Friday, October 29, 2010

My Dictum on Lutheran Practice

After over a year of throwing thousands upon thousands of cluttered words into the aether of the Lutheran blogosphere I have finally managed to cobble together a single witty phrase that appears relatively popular. Feel free to use it to impress (and anger) your friends and family.

You cannot have charismatic Lutheranism for the same reason that there are no flaming snowballs or air-filled vacuums.

Be ready to back this dictum up with the Smalcald Articles (Article VIII:3-13)


Rev. Eric J Brown said...

Ah, but you could have a flaming snowball, if you were to make a snowball, pack it densely, cover it with a foreign, flamable substance, then light the substance and throw the snowball. For a short time the snowball would survive before the fire melted it.

Of course, this makes the analogy work all the better, I think. People latch on to an idea foreign to Lutheranism and compartmentalize it - oh, yes, yes, saved by Grace, Word and Sacraments, but look at this AWESOME cool thing. For a time, that will work (this is an aspect of Pieper's Felcitious Inconsistency - that happily people don't always think their faith destroying heresies through to their logical conclusions) - but just as the flame will melt the snowball, so to this foreign focus will come to dominate their entire theology, and snuff Lutheranism out.

Once you start down the Charismatic Path, forever will it dominate your destiny!

Mike Baker said...

Exactly. How long would your freakishly complicated snowball experiment work, Rev. Brown? Answer: About as long as charismatic Lutheranism does which is measured in minutes at the most depending on the charismatic accelerant you selected.

(I also noticed that you didn't try to push the much more difficult "air-filled vacuum" metaphor. A wise move. :P )

You are absolutely right. Luthernism and charismatic theology cannot coexist no matter how many people foolishly want it to. As a former charismatic anabaptist, I know this all too well. I happen to like my snowballs as God created them and I have the burn scars to remind me of the alternative.

Enthusiasm is the path to the darkside.
Enthusiasm leads to idolatry;
idolatry leads legalism;
legalism leads to... suffering.

Rev. Eric J Brown said...

It's not theological, but surely you've heard. . .

Breakfast leads to lunch.
Lunch leads to dinner.
Dinner leads to Suppering.

And actually, if you think of a vaccuum as something with a vaccuum seal - if you put air in, the increase in pressure will destroy the vessel sooner or later.

And, just as nature abhors a vaccuum, so that natural, sinful man abhors Lutheranism.

Mike Baker said...

A tip of the hat to Rev Brown who never knew a metaphor that he couldn't push one way or another.

Your meal joke breaks down if you are a hobbit because it leaves out second breakfast, elevenses, and afternoon tea.