Forde, Gerhard O. The Preached God: Proclamation in Word and Sacrament. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2007. Kindle Electronic Edition.
Chapter 10, “Lutheran Faith and American Freedom” Loc. 2671-2803.
Forde considers the contemporary view of freedom in America as opposed to a biblical view, saying, “what most Americans call freedom today is what theology - particularly Lutheran theology - would call bondage” (Forde 2007, Loc. 2671). Historically, freedom has always needed restraints, preferably voluntary restraints, to prevent it from running wild (Forde 2007, Loc. 2676). It was through religious values that the American founding fathers found this restraint. Forde argues that Christianity has been removed from the equation, resulting in political and social decline (Forde 2007, Loc. 2680). Lutheran theology has always promoted freedom (Forde 2007, Loc. 2693), but this does not require assimilation to the broader culture. The voice of the gospel is essential in all our work (Forde 2007, Loc. 2707). Forde asserts that this will happen only when God’s law is seen in its power (Forde 2007, Loc. 2712). Further, “much of the theology of the cross today seems to lack or at least ignore the resurrection” (Forde 2007, Loc. 275e). Despite our rejection of Jesus, God raised him from the dead for us. The work was accomplished.
The devaluation of the gospel is not a new problem (Forde 2007, Loc. 2745). Classical Protestant faith has shown that Christians are chosen by God, therefore live out God’s law (Forde 2007, Loc. 2750). Shifting the burden to the obligation for us to have faith erodes the strength of God’s salvation (Forde 2007, Loc. 2760). It results in making qualitative judgments about Christians. The result lies not in law-based standards, but in genuine gospel (Forde 2007, Loc. 2782). The law needs to be preached to reveal sin, but then the gospel, with so much force as to create a new being, must come (Forde 2007, Loc. 2795).