Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Prolegomena to a post yet written/being written

Baptism: A Christological work, by the Rev. Prof. Lawrence A. Rast (you should now be able to follow this link, I'm new to the html thing. LEK)

This essay is a Lutheran critique of Lutheran Pietism based in the doctrine of Baptism, and Luther's teaching on Baptism (this argument may be unintelligible to Baptists and orthodox for very different reasons). An interesting piece. Though I think it shows the frayed threads of both Lutheranism and Pietism. Why as one who has embroidered this tapestry with the name "Lutheran Pietist" I do not weave only with these threads. Primarily because, as is the fault of most Protestants, this age old dispute between Lutheran Pietists and Lutheran orthodoxy fails to recognize that Christian theological wisdom can be found between the Third and Fifteenth centuries. Concepts like theosis and synergy, can weave these two threads, human will-God's sovereign action, into a larger tapestry.
If we deny the effectiveness of baptism in the life of a person we deny the intrinsic power of the Word of God. If we deny the need for the will to be experientially and phenomenally affected and effected by Baptism we deny the power of God to change the world,and thus limit the Kingdom of God to the after life. In the very least we cannot forget that even if we are conformed and being conformed to Christ, that our being transformed entails the renewing of our minds, which seems to require our activity.