Monday, September 24, 2012

Quotable Blog Quotes #18

 Quotable Quotes From Around the Blogosphere

BBC News Europe
Spanish fresco restoration botched by amateur

The woman, in her 80s, was reportedly upset at the way the fresco had deteriorated and took it on herself to "restore" the image. BBC Europe correspondent Christian Fraser says the delicate brush strokes of Elias Garcia Martinez have been buried under a haphazard splattering of paint. The once-dignified portrait now resembles a crayon sketch of a very hairy monkey in an ill-fitting tunic, he says.

Brothers of John the Steadfast
Pastor Tim Rossow
Is the Lectio Divina a Practice to Be Encouraged?

The very notion of mistaking honest and edifying theological critique in this post and on this string for slander, is exhibit A of the need for such critique. It is the woosification of society and also church culture that has people being offended by the mere exchange of ideas. This woosification is a product of the psychologizing and sociologizing of culture and theology.

Confessing Moments
Pastor Michael Schmidt
Such a time as this – Esther 4:14

The Lion’s Club can hold a picnic, only the Church can baptize. The Boy Scouts can serve a meal, only the Church can offer the body and blood of Jesus. The city council can organize a community clean-up day, only the Church can forgive sins. So at future conventions, do not tell me about the work that anyone can do; rather tell me about the work that only the Church can do. Encourage me, refresh me, build me up with the news of baptisms, confirmations, Law and Gospel preaching, sins forgiven, and the Lord’s Supper administered.

Confessional Gadfly
Pastor Eric Brown
The Law, Finding Fault, and Self Service

Proclaiming the Law is never self serving. At least proclaiming it properly isn't. Well, what do I mean by that? When one speaks the Law to another person, one is laying them bare, is killing them. The Law kills. It slays the Old Adam -- it kills what needs to be killed but it still kills. But that killing is done in order that the Holy Spirit may make alive again through a word of the Gospel proclaimed as soon as the Law has done it's work. Using the Law is always to be a service to the neighbor, to be about their good, their benefit. It *is* to be an act of love. And as an act of love, the follow through of the Gospel and Comfort will be second nature -- but if there is no love, it will just be hanging, dangling law.

Gottesdienst Online
Pastor Larry Beane
Goldilocks, George Carlin, and the Middle of the Road

Moreover, the argument that "smells and bells" and "happy clappy" are two sides of the same coin is a false analogy, and nowhere near a valid approach to liturgy. It is a convenient way to appeal to the center, to the majority that are somewhere in the middle, to those who (for whatever reason) are not interested in pursuing a richer ceremonial and liturgical life in the parish as has been the trend among our synod as a whole for decades. Liturgy is normative in our Lutheran confessions. Going without the liturgy is un-Lutheran and antithetical to our confession. On the other hand, being "high church" is consistent within our tradition as articulated in the Book of Concord. To lump the two together in a box and label them both un-Lutheran is just plain wrong.

Gottesdienst Online
Pastor Larry Beane
"Those Who Do Not Yet Know Jesus" or "Missional Closers"

And now even though Ablaze! was allowed to go quietly into the night, our bureaucrats and bean counters are scouring the neo-Evangelical world looking for the Next Great Evangelism Program - without regard to the doctrine of election, to the mysterious work of the Holy Spirit, the cross, and without reference to Holy Baptism as the means by which the Second Birth happens. The new hype centers around the idea of "missional communities" - which for some reason, typically involves coffee. I cannot help wondering if "Blake" (Alec Baldwin) from Glengarry Glen Ross will one day be invited to speak to a "Missional Summit" (which is what church conferences seem to be called in our brave missional world) railing at us that "coffee is for closers only!"

Man On the Lam
Raymond Walsh
A Primer on Bad Hotels

To be honest, if a hotel has free Wi-Fi and a roll of T.P., well…I’m giddy as an Amish teen on Rumspringa.

One Lutheran…Ablog!TM
Pastor Paul Beisel
Practical Antinomianism 

Had a wonderful discussion yesterday morning at Circuit Winkel regarding the teaching on the third use (function) of the Law in the Lutheran Confessions. The brother pastor who was leading this discussion spoke of what he calls a “practical antinomianism” that seems to prevail in our Synod. In other words, there seems to be a great weakness in our pastoral practice in the area of individual application of the keys. A pastor proclaims publicly from the pulpit God’s wrath against all kinds of sin and disobedience, but fails to follow through with this preaching when he is sitting one on one with a person who is living a sinful life. We let them off the hook, and do not tell them that their souls are in danger if they do not repent. I think he is right on.

Pastoral Meanderings
Pastor Larry Peters
Say it ain’t so, Joe…

Of course it is no secret that the same kind of question is on the Pastor's SET (Self Evaluation Tool) which is used by DPs to find out what their Pastors think of themselves and forwarded to congregations looking to call a Pastor. In the SET as well as, apparently, the vicarage application, the question is not a trick question but a means of punishing those who do not agree with the direction toward contemporary worship forms and contemporary worship music. For every DP who uses this information to make sure that he is getting a Pastor who will lead worship and use music consistent with our Confessions, there are a dozen who use it to make sure none of those narrow minded, judgmental trouble-makers get into their districts.

Priestly Rant
Pastor Ken Kelly
Lutheranism 101

If in fact the confessions are in complete agreement with scripture, they then present Christ in all his fullness to the topics that are taken up. If this is true, then the confessions simply by their nature must stand (at a minimum) above any by-law or “rule” despite (or in spite of) what may be “legal.” To do so, is to secularize the confessions, or, to read things into the confessions that are not strictly dealt with.

Priestly Rant
Pastor Ken Kelly
Romancing the “Call”

I’ve given up on “romancing the call”; I think any divinity involved in the process is (at best) dented and tarnished; and I think that by and large it is an entirely political process, but we’ve allowed it, and the fortunate have embraced it. I suspect we all would given the chance.

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