Red Brick Parsonage is operated by a confessional Lutheran pastor serving in the South of the U.S.A.
That’s all I got for attribution. I happened upon this site when I was looking up and studying Luther’s approach to hymnody and how his translations are used and maybe abused. The Pastor wrote that a translation of one of Luther’s Pentecost Hymns, “Come Holy Ghost, God and Lord” has some issues. He writes “the translation that personally bothers me the most is the rendering of Luther’s, “rechtem Glauben” (“correct faith”), as, “living faith.” Certainly we want a living faith (as St. James makes clear), but perhaps now more than ever we need to emphasis that there is also a correct believing and an incorrect believing, and it is only correct believing (that is, believing in the truth) that can and will be living faith in the truest form. That this is the proper way to understand Luther’s phrase is probably best proved by the German compound noun which combines precisely these two words, Rechtgläubigkeit, which we would translate as orthodoxy, but many of us don’t know what orthodoxy means either – teaching and believing the right way (which implies there is a wrong way – contrary to the popular American expression, “You just gotta have faith…”).
I love this little sentence. You can have a living faith and a lively faith and you can be dead wrong. Help us to know our God aright is the petition that we ask the Holy Ghost. Give us an orthodox faith. This is the biggest problem we see in mission work. Folks are being evangelized precisely because they have an incorrect faith and the job of a missionary is to prach the “right faith” orthodox Lutheran doctrine. Why that should be an issue is beyond me. There are folks out there that just want to “talk to them about Jesus”. That is fine for witnessing Christians at a barbecue, but it seems to me that a missionary in a foreign field has to say a bit more.
Thank to the redbrickparsonage and the unknown Pastor who authors it for this insight.