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Switch to Forum Live View Law and Gospel in Sermons
7 years ago  ::  Jan 16, 2011 - 4:43PM #1
tawonda
Posts: 4,367

Traditional Lutheran sermons have always been grounded in a Law/Gospel dialetic. (One Lutheran website frames this in medical terms -- symptoms, diagnosis and treatment.)


My pastor and I were ain't-it-awfulling the other day about church people who seem to have no sense of boundaries or healthy shame. He mused about how to embue people, especially the children in church, with a sense of the Law, so that the Gospel means anything real to them. (I'll add that we're having an issue right now -- frequent fliers here will know this -- with young families who don't seem to care very much about their children's spiritual formation, either at home or in church.)


How do you see this yin/yang, Law/Gospel dynamic working out in your own church's preaching and teaching?

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7 years ago  ::  Jan 17, 2011 - 9:29AM #2
AFSkypilot49
Posts: 35

I remember when I was a pastoral intern I would go to a cluster of other interns once a month.  We had a few Reformed people in the cluster too.  One meeting we were discussing preaching--the Law Gospel way.  One of the Reformed guys spoke up.  He said he could not see why we Lutherans always want to break things down in Law Gospel.  He said most of the Bible deals with Covenant--coming together.  It is sometimes worth it to look at the same story from a different perspective, you know.

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7 years ago  ::  Jan 17, 2011 - 11:16AM #3
tawonda
Posts: 4,367

Sky: That's an interesting concept. Especially considering that our pastor, in trying to get a bead on what the issue is with young parents -- and, really, with the community in general -- has been thinking of getting them together in a meeting ("Good luck," I thought) and talking to them about creating a covenanted group, within our church, that agrees to make the spiritual formation of their kids a priority in their lives.


I know some people will read this and say, "Isn't that what the liturgy of Holy Baptism does?" to which I'd respond that , yes, that's what it's supposed to do -- but that we can't seem to get parents to take it seriously. They seem more interested in Farmville.

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7 years ago  ::  Jan 17, 2011 - 12:12PM #4
Jupiter6208
Posts: 2,483

The evil of Farmville and all the other Facebook games the new Religion i guess....

"A person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person."  Dave Berry
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7 years ago  ::  Jan 17, 2011 - 2:17PM #5
WannabeTheo
Posts: 401

I was thinking about this, and my first reaction is that my pastor doesn't preach much about the Law.  But I suppose that in her sermons she does point out the brokenness in humanity/human relations/human society, and God's ability to heal that brokenness, evidenced in the life and resurrection of Jesus.  So I suppose that sort of fits a Law and Gospel format, though not in the traditional 'convince them they're all sinners deserving of hell, and then sock 'em with the Gospel' sense.

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7 years ago  ::  Jan 19, 2011 - 2:08AM #6
TomeReader
Posts: 70

As a New Testament scholar, I get very exasperated by this Lutheran tradition. Not every text supports a Law/Gospel dichotomy! For example, 1 Thessalonians isn't about Law/Gospel; it's Paul's attempt to comfort the Thessalonians as member of the community die.


There a million ways to preach; why do we have to fit the text to our theological straightjacket?


Signed


A grumpy Lutheran Neuetestamentaller, otherwise known as Lynn

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7 years ago  ::  Feb 05, 2011 - 8:53PM #7
Memiller
Posts: 16

Jan 19, 2011 -- 2:08AM, TomeReader wrote:


There a million ways to preach; why do we have to fit the text to our theological straightjacket?




Because it gives you a formula for how to construct a sermon that is easy to teach to Seminarians? I'm agreeing with you, just suspect that the reason is that having a lens to see things through makes it all simpler. Not a good reason, but a reason.

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