Friday, May 10, 2013

Mark's thoughts: Augsburg Confession Article V and the Office of the Holy Ministry

My post-seminary graduate training focused on New Testament exegesis. However, from time to time I have done some work in historical-grammatical exegesis of the Lutheran Confessions.  The following link is to the article, “‘That is’?: A look at the translation and interpretation of AC V” that was published on the website of Logia: A Journal of Lutheran Theology).
I write there:
“The emphasis in AC V clearly falls on the Word and sacraments through which the Holy Spirit creates the faith described in AC IV. God wishes to deliver the faith of AC IV to concrete men via the concrete means of the Word and the Sacraments.  He works through the external Word of the Gospel apart from our own efforts. However, the Word and the Sacraments do not 'just happen' by themselves nor do we 'do them for ourselves.'  Rather, they occur where a concrete minister placed by God in the office of the ministry preaches the Word and administers the sacraments. God has instituted the concrete means and instituted the office of the ministry in order for those concrete means to go on among concrete people. The referent of Predigamt/ministerium in AC V never ceases to be the office of the ministry even as the emphasis of the article falls on the purpose for which the office of the ministry has been instituted by God: the preaching of the Word and the administration of the sacraments.”

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