Monday, June 1, 2009

When an Insult Is a Compliment

Quoting Dr. Cameron MacKenzie from his paper “Uses and Abuses of Power In the Church,” first presented at the Rocky Mountain District Pastor’s Conference in 2000:

Through the years, Walther has often been accused of lacking originality, of not standing out from the crowd, of promulgating simply a theology of repristination; but this is an accusation that Walther would have taken as the supreme compliment, since, from his point of view, innovations in theology were inevitably signs of departure from the truth once revealed.

photo credit: Mzelle Biscotte

1 comment:

Robert Shipe said...

Ah yes! The old "I'll call you names, because I can't make an adequate apology" argument. This is a favorite tactic used not only from the kingdom of the right, but the kingdom of the left too.

Since this is a theological discussion let's stick to the right handed kingdom. I'm quite certain that all of us who have made an apology of such things as; the historic liturgy, hymnody, closed communion, justification as the central doctrine of faith, the importance of the church calendar, the BOC being the true interpretation of scripture, the right usage of the third use of the law, proper distinction of law and Gospel, the proper distinction between the office of the ministry and the priesthood and a whole host of other doctrine have heard all the names. Let's see, theres "Pharisee" "legalist" "unyielding" "old fashioned" "conservative" (but never "confessional") and of course the one that is suppost to make one feel especially bad, and comes usually when the argument gets out of hand, "unloving." I suppose the "unloving" description I have heard the most.

Never once has there ever been a real theological dialogue whenever these names come up. So the bottom line is I too take these names as a compliment because if all my opponents can come up with is name calling and not theological dialogue or fact, then I guess it is only my reputation that is harmed and attacked and not Biblical doctrine. A trade off I will gladly take every time!!

Bob Shipe