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A blog of the Evangelical Lutheran Liturgy

Congratulations to Rev. Matthew Harrison

The election, moments ago, of Rev. Matthew Harrison to the office of President of the Lutheran Church -- Missouri Synod, is a remarkable demonstration of the mysterious ways of God.

Rev. Harrison is, in my estimation, a theologian of impressive stature, who knows the history of the Synod as well as what counts for confessional Lutheran theology. I heard him speak up in Minnesota a few months ago, very impressive. I have known him for some time, but in my estimation, he has gained much in theological clarity and sense. The grace of God is with him.

He's going to need it.

Moments after the election, while waiting for the ballot boxes to reset for the election of first VP of Synod, the delegation had to listen to a traditional Trinitarian hymn "Holy God We Praise Thy Name," but with a rhythm section and a male vocalist. It was pure praise band stuff, which confessional Lutherans find, well, rather repulsive. It doesn't match the words being sung. It's the very kind of thing we've been teaching our people to avoid.

So here we have a truly schizophrenic situation. The music here is unbefitting worship, but the election tells another story. A divided synod, but hopefully one which wend its way through the worship wars to a God-pleasing resolution.

Could we dare to hope for such a thing? Well, years ago I would never have expected that a Matthew Harrison would have had a chance to be elected President of the Missouri Synod.