Matt's bookOur President Matthew Harrison has translated the Letters of Herman Sasse. Letters to Lutheran Pastors: Volume I, 1948–1951, and Volume II, 1951–1956.By Hermann Sasse. Edited and Translated by Matthew C. Harrison. Foreword by Ronald R. Feuerhahn. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 2013, 2014. .

“By any benchmark Hermann Sasse was one of the foremost twentieth-century Lutheran theologians. He incisively analyzed how modern trends in church life eclipse doctrinal truth”.  So says Mark Mattes in a review of the book on a blog site.

This is the part of the review that I found fascinating, especially in view of the understanding of “resolution” current today.

Ever concerned to uphold the church in her mission, Sasse notes that at its core the church is a praying community: “for the church of Christ is not a church that is always busy holding conferences, nor is she a church that does business with politicians and the press. She is ecclesia orans. And this is her main calling. Either she is ecclesia orans—as indeed she showed herself to be already in the catacombs—or she is nothing. Her ministry is not dependent on how that ministry came into being, such as an apostolic succession. Instead, the apostolicity of the church is grounded in its fidelity to the apostles’ message: “every sermon becomes more important than those sessions in which grandiose ecclesiastical resolutions are discussed concerning the Bonn Constitution or the atom bomb or the Goethe bicentennial” . In contrast to American Protestantism, the church is not a voluntary association, and in contrast to Catholicism, she is not an organic expression of Christ himself. Instead, she is the witness to Jesus Christ in her administration of word and sacrament.