Dear Fellow Blogging Lutheran Pastors,
read a lot of Lutheran blog sites. I particularly enjoy reading the
blogs of Lutheran pastors, like yours. You teach me a lot and I learn a
lot, from all of you. I always welcome your fraternal admonishment and
correction where you believe I am in error or where I can improve what
It is in this spirit of mutual consolation and
conversation of the brethren that I feel a need to offer this open
letter and fraternal appeal.
It is of great concern to me that
there are some of you who are using your blog sites to engage in what I
would term "pious speculating."
Let me cite but one recent
example: there is a conversation going on among a group of Lutheran
pastors that are interested in preserving the historical liturgy, to
the effect that because John the Baptist's birth is observed on the
Christian calendar, this might allow a person to believe that John the
Baptist was freed from original sin on this side of glory. Obviously,
this is theological error, but the speculation is being indulged in on
a Lutheran pastors' blog site and actually being encouraged. That's but
Here then, dear colleagues, is the problem with all
this "pious speculation", and I do wish and pray you would take this to
heart. We are not in our seminary dorm rooms, or frat houses, but
rather making comments on public blog sites. Therefore, it would be my
fraternal and respectful advice that the "pious speculations" — which,
of course, in this case, are simply errors in doctrine, plainly and
simply, be avoided.
Since the blogosphere is a public square and people actually form
opinions about Lutherans from what they read, we who are pledged to
Scripture and Confessions are not to be indulging in whims, fancies,
and "pious speculations," enjoyable as it all may be when together with friends sharing a beer or two.
are not liturgical or theological hobbyists, or theorists analyzing
some body of assorted data. We should not be engaging in conversation
that is more along the lines of interesting pastime, and unfounded
musing for musing's sake. Rather, our blogging must conform itself to
the pattern of sound words as it is provided for us in Scripture and as
we confess it together in the Lutheran Confessions.
admonishes us, in 2 Tim. 1:13: "Retain the standard of sound words
which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ
And our Lutheran Confessions, reflecting this Apostolic
instruction, wisely note: "It is safe to hold fast both to “the pattern
of the sound words” and to the pure doctrine itself. In this way, much
unnecessary wrangling may be cut off and the Church preserved from many
scandals." (FC SD IV.36).
Dear brothers, indulging in theorizing
and speculating over matters about which Scripture and the Confessions
are silent, or unclear, is unhelpful and potentially very harmful to
the Church. What we might share in a private gathering of pastors,
where we can be admonished, corrected, or counseled, privately among
our peers, should not be put on public display on our blog sites. And
we surely, none of us, would want to put ourselves in the position of
speaking falsely and stirring up unnecessary wrangling and causing
Thank you for your efforts in the Lutheran blogosphere.
And thank you for hearing me out as I express this word of concern and
make this fraternal appeal to you. Verbum sapienti satis est.
Your fellow bond-servant of Christ,