I’m still trying to find the right words. As I sat in class recently and listened to a scholar expound on the beauty and virtues of Lutheran theology, pretty much all I could think was, “Why is this important again?” I was hoping for a whiz-bang application, just one revelation or insight that would spur me on with renewed vigor and purpose. But all that happened was that I sat in on a 4-day summary of Up and Down theology, something on which I pretty much already have a handle.
Here’s where I’m at: all of this only matters if one is searching for God or open to God even existing. Call it a yearning, a restlessness, call it the work of the Spirit. Call it superstition. I don’t know.
Anymore there is an aspect of all of this that seems, at minimum, anachronistic. And not just out of vogue, but an actual sham, one long deception.
Yet it’s so entrenched, so prevalent. It started with twelve (men) and look at it now! How can nearly a third of all people on earth be barking up the wrong tree? There has to be something to this, right?
Is faith of any sort only important until we reach a certain socio-economic status, or level of comfort? Does a need for God emerge only when we feel like nothing else is working for us? Do we then abandon faith when it seems we’re making it on our own, like crutches until we heal? Does this help explain why Christianity is growing in regions beset by poverty and political unrest, and dying in places like here in the US, the land of McMansions and Beemers? Maybe such superficiality shouldn’t tell us anything.
I still can’t find the words. I just need to wrestle with this every now and then. All I know is that there was a nagging feeling that, as important as it all sounded, it signified hardly anything. Luther, Melancthon and the rest lived 500 years ago, for crying out loud. And we still hang on their every word?
Does it all still translate, still speak to our day and time? Is our doctrine as timeless as scripture seems to be, or should we be paying closer attention to expiration dates?