Review – Toward a Theology of Mercy: Winning Student Essays for 2008 – Volume II
The Lord be with you
The link below will take you to the second volume of aware winning Mercy Essays by students at Concordia Theological Seminary in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. The first essay is by the then deaconess intern Mary Moerbe. She uses Luther’s “theology of the cross” from the Heidelberg Thesis of 1518 to scrub Christian caregiving clean from every barnacle of the “theology of glory” so that works of mercy are freed from heroic claims of self-assertion and are allowed to remain acts of faltering humility in service of the suffering. Mary begins with a review of the meaning of the phrase “theology of the cross” as it relates to acts of mercy. In Lutheran circles we toss around terms and phrases like “theology of the cross,” but all hearing such terms might not have a clear idea of what they mean. Mary does a very good job in sharing a biblical understanding of the theology of the cross. Mary’s essay is titled “A Merciful Servant of the Cross: Theology of the Cross for Christian Caregivers.”
The second essay in this pamphlet is on C. F. W. Walther and Wilhelm Löhe. It is titled “History Worth Repeating: C. F. W. Walther and Wilhelm Löhe on Mercy and the Church.” It is written by then fourth-year seminarian Samuel P. Schuldheisz. Schuldheisz probes the writings of these two 19th century churchmen to gain clarity into the legacy that they have left us: faith receiving God’s benefits in Christ and love active in the stewardship of mercy. Walther was the first president of our denomination. Löhe stayed in Germany his whole life, but sent missionaries around the world, including America. Many of his missionaries became pastors of our new Lutheran denomination. Schuldheisz writes, “Walther and Löhe teach us that it is the whole body of Christ throughout history that engages in works of mercy toward the neighbor. God’s work of mercy involves both pastor and congregation, both individual and corporate works of mercy, not only on the part of the local congregation but in the Church as a whole.” He also says that, according to these men, “To be a confessional Lutheran also means to be merciful.”
Once again, we pamphlet of “Mercy Essays” worth the time to read. It is 33 pages long.