I have been discussing doctrine with one reader, which led me back to the Four Questions. Professors of Lutheran Doctrine 101 will tell their students - "One side thought those questions were open questions. Now they are ELCA. Our side thought they were not.
The never-will-be-an-engineer side of me thought, "There must be a meter to gauge these matters, because picking or rejecting various options is not working."
Suddenly, a light went on. Why are WELS and Missouri pastors so comfortable with the Fuller Seminary professors?
The correct meter is the Pietism to Book of Concord meter, which is much broader than blaming Spener Enthusiasm and the founding of Halle University.
We got to know a number of wonderful Mennonites from living in Canada. Some went to the seminary and we became friends with others through CPE (pastoral counseling). A significant part of the Mennonite tradition is shunning. The extreme version includes never talking to and never doing business with the excluded one. Reasons for shunning vary on which branch the members are in. Some are extremely strict - others are easily confused with liberal Protestants.
Babtists shun with a vengeance. They may be honey chile and darlin' one minute, but steely-eyed and I-dont-know-ya the next. Like the Mafia kiss of death, they may say "I'm praying for you" as their final word. Later, they will add this curse to any mention of your name - "Bless his heart."
So this is my newly imagined meter - Pietism.
We are all influenced by Pietism.
- Blue laws keep people from buying certain products on Sunday. Pietism.
- Some may not pray with their Lutheran relatives. Pietism.
- Some WELSians regard only those WELS members from the same state to be true blue. Pietism.
- One LCMS seminary is far superior to the other one. Pietism.
- One never asks a Philadelphia graduate if he went to Gettysburg. And vice versa. Pietism.
- Hating the liturgy, creeds, hymns, and pipe organ. Pietism.
- Thinking the real church is in the cell group. Pietism.
- Mutual hatred among Auburn and Alabama fans. Green Bay and Vikings fans. Pietism.
- Use of the NIV by Lutheran synods - Pietism.
- All the synods in America came from Pietism.
- and uses the Book of Concord as a one-volume Biblical commentary
- the power and efficacy of the Word
- the Means of Grace
- the work of the Spirit through the Word alone,
- the Sacraments, and
- justification by faith
|Melanchthon graded your Emmaus paper - "F."|
|Still an F.|
|Luther has your number, Synodicrats.|