Sunday, August 1, 2010

Interesting Video from Steadfast Lutherans.

Check this out:

1. I am deeply worry about the youth of our Church. I teach college age students and their lack of seriousness about theology (and also how little they know about it!) is disturbing. I think this is true of youth in our own denomination as well. I have no idea how to fix things so that they will take things seriously and know Christian doctrine. I'm frankly baffled.

2. On a side note, I like the graphic apparently taken from a "Law and Order" DVD collection. Luther, Sasse, and Walther I get. Rod Rosenbladt, I don't get. I've heard good things about the guy, but I've never read him. Nonetheless, I suspect that he doesn't rise to the level of the greatest Lutheran theologian of the 16th century (Luther), the greatest Lutheran theologian of the 19th century (Walther) and the greatest Lutheran theologian of the 20th century (Sasse). Just another side note, I'd say that Gerhard was the greatest of the 17th century, to the extent that I've read around that period, so they might have cut and pasted his face. I think a lot of people would agree with me on that. Chemnitz might also have been a good candidate- actually a better one than Gerhard! In any case, I can't think of anyone for the 18th century. It wasn't a really good century for us.

3. You might have chosen a better picture of Walther. The one they choose makes him look like one of the ghost from the Haunted Mansion ride at Disneyland. Just saying.


  1. Dr. Kilcrease,
    I'm a partial author of the post. I didn't do the video (that's Pr. Fisk's work), but I wrote the overture that I plan to submit to the next district and national conventions. Just wondering if you had any thoughts on the sticking to the LSB for official services. Thanks.

  2. I think the LSB is a fantastic hymnal. It is very easy to use and allows for enough diversity and commonality in worship to holds together the synod in a common worship life and to tolerate diversity of practice. I believe that it should be used for all official services.

    I don't mind diversity in liturgical practice (this has always been the case throughout the history of the Church), what I mind is divergence from liturgical worship.

  3. Jack, do you remember Dr. P's old statement about Christian "rock": "It's not Led's not even John Fogerty."

    This kind of thing has made me think quite a bit about the teaching of introductory theology. It needs to be very clear from the start that the claims and promises of Christianity are tied to events in history, accomplished by a God who has an independent existence apart from your heart and mind.

  4. Either I've misunderstood Lutheranism, or I don't understand what liturgical lutherans mean by contemporary worship.

    I take contemporary worship to mean a simplified liturgy (song, reading, sermon, prayer, [w or w/o Service of the Sacrment]) and a praise band using easy-listening, soft-rock stylings.

    What is inherent in that form that contradicts Scripture or the confessions? Scripture and confessions govern our doctrine of worship: that worship be orderly and reverent, that true Gospel be preached, and we use the sacraments properly. But beyond that, the ordinaries and propers aren't required, and musical style isn't addressed.

    The objection can't be the power of the musical style to create emotional reactions, as lutheran hymns and music can have extreme emotional power for those cultured to appreciate that type of music. See Gerhard, Bach's cantatas, Mendelsohnn's Fifth, Schutz's organ work, etc. Is light rock disorderly or irreverent? How so? Disorderliness has to be defined in the context of what culturally causes offense. In our culture, light rock is about as vanilla as it gets.

    Is it the association of contemporary worship to heretical church bodies that makes it unLutheran? But then why did Lutherans retain the Mass? It was connected to all kinds of bad doctrine employed by Catholics. And there's nothing inherent in liturgy to protect doctrine: lots of very heretical church bodies are highly liturgical: Catholic, Orthodox, ECLA, Episcopalian, Seminex LCMSers, etc.

    So I can't really see what doctrine applies to the worship wars except the bad doctrine twisted into post hoc rationalizations to justify one's musical preferences. The less liturgical lutherans just strongly prefer crappy light rock praise music having grown up enjoying the Carpenters, the Eagles, and Chicago. To justify the change, they relied on thes ame arguments being used by other denominations: un-Lutheran appeals to decision theology and revivalism. Liturgical lutherans just had such a visceral reaction to crappy light rock praise music and adopted un-Lutheran arguments against it: pietistic demands of observances, arguments for obedience to tradition, and scholastic arguments about virtues and evils of various musical aesthetics (even though I tend to agree with these, these arguments come from psychology and not the confessions or scripture).

    Though tradition, piety, or pscyhological theories about music are good considerations when choosing what practices best teach Christ to our culture, these types of arguments can't bind consciences when scripture and the confessions don't do so. It would be very easy to use these same types of arguments for fasting, good works, mission work, frequent individual confession, or any other salutary practice.

    The only meritorious reason to limit contemporary worship (or any worship practice not expressly addressed in scripture) seems to me to be that in Christian freedom, we should submit our preferences for the sake of unity as a united church body. But unity is incompatible with coercion. We can coerce as to closed communion, preaching bad Gospel, chaotic worship, but not musical style or failure to use ordinaries & propers.

    I'm interested to hear what it is I'm missing, as I know lots of praise band Lutherans I'd love to convict on the basis of their crappy musical preferences.

  5. I disagree boaz. we can't coerce people to preach or administer the Sacraments rightly. We can however end pulpit and altar fellowship with those churches who no longer share our confession of faith as exhibited in their worship style. At the heart of the worship wars is a difference in theology as Jack points out in his more recent post not just a dirrence in worship style.