Each morning I receive an emailed “quote of the day.”  Some days are better than others, but yesterday’s gave me pause.  I have placed it below.  It is from “The Cost of Discipleship” by Bonhoeffer and deals with the detrimental effects of Lutherans idolizing doctrine.  I found it particularly troubling in light of the direction some Southern Baptist circles are seeking to take the Convention.  I wholeheartedly agree that we need to defend the doctrine of Scripture, but it must be done in such a manner that maintains the sweetness of Scripture–it’s message of grace and salvation.  The Risen Christ warned the Ephesian church the danger of following such a path and I pray that we do not go the direction that Bonhoeffer describes Lutherans have gone.

We Lutherans… have paid the doctrine of pure grace divine honours unparalleled in Christendom; in fact, we have exalted the doctrine to the position of God Himself. Everywhere Luther’s formula has been repeated, but its truth perverted into self-deception. So long as our Church holds the correct doctrine of justification, there is no doubt whatever that she is a justified Church! So they said, thinking that we must vindicate our Lutheran heritage by making this grace available on the cheapest and easiest terms. To be “Lutheran” must mean that we leave the following of Christ to the Nomians, the Calvinists, and the Anabaptists–and all this for the sake of grace! We justified the world, and condemned as heretics those who tried to follow Christ. The result was that a nation became Christian and Lutheran, but at the cost of true discipleship… We poured forth unending streams of grace. But the call to
follow Jesus was hardly ever heard.
… Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Peace be with you.

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