A Remarkable Question of Context
A difficult question for interpretation of the Confessions is whether or not the authors or the documents founded a new church. How one answers this question of course determines much of what you read into the documents (or sound out what is already there). We have only ever so briefly touched on this in the course of our blogging.
My own view here depends not so much on the Reformers as on the subsequent generations. They took the measures that people such as Bugenhagen took, to install deans and bishops in Iceland, Norway, and Denmark, as the ordinary course. And thus, the American immigrants arrive with all manner of bishops, deans, and so forth. So, no matter what doctrine was in their heads, these Lutherans broke communion and were left on the outside as far as polity goes. So even if they had the same notions that the apostles had, what is to be made of such a break? "But it was the Roman's fault! They kicked Luther out!" Not a good enough answer for this question.