Well may you ask, dear reader (and as far as I know that is singular, as I only have one reader!), why, on a blog titled 'Evangelical Lutheran', there are so often posts relating to or quoting non-Lutheran sources, e.g. Bunyan and Schmemann? One of the aims of this blog will be, in a modest way,to collate and publish quotes testifying to the catholicity of the Lutheran Reformation.
By 'catholicity' I mean that the doctrinal emphases of the Lutheran Reformation were and are not innovations, previously unknown either in scripture or history, but that their antiquity and truthfulness can be attested to with quotations from the history of Christian thought. That is not to say that the Lutheran Reformation and the subsequent period of Lutheran orthodoxy were not the occasion for the development of deeper understandings and more powerful applications of ancient and scriptural doctrines, but only that such developments were entirely consistent with and organically related to the original doctrines of the Gospel.
As I mentioned above, this aim will be attempted in a modest way, and is as much for the purpose of recording such quotations for myself as for the benefit of others. I suppose the original thought to do this occurred to me some years ago when a colleague at seminary, who has subsequently "swum the Tiber" and defected to Rome, challenged me to prove the catholicity of Lutheranism.
It might be objected by some that to quote Bunyan, for example, when we know he was influenced by Luther, is anachronistic, but I rather think that the appeal of Lutheran doctrine to those outside our confession of faith in any age is testimony to the essential scripturalness and genuine catholicity of those doctrines.
And so I introduce a new label: Lutheran Catholicity!