Saturday, February 03, 2007

Distinct Approaches -- Scaer and Marquart (1/6)

In a previous post, I mentioned the distinct opinions of two respected churchmen of The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod on the subject of the third use of the law. I am sure some who have read the papers will find my thoughts too picky, others might consider them appropriate.

After hearing the presentations, Q&A sessions, and panel discussion (and after re-reading the papers), my first observation concerns each man's underlying approach to discussing the third use of the law:
  • Dr. Scaer approached the topic from a descriptive view. He is more interested in how it is received by the hearer. This evidenced by his parenthetical insertions of "first use" or "second use" or "third use" throughout his paper.
  • Dr. Marquart approached the topic from a prescriptive view. He is more interested in how each specific function of the law is presented by the preacher. This evidence by his repeated references to preaching.

1 comment:

Paul T. McCain said...

Is this descriptive, or proscriptive? Possibly both? And since you and I are both Lutheran enigmas, isn't that ok?

"How does God's name become holy among us? Answer, as plainly as it can be said: 'When both our doctrine and life are godly and Christian.' Since we call God our Father in this prayer, it is our duty always to act and behave ourselves as godly children, that He may not receive shame, but honor and praise from us. Now, God's name is profaned by us either through our words or in our works. (For whatever we do upon the earth must be either words or works, speech or act.) . . . God's name is profaned by an openly wicked life and works . . . It brings dishonor upon God is we are called by His name and have all kinds of good from Him, yet we teach, speak, and live in any other way than as godly and heavenly children. People would say about us that we must not be God's children but the devil's children. . . . We should pray for ourselves who have God' Word, but are not thankful for it, nor live like we ought according to the Word."

(Large Catechism III.39-47; Concordia, p. 412-413).