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Sunday, July 24, 2005

Why Concordia Theological Seminary is awesome

Pastor Zimmerman of Concordia gave the message at our church this morning. I spoke with him briefly following and he gave me a few pamphlets describing CTS's mission.

Here's an excerpt:

The incarnate Christ is the Knowledge of God--the crucified Jesus shows us the very nature of God.

In contrast to a would that reduces life to a series of discrete moments of consumption, Concordia Theological Seminary proclaims a life centered in Christ. The life is characterized by cohesiveness in theology and practice, classroom and community. CTS's curriculum is a theological construct, a way of articulating this theological vision, and a way of thought that determines life's shape. That theological vision embraces a hermeneutic, an epistemology, a way of knowing God as He truly reveals Himself--incarnationally, sacramentally, and christologically.

Theological study at Concordia Theological Seminary seamlessly joins the highest level of academic theology with pastoral formation. The content of theology is more than information. It goes well beyond the mere form of propositional truth. Theology is the encounter between man and God. It is a lived reality in fellowship with the Holy Trinity through the person of Jesus. The center of all our endeavors, then, is the crucified, risen, and ascended Christ who has taken away our sins through His blood and remains present with us through Word and Sacrament. This theological encounter with and through Christ is the basis for what pastors do and what people receive. It is the focus of all genuine theology.

Man. That sure kicks butt on the marketing materials of other schools--even schools that are training pastors. "We have a great basketball team," "Check out our accreditation!" or "In the spirit of the first century Church and many early Christian reformers, we choose to be non-sectarian," just doesn't cut it against "To know God is to be truly alive. Apart from God, all learning and all of life are reduced to the sensations of the moment--pride, power, pleasure--and then end in death."