Blonde moment

And the silver spoon.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

The difference between James Dobson and the Pope…

I’m a Lutheran and am content as such. But I speak Catholic. (Yeah, strange, isn’t it? Grew up Evangelical, confess Lutheran, and speak Catholic…)

(For Catholics in my audience, the difference between various Lutheran sects is the amount of faithfulness a Lutheran professes to the Book of Concord. This is different from being an Evangelical because Evangelicals don’t believe they need a concrete commonly accepted statement of faith.)

So, the reason the Pope and College of Cardinals can say, “You are not a Catholic Christian because you do not believe X,” is because they have the Church given authority to determine such. They hold each other accountable to the Holy Doctrine of the Catholic Church, interpreted through Tradition and Magisterial Council.

James Dobson, on the other hand, has no authority or doctrine by which he is held into account by which he can say, “You are not a Christian because you do not believe X.” Evangelicals say, “We don’t place value on tradition or magisterial council, and therefore no one can tell us what a good Christian looks like.”

So, when James Dobson says, “Fred Thompson isn’t a Christian,” don’t pay attention because he has no authority to do so. However, when the Pope or College of Cardinals says, “Candidates who fight for abortion rights are not good Catholic Christians,” pay attention because they do have the authority to make such claims.

Evangelicals, of late, have been trying to act as Pope and College of Cardinals, without changing the fundamental understanding (note, I did not say doctrine) of what it means to be an American Evangelical of Revivalist Tradition (generic). Don’t want the authority of the Pope or Book of Concord? Don’t act like you have it.

As an aside, I’d like to take the liberty to slightly tweak the words to “How Firm a Foundation…” “What more can WE say than in God’s word has been said?” There is nothing I, James Dobson, Fred Thompson, Martin Luther, or the Apostle Paul can say in favor of Christ other then that which the Holy Spirit has prompted us to say. And we should not belittle someone for not presenting the Gospel the way we would, provided their doctrine is not in error.


  • At 8:25 PM , Anonymous jessica gensmer said...

    So, i never realized how much you and i agree, except that you are remarkably articulate and are able to express things the way not many can. You're totally right on.

  • At 8:38 AM , Blogger Liz said...

    Thanks Jessica! That's the beauty of friendships, we learn something new about everyone each day!

    OT, shoot me off an e-mail in the next couple of days.

  • At 3:10 PM , Blogger Barb the Evil Genius said...

    Dr. Dobson apparently spoke to Glenn Beck this morning over the phone after Beck brought up what Dobson said about Fred Thompson not being a Christian. Didn't get to hear it though; I had to take my eldest daughter for a strep test. I think Dobson's words are coming back to haunt him repeatedly. And my daughter does not have strep.


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