If you’re an Evangelical, have you ever wondered how a traditional-orthodox Lutheran might feel about him or herself? Or how a traditional Lutheran pastor might feel about Evangelicals?
I just came across an interview posted at The Gospel Coalition blog titled “Those Dern Lutherans“. Blogger and Reformed pastor, Rev. Kevin DeYoung (RCA), interviewed Rev. Paul T. McCain, an orthodox Missouri Synod Lutheran pastor (LCMS) who is the editor at Concordia Publishing House, and who blogs at Cyberbrethren. Let me say that he sure can tell you what Lutheranism is about. I have been a reader of his blog for years. I’m not a traditional born-and-bred Lutheran; I’m an evangelical transplanted into the Lutheran church–so I provide this disclaimer–“What I say about Lutheranism is not necessarily representative of most Lutherans”. In this interview, Pastor Paul says it well.
Question 9. “Anything else you think the world needs to know about Lutherans?”
Answer: “I would say this: I think Evangelicals often find themselves searching for something they feel might be a bit “missing” in their Christian walk, and think that Rome or Eastern Orthodoxy may fit the bill, while all the while Lutheranism is there, right around the corner. Often when they find a traditional Lutheran Church they are surprised to find a robust, rich worship life, rooted in the Scripture (which is what the liturgy is, in its entirety). They find a rich focus on Christ and the Gospel–Lutherans are adamant that Christ is the heart and center of everything, and they also find a tangible experience with God, not based simply on feelings or emotions, but on a concrete and objective experience with God’s grace through the sacraments. And all this is wrapped up in such a vibrant passionate love for Jesus. We Lutherans combine the best of what is Evangelical, with the best of what is truly catholic about the Church, with the rich heritage of the Lutheran Reformation. I think it is a winning combination, but of course, I’m kind of biased.” (…Read full interview)
I think he’s right in what he says about some Evangelicals–whether we admit it or not. Evangelical theology has much to learn from Lutheran theology, albeit, the opposite is true too. The same goes for worship-liturgy too. If you’re Lutherans, sorry but the vice versa is true too.
When all is said and done, I can honestly say that every denomination, church, or tradition, e.g., Lutheran, Presbyterian, Evangelical, etc., we have much to learn from one another.