23 March 2006

A Fine Summary

Fr Chad, who visits here from time to time, has posted a very fine summary by Chris Jones (also a sometime visitor) of the 1580 Book of Concord position on several key issues; namely, "Real Presence," apostolic succession, the Canon (eucharistic prayer), the consensus of the fathers, etc.

There is much to be commended in Chris' summary. One regrets, however, that his summary is barely recognized among the vast majority of Lutherans in the world, and even by those who style themselves as "confessional." Nevertheless, it is a helpful summary, and I commend it to you.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't know if this has a lot to do with this discussion, but maybe you might find it interesting anyway.

In Finland (and Sweden too) there are still many confessional lutherans although the Church otherwise has gone to the liberal direction. What is noteworthy here is that at least most of the Finnish confessionals are supporting episcopal polity and apostolic succession. That has caused a problematic situation as at the moment bishops do not ordain those who reject women priests. There are now many young men who have not received an ordination because of their apostolic faith. Similar situation in Sweden that has continued much longer, caused the formation of Missionsprovinsen, where bishop Obare from Kenia ordained Arne Olsson as a bishop for Swedish confessionals. He has then ordained two priest for the Finnish 'sister organization', Luther-säätiö, so now there is a route for Finnish confessionals to get ordained and be part of the apostolic succession.

More information about Missionsprovinsen can be found here: http://www.missionsprovinsen.se/engelsk/index.htm

I'm sorry for possible mistakes in the text as English is not my first language.

- Jaakko Laitinen

fr john w fenton said...

Jaakko,

Your English is quite good, and I appreciate your visit to this blog as well as your comments. As an Associate Editor of Gottesdienst (www.gottesdienst.org), which recently awarded Bishop Obare its "Sabre of Boldness," I am well aware of the plight in the Scandinavian countries. And I am heartened by the catholic-minded desires and inclinations for those confessional Lutherans who are suffering for the sake of righteousness.

Regrettably, in the United States, we have long since given up on anything except (in some quarters) what can only be described as the pretext of apostolic succession.

My prayer is that the seeds that have led to the wholesale abandonment of western catholicism, most particularly by our "confessional Lutherans," have not been and will not be planted in your midst.

cheryl said...

Sadly Father, the Lutheran Church forsaking her "catholicity" is what prompts many to leave by and large. I am 25 years old, and have read/are continuing to read, the Confessions, Luther, ect. on my own, without having been "prompted" by those who may have an ax to grind against the current Lutheran Church. So no one can accuse me of having been persuaded by the so-called, "closet-romanists". And yet, there is such a remarkable difference between what I understand the claims of the Confessions to be, and my experiences in and with the modern Lutheran Churches. It's like dealing with two distinct Churches. Unable to stay, unable to leave is kinda where I'm at. Luther et al keeps me here, the modern Lutheran Church, in addition to many of her members is what drives me away. So I constantly feel like I'm being torn in two. I still attend church services when I can, but am unable to partake of communion (as to do so would be to profess a lie, ie that I am in solidarity with the current Lutheran Church).