ALPB Forum Online

ALPB => Your Turn => Topic started by: Mike Gehlhausen on November 10, 2010, 05:24:25 PM

Title: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: Mike Gehlhausen on November 10, 2010, 05:24:25 PM
Interesting article from Steadfast Lutherans:

ALPB President Evaluates President Harrison’s Election, By Martin R. Noland

http://steadfastlutherans.org/?p=12761

I know that not everyone here reads Steadfast Lutherans so I thought I'd bring it to the attention of those here.

Mike
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: Steverem on November 10, 2010, 05:42:38 PM
Quote

The ALPB used to publish Forum Letter . . .


Used to?  Has FL been retired?
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: Michael Slusser on November 10, 2010, 05:43:02 PM
Interesting article from Steadfast Lutherans:

ALPB President Evaluates President Harrison’s Election, By Martin R. Noland

http://steadfastlutherans.org/?p=12761

I know that not everyone here reads Steadfast Lutherans so I thought I'd bring it to the attention of those here.

Mike

Thanks, Mike. I don't read it, but the reference to ALPB attracted my interest.

The first paragraph raised what's left of my eyebrows with these sentences: The ALPB publishes Lutheran Forum and Lutheran Forum Online. The ALPB used to publish Forum Letter, and also has published an occasional book or two.  It has been known for its advocacy for an “American” form of Lutheranism in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, thus its name.

Forum Letter still comes out (to me at least) and when ALPB started (around WW I?) I thought it was an attempt to build a common voice and discussion in American Lutheranism, which then was in even more different church bodies than it's getting to be now.

Now, back to Noland.

Peace,
Michael
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: James_Gale on November 10, 2010, 06:10:08 PM
Interesting article from Steadfast Lutherans:

ALPB President Evaluates President Harrison’s Election, By Martin R. Noland

http://steadfastlutherans.org/?p=12761

I know that not everyone here reads Steadfast Lutherans so I thought I'd bring it to the attention of those here.

Mike

Thanks, Mike. I don't read it, but the reference to ALPB attracted my interest.

The first paragraph raised what's left of my eyebrows with these sentences: The ALPB publishes Lutheran Forum and Lutheran Forum Online. The ALPB used to publish Forum Letter, and also has published an occasional book or two.  It has been known for its advocacy for an “American” form of Lutheranism in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, thus its name.

Forum Letter still comes out (to me at least) and when ALPB started (around WW I?) I thought it was an attempt to build a common voice and discussion in American Lutheranism, which then was in even more different church bodies than it's getting to be now.

Now, back to Noland.

Peace,
Michael

What does Pr. Noland mean when he speaks about a more "American" form of Lutheranism? 

Those of us on the ELCA side of the world might associate that kind of characterization with SS Schmucker's notion of "American Lutheranism."  But this association would probably have little or no place in Missouri's collective memory.   
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: Daniel L. Gard on November 10, 2010, 06:20:13 PM
What does Pr. Noland mean when he speaks about a more "American" form of Lutheranism? 

Those of us on the ELCA side of the world might associate that kind of characterization with SS Schmucker's notion of "American Lutheranism."  But this association would probably have little or no place in Missouri's collective memory.   

Actually, every seminarian at Fort Wayne (and I assume Saint Louis as well) has studied the history of Lutheranism in America. Schmucker is a part of that study along with his American Rescension of the Augsburg Confession.  He stands as a warning about where we never want to go theologically.
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: James_Gale on November 10, 2010, 06:23:51 PM
What does Pr. Noland mean when he speaks about a more "American" form of Lutheranism? 

Those of us on the ELCA side of the world might associate that kind of characterization with SS Schmucker's notion of "American Lutheranism."  But this association would probably have little or no place in Missouri's collective memory.   

Actually, every seminarian at Fort Wayne (and I assume Saint Louis as well) has studied the history of Lutheranism in America. Schmucker is a part of that study along with his American Rescension of the Augsburg Confession.  He stands as a warning about where we never want to go theologically.

Good to know.  And you are absolutely right.

Do you have any sense as to what Pr. Noland might mean?
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: Daniel L. Gard on November 10, 2010, 06:33:31 PM
What does Pr. Noland mean when he speaks about a more "American" form of Lutheranism?  

Those of us on the ELCA side of the world might associate that kind of characterization with SS Schmucker's notion of "American Lutheranism."  But this association would probably have little or no place in Missouri's collective memory.    

Actually, every seminarian at Fort Wayne (and I assume Saint Louis as well) has studied the history of Lutheranism in America. Schmucker is a part of that study along with his American Rescension of the Augsburg Confession.  He stands as a warning about where we never want to go theologically.

Good to know.  And you are absolutely right.

Do you have any sense as to what Pr. Noland might mean?

I'm not sure. I assume he refers to the American version of Christianity - a basic evangelicalism characterized by non-liturgical worship, non-confessional theology, etc. In other words, a theological melting pot something like the much acclaimed cultural melting pot. Americanized Lutheranism thus becomes indistinguishable from its protestant neighbors.
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: revjagow on November 10, 2010, 06:54:21 PM
The only thing that ruffled my feathers a bit was the opening paragraph:

Quote
Moderates in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod have not made much comment on the election of Matthew Harrison as President of the LCMS.  This is wise, since they did not expect his election and their political plans for the future would seem uncertain.

First of all, the surprise for most came more from the convention voting for some of the restructuring changes and then electing the person who was a vocal critic of said changes, not so much that the convention opted for a change of administration after ten years of the same person in office.   

Second of all, most moderates I associate with (Atlantic and Southeastern District, PLI, ALPB) will likely be quite happy with Rev. Harrison in office.  In fact, most of us are quite happy to not be politically involved at all.  The thing that would break that laziness is any perceived attempt to purify our church body from said moderates. Here's another vote for that straw poll idea that has been thrown out there from time to time.

Aside from suggesting he research his moderates a bit more, I have little to critique in Noland's article. 
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: mariemeyer on November 10, 2010, 07:42:04 PM
In other words, a theological melting pot something like the much acclaimed cultural melting pot. Americanized Lutheranism thus becomes indistinguishable from its protestant neighbors.
 
   
If this is how Noland understands the origins of the ALPB he is out to lunch.

I happen to have a history of the American Lutheran beginning in 1918.   Names associated with the early years of the ALPB and the American Lutheran include... George Koenig, Paul Lindemann, Arthur Brunn, OP Kretzmann, William Breuning, EJ Friedrich, Henry Wind, AW Brustat, OCJ Hoffmann, Arthur Karl Piepkorn, OA Geisemann, William Buege Jaroslav Pelikan, Theodore Kleinhans, Martin Kretzmann, Robert Gussick.... the list goes on.   To suggest that these men were interested in or promoted an American Luthanism that would become indistinguishable from its protestant neighbors is far from the truth.   

Marie Meyer

 
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: Daniel L. Gard on November 10, 2010, 07:53:20 PM
In other words, a theological melting pot something like the much acclaimed cultural melting pot. Americanized Lutheranism thus becomes indistinguishable from its protestant neighbors.
 
   
If this is how Noland understands the origins of the ALPB he is out to lunch.

I happen to have a history of the American Lutheran beginning in 1918.   Names associated with the early years of the ALPB and the American Lutheran include... George Koenig, Paul Lindemann, Arthur Brunn, OP Kretzmann, William Breuning, EJ Friedrich, Henry Wind, AW Brustat, OCJ Hoffmann, Arthur Karl Piepkorn, OA Geisemann, William Buege Jaroslav Pelikan, Theodore Kleinhans, Martin Kretzmann, Robert Gussick.... the list goes on.   To suggest that these men were interested in or promoted an American Luthanism that would become indistinguishable from its protestant neighbors is far from the truth.   

Marie Meyer

 


As I said, I am not sure what is meant by the term. That is how I understand it, not necessarily how Dr. Noland intended it.
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: DeHall on November 10, 2010, 09:36:37 PM
In other words, a theological melting pot something like the much acclaimed cultural melting pot. Americanized Lutheranism thus becomes indistinguishable from its protestant neighbors.
 
   
If this is how Noland understands the origins of the ALPB he is out to lunch.

I happen to have a history of the American Lutheran beginning in 1918.   Names associated with the early years of the ALPB and the American Lutheran include... George Koenig, Paul Lindemann, Arthur Brunn, OP Kretzmann, William Breuning, EJ Friedrich, Henry Wind, AW Brustat, OCJ Hoffmann, Arthur Karl Piepkorn, OA Geisemann, William Buege Jaroslav Pelikan, Theodore Kleinhans, Martin Kretzmann, Robert Gussick.... the list goes on.   To suggest that these men were interested in or promoted an American Luthanism that would become indistinguishable from its protestant neighbors is far from the truth.   

Marie Meyer

 


mnoland@insightbb.com.   Ask him.
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on November 10, 2010, 10:09:39 PM

I happen to have a history of the American Lutheran beginning in 1918.  


This would be when Lutherans in the United States were recognizing that worshiping, teaching, and theologizing in German, Swedish, Norwegian, etc. was no longer a good idea.

Pax, Steven+
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: Charles_Austin on November 10, 2010, 10:50:19 PM
Steven Writes:
This would be when Lutherans in the United States were recognizing that worshiping, teaching, and theologizing in German, Swedish, Norwegian, etc. was no longer a good idea.

I correct:
No. This would be when Lutherans in the United States were recognizing that worshiping, teaching, and theologizing only in German, Swedish, Norwegian, etc. was no longer a good idea.
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: mariemeyer on November 11, 2010, 10:37:21 AM
However, it seems clear to me that it does echo Schmucker's "New Measures" in wanting to round off the rougher edges of Lutheran confession so that it might be more palatable to other confessions within American Christianity.

The various theologians mentioned by Dcs. Meyer stand as testimony of this assertion.

Mike: What seems clear to you is off the mark and begs the question of whether you have read anything by these men.   

Marie
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: James_Gale on November 11, 2010, 11:32:35 AM

I know that Pelikan was lured off by the smells and bells of Eastern Orthodoxy.


In other words, Dr. Pelikan's move to the Orthodox Church is evidence that the ALPB wanted to make the Lutheran Confessions "more palatable to other confessions within American Christianity?

Hmmmm.
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: mariemeyer on November 11, 2010, 11:44:25 AM
I've read the Statement of the Forty-Four which many of them signed.



And what in the Statement of the Forty-Four is not consistent with Lutheran theology or that takes the edge off what belongs to the Lutheran Confessions?

Marie
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: James_Gale on November 11, 2010, 11:48:40 AM

I know that Pelikan was lured off by the smells and bells of Eastern Orthodoxy.


In other words, Dr. Pelikan's move to the Orthodox Church is evidence that the ALPB wanted to make the Lutheran Confessions "more palatable to other confessions within American Christianity?

Hmmmm.

There are not American believers who belong to the Eastern Orthodox church?

Exactly which Christian confessions originated purely in the United States?

Mike

Yes, some Americans are members of Orthodox Churches.  But are you seriously arguing that the ALPB -- or any Lutheran group for that matter -- sought to make the Lutheran Confessions more palatable to the Orthodox?

You wrote of "American Christianity."  That was your term.  The Orthodox have a presence in America.  But they most assuredly are not part of what anyone could call "American Christianity."  Indeed, perhaps more than any other segment of the Christian world, the Orthodox have resisted buying into "American Christianity."
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: Michael Slusser on November 11, 2010, 12:31:45 PM
I'm surprised that BJS is just now discovering this article.  John Hannah makes some great points IMO but he loses me with his accolades for Kieshnick.  What this article reveals is the deep partisanship within our church body which is much akin to the political realm in our country. 

Wohlrabe, in the article Mike Gehlhausen just quoted, blames the ALPB people for introducing political maneuvering and party spirit into the LCMS. Or am I misreading him?

Peace,
Michael
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: mariemeyer on November 11, 2010, 02:08:34 PM

Father Slusser:

I think the article to which Mike refers is based on Chaplain Wohlrabe doctoral dissertation. (Wohlrabe is currently an LCMS Vice President.)  Wohlrabe is among those who trace most, if not all, of Missouri's departure from true orthodox Lutheranism to the ALPB. At the time the "44" prepared A Statement, several of the men who founded the ALPB were still alive and signed A Statement. Wohlrabe reasons that the ALPB gave birth to the"44" who gave birth to Seminex and Seminex is the origin of all that ails the ELCA.

To the best of my knowledge the men who signed A Statement were primarily educators and parish pastors. I have the list of men before me and see very few, if any names, of men who were elected to synodical offices.  The only name I associate with a synodical position is H.F. Wind who I believe was primarily involved in LCMS Human Care efforts. 

I submit that holding the ALPB responsible for Missouri's departure from orthodoxy has something to due with the fact that the ALPB originated in NYC. There has to be someone to blame. Those East Coast liberals are an obvious target.

I have a month by month summary of American Lutheran articles beginning with Feb, 1937.   In April 1938 the ALPB adopted the slogan "A Changeless Christ for a Changing World." The ALPB existed to proclaim Christ to a fallen world.  I am going to read through the summary of articles for evidence of political maneuvering and party spirit.

Marie meyer   

Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: revjagow on November 11, 2010, 02:25:12 PM
I'm surprised that BJS is just now discovering this article.  John Hannah makes some great points IMO but he loses me with his accolades for Kieshnick.  What this article reveals is the deep partisanship within our church body which is much akin to the political realm in our country. 

Wohlrabe, in the article Mike Gehlhausen just quoted, blames the ALPB people for introducing political maneuvering and party spirit into the LCMS. Or am I misreading him?

Peace,
Michael

The last paragraph looked very similar to one of Glen Beck's infamous blackboard talks.   That was quite a leap of logic Rev. Wohlrabe took!

It also did not answer the question of what in the Statement of 44 is inconsistent with Lutheran theology (I have not read it, so I would not know what Mike G. may be alluding to here).

What I find disappointing is the suspicion and look of conspiratorial eyes toward an organization I've come to know and respect over the years.  It's not as if it is above suspicion, but I feel they deserve better than these little pokes and attempts to associate the group with this or that liberal theology.  If anything, ALPB serves the purpose of preventing the drift away from catholicity and orthodoxy (note the lack of capital letters) among Lutherans.  It's in the mission statement for anyone who cares to look: 

Quote
The American Lutheran Publicity Bureau (ALPB), established in 1914, is a non-profit organization independent of official church control, linked by faith and confession to the Church it serves. Committed to an understanding of Lutheran tradition as evangelical and catholic, the ALPB affirms the Church's scriptural and confessional foundations in order to foster renewal within the Lutheran bodies of North America, Lutheran churches abroad, and the wider ecumenical community. The ALPB holds that all those under Christ who hold fast the Scriptures and Lutheran Confessions have a common life, with a distinctive role to play in conveying the Gospel message. In an era in which the Church in North America must address an increasingly post-Christian and secular culture, the ALPB makes the theological, liturgical and devotional resources of our confessional heritage accessible and relevant to all Lutherans as well as to friends in other communions. 
 

Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: ddrebes on November 11, 2010, 02:27:44 PM
Every time I think I've gotten a handle on the divisions in American Lutheranism, something like this comes along makes me simultaneously laugh and despair all over again.
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: Michael Slusser on November 11, 2010, 02:52:57 PM
From what I read last summer, I'd say Wohlrabe nails one point:

Then, in 1945, the members of the editorial board for the American Lutheran called a meeting of “like-minded individuals,” who then drafted “A Statement” (the so-called Statement of the Forty-Four). This document called into question the Missouri Synod’s traditional position on church fellowship. (Bolding is mine.)

As much as I've heard people on this Forum say the whole trouble is about whether Scripture is treated as authoritative or not, I still think the issue isn't higher criticism or the like, at least where the LCMS is concerned; it's where Pr. Wohlrabe says it is: the "traditional position on church fellowship." To the extent that ALPB tries to give expression to a Lutheran "common life" (see the mission statement helpfully cited by revjagow), it is bound to raise questions about that position.

Peace,
Michael
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: carlvehse on November 11, 2010, 03:02:47 PM
Here's the text of the Statement of the Forty-Four (http://web.archive.org/web/20041105123919/http://www.ctsfw.edu/etext/lcms/ST44/ST44.txt) along with the list of signatories.
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: Dave Benke on November 11, 2010, 03:09:40 PM
I'll see John Wohlrabe next week and I plan to congratulate him on insightfully preparing the ground for what happens to be the truth:  The ALPB is responsible for Matt Harrison's election.  

First of all, how many of the interlocutors here didn't also win elections - Will Weedon, Glen Piper and others all swept in.  These are our peeps.  I wasn't swept out.  And my overture turned resolution passed right through into a highly regarded CTCR document - "Together With All Creatures."   Secondly and fundamentally, the bottom-line reason ALPB is the church-political font and source par excellence is that it promotes dialog, even and especially about worship and other controverted items, without being nasty and, well, immature (for the most part), as is so much the norm in the Steadfast/Questblogosphere.  Forum publishes John Pless and many other well-regarded Missourians, and all is done in a spirit of common engagement.  This was if I'm not mistaken, the whole thematic of "It's Time."  ALPB was and IS It's Time.  John establishes the historical basis for the clear fact, which is that all credit should be given to the preeminent evangelical and catholic voice in American Lutheranism at this time - The American Lutheran Publicity Bureau.  If and as the Missourians on the Board bring Matt out for conversation, the influence will continue, and possibly, just possibly, a Missouri Synod that engages the world with the Gospel of hope will take shape, just as the ALPB intends it to.  Not only is the ALPB not the problem - the ALPB holds and is itself the solution - a dialogical engine for the evangelical and catholic movement of the Church through time unto eternity.

So thank you, John Wohlrabe.  And thank you, Paul McCain and so many other Missouri luminaries who make this their true dialogical home.  And thank God for the American Lutheran Publicity Bureau.  Paul Sauer, John Hannah, Marie Meyer et al, these are YOUR days to shine!

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: ptmccain on November 11, 2010, 03:18:37 PM
This is the only Internet forum where I learn about things like gun-toting birds in New York City. Priceless.
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: Dave Benke on November 11, 2010, 03:40:47 PM
I don't see an "agenda of ecumenism", Mike, on the part of John or any of the alpb leaders, but an agenda that desires to promote and share evangelical and catholic Christianity appropriately across all the divides.  As you've no doubt seen and heard here, communio in sacris is held in high esteem, even as and while gathering for prayer, study and conversation - for the mtuual conversation and consolation of the brethren, in the words of Luther - is possible acress the boundaries of denominational affiliation.  And even as we establish new and more official gathering-places for ecumenical dialog, as I'm sure Al Collver will endeavor.

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: Dave Benke on November 11, 2010, 03:44:53 PM
I'll be up at the Reservoir tomorrow morning, Paul, and bring your greetings to the feathered platoons on patrol.  The early birds are easier to deal with than the night owls.  I don't mess with them much at all, although the local priest is known to jog around the Res. at midnight.  But then he has a Rottweiler.

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: Michael Slusser on November 11, 2010, 04:24:30 PM

But I also think that it is fair to point out that the ALPB definitely seems to have pushed an agenda of ecumenism at least in its early years.  Father Slusser seems to pick up on that, and I don't think he really has a dog in this LCMS internecine fight.
Mike

Actually, Mike, what I said was that the Statement of the 44, as Pr. Wohlrabe points out, "called into question the Missouri Synod's position on church fellowship." (That is true, and it comes through clearly in A Statement.) Then I said, "To the extent that ALPB tries to give expression to a Lutheran "common life" (see the mission statement helpfully cited by revjagow), it is bound to raise questions about that position." Nothing there about ecumenism; just an alternative glimpse of a coherent Lutheran presence.

Peace,
Michael
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: James_Gale on November 11, 2010, 04:42:53 PM
I don't see an "agenda of ecumenism", Mike, on the part of John or any of the alpb leaders, but an agenda that desires to promote and share evangelical and catholic Christianity appropriately across all the divides.  As you've no doubt seen and heard here, communio in sacris is held in high esteem, even as and while gathering for prayer, study and conversation - for the mtuual conversation and consolation of the brethren, in the words of Luther - is possible acress the boundaries of denominational affiliation.  And even as we establish new and more official gathering-places for ecumenical dialog, as I'm sure Al Collver will endeavor.

Dave Benke

That's fair.  And I did point to the ALPB's early years.  And perhaps you'll at least admit that even as some were wrong to accuse those of ecumenism who simply wanted to render the Divine Service liturgy in English to be more welcoming to American society, those who did embrace unionistic and ecumenical ideas would find good cover within the ALPB and perhaps even some internal agreement in places.

There is always a tension in fellowship issues in this fallen sinful world.  Sometimes, the dust-ups resulting from that tension are unpleasant, but I believe maintaining that tension appropriately is important.

Thanks again for your thoughts and your participation here.

Mike

I find it odd that you speak of "accusing" someone of ecumenism.  Are your arguing that ecumenism is bad? 

I can understand criticizing the way in which some person or group approaches ecumenism.  But so long as it is approached properly, I don't see how ecumenism could be viewed as anything but good.
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: Michael Slusser on November 11, 2010, 04:50:11 PM
Maybe Mike means "unionism," which is an important technical term in the LCMS.

Peace,
Michael
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: James_Gale on November 11, 2010, 04:59:25 PM
Maybe Mike means "unionism," which is an important technical term in the LCMS.

Peace,
Michael

Perhaps so.  From an LCMS perspective, unionism most assuredly would be an improper form of ecumenism.
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: mariemeyer on November 11, 2010, 05:16:02 PM
But I also think that it is fair to point out that the ALPB definitely seems to have pushed an agenda of ecumenism at least in its early years.  Father Slusser seems to pick up on that, and I don't think he really has a dog in this LCMS internecine fight.

If by ecumenism you mean matters such as Lutheran/Roman Catolic diologue.  Yes, then members of the ALPB spoke up for and participated in such conversations before the synod did.

Yes, the issue that led to the "44" was fellowship.   The story has been told here more than once.  When LCMS missionary Brux arrived in India after a long and arduous journey, he was befriended by Presbyterians who provided hospice for arriving missionaries before they moved on to their designated location.  Brux prayed with the Presbyterians  during the time they gave him respite. Word os this reached the Mission Board in St. Louis.  Brux was called back and never permitted to return, even though he was one of the most skilled linguists ever to come out of the LCMS.. It's a long sad complicated story, but it led the "44" to produce A Statement thereby questioning how the LCMS understood fellowship.  When it seened as if the they would be tossed out of synod, 300 other pastors signed on.  

There are other stories such as Dr. John Nau speaking at the funeral of a black student from the LCMS Greensboro NC  high school. for blacks. The student had drowned.  Nau, principal of the school,  attended the funeral.  He sat in back of the church so as not to be conspicuous, hardly possible as an extremely tall white man in a small black Baptist church.  The pastor invited Nau up to say a few words which he did.  Again, he was called back to St. Louis to explain his "fellowship" with Baptists.

Stories such as this prompted the 44 to question how the LCMS defined fellowship.

Marie Meyer
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: Michael Slusser on November 11, 2010, 07:18:38 PM
Maybe Mike means "unionism," which is an important technical term in the LCMS.

Peace,
Michael

No, I don't mean that.

I mean ecumenism which as you point out can be done properly or improperly.

But Pr. Benke and Fr. Slusser ever so lightly rapped my knuckles for stating that the ALPB pursued an agenda of ecumenism even though that seems to me exactly what the mission statement Pr. Jagow pointed out promotes.

Sorry, Mike. But when you said "accused of ecumenism," I had the same reaction as James Gale.

As for the ALPB, I see their effort to make a common Lutheran voice possible as quite different from ecumenism. Maybe a lame parallel, but the association of pharmaceutical manufacturers seeks to be a voice for the industry, not to foster mergers. One big difference: ALPB is independent of all the Lutheran churches, PhARMA is owned and controlled by the corporations.

Peace,
Michael
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: FrPeters on November 11, 2010, 07:49:50 PM
I am not sure that folks always understand the nature of such a forum as this -- people all over the field speaking on subjects near and dear as well as topics surprising and shocking.  Sometimes the folks here vent, sometimes they rant, sometimes things profound are posted and sometimes things petty.  I personally appreciate a forum in which there is such diversity.  It is by nature ecumencial in that the conversation is not among like minded people but truly brings different points of view to the table.  This is not unionism since there is no joint worship but I have to admit that sometimes I wish I was close enough to drop in on some of the folks on this forum.  The BSJ forum is decidedly different -- more folks see eye to eye on that forum and the discussion is often aimed at events and people outside the group that is speaking.  Not bad but very different... maybe that is why it is difficult to categorize this forum... Sometimes I love it and sometimes I hate it but I never go too long without poking in to see what is fomenting at the moment... Thanks to those who make it so interesting, even though at times it is, well, ah, frustrating... but then again my favorite people are the ones who force me to think outside the box and that certainly happens here.  In addition, it is a place where you find out news from throughout the Lutheran family and spectrum.
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: Matt on November 12, 2010, 12:19:12 PM
I think it is easy to pigeonhole the ALPB as a bunch of liberals and BJS as a bunch of conservatives. The reality is, of course, more complex on both sides. And we have to remember that most of the posters on the ALPB Forum have no membership in or connection to the ALPB organization. I believe the same is true of the BJS posters.

I particularly appreciate the perspective of Pr. Noland at BJS. It seems to me that he is charitable toward the other side by using the word "moderate" to describe them and he is respectful toward Pr. Hannah even while criticizing Hannah's position. Unfortunately, many of the posters at BJS do not follow the example of the main contributors.

Also, I think it is fair to characterize the editorial position of the ALPB as "East Coast Lutheran." Certainly, this is true historically and several of the regular Forum contributors represent the "saltwater" perspective and live in and around New York. One of the reasons I hang out here is to better understand this perspective, as well as the range of opinion in the ELCA. 
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: Charles_Austin on November 12, 2010, 01:42:17 PM
Matthew Jamison writes:
Also, I think it is fair to characterize the editorial position of the ALPB as "East Coast Lutheran."

I muse:
One editor is California. A former editor is now in Kansas. One moderator here is in California, another in some place in the midwest. An associate editor of Lutheran Forum is in New York.
What do the real editors of ALPB think of this characterization of their "editorial position"?
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: Dave Benke on November 12, 2010, 01:45:06 PM
The East Coast has been and remains the straw that stirs the drink in the Missouri Synod, witness:

John Hannah, Paul Sauer, Dien Taylor, Ozzie Hoffmann, Ted Wittrock, Rudy Ressmeyer, Herman Otten, John Tietjen, Bob Smith, Andy Weyermann, Bob Werberig, Ralph Klein (5 Seminex leaders in a row there), David Scaer, Ralph Schultz, Jim Brauer, Marie Meyer, yours truly, oh, and didn't Martin Noland get his degree from Union Seminary here?  Did I miss that?  Did he miss that?  Who missed that? And of course the next generation - Scott Geminn and Matt Staneck, and luminaries to be named later.  Also Mr. Met.

I eliminated Walter Otten because he kept bothering me at Pres. Harrison's installation, following me around and interrupting everyone I met, four or five times,  with "Why are you talking to HIM?  Don't talk to him!"  So finally I broke back on him with "Hey, you're from New York yourself - cut me a break here!" To which he replied, "I was born and raised in the Bronx, but I thank God I was delivered from New York and translated to the Midwest!"  My response, suitable for framing, was "Wow!  That's amazing - that's exactly the same prayer WE have been praying about you all these years!"  

Check please, I think we're done here.  No NYC street cred for you, Walter.  Just another thick-cruster from the aptly named "Second" City.  As we say, "You Can Take the A Train - but dude, it doesn't really go to Chicago.  It ends in Far Rockaway, on the beach."

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: pr dtp on November 12, 2010, 02:06:24 PM
Matthew Jamison writes:
Also, I think it is fair to characterize the editorial position of the ALPB as "East Coast Lutheran."

I muse:
One editor is California. A former editor is now in Kansas. One moderator here is in California, another in some place in the midwest. An associate editor of Lutheran Forum is in New York.
What do the real editors of ALPB think of this characterization of their "editorial position"?

But it's northern california - our version of Pine Barrens...
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: George Erdner on November 12, 2010, 02:07:49 PM
Also, I think it is fair to characterize the editorial position of the ALPB as "East Coast Lutheran." Certainly, this is true historically and several of the regular Forum contributors represent the "saltwater" perspective and live in and around New York. One of the reasons I hang out here is to better understand this perspective, as well as the range of opinion in the ELCA. 

That seems a resonable assumption. An editorial position can be described as consistent with the thinking of East Coast Lutherans even if the individuals determining editorial positions are geographically located elsewhere.
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: MaddogLutheran on November 12, 2010, 02:45:14 PM
Matthew Jamison writes:
Also, I think it is fair to characterize the editorial position of the ALPB as "East Coast Lutheran."

I muse:
One editor is California. A former editor is now in Kansas. One moderator here is in California, another in some place in the midwest. An associate editor of Lutheran Forum is in New York.
What do the real editors of ALPB think of this characterization of their "editorial position"?

But it's northern california - our version of Pine Barrens...
So is there an indigenous Jersey California devil, too?  Well, other than Nancy Pelosi, of course...  ;)

If you don't understand the reference, please check google.  It's an East Coast thing.
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: Matt on November 12, 2010, 02:48:35 PM
Exactly my point, George. And I certainly didn't miss Pr. Noland's East Coast connection; he knows what he is talking about in this regard.

I think East Coast Lutheranism is characterized by a certain social and theological liberalism and a strong interest in ecumenism along with a "high" evangelical catholic liturgical practice. Exceptions abound, and I'm sure several of you will take strong exception to my characterization.

I will say this: since living in New York and New Jersey I have been richly blessed by the liturgical practice of the LCMS churches that I have attended. My opinion of East Coast Lutheranism is certainly not all negative.
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: Matt on November 12, 2010, 02:57:18 PM
Also, Lutheran friends and family from the Midwest and South that have come to worship with us have found church here to be shockingly katholisch. On such occasions, I cross myself even more than usual just to add to their discomfort.  ;)
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: Weedon on November 12, 2010, 03:16:18 PM
I have not found a single region where one could describe the state of Lutherans as all positive or all negative; but east coasters in general (hey, I are one) have a silly and inflated sense of their own importance.  The cool thing about midwesterners is that they (generally) don't.  It's one of the things I have come to love about them.
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: Matt Staneck on November 12, 2010, 03:24:46 PM
Matthew,

With you up until theologically liberal.  I don't think that characterizes East Coast LCMSers.  Most I run into are theologically conservative.  Are there political liberals?  Oh sure.  But I don't think we can make a clean cut connection between the political liberals and theological liberals.  Certainly many theological liberals are also political liberals. But alas, I don't find these terms and categories all too helpful.

I am a confessional Lutheran, yet all over the place politically.  Perhaps you weren't looking to go that far with what you said, if not then I apologize and please carry on.

Not sure what the mis/dis placed East Coaster from Maryland is talking about.  We are not silly, and we most certainly are not inflating our importance.  Our importance is just that great.  I'm actually heading to the airport in a couple minutes here, on this the final day of the quarter, to flex my East Coast importance by heading home via Pr. W's rejected home state, before finally being brought to the most important, no inflation necessary, place on earth: Long Island, NEW YORK.

Prayers for this egotistical traveler are extremely appreciated!

M. Staneck
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: SKPeterson on November 12, 2010, 03:27:12 PM
Well, I count ALPB (avert your eyes Charles!) as being extremely important to my own journey out of the ELCA and in to the LCMS.  And it's all the fault of guys like Peters and Benke and Weedon and even, God bless them and keep them, Tibbetts and Swensen.
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: Matt on November 12, 2010, 03:31:52 PM
That was pretty good, Matt. Dr. Benke's lips barely moved while you were typing. . .  ::)
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: Michael Slusser on November 12, 2010, 03:37:37 PM
Some of the effect may be sociological. RCs who live in a very pluralistic setting, where little that we do "goes without saying" and we have to explain ourselves a lot, develop an ease or at least a habit in dealing with diversity. That is the case whether we are "liberal" or "conservative," providing those terms have any religious meaning. Catholics from more homogeneous settings, such as Italy or Rhode Island, may think that Catholics from pluralistic settings look too ready to adapt to the secular culture, when the truth is that we have to deal with it a lot more than they do.

Mutatis mutandis that may be true of The Lutheran Church --- Missouri Synod, too. Many things may go without saying on the prairies that have to be painstakingly explained in the East Coast cities.

Peace,
Michael
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: Weedon on November 12, 2010, 03:42:54 PM
Like Sausage Suppers.  This week, folks, stop on by. Noon to six p.m. Too bad Matt's on the coast now.  It's yummy, whole pork sausage, dripping in grease.  Good stuff.  And we go through an unbelievable amount of work to host it every year.  It's supposedly a fund raiser, but the truth is:  our folks just like doing it.  And we - how east coast is this? - happen to believe that OUR sausage is the absolute best on the circuit.  Not to mention the best applesauce, sauerkraut, cranberry sauce and pies.  Okay, I admit it, when it comes to food, the Midwest is NOT humble.
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: Matt on November 12, 2010, 03:52:27 PM
Yum!
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: George Erdner on November 12, 2010, 03:57:24 PM
Exactly my point, George. And I certainly didn't miss Pr. Noland's East Coast connection; he knows what he is talking about in this regard.

I think East Coast Lutheranism is characterized by a certain social and theological liberalism and a strong interest in ecumenism along with a "high" evangelical catholic liturgical practice. Exceptions abound, and I'm sure several of you will take strong exception to my characterization.

I will say this: since living in New York and New Jersey I have been richly blessed by the liturgical practice of the LCMS churches that I have attended. My opinion of East Coast Lutheranism is certainly not all negative.

That sounds like a fair characterization, consistent with casual observation. In other words, close enough for rock and roll.
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: Richard Johnson on November 12, 2010, 04:01:27 PM
Also, I think it is fair to characterize the editorial position of the ALPB as "East Coast Lutheran." Certainly, this is true historically and several of the regular Forum contributors represent the "saltwater" perspective and live in and around New York. One of the reasons I hang out here is to better understand this perspective, as well as the range of opinion in the ELCA. 

Actually, Pr. Noland characterized Forum Letter specifically as representing an "East Coast Lutheran" perspective, and with that specific assertion I must disagree. As Charles pointed out, I, the editor, am a Californian. My family on one side has been in California since 1852 and hadn't dwelt in any state that could be called "east coast" since at least 1810. On the other side, they were mostly more recent immigrants but before coming to California lived in such East Coast places as Nebraska and Idaho.

The associate editor, Pr. Speckhard, is, at least currently, a Wisconsinite.

Browsing through other contributors in the past year, I notice Erma Wolf (South Dakota), Ken Kimball (Iowa), Scott Yakimow (presently Virginia, but I think midwestern roots), Brad Everett (Alberta), Tom Pearson (Texas).

And then Brett Jenkins (Pennsylvania), Jeremy Loesch (Maryland), and Marie Meyer (New York). Doesn't seem like a heavy "East Coast" bunch to me.
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: Matt on November 12, 2010, 04:18:06 PM
Doesn't seem like a heavy "East Coast" bunch to me.

Perhaps not, but Pr. Hannah's sour grapes article is a classic example of the East Coast Lutheran attitude. He's right about one thing: its time for a new generation to take over. 
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: George Erdner on November 12, 2010, 04:26:52 PM
Also, I think it is fair to characterize the editorial position of the ALPB as "East Coast Lutheran." Certainly, this is true historically and several of the regular Forum contributors represent the "saltwater" perspective and live in and around New York. One of the reasons I hang out here is to better understand this perspective, as well as the range of opinion in the ELCA. 

Actually, Pr. Noland characterized Forum Letter specifically as representing an "East Coast Lutheran" perspective, and with that specific assertion I must disagree. As Charles pointed out, I, the editor, am a Californian. My family on one side has been in California since 1852 and hadn't dwelt in any state that could be called "east coast" since at least 1810. On the other side, they were mostly more recent immigrants but before coming to California lived in such East Coast places as Nebraska and Idaho.

And yet, despite your geographic heritage, much of what you post is consistent with what is often described as an "East Coast Lutheran perspective". So, perhaps that particular label for that perspective is a misnomer.

Consider how many in the LC-MS are described as having a "German" attitude when their ancestors left der vaterland well over a century ago.
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: Charles_Austin on November 12, 2010, 04:46:54 PM
Pastor Weedon writes:
I have not found a single region where one could describe the state of Lutherans as all positive or all negative; but east coasters in general (hey, I are one) have a silly and inflated sense of their own importance.  The cool thing about midwesterners is that they (generally) don't.

I comment:
Oh? On journeys to the midwest, I was often "instructed" to remember that they - the Iowans, Nebraskans, and (God help us!) Dakotans - are the "real" Lutherans.
Despite my roots in Iowa and Nebraska, I was apparently grafted on to some eastern vine which made my grapes suspicious.
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: Matt on November 12, 2010, 04:52:56 PM
I have to say that as a midwesterner living in and around New York City, I've never found New Yorkers to be arrogant or rude.

On the contrary, when our daughter was born, our neighbors in our West 57th Street building amazed us with their generosity and love. I was a bit puzzled the first couple of times I was wished "mazel tov." Subway riders, in particular, are wonderfully courteous: courtesy is required for people to live in such close physical proximity to each other.

What I do like here is an ethic of "mind your own business" among the neighbors. People tend not to pry into each others' business.
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: Dave Benke on November 12, 2010, 05:02:34 PM
Well, the whole East Coast thing is a joke anyway, isn't it?  The demographics don't lie - Lutheranism is the Flyover Faith.  The ginormous percentage chunk of Lutherans living within three hundred miles of Chicago is not only us as we are but us as the rest of the American world sees us.  We are the Midwest.  Chubbyish, not too talkative - good people, good people.  The Missouri Synod people referenced are either profoundly irritating to many, were thrown out/excised, never got in, or (I believe I'm in a category of my own here) were excised and got back in.  We're just having fun here.  

Will Weedon's mid-level dudgeon is interesting to me - hello Will, did you not graduate from Concordia Bronxville?  Are you going the way of Walter Otten?  It's not really possible, because what makes certainly Dave Scaer, Herman and Walter and some otheres work so well in the Midwest is that they're so obviously not Midwesterners, they're outlandish Auslanders.  What strikes a nerve, I think,  is any intimation that somehow alpb or anything East had anything to do with our new Synodical President's ascent.  That, in the eyes of those who know out there, only tracks through the Southern Illinois Express, the Train that was On Time, a Midwestern Marvel.  

When we meet our Lutheran selves, we are introduced, in the words of Eric Sevareid, to persons possessed of "the matchless pessimism of the Midwestern Lutheran farmer."  "Nosir, it's not gonna rain.  Never will.  But if it does, it's gonna pour buckets.  That you can depend on."  

Matt J, you are on the money.  I'm in the subway, I think the F at Essex, one of those stops where there are long and weird stair patterns (which is 87% of them), and there's a woman in a bhurka with a kid in a stroller at the bottom looking up skatey-eight steps - can't really read the expression behind the bhurka - anyway I take a wheel and say "come on, let's go," when a hand taps me on the shoulder, a guy says "I'll take the other side" and a Hasidic Jewish male full curls and garb  and I pull the kid in th estroller up together with the woman in the bhurka.  The man had  to have violated at least 37 laws there.  No peep of complaint or walking by (in other words nothing Pharasaic, which is the definition of a Hasic), just a helping hand to a Muslim woman with a baby.  I would have loved a picture of that.

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: James_Gale on November 12, 2010, 05:03:31 PM
Pastor Weedon writes:
I have not found a single region where one could describe the state of Lutherans as all positive or all negative; but east coasters in general (hey, I are one) have a silly and inflated sense of their own importance.  The cool thing about midwesterners is that they (generally) don't.

I comment:
Oh? On journeys to the midwest, I was often "instructed" to remember that they - the Iowans, Nebraskans, and (God help us!) Dakotans - are the "real" Lutherans.
Despite my roots in Iowa and Nebraska, I was apparently grafted on to some eastern vine which made my grapes suspicious.

That's absurd.  So far as Lutheran-ness goes, Dakotans, Nebraskans, and (choking back the smell of "fertilizer") Iowans are merely wannabe Minnesotans, which is the true home of Lutheranism in the US.  (And among Minnesotans, the only really real Lutherans are the Swedes.  Augustana was a real church body with longevity, integrity, and good worship.  The Norwegian hordes spent so much time fighting, suing, splitting, merging, splitting again, and hating the Swedes to ever get their act together.)
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: Daniel L. Gard on November 12, 2010, 05:11:21 PM
I have to admit that I do not get the "East Coast", "West Coast", "Midwest" thing (even though I do live in the Midwest).

What few people understand is that the cultural, theological and intellectual heart of world Lutheranism is Mississippi. We are the few, the proud, the Mississippi Lutherans. We are in full fellowship with our brothers and sisters from other deep south states so we are not exclusivistic. As to the rest of you.....
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: Scott6 on November 12, 2010, 05:13:21 PM
...Scott Yakimow (presently Virginia, but I think midwestern roots)...

Michigan, born and bred.  My few years here in VA are the first time I've lived outside the Midwest (at least when I lived in the states -- I'm not sure Kenya and Morocco are relevant here).
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: Charles_Austin on November 12, 2010, 05:22:32 PM
Uh, I'm not sure Michigan is the midwest. You can't be midwest if you've got Detroit.
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: Richard Johnson on November 12, 2010, 05:26:19 PM

And yet, despite your geographic heritage, much of what you post is consistent with what is often described as an "East Coast Lutheran perspective". So, perhaps that particular label for that perspective is a misnomer.

I may be sorry for asking this, but exactly how would you characterize this "East Coast Lutheran perspective"?
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: George Erdner on November 12, 2010, 05:37:08 PM

And yet, despite your geographic heritage, much of what you post is consistent with what is often described as an "East Coast Lutheran perspective". So, perhaps that particular label for that perspective is a misnomer.

I may be sorry for asking this, but exactly how would you characterize this "East Coast Lutheran perspective"?

Like this:

Exactly my point, George. And I certainly didn't miss Pr. Noland's East Coast connection; he knows what he is talking about in this regard.

I think East Coast Lutheranism is characterized by a certain social and theological liberalism and a strong interest in ecumenism along with a "high" evangelical catholic liturgical practice. Exceptions abound, and I'm sure several of you will take strong exception to my characterization.

I will say this: since living in New York and New Jersey I have been richly blessed by the liturgical practice of the LCMS churches that I have attended. My opinion of East Coast Lutheranism is certainly not all negative.

That sounds like a fair characterization, consistent with casual observation. In other words, close enough for rock and roll.
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: Dave Benke on November 12, 2010, 05:37:58 PM

And yet, despite your geographic heritage, much of what you post is consistent with what is often described as an "East Coast Lutheran perspective". So, perhaps that particular label for that perspective is a misnomer.

I may be sorry for asking this, but exactly how would you characterize this "East Coast Lutheran perspective"?

The correct perspective.

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: Scott6 on November 12, 2010, 05:40:37 PM
Uh, I'm not sure Michigan is the midwest. You can't be midwest if you've got Detroit.

Huh?  Why not?

I don't think the existence of urban blight restricts one to East Coast locales like NJ...  ;)
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: Daniel L. Gard on November 12, 2010, 05:42:03 PM
I may be sorry for asking this, but exactly how would you characterize this "East Coast Lutheran perspective"?

Easy. Dave Benke. ;D
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: Scott6 on November 12, 2010, 05:43:45 PM

And yet, despite your geographic heritage, much of what you post is consistent with what is often described as an "East Coast Lutheran perspective". So, perhaps that particular label for that perspective is a misnomer.

I may be sorry for asking this, but exactly how would you characterize this "East Coast Lutheran perspective"?

The correct perspective.

Dave Benke

Yes, yes.  Of course.  *pats hand gently*
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: pr dtp on November 12, 2010, 05:51:26 PM

And yet, despite your geographic heritage, much of what you post is consistent with what is often described as an "East Coast Lutheran perspective". So, perhaps that particular label for that perspective is a misnomer.

I may be sorry for asking this, but exactly how would you characterize this "East Coast Lutheran perspective"?

The correct perspective.

Dave Benke

I would agree - as long as you aren't south of Boston...
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: grabau14 on November 12, 2010, 06:30:26 PM
As a Baltimore boy living in Wisconsin, the best way to describe East Coast Lutheranism (LCMS) is liturgical, sacramental, "progessive" with regard to the service of women in the Divine Service, an openness to Darwin's theory of evolution, and open communion.  Not all fit into that sterotype.   
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: pr dtp on November 12, 2010, 06:35:52 PM
As a Baltimore boy living in Wisconsin, the best way to describe East Coast Lutheranism (LCMS) is liturgical, sacramental, "progessive" with regard to the service of women in the Divine Service, an openness to Darwin's theory of evolution, and open communion.  Not all fit into that sterotype.   

Did you enjoy the game last night - while dreaming up such stereotypes?
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: Richard Johnson on November 12, 2010, 07:42:26 PM
As a Baltimore boy living in Wisconsin, the best way to describe East Coast Lutheranism (LCMS) is liturgical, sacramental, "progessive" with regard to the service of women in the Divine Service, an openness to Darwin's theory of evolution, and open communion.  Not all fit into that sterotype.   

OK, then, I'll mostly cop to that (with some caveats related to Darwin), even if I'll continue to resist the descriptor "East Coast."  ;D
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: Daniel L. Gard on November 12, 2010, 08:00:44 PM
As a Baltimore boy living in Wisconsin, the best way to describe East Coast Lutheranism (LCMS) is liturgical, sacramental, "progessive" with regard to the service of women in the Divine Service, an openness to Darwin's theory of evolution, and open communion.  Not all fit into that sterotype.   

Did you enjoy the game last night - while dreaming up such stereotypes?

Actually, he did not dream up such stereotypes. These are common perceptions of the East Coast - indeed, of all "saltwater districts." What makes them unfair is that they are stereotypes and not necessarily grounded in reality. I know some who fit the stereotype and others who do not. In fact, Pr. Uttenreither said as much, "Not all fit the stereotypes."
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: Weedon on November 12, 2010, 09:03:44 PM
As I've observed before:  the thing about stereotypes is that they are often, but not invariably, true.  Certainly as I was raised in a parish in MD, the practice was wide-open communion (all baptized Christians encouraged to commune), women serving as elders and so assisting with distribution and reading the lessons, evolution was not disputed at all, and the service was more or less liturgical.  We got LBW when it came out.  We even did a joint confirmation experience with the local Roman parish over on New Hampshire Ave.  That was back in the 70's. 
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: James_Gale on November 12, 2010, 09:36:02 PM
And now we see that this is not just about geography.  I don't think you'll find many people raised in the LCA/ALC/ELCA who spend too much time worrying about Darwin, let alone stereotyping others regarding how they might react to his theories.  By contrast, I gather that this is an issue within Missouri.

By the way, if anyone thinks that inviting all baptized Christians to commune is wide-open communion, they haven't seen wide-open communion.
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: Dave_Poedel on November 12, 2010, 10:04:09 PM
All right you geographical snobs!  All of the smart Lutherans from the Midwest have relocated to the desert Southwest, where we have the most amazing amalgamation of Lutherans, mixed with a lack of fear of Roman Catholics, mixed with an attitude that says "I did my duty back in _______, now just leave me alone and let me come to Church when I like".  Also, either a rabid loyalty to Synod or a "we're in the West and we'll do things the way we want to here" that confuses the uninitiated and causes a smile on those who know.....I have served my entire ministry here, I know better than to take a Call to the Midwest, and plan to minister here until the Lord calls me home.  I love it!
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: Daniel L. Gard on November 12, 2010, 10:05:32 PM
And now we see that this is not just about geography.  I don't think you'll find many people raised in the LCA/ALC/ELCA who spend too much time worrying about Darwin, let alone stereotyping others regarding how they might react to his theories.  By contrast, I gather that this is an issue within Missouri.

By the way, if anyone thinks that inviting all baptized Christians to commune is wide-open communion, they haven't seen wide-open communion.

An interesting observation. As a former member of the LCA with many ELCA friends and relatives, I can assure you that stereotyping of Missouri is quite common. The is particularly so in regard to Darwinism - because I reject evolution, I am told that I am a fundamentalist, a Bible-thumper and several other names as well. Why? Well, I suspect sterotyping might have something to do with it. In fact, everything to do with it.

The problem with a term like "open communion" is that the meaning shifts depending on who is using it. The Missouri use of the term would certainly include what you describe. I suspose that for the ELCA, inviting all baptized Christians is hardly thought of as open communion at all.
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: pr dtp on November 13, 2010, 11:39:16 AM
I suppose we could counter with a generalization that  "Mid-westerners do not read the Confessions or Walther without blinders on, are anit-missional, still desire the liturgy in German, and conveniently ignore that the organ was hated by clergymen for centuries far more than they hate guitars, and think Brett Farve is really Michael the Arch-angel.  But not all fit that stereotype?"    ::) ::) ::) ::) ::) ::) ::)

I suggest you look at the examples of churches bashed on LQ for not being Lutheran - they are rarely East Coast - but often Missouri, Michigan, Wisonsin, Texas, etc.



Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: ptmccain on November 13, 2010, 12:05:04 PM
YAWN.

 ::)
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: pr dtp on November 13, 2010, 12:27:07 PM
YAWN.

 ::)

Exactly - the generalizations or typing based on one bad apple adds nothing to the conversation.  That is the exact point.




Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: Erma S. Wolf on November 13, 2010, 12:45:11 PM
I have to admit that I do not get the "East Coast", "West Coast", "Midwest" thing (even though I do live in the Midwest).

What few people understand is that the cultural, theological and intellectual heart of world Lutheranism is Mississippi. We are the few, the proud, the Mississippi Lutherans. We are in full fellowship with our brothers and sisters from other deep south states so we are not exclusivistic. As to the rest of you.....

Thank you, Pastor Gard!  I was about to mention the existence of the true gift to Lutheranism, Southern Lutherans.  Memphis, TN (as Faulkner notes, where the Mississippi Delta begins in the lobby of the Peabody Hotel) had Lutherans (Mo. Synod types) long before much of the upper Midwest and Great Plains states saw a single Swede or Norsk or Dane, and I am proud to have been fed Lutheran teaching along with my grits 'n gravy.  Having to defend infant baptism and sacramental practices and liturgy amongst my Southern Baptist friends meant I had to know why my church did the things it did.  Excellent training in confessions and apologetics!

Getting to the upper Midwest, Minnesota particularly, and dealing with the too-oft expressed "we invented Lutheranism" mind-set still occasionally drives me nuts.  Why I still call this area "Lutherland" and recommend taking trips to other areas of the country as a needed corrective in perspective. 
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: Weedon on November 13, 2010, 01:34:17 PM
One bad apple, eh?  My home parish was no bad apple.  It was a parish held in quite high regard by the entire district.  It supplied two District Presidents.  It was in so very many ways a wonderful place.  Yet in its approach to the issues I outlined, it was not remarkable.  It was simply the way things tended to go throughout the Southeastern District.  I know that District.  I grew up there and served my first six years as a pastor in it.  My brother-in-law is still a member of an LCMS parish there.  If you choose to disregard those who have had actual experience and their generalizations, so be it.  But the generalizations still stand, for all that.  Often, but not invariably true; they characterize the region's approach to Lutheranism.  
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: Daniel L. Gard on November 13, 2010, 01:41:28 PM
I have to admit that I do not get the "East Coast", "West Coast", "Midwest" thing (even though I do live in the Midwest).

What few people understand is that the cultural, theological and intellectual heart of world Lutheranism is Mississippi. We are the few, the proud, the Mississippi Lutherans. We are in full fellowship with our brothers and sisters from other deep south states so we are not exclusivistic. As to the rest of you.....

Thank you, Pastor Gard!  I was about to mention the existence of the true gift to Lutheranism, Southern Lutherans.  Memphis, TN (as Faulkner notes, where the Mississippi Delta begins in the lobby of the Peabody Hotel) had Lutherans (Mo. Synod types) long before much of the upper Midwest and Great Plains states saw a single Swede or Norsk or Dane, and I am proud to have been fed Lutheran teaching along with my grits 'n gravy.  Having to defend infant baptism and sacramental practices and liturgy amongst my Southern Baptist friends meant I had to know why my church did the things it did.  Excellent training in confessions and apologetics!

Getting to the upper Midwest, Minnesota particularly, and dealing with the too-oft expressed "we invented Lutheranism" mind-set still occasionally drives me nuts.  Why I still call this area "Lutherland" and recommend taking trips to other areas of the country as a needed corrective in perspective. 

Pastor Wolf,

It is hard to explain how being a Lutheran in the South shapes a child. My sister and I were just about the only Lutheran students at Biloxi High School. Defending my faith to my Baptist and RC friends (large Portugese and Cajun RC communities on the Gulf Coast) was great training for a future pastor.

My brother went to Good Shepherd Lutheran Pre-School where the pastor was none other than a young man named......Rev. Gerald Kieschnick.
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: Weedon on November 13, 2010, 01:47:12 PM
On the liturgical front I'd add another distinctive: the East Coast Lutherans (especially around NY) tend to be more open and engaged in and influenced by the current state of the liturgical movement, whereas many in the midwest (certainly not all!) have had a greater engagement and tend to give greater weight to the Lutheran liturgical heritage as it was shaped historically.  I think this tends to show in distinct ways:  you're more likely to see the elements processed forward with the offerings (indeed, as part of the offerings) on the East Coast; but I suspect you'd more likely hear the Verba without Eucharistic prayer chanted aloud in the midwest.  Obviously, you'll find exceptions in either case.  But in general the weight of current ecumenical liturgical consensus is given greater weight on the one hand; the weight of Lutheran liturgical tradition is given greater weight on the other.
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: pr dtp on November 13, 2010, 05:58:46 PM
One bad apple, eh?  My home parish was no bad apple.  It was a parish held in quite high regard by the entire district.  It supplied two District Presidents.  It was in so very many ways a wonderful place.  Yet in its approach to the issues I outlined, it was not remarkable.  It was simply the way things tended to go throughout the Southeastern District.  I know that District.  I grew up there and served my first six years as a pastor in it.  My brother-in-law is still a member of an LCMS parish there.  If you choose to disregard those who have had actual experience and their generalizations, so be it.  But the generalizations still stand, for all that.  Often, but not invariably true; they characterize the region's approach to Lutheranism.  

My point wasn't about you being the bad apple - but the continued insistence that the behaviors of one church, or one circuit is representative of the whole (which is what a generalization is). What percentage makes a generalization?  50 percent?  75? 99?

You don't like generlizations when they are applied to you - why do you think others might not mind you doing it to them?
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: Weedon on November 13, 2010, 06:30:22 PM
I don't mind generalizations applied to me when they are indeed fair generalizations.  If I'm an exception to a certain generalization, I'll say so.  Generalizations are helpful.  They are the first step to learning; the second step is to learn the exceptions.  Just like in languages.  First learn the rules, then learn the exceptions.  In English, i comes before e except after c (except for the word society) or when sounded as a in neighbor or weigh.  The exceptions are exceptions because they are not typical.
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: ddrebes on November 13, 2010, 07:24:06 PM
One bad apple, eh?  My home parish was no bad apple.  It was a parish held in quite high regard by the entire district.  It supplied two District Presidents.  It was in so very many ways a wonderful place.  Yet in its approach to the issues I outlined, it was not remarkable.  It was simply the way things tended to go throughout the Southeastern District.  I know that District.  I grew up there and served my first six years as a pastor in it.  My brother-in-law is still a member of an LCMS parish there.  If you choose to disregard those who have had actual experience and their generalizations, so be it.  But the generalizations still stand, for all that.  Often, but not invariably true; they characterize the region's approach to Lutheranism.  
Was your home church Redeemer, Hyattsville, by any chance?
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: Jeremy Loesch on November 13, 2010, 07:27:47 PM
J&S, Matt U. and Will are right in their generalizations on 'East Coast Lutheranism'.  You ask a fair question about how far can we go with a generalization, but Matt U. and Will are still right when it comes to the administration of the Lord's Supper and their openness about the service of women.  I'm an SED guy and more congregations than not practice some version of open communion.  Women elders?  That's been going on since I was in high school (1991-95).  

There is a willingness to dialog with all comers in matters of faith and religious service and practice.  There is a willingness to spend of ourselves for the sake of others.

Will's home church in Silver Spring is exactly as he says it is.  Excellent facility.  

Jeremy  
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: grabau14 on November 13, 2010, 07:45:05 PM
One bad apple, eh?  My home parish was no bad apple.  It was a parish held in quite high regard by the entire district.  It supplied two District Presidents.  It was in so very many ways a wonderful place.  Yet in its approach to the issues I outlined, it was not remarkable.  It was simply the way things tended to go throughout the Southeastern District.  I know that District.  I grew up there and served my first six years as a pastor in it.  My brother-in-law is still a member of an LCMS parish there.  If you choose to disregard those who have had actual experience and their generalizations, so be it.  But the generalizations still stand, for all that.  Often, but not invariably true; they characterize the region's approach to Lutheranism.  

When I was a confused Methodist boy going to Baltimore Lutheran, I went to the sacrament at several LCMS parishes when the concert band played at one of the churches.  I told all of the LCMS pastors that I was a Methodist and they all invited me up to the altar.  It wasn't until I met Dr. Hein at CURF that I was told (and rightly so) that those LCMS pastors were in error. 

J&S can speak of these generalizations all he wants, but I have seen it and heard it with my own eyes and ears.  In fact, when my family is on vacation, we drive into Highlandtown for the mass because we know the sermon will be solid, the sacrament will be given, the liturgy will be done well, and I get to see an old friend. 

 
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: pr dtp on November 13, 2010, 11:12:28 PM
So if these generalizations are the rule - and 90+ percent - and you consider them such an issue - why are you still in altar fellowship with these horrid sinners? 

Or why haven't you spent the last 20 years working hand in hand with these individual pastors, circuit counselors and district presidents you know break these rules?  Instead - you tolerate them and complain about them on the internet - as long as they stay in the salt water districts.  Writing admonitions to 6000 is easy.  (Or saying the tactic is wrong but the issues are correct and someone should do something is even easier) Working with the brother in the nearby church, or  the pastor of the church you grew up in directly is easy.

I am curious - which of you confronted LQ's owner about his encouragement of people he is not in fellowship with to openly commune with him?  Or what about those who openly commune with ELS and WELS?

Generalizations are not handy in communities - even as they might be in languages or in marketing.  Generalizations keep the distance safe - and work against fellowship.  Communities require names and faces and discussions and working through the issues to reconcile their relationship.

If its time to talk - talk to one of those people - say the pastor from the church you were baptized in- -personally.






Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: Weedon on November 13, 2010, 11:21:43 PM
I tolerate them and complain about them?  I'm not sure what you mean.  I've mentioned that such was the practice; I've not necessarily complained about it, per se. I've said the area needs to be addressed.  It does.  It's an area where we have large divergence across the Synod and I look at it from both sides because I've lived from both sides.  I'm not sure I have the wisdom of the best answers, but I know that continuing to pretend that we are united on the answer is folly.  The rubber band can stretch a bit, but if it pulls too far it finally breaks.  So let's talk about the areas where the rubber band is showing great strain.  Certainly communion practice and the role of women are two of those areas.  I say that not in judgment on either side, but in observation that the tension in Synod is palpable on these areas.  So let's sort things out and come to unity about what is the Lord's will here.

I completely disagree that generalizations are not helpful in communities.  I think they are.  They are the very foundation of humor, for instance, but let's talk by all means across the Synod about the tension points. 

The pastor who served the Church I was baptized in is now retired; and I hold him in great, great esteem.  He was a fabulous preacher of the Gospel.  The conversation, while listening to the retired pastors, needs to be focused upon the current pastors in the Synod, no?
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: Charles_Austin on November 14, 2010, 05:34:05 AM
Pastor Weedon writes:
The conversation, while listening to the retired pastors, needs to be focused upon the current pastors in the Synod, no?

I (though I do not have a bird in this cage) comment:
A bit condescending, no? "Well, let's listen to the old guys, but they really don't matter much." They never attend church anyway, never preach or preside, are never consulted by younger pastors, never attend districts/synod/conference/winkel meetings.
Focus on getting the young whippersnappers into line, the geezers will soon fade away.
The ministry is the ministry, Pastor Weedon, and everyone in it counts equally.
 ;D ;D
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: Mel Harris on November 14, 2010, 06:28:27 AM

Pastor Weedon writes:
The conversation, while listening to the retired pastors, needs to be focused upon the current pastors in the Synod, no?

I (though I do not have a bird in this cage) comment:
A bit condescending, no? "Well, let's listen to the old guys, but they really don't matter much." They never attend church anyway, never preach or preside, are never consulted by younger pastors, never attend districts/synod/conference/winkel meetings.
Focus on getting the young whippersnappers into line, the geezers will soon fade away.
The ministry is the ministry, Pastor Weedon, and everyone in it counts equally.
 ;D ;D


Pastor Austin,

Is that not what your "prominent and long-serving bishop" was calling for a couple years ago that you mentioned here

http://www.alpb.org/forum/index.php?topic=1508.30

Pastor Austin posted on June 10, 2008
Quote

A prominent and long-serving bishop recently told me that in just a couple of years, virtually all the active pastors in the ELCA will have no personal memory of or involvement in the previous church bodies. He believes this will help the "unity" of the ELCA, for some are still remembering (or lamenting the loss of) the predecessor church bodies or have not caught on to how the ELCA works, and the younger pastors are more "fully formed" within the culture and processes of the ELCA.


Mel Harris  (one of the old guys who is disrupting the unity of the ELCA by remembering things from before 1988)
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: Charles_Austin on November 14, 2010, 06:50:58 AM
You will notice, Mel, that I reported that the bishop feels that way. I do not.
I believe that those of us with memories of the church before 1987 have something of that time to contribute, so long as we draw breath.
Some want to do that by turning back the clock or saying that things were perfect (or at least a lot better) before 1988.
Some things, yes. Other things, no. That's life.
I hope you do not take joy out of "disrupting the unity" of the ELCA. If we old guys have something to contribute - and we do - it should be in fostering whatever it takes to create a new kind of unity that will take our church into the future.
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: J. Eriksson on November 14, 2010, 07:09:26 AM
East coast, west coast flyover country.

IMO the roots of ALPB to get back on topic are linguistic.  The American Lutheran church bodies when ALPB was founded communicated
very well with their own people in their various groupings. A lot of  these people worshiped in groups where a large number of people spoke English with a 'foreign' accent.  The ALPB founders felt and I think I agree with them was that the Lutheran synods did not communicate very well to people who were not part of the club, especially their own particular club.  They saw a need to communicate about Lutheranism to people outside the club in English
a. to communicate in English about Lutheranism to English speaking Americans
b. to communicate in English  about Lutheranism to the 3rd generation Lutherans who wanted to 'grow out' of their identity or who no longer identified into the ethnic space they were raised in.  What about that Irish guy who married the Lutheran girl?
c. to help new immigrants find out that yes there were Lutherans nearby  (eg in Boston) even though they were not eg.Swedish Lutherans.
d. and to communicate to those who may have  felt that Lutheranism should be left back in Europe and they should become American as fast as possible and this should includ a Lutheranism that was not wrapped up in ethnicity.

unionists not, syncretists not, Schmuckerites not! Lutheran apologists yes, and for the most part in parts of the country where Lutherans were at max 10% of the population.

IMO you can't put the blame on disregard the Akron-Galesburg Rule on the ALPB.  That goes elsewhere to the 60's, mobility and church-shopping.
Best to all
James
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: ddrebes on November 14, 2010, 07:37:40 AM
East coast, west coast flyover country.
IMO the roots of ALPB to get back on topic are linguistic.  The American Lutheran church bodies when ALPB was founded communicated
very well with their own people in their various groupings. A lot of  these people worshiped in groups where a large number of people spoke English with a 'foreign' accent.  The ALPB founders felt and I think I agree with them was that the Lutheran synods did not communicate very well to people who were not part of the club, especially their own particular club.  They saw a need to communicate about Lutheranism to people outside the club in English
a. to communicate in English about Lutheranism to English speaking Americans
b. to communicate in English  about Lutheranism to the 3rd generation Lutherans who wanted to 'grow out' of their identity or who no longer identified into the ethnic space they were raised in.  What about that Irish guy who married the Lutheran girl?
c. to help new immigrants find out that yes there were Lutherans nearby  (eg in Boston) even though they were not eg.Swedish Lutherans.
d. and to communicate to those who may have  felt that Lutheranism should be left back in Europe and they should become American as fast as possible and this should includ a Lutheranism that was not wrapped up in ethnicity.
unionists not, syncretists not, Schmuckerites not! Lutheran apologists yes, and for the most part in parts of the country where Lutherans were at max 10% of the population.
IMO you can't put the blame on disregard the Akron-Galesburg Rule on the ALPB.  That goes elsewhere to the 60's, mobility and church-shopping.
Best to all
James

Yes, this is my impression of the ALPB as well.

The earlier equations with Schmucker really threw me. Can anyone offer an argument for Schmuckerism within the ALPB's birth?
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: Michael Slusser on November 15, 2010, 10:09:53 AM
Romans 16:17, 18 was consistently taught by the Church to apply to those Christians who departed from the faith by persistently teaching falsely and rejecting correction.  It is only as of late that some have tried to argue its concerning only the separation between Christians and Muslims or Christians and Jews.

Mike

Can you recommend a good history of the exegesis of those verses, Mike? Personally, I haven't ever seen them interpreted the way they generally are in the LCMS, but I admit I haven't done a systematic survey of the Fathers of the Church on them. I do notice that the BOC never mentions them, if one can trust the indices of Kolb/Wengert and Tanner. Is the particular LCMS exegesis--applied to the need to avoid any semblance of unionism--older than the time of Walther?

Peace,
Michael
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: ddrebes on November 15, 2010, 10:29:44 AM
East coast, west coast flyover country.
IMO the roots of ALPB to get back on topic are linguistic.  The American Lutheran church bodies when ALPB was founded communicated
very well with their own people in their various groupings. A lot of  these people worshiped in groups where a large number of people spoke English with a 'foreign' accent.  The ALPB founders felt and I think I agree with them was that the Lutheran synods did not communicate very well to people who were not part of the club, especially their own particular club.  They saw a need to communicate about Lutheranism to people outside the club in English
a. to communicate in English about Lutheranism to English speaking Americans
b. to communicate in English  about Lutheranism to the 3rd generation Lutherans who wanted to 'grow out' of their identity or who no longer identified into the ethnic space they were raised in.  What about that Irish guy who married the Lutheran girl?
c. to help new immigrants find out that yes there were Lutherans nearby  (eg in Boston) even though they were not eg.Swedish Lutherans.
d. and to communicate to those who may have  felt that Lutheranism should be left back in Europe and they should become American as fast as possible and this should includ a Lutheranism that was not wrapped up in ethnicity.
unionists not, syncretists not, Schmuckerites not! Lutheran apologists yes, and for the most part in parts of the country where Lutherans were at max 10% of the population.
IMO you can't put the blame on disregard the Akron-Galesburg Rule on the ALPB.  That goes elsewhere to the 60's, mobility and church-shopping.
Best to all
James

Yes, this is my impression of the ALPB as well.

The earlier equations with Schmucker really threw me. Can anyone offer an argument for Schmuckerism within the ALPB's birth?

From the Statement of the 44 which Dcs. Meyer established had strong support from some of those she considers instrumental in th ALPB's history:

Quote
FIVE
 We affirm our conviction that sound exegetical procedure is the basis for sound Lutheran theology.
 We therefore deplore the fact that Romans 16:17, 18 has been applied to all Christians who differ from us
in certain points of doctrine. It is our conviction, based on sound exegetical and hermeneutical principles, 
that this text does not apply to the present situation in the Lutheran Church of America. We furthermore
deplore the misuse of First Thessalonians 5:22 in the translation "avoid every appearance of evil." This text
should be used only in its true meaning, "avoid evil in every form."
The argument that full agreement in doctrine need not be accomplished before church fellowship may be declared smells of Schmucker.
The argument that the Real Presence is up for negotiation -- strongly embraced by the ELCA in its fellowship agreements with Reformed bodies and its open communion policy -- smells of Schmucker's "New Measures".
Romans 16:17, 18 was consistently taught by the Church to apply to those Christians who departed from the faith by persistently teaching falsely and rejecting correction.  It is only as of late that some have tried to argue its concerning only the separation between Christians and Muslims or Christians and Jews.
Mike

Sorry, that's not enough of a smoking gun. Schmucker explicitly listed the real presence as something Lutherans could do without in order to adapt to the American context--something I see as selling out to the context.
You've cited a document in which some early supporters of the ALPB raise the hope of entering into fellowship with other Christians. If "Schmucker," for you, only means "that full agreement in doctrine need not be accomplished before church fellowship," then we're talking about two different Schmuckers. Engagement with the culture doesn't need to be selling out to the culture.
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: A Catholic Lutheran on November 15, 2010, 10:31:27 AM
East coast, west coast flyover country.
IMO the roots of ALPB to get back on topic are linguistic.  The American Lutheran church bodies when ALPB was founded communicated
very well with their own people in their various groupings. A lot of  these people worshiped in groups where a large number of people spoke English with a 'foreign' accent.  The ALPB founders felt and I think I agree with them was that the Lutheran synods did not communicate very well to people who were not part of the club, especially their own particular club.  They saw a need to communicate about Lutheranism to people outside the club in English
a. to communicate in English about Lutheranism to English speaking Americans
b. to communicate in English  about Lutheranism to the 3rd generation Lutherans who wanted to 'grow out' of their identity or who no longer identified into the ethnic space they were raised in.  What about that Irish guy who married the Lutheran girl?
c. to help new immigrants find out that yes there were Lutherans nearby  (eg in Boston) even though they were not eg.Swedish Lutherans.
d. and to communicate to those who may have  felt that Lutheranism should be left back in Europe and they should become American as fast as possible and this should includ a Lutheranism that was not wrapped up in ethnicity.
unionists not, syncretists not, Schmuckerites not! Lutheran apologists yes, and for the most part in parts of the country where Lutherans were at max 10% of the population.
IMO you can't put the blame on disregard the Akron-Galesburg Rule on the ALPB.  That goes elsewhere to the 60's, mobility and church-shopping.
Best to all
James

Yes, this is my impression of the ALPB as well.

The earlier equations with Schmucker really threw me. Can anyone offer an argument for Schmuckerism within the ALPB's birth?

I agree, in no small part because I have always equated ALPB as being the remedy (or at least the opposition to) Schmucker-ism...

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: A Catholic Lutheran on November 15, 2010, 10:46:28 AM
There is an interesting analogy (perhaps) here...

When Cardinal Mundelien founded St. Mary's Seminary in (now) Mundelien, Illinois, he did so because he expressed a need for "American" priests to serve his diocese.  This was in response to the predominance of foriegn born and educated (immigrant) priests who were serving in Chicago, which was at that same moment making a transition from "first wave" immigrant groups to second-generation Americans (ie. German-American, Polish-American, etc...) who were "native born" Americans.  Anyway, Mundelien decided that his diocese needed "American" priests and so, in founding his seminary, went and hired "American" architects who modeled the Seminary Chapel on the "Olde Lyme Meeting House," an iconic congregationalist church building in Connecticut.  Several of his (Munelien's) contemporaries denounced the Cardinal as a "crypto-protestant" and called him the equivalent of Schmucker, and even threatened not to ordain any seminarian who attended St. Mary's Seminary.  Anyway, you know how history played out...  Mundelien now is known as a quintesential Catholic figure.

Anyway, back to Mundelien's chapel.  If you have ever seen it, from the exterior it is a strikingly "American" building.  But on the inside it is unapologetically Roman Catholic, using baroque styling to contrast the severe straight right-angles of the structure.  When you enter the building, you are in no doubt whose Church you are in, to the point that I cannot help but grin when I learned the history and the controversy over the building of the Chapel.

I wonder if this isn't part of this controversy.  The ALPB, in it's striving for catholicity and an "American" voice could, on the exterior look like a Schmucker-ian (is ithis even a word?) attempt at homogenizing the Lutheran disctiveness in favor of a "bland" ecumenism.  But maybe it's more like Mundelien's chapel.

Just thinking...

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: revjagow on November 15, 2010, 10:51:36 AM
I agree, in no small part because I have always equated ALPB as being the remedy (or at least the opposition to) Schmucker-ism...

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS
[/quote]

Indeed!

There really is nothing logical about connecting ALPB, Schmucker and the Statement of the 44 (written in '45).  

I do not think that signers of "44" like O.P. Kretzmann or Oswald Hoffmann would be on board with any Schmuckerism, nor would any of the ALPB board past and present.  

Perhaps this will encourage those who make those connections to dig a little deeper.  I have been very blessed with my association with ALPB over the years.
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: ddrebes on November 15, 2010, 11:09:38 AM
I agree, in no small part because I have always equated ALPB as being the remedy (or at least the opposition to) Schmucker-ism...

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS

Indeed!

There really is nothing logical about connecting ALPB, Schmucker and the Statement of the 44 (written in '45). 

I do not think that signers of "44" like O.P. Kretzmann or Oswald Hoffmann would be on board with any Schmuckerism, nor would any of the ALPB board past and present. 

Perhaps this will encourage those who make those connections to dig a little deeper.  I have been very blessed with my association with ALPB over the years.

OK, so please tell me this as I dig a little deeper.

Has the ALPB in its steadfast opposition to Schmuckerism had a significant portion of its leadership condemn the the ELCA's current position that the real presence is something Lutherans could do without in order to adapt to the American context and establish church fellowship agreement with Reformed church bodies?

I realize that as a diverse body of contributors, the ALPB could not officially take such a position, but if it is as anti-Schmuckerian "New Measures" as proposed, then it must certainly have done some of this.

Mike

I don't think arguments work that way. Meaning, someone needs to prove to me that the ALPB is pro-Schmucker, since that's how this line of postings began. I don't need to prove the ALPB is anti-Schmucker.
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: mariemeyer on November 15, 2010, 11:35:19 AM

The Statement of the 44 clearly promotes doctrinal indifference.

Mike, the above slanders the memory of Lawrence Acker, Gus Bernthal, August Bobzin, Wm Bruening, A Brustat, Thomas Coates, R Caemmerer, H Engelbrecht, O Geiseman, Theo Graebner (Who would accuse Graebner of "doctrinal indifference"?) O Hoffmann, the Kretzmanns, A.R., Karl and O.P., Erwin Kurth (Did any of you grow up using Kurth's catechism?), Fred and Herbert Lindemann... the list goes on and includes my father in law, Ade Meyer. 

You are in over your head. Let it go! 

But, yeah, the ALPB upholds celebrating the Eucharist often. They just don't mimd that the ELCA dilutes the importance of the substance of what is going on and confessed by and in it.

That is Schmuckerism, pure and simple, and I submit that the ALPB played a part in sowing its seeds in the ALC and LCA and in many of its leadership playing a part in presenting the Statement of the 44 to those in the LCMS.

This is pure nonsense! The degree to which it distorts history is beyond comprehension.


Marie
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: jebutler on November 15, 2010, 01:09:19 PM

From the Statement of the 44 which Dcs. Meyer established had strong support from some of those she considers instrumental in th ALPB's history:

Quote
FIVE
 We affirm our conviction that sound exegetical procedure is the basis for sound Lutheran theology.
 We therefore deplore the fact that Romans 16:17, 18 has been applied to all Christians who differ from us
in certain points of doctrine. It is our conviction, based on sound exegetical and hermeneutical principles, 
that this text does not apply to the present situation in the Lutheran Church of America. We furthermore
deplore the misuse of First Thessalonians 5:22 in the translation "avoid every appearance of evil." This text
should be used only in its true meaning, "avoid evil in every form."

The argument that full agreement in doctrine need not be accomplished before church fellowship may be declared smells of Schmucker.

The argument that the Real Presence is up for negotiation -- strongly embraced by the ELCA in its fellowship agreements with Reformed bodies and its open communion policy -- smells of Schmucker's "New Measures".

Romans 16:17, 18 was consistently taught by the Church to apply to those Christians who departed from the faith by persistently teaching falsely and rejecting correction.  It is only as of late that some have tried to argue its concerning only the separation between Christians and Muslims or Christians and Jews.

Mike,

I've stayed out of much of this conversation--and others--due to time. However, I think I need to comment.

I did a document study of "A Statement..." for my LCMS history class back in 1980s. John Wohlrabe was teaching the course as a Walther Fellow at the time. In fact, I turned my paper in early and he used my research when he taught the section (and noted that in the class). I'm hardly an expert, but I spent a lot of time reading many issues of _The American Lutheran_ and _The Confessional Lutheran_.

You have to understand the context. It centered around the teaching of prayer fellowship (not eucharistic fellowship). The editors were steadfastly against it, especially when dealing with other Lutherans (in this case the original ALC with which they wanted the LCMS to be in fellowship).

They argued the Luther and the Reformers worshipped with the Roman Catholics at Augsburg and other places. They noted that when Walther and the boys held free conferences, they opened with worship services. They pointed out that when Walther and others met with pastors of the Buffalo Synod in a colloquy, they opened each day with worship (lead one day by  a Buffalo Synod pastor who made it clear that he did not agree with Walther's view of Church and Ministry). They pointed out that the first time anyone had a problem praying with anyone other Lutheran was at the close of the Predestinarian controversy. It was after that time that the LCMS position of prayer fellowship was developed. (It should also be noted that "A Statement" explicitly states that Scripture is inerrant; hardly a liberal or doctrinally indifferent statement.) And you cannot draw any line from Schmucker to the developers of "A Statement." It was developed completely within an LCMS context in reaction to what the authors saw as a overly legalistic turn in the LCMS at the Synod convention in which the St. Louis Union Articles of 1932 were repealed. It was a reaction to the Lutheranism being pushed by Paul Burgdorf in his "Confessional Lutheran" publication (he started the "Confessional Lutheran Publicity Bureau" with tracts like "Why the ALC is not Lutheran").

Probably the single best source for reading about "A Statement" is Jack Treon Robinson's Ph.D. dissertation on the subject at Vanderbilt University (can't remember the exact name; had to do with the end of triumphalism in the LCMS).
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: Scott6 on November 15, 2010, 02:19:03 PM
"We therefore deplore the fact that Romans 16:17, 18 has been applied to all Christians who differ from us in certain points of doctrine. "

It may seem minor to some, but if it had stated:

"We therefore deplore the fact that Romans 16:17, 18 has been applied to all Christians who differ from us in certain points of doctrine to preclude any and all prayer, worship, and cooperation with them in areas where agreement exists. "

I would accept your distinction that prayer fellowship with such Christians was being recognized as permissable which Eucharistic fellowship is not.

Since Rom 16:17 says "avoid them," wouldn't that make your addition superfluous (unless there's some other interpretation of "avoid them" on offer)?
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: Michael Slusser on November 15, 2010, 02:28:22 PM

Probably the single best source for reading about "A Statement" is Jack Treon Robinson's Ph.D. dissertation on the subject at Vanderbilt University (can't remember the exact name; had to do with the end of triumphalism in the LCMS).
Jack Treon Robinson's dissertation referenced here: http://www.alpb.org/forum/index.php?topic=3029.msg167962#msg167962 (http://www.alpb.org/forum/index.php?topic=3029.msg167962#msg167962)

And yes, it is a very good read.

Peace,
Michael
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: Michael Slusser on November 15, 2010, 02:47:55 PM
What I disagree with is "A Statement's" assertion that:

Quote
We therefore deplore the fact that Romans 16:17, 18 has been applied to all Christians who differ from us
in certain points of doctrine. It is our conviction, based on sound exegetical and hermeneutical principles,
that this text does not apply to the present situation in the Lutheran Church of America.

I believe that it does apply.  The question I struggle with is exactly how it is to be properly applied.

Mike

It might be worth reflecting that how Rom. 16.17-18 is read depends very much on where one sits. When RCs read "take note of those who create dissensions and difficulties, in opposition to the doctrine which you have been taught; avoid them," they are sure to have a different identification of who "those" are than you might. And aren't "those who create dissensions and difficulties" more plausibly those who insist upon enforcing divisions among the brethren (as Paul often complained about) than those who seek to resolve divisions and make peace?

Add those considerations to your struggle; it's a struggle worth undertaking.

Peace,
Michael
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: Mike Bennett on November 15, 2010, 02:51:32 PM

The problem with a term like "open communion" is that the meaning shifts depending on who is using it. The Missouri use of the term would certainly include what you describe. I suspose that for the ELCA, inviting all baptized Christians is hardly thought of as open communion at all.

Not sure where that supposition arose.  At the ELCA parish where I'm a member, the invitation to communion is given to all baptized Christians who believe Christ is truly present in the bread and wine.

Mike Bennett
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: James_Gale on November 15, 2010, 03:00:27 PM

The problem with a term like "open communion" is that the meaning shifts depending on who is using it. The Missouri use of the term would certainly include what you describe. I suspose that for the ELCA, inviting all baptized Christians is hardly thought of as open communion at all.

Not sure where that supposition arose.  At the ELCA parish where I'm a member, the invitation to communion is given to all baptized Christians who believe Christ is truly present in the bread and wine.

Mike Bennett

Mike --

I've been in several ELCA congregations in which the invitation to commune has been extended very expressly to everyone present, not just to baptized Christians.  This practice is counter to the ELCA's statement regarding The Use of the Means of Grace.  But it's not uncommon.  And so far as I know, bishops don't do much (anything?) to stop it.

Jim
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: Mike Bennett on November 15, 2010, 03:03:16 PM

The problem with a term like "open communion" is that the meaning shifts depending on who is using it. The Missouri use of the term would certainly include what you describe. I suspose that for the ELCA, inviting all baptized Christians is hardly thought of as open communion at all.

Not sure where that supposition arose.  At the ELCA parish where I'm a member, the invitation to communion is given to all baptized Christians who believe Christ is truly present in the bread and wine.

Mike Bennett

Mike --

I've been in several ELCA congregations in which the invitation to commune has been extended very expressly to everyone present, not just to baptized Christians.  This practice is counter to the ELCA's statement regarding The Use of the Means of Grace.  But it's not uncommon.  And so far as I know, bishops don't do much (anything?) to stop it.

Jim

Confusion and inconsistent practice certainly abound. 

Mike Bennett
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: Timotheus Verinus on November 15, 2010, 03:51:06 PM
...
It might be worth reflecting that how Rom. 16.17-18 is read depends very much on where one sits. When RCs read "take note of those who create dissensions and difficulties, in opposition to the doctrine which you have been taught; avoid them," they are sure to have a different identification of who "those" are than you might. And aren't "those who create dissensions and difficulties" more plausibly those who insist upon enforcing divisions among the brethren (as Paul often complained about) than those who seek to resolve divisions and make peace?

I'll consider this, but i do not believe this is how the LCMS understands Romans 16:17-18.
...
Mike

Mike,

Ponder for a moment, how certain opinions from some quarters of LCMS may deviate from say 2000 years of Catholicism, and as I often noted 500 years of Lutheranism, and 250 years of American Lutheranism, when it comes up against an exegesis from Missouri in light of those "who introduce divisions." The pride of 150 years of working at it, can blind perspective on who "introduced" the conflict. As an example, Rolf's dad did an excellent analysis of how Gerhardt dealt with election, and how posturing as if you stand on centuries of apostolic teaching, when you are the young upstarts, is not immune to divisive accusation, ie. guilty of Rom 16 in the way it has always been exegeted. The challenge may be true and right, but if the approach to tempering against contemporary diversion and error before us, is not well framed, then you are the one accused in Rom 16:17.

Just a thought,

TV
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: Timotheus Verinus on November 15, 2010, 04:09:29 PM
....The challenge may be true and right, but if the approach to tempering against contemporary diversion and error before us, is not well framed, then you are the one accused in Rom 16:17.

Just a thought,

TV

I've pondered how 1500 years of Catholicism deviated from proper apostolic teaching and John Hus was burned at the stake for it and Romans 16:17 used against Luther by that oh-so-sanctimonious Roman Catholic church.

So, call it "The pride of 150 years of working at it" as you wish, I'll stand by LUCF's statement that:

...
especially because it seems to accord well with St. Paul's dealings with the Judaizers and St. John's with the Gnostics.

Poor, poor Athanasius. Why did he fail to see the folly in making nice with the Arians when they temporarily dominated the visible church's teaching?

Poor deluded divisive man.  ::)

Praise God for his integrity.  :)

Mike

Framework in that presentation is important. When it slides into red herrings that avoid the question, ... well the question is no longer on the table ...  Every complaint presented is not Luther's "Here I stand." He stood on truth. Truth did not stand on him. And he and the Confessors took great effort to present the Apostolic and Fathers foundation, never "avoiding" the Church until they were cast out.

TV
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: grabau14 on November 15, 2010, 04:14:24 PM
Mike,

In the end he admonishes them not to permist evil teachers, or those who sow teachings which militate against the Gospel, to come in or listen to them.  When a physician has shown the remidies, he commands also to avoid the things which seem to be harmful.  So after the apostle taught the chief topic of the Christian doctrine above, he urges them to be circumspect and watch lest some godless teachers sneak in on them.
So they may be able more easily to shun them, he indicates the tricks by which these impostlers get around the inexperienced.  They deceive, he says (v. 18), by eloguent speeches and praises.
Eloquent speeches without doubt mean flattering sermons.  For there are flatteries both in the customs of those who teach and in the kind of teaching itself.  As far as customs are concerned, these hypocrites know how to put on the complete appearance of friendliness, kindness, and patience.  They know how to play skillfully on the feelings of those with whom they are dealing.  Examples of this can easly be found among the monks.  While the Anabaptists know they teach many things which are not totally false, they also teach absurdities and things that are against the entire nature of men.  Nevertheless, they capture the minds of people with the prodigious simulation of patience and modesty.  Here their doctrine also has its attraction.  In a sense it flatters people, as then the common people are suddelnly relieved of burdensome traditions and ingenious people are freed from the bonds of heavenly dogmas which seem absurd to reason.           Philip Melanchthon, "Commentary on Romans", p. 296
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: jebutler on November 15, 2010, 04:14:59 PM

I would accept your distinction that prayer fellowship with such Christians was being recognized as permissable which Eucharistic fellowship is not.  I accept an argument that to "mark and avoid" Christian brethren does not necessarily mean we cannot pray and worship with them but that we must avoid implying that we are of common confession with them.  For this recognizes that Romans 16 should be applied to such Christians, but the way in which it has been applied is wrong.

We are in the world even though we are not of the world.  I struggle with issues as to how simple dinner prayer and acts of cooperation in externals with Christians of a different confession is best rectified with the command of Romans 16.

I often find that Romans 14, and its counsel to be considerate of the weaker brother and what he regards as sin to place context on Romans 16.

But even that can be taken too far as i would argue has happened with the ELCA's new "bound conscience" attitude.

Thanks for your perspective.  I appreciate it, and I am considering it.

Mike

If you are going to read a historical document, then you need to read the things that surround it. Viewing the issue as prayer fellowship is not difficult if one reads the various issues of "The American Lutheran" that led up the writing of "A Statement." Second, you can read the annotated version of "A Statement" called "Speaking the Truth in Love" which was published soon after. It gets much more specific. Finally, as Marie Meyer noted, the Brux case was definitely in the mind of the authors as they were writing it (when I wrote my paper, I began with the Brux case).

I've argued that the view of fellowship that the 44 wanted--a view that they believed was truly Missourian--is the view which is held today by the vast majority of the LCMS: we can pray with other Christians, even those who are not Lutheran, but we do not join in public worship or Eucharist with them.
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: grabau14 on November 15, 2010, 04:33:14 PM
From Gerhard's Loci "On the Church"

In Romans 16:17 Paul warns them to "take note of those who create dissensions and causes of offense aside from the doctrine that you have learned, and turn away from them." You can easily see that this concern and forewarning of the apostle was neither vain nor useless if you compare the state of the Roman church today with the state of the early church at Rome, that is, as it is described in this apostolic letter."  p.206

Second, the church is warned to provide no opportunity for errors
So, then, we go on to argue: (II) Whatever church the apostle warns gravely not to provide opportunity for errors is not immune to the peril of erring.  Such admonistions would be repeated in van if some absolute promise had been given to it.  Yet the aposlte gravely warns the Roman church not to provide and opportunity for errors or for seducers (Rom. 11:20ff.; Rom. 16:17). Therefore the Roman church is not immune to the peril of erring.  p. 229

In the entire section, Gerhard is warning the Roman church (of his day) that they have deviated from the truth of scripture.  He then uses the book of Romans as the means to show how the Roman Catholic church is erring with regard to scripture, original sin, free choice, the gospel, Justification, faith, etc... (just as the Roman church of Paul's day did)
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: grabau14 on November 15, 2010, 05:21:14 PM
Mike,

Martin Chemnitz cites how the Roman church under Pope Leo I used Romans 16:17 

"Second, at the time of Leo I, around A.D. 440, the Manichaeans attempted to introduce the taking of one kind only, because they detested wine as something abominable and taught that the body of Christ, being something imaginnary, had no real blood.  But Pope Leo, Sermon 40,4 calls it a sacrilege if anyone refuses to drink the cup of the blood of our redemption.  Here he applies the word of Paul in Romans 16:17: 'Take note of those who cause dissensions and diffilculties, in opposition to the doctrine which you have been taught."            Examination of the Council of Trent Part II, p. 420



Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: James_Gale on November 15, 2010, 05:33:37 PM

The inclusion of the Lutheran Church of America, and the fellowship talks with them at the time, lead me to suspect that more than just prayer fellowship was in view here.  You are far more studied than me on the subject though so I will defer to you for now.


Are you operating under the assumption that "Lutheran Church of America" was a church body?  It wasn't.  The reference, I believe, was to Lutheranism generally in the US.

The Lutheran Church in America formed in 1962, more than 15 years after the writing of the Statement.
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: Timotheus Verinus on November 15, 2010, 06:10:10 PM

The inclusion of the Lutheran Church of America, and the fellowship talks with them at the time, lead me to suspect that more than just prayer fellowship was in view here.  You are far more studied than me on the subject though so I will defer to you for now.

I do wonder though if Chaplain Wohlrabe taught you on "A Statement" and uses your research, then why does he seem to see things so differently here?
Quote
The interjection of church politics or what may be referred to as a “party spirit” into the polity of the Missouri Synod is an interesting study of the practical implications in the relationship between theology and polity. At its 1917 synodical convention, the Synod ....

“Practical Implications of the Relationship between Theology and Polity in the Missouri Synod”
John C. Wohlrabe, Jr., Th.D.
http://www.concordtx.org/tcl/conference/2009/john-wohlrabe-theology-and-polity/

Mike

Mike, concerning the positions Pr. Uttenreither brings and by extension how we read Wohlrabe's perspective, there is a question at hand, a presumption not shown in many discussions. I invite you to hear what the Ohio Synod was saying in those days.

"while vital issues are at stake, the controversy is artificial and useless, because the laymen believe exactly alike, do not understand the subtle differences, and do not hear any differences in the gospel preached by their pastors. The theologians are actually perpetuating divisions while the laymen are one in faith! ... there is a tendency of theologians to ascribe to their opponents views which seem to be logical deductions of the opponents' utterances. Such deductions belong to the sphere of speculation, not doctrine ... " CC Hein, Western District 1917

A different perspective, but one which every layman would readily comprehend.

When we speak of manifest practice of withholding a kind, as in the Father's citations above, or a clear false teaching, ... how this is applied to questions at issue, and by no means 'resolved,' take on a different counsel. These are not the same thing. ESPECIALLY when the essence of the debate is circular as in this verse, "since you don't agree with my exegesis, we are not in agreement in doctrine and therefore because you don't think I should avoid in this case (and only because of that) then I am compelled to avoid you according to the argument that we disagree on, but that I have not made the case for yet.

"The theologians are actually perpetuating divisions while the laymen are one in faith!"

TV
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: pr dtp on November 15, 2010, 06:17:45 PM

The inclusion of the Lutheran Church of America, and the fellowship talks with them at the time, lead me to suspect that more than just prayer fellowship was in view here.  You are far more studied than me on the subject though so I will defer to you for now.

I do wonder though if Chaplain Wohlrabe taught you on "A Statement" and uses your research, then why does he seem to see things so differently here?
Quote
The interjection of church politics or what may be referred to as a “party spirit” into the polity of the Missouri Synod is an interesting study of the practical implications in the relationship between theology and polity. At its 1917 synodical convention, the Synod ....

“Practical Implications of the Relationship between Theology and Polity in the Missouri Synod”
John C. Wohlrabe, Jr., Th.D.
http://www.concordtx.org/tcl/conference/2009/john-wohlrabe-theology-and-polity/

Mike

Mike, concerning the positions Pr. Uttenreither brings and by extension how we read Wohlrabe's perspective, there is a question at hand, a presumption not shown in many discussions. I invite you to hear what the Ohio Synod was saying in those days.

"while vital issues are at stake, the controversy is artificial and useless, because the laymen believe exactly alike, do not understand the subtle differences, and do not hear any differences in the gospel preached by their pastors. The theologians are actually perpetuating divisions while the laymen are one in faith! ... there is a tendency of theologians to ascribe to their opponents views which seem to be logical deductions of the opponents' utterances. Such deductions belong to the sphere of speculation, not doctrine ... " CC Hein, Western District 1917

A different perspective, but one which every layman would readily comprehend.

When we speak of manifest practice of withholding a kind, as in the Father's citations above, or a clear false teaching, ... how this is applied to questions at issue, and by no means 'resolved,' take on a different counsel. These are not the same thing. ESPECIALLY when the essence of the debate is circular as in this verse, "since you don't agree with my exegesis, we are not in agreement in doctrine and therefore because you don't think I should avoid in this case (and only because of that) then I am compelled to avoid you according to the argument that we disagree on, but that I have not made the case for yet.

"The theologians are actually perpetuating divisions while the laymen are one in faith!"

TV

That would be consistent with the Task Force's understanding regarding the divisions in the LCMS - and indeed I do believe our AC speaks against such division when it describes the unity of the church. 
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: jebutler on November 15, 2010, 07:06:00 PM

The inclusion of the Lutheran Church of America, and the fellowship talks with them at the time, lead me to suspect that more than just prayer fellowship was in view here.  You are far more studied than me on the subject though so I will defer to you for now.

I do wonder though if Chaplain Wohlrabe taught you on "A Statement" and uses your research, then why does he seem to see things so differently here?


I think you mean the American Lutheran Church, not the Lutheran Church of America. The original ALC was a merger of the Buffalo, Iowa, and Ohio Synods. We had been in fellowship with Ohio prior to the Predestinarian controversy and we had some common history with Iowa through Lohe.

There is no question but that the ALPB folks wanted fellowship between the ALC and Missouri. They spoke highly in favor of it. However, they also agreed that there were issues that needed to be worked out and resolved. That was one of the things that frustrated them about the Missouri position on prayer fellowship: how could it be displeasing to God to pray for common understanding and unity of faith?

Second, you have to understand that we were very close to fellowship with the ALC in the 1930s. In fact, the Synod in convention gave the Synod President permission to declare fellowship with the ALC once a few things were ironed out. Behnken could have done so at any time. The Statement was partly in reaction to the frustration when that resolution was repealed.

Finally, I stated that John "used" my research when he taught that section of the class in the 1980s. He was working on his Th.D. at that time. Since the article you reference notes that he has a Th.D., my guess would be that he wrote it after I had him in 84/85. I would assume that he continued his study in Lutheran history in the twenty years that followed. Even in class, he made it clear that he looked upon "A Statement" less favorably than I did.
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on November 15, 2010, 08:20:26 PM

Has the ALPB in its steadfast opposition to Schmuckerism had a significant portion of its leadership condemn the the ELCA's current position that the real presence is something Lutherans could do without in order to adapt to the American context and establish church fellowship agreement with Reformed church bodies?


Lutheran Forum signed "Editorial Position" published in the Pentecost 1997 issue:

Quote
Regarding the Reformed proposal, we are not persuaded that our respective teaching on the person of Christ, or on his bodily presence in the Eucharist, are either compatible or complementary.  Consequently, we cannot support a proposal in which the differences between Lutheran and Reformed are portrayed as merely emphases or perspectives (for example, a dispute over the mode rather than the reality of Christ's presence).  Even if the so-called interchangeability of ministers were to be subject to the discipline of the particular church, no one wants a minister who does not subscribe to what is expected to be preached and taught in that particular church.

I don't recall reading anything official by ALPB since that suggests that position was unwise.

Pax, Steven+
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: J. Eriksson on November 17, 2010, 08:06:00 AM


When I was a confused Methodist boy going to Baltimore Lutheran, I went to the sacrament at several LCMS parishes when the concert band played at one of the churches.  I told all of the LCMS pastors that I was a Methodist and they all invited me up to the altar.  It wasn't until I met Dr. Hein at CURF that I was told (and rightly so) that those LCMS pastors were in error. 



How did a confused Methodist boy end up going to Baltimore Lutheran?  am I correct in assuming that it is a LCMS school?  How old were you?  What percentage of the student body was Lutheran?
Why do you think they disregarded the Akron-Galesburg rule and invited you(and others) to the altar?
How would you then at that age; ( not now) have felt if you had been told you could not come?  Were you by any chance so confused as a Methodist boy that refusal would have hurt you in such a way that your ears would have been closed to what God was saying to you thru the  Church?   Did this hospitality have anything to do with where you ended up?   Look where you did end up  ;)a confused Methodist boy turning into a respectable LCMS pastor and respected member of this group.

What was the percentage of the  Baltimore community that was Lutheran?  LCMS?
Do you think that there was an assumption made all these kids go to Baltimore Lutheran, there is Christian instruction at BL and it follows LCMS doctrine; so there is a good chance that some/most of these kids now believe in the Real Presence even though they are not technically Lutherans  yet?
Do you think that there was a conscious decision to make a statement to the visiting school band (who may have had a high percentage of non-Lutheran members) that yes there is a place for them in this Lutheran church and they are more than just second class  tuition paying bodies in the school?  A statement to you (this is a fine young man with potential what can/should I do to keep him around)  Did something work ;)and what was it?
Around about the time you were born I started to meet some Pastors and RC Priests who believed very strongly in the power of the Holy Spirit to work through the Body and Blood of Our Lord  in the lives of those who partook of the Eucharist (even the confused and unsuspecting).  Basically to work to  bring into , strengthen and preserve guys like me/us in  True Faith unto Life Everlasting.  So much so that their belief in the power of this Means of Grace trumped their complete adherence to the Akron-Galesburg rule.

By any chance have you "peacefully" asked some of the pastors why they disregarded the AG rule?

Don't get me wrong I believe the GA rule to be the ideal and desired practice.  My prayers are for you to be able to lovingly keep it without alienating anyone, and to explain it in such a way that it has a beneficial effect  throughout the years of your ministry.
God Bless You
JamesinJapan
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: Richard Johnson on November 17, 2010, 01:06:16 PM
How did a confused Methodist boy end up going to Baltimore Lutheran? 

Our name is Legion . . .  ;D
Title: Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
Post by: J. Eriksson on November 18, 2010, 06:50:41 PM
How did a confused Methodist boy end up going to Baltimore Lutheran? 

Our name is Legion . . .  ;D

Now that is SCARY :D ;D :)