Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Being Confessional Means Being Creedal

I vowed at my ordination to preach and teach in accordance with the Scriptures, creeds, and confessions. Since I plan to write once a week on the Lutheran confessions, I thought it might be wise to begin with the simple observation that the Book of Concord itself begins, not with confessions, but with the three ecumenical creeds.

I would tend to say that I strive to preach with emphases precisely in this order. First of all, I teach and preach in accordance with the Scriptures. Whenever I preach, I have the creeds in mind--very closely in mind, in fact. They are a norming norm in my theological reflection, preaching and teaching.

Then, in the background and important, if not as influential as the first two, are the confessions. Posting something weekly here on the confessions is a challenge to myself to get my nose back into the confessions a bit more than I have of late. It's difficult to make time to do so, but important.

But it is also important to remember that those who assembled the Book of Concord saw fit to begin the book with the ecumenical creeds. This means they saw themselves first of all not as confessional theologians, but rather as biblical and creedal theologians.

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