Monday, June 18, 2012

One Leads to the Other

Reading the first quote below reminded me of the second quote below. The first quote was written by Rev. Scott Gress, the Director of Coaching for the Transforming Churches Network, and was posted on the Christian Coaching Magazine website. His post is titled “Coaching for Revitalization.” The second quote comes from Adolf Köberle’s book The Quest for Holiness: A Biblical, Historical, and Systematic Investigation, written in 1936. In it, he discusses the three ladders which people attempt to climb in order to reach heaven by their own means, the ladder of moralism, the ladder of mysticism, and the ladder of rationalism.

The first quote, by Rev. Scott Gress:
Church members and clergy can both fall into cycles of blame and guilt and a sense of hopelessness — even as they worship a God of eternal hope and promise. Yet what can be done? Is there a magic bullet that will solve the problems associated with decline and propel the church to a more happy and fruitful time? Certainly faithfulness to the Word and promises of God and the ongoing nurture through the sacraments are indispensable in caring for hurting people. But solutions that are easy and quick (magic bullets) exist only in our imagination. What we need are real solutions.
The second quote, by Dr. Adolf Köberle:
Here in the execution of Jesus all the destructive corruption of the egotistic will comes to light in its unadorned nakedness as it reveals itself as a coarse or refined, as an individual or collective egoism, but always nicely adorned by itself or by others with plausible insignia to cover its nakedness. Now it is the priest at Bethel, Zion, Rome or elsewhere who speaks of the honor of God and the salvation of men, when he means the influence of his personality and the power of his Church.

Adolf Köberle, The Quest for Holiness: A Biblical, Historical, and Systematic Investigation, (Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress; Eugene: Wipf & Stock, 2004) 46.

HT: Synodocat


Anonymous said...

After some time, I still have not figured exactly out what Rev. Gress means. Certainly not that Word and Sacrament is an easy and quick magic bullet. On the other hand, he seems to imply that W/S are not enough. The key phrase is "real solutions."

Joe Strieter

Scott Diekmann said...

Rev. Gress seems to be saying that Word and Sacrament will only get you so far. After that, it's up to you. Better get busy.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, that's what I thought, but I didn't want to go there. Sheesh! That "real solutions" is the kicker. But we've been told that TCN is Lutheranized? Give me a break!

Joe Strieter