Thursday, March 4, 2010

Spiritual Milk

1 Peter 2:1-3 (ESV)
So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. [2] Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up to salvation— [3] if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.

This may be the one place in the New Testament where milk is considered a good thing as opposed to “solid food” spiritually speaking. Long for it we are told, pure spiritual milk. Milk they say is perhaps the best drink a person can have, full of calcium and protein. I never cared for it much, which may be why I am so short compared to my brothers. Me I like coffee black, and refused to eat breakfast if breakfast was cereal and milk. An omelet I can do. But milk is good for you. This is true too of spiritual milk.
I’m going to go with the catechism here. Lutheran’s cut our theological teeth on that. All very basic stuff. But you never out grow it. I read it often, and there is always another thought that I learn, it lays a foundation and builds a palace. It isn’t that you in the end have to unlearn what you started with when you are reading the catechism, but your knowledge grows, like you body, your spirit grows. Oh, there is a time to eat solid food. One should aspire to eat solid spiritual food, but you never actually have to give up milk. So if you want to read some heady theological treatise, go for it, feast on it, but wash it down with a glass of milk.
On that topic, devotional literature, and what we feed on spiritually during the week. Make sure it isn’t cotton candy. Milk is one thing, sugared up law is another. We Lutherans just don’t have our material available to the general public the way we should. I don’t exactly know why that is. You don’t often find anything by a Lutheran at Barnes and Noble, and when you do you it is often something that isn’t going to appeal to mass public very well. I have the habit of finding Chemnitz volumes there once in a while. He isn’t really an easy read, a good read, but not easy. So what happens is not only do other Christians not get exposed to Lutheranism, Lutherans pick up cotton candy devo’s in the checkout line of Wal-Mart. This isn’t exactly a good thing. A little leaven can leaven the whole lump.
There are quality Lutheran books out there that aren’t hard to read. We should see about putting a few more of them out to the general public. Bo Giertz is always good by the way. Great Devotional reading there, easily consumed by any Christian, but beware of the Lutheran Leaven!

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