welcome. why "weak on sanctification"?

this accusation is often made about lutheran christians. because we focus so strongly on god's justifying grace in christ, and our continual need, as "sinner-saints," to receive god's gifts of grace through word and sacrament, people say we are "weak on sanctification." i prefer to say we are strong on jesus, whose sanctifying work in our lives is the fruit of the gospel all along our lifelong journey. i would much rather focus on what he has done than on anything i might do.

the weekly discussion

each week I set forth a topic to promote discourse about some aspect of Christianity, the church, or the spiritual life. i would love to hear your perspective and thoughts on each week's subject. these discussions are usually posted on mondays, so if you missed this week's post and would like to catch up on the conversation, just scroll down and join us.

November 2, 2009

the weekly discussion—november 1

feeling "left behind"? yesterday we had a stimulating discussion in our adult class about eschatology, the teaching of the end times. it was all saints day, and the subject fitting. i have had a long and winding journey through the eschatological landscape.
  • my early christian training through bible college was of the dispensational, "left behind" variety; you know—first the pretrib rapture, then the tribulation, rule of the antichrist, the second coming, 1000-year reign of christ (millennium), loosing of satan, white throne judgment, lake of fire, new heavens and new earth.
  • in seminary i moved more toward a "classic premillennial" position. christians go through the tribulation. some of the other stuff perhaps not so clear.
  • now i embrace amillennialism. christ is reigning now, in the heavens and in his people, inaugurating the Kingdom in this world here and now. when he returns at the end of the age, he will judge the living and the dead and put all things to rights in a new heavens and new earth.
what has your journey been as you have considered what the bible says about the future? and where are you now? how have the churches of which you've been a part handled this area of doctrine?

today's van gogh
starry night over the rhone, 1888


  1. I never could get into the Left Behind end times thinking. Too much work to "make it fit".

    I guess I'm amil. I think the Westminster confession ( along with a few others ) put it plainly the way you did. Christ reigns now, he will return at the end to judge the living and the dead where we will proceed to a new heavens and new earth.

  2. The Westminster Confession is good enough for me.

  3. Am happy to find a blog that has some sense - you know, one that seems to agree with my views! For dessert you all might enjoy nibbling at "Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty" which greeted me on Google.
    Belle Wethers

  4. Amil, partial Preterist. With the caveat that a lot of prophecy also speaks of recurring patterns in human society and history, hence the "multiple fulfillments".

    Staunch enemy of Pre-Trib Pre-Mil Dispensationalism after it messed up my head really bad in the heyday of Hal Lindsay. Both my writing partner and I lost 15+ years of our lives to Rapture Scare du Jour; now we're both middle-aged and running from the Langoliers; who will restore those years the PMD Locusts have eaten?