ALPB Forum Online

ALPB => Your Turn => Topic started by: LutherMan on May 24, 2007, 08:47:58 AM

Title: WordAlone
Post by: LutherMan on May 24, 2007, 08:47:58 AM
It seems to me that WordAlone is made up of largely ALC-ELC types, lots of Norwegians.  Or does it just seem like that because of the MN roots of the organization?
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on May 24, 2007, 12:50:53 PM
It seems to me that WordAlone is made up of largely ALC-ELC types, lots of Norwegians.  Or does it just seem like that because of the MN roots of the organization?
I think that it has broaden since it began in opposition to the Concordate and CCM. At the time the ELCA was being created, it was noted that the LCA had nothing in it quite like the Haugean piety and the Lutheran Free Church that was part of the ALC. Similarly, the ALC had nothing quite like the Augustana liturgical piety that was part of the LCA. The Haugean piety included a bit of anti-heirarchy in its beliefs. (Hauge was a layman who spoke against the state church.) I remember that during the first few years after the new church, most of the ALC congregations who withdrew, joined/returned to the Association of Lutheran Free Congregations.

As I recall, Luther Seminary (originally a Norwegian Lutheran seminary) was the only seminary who spoke against the Concordat/CCM, whereas 5 or 6 other ELCA seminaries spoke in favor of the full communion agreement.

Both the Norwegian history and seminary training helped form the foundation of beliefs that brought WordAlone into being.

There's also a bit of geography involved. In the East, where the LCA was stronger, bishops were normally officiating at ordinations prior to CCM. So many Lutherans in the East didn't understand what the big deal was all about. In the midwest where the ALC was stronger, bishop normally authorized another ordained pastor to officiate at ordinations. So many Lutherans in the midwest saw CCM as calling for a major change in practice.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Mel Harris on May 24, 2007, 11:53:06 PM

It seems to me that WordAlone is made up of largely ALC-ELC types, lots of Norwegians.  Or does it just seem like that because of the MN roots of the organization?


Self disclosure:  I was baptized in an ELC congregation, and confirmed and ordained in that same congregation when it was ALC.  I went to Wartburg Theological Seminary, not Luther.  I am not, and have never been a member of WordAlone, but once a number of years ago, I did speak in favor of a resolution at a synod assembly, that was sponsored by WordAlone members in that synod.  I do count a number of WordAlone members as friends and trusted colleagues.

I do not have any hard data about WordAlone members, but the vast majority of those that I know were formerly members of the ALC.  Most of them, however, did not come from ELC or Lutheran Free roots.  (My experience may be limited by the parts of the country where I have been living in recent years.)  I would say that the membership of WordAlone is much more complicated than just an ethnic Norwegian or upper midwest phenomenon.

Mel Harris
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Eric_Swensson on May 25, 2007, 07:26:29 AM
One word, Forde. Another, Justification. This drives the theology of WordAlone more than anything I've noticed.

Myself, I like WAN because Jaynann Eglund gets it. And she can beat you up like your big sister. She just might have to do that.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: pilgrimpriest on May 25, 2007, 08:16:14 AM
One word, Forde. Another, Justification. This drives the theology of WordAlone more than anything I've noticed.

Myself, I like WAN because Jaynann Eglund gets it. And she can beat you up like your big sister. She just might have to do that.

Ditto. Memory eternal, Gerhard!

Fr. Bob
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Vern on May 25, 2007, 02:15:43 PM
Although I was at the WordAlone convention  last year, we just had our first meeting of the St Paul area WordAlone group. It was great, and we are thinking that we want to meet monthly for awhile.

Vern
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: LutherMan on May 26, 2007, 08:53:49 PM
I find it interesting that WA has come up with a "house of studies" independent of ELCA, and don't want to use ELCA's established seminaries, yet WA remains within the ELCA. 

I have a cousin who is an ELCA pastor in MN, he came out of ALC.  Not sure if he is WA or not, I know that CCM really bugged him.

Ah, well.  We have our divisions in LCMS & ELCA has hers.  I wonder who will have the first schism?
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on May 26, 2007, 09:04:53 PM
Ah, well.  We have our divisions in LCMS & ELCA has hers.  I wonder who will have the first schism?
Does the AELC count as a schism?
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: LutherMan on May 26, 2007, 09:13:01 PM
 ;D I should have said next schism.  I was giving AELC & those who left ELCA for AFLC  & LCMC, etc. a pass.  I think the next Lutheran schism will br huge.  Bigger than TEC's.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Eric_Swensson on May 26, 2007, 10:28:36 PM
Ah, well.  We have our divisions in LCMS & ELCA has hers.  I wonder who will have the first schism?
Does the AELC count as a schism?

Well, one could say that it is an ongoing schism...
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: ROB_MOSKOWITZ on May 26, 2007, 10:37:52 PM
;D I should have said next schism.  I was giving AELC & those who left ELCA for AFLC  & LCMC, etc. a pass.  I think the next Lutheran schism will br huge.  Bigger than TEC's.

Yet if the AELC was a schism from the LCMS and thus the ELCA a subsequent schismatic group (containing congregations of a former body which was a definition I was recently given) then those who then move back toward the understandings of the LCMS are actually rebelling against the schism.

Seen plainly in the base common understandings of the faith and scripture in contrast to the theological deviation from the traditional Lutheran teachings such as revisionist understandings.

I think the conservative Anglicans see it the same as they are not a schism from TEC but are leaving the schism of TEC for the original faith they have kept in common with the global south.

Yours In Christ
Rob Moskowitz

Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: LutherMan on May 26, 2007, 10:51:36 PM
It gets more interesting and makes one wonder if realignments are the future of American Lutheranism, or if maybe apathy and sluggishness will win out? 
Some of us, God willing, shall see.





And then there is TEC & global communions...
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Vern on June 02, 2007, 10:29:35 AM
Would you also count LCMC as a schism?

Vern (A WordAlone Member)
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 02, 2007, 01:17:23 PM
Would you also count LCMC as a schism?
I don't think that it began as a schismatic group, but as an association for more like-minded ELCAers. One might compare its early years to ELIM (Evangelical Lutherans in Mission) that was part of the LCMS. However, it seems to have become more like the AELC in later years. Within the LCMS, the move from ELIM (part of LCMS) to AELC (a separate Lutheran body) was sudden and quite dramatic with the walkout/expulsion at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, and included a different organization and letters.

I see the movement of LCMC doing essentially the same thing, but within the one organization (no change of letters) and a slower evolvement into a separate Lutheran Body.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Vern on June 04, 2007, 03:39:10 PM
There are some folks in WordAlone that are starting to talk about leaving the ELCA and starting a new Synod. They feel the ELCA is too far gone.

Vern
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 04, 2007, 03:43:43 PM
There are some folks in WordAlone that are starting to talk about leaving the ELCA and starting a new Synod. They feel the ELCA is too far gone.

Haven't they already sort of done that with Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ [LCMC]? While this began more as a support group, it has become an organized Lutheran Body, recognized by the ELCA as another Lutheran body. There is also The Association of American Lutheran Congregations [TAALC] that was created just before the formation of the ELCA by ALC congregations who did not want to be part of the ELCA.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Eric_Swensson on June 04, 2007, 03:54:45 PM
recognized by the ELCA as another Lutheran denomination.

Don't you mean "ananthemized by the ELCA"
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Vern on June 04, 2007, 05:08:45 PM
Brian,
I take Communion at a TAALC Church rather than at my home congregation of over 70 years.

Vern
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 04, 2007, 07:38:46 PM
recognized by the ELCA as another Lutheran denomination.

Don't you mean "ananthemized by the ELCA"

Nope. They are recognized as another Lutheran body. The ELCA 2007 Yearbook lists 27 Lutheran Church Bodies in the U.S. and Canada. Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ is listed as one of those bodies on page 725 & 727.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 04, 2007, 07:40:11 PM
I take Communion at a TAALC Church rather than at my home congregation of over 70 years.
That's fine. The question was why would WordAlone want to start another denomination when we already have LCMC and TAALC which were formed as alternatives to the ELCA.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Vern on June 05, 2007, 10:21:30 AM
I don't believe the TAALC has ever been a part of WordAlone. LCMC was originally designed to guide ELCA congregations. I would think that you could possibly get these and others to consider joining  together to form a new synod. Multiple synods probably would not help.

Vern :-\
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: mchristi on June 05, 2007, 12:17:56 PM
I don't believe the TAALC has ever been a part of WordAlone.

Correct.  They formed in 1987 or 1988, mostly as a group of ALCers unhappy with the merger forming the ELCA.

Mark C.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 05, 2007, 12:21:16 PM
I don't believe the TAALC has ever been a part of WordAlone. LCMC was originally designed to guide ELCA congregations. I would think that you could possibly get these and others to consider joining  together to form a new synod. Multiple synods probably would not help.
Right, TAALC was formed at the same time as the ELCA -- before WordAlone existed -- but it began as an alternative for clergy and congregations who did not want to be part of the ELCA.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Eric_Swensson on June 05, 2007, 12:27:18 PM
recognized by the ELCA as another Lutheran denomination.

Don't you mean "ananthemized by the ELCA"

Nope. They are recognized as another Lutheran body. The ELCA 2007 Yearbook lists 27 Lutheran Church Bodies in the U.S. and Canada. Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ is listed as one of those bodies on page 725 & 727.

Did they ask to be recognized as that?
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 05, 2007, 12:40:08 PM
Did they ask to be recognized as that?
I doubt that any of the 27 asked to be recognized as a Lutheran Body, but LCMC along with the others, fit whatever criteria was being used for recognizing Lutheran Bodies in the U.S. and Canada.

Are you saying that it is not a Lutheran Body in the U.S.?
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Eric_Swensson on June 05, 2007, 01:08:39 PM
No. I'm just saying that LCMC did not begin as a denomination and from what I understand that is not what many of them think they are. They think they are an association. They began as an association of ELCA congregations. As I said before they are not a cominingling of different congregations but all were or are ELCA.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 05, 2007, 01:13:40 PM
No. I'm just saying that LCMC did not begin as a denomination and from what I understand that is not what many of them think they are. They think they are an association. They began as an association of ELCA congregations. As I said before they are not a cominingling of different congregations but all were or are ELCA.

And the Association of Free Lutheran Congregations is also an association of congregations -- and listed as a Lutheran Church Body.

At some point in the LCMC some of its member ELCA congregations withdrew from the ELCA and remained in LCMC. At that time it became something different than just an association of like-minded ELCA congregations.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Eric_Swensson on June 05, 2007, 02:14:40 PM
And the logic is what, that denomination is the only form of church that is possible?
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Richard Kidd, STS on June 05, 2007, 07:34:29 PM
Brian said:
nd the Association of Free Lutheran Congregations is also an association congregations -- and listed as a Lutheran Church Body.

At some point in the LCMC some of its member ELCA congregations withdrew from the ELCA and remained in LCMC. At that time it became something different than just an association of like-minded ELCA congregations.

Isn't the LCMC basically like AFLC except the LCMC ordains women? Isn't the ELCA the only Lutheran church that ordains women with the exception of the LCMC??
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 05, 2007, 09:13:52 PM
And the logic is what, that denomination is the only form of church that is possible?
I don't believe that I called LCMC a "denomination," but "Lutheran Body" as our Yearbook does.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Eric_Swensson on June 05, 2007, 09:35:38 PM
And the logic is what, that denomination is the only form of church that is possible?
I don't believe that I called LCMC a "denomination," but "Lutheran Body" as our Yearbook does.

Oh. So a Lutheran body includes an association in its meaning? What was this discussion all about anyway?
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 05, 2007, 09:49:36 PM
Oh. So a Lutheran body includes an association in its meaning? What was this discussion all about anyway?
Yup, like The Association of Free Lutheran Congregations.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Richard Kidd, STS on June 05, 2007, 09:51:21 PM
I believe that the LCMC is just the AFLC with women ordination. Am I right?
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Richard Kidd, STS on June 08, 2007, 04:59:55 PM
Word Alone is having Pastor Mark Chavez here in Southwestern Texas at an ELCA church. People are concerned about the on-going sexuality study. We have already had an ELCA church that became LCMC last year because of the last sexuality study.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Coolrevgaus on June 13, 2007, 09:29:21 PM
Some thoughts. The TAALC has been drawing closer to the Missouri Synod; its' students train at Concordia Fort Wayne, it has now joined in altar and pulpit fellowship with Missouri. An often volitile denomination it has some problem with the charismatic movement etc.,and is now reaching greater stability under LCMS doctrinal grounding. The LCMC is very congregationally centered in polity but also gives signifcant authority to districts which can be geographically or doctrinally based. It has grown significantly from its founding a few years ago and includes congreagtions which are still in the ELCA and or Word Alone as well as congreagtions which have left the ELCA, and new starts. Interestingly it has a number of congreagtons in Mexico and Vietnam it affiliates with and calls full members so that if a delegate from those countries would come to the national LCMC assembly that person would have fully voting power, thus it is an international church body. Two noteable realities about LCMC-it is pro women's ordination and the size of its member congregations is often much larger than in the more conservative Lutheran bodies, giving it a certain vibrancy that means it is not just the more conservative small church in town as is often the case with the other bodies which play that role against ELCA congregations in many parts of the midwest. The LCMC has also had some internal problems particularly now with its Augsbrg District.  I think all this info is accurate, as an ELCA member I am on the outside looking in to all this. Word Alone has expanded its outreach and now has staff people on the west coat, east coast and midwest, it is the main group in terms of loyal opposition to the ELCA and will remain so for the forseeable future should the ELCA not have a major split. Paul Gausmann
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 13, 2007, 09:36:53 PM
... it is the main group in terms of loyal opposition to the ELCA and will remain so for the forseeable future should the ELCA not have a major split.
I would not call them the "loyal opposition to the ELCA." Most are still part of the ELCA. This is still their church -- or better, this is still our church. They do present a "conservative conscience" of the ELCA. Although I don't think that it's the only "conservative conscience" within the ELCA. Similarly, I believe that there are different "liberal" streams running through the ELCA.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Eric_Swensson on June 13, 2007, 10:18:07 PM
... it is the main group in terms of loyal opposition to the ELCA and will remain so for the forseeable future should the ELCA not have a major split.
I would not call them the "loyal opposition to the ELCA." Most are still part of the ELCA. This is still their church -- or better, this is still our church. They do present a "conservative conscience" of the ELCA. Although I don't think that it's the only "conservative conscience" within the ELCA. Similarly, I believe that there are different "liberal" streams running through the ELCA.

The term "loyal oppostion" connotes an opposition from within.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Charles_Austin on June 13, 2007, 10:38:05 PM
Eric writes (Re the statement about Word Alone):
The term "loyal oppostion" connotes an opposition from within.

I comment:
Ah, but there is that pesky preposition. Someone wrote "loyal opposition to the ELCA" and Brian pointed out that most of the WA people are still in the ELCA. "Loyal opposition" does not always connote "within," especially when the preposition suggests otherwise.

CMA
Once an English major, always an English major.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: peter_speckhard on June 14, 2007, 12:02:24 AM
Loyal is the operative word. How many times have we heard that disagreement with the president is not un-American? I took the ELCA as referring to the current leadership and direction of the insitution. Can you think of any instance in which "loyal opposition" referred to opposition from without? 
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Charles_Austin on June 14, 2007, 04:49:46 AM
Peter writes:
Can you think of any instance in which "loyal opposition" referred to opposition from without?

I comment:
Yes. When one writes "loyal opposition to" an institution and that to which one is supposedly "loyal" transcends the referrant institution. (But we digress.)  ;D
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Vern on June 14, 2007, 12:10:17 PM
Charles,

"but we digress??

So what's new?

Vern
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 14, 2007, 12:41:06 PM
Loyal is the operative word. How many times have we heard that disagreement with the president is not un-American? I took the ELCA as referring to the current leadership and direction of the insitution. Can you think of any instance in which "loyal opposition" referred to opposition from without? 
LOYAL = adj. "giving or showing firm and constant support or allegiance to a person or institution"
OPPOSITION = n. "resistance or dissent, expressed in action or argument"

While I do hear some loyalty towards the ELCA from some of the conservative critics, I also hear words and see actions that do not indicate "giving or showing firm and constant support or allegiance to the ELCA. If they were loyal, there wouldn't be pastors and congregations jumping to LCMC or AALC or AFLC. They would remain committed to the ELCA. Granted, many are; but those that seem to make the headlines are those deserting the ELCA.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Eric_Swensson on June 14, 2007, 12:47:11 PM
Loyal is the operative word. How many times have we heard that disagreement with the president is not un-American? I took the ELCA as referring to the current leadership and direction of the insitution. Can you think of any instance in which "loyal opposition" referred to opposition from without? 
LOYAL = adj. "giving or showing firm and constant support or allegiance to a person or institution"
OPPOSITION = n. "resistance or dissent, expressed in action or argument"

While I do hear some loyalty towards the ELCA from some of the conservative critics, I also hear words and see actions that do not indicate "giving or showing firm and constant support or allegiance to the ELCA. If they were loyal, there wouldn't be pastors and congregations jumping to LCMC or AALC or AFLC. They would remain committed to the ELCA. Granted, many are; but those that seem to make the headlines are those deserting the ELCA.

Can you imagine somene being more loyal to something than their denomination?
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Charles_Austin on June 14, 2007, 01:11:13 PM
Eric probes:
Can you imagine somene being more loyal to something than their denomination?

I comment:
Yes, of course, but that is not what we were discussing in this consideration of the semantics of prepositions and the actual meaning of an over-used oxymoronic phrase.

(Psst! Eric! Loyalty to a denomination that reared us, trained us, and sustains us, is not evil.)
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 14, 2007, 01:18:21 PM
Can you imagine somene being more loyal to something than their denomination?
Of course, e.g., one's beliefs about God and scriptures, one's spouse and family, one's own "flock" s/he has been called to pastor; but when that causes them to oppose the ELCA, they are no longer loyal to the denomination.

It is also possible -- and probable -- that members who are loyal to the ELCA will disagree with some statements or practices of the denomination; then they should express their opposition to those particular issues AND express the loyalty to the ELCA as a whole, affirming the aspects of the denomination that they approve of support, sending in their benevolence dollars, praying for the leaders and the witness and ministry of our church.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Eric_Swensson on June 14, 2007, 01:51:04 PM
Eric probes:
Can you imagine somene being more loyal to something than their denomination?

I comment:
Yes, of course, but that is not what we were discussing in this consideration of the semantics of prepositions and the actual meaning of an over-used oxymoronic phrase.

(Psst! Eric! Loyalty to a denomination that reared us, trained us, and sustains us, is not evil.)

Charles! God bless the Augustana Synod, eh? Actually, Stephen, how do you paste in that big red fish? Who said anything about loyalty to the synod being evil? What I think is evil is introducing policies which so conflict consciences that they have to search for an answer whether it would be better for them and their children to leave or stay. And the day you begin to have a real appreciation about the very real evil that false teaching can inflict, and who it is that is bringing this into the ELCA, I will rejoice.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 14, 2007, 01:57:31 PM
And the day you begin to have a real appreciation about the very real evil that false teaching can inflict, and who it is that is bringing this into the ELCA, I will rejoice.
It is likely that my understanding of the very real evil and who is bringing it into the ELCA would be different than your understanding.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Eric_Swensson on June 14, 2007, 01:59:19 PM
And the point of your post would be what? C'mon, Brian, name that evil.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Vern on June 14, 2007, 03:23:12 PM
How about Hanson for the evil teaching?

Vern
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Eric_Swensson on June 14, 2007, 04:46:26 PM
No. The answer I am looking for is here: http://www.iclnet.org/pub/resources/text/wittenberg/luther/little.book/web/book-1.html
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Charles_Austin on June 14, 2007, 04:53:21 PM
Some people should take a deep breath, have some herb tea and smell a flower or two. It will not be useful for discussion to begin shouting "Evil teaching! Evil teaching!" or attributing such to our Presiding Bishop (w-a-a-y out of line), or to allege that policies "conflict consciences" (though some church teaching is indeed intended to do that) in those allegedly evil ways.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Eric_Swensson on June 14, 2007, 04:57:36 PM
Charles, try remmebring you are a pastor when you are addressing the laity, OK?
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Charles_Austin on June 14, 2007, 05:01:50 PM
Eric chides (I think):
Charles, try remmebring you are a pastor when you are addressing the laity, OK?

I respond:
Huh?
But let me guess. Someone (lay or pastor, I don't know) says "How about Hanson for the evil teaching?" That's out of line. I would say so if one of my parishioners said, it, if one of my clergy colleagues said it, and if a semi-anonymous person on line said it. And I did. Attaching the words "evil teaching" to one of our fellow clergy in that cavalier fashion is out of line. I'd say so if someone from "Good Soil" said it about you.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Eric_Swensson on June 14, 2007, 05:15:42 PM
Some people should take a deep breath, have some herb tea and smell a flower or two. It will not be useful for discussion to begin shouting "Evil teaching! Evil teaching!" or attributing such to our Presiding Bishop (w-a-a-y out of line), or to allege that policies "conflict consciences" (though some church teaching is indeed intended to do that) in those allegedly evil ways.


This is the way you talk to your parishoners? This is the tone you use? let me imagine you telling one of your parishoners they are w-a-a-y out of line. Nope, tried, can't imagine it.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Richard Johnson on June 14, 2007, 05:36:12 PM

This is the way you talk to your parishoners? This is the tone you use? let me imagine you telling one of your parishoners they are w-a-a-y out of line. Nope, tried, can't imagine it.

So what would Eric do? If a parishioner spoke of Bp. Hanson as one who teaches evil, say, "Yep, you got his number" or "Well, I'm not sure I'd go THAT far" or "Interesting perspective, thanks for sharing."

Such a comment is, in fact, out of line. An honest pastor would say so--obviously with a tone of voice and in words that did not unnecessarily belittle or humiliate the out of line person.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Eric_Swensson on June 14, 2007, 05:48:35 PM

This is the way you talk to your parishoners? This is the tone you use? let me imagine you telling one of your parishoners they are w-a-a-y out of line. Nope, tried, can't imagine it.

So what would Eric do? If a parishioner spoke of Bp. Hanson as one who teaches evil, say, "Yep, you got his number" or "Well, I'm not sure I'd go THAT far" or "Interesting perspective, thanks for sharing."

Such a comment is, in fact, out of line. An honest pastor would say so--obviously with a tone of voice and in words that did not unnecessarily belittle or humiliate the out of line person.

I would say, "Now why do you say that?" and try to get at what is behind the statement. For example, I do not know Vern, but I think it is fair to say he is a senior who has been supporting the Lutheran church all his life. he has seen great changes in that time and he grieves for them. Therefore I would already be working on the assumption that may well be the place the question came from (and you guys did notice the question mark Vern used, or maybe not?). In this example, I would tell him that while I share an overriding concern for what is being taught, Mark Hanson is not the source of that teaching, he only is passing it along at times. I would explain the roots of where the various idealogies come from. I would point out that Hanson can actually give a good evangelical sermon or teaching from time to time. I would point out what it is that one can do if they are sure that they are opposed to all these changes. I would make sure in the end that he knows that the Jesus that he loves so very much is the Victor and that he should take comfort that all that is false will fall.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Charles_Austin on June 14, 2007, 05:53:35 PM
So, Eric, if I ask you what time it is; you will give me instructions on how to make a watch?  ;D ;D

Don't know how things are over there in tony Westchester, but cross the Hudson in Jersey, we think people can take straight talk.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Eric_Swensson on June 14, 2007, 05:56:40 PM
It's not a level playing field, Chuck, and I think you know it.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Charles_Austin on June 14, 2007, 06:02:55 PM
Eric writes:
It's not a level playing field, Chuck, and I think you know it.

I comment:
And which field is that? (BTW haven't used "Chuck" for about 31 years, though a few people who knew me before 1976 persist in the term.  Pretty much abandoned it when I moved to Geneva and found that "Charles" sounds really neat in French.)
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Richard Johnson on June 14, 2007, 06:03:12 PM
Searching, searching . . . there must be SOME way in this dang software that I can prevent individual members from responding to particular other individual members, without outright banning them . . .  ???
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 14, 2007, 06:59:25 PM
And the point of your post would be what? C'mon, Brian, name that evil.
All right, it's pig-headedness by people on both sides who let their amygdala rather than their left frontal lobe control their actions. The amygdala or lower brain or reptilian brain fights or flees. When a voting members ends up shouting at an assembly to attack opponents, that the amygdala at work. When members flee a congregation or denomination, or just refuse to attend a synod assembly because of the liberals/conservatives who are running the agend; that's the amygdala at work. God gave animals the amygdala for their own survival. It responds to threatening situations with fighting or fleeing.

God also gave human beings a left frontal lobe -- and only humans have developed this part of the brain. It, according to Peter Steinke (Congregational Leadership in Anxious Times: Being Calm and Courageous No Matter What) enables humans to function in six unique ways:
1. Humans can project into the future.
2. Humans can exercise social competence.
3. Humans can observe self and environment.
4. Humans can use imagination.
5. Humans can think critically.
6. Humans can regulate emotional forces.

It is sub-human when we don't practice those six human functions.

To say all this more simply, a friend, a conservative Episcopal priest, left the congregation she was serving, not because some members were more liberal than she -- she can live and work with liberals and had done so in the past -- and she and I get along; but she left because many of the "liberals" were so mean to the "conservatives" in the congregation, and, to use my word above, sub-human in the way they related to those who were different than they.

When I've heard pro-homosexual people shouting at microphones -- that's part of the evil that I see. When I hear of conservatives refusing to attend synod assemblies because they don't like what's going on there -- that's part of the evil that I see.

Something I've been saying for nearly a year, what I believe defines the ELCA were the daily eucharists at our Churchwide Assemblies. We are people who hold many different opinions and views, but we come together around word and sacrament as one body. Healthy people shared the peace with rainbow-stoled Lutherans and with Solid Rock button-wearing Lutherans. Unhealthy people avoided those who were different than themselves. Healthy people went to the Lord's Table with people they knew had different opinions than they, and rejoiced with them over the forgiveness Christ gives to all. Unhealthy people stayed away.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Eric_Swensson on June 14, 2007, 07:49:02 PM
I suspected that your idea of evil was some form of judgmentalism. Mine is idolatry. Yours is a well-reasoned post, I have nothing negative to say about it, but I think you're actually just talking about human behavior  (perhaps I am too). And, of course, you are framing it that the wise person will just keep coming back, keep on talking, never get angry. You probably think we should keep doing this for the rest of our lives, huh? I've had six years of it and that is quite enough.

 I think when we are dealing with the term "evil" we have had some experience and it does not need a long response from us. Evil manifests itself in idolatry, at least when we are talking about the religous spirit anyway.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on June 14, 2007, 07:53:00 PM
but those that seem to make the headlines are those deserting the ELCA.

Duh!

spt+
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Vern on June 14, 2007, 08:12:13 PM
"rainbow stolled lutherans. Isn't that flaunting sin? :'(

Vern
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Charles_Austin on June 14, 2007, 09:32:48 PM
Eric writes (re Brian's comments about human behavior):
And, of course, you are framing it that the wise person will just keep coming back, keep on talking, never get angry. You probably think we should keep doing this for the rest of our lives, huh? I've had six years of it and that is quite enough.

I observe:
Yes, I think the wise person will just keep coming back; but I will say that they may get angry. (I know I do.) And what time limit do we put on the search for Christian unity and common mission? Your six years? Peanuts! I was writing about and working for LCA-LC/MS fellowship 40 years ago. I was studying the possiblity of eucharistic fellowship between Lutherans and Roman Catholics 35 years ago. I'm still at it, and the discussion has taken turns that I did not expect a couple of decades ago. The gay issue first appeared at a General Assembly of the United Methodist Church more than 25 years ago. Presbyterians have been at it for about that long.
Meanwhile in our parishes people gather to praise God, hear the Word, celebrate the sacraments, confirm, marry, bury and try to serve the world and invite others into our fellowship. I had the privilege today of presiding at a funeral for the patriarch of a wonderful family. Three of his children married Roman Catholics and are raising several grandchildren in that part of the Body of Christ. How wonderful it was to have them all come forward to receive the sacrament at his funeral! And they never even read my carefully researched and reasoned thesis of 35 years ago!
Sorry, Eric (and others!), it's gonna take more than six years to work through some of our disagreements. But can't we have a great Spirit-filled, mission-oriented, and hopefully God-pleasing time while we do so?
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Dave_Poedel on June 14, 2007, 09:35:17 PM
Brian:

The retired animal physiology professor in me urges you to place less confidence in the theories of human brain development and more confidence in the Scripture we are both called to base our teaching on.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: hansen on June 14, 2007, 09:38:39 PM
6. Humans can regulate emotional forces.

Which can include unleashing anger -- or other emotions -- when appropriate.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 14, 2007, 10:01:23 PM
I think when we are dealing with the term "evil" we have had some experience and it does not need a long response from us. Evil manifests itself in idolatry, at least when we are talking about the religous spirit anyway.
M. Scott Peck wrote a good book on evil called People of the Lie. (It came after his popular, The Road Less Traveled.) He writes both as a Christian and a psychiatrist. Essentially, he defines evil as living a lie, unable to face up to the truth/reality. (It's been a few years since I read it, so I can't recall any direct quotes.)
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 14, 2007, 10:02:34 PM
"rainbow stolled lutherans. Isn't that flaunting sin? :'(
It could be seen as flaunting God's promise at the end of the flood story.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 14, 2007, 10:11:49 PM
The retired animal physiology professor in me urges you to place less confidence in the theories of human brain development and more confidence in the Scripture we are both called to base our teaching on.
As you know, Peter Steinke, from whom I took the brain development stuff, is an LCMS clergyman, in addition to being a therapist. I recommend his books to anyone. How Your Church Family Works: Understanding Congregations as Emotional Systems; Healthy Congregations: A Systems Approach; and Congregational Leadership in Anxious Times: Being Calm and Courageous No Matter What. All are published by The Alban Institute.

I do think that God created us and calls us to be human and humane in our relationships with other people. However, sometimes we act less than human and humane.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Deb_H. on June 14, 2007, 10:12:10 PM
it's gonna take more than six years to work through some of our disagreements. But can't we have a great Spirit-filled, mission-oriented, and hopefully God-pleasing time while we do so?

Six years??
It's been going on since the beginning of the ELCA almost 20 years ago.  That is an entire generation.  People who are raising their children don't have time for this to work itself out over the next 20 years, all the while their kids and grandkids are growing up wondering if anything stays the same or if God changes from decade to decade.  The young families are flocking to the denominations that hold steadfast to traditional understandings of scripture ... and sometimes that means over-correcting into biblicism or fundamentalism ... but they obviously find that better for their families than shifting sand.

Debbie
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Eric_Swensson on June 14, 2007, 10:16:00 PM
Eric writes (re Brian's comments about human behavior):
And, of course, you are framing it that the wise person will just keep coming back, keep on talking, never get angry. You probably think we should keep doing this for the rest of our lives, huh? I've had six years of it and that is quite enough.

I observe:
Yes, I think the wise person will just keep coming back; but I will say that they may get angry. (I know I do.) And what time limit do we put on the search for Christian unity and common mission? Your six years? Peanuts! I was writing about and working for LCA-LC/MS fellowship 40 years ago. I was studying the possiblity of eucharistic fellowship between Lutherans and Roman Catholics 35 years ago. I'm still at it, and the discussion has taken turns that I did not expect a couple of decades ago. The gay issue first appeared at a General Assembly of the United Methodist Church more than 25 years ago. Presbyterians have been at it for about that long.
Meanwhile in our parishes people gather to praise God, hear the Word, celebrate the sacraments, confirm, marry, bury and try to serve the world and invite others into our fellowship. I had the privilege today of presiding at a funeral for the patriarch of a wonderful family. Three of his children married Roman Catholics and are raising several grandchildren in that part of the Body of Christ. How wonderful it was to have them all come forward to receive the sacrament at his funeral! And they never even read my carefully researched and reasoned thesis of 35 years ago!
Sorry, Eric (and others!), it's gonna take more than six years to work through some of our disagreements. But can't we have a great Spirit-filled, mission-oriented, and hopefully God-pleasing time while we do so?

So how long did Charles make it without coming back on me?

Anyway, why anyone would think that six years of denominational in-fighting is God-pleasing is beyond me. The answer is no.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 14, 2007, 10:43:46 PM
Anyway, why anyone would think that six years of denominational in-fighting is God-pleasing is beyond me. The answer is no.
In would seem that the infighting began with the original 12 disciples and hasn't stopped since.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: BeornBjornson on June 14, 2007, 11:24:15 PM
Pr. Stoffregen wrote:
Quote
M. Scott Peck wrote a good book on evil called People of the Lie. (It came after his popular, The Road Less Traveled.) He writes both as a Christian and a psychiatrist. Essentially, he defines evil as living a lie, unable to face up to the truth/reality. (It's been a few years since I read it, so I can't recall any direct quotes.)
An excellent book.  Loaned my copy to someone and failed to replace it.  Will have to do that.  Do remember that he distinguished "evil" from run of the mill "sin" and that among the necessary responses to evil was the need to be forceful.  He also talked about the demonic and the book contained his description of an exorcism to which he was witness. 

Pastor Ken Kimball
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Charles_Austin on June 14, 2007, 11:32:38 PM
Eric worries:
Anyway, why anyone would think that six years of denominational in-fighting is God-pleasing is beyond me. The answer is no.

I correct:
I did not say that the "in-fighting" is God-pleasing. I did say that the day-to-day proclamation, worship, service, and fellowship which we do even though we squabble can be God-pleasing. And it can. Unless we - and that means you and I and everyone else in the ELCA - let too many other things get in the way of our common proclamation of the Gospel and our shared fellowship.

Eric asks:
So how long did Charles make it without coming back on me?

I ask:
Excuse me, are there time restrictions on when one can respond? And I do not come back at you, except that you personalize the issue by saying you - Eric - are tired of it after a paltry six years. Perhaps I was not successful in gently counseling patience or getting across the idea that things, like my desire for Lutheran-Roman Catholic inter-communion, take longer than we think they should and sometimes take unexpected directions. It's not about you, Eric, it's about our life together (or perhaps, alas, apart) in the ELCA.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Deb_H. on June 15, 2007, 12:16:12 AM
When I hear of conservatives refusing to attend synod assemblies because they don't like what's going on there -- that's part of the evil that I see.

Is any activity worthy of boycott?
Is any activity troubling to conscience, because it could possibly be a poor investment of time, talent, and treasure?
Should any activity be avoided because it gives people the wrong impression of what one may believe?
I, for one, quit communing at synod assemblies following Orlando, and chose to commune rarely in Orlando and Milwaukee at churchwides I attended, because I did not share sufficient agreement in the confession of what was being preached in those services for me to commune with a clear conscience.
Does that make me evil?
I view unity differently than Brian or Charles.  Does that make me evil?

Lou Hesse
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 15, 2007, 01:49:00 AM
Is any activity worthy of boycott?
Yes, when the boycott means something or might accomplish something that the boycotter wants. However, when pastors and congregations boycott synod assemblies, it means that their desires are even less likely to be heard or approved. Certainly attending such events is no guarantee that a majority will see it my way, but it means that I can make my thoughts known. It also means that I can say to people, should they want to know, how I voted -- or even, as happened at one of our past assemblies, some wanted their names entered in the minutes as voting against a resolution.

Quote
Is any activity troubling to conscience, because it could possibly be a poor investment of time, talent, and treasure?
That's going to be part of my sermon on Sunday. How did the woman in Luke 7:36-50 show her great love for Jesus? By acts that were poor investments of time, talent, and treasure. It would have been much more practical to wash Jesus' feet with water and dry them with a towel. Kissing his feet certainly wasn't necessary for cleaning them. While there certainly are some practical matters for individuals and congregations, but the primary questions are not about poor or good investments of time, talent, and treasure; but how we show our love to Jesus and to those for whom he died.

Quote
Should any activity be avoided because it gives people the wrong impression of what one may believe?
Again, looking at Luke 7:36-50, what the woman did certainly gave a poor impression on the Pharisee. Many of Jesus' acts gave people the wrong impression. He made them so angry that they executed him.

Quote
I, for one, quit communing at synod assemblies following Orlando, and chose to commune rarely in Orlando and Milwaukee at churchwides I attended, because I did not share sufficient agreement in the confession of what was being preached in those services for me to commune with a clear conscience.
I, for one, do not believe that it is an ELCA Supper or a Lutheran Supper, but the Lord's Supper. I go at Jesus' invitation. At the table I receive Jesus, his body and his blood given for the forgiveness of my sins. Unless the Word's of Institution are omitted, I see lettle reason to refuse Jesus' invitation. (I have, for the sake of not causing offense, not received communion at a Catholic mass. However, generally if I know church policy says that I am not welcomed, I won't worship there.)

Quote
Does that make me evil?
It indicates that you have a different understanding of the sacrament than I. I also know that you have done much to try and work within the ELCA. You didn't just get upset and flee in a huff. Your actions come from a thoughtful response (the left frontal lobe at work) rather than a sudden reaction (the amygdala at work). Your responses in this forum have been thoughtful. While we have disagreed, there have also been occasions of agreement. Those are human and humane behaviors, not those of a lizard fleeing from danger -- (That's an example Steinke uses in his book of the amygdala at work) -- where everything the "enemy" says or does must be bad.

Quote
I view unity differently than Brian or Charles.  Does that make me evil?
The "evil" that I described is not about viewing things differently than other people -- even Charles and I have some differences, but how one reacts or responds to people with differing views. As I noted earlier, shouting at them or throwing fists or storming off in a huff are unhelpful reactions. Seeing them as brothers and sisters in Christ who have different opinions, agreeing to disagree, trying to understand the other's position, interpreting their words and actions in the best possible way -- those are more helpful responses.

I've used this illustration before: I have two brothers, we do not agree about everything, but we are family. We always treat each other with respect and dignity. If one should blow up at another (which I can't remember happening,) we certainly would find a way to reconcile as brothers, even if our views about the issue remain different.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: mchristi on June 15, 2007, 01:49:56 AM
When I hear of conservatives refusing to attend synod assemblies because they don't like what's going on there -- that's part of the evil that I see.

Is any activity worthy of boycott?
Is any activity troubling to conscience, because it could possibly be a poor investment of time, talent, and treasure?

Participating in the governance of one's own church is something that would be troubling to one's conscience?  Working for the good governance of one's own church isn't worth time, talent, or treasure?  If that is the case, wouldn't membership in that very church be problematic?  And if one avoids participating in it because one doesn't like what is said or done there, doesn't that make it a self-fulfilling prophesy of sorts?  I especially don't understand such refusals to participate because in so doing they are giving up any chance they may have in changing the course or moving what is said or done closer toward what they view as right and proper.  A boycott may work in some situations, but here it's self-defeating and self-perpetuating of the very reasons for the boycott in the first place.

Quote
Should any activity be avoided because it gives people the wrong impression of what one may believe?

By this turn, if participating in a synod assembly, even if one is also acting on one's belief through votes, speaking, and other engagement in the various sorts of sessions of an assembly, would give a wrong impression, why does membership in a congregation of that same church not also give a wrong impression of what one may believe?   It would seem more truthful here, if those who would avoid participating in a synod assembly for this reason also avoid participating in a congregation which is a member of the synod and its church body.

I would much rather they participate than that they leave.  But I would regard either as preferable to not participating and professing the reason to be disapproval of what the synod or churchwide assembly does.  

Quote
I, for one, quit communing at synod assemblies following Orlando, and chose to commune rarely in Orlando and Milwaukee at churchwides I attended, because I did not share sufficient agreement in the confession of what was being preached in those services for me to commune with a clear conscience.

But we communion not with the preaching at a given service, but with our Lord and God, Christ himself present in the Sacrament.  This seems to me to be a far too narrow and far too anthropocentric, and very questionable, idea of what the nature of the communion of the Holy Communion.  And an all too common one.

Mark C.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Charles_Austin on June 15, 2007, 07:54:12 AM
Lou (signing in as Deb H.) writes:
Is any activity worthy of boycott?

I respond:
Yes.

Lou:
Is any activity troubling to conscience, because it could possibly be a poor investment of time, talent, and treasure?

Me:
Yes. (Though things that waste my time, rarely trouble my conscience.)

Lou:
Should any activity be avoided because it gives people the wrong impression of what one may believe?

Me:
Yes. Going to gambling casinos, for example.

Lou:
I, for one, quit communing at synod assemblies following Orlando, and chose to commune rarely in Orlando and Milwaukee at churchwides I attended, because I did not share sufficient agreement in the confession of what was being preached in those services for me to commune with a clear conscience.Does that make me evil?

Me:
Evil? No, but it makes you eccentric and idiosyncratic. (Relax! Those are not pejorative words!) So you run an "orthodoxy check" on every aspect of a service and the people leading it to make sure that it agrees with your take on our church and its faith? Boy, that must be a lot of work! When do you make the decision? At the invocation - if they don't say "Father"? During the sermon? What if you see a communion assistant you believe to be not "orthodox"? What if an unscripted prayer slips up on a matter of theological nuance? Supposing the readings are from a version of the scriptures that you consider flawed? What if you know that some fellow communicants hold goofy views, maybe they don't really believe in the Presence? Are you risking your reputation to commune with them? If this is the case, I suppose I should admire your diligence; but I would worry that I might never be able to commune.

Lou:
I view unity differently than Brian or Charles.  Does that make me evil?

Me:
No.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Eric_Swensson on June 15, 2007, 08:04:45 AM
I think when we are dealing with the term "evil" we have had some experience and it does not need a long response from us. Evil manifests itself in idolatry, at least when we are talking about the religous spirit anyway.
M. Scott Peck wrote a good book on evil called People of the Lie. (It came after his popular, The Road Less Traveled.) He writes both as a Christian and a psychiatrist. Essentially, he defines evil as living a lie, unable to face up to the truth/reality. (It's been a few years since I read it, so I can't recall any direct quotes.)

I reference the religious spirit and you reference M. Scott Peck. Interesting. Where were you going with this living a lie thing?
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Eric_Swensson on June 15, 2007, 08:09:41 AM
Pay attention to the name when someone signs their post. Lou uses Deb's sign in sometimes, other times it is her.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Charles_Austin on June 15, 2007, 08:39:11 AM
Eric admonishes:
Pay attention to the name when someone signs their post. Lou uses Deb's sign in sometimes, other times it is her.

I respond:
I consider myself admonished. (But Lou ought to get his own sign-in.) I shall try to amend my previous post. (I'm tossing ashes over my head in repentance as I ponder tonight's menu. Headed off to see Xanadu on Broadway tonight. Roller skates. Whee!  ;D)
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Deb_H. on June 15, 2007, 10:21:27 AM
Evil? No, but it makes you eccentric and idiosyncratic. (Relax! Those are not pejorative words!) So you run an "orthodoxy check" on every aspect of a service and the people leading it to make sure that it agrees with your take on our church and its faith? Boy, that must be a lot of work! When do you make the decision? At the invocation - if they don't say "Father"? During the sermon? What if you see a communion assistant you believe to be not "orthodox"? What if an unscripted prayer slips up on a matter of theological nuance? Supposing the readings are from a version of the scriptures that you consider flawed? What if you know that some fellow communicants hold goofy views, maybe they don't really believe in the Presence? Are you risking your reputation to commune with them? If this is the case, I suppose I should admire your diligence; but I would worry that I might never be able to commune.

There's nothing to 'relax' about here, I've always considered myself eccentric and idiosyncratic as a unique creation of God (so this was a compliment).   You make some interesting points about how far one goes in determining if a service or individual is "sufficiently" orthodox for one to kneel at the table together.  Like most things, I think this is different for virtually every person.  There are some things I simply won't participate in that others feel just fine with.  And likewise, there are probably some things that Charles or Brian won't participate in that I wouldn't have a problem with. 

There is more to communing than simply my confession that Jesus Christ is truly present.  There is also a confessional aspect to it.  The local Foursquare pastor is putting his congregation through the wringer right now, getting in certain members' faces and declaring they need to change this and that about their behaviors so that they can 'be right with Jesus' if they want to continue in the fellowship.  I would not kneel at that table because his understanding of the Gospel, and particularly the Law and its uses, is quite different from mine.  I'm not going to stand over here and throw stones because I could be wrong, but at this point in time I don't want people to think I am in agreement with what he is doing in that community.  I did not commune at St. Stephan's cathedral in Vienna when Debbie and I attended there during Lent a few years ago, because I'm quite sure my Lutheran understandings would not be welcome there, and what they teach and practice is not my confession.  I could be wrong.

Does it put more pressure on a person to pay attention to what is preached and practiced, and what one's own witness is?  I think so.  Have I suffered because of this?  I think so.  Some physical ailments that were tormenting me when I was serving my call on the Sexuality Task Force have cleared up now that I'm no longer involved in the ELCA.  Does that mean anything?  I don't know.  But at this time I'm eccentric and idiosyncratic enough to say there are certain things I simply won't participate in.  For what it's worth, I've never been turned down and never walked away from communion in an LCMS or WELS service.  Even when they knew I was serving on the Sexuality Task Force of the ELCA. 

Debbie and I use the same sign-in because I'm eccentric enough to say we are one flesh -- and I don't type.  :D

Lou Hesse
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: hansen on June 15, 2007, 03:19:50 PM
I've used this illustration before: I have two brothers, we do not agree about everything, but we are family. We always treat each other with respect and dignity. If one should blow up at another (which I can't remember happening,) we certainly would find a way to reconcile as brothers, even if our views about the issue remain different.

Let's try a slightly different illustration:  Let's say that both of your brothers are single, and they've each paid 1/2 for a house they're living in.  "Brother A" does regular maintenance on the house, while "Brother B" carelessly adds more than his fair share of wear-and-tear, and does little in the way of maintenance.  Brother A attempts to discuss the discrepancy with Brother B, but Brother B basically tells him that he's too up-tight, should relax, make a quiche, and if he wants to do maintenance, then that's fine and dandy by him, but he shouldn't expect him to follow suit.  Brother A tries to explain that, were it not for his regular home maintenance, then the place would look bad and operate terribly, and the value of their investment would decline. 
Brother B responds with:  "Well, that's your opinion.  You have yours, I have mine.  We're just different that way.  Can't we just get along?" 

Brother A:  "No, Brother B, we can't get along.  While I am willing to expend my fair share to maintain the house, I don't want to spend the time and money to fix and pay for the damage you cause!  We're supposed to be partners here!  And that means we each do our fair share!" 

Brother B:  "Lighten up, Brother A.  Like I said before, you have your opinion on home maintenance, and I have mine.  I'm willing to let you do whatever you want -- or not -- to the house, and so I'd hope that you would afford me the same courtesy." 

Brother A:  "Bologny!  If I didn't do the work that I do around here, then you wouldn't like living here, and you sure wouldn't like the price tag when we go to sell it next year." 

Brother B:  "Chill, brother.  Remember what we heard in church this morning, about the evils of getting angry?  And on imposing your will on others?  You're getting very angry here, and are insisting that I do things your way.  That's not exactly a good example of brotherly love.  I'm being very calm and gentle with you, and you're getting very angry and upset.  No doubt that's your amygdala talking, rather than your frontal lobe.  If you want to rise about that lower-level animal instinct behavior, then you need to calm down and talk to me with compassion." 

Brother A:  "That does it, I'm leaving.  You and your frontal lobe can do the home maintenance from now on." 

Brother B:  "A clear sign of the devil and sin at work.  Peace be with you, my brother.  If you want to return, then the door is open."
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 15, 2007, 06:54:43 PM
And that means we each do our fair share!"
Who ever said that life is supposed to be fair? Especially for us whose holy book suggests near the beginning that we are our brother's (and sister's) keeper.

Both brothers are practicing "pig-headedness," which is what I defined as "evil" earlier. The Bible calls it hard-hearts or stiff necks. It is insisting on "my way or the high way."

In contrast to insisting on fairness -- Brother A could also decide that mainting a peaceful relationship with my brother is more important than fairness (or insisting on my way), protecting our investment in the house is more important than fairness (or insisting on my way), so I will do more than my fair share and maintain the house. Didn't Jesus tell us, "Love your enemies"? And agapao is about doing helpful deeds for even those who don't deserve them.

Brother A may also come to realize that he helped Brother B become the lazy slob that he is. Dependent people usually need co-dependent people to maintain their dependency.

Brother B could admit that he is a bit blind to maintenance issues. (Most husbands I've talked with don't see the dirt that their wives are frequently complaining about. The husbands say that they are willing to help clean the house, but before they think it gets dirty, the wife has already gone and cleaned it.) Anyway, Brother B could face-up to this defect in his character (or personality type) and ask for help in becoming more structured and concerned about maintaining their investment and avoiding the discord that arises between the two. (I'm assuming that neither brother likes the discord when it occurs.) It may mean that Brother A writes out a list of things that are particularly troublesome to him, so that Brother B is constantly reminded of it without feeling he's being harped at.

Brother B could also admit that he's absolutely no good at maintenance stuff -- he usually creates bigger problems rather than fixing them. Recognizing this, he could agree to pay Brother A for the extra work he has to do.

There are techniques and processes that can help people with divergent views to come to win-win solutions, but they don't come about by each person insisting on his or her own way. There needs to be a bit of humble confession of sin on both sides. Willingness to look at common goals and concerns. Willingness to periodically evaluate the progress.

I have seen siblings fight, e.g., at estate sales -- and they always seem to happen when the individual, selfish concern becomes more important than maintaining the family bond.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: hansen on June 15, 2007, 08:17:53 PM
Who ever said that life is supposed to be fair?

I realize that, but that doesn't mean that you let people take advantage of you.  That isn't helping either of you, or actually, it ends up hurting both of you, as well as your relationship.  And my analogy presumes that the "pig-headed" one was Brother B, because at no point in the discussion was he the least bit interested in talking about it.  His responses were avoidance techniques.  When there is no will or desire to change, then attempts at persuasion and negotiation are hopeless.  And therefore, the best thing for the relationship between those two brothers, is for them to separate.  That will eliminate the resentment that Brother A feels, and force both of them to confront their own shortcomings (if any, as they relate to this story) and what the other really had to offer (if anything -- there are indeed people who are little more than giant vacuums).  And that can, possibly, lead to long-term improvement.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 16, 2007, 01:22:50 AM
I realize that, but that doesn't mean that you let people take advantage of you.  That isn't helping either of you, or actually, it ends up hurting both of you, as well as your relationship.  And my analogy presumes that the "pig-headed" one was Brother B, because at no point in the discussion was he the least bit interested in talking about it.  His responses were avoidance techniques.  When there is no will or desire to change, then attempts at persuasion and negotiation are hopeless.  And therefore, the best thing for the relationship between those two brothers, is for them to separate.
Not yet. There is also the step of tough love. At some point, co-dependent Brother A, has let loose of his pig-headedness about always helping his brother and let him suffer the consequences of his own actions. I'm more familiar with tough-love stories dealing with alcoholics where parents or spouse refuse to bail the drunk out of jail, they refuse to clean up the vomit they are laying in. (I don't believe that such tough-love actions should happen the first time the drunk is in jail or vomits, but if it continues, the helping behaviors need to stop.)

Tough love isn't a separation, but it is a drastic change in the roles within the relationship. In the case of the two brothers, the neat-nick might divide the house in two -- include a wall with either a locked door or no door; and not allow the slob access to the clean half, and neither will neat brother enter the slob half. The neat brother could have an intervention where other family members and friends confront the slob-brother with his destructive behaviors -- but they have to illustrate in real, specific ways that the behaviors are truly destructive. (Just telling an alcoholic that drinking is hazardous to his health probably won't be heard. A child telling her father how much it hurt that he missed a key recital or sporting event because he was out drinking, might get through.

When I worked part-time at an alcoholic recovery hospital, we tried to get spouses or parents to come in for the last two weeks of treatment. We believed that just changing the "sick" one was not likely to stick if the rest of the family dynamics weren't also going to change. Frequently, I've seen "motherly-type" women marry one alcoholic after another -- they have a need to have someone to take care of -- until they get tired of it. Get a divorce, and find another man who needs taking care of. (This isn't to say that the alcoholic has no problem. He certainly does, but co-dependent spouses, parents, and friends need to see how they have enabled the "sick" one to stay sick so long.

I also think that this is pushing the ELCA situation further than it is. At this point, there is a major disagreement about homosexuality in the church. I don't think that one side is "sick" and the other "healthy". I do think that there are some people on both sides who react to the difference and to people with opposing views in unhealthy ways. There are also some people on both sides who keep their thinking hats on and respond in more mature, responsible ways. (Of course we tend to think that I am responding in a healthy way, but you are not -- and that's not too healthy a reaction.)
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: hansen on June 16, 2007, 03:06:23 AM
And so, in summary, in order to get the story to say what you wanted it to say, you invented a new sub-plot in order to make Brother A look equally as messed-up as Brother B, which undermines Brother A's credibility.  Interesting.

Do you always presume that more is going on than what's presented on the surface?  For example, if someone came to you and told you a story about a former pastor, might you immediately refer to the former pastor as a bigot, or would you probe further, under the presumption that there probably was more to it?
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Charles_Austin on June 16, 2007, 04:35:24 AM
Mr. Hansen writes (to Brian, but I'm throwing in my three cents worth):
Do you always presume that more is going on than what's presented on the surface?

I respond:
As an interim pastor, yes, absolutely, I always presume that more is going on than what's presented on the surface.

Mr. Hansen writes:
For example, if someone came to you and told you a story about a former pastor, might you immediately refer to the former pastor as a bigot, or would you probe further, under the presumption that there probably was more to it?

I respond:
I would probably not try to characterize the former pastor - at least at first. Who's telling the story? How were they hurt or helped by the story? Were they in the story or did it happen to someone they know? How long ago was it? Are the details clear or clouded by history and/or prejudice? Why are they telling me this? Does it square with what others tell me or have others told me the same story in a different way, leading to a different conclusion?

And - if the details of the story were true and merited the conclusion: yes, I might characterize the former pastor as a bigot (or a boob or an incompetent doofus or an egomaniac or a troubled soul who ought to be flipping burgers somewhere rather than preaching. Or someone who did his or her best and was chewed up by people in the parish.) But what I did with that conclusion depends upon a lot of things. Do people know this already? Do they care? How will understanding this help the mission of the church in the years ahead?

(Sounds a little like studying the Bible, doesn't it?  ;D ;D)
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Vern on June 16, 2007, 09:50:52 AM
I'm confused :P

What does this line have to do with WordAlone?

Loooks to me like ELCA mass media.

Vern
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Deb_H. on June 16, 2007, 11:12:52 AM

Both brothers are practicing "pig-headedness," which is what I defined as "evil" earlier.

I find this offensive...
Pigs are very intelligent, kind, consistent creatures who behave as they were born and cared for.  They have complete integrity.    ;)

Lou Hesse
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Maryland Brian on June 16, 2007, 05:06:22 PM

Pigs are very intelligent, kind, consistent creatures who behave as they were born and cared for.  They have complete integrity.    ;)

Lou Hesse


  And their flesh becomes quite tastey after 12 hours on my wood-pit BBQ.  On behalf of Pit Masters across this great nation, we salute you.  Without your gentle care and compassion for the common pig, our smokers would be empty and our backyard parties bereft of fellowship.

Thank you dear provider of pork protein!   8)

MD Brian
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 16, 2007, 09:21:03 PM

Both brothers are practicing "pig-headedness," which is what I defined as "evil" earlier.

I find this offensive...
Pigs are very intelligent, kind, consistent creatures who behave as they were born and cared for.  They have complete integrity.    ;)
Sometimes they behave as they were born to do -- which is to outsmart the farmer, get out of their pens and dig holes looking for food where they aren't supposed to be digging. That's what they were born to do -- and it usually doesn't make them good friends with the farmers.

Because of their smart, but independent and uncaring streak, other farmers confine the hogs -- which does keep them out of the front yard. I've been in confined hog operations. I don't think that that living in a cage, producing litter after litter of piglets is quite what a sow was born to do. Where's the dirt and mud to play in? I don't think that her offspring were born to never set food on soil, but only on cement floors or cages. Even human children usually find ways to play in the mud.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Maryland Brian on June 16, 2007, 10:06:44 PM

 I don't think that her [pig] offspring were born to never set food on soil, but only on cement floors or cages. Even human children usually find ways to play in the mud.

  OTOH, wild pigs, setting foot on free soil, are a major detriment to the environment.  If memory serves me correctly, a pig stamp back in California was only $5.00 and allowed the taking of up to five wild pigs.  Russian settlers let loose wild boars and hogs when they settled along the coast.  Farmers up in Sonoma county encouraged hunters to thin the ranks, but some of the best hunting was in the coastal range further south.  I found my .300 Weatherby to be most effective ...

 Humans can also be a major detriment to the environment, but even Al Gore hasn't yet reached the point of suggesting a similar approach as above.  But you never know what liberals might come up with given most of the previous century's mass murderers were socialists and/or communists.

MD Brian
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: hansen on June 17, 2007, 01:53:01 AM
...And - if the details of the story were true and merited the conclusion: yes, I might characterize the former pastor as a bigot (or a boob or an incompetent doofus or an egomaniac or a troubled soul who ought to be flipping burgers somewhere rather than preaching. Or someone who did his or her best and was chewed up by people in the parish.) But what I did with that conclusion depends upon a lot of things. Do people know this already? Do they care? How will understanding this help the mission of the church in the years ahead?

So at some point during your investigation of the situation, you conclude that you have enough information to make a judgment call, including a very severe and harsh one, even though it's always impossible to know everything, and so it's always possible that you're wrong.

And BTW, isn't calling someone a bigot an expression of anger, which divides you from that person?  If you said it to his face, do you think he'd feel loved?

Quote
(Sounds a little like studying the Bible, doesn't it?  ;D ;D)

Yes.  We study/worship/pray/fellowship/commune/etc. as best we can, and at some point we feel confident to make judgment calls.  It's possible we're wrong, but until we discover otherwise, then we're right to speak the Truth, boldly and confidently, because we so want to share that Truth.  Sins of omission are every bit as damning as sins of commission.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Charles_Austin on June 17, 2007, 05:20:13 AM
Mr. Hansen writes:
And BTW, isn't calling someone a bigot an expression of anger, which divides you from that person?  If you said it to his face, do you think he'd feel loved?

I respond:
No. It might not be anger; it might be the truth. And it would not divide me from that person, but make that person a target of prayer and love. Read Ghandi and Dr. King. Whether the person "felt" loved or not is another matter.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Vern on June 17, 2007, 01:22:16 PM
Again!!

What does this have to do with WordAlone??????

Vern
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Charles_Austin on June 17, 2007, 04:48:34 PM
Vern writes (re a recent post that I think was one of mine):
What does this have to do with WordAlone?Huh??

I respond:
I only write with words, and I am usually alone when I write.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: hansen on June 17, 2007, 06:47:31 PM
Mr. Hansen writes:
And BTW, isn't calling someone a bigot an expression of anger, which divides you from that person?  If you said it to his face, do you think he'd feel loved?

I respond:
No. It might not be anger; it might be the truth. And it would not divide me from that person, but make that person a target of prayer and love. Read Ghandi and Dr. King. Whether the person "felt" loved or not is another matter.

What if someone called you a liar, and believed that to be the truth?  Is it possible that such a scenario could fit the same description?  I think "liar" is approx. equivalent in severity to "bigot".
 
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 17, 2007, 06:52:03 PM
What if someone called you a liar, and believed that to be the truth?  Is it possible that such a scenario could fit the same description?  I think "liar" is approx. equivalent in severity to "bigot".
I have been called a "liar," and "not Lutheran" and "not Christian". There are three different responses -- all of which usually happen. One is that I conclude that the accuser just doesn't know me well enough to make an informed judgment. Two, I wonder what's going on in the accuser's life that leads to respond with such venom. Three, I wonder what I might have done to provoke such responses.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: hansen on June 17, 2007, 07:54:05 PM
I have been called a "liar," and "not Lutheran" and "not Christian". There are three different responses -- all of which usually happen. One is that I conclude that the accuser just doesn't know me well enough to make an informed judgment. Two, I wonder what's going on in the accuser's life that leads to respond with such venom. Three, I wonder what I might have done to provoke such responses.

Do you notice how often you use the word "I"?  I've noticed it throughout ALPB. 
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 17, 2007, 07:57:41 PM
Do you notice how often you use the word "I"?  I've noticed it throughout ALPB. 
Well, I could talk about "someone I know," and use "he" instead. He likes to take ownership of his own actions.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Charles_Austin on June 17, 2007, 08:20:39 PM
What would we take about except our own experience, strength and hope (to borrow a phrase from recovery programs)?
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Vern on June 17, 2007, 09:46:43 PM
Ha ha Charles, very funny.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Vern on June 22, 2007, 02:27:26 PM
WordAlone is holding a meeting at Roseville Lutheran Church for it's members and friends in St Paul and Minneapolis. We are going to discuss the upcoming synod meetings. The meeting is from &:00 to (:00 on Friday June 29th.


Vern




Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: LutherMan on June 30, 2007, 09:29:06 AM
Is there any newsworthy info from the WA convention?
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Charles_Austin on June 30, 2007, 09:39:49 AM
The current issue of The Lutheran has a full-page story on the Word Alone gathering.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: LutherMan on June 30, 2007, 10:22:11 AM
Thank you, I guess I meant to say their June meeting, not the March/April convention.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Vern on July 02, 2007, 05:14:49 PM
If you wonder where WordAlone is strong take a lokk at the Churches on their website. You might be surprised.

The biggest complaint against CCM was that Lutheran pastors would have to be ordained by Episcopal bishops.

Vern
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Charles_Austin on July 02, 2007, 05:17:51 PM
Vern writes:
The biggest complaint against CCM was that Lutheran pastors would have to be ordained by Episcopal bishops.

I comment:
Not true. Simply not true. And part of the hysteria that has clouded discussion of this for far too many years.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: ptmccain on July 02, 2007, 05:34:00 PM
Pr. Austin is correct. But of course, under the terms of the agreement, all bishops in the ELCA, going forward, must be consecrated by an Episcopalian bishop, which is, if I'm not mistaken, is what makes Episcopalians, Episcopalians: the bishop [episkopos] is the thing.

Quoting from the CCM:
"The creation of a common and fully interchangeable ministry of bishops in full communion will occur with the incorporation of all active bishops in the historic episcopal succession."

In other words, the agreement is a public confession by the ELCA that its bishops are not in "historic succession" until, and unless, they have been consecrated by Episcopal bishops. This concept of "historic succession" is not the position of the Lutheran Confessions, which do not require any such "historic succession" for "full communion" either within a church, or between churches. The CCM makes this mandatory, not optional. When all Lutheran bishops have been consecrated by Episcopalian bishops, then there will be a realization of "full communion" between the bishops and of course, historic succession, as the Episcopalians understand it, will be a part of every Lutheran ordination, since Lutheran pastors will be ordained going forward by bishops who have been incorporated into the "fully interchangeable ministry of bishops in full communion" as a result of their being ordained by a bishop who has received "historic episcopal succession" from an Episcopalian bishop.

The requirement, which is mandatory, in the CCM that a bishop must be involved in the ordination of a pastor is simply, and flatly, contradictory of the Lutheran Confessions which make it clear that:

Since the grades of bishop and pastor are
not different by divine authority, it is clear
that ordination administered by a pastor in
his own church is valid by divine law.

(Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope, 65).

Under the CCM, Lutheran congregations in this agreement, are precluded from exercising their divine right under the Gospel to ordain pastors for themselves. 

Wherever the Church is, there is the authority
to administer the Gospel. Therefore,
it is necessary for the Church to retain the authority
to call, elect, and ordain ministers.
This authority is a gift that in reality is given
to the Church. No human power can take
this gift away from the Church. As Paul testifies
to the Ephesians, when “He ascended . . .
He gave gifts to men” (Ephesians [4:8]). He
lists among the gifts specifically belonging to
the Church “pastors and teachers” [4:11], and
adds that they are given for the ministry, “for
building up the body of Christ” [4:12]. So
wherever there is a True Church, the right to
elect and ordain ministers necessarily exists.

(Treatise, par. 67).
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on July 02, 2007, 05:50:16 PM
The biggest complaint against CCM was that Lutheran pastors would have to be ordained by Episcopal bishops.
Where did you hear that? In the years of discussing the Concordat and then CCM, that was not mentioned as a complaint. Having an ELCA bishop officiate at ordinations was not the primary complaint, but the requirement that ELCA bishops had to officiate was the major complaint.

In fact, (I just re-read the section,) there is no requirement that Episcopal bishops be present at ordinations of ELCA pastors.

20. In accord with the historic practice whereby the bishop is representative of the wider church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America agrees to make constitutional and liturgical provision that a bishop shall regularly preside and participate in the laying-on-of-hands at the ordination of all clergy. Pastors shall continue to participate with the bishop in the laying-on-of-hands at all ordinations of pastors. Such offices are to be exercised as servant ministry, and not for domination or arbitrary control. All the people of God have a true equality, dignity, and authority for building up the body of Christ.  

It does state that a bishop or bishops from the Episcopal Church shall participate in the laying on of hands at the installation of ELCA bishops.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Charles_Austin on July 02, 2007, 05:59:51 PM
Pastor McCain writes re ordination and our agreement with the Episcopalians:
The CCM makes this mandatory, not optional.

I comment:
We've been down this road many times in this discussion. We as Lutherans agree, repeat we agree that the confessions do not require the historic episcopate. But for the sake of fellowship and our common ministry with the Episcopal Church, we agree to a certain form of the historic episcopate. We don't have to do this to be saved; we don't have to do it to be Lutheran; it doesn't make us Episcopalian; and it is not contrary to our confessions. We are able to approve various types of church governance. We agree to do it for the sake of this agreement and its possibility of expanded ministry. That's all.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Eric_Swensson on July 02, 2007, 06:07:15 PM
"You don't have to believe it, you just have to do it." -Martin Marty
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: ptmccain on July 02, 2007, 06:13:50 PM
We've been down this road many times in this discussion. We as Lutherans agree, repeat we agree that the confessions do not require the historic episcopate. But for the sake of fellowship and our common ministry with the Episcopal Church, we agree to a certain form of the historic episcopate. We don't have to do this to be saved; we don't have to do it to be Lutheran; it doesn't make us Episcopalian; and it is not contrary to our confessions. We are able to approve various types of church governance. We agree to do it for the sake of this agreement and its possibility of expanded ministry. That's all.

Pr. Austin, these points are all certainly commendable, but the CCM does not present the historic episcopacy in the moderate tones that you present it here. It is precisely contradictory to our most basic confession, the Augsburg Confession, to agree that consecration by a bishop in historic succession is necessary "for the sake of fellowship and common ministry." The Augustana states it very beautifully and it would make your points true and valid if the CCM had affirmed very clearly this beautiful truth of the Sacred Scriptures, and the Gospel of Christ: " The Church is the congregation of saints [Psalm 149:1] in which the Gospel is purely taught and the Sacraments are correctly administered.For the true unity of the church it is enough to agree about the doctrine of the Gospel and the administration of the Sacraments." Precisely because the CCM does not explicitly affirm this core reality of the Biblical witness it is contrary both to Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions. The Lutheran architects of the CCM allowed historic episcopal succession to be placed alongside of the true evangelical magna carta of the Lutheran Church and to lead people to believe that the consecration of a bishop in historic succession and then the ordination received from such a bishop is required for there to be "full communion" between churches.

The contradiction of the most foundational of our Lutheran Confessions are plain to see, and many much wiser than me have pointed this out within the ranks of the ELCA.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on July 02, 2007, 06:19:48 PM
The contradiction of the most foundational of our Lutheran Confessions are plain to see, and many much wiser than me have pointed this out within the ranks of the ELCA.
There are also many people much wiser than either of us who attest that CCM does not contradict our Lutheran Confessions.

It was clear during years of discussion about this, that there is not an agreement in the ELCA about what "is sufficient" in the Augsburg Confession means. One way of illustrating it was whether or not it was seen as a ceiling or a floor. As a ceiling, nothing more could be added to it. As a floor, it formed the foundation, upon which other things could be added.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: ptmccain on July 02, 2007, 06:30:06 PM
The fact that it was a "deal breaker" indicates its necessity for unity between the ELCA and the ECUSA. And the AC makes it abundantly clear what is necessary for unity.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Gladfelteri on July 02, 2007, 06:30:59 PM
Another point is that the loss of the episcopacy in apostolic succession was not something that Luther and his colleagues in the earliest stage of the Wittenberg Reformation wanted to keep.  The loss of the episcopacy was forced on them, and they had to make adjustments accordingly.  It was only later that they decided that the loss of the episcopacy was a good thing.  But initially, it was not what they expected or wanted.  And The Swedes did, in fact keep the episcopacy in historic apostolic succession.  If it was such a bad thing, why didn't the Swedes throw it out on confessional grounds?
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Gladfelteri on July 02, 2007, 06:34:50 PM
The fact that it was a "deal breaker" indicates its necessity for unity between the ELCA and the ECUSA. And the AC makes it abundantly clear what is necessary for unity.
If the UAC made it so clear that the episcopacy in historic apostolic succession was such a bad thing, why did the Swedes retain it and carefully maintain it?  I know, the Swedish Pietists did throw it out, but that is immaterial.  The Church of Sweden did retain it and has maintained it.

You are right though, that this does go to the nature of the Church, and the nature of and exercise of authority in the Church; and Lutheranism has developed somewhat differently here than in Europe for all sorts of reasons.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: ptmccain on July 02, 2007, 06:36:02 PM
I think it is very important to make clear distinctions. There is nothing wrong with "historic episcopacy." But when it is made a requirement of the church's external unity, that is quite another thing. That's the key difference. The Lutheran Confessions are quite clear that ranks and grades in the ministry are appropriate, but not by divine mandate, but only by external arrangment for the sake of order in the church. Our own Synod is in church fellowship with several churches which have a historic episcopate, but in each case they have made it very clear that this is not by divine mandate, or required for there to be unity and full communion, but for the sake order which they choose. That's an important distinction.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Dave_Poedel on July 02, 2007, 07:03:09 PM
I think it is very important to make clear distinctions. There is nothing wrong with "historic episcopacy." But when it is made a requirement of the church's external unity, that is quite another thing. That's the key difference. The Lutheran Confessions are quite clear that ranks and grades in the ministry are appropriate, but not by divine mandate, but only by external arrangment for the sake of order in the church. Our own Synod is in church fellowship with several churches which have a historic episcopate, but in each case they have made it very clear that this is not by divine mandate, or required for there to be unity and full communion, but for the sake order which they choose. That's an important distinction.

So, then, have those Churches in fellowship with us offered to share it with those evangelical catholics in the LCMS who might like that sort of thing?
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Gladfelteri on July 02, 2007, 07:08:48 PM
If someone is interested, please send me an e-mail or a message.   :)

Blessings,
Irl

Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Charles_Austin on July 02, 2007, 07:12:47 PM
Pastor McCain writes:
lead people to believe that the consecration of a bishop in historic succession and then the ordination received from such a bishop is required for there to be "full communion" between churches.

I comment, somewhat exasperated:
No. No. And no! It is not required for full communion between churches. It was not required in our concord with the Reformed Churches. It was not required in our fellowship agreement with the Moravians. I suspect it won't be required when we declare fellowship with the Methodists. But we agreed that we could accept it for the sake of fellowship with Episcopalians. We did not think then, we do not think now that it is required for fellowship. We can accept it as a condition of fellowship with Episcopalians, that is not to say we believe it is required.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on July 02, 2007, 07:19:49 PM
"You don't have to believe it, you just have to do it." -Martin Marty

Do children have to understand and know and believe everything in the Lord's Prayer before they can pray it? Or the Creeds?

A saying I have, attributed to Jesse Jackson goes:

It is easier to walk your way into a new way of thinking
than to think your way into a new way of walking.

We used a similar motto at the alcoholic rehab hospital where I worked part-time: "Act yourself into a new way of thinking."

In John Westerhoff's stages of faith, the first stage is one of copying behaviors. As I mentioned above, children will copy Christian behaviors and words and prayers without understanding (and thus believing) them. We hope that a more mature faith will follow.

Nearly 25 years ago when early communion was introduced at my brother's church, he didn't believe in it. I didn't agree with it. However, he trusted those who promoted it (and I think that his wife is in favor ot it). His young children started receiving communion. After participating in it, he became a great supporter of it. Doing it came before believing it.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on July 02, 2007, 07:49:47 PM
But of course, under the terms of the agreement, all bishops in the ELCA, going forward, must be consecrated by an Episcopalian bishop, which is, if I'm not mistaken, is what makes Episcopalians, Episcopalians: the bishop [episkopos] is the thing.

Still wrong. 

After the passage of CCM, all new ELCA Bishops are to be installed -- okay, we deliberately didn't use the word "consecrated," but a thing is what it is regardless of what you call it) -- or, if you please, "consecrated" by 3 Bishops in the Historic Succession.  Because of our ecumenical relationship with the Episcopal Church, this would normally include a local Episcopal Bishop.  And vice versa.  I don't know if any new ELCA Bishops have been installed without the presence of an Episcopal Bishop, but I know at least one Episcopal Bishop was consecrated without an ELCA Bishop being present.  That would be the current Bishop of New Hampshire.  (And, yes, Bishop Krister Stendahl was there, but he is a retired Bishop of the Church of Sweden -- which is not a party to the Concordat/CCM -- not the ELCA.)

What makes an Episcopal Bishop is election and consecration in the Episcopal Church.  A Bishop installed with a promise to teach and preach in accordance with the Lutheran Confessions is a Lutheran Bishop. 

Pax, Steven+

Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: ptmccain on July 02, 2007, 08:19:03 PM
Pr. Austin fulminates:
No. No. And no! It is not required for full communion between churches.

I comment:
Somebody is not following the conversation very closely. We are talking about the ELCA and the ECUSA, not the other churches with whom the ELCA is in full communion. The required presence of a bishop in "historic succession" as a requirement for there to be "full communion" is a violation of AC VII. It's that simple. The unity of the church consists ONLY in agreement in the purely preached Gospel and rightly administered Sacraments. A historic episcopacy is a nice thing to have, if that is how a church chooses to order itself, but making a HE essential to a "full communion" agreement is a denial, de facto, of AC VII. Again, it's that simple.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: ptmccain on July 02, 2007, 08:20:25 PM
So, then, have those Churches in fellowship with us offered to share it with those evangelical catholics in the LCMS who might like that sort of thing?

Actually, I know an LCMS candidate for the ministry who is being ordained by the Bishop of our partner church in Kenya, who himself is in historic/apostolic succession via the Church of Sweden. I was teasing him telling him he would have to come back here and lay his hands on me so I could "get it" too.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: scott3 on July 02, 2007, 09:23:06 PM
So, then, have those Churches in fellowship with us offered to share it with those evangelical catholics in the LCMS who might like that sort of thing?

Actually, I know an LCMS candidate for the ministry who is being ordained by the Bishop of our partner church in Kenya, who himself is in historic/apostolic succession via the Church of Sweden. I was teasing him telling him he would have to come back here and lay his hands on me so I could "get it" too.

This is the guy going to be at pastor in Kibera (the biggest slum in Nairobi)?
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Dave_Poedel on July 02, 2007, 11:10:01 PM
So, then, have those Churches in fellowship with us offered to share it with those evangelical catholics in the LCMS who might like that sort of thing?



Actually, I know an LCMS candidate for the ministry who is being ordained by the Bishop of our partner church in Kenya, who himself is in historic/apostolic succession via the Church of Sweden. I was teasing him telling him he would have to come back here and lay his hands on me so I could "get it" too.

So, if I was installed once by a pastor ordained in Denmark by a Swedish Bishop I have "it"?
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Erma_S._Wolf on July 03, 2007, 12:03:53 AM

So, if I was installed once by a pastor ordained in Denmark by a Swedish Bishop I have "it"?

   No.
   I think (which is sometimes an iffy undertaking) that you only would have "it" if you were ordained by a bishop who had been been properly ordained and then later consecrated by other bishops who are in the historic episcopate.  Presbyteral installation, or even ordination, does not constitute a passing on of being in apostolic secession (hence the arguments regarding being ordained with the laying on of hands by a bishop). 

Erma Wolf 
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on July 03, 2007, 12:50:35 AM
The required presence of a bishop in "historic succession" as a requirement for there to be "full communion" is a violation of AC VII. It's that simple.
Since we do not require a bishop in "historic succession" for our full communion agreements with the other church bodies. It is not a requirement for full communion. It never has been. We have chosen to adopt it for the sake of our brothers and sisters in the Episcopal Church. On their side, there is this paragraph in CCM:

16. To enable the full communion that is coming into being by means of this Concordat, The Episcopal Church pledges to continue the process for enacting a temporary suspension, in this case only, of the seventeenth-century restriction that "no persons are allowed to exercise the offices of bishop, priest, or deacon in this Church unless they are so ordained, or have already received such ordination with the laying-on-of-hands by bishops who are themselves duly qualified to confer Holy Orders" ("Preface to the Ordination Rites," The Book of Common Prayer, p. 510). The purpose of this action, to declare this restriction inapplicable to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, will be to permit the full interchangeability and reciprocity of all its pastors as priests or presbyters within The Episcopal Church, without any further ordination or re-ordination or supplemental ordination whatsoever, subject always to canonically or constitutionally approved invitation. The purpose of temporarily suspending this restriction, which has been a constant requirement in Anglican polity since the Ordinal of 1662, is precisely in order to secure the future implementation of the ordinals' same principle in the sharing of ordained ministries. It is for this reason that The Episcopal Church can feel confident in taking this unprecedented step with regard to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.  

They have a requirement that bishops, priests, and deacons -- those who preside at holy communion, have the laying on of hands by bishops in the historic episcopate. They have temporarily suspended that requirement for the thousands of ELCA clergy who did not receive such an ordination. This is not an ELCA requirement, but a TEC requirement. We allow exceptions to this rule. We allow clergy from our Reformed full communion partners who are not ordained by HE bishops to preside in our congregations.

Quote
The unity of the church consists ONLY in agreement in the purely preached Gospel and rightly administered Sacraments.
If that was the ONLY requirement for unity, why aren't the ELCA and LCMS full communion partners? Or previously, the ALC and LCMS?

Quote
A historic episcopacy is a nice thing to have, if that is how a church chooses to order itself, but making a HE essential to a "full communion" agreement is a denial, de facto, of AC VII. Again, it's that simple.
CCM, especially in conjunction with our other full communion agreements, is not a denail of AC VII. It's that simple.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: pearson on July 03, 2007, 12:55:28 AM
The unity of the church consists ONLY in agreement in the purely preached Gospel and rightly administered Sacraments.

Not if you're talking about the "satis est" clause in AC VII.  The "satis est" clause only stipulates what is sufficient for the unity of the church, not what is necessary, or even what is minimally necessary, for the unity of the church.  Melanchthon was one of the premiere logicians in Europe (his textbook on logic was adopted by Harvard when it opened in 1636), and he surely knew the difference between necessary and sufficient conditions.  Melanchthon chose his words carefully in AC VII, and his intent was clearly to indicate that word and sacrament were nothing more than sufficient for the unity of the church, logically implying that other things may also be sufficient to engender that unity.  Whether Melanchthon thought the historic episcopacy was one of those "other things" is impossible to say.  But it can't be ruled out on the basis of the "satis est" clause in AC VII.

Tom Pearson    
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Charles_Austin on July 03, 2007, 05:32:16 AM
The simple fact that people can still talk or joke about the specific laying-on-of-hands by someone who has "it," making "it" the mythology of hand-to-head-to-hand-to-head-over-the-centuries indicates that people here have neither followed, read, nor understood the theological underpinnings of our agreements with Episcopalians. Some of the Word Alone people and all of the publications of FOCL have persisted in mis-stating the nature of the agreements. Others, I have found, use this aspect of the agreement as a hook upon which to hang other things they don't like. No one has ever been able to show how adopting a form of the historic Episcopate (practiced in other Lutheran churches around the world, some of them even affiliated with the LC-MS) violates the Lutheran confessions. If it violates the Lutheran confessions, than the LC-MSers better start breaking some of their "fellowship" agreements.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: ptmccain on July 03, 2007, 06:58:06 AM
So, if I was installed once by a pastor ordained in Denmark by a Swedish Bishop I have "it"?

Hard to say, Dave. Did he actually put his hands on you? Both hands? One hand? Only a few fingers? Plus, he is "just" a pastor, so I'm not sure he has sufficient episcopal "wattage" to transmit a clear HE signal.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: ptmccain on July 03, 2007, 06:59:49 AM

Quote
The unity of the church consists ONLY in agreement in the purely preached Gospel and rightly administered Sacraments.
If that was the ONLY requirement for unity, why aren't the ELCA and LCMS full communion partners? Or previously, the ALC and LCMS?

Because we do not agree.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: ptmccain on July 03, 2007, 07:03:30 AM
Charles Austin bloviates:
No one has ever been able to show how adopting a form of the historic Episcopate (practiced in other Lutheran churches around the world, some of them even affiliated with the LC-MS) violates the Lutheran confessions. If it violates the Lutheran confessions, than the LC-MSers better start breaking some of their "fellowship" agreements.

I comment:
Again, somebody just isn't reading very carefully. To repeat what was previously said: The HE is a perfectly acceptable form of church polity, one a church may choose to adopt for itself. That's not the point. Making it a requirement for full communion is a contradiction of AC VII. None of the fellowship agreements between The LCMS and any other church have HE as a requirement for unity between our churches.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Charles_Austin on July 03, 2007, 08:09:25 AM
Pastor McCain edits:
Charles Austin bloviates:

I object:
Editing words supposedly picked up and inserted into a posting via the "dark screen" method (which I do not use) is, I believe, a no-no. If you are going to pick up a post, pick it up exactly as it was posted; to edit it and make it look as if those words were in were the original post is dishonest.

Then: Let us set aside for a moment the matter of using insulting terms to refer to the posting of another person on this forum. Personally, I find that not helpful for dialog and a serious violation of online etiquette, especially in this forum, where we are all fellow members of the Body of Christ. The moderator has at times admonished people for the use of such terms and we should have learned from that in the past.
I don't like being insulted, but if people are going to do so, I would at least hope they do it with wit and proper use of the English language. "Bloviate" means to go on at length and to speak pridefully or boastfullly.
My posting was four lines long. If you find any "pride" or "boasting" in it, please point it out.
As for the historic episcopate: I doubt you will ever understand the nature of our agreement with the Episcopalians; and it really doesn't matter. Even if you understood this aspect of it, there would be lots of other things you could disagree with.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Gladfelteri on July 03, 2007, 09:00:58 AM
So, if I was installed once by a pastor ordained in Denmark by a Swedish Bishop I have "it"?

Hard to say, Dave. Did he actually put his hands on you? Both hands? One hand? Only a few fingers? Plus, he is "just" a pastor, so I'm not sure he has sufficient episcopal "wattage" to transmit a clear HE signal.
The simple answer is as Erma noted above:  "no."  If a pastor/presbyter ordains another person a pastor/presbyter, the newly ordained may be in a presbyterial succession, but not in the historic apostolic succession.  For that, the person doing the ordaining must be a bishop in the apostolic succession.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: ptmccain on July 03, 2007, 09:15:41 AM
Pastor McCain edits:
Charles Austin bloviates:

I object:
Editing words supposedly picked up and inserted into a posting via the "dark screen" method (which I do not use) is, I believe, a no-no. If you are going to pick up a post, pick it up exactly as it was posted; to edit it and make it look as if those words were in were the original post is dishonest.

Then: Let us set aside for a moment the matter of using insulting terms to refer to the posting of another person on this forum. Personally, I find that not helpful for dialog and a serious violation of online etiquette, especially in this forum, where we are all fellow members of the Body of Christ. The moderator has at times admonished people for the use of such terms and we should have learned from that in the past.
I don't like being insulted, but if people are going to do so, I would at least hope they do it with wit and proper use of the English language. "Bloviate" means to go on at length and to speak pridefully or boastfullly.
My posting was four lines long. If you find any "pride" or "boasting" in it, please point it out.
As for the historic episcopate: I doubt you will ever understand the nature of our agreement with the Episcopalians; and it really doesn't matter. Even if you understood this aspect of it, there would be lots of other things you could disagree with.


Pr. Austin is right. Bloviate may not have been the proper word. My apologies.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: pilgrimpriest on July 03, 2007, 10:25:30 AM
So, if I was installed once by a pastor ordained in Denmark by a Swedish Bishop I have "it"?

Hard to say, Dave. Did he actually put his hands on you? Both hands? One hand? Only a few fingers? Plus, he is "just" a pastor, so I'm not sure he has sufficient episcopal "wattage" to transmit a clear HE signal.
The simple answer is as Erma noted above:  "no."  If a pastor/presbyter ordains another person a pastor/presbyter, the newly ordained may be in a presbyterial succession, but not in the historic apostolic succession.  For that, the person doing the ordaining must be a bishop in the apostolic succession.

And such succession must have canonical standing among the churches, otherwise the presbyter and his bishop are considered vagantes. That is, the presbyter (through his bishop) is recognized as a presbyter in good standing. For example, when he travels with a letter from his bishop he would be welcomed to serve at the altar of another bishop in another diocese. When there is a state of schism (as exists among the Eastern Orthodox with Rome and the Oriental Orthodox) the presbyter, although recognized as one in good standing--and often invited to stand in the altar--may not vest or stand in the altar in accordance with the discipline of his own bishop. This is how "good order" is maintained among churches in Apostolic Succession. Even in spite of the jurisdictional mess we have in America, it's how we separate the wheat from the flakes.

Fr. Bob
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on July 03, 2007, 01:21:32 PM
Because we do not agree.
Where is the disagreement about rightly preaching the gospel and administering the sacraments?

I don't see the ordination of women as an issue of gospel preaching.

Don't we both proclaim that all people are sinners and have fallen short of the glory of God?
Don't we both proclaim that divine forgiveness for sinners comes to us by God's grace alone through faith in Christ alone?
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on July 03, 2007, 01:24:37 PM
Pr. Austin is right. Bloviate may not have been the proper word. My apologies.
Do you apologize for adulterating the quote box?
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on July 03, 2007, 02:21:26 PM

Where is the disagreement about rightly preaching the gospel and administering the sacraments?

I don't see the ordination of women as an issue of gospel preaching.

First, Brian, this is one issue of several in which the LCMS finds itself in disagreement with the ELCA.  So focusing solely on it doesn't address the issue.  (Though one should note that we in the ELCA recognize ourselves to be in full communion with those LWF churches that do not ordain women.)

Second, the ordination of women is a matter of rightly administering the sacraments.  If a woman cannot be ordained to the Office of the Holy Ministry (as the LCMS, many other churches that emerged from the Reformation, and some ELCA folk hold), then she cannot preside at the Holy Eucharist. 

Pax, Steven+
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Vern on July 03, 2007, 03:07:03 PM
 :'( Charles, do you think that I can ever express an opinion without you insinuating that I'm wrong? I stand by my statement that the historic episcopate meant that only Episcopalian bishops could ordain. There were no Lutheran Bishops in the historic episcopate.


Vern
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Richard Johnson on July 03, 2007, 03:46:40 PM
:'( Charles, do you think that I can ever express an opinion without you insinuating that I'm wrong? I stand by my statement that the historic episcopate meant that only Episcopalian bishops could ordain. There were no Lutheran Bishops in the historic episcopate.
Vern

At the commencement of CCM, there were no ELCA bishops in the historic episcopate. There were Lutheran bishops from some other churches (e.g., Church of Sweden), and of course as soon as new ELCA bishops were installed, there began to be a cadre of ELCA bishops in the historic episcopate.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Dave_Poedel on July 03, 2007, 03:57:56 PM
Just curious:  Have any ELCA Pastors requested "re-ordination" by one of the newly minted HE Bishops in the ELCA?
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Mike Bennett on July 03, 2007, 04:09:17 PM
Just curious:  Have any ELCA Pastors requested "re-ordination" by one of the newly minted HE Bishops in the ELCA?

I'm sure somebody will have information on this.  I can only observe that such a request would be extremely weird, and I can't imagine that one would find a bishop who would do the deed.  You see, it really is true that CCM was for the purpose of reaching an ecumenical agreement, and not for the purpose of legitimizing something that had previously been other than legitimate.  Really.

Mike Bennett
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: mchristi on July 03, 2007, 04:35:40 PM
:'( Charles, do you think that I can ever express an opinion without you insinuating that I'm wrong? I stand by my statement that the historic episcopate meant that only Episcopalian bishops could ordain. There were no Lutheran Bishops in the historic episcopate.

But your assertion, Vern, is not actually correct.  In addition to what Richard noted, there was nothing in CCM that required that bishops from the Episcopal Church had to ordain.  From the very beginning of when CCM went into effect, it was Lutheran bishops, those currently in the office, who ordained pastors.  And for the installation of bishops, a Episcopal bishop will normally be invited to participate (which is fitting, given our full communion relationship) but the requirement is not specifically for a bishop of the Episcopal Church.

Quote
19. In order to receive the historic episcopate, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America pledges that, following the adoption of this Concordat and in keeping with the collegiality and continuity of ordained ministry attested as early as Canon 4 of the First Ecumenical Council (Nicaea I, a.d. 325), at least three bishops already sharing in the sign of the episcopal succession will be invited to participate in the installation of its next Presiding Bishop through prayer for the gift of the Holy Spirit and with the laying-on-of-hands. These participating bishops will be invited from churches of the Lutheran communion which share in the historic episcopate. In addition, a bishop or bishops will be invited from The Episcopal Church to participate in the same way as a symbol of the full communion now shared. Synodical bishops elected and awaiting installation may be similarly installed at the same service, if they wish. Further, all other installations of bishops in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America will be through prayer for the gift of the Holy Spirit and with the laying-on-of-hands by other bishops, at least three of whom are to be in the historic succession (see paragraph 12 above). Its liturgical rites will reflect these provisions.
See the text at http://www.elca.org/ecumenical/fullcommunion/episcopal/ccmresources/text.html
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on July 03, 2007, 05:05:32 PM
Just curious:  Have any ELCA Pastors requested "re-ordination" by one of the newly minted HE Bishops in the ELCA?
No need to. The ELCA certainly doesn't require it; and if an Episcopal church did require it of us who were ordained before CCM, they would be breaking the agreement in CCM.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Richard Johnson on July 03, 2007, 06:00:22 PM
Just curious:  Have any ELCA Pastors requested "re-ordination" by one of the newly minted HE Bishops in the ELCA?

I'm sure somebody will have information on this.  I can only observe that such a request would be extremely weird, and I can't imagine that one would find a bishop who would do the deed.  You see, it really is true that CCM was for the purpose of reaching an ecumenical agreement, and not for the purpose of legitimizing something that had previously been other than legitimate.  Really.

Mike Bennett

I agree, that would be weird. Of course a different, and in some ways more interesting question (and one to which there probably is an answer, but I don't know it) would be: if an ELCA pastor decides to become an Episcopal priest, would he/she be [re]ordained. The way I read the document's provisions for "interchangeability," it would appear not, but I wonder if there have been actual cases and how they have been treated.

Can't help but reflect on my own "ordination pedigree" here. Since I was originally ordained in the UMC, I could in theory trace that pedigree back in a succession of bishops with only one break (that of John Wesley's "consecration," the term he used, of two bishops for the American Methodists, and which he viewed as an "emergency situation"). Not that it matters to me, understand, I just think it is interesting. When I became a Lutheran, it was via the ALC, at least in part because at that time (1984) the LCA would have required me to be ordained again, and that just didn't feel right to me. But when I was received into the ALC, I had to avow that the Lutheran confessions were my confession. Someone being ordained--whether a life-long Lutheran or someone previously ordained in some other church but now being ordained into the ELCA--would have to avow only that he or she would teach according to those confessions (not that he or she actually believed them). I always though that a bit ironic.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: J. Thomas Shelley on July 03, 2007, 07:17:23 PM

Can't help but reflect on my own "ordination pedigree" here. Since I was originally ordained in the UMC, I could in theory trace that pedigree back in a succession of bishops with only one break (that of John Wesley's "consecration," the term he used, of two bishops for the American Methodists, and which he viewed as an "emergency situation"). Not that it matters to me, understand, I just think it is interesting. When I became a Lutheran, it was via the ALC, at least in part because at that time (1984) the LCA would have required me to be ordained again, and that just didn't feel right to me. But when I was received into the ALC, I had to avow that the Lutheran confessions were my confession. Someone being ordained--whether a life-long Lutheran or someone previously ordained in some other church but now being ordained into the ELCA--would have to avow only that he or she would teach according to those confessions (not that he or she actually believed them). I always though that a bit ironic.


Our journeys have been remarkably parallel.  But instead of being received into the ALC, I needed to wait until the beginning of the ELCA when a window of opportunity blew open (or, more precisely, was flung open by LSS Bishop Emeritus Guy S. Edmiston.  Neither of us cared much for the concept of re-ordination, so his first question to me at a meeting of the Synod Council was "Pastor Shelley, what do you think about re-ordination?"  "Well, Bishop" I replied, "what do you think about re-Baptism."  He said that we ought to move on to the next question.

Like Richard, I too had to declare that the Book of Concord is in fact my confession.  I don't find that so much ironic, but indicative of two things; first, that our Confessional documents are not antiquated snapshots of the past, but utterly dynamic, continuing to attract new signatories every time a Pastor is received; and, second, that it is not surprising that, like Richard, I find myself drawn to groups and associations pledged to defend those documents and the faith which they embody.  To attack the Confessions is to attack me.

What I do find truly ironic, however, is that in 1986 an official of the LCA in Philadelphia sought to create a process for reception akin to the RCC program outlined by Irl on another thread strictly on the basis that, in his opinion, the UMC did not" confess all three of the ecumenical creeds".  His basis for that opinion was that the UMC hymnal did not contain the Athanasian Creed.   Yes, I am very bitter about that omission from ELW, and for good reason.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on July 03, 2007, 07:21:14 PM
Second, the ordination of women is a matter of rightly administering the sacraments.  If a woman cannot be ordained to the Office of the Holy Ministry (as the LCMS, many other churches that emerged from the Reformation, and some ELCA folk hold), then she cannot preside at the Holy Eucharist.
Is the ordination (or sex) of the presider an issue of the gospel or one of "good order" in the church?

In my second call, the LCMS congregation in town was served by a licensed lay pastor. He could preside without ordination, so I don't think that ordination is what constitutes the right administration of the sacraments.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on July 03, 2007, 07:31:48 PM
Someone being ordained ... would have to avow only that he or she would teach according to those confessions (not that he or she actually believed them). I always though that a bit ironic.
Perhaps ironic, but pragmatic. Sometimes our cry to Jesus is, "I believe, help my unbelief." Sometimes we are like the blind man partially healed of his blindness so that we sees "in a mirror dimly" (1 Cor 13:12).

I'm presently reading a book that suggests our understanding of belief has changed over the centuries. Original we believed in a person, e.g., the Triune God, which implies trusting them. That has often been replaced with believing that certain statements are true.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Eric_Swensson on July 03, 2007, 07:50:37 PM
Tell us more. What is this book?
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on July 03, 2007, 07:57:54 PM
Tell us more. What is this book?
First, I'll quote from the book, and let you respond with whether or not you agree with the quote.

...prior to about the year 1600, the verb "believe" had a very different meaning within Christianity as well as in popular usage. It did not mean believing statements to be true; the object of the verb "believe" as always a person, not a statement. This is the difference between believing that and believing in. To believe in a person is quite different from believing that a series of statements about the person are true. In premodern English, believing meant believing in and thus a relationship of trust, loyalty, and love. Most simply, to believe meant to belove.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Eric_Swensson on July 03, 2007, 08:44:47 PM
I think that if we simply look at the Bible (written before 1600) we will see that both forms exist.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: peter_speckhard on July 03, 2007, 09:01:54 PM
Tell us more. What is this book?
First, I'll quote from the book, and let you respond with whether or not you agree with the quote.

...prior to about the year 1600, the verb "believe" had a very different meaning within Christianity as well as in popular usage. It did not mean believing statements to be true; the object of the verb "believe" as always a person, not a statement. This is the difference between believing that and believing in. To believe in a person is quite different from believing that a series of statements about the person are true. In premodern English, believing meant believing in and thus a relationship of trust, loyalty, and love. Most simply, to believe meant to belove.
I disagree. Like Eric, I think (I teach to the confirmands) both facets of the word. If your quotation were true, it would have made little sense for Luther to begin his catechism explanations with "I believe" and end with "This is most certainly true." C.S. Lewis has a very interesting essay somewhere about the shades of meaning of the word "believe". It may be that at times one aspect or another has been emphasized, but for Luther believing in Jesus without affirming that he was true God and Man was in fact believing in a different Jesus.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: ptmccain on July 03, 2007, 11:21:43 PM
Because we do not agree.
Where is the disagreement about rightly preaching the gospel and administering the sacraments?

I don't see the ordination of women as an issue of gospel preaching.

Don't we both proclaim that all people are sinners and have fallen short of the glory of God?
Don't we both proclaim that divine forgiveness for sinners comes to us by God's grace alone through faith in Christ alone?

Brian, since you deny the historicity of Gen. 3, I don't know what you mean by "fallen" short of the glory of God.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on July 03, 2007, 11:27:16 PM
Of course a different, and in some ways more interesting question (and one to which there probably is an answer, but I don't know it) would be: if an ELCA pastor decides to become an Episcopal priest, would he/she be [re]ordained. The way I read the document's provisions for "interchangeability," it would appear not, but I wonder if there have been actual cases and how they have been treated.

The only places this might be an issue would be with an ELCA pastor going into a very traditionalist, very Anglo-Catholic diocese.  Though I also know there are highly respected, very traditionalist Anglo Catholics who (as part of their study preparing for the Concordat) assert that our orders as priests were, under appropriate canon law, actually already "valid."  I don't believe anyone has tried to cross that particular bridge -- but we do have C/SIS (ELCA) clergy serving as priests in the Springfield (Illinois) Diocese, which is very traditionalist and pretty Anglo-Catholic, without any problem.  In Quincy, ordination sub conditione of an ELCA pastor would almost certainly be explored, despite the Concordat and CCM, but Bishop Ackerman doesn't seem to have made up his mind for sure.  Of course, until someone presents himself (and Quincy is one of the Dioceses where it would literally, and not only grammatically, be "himself"), the Bishop doesn't need to make up his mind.

Pax et bonum, Steven+
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on July 03, 2007, 11:42:46 PM
Is the ordination (or sex) of the presider an issue of the gospel or one of "good order" in the church?

In my second call, the LCMS congregation in town was served by a licensed lay pastor. He could preside without ordination, so I don't think that ordination is what constitutes the right administration of the sacraments.

Asked and answered, Brian. It is a matter of the sacraments being rightly administered.  (And, for Western Catholics -- except for disciples of to John Calvin -- lay baptism has never been a problem.  So don't try to divert the conversation with the ancient practice of lay-administered emergency baptisms.)

That the LCMS (and we in the ELCA) more and more violate the Augsburg Confession (and the Catholic Faith it upholds) by allowing lay persons to "preside at ," even to the point of institutionalizing it, doesn't change position one iota. 

Pax, Steven+
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: J. Thomas Shelley on July 03, 2007, 11:53:16 PM


That the LCMS (and we in the ELCA) more and more violate the Augsburg Confession (and the Catholic Faith it upholds) by allowing lay persons to "preside at ," even to the point of institutionalizing it, doesn't change position one iota. 


I am told that this plague existed in the Western Penn Synod in the LCA days, appropriately termed and suitably acronymed as follows:

Certified
Lay
Assistants
Program
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Erma_S._Wolf on July 04, 2007, 12:30:02 AM
Second, the ordination of women is a matter of rightly administering the sacraments.  If a woman cannot be ordained to the Office of the Holy Ministry (as the LCMS, many other churches that emerged from the Reformation, and some ELCA folk hold), then she cannot preside at the Holy Eucharist.
Is the ordination (or sex) of the presider an issue of the gospel or one of "good order" in the church?

In my second call, the LCMS congregation in town was served by a licensed lay pastor. He could preside without ordination, so I don't think that ordination is what constitutes the right administration of the sacraments.

Actually, if I remember this right, in the LCMS the ordination of women is wrong because it is a violation of the orders of creation that were established by God prior to the Fall.  For a woman to be in a position of authority over a man is to usurp the authority that only men are given by God.  While this teaching has suffered somewhat in the past few decades (for example, in secular politics and with women having jobs outside of the home), it is still considered to be authoritative in two spheres: in marriage and in the church.  After all, Scripture speaks about the roles of men and women specifically in those two spheres.

In the church only men are to exercise "headship".  For a woman to exercise any role that might give the impression that she is exercising authority over men, or it might be interpreted that she is serving in the role of a minister, which carries an authority that only men can exercise, would be to violate the teachings of God in Scripture.  There are still districts in the LCMS in which women cannot vote at congregational meetings.  There have been heated disputes regarding whether a woman can serve as a congregational president, or as a vice-president, or in any office where she might under any circumstances have to preside over a meeting of men.  In some places women may not serve as lectors reading Scripture, may not lead prayers in a worship service, may not be communion assistants, may not teach Bible classes that men attend.  I know one congregation in which women could not be ushers because someone might mistakenly think that they were taking on a ministry role.  

Because the ELCA has women in positions of leadership in the church, including but not limited to the worship service,  exercising headship by preaching, teaching, presiding at the Sacraments and exercising the Office of the Keys, to mention only a few, the ELCA is viewed as denying a clear teaching in Scripture and thus denying the authority of Scripture.  Ultimately this is a form of idolatry because one is placing one's own ideas and desires above what God has given us in his Holy Word.  Thus the ELCA is neither rightly preaching the Gospel nor rightly administering the Sacraments, according to this interpretation of what is the clear teaching of the Scriptures and the Confessions.

Erma Wolf  
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on July 04, 2007, 02:51:25 AM
Because we do not agree.
Where is the disagreement about rightly preaching the gospel and administering the sacraments?

I don't see the ordination of women as an issue of gospel preaching.

Don't we both proclaim that all people are sinners and have fallen short of the glory of God?
Don't we both proclaim that divine forgiveness for sinners comes to us by God's grace alone through faith in Christ alone?

Brian, since you deny the historicity of Gen. 3, I don't know what you mean by "fallen" short of the glory of God.
What makes you think I deny the truth of Genesis 3?
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on July 04, 2007, 02:56:10 AM
Is the ordination (or sex) of the presider an issue of the gospel or one of "good order" in the church?

In my second call, the LCMS congregation in town was served by a licensed lay pastor. He could preside without ordination, so I don't think that ordination is what constitutes the right administration of the sacraments.

Asked and answered, Brian. It is a matter of the sacraments being rightly administered.  (And, for Western Catholics -- except for disciples of to John Calvin -- lay baptism has never been a problem.  So don't try to divert the conversation with the ancient practice of lay-administered emergency baptisms.)

That the LCMS (and we in the ELCA) more and more violate the Augsburg Confession (and the Catholic Faith it upholds) by allowing lay persons to "preside at ," even to the point of institutionalizing it, doesn't change position one iota.

My question is what for the LCMS constitutes the right administration of the sacraments that we are not doing right? It is not ordination that makes it right, because both church bodies allow lay presidents -- even though some disagree with the practice. It would seem that what makes it right for LCMS is that the presider has to be male.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Charles_Austin on July 04, 2007, 05:46:38 AM
Pastor Tibbetts writes (re a bishop in Illinois and "re-ordination"):

until someone presents himself (and Quincy is one of the Dioceses where it would literally, and not only grammatically, be "himself"), the Bishop doesn't need to make up his mind.

I comment:
And in both cases, regarding gender and "re-ordination," how the bishop in Quincy makes up his mind is irrelevant and violates - at least in spirit - the canons and agreements. Certain dioceses were given a long time during which they did not have to agree to women priests. I think that time was ended by the Episcopal Church.
Under our agreement, I do not see how re-ordaining an ELCA pastor who enters the Episcopal church could be justified, unless perhaps the pastor was one of those who took steps to make sure that their ordination was not clouded by the presence of a bishop; and it seems unlikely that one of those would apply for admission to Anglicanism, at least in their present state of mind.
And the present state of mind of the present bishop in Quincy is not the determining factor.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Charles_Austin on July 04, 2007, 06:03:05 AM
I have a question for Word Alone people.
Was Professor Donfried's address at the recent gathering, in which he rather solidly denounced the whole ELCA as unbiblical and cancerous and given over to sub-Christian forces, considered a call for separation? It seems to me it would have to be read that way. I saw little in the way of "let us reason together" call for dialog or correction, but a declaration that he considered the situation in the ELCA hopeless.
Did people applaud? Or did they say "it's not that bad"?
Was their discussion about escaping the horror he described? Or plans to re-direct the ELCA?
Is Word Alone a half-way house for people on the way out? Or does it represent those who want to work together and talk about the way things are or should be?
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: ptmccain on July 04, 2007, 07:13:52 AM
What makes you think I deny the truth of Genesis 3?

I don't deny the truth of Aesop's Fables either, Pr. Stoffregen. That's not the point.

Jesus Christ and His apostle, St. Paul, teach us that Adam and Eve were actual human beings, who actually were the first humans, who actually fell into sin.

Do you agree with Christ and Paul?
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Deb_H. on July 04, 2007, 11:11:44 AM
I have a question for Word Alone people.
 
I'll take a run at some of these questions, since I consider myself a "WordAloner."
Quote
Is Word Alone a half-way house for people on the way out? Or does it represent those who want to work together and talk about the way things are or should be?
This is part of the problem in WordAlone, because there's a lot of both.  And there's frustrations on both "sides" -- those who believe we should already be gone get upset with those who want to stay because we could do so much more "together;" and those who want to stay get upset with those who have left because we could do so much more together in the ELCA.  The language of halfway house describing WordAlone is regularly used by the folks in LCMC, but rarely used by those who are still in the ELCA.
Quote
Was Professor Donfried's address at the recent gathering, in which he rather solidly denounced the whole ELCA as unbiblical and cancerous and given over to sub-Christian forces, considered a call for separation? It seems to me it would have to be read that way. I saw little in the way of "let us reason together" call for dialog or correction, but a declaration that he considered the situation in the ELCA hopeless.
Did people applaud? Or did they say "it's not that bad"?
Was their discussion about escaping the horror he described? Or plans to re-direct the ELCA?

I wasn't at the convention but I imagine his address was received with polite applause.  The crowd tends to be mostly older, and mostly Norwegian, so to expect cheering in the aisles is a little over the top.  Donfried is actually more of an EC type, in my opinion; the true WordAlone spin was probably more along the lines of what Steve Paulson said.

WordAlone types have no problem hearing where the problems are, and then they mostly want to go try and 'fix' them, (some might argue this is codependency), rather than run away in horror.  It's only when they realize that their own efforts come to naught and only Christ can reform His church that they throw themselves on the mercy of Christ and go to proclaim, teach, live, witness to ...

Lou
Title: Dumb question
Post by: ptmccain on July 04, 2007, 11:34:03 AM
I've got to ask a dumb question. Messages posted under the name: "Deb H" are signed "Lou."

Was gibt?
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: janielou13 on July 04, 2007, 12:12:56 PM
Do note, Erma, that the LCMS folks who support the position you very well describe in your post, supported and elected a woman to the board of directors of the LCMS at the last convention,,,,, truth be told, gender/orders of creation made not a whit of differance when it came to getting one of their own on the board of directors.
Title: Re: Dumb question
Post by: Deb_H. on July 04, 2007, 12:14:14 PM
Was gibt?

Frau und Herr.
Wir sind ein fleisch, und ich habe kein [typing skills].

Lou

Note from Debbie:
And our German skills aren't what they used to be either.

Title: Re: Dumb question
Post by: Deb_H. on July 04, 2007, 12:18:12 PM
I've got to ask a dumb question. Messages posted under the name: "Deb H" are signed "Lou."

OK, to avoid confusion, we are now "Team Hesse."   You'll have to check the botom of the post to see whose opinion is being posted.

Debbie Hesse
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Eric_Swensson on July 04, 2007, 01:01:52 PM
I have a question for Word Alone people.
Was Professor Donfried's address at the recent gathering, in which he rather solidly denounced the whole ELCA as unbiblical and cancerous and given over to sub-Christian forces, considered a call for separation? It seems to me it would have to be read that way. I saw little in the way of "let us reason together" call for dialog or correction, but a declaration that he considered the situation in the ELCA hopeless.
Did people applaud? Or did they say "it's not that bad"?
Was their discussion about escaping the horror he described? Or plans to re-direct the ELCA?
Is Word Alone a half-way house for people on the way out? Or does it represent those who want to work together and talk about the way things are or should be?

Did you not like Donfried's address? Why don't you share exactly what it is he said that gives you pause. It is really hard to react to the emotional explosion above. And it should be said, that Donfried speaks for himself, does so quite eloquently. I actually haven't had time to read the whole talk, but I have read his books and articles and quite agree with how he explains the alien hermeneutics which have brought such confusion. So, please Charles, try and say something based in reality that one of us can respond to. As far as all your scenarios, the short answer is No, WAN is people who are fighting for their vision of church. Go back to the web site. They really are a reform group.

Perhaps we could also talk about the basic difference between reform (going back to restore) to revision (being "progressive").
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: JMOtterman on July 04, 2007, 01:53:15 PM
Eric,

Is it possible to be a reformist and a revisionist?  Can a pastor be both a traditional confessionalist and a progressive theologian?

Charles,

Eric does have a point...what did the professor say exactly at the place where he was speaking, or were you just stirring the pot?  Were your questions intentionally pushing buttons to see if Eric S. or Brain S. would respond?  Do you believe people are kind of like, Pavlov's dog---ask a question foam at the mouth ??? make a reactionary response to start a new thread...

PJ   
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Eric_Swensson on July 04, 2007, 01:56:54 PM
Eric,

Is it possible to be a reformist and a revisionist?  Can a pastor be both a traditional confessionalist and a progressive theologian?

"Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." (Matthew 19:26) 
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: BeornBjornson on July 04, 2007, 01:59:56 PM
Pastor Austin,
Have you actually read or heard (or watched on DVD) Dr. Donfried's address in its entirety?  Or are you simply reacting to "reporting" a la  the July Lutheran (something for which you have previously and elsewhere criticized others, for simply reacting to "reporting" of what someone may or may not have said, instead of actually reading or hearing the person's words).  I had the privilege of hearing Karl twice in a little over two months time, give essentially the same address (at a conference in Cedar Falls, IA in Feb sponsored by our synod reform group Call to Faithfulness; and at the WordAlone spring convention in Golden Valley, MN Apr 30-May 2).   He did not denounce the whole ELCA as "unbiblical and cancerous."  He did not issue or support a call for separation nor declare the situation in the ELCA as hopeless.  

Yes, his critique of much of the ELCA's leadership and seminary education, particularly in the accomodation of "alien hermeneutics" such as "radical feminism" et al, was trenchant and pointed.   What I suppose has some on the revisionist side concerned is that a strong evangelical catholic (a personal friend of B16 and others in the RC and Anglican leadership) was so warmly welcomed and could speak in such agreement with confessing evangelicals or evangelical Lutherans (whichever terminology applies to WordAloners).   Much of the revisionist agenda of the last decade and a half has advanced because of the division between the two orthodox poles (divided by ecclesiology).  That the two sides can set aside their ecclesiological disagreements to focus on more critical threats to Lutheran Christian orthodoxy suggests that the revisionist march to ascendancy in the ELCA is not such an assured outcome.  

Pastor Ken Kimball
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: pilgrimpriest on July 04, 2007, 02:31:02 PM
Yes, his critique of much of the ELCA's leadership and seminary education, particularly in the accomodation of "alien hermeneutics" such as "radical feminism" et al, was trenchant and pointed.   What I suppose has some on the revisionist side concerned is that a strong evangelical catholic (a personal friend of B16 and others in the RC and Anglican leadership) was so warmly welcomed and could speak in such agreement with confessing evangelicals or evangelical Lutherans (whichever terminology applies to WordAloners).   Much of the revisionist agenda of the last decade and a half has advanced because of the division between the two orthodox poles (divided by ecclesiology).  That the two sides can set aside their ecclesiological disagreements to focus on more critical threats to Lutheran Christian orthodoxy suggests that the revisionist march to ascendancy in the ELCA is not such an assured outcome. 

Pastor Ken Kimball

And the Word Alone folks can also count some Eastern Orthodox among their friends. That is to say friends who have little time for TEC's interpretation of the "Historic Episcopacy" and its misuse in CCM. I'm certain an ecumenical conversation with Pr. Jaynan Clark Egland would be far more pleasant and productive than one with the Rt. Rev. John Shelby Spong.

Priest RKM
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on July 04, 2007, 03:06:33 PM
Jesus Christ and His apostle, St. Paul, teach us that Adam and Eve were actual human beings, who actually were the first humans, who actually fell into sin.
Jesus says nothing about Adam.

I take seriously the meaning of the Hebrew word, 'adam. In the beginning God created humankind (see Genesis 1:26-27). I count 26 times the Hebrew 'adam occurs in Genesis 1-4. Only once does the NRSV translate it with "Adam" in those four chapters.

No one was present at the beginning of creation. So either one has to believe the words of Genesis floated down from heaven in some way to Moses, i.e., God gave a direct revelation to Moses -- a belief not held by progressive scholars today; or that they are the product of ancient Israel's developing tradition. The two creation stories in Genesis 1-2:4a and Genesis 2:4b-4:24 developed over a long period of time. First, as oral traditions, where creation stories of other cultures were modified to fit Israel's monotheistic beliefs (there are similarities to other creation stories of Near Eastern people), then written down, and finally compiled into the book we know as Genesis.

At some point in history, I believe that God created humankind. At some point in history, humankind failed to live as God intended them to live. We have inherited humankind's nature of turning away from God, of disobeying God, of being sinners.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: janielou13 on July 04, 2007, 03:14:27 PM
Gee, Pastor S, that is really a quite accurate restatement of St. Augustine's position.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: peter_speckhard on July 04, 2007, 03:31:29 PM
In Matthew Jesus responds to the Pharisees about divorce by saying "Have you not read that in the beginning the Creator made them male and female, and said..." Jesus refers them to the Scriptures (have you not read?), to the beginning, and to the words of Genesis 2 as the very words of the Creator (otherwise who "said"?). This saying of Jesus makes perfect sense according to a literal reading of Genesis. It is subject to a long-winded scholarly debunking whenever and wherever the local Pharisees have access to the work of progressive theologians. Seriously. If anyone today who didn't know the Gospel account tried to answer a question concerning divorce with the answer Jesus actually gave, he would be dismissed as a fundamentalist. 
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on July 04, 2007, 03:41:47 PM
In Matthew Jesus responds to the Pharisees about divorce by saying "Have you not read that in the beginning the Creator made them male and female, and said..." Jesus refers them to the Scriptures (have you not read?), to the beginning, and to the words of Genesis 2 as the very words of the Creator (otherwise who "said"?). This saying of Jesus makes perfect sense according to a literal reading of Genesis. It is subject to a long-winded scholarly debunking whenever and wherever the local Pharisees have access to the work of progressive theologians. Seriously. If anyone today who didn't know the Gospel account tried to answer a question concerning divorce with the answer Jesus actually gave, he would be dismissed as a fundamentalist. 
It also makes perfect sense to us who believe God created humankind as males and females.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Mel Harris on July 04, 2007, 04:24:34 PM

I have a question for Word Alone people.
Was Professor Donfried's address at the recent gathering, in which he rather solidly denounced the whole ELCA as unbiblical and cancerous and given over to sub-Christian forces, considered a call for separation? It seems to me it would have to be read that way. I saw little in the way of "let us reason together" call for dialog or correction, but a declaration that he considered the situation in the ELCA hopeless.


I am thousands of miles away from home and my computer.  I have been left alone for a while today, with access to the internet, and thought I would look in on this forum.  I found that Pastor Austin, (and apparently someone writing in The Lutheran), have strongly objected to Dr. Donfried's address to the recent Word Alone convention.  I am not now, and never have been, a member of the organization Word Alone, but I do want to respond to Pastor Austin's comments above.

I just read Dr. Donfried's address at

http://wordalone.org/docs/wa-donfried-2007.shtml

If I understand what he was saying in this address, I agree with him.  Like Pastor Kimball, I wonder if Pastor Austin has actually read Dr. Donfried's address and what he finds so objectionable in it.  I do not see that Dr. Donfried has condemned the entire ELCA or called for separation from it.  What I read was a call for the ELCA to get back to its Biblical and confessional roots.  If Pastor Austin is contending that it is unfair to use Scripture, our Lutheran Confessions and our ecumenical statements (The Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification for example) in our debates within the ELCA, then I will find it very difficult to try to discuss anything with him.

It will probably be a couple of weeks before I am back to my office and computer, and sufficiently caught up with my work, to be able to spend much time on this forum again.  I apologize if my posting now, and then not being available to respond to any comments on my posting, inconveniences anyone.

Mel Harris
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: ptmccain on July 04, 2007, 05:08:26 PM
So either one has to believe the words of Genesis floated down from heaven in some way to Moses, i.e., God gave a direct revelation to Moses -- a belief not held by progressive scholars today

Precisely the problem. Mind you, these are the same "scholars" who have given us:

Denial of all OT miracles.
Denial of all OT prophecy of Christ.
Denial of all NT miracles.
Denial of the divinity of Jesus Christ.
Denial of his death for the world's salvation.
Denial of his conception by the Holy Ghost.
Denial of his birth from the Virgin Mary.
Denial of his crucifixion for us and for our salvation.
Denial of the Lord's resurrection from the dead.
Denial of the Lord's Ascension.

You get the picture.

Quote
At some point in history, humankind failed to live as God intended them to live. We have inherited humankind's nature of turning away from God, of disobeying God, of being sinners.

In saying this, Brian, you deny the Word of Jesus Christ and the word of His Apostles. And you wonder why we are not "in agreement" about the Gospel and Sacraments.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: peter_speckhard on July 04, 2007, 05:13:56 PM
In Matthew Jesus responds to the Pharisees about divorce by saying "Have you not read that in the beginning the Creator made them male and female, and said..." Jesus refers them to the Scriptures (have you not read?), to the beginning, and to the words of Genesis 2 as the very words of the Creator (otherwise who "said"?). This saying of Jesus makes perfect sense according to a literal reading of Genesis. It is subject to a long-winded scholarly debunking whenever and wherever the local Pharisees have access to the work of progressive theologians. Seriously. If anyone today who didn't know the Gospel account tried to answer a question concerning divorce with the answer Jesus actually gave, he would be dismissed as a fundamentalist. 
It also makes perfect sense to us who believe God created humankind as males and females.
I doubt that, or at least that it makes sense in the same way. But my point was that today the Pharisees would apparently have license to respond to Jesus, "Well, Genesis is not the Word of God, you know. It is a gradually unfolding oral tradition, so we can't really expect the stories of those wandering shepherds to have relevance for us in this cosmopolitan empire thousands of years later. It was culturally conditioned for a different way of life, one we've outgrown with our scientific and cultural advancements. So, Jesus, while it is certainly valuable to study Genesis and we of course respect your viewpoint, it is pointless to address our ethical questions concerning divorce in the modern in world with fifteen hundred year old texts and antiquated ways of interpreting them." To which we can only wonder what Jesus would have said.  
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on July 04, 2007, 06:19:42 PM
I doubt that, or at least that it makes sense in the same way. But my point was that today the Pharisees would apparently have license to respond to Jesus, "Well, Genesis is not the Word of God, you know. It is a gradually unfolding oral tradition, so we can't really expect the stories of those wandering shepherds to have relevance for us in this cosmopolitan empire thousands of years later. It was culturally conditioned for a different way of life, one we've outgrown with our scientific and cultural advancements. So, Jesus, while it is certainly valuable to study Genesis and we of course respect your viewpoint, it is pointless to address our ethical questions concerning divorce in the modern in world with fifteen hundred year old texts and antiquated ways of interpreting them." To which we can only wonder what Jesus would have said.  
1. I have stated often that the Bible is the Word of God. I have never denied that.
2. Stating that Genesis (or the gospels for that matter) are unfolding oral traditions does not mean that they are not relevant for people today.
3. While first century Palestine was certainly a different culture than 21st century America, humans are still sinful. We are still created males and females. Unless you continue to believe and proclaim that the sun moves around the earth, that the sky is a big dome, that the flat earth rests on pillars, you have bought into some of our scientific and cultural advancements -- often at the expense of what scriptures say about earth.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on July 04, 2007, 06:24:27 PM
Quote
At some point in history, humankind failed to live as God intended them to live. We have inherited humankind's nature of turning away from God, of disobeying God, of being sinners.

In saying this, Brian, you deny the Word of Jesus Christ and the word of His Apostles. And you wonder why we are not "in agreement" about the Gospel and Sacraments.
Well, the literally hundreds of formerly LCMS people who have joined congregations I have served might disagree with you.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on July 04, 2007, 07:08:51 PM
I have a question for Word Alone people.
Was Professor Donfried's address at the recent gathering, in which he rather solidly denounced the whole ELCA as unbiblical and cancerous and given over to sub-Christian forces, considered a call for separation?

I won't speak for WordAlone.  Prof. Donfried (whose address was based on his book, Who Owns the Bible (http://www.amazon.com/Who-Owns-Bible-Hermeneutic-Companions/dp/0824523903)) does not consider his thesis a call for separation.  You might call it a call for reform and repentance in the ELCA.

The blurb for his book reads, "Donfried, an influential Biblical scholar on controversial issues, shows the failure of the Left, the Right, and even mainstream Christian churches to grapple well with how to hear the witness of scripture in our day, and shows us an authentically Christian reading of the scriptures."

Pax, Steven+
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on July 04, 2007, 07:12:51 PM
No one was present at the beginning of creation.

Except for the God, the heavenly host, etc.

spt+
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: ptmccain on July 04, 2007, 07:21:45 PM
Quote
At some point in history, humankind failed to live as God intended them to live. We have inherited humankind's nature of turning away from God, of disobeying God, of being sinners.

In saying this, Brian, you deny the Word of Jesus Christ and the word of His Apostles. And you wonder why we are not "in agreement" about the Gospel and Sacraments.
Well, the literally hundreds of formerly LCMS people who have joined congregations I have served might disagree with you.

If they deny the Word of Christ and His Apostle, they needed to leave. May God keep them in the true faith, in spite of their error, and in spite of the erring pastors who minister to them.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: ptmccain on July 04, 2007, 11:08:44 PM
2. Stating that Genesis (or the gospels for that matter) are unfolding oral traditions does not mean that they are not relevant for people today.

Yes, and Aesop's fables and Grimm's fairy tales are still "relevant" for people today too.

I noticed you have chosen to ignore the indictment posted here of your much-vaunted "progressive scholars."
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on July 04, 2007, 11:11:07 PM
No one was present at the beginning of creation.

Except for the God, the heavenly host, etc.
Certainly. The question is how did that knowledge make its way into human writing.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on July 04, 2007, 11:13:09 PM
I noticed you have chosen to ignore the indictment posted here of your much-vaunted "progressive scholars."
Well, it is true in some cases, and untrue in others.

There can also be some issues about what does the word "deny" mean. If we consider Marcus Borg, you would probably state that he denies all those things you mentioned; at the same time he states: "I belong to a church that recites the creeds in its worship services, and I have no difficulty doing so" (Jesus: Uncovering the Life, Teachings, and Relevance of a Religious Revolutionary, p. 17). So, he regularly states "We believe..." in many of those things you say he denies. Which is it? Does he confess them or deny them?

It is likely that the two of you represent the two different paradigms for seeing Jesus. From earlier in the book:

We are experiencing conflict between two very different paradigms for seeing the "data" of Christianity: the bible (including the gospels), Jesus, postbiblical teachings and doctrins (including the creeds), the nature of Christian language, and ulitmately the nature of the Christian life. Both are Christian paradigms -- millions of Christians affirm each. So it is not that one of them is Christian and the other not. And it is not that one of them is "traditional" Christianity and the other an abandonment of much of the Christian tradition. Rather, both are ways of seeing the Christian tradition and what it says about the Bible, God, Jesus, and what it means to follow him.

There is as yet no commonly agreed-upon terminology for naming these two paradigms. To use a chronological way of naming them, the first is an earlier paradigm, the second an emerging paradigm. To use more substantive ways of naming them, the first is belief-centered; it emphasizes the importance of holding Christian beliefs about Jesus, God, and the Bible. The second is way-centered; it emphasizes that Christianity is about following Jesus on a path, a path of transformation. The first emphasizes the literal meaning of Christian language, including the Bible; the second emphasizes the more-than-literal meaning of Christian language, what I will soon call the metaphorical meaning of Christian language. (p. 15)

Perhaps a key reason we appear not to be in agreement is that we operate from different paradigms. Our assumptions about the right way of seeing (or doing) things differ. One of those is whether or not the Bible is inerrant. Even among believers in inerrancy; some believe that there are no errors in the Bible; some believe that there are no errors in respect to faith, but there can be errors concerning science, still others believe that there are no errors in the autographs, but errors have come in through mistakes by copyists.

Another is whether or not biblical truth has to be historically or factually true. For example, some believe that to be true, Genesis 1 has to be interpreted as saying the world was created in six-24 hour days. Others will soften this literalism and say six - 1000-year "days". Still others will state that Genesis 1 is true, but it is symbolic or metaphorical, e.g., a poem about God and creation (rather than a science treatise about the origin of the world).

I note that you did not answer my question about how did the story of Adam and Eve (or "humanity" and "life") get into the Bible. Did God drop it down from heaven? Did God whisper it into Moses' ear? Was it a story told by Adam to his grandchildren, who continued to tell it for generation after generation until it got to Moses?
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Erma_S._Wolf on July 04, 2007, 11:42:49 PM
I have a question for Word Alone people.
Was Professor Donfried's address at the recent gathering, in which he rather solidly denounced the whole ELCA as unbiblical and cancerous and given over to sub-Christian forces, considered a call for separation? It seems to me it would have to be read that way. I saw little in the way of "let us reason together" call for dialog or correction, but a declaration that he considered the situation in the ELCA hopeless.
Did people applaud? Or did they say "it's not that bad"?
Was their discussion about escaping the horror he described? Or plans to re-direct the ELCA?
Is Word Alone a half-way house for people on the way out? Or does it represent those who want to work together and talk about the way things are or should be?

Charles, I would echo what Ken/Beorn Bjornson has written to you.  Please go to www.wordalone.net and read Dr. Donfried's presentation in its entirety.  And read it with the the Lutheran article by Gayle Aldrich in hand.  The way in which the quotes that are attributed to him have been edited (by whom I do not know, whether the writer of the article or by another editorial hand) leads to serious misinterpretation of what he actually said.  

I was present at the Word Alone event and heard Dr. Donfried speak.  While he certainly didn't pull any punches, I heard his speech as intending to lay out the seriousness of the situation as he saw it from his vantage point as a pastor and theologian in this church.  His position as one who has worked within the academy as well as within the church gives him an insight as to what is happening with the teaching and interpretation of Scripture by those who serve the ELCA as pastors, seminary professors, and church bureaucrats.  This is a legitimate concern to raise within our denomination in regards to how the academy's rejection of ways the church has confessed and understood the role of Scripture both internally (as in the relationship between the two testaments) and externally as a book of faith which speaks the Word of God to the community of faith has led to a distortion of the true Gospel message. (You might disagree with my assessment of the situation, but I will stand by what I have written.) It is not that "the whole ELCA is unbiblical and cancerous."  It is that the ELCA, like all mainline Christian denominations, has been affected (and I argue, very negatively) by the direction taken by the academy over the last two decades.

Please read Donfried's speech in its entirety.  You may very well not agree with parts of it, or all of it.  But as you often say, the discussion needs to take place and go on.  And that is what Dr. Donfried, and Lutheran CORE (of which I am a member and part of its steering committee), and at least part of Word Alone wishes to take place.  Charges that raising such issues amounts to a "call for separation" do not encourage the conversation to go forward.

Erma Wolf
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Charles_Austin on July 05, 2007, 12:00:25 AM
Re: Prof Donfried's address

I have read the entire address as printed on the Word Alone website. I do not "object" to it in any way. Professor Donfried certainly has the right to make his declarations. My question has nothing to do with whether he is right or wrong or whether I consider him right or wrong or partly right and partly wrong.

My question is about the tenor and apparent foundation for his address. As I noted, I found the language uncommonly strong and condemnatory.

He rather solidly denounced the whole ELCA as unbiblical and cancerous and given over to sub-Christian forces. He does so in such a way that does not appear to call for dialog or correction, and makes it appear as though he considers the situation hopeless.

The opening paragraphs, in particular, come across to this reader as so damning of the present situation that there is little chance for discussion or little possibility for reconciliation.

Hence my question. Perhaps Word Aloners did not see the speech in that light. So perhaps those who heard it were not seeing it as a call for separation?
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Charles_Austin on July 05, 2007, 12:23:53 AM
Pastor McCain writes:
In saying this, Brian, you deny the Word of Jesus Christ and the word of His Apostles. And you wonder why we are not "in agreement" about the Gospel and Sacraments.

When Brian says former LC-MS people have joined his congregations; then Pastor McCain writes:
If they deny the Word of Christ and His Apostle, they needed to leave. May God keep them in the true faith, in spite of their error, and in spite of the erring pastors who minister to them.

I comment:
Brian can defend himself; but I really must protest - once again - the use of this kind of language. "...you deny the word of Jesus Christ." "they needed to leave" "...in spite of the erring pastors who minister to them."

And has anything been said here to suggest that any of us deny all the miracles of the Bible or the crucifixion and resurrection of our Lord?

Can someone, and it will certainly have to be someone other than Brian or myself, have a conversation with Pastor McCain; and suggest that denouncing participants in this discussion as "erring pastors" who "deny the word of Jesus Christ" is simply not the way we have comported ourselves here?

I am in agreement, I think, with Pastor McCain in confessing the words of the Creeds and proclaiming the Gospel of justification by grace through faith; though I think he is in serious error about some of the details of how God has dealt with humanity. And he certainly seems to lack a facility for brotherly discussion. Once again, I think he oversteps the bounds of how we have talked about things here in such a way as to make further discussion impossible.

Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Erma_S._Wolf on July 05, 2007, 12:27:14 AM
I am not a member of Word Alone, so I do not speak for them.

Dr. Donfried made very serious charges regarding the state of affairs in the ELCA.  I heard it as stressing the crisis nature of the problems at hand, and the urgency (and great difficulty) of working to avert this crisis.

I did not then and do not now hear it as a call for separation.

Erma Wolf  
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Mel Harris on July 05, 2007, 12:46:08 AM

Re: Prof Donfried's address

He rather solidly denounced the whole ELCA as unbiblical and cancerous and given over to sub-Christian forces.


I think that I am a part of the ELCA.  I am still on the clergy roster as far as I know, (though I have been on vacation and away from my office for a week now).  When I read Dr. Donfried's address, I did not think that he was denouncing me.  So... either I misunderstood Dr. Donfried's address, Pastor Austin misunderstood Dr. Donfried's address, or Pastor Austin does not consider me (and any who might agree with me) a part of the ELCA.

Mel Harris
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: ptmccain on July 05, 2007, 05:44:30 AM
If we consider Marcus Borg, you would probably state that he denies all those things you mentioned; at the same time he states: "I belong to a church that recites the creeds in its worship services, and I have no difficulty doing so" (Jesus: Uncovering the Life, Teachings, and Relevance of a Religious Revolutionary, p. 17). So, he regularly states "We believe..." in many of those things you say he denies. Which is it? Does he confess them or deny them?

Yes, and it would also appear to be true that borg would be able to recite the Koran, the Hindu Scriptures, or the Book of Mormon and say how they are "relevant" and "meaningful" and "contain important truths." His "We believe" is no more than a sophistry. "We believe these truths to be self-evident since they are so relevant and meaningful and make me feel the closenes of the divine." That kind of "believe" is a denial of the historical, factual, incarnational realities of our faith.

Quote
Another is whether or not biblical truth has to be historically or factually true.

Ah, yes, but of course. It can actually be historically false, a lie, a sham, a fabrication, an example of primitives grappling to comprehend the divine spark within all of us, but yet can be "biblical truth." This is not Biblical Christianity.

May God protect His church and His people from anyone who "affirms" this kind of "truth."

Now we understand why Professor Donfried said what he said.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Eric_Swensson on July 05, 2007, 05:54:50 AM
He rather solidly denounced the whole ELCA as unbiblical and cancerous and given over to sub-Christian forces. He does so in such a way that does not appear to call for dialog or correction, and makes it appear as though he considers the situation hopeless.

An emotional judgment which needs it evidence presented and a case made, otherwise Pr Austin is the one who has made the inflammatory statement. 
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: ptmccain on July 05, 2007, 05:57:02 AM
I really appreciated the chance to read Dr. Donfried's speech. In light of conversations here I was struck by how his description of how the Bible is dealt with by "progressives" ring so true and powerfully summarizes how we see "progressives" dealing with the Bible.

By an alien hermeneutic, that is, an alien interpretation of Scripture, I mean a hermeneutic that rejects or distorts a Trinitarian emphasis on sin and redemption by advocating instead an agenda that emphasizes (1) the ambiguity of Scripture, (2) the dissonance of Scripture, that is, its contradictory nature, the goal of which is (3) antinomianism, namely, that one is not necessarily bound by the moral categories of Christian Scripture as interpreted by the Church Catholic throughout its history. For these practitioners of alien hermeneutics, typical of their ambiguity is the frequent use of vague terms like mystery, love and justice, typified especially in the work of former Lutheran, turned agnostic, now Episcopalian, Marcus Borg; further, a major characteristic is, generally, to draw attention to the dissonance of Scripture, namely, the “what it meant then is not necessarily what it means today” syndrome, so typical of the work of Prof. Craig Nessan who teaches at Wartburg Seminary. Here I simply remind you of the important comment by the late Raymond Brown: “What the biblical text said to its first readers should be related to what the text says to me, because I am a Christian heir to the people of Israel and the people of the early church, and not independent of them.” And, thirdly, by antinomianism these advocates of an alien hermeneutic frequently censure folks like you and me for the misusing Scripture as a legalistic textbook only for them, in turn, to severely limit its exhortative function to a mere “informing” or “guiding” function, characteristics of an agenda that allow for easy manipulation of the biblical texts.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Charles_Austin on July 05, 2007, 06:04:13 AM
Eric writes (Re my question about Dr. Donfried's address) :
An emotional judgment which needs it evidence presented and a case made, otherwise Pr Austin is the one who has made the inflammatory statement.

I comment:
I make no judgment, emotional or otherwise. Dr. Donfried said the ELCA has an "alien hermeneutic," which "distorts" the Trinity and the Gospel. He speaks of a "cancer" in the ELCA. I read it as a diagnosis of a terminal disease. All I asked was whether others here agreed. If you don't, just say "no."
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Eric_Swensson on July 05, 2007, 06:10:15 AM
You're just taking a poll, huh?
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Eric_Swensson on July 05, 2007, 07:01:34 AM
Eric writes (Re my question about Dr. Donfried's address) :
An emotional judgment which needs it evidence presented and a case made, otherwise Pr Austin is the one who has made the inflammatory statement.

I comment:
I make no judgment, emotional or otherwise. Dr. Donfried said the ELCA has an "alien hermeneutic," which "distorts" the Trinity and the Gospel. He speaks of a "cancer" in the ELCA. I read it as a diagnosis of a terminal disease. All I asked was whether others here agreed. If you don't, just say "no."

What one writes that Donfried "solidly denounced the whole ELCA as unbiblical and cancerous and given over to sub-Christian forces" that is a charge. Not "sounds like", but is an accusation. It is your spin that he is saying this of the whole ELCA meaning "everyone" but he is using it specifically in the Pauline sense of we are one body. The fact is there are many of us who have been speaking this way in this forum for years.

If one wants to talk about tone, what would you judge the tone of your original post yesterday morning?
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Charles_Austin on July 05, 2007, 07:55:10 AM
Eric asks:
If one wants to talk about tone, what would you judge the tone of your original post yesterday morning?

I respond (assuming you mean "how" I would judge the tone of my post):
Questioning, puzzled, concerned, and worried.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Eric_Swensson on July 05, 2007, 08:09:49 AM
If the tone of the following is "Questioning, puzzled, concerned, and worried" one migh ask themselves why a half dozen regulars took it differentlly:
[ quote author=Charles_Austin link=topic=480.msg18681#msg18681 date=1183543385]
I have a question for Word Alone people.
Was Professor Donfried's address at the recent gathering, in which he rather solidly denounced the whole ELCA as unbiblical and cancerous and given over to sub-Christian forces, considered a call for separation? It seems to me it would have to be read that way. I saw little in the way of "let us reason together" call for dialog or correction, but a declaration that he considered the situation in the ELCA hopeless.
Did people applaud? Or did they say "it's not that bad"?
Was their discussion about escaping the horror he described? Or plans to re-direct the ELCA?
Is Word Alone a half-way house for people on the way out? Or does it represent those who want to work together and talk about the way things are or should be?
Quote

Of course, you should be "questioning, puzzled, concerned, and worried" about the direction of the ELCA and Dr Donfried gives an eloquent presentation of that which should make one copncerned. But, you and the editor of the Lutheran instead go to questioning loyalty and accusations of being schismatic.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Charles_Austin on July 05, 2007, 08:13:55 AM
ERic writes:
But, you and the editor of the Lutheran instead go to questioning loyalty and accusations of being schismatic.

And I comment:
For the third time: I do not accuse him of being schismatic. I ask whether people view this as such.
Eric's post is the kind of comment that leads me to this message:

Posted on a couple of recent active forums, with apologies for the repetition:
This will probably be my last posting for some time. (The sound of cheering arises from the galleries.)
1. Tomorrow, five of us have chartered a boat and are heading out into the Atlantic for fish.
2. Parish duties will occupy me a good portion of the week-end.
3. Next week, I meet a dear friend of long standing in New York for a fine meal at a French restaurant we have known for years. This lovely and intelligent woman, raised Roman Catholic, has great compassion for the world and its people, but has felt only rejection and rigidity in the Church. Despite this, she has kept me as a good friend.
4. Then I leave for two weeks in Argentina and Brazil. It has been many years since my last visit and I look forward to the trip.
5. I am “working” at the ELCA assembly and do not think I will take time for online discussion. Much of the assembly will be online; and numerous people from this forum will be there; so I shall leave the reporting and interpretation to them, at least for the time being. I expect the Assembly to be a place where the gospel is rightly (but not perfectly) preached, the sacraments are rightly (but not perfectly) administered and the fellowship and mission we have in the ELCA is discussed, debated, and celebrated and – deo volente – advanced.
6. My faith is renewed daily by the Spirit; but where I once found some stimulation and encouragement in these forums, I rarely do so now. Pastor McCain’s condemnations have, I believe, particularly poisoned the waters here, despite Brian’s patience. I know exactly why the LC-MS considers me a heretic, and I do not need him or others here to continually stab and hammer at the ELCA to teach me that. Eric’s persistent assertions make me fear that he does not know how to love the church body to which he belongs and is not interested in doing so, for he seems to feel that – outside his parish – all is lost. I cannot tell whether the “Hess team” is in the ELCA as loyal critics, or outside as enemies to what the LCA stands for. To me, all this adds up to a  toxic situation that is draining of the spirit rather than challenging.
No doubt others will disagree. I hope everyone here has a fulfilling summer.

Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Eric_Swensson on July 05, 2007, 08:17:08 AM
ERic writes:
But, you and the editor of the Lutheran instead go to questioning loyalty and accusations of being schismatic.

And I comment:
For the third time: I do not accuse him of being schismatic. I ask whether people view this as such.
Eric's post is the kind of comment that leads me to this message:

Posted on a couple of recent active forums, with apologies for the repetition:
This will probably be my last posting for some time. (The sound of cheering arises from the galleries.)
1. Tomorrow, five of us have chartered a boat and are heading out into the Atlantic for fish.
2. Parish duties will occupy me a good portion of the week-end.
3. Next week, I meet a dear friend of long standing in New York for a fine meal at a French restaurant we have known for years. This lovely and intelligent woman, raised Roman Catholic, has great compassion for the world and its people, but has felt only rejection and rigidity in the Church. Despite this, she has kept me as a good friend.
4. Then I leave for two weeks in Argentina and Brazil. It has been many years since my last visit and I look forward to the trip.
5. I am “working” at the ELCA assembly and do not think I will take time for online discussion. Much of the assembly will be online; and numerous people from this forum will be there; so I shall leave the reporting and interpretation to them, at least for the time being. I expect the Assembly to be a place where the gospel is rightly (but not perfectly) preached, the sacraments are rightly (but not perfectly) administered and the fellowship and mission we have in the ELCA is discussed, debated, and celebrated and – deo volente – advanced.
6. My faith is renewed daily by the Spirit; but where I once found some stimulation and encouragement in these forums, I rarely do so now. Pastor McCain’s condemnations have, I believe, particularly poisoned the waters here, despite Brian’s patience. I know exactly why the LC-MS considers me a heretic, and I do not need him or others here to continually stab and hammer at the ELCA to teach me that. Eric’s persistent assertions make me fear that he does not know how to love the church body to which he belongs and is not interested in doing so, for he seems to feel that – outside his parish – all is lost. I cannot tell whether the “Hess team” is in the ELCA as loyal critics, or outside as enemies to what the LCA stands for. To me, all this adds up to a  toxic situation that is draining of the spirit rather than challenging.
No doubt others will disagree. I hope everyone here has a fulfilling summer.



It's says "you and the editor" and Lehman specifically says that he was a witness to the LCMS split and fears it coming again. You yourself said yesterday you were concerned about the same thing. Get real.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: MMH on July 05, 2007, 10:44:59 AM
Eric writes (Re my question about Dr. Donfried's address) :
An emotional judgment which needs it evidence presented and a case made, otherwise Pr Austin is the one who has made the inflammatory statement.

I comment:
I make no judgment, emotional or otherwise. Dr. Donfried said the ELCA has an "alien hermeneutic," which "distorts" the Trinity and the Gospel. He speaks of a "cancer" in the ELCA. I read it as a diagnosis of a terminal disease. All I asked was whether others here agreed. If you don't, just say "no."

I know you are not going to be reading this, Charles, but I hope you do not take that understanding of cancer + terminal disease out to your parishioners who have cancer and are struggling with it.

Whne one gets down to it, cancer is a wonderful,and not necessarily lethal, metaphor for what ails the Body in this instance.  Cancer is when one type of tissue says to all other types of tissue in the body, "**** you, we want things done OUR way!"  It is the eye saying to the hand, "I have no need of you."

Recent oncological studies indicate the role of viruses in a number of cancers, and carcinogenic chemicals are well known.  So yeah, there is even a role for an "alien hermeneutic."

So Dr. Donfried's model need not be a message of the inevitable decline of the ELCA.  It could be a hope filled diagnosis, with a prescribed course of treatment.

Matt Hummel+

Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: MMH on July 05, 2007, 10:54:52 AM
There can also be some issues about what does the word "deny" mean. If we consider Marcus Borg, you would probably state that he denies all those things you mentioned; at the same time he states: "I belong to a church that recites the creeds in its worship services, and I have no difficulty doing so" (Jesus: Uncovering the Life, Teachings, and Relevance of a Religious Revolutionary, p. 17). So, he regularly states "We believe..." in many of those things you say he denies. Which is it? Does he confess them or deny them?

I would like to know what he thinks/feels/believes as he is reciting them.  Someone who is a total non-English speaker can be taught to recite the Creeds, the way someone like me can be taught to sing in Latin, or German, etc.  The mere fact of recitation does really count for much, if what is going on in the heart is something to the effect of "What pretty words to describe soemthing that I know to be totally different from what those who first composed the words, and most of the people who recite them now mean by them."

Matt Hummel+
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on July 05, 2007, 11:35:29 AM
Ah, yes, but of course. It can actually be historically false, a lie, a sham, a fabrication, an example of primitives grappling to comprehend the divine spark within all of us, but yet can be "biblical truth." This is not Biblical Christianity.
Ah, but it can also be parabolic, poetic, metaphoric, ironic, symbolic, idiomatic, etc. -- words that are not meant to be understood literally, but can still convey truth. In fact, trying to understand such figures of speech literally, misses the meaning.

For instance, the word "blood" in Romans 5:9 -- "Much more surely then, now that we have been justified by his blood, will we be saved through him from the wrath of God." Should that be understood literally -- the red stuff that flows through our veins? Or symbolically as a word that means "death"? I don't believe that it was just Jesus' blood on the cross that brings us justification. He had to do more than just prick his finger and squeeze out some blood.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: ptmccain on July 05, 2007, 11:51:08 AM
For instance, the word "blood" in Romans 5:9 -- "Much more surely then, now that we have been justified by his blood, will we be saved through him from the wrath of God." Should that be understood literally -- the red stuff that flows through our veins? Or symbolically as a word that means "death"? I don't believe that it was just Jesus' blood on the cross that brings us justification. He had to do more than just prick his finger and squeeze out some blood.

Brian, yes sir, quite literally. Wonderfully so! The Son of God, literally, took on human flesh, in the womb of the [literal] Virgin. What a wonderful blessing and gift to us. His blood is God's blood. "Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins" the OT tell us and the Blessed Apostle Saint John tells us, "The blood of Jesus, His Son, cleanses us from all sin."

Oh, yes, it is literally that "red stuff" that flowed through His veins that justifies us. And the key here is HIS veins, and HIS blood.

Only His blood has the ability to justify us, because only His blood is that blood assumed by the Son of God.

What a wonderful comfort to know that this blood was shed for you and for me. What a comfort to have the word of the eyewitness to the event of the blood and water that flowed from His die, and his testimony is true, that we may believe, that Jesus is the Christ and that by believing we may have life in His name

And what a joy to know that in His blessed Supper he gives into our very mouths this same blood for the forgiveness of our sins and the assurance of our justification and the blessed hope and comfort of His very real presence with us, and for us.

Yes, this is our very real, and always, flesh and blood Savior. The scandal of the incarnation, that we are redeemed and justified by a first century Palestinian Jew, whose flesh and blood were assumed by the Son of God in the womb of the Virgin, is also our only hope and greatest joy and comfort.

This is precisely how, and why, we can, in the words of Blessed Martin Luther sing of what our Savior says to each of us, "Ich bein dein, und du bist mein" [I am yours and you are mein]....and where I am there you remain. (Dear Christians One and All Rejoice).

Oh, yes, thanks be to God, Brian, this is not a metaphor, a symbol, an allegory, a trope, a turn of phrase, a cliche, a fable, legend or myth. This is the greatest reality in the universe! And it's all for you, and for me.

Such joy!
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on July 05, 2007, 12:11:15 PM
Should that be understood literally -- the red stuff that flows through our veins? Or symbolically as a word that means "death"?

Seems to me, Brian, that St. Paul means both.  That is a common enough use for words, in Greek, in English, in many other languages.  Why would you suggest we must choose between them as if they were mutually exclusive interpretations?

Pax, Steven +

P. S. -- And Paul, that was a very beautiful exposition on the Blood of Christ.  Thank you!  spt+
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on July 05, 2007, 12:27:26 PM
Brian, yes sir, quite literally. Wonderfully so! The Son of God, literally, took on human flesh, in the womb of the [literal] Virgin. What a wonderful blessing and gift to us. His blood is God's blood. "Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins" the OT tell us and the Blessed Apostle Saint John tells us, "The blood of Jesus, His Son, cleanses us from all sin."
If literally true, then Jesus only needed to bleed to cleanse us from all sin.

Quote
Oh, yes, it is literally that "red stuff" that flowed through His veins that justifies us. And the key here is HIS veins, and HIS blood.
If literally true, then Jesus only needed to bleed to justify us.

Quote
Only His blood has the ability to justify us, because only His blood is that blood assumed by the Son of God.
No argument that his blood is God's blood, but wouldn't the blood from the crown of thorns be enough for our justification? Why did he need to die on the cross?

Quote
What a wonderful comfort to know that this blood was shed for you and for me.

What do you mean when you say, "blood was shed"?


Quote
And what a joy to know that in His blessed Supper he gives into our very mouths this same blood for the forgiveness of our sins and the assurance of our justification and the blessed hope and comfort of His very real presence with us, and for us.
I agree that there is great joy in receiving Christ's body and blood in the supper for the forgiveness of my sins; but it also brings me great sorrow that I can't receive this Christ's meal at an LCMS congregation.

Quote
Yes, this is our very real, and always, flesh and blood Savior. The scandal of the incarnation, that we are redeemed and justified by a first century Palestinian Jew, whose flesh and blood were assumed by the Son of God in the womb of the Virgin, is also our only hope and greatest joy and comfort.
Do we not receive these benefits from that first century Palestinian Jew not primarily because he was God born from human flesh and blood, but because he was God who died on the cross?

Quote
Oh, yes, thanks be to God, Brian, this is not a metaphor, a symbol, an allegory, a trope, a turn of phrase, a cliche, a fable, legend or myth. This is the greatest reality in the universe! And it's all for you, and for me.
You just seem to get my point. The word "blood" is used at places in the NT as a symbol for death. Jesus didn't say after the crown of thorns drew blood from his head, "I've shed some blood. That's enough. I'll call down the angels to save me from further pain and suffering." It wasn't enough just to bleed, he had to die.

Quote
Such joy!
Yes, but at such a great price.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on July 05, 2007, 12:42:02 PM
Seems to me, Brian, that St. Paul means both.  That is a common enough use for words, in Greek, in English, in many other languages.  Why would you suggest we must choose between them as if they were mutually exclusive interpretations?
I'm certain that Paul means both. While I agree that in certain verses "blood" does mean and could be translated "death" (as the Good News Bible did, and was criticized for doing so); such a translation also misses connections with OT sacrifices where literal blood was thrown on the altar.

My point is that to properly understand some passages of scriptures, we have to see the words as symbols, metaphors, parables, poems, idiomatic phrases, etc. rather than use their literal definitions; and to say that something is a metaphor or parable or poetic does not diminish the truth conveyed by the words. Some of the most powerful biblical truths are conveyed by non-historic stories, such as Nathan's story to David that convicted David of his sins.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Richard Johnson on July 05, 2007, 01:43:27 PM
He rather solidly denounced the whole ELCA as unbiblical and cancerous and given over to sub-Christian forces.

Hmmm... The only reference to "cancer" I find in the address is this:  "The hijacking of Scripture by the liberal left is surely a major contributor toward the current crisis of faith spreading like a cancer throughout the ELCA." And then a couple of references to cancer cells as anb anasloigy for how one deals with a diagnosed illness.

Seems quite a leap to say he "denounced the whole ELCA as unbliblical and cancerous."

I also thing the article in The Lutheran was a pretty unfair characterization of his speech. I know Dr. Donfried feels it was unfair as well. I wonder if you, as a professional journalist, Charles, think the coverage was a fair account of what he actually said? Note particularly the first paragraph which is offered as a direct quotation from Dr. Donfried, but which in fact appears to be a strung together collection of phrases taken from out of context throughout the address (some accurate, some not) which make it appear that he is saying something which is not what he said at all. I always thought quotations were supposed to be quotations. Have the rules changed?
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: ptmccain on July 05, 2007, 01:54:29 PM
If literally true, then Jesus only needed to bleed to cleanse us from all sin.

It is literally true and of course Christ offered his entire body as the perfect sacrifice for our sins, just as the innocent lambs were killed for the sins of the people and their blood scattered on the mercy seat of God. That is why Jesus is our "mercy seat" -- and what a wonderful blessing it is!

Quote
What do you mean when you say, "blood was shed"?

I mean the blood of the Theanthropic person of Christ Jesus was shed for us. What more could we possibly ask for? What a wonderful blessing it is.

Quote
Do we not receive these benefits from that first century Palestinian Jew not primarily because he was God born from human flesh and blood, but because he was God who died on the cross?

The best Lutheran sermons I know of are the hymns: Christ the life of all the living, Christ the death, of death, our foe. His perfect life was lived in our place to fulfill all righteousness. Thanks be to God! His perfect death is the perfect ransom and sacrifice for the sins of the world! Thanks be to God!

Quote
It wasn't enough just to bleed, he had to die.

Gave His life-blood as the price. Of course. He shed His blood. He gave, for the sins of the world, the last full measure of the human nature He had assumed in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Thanks be to God. What a wonderful blessing!

Quote
Such joy!
Yes, but at such a great price.

Yes, what a price! The body and blood of the God-Man, Jesus Christ, our Savior, Our Lord, Our Redeemer.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on July 05, 2007, 02:05:54 PM
I mean the blood of the Theanthropic person of Christ Jesus was shed for us. What more could we possibly ask for? What a wonderful blessing it is.
Perhaps I'm putting words in your mouth, but I think that you mean, Jesus died.

A junior high girl complained to me (probably reflecting the views of her parents) about the word "pregnant" that was used in the Bible translation I read from. I asked, "Would you prefer, 'She was great with child'?" "Yes," she answered. I asked, "What does that mean?" She hesitated, swallowed hard and admitted, "She was pregnant."

You seem unwilling to say that "blood" (or haima in Greek) is used sometimes in the NT figuratively for "death".
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on July 05, 2007, 05:05:21 PM
I'm certain that Paul means both....

My point is that to properly understand some passages of scriptures, we have to see the words as symbols, metaphors, parables, poems, idiomatic phrases, etc. rather than use their literal definitions...

So, you are certain that, in this passage, St. Paul uses "blood" as a symbol, metaphor, etc. and literally, while your point is that we must see "blood" as symbol, metaphor, etc. rather than literally if we are to properly understand him.

One of us is hopelessly confused.

Pax, Steven+
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Dave_Poedel on July 05, 2007, 06:31:39 PM
I mean the blood of the Theanthropic person of Christ Jesus was shed for us. What more could we possibly ask for? What a wonderful blessing it is.
Perhaps I'm putting words in your mouth, but I think that you mean, Jesus died.

A junior high girl complained to me (probably reflecting the views of her parents) about the word "pregnant" that was used in the Bible translation I read from. I asked, "Would you prefer, 'She was great with child'?" "Yes," she answered. I asked, "What does that mean?" She hesitated, swallowed hard and admitted, "She was pregnant."

You seem unwilling to say that "blood" (or haima in Greek) is used sometimes in the NT figuratively for "death".

Brian, you seem to endlessly argue about words....while that can be edifying, it can also be a stumbling block to us who are, like you, attempting to proclaim the Law and Gospel in our parishes each week.  While I have much appreciated your contributions to working with the text of a pericope, you seem to be obsessed with the minutia of tearing apart the faith once delivered.  I ask that you use your vocabulary skills to be of assistance to us, rather than questioning every part of the faith by dissecting words from Hebrew and Greek and Aramaic.

Just my $0.02
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on July 05, 2007, 06:51:39 PM
I'm certain that Paul means both....

My point is that to properly understand some passages of scriptures, we have to see the words as symbols, metaphors, parables, poems, idiomatic phrases, etc. rather than use their literal definitions...

So, you are certain that, in this passage, St. Paul uses "blood" as a symbol, metaphor, etc. and literally, while your point is that we must see "blood" as symbol, metaphor, etc. rather than literally if we are to properly understand him.

One of us is hopelessly confused.
Polyvalence strikes again! To understand Paul's passage, one has to use a figurative meaning of blood. He is referring to Jesus' death, not just the red stuff in his veins. As such, it is perfectly legitimate for modern translations to translate haima with "death". It is perfectly understandable to say: "Much more surely then, now that we have been justified by his death, will we be saved through him from the wrath of God" (Rom 5:9 alt.) This is one meaning of the passage. Verse 9 continues to talk about Jesus' death which is mentioned in vv. 6-8.

An additional meaning of the verses can be found in reference to the OT sacrificial system. In that case, "blood" needs to be understood literally as the red stuff that was sprinkled on the altars as part of the sacrifices. That additional meaning is lost when haima is translated with "death". One could argue whether or not Paul's Roman readers would have made that OT connection. That would depend on whether or not he is writing to Jewish or Gentile Christians. Either way, we can make that connection.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on July 05, 2007, 06:55:15 PM
While I have much appreciated your contributions to working with the text of a pericope, you seem to be obsessed with the minutia of tearing apart the faith once delivered.
What about the faith am I tearing apart? Is not our faith based on Christ crucified = his death on a cross? I'm suggesting -- actually doing more than suggesting -- that to properly understand scriptures and the faith it delivers, requires an understanding of figurative and metaphorical meaning of some words rather than their literal meaning.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: peter_speckhard on July 05, 2007, 07:22:27 PM
Brian, I don't think it is very accurate to refer to basic language usage with the word "figurative". Simple synechdoche, hendiades (sp?) and other language tools and shorthard that everyone learned in hermenuetics are not the same thing as other figurative or merely non-literal ways of expressing truth such as parables. Yes, it was His death, but more specifically it was His blood, His SACRIFICIAL death, that atones. Choosing "death" as a better translation than "blood" is prefering less clarity. Nobody prefers ambiguity to clarity unless they don't like what is clear and  so don't want it to be certain. Many people have a problem with the sacrificial nature of the atonement and so try to downplay the "blood stuff" linguistically. It is dishonest with the text. Don't make me drag out that old thread in which I demonstrated how your take on words means that any statement can mean the exact opposite of what that statement really means.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: ptmccain on July 05, 2007, 07:34:49 PM
To understand Paul's passage, one has to use a figurative meaning of blood. He is referring to Jesus' death, not just the red stuff in his veins.

No, Brian, you are flatly wrong. Might I suggest you review your basic Christology again? You are robbing yourself of the great comfort that comes precisely in the literal fact that it is the *blood* of Christ that cleanses us from all sin. By using that word Paul is by no means excluding the body of Christ, nor he is saying it was some other "blood" other than given into death, but your pushing this point to the absurd conclusion is really a shame.

It is not at all legitimate to translate the word blood with death. If the Blessed Apostle had intended to say death the text would have used the Greek word for death. Don't deprive your hearers of the unique and powerful comfort of the blood of Christ shed for their justification by insisting on your little word games.

Quote
In that case, "blood" needs to be understood literally as the red stuff that was sprinkled on the altars as part of the sacrifices.

Brian, you are really missing the point of NT theology by the way here that you suggest a difference between the "red stuff" of the OT sacrifices and the "red stuff" of the Son of God. The blood of Christ was the "real stuff" that all the old "red stuff" of those animal sacrifices prefigured, anticipated and pointed to! It is not "we" who are making the connection but the Word of God itself.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on July 05, 2007, 09:29:35 PM
Brian, I don't think it is very accurate to refer to basic language usage with the word "figurative".
Uh, that's exactly what BDAG does. They offer three definitions:

1. lit. blood as  a basic component of an organism,  blood
2. fig. ext. of 1: blood as constituting the life of an individual, life-blood, blood
3. the (apocalyptic) red color, whose appearance in heaven indicates disaster, blood

Lowe and Nida also give a literal definition, then two that they mark "figurative extension" and five that they mark as "idioms".

Thus, I think I'm in good company when talking about the figurative use.

Quote
Choosing "death" as a better translation than "blood" is prefering less clarity.

I think it depends on who one is translating for. For a second grader, I think that "death" would be more clear than "blood".

Quote
Nobody prefers ambiguity to clarity unless they don't like what is clear and  so don't want it to be certain.

When have I been ambiguous in this discussion? I think that I've been very clear that Paul is, first of all, referring to Jesus' death. Secondly, he makes an allusion to the OT sacrificial system. Where's the ambiguity.

Quote
Many people have a problem with the sacrificial nature of the atonement and so try to downplay the "blood stuff" linguistically.
Did I do that?

Quote
It is dishonest with the text.
Can you honestly show where I've been dishonest with the text?
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: ptmccain on July 05, 2007, 10:15:30 PM
I think that I've been very clear that Paul is, first of all, referring to Jesus' death. Secondly, he makes an allusion to the OT sacrificial system.

No, Brian, Paul is referring to Jesus blood, not his death, his blood.

Quote
Can you honestly show where I've been dishonest with the text?

I do not think you are being dishonest. You are however being absolutely ridiculous.

Time to move on to some other endless string of speculations, which have absolutely nothing to do with the topic at hand.

I'm growing suspicious, Brian, that your real purpose in putting forward these absurdities is to so gum up the topic at hand as to effectively shut it down, a technique employed often by folks on computer discussion lists.

A moderator will often spot this kind of behavior and end it.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: peter_speckhard on July 05, 2007, 10:31:54 PM
Brian, of course nearly all laguage is figurative to some degree. It is technically accurate to say that, but also deliberately unhelpful because there are many kinds of figurative speech. To say the blood is figurative could mean anything from the idea that it was never actually shed more than symbolically all the way down to the idea that the blood as literally shed represents the life or even is the life. You just say it is figurative, which clarifies nothing, really, and deliberately doesn't rule out false interpretations. Your ambiguity-fetish always leads you astray at the critical moment, no matter how many reference volumes you think you've mastered.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on July 05, 2007, 11:05:04 PM
Either way, we can make that connection.

Well, Brian, you have identified here the nub of our problem.  You say "we can make that connect."  I say -- and I do so with no originality on my part -- that "we cannot not make that connection."  If he had wanted the Roman church (and us) to focus solely on Jesus' death, as you are repeatedly (though not yet consistently) insisting, he could have written "died."  He wrote "blood" so that they (and we) would make the connection of Jesus' death with his sacrifice -- and sacrifice was something both Jews and Gentiles knew something about.  To separate the two, as you are teaching us to do, sacrifices an essential part of understanding Christ's Passion.  And to what gainful purpose, I cannot fathom.

Pax, Steven+
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Bergs on July 06, 2007, 09:17:00 AM
This email came to me yesterday as I am on the WordAlone mailing list.

[Wa-announce] Donfried's response to the July 2007 issue of The Lutheran‎

July 4, 2007

Dear Mr. Lehmann,

I would like to make three responses to comments made inthe July, 2007, issue of The Lutheran with regard to my address to the WordAlone national convention. But before I do so I want to share with you my high regard for your editorial leadership of this important voice of the ELCA and to say how honored I have been both to write for your periodical and to work closely with your outstanding editorial colleagues. Thank you for this excellent ministry.

Before embarking on my response I should say that I was privileged, especially as a non-member of WordAlone, to be invited to be in dialogue with this remarkable group of faithful and committed Lutherans. My complete lecture can be found on their website and your readers should know where it can be read in its entirety so that they might be able to reach their own conclusions as to what I actually said on that occasion.

1. In Gayle Aldrich's article on WordAlone she gives the impression of citing two paragraphs from my address by the explicit use of quotation marks. Yet the first and longer paragraph cannot be found in my lecture; it simply is not there. What we apparently have here is Ms. Aldrich's compilation and interpretation, often incorrect and misleading, of remarks made at different points in the hour-long address. This deception, coupled with her second brief quotation removed fully from its pastoral and academic context, can have only one goal, whether intended or not: to mislead your readers.

2. Timothy Wengert, a distinguished and highly respected colleague of mine, appears to be responding to Gayle Aldrich's skewed summary falsely attributed to me rather than to my complete text. This is, of course, unfortunate, since it overlooks the detailed theological and academic nature of my remarks. Professor Wengert seems to have overlooked my citation of Luther's own harsh words about those who misinterpret Scripture when he advises us to take seriously Luther's exposition of the eighth commandment in the matters at hand. While fully respecting the eighth commandment, I would, with Luther and the Heidelberg Disputation, agree that a theologian of the Church Catholicis required to "call a thing what it actually is" and to point out false teaching for the purpose of public discussion and dialogue. I should also mention that not one reviewer of my Who Owns the Bible? Toward the Recovery of a Christian Hermeneutic (Crossroad, 2006) has referred to the key phrase "alien hermeneutics" as "incendiary." Such language only engenders false and misleading impressions.

3. In your own editorial comments you indicate that my remarks were "alarming" because they "just ramp up discord,stoking even more invective" serving only "to divide, not reconcile or correct." Personal judgments such as these are unfortunate since they never deal with the substance of my argument nor recognize the ecumenical and reconciling nature of my forty-three years of ordained ministry. The very point of my WordAlone lecture was to deepen our understanding of "Scripture as the Presence of Christ" by correcting those tendencies in the ELCA that undermine, intentionally or not, the reconciling and redeeming power of our Lord Jesus Christ.
 
Sincerely in Christ,

(The Rev. Canon) Karl P. Donfried, Dr. theol.

CC: Gayle Aldrich, Timothy Wengert, Mark Hanson, LowellAlmen

[Donfried's address is at:http://www.wordalone.org/docs/wa-donfried-2007.shtml ]
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on July 06, 2007, 12:38:07 PM
And to what gainful purpose, I cannot fathom.
The purpose of this thread was to illustrate my earlier statement that words, phrases, and even biblical passages do not have to be understood as being literal (or even historical) to convey truth, but they "can also be parabolic, poetic, metaphoric, ironic, symbolic, idiomatic, etc. -- words that are not meant to be understood literally, but can still convey truth. In fact, trying to understand such figures of speech literally, misses the meaning."

It makes quite a bit of difference in one's hermeneutic if the paradigm one operates from is that the truth is found in the literal interpretation of the Bible; or if the operating paradigm is that the Bible is filled with parables, poems, metaphors, irony, symbolisms, idiomatic phrases that are not meant to be interpreted literally. The use of "blood" to illustrate this might not have been the best choice.

Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on July 06, 2007, 12:40:41 PM
Your ambiguity-fetish always leads you astray at the critical moment, no matter how many reference volumes you think you've mastered.
Please indicate where in the recent discussion about Romans 5:9 and "blood" have I been lead astray? You've made the claim. Can you back it up or are you just blowing smoke?
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: ptmccain on July 06, 2007, 01:08:09 PM
Brian, you have been told repeatedly, by several people, why they believe your comments about the word "blood" arewrong. You can disagree with that opinion, of course, but please stop suggesting people have not stated their positions clearly. You are arguing now for the sake of arguing.

Brian, I have a respectful suggstion to offer to you and I wonder if perhaps our moderator might not agree. How about you start a new thread, that you can maintain and keep open, as kind of "your topic" in which you can offer your opinions and findings from your Biblical studies. It can be a running topic covering whatever issue you want. This would be a way for you to explore a whole host of your findings and opinions on hermeneutical issues without interrupting an ongoing topic with your remarks that do not really pertain to the issue at hand.

Please consider it.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Marshall_Hahn on July 06, 2007, 02:45:29 PM
This email came to me yesterday as I am on the WordAlone mailing list.

[Wa-announce] Donfried's response to the July 2007 issue of The Lutheran‎


Bergs - thank you for posting this.  It states very clearly the answer to Pr. Austin's questions from several posts back.  As Dr. Donfreid states, his intention in his address was not to drive people away from the ELCA, but to address what he sees as "tendencies in the ELCA that undermine, intentionally or not, the reconciling and redeeming power of our Lord Jesus Christ."  One may disagree with him on his analysis of the current situation in the ELCA, but it would be best then to address those points of disagreement, rather than dismissing his critique as a tirade against the whole ELCA.  I heard Dr. Donfried speak at our conference in Cedar Falls, Iowa, presenting what I understand was essentially the same speech he gave at WordAlone.  I understood his thesis to be not merely an indictment against the ELCA, but an analysis of the fragmentation of theology throughout mainline Protestantism - as a result of what he terms an "alien hermeneutic".  I believe it is an analysis that is worthwhile exploring in the church.  Far from seeking to destroy or undermine the ministry of the ELCA, I believe Dr. Donfried is acting in his role as a teaching theologian in the church, calling attention to this "alien hermeneutic" for the sake of the church's ministry.

At our synod assembly we heard from Daniel Lehmann, editor of The Lutheran.  He gave a very sober overview of the present situation of The Lutheran - falling from 1.2 million in subscriptions to 300,000 since the formation of the ELCA.  He stated his commitment, since becoming editor, to listen to the whole church, to be sure that all views on controversial topics are fairly represented in the magazine, and to truly be a magazine "for the church".  I was disappointed, then, in only a few short weeks to see the coverage given to Donfried's speech, which I believe did not reflect accurately what he presented.  I will be looking to see if Donfried's response is given fair play in the magazine - and to see if the real issues he raised will be addressed.

Marshall Hahn
 
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on July 06, 2007, 04:19:46 PM
It makes quite a bit of difference in one's hermeneutic if the paradigm one operates from is that the truth is found in the literal interpretation of the Bible; or if the operating paradigm is that the Bible is filled with parables, poems, metaphors, irony, symbolisms, idiomatic phrases that are not meant to be interpreted literally. The use of "blood" to illustrate this might not have been the best choice.

Ya think

More to the point, "the use of 'blood'" illustrates quite well that you have set a false dichotomy.  At least within the history of Biblical exegesis by Christians and Jews.

pax, spt+
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Vern on July 06, 2007, 05:23:35 PM
Gee, I thought the purpose of this thread was to discuss WordAlone.

Vern
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: ptmccain on July 06, 2007, 06:24:41 PM
Vern, me too!
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Dave_Poedel on July 06, 2007, 10:06:33 PM
I read Dr. Donfried's paper presented at the WordAlone convention.  For anyone who was there, was the paper well received?

Our STS Chapter used his book as our topic recently and, though I am not a fan of historical-critical exegesis, I appreciate his call to  study the Scripture as a canon and not tease out words or phrases that reflect our particular and current thinking.

When I read the write up in "The Lutheran", I scratched my head as it didn't sound like the person I read earlier.  I appreciate his rebuttal to the magazine. 
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: peter_speckhard on July 06, 2007, 10:11:41 PM
Your ambiguity-fetish always leads you astray at the critical moment, no matter how many reference volumes you think you've mastered.
Please indicate where in the recent discussion about Romans 5:9 and "blood" have I been lead astray? You've made the claim. Can you back it up or are you just blowing smoke?
I can back it up, though not to your satisfaction because you'll just move on to another subject. I think pages 11-13 of a thread entitled something like "I can hardly wait" (or something similar to that) in the Forum Blogs contain an entire explanation of the way you and I understand language differently. As it is, since you repeatedly claim that you often make assertions that you don't necessarily believe just to make people think, as though you are some kind of Socrates surrounded by pupils, I feel no urge to "back it up" unless you can affirm that we're talking about your actual beliefs and not merely what you find interesting, what many people believe, what some scholars view as possible, etc. A lot of smoke does seem to bedevil these threads, but I'm not the one blowing it.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: peter_speckhard on July 06, 2007, 10:37:31 PM
Brian, the following exchange between Paul McCain and you demonstrates what I mean by your ambiguity fetish leading you astray at the critical moments. Your responses are illogical in that they claim to contradict a point that was never made. You try to rebut "Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins" by saying that if it were literally true then "Jesus only needed to bleed". The fact that bloodshed is an absolute requirement does not mean it in itself is the only ingredient, so to speak. Person A: There is no pizza without pizza sauce. Person B: If that were literally true, a drop of pizza sauce would be a pizza. No, it must be figuratively true. In this little exchange, person B is a nincompoop who deseves to be corrected, or, if he insists on following such reasoning, ignored. Furthermore, the shedding of blood under discussion is part of a whole sacrificial system. The blood of the lamb protected people from death at the Passover, but the slaughter of the lamb (and not merely the bleeding of the lamb) is all part of it-- that doesn't mean the blood on the doorposts was figurative. But I don't think in your case you had any particular objection to what Paul was saying. He was stating the obvious and you were trying to make it less obvious, to eat away at his certainty, to create doubt. I don't think you mind what he said so much as that he stated it as a fact rather than proposing it as a viewpoint. You finally ask "What do you mean when you say 'blood was shed'?" as though there is any chance of anyone explaining it to you in such a way that you won't just go on to another question, another deferral of getting to the point, another layer of "well, that's one way of looking at it..." Anyway, below is the exchange I'm referring to, in which I think you're arguing merely to find ambiguity in order to undermine certainty.

Paul: Brian, yes sir, quite literally. Wonderfully so! The Son of God, literally, took on human flesh, in the womb of the [literal] Virgin. What a wonderful blessing and gift to us. His blood is God's blood. "Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins" the OT tell us and the Blessed Apostle Saint John tells us, "The blood of Jesus, His Son, cleanses us from all sin."
Brian: If literally true, then Jesus only needed to bleed to cleanse us from all sin.

Paul: Oh, yes, it is literally that "red stuff" that flowed through His veins that justifies us. And the key here is HIS veins, and HIS blood.
Brian: If literally true, then Jesus only needed to bleed to justify us.

Paul: Only His blood has the ability to justify us, because only His blood is that blood assumed by the Son of God.
Brian: No argument that his blood is God's blood, but wouldn't the blood from the crown of thorns be enough for our justification? Why did he need to die on the cross?

Paul: What a wonderful comfort to know that this blood was shed for you and for me.
Brian: What do you mean when you say, "blood was shed"?
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Dave_Poedel on July 07, 2007, 09:49:14 PM
Not wanting to pile on (heck, I was tryiing to get back to WordAlone), but if it only meant bleeding, the circumcision of Christ would have been sufficient.....NOT
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: LutherMan on July 07, 2007, 11:42:42 PM
This thread has gone waaaay off-topic of my original intent.  :o  I simply wanted a discussion about the purpose and goals of WA.  Thanks guys, for trying to rescue the thread...
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Erma_S._Wolf on July 08, 2007, 12:25:23 AM
I read Dr. Donfried's paper presented at the WordAlone convention.  For anyone who was there, was the paper well received?

    Dave, I see no one has responded to your question.  As one who was there to hear Dr. Donfried, I will say that I think his paper was very well received.  There were good questions following the initial presentation, and he drew a good crowd the next day when he led a workshop.  There was a sense that here was a scholar, someone who has been deeply involved in the ecumenical work on behalf of the ELCA, who was increasingly disturbed with the influences this "alien hermeneutic" has on the proclamation and witness of this church body.  I think he was speaking as strongly as he was out of a deep concern for a denomination in which he has served and for its continued allegiance to our Lord. 

    I think it needs to be understood that Word Alone took a risk in having him be the keynote speaker.  Dr. Donfried is not your typical Word Alone speaker.  He comes from the Evangelical Catholic wing of the ELCA, was in favor of the agreement with the Episcopal Church, and worked on JDDJ as part of the Lutheran team.  He has long been involved with the Lutheran-Roman Catholic dialogues.  None of those would ordinarily lend themselves to appealing to the Word Alone Network.   That the leadership of Word Alone reached out to Dr. Donfried is to be commended.  While CCM will more than likely always be their core issue, they are much more than a one-issue group. 

Erma Wolf
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Deb_H. on July 08, 2007, 02:05:31 AM
  That the leadership of Word Alone reached out to Dr. Donfried is to be commended.  While CCM will more than likely always be their core issue, they are much more than a one-issue group.

Pastor Wolf is correct in her post and I would point out that WordAlone, in my opinion, has always been willing to listen and respectfully engage all points of view around issues.  A few years ago WordAlone held a sexuality conference which was far more balanced in its presentations from all sides than virtually any other conference that I have been exposed to.  WordAlone is not afraid of hearing all voices, but at the end of the day, believes there is one voice which needs to be heard.
 "My sheep hear my voice, and they come to me."

Lou
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Vern on July 26, 2007, 08:56:00 AM
Innuendo -- Out of the mouth of babes
 
by Jaynan Clark Egland, president
 
As Lutherans the Word is paramount. The Word residing in
Jesus' real human flesh is primary as are the spoken and
written Word. In his letter to the Romans, one part of the
written Word, Paul reminds us you need a preacher. This is
how God works in our lives and forms His church, one sinner
at a time claimed by the promises of the Word.
 
As people of the story -- Words comprise it -- we also are
very aware that it isn't just what you say or how you say
it, but what you don't say that is important. The whole
omission, commission "thing" we often associate with an old
confession of sin readily applies to our present day
writings and pronouncements.
 
The most recent issue of The Lutheran, July 2007, included
in its "News" section an article entitled "WordAlone: 'The
Bible reads sinners.'" A curious Lutheran reader not
present at the annual convention of WordAlone and unaware
of the ministry of the WordAlone Network should have been
left wondering what was left out, not said and why. Like a
curious preacher first looking up the text for next Sunday,
often it is what is not included behind the 'hyphen' that
omits certain verses that is most revealing. The context of
Karl Paul Donfried's comments represented by the writer
with mere ellipsis changes both the content and intention
of the address. Whether intentional or accidental this type
of reporting is not helpful.
 
More bothersome is what is inferred by the use of certain
words. In the third paragraph the writer states that,
"WordAlone members believe that understanding must include
among other things: the centrality of Christ in Scripture,
.. . ." Following is a rather long laundry list of "musts"
that are quite orthodox and becoming of what Christians
have believed and taught for 2000 years but I wonder if the
laundry list paints WordAlone as rigid and legalistic. If
so, it is a technique of innuendo.
 
Just recently while I was in the video store with my
children consulting the rating of a movie and wondering if
it was appropriate for the whole family to view I heard my
13-year-old daughter read aloud, "Rated for intense action,
some violence, brief strong language and innuendo." She
turned and asked me, "What is innuendo, Mom?" I explained
that it was a suggestion of something but didn't really
show it. Later we went home and looked it up in the
dictionary to find the definition to be, "An indirect or
subtle and usually derogatory implication in expression,
insinuation."
 
Having just read the article in The Lutheran and thinking
to myself that it contained "innuendo" that was derogatory
in its implication, I read to my daughter the above
mentioned section to which she commented, "They want to
make you look like a bunch of old, grumpy people."
Interesting.
 
I went on and read to her the other portion that bothered
me toward the end of the article in the subsection entitled
"Reform efforts." "WordAlone says it wants to reform the
ELCA in a number of ways, . . ." Then there is another
laundry list that is quite becoming and accurate regarding
the goals of WordAlone but as our 13-year-old child pointed
out in her hearing of these words, "They want people to
think you are liars who 'say' you are trying to reform the
ELCA but they don't think you are."
 
She learned, by living it, what innuendo is and how
derogatory it really can be. Out of the mouths of babes our
Lord speaks clearly to us across His church. While what is
said is important, how it is said and what is left unsaid
is revealing. We may sometimes believe that even bad press
is better than no press at all . . . yet, the time for a
corrective on such invective is now.
 
Why I like her, Vern
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: LutherMan on July 26, 2007, 09:16:21 AM
Just curious, but why does WA wish to remain in the ELCA if their teachings are so far apart?  Like Biblical inerrancy and the mistrust of ELCA's seminaries?  Again, as an outsider (LCMS'er) I am curious.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Deb_H. on July 26, 2007, 09:40:35 AM
why does WA wish to remain in the ELCA if their teachings are so far apart? 

It is usually stated something like "Why should WE leave [the builidings, the name, the heritage] -- WE didn't do anything wrong."

WordAloners feel as if they have always stood for the same thing (thus the name) while the ELCA 'leadership' and seminaries have wandered off.  They thought they could pull the ELCA back to the pathway.  The Lutheran Core folks are specifically working on that, trying to get things worked back to center by electing the 'right' people to churchwide assemblies, as bishops, etc.  It will take generations, they say.  Some in WordAlone simply consider the ELCA irrelevant to what they are doing in their congregations, and don't pay any mind to what the leadership does 'way back there.'  This will only work until there are no 'good' pastors left to call.  The Institute for Renewing Lutheran Theology is working on that, to produce orthodox Lutheran pastors with a solid education and confession. 

The question finally is -- How does one minister to sinners, if one abandons sinners and leaves?  Many ELCA pastors feel called to stay in the ELCA because of the faithful people in the pews.  One can't shepherd sheep without being where the sheep are, and sheep tend to be truly clueless about what is going on outside their immediate vicinity.


Lou and Debbie
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: LutherMan on July 26, 2007, 09:52:32 AM
Thanks for the reply Rev(s) Hesse,
How do you feel the WA plan is working, or will ultimately work out?  It appears that 'official' ELCA is trying to thwart this plan.  Is their still a working relationship between LCMC & WA?
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Deb_H. on July 26, 2007, 10:08:27 AM
Thanks for the reply Rev(s) Hesse,

Oh goodness -- for the record, neither of us is a pastor so no title is due.  Lou is a lay leader for our congregation and has done a lot of work with the ELCA in the past, but he's a farmer for his "day job."  That makes me CEO around here, I guess.

Quote
How do you feel the WA plan is working, or will ultimately work out?  It appears that 'official' ELCA is trying to thwart this plan.  Is their still a working relationship between LCMC & WA?
I expect eventually someone in the ELCA to lose patience with WordAlone congregations, forcing them to choose.  Ultimately it may come down to when these congregations call pastors from somewhere other than the ELCA clergy roster.
The relationship between WordAlone and LCMC is that of parent/child.  They get along fine, but for the most part LCMC has moved out of the house.  The connection remains with congregations who are still officially ELCA congregations and have chosen to affiliate with the LCMC for support they don't find in the ELCA congregations nearby.
[I have always maintained that calling LCMC 'another Lutheran church body' was a misunderstanding on the part of ELCA leadership, but since it worked to the benefit of some congregations, nobody argued the point at the time that determination was made.]  LCMC was formed as a "lifeboat" or some call it a halfway house, but more and more it has become the only affiliation of many congregations, newly formed and those exiting ELCA... and foreign churches who find it via the internet.  Eventually LCMC probably will be another separate denomination; hard not to do what you know.

Debbie
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: pilgrimpriest on July 26, 2007, 11:07:59 AM
Thanks for the reply Rev(s) Hesse,

Oh goodness -- for the record, neither of us is a pastor so no title is due.  Lou is a lay leader for our congregation and has done a lot of work with the ELCA in the past, but he's a farmer for his "day job."  That makes me CEO around here, I guess.

Quote
How do you feel the WA plan is working, or will ultimately work out?  It appears that 'official' ELCA is trying to thwart this plan.  Is their still a working relationship between LCMC & WA?
I expect eventually someone in the ELCA to lose patience with WordAlone congregations, forcing them to choose.  Ultimately it may come down to when these congregations call pastors from somewhere other than the ELCA clergy roster.
The relationship between WordAlone and LCMC is that of parent/child.  They get along fine, but for the most part LCMC has moved out of the house.  The connection remains with congregations who are still officially ELCA congregations and have chosen to affiliate with the LCMC for support they don't find in the ELCA congregations nearby.
[I have always maintained that calling LCMC 'another Lutheran church body' was a misunderstanding on the part of ELCA leadership, but since it worked to the benefit of some congregations, nobody argued the point at the time that determination was made.]  LCMC was formed as a "lifeboat" or some call it a halfway house, but more and more it has become the only affiliation of many congregations, newly formed and those exiting ELCA... and foreign churches who find it via the internet.  Eventually LCMC probably will be another separate denomination; hard not to do what you know.

Debbie


No to sound too cynical, but my experience with WA folks is that they take the Scriptures and the Confessions seriously and their congregations don't tend to suffer from a lack of Biblical stewardship. I doubt the cash-poor central administration will be eager to see them go.

Fr. Bob
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: LutherMan on July 26, 2007, 09:00:14 PM
Debbie,
I guess I got the impression you were a former ELCA pastor when you were looking for those hymnals awhile back.  Thank you for your response.  Real-life farmers, huh?  I'll step up my prayers for you folks!  My Danish & German great-grandparents were farmers, and my parents and granparents always included a daily litany that we must pray for rain and favorable weather for the farmers... :)
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Vern on August 19, 2007, 03:14:30 PM
I know I said this before, but there is a meeting of the St Paul Area WordAlone at Roseville Lutheran Church this Thursday at 7:00pm. All are welcome.

Vern
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: MSchimmel on August 19, 2007, 10:59:36 PM
Debbie,
I guess I got the impression you were a former ELCA pastor when you were looking for those hymnals awhile back.  Thank you for your response.  Real-life farmers, huh?  I'll step up my prayers for you folks!  My Danish & German great-grandparents were farmers, and my parents and granparents always included a daily litany that we must pray for rain and favorable weather for the farmers... :)

Since this thread was brought back to life (I just skimmed through it after Vern's bump) I've got a couple of things to add.

I just joined ALPB forum a week or so ago to keep track of what was happening at the CWA of my former denomination.  Kudos to the reporters who brought the proceedings back home to those of us far from Chicago.

Like the Hesse's - there are other churches forming of people who couldn't stomach the ELCA any longer and found the LCMC a good fit.  I know there are those that would say it is not right but new small congregations not affiliated with the ELCA or LCMS have called lay ministers (like Lou and I) following Luther's writings: THAT A CHRISTIAN ASSEMBLY OR CONGREGATION HAS THE RIGHT AND POWER TO JUDGE ALL TEACHING AND TO CALL, APPOINT, AND DISMISS TEACHERS, ESTABLISHED AND PROVEN BY SCRIPTURE - Luther's Works, Vol. 39:S. 39:305 -- Unconfessional?  Complain to Luther.  8)

I also noticed that my fellow New Englander Karl Donfried registered (I saw his name on the "Latest Member" stat at the top of the page a couple days ago).  Perhaps he'll join the fray regarding his own work.

Probably putting too many topics in one post - but the last one is somewhat related to the topic of the thread - as the LCMC was in some ways a spin-off of WordAlone.  The LCMC National Gathering is coming up October 7 - 10 at North Heights Lutheran Church in Arden Hills, MN.  See more at http://www.lcmc.net/annual_convention.htm

Like the ELCA CWA - a visitor's one-day pass is $50 - it includes lunch and/or dinner (depending on the day) though.  ;)  $99 for the whole thing, seminarians are free.  I have this strange feeling we will see a lot of interested observers this year.

Peace,
Mark
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Charles_Austin on August 20, 2007, 03:53:59 AM
Lou and Debbie write:
One can't shepherd sheep without being where the sheep are, and sheep tend to be truly clueless about what is going on outside their immediate vicinity.

I comment:
I guess I have a higher regard for the "sheep," who are quite often knowledgeable and involved in the broader life of the church. (Unless, of course, their pastors withhold information, discourage participation, and build attitudes of suspicion and distrust of anything outside the parish.)
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Deb_H. on August 20, 2007, 09:57:22 AM
Lou and Debbie write:
One can't shepherd sheep without being where the sheep are, and sheep tend to be truly clueless about what is going on outside their immediate vicinity.

I comment:
I guess I have a higher regard for the "sheep," who are quite often knowledgeable and involved in the broader life of the church. (Unless, of course, their pastors withhold information, discourage participation, and build attitudes of suspicion and distrust of anything outside the parish.)

This is what I find so frustrating about many of your posts.
Much of what you say I agree with, but, then you spin it.
There is an elitist attitude in your posts, I believe, that implies that if everyone was simply as bright and upbeat as you are, all problems would go away.  It's an arrogance that I felt on Higgins Road, and I personally just label it as hubris.   A pastor I greatly respected reminded us constantly that in issues outside of I.Cor. 2:2, our mantra needed to be  "I could be wrong." 

Lou Hesse
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Charles_Austin on August 20, 2007, 10:28:52 AM
Lou writes:
There is an elitist attitude in your posts, I believe, that implies that if everyone was simply as bright and upbeat as you are, all problems would go away.  It's an arrogance that I felt on Higgins Road, and I personally just label it as hubris.   A pastor I greatly respected reminded us constantly that in issues outside of I.Cor. 2:2, our mantra needed to be  "I could be wrong."


I comment:
Wait a minute! I'm the one who has a higher regard for the "sheep," you're the one who said people in the congregations don't know or understand what's going on. You (and others) and the ones suggesting that a cabal of high-level revisionist bureaucrats are stealing the church from the folks in the pews. I think the folks in the pews are doing just fine, most of them, at least. And if you can get certain people in this forum who stand four-square, solid rock, tree-planted-by-the-water against same sex unions to say: "I could be wrong," I will praise God.

P.S. Thank you for considering me "bright and upbeat," but, sad to say, that has not made "all problems go away."
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Deb_H. on August 20, 2007, 10:42:05 AM
Wait a minute! I'm the one who has a higher regard for the "sheep," you're the one who said people in the congregations don't know or understand what's going on. You (and others) and the ones suggesting that a cabal of high-level revisionist bureaucrats are stealing the church from the folks in the pews.

I think the folks in the pews are doing just fine too.  The problem is many of your pastors (probably on both sides) are unwilling to let their people genuinely engage issues, and in all honesty many people don't want to engage "issues" because they value their friendships and relationships in their local community more than some remote national agenda of either side.  The people in the pews generally resent having to choose between their freinds and politics.  I know I do.
WordAlone does a better job at their conferences of allowing all voices to be heard than any other group I've been in contact with in the ELCA.  Most other conferences are simply a conference advocating one point of view.
Quote

And if you can get certain people in this forum who stand four-square, solid rock, tree-planted-by-the-water against same sex unions to say: "I could be wrong," I will praise God.

We had two groups appear on separate days before the Task Force in Chicago.  I asked the same question of both groups:  What doubts do you have about the position you are advocating?  Every one of the traditional group admitted to doubts and concerns that they were inadequate to love their neighbor as theirself, and were not convinced that they could not be wrong.  EVERY one of those advocating change said they had NO doubts whatsoever about what they were saying.  This is my experience. 
Now you may praise God.

Lou

Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Vern on August 20, 2007, 02:34:27 PM
Mark,
Since thus is the WordAlone thread, what do you mean by "Vern's bump'?
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: GoCubsGo! on August 20, 2007, 04:00:36 PM
Lou writes:
There is an elitist attitude in your posts, I believe, that implies that if everyone was simply as bright and upbeat as you are, all problems would go away.  It's an arrogance that I felt on Higgins Road, and I personally just label it as hubris.   A pastor I greatly respected reminded us constantly that in issues outside of I.Cor. 2:2, our mantra needed to be  "I could be wrong."


I comment:
Wait a minute! I'm the one who has a higher regard for the "sheep," you're the one who said people in the congregations don't know or understand what's going on. You (and others) and the ones suggesting that a cabal of high-level revisionist bureaucrats are stealing the church from the folks in the pews. I think the folks in the pews are doing just fine, most of them, at least. And if you can get certain people in this forum who stand four-square, solid rock, tree-planted-by-the-water against same sex unions to say: "I could be wrong," I will praise God.

P.S. Thank you for considering me "bright and upbeat," but, sad to say, that has not made "all problems go away."

Yes on issues of same sex marriage/blessings, partnered GLBTclergy, and the state of the ELCA I could be wrong.  On the first two all I can say is that I would need an angelic visitation to convince me otherwise that either of these would be faithful to God intentions for human sexuality.  Perhaps my views on these things will change--but I doubt it.  About the ELCA I think the greater problem is that they as a whole have fostered distrust by failing to recognize the deep diviisions that exist within the church over a range of matters.

Further to imply that I foster mistrust or that I actively attempt to "keep my folks in the dark" so as to manipulate them  is just plain wrong.  Many of my folks are informed but very frustrated.  Some have given up on the ELCA and the synod despite my attempts to build a better relationship.  Chalres, you owe some here a sincere apology...
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Keith Falk on August 20, 2007, 04:12:18 PM
Mark,
Since thus is the WordAlone thread, what do you mean by "Vern's bump'?

Vern,
A "bump", in this case, is more Internet lingo.  A "bump" is when a person makes a post with the purpose of bringing a thread (discussion) to the top of the list.  For example, Eirc "bumped" the WorldView thread recently.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: MSchimmel on August 20, 2007, 05:42:16 PM
Mark,
Since thus is the WordAlone thread, what do you mean by "Vern's bump'?

Vern,
A "bump", in this case, is more Internet lingo.  A "bump" is when a person makes a post with the purpose of bringing a thread (discussion) to the top of the list.  For example, Eirc "bumped" the WorldView thread recently.

Hi Vern,

Exactly what Keith said.  The WordAlone thread had been inactive for almost a month since your post.  That brought it back to the top of the list and I saw it, read the thread and responded.

Thanks for "bumping" the thread - I might not have seen it as a new member.  Reading the current active topics on an active discussion board takes enough time!

Peace,
Mark
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Vern on August 24, 2007, 02:29:08 PM
We had a very interesting meeting of the St Paul & Minneapolis WordAlone Group last night. A number of people that were delegates to th CWA expressed their views leaving us in a surprised state.  It was also mention that Diane Jacobson who was a main author of the "sexless" Pslams in the new hymnal is also writing alot of the Book of Faith Bible study.  That should be interesting, to see how she destroys that.

Vern
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: scott3 on August 24, 2007, 02:35:37 PM
A number of people that were delegates to th CWA expressed their views leaving us in a surprised state. 

Could you elaborate?
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Vern on August 24, 2007, 03:30:52 PM
Ok, I'll try.
1. A number of the Minneapolis delegates decided at the" last minute" not to go, so replacements were "appointed"

2. Not expecting a sudden deluge of votes on Saturday one of the Minneapolis delegates had a flight out at 10:00am Saturday morning. He was immediately replaced by a homosexual person from Central Lutheran.

3. One of the Saturday items passed by just 9 votes, 318 to 309, that"s about 40% of the voters. The rest of the 1069 delegates had already left.

4. The Assembly in it's infinite wisdom favored improving the communion relationship with the Morovian Church, but did't even allow a dialog with the LCMC.

5. The selected to write the new Bible study is Diane Jacobson that also did the Psalms for the new hymnal.

I think I'll do the WordAlone Bible Study called "Rightly Explaining The Word of Truth" A bible study on the authority and interpretation of scripture.


Vern
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Charles_Austin on August 24, 2007, 04:42:05 PM
Not to overwork this, but Vern writes:
1. A number of the Minneapolis delegates decided at the" last minute" not to go, so replacements were "appointed"

I note:
Again. This is allowed. And I wonder if they were really "appointed," which implies one thing, or chosen from a previously-selected list of alternates.

Vern:
2. Not expecting a sudden deluge of votes on Saturday one of the Minneapolis delegates had a flight out at 10:00am Saturday morning. He was immediately replaced by a homosexual person from Central Lutheran.
Me:
And so...?

Vern again:
3. One of the Saturday items passed by just 9 votes, 318 to 309, that"s about 40% of the voters. The rest of the 1069 delegates had already left.
I note:
Much of the Satuday a.m. session was routine actions, hardly controversial issues.

Vern:
4. The Assembly in it's infinite wisdom favored improving the communion relationship with the Morovian Church, but did't even allow a dialog with the LCMC.

Me;
I'll say it again. There was no initiative from the LCMC asking for dialog. A memorial sought that, but this is not how we initiate dialogs. And the report from the memorials committee suggested the lack of "respect" for the ELCA that seems to exist in the LCMC. You can look it up.

Vern:
5. The selected to write the new Bible study is Diane Jacobson that also did the Psalms for the new hymnal.
Me:
This is not correct. There is no one "new Bible study." There is a wide-ranging initiative on Bible reading, and Dr. Jacobson is to supervise it half-time. You misunderstand her role. But one must note, since ELW received a ringing endorsement in the ELCA, her role in it would probably not be considered a detriment.

Vern:
I think I'll do the WordAlone Bible Study called "Rightly Explaining The Word of Truth" A bible study on the authority and interpretation of scripture.
Me:
O.k.,I hope it goes well for you; but is it all right with you that large segments of the ELCA use other materials?
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Mike Bennett on August 24, 2007, 04:53:53 PM
Ok, I'll try.
1. A number of the Minneapolis delegates decided at the" last minute" not to go, so replacements were "appointed"

2. Not expecting a sudden deluge of votes on Saturday one of the Minneapolis delegates had a flight out at 10:00am Saturday morning. He was immediately replaced by a homosexual person from Central Lutheran.

3. One of the Saturday items passed by just 9 votes, 318 to 309, that"s about 40% of the voters. The rest of the 1069 delegates had already left.


I absolutely do not understand how somebody who was selected be one of 1,069 voting members (approximately one ELCA Lutheran of every 5,000) could have decided to catch a 10:00 a.m. plane out of town on a day when business was scheduled through 4:00, nor how "a number of" these chosen few could have simply "decided at the last minute not to go."

They say in a representative democracy we get the government we deserve.  The same could be said of our CWAs, it seems to me.

Mike Bennett
2005 CWA voting member
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Richard Johnson on August 24, 2007, 05:00:08 PM
Not to overwork this, but Vern writes:
1. A number of the Minneapolis delegates decided at the" last minute" not to go, so replacements were "appointed"

I note:
Again. This is allowed. And I wonder if they were really "appointed," which implies one thing, or chosen from a previously-selected list of alternates.

From the Rules of Procedure of the Assembly:

If a vacancy [in a synod's delegation] occurs or exists within 30 days or less of the convening of the Churchwide Assembly or during the meeting of the Churchwide Assembly, the synodical bishop may submit the name of an eligible person to the secretary of this church. The individual whose name is submitted to the secretary of this church shall be registered and seated by the Credentials Committee as as voting member from the synod (ELCA 12.41.12).

So in fact a bishop has the authority to "appoint" an eligible person as a replacement if someone goes home early, subject to their being registered and seated by the Credentials Committee. There are some exceptions to this; one thing that happened behind the scenes at Chicago was a bishop wanted to appoint a person from his synod who was present as part of one of the musical groups. He was told that person was ineligible because he was "under contract" to the ELCA. But if someone is just there as a visitor, and meets all the other requirements, a bishop can make that appointment.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Charles_Austin on August 24, 2007, 05:37:25 PM
Richard Johnson writes (re being an alternate voting member):
But if someone is just there as a visitor, and meets all the other requirements, a bishop can make that appointment.

I comment:
See, Brian? You could have been a voting member!
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Richard Johnson on August 24, 2007, 06:04:24 PM

See, Brian? You could have been a voting member!

Well, maybe not. I don't know when this rule took effect. And of course Brian would have had to have been the same "category" as whomever left early (and my guess is that it would usually be lay people who would leave early, they having real world responsibilities and all).
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Keith Falk on August 24, 2007, 06:06:20 PM
I don't know about the category requirements, but I know that a member of the Navy Pier Gathering was pulled out of our program to fill the place of a voting member who had a family emergency back home.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on August 24, 2007, 07:39:16 PM
See, Brian? You could have been a voting member!
Would that be an promotion or demotion from "visitor"? :) Visitors can wander, sleep, pay little attention, and mostly visit with others during plenary sessions.

At the first convention I attended, I was there at the invitation of the ELCA, who paid my way, so I was probably not eligible.

At the second one, I was a volunteer -- I paid my own way, but I still may have been considered an unpaid employee of the ELCA and thus ineligible.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on August 24, 2007, 07:40:25 PM

See, Brian? You could have been a voting member!

Well, maybe not. I don't know when this rule took effect. And of course Brian would have had to have been the same "category" as whomever left early (and my guess is that it would usually be lay people who would leave early, they having real world responsibilities and all).
I've been mistaken as a lay person before. I'm usually not collored as in my picture. :)
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Richard Johnson on August 24, 2007, 07:49:15 PM
Shouldn't you be packing?  ::)
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on August 24, 2007, 07:53:03 PM
Shouldn't you be packing?  ::)
A friend, who has his own moving van, insisting on packing our stuff for us. He'll be doing that Tuesday & Wednesday. That is making the move a whole lot easier.The office at church is already packed. 50 boxes of books and music; and there are five more bookshelves of similar stuff at home. Now if we only knew where he can deliver all the stuff.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: ptmccain on September 01, 2007, 09:36:23 AM
Are you retiring? Or did you accept a call to another congregation?
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Gladfelteri on September 01, 2007, 09:42:13 AM
A friend, who has his own moving van, insisting on packing our stuff for us. He'll be doing that Tuesday & Wednesday. That is making the move a whole lot easier.The office at church is already packed. 50 boxes of books and music; and there are five more bookshelves of similar stuff at home. Now if we only knew where he can deliver all the stuff.
  Have a safe trip, and enjoy Yuma.   :)
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on September 02, 2007, 04:08:37 PM
Are you retiring? Or did you accept a call to another congregation?
I think that with this new call I'll be working harder than before. According to demographics, the zip code area of the congregation, Faith Lutheran, is about 50% under age 15! Yuma is not just a retirement town. (Although my folks retired to Yuma.)
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Vern on September 02, 2007, 06:20:09 PM
Again, Brian, why is this in the WordAlone thread?
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: ptmccain on September 02, 2007, 06:23:41 PM
Vern, et al.

I've been looking around the Word Alone web site and there is quite a good collection of resources there. Kudos to all who maintain that site.

Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on September 03, 2007, 04:07:20 PM
Again, Brian, why is this in the WordAlone thread?
Because others asked questions about it.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Vern on September 14, 2007, 07:38:26 PM
Church is a verb

 

By Pastor Jaynan Clark Egland, WordAlone president

 

There are two types of verbs according to the rules of English grammar: action and being verbs.  Most certainly the church of Jesus Christ living under the authority of the Living Word of God is a verb in its being and its doing.  As defined by Article VII of the Augsburg Confession, the church is the preaching of the Word and the administering of the sacraments rightly.  The church is the “doing” of the Living Word: delivering Jesus himself orally and through the real presence of his body and blood.  The church is where sinners meet their Savior.  It is an encounter.  It is the state of “being” forgiven and saved and it comes from the church’s doing of the Living Word of God.

 

The recent churchwide assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America held in Chicago last month resolved to engage in some “doing” itself.  A majority of voting members voted to “pray, urge and encourage” synods, bishops and the presiding bishop to “refrain from” or “demonstrate restraint” in disciplining congregations and individuals who practice ministry outside the standards for rostered clergy.  Ironically, this same assembly had upheld the existing ministry standards just one day before.  The present standards, which they upheld and then one day later asked leadership not to act upon, direct both heterosexual and homosexual pastors to conduct themselves according to a biblical understanding of marriage and sexuality.

 

 To pray, urge and encourage are also verbs.  One would think such action verbs should be encouraged and practiced in sync with the Word of God and all of the teachings of the church up through the present day.  When what one does is not in line with what one says he or she believes, there is a problem.  If we are to practice what we preach, then we need to either align our practice, actions and “doings” with our standards or we need to change what we believe, confess, teach and preach. Not to do so is hypocrisy on public display.  The church can “do” better.

 

I ask the WordAlone Network together with its partners and supporters to “pray, urge and encourage” synods, bishops, the presiding bishop and the whole of the institutional church to uphold the biblical standards of this denomination and align what we say are the ministry standards of this church regarding the conduct of its clergy with the practice of disciplining those who are not living accordingly.  Let’s practice what we preach and do what we say we believe.  Perhaps in so doing those who observe from afar and read about our “doings” in the headlines will come to understand that there remain some who still believe that freedom in Christ does not mean a life without limits but rather life in His unlimited love. 

Another Good point from Jaynan.

Vern
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Vern on September 14, 2007, 07:40:58 PM
WordAlone Network in the Twin Cities
 

Invites you to hear

 

The Reverend David Glesne
Senior Pastor of Redeemer Lutheran Church

in Fridley, MN, and author of

Understanding Homosexuality: Perspectives for the Local Church

speak on

The Authority of the Bible:
 Revelation & Inspiration
 

7:00 p.m.

Tuesday, September 18. 2007
at

Roseville Lutheran Church

1215 Roselawn Ave. W., Roseville, MN

 

Bring a friend and bring your Bible!
 

(Directions: from Hwy 36 go south on Lexington Ave. about one mile to Roselawn. 

Turn right on Roselawn and go west about 2 blocks to the church.)

 Questions?:  call Karen Stack 612-889-5709

This should be a very interesting meeting, if any of you can come, please do.

Vern
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: hillwilliam on January 05, 2008, 02:24:09 PM
Somebody asked if the WordAlone thread was lost so I thought I would give it a bump.

WordAlone ins a loyal opposition group within the ELCA. Their loyalty can be seen in their benevolence giving.

(excerpted from a 2005 WordAlone newsletter.

There are 45 congregations in the SW MN Synod that are either members of the WordAlone Network, or are served by a pastor who is a member of WordAlone.

They represent 16.3% of the total congregations of the synod. Yet these same congregations gave 25.1% of the total benevolence dollars recorded for the synod in 2004-2005:

Congregational benevolence giving (percentage of total benevolence vs. total expenses): For all congregations of the synod = 14.0%; for congregations served by a WordAlone pastor = 17.2% (+3.2% above average).

Total benevolence dollars given per member (total benevolence divided by the number of baptized members):

For all congregations of the synod = $31 per year;
 for congregations served by a WordAlone pastor = $39 per year (+$8 per member above average).

Contrary to what is often assumed, congregations that are blessed with the leadership of a WordAlone pastor actually give more in total benevolence than the average congregation—both as a percentage of total giving, as well as on a per member basis.


 http://wordalone.org/newsletters/2005/JulyAug05.pdf.

WordAlone is not going to encourage anyone to leave the ELCA.

Gary Hinton
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: navyman on January 06, 2008, 02:49:08 PM

See, Brian? You could have been a voting member!

Well, maybe not. I don't know when this rule took effect. And of course Brian would have had to have been the same "category" as whomever left early (and my guess is that it would usually be lay people who would leave early, they having real world responsibilities and all).


I would wonder, was it all lay people that left early?  Were there any pastors who left early?  Or a combination of both?  Maybe the lay people had to get back early to take care of matters at the church before the pastors returned.  Possible!!!

Thanks for the post Richard!

Regards!

Don
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: John Dornheim on January 06, 2008, 02:58:32 PM

See, Brian? You could have been a voting member!

Well, maybe not. I don't know when this rule took effect. And of course Brian would have had to have been the same "category" as whomever left early (and my guess is that it would usually be lay people who would leave early, they having real world responsibilities and all).


I would wonder, was it all lay people that left early?  Were there any pastors who left early?  Or a combination of both?  Maybe the lay people had to get back early to take care of matters at the church before the pastors returned.  Possible!!!

Thanks for the post Richard!

Regards!

Don

Quite often, since the pastor receives mileage reimbursement, the voting members ride in his or her car. Might be a good stewardship thing, no? Often, a pastor needs to leave early-things like weddings, and the like. So, when the ride leaves, few people wish to walk home.
John Dornheim, OSL
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: navyman on January 06, 2008, 05:52:44 PM

See, Brian? You could have been a voting member!

Well, maybe not. I don't know when this rule took effect. And of course Brian would have had to have been the same "category" as whomever left early (and my guess is that it would usually be lay people who would leave early, they having real world responsibilities and all).


I would wonder, was it all lay people that left early?  Were there any pastors who left early?  Or a combination of both?  Maybe the lay people had to get back early to take care of matters at the church before the pastors returned.  Possible!!!

Thanks for the post Richard!

Regards!

Don

Quite often, since the pastor receives mileage reimbursement, the voting members ride in his or her car. Might be a good stewardship thing, no? Often, a pastor needs to leave early-things like weddings, and the like. So, when the ride leaves, few people wish to walk home.
John Dornheim, OSL

One would think with all the advance knowledge one has, that the pastor could make other arrangements.  Being that these votes that people vote on affect so many people.

I guess you could also apply this to any laymen who leave early also.  They may have to be back to work, have a vacation planned, maybe attend a wedding, illness in the family, so all those in attenance and obtained a ride from her or him, need to go also. 

So it wouldn't be just laymen leaving a combination there of, is more of a correct statment, I would think!  ::)

Thanks for your post John!

Regards!

Don

Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Vern on January 06, 2008, 08:36:48 PM
Thanks for finding it Gary!

Vern
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Vern on January 07, 2008, 01:09:48 PM
WordAlone Open Meeting

for the St. Paul and Minneapolis Area Synods

 

Al Quie, former Governor of Minnesota,

will speak on

“The Priesthood of All Believers: the Roll of the Laity in the Church Today”

followed by table and large group discussion

 

7:00 p.m., Thursday, January 24, 2008

 
Roseville Lutheran Church Social Hall
1215 Roselawn Ave. W., Roseville, MN

                                      (Directions:  from Hwy 36 go south on Lexington Ave. about one mile to

                                Roselawn.  Turn right on Roselawn and go west about 2 blocks to the church).

 

Guests are welcome so invite your friends to join us.

 

Don’t forget to attend your Conference Assembly Sunday, February 24th!

Questions ?: call Karen Stack at 612-889-5709

 

Vern
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on January 07, 2008, 07:09:07 PM
I trust Gov. Quie actually means "the Role of the Laity in the Church Today."  Or is he talking about lay rostered leaders?

pax, spt+
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Vern on January 07, 2008, 08:21:56 PM
Gee, someone made a typo. It must be nice to be perfect.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Vern on January 17, 2008, 07:16:18 PM
I got a really strange notice from WordAlone today. It's over 100 pages of  Pastoral Care Resources. It says to read and respond. I did noy copy it in here because of the size of the document.

Vern ???
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: MSchimmel on January 17, 2008, 07:24:57 PM
Hi Vern,

That resource has been discussed on this forum previously.

In the email that came out today WordAlone is encouraging pastors and other ELCA members to review the resource and reply with their opinions.

The text of todays WA email is as follows:

Review and respond
to new pastoral care resources

by Mark Chavez, director

The provisional texts for a companion resource to "Evangelical
Lutheran Worship," the new ELCA hymnal, are available for review. You
can find the provisional texts for "Evangelical Lutheran Worship:
Pastoral Care" at:
http://www.elca.org/worship/ELW/Provisional_Resources/index.html

The ELCA worship staff requested that people review the resources and
respond with feedback by Feb. 1, mid-Feb. at the latest. The new
resource will be published in fall 2008. It will be the first volume
of a two-volume resource. The second volume will be "a collection of
services and rites for use in the worshiping assembly and will be
available for review at a later date," according to information on the
ELCA web site.

The pastoral care volume will be similar to "Occasional Services: A
Companion to Lutheran Book of Worship," which is a collection of
services for specific occasions beyond weekly Sunday worship services.

It is important for ELCA members to review the provisional texts and
give feedback to the ELCA worship staff. You may use online review
forms to respond if you wish at:
http://www.elca.org/worship/ELW/Provisional_Resources/Pastoral_Care_Review_index.html
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Charles_Austin on January 17, 2008, 10:27:38 PM
Yes, this is a chance to comment on some materials auxiliary to the ELW before they are published; another example of how the ELCA seeks advice and consultation throughout the church before it does something.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Harvey_Mozolak on January 18, 2008, 08:08:18 AM
Charles, the frustration is that to make the same or similar criticisms of prayers and liturgy based on a careful reading and consideration that I took the time to do for the ELW (and those were not heeded based on the final product) seems a waste of effort and time... why say again that the text of a creed should not be used when it is already written in the concrete of the ELW type thing...   I am not saying they will not read my response, its just that the horse is out of the barn...     and there were and are probably plenty of people who wear many more degrees in liturgy who responded from the same basic direction that I have and were not heeded in many cases... so what are we to just try and pile on enough negatives to make a positive change, that doesn't seem to make much churchly sense...  Say I believe the new text of a creed should not be used… fine, I use the LBW text, but I WILL be confronted with its text in the new Occasional Services book for sure and when I go to Synod assembly, it will appear in the worship booklet for use, because it has already and I have not choice but to be silent at certain phrases, or insert traditional words…   (of course the birds have come back to roost as I now know the feeling of all those folks who every week are confronted with the word _catholic_ in the creed and who desperately desire the term _Christian_ at that point.  Harvey Mozolak
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Dadoo on January 18, 2008, 09:20:12 AM
Yes, this is a chance to comment on some materials auxiliary to the ELW before they are published; another example of how the ELCA seeks advice and consultation throughout the church before it does something.

i guess that the old corporate warrior in me sees the evaluation process as a modified Delphi process.  Everyone is answering questions but no one really knows what everyone else has said.  Harvey M. might be the only one who complained about the Creed or then again he might not have been the only one.  How would he know?  He would have to assume that, perhaps, he is just the only dinosaur in the process and will then most likely shut up and resign himself to his fate- as he seems to have done.  Why talk if you are the only one with objections?  The beauty of national organizations, like WA, and these internet type of boards is this:  We find out there are plenty of folks who had reservations.  Oh, maybe that is not all that good after all- might breed cynicism...

Have I done my shtick in responding to the new occasional service book- yes, I have.  Did I do my shtick responding the all the sundry material that was to go into ELW- yes, panned it all, well much of it.  Do I believe that I will be heard- not really.  What was that John Mellencamp song again, the one about authority?
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Charles_Austin on January 18, 2008, 11:03:11 AM
And another aspect is that we are not required to use any of the material or to use it exactly as it is printed. I have always modified the Occasional Services book rites to suit the particular needs, and will probably continue to do so.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: MSchimmel on January 18, 2008, 11:44:19 AM
Thank goodness for word processors and laser printers.  ;)

Mark
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Erma_S._Wolf on January 19, 2008, 03:21:38 AM
Yes, this is a chance to comment on some materials auxiliary to the ELW before they are published; another example of how the ELCA seeks advice and consultation throughout the church before it does something.

  Well, Charles, as I work my way through the 113 pages of material, I came to the page with possibilities for hymns and spiritual songs that could be sung during a blessing of a home.  I couldn't help but think of you, the resident cat-afficianado:

      "In places where a pet sleeps or animals are kept
        Oh, That I had a Thousand Voices
        All Things Bright and Beautiful
        An animal-specific stanza for the carol 'the Friendly Beasts' might be written and inserted into
              that song; for example:

            "I," said the cat with the velvet fur,
             "I sniffed at the frankincense and myrrh;
              Then I cheered the child with a friendly purr--
              I," said the cat with the velvet fur.'

Now that's inclusive.  :D

Erma Wolf
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Charles_Austin on January 19, 2008, 08:12:04 AM
Thank you, Erma, and I am thrilled to learn that our materials consider the presence of God's creatures who are our companion animals.
We do need to work with the felines in our homes, though. The ancient Egyptians considered cats as gods, and cats have never forgotten that.

A dog says: Woof! Woof! He feeds me, pets me, loves me, cares for me with all his heart; he must be God.

A cat says: Meow! Meow! He feeds me, pets me, loves, me cares for me with all his heart: I must be God.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Harvey_Mozolak on January 19, 2008, 08:43:09 AM
Erma and Charles, I wrote this as a companion verse...  largely because of the general demeanor of barn cats, to bail them from the jail of violence, so to speak.   

“I,” said the mouse with a half a tail,
   "I tell the worst of this cat’s tale.
   "From a bale the child pulled a golden nail,
         "Tied it like string; in the end claws fail."

a sort of sancta clause for the peaceful kingdom aspects of house pest blessings. 


Harvey Mozolak
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Team Hesse on January 19, 2008, 10:08:30 AM
Thank you, Erma, and I am thrilled to learn that our materials consider the presence of God's creatures who are our companion animals.
We do need to work with the felines in our homes, though. The ancient Egyptians considered cats as gods, and cats have never forgotten that.

A dog says: Woof! Woof! He feeds me, pets me, loves me, cares for me with all his heart; he must be God.

A cat says: Meow! Meow! He feeds me, pets me, loves, me cares for me with all his heart: I must be God.

Can't resist my favorite Winston Churchill quote here --

A dog looks up to you,
a cat looks down on you,
only a pig treats you like an equal.

Lou
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: MSchimmel on January 19, 2008, 10:11:17 AM
Thank you, Erma, and I am thrilled to learn that our materials consider the presence of God's creatures who are our companion animals.
We do need to work with the felines in our homes, though. The ancient Egyptians considered cats as gods, and cats have never forgotten that.

A dog says: Woof! Woof! He feeds me, pets me, loves me, cares for me with all his heart; he must be God.

A cat says: Meow! Meow! He feeds me, pets me, loves, me cares for me with all his heart: I must be God.

Can't resist my favorite Winston Churchill quote here --

A dog looks up to you,
a cat looks down on you,
only a pig treats you like an equal.

Lou

Hmmm... wondering how I can work this into talking about John pointing out some guy he called "the Lamb of God" and how strange the phrase is.

Mark
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: edoughty on January 19, 2008, 10:45:44 AM
Thank you, Erma, and I am thrilled to learn that our materials consider the presence of God's creatures who are our companion animals.
We do need to work with the felines in our homes, though. The ancient Egyptians considered cats as gods, and cats have never forgotten that.

A dog says: Woof! Woof! He feeds me, pets me, loves me, cares for me with all his heart; he must be God.

A cat says: Meow! Meow! He feeds me, pets me, loves, me cares for me with all his heart: I must be God.

Can't resist my favorite Winston Churchill quote here --

A dog looks up to you,
a cat looks down on you,
only a pig treats you like an equal.

Lou

Hmmm... wondering how I can work this into talking about John pointing out some guy he called "the Lamb of God" and how strange the phrase is.

Mark

There is a good book out there: Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal, by Christopher Moore.

Not for the humorless, though.

Erik Doughty
Minneapolis, MN

Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Harvey_Mozolak on January 19, 2008, 11:24:15 AM
and a Lamb is looked upon...
or
and a Lamb is put upon...

Harvey Mozolak


A dog looks up to you,
a cat looks down on you,
only a pig treats you like an equal.
Lou
Hmmm... wondering how I can work this into talking about John pointing out some guy he called "the Lamb of God" and how strange the phrase is.

Mark
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Vern on January 19, 2008, 01:28:53 PM
Huh, welcome to the WordAlone thread.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Charles_Austin on January 19, 2008, 03:01:28 PM
Creative Communications for the Parish, that interesting liturgical supply house started by Pastor Larry Neeb, once of the LC-MS, has a whole Lent-Holy Week series on animals. And they always have some creative and stimulating liturgical materials for the special seasons. This animal stuff looks charming and devotional.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Vern on January 21, 2008, 08:13:08 PM
Just a reminder about the WordAlone meeting at 7:00pm at Roseville Lutheran Church on Thursday.

Al Quie is the speaker Former Minnesota Governor

Vern ;D
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Vern on February 05, 2008, 10:29:12 AM
WA board of directors
sets priorities for the network
 
The board of directors for the WordAlone Network engaged in strategic
brainstorming and planning for WordAlone's future at the first
quarterly meeting this year on Jan. 18-19 at St. Paul Lutheran Church
in New Braunfels, Texas. The launching of our new publishing venture,
Sola Publishing (www.solapublishing.org), was identified as one of our
highest priorities in order to provide educational materials that are
faithful, confessional and affordable. In parallel with this priority
is the work of the newly launched Institute for Lutheran Theology.
 
The other priorities the board identified are: to promote and grow the
network with direct contacts with churches and to grow the WA mailing
lists; to provide practical plans and strategies for WA members,
churches and chapters to be more effective in doing the work of the
movement; to build a vocal and effective international coalition of
Lutheran churches; and to work even more closely with the other
Protestant reform groups.
 
The board, with several new members elected last spring, and our staff
are focused on broadening the witness of WordAlone, increasing
membership and establishing longevity through a faithful educational
program that will be both user-friendly and cost effective.
 
In other matters, Irv Aal, treasurer, reported that donors had
responded generously in 2007 with their support for WA's ministries
and the network ended the year in good financial shape. The strong
support from individuals, chapters and churches is much appreciated
and is very encouraging. The board adopted a budget for 2008 that
supports the priorities named above and the steady growth of the
network.
 
Board members reiterated our continuing priority of supporting
Lutheran seminarians in their education and their conscience when
making a request for non-episcopal ordination under the 2001 bylaw
amendment. The board directed that the new "exceptional" pastors
receive a letter of support and that WA continue to promote its
Seminary Debt Relief Fund, which helps repay the seminary student
loans for the courageous, confessional new pastors.
 
The board looks forward to the publication this spring of WordAlone's
first book, "By What Authority?"  The book has over 20 different
contributing authors and addresses the crisis now facing the Christian
church across the denominations in North America.  The question is not
one of shrinking denominational membership or declining budgets, but
rather an inability to clearly confess that Jesus the Christ is the
sole (also soul) authority in all of heaven and earth and for all time
and space.
 
Dr. James Nestingen reported to the board about the reconfiguration of
the Theological Advisory Board due to the deaths of some members,
resignations and limited resources.  He reported that the board is
being reconfigured with the intention of meeting in fall 2008 with a
smaller, but effective confessional membership.
 
A plan for responding in a timely manner to the release of the first
draft of the ELCA's social statement on sexuality on March 13 was
discussed.  A commitment was made to constantly remind our readership
and membership to participate in the feedback process and to develop
user-friendly resources to be made widely available as aids for
analyzing the draft statement.
 
Board members expressed their appreciation to the staff and Pastor
Paul Owens in Alpena, Mich., for making available on the web site the
new "Daily Devotions with Pastor Paul." The suggestion was made to
announce the availability of this faithful resource and try to broaden
the readership.
 
Doug Dillner, a WA board member and also a member of the board of
regents for the Institute of Lutheran Theology, reported on the
development of the institute. Three new courses are being offered this
winter. You can find more information about them at
www.instituteoflutherantheology.org
 
Rev. Scott Grorud, a WA board member and member of the Lutheran CORE
steering committee, reported on the work of Lutheran CORE, the
coalition for reform of the ELCA.  This ministry is done in
conjunction with WordAlone and under the administration of our
director, Mark Chavez.  Organization of networks within synods and
election of 2009 churchwide assembly members are the priorities, and
is moving forward in a very broad based manner through our local
contacts for WordAlone and Lutheran CORE.
 
Plans for the upcoming annual convention for WordAlone to be held
April 13-14 at Calvary Lutheran Church in Golden Valley, Minn., were
discussed.  The theme of the convention is "Defending the Faith," with
our keynote speakers being Dr. James Kallas from Agua Dulche, Calif.,
and Pastor Gary Jepsen from Puyallup, Wash.  The board encourages all
WordAlone churches and chapters to send multiple representatives to
this event in order to educate and excite the Network about our
important calling as Lutheran Christians.
 
The fall theological conference in November will be focused on the
theme of the two opposing gospels in the ELCA under the title, "A
Different Gospel--Christianity at Risk."
 
While in New Braunfels, the board experienced the best of Southern
hospitality. St. Paul provided an opportunity for board members to
meet with church leaders on Jan 18 over dinner and hosted an open
meeting on Jan. 19 where members of area churches were able to meet
with the board. St. Paul invited me to preach at their Sunday services
on Jan. 20 and lead an adult forum. Four other Texas churches in
Knippa, Mission Valley, San Antonio and Seguin also hosted our board
members and staff to preach and lead forums on Jan. 20.  The number of
opportunities to tell our story and confess our faith was numerous. We
were once again reminded of the importance of holding two quarterly
board meetings outside of Minnesota with the hope of expanding the
Network and sharing our witness.
 
The WA board understands the difficulty of our calling to witness
inside and outside the denominations and church institutions.  The
historic and geographic reminder that we were meeting only a few miles
from the site of the Alamo was cause for some humorous comments, but
also serious consideration.  As we "Remember the Alamo" we are
reminded of those who chose to fight for what they believed was right
and necessary for the future of Texas and the United States.  The
defenders at the Alamo were overwhelmingly outnumbered and their
supplies extremely limited, but they did not quit.  Though they paid
the ultimate price, their stand inspired others to greater commitment.
  As we remember the Alamo we must also reflect upon the cross and the
Crucified One, who radically redefined what winning and losing look
like to the faithful.
 
In Him,
Jaynan Clark Egland, president
 
_______________________________________________
Wa-announce mailing list
Wa-announce@wordalone.org

Vern J
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Vern on February 21, 2008, 08:45:44 AM
I don't kno9w who this Mark person is, but I sure find his post extremely insulting and degrading.I also reported him to the moderators.

Vernon R Jorgensen
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Bergs on February 21, 2008, 09:25:30 AM
WordAshamed Network - Joke du Jour (full compilation)




Hmmmm, Word Alone must be doing some good work out there to get this kind of attack.  Keep up the good work Word Alone, you must be making a difference if someone took the time to come up with this rather crummy adaptation of old jokes and so many of them.  Coming out of the blue like this, it will be gratifying that your message must be making inroads.

More people on this board ought to check out what Word Alone is doing, they must be effective or they would be ignored.

Grace & Peace,
Brian J. Bergs
Minneapolis, MN
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Thomas Byers on February 21, 2008, 09:45:29 AM
Mark -humor a bit heavy handed but if one has ever attended a WA meeting you find theyn take temselves  very seriousl y as defenders of AC VII and  FC X.  Don't we all sometimes go "mirror, mirror on the wall, who's most luther-ann of all?"  I f you caused pain perhaps the pained should simply "offer it up".  thomas byers
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: peter_speckhard on February 21, 2008, 09:46:10 AM
There was a long list of jokes about the WordAlone Network posted above that I deleted, as they were offensive to a lot of people who post here. The gist of the point seemed to be that that WAN was a lost cause and people were naive to think it could bring about substantive change in the direction of the ELCA. That may or may not be true-- it is certainly one valid opinion and a point worth discussing, but the jokes didn't really make that point so much as make fun of people who disagreed. Surely we can use humor, satire, etc while still keeping the dialogue elevated above simple mockery. Thanks. Der Moderator
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Thomas Byers on February 21, 2008, 10:53:06 AM
2nd thought--lampoonery is not helpful. 
so to thepoint:  Henry Eyster Jacobs in  A Summary of the Christian Faith, Capter 28, #37 "through whom is the Lord's  Supper administered?"  "Through those whom the Church has rgularly called and appointed as ministers."  Next- #38  "But is there no necessity that justifies adminisration by a layman?"  Answer:  The unanimous judgment of our Church is against it.  The necessity cannot be as urgent as Baptism."  Lay presidency is a cause promoted by Word Alone if you follow published opinions. 

t. byers














/
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Vern on February 21, 2008, 11:01:13 AM
Thank You Peter!

Vernon R Jorgensen
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: mdmenacher on February 21, 2008, 08:56:37 PM
I don't kno9w who this Mark person is, but I sure find his post extremely insulting and degrading.I also reported him to the moderators.

Just a little background to the humour.  I was involved in WordAlone before returning to the USA in 1999.  I was one of the original funders of the Augsburg7 listserv that brought WAN into existence.

In 1999, I attended the constituting convention of WAN at St. Andrews in Mahtomedi, MN, was on its original Education Committee, and was at that convention nominated for its Board (something I did not want).  After that convention, WAN decided that political expediency rather than theological competence was to be the order of the day.

WAN's position of a "non-mandatory historic episcopate" was theologically untenable.  As time progressed WAN began to split into two camps, remodelers and builders.  The former wanted to reform the ELCA.  The latter wanted to start a new church.  The builders gave rise to the creation of Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ (LCMC - a poor choice of names).

In the lead up to the constituting convention of LCMC (Phoenix 2001), which the WAN board had devised (in my opinion) to be a vassal church, protest was raised at LCMC's nearly complete subjugation to the WAN board.  To stifle this criticism in the run up to the LCMC convention, the WAN board temporarily shut the Augsburg7 listserv down.  A group of us incorporated another "church" in Michigan and drafted an alternative constitution.  This led the WAN board radically to revise LCMC's original constitution.  At the convention, I presented the alternative constitution, and many but not enough of its safeguards and corrective elements were incorporated into LCMC, i.e. too much control left in the hands of the WAN board and the inclusion of a document called "Our Declaration" in its bylaws.

This all took place in advance of WAN's push for the "exceptions clause" to CCM.  WAN's original strategy was to seek exceptions to CCM for both pastors and bishops.  It is reported to me that Al Quie at the ELCA churchwide assembly in 2001 dropped the demand for exceptions for bishops, contrary to approved strategy (this report I cannot corroborate).  At any rate, the "exceptions clause" for pastors has done nothing to deter the implementation of CCM, i.e. WAN has changed nothing.  After this churchwide assembly, LCMC was dropped by the WAN board like a hotcake, which confirms my theory that LCMC was created as a political bargaining chip.

In the course of time, criticism of the WAN board continued to grow.  Those originally part of WAN with reservations about the ELCA's apparent or real drift in relation to Visions & Expectations wanted to raise this issue.  These persons were repressed and forced out of WAN.  In another effort to thwart criticism of the WAN board, the board "secretly" planned to disband the Augsburg7 listserv.  When I and others got wind of this, we demanded an explanation.  The "grassroots" were nastily rebuffed, and Augsburg7 was disbanded by the WAN board (dictatorship not democracy).  When criticism of this move got out of hand, the WAN board created a ChristAlone listserv hosted on Yahoo.com Groups and was moderated by some unknown hatchet woman who went by the pseudonym Katharina von Bora.  In due course, she summarily expelled anyone critical of the WAN board from the blasphemously named ChristAlone listserv.

WAN's "Admonition" was drafted with insufficient theological rationale, i.e. non-mandatory historic episcopate, and the "Admonition's" veiled threats of "in statu confessionis" never materialized into action when the "Admontion" was ignored.  WAN has no courage of its less than ecclesiological-political convictions.

As CCM began to fade into the background and WAN was losing its reason for being, WAN needed a reason to stay in business.  So, it conveniently adopted the cause of maintaining Visions & Expectations (see above).  It is now loosely allied with similar groups in the ELCA whose combined efforts will most likely prove equally ineffective as deterring the inception and implementation of CCM, if the last churchwide assembly provides any indication.

In short, WAN has expended hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars and has achieved nothing.  WAN treats its own critical members far worse than the institutional ELCA treats its dissenters.  WAN's point of reference is the institutional ELCA and certainly not Christ Alone or the Word Alone, contrary to the Lutheran Reformers.  WAN is thus a pseudo-rebel group with no clear theological direction in search of a cause.  It will be interesting to see what agenda WAN will assume depending on events at the next churchwide assembly.

As a bit of information, those "extremely insulting and degrading" jokes were originally posted on a WAN listserv earlier this year, a listserv whose moderator is not intimidated by the WAN board.  It is thus terribly ironic that such jokes were deleted here.  The stifling of free speech is always the hallmark of repressive regimes.  It is also contrary to the Lutheran Reformation which thrived on the mass communication of its theology, often with a bit of humour. 

Many thanks,
Mark Menacher, PhD

P.S.  My published criticism of WAN is available in View and Counterview - “A Response to Marc Kolden’s ‘An Open Letter to Carl Braaten’ and ‘A New ELCA Presiding Bishop?’,” Dialog: A Journal of Theology 45 (Summer 2006), 197-198.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: peter_speckhard on February 21, 2008, 09:49:23 PM
Long Live the Moderators! All Hail the Glorious ALPB Regime! Death to Dissenters! That having been said, I don't think free speech means the right to post on anyone and everyone's website any more than the right free assembly gives you the right to assemble in my house. But feel free to provide links to less puritanical Lutheran websites from here. My problem was not with any particular point you made, nor with the medium of satire, which can serve a purpose. But mere mockery of people is not the same thing as making an argument against their position, and if those mocked responded in kind, pretty soon thoughtful people would stop checking in or posting on this website. I'm glad you posted your take on the history of WAN, about which I, as an LCMS type, knew nothing. I hope it generates some good discussion. Or, if you prefer, keep shouting "Help, Help! I'm being repressed!" and I promise to moderate with a derisive "Bloody peasant!".
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Paul T. McCain on February 21, 2008, 10:02:29 PM
I seem to recall we went through this before with Mark.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: mdmenacher on February 21, 2008, 10:34:43 PM
I'm glad you posted your take on the history of WAN, about which I, as an LCMS type, knew nothing. I hope it generates some good discussion. Or, if you prefer, keep shouting "Help, Help! I'm being repressed!" and I promise to moderate with a derisive "Bloody peasant!".

Thanks for your good humour.  As they say in Britain, the peasants are revolting. 

I realize that some may find my comments a bit repetitious, which is curious since I do not recall making such comments on ALPB fora, but it is important to identify myself to the chap to whom I responded.   Like he, I wonder to what extent the LCMS is aware of what WAN is and is not, particularly since WAN is making overtures to LCMS seminaries, or alternatively, is trying to use them for its own internal, ecclesial-political designs.  I would suspect that the LCMS is astute enough to avoid being drawn.  At least I do not read its response to WAN's overtures as friendly and as accommodating as WAN seems to portray them. 

At any rate, WAN is basically incapable of "reforming" the institutional ELCA because in ethos and in theological ability it functions really no differently from the institutional ELCA.  So much wasted time and effort and money could have been used in so many better ways if WAN could have provided clear, decisive theological leadership rather than facilitating the fracturing and mutual alienation of its members by playing politics, i.e. putting law before gospel. 

There are Lutherans in the world because Luther put theology before politics, gospel before law, and the truth before his life.  WAN takes the opposite approach, sadly.  In secular, modern terms, a labour union that refuses to strike at any cost is expensively worthless.

Thanks,
Mark Menacher
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Paul L. Knudson on February 21, 2008, 10:41:20 PM
All I want to say as a member of Word Alone since its inception is that the picture given by Mark is one foreign to my experience.  I believe I know most of the leaders of Word Alone quite well, and I have great respect for their personal and theological integrity.  I would not choose even to begin an argument about the various points made by Mark.  I doubt anything constructive would result.

I have been seeking to build trust with those who post in this forum and will let my posts speak to whether I for one represent integrity and constructive purpose.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: BeornBjornson on February 21, 2008, 11:10:22 PM
All I want to say as a member of Word Alone since its inception is that the picture given by Mark is one foreign to my experience.  I believe I know most of the leaders of Word Alone quite well, and I have great respect for their personal and theological integrity.  I would not choose even to begin an argument about the various points made by Mark.  I doubt anything constructive would result.

I have been seeking to build trust with those who post in this forum and will let my posts speak to whether I for one represent integrity and constructive purpose.
Ditto (with the exception that I have not been a member of WordAlone since its inception.  One of the reasons that I and most of my colleagues in Call to Faithfulness in the NE Iowa synod shied away from WordAlone in the early years was because the handful of those in our synod who jumped on board the WordAlone bandwagon at the start were dominated by the anti-authoritarian paranoids of both the left and right in our synod--most of whom jumped ship in the first couple years, leaving (in our synod) a couple pockets of really solid folks who supported WAN chapters in the Cedar Falls and Decorah areas.  I'm not accusing Pr. Menacher of being an "anti-authoritarian paranoid" (I don't know him at all); I'm just saying what was the case in Northeast Iowa.) 

Ken Kimball
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: mdmenacher on February 22, 2008, 02:00:49 AM
[ I'm not accusing Pr. Menacher of being an "anti-authoritarian paranoid" (I don't know him at all); I'm just saying what was the case in Northeast Iowa.) 

Thanks for the not categorizing me too harshly. 

There is no doubt that WAN initially attracted a diverse crowd.  At one time, besides those described above in Iowa and similar folks around the country, it also attracted many leading ELCA seminary professors and other top notch theologians.  When the politicians assumed control of WAN, however, most of the leading theologians turned back to academic theology or to their parish duties, and the "radicals" departed for other pastures.  WAN could not hold itself together because it could not contain the "radicals" and because it disenfranchised its best theologians.  Why do you think that folks like Jim Kittelson decided not to sign WAN's "Admonition"?  Furthermore, every time WAN drew a line in the sand, the institutional ELCA crossed over it with impunity.

Let us turn this into constructive discussion. 

The situation is thus.  CCM and the homosex issue are only symptomatic of a Lutheran church seriously in trouble.  For all intents and purposes the ELCA is a failed merger.  WAN has unquivocally hitched itself to the institutional ELCA which has hitched itself to the Episcopal Church which, according to National Council of Churches Yearbook 2008, "had the largest percentage decline" of any denomination in the USA (ENI-08-0144).

If WAN is unable to effect the direction of the institutional ELCA on one and possibly two issues, how will it "reform" an entire church for which these issues are only symptomatic? 

I would be grateful for WAN folks and others to provide concrete answers.

Many thanks,
Mark Menacher
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Dave_Poedel on February 22, 2008, 02:22:08 AM
Mark:

As another of the LCMS guys here, and therefore unaware of the machinations described, my question to you is: If WAN is as you describe, what mechanism/organization/strategems do you propose to prevent the ELCA from slipping further into the mainline/oldline/sideline (to use a Neuhaus descriptor) abyss?

Thanks in advance for your response.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: pterandon on February 22, 2008, 07:58:53 AM
WA has written some things I disagree with as much as I disagree with liberal-protestantism.  Alas, they did not consult me directly  ;) in determining exactly what kind of tack towards reform they would take!

 I have met folks who seem to have such a fixation with the ELCA that they suggest folks give sermons about the ELCA's problems (uh, what about the cross?). I've met folks who seem to have such a fixation with WA that they'll disrupt a conversation about reform to bring up personal slights of 1 or 10 years ago in this or that movement. After observing some of the interpersonal politics that have arisen, I am therefore LESS likely to want to throw WA on the ash heap of history. I am reluctant to let the entire movement of reform be held up until every reformer joins in sour grapes axe grinding to condemn the personal slights that happened 5 or 10 years ago.  Movements are made to move.    I think that the movement is better off without some of those who've left. 
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Thomas Byers on February 22, 2008, 09:56:55 AM
I have been reading WA literature from the start.  Not once have I noticed any interest in or analysis of the Formula of Agreement with Reformd.  Why?  Ts is surely a core thological issue not peripheral as it goes to the center of Christology.  Instead a continuous harping about .the matter of CCM which is already addressed in our Confessions.  Of course Pres. Preus of ALC promoted the FofA. 
at outset was also active in WA.  I don't know what to make of the accord.  Mere anecdote:  I have never met clergy or lay of those denominations who affirm a real presence theology.  Most knw whsat the Lutheran teaching is and reject it.   I don't know anything about inner workings of WA so no comment about that.  Sort of atangent--the LCA and ALc should have come to an agreement on doctrines of church and ministry before merging.  (I was LCA of General Council type).  Now I do agree that authority of the
word and the word needs to be recovered and sexuality may be the presenting issue BUT simply opposing homosexual agenda does not an orthodox Lutheran make!                                                               thomas byers
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Jay on February 22, 2008, 11:18:18 AM
Good point, Thomas.  There seems to be an extreme aversion to anything relating to authority, but no problem compromising a belief in the real presence of the body and blood of Christ in Holy Communion.  I wonder if the belief that church authority is "too Catholic" is related to the willingness to compromise on the real presence because a strong focus on the presence of the body and blood of Christ in Holy Communion is perceived as being "too Catholic" as well.   
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: buechler on February 22, 2008, 01:50:51 PM
I believe Mark M.'s comments come out of a real disappointment that reform has not come to the ELCA. However, I don't believe that Word Alone is responsible for this, nor CORE, nor LC3 or any of the other various reform groups created to combat the continual slide towards apostacy that is found in that denomination.

The reason my congregations left the ELCA and I left the ELCA have nothing to do with the "failure" of WAN. They were very helpful and I believe courageous in standing when others decided to go along. I think WAN President Jaynen (don't think this is the right spelling, so asking your pardon) has been more insightful about CWA actions than the leadership of Solid Rock. She and her colleagues were the first to say that the emperor has no clothes. They were right. The more cautious and "optimistic" views of other allies were, in my opinion which I believe has been vindicated by recent actions, wishful thinking (albeit understandably so...who wants to believe the worst).

We left the ELCA because it really didn't matter what happened in the Synod Assemblies. In the end, bishops like Steve Bouman, Margaret Payne, Lundahl, Rogness, and others were going to do what they wanted. Same with the seminary teachings and professors. It became a matter of whether or not we wanted our names associated with the rising support of alternative teachings and preachings concerning Scripture, Creed, and Confession. We did not, so we left. WAN has not "failed." What has failed is the common sense and Christian conviction of many in the ELCA leadership. The revisionists seem to control the mechanisms for change. Therefore orthodoxy may very well be done. It will be considered quaint for a while. Then finally dismissed and disposed of as "outdated."

Peace in the Lord!
Rob Buechler
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Vern on February 22, 2008, 02:36:36 PM
The "jokes" by Mark really irritated me, but now I say thank you. We have lots of positive comments and discussion about WordAlone, Lutheran Core, and LC3 going on. That is what we need.

Vern
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Paul L. Knudson on February 22, 2008, 06:20:39 PM
Thomas and Jay, here is my take on why WAN did not fight to stop the Formula of Agreement.  While WAN is not by any means limited to Region 3 congregations and synods, there is a significant portion of the membership from this region of the country.  In the rural and small town areas there are many very small UCC, Presbyterian USA, and Reformed Church in America congregations.  Some of them are surrounded by other small ELCA congregations.  It appeared to many of us, however, that the availability of ELCA clergy to cross over and serve parishes in these denominations was much more likely than the other way around.  Therefore we could bring our proclamation of the Word centered in Jesus Christ and his redemptive purposes to these people needing Word and Sacrament ministry.

In this part of the country I learned that one of the denominations that went in to form the UCC came out of a more evangelical background than did the stereotypical Congregational churches of the East easily identified with liberal protestantism.  In other words, with their congregational polity they would have a certain kinship with our Lutheran heritage.

In my opinion the issue had nothing to do with a kinship with the Zwinglian understanding of the Lord's Supper.  WAN is squarely in the Lutheran tradition of affirming the Real Presence of Christ in the sacrament.  It is true that many of us come out of historic expressions of Lutheran understandings of the Confessions that interprets the Confessions in a way that does not see ecclesiological questions the same as many coming out of the LCA and Augustana did.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Thomas Byers on February 23, 2008, 07:13:31 PM
ANYone interested in tracing the origins of WAN?  Might start with Haugean movement in Norway.  There was an artilcle in

concordia








Anyone interested in tracing
wan to its roots?  There was an article i Concordia quarterly some years ago on chuech in the Scandinavian coutries with analysis of Haugean movement.Anyone know that reference?  And another question--there was a dissertation at
trinity Seminary  on Grabau's theology--anyone seen it.  I know we are not supposed to like him but might still learn something.  Years ago I read the hIRTENBRIEF  in which he characterized Walther's position as "democratic, anabaptistic nonsense'.  he would have liked alpb Your Turn.  He would have been a challenge to the moderators.   Thomas Byers












Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: mdmenacher on February 24, 2008, 08:20:22 PM
The "jokes" by Mark really irritated me, but now I say thank you. We have lots of positive comments and discussion about WordAlone, Lutheran Core, and LC3 going on. That is what we need.

I am grateful for these and other comments.  I restate my question thus:

If WAN et al have been unable to address effectively the symptoms of the ELCA system, then how will WAN et al reform the system?  What is the plan of action for the whole system?

A further, more pointed question might be:

To what extent does WAN's and others' focus on but inability to address symptomatic ills of the ELCA effectively enable or even facilitate the system to advance its agenda unimpaired?

I would be most grateful if some might venture responses.

Thanks,
Mark Menacher
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: 1Ptr5v67 on February 25, 2008, 12:03:22 AM

There are Lutherans in the world because Luther put theology before politics, gospel before law, and the truth before his life.  WAN takes the opposite approach, sadly.  In secular, modern terms, a labour union that refuses to strike at any cost is expensively worthless.

Thanks,
Mark Menacher

In my opinion,  the comparison to a labor union that refuses to strike,  is sadly very appropriate.

If a union refuses to strike,   it could focus on more subtle reform.  But if subtle reform is the only likely goal,  it seems to me that to be realistic,  they would have to accept a time frame for reform that is defined in terms of generations,  rather than a short term time period of decades.

I also agree with what Pastor Buechler has stated:
Quote
The revisionists seem to control the mechanisms for change. Therefore orthodoxy may very well be done. It will be considered quaint for a while. Then finally dismissed and disposed of as "outdated."

And the WA and related organizations have to be concerned that the ELCA environment may very well soon resemble the currently existing TEC environment,   where any hint of orthodox reform is being totally stamped out.

fleur-de-lis

Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: racin_jason on February 25, 2008, 12:27:59 AM

There are Lutherans in the world because Luther put theology before politics, gospel before law, and the truth before his life.  WAN takes the opposite approach, sadly.  In secular, modern terms, a labour union that refuses to strike at any cost is expensively worthless.

Thanks,
Mark Menacher

In my opinion,  the comparison to a labor union that refuses to strike,  is sadly very appropriate.

If a union refuses to strike,   it could focus on more subtle reform.  But if subtle reform is the only likely goal,  it seems to me that to be realistic,  they would have to accept a time frame for reform that is defined in terms of generations,  rather than a short term time period of decades.

The union-analogy isn't too applicable to WAN. These were/are ELCA Lutherans who knew what they didn't like (CCM, the historic episcopate), but were not of one mind regarding strategy. Early on, there were different camps with different ideas for direction, and no single figure with a vsion who everyone could rally around.

I see them as a group who tried their best and have made a difference, second-guessing aside.

For a union to function, a union needs to be united. WAN was not. That's Dr. Manacher's point, but I don't see how top-down unity could ever come for an organization that was based, in part, on the distrust of hierarchical power. 
   
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: E. Swensson on February 25, 2008, 10:01:30 AM

There are Lutherans in the world because Luther put theology before politics, gospel before law, and the truth before his life.  WAN takes the opposite approach, sadly.  In secular, modern terms, a labour union that refuses to strike at any cost is expensively worthless.

Thanks,
Mark Menacher

In my opinion,  the comparison to a labor union that refuses to strike,  is sadly very appropriate.

If a union refuses to strike,   it could focus on more subtle reform.  But if subtle reform is the only likely goal,  it seems to me that to be realistic,  they would have to accept a time frame for reform that is defined in terms of generations,  rather than a short term time period of decades.

The union-analogy isn't too applicable to WAN. These were/are ELCA Lutherans who knew what they didn't like (CCM, the historic episcopate), but were not of one mind regarding strategy. Early on, there were different camps with different ideas for direction, and no single figure with a vsion who everyone could rally around.

I see them as a group who tried their best and have made a difference, second-guessing aside.

For a union to function, a union needs to be united. WAN was not. That's Dr. Manacher's point, but I don't see how top-down unity could ever come for an organization that was based, in part, on the distrust of hierarchical power. 
   

Folk need to understand a little about the nature of movements. WAN is a movement. It is alive. It is not what it was. It would be good for Mark to explain what his point is about beginning this conversation or it would seem sour grapes. I asked a few days ago for information on any other movements and have heard nothing.

It is my opinion that few people think about churchly matters in terms of flux. It is highly amusing for me to read most people's opinions on pietism for example. They speak as though it is a thing. It was/is a thousand things. And it is only good when it is fresh. Most movements, the good ones, last only a decade or two. Many movements last less than that, they are small, have a flashpoint, deteriorate. Much of what is attributed in people's minds as "WordAlone" is from before the time they even had a board. Mark is from a very early time, moved on, but it seems not entirely.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Thomas Byers on February 25, 2008, 10:29:56 AM
May 25, 07 Eric
swensson wrote to effect that Justification is the defining issue.  Sounds very Lutheran!  But are we all aware that Amida
buddhism affirms "justification by faith alone?"  Interesting topic for a dissertation?  Thomas Byers
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Vern on February 25, 2008, 12:00:25 PM
WordAlone, LC3, and Core are very much still alive. They are handicapped, however; by congregations such as Reformation, Lesbian Pastor, Gloria Dei, liberal former LCA, and a couple other large congregations. At the Conference which unfortunately I did not attend, these Churches passed 3 measures concerning homosexuality. Unless the other congregations in the synod stand up to them the ELCA is dead.

Vern
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Vern on February 26, 2008, 08:34:38 AM
From: WordaloneSPAS@aol.com
Date: 02/25/08 22:48:30
To: Krestack@aol.com
Subject: WordAlone Meeting Thursday
     

WordAlone Open Meeting

for the St. Paul and Minneapolis Area Synods

 

The Reverend Steven King

Senior Pastor of Holy Cross LC in Maple Lake and WordAlone Education Director,

 is a talented Christian educator with a lively presentation style.  He will speak on the

Articles of the Common Confession:

a statement of faith that addresses concerns of Lutherans in the 21st Century

 

7:00 p.m., Thursday, February 28, 2008

Roseville Lutheran Church Social Hall
1215 Roselawn Ave. W., Roseville, MN

                                      (Directions:  from Hwy 36 go south on Lexington Ave. about one mile to

                                Roselawn.  Turn right on Roselawn and go west about 2 blocks to the church).

 

  Guests are welcome so invite your friends to join us.



 

Questions ?: call Karen Stack at 612-889-5709






--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Delicious ideas to please the pickiest eaters. Watch the video on AOL Living.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: E. Swensson on February 26, 2008, 12:32:42 PM
Pr King is a good man!
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: pterandon on February 26, 2008, 08:12:33 PM
Unless the other congregations in the synod stand up to them the ELCA is dead.

In my congregation, one of the first Christ Care groups to form started among some gentle-folk who are a little bit more mainstream evangelical in their theology and politics than I am, and much, much more so than the stereotypical liberal-protestant ELCA'er.  In some ways I'm wondering if my entire middle-of-the-road MNYS ELCA congregation is insulated from some of the stereotypical alien theologies running across the denomination, and that group of gentlefolk are insulated from the congregation.  NOT isolated: they are active in the congregation and in multiple interdenominational ministries in the community. 

I'm just wondering how "the ELCA" is going to entirely die if something happens.

Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: MSchimmel on February 26, 2008, 09:02:53 PM
Unless the other congregations in the synod stand up to them the ELCA is dead.

In my congregation, one of the first Christ Care groups to form started among some gentle-folk who are a little bit more mainstream evangelical in their theology and politics than I am, and much, much more so than the stereotypical liberal-protestant ELCA'er.  In some ways I'm wondering if my entire middle-of-the-road MNYS ELCA congregation is insulated from some of the stereotypical alien theologies running across the denomination, and that group of gentlefolk are insulated from the congregation.  NOT isolated: they are active in the congregation and in multiple interdenominational ministries in the community. 

I'm just wondering how "the ELCA" is going to entirely die if something happens.



To work through that wondering ... I've not been involved with Stephen Ministries/ChristCare though I've certainly heard of them.  Are they affiliated with ELCA or LCMS closely - or are they a pan-Lutheran para-church organization?  Even if they are (or if similarly solid and good programs are) - what is to prevent them from continuing post-GBLC (Great Big Lutheran Church)?

The most effective ministries (and other business models) I've been involved in have not been top down driven - but ones that sprout up from gifted and passionate ministers (ordained or not).

Mark (contributing to thread drift - but hopefully a positive discussion)  ;)
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: mdmenacher on February 27, 2008, 11:43:43 PM
WordAlone, LC3, and Core are very much still alive. They are handicapped, however; by congregations such as ...

Is WAN handicapped by certain congregations or by its "hierarchy"?  If WAN were "grassroots," then why did it abolish its national listserv out of fear of the postings of its membership?  If WAN fears its membership, how can it reform the ELCA?  Does not "wa-announce," i.e. its orchestrated, one way communications from the top not contradict being both "grassroots" and a "movement"?

I give one example.  At one time I posted a translation of the second petition of German academic theologians' rejection of JDDJ and the Official Common Statement (OCS) on WAN's Augsburg7 listserv.  That translation, entitled "Position Statement of Theological Instructors in Higher Education to the Planned Signing of the Official Common Statement to the Doctrine of Justification," was picked up from there, I presume, and ended up, without citation but who cares, in a document issued by the Office of the President of the LCMS (January 2000) entitled "Supporting Documentation for the Statement 'Toward True Reconciliation'."

This flow of information is remarkable.  Today, WAN's reservations about its own membership would preclude such a dissemination of information.  So, whence comes the handicap?

Many thanks,
Mark Menacher
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Vern on February 29, 2008, 12:52:42 PM
We had a very good presentation by Pastor King at WordAlone last night. He pointed out how the ELCA is moving closer and closer to the Unitarian Universalist beliefs.

He also discussed the Common Confession.

jorgie
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on February 29, 2008, 02:24:32 PM
WordAlone has already spawned LCMC (http://www.lcmc.net/), the FCLC (http://www.fclcsite.org/) (Fellowship of Confessing Lutheran Churches, note that the link's domain seems to have expired), and the Augsburg Lutheran Churches (http://www.augsburgchurches.org/) (who were, but no longer are, part of LCMC).

The WordAlone leaders that I know are all committed, both privately and publicly, to reform of the ELCA -- not to starting another church body.

Pax, Steven+
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Vern on February 29, 2008, 07:51:56 PM
Pastor Tibbets,
That is just what quite a few people don't understand about WordAlone.

jorgie
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Richard Johnson on March 01, 2008, 01:14:12 AM
Pastor Tibbets,
That is just what quite a few people don't understand about WordAlone.

jorgie

Excuse me? What on earth do you mean by that?
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Vern on March 01, 2008, 08:23:49 AM
WordAlone wants to reform the ELCA, not destroy it. I that clearer Richard?

Vern
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on March 01, 2008, 09:20:35 AM
WordAlone wants to reform the ELCA, not destroy it. I that clearer Richard?
How would a "reformed" ELCA be different from what it is now?
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Dadoo on March 01, 2008, 09:23:18 AM
WordAlone wants to reform the ELCA, not destroy it. I that clearer Richard?
How would a "reformed" ELCA be different from what it is now?

.. especially since we are too "reformed" as it is... ;D
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on March 01, 2008, 09:31:43 AM
WordAlone wants to reform the ELCA, not destroy it. I that clearer Richard?
How would a "reformed" ELCA be different from what it is now?

.. especially since we are too "reformed" as it is... ;D

I've said it before, but I had suggested to a member of the Commission for a New Lutheran Church as the new name: "The Catholic Church -- Martinized." I don't think that he brought it before the committee. Couldn't we say that Luther "cleaned up" the Roman Church?
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Richard Johnson on March 01, 2008, 09:41:37 AM
WordAlone wants to reform the ELCA, not destroy it. I that clearer Richard?

Vern

Yes, thank you.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Dadoo on March 01, 2008, 09:44:33 AM
WordAlone, LC3, and Core are very much still alive. They are handicapped, however; by congregations such as ...

Is WAN handicapped by certain congregations or by its "hierarchy"?  If WAN were "grassroots," then why did it abolish its national listserv out of fear of the postings of its membership?  If WAN fears its membership, how can it reform the ELCA?  Does not "wa-announce," i.e. its orchestrated, one way communications from the top not contradict being both "grassroots" and a "movement"?

I give one example.  At one time I posted a translation of the second petition of German academic theologians' rejection of JDDJ and the Official Common Statement (OCS) on WAN's Augsburg7 listserv.  That translation, entitled "Position Statement of Theological Instructors in Higher Education to the Planned Signing of the Official Common Statement to the Doctrine of Justification," was picked up from there, I presume, and ended up, without citation but who cares, in a document issued by the Office of the President of the LCMS (January 2000) entitled "Supporting Documentation for the Statement 'Toward True Reconciliation'."

This flow of information is remarkable.  Today, WAN's reservations about its own membership would preclude such a dissemination of information.  So, whence comes the handicap?

Many thanks,
Mark Menacher

Mark,

Three observations:  First, since the whole Concordat fight there has been an explosion of internet sites, especially blogs.  Everyone can start one; with minimal effort, anyone can create a chat board; there is even a directory of Lutheran blogs somewhere (let Pr. Zip point you to it..).  So, why have an organization's site, which today is the public face of an organization, at the mercy of the posting public?

Second, and not unrelated to the public face part, I watched that site when the fight was on, and because of what I was reading, decided that I was not going to be involved or associated with WA.  I might be the only one that feels that way and, if so, so be it.  At the time the site was full of stuff that the moderators here would have questioned or even deleted, much of it full of conspiracy theories and just plain wrong information and claims.  WA, at the time, had become the haven for anyone who had a beef with the ELCA and wanted to vent.  That is not a reform movement, that is a 11PM Beer hall debate on politics; nothing good comes of it.  To their shame, WA fostered the creating of LCMC which, in my opinion, robs them of some clout since they can no longer claim to be a positive force within the ELCA as now anytime they try opponents can reply that it is obvious how "committed to the ELCA" WA is; just look at what they created in the process: LCMC- a denomination that promptly split again.  That is a real PR problem.  Maybe it is good that a politician or two has taken charge at WA.  

Third:  I am not so convinced that WA ever really was a "Grassroots" movement.  At my most cynical I see it as a movement called into being by one elite who was upset that the ELCA was about to give another elite power that they had hitherto enjoyed wielding.  
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Dadoo on March 01, 2008, 09:47:23 AM
WordAlone wants to reform the ELCA, not destroy it. I that clearer Richard?
How would a "reformed" ELCA be different from what it is now?

.. especially since we are too "reformed" as it is... ;D

I<snip> Couldn't we say that Luther "cleaned up" the Roman Church?

"Cleaning the house before the kids move out is like cleaning the driveway before it stops snowing."
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Vern on March 01, 2008, 10:15:39 AM
Dadoo, whoever you are.
I disagree with you 100%, but you certainly are entitled to your opinion.

Vern
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Dadoo on March 01, 2008, 10:28:20 AM
Dadoo, whoever you are.
I disagree with you 100%, but you certainly are entitled to your opinion.

Vern

Vern,

I assume that there are people out there who do not agree with me on this.  I do not consider myself or them diminished by that fact.

(see signature line below for my identity..)
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Vern on March 01, 2008, 10:40:24 AM
If you have an intrest in seeing what WordAlone is about check out Common Confession on your browser, or go to WoradAlone.org.

Vern
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Dadoo on March 01, 2008, 10:50:00 AM
If you have an intrest in seeing what WordAlone is about check out Common Confession on your browser, or go to WoradAlone.org.

Vern

Vern,

I do keep keep track of what WA does and says and I am familiar with CC.  That has not led me to support WA. 
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: E. Swensson on March 01, 2008, 11:33:28 AM
WordAlone, LC3, and Core are very much still alive. They are handicapped, however; by congregations such as ...

Is WAN handicapped by certain congregations or by its "hierarchy"?  If WAN were "grassroots," then why did it abolish its national listserv out of fear of the postings of its membership?  If WAN fears its membership, how can it reform the ELCA?  Does not "wa-announce," i.e. its orchestrated, one way communications from the top not contradict being both "grassroots" and a "movement"?

I give one example.  At one time I posted a translation of the second petition of German academic theologians' rejection of JDDJ and the Official Common Statement (OCS) on WAN's Augsburg7 listserv.  That translation, entitled "Position Statement of Theological Instructors in Higher Education to the Planned Signing of the Official Common Statement to the Doctrine of Justification," was picked up from there, I presume, and ended up, without citation but who cares, in a document issued by the Office of the President of the LCMS (January 2000) entitled "Supporting Documentation for the Statement 'Toward True Reconciliation'."

This flow of information is remarkable.  Today, WAN's reservations about its own membership would preclude such a dissemination of information.  So, whence comes the handicap?

Many thanks,
Mark Menacher

Mark,

Three observations:  First, since the whole Concordat fight there has been an explosion of internet sites, especially blogs.  Everyone can start one; with minimal effort, anyone can create a chat board; there is even a directory of Lutheran blogs somewhere (let Pr. Zip point you to it..).  So, why have an organization's site, which today is the public face of an organization, at the mercy of the posting public?

Second, and not unrelated to the public face part, I watched that site when the fight was on, and because of what I was reading, decided that I was not going to be involved or associated with WA.  I might be the only one that feels that way and, if so, so be it.  At the time the site was full of stuff that the moderators here would have questioned or even deleted, much of it full of conspiracy theories and just plain wrong information and claims.  WA, at the time, had become the haven for anyone who had a beef with the ELCA and wanted to vent.  That is not a reform movement, that is a 11PM Beer hall debate on politics; nothing good comes of it.  To their shame, WA fostered the creating of LCMC which, in my opinion, robs them of some clout since they can no longer claim to be a positive force within the ELCA as now anytime they try opponents can reply that it is obvious how "committed to the ELCA" WA is; just look at what they created in the process: LCMC- a denomination that promptly split again.  That is a real PR problem.  Maybe it is good that a politician or two has taken charge at WA.  

Third:  I am not so convinced that WA ever really was a "Grassroots" movement.  At my most cynical I see it as a movement called into being by one elite who was upset that the ELCA was about to give another elite power that they had hitherto enjoyed wielding.  

Peter, I would just invite you to consider that WAN is a movement. Movements are notoriously hard to follow, and impossible for one to say they are by dropping by a web site. New chapters are forming in areas that never had one before and they won't have anything to do with the personalities that you refer to.

As far as it being nothing but a bunch of people unhappy with the ELCA, to quote CA: unfair, unkind.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Paul L. Knudson on March 01, 2008, 11:35:08 AM
Peter, I am heading out for the day so will not be able to reply back, if you shoud respond to this post.  Just wanted to add a thought or two.

I would ask if you think there is a need for voices calling the ELCA to a more explicitly confessional identity centered in God's action through Word and Sacrament.  Is there any significant drifting into a blurring of the center of our faith in Jesus Christ so that our beloved denomination is sharing more kinship with socalled liberal protestantism where theological voices are even a bit embarrassed by declaring Jesus is Lord of all?

If this could be a concern of yours a number of us in Word Alone recognize because of history and other personal reasons some who share our concerns will never warm up to Word Alone.  The present development of CORE is at least an attempt to bring together folk who care about the future direction of the ELCA, but don't see eye to eye on all matters.  Convictions about particular understandings of ecclesiology are prominent on that list of differences.

If you are dellighted with the present trajectory of the ELCA, then you probably wouldn't see a need for such a coalition.  Many of us are hoping this increased mass and broader tent may somehow by the grace of God get the attention of powers at be who choose to turn away at present.  Maybe over the long haul the great ship of state could get back on course.  Now I know some here believe it is sailing along just fine.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Dadoo on March 01, 2008, 11:59:39 AM

Peter, I would just invite you to consider that WAN is a movement. Movements are notoriously hard to follow, and impossible for one to say they are by dropping by a web site. New chapters are forming in areas that never had one before and they won't have anything to do with the personalities that you refer to.

As far as it being nothing but a bunch of people unhappy with the ELCA, to quote CA: unfair, unkind.

I have no problem with the concept that much of the hysterical fringe has left the building.  The characterizations you refer to as unkind and unfair are of historical nature when they were indeed real, IMHO.  WA has, through the years, become respectable indeed.  They continue to have an ecclesiology I do not resonate with.  I continue as uninterested.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: MSchimmel on March 01, 2008, 12:07:13 PM
...First, since the whole Concordat fight there has been an explosion of internet sites, especially blogs.  Everyone can start one; with minimal effort, anyone can create a chat board; there is even a directory of Lutheran blogs somewhere (let Pr. Zip point you to it..).  So, why have an organization's site, which today is the public face of an organization, at the mercy of the posting public?

Second, and not unrelated to the public face part, I watched that site when the fight was on, and because of what I was reading, decided that I was not going to be involved or associated with WA.  I might be the only one that feels that way and, if so, so be it.  At the time the site was full of stuff that the moderators here would have questioned or even deleted, much of it full of conspiracy theories and just plain wrong information and claims.  WA, at the time, had become the haven for anyone who had a beef with the ELCA and wanted to vent.  That is not a reform movement, that is a 11PM Beer hall debate on politics; nothing good comes of it.  To their shame, WA fostered the creating of LCMC which, in my opinion, robs them of some clout since they can no longer claim to be a positive force within the ELCA as now anytime they try opponents can reply that it is obvious how "committed to the ELCA" WA is; just look at what they created in the process: LCMC- a denomination that promptly split again.  That is a real PR problem.  Maybe it is good that a politician or two has taken charge at WA.  ...

As a layman (very active in my local congregation) I wasn't even aware WA existed during the Concordat and CCM debates/fights (or even that such fights were going on) - I looked for, and found WA and LCMC when problems that I connected to only lip service being paid to the authority of scripture showed up as being driven/led by the local synod - then began to show up in the pulpit on Sunday mornings.  By that point (05 - 06) WA and LCMC were not just anti-CCM organizations (if they ever were it was before my time and knowledge) but organizations that appeared to have a body of doctrine (from constitutions and website publications) that reminded me of the centrist Lutheran organization that I knew as the ALC.  To me this was (and is) attractive - I understand that it is not to some.

Regarding the "LCMC- a denomination that promptly split again" issue - some research on this will turn up that this was the removal of a district that had some very personal and painful internal problems - many (perhaps the majority) of its members at the time were the ones who initiated the charges that led to its expulsion and are still within the LCMC.  It is a very sad situation - but one that most I've talked to are quite proud/thankful of how it was handled.

Mark
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: E. Swensson on March 01, 2008, 12:10:00 PM
The reality that I know cannot be said to "have an ecclesiology"; it could be said that the majority of the people of the people do not view church as you do, but WAN includes people like myself for whom ecclesiology is actually an open question.

Whatever, it sounds like you have your mind made up.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: BeornBjornson on March 01, 2008, 12:40:09 PM
Peter,
 As you are in a true sense my "'father' in the STS" (i.e. the one who convinced me to not wait for my personal perfection in keeping the Rule before subscribing to the Rule of the Society of the Holy Trinity), I'm glad you recognize that "the hysterical fringe has left the building" and that WA has become "respectable."  I'm also not surprised you don't resonate with their ecclesiology.  I don't either.  I didn't join WA because of their ecclesiology (which across the membership is much more varied--esp. when it includes STS members like myself and Jim Culver), but because of the commitment to reform and renewal by their current leadership and the demonstrated willingness of that leadership to reach out to and work with EC's and other orthodox-traditional Lutherans who don't naturally resonate with all of WA's positions.  Lutheran CORE would not have been and would not be possible without WA.  Similarly, Lutheran CORE would not have been and would not be possible without EC's like Steve Shipman, Erma Wolf, Paull Spring--and Steven Tibbetts and Jim Lehmann and Russ Saltzman et al, (or pietiests like Eric Swensson who fall in between the WA and EC poles on the orthodox spectrum) not to mention the other 8 reform groups that have affiliated with Lutheran CORE.  Not only can we work together fruitfully in witness and reform for those convictions which we hold in common, we also learn to be church together respectfully and with deeper understanding in spite of our differences.   As Pr. Kliner would say, "Ken you're repeating yourself again."  The real question for those of us who don't buy WA's ecclesiology is whether we're willing to work together with WA for the sake of witness and reform within the ELCA; the current WA leadership has certainly demonstrated their willingness to work for the sake of that witness and reform with those who disagree sharply with them on ecclesiology et al.  

your "'son' in STS" Ken Kimball
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Dadoo on March 01, 2008, 12:59:01 PM
...First, since the whole Concordat fight there has been an explosion of internet sites, especially blogs.  Everyone can start one; with minimal effort, anyone can create a chat board; there is even a directory of Lutheran blogs somewhere (let Pr. Zip point you to it..).  So, why have an organization's site, which today is the public face of an organization, at the mercy of the posting public?

Second, and not unrelated to the public face part, I watched that site when the fight was on, and because of what I was reading, decided that I was not going to be involved or associated with WA.  I might be the only one that feels that way and, if so, so be it.  At the time the site was full of stuff that the moderators here would have questioned or even deleted, much of it full of conspiracy theories and just plain wrong information and claims.  WA, at the time, had become the haven for anyone who had a beef with the ELCA and wanted to vent.  That is not a reform movement, that is a 11PM Beer hall debate on politics; nothing good comes of it.  To their shame, WA fostered the creating of LCMC which, in my opinion, robs them of some clout since they can no longer claim to be a positive force within the ELCA as now anytime they try opponents can reply that it is obvious how "committed to the ELCA" WA is; just look at what they created in the process: LCMC- a denomination that promptly split again.  That is a real PR problem.  Maybe it is good that a politician or two has taken charge at WA.  ...

As a layman (very active in my local congregation) I wasn't even aware WA existed during the Concordat and CCM debates/fights (or even that such fights were going on) - I looked for, and found WA and LCMC when problems that I connected to only lip service being paid to the authority of scripture showed up as being driven/led by the local synod - then began to show up in the pulpit on Sunday mornings.  By that point (05 - 06) WA and LCMC were not just anti-CCM organizations (if they ever were it was before my time and knowledge) but organizations that appeared to have a body of doctrine (from constitutions and website publications) that reminded me of the centrist Lutheran organization that I knew as the ALC.  To me this was (and is) attractive - I understand that it is not to some.

Regarding the "LCMC- a denomination that promptly split again" issue - some research on this will turn up that this was the removal of a district that had some very personal and painful internal problems - many (perhaps the majority) of its members at the time were the ones who initiated the charges that led to its expulsion and are still within the LCMC.  It is a very sad situation - but one that most I've talked to are quite proud/thankful of how it was handled.

Mark

By 05 WA had a different presence than it had in 97.  I have no problem with you recognizing your old ALC in them.  It is not my heritage.

CCM must still be important to WA since the ordination sans bishop, dare we say exceptional ordinations, amendment was of WA's initiative and every one of these ordinations are publicized by WA in the gratis newsletter or on the website.  It brings up other issues that make this difficult to swallow.  For example:   How do you applaud congregation A for stepping out and ordaining her new pastor sans bishop but then condemn congregation B for doing the same?  If allergy against episcopacy should be an allowable reason not to have a regular ordination why should allergy against traditional doctrine on sexual conduct not have the same claim?  You know what I am getting at...  For that matter, if ordination is something the church does then the ordinants preferences as to who does it should be irrelevant.  These are WA's cans of worms that they should probably handle more creatively.

As far as the AUgsburg District matter:  I don't understand your narrative here.  The ones who made the policies that caused that district to be asked to leave are still in the LCMC?   If so what exactly did the expulsion accomplish?
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Dadoo on March 01, 2008, 01:05:46 PM
Peter,
 As you are in a true sense my "'father' in the STS" (i.e. the one who convinced me to not wait for my personal perfection in keeping the Rule before subscribing to the Rule of the Society of the Holy Trinity), I'm glad you recognize that "the hysterical fringe has left the building" and that WA has become "respectable."  I'm also not surprised you don't resonate with their ecclesiology.  I don't either.  I didn't join WA because of their ecclesiology (which across the membership is much more varied--esp. when it includes STS members like myself and Jim Culver), but because of the commitment to reform and renewal by their current leadership and the demonstrated willingness of that leadership to reach out to and work with EC's and other orthodox-traditional Lutherans who don't naturally resonate with all of WA's positions.  Lutheran CORE would not have been and would not be possible without WA.  Similarly, Lutheran CORE would not have been and would not be possible without EC's like Steve Shipman, Erma Wolf, Paull Spring--and Steven Tibbetts and Jim Lehmann and Russ Saltzman et al, (or pietiests like Eric Swensson who fall in between the WA and EC poles on the orthodox spectrum) not to mention the other 8 reform groups that have affiliated with Lutheran CORE.  Not only can we work together fruitfully in witness and reform for those convictions which we hold in common, we also learn to be church together respectfully and with deeper understanding in spite of our differences.   As Pr. Kliner would say, "Ken you're repeating yourself again."  The real question for those of us who don't buy WA's ecclesiology is whether we're willing to work together with WA for the sake of witness and reform within the ELCA; the current WA leadership has certainly demonstrated their willingness to work for the sake of that witness and reform with those who disagree sharply with them on ecclesiology et al.  

your "'son' in STS" Ken Kimball

I am really hoping you are a bit too old to be my son  :D ;D

Many of my votes at synod (they'll never send me to national) are in line with CORE but then you would have guessed that. 
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: MSchimmel on March 01, 2008, 01:48:24 PM
...CCM must still be important to WA since the ordination sans bishop, dare we say exceptional ordinations, amendment was of WA's initiative and every one of these ordinations are publicized by WA in the gratis newsletter or on the website.
I didn't say CCM wasn't still important - just that it is not the only issue.  If you talk with WA folks you will almost always hear that CCM (or GLBT agenda pushing) are only hotbutton issues - the root is the erosion of the authority of Scripture.

Quote
It brings up other issues that make this difficult to swallow.  For example:   How do you applaud congregation A for stepping out and ordaining her new pastor sans bishop but then condemn congregation B for doing the same?  If allergy against episcopacy should be an allowable reason not to have a regular ordination why should allergy against traditional doctrine on sexual conduct not have the same claim?  You know what I am getting at...  For that matter, if ordination is something the church does then the ordinants preferences as to who does it should be irrelevant.  These are WA's cans of worms that they should probably handle more creatively.

I don't follow your logic here.  I personally am not vehemently anti-bishop (though I do see the elevated office above that of the pastor of a congregation in a hierarchy as adiaphora), but would appeal to the Power and Primacy of the Pope section on bishops as to why they can and should be opposed at times and why ordinations should not always be in their purview.

Quote
As far as the AUgsburg District matter:  I don't understand your narrative here.  He ones who made the policies that caused that district to be asked to leave are still in the LCMC?   If so what exactly did the expulsion accomplish?

No, Augsburg was removed as a district, but many of the congregations that made up Augsburg were the ones who brought the charges regarding the offenses of certain members of the Augsburg leadership at the time to the LCMC board and convention.  The congregations that brought the charges have left Augsburg and are still LCMC.  The resolution removing Augsburg and the specific persons lamented the occasion and specifically called for them to remain a prayer concern.  There is no theological divide that caused this division - this was a very personal and painful matter for those closely connected with it.

Mark
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: BeornBjornson on March 01, 2008, 02:01:23 PM
I am really hoping you are a bit too old to be my son  :D ;D

Many of my votes at synod (they'll never send me to national) are in line with CORE but then you would have guessed that. 
  Since I'm 48, I think you're "hope" is secure.  ;)  I do remain grateful for the "push" you gave me to subscribe to the Rule.  The fellowship and support of STS for my ordination vows and ministry has been an extraordinary blessing.  I should reiterate here again that STS is not involved in reform through the political/legislative processes/structures of the ELCA.  It exists solely as a pan-Lutheran (not just ELCA) ministerium helping pastors to keep their ordination vows and helping pastors find renewal through connection to the Great Tradition and mutual support and accountability and fellowship.  That needs to be restated every now and again since I and a number of other members of STS (those who list it behind their name and those who don't) are individually active and involved in Lutheran CORE's ministry of witness and reform within the ELCA. 

As regards how you vote at your synod assemblies Peter, I am not surprised at all.  That you expect that you will never be elected as a Churchwide Assembly voting member out of Southern Ohio Synod is a shame--for both the Southern Ohio Synod and the ELCA. 

Ken Kimball
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Pr. Jerry Kliner on March 01, 2008, 11:09:10 PM
As Pr. Kliner would say, "Ken you're repeating yourself again."  The real question for those of us who don't buy WA's ecclesiology is whether we're willing to work together with WA for the sake of witness and reform within the ELCA; the current WA leadership has certainly demonstrated their willingness to work for the sake of that witness and reform with those who disagree sharply with them on ecclesiology et al.  

Now who's being "predictable?" ::)

To be fair, I think it's important to note that I have no problem with "working with" anyone of good faith for the reform of the ELCA.  The reservations I have come about when people begin to speculate about what future ecclesial arrangements may come about.  And to be fair again, I think the Pietists should be just as concerned.  We all should be honest about what we see as important ecclesiological issues.  But I have NO problem standing alongside my brothers and sisters for the reform of our denomination, though I do think that we have distinctly different visions of what that "reform" looks like...

On a related note, I know that Gerhard Foerde (of Blessed Memory) made the claim that "This man has no ecclesiology..."  I don't really buy the argument any more than I buy the argument that certain traditions "don't have a liturgy," or "don't have a creed."  We may think that we "have no ecclesiology," but that in itself is an ecclesiological statement.  So I wish we would get off the kick of not being able to talk ecclesiology because "Lutherans don't have an eccelesiology," becuase I don't believe it to be true.  But that's just my pet peeve.

But to my dear brother and friend in Northeast Iowa, I send a big  :D

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Paul L. Knudson on March 02, 2008, 07:24:19 PM
It seems to me that one of the difficulties we repeatedly have with one another on this forum is that we do not have or choose not to have charitable or accurate pictures of one another's core convictions.  As one of the minority from Word Alone who posts from time to time here, I have the feeling that we in this network are often stereotyped as a bunch of pietists.

I freely admit that my roots are in pietism and probably would not choose to shed all aspects of that historical movement.  Nevertheless I believe it is simply not descriptive of me or of most leaders of Word Alone.  We often refer to Gerhard Forde, who is anything but a pietist.  He repeatedly takes pietism on as he champions God holding the meaningful action through Word and Sacraments.

Yes, he has joked about the accusation by others that he has no ecclesiology, but surely would not say that himself.  He has championed a notion of ministry that serves Word and Sacrament that could be labeled justifiably to not be at home with a Roman Catholic or even Evangelical Catholic understanding of ministry.  That does not make him a pietist, covert decision theology Baptist or anything remotely like such.

Pastor Tibbets and I probably would have a tough time co-existing on the same staff with our different postures concerning the office of the ministry.  Yet I have come to look forward to reading his posts and believe we hold more in common than we both have thought in the past.  The same could be said for others such as Ken Kimball who I have come to know and respect.  If I had personal time with others of you, the same conclusion would likely be the same.

We have to face the facts that our experiences and commitments on some matters will never be completely overcome.  If we have any hope to bring renewal to the ELCA, we simply will have to agree to disagree on some things and at the same time treasure what we do hold in common.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: racin_jason on March 02, 2008, 08:10:06 PM
We often refer to Gerhard Forde, who is anything but a pietist.  He repeatedly takes pietism on as he champions God holding the meaningful action through Word and Sacraments.  Yes, he has joked about the accusation by others that he has no ecclesiology, but surely would not say that himself. 
[/quote

Actually, he did say that about himself.  From an article on Ecumenism found in a book of his essays entitled "A More Radical Gospel" (published by Lutheran Quarterly) Forde wrote "I can boast that I have a pin that says in red letters: 'Beware! This man has no ecclesiology'" (page 179).  Go Figure.  ;D

Your point remains.  WordAlone is a movement that has many ecclesiologies at work within it. To say that it has no ecclesiology or any one eccliesiology is not accurate or fair.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Paul L. Knudson on March 02, 2008, 09:16:49 PM
Actually I knew of that quote.  I suppose that could be interpreted as his statement.  Thinking I know a little of his thinking, I take that as a tongue in cheek kind of humorous way of responding to those who kept saying that he had no ecclesiology.  I think a friend gave him that as a joke.  No big deal.  I could be wrong.  He surely did not hold to any "ontological" understanding of ministry, but that is hardly not having an ecclesiology.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: BeornBjornson on March 02, 2008, 11:32:20 PM
Now who's being "predictable?" ::)

To be fair, I think it's important to note that I have no problem with "working with" anyone of good faith for the reform of the ELCA.  The reservations I have come about when people begin to speculate about what future ecclesial arrangements may come about.  And to be fair again, I think the Pietists should be just as concerned.  We all should be honest about what we see as important ecclesiological issues.  But I have NO problem standing alongside my brothers and sisters for the reform of our denomination, though I do think that we have distinctly different visions of what that "reform" looks like...

On a related note, I know that Gerhard Foerde (of Blessed Memory) made the claim that "This man has no ecclesiology..."  I don't really buy the argument any more than I buy the argument that certain traditions "don't have a liturgy," or "don't have a creed."  We may think that we "have no ecclesiology," but that in itself is an ecclesiological statement.  So I wish we would get off the kick of not being able to talk ecclesiology because "Lutherans don't have an eccelesiology," becuase I don't believe it to be true.  But that's just my pet peeve.

But to my dear brother and friend in Northeast Iowa, I send a big  :D

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS
And to you, my dear brother and friend in West Virginia, back at you, a big  :D  I wish we didn't have to wait til Mundelein in October to get together--if for any reason you're coming back to your alma mater in Dubuque this year (or any year), let me know--it's just under 90 miles from Waterville to Dubuque. 

The interesting thing about differing ecclesiologies among the orthodox-traditional is that (as noted by Paul Knudson) is that it's not just two, but at least three (or more): EC, Pietist, and Fordean (Forde had a deep suspicion of Pietism going stagnant or off-rail in its second and third generations after its initial reaction/corrective to Scholasticism).  One of the benefits of being involved in reform efforts together is that it's an opportunity to have a Guinness or two or whatever one is having and discussing theology--and sometimes the discussions break out before the Guinness arrives--over the number of uses of the Law, the practice of reserved sacraments, Eucharistic prayers, and even ecclesiology.  When you're laboring together against the revisionist unraveling of the historic faith and church, it doesn't lessen the strength of one's differing convictions but it helps set them in context that helps us (as Paul K said) "to treasure what we hold in common."  I don't mean to rudely disrespect "revisionists" in saying that--they hold their convictions with sincerity and good intentions--but the orthodox-traditional vs. progressive-revisionist divide really is one of two different religions while the divisions between the various positions on the orthodox-traditional spectrum are still in-house, both within and across denominational lines, IMHO.   

So Jerry, do you ever get back to visit Wartburg?  (Cards on the table: I'm a Luther Northwestern, St. Paul grad '87).   

Ken
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: mdmenacher on March 02, 2008, 11:37:38 PM
(Fellowship of Confessing Lutheran Churches, note that the link's domain seems to have expired)

Pax, Steven+

Fellowship of Confessing Lutheran Churches has expired, out of business.

Mark Menacher
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Pr. Jerry Kliner on March 03, 2008, 11:29:00 AM
It seems to me that one of the difficulties we repeatedly have with one another on this forum is that we do not have or choose not to have charitable or accurate pictures of one another's core convictions.  As one of the minority from Word Alone who posts from time to time here, I have the feeling that we in this network are often stereotyped as a bunch of pietists.

I freely admit that my roots are in pietism and probably would not choose to shed all aspects of that historical movement.  Nevertheless I believe it is simply not descriptive of me or of most leaders of Word Alone.  We often refer to Gerhard Forde, who is anything but a pietist.  He repeatedly takes pietism on as he champions God holding the meaningful action through Word and Sacraments.

Yes, he has joked about the accusation by others that he has no ecclesiology, but surely would not say that himself.  He has championed a notion of ministry that serves Word and Sacrament that could be labeled justifiably to not be at home with a Roman Catholic or even Evangelical Catholic understanding of ministry.  That does not make him a pietist, covert decision theology Baptist or anything remotely like such.

Pastor Tibbets and I probably would have a tough time co-existing on the same staff with our different postures concerning the office of the ministry.  Yet I have come to look forward to reading his posts and believe we hold more in common than we both have thought in the past.  The same could be said for others such as Ken Kimball who I have come to know and respect.  If I had personal time with others of you, the same conclusion would likely be the same.

We have to face the facts that our experiences and commitments on some matters will never be completely overcome.  If we have any hope to bring renewal to the ELCA, we simply will have to agree to disagree on some things and at the same time treasure what we do hold in common.

First, just so I'm clear (if to nobody but myself), in no way am I trying to slam, disparage, or speak ill of WordAlone, or for that matter, Lutherans who are in or come from pietistic roots.  If I have, I beg forgiveness!  I would not equate Lutheran pietism with any sort of "crypto-Baptist" or "decision theology," tradition.  I do think its fair to say, however, that pietists have a decidedly different outlook on the Church and what business it should be about institutionally, than those Lutherans who are of a more "evangelical catholic" stance.  And therein lies my point.  "Reform" and "Renewal" are doubtlessly shared goals between you and I, but what exactly do these things mean?  OK, we probably agree on some of the "hot button," immeadate issues.  Fine.  But what about liturgical reform?  Hmmm...  Things might start to get a little squeaky, but perhaps we can still comfortably co-exist by saying "You do things your own way in your parish, we'll do things our own way in our parish..."  But what about reforming the office of minsitry or reforming the institutional hierarchy?  Now we both start to squirm, for on one hand one side cries out "The way to reform the hierarchy is to strip them of power..." and I start yearning for "true and real Bishops vested with ecclesiastical authority."  Now what are we to do?  Perhaps we do what they did in '87 and focus on the more immeadate issues and wait and hope these deeper issues sort themselves out.  Or perhaps we begin to start dealing with the reality that we have substantial differences that need to be addressed.  Maybe my viewpoint is not the one that gets adopted, maybe those of pietistic stock are right.  But then again, maybe its time the the "evangelical catholic" view starts proactively asserting itself too...

My point on our dear, departed brother Dr. Foerde is not to cast a poor light on him or his position.  He was, as I understand it from his students (I was not fortuneate enough to be one of them) passionate and outspoken on the issue.  I believe his point was a traditional Lutheran one, that ecclesiology was "adiaphora" and therefore not a matter worth arguing over.  My thought is that this is somewhat in error, if not only because such a statement is in itself an ecclesiological stance.  I cite him only because he was of such a stature and outspoken enough that he is a touchstone.  I am quite sure, that if he had the chance, he would defeat me in any debate in about... two minutes or less!  The Church is poorer with his passing, though God will doubtless continue to raise up good and faithful teachers.

As to the issue of coexistance, I will simply point out (as I have to my colleague, Pr. Austin) that I remain within the ELCA and committed to working faithfully and hard for the glory of God and his holy Church.  If somehow I could not work alongside those of differing views, I would have left a long time ago.  One of my neighboring colleagues is a low-Church Norwegian from the Dakotas, and yet we gather frequently for text-study and are a Lenten pulpit exchange this year (he will actually be in my parish this Wednesday, preaching on Holy Communion...).  We both pray and work for the reform and renewal of the ELCA.  So the question of coexistance and even respect is not in question.  What is in question, to my thinking, is whether or not it is worth joining another organization that has a largely different view of the Church, and hence goals for reform, than what I see. 

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS
 
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Thomas Byers on March 03, 2008, 11:53:17 AM
to Peter Kruse:  In the predecessor bodies of the LCA ordinations were commonly done in synod or national church assemblies and presided over by the bishop or president.  I never knew of an ordination conducted as a private affair by a pastor selected by the ordinand for personal reasons.  There should b e an understanding about such things in merger negotiations.  t. byers
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Pr. Jerry Kliner on March 03, 2008, 12:21:11 PM
Now who's being "predictable?" ::)

To be fair, I think it's important to note that I have no problem with "working with" anyone of good faith for the reform of the ELCA.  The reservations I have come about when people begin to speculate about what future ecclesial arrangements may come about.  And to be fair again, I think the Pietists should be just as concerned.  We all should be honest about what we see as important ecclesiological issues.  But I have NO problem standing alongside my brothers and sisters for the reform of our denomination, though I do think that we have distinctly different visions of what that "reform" looks like...

On a related note, I know that Gerhard Foerde (of Blessed Memory) made the claim that "This man has no ecclesiology..."  I don't really buy the argument any more than I buy the argument that certain traditions "don't have a liturgy," or "don't have a creed."  We may think that we "have no ecclesiology," but that in itself is an ecclesiological statement.  So I wish we would get off the kick of not being able to talk ecclesiology because "Lutherans don't have an eccelesiology," becuase I don't believe it to be true.  But that's just my pet peeve.

But to my dear brother and friend in Northeast Iowa, I send a big  :D

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS
And to you, my dear brother and friend in West Virginia, back at you, a big  :D  I wish we didn't have to wait til Mundelein in October to get together--if for any reason you're coming back to your alma mater in Dubuque this year (or any year), let me know--it's just under 90 miles from Waterville to Dubuque. 

The interesting thing about differing ecclesiologies among the orthodox-traditional is that (as noted by Paul Knudson) is that it's not just two, but at least three (or more): EC, Pietist, and Fordean (Forde had a deep suspicion of Pietism going stagnant or off-rail in its second and third generations after its initial reaction/corrective to Scholasticism).  One of the benefits of being involved in reform efforts together is that it's an opportunity to have a Guinness or two or whatever one is having and discussing theology--and sometimes the discussions break out before the Guinness arrives--over the number of uses of the Law, the practice of reserved sacraments, Eucharistic prayers, and even ecclesiology.  When you're laboring together against the revisionist unraveling of the historic faith and church, it doesn't lessen the strength of one's differing convictions but it helps set them in context that helps us (as Paul K said) "to treasure what we hold in common."  I don't mean to rudely disrespect "revisionists" in saying that--they hold their convictions with sincerity and good intentions--but the orthodox-traditional vs. progressive-revisionist divide really is one of two different religions while the divisions between the various positions on the orthodox-traditional spectrum are still in-house, both within and across denominational lines, IMHO.   

So Jerry, do you ever get back to visit Wartburg?  (Cards on the table: I'm a Luther Northwestern, St. Paul grad '87).   

Ken

The funny thing is, Ken, that I really do love Wartburg...  I had a heck-of-a-time getting through the place and have the scars to prove it, but I really love Northern Iowa, and Dubuque in particular.  Long before I ever heard of "Harry Potter," I could say that I lived in, and went to school in a Castle!  But I was never a "favored" student.  So I don't get a whole lotta love whenever I get back there.  

It is interesting that when I was a student, I had the priviledge of serving as the Sacristan for two years.  Rev. Dr. Roger Fjeld was the president of the seminary and he was of Haugean stock.  As we got ready for our the liturgy to open the accademic year (which was a "smells and bells," type of occasion with all the pomp and circumstance...), he told me "Over the years, I've gotten used to wearing an alb now and then, but don't you ever ask me to wear the chasuble..."  Point being that, especially in the latter half of the 20th Century, Wartburg had been dominated by a lot of "low church" Norwegians (Fjeld and Kjeseth to name but two off the top of my head...).  Sorta ironic, considering it was Wilhelm Konrad Loehe who sent the Fritchel brothers over to found the seminary in the first place.  But one of the aspects of Wartburg that developed as a result was a real sense (this is now my oppinion) that magisterium--either formal or "informal"--was dispensible (maybe even undesirable) and that truth was more a matter of personal understanding.  So the Lutheran Confessions were taught more as an excercise in "push the limits" than an excercise in magisterial authority.  Same thing with exegetical classes; it was about finding the "new" or novel translation than learning to translate within a tradition.  

That being said, I have always believed that my education was far more than being merely "sufficient."  In my experience, the exegetical skills I received at Wartburg were better than most, the theological classes I took prepared me well, and even my confessional classes were solid.  The daily schedule was centered on the Chapel services, which I loved.  The community life was rocky at sometimes; it is a terribly small and insulated community.  The setting, was, a huge advantage in my oppinion.  It is a lovely campus.

It is interesting to note that, as far as I know, only one of the Seminaries has an STS member on faculty--Wartburg (Paul Baglyos(sp?)).  But it is also interesting to see how much the revisionist theology and agenda has been accepted unconditionally at Wartburg as well.  But that was par for the course when I was there as well and is, by no means limited to my alma mater.  But the reality is that I've never gotten the sense that any criticism was appreciated nor that I would be welcomed back as a valued graduate of the school.  

Anyway, I've always thought that it would be neat to serve somewhere in the NE-Iowa synod someday and be in close enough proximity to get back to the 'Burg on a regular basis.  Who knows?

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS
    
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Keith Falk on March 03, 2008, 01:23:27 PM
Rev. Dr. Joy Schroeder is a professer at Trinity (actually, it is a shared professorship with Capital University and TLS) and a member of STS.  And though she herself isn't a member, (Trinity theology prof) Rev. Dr. Cheryl Peterson's husband is.

Back to the regularly scheduled topic...
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Dadoo on March 03, 2008, 04:12:17 PM
Now who's being "predictable?" ::)

To be fair, I think it's important to note that I have no problem with "working with" anyone of good faith for the reform of the ELCA.  The reservations I have come about when people begin to speculate about what future ecclesial arrangements may come about.  And to be fair again, I think the Pietists should be just as concerned.  We all should be honest about what we see as important ecclesiological issues.  But I have NO problem standing alongside my brothers and sisters for the reform of our denomination, though I do think that we have distinctly different visions of what that "reform" looks like...

On a related note, I know that Gerhard Foerde (of Blessed Memory) made the claim that "This man has no ecclesiology..."  I don't really buy the argument any more than I buy the argument that certain traditions "don't have a liturgy," or "don't have a creed."  We may think that we "have no ecclesiology," but that in itself is an ecclesiological statement.  So I wish we would get off the kick of not being able to talk ecclesiology because "Lutherans don't have an eccelesiology," becuase I don't believe it to be true.  But that's just my pet peeve.

But to my dear brother and friend in Northeast Iowa, I send a big  :D

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS
And to you, my dear brother and friend in West Virginia, back at you, a big  :D  I wish we didn't have to wait til Mundelein in October to get together--if for any reason you're coming back to your alma mater in Dubuque this year (or any year), let me know--it's just under 90 miles from Waterville to Dubuque. 

The interesting thing about differing ecclesiologies among the orthodox-traditional is that (as noted by Paul Knudson) is that it's not just two, but at least three (or more): EC, Pietist, and Fordean (Forde had a deep suspicion of Pietism going stagnant or off-rail in its second and third generations after its initial reaction/corrective to Scholasticism).  One of the benefits of being involved in reform efforts together is that it's an opportunity to have a Guinness or two or whatever one is having and discussing theology--and sometimes the discussions break out before the Guinness arrives--over the number of uses of the Law, the practice of reserved sacraments, Eucharistic prayers, and even ecclesiology.  When you're laboring together against the revisionist unraveling of the historic faith and church, it doesn't lessen the strength of one's differing convictions but it helps set them in context that helps us (as Paul K said) "to treasure what we hold in common."  I don't mean to rudely disrespect "revisionists" in saying that--they hold their convictions with sincerity and good intentions--but the orthodox-traditional vs. progressive-revisionist divide really is one of two different religions while the divisions between the various positions on the orthodox-traditional spectrum are still in-house, both within and across denominational lines, IMHO.   

So Jerry, do you ever get back to visit Wartburg?  (Cards on the table: I'm a Luther Northwestern, St. Paul grad '87).   

Ken

snip

It is interesting to note that, as far as I know, only one of the Seminaries has an STS member on faculty--Wartburg (Paul Baglyos(sp?)).  snip
    

WHat about the STS sister that gathers with you in your local chapter?   ;D
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Dadoo on March 03, 2008, 04:16:48 PM
to Peter Kruse:  In the predecessor bodies of the LCA ordinations were commonly done in synod or national church assemblies and presided over by the bishop or president.  I never knew of an ordination conducted as a private affair by a pastor selected by the ordinand for personal reasons.  There should b e an understanding about such things in merger negotiations.  t. byers

The LCA is my linage, Thomas, and maybe the cause of my sensibilities on the matter.  Somehow , at ordination, one should be willing ,prepared and able to acknowledge that one is under authority.  Episcopal ordination is a good reminder of this.  As much as power and primacy of the Pope is important, the fourth commandment,with its insistence on respect for authority should be honored also.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on March 03, 2008, 04:50:13 PM
Somehow , at ordination, one should be willing ,prepared and able to acknowledge that one is under authority.  Episcopal ordination is a good reminder of this.  As much as power and primacy of the Pope is important, the fourth commandment,with its insistence on respect for authority should be honored also.

It would be good to acknowledge that the "exceptions by-law" was not proposed by WordAlone, but offered as a possible compromise by non-WA folk.  WA never actually endorsed it before a CWA adopted it, though it has since then championed the cause of those who wish to take advantage of that by-law.

The by-law itself puts a (prospective) ELCA pastor in the position of having his/her very first act as a pastor being the rejection of his own Bishop's pastoral ministry.  How any ELCA Bishop could possibly find that acceptable is well beyond my ken.  I know I would not (add this to the list of why I'll not be elected a Bishop in this church).  And hopefully the pastor will never find such chickens coming home to roost in his own parish. 

Pax, Steven+
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: mdmenacher on March 03, 2008, 05:11:16 PM

It would be good to acknowledge that the "exceptions by-law" was not proposed by WordAlone, but offered as a possible compromise by non-WA folk.  WA never actually endorsed it before a CWA adopted it, though it has since then championed the cause of those who wish to take advantage of that by-law.


Then, who proposed the "exceptions by-law" if WAN did not propose it?

Mark Menacher

Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Pr. Jerry Kliner on March 03, 2008, 06:03:49 PM
Now who's being "predictable?" ::)

To be fair, I think it's important to note that I have no problem with "working with" anyone of good faith for the reform of the ELCA.  The reservations I have come about when people begin to speculate about what future ecclesial arrangements may come about.  And to be fair again, I think the Pietists should be just as concerned.  We all should be honest about what we see as important ecclesiological issues.  But I have NO problem standing alongside my brothers and sisters for the reform of our denomination, though I do think that we have distinctly different visions of what that "reform" looks like...

On a related note, I know that Gerhard Foerde (of Blessed Memory) made the claim that "This man has no ecclesiology..."  I don't really buy the argument any more than I buy the argument that certain traditions "don't have a liturgy," or "don't have a creed."  We may think that we "have no ecclesiology," but that in itself is an ecclesiological statement.  So I wish we would get off the kick of not being able to talk ecclesiology because "Lutherans don't have an eccelesiology," becuase I don't believe it to be true.  But that's just my pet peeve.

But to my dear brother and friend in Northeast Iowa, I send a big  :D

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS
And to you, my dear brother and friend in West Virginia, back at you, a big  :D  I wish we didn't have to wait til Mundelein in October to get together--if for any reason you're coming back to your alma mater in Dubuque this year (or any year), let me know--it's just under 90 miles from Waterville to Dubuque. 

The interesting thing about differing ecclesiologies among the orthodox-traditional is that (as noted by Paul Knudson) is that it's not just two, but at least three (or more): EC, Pietist, and Fordean (Forde had a deep suspicion of Pietism going stagnant or off-rail in its second and third generations after its initial reaction/corrective to Scholasticism).  One of the benefits of being involved in reform efforts together is that it's an opportunity to have a Guinness or two or whatever one is having and discussing theology--and sometimes the discussions break out before the Guinness arrives--over the number of uses of the Law, the practice of reserved sacraments, Eucharistic prayers, and even ecclesiology.  When you're laboring together against the revisionist unraveling of the historic faith and church, it doesn't lessen the strength of one's differing convictions but it helps set them in context that helps us (as Paul K said) "to treasure what we hold in common."  I don't mean to rudely disrespect "revisionists" in saying that--they hold their convictions with sincerity and good intentions--but the orthodox-traditional vs. progressive-revisionist divide really is one of two different religions while the divisions between the various positions on the orthodox-traditional spectrum are still in-house, both within and across denominational lines, IMHO.   

So Jerry, do you ever get back to visit Wartburg?  (Cards on the table: I'm a Luther Northwestern, St. Paul grad '87).   

Ken

snip

It is interesting to note that, as far as I know, only one of the Seminaries has an STS member on faculty--Wartburg (Paul Baglyos(sp?)).  snip
    

WHat about the STS sister that gathers with you in your local chapter?   ;D

I have a case of myopia...  Joy Shcroeder is indeed on the faculty of Trinity Seminary...  Sometimes it's easy to miss that which is right in front of your nose.  Mea Culpa.

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Paul L. Knudson on March 03, 2008, 09:50:51 PM
What do we hold in common?  I just recently read the updated version of a book of some years ago by Carl Braaten, Principles of Lutheran Theology.  I see 95% of what was in that book ever so compatible with the theological perspective of Gerhard Forde.  These two old war horses, one now deceased, went their separate ways it seems to me over the ecclesiological, ministry questions.  To me that was sad, because I believe we need people of that caliber, younger theologians now, knowing they can disagree on the 5% when they hold 95% in common.

I realize those of you who self identify as Evangelical Catholics have every right to aggressively call the church to your vision of what is the best in our tradition.  I am simply saying that I agree with those (Ken Kimball spoke of this in a very recent post) who believe those we see as revisionists pose a real threat to the faith as we have known it for generations upon generations.  If we allow ourselves to be splintered in face of these challenges, I don't see the present powers at be taking us seriously.

This is a bit off topic, but I see Leslie Newbigen in The Gospel in a Pluralistic Society championing Christocentric concerns I hear Braaten noting.  It is the diminishing of the Lordship of Jesus Christ that I believe is the larger threat to our witness.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Charles_Austin on March 03, 2008, 10:51:41 PM
Paul Knudsen concludes:
It is the diminishing of the Lordship of Jesus Christ that I believe is the larger threat to our witness.

I comment:
And the Lordship of Christ is indeed diminished when we insist that Christian fellowship depends upon a particular type of ecclesial organization, a particular morality, a particular cosmology, a particular and exclusivist interpretation of scripture verses that have little to do with the Lordship of Christ.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: buechler on March 03, 2008, 11:35:50 PM
Charles wrote: "And the Lordship of Christ is indeed diminished when we insist that Christian fellowship depends upon a particular type of ecclesial organization, a particular morality, a particular cosmology, a particular and exclusivist interpretation of scripture verses that have little to do with the Lordship of Christ. "

Well it would depend if the Lord Jesus himself insists upon some of these things. Perhaps not with eccelsial organization. Definitely so with regards to morality, cosmology, and a particular intepretation of Scripture...one could even call it exclusivist. It just happens to be his view, and therefore THE view. All of that does have to do with the Lordship of Jesus Christ, and that is the dividing line being drawn. I think the Evangelical Catholics and those who are not but are Traditional can agree to put a end to the "ecclesial" arguments for the moment, and focus on what the Lord has insisted upon.

Peace in the Lord!
Rob Buechler
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on March 04, 2008, 12:59:18 AM
I think the Evangelical Catholics and those who are not but are Traditional can agree to put a end to the "ecclesial" arguments for the moment, and focus on what the Lord has insisted upon.
He insisted that we are to love one another -- and beyond that, the way Christians show their love to one another is our witness to the world that we are his disciples. Could all the fighting between believers be the primary reason for the growth of nonChristians and nonChristian spirituality in America?
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Charles_Austin on March 04, 2008, 07:42:18 AM
My experience with people who are "outside" the church, but seeking spirituality or a "higher power" is that they feel they have been wounded, offended, disappointed and cast out of a church that is judgmental, doctrinaire, heresy-hunting and unloving, a church more concerned with various kinds of "purity" than standing with hurting people or being open to the world.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Vern on March 04, 2008, 08:50:33 AM
Which forum thread is this?

I thought it was WordAlone.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Scott5 on March 04, 2008, 09:16:29 AM
I think the Evangelical Catholics and those who are not but are Traditional can agree to put a end to the "ecclesial" arguments for the moment, and focus on what the Lord has insisted upon.
He insisted that we are to love one another -- and beyond that, the way Christians show their love to one another is our witness to the world that we are his disciples. Could all the fighting between believers be the primary reason for the growth of nonChristians and nonChristian spirituality in America?

[I can almost see Brian smiling, surely having his own dog in this fight...]
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: E. Swensson on March 04, 2008, 09:56:00 AM
We would have much more unity and a much better witness to the world if those promoting ideas alien to Scripture, Confessions and 2000 years of tradition would cease their efforts. They don't and make it worse by accusing those who defend the truth as being unloving and schismatic. It is that simple.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: BeornBjornson on March 04, 2008, 10:03:53 AM
My experience with people who are "outside" the church, but seeking spirituality or a "higher power" is that they feel they have been wounded, offended, disappointed and cast out of a church that is judgmental, doctrinaire, heresy-hunting and unloving, a church more concerned with various kinds of "purity" than standing with hurting people or being open to the world.
Pastor Austin, the church is neither TM (Transcendental Meditation) nor AA.  We serve the One Who said, rather exclusively, "I am the Way [Torah], the Truth, and the Life.  No one comes to the Father but by Me" and "Before Abraham was, I AM."  There are other claims by this One as well, e.g. "This is My Body...This is..My Blood" that our upholding as the Church does strike some as "judgmental, doctrinaire, heresy-hunting, and unloving."  

I suspect that on many of these things you yourself are "doctrinaire" in terms of your conviction that they cannot be surrendered or compromised, no matter what temporary "comfort" such accomodation could offer those who "feel they have been wounded, offended, disappointed, and cast out."  No doubt, those of us concerned with "clarity" [a better word I think than "purity"] of what is to be believed and held and practiced by the Church have often failed in charity and compassion--at least in regard to myself, mea culpa.  

At the same time, the Christian faith, if it has any historical and ontological integrity, is not ours to make up or water down to suit ourselves or anyone else; I suspect you would, for the most part, agree with that.  [It is not true charity or compassion to offer temporarily comforting falsehoods in place of truth that may be temporally uncomfortable but eternally healing] The real difference between us is the specification of what things cannot and must not be compromised and those things that can be--what you call "deal-breakers or not."  

There is an irony in this which I am sure you have not missed: that while you stand at one place holding much of the Christian heritage (but willing to bend or look the other way on other things, e.g. blessing of same-sex unions and ordination of those in same-sex relationships) there are those to one side who are willing to reduce the faith of the Church to an even more minimal position (e.g. in regard to the Trinity, the Incarnation, and uniqueness of Jesus for salvation); what really raises the level of irony are those of us to the other side of yourself, who have taken a stand at a point that encompasses a good deal more of the Church's heritage as bottomline essential--and yet beyond us are those who take a stand criticizing us for supporting the ordination of women.  

The question then becomes, or actually has always been "On what grounds and by what priority of authority do we specify which parts of our Christian inheritance of faith and life cannot be compromised without damage or dissolution of the whole and that which can be accomodated to changing times and places?"  This is the underlying question gnawing on nearly every thread here.  

Vern, I would contend that this all falls under the "WordAlone" thread or rubric on the grounds that the key question that WordAlone has repeatedly set before the ELCA is: "By what authority do you do these things?"  It is that question that Lutheran CORE and other reform groups have taken up.   And I think it is a question that the progressive revisionists are also wrestling with--and that some of them do not like the logical conclusion that is reached in support of their agenda and cause.  Personal experience is a divisive and uncertain and self-deceiving arbiter of truth; it blurs virtue and vice into diverse but morally undifferentiated desires, reducing truth to mere taste and preference and all of us to squabbling gods in chaotic conflict where peace can only be the silence of the dead.   [Sorry for waxing poetic in that last sentence]      

Ken Kimball
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on March 04, 2008, 10:12:08 AM
We would have much more unity and a much better witness to the world if those promoting ideas alien to Scripture, Confessions and 2000 years of tradition would cease their efforts. They don't and make it worse by accusing those who defend the truth as being unloving and schismatic. It is that simple.
And characterizing people as "promoting ideas alien to Scripture, Confession, and 2000 years of tradition" is OK?

You are likely to argue that it is not unloving, but speaking the truth in love. I argue back that accusing others of being schismatic is just as much speaking the truth in love.

I have continually argued that my views come out of Scriptures. It has been shown that long-standing traditions have been changed as God reveals new understandings through his Word.

It's been hinted at here that some of the internal issues with WordAlone are between those who are seeking, out of love, to reform the ELCA; and others who have split away from the ELCA -- forming what has become another Lutheran body.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: buechler on March 04, 2008, 10:26:18 AM
Brian S. wrote: "And characterizing people as "promoting ideas alien to Scripture, Confession, and 2000 years of tradition" is OK?"

When it's true and is proven, then yes. We are to speak the truth in love of course. That is why people continue to engage you in the hope of repentance (I think that is the hope anyway). Given that this promoting of alien ideas is a great problem and one that is confusing people and leading them to damage their souls and the souls of others, it is important to make those distinctions so that people may know what is of Christ and what is counterfiet. I believe this is the work being done by Word Alone, CORE, LC3, etc.

Peace in the Lord!
Rob Buechler
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on March 04, 2008, 10:29:37 AM
Vern, I would contend that this all falls under the "WordAlone" thread or rubric on the grounds that the key question that WordAlone has repeatedly set before the ELCA is: "By what authority do you do these things?"  It is that question that Lutheran CORE and other reform groups have taken up.   And I think it is a question that the progressive revisionists are also wrestling with--and that some of them do not like the logical conclusion that is reached in support of their agenda and cause.  Personal experience is a divisive and uncertain and self-deceiving arbiter of truth; it blurs virtue and vice into diverse but morally undifferentiated desires, reducing truth to mere taste and preference and all of us to squabbling gods in chaotic conflict where peace can only be the silence of the dead.   [Sorry for waxing poetic in that last sentence]
Many of us have presented biblical support for our position. For example, there is nothing in scriptures that forbids same-sex unions. Three of the passages that clearly refer to same-sex behaviors can be interpreted to refer to abusive, manipulative, coercive, or idolatrous acts. It is even less clear exactly what Paul means in 1 Corinthians (and 1 Timothy) because he made up a new word by combining the words for "male" and "bed". Interpretations have ranged from any same-sex sexual behaviors to the non-sexual "couch potato" = a lazy bum. The word, most literally meaning, "a softie" has a range of of interpretations from a homosexual partner (the submissive one) to "a fat slob". (Obese people are softer than "in shape" people.)

Another argument rests on the fact that there is much about marriage that is neither commanded nor forbidden in scriptures. For example, no where does it talk about a marriage license or an official or exchange of rings or a unity candle? In contemporary society, our marriage laws and traditions do not come from scriptures, but from our experiences and our own wisdom and from many different traditions, e.g., not seeing the bride in her wedding dress, wearing of a veil, a kiss, etc. Different societies create different practices in regards to marriage -- and those practices in biblical times are much different than ours today. When we talk about the legalities of relationships, we do use our experiences and common sense.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: BeornBjornson on March 04, 2008, 10:32:51 AM
We would have much more unity and a much better witness to the world if those promoting ideas alien to Scripture, Confessions and 2000 years of tradition would cease their efforts. They don't and make it worse by accusing those who defend the truth as being unloving and schismatic. It is that simple.
I agree.  We continue to work at cross-purposes to each other, expending time, energy, and resources in this interminable fight between two very different understandings of the Christian faith.  I wonder if this would be a good place to reintroduce my proposal for an amicable divorce in the ELCA between those who support the progressive-revisionist faith and those who support the traditional-orthodox faith.  I know it doesn't look very loving and unifying to talk about "divorce" at the outset but then each would be able to love and witness to the truth as each claims and put to the test what new thing the Spirit is revealing (and what Spirit and whether there is a new thing).  Wouldn't an orderly division be more loving and respectful of both viewpoints than a chaotic and disorderly schism?  It is my sense that it is the orthodox-traditional folks and congregations who have been the core strength of the ELCA.  I would hazard an educated guess that the vast majority of those congregations in the ELCA that are actually growing are for the most part traditional-orthodox.  A mega church pastor told me that easily 90% of the ELCA's 100 largest congregations are on the orthodox-traditional side, not the progressive-revisionist.  Similarly, I suspect that the majority of revisionist synods (and those that are RIC) are shrinking faster than the majority of non-revisionist synods (which is still a shame and tragedy in our failure to reach out).  I'd be pleased to have someone else more gifted do the research on this--and correct me if I'm wrong in my suppositions (my sinful self would be even more pleased to be confirmed in my suppositions  ;)).   Despite the ELCA's flat support over its 20 years (indicating some distrust and sullenness on the part of traditional-orthodox congregations and pastors), I suspect that the majority of the ELCA's revenues (flat and shrinking as they may be) come from traditional-orthodox folks and congregations that take the Bible seriously in regard to tithing and offerings.  Of course a good portion of them have reduced or suspended their giving to the ELCA (and sometimes to their synods) as the only significant vote and voice left to them--an expression of their frustration.  But I would guess that a good share of the ELCA's 65 million dollar receipts from congregations through synods come from the traditional-orthodox.  Just some musings.  [BTW I ought to clarify that Lutheran CORE has not and does not call for congregations to reduce their support to their synods and the ELCA].  

Ken Kimball
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: buechler on March 04, 2008, 10:45:14 AM
Ken,

I agree with your post. However I would say the divorce already happened, if not in law at least in fact. You will note that Brian S. will insist upon his position and will not be moved. I mention him only because he does represent the thinking found in a large fellowship within the ELCA. This fellowship has the momentum and the seminaries and essentially controls the mechanisms of change. When bishops like Bouman get placed in the national office, and Margaret Payne has writings on evangelism being promoted in that church the truth is that revisionism is becoming and really has become the orthodoxy of the ELCA.

I know people in ELCA congregations of our area who are less than inspired or impressed by the Bible studies coming out of the ELCA. Yet they feel trapped because they don't know that there are alternatives to the ELCA. LCMC doesn't get much press, and while there are congregations going to the AFLC and LCMC and even Missouri, the majority sit down and either feel like they just have to eat the food put before them, or walk out. What also makes some of these feel trapped is that no matter what assemblies do, in the end the revisionist agenda moves forward.

It is time to recognize that the divorce has happened, grab the gear, and move on (in my opinion). I have a high regard for those continuing to fight on, but I think the Lord is calling you to something else.

Peace in the Lord!
Rob Buechler
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: hillwilliam on March 04, 2008, 11:00:50 AM
We would have much more unity and a much better witness to the world if those promoting ideas alien to Scripture, Confessions and 2000 years of tradition would cease their efforts. They don't and make it worse by accusing those who defend the truth as being unloving and schismatic. It is that simple.
There are some who seem to believe that they are morally superior to Paul, Augustine, Luther, etc. The question is never 'What does God say about this?', it is 'What would a kind and loving god say?' Didn't Jesus say that we should not put God to the test?

We confess one God so what can we make of these designer gods? Christian love does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. If God says a thing is sin, our only appropriate response is repentance, not to insist on our own way, not to be envious or boastful or arrogant by demanding that God change His law. God's justice is not our justice. His will be done.

Our secular world really, really needs to start on a twelve step program. Unfortunately, the first step is the hardest, you have to admit there is a problem. Luther's theology is based on the premise that we are convicted by the law and go to beg for mercy at the foot of the cross. The ELCA is trying to skip the first step and absolve those who have not been convicted. Maybe we should go back to plan A.

Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Vern on March 04, 2008, 03:38:40 PM
Since the St Paul  Area just had a meeting with 4 proposals from the homosexual crowd we are going to try to get the resolutions posted in our ELCA Church and also maybe the Common Confession. It may be a place to start promoting WordAlone, Core, and LC3.

Vern
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Charles_Austin on March 04, 2008, 04:08:49 PM
Pastor Kimball writes:
I suspect that on many of these things you yourself are "doctrinaire" in terms of your conviction that they cannot be surrendered or compromised, no matter what temporary "comfort" such accomodation could offer those who "feel they have been wounded, offended, disappointed, and cast out."  No doubt, those of us concerned with "clarity" [a better word I think than "purity"] of what is to be believed and held and practiced by the Church have often failed in charity and compassion--at least in regard to myself, mea culpa. 

I comment:
Yes, I am rather rigid in stating that one is saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ and if one cannot come to terms with that,  I do not believe they can be part of the Church catholic. And I am rather rigid in declaring that the faith of the church is confessed in the Creeds and if one cannot assent to that, well....
As for women's ordination, the presence of and authority of bishops, and certain aspects of social and ethical pro- or prescriptions, well, a lot is up for discussion.l
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: mdmenacher on March 05, 2008, 02:19:59 AM

It would be good to acknowledge that the "exceptions by-law" was not proposed by WordAlone, but offered as a possible compromise by non-WA folk.  WA never actually endorsed it before a CWA adopted it, though it has since then championed the cause of those who wish to take advantage of that by-law.


Then, who proposed the "exceptions by-law" if WAN did not propose it?


While awaiting a reply to my question, I will add another comment.

Regardless of who instituted the "exceptions bylaw" it is interesting to note the following from the Pacifica Synod (ELCA) March 2008 newsletter:

"Chrism Mass Celebrated Holy Week

This year, we will have two opportunities for a Chrism Mass… the Holy Week Service intended for the rostered leaders of the church to worship and commune together during this sacred season of the church calendar. In the service there is included a liturgy renewing vows of ordination, consecration and commissioning.  At these services, there will also be the blessing on the oils for baptism and the anointing of the sick. Small bottles of these oils will be available for all participants at both services. (emphasis added)

The two services will be held on:

Holy Tuesday, March 18 at 10:30 a.m.
at St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral
2728 Sixth Avenue
San Diego, CA 92103

Holy Wednesday, March 19
at the Lutheran Center for Mission &
Learning
1801-C Park Court
Santa Ana, CA 92701"

While some are celebrating a few handfuls of exceptions to CCM, all over the ELCA since the passage of CCM Lutheran clergy by the hundreds are being effectively re-ordained by bishops.  It is slick.

What is WAN doing about this?

Many thanks,
Mark Menacher

Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Kurt Strause on March 05, 2008, 06:31:36 AM
In the service there is included a liturgy renewing vows of ordination, consecration and commissioning. 

While some are celebrating a few handfuls of exceptions to CCM, all over the ELCA since the passage of CCM Lutheran clergy by the hundreds are being effectively re-ordained by bishops.  It is slick.


The liturgy for the renewal of ordination/consecration/commissioning vows is no more a re-ordination than the affirmation of baptism is a re-baptism or the renewal of marriage vows is a re-marriage. It is simply a public re-dedication to the promises one made when he or she was first ordained (or consecrated or commissioned). What could possibly be wrong with that?

Kurt Strause
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Pr. Jerry Kliner on March 05, 2008, 07:14:08 AM

It would be good to acknowledge that the "exceptions by-law" was not proposed by WordAlone, but offered as a possible compromise by non-WA folk.  WA never actually endorsed it before a CWA adopted it, though it has since then championed the cause of those who wish to take advantage of that by-law.


Then, who proposed the "exceptions by-law" if WAN did not propose it?


While awaiting a reply to my question, I will add another comment.

Regardless of who instituted the "exceptions bylaw" it is interesting to note the following from the Pacifica Synod (ELCA) March 2008 newsletter:

"Chrism Mass Celebrated Holy Week

This year, we will have two opportunities for a Chrism Mass… the Holy Week Service intended for the rostered leaders of the church to worship and commune together during this sacred season of the church calendar. In the service there is included a liturgy renewing vows of ordination, consecration and commissioning.  At these services, there will also be the blessing on the oils for baptism and the anointing of the sick. Small bottles of these oils will be available for all participants at both services. (emphasis added)

The two services will be held on:

Holy Tuesday, March 18 at 10:30 a.m.
at St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral
2728 Sixth Avenue
San Diego, CA 92103

Holy Wednesday, March 19
at the Lutheran Center for Mission &
Learning
1801-C Park Court
Santa Ana, CA 92701"

While some are celebrating a few handfuls of exceptions to CCM, all over the ELCA since the passage of CCM Lutheran clergy by the hundreds are being effectively re-ordained by bishops.  It is slick.

What is WAN doing about this?

Many thanks,
Mark Menacher

 ;D LAUGH!!! ;D

This is the logic that says Lutherans Baptize by "sprinkling" because when I asperge the congregation so that they may remember their Baptism, I am effectively rebaptizing them, right? 

As one of the people who initiated and organized my Synod's Chrism Mass, complete with the renewal of vows (or as you would laughingly put it, "re-ordination") I hope this is not a serious quesion.  For you would have to know that ordination requires the laying on of hands, and this doesn't take place at these masses.  And there is, in fact, no reference to the ordaining of presbyters or deacons, but a re-affirmation of the vows that we took at our ordination.  But God forbid!  Bishops actually take their job as shepherds seriously and seek to encourage their pastors to be faithful to the vows that we solemnly took.  Gasp!

Again, thanks for the laugh as I get ready for...(drum roll please)...Mid-week mass!

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: mdmenacher on March 06, 2008, 03:00:32 AM

This is the logic that says Lutherans Baptize by "sprinkling" because when I asperge the congregation so that they may remember their Baptism, I am effectively rebaptizing them, right? 

But God forbid!  Bishops actually take their job as shepherds seriously and seek to encourage their pastors to be faithful to the vows that we solemnly took.  Gasp!


I suppose that the same question applies to both "practices," "sprinkling" and real or pseudo-reordination. 

What is the point of either, besides "playing church"?  Such practices imply that the promises which God made  in baptism are inadequate and that the vows one made at ordination were insincere.  If either is the case, then both parties are either liars or well intentioned fools.  Those descriptions cannot apply to God.  They can apply to no small number of clergy throughout history, but repetition of words does not resolve character defects.

A good bishop would emphasize the promissory, ephapax nature of the word of God and would instruct and insist that ministers of the word preached and taught in accordance therewith.  That bishops engage in these liturgical antics shows a dire lack of understanding of the word of God which then calls their ability to be bishops into question.

So, what is the theological (word of God) rationale for such practices?  Predilection for "meaningful symbolism" is not a theological rationale, unless one is a Zwinglian.

Many thanks,
Mark Menacher
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Paschalboy on March 06, 2008, 05:58:24 AM
Quote
author=BeornBjornson link=topic=480.msg44946#msg44946 date=1204644771]
 I would hazard an educated guess that the vast majority of those congregations in the ELCA that are actually growing are for the most part traditional-orthodox.  A mega church pastor told me that easily 90% of the ELCA's 100 largest congregations are on the orthodox-traditional side, not the progressive-revisionist.  Similarly, I suspect that the majority of revisionist synods (and those that are RIC) are shrinking faster than the majority of non-revisionist synods (which is still a shame and tragedy in our failure to reach out).  I'd be pleased to have someone else more gifted do the research on this--and correct me if I'm wrong in my suppositions (my sinful self would be even more pleased to be confirmed in my suppositions  ;)).   Ken Kimball

As I try to read backwards through 26 pages, this post caught my attention, thank you Ken.  I too wish someone gifted in the area of research could help in this area.  My readings of the literature, esp. in the area of liturgy, seem to confirm this, but solid statistical research is lacking IMO.  I suspect the growth of the traditional-orthodox churches is slow and steady, as the turtle in the race.  The numbers of and in the "fast growing" churches, I feel, are the hare, and a flash in the pan, with no long term sustenance.  This is ancedotal, but still those who have have joined the "Happy Clappy" type worship/liturgical  style, 2 years later are gone.  Twinkies and milk for communion are good, but they get boring after awhile.  I would imagine the same can be applied to a Happy Clappy theology.  Good Friday, what a downer, eh?  And that long Passion Gospel.  Now backwards to the rest of the notes.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Pr. Jerry Kliner on March 06, 2008, 11:25:12 AM

This is the logic that says Lutherans Baptize by "sprinkling" because when I asperge the congregation so that they may remember their Baptism, I am effectively rebaptizing them, right? 

But God forbid!  Bishops actually take their job as shepherds seriously and seek to encourage their pastors to be faithful to the vows that we solemnly took.  Gasp!


I suppose that the same question applies to both "practices," "sprinkling" and real or pseudo-reordination. 

What is the point of either, besides "playing church"?  Such practices imply that the promises which God made  in baptism are inadequate and that the vows one made at ordination were insincere.  If either is the case, then both parties are either liars or well intentioned fools.  Those descriptions cannot apply to God.  They can apply to no small number of clergy throughout history, but repetition of words does not resolve character defects.

A good bishop would emphasize the promissory, ephapax nature of the word of God and would instruct and insist that ministers of the word preached and taught in accordance therewith.  That bishops engage in these liturgical antics shows a dire lack of understanding of the word of God which then calls their ability to be bishops into question.

So, what is the theological (word of God) rationale for such practices?  Predilection for "meaningful symbolism" is not a theological rationale, unless one is a Zwinglian.

Many thanks,
Mark Menacher

I'm not arguing "meaningful symbolsim," here Mark, and I don't think I've ever been accused of Zwingli-ism before (crypto-Catholicism, yes...  Zwingli-ism?  No...).  The point of remembering or renewing Baptismal vows and renewing Ordination vows is far more than "meaningful symbolism."  It is more along the lines of the Ash Wednesday exhortation... "As disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ, we are called to struggle against everything that leads us away from love of God and neighbor.  Repentance, fasting, prayer, and works of love--the discipline of Lent--help us to wage our spiritual warfare.  I invite you, therefore, to commit yourselves to this struggle, confess your sins, asking God our Father for strength to persevere..."

Far from "meaningful symbol," recommitting ourselves to our calling is a public declaration of our failure to keep that calling, but also a moment of recommittal to that which we have already been entrusted.  But it is also not a Baptism nor an ordination/consecration/comissioning.  But, I suspect that we're also talking past one-another.

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Thomas Byers on March 06, 2008, 11:55:40 AM
Pr. Jerry - you must remember that to the puritan mind a symbol is opaque.  The meeting house with clear glass windows and central pulpit is the ideal expression.  Ashes, oil, water and such material things obscure gospel truth.  But not to say we should avoid empty ceremonies.  t. byers
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Vern on March 06, 2008, 02:36:46 PM
Maybe we should start a new WordAlone, Core, LC3 thread. This one is anything but!
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Michael_Rothaar on March 06, 2008, 02:59:04 PM
Vern, I would contend that this all falls under the "WordAlone" thread or rubric on the grounds that the key question that WordAlone has repeatedly set before the ELCA is: "By what authority do you do these things?"  It is that question that Lutheran CORE and other reform groups have taken up.   And I think it is a question that the progressive revisionists are also wrestling with--and that some of them do not like the logical conclusion that is reached in support of their agenda and cause.  Personal experience is a divisive and uncertain and self-deceiving arbiter of truth; it blurs virtue and vice into diverse but morally undifferentiated desires, reducing truth to mere taste and preference and all of us to squabbling gods in chaotic conflict where peace can only be the silence of the dead.   [Sorry for waxing poetic in that last sentence]
Many of us have presented biblical support for our position. For example, there is nothing in scriptures that forbids same-sex unions. Three of the passages that clearly refer to same-sex behaviors can be interpreted to refer to abusive, manipulative, coercive, or idolatrous acts. It is even less clear exactly what Paul means in 1 Corinthians (and 1 Timothy) because he made up a new word by combining the words for "male" and "bed". Interpretations have ranged from any same-sex sexual behaviors to the non-sexual "couch potato" = a lazy bum. The word, most literally meaning, "a softie" has a range of of interpretations from a homosexual partner (the submissive one) to "a fat slob". (Obese people are softer than "in shape" people.)

Another argument rests on the fact that there is much about marriage that is neither commanded nor forbidden in scriptures. For example, no where does it talk about a marriage license or an official or exchange of rings or a unity candle? In contemporary society, our marriage laws and traditions do not come from scriptures, but from our experiences and our own wisdom and from many different traditions, e.g., not seeing the bride in her wedding dress, wearing of a veil, a kiss, etc. Different societies create different practices in regards to marriage -- and those practices in biblical times are much different than ours today. When we talk about the legalities of relationships, we do use our experiences and common sense.

I agree that the central question before us all is that of authority.

I admit that this reply to a particular note iis mostly an excuse for me to recommend an article I appreciated. Unfortunately, it appears in a limited circulation publication, and is not available on line. Nonetheless, there are some who will have library access and others, like you, Brian, who receive the Trinity Seminary Review. Please see the current issue (29:1, Winter/Spring 2008) for what I found to be a helpful article by N. Clayton Croy, Associate Professor of New Testament. It is titled Rules of Engagement: Civility and Clarity in the Church's Debate about Homosexuality.

I think Croy's comment is an important one when you make your assertions regarding "doubt" about what Paul or any other writer "means:"
"It should be clear that the critical phase for Christian ethical reflection on homosexuality is the hermeneutical one. While some minor exegetical questions might remain about peripheral matters, the Bible's basic teaching about sexual relations between same-sex partners is scarcely ambiguous. The judgment of the pertinent texts is uniformly negative."

He then goes on to support this contention by citing "biblical scholars who ultimately opt for an affirming stance:" Carter Heyward, Walter Wink, Luke Timothy Johnson, & Mark Allen Powell. Croy says,
"These scholars [are] ...conceding that the texts of scripture that explicitly address homosexual behavior condemn it, but arguing that for reasons X, Y, and Z the church should no longer be bound by such strictures. ...t is a step forward in the debate when we gain enough clarity to see where the debate is located.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Richard Johnson on March 06, 2008, 04:01:41 PM

Many of us have presented biblical support for our position.

Croy says,
"These scholars [are] ...conceding that the texts of scripture that explicitly address homosexual behavior condemn it, but arguing that for reasons X, Y, and Z the church should no longer be bound by such strictures. ...t is a step forward in the debate when we gain enough clarity to see where the debate is located.


Uh oh, don't tell Brian.  8)
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Vern on March 06, 2008, 05:32:56 PM
Someone again mentioned CCM. How can we be in Communion with a group whose leader denies that Christ is the only way to salvation.?

Vern
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: E. Swensson on March 06, 2008, 05:36:33 PM
ROJ touched on this is the Forum Letter. Richard, why don't you post that at ALPB?
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: mdmenacher on March 06, 2008, 05:48:15 PM

I'm not arguing "meaningful symbolsim," here Mark, and I don't think I've ever been accused of Zwingli-ism before (crypto-Catholicism, yes...  Zwingli-ism?  No...).  The point of remembering or renewing Baptismal vows and renewing Ordination vows is far more than "meaningful symbolism."  It is more along the lines of the Ash Wednesday exhortation... "As disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ, we are called to struggle against everything that leads us away from love of God and neighbor.  Repentance, fasting, prayer, and works of love--the discipline of Lent--help us to wage our spiritual warfare.  I invite you, therefore, to commit yourselves to this struggle, confess your sins, asking God our Father for strength to persevere..."


Dear Jerry,

Many thanks for the reply.

Three points:

1.  I was accusing no one of anything but seeking to avoid a drift in that direction.  Why do people make such assumptions?

2.  Whereas Luther retained Lent, he was happy to dispense with Ash Wednesday.

3.  The idea that rites with no theological foundation, and I do not see any provided, is part of a struggle "against everything that leads us away from the love of God ..." is a contradiction in terms.  No theology means nothing to do with God.  More important, however, is this notion that some liturgical form calling for a "struggle" without an accompanying scriptural, confessional, or theological rationale appears to throw a sinner back on her/his own efforts and works. 

So, back to my theological question.  The struggle is always to get our selves out of the way so that God can get his gospel purely proclaimed in Word and Sacrament.  In light thereof, what is the theology behind Chrism masses, repeats of ordinations vows, and such?  Where is Christ the alpha and omega, the author and completer of such.  If it is Gottesdiest, then how do such things serve God rather than sinful, human religiosity? 

Many thanks,
Mark Menacher
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Charles_Austin on March 06, 2008, 06:29:31 PM
Pastor Menacher writes:
In light thereof, what is the theology behind Chrism masses, repeats of ordinations vows, and such?  Where is Christ the alpha and omega, the author and completer of such.  If it is Gottesdiest, then how do such things serve God rather than sinful, human religiosity?

I ponder:
Again, you willfully misstate what goes on at such services. There are no "repeats of ordinations (sic) vows."
One might ask: What is the theology behind confirmations, renewal of marriage promises, church anniversaries, mortgage burnings, rogate services, saints' commemorations, or installation of congregational officers? I'd bet a good hot dish recipe that 93.4 percent of our churches do such things. And do not all of those things strengthen the bonds of Christian fellowship, acknowledge our dependence upon God, praise God for blessings, and encourage us to be more faithful and to serve God? Is not Christ present in such observances?
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Richard Johnson on March 06, 2008, 08:53:30 PM
ROJ touched on this is the Forum Letter. Richard, why don't you post that at ALPB?

Oh, OK. Since you asked.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: mdmenacher on March 07, 2008, 01:54:21 AM

One might ask: What is the theology behind confirmations, renewal of marriage promises, church anniversaries, mortgage burnings, rogate services, saints' commemorations, or installation of congregational officers? I'd bet a good hot dish recipe that 93.4 percent of our churches do such things. And do not all of those things strengthen the bonds of Christian fellowship, acknowledge our dependence upon God, praise God for blessings, and encourage us to be more faithful and to serve God? Is not Christ present in such observances?

I agree.  What is the theology behind all of that?  Please offer some.  I look forward to your simply divine hot dish!

God is creator and lord of the universe.  If God's presence is the criterion for human activities being labeled "church," then all the world is a church and there is no need either for particular religious groupings or particularly for clergy.  Life is just one big worship service, and our only sin would appear to be ... not using hot dish as the elements for Holy Communion?  Wait!  Lime Jello?  Oh, I do not know.  What will the Catholics and Episcopalians allow us to use, pizza or steak and kidney pie? 

You know, it is funny how sin causes us to believe that human activities, especially religious activities, are somehow needed to make God present in ways beyond which he already makes himself present in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ as purely proclaimed in his gospel. 

It is much like Adam and Eve thinking that they would be in far greater fellowship with God if they cast God's word aside. 

Sin is so insidious, isn't it.  In the name of religion, sin nailed Christ to the cross for religious fellowship, "... to gather into one the children of God ..." (John 11:52).

Many thanks,
Mark Menacher
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Charles_Austin on March 07, 2008, 03:45:38 AM
Nice little sermon, but is it true then that you oppose, and that your parish does not do confirmations, renewal of marriage promises, church anniversaries, mortgage burnings, rogate services, saints' commemorations, or installation of congregational officers? Where are we going with this?
Your long and persistent rants against ecumenical agreements are well known. Are these services your next targets?
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: E. Swensson on March 07, 2008, 08:17:52 AM
ROJ touched on this is the Forum Letter. Richard, why don't you post that at ALPB?

Oh, OK. Since you asked.

Here it is http://www.alpb.org/forum/index.php?topic=1271.new#new

Prescienct to note that there is precedence for stepping away from pulpit and altar fellowship.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Charles_Austin on March 07, 2008, 09:28:49 AM
Word Alone has a resolution prepared for those who want to break fellowship with the Episcopalians.
My question: Has this resolution come before any synods, and if so, what was the result? If it has not come before any synods, why not?
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: E. Swensson on March 07, 2008, 09:53:14 AM
I'd like to see that resolution. Where is it?
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Charles_Austin on March 07, 2008, 10:06:13 AM
On the Word Alone website. Don't you hang out there once in a while? I do.  ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: E. Swensson on March 07, 2008, 10:07:20 AM
What's the url?
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Dadoo on March 07, 2008, 10:22:38 AM
What's the url?

Closest I can find in 60 seconds of searching:  http://wordalone.org/docs/wa-resolution-ccm-07.shtml
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: MSchimmel on March 07, 2008, 10:31:06 AM
A quick perusal of the WA page that summarizes synod assemblies ( http://www.wordalone.org/docs/wa-synod2007.shtml ) shows that two synods voted on that resolution (SW Minnesota and Greater Milwaukee) - in both cases the resolution was defeated.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: navyman on March 07, 2008, 05:47:34 PM
I read this from my news letter from Word Alone, and thought that it hit home on a few issues that we have been talking about in other discussions on ALPB.

I agree, why a person who has lost so many members, would be promoted to head a department within the ELCA, is beyond me. I think Mark gave us a good presentation on why and how the ELCA HQ works!  Also, may well be what may be in our future.

However, it has cost us members, and well as atated goals to be more inclusive of other nationals and their acceptance. As well as However, its seems that many may not want to believe as we do!


Regards!

Don

Bewildering!!!

by Mark Chavez, director


Sometimes the news in the Evangelical
Lutheran Church in America is completely
bewildering. Here are two such recent items.
The ELCA Washington office, a political
lobbying office, advocates for the environment.

But to do its work, the staff uses air
travel, which results in carbon emissions. An
ELCA news release (Dec. 13, 2007, 07-205-
AL) reported the office had begun purchasing
“carbon offset credits to mitigate their
carbon emissions accumulated through air
travel.” The credits are investments in
renewable energy projects.

Even a secular commentator, Peter
Schweizer, commented (“Offset Away Our
Guilt,” USA Today Blog, Sept, 26, 2007)
about such credits, “If we can buy ‘carbon
offsets’ for our environmental missteps, why
not for our other sins?”

Perhaps the ELCA Washington office
should cut back on air travel? If the office
has surplus funds for the credits, why not
divert the money to global mission, starting
new churches or disaster relief?
Here’s the other matter.

Many persons already know the ELCA’s
baptized membership declined by 6.6%
from Dec. 31, 1998, to Aug. 1, 2006. So who
got picked to be the new executive director
of Evangelical Outreach and Congregational
Mission in Chicago? The ELCA announced
(Nov. 14, 2007, 07-192-FI) it was Stephen
Bouman, bishop of the Metropolitan New
York Synod, one of the most rapidly declining
synods in the ELCA during his tenure.

Only three other synods declined at rates
greater than Metro NY’s 15.5% in that period.
Why not recruit someone from the seven
synods that didn’t decline in recent years?
Why not choose a director with a proven
track record for helping congregations
thrive?

Whatever Bouman’s gifts may be for evangelism
and serving congregations, his support
for ELCA approval of homosexual
behavior probably didn’t hurt his chances of
being considered for the position. He joins a
churchwide staff that strongly supported all
three sexuality recommendations presented
to the 2005 churchwide assembly.

Bouman has supported the Metropolitan
New York Synod’s positions in favor of
approving of homosexual behavior. A leader
of an ELCA church in the synod told me that
the synod’s approval of homosexual behavior
had made it extremely difficult for his
church to reach the predominately non-
Caucasian people in his community.
Disregard for the biblical norms for sexuality
turns people away, he said. It also works
against the ELCA’s goals of becoming more
multicultural.

Bouman also has made a most bewildering
statement. When asked once if he would
have disciplined Katrina Foster, an ELCA
pastor in Metro NY who “came out” in
August at the churchwide assembly as a
homosexually active ELCA pastor, a
lifestyle still prohibited for pastors by
church standards:

Bishop Bouman said he would not have
disciplined Pastor Foster anyway. “She
is someone whose faith is genuine and
she lives it in a very bold and inclusive
way,” he said. “She’s not afraid to tell
people that she loves God and that God
loves them.” (NY Times, Nov. 25, 2007)
Does this mean that Bouman would discipline
a pastor for not having a genuine faith
if Bouman thought that were the case? Since
when is genuine faith the criterion for
whether or not to discipline a pastor for
wrongdoing? And who other than the Lord is
able to judge whether someone’s faith is or is
not genuine?

These bewildering reports reveal tragic
theological confusion in the ELCA. ✦


www.wordalone.org
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: mdmenacher on March 08, 2008, 01:14:00 AM

Your long and persistent rants against ecumenical agreements are well known. Are these services your next targets?

Brother Austin,

You failed to answer the question, and you end your avoidance with a personal attack.  Some ecumenical agreements are good, some not.  I fail to see the connection between church luncheons and my supposedly persistently ranting against ecumenical agreements.  Do you not like my hot dish or do you have no stomach for theological responsibility?

To the ecumenical agreements, I remind you:

1.  I am married to an Anglican.
2.  I served as the Ecumenical Officer of the Lutheran Church in Great Britain.
3.  I provided pulpit supply all over North Wales and into England for all manner of denominations.
4.  I was an executive office of an ecumenical charity in Michigan for many, many years.
5.  I am am member of the National Association of Priest Pilots.

There is a difference between being ecumenical in accordance with the Lutheran Confessions and being a sell-out, structural ecumenist who obtains ecumenical agreements through the law by deceit, such as CCM.  CCM is not only contrary to CA VII but also the doctrine of justification by faith. 

Anglicans consider their "holy orders" to be part of the gospel, and Lutherans do not.  Therefore, Lutherans and Anglicans are not agreed in the gospel, and they are thus plainly and ironically not agreed about the so-called "historic episcopate" as a sign of unity.  In those churches that demand such successions, the word of God is subservient to the law of human, ecclesial structures, which are nonetheless called gospel.  In a Lutheran church, the demands of the law for any particular ecclesial ordering according to human ordinances is subverted by the gospel because the gospel reigns, not the law.

Furthermore, accepting the law of Anglicanism to make oneself "right" enough for false communion is ecumenical "works righteousness."  If Anglicans do not like Lutherans, fellow Christians, "as is" and if Christ died for the ungodly, then assenting to Anglican law is all around a repudiation of the gospel of justification by faith alone established by Christ for all sinful humanity.

So, you can say all manner of derogatory things about me, if it makes you happy.  If that is the depth of your theology and Christianity, that is another matter because you only call your credibility and character into question.  I would ask you to refrain from such.  You obviously are not fussed about it, but I am embarrassed for you.  So, stop it, please.  You must be better a better person than that, right?

Many thanks,
Mark Menacher

Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Charles_Austin on March 08, 2008, 07:59:24 AM
Pastor Menacher writes:
So, you can say all manner of derogatory things about me, if it makes you happy.  If that is the depth of your theology and Christianity, that is another matter because you only call your credibility and character into question. 

I respond:
What an overreaction! I said only that your rants against our ecumenical agreements were well known. How does that constitute "all manner of derogatory things"? Good grief!

Pastor Menacher:
I would ask you to refrain from such.  You obviously are not fussed about it, but I am embarrassed for you.  So, stop it, please.  You must be better a better person than that, right?

I respond:
Had you been more seriously involved in discussion here, you would know that we in this online community can handle disagreement and criticism and words even harsher than my only comment about your postings here and elsewhere: that you rant against our ecumenical agreements.
So a serious question: Other than posting online diatribes, how have you pursued your opposition to our ecumenical agreements and how has it been received? Been active in your synod? Spoken at assemblies? Discussed with local pastors and lay people? Had any impact? Or do you have the enjoyment of being a lone voice with the absolutely correct view of things?
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Charles_Austin on March 08, 2008, 08:21:24 AM
By the way, folks here should know that Dr. Menacher instigated a failed campaign to remove Dr. Michael Root from the faculty of Trinity Seminary. Then, when Dr. Root moved to Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, Dr. Menacher dubbed it "Lutheran theological silly seminary" and in his online postings said it would be wrong for students to go there.
Dr. Menacher also invited himself to a two-hour debate with Presiding Bishop Hanson at the LWF assembly and then groused when the presiding bishop gracefully declined to put Dr. Menacher on the agenda of the assembly.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: mdmenacher on March 08, 2008, 12:03:36 PM

Closest I can find in 60 seconds of searching:  http://wordalone.org/docs/wa-resolution-ccm-07.shtml
Quote

Regarding WAN’s “Resolution on Called to Common Mission” available via the link above, this resolution is already dead in the water, for the following reasons:

1.  No where does the resolution mention Jesus Christ.

2.  No where does the resolution state, in accordance with the ELCA’s own constitution (3.01), that Christ is the head of the church, that the church belongs to Christ, and that the decision made regarding CCM is contrary to “his rule and authority,” because only Christ through his gospel, not historic episcopacies, can create unity in his church.

3.  The resolution fails to grasp Article VII of the Confessio Augustana as paramount for the entire church rather than as an option for individuals in a particular denomination.

4.  The resolution argues financial considerations to the institutional ELCA rather than the cost of discipleship, the way of the cross, that we in the church are “not our own” but were “bought with a price”(I Corinthians 6).

5.  The resolution fails to state that CCM is contrary to the doctrine of justification by faith alone because it requires the institutional ELCA to making itself “right” before the Episcopal Church for “full communion,” i.e. ecumenical works righteousness.  This means that the ELCA’s entire ordination structure under CCM contradicts the gospel of justification by faith alone in Jesus Christ as a free gift of grace.

6.  The resolution fails to state that CCM was passed with deceitful information regarding Apology 14, easily proven with the ELCA’s own documents.  Whereas CCM paragraph 11 states that “Article 14 of the Apology refers to this episcopal pattern by the phrase, ‘the ecclesiastical and canonical polity” which it is 'our deep desire to maintain,’” The Church as Koinonia of Salvation paragraph 80 states that the notions of “episcopal succession” raised at the time of the Reformation “were used within a canonical argument over validity which the Lutherans could only reject.”

7.  The resolution fails to state that Luther and Melanchthon rejected “episcopal succession” as necessary for making a bishop and as constitutive for the nature of the church, respectively.

8.  The tactic of the resolution itself is thus political (law based) and not theological (gospel based).  The law has no power because "Christ is the end of the law for justification to all who are believing" (Romans 10:4).  The WAN resolution is therefore impotent and will bring about no changes in the institutional ELCA because it does not rely upon or call upon the gospel of Jesus Christ as “the power of God for salvation to all who are believing” (Romans 1:16).

Many thanks,
Mark Menacher
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Brian Hughes on March 08, 2008, 12:09:54 PM

Brother Austin,

You failed to answer the question,

 Pastor Austin and I routinely come at things (sometimes heatedly) from very different perspectives.  Be that as it may, in this instance I'd like to point out you answered none of my questions in the ecumenical conversation, yet here you are again demanding someone respond in ways you desire.  You sir, in the language of all things blog, are a troll.  Normally I'd say things like, "Your actions can be interpreted as ..." etc., etc.  But in this instance I'm comfortable simply naming what I see and will from this point forward receive your posts from that perspective.

From the Urban Dictionary:

Blog Troll:

2.(n) -A depraved individual who sits in front of a computer all day and posts flames of an idiotic or pseudo-intellectual nature on public forums and private websites. Many of these people actually become emotional about what is said on the afore-said mediums and feel it is their duty to punish those who disagree with them. They too may pursue this object in an obsessive-compulsive manner.

Brian
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Vern on March 08, 2008, 01:10:49 PM
Since this thread has gone so far astray I attempted to start a new thread entitled "WordAlone, Core, LC3" unfortunately it didn't work. Can anyone explain why?
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: MSchimmel on March 08, 2008, 01:34:18 PM
Since this thread has gone so far astray I attempted to start a new thread entitled "WordAlone, Core, LC3" unfortunately it didn't work. Can anyone explain why?

Looks like you've created 3 threads Vern.  For some reason this board relegates new threads to page 27 or so until they are replied to.

Mark
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Pr. Jerry Kliner on March 08, 2008, 02:52:34 PM
Since this thread has gone so far astray I attempted to start a new thread entitled "WordAlone, Core, LC3" unfortunately it didn't work. Can anyone explain why?

Vern, part of being part of a forum is that you relinquish the "ownership" of any given topic to the members of the group.  So if you don't like the way a thread is running, then start a blog where you can keep things where you want them.  But for a forum with public posting, you just cannot control where things go sometimes.

As for why your other threads haven't caught fire, I can think of three reasons why:
1) There just hasn't been enough time for people to respond...
2) Nobody is interested in that topic right now,
3) After getting told off for "going astray," on this thread, people are hesitant to jump into a new thread with you.

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Vern on March 08, 2008, 03:17:32 PM
Mark, I looked at pages 26-32 and still can't find them.

Vern :'(
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Vern on March 08, 2008, 03:19:00 PM
Aha, I just found one. :)
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: LutherMan on March 08, 2008, 08:08:21 PM
Since this thread has gone so far astray I attempted to start a new thread

This thread ceased being about its original intent on page one of the thread when I first started it.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Thomas Byers on March 10, 2008, 09:23:01 PM
AC VII -  it suffices that "the Gospel be preached in conformity with apure understanding of it".  Is this self evident or who says so?    Does agreement in doctrine have anything to do with it?  tb
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: navyman on March 12, 2008, 05:48:40 PM
There are some folks in WordAlone that are starting to talk about leaving the ELCA and starting a new Synod. They feel the ELCA is too far gone.

Vern


I think they have already done that Vern!  They founded the LCMC, from my understanding.

Regards!

Don
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: navyman on March 12, 2008, 05:52:29 PM
News from CORE, on sexuality study!  Resource material available!

Regards!

Don


Greetings from Lutheran CORE:

The ELCA Task Force on Human Sexuality will release its first draft of
 an ELCA Social Statement on Human Sexuality on Thursday, March 13.

Lutheran CORE has prepared a resource to help ELCA members and churches
participate in the process leading to an ELCA Social Statement on Human
 
Sexuality and to enable them to better understand some of the questions
on human sexuality that will be considered at the 2009 ELCA Churchwide
Assembly.

The resource, "Some Questions and Answers about the ELCA Sexuality
Discussions" is available online at http://www.lutherancore.org/papers/s-ques-031108.shtml.  

Lutheran CORE is grateful to Pastor David Baer, Whitewood, SD, Mr. James Gale,
 Washington, D.C., and Pastor Russell Saltzman, Kansas City, MO, for preparing this
resource. We encourage you to read this document and to make it
 available to others in your congregation and area.

We also strongly encourage you to take time to read the first draft of
 an ELCA Social Statement on Human Sexuality and to submit a response to
 the task force by Nov. 1 offering your response to the social statement
 draft and your suggestions for its improvement. Lutheran CORE will continue
 to resources to ELCA members to help them consider the social
 statement the coming weeks and months.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Thomas Byers on March 13, 2008, 07:49:59 PM
to a certain kind of lutheran the incarnation, atonement and resurrection seem to be contrary to "justification by faith'.  May I say?  tb
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Paul T. McCain on March 13, 2008, 08:46:34 PM
Huh?
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Thomas Byers on March 14, 2008, 12:09:10 PM
For Bultmann wasn't everything "mythology" except justification?  As noted before even Amida
buddhism affirms justification by faith alone.  The Jesuit missionaries thought that Lutherans had got to Japan before they did.  tb
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on June 21, 2009, 08:00:29 PM

Then, who proposed the "exceptions by-law" if WAN did not propose it?


From the Milwaukee Common Ground Resolution (http://wordalone.org/docs/wa-milw-resolution.shtml), "This is the result of a conference between individual WordAloners and other parties in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, February 2000.  It is only the work of the undersigned individuals, and does not represent an official position of either the WordAlone Network or the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America."

Rev. Michael Cooper-White, Director, ELCA Department of Synodical Relations, Chicago, IL
Ms. Linda Danielson, Zion Lutheran Church, Des Moines, IA
Rev. Amandus Derr, Saint Peter's Lutheran Church, New York, NY
Rev. Richard Foss, Bishop, Eastern North Dakota Synod, Fargo, ND

Professor Gracia Grindal, Luther Seminary, St. Paul, MN
Rev. Mark S. Hanson Bishop, St. Paul Area Synod, St. Paul, MN
Dr. Gordon S. (Tim) Huffman, Jr., Trinity Seminary, Columbus, OH
Rev. Bradley C. Jenson, Kenwood Lutheran Church, Duluth, MN

Dr. Marc Kolden, Luther Seminary, St. Paul, MN
Dr. Margaret (Meg) Madson, Plymouth, MN
Ms. Ellen Maxon, ELCA Church Council, Hartland, WI
Rev. Don McCoid, Bishop, Southwestern Pennsylvania Synod, Pittsburgh, PA

Rev. Stanley Olson, Bishop, Southwestern Minnesota Synod, Redwood Falls, MN
Rev. Karen Parker, ELCA Church Council, Pacifica Synod Yorba Linda, CA
Dr. Ralph W. Quere, Wartburg Theological Seminary, Dubuque, IA
Rev. Peter Rogness, Bishop, Greater Milwaukee Synod, Milwaukee, WI
Mr. Clair Strommen, Naples, FL

Pax, Steven+
who's cleaning up his desk

P. S.  Rev. Joseph Wagner, then the Executive Director, ELCA Division for Ministry, was also part of the meeting but did not support the resolution.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Eric Swensson on June 21, 2009, 08:14:29 PM
Good detective work, Steven!
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Richard Kidd, STS on June 21, 2009, 08:28:17 PM
One word, Forde. Another, Justification. This drives the theology of WordAlone more than anything I've noticed.

Myself, I like WAN because Jaynann Eglund gets it. And she can beat you up like your big sister. She just might have to do that.

Ditto. Memory eternal, Gerhard!

Fr. Bob

I love Gerhard Forde books especially "Being A Theologian of the Cross" and I love his work with Nestingen on "Free to Be" which was used in a lot of confirmation classes.
Is Nestingen LCMC now?
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on June 21, 2009, 09:01:33 PM

Is Nestingen LCMC now?

He is a retired ELCA pastor.

Pax, Steven+
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: vicarbob on June 21, 2009, 10:28:31 PM
WOW, a golden oldie!
Am I reading this correctly, some are responding to 2 years prior posting????
can't be ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ???
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Team Hesse on June 21, 2009, 10:52:02 PM

Is Nestingen LCMC now?

He is a retired ELCA pastor.
Pax, Steven+

A little more info here --
Dr. Nestingen occupies the first endowed chair (I can't remember the official name; I've only heard it once) of the Institute of Lutheran Theology (ILT (http://instituteoflutherantheology.org/)).  He is technically retired from the ELCA but is still very active in teaching, in many ways.  He was already committed elsewhere, otherwise he could have been the keynote for our Augsburg Lutheran Churches convention in El Paso July 26-29.  We hope to have him for a pastors' conference this fall in either Brookings, SD, or the Twin Cities, MN.  I was on the phone with him just Friday night.

Anyone who has an interest in Forde style Lutheran theology should check us out, Augsburg Lutheran Churches.  "Come and See."

Lou
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Richard Kidd, STS on June 22, 2009, 07:31:27 AM

Is Nestingen LCMC now?

He is a retired ELCA pastor.
Pax, Steven+

A little more info here --
Dr. Nestingen occupies the first endowed chair (I can't remember the official name; I've only heard it once) of the Institute of Lutheran Theology (ILT (http://instituteoflutherantheology.org/)).  He is technically retired from the ELCA but is still very active in teaching, in many ways.  He was already committed elsewhere, otherwise he could have been the keynote for our Augsburg Lutheran Churches convention in El Paso July 26-29.  We hope to have him for a pastors' conference this fall in either Brookings, SD, or the Twin Cities, MN.  I was on the phone with him just Friday night.

Anyone who has an interest in Forde style Lutheran theology should check us out, Augsburg Lutheran Churches.  "Come and See."

Lou

Well I think the late Gerharde Forde was one of the best modern day Lutheran theologians. Bonhoeffer is my favorite but Forde comes in close.
Title: Re: WordAlone
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on June 22, 2009, 01:26:24 PM
In looking at the list I was actually surprised at how many WA-associated folks were part of the meeting.  But the comment on the page gives an indication of how uninterested the WAN leadership was in the proposed exceptions prior to their adoption by the 2001 CWA.

spt+