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ALPB => Your Turn => Topic started by: lucan on June 09, 2011, 01:50:57 PM

Title: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: lucan on June 09, 2011, 01:50:57 PM
I'm not sure how much response I'll get for this topic since it avoids (I hope) discussing ELCA, sexuality, etc...., but I wish to discuss the following:

(1) Are there any accessible, somewhat concise and convincing writings that may serve as an "Apology for Evangelical Catholicism"? 

As a convert to Evangelical Catholicism I believe such a document is needed, and if one already exists needs to be more vigorously promoted by those of us who are at least friendly or leaning toward evangelical catholicism.  I have found it to be an extremely compelling and faithful alternative to both the often shallow and sectarian Amero-Evangelicalism, and the increasingly flimsy and thoroughly uninteresting theology of Liberal Protestantism.  How many Seminarians would benefit from reading such a document as an alternative to much of what they are being taught (in ELCA seminaries), and how many of our laity would benefit from reading and studying an accessible document that articulates Lutheranism as more than just those who believe in "Justification by faith".

(2) If there are no such documents in existence, how could we begin to create and disseminate one?


Oh, and I'd ask for responses to be limited to those who at least are sympathetic towards Evangelical Catholicism.  Sorry to be so non-inclusive, but I hope for a helpful dialogue among sympathetic thinkers.

Rev. Luke Seamon, STS
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: Rev. Kevin Scheuller on June 09, 2011, 03:23:28 PM
What would probably be good as a primer for dealing with Evangelicals:

http://www.cph.org/p-18153-the-lutheran-difference.aspx

Edited by ALPB forum blog contributer, Rev. Edward A. Engelbrecht, STM

Check out the video on the page, he and Rev. McCain are in it.
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: George Erdner on June 09, 2011, 05:22:33 PM
Before one can find a justification or defense for Evangelism Catholicism, shouldn't one first present a clear definition of what you mean by that term? There was a thread in here some time back that discussed what people meant by the term "Evangelical Catholic", and there were almost as many different definitions for what the term meant as there were individuals presenting their operative definitions.

Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: lucan on June 09, 2011, 05:45:55 PM
Mr. Erdner,

That is precisely what I am asking for here: a compelling explanation of the faith as evangelical and catholic.

I could give you my ideas, but I prefer to lean upon those more skilled and knowledgeable than I.

Rev. Luke

Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: Revbert on June 09, 2011, 05:58:51 PM
What would probably be good as a primer for dealing with Evangelicals:

http://www.cph.org/p-18153-the-lutheran-difference.aspx

Edited by ALPB forum blog contributer, Rev. Edward A. Engelbrecht, STM

Check out the video on the page, he and Rev. McCain are in it.

Kevin, I don't think that is what Lucan is seeking here.  Art
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: lucan on June 09, 2011, 06:04:31 PM
True, though that looks like a very interesting book.  It looks also more like an apology for being LCMS, or Gnesio-Lutheran, which I'm certainly not against.

Rev. Luke
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: Weedon on June 09, 2011, 06:13:57 PM
Maybe not exactly what you were looking for but ay be helpful:

societyofsaintpolycarp.blogspot.com/2006/08/rule-of-society-of-st-polycarp.html
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: lucan on June 09, 2011, 06:29:09 PM
Thanks for the input.

As the Rule of a Society it is more of a statement of beliefs than an apology for those beliefs.  Together with the Rule of the Society of the Holy Trinity, it serves as an attempt to define pastoral piety and practice in the spirit of evangelical catholicity.

It would be helpful, though, to find something with a broader scope.
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: Scott6 on June 09, 2011, 06:46:23 PM
Thanks for the input.

As the Rule of a Society it is more of a statement of beliefs than an apology for those beliefs.  Together with the Rule of the Society of the Holy Trinity, it serves as an attempt to define pastoral piety and practice in the spirit of evangelical catholicity.

It would be helpful, though, to find something with a broader scope.

FWIW, I don't know much of anything that explicitly provides an apology for evangelical catholicity (maybe I haven't read enough).

Though I'd love to point you to the AC and Ap as examples 1 and 2, but I'm relatively sure that you're quite familiar with them.
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: Jay on June 09, 2011, 06:54:41 PM
Have you read Frank Senn's "Lutheran Identity:  A Classical Understanding"?

http://www.amazon.com/Lutheran-Identity-Classical-Understanding-Voices/dp/0806680105/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1307659624&sr=1-3

I wouldn't necessarily call it an apologetic work but I think it fits your criteria.
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: James Gustafson on June 09, 2011, 06:58:24 PM
If we're looking for a more general apology/defense/explanation of why a modern Christian should re-evaluate Evangelical Catholicism, I would suggest The Genius of Luther's Theology (http://www.amazon.com/Genius-Luthers-Theology-Wittenberg-Contemporary/dp/080103180X), (A Wittenberg Way of Thinking for the Contemporary Church, by Robert Kolb and Charles P. Arand.  I present myself as evidence that it can be useful for explaining to Christians why Evangelical Catholicism and specifically orthodox Lutheranism is a better way of comprehending Christ and salvation, the Sacraments and the gift of absolution.
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: Dan Fienen on June 09, 2011, 08:18:53 PM
How about The Spirituality of the Cross by Gene Edward Veith.  It is part an account of his own spiritual journey across the various spiritual alternatives in America, and part a discription of how Lutheran theology and practice fits into Christianity.

Of course there is also, Walther's Law & Gospel a couple of editions available.

Dan
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: David Garner on June 09, 2011, 08:35:49 PM
How about The Spirituality of the Cross by Gene Edward Veith.  It is part an account of his own spiritual journey across the various spiritual alternatives in America, and part a discription of how Lutheran theology and practice fits into Christianity.

For a lay inquirer to Lutheranism, I think Spirituality of the Cross is the finest work there is.  We read it when we converted, and I still have it on my bookshelf today.  Very, very good work by Dr. Veith.
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: Weedon on June 09, 2011, 08:49:59 PM
Certainly the man who towers in Evangelical Catholicism is A. C. Piepkorn - and I do believe that the volume *The Church* offers a very great apologia, most especially in his article on the Symbols and the Sacred Ministry - with its two outstanding appendices.  Much of the critique of Lutheranism offered from the Roman and Orthodox camps centers around the illegitimacy of our ministry in their opinion.  Piepkorn is amazing in blowing that critique out of the water. 

Krauth's *Conservative Reformation* is an apologia of another sort - and is most useful for pointing out that if there is a "Lutheran high churchism" it is manifestly different from that found in other bodies in the way it extols external ceremonies and such as fitting and appropriate without making them in anyway of the essence of the Church's inner life. 
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: pr dtp on June 09, 2011, 09:16:31 PM
Personally the Large Cathechism is far easier to use as an introduction.  Those I have had read it are far more appreciative of it than Veith, which is far easier to dismiss as a subjective journey.
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: David Garner on June 09, 2011, 09:20:04 PM
Personally the Large Cathechism is far easier to use as an introduction.  Those I have had read it are far more appreciative of it than Veith, which is far easier to dismiss as a subjective journey.

We didn't have the problem of "either/or."  We read Veith while we went through catechesis.  Solid dose of both.
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: Rev. Kevin Scheuller on June 09, 2011, 09:59:14 PM
What would probably be good as a primer for dealing with Evangelicals:

http://www.cph.org/p-18153-the-lutheran-difference.aspx

Edited by ALPB forum blog contributer, Rev. Edward A. Engelbrecht, STM

Check out the video on the page, he and Rev. McCain are in it.

Kevin, I don't think that is what Lucan is seeking here.  Art
Although I haven't read the work, I'd be surprised if it did not contain the quote from Luther referring to himself as a worm and saying that it would be far better for the church of his reformation to be called the evangelical catholic church than to be called "Lutheran."  That's why I recommended it - of course, in so doing I am assuming that that quote of Luther's in included, so it's probably best not to assume. 

I would recommend anything by Frank Senn on the matter, though. 
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: lthayer on June 09, 2011, 10:11:41 PM
Certainly the man who towers in Evangelical Catholicism is A. C. Piepkorn - and I do believe that the volume *The Church* offers a very great apologia, most especially in his article on the Symbols and the Sacred Ministry - with its two outstanding appendices.  Much of the critique of Lutheranism offered from the Roman and Orthodox camps centers around the illegitimacy of our ministry in their opinion.  Piepkorn is amazing in blowing that critique out of the water.

Pr. Weedon, I could not agree with you more here.  Florida Chapter STS just concluded their retreat yesterday with Pr. Philip Secker, STS, as teaching theologian.  I read The Church in preparation for the retreat.  What a priceless gift to the Church!
Leslie
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: Mike Bennett on June 09, 2011, 10:12:44 PM
The Catholicity of the Reformation ed Braaten & Jenson.
Contributors:
Braaten
Jenson
Frank Senn
James Crumley
Gunther Gussman
Robert Wilken
David Yeago

Available at, among other places, Amazon.com, where you can view, among other things, the table of contents.

Mike Bennett
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: Edward Engelbrecht on June 10, 2011, 06:57:48 AM
I've always been content with the title, "Lutheran." The title "evangelical catholic" seems doubly complicated since one has to explain two terms rather than one. Perhaps the first thing needed in an apology for evangelical catholic is an explanation of the titling and why the term Lutheran is insufficient.
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: Charles_Austin on June 10, 2011, 08:36:39 AM
I worry that "evangelical catholics," however one chooses to define them, remain somewhat embarrassed to be "Lutheran," for while they love to cite the key documents and doctrines and practices of Lutheranism, it is often an idealized version which does not reflect the larger reality of what Lutheranism is today.
     For decades I have endorsed what many "evangelical catholics" speak of so often, such as a "higher" view of the sacraments and the ministry, which includes weekly celebrations of the eucharist in a more or less "traditional" way, rapprochement with Roman Catholicism, honesty about the "down side" of the 16th Century Reformation, better understanding of the Church prior to the Great Schism of 1054, and a wariness about the "more Protestant" aspects of piety and church life and the effects of the more "radical Reformation" which came after our dear Martin passed.
     But here we are, "Lutherans" who cannot completely separate ourselves from the "Protestant" aspect of our heritage and church life ("Protestant" here not equaling "evangelical"), "Lutherans" with fellow "Lutherans" around the world who don't even know what "evangelical catholic" might mean or feel like, and "Lutherans" considered "Protestant" by most of society, despite the persistent and Herculean efforts of Lutheran Forum and some of our colleagues.
     So in the grander scheme of things, "Lutheran" is o.k. with me.
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: pearson on June 10, 2011, 08:47:00 AM

I've always been content with the title, "Lutheran."


And then. . .


So in the grander scheme of things, "Lutheran" is o.k. with me.


Pr. Engelbrecht, is your definition of "Lutheran" the same as Pr. Austin's definition of "Lutheran"?

Tom Pearson
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: Edward Engelbrecht on June 10, 2011, 09:12:31 AM
Tom, they are likely close or significantly overlapping, since Charles as an ELCA Lutheran and I as an LCMS Lutheran would both refer to the Lutheran Confessions as the most objective means for defining "Lutheran." That is also the common features of Lutheran churches and synods around the world, whether in LWF or ILC, since they include the Lutheran Confessions in their self-designation. After that Charles and I can both feel embarrassed about ideas held or argued by the other. : )

I'll let Charles weigh in on whether I've appropriately described the matter.
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: David Garner on June 10, 2011, 09:43:44 AM
I worry that "evangelical catholics," however one chooses to define them, remain somewhat embarrassed to be "Lutheran," for while they love to cite the key documents and doctrines and practices of Lutheranism, it is often an idealized version which does not reflect the larger reality of what Lutheranism is today.

Not to ignore the rest of your post, which I thought was very interesting and well stated, but regards the above, I would note that it is not your typical "Evangelical Catholic" whose Church sign fails to include the word "Lutheran."
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: Weedon on June 10, 2011, 09:52:52 AM
I confess that I rather love the term Lutheran too.  But it is striking - I think I'm right on this - that Lutheran doesn't receive hardly any play in the Christian Book of Concord.  The Churches of the Augsburg Confession, do, however.  And so I'd be happy to be known as a catholic of the Augsburg Confession. 

If I may put it so, one can be known for identifying solely with the Reformation critique; or one can be known for recognizing that the critique was of a broader and deeper tradition.  The one pulls the critique out as though it were the whole of what "Lutheran" identifies; the other recognizes "Lutheran" as embracing not only what had gone wrong and needed addressing, but also what had never gone wrong and continued on.  To think that sola fide, sola scriptura, sola gratia is the sum total of Lutheranism, or even justification is the sum total of Lutheranism, is to adopt a form of Lutheranism that its founders wouldn't recognize.  I.e., Gospel reductionism ain't what I mean by Lutheran!
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: MaddogLutheran on June 10, 2011, 09:54:34 AM
Please don't take this as mocking or a put down...

Have you read Frank Senn's "Lutheran Identity:  A Classical Understanding"?

http://www.amazon.com/Lutheran-Identity-Classical-Understanding-Voices/dp/0806680105/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1307659624&sr=1-3

I wouldn't necessarily call it an apologetic work but I think it fits your criteria.

I would expect that every member of the Society of the Holy Trinity has read and thoroughly digested everything published by its Senior.   :o ::)  (Not a pastor, but I'm working on it myself, slowly.)

But seriously, thread has spawned interesting replies, but the one question it generates from me, to the originator Pr. Seamon, is this:

To whom are you looking for such an Apology to be targeted?  Within Lutheran circles, or the broader Church?  Seems to me that there might be some difference in content (or maybe not so much), depending on whether it is directed at Low Church/Pietism, versus a Roman/Orthodox audience, for example.  The things that would be a point of emphasis/agreement on one side might need to be defended to the other, and vice versa.  Being in the middle of the road sometimes makes you road kill.

Sterling Spatz

Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: Charles_Austin on June 10, 2011, 10:10:25 AM
Editor Engelbrecht has it right.
We have the commonality as "Lutherans" that he cites and we most likely consider each other valid "Lutherans," at least I consider him and his church body validly "Lutheran."
But between the ELCA and the LCMS is a gulf which means that we are not in close fellowship, at least insofar as our official declarations and operating policies define that. That may change for the better in the years to come.
Meanwhile "evangelical catholics" constitute a certain segment of Lutheranism that is probably present in both the ELCA and the LCMS.
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: George Erdner on June 10, 2011, 10:18:54 AM
I've always been content with the title, "Lutheran." The title "evangelical catholic" seems doubly complicated since one has to explain two terms rather than one. Perhaps the first thing needed in an apology for evangelical catholic is an explanation of the titling and why the term Lutheran is insufficient.

Perhaps re-addressing the issue of What is a Lutheran? (http://www.alpb.org/forum/index.php?topic=2557.0), with the poll question, "What makes a Christian a "Lutheran" Christian?" is appropriate.
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: Jay on June 10, 2011, 10:42:04 AM
And so I'd be happy to be known as a catholic of the Augsburg Confession. 


I prefer that term as well. Couldn't we even use a big "C" under those circumstances?
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: racin_jason on June 10, 2011, 11:05:08 AM
When I wear a chausible for Pentecost this Sunday, does this make me an evengelical catholic?

Why or why not?

Just checking, to be on the safe side.
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: Charles_Austin on June 10, 2011, 11:08:52 AM
If the term has anything to do with vestiture, I think we go astray.
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: Weedon on June 10, 2011, 11:21:04 AM
Racin,  it depends on what the chasuble looks like...  ;)
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: Edward Engelbrecht on June 10, 2011, 11:25:49 AM
I've always been content with the title, "Lutheran." The title "evangelical catholic" seems doubly complicated since one has to explain two terms rather than one. Perhaps the first thing needed in an apology for evangelical catholic is an explanation of the titling and why the term Lutheran is insufficient.

Perhaps re-addressing the issue of What is a Lutheran? (http://www.alpb.org/forum/index.php?topic=2557.0), with the poll question, "What makes a Christian a "Lutheran" Christian?" is appropriate.

Perhaps the author of the thread will provide this.
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: Edward Engelbrecht on June 10, 2011, 12:18:18 PM
And so I'd be happy to be known as a catholic of the Augsburg Confession. 


I prefer that term as well. Couldn't we even use a big "C" under those circumstances?

For the LCMS, I would prefer a name that represents the fuller development of our confessional heritage by including "Concordia." That would be most appropriate, I think.
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: racin_jason on June 10, 2011, 12:24:25 PM
Racin,  it depends on what the chasuble looks like...  ;)

Here it is. But in red, of course.

http://www.almy.com/Product/56331/category/ChasublesAndStoles/parent/ChurchVestments
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: George Erdner on June 10, 2011, 12:26:54 PM
When I wear a chausible for Pentecost this Sunday, does this make me an evengelical catholic?

Why or why not?

Just checking, to be on the safe side.

The wearing of a chausible is cancelled out the the use of Power Point screens to display the liturgy.
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on June 10, 2011, 01:18:57 PM

(1) Are there any accessible, somewhat concise and convincing writings that may serve as an "Apology for Evangelical Catholicism"?  


Luke, given the way you ask the question, I too would respond with Frank Senn's little "Lutheran Voices" book (http://fortresspress.com/store/item.jsp?clsid=209625&productgroupid=0&isbn=0806680105) published by Augsburg Fortress, Lutheran Identity: A Classical Understanding (http://www.christianbook.com/lutheran-identity-a-classical-understanding/frank-senn/9780806680101/pd/680101#curr).  That's pretty much why he wrote it.

Arthur Carl Piepkorn's essays, articles, and papers that are being collected (2 volumes published so far, Fr. Weedon has referenced The Church (http://www.lutheransonline.com/servlet/lo_ProcServ/dbpage=page&mode=display&gid=00001615403789030111155555&pg=20080580036108069301111555)) are and will be indespensible, but you might think of them related to Dr. Senn's book as the Large Catechism to the Small Catechism.  While you gain considerable richness, you lose some accessibility and, because they were often written for very particular contexts, some references will be, uh, somewhat opaque for most readers.

Pax, Steven+
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: grabau on June 10, 2011, 01:49:38 PM
Do Lutherans in general "own" the word catholic?  grabau
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: George Erdner on June 10, 2011, 01:51:16 PM
I'm having a little difficulty understand some of the telegraphic posts. Is everyone working under the assumption that "Evangelical Catholic" and "Lutheran" are two different terms for the same thing? Or is "Evangelical Catholic" a subset of "Lutheran", ie., "All Evangelical Catholics are Lutherans, but not all Lutherans are Evangelical Catholics"? Or are the "Evangelical Catholics" and the "Lutherans" two intersecting sets. Or are Evangelical Catholics Lutherans who seek to return to 16th century Lutheranism in terms of teaching and practice, and purge all of the innovations of the Pietistic era?
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: MaddogLutheran on June 10, 2011, 02:15:43 PM
My response was somewhat motivated by George's previous just above...
When I wear a chausible for Pentecost this Sunday, does this make me an evengelical catholic?

Why or why not?

Just checking, to be on the safe side.
Not sure how much tongue-in-cheek this was (I suspect pretty much), but your underlying point (unintended or not), is why I asked my question about to whom the Apology is directed.  Because much like the recent discussion in another thread where individual confession & absolution was regarded as too "Roman", admittedly by persons apparently not well-read on the Lutheran Confessions, there is a section of Lutherans who would reject such things as un-Lutheran.  I agree with Pastor Austin that vestiture really is a diversion from topic, except that for some it isn't.  How does one address such people?  And to make this pan-Lutheran, I think they exist in both the ELCA and LCMS.

And of course authority and bishops are better defined, controversial flashpoint, but I'm not sure even how to characterize this, as I think often the "other side" mischaracterizes the Evangelical Catholic position on those issues.  OTOH, and being fair, I don't know that I could simply describe what the Evangelical Catholic position is, other than to say that such organization is permissible for good order, but not essential.  Delving into such specifics, one can quickly get lost in the weeds.  I appreciate those previous who have offered Dr. Piepkorn's writings as Large Catechism to respond to such questions.

Sterling Spatz
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: Charles_Austin on June 10, 2011, 02:43:55 PM
Remember that "Anglo-Catholic" has been a subset of Anglicanism for many decades.
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: David Garner on June 10, 2011, 03:13:39 PM
I'm having a little difficulty understand some of the telegraphic posts. Is everyone working under the assumption that "Evangelical Catholic" and "Lutheran" are two different terms for the same thing? Or is "Evangelical Catholic" a subset of "Lutheran", ie., "All Evangelical Catholics are Lutherans, but not all Lutherans are Evangelical Catholics"? Or are the "Evangelical Catholics" and the "Lutherans" two intersecting sets. Or are Evangelical Catholics Lutherans who seek to return to 16th century Lutheranism in terms of teaching and practice, and purge all of the innovations of the Pietistic era?

As one who self-identified as an "evangelical catholic" when I was Lutheran, my response would simply be that the Lutheran Confessions describe a Church that embraces evangelical catholicism.

That refrains from taking away someone's own self-understanding of themselves as Lutheran while succinctly stating the point that if you take the Confessions seriously and believe what they say, there is no real way to understand yourself as being anything other than both evangelical and catholic. 
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: George Erdner on June 10, 2011, 04:42:06 PM
I'm having a little difficulty understand some of the telegraphic posts. Is everyone working under the assumption that "Evangelical Catholic" and "Lutheran" are two different terms for the same thing? Or is "Evangelical Catholic" a subset of "Lutheran", ie., "All Evangelical Catholics are Lutherans, but not all Lutherans are Evangelical Catholics"? Or are the "Evangelical Catholics" and the "Lutherans" two intersecting sets. Or are Evangelical Catholics Lutherans who seek to return to 16th century Lutheranism in terms of teaching and practice, and purge all of the innovations of the Pietistic era?

As one who self-identified as an "evangelical catholic" when I was Lutheran, my response would simply be that the Lutheran Confessions describe a Church that embraces evangelical catholicism.

That refrains from taking away someone's own self-understanding of themselves as Lutheran while succinctly stating the point that if you take the Confessions seriously and believe what they say, there is no real way to understand yourself as being anything other than both evangelical and catholic. 

But is "Evangelical Catholicism", capitalized as a proper name of a specific school of thought and the concept of being both an evangelical and a catholic the same thing? I'd list another example of how the proper name of a self-identifying group isn't necessarily literally true, but then we'd get bogged down in discussing the example. But if someone is both an evangelical and a catholic automatically an "Evangelical Catholic", as that term is commonly used and understood today?
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: David Garner on June 10, 2011, 04:59:55 PM
But is "Evangelical Catholicism", capitalized as a proper name of a specific school of thought and the concept of being both an evangelical and a catholic the same thing? I'd list another example of how the proper name of a self-identifying group isn't necessarily literally true, but then we'd get bogged down in discussing the example. But if someone is both an evangelical and a catholic automatically an "Evangelical Catholic", as that term is commonly used and understood today?

Not sure I can re-tie that particular knot.  If we disentangle it that far, I'm an Evangelical Catholic still, since I self identify as a member of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church and I also believe we are Gospel-centered.  But certainly that's not what is meant by Lutherans who use that term.

I think an EC would expect use of the historic Western Liturgy, believe the Book of Concord is an exact exposition of the Scriptures in a quia sense, and would retain the practices the Book of Concord references as specifically Lutheran without regard to whether they seem "Roman Catholic" in outward appearance.  This would include (but is not limited to) a high reverence for the Theotokos (and probably a belief in the semper virgo and clauso utero), weekly communion, frequent use of private confession and absolution, use of the sign of the cross, etc.  It seems to me EC's tend to self-identify in opposition to more pietistic or low church protestant strains of Lutheranism rather than in a vacuum.  That makes them appear to be reactionary, but I think most honestly are trying to maintain the Church described in the Confessions rather than just trying to ape after Rome in opposition to protestant stylings.  I know that was the case with us.
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: George Erdner on June 10, 2011, 05:06:31 PM
But is "Evangelical Catholicism", capitalized as a proper name of a specific school of thought and the concept of being both an evangelical and a catholic the same thing? I'd list another example of how the proper name of a self-identifying group isn't necessarily literally true, but then we'd get bogged down in discussing the example. But if someone is both an evangelical and a catholic automatically an "Evangelical Catholic", as that term is commonly used and understood today?

Not sure I can re-tie that particular knot.  If we disentangle it that far, I'm an Evangelical Catholic still, since I self identify as a member of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church and I also believe we are Gospel-centered.  But certainly that's not what is meant by Lutherans who use that term.

I think an EC would expect use of the historic Western Liturgy, believe the Book of Concord is an exact exposition of the Scriptures in a quia sense, and would retain the practices the Book of Concord references as specifically Lutheran without regard to whether they seem "Roman Catholic" in outward appearance.  This would include (but is not limited to) a high reverence for the Theotokos (and probably a belief in the semper virgo and clauso utero), weekly communion, frequent use of private confession and absolution, use of the sign of the cross, etc.  It seems to me EC's tend to self-identify in opposition to more pietistic or low church protestant strains of Lutheranism rather than in a vacuum.  That makes them appear to be reactionary, but I think most honestly are trying to maintain the Church described in the Confessions rather than just trying to ape after Rome in opposition to protestant stylings.  I know that was the case with us.

That strikes me as a clear and concise definition of Evangelical Catholic, if one accepts that Evangelical Catholic is a subset of the larger Lutheran Faith Tradition. Personally, I tend to agree with it, though my personal opinion has no weight in this discussion. I'd be interested in seeing how many people also agree with that take on what an Evangelical Catholic is, and how that belief manifests itself in terms of action.
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: Edward Engelbrecht on June 10, 2011, 06:50:49 PM
I have never met a layman in the LCMS who described himself as an evangelical catholic. It seems to be a clergy interest, like the St. James Society of years gone by.
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: vicarbob on June 10, 2011, 07:07:16 PM
Don't know how to respond to the preceding post, except to say I know any number of the laity whose understanding and idendity is just that and if it were a matter concerning/embraced by only the clergy then few pastors have taught Lutheran theology, practice or history to their cure. A bit extreme, perhaps.
pax
Bob
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: peter_speckhard on June 10, 2011, 07:09:21 PM
It seems to me a lot of leading EC's are laymen. Isn't Bob Benne? Jim Nuechterlein?
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: racin_jason on June 10, 2011, 08:17:32 PM
When I wear a chausible for Pentecost this Sunday, does this make me an evengelical catholic?

Why or why not?

Just checking, to be on the safe side.

The wearing of a chausible is cancelled out the the use of Power Point screens to display the liturgy.

Too funny....and true.
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: Edward Engelbrecht on June 10, 2011, 08:57:17 PM
It seems to me a lot of leading EC's are laymen. Isn't Bob Benne? Jim Nuechterlein?

Perhaps it is an upper east and Valpo thing? I've lived in Upstate NY, MI, IN, IL, and MO and honestly have never heard a layman self described as ev/cath.
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: Keith Falk on June 10, 2011, 11:13:00 PM
While not an apology for evangelical catholicism, Rick Cimino in his book Lutherans Today: American Lutheran Identity in the 21st Century (http://"http://www.amazon.com/Lutherans-Today-American-Lutheran-Twenty-First/dp/0802813658") provides some good descriptions.
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: grabau on June 11, 2011, 10:31:19 AM
The "Lutheran" church in Poland is known as the Church of the Augsburg Confession.  That may be more to the point.  grabau
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: Charles_Austin on June 11, 2011, 11:29:14 AM
From a communications perspective, and with some concern for the "public face" of our church bodies and as one who has tried to interpret Lutheranism to the broader world, I think we have problems enough with getting folks to understand "Lutheran," and that nothing will be gained by starting to throw "Church of the Augsburg Confession" or some such permutation of "Augsburg" into the mix.
And I do not think that our Polish friends are likely to throw "catholic" or any Polish, German or Slavic parallel of that word into the name for their church body.
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: pearson on June 11, 2011, 12:28:55 PM

I'm having a little difficulty understand some of the telegraphic posts. Is everyone working under the assumption that "Evangelical Catholic" and "Lutheran" are two different terms for the same thing? Or is "Evangelical Catholic" a subset of "Lutheran", ie., "All Evangelical Catholics are Lutherans, but not all Lutherans are Evangelical Catholics"? Or are the "Evangelical Catholics" and the "Lutherans" two intersecting sets. Or are Evangelical Catholics Lutherans who seek to return to 16th century Lutheranism in terms of teaching and practice, and purge all of the innovations of the Pietistic era?


Surely there are Evangelical Catholics who are not Lutheran.  My sense is that one (among several) of the themes emphasized by ECs is a quest for Christian orthodoxy -- for defining "orthodoxy" and for seeking to discover how to proclaim and practice orthodoxy in the contemporary world.  In this sense, one valuable resource is Chesterton's little book titled, well, Orthodoxy.

Tom Pearson
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: grabau on June 11, 2011, 01:01:20 PM
Well yes, Pr. Austin.  Lutherans in Canada commissioned a study to determine the "image" of Lutherans in Canada.  The conclusion: they had none. grabau
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: George Erdner on June 11, 2011, 01:17:34 PM

I'm having a little difficulty understand some of the telegraphic posts. Is everyone working under the assumption that "Evangelical Catholic" and "Lutheran" are two different terms for the same thing? Or is "Evangelical Catholic" a subset of "Lutheran", ie., "All Evangelical Catholics are Lutherans, but not all Lutherans are Evangelical Catholics"? Or are the "Evangelical Catholics" and the "Lutherans" two intersecting sets. Or are Evangelical Catholics Lutherans who seek to return to 16th century Lutheranism in terms of teaching and practice, and purge all of the innovations of the Pietistic era?


Surely there are Evangelical Catholics who are not Lutheran.  My sense is that one (among several) of the themes emphasized by ECs is a quest for Christian orthodoxy -- for defining "orthodoxy" and for seeking to discover how to proclaim and practice orthodoxy in the contemporary world.  In this sense, one valuable resource is Chesterton's little book titled, well, Orthodoxy.

Tom Pearson

I wish I had a better understanding of which faction of the people who call themselves "Evangelical Christians" that you are referring are the ones you are referring to. I've encountered many self-styled "EC's" who emphasize that theme. I've encountered many others who have that theme rather far down their list of defining characteristics. I don't know precise numbers, but I know more than a few self-styled "EC's" whose primary defining characteristic is little more than a great affection for high church pomp and pageantry. I wouldn't presume to use those examples as the only definition for "EC", but it is a reality that exists.

Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on June 11, 2011, 03:56:59 PM
Surely there are Evangelical Catholics who are not Lutheran. 


Indeed.  When the Episcopal Church still had a lot of "traditionalists" in it, one of the banners they gathered around was "Evangelical and Catholic" (which were included in the name of one of the societies that became the Episcopal Synod of America, of which "Anglo-Catholics" were only one perspective).  The term itself originated with the mid-19th Century Reformed "Mercersburg theoloigans" led by Nevin and Schaff, under whose guidance we have so much of the Ancient Church Fathers available in English.

Long before I'd ever heard of Neuhaus, Piepkorn, and an "Evangelical Catholic" movement/party in the Lutheran churches, my pastor in a conversation described Lutherans as "Evangelical Catholics," and I understood where he was going.  The "protestant" church that emerged from the Reformation was properly called (as Luther often insisted, and as it is called today in German) the Evangelical Church, which confessed the one holy catholic and apostolic Church.  The protest was not to Rome's Catholicism, but that it had become "Roman" and was rejecting much of what was truly Catholic, namely the Gospel ("evangel").  He wasn't an Evangelical Catholic in exactly the same sense that I became, but he did introduce me to the notion that the Augsburg Confession was not a declaration of independence, but an affirmation of what was truly Catholic. 

And it may not help, but it is useful to observe that words almost always have more than one specific definition, and you will see "Evangelical Catholic" used in that very way.

Pax, Steven+
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: Jay on June 11, 2011, 06:35:45 PM
Surely there are Evangelical Catholics who are not Lutheran. 


Indeed.  When the Episcopal Church still had a lot of "traditionalists" in it, one of the banners they gathered around was "Evangelical and Catholic" (which were included in the name of one of the societies that became the Episcopal Synod of America, of which "Anglo-Catholics" were only one perspective). 

Thanks to an essay by Abp. Rowan Williams entitled "The  Lutheran  Catholic"  I have discovered the theology of former Archbishop of Canterbury Michael Ramsey, who  was very much an "Evangelical Catholic." Most of the essay  can be  read here:

http://books.google.com/books?id=MAae4YulNFoC&pg=PA211&lpg=PA211&dq=rowan+williams+michael+ramsey+lutheran+catholic&source=bl&ots=OrgqXGcyGS&sig=6EwMPm_mCKoRGFs4ckt7cfZqyRw&hl=en&ei=9uzzTcTwH4m5tgeW1cSeBw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CBkQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=rowan%20williams%20michael%20ramsey%20lutheran%20catholic&f=false
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: lucan on June 11, 2011, 10:30:54 PM
Good recommendations on resources.  I actually own a lot of them already.  Personally, what I'd like to see is the content of Frank Senn's book, but with a bit of a polemical edge both towards Amero-evangelicalism and Protestant Liberalism. 

As to whether Evangelical Catholic is purely a Lutheran subset, I tend to agree with Pr. Tibbetts' assertion that Evangelical Catholicism should be view more as a wider movement within the Church, even though Luther and the Confessions probably articulate it better than most.

Peace and all good,

Pater Luke+

Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: vicarbob on June 12, 2011, 08:04:01 PM
Look at the Order of St Luke in the UMC.....Evangelical Catholic, so yes, the term is not limited to Lutherans, but it is our DNA, as it were.
pax
Bob
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: Dave_Poedel on June 14, 2011, 03:03:36 PM
Luke:
I have several books that I have collected over the past 15 or so years that I will send to you with the promised chasubles.  Life and ministry has been hectic and I have not forgotten you, by any means.  Please pray for my attentiveness to this detail, that it may be accomplished this week; then I can go back to thinking about preparing for our trip to Lower Silesia in July.

Blessings and peace in Christ, dear brother.
Dave
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: John, an Unlikely Pastor on June 14, 2011, 05:35:12 PM
what a great topic...
There's definitely an interesting invitation here for "Evangelical Catholics" to explain who they are and what they believe not just what they do.
pax
John
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: Emil Witschy on July 02, 2011, 07:00:28 PM
I'm sorry this is a bit delayed, but I had difficulty registering.  Is anyone familiar with a little pamphlet entitled "The Lutherans" written by Richard John Neuhaus.  It was published by Paulist Press as part of an ecumenical series for The Missionary Society of St. Paul the Apostle in the State of New York (quite the long nomenclature!)  Copyright 1969.  I only have one copy, but it seems to me that it might be the kind of apology for which Lucan was looking.
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: vicarbob on July 04, 2011, 10:48:22 AM
Emil welcome......and how can you share this with us............???? I would be most interested.
pax
Bob
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: Emil Witschy on July 04, 2011, 10:58:09 AM
I happen to be on vacation right now, and don't have the pamphlet with me.  But if folks think it's okay to scan it, I can have my office administrator do it for me.  But as I am technologically challenged, someone would have to tell me how to make it available.  I suppose I could e-mail it to those who are interested.
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: John_Hannah on July 04, 2011, 11:35:02 AM
That certainly is a great pamphlet. I don't have a copy anymore. It is dated, having been written in the 1960s; it describes the LCA, the ALC, the TLH, and SBH for example.

Peace, JOHN
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: grabau on July 04, 2011, 12:06:06 PM
"Lutheranism" was a movement of reform in the Catholic Church and not a new invention.  You have to begin by taking that seriously.  grabau
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: vicarbob on July 04, 2011, 12:12:46 PM
Wonder what started "that" response ?
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: John, an Unlikely Pastor on July 05, 2011, 04:29:48 PM
"Lutheranism" was a movement of reform in the Catholic Church and not a new invention.  You have to begin by taking that seriously.  grabau
I think this observation is a key starting point for an evangelical catholic apologetic.

I'd propose this as an outline for anyone trying to explain why they are evangelical catholics and no just who is an evangelical catholic or what an evangelical catholic

thesis 1 Lutheranism is (not just was but still is) a reform movement in the church catholic and is not a new invention.
thesis 2 catholic tradition abounds in the broader church today beyond the official bounds of the Catholic Church greatly influencing the life of many denominations today.
pax
John
theis 3
thesis 3
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: George Erdner on July 05, 2011, 05:00:16 PM
"Lutheranism" was a movement of reform in the Catholic Church and not a new invention.  You have to begin by taking that seriously.  grabau
I think this observation is a key starting point for an evangelical catholic apologetic.

I'd propose this as an outline for anyone trying to explain why they are evangelical catholics and no just who is an evangelical catholic or what an evangelical catholic

thesis 1 Lutheranism is (not just was but still is) a reform movement in the church catholic and is not a new invention.
thesis 2 catholic tradition abounds in the broader church today beyond the official bounds of the Catholic Church greatly influencing the life of many denominations today.
pax
John
theis 3
thesis 3

There are some Lutherans who regard the Reformation as an event, and others who regard it as a process. There are some who regard the process of the Reformation as having been completed after only those reforms listed in the Augsburg Confession, and others who are of a more pietistic bent who also make a point of eschewing much of what they regard as mere "pomp and pageantry", such as elaborate vestments and ornate worship spaces.

At the time of the Reformation, the term "evangelical catholic" had a meaning that all understood. But, in the fullness of time, that meaning has blurred. Not everyone who uses that term means the same thing when they say it. That is unfortunate, but that is true.

In the year of Our Lord 2011, it seems from taking the term in context when it is most often used that "evangelical catholic" is most often used to describe a subset of the larger Lutheran Faith Tradition. To some, that subset is defined by how "high church" their worship practices are or how closely they follow the Roman Catholic practices of celebratory festivals for canonized saints. To others, that subset is defined by theological nuances. Some appear to use it to describe those who affect Roman Catholic terminology and jargon, especially obscure and archaic terms. Some claim it describes those who endorse one of the many diverse understandings of the concept of a three-fold order of ministry.

There are some aspects of Roman Catholic tradition in all denominations, but the quantity of traditions preserved can range from a mere handful to almost everything. It is not at all helpful to use "evangelical catholic" to describe all faith traditions that preserve even the smallest speck of Roman practice. Perhaps the most useful usage of the term is to describe all those on one end of a continuum that stretches from "almost nothing preserved from Roman Catholic practice" at one extreme to "almost everything preserved from Roman Catholic practice" on the other extreme, with the latter being the "evangelical catholic" end of the scale.

Without a clear and commonly agreed upon definition of what "evangelical catholic" means in 2011, any explanation of why one self-identifies as such is meaningless.

I think that every one of the different and diverse explanations offered in this thread about each responder's personal definition of the term makes sense. And I confess that I am no closer to understanding what "evangelical catholic" means in terms that are the same regardless of who uses the term.
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: John, an Unlikely Pastor on July 07, 2011, 02:36:07 PM
George
thanks for the thoughts I think you've put a finger on the missing part of the story and the challenge for anyown who wants to write a evangelical catholic theology.
I'll try to add a 3rd and 4th possible thesis
thesis 1 Lutheranism is (not just was but still is) a reform movement in the church catholic and is not a new invention.
thesis 2 catholic tradition abounds in the broader church today beyond the official bounds of the Catholic Church greatly influencing the life of many denominations today.
thesis 3 the character of the church as both evangelical and catholic was a clear and distint hallmark of the Lutheran Reformation
thesis 4 evangelical catholics today are rooted in the reformation meaning they are rooted in Christ revealed through scripture
There are some Lutherans who regard the Reformation as an event, and others who regard it as a process. There are some who regard the process of the Reformation as having been completed after only those reforms listed in the Augsburg Confession, and others who are of a more pietistic bent who also make a point of eschewing much of what they regard as mere "pomp and pageantry", such as elaborate vestments and ornate worship spaces.

At the time of the Reformation, the term "evangelical catholic" had a meaning that all understood. But, in the fullness of time, that meaning has blurred. Not everyone who uses that term means the same thing when they say it. That is unfortunate, but that is true.

In the year of Our Lord 2011, it seems from taking the term in context when it is most often used that "evangelical catholic" is most often used to describe a subset of the larger Lutheran Faith Tradition. To some, that subset is defined by how "high church" their worship practices are or how closely they follow the Roman Catholic practices of celebratory festivals for canonized saints. To others, that subset is defined by theological nuances. Some appear to use it to describe those who affect Roman Catholic terminology and jargon, especially obscure and archaic terms. Some claim it describes those who endorse one of the many diverse understandings of the concept of a three-fold order of ministry.

There are some aspects of Roman Catholic tradition in all denominations, but the quantity of traditions preserved can range from a mere handful to almost everything. It is not at all helpful to use "evangelical catholic" to describe all faith traditions that preserve even the smallest speck of Roman practice. Perhaps the most useful usage of the term is to describe all those on one end of a continuum that stretches from "almost nothing preserved from Roman Catholic practice" at one extreme to "almost everything preserved from Roman Catholic practice" on the other extreme, with the latter being the "evangelical catholic" end of the scale.

Without a clear and commonly agreed upon definition of what "evangelical catholic" means in 2011, any explanation of why one self-identifies as such is meaningless.

I think that every one of the different and diverse explanations offered in this thread about each responder's personal definition of the term makes sense. And I confess that I am no closer to understanding what "evangelical catholic" means in terms that are the same regardless of who uses the term.

Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: mietzner on July 07, 2011, 10:09:18 PM
It seems to me a lot of leading EC's are laymen. Isn't Bob Benne? Jim Nuechterlein?

I would add Francis Beckwith.

http://www.amazon.com/Return-Rome-Confessions-Evangelical-Catholic/dp/1587432471/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1225056489&sr=1-4
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: passerby on July 08, 2011, 03:12:42 PM
Don't know how to respond to the preceding post, except to say I know any number of the laity whose understanding and idendity is just that and if it were a matter concerning/embraced by only the clergy then few pastors have taught Lutheran theology, practice or history to their cure. A bit extreme, perhaps.
pax
Bob

In my talks with laity they may identify as evangelical catholic but they tend to mean different things than the clergy.They tended to make it sound they were being less parochial and more ecumenical; it is true that even many in evangelical catholic congregations, the members self-identify as Protestant. It's something that ec pastors need to deal with better.
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: grabau on July 11, 2011, 01:25:51 PM
As Lutherans came to be influenced by reformed and puritan views they gradually los the sense of being  evangelical catholics.  grabau
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: revklak on July 11, 2011, 05:16:45 PM
Lutherans are Catholics with amnesia.
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: CSLewis2 on July 11, 2011, 05:35:17 PM
Don't know how to respond to the preceding post, except to say I know any number of the laity whose understanding and idendity is just that and if it were a matter concerning/embraced by only the clergy then few pastors have taught Lutheran theology, practice or history to their cure. A bit extreme, perhaps.
pax
Bob

In my talks with laity they may identify as evangelical catholic but they tend to mean different things than the clergy.They tended to make it sound they were being less parochial and more ecumenical; it is true that even many in evangelical catholic congregations, the members self-identify as Protestant. It's something that ec pastors need to deal with better.

I have to admit that I have come to believe it doesn't hurt a bit for congregants and even the "ec" pastors to view themselves as Protestant. As long as we all remember what it is that is being protested (and yes, for the apologetics, the BC is a protest or else there wouldn't be the need to affirm things that had been lost and forgotten), and we all work for the day when what has been protested is no longer an issue.

Peace in the Lord Jesus Christ!
Rob Buechler
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: revklak on July 27, 2011, 08:42:36 AM
CAme across this this moring in the Office of Readings in the Liturgy of the Hours.

It's from Cyril of Jerusalem's Catechism, and he had four points of what makes a church "catholic" (Not sure if this was covered elsewhere, but here it is again)  I thought it would be good to hold it up against current portestant/EC/lutheran mindsets and formulaes:  (I adapted the format a bit to isolate the points, few words are omiitted, mainly introductory words as Also called...)

"The Church is called Catholic or universal because it":

-- "has spread throughout the entire world,from one end of the earth to the other."

-- "...it teaches fully and unfailingly all the doctrines which ought to be brought to men's knowledge, whether concerned with visible or invisible things, with the realities of heaven or the things of earth."

-- "...the Church brings under religious obedience all classes of men, rulers and subjects, learned and unlearned."

finally
-- "...it heals and cures unrestrictedly every type of sin that can be committed in soul or body, and because it possesses within itself every kind of virtue that can be named, whether excercised in actions or in words or in some kind of spiritual charism."

I'm especially intrigued by points 2 and 3.  2 because it makes clear we teach ALL the doctrines, not just the ones that fit today's hearers/speakers/sinners.  3 because it captures that one thing we resist most when declaring Jesus is Lord -- that he is OUR LORD and not just out buddy, as in "Dogmas" "Buddy Christ.", etc

Food for thought
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: George Erdner on July 28, 2011, 12:49:57 PM
This article (http://www.eppc.org/publications/pubID.4511/pub_detail.asp), by George Weigel, which is mentioned in another thread (http://www.alpb.org/forum/index.php?topic=3992.0), seems very appropriate in this thread.
 
I especially found this excerpt of particular interest.
 
Evangelical Catholicism takes its ecclesiology, its idea of the Church, from Lumen Gentium (Light of the Nations), Vatican II's Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, as interpreted by John Paul II's 1991 encyclical Redemptoris Missio (The Mission of the Redeemer). In this ecclesiology, the Church does not so much have a mission (as if "mission" were one among a dozen other things the Church does); the Church is a mission.
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: Jay on August 08, 2011, 09:31:52 AM
I just obtained a copy of the newly translated "Christ's Church - Her Biblical  Roots, Her Dramatic  History,  Her  Saving Presence,  Her  Glorious Future" by  Bo Giertz.  Based on what I've read so far, it definitely fits the  bill as an apology for  Evangelical Catholicism.  Some  of it,  of  course, is written  based on its  context (the  Church  of Sweden in  1939), but there  is still a lot of  relevant material in  it.


Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: PTMcCain on August 08, 2011, 09:43:26 AM
Bo Giertz was an articulate protestor against the ordination of women, so he would have found it very strange that any group or person claiming to be an "evangelical catholic" would support the ordination of women.
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: George Erdner on August 08, 2011, 09:45:59 AM
I just obtained a copy of the newly translated "Christ's Church - Her Biblical  Roots, Her Dramatic  History,  Her  Saving Presence,  Her  Glorious Future" by  Bo Giertz.  Based on what I've read so far, it definitely fits the  bill as an apology for  Evangelical Catholicism.  Some  of it,  of  course, is written  based on its  context (the  Church  of Sweden in  1939), but there  is still a lot of  relevant material in  it.

Does it include a specific definition of what "Evangelical Catholicism" actually means? In the course of this thread, there have been many posts made by those whose personal understanding is that all Lutherans are Evangelical Catholics, and there have been many posts made by those who regard "Evangelical Catholics" as a unique faction or movement within the Lutheran faith tradition. To the latter, the "Evangelical Catholics" (at least in the year 2011) are a subset of the Lutheran faith tradition, distinguishable from "protestant Lutherans" or the Pietist Movement.
 
To the best of my knowledge, no one has confirmed or disproven the observation that, "Though all 'Evangelical Catholics' are Lutheran, not all Lutherans are 'Evangelical Catholics'".
 
Bo Giertz was an articulate protestor against the ordination of women, so he would have found it very strange that any group or person claiming to be an "evangelical catholic" would support the ordination of women.

I'm starting to think that some of you in the LC-MS are as obsessed with women's ordination as those in the ELCA are with homosexual "rights". Does every thread have to be about women's ordination?
 
 
 
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: PTMcCain on August 08, 2011, 09:50:09 AM
George, no, of course every thread does not have to be about the ordination of women, but this issue impacts directly on this topic. An "apology for evangelical catholicism" must be scrutinized carefully to determine just how "catholic" things are. The issue of WO is a glaring challenge to anyone wishing to support it and the notion of EC at the same time. While this practice might be "ho-hum" in liberal church bodies that have embraced it, the greater majority of world Christendom, in the present, and through the ages in the past, rejects it. So, it's an important topic here.
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: George Erdner on August 08, 2011, 10:16:38 AM
George, no, of course every thread does not have to be about the ordination of women, but this issue impacts directly on this topic. An "apology for evangelical catholicism" must be scrutinized carefully to determine just how "catholic" things are. The issue of WO is a glaring challenge to anyone wishing to support it and the notion of EC at the same time. While this practice might be "ho-hum" in liberal church bodies that have embraced it, the greater majority of world Christendom, in the present, and through the ages in the past, rejects it. So, it's an important topic here.

Given that there is still no consensus on what "Evangelical Catholic" even means, whether or not a denomination or faction within a denomination supports, rejects, or is ambivalent about women's ordination is a very, very minor side issue. Given the acceptance of ordained women by the Society of the Holy Trinity, one of the most Evangelical Catholic organizations I've ever heard of, then it isn't a make/break factor in determining if a Christian happens to be an Evangelical Catholic Christian.
 
 
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: PTMcCain on August 08, 2011, 10:19:29 AM
George...and that's precisely my point: how can an organization claim to be "catholic" and reject the catholic church's historic practices?
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: George Erdner on August 08, 2011, 10:40:11 AM
George...and that's precisely my point: how can an organization claim to be "catholic" and reject the catholic church's historic practices?

It's very, very simple. The term "Evangelical Catholic" doesn't describe an organization. I perceive it as describing a movement or faction that transcends organizations. The modifier "Evangelical" indicates a faction or movement within the Lutheran faith tradition that is a very unique sort of "catholic". Evangelical Catholics reject the authority of the Pope. Can anyone claim that accepting the authority of the Pope isn't part of the catholic church's historic practices? If one can reject the authority of the Pope and still be an Evangelical Catholic, if one can reject the other historic practices of the church's history that are rejected in the documents in the Book of Concord and still be an Evangelical Catholic, than how is rejecting the understanding that women cannot be ordained an automatic disqualifier?
 
A Lutheran Christian is a specific kind of Christian, right? An Evangelical Catholic Lutheran is, I contend, a specific kind of Lutheran Christian. I base that on the most common usage of the term among Lutherans, with it more often than not referring to those within the Lutheran faith tradition who prefer the pomp and ceremony of Roman Catholic worship practices over the simple, pietistic worship practices of Protestant churches, along with embracing other Roman Catholic adiaphora.
 
 
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: vicarbob on August 08, 2011, 10:50:47 AM
George...and that's precisely my point: how can an organization claim to be "catholic" and reject the catholic church's historic practices?

 
he most common usage of the term among Lutherans, with it more often than not referring to those within the Lutheran faith tradition who prefer the pomp and ceremony of Roman Catholic worship practices over the simple, pietistic worship practices of Protestant churches, along with embracing other Roman Catholic adiaphora.
[/b][/b]

Oh no George, please do not limit Evangelical Catholic's to pomp and circumstance ritualists. It just ain't what its all about.
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: Jay on August 08, 2011, 11:19:08 AM
George...and that's precisely my point: how can an organization claim to be "catholic" and reject the catholic church's historic practices?

 
he most common usage of the term among Lutherans, with it more often than not referring to those within the Lutheran faith tradition who prefer the pomp and ceremony of Roman Catholic worship practices over the simple, pietistic worship practices of Protestant churches, along with embracing other Roman Catholic adiaphora.
[/b][/b]

Oh no George, please do not limit Evangelical Catholic's to pomp and circumstance ritualists. It just ain't what its all about.

Exactly.  Out of all of the threads and posts on this forum about this subject, I don't think anyone has limited the definition of evangelical catholicism as devotion to Roman "pomp and ritual."  The consensus as to what an evangelical catholic is in these threads seem to have two lines of emphases:  (1)  A realization of the catholic nature of the Augsburg Confession.  (2)  A belief that certain aspects of the Confessions which many Lutherans erronsously consider to be "Roman" should not be ignored.  Some of those aspects of the Confessions are more theological in nature (e.g., the references in the Confessions to certain beliefs about Mary and the Saints) and some are more related to ritual (e.g., Luther's advocacy for the continuance of private confession and absolution, references to making of the sign of the cross, etc.).  Since these are in our Confessions, they are not "Roman adiaphora."
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: John, an Unlikely Pastor on August 08, 2011, 11:22:41 AM
George...and that's precisely my point: how can an organization claim to be "catholic" and reject the catholic church's historic practices?

 
he most common usage of the term among Lutherans, with it more often than not referring to those within the Lutheran faith tradition who prefer the pomp and ceremony of Roman Catholic worship practices over the simple, pietistic worship practices of Protestant churches, along with embracing other Roman Catholic adiaphora.
[/b][/b]

Oh no George, please do not limit Evangelical Catholic's to pomp and circumstance ritualists. It just ain't what its all about.
there's a challenge here that needs to be stated.  Many Lutheran romanitically imagine the church they serve in with all the pomp of the highest of high mass Roman Catholics.  Some of us have started in Rome and moved towards Luther because the pomp wasn't enough.  I came looking for the root: the sola's: Christ alone, the Word Alone, faith alone, and grace alone are the best way to explain the root. 

So what gives.  To put it simply Lutheranism is (not just was but still is) a reform movement in the church catholic and is not a new invention.  We are part of the whole church on earth with a distinctive historic and contemporary witness for the whole church catholic.

I find that self-described evangelical catholics look to Roman Catholic tradition to give vitality and structure to their church today.  They are often unknowingly entering into the tension  between being both a church that is always about reform and finding strength in the traditions of generations past. 

In short being both evangelical and catholic is a distinct hallmark of the Lutheran Reformation and Lutheranism ever sense.  Evangelical catholics are not a subgroup of Lutherans today.  The key is to see the roots behind evangelical catholics, not the romantic aspirations but the deep theological roots.  I'd argue that it's because of the tension between the reformation roots and the romantic aspiration that it's so hard to define evangelical catholics. 
Pax
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: David Garner on August 08, 2011, 12:09:58 PM
It's very, very simple. The term "Evangelical Catholic" doesn't describe an organization. I perceive it as describing a movement or faction that transcends organizations. The modifier "Evangelical" indicates a faction or movement within the Lutheran faith tradition that is a very unique sort of "catholic". Evangelical Catholics reject the authority of the Pope. Can anyone claim that accepting the authority of the Pope isn't part of the catholic church's historic practices? If one can reject the authority of the Pope and still be an Evangelical Catholic, if one can reject the other historic practices of the church's history that are rejected in the documents in the Book of Concord and still be an Evangelical Catholic, than how is rejecting the understanding that women cannot be ordained an automatic disqualifier?

On the one hand, you ask a very good question here.  While I think the papacy is certainly disputed among things that comprise "the catholic church's historic practices," at least among us Orthodox Catholics, there are others that are just not really in dispute.  Requesting the intercession of the departed saints comes to mind off the top of my head.

Having said that, I think when I was a Lutheran I considered myself an EC because I was maintaining the catholicity of the Lutheran Confessions, meaning I considered those to be within the catholic tradition of the Church and to best embody that tradition.  That meant accepting what was in the Confessions as truly catholic.  Given that starting point, it seems to me that prayer to the saints, as one example, is still validly rejected (since the premise is that the Confessions are catholic documents), but ordination of women is not, since it is not in even the Lutheran tradition until very late in the game.  That's just my take on it.
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: George Erdner on August 08, 2011, 02:32:27 PM
George...and that's precisely my point: how can an organization claim to be "catholic" and reject the catholic church's historic practices?

 
he most common usage of the term among Lutherans, with it more often than not referring to those within the Lutheran faith tradition who prefer the pomp and ceremony of Roman Catholic worship practices over the simple, pietistic worship practices of Protestant churches, along with embracing other Roman Catholic adiaphora.

Oh no George, please do not limit Evangelical Catholic's to pomp and circumstance ritualists. It just ain't what its all about.

Exactly.  Out of all of the threads and posts on this forum about this subject, I don't think anyone has limited the definition of evangelical catholicism as devotion to Roman "pomp and ritual."  The consensus as to what an evangelical catholic is in these threads seem to have two lines of emphases:  (1)  A realization of the catholic nature of the Augsburg Confession.  (2)  A belief that certain aspects of the Confessions which many Lutherans erronsously consider to be "Roman" should not be ignored.  Some of those aspects of the Confessions are more theological in nature (e.g., the references in the Confessions to certain beliefs about Mary and the Saints) and some are more related to ritual (e.g., Luther's advocacy for the continuance of private confession and absolution, references to making of the sign of the cross, etc.).  Since these are in our Confessions, they are not "Roman adiaphora."

I was attempting to briefly make a point, not to write an entire book. And, while some who call themselves "Evangelical Catholic" are concerned with deeply serious aspects of historic Roman Catholic practice, there are others who style themselves with that term who seem to simply be enamored of being able to wear elaborate vestments and to refer to themselves and their call using arcane, Roman jargon. After all, since there is still no consensus on what is and what isn't "Evangelical Catholic", it's not a precisely defined term, is it?
 
It's interesting to go through all of the posts in here that attempt to define what Evangelical Catholic means, or why someone calls himself an Evangelical Catholic. Read 10 different definitions, you get 10 different, and sometimes conflicting definitions.
 
One person says, "I am an EC because ...", and provides a reason that has nothing to do with what someone else says. After all, the confessions in the Book of Concord are supposed to apply to ALL Lutherans. Some self-styled EC's definitely appear to be working under the assumption that "Lutheran" and "Evangelical Catholic" are synonyms. Others who claim to be EC's mention specific things that distinguish them from non-EC Lutherans. Some Lutherans who don't like to be considered EC's defend and endorse the very things that other EC's claim is what makes them EC's. Go figure!
 
So, to everyone who is attempting to correct any of my statements regarding one of the main diverse definitions of Evangelical Catholic, why don't you all also jump on each other over the discrepancies you have amongst yourselves?
 
 
 
 
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: Jim_Krauser on August 08, 2011, 09:48:12 PM
Likewise in Romania
 
The "Lutheran" church in Poland is known as the Church of the Augsburg Confession.  That may be more to the point.  grabau
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: vicarbob on August 09, 2011, 10:12:25 PM
Now we are back to a thread from what, 1-2 years ago. What shall we be called?
BTW, last week had a conversation with a homeowner across the street from the cong I serve. First time we have spoken, which surprised me as I thought I have had conversations with all the neighbors.....at least those not in the 5 very large apartment buildings. Anyway, the gentleman was born and raised in Poland and he wanted to know what type of church we were (He has lived on the block for 15+ years) I respond, Lutheran...he looks perplexed....I say, in Poland we are known as the Church of the Augsburg Confession...he smiles and nods...that's wonderful...that's how I was baptized in Poland!

And no George, EC's posting on this forum or even those who lurk and appear from time to time would not think of jumping on one another for fear of wrinkling our cassocks, getting strangled by our tippets or knocking the biretta's off our heads while yelling in Latin. Or worse..... ;)
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: Dave_Poedel on August 10, 2011, 01:27:07 AM
Having just returned from Poland where I visited a magnificent church built by the Lutherans in 1706 and "appropriated" by the Roman Catholics and never returned, and then having the privilege of preaching in a building completed in 1744, I assure you there are great differences between Catholics and Those of the Church of the Augsburg Confession in Poland, one being that the Catholics got legislation passed that prevents the Lutherans from recovering their confiscated property, even today.

I have grown weary of trying to make "something" of Lutheranism in this day and age where we have lost our ability to make any difference in this nation where we are overshadowed by Roman Catholics who simply consider us one more bunch of Protestants and the Reformed/Arminian brand of Evangelicals who we in the LCMS have, until very recently, done our level best to emulate in style and as a result increasingly substance.  I think the recent election will have the effect of slowing, if not reversing that trend, but those congregations will not suddenly dust off their organ and altar.

in as much as there is interest in preserving Lutheranism in America, we are likely to become what Lutherans have become in Poland: "Old German Church".

When my successor arrives at my parish after my death, my chasubles will likely be donated to the STS, or it's successor, and my things a quaint reminder of what was but never became much.
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: Dave Benke on August 10, 2011, 08:08:37 AM
I like the idea of donating chasubles, Padre D.  In many Roman Catholic rectories or public rooms/conference rooms the chasubles of the revered pastors/msgrs./bishops/cardinals of the past are hung on the walls, symbols of the pastoral office as anchored in the Divine Service and the Eucharist.

In the general Protestantized world of Lutheranism, I guess it would be a collection of the pastor's ties, or in the more contemporary mode, team shirts and sneakers. 

Dave Benke
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: John_Hannah on August 10, 2011, 10:56:55 AM
Having just returned from Poland where I visited a magnificent church built by the Lutherans in 1706 and "appropriated" by the Roman Catholics and never returned, and then having the privilege of preaching in a building completed in 1744, I assure you there are great differences between Catholics and Those of the Church of the Augsburg Confession in Poland, one being that the Catholics got legislation passed that prevents the Lutherans from recovering their confiscated property, even today.

I have grown weary of trying to make "something" of Lutheranism in this day and age where we have lost our ability to make any difference in this nation where we are overshadowed by Roman Catholics who simply consider us one more bunch of Protestants and the Reformed/Arminian brand of Evangelicals who we in the LCMS have, until very recently, done our level best to emulate in style and as a result increasingly substance.  I think the recent election will have the effect of slowing, if not reversing that trend, but those congregations will not suddenly dust off their organ and altar.

in as much as there is interest in preserving Lutheranism in America, we are likely to become what Lutherans have become in Poland: "Old German Church".

When my successor arrives at my parish after my death, my chasubles will likely be donated to the STS, or it's successor, and my things a quaint reminder of what was but never became much.

Fr. DAVE

Perhaps that will happen. More likely, you will "last" a few more years. Eventually, the Reformed/Arminian brand of Evangelicals in the LCMS will have run their course. As will various other powers. It is vital that you and all those in the STS, and all those evangelical catholic pastors and parishes maintain what you are doing. We may be the model for the future of American Lutheranism, presently approaching collapse. After we "hit bottom" there will something to turn toward.

That will be you.   :)

Peace, JOHN
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: PTMcCain on August 10, 2011, 11:08:10 AM
Has the term "evangelical catholic" been adequately defined yet?
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: CSLewis2 on August 10, 2011, 04:00:33 PM
It would seem not. I would think that almost all of those who claim to be STS are also considering themselves EC's. However I confess that EC seems to mean whatever the person thinks it means, and too often what I am seeing with regards a definition would either make the person claiming to be EC either not "catholic" or not "evangelical Lutheran." For example, some EC insist upon a magisterial and do not support the teaching that the Scriptures are the inspired, inerrant, infallible Word of God. This actually means they put their trust in human traditions and ecumenical councils over the actual Word of God. That would place them outside the Lutheran Confessions.

There are those who believe in the inspired, inerrant Word of God but they want women's ordination. This puts them outside the "catholic" understanding of ordained ministry and so they would be outside the realm of "catholicism," and most certainly Roman Catholicism (the reunion with such seems to be the one common feature all EC's have).

So what is an EC? It would appear that EC's tend to be (but are not always) those who are straddling the fence between being a Reformation Church and the Roman Church.

Peace in the Lord Jesus Christ!
Rob Buechler
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: Weedon on August 10, 2011, 04:07:45 PM
Well, I think I said this before, but to me the primary qualification of a Lutheran EC is one who does not view his church other than as the Western Catholic Church, reformed according to the Gospel.  That, it seems to me, is the only way to give recognition that the Book of Concord did not drop out of heaven - that it is actually PART of a conversation about the Word of God that has been going on for a very long time in the Church.  Thus the numerous references to canon law and how to understand it, the constant appeal to how the Fathers read the Scriptures, and the steadfast determination not to be regarded as a "denomination."  I was reading in Gerhard's *The Church* the other day (what a gem!), and came across this sentiment with which I think any Lutheran EC would agree:

We - impeded by the thunderbolt of excommunication from the Roman Pontiff and driven out of the fellowship of the Roman church by the violence of persecutions - have departed from their communion, not so much as fleeing from them as chased away.  If the confession of the true doctrine and the legitimate use of the Sacraments had been left free for us, perhaps we would not have departed from the external fellowship of the Roman church.  (p. 139)
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: PTMcCain on August 10, 2011, 04:09:57 PM
Forgive me, but when it comes to specific definition, it strikes me that nailing jello to a wall is easier then defining "Evangelical Catholic." I believe that fact points out the fundamental weakness in the phrase and its use.
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: Weedon on August 10, 2011, 04:22:04 PM
No more so than the very use of the word "catholic."  I would still maintain that the mark of an evangelical catholic is precisely not taking the Lutheran Reformation as one's starting point, but as an evangelical corrective (and an absolutely necessary one, I might add) to the direction that the Western Catholic Church had gone, and of which one still regards one's self as a part. 

I say this, knowing full well that in Ukraine there are Eastern rite Lutherans who have their own unique history, but in the totality of Lutheranism, characterizing it as Western Catholic seems quite a fair thing. 

I might add that IF one starts with the evangelical catholic mindset then a whole series of difficulties that currently vex many simply disappear.  The Reformation was not about innovations; it was about purifying and correcting what had gone wrong with Scripture as the clear touchstone and without any desire to remove what was not contrary to Scripture, but even to receive them as "third article gifts" - the result of living in the Spirit's shaping of the mind of Christ within the community of believers. 
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: PTMcCain on August 10, 2011, 04:30:46 PM
I believe suggesting that any responsible Lutheran takes the Lutheran Reformation as "the starting point" is really quite a red herring, my dear Venerable Weed. You see? You can be wrong!

:)
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: Weedon on August 10, 2011, 04:42:53 PM
You just might be an evangelical catholic if...

...you believe that "our churches keep the Mass" means that.
...you treasure the Daily Office.
...you make use of the joys of Private Absolution.
...you believe that the Office of the Ministry is a divinely established institution, and though you recognize that the canonical ordination is only of human right, you still value it as a sign of the catholicity of the ministry.
...you find ecclesiastic ceremonies (vestments; ritual actions) to be reverent and fitting additions for the celebration of the Mass and the Office and other churchly functions even while you steadfastly confess that they are not divinely mandated or intrinsically necessary.
...you believe that the current generation is not automatically the best judge or jury for ecclesiastic practice, let alone confession of the faith - so you consider the wisdom of those who have gone before you in the faith in matters both of faith and practice, giving special attention to the Book of Concord and the Creeds contained therein.

I suggest if you check the list, you'll find that those who say "amen" are those who tend to identify themselves as evangelical catholics.  As to taking the Reformation as the starting point, if you think that's not a common mindset, I'm quite surprised.  It is often QUITE common among those who are most adamant about being Lutheran.
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: FrPeters on August 10, 2011, 04:55:22 PM
lex orandi lex credendi is often joyfully seen in those who are most serious about the Divine Service are also most serious about no dissent in any article of faith from the church catholic... not always, to be sure, but among us Lutherans, it seems to be true more often than not...
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: George Erdner on August 10, 2011, 06:28:22 PM
Has the term "evangelical catholic" been adequately defined yet?

No. More specifically, it has been defined many diverse ways, which is that same as no definition at all.
 
 
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: Weedon on August 10, 2011, 07:03:19 PM
Well, take the definition together with the signposts I suggested, George, and see if you can locate anyone who goes by Evangelical Catholic in the Lutheran camp who disagrees.  I'd be quite surprised if you did. 
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: Weedon on August 10, 2011, 07:40:03 PM
My answer is that one cannot do so consistently, due to the weight of the practice inherited and the novelty involved.  A consistent evangelical catholic would not countenance any such novelty.  But that there are a number who are otherwise in the camp of evangelical catholicism and who yet are not prepared to pronounce heretical a practice (with which many exhibit more than degree of discomfort, but which) they're not sure what to do about, there can be little doubt. 
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: George Erdner on August 10, 2011, 09:40:50 PM
Well, take the definition together with the signposts I suggested, George, and see if you can locate anyone who goes by Evangelical Catholic in the Lutheran camp who disagrees.  I'd be quite surprised if you did.

If by "Lutheran Camp" you mean the LC-MS, I don't know enough people in the LC-MS outside of here to be able to mention anyone. If you mean the entire universe of people in all Lutheran church bodies, I've encountered some in the ELCA who use the term Evangelical Catholic who would not conform to the standards you've listed. I've heard of others who insist that no clergyman could possibly be an Evangelical Catholic if he didn't wear a clerical collar whenever he had a shirt on.
 
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: Weedon on August 10, 2011, 09:44:18 PM
Well, George, I've never met such a critter ever.  I'd invite a query of all on this discussion board - ELCA or LCMS or any other Lutheran group, who consider themselves evangelical catholic:  do you agree or not with the definition and the description I have suggested?  Please let us know, so that George can find out whether the term has a meaning or not.  Anyone???
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: lucan on August 10, 2011, 10:03:03 PM
Here's a question. Can a person be regarded as being an authentic evangelical catholic and support and promote the ordination of women to the pastoral office?

Here's a question: Do you LCMS-ers turn every thread into a discussion of women's ordination?    Sheesh.  Start a new thread if you wish to discuss this.

Let's get back to the topic.
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: lucan on August 10, 2011, 10:06:07 PM
You just might be an evangelical catholic if...

...you believe that "our churches keep the Mass" means that.
...you treasure the Daily Office.
...you make use of the joys of Private Absolution.
...you believe that the Office of the Ministry is a divinely established institution, and though you recognize that the canonical ordination is only of human right, you still value it as a sign of the catholicity of the ministry.
...you find ecclesiastic ceremonies (vestments; ritual actions) to be reverent and fitting additions for the celebration of the Mass and the Office and other churchly functions even while you steadfastly confess that they are not divinely mandated or intrinsically necessary.
...you believe that the current generation is not automatically the best judge or jury for ecclesiastic practice, let alone confession of the faith - so you consider the wisdom of those who have gone before you in the faith in matters both of faith and practice, giving special attention to the Book of Concord and the Creeds contained therein.

I suggest if you check the list, you'll find that those who say "amen" are those who tend to identify themselves as evangelical catholics.  As to taking the Reformation as the starting point, if you think that's not a common mindset, I'm quite surprised.  It is often QUITE common among those who are most adamant about being Lutheran.

Yes, this is a good list.  I would say, contra George, that it would be difficult to find an evangelical catholic that did not hold to the spirit of what you've stated.
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: George Erdner on August 10, 2011, 10:45:13 PM
You just might be an evangelical catholic if...

...you believe that "our churches keep the Mass" means that.
...you treasure the Daily Office.
...you make use of the joys of Private Absolution.
...you believe that the Office of the Ministry is a divinely established institution, and though you recognize that the canonical ordination is only of human right, you still value it as a sign of the catholicity of the ministry.
...you find ecclesiastic ceremonies (vestments; ritual actions) to be reverent and fitting additions for the celebration of the Mass and the Office and other churchly functions even while you steadfastly confess that they are not divinely mandated or intrinsically necessary.
...you believe that the current generation is not automatically the best judge or jury for ecclesiastic practice, let alone confession of the faith - so you consider the wisdom of those who have gone before you in the faith in matters both of faith and practice, giving special attention to the Book of Concord and the Creeds contained therein.

I suggest if you check the list, you'll find that those who say "amen" are those who tend to identify themselves as evangelical catholics.  As to taking the Reformation as the starting point, if you think that's not a common mindset, I'm quite surprised.  It is often QUITE common among those who are most adamant about being Lutheran.

Yes, this is a good list.  I would say, contra George, that it would be difficult to find an evangelical catholic that did not hold to the spirit of what you've stated.

The problem is that Pastor Weedon's list can also be applied to a great many people who do NOT consider themselves Evangelical Catholic. For a definition of Evangelical Catholic to be complete, it must be broad enough to include all who consider themselves part of that set, and narrow enough to exclude all who are not part of that set. And, as I said earlier, that is based on the understanding that "Evangelical Catholics" are a subset of the larger group "Lutheran Christians". Since all Evangelical Catholics are Lutherans, but not all Lutherans are Evangelical Catholics, conditions that define people as Lutherans do not necessarily define them as Evangalical Catholics.
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: Weedon on August 10, 2011, 10:50:30 PM
I, for one, am by no means certain that not all Lutherans are evangelical catholics.  FWIW.
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: Erma S. Wolf on August 10, 2011, 11:06:44 PM
You just might be an evangelical catholic if...

...you believe that "our churches keep the Mass" means that.
...you treasure the Daily Office.
...you make use of the joys of Private Absolution.
...you believe that the Office of the Ministry is a divinely established institution, and though you recognize that the canonical ordination is only of human right, you still value it as a sign of the catholicity of the ministry.
...you find ecclesiastic ceremonies (vestments; ritual actions) to be reverent and fitting additions for the celebration of the Mass and the Office and other churchly functions even while you steadfastly confess that they are not divinely mandated or intrinsically necessary.
...you believe that the current generation is not automatically the best judge or jury for ecclesiastic practice, let alone confession of the faith - so you consider the wisdom of those who have gone before you in the faith in matters both of faith and practice, giving special attention to the Book of Concord and the Creeds contained therein.

I suggest if you check the list, you'll find that those who say "amen" are those who tend to identify themselves as evangelical catholics.  As to taking the Reformation as the starting point, if you think that's not a common mindset, I'm quite surprised.  It is often QUITE common among those who are most adamant about being Lutheran.

Pastor Weedon, I agree. This list works for me.
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: George Erdner on August 10, 2011, 11:19:51 PM
I, for one, am by no means certain that not all Lutherans are evangelical catholics.  FWIW.

Which is exactly my point. If some people think all Lutherans are Evangelical Catholics, and other people think that Evangelical Catholic is a subset or faction of Lutheran Christians, then the existence of those diverse points of view are what I was talking about in that there is no commonly accepted definition. And, if you contend that all Lutherans might be Evangelical Catholics, and all Evangelical Catholics "treasure the Daily Office" and "make use of the joys of Private Absolution", and the other things you listed, there are some Lutherans who do not do those things. So, how could you not be certain that not all Lutherans are Evangelical Catholics if there are many Lutherans who do not do some or all of the things on your list? The propers for the Daily Office aren't even included (http://www.lutheranforum.org/extras/reforming-the-daily-office-examining-two-new-lutheran-books/) in Evangelical Lutheran Worship, the ELCA's new hymnal!
 
 
 
 
 
 
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: Weedon on August 11, 2011, 06:31:26 AM
George,

I think I didn't say that well.  What I meant was that evangelical catholics are convinced that this is Lutheranism as it OUGHT TO BE and therefore we seek to encourage others to share this way of living out the faith with us - it is the way we find our life described in the Book of Concord, and thus we believe a vision and life that is the birthright of every Lutheran.  Evangelical catholics know well enough that not every Lutheran shares this vision, but we believe with all our heart that they should - and we'll try to demonstrate to them why we think that.

Erma and Lucan,

Thanks for the input. 
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on August 11, 2011, 08:10:24 AM
I believe suggesting that any responsible Lutheran takes the Lutheran Reformation as "the starting point" is really quite a red herring, my dear Venerable Weed. You see? You can be wrong!


The problem, Paul, is that there are a whole lot of irresponsible Lutherans -- and have been for generations.  That includes theologians, pastors,...

Pax, Steven+
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: PTMcCain on August 11, 2011, 08:11:48 AM
This is most certainly true, Fr. Tibbetts.
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: Charles_Austin on August 11, 2011, 08:44:37 AM
So what is the solution?
Take everything back to 1570? Or before all those nasty mergers started in the 1960s? Or to when the purified Saxons arrived mid-19th Century?
Or when the jam-up of Schmuckerism seemed to have been defeated?
Folks here will know that I favor church unity, feel that unity with Rome ought to get priority, lament the over-Protestantization of American Lutheranism, and see the value in considering ourselves "evangelical catholics," however varied the definition might be.
But... and it is a big but....

Much of what roams around as "evangelical catholicism" is a dreamy-eyed unrealistic longing for the liturgy, the order, the "certainty," the history, the ambiance and trappings and the "prestige" of Roman Catholicism.
We have the liturgy - though many won't admit it - so check that off the list. We have 1,530 years of Roman Catholic history, and 1,054 years of Eastern Orthodox history that we can claim as "ours," so give that item a partial check-off.
Some pine for bishops with authority (provided it is authority doing what they think it should do) and some are tickled with clerical titles or letters and periods after their name.
As for gaining the presumed status and "prestige" or Rome, we are not likely to get it.
For a while, some thought we should wrestle with Anglicanism for the title of "the bridge church" spanning Protestantism and Roman Catholicism.
And I fear that some are more concerned with repristinating those old times (the "good old days"?) that making the Gospel message clear to people today. They seem to live in earlier centuries, "good ones" maybe, but not today.
My semi-unchurched friends, or disaffected Roman Catholic friends "like" the Lutheran services I send them to because 1) it looks like the mass they know; and if the communal feeling is welcoming and open, they really like it. They have no problems with married clergy or women clergy and many have no problems with partnered gay people.
They hang loose on some liturgical matters and if a pastor celebrates with alb and stole or cassock, surplice and stole, they hardly notice. They like music they can sing and many - unfortunately - aren't big on Gregorian or plainsong.
Might be nice if there were a huge movement towards the things on Pastor Weedon's list. I don't see it, especially among the marginally-churched or unchurched.
I have said far upstream in other threads that a grass-roots ecumenism and "catholicism" embracing many in the Roman Catholic and a good number of us Protestants exists. It is being created by the people of faith themselves. And it results in some of the very things that leading "evangelical catholics" on this discussion board dislike.

P.S. And if it has anything at all to do with whether we wear a clerical collar or not, we are in deep deep trouble. (FWIW, in parish work, I generally do.)
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: Mike Bennett on August 11, 2011, 09:06:47 AM
I would think that almost all of those who claim to be STS are also considering themselves EC's.
Rob Buechler

STS is joined by subscribing to a Rule and literally signing a membership book in the presence of the members gathered in General Chapter (along with guests, which is why I know this from first hand observation).  The list of members is published on the STS web site.  So what might you mean by "those who claim to be STS?"

Mike Bennett
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: jpetty on August 11, 2011, 10:50:20 AM
In the ELCA, I'm guessing that most self-identified "evangelical catholics" come out of the old LCA tradition.  At any rate, most the "ec's" I have known were "eastern."  The midwesterners tend to be more pietist and low church.

Is it possible to be "evangelical catholic" and "low church" at the same time?
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: George Erdner on August 11, 2011, 11:10:43 AM
George,

I think I didn't say that well.  What I meant was that evangelical catholics are convinced that this is Lutheranism as it OUGHT TO BE and therefore we seek to encourage others to share this way of living out the faith with us - it is the way we find our life described in the Book of Concord, and thus we believe a vision and life that is the birthright of every Lutheran.  Evangelical catholics know well enough that not every Lutheran shares this vision, but we believe with all our heart that they should - and we'll try to demonstrate to them why we think that.

Erma and Lucan,

Thanks for the input.

This post got trashed by a system glitch. I do not dispute that you and many other Lutherans who call themselves Evangelical Catholics think all Lutherans should be. I also submit that the Lutherans who are part of the Ablaze! movement contend that their view of Lutheran Christians is how they believe in all their hearts Lutherans should be. No doubt all the Lutherans who see Lutheran Christians as mainstream Protestants think all Lutheran Christians should be as they perceive things. And the Lutherans in the ELCA probably think all Lutherans should be as widely diverse and "all things to all people" as they think Lutherans should be, as they exercise their curious philosophy of dogmatic enforcement of their policy of no dogma.
 
As for whether or not all the Lutherans who call themselves Evangelical Catholic subscribe to the Weedon Definition, I don't know for sure, but I suspect that many don't. I'm sure that those who agree will chime in and state their agreement. I suspect that some of those who disagree will not chime in, but will keep their disagrement to themselves, pondering it in their own hearts.
 
 
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: Dave_Poedel on August 11, 2011, 03:33:37 PM
I find Fr. Weedon's list to be an accurate description of my living out of my service to the Church.  Addressing the comments about loving everything about Rome, I and others have outlined that we are Lutheran Evangelical Catholics by choice.  I came from Rome to Lutheranism, as has been outlined elsewhere either here or in the paper "Lutheran Forum" some time ago.

While we have the Mass in our LSB, HOW one celebrates the Liturgy is often a sign of Evangelical Catholicity: not only vestments, but reverence, bringing in those things which are consistent with our Lutheran understanding of the Mass but not necessarily used by everyone, everywhere like genuflection after the consecration, the use of Eucharistic Prayers which contain the Words of Institution.  I think it would be hard to be EC and low-church, as usually understood.  However, after seeing videos of some of the Divine Services in the LCMS, I think I am low-church!

While George will continue to be contrary, and Pr. Mc Cain will challenge every point, as he is wont to do, I do believe we have defined Evangelical Catholic Lutheranism very well here thus far.
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: PTMcCain on August 11, 2011, 03:53:34 PM
Dave, I find it curious that you think I will "challenge every point" on this subject. I would be able to agree with Pr. Weedon's laundry list, but...I would ask you...how do you regard women's ordination as fitting in the definition of evangelical catholic?
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: lucan on August 11, 2011, 04:48:37 PM
Pr. McCain, I don't believe I read Dave defending women's ordination as evangelical catholic, but I will let him speak for himself.

As the one who began this thread I again implore you to start a new thread on the issue of women's ordination.  This thread deals with material that will help define what EC might look like, not with contentious issues that have a life of their own.

Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: PTMcCain on August 11, 2011, 05:04:14 PM
Lucan, I'm not saying he is, I'm just asking where this issue fits in his understanding of what it is to be evangelical catholic. I think that this is in fact very germane to the topic of what EC might look like. Is the ordination of women part of what EC looks like? I don't really understand the import of your comment, "not with contentious issues that have a life of their own."
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: vicarbob on August 11, 2011, 10:21:36 PM
I agree with Pr Weedon's offering on EC's.
As for EC's coming from the ALC, perhaps, but I was RC.  EC's are more Catholic then Protestant, yet are keenly aware and confess, that the Church of the Augsburg Confession stands as a reforming movement within the OHCA Church.
 
 Many times High Church vs Low Church, attempts to pit style against substance and both have the same Substance, expressed by differing styles.

Padre, hang in there brother...God upholds His faithful pastors and calms the storms that can and do confront and toss us about!
 Maybe, just maybe, you are suffering the withdrawals from properly made kilbasi and perogies.......causes stress to the entire being, and "we" know what a heavenly feast I have just described  ;)
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: Dave_Poedel on August 11, 2011, 10:58:16 PM

Padre, hang in there brother...God upholds His faithful pastors and calms the storms that can and do confront and toss us about!
 Maybe, just maybe, you are suffering the withdrawals from properly made kilbasi and perogies.......causes stress to the entire being, and "we" know what a heavenly feast I have just described  ;)

Indeed, dear brother....and even in Silesia, we sure did eat good!  Heavenly feast....yeah, pretty close at times...especially the begos!
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on August 12, 2011, 12:25:36 AM

Is it possible to be "evangelical catholic" and "low church" at the same time?

Yes.
Title: Re: An appeal for an Apology for Evangelical Catholicism
Post by: George Erdner on August 12, 2011, 12:33:24 AM

Is it possible to be "evangelical catholic" and "low church" at the same time?

Yes.

And people say that I am contrary!  ::)