Wednesday, October 08, 2008

I've Been Tagged!

I was tagged! by the Scottish Lutheran, Rev. Mike Keith, a really solid traditionalist Lutheran pastor from Ft. Qu'Appelle, SK. And if you don't now what state SK is, you'll have to look it up youself. :-)

Anyway, this is the question as tweaked by Pastor Keith's tagger, Rev. William Weedon:

What five people - past or present - inspire your spiritual life??Hmmm...OK, we know that our Lord Himself has to be at the top of the list, so He is assumed. Your five simply follow Him. In Lutheran circles, we will also presume "Fr. Martin of Wittenberg" as well. :-)So the five would be additional people who (humanly speaking) have greatly impacted your life of faith and love on this earth.

This is a really great question, and I'm going to narrow my list to the following (with, of course, my own "honorable mention" list following this numbered list). Numbers 1-3 are people with whom I had personal contact, while 4 and 5 are obviously known to me only through their writing.

1) Rev. Alvin Boehlke - a humble, soft-spoken now retired LCMS pastor who catechized and baptized me in 1982, and who preached Law and Gospel and fed me with the Holy Sacrament while I was under his pastoral care for some five years. When I first met him and asked what Lutherans believe, he handed me a copy of the Augsburg Confession - which I still have and keep in my office at church 26 years later.

2) Rev. Dr. David Scaer - The legendary (and bombastic) seminary professor at CTS Fort Wayne who teaches the faith and specializes in the Scriptures with integrity, panache, and wit. In spite of his gruff persona and abrasive classroom shtick, he is a true gentleman, churchman, intellectual, and pastor. He always makes his students think, and challenges them to do so sacramentally and christologically.

3) Rev. Prof. Kurt Marquart - The now sainted genius professor who taught the Lutheran Confessions (among other interesting and unique classes, such as Apologetics) at CTS Fort Wayne. Aristocratic in bearing, devout in faith, articulate in discourse, and yet genuinely humble and ever ready to help anyone in need, he was completely fluent in several languages and was gifted in rhetoric. He brought a kindness and warmth to his teaching, which was always designed to make the material accessible to his students - no matter how difficult the subject matter. He was a true gentleman, churchman, scholar, educator, and above all, a genuine pastor.

4) St. Polycarp of Smyrna, Bishop and Martyr - An apostolic father and churchman called the "most significant figure for our times" by Rev. Dr. John Stephenson. St. Polycarp was the link between the Apostle John and St. Irenaeus. He was martyred at age 84, after refusing to renounce his Lord. He was a humble, and yet courageous bishop whose writing clearly demonstrated that the Scriptures were constantly on his mind and lips, both as a Christian, and in his ministry as a bishop. His steadfastness to the Lord and His Church in the face of a hostile culture remains an inspiration today, as do his episcopal and fatherly exhortations from his Epistle to the Philippians.

5) Rev. Dr. Arthur C. Piepkorn, Confessor - Now sainted professor at CS St. Louis, a churchman, historian, beloved professor, and theologian par excellence. He had a keen understanding of Lutheranism not as an "ism" but rather as a living Evangelical tradition within Catholicism. His writings continue to shape the ongoing movement toward a more historical ecclesiology and appreciation of liturgy, sacraments, and the ordained priesthood among Lutherans. He was the face of Lutheranism in ecumenical dialogue for decades - especially among the Roman Catholic theologians who held him in high esteem.

I do have a list of honorable mentions (in no particular order):

Rev. Dr. Fred Baue
- my former pastor who planted the seed of my going to seminary.
Mrs. Mamie Hustead
- my late Baptist great-grandmother whose devotion to the Gospel and the Holy Scriptures were greatly inspiring.
Mrs. Patricia Beane
- my late mother who read Scripture to me from my earliest days.
Rev. Dr. Peter Scaer
- friend and CTS Fort Wayne professor who taught me Greek.
Mr. Rick Bowman - my childhood friend who invited me to attend church with him.
Rev. Dr. Burnell Eckardt
- publisher of Gottesdienst and brilliant writer/theologian.
Rev. Subdeacon Latif Gab
a - one of my oldest friends from seminary, a former classmate, whose deep theological insights are always a joy to read and discuss.
Rt. Rev. Dr. Bo Giertz, Bishop and Confessor - sainted author of Hammer of God, former atheist who became Sweden's youngest bishop, an advocate of the liturgy, pastoral care, and the authority of Scripture, defender of the male pastorate and leader of the confessional resistance in Sweden.
Dr. C.S. Lewis - Author, lay theologian, literature professor, convert from atheism, genius.
Rev. Kantor Richard Resch - professor at CTS Fort Wayne - taught me more about church music than any other person, and allowed me to sing with the Seminary Kantorei.
Rev. Jim King, S.J. - Jesuit priest, my first Theology instructor at Walsh Jesuit High School.
Rev. Dr. William Weinrich - brilliant historical theologian and professor at CTS Fort Wayne.
Rev. Douglas Punke - who ordained me into the presbyterate.

I'm sure I'll think of others, and I'll add them as they pop into my mind.

Thanks, Mike, for tagging me, and I hope you'll forgive my tardiness.

Okay, now I guess I get to tag some folks.

How about: Peter Scaer (who as far as I now, doesn't blog, but he is free to post his answers as a comment to this post), Piotr Malysz, Past Elder, and Latif Gaba.


Past Elder said...

Thanks for tagging me. I'll post my response on my blog shortly. It may well be a list unique in all confessional Lutheranism.

I was struck by your description of Pastor Marquart, whom I know of but unfortunately will never know, here. I would describe one of those who will be on my list, Godfrey Diekmann OSB, the same way. He was a principal architect of Roman liturgical reform resulting in the novus ordo, a peritus at Vatican II -- as you may be guessing already, not an influence in the sense of imparting what I now believe, but in seeing the deficiencies in my influences, was ready to believe when I read what will not by definition on the list, Luther and the Book of Concord.

Past Elder said...

Re SK, unless he's Slovakian (sk being the internet country code for Slovakia) I'm thinking we're talking province, not state!

Past Elder said...

Bombastic, gruff persona, abrasive shtick? Oh no!