Friday, June 27, 2003

Getting Your Schrift Out There

Sometimes the law can really kick you in the pants. Although this is a small digression from the normal format of commenting directly on the articles of the AC, I believe it is also a worthwhile expansion of the format. Intention- to intersperse other reflections between commentary pieces on the AC.

Getting back to the law. Today I received an e-mail from another member of the web community who is equally concerned about increasing awareness and study of the Lutheran confessional documents. Interestingly, though, the e-mail did not concern the content of the site (discussion of theology, etc.) but was rather a close examination of the design of the site. So, although I was initially taken aback by the very directive and evaluative nature of the e-mail, especially from someone I don't even know, it was also a goad into action. I found myself this afternoon fixing some of the blog formatting flaws, adding commenting to the posts, that type of thing. And now this evening I've been browsing the web learning about other Lutheran and Christian blogs. I've discovered, for example, that if you Google "Lutheran confessions blog", our site comes up first on the list. But if you enter simply "Lutheran confessions" it doesn't come up at least in the first few pages. I thus have tried to find ways to raise the readership of the site by increasing its presence on blog lists, etc. One really helpful site that does this is call blogs4god.

I think I'm also supposed to make the blog look more appealing with links to books and music and such on the side, but apparently the law has not as of yet goaded me that hard.

But herein lies the contradiction, and therefore the connection to my Lutheran confessing. I value the confessional understanding of the uses of the law, but since I tend to argue against a distinctive third use of the law, what use of the law is occuring when I'm goaded to fix my web log (this is only slightly tongue in cheek- certainly part of the failure to uphold the law has to do with doing shoddy work, being lazy, I'm sure I can find some law I've broken). Is it the civil use (first use)? The theological use (2nd use, to convict of sin, to show to the sinner their depravity and the impossiblity of their doing the good)? Or the exhortatory (3rd use) which has traditionally been understood to operate only in the life of the believer?

In other words, did I jump up and fix my web site because of the law's civil function in my life, or because, as a believer, the reminder functioned in an exhortatory fashion, thus saying to me to live more fully into the Christian life guided by the law?

Am I even framing these questions correctly? Therefore the query that will hopefully garner some reflection. What is the relationship, if any, between the law and the will, and especially what insights do we have regarding this as they come to us through the confessional writings? Another way of saying this, "What does my bound will have to do with my fixing this web site at the proddings of an e-mail from a complete stranger?"

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