Homiletics 2 File 12 Professor Carl Fickenscher II Question by: Nick >> NICK: Sure, I remember that. That's Walther's last thesis on law and gospel. Did he have any closing words for his students? >> PROF. FICKENSCHER: You can certainly sense that Walther was reaching the climax to which he'd pointed through more than a year of lectures because, yes, he gives some beautiful parting words. Parting words that every single one of us as preachers might do well to take to heart. Turn in your editions of "Walther's Law and Gospel" and highlight these sentences. You'll want to see them again and again. On Page 406, second full paragraph, Walther says this: "Think of the time when you will be a pastor of a congregation, and make a vow to God that you will adopt the apostle's method, that you will not stand in your pulpits sad faced, as if you were bidding men to come to a funeral, but like men that go wooing a bride." That's the kind of beautiful task that we have been called to carry out, and it's done when we proclaim law and gospel, properly divided, with the gospel ultimately winning out. And finally, Walther quotes from Luther on the bottom of Page 411. Highlight this one too. Luther says, "God grant that someday people may say about you that you are preaching well, but too sweetly." The law, preached in its full sternness, enables us then to preach the gospel in its full sweetness. And when our hearers believe that the word of God that they have been hearing from you is just too sweet to believe, you'll say thank you, and you'll know that your task has been well carried out. I hope as we have looked through this first unit in homiletics 2 together, it has come across very clearly that, yes, law and gospel, properly divided, really is our task as Christian preachers. Yes, it's something that we as Lutherans bring to the table. But it really is the essence of all true Christian preaching. So much more than that, it really is the essence of everything you will do as a pastor when you're caring for your people in one on one situations, when you're leading the congregation. And finally, even more than that, law and gospel, properly divided, is the essence of what it means to be a Christian. It really is that which is our faith. That we are in need of a savior and that in Christ Jesus, we have that savior. So that everything we do as Christians, as we interact with other people in any situation, is always a matter of determining whether that person needs at this time to hear law or to hear gospel, a law moment, a gospel moment. Now, one last question for you. Think back about all the theses that we've looked at together and that you've carefully read also in your own reading of "Walther's Law and Gospel." Which of the theses to you seem to be the most interesting, the most challenging? Which of the theses seem to be the most difficult or the most confusing? Which of the theses seem to be the most helpful or the most practical? And finally, how would you sum up everything that you've learned from reading Walther on the subject of law and gospel?