So, with all the chapters complete in Vieth’s book, The Spirituality of The Cross, all that was left to get through were the appendices. The first was an article the author wrote awhile back(1998) on the position of Lutheranism and how it contrasts with other Christian traditions. Though not written for the purpose of this book, the article seem to fit perfectly, especially after this fine treatment on the theology of the Lutheran faith.
This article makes the point of showing the reader how Lutheranism embraces the best parts of Protestantism and Catholicism. That it embraces both the joy of proclaiming the free gift of God, through his Son, Jesus Christ, which is salvation and the beauty of the sacramental aspects of church that have been put aside by so many today.
I think what I most enjoyed about this article is the discussion of the differences AND similarities of the Lutheran faith in comparison to Catholics, Baptists, Calvinists, Arminians, Charismatics, etc… I also appreciated the unapologetic stance Lutherans seem to take against ecumenism. To quote the author, “From the Lutheran perspective, pure Catholics are in need of evangelical reformation and pure evangelicals are in need of historical orthodoxy.” Vieth holds The Book of Concord up high as the resource to help both groups accomplish this task. Needless to say, this book is on my “need to read” list.
Its funny than the author says in this article from 1998 that there is a trend back towards these old ways because such is the claim of some in 2014. I can attest to this as I am one of those people embracing some of these older practices. All in all, it’s a good informative article and a wonderful addition to the rest of the book.
The rest of the appendices include resources for further study on all of these topics as well as notes for each chapter.
Well, here I am, the final post of this experiment. I never intended to blog about the book but right from the start I became so engrossed with it, I wanted to get my thoughts down to help process what I had been reading. Though occasionally over my head, I never felt let down by what I read. Each chapter encouraged me all the more. As a result, I look forward to going deeper in my study of the Lutheran faith by checking out other resources. Though this is probably the last thing I will blog about this book, I expect this will not be the end of my time with it.
One last time, I encourage you (whoever you are reading this) to pick this book up and read it for yourself and let it change how you look at God and yourself. Let it strip away a theology of glory for a wonderful and humble theology of the Cross.