13 pages/≈3575 words
Religion & Theology
The Book Of Concord And Its Significance Review Assignment (Essay Sample)
it basically reviews a book a bout the importance of confession in the life of a Lutheran, and that of a christian as wellsource..
THE BOOK OF CONCORD AND ITS SIGNIFICANCE
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27, 02, 2014
Table of Contents
TOC \o "1-3" \h \z \u HYPERLINK \l "_Toc381223446" Introduction PAGEREF _Toc381223446 \h 3
HYPERLINK \l "_Toc381223447" Purpose of the Book of Concord PAGEREF _Toc381223447 \h 5
HYPERLINK \l "_Toc381223448" Why are the confessions and creeds significant in the Book of Concord? PAGEREF _Toc381223448 \h 5
HYPERLINK \l "_Toc381223449" Confessions as a pointer to the unanimous stand of the church PAGEREF _Toc381223449 \h 8
HYPERLINK \l "_Toc381223450" Confessions promote unity in the church doctrine, consequently leading to blessings PAGEREF _Toc381223450 \h 9
HYPERLINK \l "_Toc381223451" Historical Perspectives and today’s relevance PAGEREF _Toc381223451 \h 12
HYPERLINK \l "_Toc381223452" Conclusion PAGEREF _Toc381223452 \h 14
HYPERLINK \l "_Toc381223453" Bibliography PAGEREF _Toc381223453 \h 15
The Book of Concord is a historical book that is made up of a set of confessions that play a significant role in the definition of the doctrinal standard adopted by the Lutheran church. It is obvious that Scripture is meant to be the central driving force in the church. However, there is always a possibility of Scripture being misunderstood, and by extension, being misinterpreted. As a result of this, the set of confessions presented in the Book of Concord is meant to shed light into the proper understanding and interpretation of Scripture. To a large extent, this helps in guarding against error in doctrine by pastors and congregants alike. The validity of the Book of Concord can be established through tracking the original purposes and goals set by the authors of the book (Arand et al. 2012, 12).
The confessions, in this context, depict formal statements put down by individuals or groups of Christians to state emphatically and authoritatively their faith, as well as their deep seated convictions. The confessions present in the Book of Concord were put down by Martin Luther and his followers after over 50 years of devout efforts to find proper alignment of their convictions with sound biblical standards. By the time of writing down these confessions, they had gotten to the point of intense persuasion and certainty that what they believed was doctrinally right and did not contradict with bible, even to a slight extent. They had so much confidence in their spirit, and this is clearly evident in the creeds and confessions, which all emanated from Biblical Scriptures. Theirs was a quest to affirm the absolute, affirming and saving truth. The Lutheran confessions are essentially meant to make individuals accept Scripture as the infallible word of God, and this is seen in a number of assertions such as “they will not lie to you” (LC, V, 76) and that they cannot be “false and deceitful” (FC SD, VII, 96).
The concept of Scripture being the actual word of God and their foregone conclusion on right doctrinal standing is elucidated in (FC SD, XII, 40) as follows:
“Therefore, it is our intent to give witness before God and all Christendom, among those who are alive today and those who will come after us, that the explanation here set forth regarding all the controversial articles of faith which we have addressed and explained—and no other explanation—is our teaching, faith, and confession. In it we shall appear before the judgment throne of Jesus Christ, by God's grace, with fearless hearts and thus give account of our faith, and we will neither secretly nor publicly speak or write anything contrary to it. Instead, on the strength of God's grace we intend to abide by this confession.”
From this, one can tell that the writing of the Lutheran Confessions was not based on mere personal impressions and sentiments or manipulative enticements. Instead, they were confessions of the undying faith that they had, which they had no intention of deviating from whatsoever. God’s presence emerges as their ultimate stand and they have the audacity to go ahead and put a daring binding on it both for them and their descendants, indicating their certainty with the doctrine to which they subscribe. They are also more than willing to hold themselves accountable to every single phrase that is contained in their confessions and beliefs.
"We have determined not to depart even a finger's breadth either from the subjects themselves, or from the phrases which are found in [the Confessions]".
Purpose of the Book of Concord
A summary of the purpose of the Book of Concord is presented in the preface of the Book of Concord:
"We are minded not to manufacture anything new through this work of concord nor to depart in either substance or expression the smallest degree of the divine truth, acknowledged and professed at one time by our blessed predecessors and us, as based on the prophetic and apostolic Scripture and comprehended in the three Creeds, in the Augsburg Confession presented in 1530 to Emperor Charles V of kindest memory, in the Apology that followed it, and in the Smalcald Articles and Large and Small Catechisms of that highly enlightened man, Dr. Luther. On the contrary, by the grace of the Holy Spirit we intend to persist and remain unanimously in this truth and to regulate all religious controversies and their explanations according to it."
Why are the confessions and creeds significant in the Book of Concord?
The convictions of the Lutherans depicted through the writings in the Book of Concord bring them out as believers in the need for such confessions and creeds in the wholesome contentment and prosperity of the church in its entirety. These garner support from biblical Scriptures that require Christians to confess their faith at all times. Such Scriptures include Matthew 10:32, 1 John 4:2, 1 Peter 3:15 and Romans 10:9 and the Lutherans emphasize on the need to have such confessions in a clearly articulated, elaborate and lasting manner to enhance the unity of believers as far as doctrinal matters are concerned .
The proclamation of pure Gospel in all seasons continuously constructs permanent and formal confessions and symbols (Arand et al. 2012, 241). Additionally, proclamation of pure Gospel requires subscription to these confessions from teachers and pastors. Non-confessional church and non-confessing church are impossible terms to refer and relate to the church. Over the world, Reformation Lutheran churches have established grounds for subscription to the Lutheran Confessions for their pastors. This subscription has run ever since and also today.
These confessions melt down to the relationship between the church, world, and God. Through the confessions, the church speaks to God and also the world. The Word of God speaks to the church in total commitment through an unconditional and unequivocal response. The Scripture sheds light on the Scriptural response. In this regard, we question our tendency in reading Confessions presented by God’s teaching. The confessions we read are deep in God’s Word. Additionally, Confessions shed more light of God’s teachings comprehensively detailing all rules and norms of God’s teachings. In this regard, these Confessions set the bar for judgment for intrusion and errors performed by human beings. God’s Word also provides a decisive and conclusive approach to issues surrounding the world in a Christian way. The Scripture diligently draws our Confessions from all doctrines. Consequently, the Scripture provides a position that bars against all controversies and arrogant positions various individuals would take.
There is a fulfillment when the Lutheran pastor subscribes to the Lutheran Confessions. In this occasion, the pastor expresses the will and joy in confessing his faith. Additionally, the pastor proclaims what he believes in confession, and in the doctrine. The father of the Missouri Synod explained confessional subscription. Long ago, in his own words Dr. C.F.W. Walther explains the meaning of confessional subscription as:
“An unconditional subscription is the solemn declaration which the individual who wants to serve the church makes under oath (1) that he accepts the doctrinal content of our Symbolical Books, because he recognizes the fact that it is in 15 full agreement with Scripture and does not militate against Scripture in any point, whether that point be of major or minor importance; (2) that he therefore heartily believes in this divine truth and is determined to preach this doctrine.... Whether the subject be dealt with expressly or only incidentally, an unconditional subscription refers to the whole content of the Symbols and does not allow the subscriber to make any mental reservation in any point. Nor will he exclude such doctrines as are discussed incidentally in support of other doctrines, because the fact that they are so stamps them as irrevocable articles of faith and demands their joyful acceptance by everyone who subscribes the Symbols.”
There is a solemn declaration when an individual subscribes to serve the church under oath. Under this unconditional subscription, the pastor accepts doctrinal content of Symbolic Books. This was in accordance with the 15 full agreements with the Scripture. Additionally, the agreement does not collide with the Scripture at any point. The father also believes in divine truth that determines the spread of the doctrine. An unconditional subscription points to the entire content of the Symbols. The subscription also bars subscribed pastors from any mental reservation. Additionally, the pastor is not deemed to dismiss the support of other doctrines.
The pastor is also not accustomed to ...
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