Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Krauth quote


"In freely and heartily accepting the faith of our Church, as our own faith, and her Scriptural Confession of that faith, as our own Confession, we do not surrender for ourselves, any more than we take from others, the sacred and inalienable right of private judgment. It is not by giving up the right of private judgment, but by the prayerful exercise of it, not by relinquishing a just independent investigation, buy by thoroughly employing it, that we have reached that faith which we glory in confessing."

Thus wrote the American Lutheran theologian and churchman Charles Porterfield Krauth in The Conservative Reformation, c. 1871. My copy is dated 1913 - I picked it up at a bargain price from my old seminary library as it was surplus to their requirements.
I don't know if Krauth is read much anymore, but he certainly ought to be. He is one of the few English-speaking Lutherans in the modern period (i.e. post 1789) who have provided a lengthy defence of the Lutheran confessional position against misinformed criticisms levelled particularly by the Reformed.
This quote is particularly meaningful to me because I came to a "free and hearty" acceptance of the Lutheran faith in 1995 through the "prayerful exercise of private judgment".
Welcome to my blog, where quotes and reflections on old Lutherans like Krauth will be standard fare, along with notes on church life, meditations on pastoral ministry, and sundry diverse matters.

Clarification: the right of private judgment always bows before the clear words of scripture. Krauth is not advocating the rights of the individual over scripture, as in liberalism..

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