“Kyrios Jesus Christos, ‘Jesus Christ is Lord.’ This is the original confession of the church. With it the Christian faith once entered world history. To understand the sense of this confession ever more deeply is the great, yes, basically the only, task of all Christian theology. To repeat this confession, to speak it in ever new forms, to translate it into the language of all times and peoples, to protect it against misunderstandings and reinterpretations, and to understand its meaning for all areas of life–that is the task of all confession building within Christendom.” Herman Sasse, 1931 (We Confess Anthology, p.9)
The North American church is beset by a host of challenges. Postmodernism has managed to disorient society’s understanding of truth, as well as disorient congregations’ understanding about the historic truth of the mission of the Holy Christian Church. The biblical theology and confessions of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (those articles of faith confessed in the Book of Concord) provide an opportunity for renewed clarity and focus on the historic mission of the Holy Christian Church, particularly in these confusing times.
Herman Sasse’s words are also welcome for us today. He once wrote in the midst of theological and political turmoil and yet in the midst of great adversity he brought a message that would strengthen and hold. Perhaps his words can bring strength for our times as well.
As a parish pastor, a husband, a father of four, and postmodern gen-Xer, I recognize the real life challenges that come with discipling the people of our times, as well as reaching “the lost,” all for the sake of the Gospel. Nonetheless, the historic catechesis (teaching) and confessions of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod have a deep truth to them that are ready to meet these challenges. If North American Lutherans would only be so bold as to embrace these truths and regularly teach, proclaim, and live them–in other words to compassionately say “This we confess!”–there would, I claim, not only be a resurgence of authentic Lutheranism, but a deepening of discipling within North America.
This blog aims to move past partisanship and demonizing of those who disagree, and endeavors to thoughtfully, honestly, and collegially foster the goal of talking about the mission of the Holy Christian Church and what it means to be authentically Lutheran, while “discipling all nations” in the 21st century.
A little bit about myself. I am a husband, father, Lutheran (LCMS) pastor, (M. Div., S.T.M., D. Min.) an avid outdoorsman who enjoys hunting and fishing, as well as reading, talking politics and theology (of course), and lifting weights.
Rev. Lucas V. Woodford