Saturday, July 12, 2008

More from Dr. Korby

I recently finished the presentation made by Dr. Kenneth Korby I had mentioned in an earlier post. Below are some more great quotes:

1. We love to snoop around in the bedroom or council chamber of God. But when God takes his wife to bed to make a new Christian, he does not want everyone looking in on that. We want to find out the secrets of God's will. How does he choose? How does he give his love? And so we do all sorts of theological snooping around, setting up spiritual laws and principles on how God will work. But when God wants to tell you what is on his mind and heart about you and me and the world, about the curse removed and the blessing given, he gives that Man, Jesus Christ, to be crucified on the cross, buried, raised from the dead. He sends out preachers of that Good News. He gives his vote—his will, mind, and decision, in Christ for us. Christ is elected, chosen for this work of the Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except this Son, and whosoever he chooses to reveal him to.

2. What happens in Baptism is not a payoff for our decision for God, a public profession of a prior possession. Rather, God takes us to himself in Christ. The action is suffered by us for he, not we, crucifies us with Christ, kills us, and buries us. The big death happened at the baptismal font, not at the cemetery. And God is the one who raised us from the dead with Christ.

3. The authority by which the pastor does this work of bishop in the congregation is the authority of the word of God. Let us not be hucksters, salesmen, clever, skillful, innovative agents of intentional change. With a clear conscience let us speak the word of God and suffer in agony with it.

4. To take another instance: we have lost our clarity on justification by grace through faith as the central doctrine of the proclamation because we have unbuckled it from Holy Baptism, despite the fact the section on the Baptism is the only place in the Small Catechism where justification by grace through faith is mentioned. [It is an informative exercise to ask a group of pastors where justification is treated in the Small Catechism.]

5. The "amen" belongs to the whole company in whom, with whom, by whom, and for whom the leader is praying. And if the church has fallen asleep or wandered off in wool-gather (the church's or yours), then you lead them. You turn to them and ask, "What is wrong? Did I pray heresy that you refuse your 'amen'? Are you God's church? If so, then roar the 'amen,' faithful and full-throated, until the devil himself shudders."

6. Asking for his will to be done is not like a wrestling match where he (the stronger) pins you down until finally you cry, "Uncle. You are bigger than I. You get your way," and yet secretly wishing it could be different, thinking, "If I had my way. . ." No; listening and responding are learning to want what he wants. "Unite my heart to fear thy Name."

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