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4052The Almost Lutheran

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  • hamgears
    Dec 5, 2008
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      Didn't John Wesley write a sermon called "The Almost Christian"?
      Maybe you could say I am the "almost Lutheran."
      Some on this list may remember me from a few years ago ... the guy
      who knew very little about theology and asked all sorts of questions.
      I got very fed up with my liberal UMC church, so started visiting
      other churches. Wound up for a while at a Lutheran Church (Missouri
      Synod).
      But I just couldn't quite join, as attractive as it was.
      So now I'm back at my liberal UMC church, but with a lot of new ideas
      in my head.
      These ideas, I suppose, are anathemic to folks on this list.
      So, I dunno how long I want to hang out here.
      But I thought I'd start a discussion if anyone is up for it, and I
      might stay till it gets too hot.
      Over on another site, I've been trying to promote the notion that
      Wesley was a sort of "closet Lutheran." Maybe you could say he was an
      "almost Lutheran." What do you think?
      Should I try to start this fire with a match or a blowtorch?
      Why waste time. I'll use the blowtorch.
      I read a book and was highly impressed by it -- called "Luther for
      Armchair Theologians." There are a series of these books on theology
      for laymen. (I'm now reading "Wesley for Armchair Theologians" by
      William Abraham.
      A nice feature of these books is that they have cartoons to
      illustrate the points and make it more fun for the intellectually
      challenged.
      One striking cartoon in the Luther book was of a guy wearing on his
      jacket one of those labels we fill out at meetings: "Hello. My name is
      ...... But instead of Bruce or Tom or Joe, this guy's label said,
      "Hello, my name is SINNER!"
      This to illustrate the idea that we are first and foremost always
      sinners and we're not going to escape it in this lifetime.
      This leads into such Lutheran notions as "simul justus et peccator,"
      imputed righteousenss, and the exchange of attributes with Christ: we
      get his crown and he becomes sin for us.
      So what do you think? Would Methodists and other Wesleyans wear name
      labels that say "My Name is SINNER"? or should theirs read, "My name
      is SAINT," or "I'm Entirely Sanctified"?
      Realizing I sound pretty flip here, I'll add I have a serious purpose
      -- trying to synthesize what I've learned about Lutheranism and
      theology generally with what I know of Wesley and Methodism.

      Peace.

      Larry