Let Us Recapture The Explosion Again!

Often times when we think of old documents that were written in generations past, we can imagine them as dry, out of date and certainly irrelevant.  Is that the case with the Augsburg Confession?  Gerhard Forde in his book, Justification by Faith- A Matter of Death and Life, has a wonderful description of the Augsburg Confession, sharing that the AC is certainly not a dry and irrelevant document.  Rather, he makes the case that this document is explosive, radical and life changing.  He states on pages 1-2,
Karl Barth in his epoch-making Commentary on Romans likened the institutional ‘remains’ left by the event of revelation to the burned-out cinders left by a great explosion.  The ecclesiastical practices and structures, the laws, dogmas, doctrines, and confessional documents are like the charred clinkers in a crater marking the fact that here a great explosion took place or a meteor crashed marking the divine eruption into time.  Without necessarily espousing the implied view of revelation, I would suggest that Barth’s image is a useful one.  All too often, in interpreting the documents of the faith one can become so preoccupied with an examination of the crater and the cinders that one forgets the explosion.  One scrambles about with archaeological tools wondering what in the world actually happened here and what the fuss was all about.  One attempts, perhaps, to construct an ‘objective’ and dispassionate account of the earth-shaking event.  The temptation is all the greater at those special times when we recall the landmark events of the Reformation.
Forde goes on to say,
If today, for example, we are to appropriate the witness of a document such as the Augsburg Confession in anything more than perfunctory fashion we cannot just investigate the crater.  We must try somehow to recapture the explosion.  Examining the crater and the cinders is a useful, indeed an absolutely indispensable exercise.  There is no substitute for careful, linguistic, exegetical, and historical work.  But we have to get beyond the research as such and put it to work in trying to grasp the explosion itself, recapture it so that it can be set off again and again in the life of the church.  What once shook everything to the roots can do so again today.
The challenge for you and I today is that frankly, we want to prevent the explosion from happening.  Do I dare say that churches sometimes hire pastors to protect them from the Word and documents like the Augsburg Confession?  Forde says,
Indeed, the constant temptation of the church seems to be to dampen the explosion, attempt to bring it under control, make it ‘safe’ according to our timorous and cautious estimate of things.  To use an image from atomic physics, we are always putting the rods into the reactor to bring it under control and render it useful for our own particular ends.  When the explosion that gave us the Reformation has been so dampened and brought under control, it is not strange to find ourselves hundreds of years later wondering if perhaps it wasn’t just a minor affair after all, localized in time and space…”
So, how are we to recapture the explosion today in our cultural circumstances.  I am sure there are several ways to do so.  However, one way is to begin to study the Augsburg Confession and you can do so by simply CLICKING HERE.  As your read, fasten your seat belts and hold on as the AC may be ignited in your context.