Law and Gospel
Wednesday, February 04, 2004
  Absolution-Online: Welcome

We live in an age in which technology has infiltrated every aspect of our lives. This is true even of the church. It is in a spirit of humor and dismay that I mention the site above. It allows a person to make a confession online and even receive penance and absolution. There are various categories of sins that a person can choose from and even degrees of the sin in question.

While such a site trivializes confession and absolution, I wanted to point out the importance of this part of the liturgy. As we come to worship the confession reminds us that worship is not something that we offer God. In our confession we remember that we are sinners in need of God's grace. Worship that we offer is tainted with sin and therefore unworthy. But the absolution reminds us that we worship a gracious God who forgives our sins. Although the human priest pronounces the absolution we hear it as from the mouth of God. We are then free to worship because it flows from God's gracious act towards us.

Arthur Just in his commentary on the Gospel of Luke also makes the point that Confession and Absolution has an effect on our mission to the world. The gospel we preach is not primarily about us and how great of Christians we are. Our witness is that God has been gracious to us who are sinners. The good news is that in spite of all of our sin God announces to us that we are forgiven. It is this message of forgiveness that we announce to the world. Thus there is a link between our witness and the liturgy. The liturgy both empowers our witness and gives content to our witness. 
Tuesday, January 06, 2004
  This is a blog dedicated to reading the text of Scripture from the point of view of Law and Gospel. This way of looking at scripture was championed by Martin Luther. The basic premise is that all of scripture is Christocentric-that is leading us to Christ. But before we can come to Christ we must hear the Law or the "Why Jesus?" part of the passage. The law always condemns and tells us what we must do to be righteous. Of course we never keep the law and so we must follow up with the gospel. The gospel is what Jesus has done on our behalf. The gospel is not about about what we do, but what Christ has done. The law says "Do" and the gospel says "Believe." The gospel should always be the last word in our exegesis of scripture for it is only through faith in Christ that we will experience any kind of change in our lives. No twelve steps to holiness. No scriptural application. Just a proclamation of Jesus and his work on behalf of the sinner. One of my seminary professor's old profs used to say that the goal of every sermon should be to exalt Christ and comfort troubled sinners. That is what this blog is dedicated to. 
Reading the Biblical text from a Law and Gospel hermeneutic.

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