Since our BJS staff spent most of their time at the booth in Ft. Wayne we thought it would be appropriate to share the following thoughts that flowed out of one of the sessions. We found this piece by Pastor Peters at Pastoral Meanderings.
How We Know God
Once again the Ft. Wayne Symposia have given me bits to chew on. Ever prickly David Scaer challenged the notion that theology begins with God (prolegomena) and proceeds to Christ and insists that we cannot begin with who Christ is but rather what He has done. There is much there to gnaw on and I guess I will be doing some gnawing….
I will admit that outside of an academic atmosphere some of these questions seem a bit, well, ethereal, but the truth is that these are very practical matters when it comes to adult catechesis and our outreach to an age in love with propositions that are not necessarily truthful but touch the realm of feelings and desire.
If we are to speak the Gospel to a world in need of its truth, we must begin with that which is concrete. We know Christ through what He has done — our Lord is not a philosophy to be pondered but the Lord of events to be told — it is through these events that we know Him, that He leads us to the Father, and through whom the Spirit breaks through the crust of our sinful hearts to teach us faith.
Christology from above or from below may not seem to be the practical domain of the parish pastor but it is the underpinning of our proclamation and teaching. In a week or so I will have my first class with people new to Lutheranism and Lutherans old to the faith but in need of refreshing. We begin with the God question — who is God and how do we know Him? The only way we know God is through Jesus who discloses God to us. The only way we know Christ is through the facts of His incarnation, righteousness life, life-giving death, and mighty resurrection.
Without beginning with what Christ has done, we risk turning the faith into truth propositions that are the domain of the philosopher. We begin from the vantage point of the historian. What has God done through His Son to make Himself known to us and accomplish for us the wonderful gift of salvation.
Just pondering the practical dimensions of an academic paper that speaks not only to the academy…
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