Full Text for Confessions 2- Volume 34 - Why is Confession and Absolution in the Catechism? (Video)

ROUGHLY EDITED COPY LUTHERAN CONFESSIONS LC2 34 Captioning Provided By: Caption First, Inc. P.O. Box 1924 Lombard, IL 60148 800 825 5234 www.captionfirst.com *** This text is being provided in a rough draft format. Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) is provided in order to facilitate communication accessibility and may not be a totally verbatim record of the proceedings. *** >> DAVID: Between the portion of the catechism dealing with baptism and that dealing with the Lord's Supper, lies a section describing what should occur in confession and absolution. The notes indicate that this is a longer version than was originally written. Do I understand that correctly? In my home congregation, we don't make all that much of confession and absolution. Why did Luther include it in the catechism? >> DR. KOLB: Well, David, you've asked several very helpful questions. Let's go with the historical one first and look at the notes. You have to remember that Luther and Melanchthon did not know they were writing sacred confessional texts that were going to be the standards for public teaching for Lutheran churches for 450 years plus. We don't know how many years this Book of Concord will remain a standard our standard, the standard for our public teaching until Christ returns. They didn't know they were writing almost semi sacred texts. And so they continued to play with the texts they had written. And Luther wasn't fully satisfied that the first form that he had devised for helping people to go to confession and to receive absolution was quite the right one. And so this text is the text that he devised two years after writing the first version of the catechism. And it's the version that then remained throughout Luther's lifetime. But you're right. In the course of Lutheran history, the practice of private confession and absolution has grown stronger or weaker. It grew weaker at the end of the 17th century and the early 18th century, was revived in some circles but certainly not all Lutheran circles in the 19th century. It has I think at the end of the 20th Century perhaps come more into public view in some Lutheran congregations but still needs a good deal of work. It's such a valuable thing to be able to go to another Christian, particularly our pastor, and receive the forgiveness of sins, have the word of God pronounced upon us once again. It's a very valuable discipline for us to place ourselves not only at God's mercy but at the mercy of a human confessor. Because we know that when we're in struggle with sin again, after we have confessed, we are not alone. Our confessor is also praying and struggling with us, even if the confessor doesn't know that at this moment we're in conflict with Satan over this sin. So it's a valuable gift from God to be able to go to our pastors or to other Christians and to have them tell us once again that God has forgiven our sins.