Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Mississippi Arguing

Writers use the metaphor of rivers often to convey change. Having grown up on the prairie in Minnesota, seeing the Mississippi near the bluffs in the SE corner of the state and in Iowa with its width and depth contradicted my mother's tales of going to the headwaters near Bemidji. I have only seen this river's delta in pictures. But I did cross it many times when I served a congregational internship in Goodridge, MN. Just a small river at those points.

Square in the middle of the Mighty Miss is St Louis. I have friends and relatives who belong to the LCMS. They all report of much build up and conflict in the Synod that will meet or deflate in the LCMS's summer assembly. I cannot pretend to identify all the issues but in paging through the websites the metaphor of the river and chasm comes to mind. Most interesting to me is the Day-Star Network. On this site you will find excellent reviews and writing. Especially catching my eye is a review of Scott Murray's book on Law in North American Lutheran Theology. Also fascinating is the superb The Blessed Dual: How Christ Is the Christian's Victory over Law by Stephen C. Krueger.

I hope to dig into the writings on this website too for their theology of church communion. The Mississippi carries much with it and much of the stuff here is no mean repristination of Lutheran orthodoxy but my friends indicate part of the "thin line of tradition" that runs through Missouri's history. But already I have ventured to sound out waters unknown to me.

In reading this and other LCMS websites about the state of the state, I am reminded of Karl Barth's comment on Schleiermacher: "we are near each other by a hair's breadth; but oh, what a chasm that is between us despite that hair's breadth of difference." Such may be the present and future of Lutheran unity in North America, especially between LCMS and ELCA.

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