Monday, October 6, 2014

Walther, 1906. Chapter 4, “The Regular Call to the Pastoral Office”

Chapter 4, “The Regular Call to the Pastoral Office” pp. 16-20

Here Walther comments on Article XIV of the Augsburg Confession, “No one should teach or preach publicly in the church or administer the Sacraments without a regular call” (Walther, p. 16). Walther considers that the person obtains the ability to be a pastor then is called to the office.

The call is a matter of importance. It confirms in the pastor the validity of his mission being from God. It makes some assurance of spiritual oversight and doctrinal purity. It is important that the call not be issued to someone who is not adequately trained.

What of 1 Corinthians 14:30? The people making prophecies and judging them are the leaders, those who are called.

Walther continues on p. 19 to cite Martin Chemnitz. Chemnitz values the call as the way to set someone aside for Scriptural care, to identify those possessing spiritual gifts, to maintain order in the Church, and to establish ministers in confidence.

The visible call to ministry is a very positive thing as it protects congregation and pastor. Walther does not specify a process. He does make it clear that the congregation and the pastor both recognize it as a call.

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