Welcome to the 52nd edition of the Lutheran Carnival, the Gerhard O. Forde edition.
Gerhard O. Forde was a theologian speaking with a voice of love for the Gospel, the good news of Christ, amid a church whose focus can stray and whose love can easily grow cold. His unapologetic boldness confronted theologians whose mere theorizing about the cross of Christ rendered it powerless. I've chosen to organize this edition of the Carnival with all the major titles being titles of his books.
After being relieved that the whimsical organization of this Carnival had actually worked for all the posts submitted, a late arrival has come to my attention that just doesn't fit. Too bad Forde didn't write a book called The Left-Handed Kingdom (by which Lutherans refer to God's paradoxical approach to the use of power). Dan at Necessary Roughness comments on Father's Day and the LCMS Convention being hosted here in my own hometown of Houston. Dan wishes dads a happy Father's Day and advises that any bureaucracy, whether government or synod, is a human exercise in the left-hand kingdom.
Theology Is For Proclamation
On the hypothetical God versus the proclaimed God in Christ: Outside the proclamation both theistic and atheistic theologians are strangely one. Both are trying to get God off our backs. The theist most often does it by trying to make God "nice," to bring God "to heel," so to speak, and the atheist does it by trhing to make God disappear. Both attempts have a similar outcome from the point of view of the proclamation: they only subvert it. Nevertheless, for better or for worse, neither theistic nor atheistic appeals seem to work for long.
Ask the Pastor continues to apply theology to "real life." Pastor Snyder dealt with matters of eternal election and everlasting life in Grace, Faith, and Predestination. He also addressed sins of the mouth by condemning Rotten Fruit from Gossip's Vine.
Aardvark Alley celebrated one of the Church's major festivals and also marked one of Christendom's watershed moments in this past fortnight's blogging. The Feast of the Holy Trinity celebrated the mystery of God's Triune nature while also making practical application of this Scripture truth. The Council of Nicaea commemorated orthodox Christianity's victory over Arianism, its reliance upon creeds and confessions, and the importance of Christians joining together to study and formulate theology in harmony with God's Word.
Weekend Fisher ponders ways to explain why "dueling Bible verses" is a bad approach to theology (to anyone for whom it is not self-evident). The March Madness playoffs bracket serves as an example of what not to do with "conflicting" Bible passages in Recognizing Good and Bad Theology: Bible Playoff Test.
Where God Meets Man
On "Treasure in Earthen Vessels" (the sacraments): Only where God promises to be present in a saving way in, with and under the earthly sign can one really be sure. Only then will faith be created and strengthened. God deals with men always through promises. Without the promise, the earthly sign would be at best only an act created by men to inspire themselves and not a sacrament.
A blogging match made in heaven is about to result in the first child for Random Dan and Intolerant Elle. Elle describes the fantasy and reality of her pregnancy so far. How she imagined pregnancy and what pregnancy really involves are two different things. She also announces the sex of her and RandomDan's child!
After what seems like a lifetime of hearing "The Bible doesn't say I have to go to church to worship God," the Rebellious Pastor's Wife decides to look at what the Bible says about church from a slightly different slant in What Scripture Says About the Congregation. In this submission, she looks at what the Gospels say through the interaction of Jesus and Peter, with additional resources drawn from the Old Testament and from the Epistles.
On Being a Theologian of the Cross
Warning against becoming a theologian of glory: Theologians of glory are thus always driven to seek transcendent meaning, to try to see into the invisible things of God, to get a line on the logic of God. They look at the cross and ask, "What is it all about?" They wonder what is "behind" it all. There is a reason for this, of course. If we can see through the cross to what is supposed to be behind it, we don't have to look at it! It is, finally, a matter of self-defense. He was "as one from whom men hide their faces" (Isa. 53:3). If the cross can be neatly folded into the scheme of the self's glory road, it will do no harm.
Elle's pregnancy also gives her occasion to ponder ultrasounds in Asia, infanticide, and abortion in The Ultasound Difference.
David Yow presents Misunderstanding Ministry posted at Original Evangelical, in which he takes apart the growing practice of deriding called workers as "professional Christians".
Thank you for submitting, reading, and/or linking. The next edition of the Lutheran Carnival will be hosted at Barb the Evil Genius (gotta love that blog name!); posts due by June 29th. There are still a few spots open for Carnival hosts this summer, so pop on over to the Carnival main site and claim a date that fits your schedule.
Take care & God bless!