Lutheran Theology

“Lutheran theology starts where all others end.  Virtue is not the goal of life, virtue is our problem.  Religion is not given for morality; it is there to end it.  The picture of progress upward to happiness is toppled, and in its stead is the apocalyptic end of righteousness in this world so that only Christ remains, who alone is righteous in the eyes of God.”

Steven Paulson “Lutheran Theology


Mockingbird and Nadia Bolz Weber

“I feel like the theology of the cross—this idea that God is most present in human suffering, and these places where we wouldn’t expect any self-respecting God to show up—is uniquely poised to speak to this generation right now… I think people are aware of their suffering. They are aware of the suffering of others, the trauma of modern life, knowing about every single natural disaster and school shootings. They are carrying that around, and I feel like theology of the cross has something to say to that in a way that super-duper, cheerful, positive, human-empowerment Christianity never can.”

Go to Mockingbird to read the whole thing.

Steven Paulson, Fanatics, “Law Creep,” & the Preacher’s Temptation

“Fanatics are convinced they have the power of the Holy Spirit, but in fact have only called themselves, and do not know the gospel…  The law always creeps in as the form of righteousness only to become the content of ‘new prophecy’ whose form is: do this and you will be the true church…  The temptation of a preacher is to be a spiritualist who receives new words from God not given in Scripture.  What does God call the preacher to do?  Preaching is God’s command, not the congregation’s own tradition.  The preacher’s call is not as Rabbi, Enthusiast, Spiritual Guide, Disciple, Prophet, or Community Organizer–What then is it?  The call is to preach law and gospel…  Fanaticism is overcome only in the proper preaching of law and gospel…”

Steven Paulson “Lutheran Theology