Gerhard Forde on the Spirit

“The Spirit is precisely unleashed upon us in the properly preached gospel, the Word of the crucified and risen one, which sets us free.  It is simply not… a ‘free-floating’ and occasional ‘force’ which may or may not visit this person or that one.  All such ‘free-floating’ spirits detached from the gospel were [in the reformation] highly suspect and deemed likely only to bind to the law in one subtle way or another.  The Spirit is detached from the Trinity.  So Luther, in outspoken fashion, could simply declare in the Smalcald Articles that ‘whatever is attributed to the Spirit apart from the Word and sacraments is of the devil?’  Why the devil?  Because the devil too is spirit, of course, but he also the enemy, the accuser, the spirit of slavery…  What is at stake is always the gospel.  Spirit detached from preached Word of the gospel and sacraments can be devastating.  There is, after all, more than one spirit; and we are admonished to test them lest we fall prey to the wrong ones.”

Gehard Forde’s Lutheran response to the Pentecostal view of sanctification found in “Christian Spirituality: Five Views of Sanctification.”

Vampire Weekend Takes on God: Part IV

Part I, Part II, & Part III

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Several months ago I was having a pretty bad evening, so I decided to do sort of a free form spew of what was on my mind.  Here were my thoughts:

Sometimes I think it would be easier to just be an atheist.  All those tragedies on a global scale… Things like earthquakes, tsunamis, genocides, Syria, and the Boston bombings would be much easier to swallow if I didn’t believe in a loving God.  All those atrocities around me…  Abusive fathers, crack-head mothers, suicidal teens, and neglected children would be much easier to deal with if I didn’t believe in a benevolent God.  My own fractured nature…  Mental illness, crushed hopes, persistent sins, ever present heartache, fatigue, and emptiness would be so much more comprehensible if everything were up to chance…  Things would be much easier if I could. I wouldn’t have to try and reconcile day in and day out what I see around and feel inside me with the message that “God is love.” Continue reading