THEOLOGY OF THE CROSS
Pastoral Theology
Schedule
•
•

•
•
•
•

Two Natures of God
Biblical Basis
Pastoral Theology
Teaching
Our Vocation
End of Life

2
“Oratio, Meditatio, Tentatio”
Touchstones
for Luther’s Pastoral Theology
From the Preface to the Wittenberg Edition
of Luther’s German Writings (1539)
“Moreover, I am to point you to a correct wa...
Luther’s Rules Are Marks of Church
Preface to the Wittenberg Edition (1539)
• Oratio
Prayer
• Meditatio
Reflection
• Tenta...
From Contemplation & Speculation to Suffering
• Medieval scheme for theology
– lectio, oratio, contemplatio
– Luther break...
How Theologians are Made
• Luther—theologians not by
“understanding, reading or speculating”

• BUT “by living, no rather ...
Wisdom of the Holy Scripture
“Holy Scriptures constitute a book which turns the
wisdom of all other books into foolishness...
Praying Psalm 119
“Those who pray this
psalm fully surrender
their own destiny to
the destiny of God’s
Word. They see thei...
Oratio
“Almost from the outset, Psalm 119 takes on
fundamental significance for Luther's battle with the
pope, who wants t...
Oratio—Prayer
• Voice of faith
• “The richness of the Word of God ought to determine our
prayer, not the poverty of our he...
Meditatio
• Luther—outward rather than inward listening
• Luther: “Let him who wants to contemplate in the right
way refle...
God Straight Up!
“So the cry goes up, ‘Give me a God I can be proud of, like a pure
idea or a transcendent goal.’ Once tha...
Meditatio
• Luther: meditation like cow chewing its cud
• “To chew the cud, however, is to take up the
Word with delight a...
Tentatio
God uses tentatio (spiritual affliction, trial, &
temptation) drive from self to God’s promises alone
“Anyone who...
Suffering Produces Hope
Through Him we have also obtained access by
faith into this grace in which we stand, and we
rejoic...
Tentatio
• Tentatio happens within a person's vocation
• Tentatio—testing, temptation and trial
– God and His Word interse...
Tentatio
• Pastors not exempt from tentatio
• God uses it to draw pastor from abilities to the gifts He
gives in the Gospe...
Tentatio
• Tentatio raises the issue of the “hidden God.”
• “In meeting the Deus nudus, the human being
cannot decide if i...
Tentatio
“I did not learn my theology all at once, but had to
search constantly deeper and deeper for it. My
temptations d...
Tentatio
• Luther thankful for enemies
• God uses enemies to make
Luther a real theologian
• Luther speaks of devil as
“th...
Tentatio
Spiritual attack (Anfechtung) itself is not the
touchstone of the genuineness of faith, if by faith we
mean the t...
Tentatio
“Therefore I admonish you, especially those of you who are
to become instructors of consciences, as well as each ...
Tentatio
“He *Luther+ is comforted in times of trial and spiritual
attack (Anfechtung) by the promises of Christ’s Word.
B...
For Further Reading
Theology the Lutheran Way by Oswald Bayer
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03 theology of the cross: theology

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03 theology of the cross: theology

  1. 1. THEOLOGY OF THE CROSS Pastoral Theology
  2. 2. Schedule • • • • • • Two Natures of God Biblical Basis Pastoral Theology Teaching Our Vocation End of Life 2
  3. 3. “Oratio, Meditatio, Tentatio” Touchstones for Luther’s Pastoral Theology
  4. 4. From the Preface to the Wittenberg Edition of Luther’s German Writings (1539) “Moreover, I am to point you to a correct way of studying theology, for I have had practice in that. If you keep at it, you will become so learned that you yourself could (if it were necessary) write books just as good as those of the fathers and councils, even as I (in God) dare to presume and boast, without arrogance and lying, that in the matter of writing books I do not stand much behind some of the fathers. Of my life I can by no means make the same boast. This is the way taught by the holy King David (and doubtlessly used by all the patriarchs and prophets) in the one hundred and nineteenth Psalm. There you will find three rules, amply presented throughout the whole Psalm. They are Oratio, Meditatio, Tentatio” (AE 34:285)
  5. 5. Luther’s Rules Are Marks of Church Preface to the Wittenberg Edition (1539) • Oratio Prayer • Meditatio Reflection • Tentatio Suffering On the Councils and the Church (1539) • Holy Word of God (means of Grace) • Baptism (regeneration) • Sacrament of the Altar • Office of the Keys (administered publicly) • Calling of Ministers (pubic office) • Prayer, Public Praise & Thanksgiving (liturgy) • Sacred Cross (suffering and bearing)
  6. 6. From Contemplation & Speculation to Suffering • Medieval scheme for theology – lectio, oratio, contemplatio – Luther breaks this pattern • Westhelle – – – – – Begins with Oratio, more than prayer All God-talk, talk of & to God—reason not suffice Second is meditatio—includes lectio Meditation internal & external—reflection Luther rejects contemplation • Adds tentatio—‘touchstone’—“and the last characteristic of theological reflection” (The Scandalous God, 35-36) • Luther rejects both speculative theology of scholasticism and contemplative spirituality of mysticism
  7. 7. How Theologians are Made • Luther—theologians not by “understanding, reading or speculating” • BUT “by living, no rather by dying and being damned” (Luther on Psalm 5:11 in 1520) • Luther alludes to experience of Scripture • Scriptures interprets us • Life of theologian is passive, receptive
  8. 8. Wisdom of the Holy Scripture “Holy Scriptures constitute a book which turns the wisdom of all other books into foolishness, because not one teaches about eternal life except this one alone” (AE 34:285) “It is clear from the place where Luther condenses his whole understanding of theology into three terms oratio, meditatio, tentatio, that his instruction about the correct method of studying theology is not a capitulation to some preconceived notion of science, but it is solely a matter of the authority of Scripture. Just as theology is nothing but the interpretation of Scripture, the understanding of theology is the same” (Bayer)
  9. 9. Praying Psalm 119 “Those who pray this psalm fully surrender their own destiny to the destiny of God’s Word. They see their relationship to God as nothing else than a relationship to His Word” (Bayer)
  10. 10. Oratio “Almost from the outset, Psalm 119 takes on fundamental significance for Luther's battle with the pope, who wants to prevent him from remaining with the Word through which ‘I became a Christian’: the word of absolution. From the beginning of the Reformation, this psalm is seen as a prayer for the victory of God's Word against its enemies. In fact, it is seen as a double prayer that was turned into a hymn verse in 1543: Lord, keep us steadfast in your Word and curb the pope’s and the Turk’s sword” (Bayer)
  11. 11. Oratio—Prayer • Voice of faith • “The richness of the Word of God ought to determine our prayer, not the poverty of our heart” (Bonhoeffer) • “My tongue will answer with Your words” (Bayer Psalm 119:172) • Prayer invokes God (calls upon the Name of the Lord) – Grounded in first 3 petitions of Lord's Prayer: Hallowed be Thy Name Thy kingdom come Thy will be done – Luther's explanation in Small Catechism
  12. 12. Meditatio • Luther—outward rather than inward listening • Luther: “Let him who wants to contemplate in the right way reflect on his Baptism; let him read his Bible, hear sermons, honor father and mother, and come to the aid of a brother in distress. But let him not shut himself up in a nook...and their entertain himself with his devotions and thus suppose that he is sitting in God's bosom and has fellowship with God without Christ, without the Word, without the Sacraments" (AE 3:275) • Those who seek the Spirit inside themselves in realms too deep for words find only ghosts (Bayer)
  13. 13. God Straight Up! “So the cry goes up, ‘Give me a God I can be proud of, like a pure idea or a transcendent goal.’ Once that happens humans are on a mission for more than self-knowledge; they want recognition that they are right and have risen above particular places, times, and cultures. They do not want to smell of particularity and parochialism. They are bound and determined to be like God knowing the difference between good and evil, believing in their own power to believe, becoming proud of their own existence without the need to depend on God for every little thing, and so not eternally bound to God by trust in specific promises. They come to thing that they want God ‘straight up,’ with no words or fruit trees or bodies of water and testaments given in words, wine, bread–and no Jews. But for Luther this is all false spirituality that stands outside God’s house trying to peer through the windows and catch God with his clothes off. Yet there is nothing more dangerous than a religious peeping Tom” - Steven Paulson, Luther for Armchair Theologians, 109-110
  14. 14. Meditatio • Luther: meditation like cow chewing its cud • “To chew the cud, however, is to take up the Word with delight and meditate with supreme diligence, so that (according to the proverb) one does not permit it to go into one ear and out the other, but holds it firmly in the heart, swallows it, and absorbs it into the intestines” (Luther: Deuteronomy 14:l of 1525 AE 9:136) • Take each commandment, each part of Creed “in their fourfold aspect, namely, as a school text, song book, penitential book, and prayer book” (Luther "A Simple Way to Pray" AE 43:209)
  15. 15. Tentatio God uses tentatio (spiritual affliction, trial, & temptation) drive from self to God’s promises alone “Anyone who meditates can expect to suffer. Luther once again also allows Psalm 119 to prescribe this experience. Therefore in light of this third rule, he expects students of theology also to see themselves in the role of the psalmist who ‘complains so often about all kinds of enemies...that he has to put up with because he meditates, that is, because he is occupied with God's Word (as has been said) in all manner of ways’” (Bayer)
  16. 16. Suffering Produces Hope Through Him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us (Romans 5:2-5)
  17. 17. Tentatio • Tentatio happens within a person's vocation • Tentatio—testing, temptation and trial – God and His Word intersect us and our world (Pfeiffer) – Suffering happens when a person is faithful to his calling • “Peace with God brings conflict and adversity with the world, the flesh, and the devil” (Hein) • “When we meditate on the first commandment we are involved in a battle between the one Lord and the many lords (cf. I Corinthians 8:5f)” (Bayer)
  18. 18. Tentatio • Pastors not exempt from tentatio • God uses it to draw pastor from abilities to the gifts He gives in the Gospel and the Sacraments (II Corinthians 4:1-12) • “…our Lord Jesus Christ, tested Jacob not to destroy him but to confirm and strengthen him and that in his fight he might more correctly learn the might of the promise” (Luther on Genesis 32:32 AE 6:144)
  19. 19. Tentatio • Tentatio raises the issue of the “hidden God.” • “In meeting the Deus nudus, the human being cannot decide if is confronted by God or the devil; the Anfechtungen are only conquered by turning to God in His revelation” (Alfvag) • “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law” (Deuteronomy 29:29)
  20. 20. Tentatio “I did not learn my theology all at once, but had to search constantly deeper and deeper for it. My temptations did that for me, for no one can understand Holy Scripture without practice and temptations. That is what the enthusiasts and sects lack. They don't have the right critic, the devil, who is the best teacher of theology. If we don't have that kind of devil, then we become nothing but speculative theologians, who do nothing but walk around in our own thoughts and speculate with our reason alone as to whether things should be like this, or like that” (Luther’s Table Talk, 1532 AE 54:50)
  21. 21. Tentatio • Luther thankful for enemies • God uses enemies to make Luther a real theologian • Luther speaks of devil as “the doctor of consolation” • Temptation turns student of God’s Word into a real theologian
  22. 22. Tentatio Spiritual attack (Anfechtung) itself is not the touchstone of the genuineness of faith, if by faith we mean the truthfulness and credibility of the believer. Rather it is the touchstone of God's Word, which demonstrates its credibility and power in times of spiritual attack and fight against it (Bayer)
  23. 23. Tentatio “Therefore I admonish you, especially those of you who are to become instructors of consciences, as well as each of you individually, that you exercise yourselves continually by study, by reading, by meditation and by prayer, so that in temptation you will be able to instruct consciences, both your own and others, and take them from the law to grace, from active righteous to passive righteousness, in short from Moses to Christ. In affliction and in the conflict of conscience, it is the devil's habit to frighten us with the law and to set against us the consciousness of sin, our wicked past, the wrath and judgment of God, hell, and eternal death, so that he may drive us into despair, subject us to himself, and pluck us from Christ” (Luther, Galatians, 1535, AE 26:10)
  24. 24. Tentatio “He *Luther+ is comforted in times of trial and spiritual attack (Anfechtung) by the promises of Christ’s Word. But he cannot hold onto that comfort, the ‘forgiveness of sins’ as ‘life and salvation,’ by his own strength. He remains forever dependent on the power of God Himself, the Holy Spirit, to be able to overcome once again every new spiritual attack” (Bayer)
  25. 25. For Further Reading Theology the Lutheran Way by Oswald Bayer
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