Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Lutheran Ecclesiology: Point or Continuum?

Pr William Weedon has an excellent post on the church as an eschatological reality in time and space, a continuum rather than a point, you might say, over at his blog (click on my post title to read it).
Pr Weedon's post serves as a better response than I could make to something I've been mulling over for a while, namely erstwhile Lutheran brother David Schuetz's claim that Lutheran ecclesiology is an "event ecclesiology", which is to say, if I understand him rightly, that for Lutherans the church only comes into existence as church when it is gathered around Word and sacrament in the Divine Service. That is a very eccentric, and I might add, mistaken, view. It fails to take into account the very first phrase of Augsburg VII, and misinterprets the rest of the article. It is a view which owes much, I suspect, to mid-20th century German Lutheran thinking on the subject, which was negatively shaped by existentialism's preoccupation with "the moment" and was generally averse to ontology.

Anyway, enough from me, read Pr Weedon's post, which puts it in concrete terms.

(Since this is the second post in a couple of days to take issue with David Schuetz's theology, I should say that there is nothing personal here. David has always been a Christian gentleman in my dealings with him. It's just that his thought is providing something of a foil for my own at the moment. And as he has from time to time gotten some mileage out of my blog for his own purposes I think I'm entitled to attempt to even things up!)

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