Monday, February 12, 2007

Distinct Approaches -- Scaer and Marquart (4/6)

Continuing with my observations regarding the distinct opinions of two respected churchmen of The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod on the subject of the third use of the law (their papers are referenced in a previous post), my fourth observation is how each man reacts to a concern of an emeritus pastor.

Dr. Marquart recounts the following:
About two years ago an emerited colleague wrote to me complaining about a sort of preaching which “seemingly questions the Formula of Concord. . . about the Third Use of the Law.” He added: “How can one read the Scriptures over and over and not see how much and how often our Lord (in the Gospels) and the Apostles (in the Epistles) call for Christian sanctification, crucifying the flesh, putting down the old man an putting on the new man, abounding in the work of the Lord, provoking to love and good works, being fruitful . . .?”
  • Dr. Marquart accepts the criticism of this pastor as true and begins his thesis that preachers should be preaching more sanctification, good works, and third use of the law.
  • Dr. Scaer responds to the pastor's criticism noting that we have no details from which the pastor leveled his criticism, but this pastor's criticism tells us more about he believes is proper preaching of the third use of the law.
The problem with Dr. Marquart's approach is that we (the readers and hearers) have no way of knowing what specifically errant preaching is being chastised. We are not able to determine if the pastor's criticism is justified or not. Dr. Scaer does not dismiss the criticism, but tempers his judgment of those preachers who are being criticized.

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