Thursday, October 19, 2006

From the Confessional Worldview Seminar...

Thursday, October 19th 10:28pm

I just got home from the seminar. I snuck out early, after cleaning the kitchen, to try to get to bed early...but ended up watching the end of game 7 of the Mets vs the Cardinals. Oh well!

Tonight, I listened to Prof. Lyle W. Lange speak on what is the Confessional Lutheran Worldview. Here are the main points he covered tonight:

We live in a global society with a multitude of worldviews: religious (Christian, Pseudo-Christian, Non-Christian), political, cultural, philosophical and ethical.

There is no one universal worldview held by all who call themselves Christian.

  • Confessional Lutheran - focuses on Christ and His saving work; emphasizes importance of properly using law and gospel, stresses the importance of the means of grace; teaches scripture alone, grace alone, faith alone.
  • Liberal Lutheran - has adopted the higher-critical approach to the Bible; pays lip service to the Lutheran Confessions; more concerned with outward union than with doctrinal unity.
  • Roman Catholic - stresses the authority of the church to establish doctrine; focuses on seven sacraments to assist people to work out their own salvation; rejects the three solas of scripture and Confessional Lutheranism.
  • Orthodox - ultimate goal is deification of man; places authority of the church over authority of the Bible.
  • Calvinistic - focuses on the sovereignity of God; teaches Bible is a manual for holy living to glorify God; teaches there is no doctrine of Scripture which is unreasonable; TULIP.
  • Arminian/Wesleyan - teaches prevenient grace; focuses on holiness of living; Wesley's four fundamental theological priniciples: universal salvation, free salvation, full salvation and sure salvation; teaches the second grace sets one on the road to perfection.


  • Holiness/Pentecostal - emphasizes holiness of living; teaches that the second grace gives instantaneous perfection, after which a person may expect the third blessing of speaking in tongues and performing miracles.
  • Fundamentalism - reaction to 20th century Liberalism; goal was to preserve the fundamentals of Christianity; teaches that America is God's chosen nation; seeks to get the state to enforce Christian values.
  • Evangelicalism - rooted in 17th century Pietism, 18th century Methodism and 19th century Revivalism. Focuses on law over gospel. Means of grace are mere commands Christ said we should do.
How are we to judge the many different worldview we encounter? Can any human come up with a standard to judge by? No. Only God can give us the standard. The Bible is God's revelation to us, not human speculation about God (2 Pet 1:21). The Bible deals with humanity's greatest need - the need for redemption (Rom 3:23). The Bible transcends age, time and culture (1 Pet 1:25). Jesus says he is the only way to heaven and that the Bible is God's errorless Word (John 14:6 and 17:17) The Bible is the guiding norm and the Lutheran Confessions are the guided norm. The Lutheran Confessions accurately reflect what the Bible teaches, they agree with God's Word and guide our worldview.

What is a biblical Christian (Confessional Lutheran) worldview?

  • Centered on Jesus Christ and His redemptive work and grounded in scripture.

A biblical Christian worldview can be known only though the proper use of the law and the gospel.

  • The law is that divine doctrine of Scripture which tells us how we are to be (perfect), what we are to do and not to do, that we haven't met the standard God demands and that we deserve to be punished for our disobedience.
  • The gospel is that divine doctrine of Scripture which tells us what God has done for our salvation (what has already been done), what God does for our salvation now, and what God will do for us after this life.
There are major differences between the law and the gospel:

Revelation: the law is known to all people by nature and the gospel is known only by revelation from God.
Message: the law tells what God commands us to do and the gospel tells us what God has done for our salvation through Jesus Christ.
The way in which promises are made: all the promises of the law are conditional and all the promises of the gospel are unconditional.
Purpose: The purpose of the law is to convict sinners of their guilt before God and the purpose of the gospel is to give sinners the forgiveness won for them by Christ.
Effect: The law will produce terrors of conscience when it does its work and the gospel will produce faith, love, peace, joy and hope.
Ability to do what is asked: The law drives and condemns; it does not ever motivate to do what is asked. The gospel gives us the desire and ability to do what is asked of us (believe, be baptized, take and eat, rejoice).
For whom each is intended: The law is to be preached to secure sinners (Gal. 5:21) and the gospel is to be proclaimed to sinners (Mt 9:2)

Part II tomorrow morning...

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