Wednesday, October 17, 2007

the Baltimore Catechism, & related thoughts

The bookshop where I work sells the Baltimore Catechism, and since I consider it my duty, as well as pleasure, to familiarize myself with the books we sell, I was reading it the other day. As I did, my eyes caught and wouldn't let go of the following passage:

Q. Who made the world?
A. God made the world.

Q. Who is God?
A. God is the Creator of heaven and earth, and of all things.

This is the sort of logic at which the man brought up on the inside of an institution usually nods his head in blind acceptance. The institutional bureaucracy counts on this. The buraeucrats themselves nod their heads in self congratulation at the soundness of such pronouncements. This is not an antipapist comment. The above passage, in fact, strikes me as the sort of logic that would go a long way in a Missouri Synod committee, or bureaucrat's office, and in some seminary classrooms, and therefore in some Missouri Synod pulpits.

One thing it is not is theology, though it passes itself off as such. Yet while institutions, and their official organs, focus on their own self preservation with logic that keeps them busy spinning in circles, Lady Theology will go on, often despite the institutions that claim to be her home. The Word they still shall let remain, and so on. Thank God that true servants of Theology can be found in all quarters of the Church, in many classrooms, pulpits, at confessional kneelers, altars, in homes and even in some high offices. Christ's Church is best served by men who will struggle with the Word Himself, engagae Him personally, and let Him have His way with them. That is theology. I think that theology calls the theologian first of all to repentance, and to joyful union with his Lord, that he in turn may be a blessing to others. As I say, I know of many such theologians, and I pray the Church will ever produce more of them, despite the banal and wearisome teaching they are at times forced to consume.

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