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What Luther Says

Can We Make A 'Dash Button' For Doctrine?

It's April Fool's Day, but I'm only half kidding about wanting something like this.

In case you missed it, Amazon unveiled a promotional video yesterday for a new product called the "Dash Button" that had people thinking it was too good to be true and so much so that it just had to be an early April Fool's Day gag.

However, Amazon has confirmed that this is not a joke! In my humble opinion, I think it's pure genius from both a consumer and marketing standpoint, and I hope my family is chosen to test them out at home.

See it for yourself...

Introducing Amazon Dash Button: Place It. Press It. Get It.

Pretty neat, eh?

Ok, why in the world am I bringing this up on a Christian blog?

Simple. I would absolutely love a Christian version of this product! A guy can dream, can't he? I mean, just imagine if you had this device, but instead of a popular brand logo on it you had a picture of a cross instead. Or, for us Lutherans, maybe that image is a picture of the Luther Rose/Luther Seal even.

Then, whenever someone in the room made a religious statement with no Biblical basis or one that was clearly missing any kind of theological substance, that's when you would just push the "Doctrine Dash Button" and it would instantly catechize you and everyone else in the room with the truth derived from our Confessions and Creeds, which are derived from God's Word.

SON: "Dad, I think God wants me to ask Jenny out on a date, because when I was sitting in my room just now that old song you used to like called '867-5309/Jenny' came on my iPod and I just know it's gotta be a clear sign that He wants me to do this! What do you think?"

DAD: "Well, I, uh..." [Dad runs to the fridge and pushes the Doctrine Dash Button, and instantly a robotic voice responds to the audio it just recorded of the conversation it picked up in the room moments ago, and says...]  

DASH BUTTON VOICE: "The Lutheran Confessions declare, 'Therefore we ought and must constantly maintain this point, that God does not wish to deal with us otherwise than through the spoken Word and the Sacraments. It is the devil himself whatsoever is extoled as Spirit without the Word and the Sacraments.' ( Smalcald Articles Part III, Art. VIII, 10). In addition, as it is of the nature of divine revelation that God comes to us veiled, as the Incarnate One ('In our poor flesh and blood, Enclothes Himself the eternal Good'), so is it of the nature of divine action that God will not deal with us except through external Word and sacrament (SA III VIII 10). In this recognition of the indissoluble unity of 'sign' and 'object' [Zeichen und Sache] the danger of spiritualizing is overcome – the danger that lay in what Augustine taught and that since Berengar and Wycliffe captured so many Catholics of the late Middle Ages and since Zwingli and Bucer a large part of the Reformation movement. In this sense what Luther taught on the sacraments is the great overthrow of Augustinianism in the church and the return to the essence [Est] of the New Testament. From Hermann Sasse, “Word and Sacrament: Preaching and the Lord’s Supper, Letters to Lutheran Pastors No. 42,” July 1956 (trans. Norman Nagel in We Confess the Sacraments, Concordia Publishing House 1985, p19)."

What's not to like? Catechesis by the click of a button!

You know, on second thought, I think I'd rather talk to my son one-on-one in those cases rather than remain deaf, dumb, and mute and rely on something (or someone) else to do it for me.

Besides, how could I go on-and-on about the value of catechism only to ignore what those same Confessions have taught me about being a husband and a father and leading my family spiritually in the home?

In a Lutheran layman's terms, a "Dash Button" for doctrine would be a pretty cool thing to have, but not at the expense of not being able to explain to others not only what I believe, but why I believe it (1 Peter 3:15).

NOTE: I'm not a called and ordained minister of God's Word and Sacraments. I'm a layman or a Christian, Candy-Making, Husband, Father, Friend who lives in the "City of Good Neighbors" here on the East Coast. To be more specific, and relevant to the point I want to make with this note, I'm also a newly converted Confessional Lutheran who recently escaped American Evangelicalism a little over a year ago. That being said, please contact me ASAP if you believe that any of my "old beliefs" seem to have crept their way into any of the material you see published here, and especially if any of the content is inconsistent with our Confessions and Lutheran doctrine (in other words, if it's not consistent with God's Word, which our Confessions merely summarize and point us back to) so that I can correct those errors immediately and not lead any of His little ones astray (James 3:1). Finally, please be aware that you might also discover that some of the earlier pieces I wrote on this blog back in 2013 definitely fall into that category since I was a "Lutheran-In-Name-Only" at the time and was completely oblivious to the fact that a Christian "Book of Concord" even existed (Small/Large Catechism? What's that!?!). In addition, there are some entries that are a little "out there" so-to-speak since the subject matter was also heavy influenced by those old beliefs of mine. I know that now and I'm still learning. Anyway, I decided to leave those published posts up on this website and in cyberspace only because we now have this disclaimer, and only to demonstrate the continuing work of Christ and the Holy Spirit in my life (Hebrews 12:2; Philippians 1:6). Most importantly, please know that any time I engage in commenting on and/or interpreting a specific portion of the holy Scriptures, it will always closely follow the verse-by-verse notes from my Lutheran Study Bible and/or include references to the Book of Concord unless otherwise noted. Typically, I defer to what other Lutheran Pastors have already preached and taught about such passages since they are the called and ordained shepherds of our souls here on earth. Finally, I'm going to apologize ahead of time for the length of most entries. I'm well aware that blogs should be short, sweet, and to the point, but I've never been one to follow the rules when it comes to writing. Besides, this website is more like a dude's diary in the sense that everything I write about and share publicly isn't always what's "popular" or "#trending" at the time, but is instead all the things that I'm studying myself at the moment. For better or for worse, these posts tend to be much longer than most blog entries you'll find elsewhere only because I try to pack as much info as possible into a single piece so that I can refer to it again and again over time if I need to (and so that it can be a valuable resource for others -- if possible, a "One-Stop-Shop" of sorts). Thank you for stopping by and thank you in advance for your time, help, and understanding. Grace and peace to you and yours!


About JKR

Christian. Husband. Father. Friend.

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Thank you for visiting A Lutheran Layman! Please feel free to leave a comment or a question since we do not exercise censorship. We've seen a similar policy with other blogs and it's worth repeating: Please act as if you're a guest in my home, and we'll get along just fine. I think anyone would agree that the kind of back-and-forth that is characteristic of blogs/chat forums and social media is becoming tiresome for all of us. Still, we should confess, edify, and love (and contend and defend when needed). Bottom line? Search the Scriptures! Apply Acts 17:11 to anything and everything you find here and, if you do happen to disagree with something you find here (which is certainly ok), or think I'm "irresponsible" and "wrong" for writing it, then please refute my position by supporting yours with Scripture and/or the Confessions. I don't think that's an unreasonable request, especially for those who identify themselves as "Christians" here, right? Besides, Proverbs 27:17 tells us "Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another" and 2 Timothy 3:16 says, "all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness." If you have an opinion that's great, I welcome it, but try to support it using God's Word. I mean, if the goal here is to help us all arrive at the truth of God's Word (myself included), then it should be easy to follow through on this one simple request (I'm talking to all you "Anonymous" visitors out there). Grace and peace to you and yours!

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