I’ve written about the topic here before. But now, I’d just like to call your attention to a remarkable post on Cyberbrethren containing or excerpting a private letter of Hermann Sasse. I’ve been told that in some areas, Sasse is theologically unreliable. Fair enough. (Let’s discuss it.) I’ve been told the same about Luther. It shouldn’t be surprising. These were sinful human theologians. I am no better. But they also spoke and wrote God’s Word, so it’s worth keeping them around.
Here’s a juicy quote:
“A confession is for the Lutheran Church never simply a set of propositions in which the church, or several churches, agree. This is the great misunderstanding of modern Protestantism that has crept also into the Lutheran Church. The idea of such modern “confession” is that some Christians, or whole churches, try to find out what their common convictions are, how each of them understands the Scriptures, and whether they can agree on a common understanding. This leads always to “confessions of a minimum,” to the discovery and expression of the least common denominator. The careless interpretation of the Latin text of Augsburg Confession, Article 7 has lead even Lutherans to this view of the Confession of the Church. Many individuals agree in a certain common doctrine whatever that may be and ascribe the discovery of this common possession to the “guidance of the Spirit.” But the consensus of which AC 7 speaks is the consensus in the maximum, in the true Gospel, as the German text shows: “dass da eintraechtiglich nach reinem Verstand das Evangelium predigt und die Sakrament laut der Einsetzung Christi gereicht werden.” The word “eintraechtiglich” appears already in the first sentence of CA I and is rendered by the Latin “magno consensu.”