Monday, June 21, 2010

Reformed subtleties: Wolf in Sheep's Clothing

Wolf in Sheep ClothingIn a comment submitted to the post, Let’s call it what it is – “Sectarian Worship” – Part 1, Justin Dauck offers the following insight and links to useful resources:
In an earlier post, someone linked to Prof. Deutschlander’s paper about the Western Rite. He also presented this paper in an evening lecture format at the seminary.

The audio is available in two parts:
Each part is about one hour.

This post reminds me of a paper I read by Professor Danell (MLC). It is from 1995, called “Our Use of Reformed Materials.” It was written with specific emphasis on classroom application but it would also seem to apply to “The confessional Lutheran quest for clarity” in worship. In the introduction, he writes of Jesus’ command in John 21: “Feed my sheep.” Then, he asks:
But what will you feed them? With what will you nourish the souls God has placed into your care? What words will you speak to their ears? What songs will you put onto their hearts and lips? What sights will you place before their eyes? These are questions well worth considering, for God will hold you responsible for what your children “eat.” Will you feed them a diet consisting of the “beautiful fruits” of orthodox Lutheranism as taught in the Scriptures and in our Lutheran confessions? Or will you place before them figs picked from thistles and grapes picked from thorn bushes? Will you prepare for them fruit that is beautiful both on the outside and on the inside? Or will you prepare for them fruit that looks good on the outside but under the skin is full of bruises and bad spots?
In the conclusion he writes:
The dangers of Reformed teaching are substantial and they are real. If followed to completion they lead one away from Christ and into damning work-righteousness no differently than Roman Catholicism… Sometimes the errors can be a wrong emphasis or a wrong focus or a wrong approach, things that are easily overlooked if one is not looking for it or worse yet if one is unaware of it. Reformed teaching is most certainly a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
The full paper:

As we believe, so shall we worship. As we worship, so shall we believe.

Justin Dauck


Wolf in Sheep Clothing
The Wolf is Caught

1 comment:

Dan Drews said...

I enjoyed the references to Jim Danell's work and re-read it. Much to my pleasant surprise, two of my mid-90's essays were in his bibliography. I can still recall Jim (then pastor at Hortonville) inviting me to give a presentation at a Sunday School Teachers' Institute on this very topic.

I remember being charged with reviewing music with the "contemporary choir" at our church in Fondy and making some of these same points--it isn't that there is necessarily anything "wrong" with a song that repetitively sings "Our God is an Awesome God," but we want to choose songs that proclaim the Gospel. They took that as a challenge to scour the hymnal until they could find an example of a "praise song" that didn't proclaim the Gospel. The best one they came up with after, presumably, hours of research, was "We Praise Thee O God Our Redeemer, Creator."

D. Drews

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