I've been reading bits and pieces of C. W. Walther's thoughts on the Law and the Gospel as well as this Lutheran way of looking at things. I remember writing in my blogs that I find regeneration more of an ideal than a reality, in that I see young Christians who believe but sin alot, I see myself who believes and sins alot, and I see old Christians who believe and sin alot. I've always wondered whether any theologian proposed a reason for why this was happening. For the Catholics it's always something like 'not enough Marian devotion' or 'Protestantism has tainted everythign', for the Reformed it's something like 'you weren't really pre-destined'. However, with Lutheranism I was reading this LCMS document the other day and they proposed that the 'old man' (See St. Paul in Romans) remains with us for the rest of our earthly life, and death is the punishment we still face for it's resumed existence, and when we die, the old nature is completely gone and only the new nature remains. That sounds alot nicer than purgatory, and it seems to make sense to me.
I love the Lutherans because they also believe in the Real Presence (consubstantiation) and have strong convictions about what a pastor is to do and be like - I'd almost call it a priesthood for them - at least in the Missouri Synod and conservative branches. The Gospel is actually good news in the denomination as well.
I was sitting in an Anglican service the other day thinking about how if I was to evangelize to someone, how difficult it would be. I'd tell them about Jesus and how new and revolutionary he was and then proceed to seat them amongst 80 year olds so that we could recite the Nicene creed, and then have to explain that 'One Holy Catholic Church' doesn't actually mean that, and that the Priest who is calling the Sacred Scriptures 'a good book, like Shakespearean literature' (it happened last week), that guy with the robes saying that is really a heretic. And then I'd have to explain heresy....
Long story short, I was just thinking, I need a denomination that can preach the gospel. As St. Paul says 'I came not to baptize but to preach the gospel' (1 Cor 1). I also like Lutheranism because it takes all the goodness of Reformed theology and removes all the stuff I dislike. Ex. Reprobation, symbolic sacraments, Mark Driscoll, etc.
They believe in predestination but only of the elect, and in universal atonement which I agree with. I also found out the other night that there's a seminary 15 minutes away from my house which is the Canadian branch of the LCMS. So that would be neat to check out.