What’s the Use of Lutheran Blogging?
I’ve been reading Adam Roe’s blog The Wittenberg Catholic since it first began as Working Out My Salvation. Through it, I’ve watched a man being drawn into the Lutheran Church and have observed his occasional wrestling matches with the Lord.
These God-on-man bouts, unlike the sport of wrestling (or the sham of the WWE), usually produce win-win situations. This “tradition” goes all the way back to Jacob’s trip home to see Esau. On the eve of the reunion, the Lord engaged and defeated Jacob as He “touched his hip socket, and Jacob’s hip was put out of joint. (Genesis 32:25)”
Although crippled, Jacob also won — he received a new name with a blessing that carried through the generations, for his Opponent told him, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel [He strives with God, or God strives,] for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed. (v. 28)” Realizing the identity of his Challenger, “Jacob called the name of the place Peniel [face of God], saying, ‘For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered.’ (v. 30)”
Reading this and later accounts of folks’ struggles with God helps those who’ve grown up in the Church recognize the wonderful gift of faith that we often take for granted. Meanwhile, those whose own pilgrimages are marked by crises of faith can find encouragement and direction from the lives of those who also wrestle with God and His Word.
Adam came to such recognition as he neared his first anniversary as a Lutheran and, with JP the Prodigal Blogger, began Lutheran Conversion Stories to provide a clearing house for others who had their own tales of moving from elsewhere into confessional Lutheranism.
The project continues to grow. Adam just wrote to me, “Because I have come to love the Lutheran Church ... I recently started a website titled Word and Sacrament.... One of the goals ... is to collect conversion stories of people who have come to the Lutheran Church from other backgrounds; an avenue for evangelism that I believe could bear much fruit.” If you’re one of these people “from other backgrounds” who now lives in the freedom of the Gospel, please email your story to Word and Sacrament so your tale gets told to the glory of God, with praise for His Son Jesus, that perhaps it might, by the power of the Holy Spirit, encourage another pilgrim along the way.
Adam also blessed me with a heartfelt letter of thanksgiving, reminding me that we Christians — whether either blogging online or slogging through life — often confess Christ without realizing the effect that God allows us to have on the lives of others. I hope to share a portion of this letter at a later time to encourage all of us to continue acting according to our callings while speaking plainly and writing clearly about our own experiences of God’s love in Christ, thus letting our “light shine before others, so that they may see [our] good works and give glory to [our] Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)”
Scripture quoted from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version™, © 2001 by Crossway Bibles.
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Walter Snyder is the pastor of Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Emma, Missouri and coauthor of the book What Do Lutherans Believe.
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