valid points of Catholic tradition denied by the Augustana. The two are not unrelated, but a dialogical approach to the Augustana would mean making explicit the implicit relationship between the two.

 
At Saturday, January 17, 2009 7:38:00 am , Anonymous Joshua said...

Yes, David, now I'm feeling all irenic again I get your meaning - of course (as did the compilers of the Pontifical Confutation) I rejoice in all the truths proclaimed in the Augustana, since this certainly differentiates Lutherans from Anabaptists and worse!

But I cannot accept a truncated Gospel; and that is what I object to.

Catholic "both/and", not Protestant (even Lutheran) "either/or"!

David, you've mentioned that magisterial book by the late great Louis Bouyer, The Spirit and Forms of Protestantism; PW, do you know it?

Bouyer argues what David's already oft mentioned - that to find the logical conclusions of the good found in Protestantism, one becomes a Catholic.

 
At Saturday, January 17, 2009 11:43:00 am , Anonymous William Weedon said...

Joshua,

The central point is the resurrection of Christ indeed: for as the Apostle teaches us all, "He was put to death for our trespasses, but raised for our justification."

Bouyer I know only for his book on the liturgy; but since he was a Lutheran who turned to Rome, I'm not surprised he'd argue that way.

 
At Saturday, January 17, 2009 6:37:00 pm , Anonymous William Weedon said...

I wonder if I picked it up from Chris, for I've thought about the same thing - whether Melanchthon were trying to find a term that could encompass what he clearly saw coming down the road: the need to ordain through presbyters. I wrote about it here:

http://weedon.blogspot.com/2006/04/ac-xiv-thoughts.html

There is no question to me that the term's ony honest meaning is the one hammered out in the original Tractatus. But it was ambiguous at Augsburg if we have to wait seven years for a definition to arrive!

 
At Sunday, January 18, 2009 4:20:00 am , Anonymous Joshua said...

Yes, that's the ambiguity that I wondered about when I read these articles the other day... "rightly called" could mean anything - it's like saying the Eucharist is "spiritual food", true enough but the words can mean anything and nothing.

 
At Monday, January 19, 2009 11:29:00 am , Anonymous Schütz said...

Pastor Weedon, you must read Louis Bouyer's Spirit and Forms of Protestantism. I only got around to it last Christmas, and it is a classic and beautiful work. It does not do it justice to judge it by its conclusion. One ought to read it and see what justice he does to the Protestant cause in the face of traditional Catholic opposition. It is precisely Bouyer's kind of dialogue that I think might save the Augustana.

Re ambiguities in the CA, what about Article XXVIII on the right of bishops? The Bishops have authority and are to be obeyed as long as they teach according to the Gospel. But who the heck is supposed to judge that? Doesn't that put those under the authority of the bishop in a position of judging the bishop - ie. in authority over him?

I don't know if this is a deliberate ambiguity, but it is at least a naive one.

 
At Monday, January 19, 2009 2:27:00 pm , Anonymous Past Elder said...

Ansolutely no-body "must read" Bouyer. Leaving aside the question of whether he understood the spirit and forms of Protestantism, he most certainly did not understand the spirit and forms of Catholicism, instead constructing a Protestant fantasy of Catholicism which allowed him to be Protestant and feel better about it -- which, along with others who did the same, Newman and Maritain to mention two, crystallised and was made offical at Vatican II.

 
At Monday, January 19, 2009 5:37:00 pm , Anonymous William Weedon said...

Christopher,

As you are wont to do, you took the words right out of my mouth. Do you not find a parallel of sorts with the Orthodox teaching that a teaching of a council is not authoritative because a council decreed, but because the people of God accepted that council as representing the "faith once delivered" to the saints. An ecumenical council is one in retrospect, not one automatically from the get go.

 
At Monday, January 19, 2009 6:16:00 pm , Anonymous Past Elder said...

That's the confusion that allows them to accept a "different" Gospel than the one delivered, and then one different even from that (last time, VII), on and on and think it's "development of doctrine" or some such thing.

 
At Monday, January 19, 2009 9:06:00 pm , Anonymous William Weedon said...

Have you ever marveled at this crazy world we live in, where a Lutheran from Boston, another from Omaha, and another from lowly Hamel, IL are all conversing together on the blog of a Australian Catholic? I love it!

 
At Tuesday, January 20, 2009 2:46:00 am , Anonymous Past Elder said...

Who's from Boston? Do you go to the LCMS church in the Back Bay?

 
At Tuesday, January 20, 2009 2:55:00 am , Anonymous William Weedon said...

Christopher lives near Boston.

 
At Tuesday, January 20, 2009 3:20:00 am , Anonymous Past Elder said...

Oh yeah, just clicked on his name and saw that. Man, how do all these great confessional Lutheran listen to such crap music? Oh I forgot, you think what I listen to is crap music (that's Jazz and Blues, you guys). But at least he's a Red Sox man, baseball being as everyone knows the mind of God at sport and the Red Sox his home team. (I am a member of Red Sox Nation Living in the Diaspora.)

 
At Tuesday, January 20, 2009 4:15:00 am , Anonymous Chris Jones said...

Bill,

Chris Jones's "the congregation"

"The congregation" was not my term, but Melanchthon's. I was not concerned to endorse the teaching of the AC in this instance, but to state what that teaching is, and in particular to clear it of the charge of ambiguity. I do find the typical Lutheran identification of "the Church" with the local congregation to be somewhat problematical.

And yet, the Apostolic warnings against false teachers are not directed simply to bishops. They are addressed to congregations and to all Christians. There is indeed a sense in which we are all commanded to judge the teachers and their teachings, and to reject those that are false -- even if those teachers are "canonical" bishops. More than one of the Fathers counseled that obedience is not due to a heretical bishop.

So the principle underlying AC XVIII is sound, even if the 16th-century Lutheran "congregations" did not fulfill the role Melanchthon ascribed to them.

 
At Tuesday, January 20, 2009 4:30:00 am , Anonymous Chris Jones said...

PE,

I am crestfallen that you don't care for my taste in music (though I would be curious to know which of the favourites I listed qualifies as "such crap music").

If it makes you feel any better, my taste in music is quite eclectic, and the list I gave in my profile is just a sampling. The sampling did not happen to include any jazz or blues, but it might just as well have included Bessie Smith, Robert Johnson, Thelonius Monk, Bill Evans, Stan Getz, Charles Mingus, and so forth.

It's great to be a jazz and blues fan, but if you can't also appreciate Alison Krauss (for example) you are the poorer for it.

 
At Tuesday, January 20, 2009 11:54:00 am , Anonymous William Weedon said...

Music just "entertainment" and "diversion"! Me genoito!!! Music is the greatest gift of God next to theology itself, for it accompanies and carries His revelation to us. A Church without music - unthinkable! Speaking of which, have you ordered your copy of Heirs of the REformation? Trust me, it is the very sort of music that is WORTH every dime. Even for an old music master like yourself.

 
At Tuesday, January 20, 2009 3:32:00 pm , Anonymous Past Elder said...

Now Pastor, you know the word "most" was in there too, most music, not music per se!

One hardly writes a damn dissertation on Boethius and Schenker not thinking the music of instruments cannot ascend to the music of the eternal truth and order, or that the divine harmony cannot be composed out in human harmony!

Hey, since David says they're full up at the EIC for interfaith dialougers -- well, he actually said don't call us, we'll call you -- you looking for a kapellmeister at St Paul's? Guaranteed, you'll have chant to put you six yards from the throne of God (Dante parody there, Nietzschean dance, but in triple time to reflect the perfection of the Trinity) and "Just As I Am" putting more hands in the air than an angry Voter's Meeting!

I mean, relocation is not out of the question now that I know there's a Red Robin nearby.

 

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