Just yesterday, Reformed Worship put up a post of mine on worship’s boundaries. Next year is the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, and I’ve been thinking a lot about the pastors, thinkers, and theologians who ministered in the wake of Luther’s posting of the 95 theses.
One real “aha” moment of my reading of Luther for doctoral work came in the idea that Luther’s articulation of simul iustus et peccator (simultaneously justified and sinful) isn’t merely a statement about the human condition, but a statement about eschatology. In other words, it’s a statement about the cosmic reality in which we find ourselves. We find ourselves in an overlapping of ages, a “simul” of worlds–the Old World, which is passing away; and the New World, which is breaking in by the power of the Spirit through Christ.
A lot of our errors in worship–a lot of our over extended emphases–can be categorized as attempting to break through the boundaries set by either reverting back into purely “Old World” thinking (forgetting that Christ has come and inaugurated a Kingdom) or pressing too victoriously into “New World” realities (forgetting that the Old World, while passing away, is still here).
Luther’s lesser known work, Only the Decalogue is Eternal, is mind-blowing. He is so vivid, so clear, in how he articulates the human experience of this overlapping of worlds.
So…go checkout my post, “Luther and the Eschatological Boundaries of Worship,” over at Reformed Worship. Happy Advent.