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ALPB => Your Turn => Topic started by: Donald_Kirchner on December 08, 2017, 09:55:49 AM

Title: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on December 08, 2017, 09:55:49 AM
"The Age of the Earth and Confessional Lutheranism" by John Jurchen, beginning on page 64 of the Concordia Journal, Summer 2017

https://concordiatheology.org/2017/09/concordia-journal-summer-2017/

Wyoming District Fall Conference Resolution

http://steadfastlutherans.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/WY-District-Resolution-CSL2017.pdf

South Wisconsin District Fall Conference Overture

http://steadfastlutherans.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/SWD-OVERTURE.pdf

Responsive letter to the Wyoming District by the faculty of Concordia Seminary

http://steadfastlutherans.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Letter-to-Wyoming-District-Pastors-12-1-17-1.pdf
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Matt Staneck on December 08, 2017, 10:13:21 AM
Synod has an official position on the (young) age of the earth?

The resolutions from Wyoming and South Wisconsin feel like they are adding to what we teach as a synod (and especially as to what we teach as subscribers to the Book of Concord).

M. Staneck
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Rev Mathew Andersen on December 08, 2017, 10:18:48 AM
I would have to say that both conferences overreacted.  What Jurchen proposed is not evolution or theistic evolution in any way (although at my first reading I thought it was.)  There is nothing in his article about creation that is anti-biblical, although I think his statements about the flood stretched interpretation way too far.

And, no, the synod never established an official position on the age of the earth.

However, his old-age creationism doesn't work well and really is not a solution to the problem.  The old earth creationist has to figure out where to put the gaps in history and cosmology into the biblical account.  Because the sun, moon and stars are not created until the 4th day, this presents a problem.  You can't put billions of years prior to the 4th day.  It is too much time to put into any of the following days, between the creation of sea life and animals, for instance, or into the sixth day between the creation of animals and man.  And between Adam and the rest of the history of Genesis doesn't allow enough of a gap either.  The old earth creationist has to do more than just stick time into the gaps.  Somehow, he has to move the creation of stars and sun to an earlier time of creation and at that point you begin to break the text.

For that reason, I don't think there are a lot of old earth creationist around and those that I have read really don't seem to have a very full or specific model of creation, unless things have changed recently.  It usually comes down to saying "well, somewhere in there is some extra time but we don't know where or how.

So, while Jurchen's solution is not heretical, neither is it a very satisfying or workable one.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Matt Staneck on December 08, 2017, 10:21:45 AM
I would have to say that both conferences overreacted.  What Jurchen proposed is not evolution or theistic evolution in any way (although at my first reading I thought it was.)  There is nothing in his article about creation that is anti-biblical, although I think his statements about the flood stretched interpretation way too far.

And, no, the synod never established an official position on the age of the earth.

However, his old-age creationism doesn't work well and really is not a solution to the problem.  The old earth creationist has to figure out where to put the gaps in history and cosmology into the biblical account.  Because the sun, moon and stars are not created until the 4th day, this presents a problem.  You can't put billions of years prior to the 4th day.  It is too much time to put into any of the following days, between the creation of sea life and animals, for instance, or into the sixth day between the creation of animals and man.  And between Adam and the rest of the history of Genesis doesn't allow enough of a gap either.  The old earth creationist has to do more than just stick time into the gaps.  Somehow, he has to move the creation of stars and sun to an earlier time of creation and at that point you begin to break the text.

For that reason, I don't think there are a lot of old earth creationist around and those that I have read really don't seem to have a very full or specific model of creation, unless things have changed recently.  It usually comes down to saying "well, somewhere in there is some extra time but we don't know where or how.

So, while Jurchen's solution is not heretical, neither is it a very satisfying or workable one.

Ok - but what you wrote strikes me as a measured and mature response to something one disagrees with. Why is this so difficult in our synod?

M. Staneck
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Matt Staneck on December 08, 2017, 10:23:57 AM
Also: Do we need to know how old or young the earth is? Do we need to worry about "gaps" in historical timeline? Why is this a concern of ours? What does this have to do with what we believe about creation? Does our entire theology of creation subsist in 6-24 hour days?

M. Staneck
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: SomeoneWrites on December 08, 2017, 10:32:20 AM
There's a couple types of Old Earth Creationists. 

There's the Day-Age.  (1 day equal millions of years)
There's the Theistic Evolutionists

And there's the omphalists.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omphalos_hypothesis


My experience in the LCMS is that it's Young Earth Creationism or Omphalism. 
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: aletheist on December 08, 2017, 10:59:36 AM
Ok - but what you wrote strikes me as a measured and mature response to something one disagrees with. Why is this so difficult in our synod?
It is difficult in our society in general because people now equate disagreement with disrespect.  It is difficult in our Synod in particular because people insist that any theological issues on which they have strong convictions simply cannot be adiaphora; hence anyone who disagrees is not just wrong, but heretical.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Voelker on December 08, 2017, 11:08:16 AM
Ok - but what you wrote strikes me as a measured and mature response to something one disagrees with. Why is this so difficult in our synod?
It is difficult in our society in general because people now equate disagreement with disrespect.  It is difficult in our Synod in particular because people insist that any theological issues on which they have strong convictions simply cannot be adiaphora; hence anyone who disagrees is not just wrong, but heretical.
This sounds accurate. Such a heightened response, it might also be argued, suggests an uncertainty concerning the defensibility or certainty of the position(s) held by those with such reactions.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Mark Brown on December 08, 2017, 11:33:36 AM
Synod has an official position on the (young) age of the earth?

The resolutions from Wyoming and South Wisconsin feel like they are adding to what we teach as a synod (and especially as to what we teach as subscribers to the Book of Concord).

M. Staneck

Isn't the real answer "Its Complicated".  The Brief Statement (1932) combined with Bylaw 1.6.2 (b)(7) would seem to say that a YEC is the official position and "should be honored and upheld" until repealed".  It becomes complicated because I think the Brief Statement is prior to the Bylaw and the CTCR process it outlines.  Also because at heart we are a reformation church that runs really light on dogma i.e. Sola Scriptura + Confessions.  We have never added anything to the Article 2 constitutional confessions.  So, things that just weren't a problem in FoC days, but could be today, go without dogmatic expression.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Matt Staneck on December 08, 2017, 11:39:01 AM
Synod has an official position on the (young) age of the earth?

The resolutions from Wyoming and South Wisconsin feel like they are adding to what we teach as a synod (and especially as to what we teach as subscribers to the Book of Concord).

M. Staneck

Isn't the real answer "Its Complicated".  The Brief Statement (1932) combined with Bylaw 1.6.2 (b)(7) would seem to say that a YEC is the official position and "should be honored and upheld" until repealed".  It becomes complicated because I think the Brief Statement is prior to the Bylaw and the CTCR process it outlines.  Also because at heart we are a reformation church that runs really light on dogma i.e. Sola Scriptura + Confessions.  We have never added anything to the Article 2 constitutional confessions.  So, things that just weren't a problem in FoC days, but could be today, go without dogmatic expression.

Why does believing and confessing that God created the world in 6-24 hour days require a dogmatic subscription to a 6,000 year old universe? Talk about a gap!

M. Staneck
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: JoshuaEM on December 08, 2017, 11:42:51 AM
I only skimmed the article, but it seems quite reasonable. I also like the mock conversation in Arand’s article. The lively interplay between science and religion isn’t going away. It’s nice to see theologians and faithful scientists engaging questions.

Josh
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: gan ainm on December 08, 2017, 12:05:42 PM
From the BJS site:  http://steadfastlutherans.org/2017/12/lutheran-quotes-on-creation/

My personal opinion is God created the earth in six 24 hour days.  That is what Scripture says.

My second opinion is that since God cursed everything in Genesis 3, all methods used to determine that which cannot be proven are suspect.  For example, carbon 14 testing. 

My third opinion is don't try to explore the hidden side of God.  If you can believe he created the heavens and the earth, why is it so hard to understand the time thing, what ever it is.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: aletheist on December 08, 2017, 12:06:17 PM
The Brief Statement (1932) combined with Bylaw 1.6.2 (b)(7) would seem to say that a YEC is the official position and "should be honored and upheld" until repealed".  It becomes complicated because I think the Brief Statement is prior to the Bylaw and the CTCR process it outlines.
This part is not complicated at all; the LCMS does not have any "doctrinal statements" as defined by that particular Bylaw.  The status of the Brief Statement is no different from any other "doctrinal resolution" adopted by simple majority vote at a Synod convention under Bylaw 1.6.2.(a).

Why does believing and confessing that God created the world in 6-24 hour days require a dogmatic subscription to a 6,000 year old universe?
It does not, and I am puzzled by the ongoing widespread misunderstanding of this distinction.  The Brief Statement does not even insist on "24-hour" days; it simply says, "We teach that God has created heaven and earth, and that in the manner and in the space of time recorded in the Holy Scriptures, especially Gen. 1 and 2, namely, by His almighty creative word, and in six days."  It goes on to reject the proposition "that the world came into existence through a process of evolution; that is, that it has, in immense periods of time, developed more or less of itself."  However, it says nothing whatsoever about how much time has passed since the six days of creation.

What I usually say about this issue is that a plain-sense reading of Genesis suggests that creation took place in six 24-hour days a few thousand years ago, but I am not dogmatic about the age of the universe.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: SomeoneWrites on December 08, 2017, 12:15:01 PM

What I usually say about this issue is that a plain-sense reading of Genesis suggests that creation took place in six 24-hour days a few thousand years ago, but I am not dogmatic about the age of the universe.

This is usually the sense I get from Lutherans, particularly the pastors. 
I appreciate the journal contributions, and I appreciate that they want to engage in the discussion, but it all seemed to kind of dance around the issue. 
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Matt Staneck on December 08, 2017, 12:19:47 PM
The more I think about this the more I think a response from President Harrison is appropriate. His response should be a rebuke of the Wyoming and South Wisconsin districts for their resolutions.

In addition to being uncharitable, they ask for the binding of consciences on matters which the scriptures, confessions, and The Brief Statement do not speak. This is dangerous and needs to be rebuked in the clearest possible terms.

M. Staneck
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Matt Staneck on December 08, 2017, 12:21:22 PM

What I usually say about this issue is that a plain-sense reading of Genesis suggests that creation took place in six 24-hour days a few thousand years ago, but I am not dogmatic about the age of the universe.

This is usually the sense I get from Lutherans, particularly the pastors. 
I appreciate the journal contributions, and I appreciate that they want to engage in the discussion, but it all seemed to kind of dance around the issue.

What dancing? It is not incumbent upon Synod to satisfy every curiosity of its members. This is Reformed fundamentalism and not Evangelical Lutheranism.

M. Staneck
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: SomeoneWrites on December 08, 2017, 12:22:37 PM
The more I think about this the more I think a response from President Harrison is appropriate. His response should be a rebuke of the Wyoming and South Wisconsin districts for their resolutions.

In addition to being uncharitable, they ask for the binding of consciences on matters which the scriptures, confessions, and The Brief Statement do not speak. This is dangerous and needs to be rebuked in the clearest possible terms.

M. Staneck

I'm definitely curious to see if/how he responds. 
The hard part is I think the above districts believe they are in line with Scripture and the Confessions.  It would be interesting if one of them could engage the discussion here. 
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: SomeoneWrites on December 08, 2017, 12:25:01 PM

What I usually say about this issue is that a plain-sense reading of Genesis suggests that creation took place in six 24-hour days a few thousand years ago, but I am not dogmatic about the age of the universe.

This is usually the sense I get from Lutherans, particularly the pastors. 
I appreciate the journal contributions, and I appreciate that they want to engage in the discussion, but it all seemed to kind of dance around the issue.

What dancing? It is not incumbent upon Synod to satisfy every curiosity of its members. This is Reformed fundamentalism and not Evangelical Lutheranism.

M. Staneck

It's a first step.  But yeah, it's speaking about it without actually speaking to it.  That's why I said "seemed" like dancing.  They recognize that it's a significant issue for some people, and that deserves to be spoken to.  We can see the immediate effects of that conversation with the letters/resolution, with Mbecker, with discussions between the LCMS and ELCA, the state of teaching in the Lutheran school systems, etc.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Harry Edmon on December 08, 2017, 12:31:04 PM
Here are some reflections on the reactions to the article from the editor of the Concordia Journal:

https://concordiatheology.org/2017/12/reflections-on-reactions-to-the-summer-issue-of-concordia-journal/
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Matt Staneck on December 08, 2017, 12:31:14 PM

What I usually say about this issue is that a plain-sense reading of Genesis suggests that creation took place in six 24-hour days a few thousand years ago, but I am not dogmatic about the age of the universe.

This is usually the sense I get from Lutherans, particularly the pastors. 
I appreciate the journal contributions, and I appreciate that they want to engage in the discussion, but it all seemed to kind of dance around the issue.

What dancing? It is not incumbent upon Synod to satisfy every curiosity of its members. This is Reformed fundamentalism and not Evangelical Lutheranism.

M. Staneck

It's a first step.  But yeah, it's speaking about it without actually speaking to it.  That's why I said "seemed" like dancing.  They recognize that it's a significant issue for some people, and that deserves to be spoken to.  We can see the immediate effects of that conversation with the letters/resolution, with Mbecker, with discussions between the LCMS and ELCA, the state of teaching in the Lutheran school systems, etc.

You can come away with that perception by accepting the terms of conditions of groups like BJS. This is not an "either/or." You can believe, teach, and confess that God created the world in 6 days and not subscribe to a 6,000 year old universe. The two are not dependent on each other. To say they are is to engage in Answers in Genesis-type fundamentalism and not Evangelical Lutheranism.

M. Staneck
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: SomeoneWrites on December 08, 2017, 12:33:23 PM
My second opinion is that since God cursed everything in Genesis 3, all methods used to determine that which cannot be proven are suspect.  For example, carbon 14 testing. 

Please put the best construction on these. 


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=APEpwkXatbY&t=134s (some language and snark)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXSYBp-Kjx0

Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: SomeoneWrites on December 08, 2017, 12:35:12 PM

What I usually say about this issue is that a plain-sense reading of Genesis suggests that creation took place in six 24-hour days a few thousand years ago, but I am not dogmatic about the age of the universe.

This is usually the sense I get from Lutherans, particularly the pastors. 
I appreciate the journal contributions, and I appreciate that they want to engage in the discussion, but it all seemed to kind of dance around the issue.

What dancing? It is not incumbent upon Synod to satisfy every curiosity of its members. This is Reformed fundamentalism and not Evangelical Lutheranism.

M. Staneck

It's a first step.  But yeah, it's speaking about it without actually speaking to it.  That's why I said "seemed" like dancing.  They recognize that it's a significant issue for some people, and that deserves to be spoken to.  We can see the immediate effects of that conversation with the letters/resolution, with Mbecker, with discussions between the LCMS and ELCA, the state of teaching in the Lutheran school systems, etc.

You can come away with that perception by accepting the terms of conditions of groups like BJS. This is not an "either/or." You can believe, teach, and confess that God created the world in 6 days and not subscribe to a 6,000 year old universe. The two are not dependent on each other. To say they are is to engage in Answers in Genesis-type fundamentalism and not Evangelical Lutheranism.

M. Staneck

We might be talking past each other, because I've agreed with pretty much everything you've said thus far.  I'm saying that the journal articles didn't really speak to the issues so much as speak about the issues.  That's all I was saying. 
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Matt Staneck on December 08, 2017, 12:38:09 PM


We might be talking past each other, because I've agreed with pretty much everything you've said thus far.  I'm saying that the journal articles didn't really speak to the issues so much as speak about the issues.  That's all I was saying.

Fair enough. I'm saying speaking about issues and not always giving answers to satisfy every curious conscience is just fine.

M. Staneck
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Mark Brown on December 08, 2017, 12:40:07 PM
The Brief Statement (1932) combined with Bylaw 1.6.2 (b)(7) would seem to say that a YEC is the official position and "should be honored and upheld" until repealed".  It becomes complicated because I think the Brief Statement is prior to the Bylaw and the CTCR process it outlines.
This part is not complicated at all; the LCMS does not have any "doctrinal statements" as defined by that particular Bylaw.  The status of the Brief Statement is no different from any other "doctrinal resolution" adopted by simple majority vote at a Synod convention under Bylaw 1.6.2.(a).

Why does believing and confessing that God created the world in 6-24 hour days require a dogmatic subscription to a 6,000 year old universe?
It does not, and I am puzzled by the ongoing widespread misunderstanding of this distinction.  The Brief Statement does not even insist on "24-hour" days; it simply says, "We teach that God has created heaven and earth, and that in the manner and in the space of time recorded in the Holy Scriptures, especially Gen. 1 and 2, namely, by His almighty creative word, and in six days."  It goes on to reject the proposition "that the world came into existence through a process of evolution; that is, that it has, in immense periods of time, developed more or less of itself."  However, it says nothing whatsoever about how much time has passed since the six days of creation.

What I usually say about this issue is that a plain-sense reading of Genesis suggests that creation took place in six 24-hour days a few thousand years ago, but I am not dogmatic about the age of the universe.

1. Ok, but that ends up in the same place.  "Such resolutions are to be honored and upheld until repealed".  [Look, I'm not saying I agree with any of this, but this is the argument that WY/ S WI would stand upon.  We do have dogmatic statements.  Look at the Brief Statement that makes clear what the scripture and confessions teach.]

2. Matt & Aletheist, you guys are better than that, c'mon.  The brief statement continues, "We reject every doctrine which denies or limits the work of
creation as taught in Scripture. In our days it is denied or limited by those who assert, ostensibly in deference to science, that the world came into existence through a process of evolution; that is, that it has, in immense periods of time, developed more or less of itself."  The clear intent of the Brief Statement was that creation took 6 literal days.  Maybe that doesn't mean 6000 year old earth.  Maybe Bishop Ussher is off. But not by billions of years.  Looking for wiggle room in the brief statement is dishonest.

I don't know if I'm honest, but when I am forced to present this I do two things.  1) The synod's teaching is Young Earth.  This is probably the best way to take this if you are able. 2) If you are not able to make that leap.  This should not bar belief in Jesus Christ as there are some other ways of reconciling what current science says and the biblical account.  All of these have their own theological problems.  The biggest typically being the appearance of death before sin.  But even that can be finessed in various ways.  At the end of the arguments, faith rests in the person and work of Jesus Christ.  There are lots of things that we don't get answers for, the age of the earth may be one of them.  I usually get pressed into "what I believe" and my answer is typically I default to a naive YEC or Omphalism, but I've been an engineer, a finance guy and a pastor.  None of those have ever forced me passed that naive understanding.  I respect the faith of many who are in the biological sciences who have been forced passed naive understanding.

The honest thing to do would be to put up a bylaw that altered the Brief Statement on Creation.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: SomeoneWrites on December 08, 2017, 12:42:51 PM


We might be talking past each other, because I've agreed with pretty much everything you've said thus far.  I'm saying that the journal articles didn't really speak to the issues so much as speak about the issues.  That's all I was saying.

Fair enough. I'm saying speaking about issues and not always giving answers to satisfy every curious conscience is just fine.

M. Staneck

I actually agree with you here as well.  My disagreement (I think) would be that I think this is not one of those cases. 
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Dave Benke on December 08, 2017, 12:43:11 PM
Having had some personal experience with directly-aimed overtures/resolutions of pastoral conferences, I think Matt Staneck's desire for a word of caution from the Synodical President is in order. 

What concerns me as an oldster is that the seminary was in my day designed to be a place not for "indoctrination" in the shove it down your throat/take notes and memorize the notes manner, but a place to explore and examine the substance and the subtleties of doctrinal expression in a community of trust as we moved toward the moment of the confessional subscription required in our ordination vows. 

The resolution-writers win when they create a reactive closed system.  Because that's what the resolution-writers want, at least in my opinion.  It's really the same desire as that of the Koinonia-Process-Bashers.  Unhealthy and emblematic of the just-under-the-surface tensions in our shrinking denomination. 

Dave Benke
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on December 08, 2017, 12:45:19 PM
Here are some reflections on the reactions to the article from the editor of the Concordia Journal:

https://concordiatheology.org/2017/12/reflections-on-reactions-to-the-summer-issue-of-concordia-journal/

Thanks for this. Dr. Arand is a great prof. And a nice guy too!
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: SomeoneWrites on December 08, 2017, 12:45:44 PM
Having had some personal experience with directly-aimed overtures/resolutions of pastoral conferences, I think Matt Staneck's desire for a word of caution from the Synodical President is in order. 

What concerns me as an oldster is that the seminary was in my day designed to be a place not for "indoctrination" in the shove it down your throat/take notes and memorize the notes manner, but a place to explore and examine the substance and the subtleties of doctrinal expression in a community of trust as we moved toward the moment of the confessional subscription required in our ordination vows. 

The resolution-writers win when they create a reactive closed system.  Because that's what the resolution-writers want, at least in my opinion.  It's really the same desire as that of the Koinonia-Process-Bashers.  Unhealthy and emblematic of the just-under-the-surface tensions in our shrinking denomination. 

Dave Benke

The disposition of at least one professor was, and I'm paraphrasing - "Call it indoctrination, or whatever you want, you are here to be shaped as part of pastoral formation."
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Matt Staneck on December 08, 2017, 12:48:28 PM
The Brief Statement (1932) combined with Bylaw 1.6.2 (b)(7) would seem to say that a YEC is the official position and "should be honored and upheld" until repealed".  It becomes complicated because I think the Brief Statement is prior to the Bylaw and the CTCR process it outlines.
This part is not complicated at all; the LCMS does not have any "doctrinal statements" as defined by that particular Bylaw.  The status of the Brief Statement is no different from any other "doctrinal resolution" adopted by simple majority vote at a Synod convention under Bylaw 1.6.2.(a).

Why does believing and confessing that God created the world in 6-24 hour days require a dogmatic subscription to a 6,000 year old universe?
It does not, and I am puzzled by the ongoing widespread misunderstanding of this distinction.  The Brief Statement does not even insist on "24-hour" days; it simply says, "We teach that God has created heaven and earth, and that in the manner and in the space of time recorded in the Holy Scriptures, especially Gen. 1 and 2, namely, by His almighty creative word, and in six days."  It goes on to reject the proposition "that the world came into existence through a process of evolution; that is, that it has, in immense periods of time, developed more or less of itself."  However, it says nothing whatsoever about how much time has passed since the six days of creation.

What I usually say about this issue is that a plain-sense reading of Genesis suggests that creation took place in six 24-hour days a few thousand years ago, but I am not dogmatic about the age of the universe.


2. Matt & Aletheist, you guys are better than that, c'mon.  The brief statement continues, "We reject every doctrine which denies or limits the work of
creation as taught in Scripture. In our days it is denied or limited by those who assert, ostensibly in deference to science, that the world came into existence through a process of evolution; that is, that it has, in immense periods of time, developed more or less of itself."  The clear intent of the Brief Statement was that creation took 6 literal days.  Maybe that doesn't mean 6000 year old earth.  Maybe Bishop Ussher is off. But not by billions of years.  Looking for wiggle room in the brief statement is dishonest.



It isn't about forcing wiggle room it's about asserting dogmatic certainty where it does not exist. The Brief Statement does not advocate for a "Young Earth Creationism" theory. This obfuscates the gospel and needs to be rebuked.

M. Staneck
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on December 08, 2017, 12:49:49 PM
The Brief Statement (1932) combined with Bylaw 1.6.2 (b)(7) would seem to say that a YEC is the official position and "should be honored and upheld" until repealed".  It becomes complicated because I think the Brief Statement is prior to the Bylaw and the CTCR process it outlines.
This part is not complicated at all; the LCMS does not have any "doctrinal statements" as defined by that particular Bylaw.  The status of the Brief Statement is no different from any other "doctrinal resolution" adopted by simple majority vote at a Synod convention under Bylaw 1.6.2.(a).

Why does believing and confessing that God created the world in 6-24 hour days require a dogmatic subscription to a 6,000 year old universe?
It does not, and I am puzzled by the ongoing widespread misunderstanding of this distinction.  The Brief Statement does not even insist on "24-hour" days; it simply says, "We teach that God has created heaven and earth, and that in the manner and in the space of time recorded in the Holy Scriptures, especially Gen. 1 and 2, namely, by His almighty creative word, and in six days."  It goes on to reject the proposition "that the world came into existence through a process of evolution; that is, that it has, in immense periods of time, developed more or less of itself."  However, it says nothing whatsoever about how much time has passed since the six days of creation.

What I usually say about this issue is that a plain-sense reading of Genesis suggests that creation took place in six 24-hour days a few thousand years ago, but I am not dogmatic about the age of the universe.

1. Ok, but that ends up in the same place.  "Such resolutions are to be honored and upheld until repealed".  [Look, I'm not saying I agree with any of this, but this is the argument that WY/ S WI would stand upon.  We do have dogmatic statements.  Look at the Brief Statement that makes clear what the scripture and confessions teach.]

2. Matt & Aletheist, you guys are better than that, c'mon.  The brief statement continues, "We reject every doctrine which denies or limits the work of
creation as taught in Scripture. In our days it is denied or limited by those who assert, ostensibly in deference to science, that the world came into existence through a process of evolution; that is, that it has, in immense periods of time, developed more or less of itself."  The clear intent of the Brief Statement was that creation took 6 literal days...

The honest thing to do would be to put up a bylaw that altered the Brief Statement on Creation.

Perhaps that honesty includes pointing out the context of your quote:

"We reject every doctrine which denies or limits the work of creation as taught in Scripture. In our days it is denied or limited by those who assert, ostensibly in deference to science, that the world came into existence through a process of evolution; that is, that it has, in immense periods of time, developed more or less of itself." [emphasis added]
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: scott9 on December 08, 2017, 12:55:38 PM
2. Matt & Aletheist, you guys are better than that, c'mon.  The brief statement continues, "We reject every doctrine which denies or limits the work of
creation as taught in Scripture. In our days it is denied or limited by those who assert, ostensibly in deference to science, that the world came into existence through a process of evolution; that is, that it has, in immense periods of time, developed more or less of itself."  The clear intent of the Brief Statement was that creation took 6 literal days.  Maybe that doesn't mean 6000 year old earth.  Maybe Bishop Ussher is off. But not by billions of years.  Looking for wiggle room in the brief statement is dishonest.

I take the emphasis in the Brief Statement's assertion to be on the main clause, not the prepositional phrase.  That is, the Brief Statement is concerned in its main clause to refute the idea that the earth "developed more or less of itself."  The "in immense periods of time" modifies this thought, not the other way around.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Dave Benke on December 08, 2017, 12:57:11 PM
2. Matt & Aletheist, you guys are better than that, c'mon.  The brief statement continues, "We reject every doctrine which denies or limits the work of
creation as taught in Scripture. In our days it is denied or limited by those who assert, ostensibly in deference to science, that the world came into existence through a process of evolution; that is, that it has, in immense periods of time, developed more or less of itself."  The clear intent of the Brief Statement was that creation took 6 literal days.  Maybe that doesn't mean 6000 year old earth.  Maybe Bishop Ussher is off. But not by billions of years.  Looking for wiggle room in the brief statement is dishonest.

I take the emphasis in the Brief Statement's assertion to be on the main clause, not the prepositional phrase.  That is, the Brief Statement is concerned in its main clause to refute the idea that the earth "developed more or less of itself."  The "in immense periods of time" modifies this thought, not the other way around.

Same here.

Dave Benke
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Mark Brown on December 08, 2017, 01:00:23 PM


It isn't about forcing wiggle room it's about asserting dogmatic certainty where it does not exist. The Brief Statement does not advocate for a "Young Earth Creationism" theory. This obfuscates the gospel and needs to be rebuked.

M. Staneck

I honestly don't understand how that could be said.  Other than if what you are saying is YEC is an anachronistic "theory" pushed back in time to the Brief Statement era.  The statement affirms "in six days".  It then denies evolution and immense periods of time.  And then it ties those statements to both the scriptural account and the confessions/small catechism holding that this is what they teach.  What the brief statement exactly does is say there is certainty on this based on the scriptural witness, and we are just making clear what others have tried to obfuscate.

Again, I agree with you that this is not something that should dogmatically bind consciences.  But right now, Synod teaching is rather clear.  The honest way is not to obscure what is actually said.  The honest way is the reform what is said.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: LCMS87 on December 08, 2017, 01:02:33 PM

<snip>

My personal opinion is God created the earth in six 24 hour days.  That is what Scripture says.

<snip>


Just a comment on the above. 

If it's what the Scripture says, personal opinion really doesn't come into it.  It undermines one's testimony to make the most perfect orthodox statement but preface or conclude it with something to the effect of "at least that's what I believe" or "just my opinion."  If it's what the Scripture says, don't insert yourself into it.  After all, God's Word is so much more reliable than your opinion or belief. 

Of course, it is incumbent upon us to accurately convey what the Scripture teaches, saying neither less nor more than God has given us to say.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Matt Staneck on December 08, 2017, 01:04:38 PM


It isn't about forcing wiggle room it's about asserting dogmatic certainty where it does not exist. The Brief Statement does not advocate for a "Young Earth Creationism" theory. This obfuscates the gospel and needs to be rebuked.

M. Staneck

I honestly don't understand how that could be said.  Other than if what you are saying is YEC is an anachronistic "theory" pushed back in time to the Brief Statement era.  The statement affirms "in six days".  It then denies evolution and immense periods of time.  And then it ties those statements to both the scriptural account and the confessions/small catechism holding that this is what they teach.  What the brief statement exactly does is say there is certainty on this based on the scriptural witness, and we are just making clear what others have tried to obfuscate.

Again, I agree with you that this is not something that should dogmatically bind consciences.  But right now, Synod teaching is rather clear.  The honest way is not to obscure what is actually said.  The honest way is the reform what is said.

The honest way forward is to let The Brief Statement say what it actually says. Call it anachronistic, call it whatever you want, but the resolutions add to our synodical doctrine.

M. Staneck
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on December 08, 2017, 01:05:08 PM
I honestly don't understand how that could be said.  Other than if what you are saying is YEC is an anachronistic "theory" pushed back in time to the Brief Statement era.  The statement affirms "in six days".  It then denies evolution and immense periods of time.  And then it ties those statements to both the scriptural account and the confessions/small catechism holding that this is what they teach.  What the brief statement exactly does is say there is certainty on this based on the scriptural witness, and we are just making clear what others have tried to obfuscate. [emphasis added]

No, it does not. See my earlier post as well as the Yak's.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: gan ainm on December 08, 2017, 01:11:25 PM
My second opinion is that since God cursed everything in Genesis 3, all methods used to determine that which cannot be proven are suspect.  For example, carbon 14 testing. 

Please put the best construction on these. 


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=APEpwkXatbY&t=134s (some language and snark)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXSYBp-Kjx0

Best construction:  There are lots of presuppositions in play in both videos, and from my perspective, a lot of sloppy science.  (I'm an engineer.  One of the things I remember from my training is to be very, very careful and suspicious of conclusions obtained by extrapolating outside the bounds of a data set.  Thus my penchant for not using science to answer questions that can't be proven using the scientific method.)   

My presupposition is Scripture is God's Word, true and sufficient for the purposes God intends.  A second presupposition is I'm personally subject to the curse, thus I can't prove everything that I'd like to prove, and I have faith in the promises of Jesus and trust him above all else, even in the things I cannot at present understand.  I'm anticipating the Last Day and the new creation with eagerness.  Knowing the age of the earth, or the universe, whether a few thousand years or a few billion years is not a big deal to me; I'm more focused on the present and the future.  YMMV.   ;)

Question:  Why pick those particular videos to examine?  I may have missed the point.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: SomeoneWrites on December 08, 2017, 01:18:01 PM
My second opinion is that since God cursed everything in Genesis 3, all methods used to determine that which cannot be proven are suspect.  For example, carbon 14 testing. 

Please put the best construction on these. 


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=APEpwkXatbY&t=134s (some language and snark)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXSYBp-Kjx0

Best construction:  There are lots of presuppositions in play in both videos, and from my perspective, a lot of sloppy science.  (I'm an engineer.  One of the things I remember from my training is to be very, very careful and suspicious of conclusions obtained by extrapolating outside the bounds of a data set.  Thus my penchant for not using science to answer questions that can't be proven using the scientific method.)   

My presupposition is Scripture is God's Word, true and sufficient for the purposes God intends.  A second presupposition is I'm personally subject to the curse, thus I can't prove everything that I'd like to prove, and I have faith in the promises of Jesus and trust him above all else, even in the things I cannot at present understand.  I'm anticipating the Last Day and the new creation with eagerness.  Knowing the age of the earth, or the universe, whether a few thousand years or a few billion years is not a big deal to me; I'm more focused on the present and the future.  YMMV.   ;)

Question:  Why pick those particular videos to examine?  I may have missed the point.

I'm fine with presuppositions.  I think some presuppositions are better supported than others.  Radiometric dating is a well understood/documented/supported area of science. 

I chose those videos because they speak to radiometric dating and some of the misunderstandings  about them that make rounds in YEC discussions. 
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: gan ainm on December 08, 2017, 01:27:11 PM
My second opinion is that since God cursed everything in Genesis 3, all methods used to determine that which cannot be proven are suspect.  For example, carbon 14 testing. 

Please put the best construction on these. 


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=APEpwkXatbY&t=134s (some language and snark)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXSYBp-Kjx0

Best construction:  There are lots of presuppositions in play in both videos, and from my perspective, a lot of sloppy science.  (I'm an engineer.  One of the things I remember from my training is to be very, very careful and suspicious of conclusions obtained by extrapolating outside the bounds of a data set.  Thus my penchant for not using science to answer questions that can't be proven using the scientific method.)   

My presupposition is Scripture is God's Word, true and sufficient for the purposes God intends.  A second presupposition is I'm personally subject to the curse, thus I can't prove everything that I'd like to prove, and I have faith in the promises of Jesus and trust him above all else, even in the things I cannot at present understand.  I'm anticipating the Last Day and the new creation with eagerness.  Knowing the age of the earth, or the universe, whether a few thousand years or a few billion years is not a big deal to me; I'm more focused on the present and the future.  YMMV.   ;)

Question:  Why pick those particular videos to examine?  I may have missed the point.

I'm fine with presuppositions.  I think some presuppositions are better supported than others.  Radiometric dating is a well understood/documented/supported area of science. 

I chose those videos because they speak to radiometric dating and some of the misunderstandings  about them that make rounds in YEC discussions.

Please think about your presuppositions re. radiometric dating.  Would you consider listing them?

Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Mark Brown on December 08, 2017, 01:30:51 PM
I honestly don't understand how that could be said.  Other than if what you are saying is YEC is an anachronistic "theory" pushed back in time to the Brief Statement era.  The statement affirms "in six days".  It then denies evolution and immense periods of time.  And then it ties those statements to both the scriptural account and the confessions/small catechism holding that this is what they teach.  What the brief statement exactly does is say there is certainty on this based on the scriptural witness, and we are just making clear what others have tried to obfuscate. [emphasis added]

No, it does not. See my earlier post as well as the Yak's.

Yeah, I'm sorry, but your previous comment, beyond simply being hostile, made no sense.

As to Yak's comment, I take it that he says the refutation falls on evolution defined as developing more or less by itself.  The long periods of time being extraneous to this main refutation.  Based on this one could honestly say it took long periods of time, as long as it was guided at every moment by God.  The theistic evolution or intelligent design case pushing back an anachronism.

And that might make sense if the statement didn't include in its primary assertion the phrases ""in the space of time recorded in Holy Scripture" and "six days".  The length of time is important to the writers in the overall statement. They are dogmatically stating the naive reading of six days.

I know that this causes angst, especially amongst the high-IQ set.  I know that set can spend lots of mental cycles justifying why it doesn't say what it clearly says.  I don't think consciences should be bound on this topic.  I know that our fellow pastors will not be convinced by such nuanced tap dancing.  That is why the honest way would be to advance something that reforms the brief statement.  Such a reform would create an honest moment.  Put forward what you think should be our case (i.e. the time and method of God's creation is not something that binds consciences of members of the LCMS).  The results would be a revelation is my guess.
 
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: SomeoneWrites on December 08, 2017, 01:31:24 PM
My second opinion is that since God cursed everything in Genesis 3, all methods used to determine that which cannot be proven are suspect.  For example, carbon 14 testing. 

Please put the best construction on these. 


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=APEpwkXatbY&t=134s (some language and snark)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXSYBp-Kjx0

Best construction:  There are lots of presuppositions in play in both videos, and from my perspective, a lot of sloppy science.  (I'm an engineer.  One of the things I remember from my training is to be very, very careful and suspicious of conclusions obtained by extrapolating outside the bounds of a data set.  Thus my penchant for not using science to answer questions that can't be proven using the scientific method.)   

My presupposition is Scripture is God's Word, true and sufficient for the purposes God intends.  A second presupposition is I'm personally subject to the curse, thus I can't prove everything that I'd like to prove, and I have faith in the promises of Jesus and trust him above all else, even in the things I cannot at present understand.  I'm anticipating the Last Day and the new creation with eagerness.  Knowing the age of the earth, or the universe, whether a few thousand years or a few billion years is not a big deal to me; I'm more focused on the present and the future.  YMMV.   ;)

Question:  Why pick those particular videos to examine?  I may have missed the point.

I'm fine with presuppositions.  I think some presuppositions are better supported than others.  Radiometric dating is a well understood/documented/supported area of science. 

I chose those videos because they speak to radiometric dating and some of the misunderstandings  about them that make rounds in YEC discussions.

Please think about your presuppositions re. radiometric dating.  Would you consider listing them?

I'm not sure the list i put forth would be exhaustive, is there one you're looking for particularly
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Matt Hummel on December 08, 2017, 01:41:46 PM
When I was being led by the Holy Spirit out of the theological nightmare that was and is the ELCA, my wife and I had some intense discussions on why I did not swim the Mississippi instead of the Tiber. One key reason was my training in the natural sciences. I could not in good conscience buy into a young earth 6/24 creation. My parents lived near a fossilized stromatolite bed. It was .5 billion years old. I used to love standing barefoot upon it, contemplating the fact that it was ancient when dinosaurs first appeared. GOD IS AWESOME! When I drive the road into town to our house in Mauch Chunk, I drive through the cut in the mountains and see the stratigraphy. And I feel the Ancient of Days.

When Einstein was disturbed by the implications of Quantum Physics, he stated publicly that, "God does not play dice with the universe." Niels Bohr told Einstein, "And who are you to tell God what he can and cannot do?"

My Missouri brothers & sister- listen Niels. This is my theologomenon, but this demand for a rigid adherence to the  young earth 6/24 creation has always struck me as nothing more than works righteousness.

Written on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary by Matthew M. Hummel B.A. Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia 1982
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: aletheist on December 08, 2017, 01:49:18 PM
Matt & Aletheist, you guys are better than that, c'mon.  The brief statement continues, "We reject every doctrine which denies or limits the work of creation as taught in Scripture. In our days it is denied or limited by those who assert, ostensibly in deference to science, that the world came into existence through a process of evolution; that is, that it has, in immense periods of time, developed more or less of itself."
Excuse me, I quoted that very same language from the Brief Statement.
The Brief Statement does not even insist on "24-hour" days; it simply says, "We teach that God has created heaven and earth, and that in the manner and in the space of time recorded in the Holy Scriptures, especially Gen. 1 and 2, namely, by His almighty creative word, and in six days."  It goes on to reject the proposition "that the world came into existence through a process of evolution; that is, that it has, in immense periods of time, developed more or less of itself."  However, it says nothing whatsoever about how much time has passed since the six days of creation.
As others have already pointed out, you chose to emphasize a subordinate clause, rather than taking into account the entire sentence.  It does not say what you are reading into it--it rejects the proposition that the time period required for creation itself was anything other than six days, but it says nothing whatsoever about how long ago those six days occurred.  Personally, I believe that it was a few thousand years ago; but I do not dogmatically insist upon it, and neither does the LCMS--unless you can point to some other doctrinal resolution to that effect, since the Brief Statement does not fit the bill.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: SomeoneWrites on December 08, 2017, 01:51:32 PM
When I was being led by the Holy Spirit out of the theological nightmare that was and is the ELCA, my wife and I had some intense discussions on why I did not swim the Mississippi instead of the Tiber. One key reason was my training in the natural sciences. I could not in good conscience buy into a young earth 6/24 creation. My parents lived near a fossilized stromatolite bed. It was .5 billion years old. I used to love standing barefoot upon it, contemplating the fact that it was ancient when dinosaurs first appeared. GOD IS AWESOME! When I drive the road into town to our house in Mauch Chunk, I drive through the cut in the mountains and see the stratigraphy. And I feel the Ancient of Days.

When Einstein was disturbed by the implications of Quantum Physics, he stated publicly that, "God does not play nice with the universe." Niels Bohr told Einstein, "And who are you to tell God what he can and cannot do?"

My Missouri brothers & sister- listen Niels. This is my theologomenon, but this demand for a rigid adherence to the  young earth 6/24 creation has always struck me as nothing more than works righteousness.

Written on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary by Matthew M. Hummel B.A. Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia 1982

I appreciate your experience and I'm glad you understand the age of the Earth.  The problem in Lutheranism is that it connects pretty directly to the confessions via the historicity of Adam and the theology behind sin. 
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Michael Slusser on December 08, 2017, 01:55:29 PM

When Einstein was disturbed by the implications of Quantum Physics, he stated publicly that, "God does not play nice with the universe." Niels Bohr told Einstein, "And who are you to tell God what he can and cannot do?"
I heard it differently: "God does not play dice with the universe.
Of course, your version may be the right one.  :'(

Peace,
Michael
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Dave Benke on December 08, 2017, 02:01:09 PM
I honestly don't understand how that could be said.  Other than if what you are saying is YEC is an anachronistic "theory" pushed back in time to the Brief Statement era.  The statement affirms "in six days".  It then denies evolution and immense periods of time.  And then it ties those statements to both the scriptural account and the confessions/small catechism holding that this is what they teach.  What the brief statement exactly does is say there is certainty on this based on the scriptural witness, and we are just making clear what others have tried to obfuscate. [emphasis added]

No, it does not. See my earlier post as well as the Yak's.

Yeah, I'm sorry, but your previous comment, beyond simply being hostile, made no sense.

As to Yak's comment, I take it that he says the refutation falls on evolution defined as developing more or less by itself.  The long periods of time being extraneous to this main refutation.  Based on this one could honestly say it took long periods of time, as long as it was guided at every moment by God.  The theistic evolution or intelligent design case pushing back an anachronism.

And that might make sense if the statement didn't include in its primary assertion the phrases ""in the space of time recorded in Holy Scripture" and "six days".  The length of time is important to the writers in the overall statement. They are dogmatically stating the naive reading of six days.

I know that this causes angst, especially amongst the high-IQ set.  I know that set can spend lots of mental cycles justifying why it doesn't say what it clearly says.  I don't think consciences should be bound on this topic.  I know that our fellow pastors will not be convinced by such nuanced tap dancing.  That is why the honest way would be to advance something that reforms the brief statement.  Such a reform would create an honest moment.  Put forward what you think should be our case (i.e. the time and method of God's creation is not something that binds consciences of members of the LCMS).  The results would be a revelation is my guess.
 

What I hear you saying is that those without angst among "our fellow pastors" are not in the high-IQ set.  Preach it, brother - positively Darwinian!

Dave Benke
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: James_Gale on December 08, 2017, 02:03:25 PM
When I was being led by the Holy Spirit out of the theological nightmare that was and is the ELCA, my wife and I had some intense discussions on why I did not swim the Mississippi instead of the Tiber. One key reason was my training in the natural sciences. I could not in good conscience buy into a young earth 6/24 creation. My parents lived near a fossilized stromatolite bed. It was .5 billion years old. I used to love standing barefoot upon it, contemplating the fact that it was ancient when dinosaurs first appeared. GOD IS AWESOME! When I drive the road into town to our house in Mauch Chunk, I drive through the cut in the mountains and see the stratigraphy. And I feel the Ancient of Days.

When Einstein was disturbed by the implications of Quantum Physics, he stated publicly that, "God does not play nice with the universe." Niels Bohr told Einstein, "And who are you to tell God what he can and cannot do?"

My Missouri brothers & sister- listen Niels. This is my theologomenon, but this demand for a rigid adherence to the  young earth 6/24 creation has always struck me as nothing more than works righteousness.

Written on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary by Matthew M. Hummel B.A. Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia 1982

I appreciate your experience and I'm glad you understand the age of the Earth.  The problem in Lutheranism is that it connects pretty directly to the confessions via the historicity of Adam and the theology behind sin.


It’s a problem that seems to tie only a minority of Lutherans into knots.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Chuck on December 08, 2017, 02:07:23 PM

When Einstein was disturbed by the implications of Quantum Physics, he stated publicly that, "God does not play nice with the universe." Niels Bohr told Einstein, "And who are you to tell God what he can and cannot do?"
I heard it differently: "God does not play dice with the universe.
Of course, your version may be the right one.  :'(

Peace,
Michael
You are correct, Father.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Matt Hummel on December 08, 2017, 02:32:51 PM

When Einstein was disturbed by the implications of Quantum Physics, he stated publicly that, "God does not play nice with the universe." Niels Bohr told Einstein, "And who are you to tell God what he can and cannot do?"
I heard it differently: "God does not play dice with the universe.
Of course, your version may be the right one.  :'(

Peace,
Michael

Curse you autocorrect!  ;D
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: SomeoneWrites on December 08, 2017, 02:47:02 PM
When I was being led by the Holy Spirit out of the theological nightmare that was and is the ELCA, my wife and I had some intense discussions on why I did not swim the Mississippi instead of the Tiber. One key reason was my training in the natural sciences. I could not in good conscience buy into a young earth 6/24 creation. My parents lived near a fossilized stromatolite bed. It was .5 billion years old. I used to love standing barefoot upon it, contemplating the fact that it was ancient when dinosaurs first appeared. GOD IS AWESOME! When I drive the road into town to our house in Mauch Chunk, I drive through the cut in the mountains and see the stratigraphy. And I feel the Ancient of Days.

When Einstein was disturbed by the implications of Quantum Physics, he stated publicly that, "God does not play nice with the universe." Niels Bohr told Einstein, "And who are you to tell God what he can and cannot do?"

My Missouri brothers & sister- listen Niels. This is my theologomenon, but this demand for a rigid adherence to the  young earth 6/24 creation has always struck me as nothing more than works righteousness.

Written on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary by Matthew M. Hummel B.A. Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia 1982

I appreciate your experience and I'm glad you understand the age of the Earth.  The problem in Lutheranism is that it connects pretty directly to the confessions via the historicity of Adam and the theology behind sin.


It’s a problem that seems to tie only a minority of Lutherans into knots.

Enough to bring charges by a district.  Enough to warrant a response from Sem.  Enough for the topic to be on the FAQ.  Enough for to appear in the Journal.  Enough for us to discuss here.  And it still comes up in all those places of Lutheran education and for students. 
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: James_Gale on December 08, 2017, 02:49:52 PM
When I was being led by the Holy Spirit out of the theological nightmare that was and is the ELCA, my wife and I had some intense discussions on why I did not swim the Mississippi instead of the Tiber. One key reason was my training in the natural sciences. I could not in good conscience buy into a young earth 6/24 creation. My parents lived near a fossilized stromatolite bed. It was .5 billion years old. I used to love standing barefoot upon it, contemplating the fact that it was ancient when dinosaurs first appeared. GOD IS AWESOME! When I drive the road into town to our house in Mauch Chunk, I drive through the cut in the mountains and see the stratigraphy. And I feel the Ancient of Days.

When Einstein was disturbed by the implications of Quantum Physics, he stated publicly that, "God does not play nice with the universe." Niels Bohr told Einstein, "And who are you to tell God what he can and cannot do?"

My Missouri brothers & sister- listen Niels. This is my theologomenon, but this demand for a rigid adherence to the  young earth 6/24 creation has always struck me as nothing more than works righteousness.

Written on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary by Matthew M. Hummel B.A. Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia 1982

I appreciate your experience and I'm glad you understand the age of the Earth.  The problem in Lutheranism is that it connects pretty directly to the confessions via the historicity of Adam and the theology behind sin.


It’s a problem that seems to tie only a minority of Lutherans into knots.

Enough to bring charges by a district.  Enough to warrant a response from Sem.  Enough for the topic to be on the FAQ.  Enough for to appear in the Journal.  Enough for us to discuss here.  And it still comes up in all those places of Lutheran education and for students.


In other words, this remains a hot issue in some important LCMS corners.  Most Lutherans seem to take a more catholic view.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Mark Brown on December 08, 2017, 02:59:04 PM
Matt & Aletheist, you guys are better than that, c'mon.  The brief statement continues, "We reject every doctrine which denies or limits the work of creation as taught in Scripture. In our days it is denied or limited by those who assert, ostensibly in deference to science, that the world came into existence through a process of evolution; that is, that it has, in immense periods of time, developed more or less of itself."
Excuse me, I quoted that very same language from the Brief Statement.
The Brief Statement does not even insist on "24-hour" days; it simply says, "We teach that God has created heaven and earth, and that in the manner and in the space of time recorded in the Holy Scriptures, especially Gen. 1 and 2, namely, by His almighty creative word, and in six days."  It goes on to reject the proposition "that the world came into existence through a process of evolution; that is, that it has, in immense periods of time, developed more or less of itself."  However, it says nothing whatsoever about how much time has passed since the six days of creation.
As others have already pointed out, you chose to emphasize a subordinate clause, rather than taking into account the entire sentence.  It does not say what you are reading into it--it rejects the proposition that the time period required for creation itself was anything other than six days, but it says nothing whatsoever about how long ago those six days occurred.  Personally, I believe that it was a few thousand years ago; but I do not dogmatically insist upon it, and neither does the LCMS--unless you can point to some other doctrinal resolution to that effect, since the Brief Statement does not fit the bill.

C'mon, stop being silly.  As I pointed out upstream, maybe Bishop Ussher was off in his 6000 years, but he wasn't off by billions of years.  Saying that the Brief Statement held to six days, but it doesn't say when those six days happened, is grasping at straw.  Also, as pointed out upstream, the subordinate clause routine is almost as silly.  It only makes sense if you completely ignore that balancing positive statement emphasis on "in the space of time recorded by Holy Scripture" and "six days".  The length of time mattered to the writers.  Given them the benefit of an actual reading, not just reading into them what you want.

And besides, a significant majority(?)/minority(?) do read it in exactly that way and there is a long history of reading it that way.  The surest way to make everyone mad is to create a new reading out of whole cloth.  It is akin to waking up one day and discovering the founders of the United States thought that abortion and gay marriage were inalienable rights.  Yes, you can force those things through the judicial system.  Yes, you can try and make the Brief Statement say something other than what it does.  But, the honest way would be to amend the constitution/statement.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: SomeoneWrites on December 08, 2017, 03:07:55 PM
Most Lutherans seem to take a more catholic view.

I apologize.  I don't know what you mean. 
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: James_Gale on December 08, 2017, 03:31:59 PM
Most Lutherans seem to take a more catholic view.

I apologize.  I don't know what you mean.


Most Christians (including Rome) do not believe that our faith precludes whatever we might learn through science about evolution (or anything else).  Scientific conclusions are always contingent, of course. And they are limited to what we can sense or measure from our human perspective.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: SomeoneWrites on December 08, 2017, 03:35:19 PM
Most Lutherans seem to take a more catholic view.

I apologize.  I don't know what you mean.


Most Christians (including Rome) do not believe that our faith precludes whatever we might learn through science about evolution (or anything else).  Scientific conclusions are always contingent, of course. And they are limited to what we can sense or measure from our human perspective.

Oh, I agree with you here on this.  But I don't think it's that way for clergy and the academic institutions.  This is what I was getting at earlier with the sort of dancing around.  In that arena, it's YEC, Omphalism, or charges. 
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: James_Gale on December 08, 2017, 03:39:22 PM
Most Lutherans seem to take a more catholic view.

I apologize.  I don't know what you mean.


Most Christians (including Rome) do not believe that our faith precludes whatever we might learn through science about evolution (or anything else).  Scientific conclusions are always contingent, of course. And they are limited to what we can sense or measure from our human perspective.

Oh, I agree with you here on this.  But I don't think it's that way for clergy and the academic institutions.  This is what I was getting at earlier with the sort of dancing around.  In that arena, it's YEC, Omphalism, or charges.


If you limit your statement to the LCMS (and maybe WELS/ELS) you’re likely right. But that’s a small slice of Lutheranism.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: SomeoneWrites on December 08, 2017, 03:43:03 PM
Most Lutherans seem to take a more catholic view.

I apologize.  I don't know what you mean.


Most Christians (including Rome) do not believe that our faith precludes whatever we might learn through science about evolution (or anything else).  Scientific conclusions are always contingent, of course. And they are limited to what we can sense or measure from our human perspective.

Oh, I agree with you here on this.  But I don't think it's that way for clergy and the academic institutions.  This is what I was getting at earlier with the sort of dancing around.  In that arena, it's YEC, Omphalism, or charges.


If you limit your statement to the LCMS (and maybe WELS/ELS) you’re likely right. But that’s a small slice of Lutheranism.

Yes.  I've been speaking about the LCMS in particularly, regards to the topic (LCMS Kerfuffle).  I understand and appreciate the ELCA's take on the matter (though it doesn't seem to be consistent with the confessions in this particular regard)
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: aletheist on December 08, 2017, 04:03:36 PM
C'mon, stop being silly.
Wow.  I was hoping for an apology, since you implied that I ignored the subsequent sentence in the Brief Statement, when in fact I had quoted it.  Instead, you doubled down.
Saying that the Brief Statement held to six days, but it doesn't say when those six days happened, is grasping at straw.
No, it is simply reading what the text actually states.  Please show me where it says when or how long ago the six days happened.
It only makes sense if you completely ignore that balancing positive statement emphasis on "in the space of time recorded by Holy Scripture" and "six days".  The length of time mattered to the writers.
Again, the length of time during which creation took place indeed mattered to the writers; but they did not address the length of time that has transpired since then.
Given them the benefit of an actual reading, not just reading into them what you want.
With all due respect, you really should take your own advice here.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: peter_speckhard on December 08, 2017, 04:18:04 PM
The more I think about this the more I think a response from President Harrison is appropriate. His response should be a rebuke of the Wyoming and South Wisconsin districts for their resolutions.

In addition to being uncharitable, they ask for the binding of consciences on matters which the scriptures, confessions, and The Brief Statement do not speak. This is dangerous and needs to be rebuked in the clearest possible terms.

M. Staneck
That's what resolutions are for. Let it come to convention and get voted down, with people at the microphone rebuking it before the vote. Why circumvent the process?
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: gan ainm on December 08, 2017, 04:28:48 PM
My second opinion is that since God cursed everything in Genesis 3, all methods used to determine that which cannot be proven are suspect.  For example, carbon 14 testing. 

Please put the best construction on these. 


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=APEpwkXatbY&t=134s (some language and snark)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXSYBp-Kjx0

Best construction:  There are lots of presuppositions in play in both videos, and from my perspective, a lot of sloppy science.  (I'm an engineer.  One of the things I remember from my training is to be very, very careful and suspicious of conclusions obtained by extrapolating outside the bounds of a data set.  Thus my penchant for not using science to answer questions that can't be proven using the scientific method.)   

My presupposition is Scripture is God's Word, true and sufficient for the purposes God intends.  A second presupposition is I'm personally subject to the curse, thus I can't prove everything that I'd like to prove, and I have faith in the promises of Jesus and trust him above all else, even in the things I cannot at present understand.  I'm anticipating the Last Day and the new creation with eagerness.  Knowing the age of the earth, or the universe, whether a few thousand years or a few billion years is not a big deal to me; I'm more focused on the present and the future.  YMMV.   ;)

Question:  Why pick those particular videos to examine?  I may have missed the point.

I'm fine with presuppositions.  I think some presuppositions are better supported than others.  Radiometric dating is a well understood/documented/supported area of science. 

I chose those videos because they speak to radiometric dating and some of the misunderstandings  about them that make rounds in YEC discussions.

Please think about your presuppositions re. radiometric dating.  Would you consider listing them?

I'm not sure the list i put forth would be exhaustive, is there one you're looking for particularly

I'm not looking for any particular item or list at all.  I was not trying to set you up for a gotcha - other serpents are more crafty at that than I.  ;)  The main reason was to just get you to identify your presuppositions ... we all have them on most subjects.  For example, perhaps yours might be "God does not create things to appear older than they are", "cognitive knowledge trumps revealed knowledge", "I do not believe God cursed the creation", or any number of similiar/unsimilar ideas.  The exercise of identifying consciously my presuppositions has helped me a lot.  I just thought it might be useful to you too.   Best wishes in your journey to find the truth.  Recently, I was intrigued by this article:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/12/07/alan-dershowitzs-new-reality-tweeted-by-trump-shunned-by-liberal-friends/?tid=hybrid_collaborative_1_na
and particularly this quote which made me realize how strong emotions on a subject can blind us:

"Dershowitz said he “got an email today from a very prominent friend — I’m not going to disclose his name because it was a private email — admitting that I’m right and saying ‘My hatred toward Trump blinds me to your truths.’ That was his email. ‘My hatred for Trump blinds me to your truths. Please stop.’

“And then he said to me, ‘Don’t ever send me another tweet that includes an article that you wrote that helps that son of a b‑‑‑‑.’

And “this is a close friend,” Dershowitz said. “The email starts, ‘I love you. It starts ‘I love you but … .”
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Charles Austin on December 08, 2017, 04:31:56 PM
Neither the Bible nor the confessions are science texts. And yes indeed, we do know more about the world and the universe than was known in those days.
Evolution is a fact. “Young earth” anything is an insult to the intelligence that God gave us.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Rev Mathew Andersen on December 08, 2017, 05:16:46 PM
Neither the Bible nor the confessions are science texts. And yes indeed, we do know more about the world and the universe than was known in those days.
Evolution is a fact. “Young earth” anything is an insult to the intelligence that God gave us.
Please go away instead of insulting people
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: SomeoneWrites on December 08, 2017, 05:19:58 PM

I'm not looking for any particular item or list at all.  I was not trying to set you up for a gotcha - other serpents are more crafty at that than I.  ;)  The main reason was to just get you to identify your presuppositions ... we all have them on most subjects.  For example, perhaps yours might be "God does not create things to appear older than they are", "cognitive knowledge trumps revealed knowledge", "I do not believe God cursed the creation", or any number of similiar/unsimilar ideas.  The exercise of identifying consciously my presuppositions has helped me a lot.  I just thought it might be useful to you too.   Best wishes in your journey to find the truth.  Recently, I was intrigued by this article:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/12/07/alan-dershowitzs-new-reality-tweeted-by-trump-shunned-by-liberal-friends/?tid=hybrid_collaborative_1_na
and particularly this quote which made me realize how strong emotions on a subject can blind us:

"Dershowitz said he “got an email today from a very prominent friend — I’m not going to disclose his name because it was a private email — admitting that I’m right and saying ‘My hatred toward Trump blinds me to your truths.’ That was his email. ‘My hatred for Trump blinds me to your truths. Please stop.’

“And then he said to me, ‘Don’t ever send me another tweet that includes an article that you wrote that helps that son of a b‑‑‑‑.’

And “this is a close friend,” Dershowitz said. “The email starts, ‘I love you. It starts ‘I love you but … .”


I definitely believe emotions/feelings can blind people to the truth.  We are in agreement there.
I also appreciate your wellwishes, and wish you the same. 

Neither the Bible nor the confessions are science texts. And yes indeed, we do know more about the world and the universe than was known in those days.
Evolution is a fact. “Young earth” anything is an insult to the intelligence that God gave us.


Yes.  Evolution is a fact.

However, this would mean the confessions contain an error in that regard, at least in the understanding as they were written/intended.  It's okay to correct that error.  I'm just not in favor of - forgive my wording - being dishonest with the text.  We have more works written to unpack the thoughts/beliefs/intents of the confessions then we do the Pentateuch. 
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: mariemeyer on December 08, 2017, 05:29:51 PM
The current LCMS kerfuffle is a sad example of why the ten year Koinonia Project has yielded little if any results.  The attempt to suggest otherwise reflects seeing a realty through rose colored glasses.  Where were the church leaders who knew two District were considering these resolutions?  Did anyone propose following a process that has been portrayed as a new day in how LCMS brothers and sister will deal with one another?

If President Harrison responds to recent events by stating that all parties involved must come together for mutual confession and consolation, I will repent of my observation of the Koinonia Process.

Marie Meyer
 
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: aletheist on December 08, 2017, 05:31:25 PM
Evolution is a fact.
That depends on exactly what one means by "evolution."  Within the context of this thread, evolution is a theory that attempts to explain certain facts based on specific presuppositions.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Dave Benke on December 08, 2017, 05:33:20 PM
I would favor the submission of a new Brief Statement at the centenniel observance of the original, so in 2032, 15 years from now.   That should be just about the time the Koinonia Process is completed, making a good fit.  As the US Postal Service puts it, "No mail will be delivered before its time."    8)

Dave Benke
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: SomeoneWrites on December 08, 2017, 05:36:02 PM
Evolution is a fact.
That depends on exactly what one means by "evolution."  Within the context of this thread, evolution is a theory that attempts to explain certain facts based on specific presuppositions.

Evolution is a theory in the same way plate techtonics is a theory.  It's the same as gravitational theory. 
It's not a matter of mere presuppositions.  There is a large well established body of supporting evidence.  It may be that God gave every illusion that such was the case.  Outside of creation narratives, the rest of the observations point to evolution. 
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on December 08, 2017, 05:38:49 PM
The current LCMS kerfuffle is a sad example of why the ten year Koinonia Project has yielded little if any results.  The attempt to suggest otherwise reflects seeing a realty through rose colored glasses.  Where were the church leaders who knew two District were considering these resolutions?  Did anyone propose following a process that has been portrayed as a new day in how LCMS brothers and sister will deal with one another?

If President Harrison responds to recent events by stating that all parties involved must come together for mutual confession and consolation, I will repent of my observation of the Koinonia Process.

Marie Meyer
 

I agree, Mrs. Meyer. If those districts had made an inquiry, they probably would have received a response similar to what Dr. Arand has posted on ConcordiaTheology, and the conversation could have continued from there.

It is sad.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Charles Austin on December 08, 2017, 05:49:48 PM
 But you guys just love accusing each other of heresy. It’s in your DNA. The accusers are not interested in resolving issues. That might mean discussion and compromise. They are just interested in having their side win.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on December 08, 2017, 05:52:37 PM
You know, Charles, when I posted this topic, I considered adding, "Have fun, Charles."

What took you so long?
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: SomeoneWrites on December 08, 2017, 05:55:55 PM
But you guys just love accusing each other of heresy. It’s in your DNA. The accusers are not interested in resolving issues. That might mean discussion and compromise. They are just interested in having their side win.

Kyrie Eleison
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: aletheist on December 08, 2017, 05:58:04 PM
Evolution is a fact.
That depends on exactly what one means by "evolution."  Within the context of this thread, evolution is a theory that attempts to explain certain facts based on specific presuppositions.
Evolution is a theory in the same way plate techtonics is a theory.  It's the same as gravitational theory.
Again, it depends on exactly what one means by "evolution."  We directly observe plate tectonics and gravitation operating today.  Have we ever observed life evolving from non-life?  Or complex life forms evolving from simple life forms?  Or even a new species evolving from an established one?
It's not a matter of mere presuppositions.  There is a large well established body of supporting evidence.
It is always a matter of presuppositions, as we have discussed here before.  Different people have different interpretations of the same evidence, because they have different presuppositions.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: SomeoneWrites on December 08, 2017, 06:15:08 PM
Again, it depends on exactly what one means by "evolution."
The theory of evolution. 

We directly observe plate tectonics
We can do that now with satellites.  It too has a large body of supporting evidence.  It is still a theory.

and gravitation operating today. 
We see that things go to the earth when you drop them.  There's the rest of the theory.

Relativity is still a theory.  A theory is the highest position something can get in science. 


Have we ever observed life evolving from non-life? 
This is abiogenesis.  We are then faced with a god of the gaps situation, or that there's a natural cause for it, like everything else we've discovered like photosynthesis, etc.

Or complex life forms evolving from simple life forms?
We have a ridiculously large amount of evidence that points to evolution.  Where would you like to begin?

  Or even a new species evolving from an established one?

Speciation is frequently documented.  A great thing to look at is ring species.  I don't know what sources you would consider or if your presuppositions would allow for them to be submitted as evidence. 


It is always a matter of presuppositions, as we have discussed here before.  Different people have different interpretations of the same evidence, because they have different presuppositions.

Presuppositions, oddly enough, appears to be your end goal as much as your starting point.  Presuppositions and assumptions may be supported or rejected by evidence. 
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: John_Hannah on December 08, 2017, 07:48:27 PM
Neither the Bible nor the confessions are science texts. And yes indeed, we do know more about the world and the universe than was known in those days.
Evolution is a fact. “Young earth” anything is an insult to the intelligence that God gave us.
Please go away instead of insulting people

I don't see any insult from Charles at all.  You . . .?

Peace, JOHN
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: RogerMartim on December 08, 2017, 08:48:48 PM
Outside of the helio- and geo-centric influences, what does 24/6 or 24/7 mean? Absolutely nothing. Aren't we boxing God in to our notion of time?
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Jim Butler on December 08, 2017, 09:00:52 PM

We have a ridiculously large amount of evidence that points to evolution.  Where would you like to begin?
 

Let's begin with this question:

Why--and how--does dead matter evolve into sentient life?
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Pasgolf on December 08, 2017, 09:01:10 PM
Has anyone else noticed the evolutionary progression in the creation narratives?  Following the big bang of light, everything that happens is called forth from something that already exists, including humankind.  Why is this so hard for the church to grasp, unless there is a need for a perfect document to bolster theological boundaries?  I don't care how long God took to do what God did.  I find the seven day narrative to be liturgical not descriptive of process. 
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: readselerttoo on December 08, 2017, 09:04:00 PM
Evolution is a fact.
That depends on exactly what one means by "evolution."  Within the context of this thread, evolution is a theory that attempts to explain certain facts based on specific presuppositions.

I would agree.  Evolution is a theory and not a fact, properly understood.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: readselerttoo on December 08, 2017, 09:07:33 PM
Evolution is a fact.
That depends on exactly what one means by "evolution."  Within the context of this thread, evolution is a theory that attempts to explain certain facts based on specific presuppositions.

Evolution is a theory in the same way plate techtonics is a theory.  It's the same as gravitational theory. 
It's not a matter of mere presuppositions.  There is a large well established body of supporting evidence.  It may be that God gave every illusion that such was the case.  Outside of creation narratives, the rest of the observations point to evolution.

God doesn't give illusions.  Rather, humans are sinners.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: readselerttoo on December 08, 2017, 09:12:00 PM
It's not a matter of mere presuppositions.  There is a large well established body of supporting evidence.[/quote]
It is always a matter of presuppositions, as we have discussed here before.  Different people have different interpretations of the same evidence, because they have different presuppositions.
[/quote]


THis response is spot on.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: SomeoneWrites on December 08, 2017, 09:12:37 PM

We have a ridiculously large amount of evidence that points to evolution.  Where would you like to begin?
 

Let's begin with this question:

Why--and how--does dead matter evolve into sentient life?

Would you like to discuss abiogenesis?


Evolution is a fact.
That depends on exactly what one means by "evolution."  Within the context of this thread, evolution is a theory that attempts to explain certain facts based on specific presuppositions.

I would agree.  Evolution is a theory and not a fact, properly understood.

It is both, properly understood.  The "it's a theory" thing misunderstands how scientific theories are discussed and debated.  It is a well supported, well documented Scientific theory.  It is also a fact. 

God doesn't give illusions.  Rather, humans are sinners.

I didn't say He did.  Evolution happened.  That just may not jive well with your theology.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Jim Butler on December 08, 2017, 10:28:08 PM

We have a ridiculously large amount of evidence that points to evolution.  Where would you like to begin?
 

Let's begin with this question:

Why--and how--does dead matter evolve into sentient life?

Would you like to discuss abiogenesis?

Sure, what would like to say about it?

But before you go down that rabbit hole, please notice my question: not merely life, but *sentient* life. I want to know how dead matter created self-awareness. I want to know how it developed consciousness.

Moreover, I want an explanation as to *why* it would do so.

So, go ahead. Please demonstrate the evolution of sentience from non-sentient matter. I'm truly interested.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: aletheist on December 08, 2017, 10:32:13 PM
Again, it depends on exactly what one means by "evolution."
The theory of evolution.
Which theory of evolution?  Some of them are not terribly controversial, because they remain within the proper boundaries of empirical investigation rather than extrapolating beyond them.
A theory is the highest position something can get in science.
This is false.  A law is considered to be more firmly established than a theory.  For example, that gravity exists is a law, but Newton and Einstein proposed different theories about why and how gravity exists.
Have we ever observed life evolving from non-life?
This is abiogenesis.  We are then faced with a god of the gaps situation, or that there's a natural cause for it, like everything else we've discovered like photosynthesis, etc.
So you acknowledge that humans have never observed life evolving from non-life.  That is the key difference between evolution and other "theories" about events that supposedly occurred in the distant past, and genuine scientific theories about what we observe occurring in the universe right now.
Presuppositions and assumptions may be supported or rejected by evidence.
But at that point, they would no longer be presuppositions or assumptions.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: aletheist on December 08, 2017, 10:34:46 PM
The "it's a theory" thing misunderstands how scientific theories are discussed and debated.  It is a well supported, well documented Scientific theory.  It is also a fact.
This is a blatant category error.  Well-supported, well-documented scientific theories are provisional explanations of facts; they are not themselves facts.  They are always subject to revision in light of additional data.
Evolution happened.
This is sheer dogmatism, not science.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: SomeoneWrites on December 08, 2017, 10:39:42 PM

We have a ridiculously large amount of evidence that points to evolution.  Where would you like to begin?
 

Let's begin with this question:

Why--and how--does dead matter evolve into sentient life?

Would you like to discuss abiogenesis?

Sure, what would like to say about it?

But before you go down that rabbit hole, please notice my question: not merely life, but *sentient* life. I want to know how dead matter created self-awareness. I want to know how it developed consciousness.

Moreover, I want an explanation as to *why* it would do so.

So, go ahead. Please demonstrate the evolution of sentience from non-sentient matter. I'm truly interested.

Okay, lets start here.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v8nYTJf62sE and feel free to the rest of series.  There's a lot of information to go through on the topic, hence the primer. 
There's also this. 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JzAPGcjYtjY
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Jim Butler on December 08, 2017, 10:49:37 PM
There are many things that disturb me about this. But one that jumped out at me in the Wyoming District resolution was their rejection of this statement: "[W]e must not present the appearance that the age of the earth is a ‘litmus test’ for
orthodoxy” (p. 73). They go further and state, "these words of Dr. Jurchen contradict the Holy Scriptures, deny their clarity, and are not to be tolerated in the Church of God, much less excused or defended."

Before I go on, does anyone disagree with me that these words are stating that the age of the earth should be (or is) "a 'litmus test for orthodoxy"?

If the age of the earth is a litmus test for orthodoxy, then I want a definitive, exact, answer about how old the earth is. I want to know what the 'litmus test' is.

Is there any wiggle room within that litmus test? What if I think the earth is 5,000 years older? 25,000? 50,000? 156,297 years?

I reject young earth creationism. And I triple dog dare any professional church worker in the LCMS to charge me with false doctrine for rejecting it.

If someone wishes to charge me with false doctrine, among the questions I will ask are these:

1) Show me where Scripture definitively states an age of the earth. Not, as some have argued, that by implication the Scriptures require a young earth. I want to know where Scripture says that definitively.  One person, in reply to my objection to YCE, asked me, "How do you know Jesus is present in the supper?" I replied, "He clearly says, 'This is my body. This is my blood.' I want something equally definitive."

2) Show me where the Confessions teach a young earth.

3) Aside from the Brief Statement, which does not give a date for creation (and was written by a geocentrist) show me where the LCMS in convention has passed a resolution requiring a YCE viewpoint. (As an aside, I was quite amazed at reading the BJS comments where a pastor was told that LCMS pastors are required to hold to YCE. I do not hold that position. I never have. I was never told that I had to hold to that position.)

4) In Genesis 5, Moses says that Adam was 130 years old when Seth was born. Was that 130 years from the date of his creation? If so, how was time reckoned prior to the Fall? Did they have seasons? Or could it be argued that his "age" was reckoned from the time of the Fall?

5) How many years where there between Adam's creation and the fall?

6) Genesis 1 lists four rivers. Two are the Tigris and Euphrates. What happened to the other two?

While I accept a six day creation (and I affirm a literal Adam and Eve and a literal garden and fall), I do not know how many years ago the world was created nor do I think it is wise to bind the consciences of pastors or members. I have people who have come to the congregations I have served from Evangelical and Fundamentalist churches that have required Young Earth Creationism and are glad to have been freed from it.

Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: SomeoneWrites on December 08, 2017, 10:51:01 PM
Which theory of evolution? 
The theory of evolution.  There's only one theory of evolution. 


So you acknowledge that humans have never observed life evolving from non-life.
Correct.   In the same way that I've never observed a number of things.  That's what evidence is for. 

  That is the key difference between evolution and other "theories" about events that supposedly occurred in the distant past, and genuine scientific theories about what we observe occurring in the universe right now.
And those things make predictions which are verified.  Evolution makes predictions as well. 

But at that point, they would no longer be presuppositions or assumptions.

You can easily see why some presuppositions and assumptions are rejected, as you reject many of the same ones that I do.  They continue to be supported or rejected based on evidence. 

The "it's a theory" thing misunderstands how scientific theories are discussed and debated.  It is a well supported, well documented Scientific theory.  It is also a fact.

This is a blatant category error.  Well-supported, well-documented scientific theories are provisional explanations of facts; they are not themselves facts.  They are always subject to revision in light of additional data.
No.  It's like how a 1700's map of the US is not as accurate as our gps maps now.  Same thing for evolution.

Evolution happened.
This is sheer dogmatism, not science.

This is a statement in response to another statement.  Please read me in context. 

--
oh, I forgot to add the part on laws
https://www.livescience.com/21457-what-is-a-law-in-science-definition-of-scientific-law.html

Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Rev Mathew Andersen on December 08, 2017, 11:01:58 PM
But you guys just love accusing each other of heresy. It’s in your DNA. The accusers are not interested in resolving issues. That might mean discussion and compromise. They are just interested in having their side win.
Again, please go away.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Rev Mathew Andersen on December 08, 2017, 11:06:37 PM
Neither the Bible nor the confessions are science texts. And yes indeed, we do know more about the world and the universe than was known in those days.
Evolution is a fact. “Young earth” anything is an insult to the intelligence that God gave us.
Please go away instead of insulting people

I don't see any insult from Charles at all.  You . . .?

Peace, JOHN
Don't be as dense and obnoxious as he is.  Yes, he insulted anyone's who accepts a young earth.  We already have one Charles here.  And that is one too many. We don't need another
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: aletheist on December 08, 2017, 11:12:20 PM
There's only one theory of evolution.
Again, simply false.  For one thing, there are distinct theories of microevolution (non-controversial) and macroevolution (very controversial).
Evolution makes predictions as well.
Merely making predictions is insufficient to qualify as a scientific theory.  What experiment could we conduct right now whose results could be predicted by the theory of (macro)evolution?  There is no such thing, because the theory requires "immense periods of time" to produce its posited outcomes.  More to the point, what experiment could we conduct that would potentially falsify the theory of (macro)evolution?  "Science of the gaps" is no better than "god of the gaps" in this regard.
The "it's a theory" thing misunderstands how scientific theories are discussed and debated.  It is a well supported, well documented Scientific theory.  It is also a fact.
This is a blatant category error.  Well-supported, well-documented scientific theories are provisional explanations of facts; they are not themselves facts.  They are always subject to revision in light of additional data.
No.  It's like how a 1700's map of the US is not as accurate as our gps maps now.  Same thing for evolution.
We can compare the two maps with the actual terrain to ascertain (objectively) which is more accurate.  We cannot do that with evolution, since we cannot directly observe the billions of years that it allegedly required.  We can only recognize and interpret (subjectively) the evidence that we find long after the fact, in accordance with our presuppositions.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: SomeoneWrites on December 08, 2017, 11:16:41 PM
Again, simply false.  For one thing, there are distinct theories of microevolution (non-controversial) and macroevolution (very controversial).
No, there's one scientific theory on evolution.  Microevolution isn't a thing.


Merely making predictions is insufficient to qualify as a scientific theory.  What experiment could we conduct right now whose results could be predicted by the theory of (macro)evolution?  There is no such thing, because the theory requires "immense periods of time" to produce its posited outcomes.  More to the point, what experiment could we conduct that would potentially falsify the theory of (macro)evolution?  "Science of the gaps" is no better than "god of the gaps" in this regard

Science with gaps is science.  For EVERY thing we've discovered there's a gap.  Look through all of scientific history, and see where those gaps were filled by science. 


We can compare the two maps with the actual terrain to ascertain (objectively) which is more accurate.  We cannot do that with evolution, since we cannot directly observe the billions of years that it allegedly required.  We can only recognize and interpret (subjectively) the evidence that we find long after the fact, in accordance with our presuppositions.

With all the evidence from multiple sources and lines of inquiries, and test them
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: aletheist on December 08, 2017, 11:36:50 PM
Microevolution isn't a thing.
Because you say so?  The constant (and observable) interplay of variation and selection is one thing.  Life from non-life and complex life forms from simple life forms are something else entirely.
Science with gaps is science.  For EVERY thing we've discovered there's a gap.  Look through all of scientific history, and see where those gaps were filled by science.
Your faith in science is impressive.
With all the evidence from multiple sources and lines of inquiries, and test them
Test them how, exactly?  You did not answer my questions.   What experiment could we conduct right now whose results could be predicted by the theory of (macro)evolution?  More to the point, what experiment could we conduct that would potentially falsify the theory of (macro)evolution?
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: SomeoneWrites on December 09, 2017, 12:14:02 AM
Microevolution isn't a thing.
Because you say so?  The constant (and observable) interplay of variation and selection is one thing.  Life from non-life and complex life forms from simple life forms are something else entirely.

No, because that's because there's no theory of microevolution. 


Science with gaps is science.  For EVERY thing we've discovered there's a gap.  Look through all of scientific history, and see where those gaps were filled by science.
Your faith in science is impressive.
No, just overwhelming evidence.  And the history of science. 

With all the evidence from multiple sources and lines of inquiries, and test them
Test them how, exactly?  You did not answer my questions.   What experiment could we conduct right now whose results could be predicted by the theory of (macro)evolution?  More to the point, what experiment could we conduct that would potentially falsify the theory of (macro)evolution?

This should get you started.
Also, again, there's no theory of macroevolution.  It's the Theory of Evolution
https://futurism.com/how-to-test-and-disprove-evolution/
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: aletheist on December 09, 2017, 12:37:31 AM
No, because that's because there's no theory of microevolution.
As should have been clear, I am using the term to refer to the constant (and observable) interplay of variation and selection, as opposed to the development of life from non-life and of complex life forms from simple life forms.  These are different phenomena that require different theories to explain them.
No, just overwhelming evidence.  And the history of science.
Again, your faith in science is impressive.  In human endeavors, past performance is no guarantee of future results.
This should get you started.
The article is about various kinds of evidence that is allegedly consistent with the theory of (macro)evolution.  As I have said repeatedly, the recognition and evaluation of all such evidence is subject to each person's presuppositions.  Needless to say, I draw very different conclusions from the cited examples than you do.

What I specifically requested (twice) was an experiment that we could conduct right now whose results could be predicted by the theory of (macro)evolution, or that would potentially falsify it.  My point in doing so is that there is no such experiment, because (again) the theory explicitly requires "immense periods of time" to produce its posited outcomes.  Since it is effectively unfalsifiable, even over the the entire span of human history, it is in that sense profoundly unscientific.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Jonathan Priest on December 09, 2017, 01:11:11 AM
Dr. Jurchen and other members of his family were classmates and part of my circle of friends at Concordia College, Seward in the 90's. My vicarage in San Francisco coincided with his graduate studies in Organic Chemistry at UC Berkley. His father Arnold Jurchen is an LC-MS pastor who was the interim pastor for Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Staplehurst, NE. Coincidentally, Rev. Jurchen is well known in my current circuit in Seattle since he served on Vancouver Island, BC for many years.

The Wyoming district neighbors the Nebraska district. Granted, it's a 9 hour drive from Casper, WY to Seward. I've driven it several times! Still, I wish the resolutions from these conferences spoke to whether they had engaged Dr. Jurchen or others professionally or personally closer to him in communication prior to their submission.

Jonathan Priest
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Dave Benke on December 09, 2017, 08:49:08 AM
There are many things that disturb me about this. But one that jumped out at me in the Wyoming District resolution was their rejection of this statement: "[W]e must not present the appearance that the age of the earth is a ‘litmus test’ for
orthodoxy” (p. 73). They go further and state, "these words of Dr. Jurchen contradict the Holy Scriptures, deny their clarity, and are not to be tolerated in the Church of God, much less excused or defended."

Before I go on, does anyone disagree with me that these words are stating that the age of the earth should be (or is) "a 'litmus test for orthodoxy"?

If the age of the earth is a litmus test for orthodoxy, then I want a definitive, exact, answer about how old the earth is. I want to know what the 'litmus test' is.

Is there any wiggle room within that litmus test? What if I think the earth is 5,000 years older? 25,000? 50,000? 156,297 years?

I reject young earth creationism. And I triple dog dare any professional church worker in the LCMS to charge me with false doctrine for rejecting it.

If someone wishes to charge me with false doctrine, among the questions I will ask are these:

1) Show me where Scripture definitively states an age of the earth. Not, as some have argued, that by implication the Scriptures require a young earth. I want to know where Scripture says that definitively.  One person, in reply to my objection to YCE, asked me, "How do you know Jesus is present in the supper?" I replied, "He clearly says, 'This is my body. This is my blood.' I want something equally definitive."

2) Show me where the Confessions teach a young earth.

3) Aside from the Brief Statement, which does not give a date for creation (and was written by a geocentrist) show me where the LCMS in convention has passed a resolution requiring a YCE viewpoint. (As an aside, I was quite amazed at reading the BJS comments where a pastor was told that LCMS pastors are required to hold to YCE. I do not hold that position. I never have. I was never told that I had to hold to that position.)

4) In Genesis 5, Moses says that Adam was 130 years old when Seth was born. Was that 130 years from the date of his creation? If so, how was time reckoned prior to the Fall? Did they have seasons? Or could it be argued that his "age" was reckoned from the time of the Fall?

5) How many years where there between Adam's creation and the fall?

6) Genesis 1 lists four rivers. Two are the Tigris and Euphrates. What happened to the other two?

While I accept a six day creation (and I affirm a literal Adam and Eve and a literal garden and fall), I do not know how many years ago the world was created nor do I think it is wise to bind the consciences of pastors or members. I have people who have come to the congregations I have served from Evangelical and Fundamentalist churches that have required Young Earth Creationism and are glad to have been freed from it.

Thanks for this, Jim.  A few basic questions point out the fallacies in the Wyoming District's resolution, which only beg the question of why they chose the resolution route over the conversational route.  My own sense from a few years ago was that the pastors out there had enjoyed participating in the Koinonia Process, which was (and is) by nature a face-to-face intensive conversational mode.  The switch by them to the more inflammatory toss-off-a-resolution-of-condemnation route, which in this case reveals the fallacious nature of their argumentation, is not salutary.

Dave Benke
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: SomeoneWrites on December 09, 2017, 09:01:49 AM
No, because that's because there's no theory of microevolution.
As should have been clear, I am using the term to refer to the constant (and observable) interplay of variation and selection, as opposed to the development of life from non-life and of complex life forms from simple life forms.  These are different phenomena that require different theories to explain them.
This is not accurately said.   Micro is a species over short period of time.  Macro is over taxonomic groups.  They use the same principles - natural selection, mutation, genetic drift, gene migration, etc. 

No, just overwhelming evidence.  And the history of science.
Again, your faith in science is impressive.  In human endeavors, past performance is no guarantee of future results.

No, again, this is pattern recognition. 
Motion of the planets, digestion, disease, germs, radiation, blight, earthquakes, comets, fertility, crop growth - the list goes on and on about what people thought was supernatural. 


This should get you started.
The article is about various kinds of evidence that is allegedly consistent with the theory of (macro)evolution.  As I have said repeatedly, the recognition and evaluation of all such evidence is subject to each person's presuppositions.  Needless to say, I draw very different conclusions from the cited examples than you do.
You're still invited to investigate. 


What I specifically requested (twice) was an experiment that we could conduct right now whose results could be predicted by the theory of (macro)evolution, or that would potentially falsify it.  My point in doing so is that there is no such experiment, because (again) the theory explicitly requires "immense periods of time" to produce its posited outcomes.  Since it is effectively unfalsifiable, even over the the entire span of human history, it is in that sense profoundly unscientific.
This is a fairly common misunderstanding about how science works.
This is not how the evidence was gathered to work with plate tectonics.
http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/geology/techist.html
There's a long time frame for the continents to move as they have, but the theory has more evidence - particularly now to support it. 

Evolution can bet tested by predictions made for things like
https://ncse.com/library-resource/predictive-power-evolutionary-biology-discovery-eusociality
and
https://ww2.kqed.org/quest/2009/03/02/predicting-fossil-finds/

You can also look at human chromosome 2 and the fusion site.  This was also predicted, examined in a lab, and would have falsified evolution if not true.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chromosome_2_(human)
http://www.pnas.org/content/88/20/9051.full.pdf

Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Matt Staneck on December 09, 2017, 09:22:30 AM

That's what resolutions are for. Let it come to convention and get voted down, with people at the microphone rebuking it before the vote. Why circumvent the process?

Who said anything about circumventing a process? They asked for President Harrison to deal with the matter. I agree that he should. I don't understand why so many people accept the terms of "debate" set out by a group of folks who have continually shown an inability to enter into conversations in good faith. These are not even conversations at all. They go like this: assumed assertions followed by an attempt by the listener to address concerns and move the conversation forward followed by more assertions. No thanks.

M. Staneck
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: John_Hannah on December 09, 2017, 09:43:48 AM
There are many things that disturb me about this. But one that jumped out at me in the Wyoming District resolution was their rejection of this statement: "[W]e must not present the appearance that the age of the earth is a ‘litmus test’ for
orthodoxy” (p. 73). They go further and state, "these words of Dr. Jurchen contradict the Holy Scriptures, deny their clarity, and are not to be tolerated in the Church of God, much less excused or defended."

Before I go on, does anyone disagree with me that these words are stating that the age of the earth should be (or is) "a 'litmus test for orthodoxy"?

If the age of the earth is a litmus test for orthodoxy, then I want a definitive, exact, answer about how old the earth is. I want to know what the 'litmus test' is.

Is there any wiggle room within that litmus test? What if I think the earth is 5,000 years older? 25,000? 50,000? 156,297 years?

I reject young earth creationism. And I triple dog dare any professional church worker in the LCMS to charge me with false doctrine for rejecting it.

If someone wishes to charge me with false doctrine, among the questions I will ask are these:

1) Show me where Scripture definitively states an age of the earth. Not, as some have argued, that by implication the Scriptures require a young earth. I want to know where Scripture says that definitively.  One person, in reply to my objection to YCE, asked me, "How do you know Jesus is present in the supper?" I replied, "He clearly says, 'This is my body. This is my blood.' I want something equally definitive."

2) Show me where the Confessions teach a young earth.

3) Aside from the Brief Statement, which does not give a date for creation (and was written by a geocentrist) show me where the LCMS in convention has passed a resolution requiring a YCE viewpoint. (As an aside, I was quite amazed at reading the BJS comments where a pastor was told that LCMS pastors are required to hold to YCE. I do not hold that position. I never have. I was never told that I had to hold to that position.)

4) In Genesis 5, Moses says that Adam was 130 years old when Seth was born. Was that 130 years from the date of his creation? If so, how was time reckoned prior to the Fall? Did they have seasons? Or could it be argued that his "age" was reckoned from the time of the Fall?

5) How many years where there between Adam's creation and the fall?

6) Genesis 1 lists four rivers. Two are the Tigris and Euphrates. What happened to the other two?

While I accept a six day creation (and I affirm a literal Adam and Eve and a literal garden and fall), I do not know how many years ago the world was created nor do I think it is wise to bind the consciences of pastors or members. I have people who have come to the congregations I have served from Evangelical and Fundamentalist churches that have required Young Earth Creationism and are glad to have been freed from it.

Thanks for this, Jim.  A few basic questions point out the fallacies in the Wyoming District's resolution, which only beg the question of why they chose the resolution route over the conversational route.  My own sense from a few years ago was that the pastors out there had enjoyed participating in the Koinonia Process, which was (and is) by nature a face-to-face intensive conversational mode.  The switch by them to the more inflammatory toss-off-a-resolution-of-condemnation route, which in this case reveals the fallacious nature of their argumentation, is not salutary.

Dave Benke

Conversational vs. Resolution. You are correct. I was at both conferences with Wyoming. My observation was (and is), It all depends on who is leading the way. The majority prefer conversational; a minorirty prefers resolution. The minority prevails when they raise the "heresy" question (. . .not to be tolerated in the church of God because the moderate majority does not know what to do with this. They are sort of paralyzed by fear.

Can we label it "heresy panic"?

Peace, JOHN
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Charles Austin on December 09, 2017, 12:16:24 PM
Believe it or not, folks, I have encountered a few such people in the ELCA.
I believe it is "insecurity panic," that is, their "faith" is so insecure that they must have everything nailed down tight and denounce anything that seems outside of what they believe they have nailed down. If anyone holding views outside theirs is "tolerated," they feel their own faith is under attack.
I dealt with one "young earth creationist" person by saying that she could indeed believe as she does; but that on those particular issues, we do not teach that way in this parish. I said that if she insisted on teaching her views and declare that others are wrong and un-biblical, then should would probably not be very comfortable in that particular parish. She left.
When you have such a specific "check-list of orthodoxy," I believe you are headed for trouble that cannot be peacefully resolved. Part of the otherwise distinguished history of the LCMS is that many keep trying to make that check-list and will not tolerate those who cannot put their initials in every box on the list.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on December 09, 2017, 12:38:21 PM
Believe it or not, folks, I have encountered a few such people in the ELCA.
I believe it is "insecurity panic," that is, their "faith" is so insecure that they must have everything nailed down tight and denounce anything that seems outside of what they believe they have nailed down. If anyone holding views outside theirs is "tolerated," they feel their own faith is under attack.
I dealt with one "young earth creationist" person by saying that she could indeed believe as she does; but that on those particular issues, we do not teach that way in this parish. I said that if she insisted on teaching her views and declare that others are wrong and un-biblical, then should would probably not be very comfortable in that particular parish. She left.
When you have such a specific "check-list of orthodoxy," I believe you are headed for trouble that cannot be peacefully resolved. Part of the otherwise distinguished history of the LCMS is that many keep trying to make that check-list and will not tolerate those who cannot put their initials in every box on the list.

That's what Fundamentalism does, Charles. Faith becomes a house of cards.

This came up some years ago with a former ELS pastor (No, not Rolf) who became the darling of the self-designated confessional crow calling themselves the Minnesota Faithful. He advised a lay person on the list: "If the Bible is wrong about creation, there is no Gospel. It's as simple as that"-  that if one Biblical doctrine such as a literal 6-day/24 hour creation fell, your faith would fall because one's faith is based on a conviction that the Scriptures are the inspired and inerrant word of God (a Fundamentalist view) rather than the other way around (the Lutheran view), that, coming to faith through the Gospel, we then confess an inerrant Scripture. The layperson was thereby led astray into thinking that inerrancy and the Gospel is a "house of cards" (her term) and that if one point falls the gospel falls. I explained to her that faith is not such a precarious thing that she should be placed in doubt. I was booted from the list shortly thereafter for opposing the teaching of heir darling.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 09, 2017, 12:47:34 PM
Different people have different interpretations of the same evidence, because they have different presuppositions.


Some of the interpretation make more logical sense than others. Some better explain all the evidence available rather than just selected parts.


Often the discussions about Genesis 1 ignore what I consider to be an obvious intention in the structure: The events of Day 1 correspond to those on Day 4; Day 2 corresponds to Day 5; and both Day 3 and Day 6 contain two acts of creation. (There are 8 "God said …" organized into the six days.)


I seldom hear people talk about the use of the Hebrew word 'adam in the first account. It occurs in 1:26, 27. It refers to humankind - both males and females. If it does in those verses, why couldn't it have the same meaning in chapter 2? ('adam occurs in 2:5, 7, 8, 15, 16, 18, 19 twice, 20 twice, 21, 22 twice, 23, 25; but most translations don't translate it the same way every time. We do not hear the passage in the same way that the Hebrews who heard the same word in all of those verses.


These details need to be part of the interpretation.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Mark Brown on December 09, 2017, 01:39:01 PM
There are many things that disturb me about this. But one that jumped out at me in the Wyoming District resolution was their rejection of this statement: "[W]e must not present the appearance that the age of the earth is a ‘litmus test’ for
orthodoxy” (p. 73). They go further and state, "these words of Dr. Jurchen contradict the Holy Scriptures, deny their clarity, and are not to be tolerated in the Church of God, much less excused or defended."

Before I go on, does anyone disagree with me that these words are stating that the age of the earth should be (or is) "a 'litmus test for orthodoxy"?

If the age of the earth is a litmus test for orthodoxy, then I want a definitive, exact, answer about how old the earth is. I want to know what the 'litmus test' is.

Is there any wiggle room within that litmus test? What if I think the earth is 5,000 years older? 25,000? 50,000? 156,297 years?

I reject young earth creationism. And I triple dog dare any professional church worker in the LCMS to charge me with false doctrine for rejecting it.

If someone wishes to charge me with false doctrine, among the questions I will ask are these:

1) Show me where Scripture definitively states an age of the earth. Not, as some have argued, that by implication the Scriptures require a young earth. I want to know where Scripture says that definitively.  One person, in reply to my objection to YCE, asked me, "How do you know Jesus is present in the supper?" I replied, "He clearly says, 'This is my body. This is my blood.' I want something equally definitive."

2) Show me where the Confessions teach a young earth.

3) Aside from the Brief Statement, which does not give a date for creation (and was written by a geocentrist) show me where the LCMS in convention has passed a resolution requiring a YCE viewpoint. (As an aside, I was quite amazed at reading the BJS comments where a pastor was told that LCMS pastors are required to hold to YCE. I do not hold that position. I never have. I was never told that I had to hold to that position.)

4) In Genesis 5, Moses says that Adam was 130 years old when Seth was born. Was that 130 years from the date of his creation? If so, how was time reckoned prior to the Fall? Did they have seasons? Or could it be argued that his "age" was reckoned from the time of the Fall?

5) How many years where there between Adam's creation and the fall?

6) Genesis 1 lists four rivers. Two are the Tigris and Euphrates. What happened to the other two?

While I accept a six day creation (and I affirm a literal Adam and Eve and a literal garden and fall), I do not know how many years ago the world was created nor do I think it is wise to bind the consciences of pastors or members. I have people who have come to the congregations I have served from Evangelical and Fundamentalist churches that have required Young Earth Creationism and are glad to have been freed from it.

I just want to say again, I think you are right about not binding consciences on this matter.  I have no interest in charging heresy against anyone.  But instead of getting in a twist, let me try and answer your questions roughly as I was taught and how I think someone who does want to charge heresy would answer them.

1) Genesis 1 says everything went from formless and void to humans in the garden in 6 days.  That is pretty definitive.  If you follow Bishop Ussher's counting through the rest of the bible counting up literal years in genealogies you get ~6000 years.  We can agree that there are some gap points, how long Adam and Eve lived pre-fall, maybe some telescoping of genealogies, but those gaps if conceded are not Billions of years.  Compared to any evolutionary theory, the bible if you read it naively would lead you to a young earth.  And this is the big step, if you can't acknowledge that it is akin to Zwingli not understanding "is". As much as you think they aren't reading, they think you are gaslighting them.

2) The confession are silent on this, but that is largely an argument for "the dog that didn't bark".  It was only with the age of Darwin that the age of the earth became a modern question.  The church fathers confronted this question when replying to cyclical theories of the universe and it can be shown from some of them that they averred answering or held to slightly different time schedules, but as paganism died out they converged on the simple understanding of genesis.  Hence, when the small catechism confesses that "god has made me and all creatures" the assumed time frame is short.  It was a settled issue.

3) The brief statement only doesn't give a date if you both: a) reject the simple reading of the Gen 1, because it does cite "six days" and b) reject that this was not a question.  The brief statements' concluding sentence on this asserts that both scripture and the confessions in the small catechism teach six days from nothing to humans.  If you want to say 25,000 years, fine.  But any simple reading can't come up with billions.  As far as others, they were not necessary because the brief statement was present, surprisingly early for the LCMS.  And if you were not taught this, that just goes to prove how deep the rot went in many places.

4) The simple way to understand this is from the time of creation, but you are right.  It could be reckoned from the fall.  It could be reckoned from the death of Abel.  Go ahead and add 10,000 years.  But you are breaking what words mean if you slip in a Billion.  And questioning "how time was reckoned" is a tricky little step that assumes God's inspiration was unable to express himself clearly.  You can question what words mean, but when you head down that path, where do you stop?  The answer of modern times is that you don't.  And you end up in a place where words are meaningless.  The only thing that has meaning is power.

5)  We don't know.  The rabbis hold almost no time at all.  The simple understanding would be a small time.  But sure, add 10,000 years in a blessed state.  Maybe that is how all those other people seem to be present.  But adding a billion doesn't make sense.  It wouldn't take long for a human race in perfect health and deathless to fill the globe.  Run the geometric growth calculation.

6) The flood changed a whole bunch of topology.   

That is roughly what I was taught.  And I was taught that as a reasonable middle ground.  Personally I think we would be better off not having any dogmatic statement on the age of the earth.  The test of orthodoxy is "did God create it" not an unknowable timetable.  (And those who are convinced would scream at me for that unknowable because they would say, "but you can, it is right there in scripture".)  But there is a clear pattern in modernity of a) dissent, b) asking for dialog, c) spending time in dialog while assuming positions of power, d) when enough power is assumed shutting down dialog and and shooting survivors. So common is it that it is captured in Neuhaus' law, "in any institution not dedicated to orthodoxy, orthodoxy will eventually be disallowed".  If we were being honest, we wouldn't just reject a negative motion, we would advance one that make a positive statement of this is what we believe and teach.  That statement could simply be that the age of the earth is unknowable, hence we don't dogmatically bind consciences on this question.  That way we could have real concord either in bring our teaching in line with the statement or in no longer walking together because  the lack of concord has been revealed.  But no, we are gutless, we put forward negative charges,  we deny the plain meaning of past statements and words, we rally politically to beat the rap, we counter rally to get a scalp or two in our regions, and the fight goes on.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Harvey_Mozolak on December 09, 2017, 01:52:42 PM
I like this Mark: "the age of the earth is unknowable."

Alas, I always have a howeverish hovering nearby...  until recently, even the smaller, microscopic, atomic and subatomic was unknowable and unknown but now what is known about gene structure and how chemicals and electrical energy and stuff I have no idea about relates to life and all just on this planet and of course is assumed when we get pictures from space craft and samples studied in space....

and how does scientific observations fit into the theological stances we take...   

I hate to move the age of earth into mystery, creation sure... the how and why of what God did and does... but the age of earth unknowable maybe but not a mystery in the sense of the mysteries of salvation and incarnation and Trinity and all, not so much so...

what do you think?
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 09, 2017, 03:52:43 PM
If יום has to mean "a 24-hour period" in Genesis 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31; 2:2, 3; shouldn't it mean the same thing in 2:4b: "In the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens." That story talks about one day. Shouldn't that also be a 24-hour period?


Exactly the same word and grammar is used in 2:17b which says: "for in the day that you eat of it you shall die." They didn't die that day, but Adam died 930 years later. Exactly the same word and grammar is used in 3:5 (although not usually translated the same): "… in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." With this verse, we understand the results of eating: "your eyes will be opened, etc." happened at the time that they ate.


How long is "a day"? Can it vary depending on the context?
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: mariemeyer on December 09, 2017, 04:04:01 PM
There are many things that disturb me about this. But one that jumped out at me in the Wyoming District resolution was their rejection of this statement: "[W]e must not present the appearance that the age of the earth is a ‘litmus test’ for
orthodoxy” (p. 73). They go further and state, "these words of Dr. Jurchen contradict the Holy Scriptures, deny their clarity, and are not to be tolerated in the Church of God, much less excused or defended."

Before I go on, does anyone disagree with me that these words are stating that the age of the earth should be (or is) "a 'litmus test for orthodoxy"?

If the age of the earth is a litmus test for orthodoxy, then I want a definitive, exact, answer about how old the earth is. I want to know what the 'litmus test' is.

Is there any wiggle room within that litmus test? What if I think the earth is 5,000 years older? 25,000? 50,000? 156,297 years?

I reject young earth creationism. And I triple dog dare any professional church worker in the LCMS to charge me with false doctrine for rejecting it.

If someone wishes to charge me with false doctrine, among the questions I will ask are these:

1) Show me where Scripture definitively states an age of the earth. Not, as some have argued, that by implication the Scriptures require a young earth. I want to know where Scripture says that definitively.  One person, in reply to my objection to YCE, asked me, "How do you know Jesus is present in the supper?" I replied, "He clearly says, 'This is my body. This is my blood.' I want something equally definitive."

2) Show me where the Confessions teach a young earth.

3) Aside from the Brief Statement, which does not give a date for creation (and was written by a geocentrist) show me where the LCMS in convention has passed a resolution requiring a YCE viewpoint. (As an aside, I was quite amazed at reading the BJS comments where a pastor was told that LCMS pastors are required to hold to YCE. I do not hold that position. I never have. I was never told that I had to hold to that position.)

4) In Genesis 5, Moses says that Adam was 130 years old when Seth was born. Was that 130 years from the date of his creation? If so, how was time reckoned prior to the Fall? Did they have seasons? Or could it be argued that his "age" was reckoned from the time of the Fall?

5) How many years where there between Adam's creation and the fall?

6) Genesis 1 lists four rivers. Two are the Tigris and Euphrates. What happened to the other two?

While I accept a six day creation (and I affirm a literal Adam and Eve and a literal garden and fall), I do not know how many years ago the world was created nor do I think it is wise to bind the consciences of pastors or members. I have people who have come to the congregations I have served from Evangelical and Fundamentalist churches that have required Young Earth Creationism and are glad to have been freed from it.

Thanks for this, Jim.  A few basic questions point out the fallacies in the Wyoming District's resolution, which only beg the question of why they chose the resolution route over the conversational route.  My own sense from a few years ago was that the pastors out there had enjoyed participating in the Koinonia Process, which was (and is) by nature a face-to-face intensive conversational mode.  The switch by them to the more inflammatory toss-off-a-resolution-of-condemnation route, which in this case reveals the fallacious nature of their argumentation, is not salutary.

Dave Benke

Conversational vs. Resolution. You are correct. I was at both conferences with Wyoming. My observation was (and is), It all depends on who is leading the way. The majority prefer conversational; a minorirty prefers resolution. The minority prevails when they raise the "heresy" question (. . .not to be tolerated in the church of God because the moderate majority does not know what to do with this. They are sort of paralyzed by fear.

Can we label it "heresy panic"?

Peace, JOHN

Thanks for this observation, John.  As one who was definitely part of the conversation with Wyoming (and from what I recall, it had to do with words posted on this very board), you would know first-hand what it's like to move from resolution to conversation; the conversational mode was productive, and remains productive. 

My own understanding of much of the Missouri Synod's ongoing kerfuffles is that they are a distinctly minoritarian endeavor, even among the conservative to ultra-conservative subset; the great majority of the minoritarian activists are ordained.  They are afforded the privilege of the Protestant movement - they consider their truth to be more truthy than others based on the elevation of any difference to either the heterodox (to be avoided) offense, or the heretical (to be expunged) offense, based on an interpretation of Scripture or Confessions that is their own product.

To me that is neither an evangelical nor a catholic approach.

Dave Benke

John and David:

As an outside observer of the Atlantic District/ Wyoming District Koinonia Project meetings I admit to concluding there was little likelihood they would result in much beyond clergy old boys club conversations that would not address deep divisions within our church.

There is something to be said for transparency in reporting what took place in these meetings. If, as has been agreed, existing divisions within the synod exist are perpetuated within the clergy, having them meet together among themselves without  accountable reporting to the laity they are called to serve is a flawed process.

At issue is how our LCMS family system addresses conflict. There are men in our synod, including Peter Steinke, who understand how to identify specifics in how families function as a first step in dealing with particular issues where there is a disagreement.  I submit this is the way to move the Koinonia Project forward.

Marie Meyer 
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on December 09, 2017, 04:26:51 PM
If יום has to mean "a 24-hour period" in Genesis 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31; 2:2, 3; shouldn't it mean the same thing in 2:4b: "In the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens." That story talks about one day. Shouldn't that also be a 24-hour period?

Exactly the same word and grammar is used in 2:17b which says: "for in the day that you eat of it you shall die." They didn't die that day, but Adam died 930 years later. Exactly the same word and grammar is used in 3:5 (although not usually translated the same): "… in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." With this verse, we understand the results of eating: "your eyes will be opened, etc." happened at the time that they ate.

How long is "a day"? Can it vary depending on the context?

More silliness that we've heard before. "In the day" is not a specific day but, rather, "when."

Isaiah 58:3 -"‘Why have we fasted, and you see it not? Why have we humbled ourselves, and you take no knowledge of it?’ Behold, in the day of your fast you seek your own pleasure, and oppress all your workers."

Must mean that one only fasts one day?

Jeremiah 7:22 - "For in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, I did not speak to your fathers or command them concerning burnt offerings and sacrifices."

They were brought out of Egypt in one day?

Ezekiel 22:24 - “Son of man, say to her, You are a land that is not cleansed or rained upon in the day of indignation."

Only one day of indignation?

Obadiah 12 - "But do not gloat over the day of your brother in the day of his misfortune; do not rejoice over the people of Judah in the day of their ruin; do not boast in the day of distress."

Only one day of misfortune, ruin, and distress? That's not so bad.

 ::)
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: John_Hannah on December 09, 2017, 04:37:48 PM
There are many things that disturb me about this. But one that jumped out at me in the Wyoming District resolution was their rejection of this statement: "[W]e must not present the appearance that the age of the earth is a ‘litmus test’ for
orthodoxy” (p. 73). They go further and state, "these words of Dr. Jurchen contradict the Holy Scriptures, deny their clarity, and are not to be tolerated in the Church of God, much less excused or defended."

Before I go on, does anyone disagree with me that these words are stating that the age of the earth should be (or is) "a 'litmus test for orthodoxy"?

If the age of the earth is a litmus test for orthodoxy, then I want a definitive, exact, answer about how old the earth is. I want to know what the 'litmus test' is.

Is there any wiggle room within that litmus test? What if I think the earth is 5,000 years older? 25,000? 50,000? 156,297 years?

I reject young earth creationism. And I triple dog dare any professional church worker in the LCMS to charge me with false doctrine for rejecting it.

If someone wishes to charge me with false doctrine, among the questions I will ask are these:

1) Show me where Scripture definitively states an age of the earth. Not, as some have argued, that by implication the Scriptures require a young earth. I want to know where Scripture says that definitively.  One person, in reply to my objection to YCE, asked me, "How do you know Jesus is present in the supper?" I replied, "He clearly says, 'This is my body. This is my blood.' I want something equally definitive."

2) Show me where the Confessions teach a young earth.

3) Aside from the Brief Statement, which does not give a date for creation (and was written by a geocentrist) show me where the LCMS in convention has passed a resolution requiring a YCE viewpoint. (As an aside, I was quite amazed at reading the BJS comments where a pastor was told that LCMS pastors are required to hold to YCE. I do not hold that position. I never have. I was never told that I had to hold to that position.)

4) In Genesis 5, Moses says that Adam was 130 years old when Seth was born. Was that 130 years from the date of his creation? If so, how was time reckoned prior to the Fall? Did they have seasons? Or could it be argued that his "age" was reckoned from the time of the Fall?

5) How many years where there between Adam's creation and the fall?

6) Genesis 1 lists four rivers. Two are the Tigris and Euphrates. What happened to the other two?

While I accept a six day creation (and I affirm a literal Adam and Eve and a literal garden and fall), I do not know how many years ago the world was created nor do I think it is wise to bind the consciences of pastors or members. I have people who have come to the congregations I have served from Evangelical and Fundamentalist churches that have required Young Earth Creationism and are glad to have been freed from it.

Thanks for this, Jim.  A few basic questions point out the fallacies in the Wyoming District's resolution, which only beg the question of why they chose the resolution route over the conversational route.  My own sense from a few years ago was that the pastors out there had enjoyed participating in the Koinonia Process, which was (and is) by nature a face-to-face intensive conversational mode.  The switch by them to the more inflammatory toss-off-a-resolution-of-condemnation route, which in this case reveals the fallacious nature of their argumentation, is not salutary.

Dave Benke

Conversational vs. Resolution. You are correct. I was at both conferences with Wyoming. My observation was (and is), It all depends on who is leading the way. The majority prefer conversational; a minorirty prefers resolution. The minority prevails when they raise the "heresy" question (. . .not to be tolerated in the church of God because the moderate majority does not know what to do with this. They are sort of paralyzed by fear.

Can we label it "heresy panic"?

Peace, JOHN

Thanks for this observation, John.  As one who was definitely part of the conversation with Wyoming (and from what I recall, it had to do with words posted on this very board), you would know first-hand what it's like to move from resolution to conversation; the conversational mode was productive, and remains productive. 

My own understanding of much of the Missouri Synod's ongoing kerfuffles is that they are a distinctly minoritarian endeavor, even among the conservative to ultra-conservative subset; the great majority of the minoritarian activists are ordained.  They are afforded the privilege of the Protestant movement - they consider their truth to be more truthy than others based on the elevation of any difference to either the heterodox (to be avoided) offense, or the heretical (to be expunged) offense, based on an interpretation of Scripture or Confessions that is their own product.

To me that is neither an evangelical nor a catholic approach.

Dave Benke

John and David:

As an outside observer of the Atlantic District/ Wyoming District Koinonia Project meetings I admit to concluding there was little likelihood they would result in much beyond clergy old boys club conversations that would not address deep divisions within our church.

There is something to be said for transparency in reporting what took place in these meetings. If, as has been agreed, existing divisions within the synod exist are perpetuated within the clergy, having them meet together among themselves without  accountable reporting to the laity they are called to serve is a flawed process.

At issue is how our LCMS family system addresses conflict. There are men in our synod, including Peter Steinke, who understand how to identify specifics in how families function as a first step in dealing with particular issues where there is a disagreement.  I submit this is the way to move the Koinonia Project forward.

Marie Meyer

I agree, Marie. I consider the minority's frequent accusations which provoke "heresy panic" to be but one symptom of our family dysfunction.

Peace, JOHN
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Dave Likeness on December 09, 2017, 04:40:27 PM
Genesis chapters one and two are Biblical narrative.  The creation account presents an almighty and eternal God
transforming chaos into cosmos by His powerful word. The ultimate meaning of the creation narrative is that God
is the Creator of heaven and earth and rules the universe.

Unfortunately, the current debate between evolutionists and creationists focuses on questions about a young earth
theory, dinosaurs, and UFO's. Genesis 1 & 2 make a theological statement that humanity does not exist by chance,
instead we were created by a personal God and our human existence has meaning and purpose.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 09, 2017, 06:18:01 PM
If יום has to mean "a 24-hour period" in Genesis 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31; 2:2, 3; shouldn't it mean the same thing in 2:4b: "In the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens." That story talks about one day. Shouldn't that also be a 24-hour period?

Exactly the same word and grammar is used in 2:17b which says: "for in the day that you eat of it you shall die." They didn't die that day, but Adam died 930 years later. Exactly the same word and grammar is used in 3:5 (although not usually translated the same): "… in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." With this verse, we understand the results of eating: "your eyes will be opened, etc." happened at the time that they ate.

How long is "a day"? Can it vary depending on the context?

More silliness that we've heard before. "In the day" is not a specific day but, rather, "when."

Isaiah 58:3 -"‘Why have we fasted, and you see it not? Why have we humbled ourselves, and you take no knowledge of it?’ Behold, in the day of your fast you seek your own pleasure, and oppress all your workers."

Must mean that one only fasts one day?

Jeremiah 7:22 - "For in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, I did not speak to your fathers or command them concerning burnt offerings and sacrifices."

They were brought out of Egypt in one day?

Ezekiel 22:24 - “Son of man, say to her, You are a land that is not cleansed or rained upon in the day of indignation."

Only one day of indignation?

Obadiah 12 - "But do not gloat over the day of your brother in the day of his misfortune; do not rejoice over the people of Judah in the day of their ruin; do not boast in the day of distress."

Only one day of misfortune, ruin, and distress? That's not so bad.

 ::)


So you agree that "a day" does not necessarily mean a 24-hour period? (Or perhaps you can't answer that in a public forum without putting yourself at risk from some other LCMS folks.)
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on December 09, 2017, 06:27:21 PM
If יום has to mean "a 24-hour period" in Genesis 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31; 2:2, 3; shouldn't it mean the same thing in 2:4b: "In the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens." That story talks about one day. Shouldn't that also be a 24-hour period?

Exactly the same word and grammar is used in 2:17b which says: "for in the day that you eat of it you shall die." They didn't die that day, but Adam died 930 years later. Exactly the same word and grammar is used in 3:5 (although not usually translated the same): "… in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." With this verse, we understand the results of eating: "your eyes will be opened, etc." happened at the time that they ate.

How long is "a day"? Can it vary depending on the context?

More silliness that we've heard before. "In the day" is not a specific day but, rather, "when."

Isaiah 58:3 -"‘Why have we fasted, and you see it not? Why have we humbled ourselves, and you take no knowledge of it?’ Behold, in the day of your fast you seek your own pleasure, and oppress all your workers."

Must mean that one only fasts one day?

Jeremiah 7:22 - "For in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, I did not speak to your fathers or command them concerning burnt offerings and sacrifices."

They were brought out of Egypt in one day?

Ezekiel 22:24 - “Son of man, say to her, You are a land that is not cleansed or rained upon in the day of indignation."

Only one day of indignation?

Obadiah 12 - "But do not gloat over the day of your brother in the day of his misfortune; do not rejoice over the people of Judah in the day of their ruin; do not boast in the day of distress."

Only one day of misfortune, ruin, and distress? That's not so bad.

 ::)


So you agree that "a day" does not necessarily mean a 24-hour period? (Or perhaps you can't answer that in a public forum without putting yourself at risk from some other LCMS folks.)

And your usual dance continues. First it was "a day," then it became "in the day." Apples and oranges and obfuscation.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Timothy Schenks on December 09, 2017, 07:14:03 PM
The current LCMS kerfuffle is a sad example of why the ten year Koinonia Project has yielded little if any results.  The attempt to suggest otherwise reflects seeing a realty through rose colored glasses.  Where were the church leaders who knew two District were considering these resolutions?  Did anyone propose following a process that has been portrayed as a new day in how LCMS brothers and sister will deal with one another?

If President Harrison responds to recent events by stating that all parties involved must come together for mutual confession and consolation, I will repent of my observation of the Koinonia Process.

Marie Meyer
 

Pr. Benke has been insisting that it’s going just fine. In fact, his best example of the process was between the Atlantic district and one of the districts mentioned above who everyone here wants to rebuke now.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Timothy Schenks on December 09, 2017, 07:16:56 PM
I would favor the submission of a new Brief Statement at the centenniel observance of the original, so in 2032, 15 years from now.   That should be just about the time the Koinonia Process is completed, making a good fit.  As the US Postal Service puts it, "No mail will be delivered before its time."    8)

Dave Benke

That’s terrible, Pr. Benke. Those doctrinal statements (such as the Brief Statement and the Statement on Scriptural and Confessional Principals) were adopted in response to known errors in the Synod that apparently still exist. You are embracing error.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Jim Butler on December 09, 2017, 07:46:35 PM
I would favor the submission of a new Brief Statement at the centenniel observance of the original, so in 2032, 15 years from now.   That should be just about the time the Koinonia Process is completed, making a good fit.  As the US Postal Service puts it, "No mail will be delivered before its time."    8)

Dave Benke

That’s terrible, Pr. Benke. Those doctrinal statements (such as the Brief Statement and the Statement on Scriptural and Confessional Principals) were adopted in response to known errors in the Synod that apparently still exist. You are embracing error.

Please identify the errors being taught in the Synod that are identified in the Brief Statement and who in the Synod was teaching those errors. Please identify anyone who was removed from the Synod following the adoption of the Brief Statement.

Hint: you can't. Because the Brief Statement was *not* "adopted in response to known errors in the Synod."

It was written, and adopted, as a guide for the LCMS to use in discussion with the ULCA, the (original) ALC, and other Lutheran bodies with which the LCMS was in fellowship. See http://cyclopedia.lcms.org/display.asp?t1=B&word=BRIEFSTATEMENT
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Timothy Schenks on December 09, 2017, 08:16:30 PM
I would favor the submission of a new Brief Statement at the centenniel observance of the original, so in 2032, 15 years from now.   That should be just about the time the Koinonia Process is completed, making a good fit.  As the US Postal Service puts it, "No mail will be delivered before its time."    8)

Dave Benke

That’s terrible, Pr. Benke. Those doctrinal statements (such as the Brief Statement and the Statement on Scriptural and Confessional Principals) were adopted in response to known errors in the Synod that apparently still exist. You are embracing error.

Please identify the errors being taught in the Synod that are identified in the Brief Statement and who in the Synod was teaching those errors. Please identify anyone who was removed from the Synod following the adoption of the Brief Statement.

Hint: you can't. Because the Brief Statement was *not* "adopted in response to known errors in the Synod."

It was written, and adopted, as a guide for the LCMS to use in discussion with the ULCA, the (original) ALC, and other Lutheran bodies with which the LCMS was in fellowship. See http://cyclopedia.lcms.org/display.asp?t1=B&word=BRIEFSTATEMENT

No. The Brief Statement of 1932 was adopted in rejection of the Chicago Theses of 1919 due to objectionable statements that would preclude synodical fellowship.

Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Matt Hummel on December 09, 2017, 08:19:08 PM
This was an interesting read:
 https://musingsonscience.wordpress.com/2017/12/07/theology-is-much-more/#more-5632

I have heard Fr. Polkinghorne speak, and have read a number of his books.

This part caught my eye: Competition occurs when science is taken as competent and sufficient to answer metaphysical questions … or when theology is taken as required to answer mechanistic questions about the nature of the universe, from supernovas, to the diversity of life, to the progression of seasons and development of storms, to the reason why the Mississippi flows from Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico rather than vice versa.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: RevG on December 09, 2017, 08:27:26 PM
The thing that’s interesting to me is that a district unanimously passed a resolution regarding this issue; calling for the condemnation old earth creationism etc..  Wyoming is a smaller district but that’s powerful. Similarly, the South Wisconsin passed a resolution, though, I am not sure if that was unanimous as well.  That, too, is powerful because South Wisconsin is a bigger district in the heartland of the LCMS.  My sense is that we’ll see similar resolutions passed at various district conventions this coming year.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Jim Butler on December 09, 2017, 08:33:02 PM

I just want to say again, I think you are right about not binding consciences on this matter.  I have no interest in charging heresy against anyone.  But instead of getting in a twist, let me try and answer your questions roughly as I was taught and how I think someone who does want to charge heresy would answer them.


Thanks for your response. Let me reply.


1) Genesis 1 says everything went from formless and void to humans in the garden in 6 days.  That is pretty definitive.  If you follow Bishop Ussher's counting through the rest of the bible counting up literal years in genealogies you get ~6000 years.  We can agree that there are some gap points, how long Adam and Eve lived pre-fall, maybe some telescoping of genealogies, but those gaps if conceded are not Billions of years.  Compared to any evolutionary theory, the bible if you read it naively would lead you to a young earth.  And this is the big step, if you can't acknowledge that it is akin to Zwingli not understanding "is". As much as you think they aren't reading, they think you are gaslighting them.


I agree that Genesis 1 says exactly that and it is definitive. What is not definitive is an age of the earth.


2) The confession are silent on this, but that is largely an argument for "the dog that didn't bark".  It was only with the age of Darwin that the age of the earth became a modern question.  The church fathers confronted this question when replying to cyclical theories of the universe and it can be shown from some of them that they averred answering or held to slightly different time schedules, but as paganism died out they converged on the simple understanding of genesis.  Hence, when the small catechism confesses that "god has made me and all creatures" the assumed time frame is short.  It was a settled issue.


So, we agree that the confessions are silent on this.


3) The brief statement only doesn't give a date if you both: a) reject the simple reading of the Gen 1, because it does cite "six days" and b) reject that this was not a question.  The brief statements' concluding sentence on this asserts that both scripture and the confessions in the small catechism teach six days from nothing to humans.  If you want to say 25,000 years, fine.  But any simple reading can't come up with billions.  As far as others, they were not necessary because the brief statement was present, surprisingly early for the LCMS.  And if you were not taught this, that just goes to prove how deep the rot went in many places.


The Brief Statement was adopted in 1932. The Synod was founded in 1847. Do you define 85 years as "early" in the Synod's history? Second, even though the Synod had the Brief Statement, it still passed resolutions e.g., on the historicity of Adam and Eve in the 1960s, so that kind of kills that argument. But it never passed one on the age of the earth.

As for your last sentence, I went to Concordia, Ann Arbor, when von Fange was one of the profs. He was a young earth creationist and taught it strongly. I went to CSL and had John Klotz for a professor (he was actually part of my theological interview committee). He taught young earth creationism. But neither ever told me I was expected to teach it. Klotz knew I believed in an old earth creationism; he disagreed with that approach but he didn't think I was unorthodox. Now, if you want to argue that von Fange and Klotz were "rot" go right ahead, but I don't think they were.

Key point: The Synod has never adopted a resolution on this matter.


4) The simple way to understand this is from the time of creation, but you are right.  It could be reckoned from the fall.  It could be reckoned from the death of Abel.  Go ahead and add 10,000 years.  But you are breaking what words mean if you slip in a Billion.  And questioning "how time was reckoned" is a tricky little step that assumes God's inspiration was unable to express himself clearly.  You can question what words mean, but when you head down that path, where do you stop?  The answer of modern times is that you don't.  And you end up in a place where words are meaningless.  The only thing that has meaning is power.


Here's the point: There is a lot more we don't know about Genesis 1 and 2 (and all of Genesis 1-11 for that matter) than we do. Before we get quite so dogmatic about our view, it might behoove us to have a little humility on that point. As for God's inspiration. Well, my view, is that God tells us what He wants us to know. He doesn't tell us everything we'd like to know.

I asked John Klotz why he insisted on a young earth. He said that he didn't want to give the evolutionists the billions of years it would take to make their theory work. I told him I didn't care. Give them the billions of years; it wouldn't work anyway. I'm sorry; it's just too much chance. And even if you can figure out how an animal might evolve, you still can't account for the creation of sentient life from dead matter.


That is roughly what I was taught.  And I was taught that as a reasonable middle ground.  Personally I think we would be better off not having any dogmatic statement on the age of the earth.  The test of orthodoxy is "did God create it" not an unknowable timetable.


I concur with this. Which is why I was alarmed at the Wyoming District's resolution. It seems to reject what you say here.


If we were being honest, we wouldn't just reject a negative motion, we would advance one that make a positive statement of this is what we believe and teach.  That statement could simply be that the age of the earth is unknowable, hence we don't dogmatically bind consciences on this question.  That way we could have real concord either in bring our teaching in line with the statement or in no longer walking together because  the lack of concord has been revealed.  But no, we are gutless, we put forward negative charges,  we deny the plain meaning of past statements and words, we rally politically to beat the rap, we counter rally to get a scalp or two in our regions, and the fight goes on.

Yep, I often feel the same way.

I guess the point of my post was this: I think the Wyoming District over reacted and went off the horse on the other side and made the age of the earth a litmus test for orthodoxy. And I just think that is dangerous.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Timothy Schenks on December 09, 2017, 08:34:00 PM
It was not the entire district. It was just the pastors.  I have not heard if any circuit forums or congregation’s were rebuked by the Seminary faculty for submitting similar overtures.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Mark Brown on December 09, 2017, 08:35:54 PM
I like this Mark: "the age of the earth is unknowable."

Alas, I always have a howeverish hovering nearby...  until recently, even the smaller, microscopic, atomic and subatomic was unknowable and unknown but now what is known about gene structure and how chemicals and electrical energy and stuff I have no idea about relates to life and all just on this planet and of course is assumed when we get pictures from space craft and samples studied in space....

and how does scientific observations fit into the theological stances we take...   

I hate to move the age of earth into mystery, creation sure... the how and why of what God did and does... but the age of earth unknowable maybe but not a mystery in the sense of the mysteries of salvation and incarnation and Trinity and all, not so much so...

what do you think?

Well I suppose we could at some point invent a time machine and figure out exactly.  But I'd stand by unknowable. I'd hesitate about moving it to the mystery category.  But I'd put it in the category of what year was Jesus born or how long was his ministry or how old was he when he died.  It is fun to postulate answers and argue over them.  Sometimes that argument actually adds something to our understanding.  But, they are deeply unknowable and embedded in our mental conceptions of calendar and time.

I'd add a thought.  We think we know protons and electrons and even smaller the subatomic particles and quarks.  Our physics theory is very powerful, but our knowledge of all those things isn't based on direct sense data, but on observation at one or more removes.  Clever little monkeys we've created all kinds of microscopes that magnify subatomic effects.  We've created theories.  The theories predict outcomes.  We build devices, often series of devices, that magnify that impossibly small action.  We observe a reaction many stages past that first one.  For example we observe the mushroom cloud and not the actual splitting of the atom.  What we can see is both hidden and revealed by our theory.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on December 09, 2017, 08:54:10 PM
It was not the entire district. It was just the pastors.  I have not heard if any circuit forums or congregation’s were rebuked by the Seminary faculty for submitting similar overtures.

Although those on BJS seem to revel in calling the CSL response a "rebuke," that is hardly fair, Mr. Schenks. A rebuke "suggests a sharp or stern reproof." That's certainly not what the CSL letter did. Rather, it seems that, because the districts were combative about the issue, they want to characterize CSL as being equally so. That's simply wrong.

You have publicly stated that the Concordia Journal should retract the article. Why?
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Dave Benke on December 09, 2017, 08:58:24 PM
The current LCMS kerfuffle is a sad example of why the ten year Koinonia Project has yielded little if any results.  The attempt to suggest otherwise reflects seeing a realty through rose colored glasses.  Where were the church leaders who knew two District were considering these resolutions?  Did anyone propose following a process that has been portrayed as a new day in how LCMS brothers and sister will deal with one another?

If President Harrison responds to recent events by stating that all parties involved must come together for mutual confession and consolation, I will repent of my observation of the Koinonia Process.

Marie Meyer
 

Pr. Benke has been insisting that it’s going just fine. In fact, his best example of the process was between the Atlantic district and one of the districts mentioned above who everyone here wants to rebuke now.

a) My point of comparison was between clergy writing resolutions and clergy sitting with one another and conversing seriously about issues of importance.  I'm sticking with the conversational over the resolution-al methodology.  It's got all kinds of biblical warrant.

b) Marie points out correctly that a flaw in the Koinonia process throughout has been its near-complete focus on the clergy.  Some years ago, when an assessment of issues in the Missouri Synod was undertaken, the number one negative was the public quarreling by clergy.  So the Koinonia Process was initiated by undertaking to get clergy to talk with one another in a confidential setting and in an open manner about disputed areas of doctrine and practice. 

c) My own impression is that there was enough to do with clergy alone for the Koinonia Process to continue without involving the laity for a goodly stretch of time.  Of course, that can't go on forever, and the laity and lay leadership throughout the systems of the denomination need to be brought in for the process to proceed successfully. 

d) This is an opportunity, then, for laity from all sides of the various issues to request inclusion from their local and national leadership in the Koinonia Process. 

Dave Benke
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: RevG on December 09, 2017, 10:25:50 PM
It was not the entire district. It was just the pastors.  I have not heard if any circuit forums or congregation’s were rebuked by the Seminary faculty for submitting similar overtures.

Yes, but that’s 50% of the voting bloc right there.  I highly doubt lay delegates will vote differently than their pastors.  Assuming some do, that’s still an overwhelming majority.  It’s also important to remember that it was three years ago this January that the whole Becker fiasco went down which came well after circuit forums and produced a few resolutions condemning false teaching.  All in all, I’m interested to see how this all plays out.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 10, 2017, 02:08:34 AM
If יום has to mean "a 24-hour period" in Genesis 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31; 2:2, 3; shouldn't it mean the same thing in 2:4b: "In the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens." That story talks about one day. Shouldn't that also be a 24-hour period?

Exactly the same word and grammar is used in 2:17b which says: "for in the day that you eat of it you shall die." They didn't die that day, but Adam died 930 years later. Exactly the same word and grammar is used in 3:5 (although not usually translated the same): "… in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." With this verse, we understand the results of eating: "your eyes will be opened, etc." happened at the time that they ate.

How long is "a day"? Can it vary depending on the context?

More silliness that we've heard before. "In the day" is not a specific day but, rather, "when."

Isaiah 58:3 -"‘Why have we fasted, and you see it not? Why have we humbled ourselves, and you take no knowledge of it?’ Behold, in the day of your fast you seek your own pleasure, and oppress all your workers."

Must mean that one only fasts one day?

Jeremiah 7:22 - "For in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, I did not speak to your fathers or command them concerning burnt offerings and sacrifices."

They were brought out of Egypt in one day?

Ezekiel 22:24 - “Son of man, say to her, You are a land that is not cleansed or rained upon in the day of indignation."

Only one day of indignation?

Obadiah 12 - "But do not gloat over the day of your brother in the day of his misfortune; do not rejoice over the people of Judah in the day of their ruin; do not boast in the day of distress."

Only one day of misfortune, ruin, and distress? That's not so bad.

 ::)


So you agree that "a day" does not necessarily mean a 24-hour period? (Or perhaps you can't answer that in a public forum without putting yourself at risk from some other LCMS folks.)

And your usual dance continues. First it was "a day," then it became "in the day." Apples and oranges and obfuscation.


As usual, you don't even deal with my question. Whether it is "a day" or "in the day" is יום defined as "a 24-hour period"? That definition can work in "a 24-hour period" or "(with)in the 24-hour period." If יום is used in some contexts to refer to something other than a 24-hour period, then it's possible that the Priestly writer in adapting the Babylonian creation myth for Jewish use, uses it to refer to something other than a 24-hour period.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on December 10, 2017, 07:24:49 AM
No, Brian, "in the day," which you brought up, does not refer to a specific day, so it is not a 24-hour period.

"... the Priestly writer in adapting the Babylonian creation myth for Jewish use..."

Huh?
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Steven W Bohler on December 10, 2017, 07:50:18 AM
I would favor the submission of a new Brief Statement at the centenniel observance of the original, so in 2032, 15 years from now.   That should be just about the time the Koinonia Process is completed, making a good fit.  As the US Postal Service puts it, "No mail will be delivered before its time."    8)

Dave Benke

That’s terrible, Pr. Benke. Those doctrinal statements (such as the Brief Statement and the Statement on Scriptural and Confessional Principals) were adopted in response to known errors in the Synod that apparently still exist. You are embracing error.

Please identify the errors being taught in the Synod that are identified in the Brief Statement and who in the Synod was teaching those errors. Please identify anyone who was removed from the Synod following the adoption of the Brief Statement.

Hint: you can't. Because the Brief Statement was *not* "adopted in response to known errors in the Synod."

It was written, and adopted, as a guide for the LCMS to use in discussion with the ULCA, the (original) ALC, and other Lutheran bodies with which the LCMS was in fellowship. See http://cyclopedia.lcms.org/display.asp?t1=B&word=BRIEFSTATEMENT

Rev. Butler,

Here you ask/demand a list of those teaching error in the synod.  But when the ACLEC did just that -- with evidence -- they were accused of all sorts of stuff.  Including, I think, by you.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Dave Likeness on December 10, 2017, 09:45:58 AM
Psalm 33 praises the Lord as the Creator of the world.   Old Testament scholar Peter Craigie offers
these thoughts in his commentary on this Psalm.

"It was by means of the spoken Word that God created all things.  Creation is not an abstract doctrine
providing answers to human intellectual curiosity concerning the origin and nature of the world.  Creation
doctrine deals with the world in relationship to God, to human history, and to individual human beings.
God is the Creator and thus controls the sphere within which history moves and develops."

"In an age when the Biblical doctrine of creation is all too frequently discussed on conjunction with science,
the psalmist offers a reminder that creation must be reflected on in conjunction with history."
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 10, 2017, 09:57:23 AM
No, Brian, "in the day," which you brought up, does not refer to a specific day, so it is not a 24-hour period.


So you agree that in some contexts, יום does not mean "a 24-hour period". That was all that I was asking. My Hebrew-English Lexicon offers seven different definitions of the word.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on December 10, 2017, 12:41:46 PM
No, Brian, "in the day," which you brought up, does not refer to a specific day, so it is not a 24-hour period.

So you agree that in some contexts, יום does not mean "a 24-hour period". That was all that I was asking. My Hebrew-English Lexicon offers seven different definitions of the word.

No, Brian, I did not agree. Stop being dishonest.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Jim Butler on December 10, 2017, 03:11:43 PM
I would favor the submission of a new Brief Statement at the centenniel observance of the original, so in 2032, 15 years from now.   That should be just about the time the Koinonia Process is completed, making a good fit.  As the US Postal Service puts it, "No mail will be delivered before its time."    8)

Dave Benke

That’s terrible, Pr. Benke. Those doctrinal statements (such as the Brief Statement and the Statement on Scriptural and Confessional Principals) were adopted in response to known errors in the Synod that apparently still exist. You are embracing error.

Please identify the errors being taught in the Synod that are identified in the Brief Statement and who in the Synod was teaching those errors. Please identify anyone who was removed from the Synod following the adoption of the Brief Statement.

Hint: you can't. Because the Brief Statement was *not* "adopted in response to known errors in the Synod."

It was written, and adopted, as a guide for the LCMS to use in discussion with the ULCA, the (original) ALC, and other Lutheran bodies with which the LCMS was in fellowship. See http://cyclopedia.lcms.org/display.asp?t1=B&word=BRIEFSTATEMENT

Rev. Butler,

Here you ask/demand a list of those teaching error in the synod.  But when the ACLEC did just that -- with evidence -- they were accused of all sorts of stuff.  Including, I think, by you.

1) I would hope you would recognize the difference between an off the cuff remark made at the end of a very long day and a carefully drafted and redrafted statement by a group of people.

2) Mr. Schenks pointed to both a Brief Statement and A Statement of Scriptural and Confessional Principles as doctrinal statements that were written in response to doctrinal errors which are still being taught in our Synod. I was quite surprised by this remark. While I understand that Dr. Bohlmann wrote A Statement of Scriptural and Confessional Principles in response to the teachings of the Faculty majority, I did not recall the Brief Statement being written in response to any doctrinal error in the Synod. As I recalled, it was written to guide our discussions with other Lutheran bodies, both the (old) ALC and the ULCA. Mr. Schenks pointed out that it was written in response to the Chicago Theses.

In that regard, we were both correct. The LCMS participants on the discussion committee that wrote the Chicago Theses recommended the Synod adopt them as a basis for fellowship between the LCMS and the Iowa, Ohio, and Buffalo synods. The Synodical committee that reviewed the Chicago Theses did not concur. The review committee did not say the Chicago Theses contained false doctrine nor did they accuse the participants on the committee of doctrinal error. In their opinion, the statements were inadequate in their discussion and vague enough so that each of the synods could read their own opinions into the document (and, at times, leaned in the direction of the other bodies). There was also a list of other issues (Church and ministry, Chiliasm, Antichrist, etc.) which were not touched upon in the Chicago Theses. Therefore, they recommended that a new doctrinal statement of the LCMS position be written which would guide the LCMS in these discussions.

The Brief Statement was then used to guide discussion with the ALC (after the Iowa, Ohio, and Buffalo synods merged in 1930) and discussion with the ULCA. (See Carl S. Meyer, Moving Frontiers, pp. 418-420).

So, when I asked Mr. Schenks about his statement, I was asking what errors were being taught in the Synod to which the Brief Statement was referring to.

3) I am at a loss to understand how you are connecting a request for clarification of the historical context of a doctrinal statement with statements by me concerning the ACELC. I don't think the two tie together.

As an aside, Mr. Schenks, thank you for the reminder about the Chicago Theses. I had forgotten that part of our history! BTW, you might find it interesting that the LCMS and the ULCA never got past the issue of the inspiration of Scripture when it came to the Brief Statement. For some other background on how the Brief Statement came about and was to be used, you might want to listen to CSL course Controversy in the LCMS--1960s and 70s by Erik Herrmann and Gerhard Bode. It can be found under podcasts on iTunes. They discuss the origin and use of the Brief Statement during the course.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: RDPreus on December 10, 2017, 03:45:26 PM
If we permit Scripture to interpret Scripture, the word “day” in Genesis 1 means the same thing as the word “day” in Exodus 20:11.  There is no question that the “day” in Exodus 20:11 is a normal day, which is about 24 hours long.  Now if we, instead of permitting the Scripture to interpret the Scripture, interpret the Scripture informed by extra-biblical opinions, theories, beliefs, or ideologies from the social, political, or natural sciences, we are breaking with sound hermeneutics and we are obfuscating what is inherently clear and straightforward.  There is no good biblical reason to interpret the days in Genesis 1 as being longer or shorter than the days of Exodus 20.

Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 10, 2017, 03:45:39 PM
No, Brian, "in the day," which you brought up, does not refer to a specific day, so it is not a 24-hour period.

So you agree that in some contexts, יום does not mean "a 24-hour period". That was all that I was asking. My Hebrew-English Lexicon offers seven different definitions of the word.

No, Brian, I did not agree. Stop being dishonest.


Huh? See the boldface above that you wrote.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on December 10, 2017, 05:15:00 PM
No, Brian, "in the day," which you brought up, does not refer to a specific day, so it is not a 24-hour period.

So you agree that in some contexts, יום does not mean "a 24-hour period". That was all that I was asking. My Hebrew-English Lexicon offers seven different definitions of the word.

No, Brian, I did not agree. Stop being dishonest.


Huh? See the boldface above that you wrote.

“In the day” is equivalent to “when.” It is not a 24-hour period.

בְּי֛וֹם not י֥וֹם

Stop playing games.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 10, 2017, 07:09:49 PM
No, Brian, "in the day," which you brought up, does not refer to a specific day, so it is not a 24-hour period.

So you agree that in some contexts, יום does not mean "a 24-hour period". That was all that I was asking. My Hebrew-English Lexicon offers seven different definitions of the word.

No, Brian, I did not agree. Stop being dishonest.


Huh? See the boldface above that you wrote.

“In the day” is equivalent to “when.” It is not a 24-hour period.

בְּי֛וֹם not י֥וֹם

Stop playing games.


The addition of ב as a prefix to a Hebrew word doesn't change the Hebrew word any more than saying, "in" before "the day" changes the meaning of "day". The word is still יום.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on December 10, 2017, 07:11:15 PM
No, Brian, "in the day," which you brought up, does not refer to a specific day, so it is not a 24-hour period.

So you agree that in some contexts, יום does not mean "a 24-hour period". That was all that I was asking. My Hebrew-English Lexicon offers seven different definitions of the word.

No, Brian, I did not agree. Stop being dishonest.


Huh? See the boldface above that you wrote.

“In the day” is equivalent to “when.” It is not a 24-hour period.

בְּי֛וֹם not י֥וֹם

Stop playing games.

So, you agree with me?   :D
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 10, 2017, 07:48:19 PM
No, Brian, "in the day," which you brought up, does not refer to a specific day, so it is not a 24-hour period.

So you agree that in some contexts, יום does not mean "a 24-hour period". That was all that I was asking. My Hebrew-English Lexicon offers seven different definitions of the word.

No, Brian, I did not agree. Stop being dishonest.


Huh? See the boldface above that you wrote.

“In the day” is equivalent to “when.” It is not a 24-hour period.

בְּי֛וֹם not י֥וֹם

Stop playing games.

So, you agree with me?   :D


I agree that ביום and יומ are two different contexts of the word יום, and that the word has different meanings in those contexts. Similarly, there are passages that talk about "day and night". In those contexts, יום means (about 12-hours) of daylight time (Gn 8:22; 31:39, 40) in contrast to the (about 12-hours) of night time.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on December 10, 2017, 08:15:13 PM
No, Brian, "in the day," which you brought up, does not refer to a specific day, so it is not a 24-hour period.

So you agree that in some contexts, יום does not mean "a 24-hour period". That was all that I was asking. My Hebrew-English Lexicon offers seven different definitions of the word.

No, Brian, I did not agree. Stop being dishonest.


Huh? See the boldface above that you wrote.

“In the day” is equivalent to “when.” It is not a 24-hour period.

בְּי֛וֹם not י֥וֹם

Stop playing games.

So, you agree with me?   :D


I agree that ביום and יומ are two different contexts of the word יום, and that the word has different meanings in those contexts. Similarly, there are passages that talk about "day and night". In those contexts, יום means (about 12-hours) of daylight time (Gn 8:22; 31:39, 40) in contrast to the (about 12-hours) of night time.

Then stop stating that I agree with you.

Then more muddying the waters with irrelevant connections. Stop it, Brian.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Charles Austin on December 10, 2017, 11:18:10 PM
 How about a moratorium on the “stop it, Brian“ one liners?
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 11, 2017, 12:53:06 AM
No, Brian, "in the day," which you brought up, does not refer to a specific day, so it is not a 24-hour period.

So you agree that in some contexts, יום does not mean "a 24-hour period". That was all that I was asking. My Hebrew-English Lexicon offers seven different definitions of the word.

No, Brian, I did not agree. Stop being dishonest.


Huh? See the boldface above that you wrote.

“In the day” is equivalent to “when.” It is not a 24-hour period.

בְּי֛וֹם not י֥וֹם

Stop playing games.

So, you agree with me?   :D


I agree that ביום and יומ are two different contexts of the word יום, and that the word has different meanings in those contexts. Similarly, there are passages that talk about "day and night". In those contexts, יום means (about 12-hours) of daylight time (Gn 8:22; 31:39, 40) in contrast to the (about 12-hours) of night time.

Then stop stating that I agree with you.

Then more muddying the waters with irrelevant connections. Stop it, Brian.


What you call "muddying the waters with irrelevant connections" is precisely what is involved in critical exegesis. To properly answer the question what is meant by the word יום all the different meanings and variations need to be explored. Even if they appear to be meaningless - they many different uses of the word are part of the data that needs to be collected to make informed decisions about meaning.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Timothy Schenks on December 11, 2017, 01:56:18 AM
It was not the entire district. It was just the pastors.  I have not heard if any circuit forums or congregation’s were rebuked by the Seminary faculty for submitting similar overtures.

Although those on BJS seem to revel in calling the CSL response a "rebuke," that is hardly fair, Mr. Schenks. A rebuke "suggests a sharp or stern reproof." That's certainly not what the CSL letter did. Rather, it seems that, because the districts were combative about the issue, they want to characterize CSL as being equally so. That's simply wrong.

You have publicly stated that the Concordia Journal should retract the article. Why?

If the unanimous pastors of two districts are asked by Dr. Dale Meyer to change their vote it sure looks like a stern reproof to me.

How can a seminary faculty ask a pastors’ conference that is already adjourned to rescind a previously moved, seconded, deliberated, and passed resolution to the district and synod conventions?  If they can be asked to do this, then the magazine could also be asked to retract.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Timothy Schenks on December 11, 2017, 02:00:22 AM

d) This is an opportunity, then, for laity from all sides of the various issues to request inclusion from their local and national leadership in the Koinonia Process. 

Dave Benke

Pr. Benke, you keep saying that but the requests are still being ignored.  I’ve posted about this several times, but apparently you think I’m a liar.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Timothy Schenks on December 11, 2017, 02:05:00 AM
As an aside, Mr. Schenks, thank you for the reminder about the Chicago Theses. I had forgotten that part of our history! BTW, you might find it interesting that the LCMS and the ULCA never got past the issue of the inspiration of Scripture when it came to the Brief Statement. For some other background on how the Brief Statement came about and was to be used, you might want to listen to CSL course Controversy in the LCMS--1960s and 70s by Erik Herrmann and Gerhard Bode. It can be found under podcasts on iTunes. They discuss the origin and use of the Brief Statement during the course.

 I will look that up. Thanks!  ;D
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on December 11, 2017, 08:14:05 AM
No, Brian, "in the day," which you brought up, does not refer to a specific day, so it is not a 24-hour period.

So you agree that in some contexts, יום does not mean "a 24-hour period". That was all that I was asking. My Hebrew-English Lexicon offers seven different definitions of the word.

No, Brian, I did not agree. Stop being dishonest.


Huh? See the boldface above that you wrote.

“In the day” is equivalent to “when.” It is not a 24-hour period.

בְּי֛וֹם not י֥וֹם

Stop playing games.

So, you agree with me?   :D


I agree that ביום and יומ are two different contexts of the word יום, and that the word has different meanings in those contexts. Similarly, there are passages that talk about "day and night". In those contexts, יום means (about 12-hours) of daylight time (Gn 8:22; 31:39, 40) in contrast to the (about 12-hours) of night time.

Then stop stating that I agree with you.

Then more muddying the waters with irrelevant connections. Stop it, Brian.


What you call "muddying the waters with irrelevant connections" is precisely what is involved in critical exegesis. To properly answer the question what is meant by the word יום all the different meanings and variations need to be explored. Even if they appear to be meaningless - they many different uses of the word are part of the data that needs to be collected to make informed decisions about meaning.

And the context in question is that י֥וֹם is specified as being "the morning and the evening." So, what is the relevance of a "night and day" use which you limit to times of the year around the equinoxes?
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on December 11, 2017, 08:36:20 AM
Then stop stating that I agree with you.

Then more muddying the waters with irrelevant connections. Stop it, Brian.

How about a moratorium on the “stop it, Brian“ one liners?

says the English-major wordsmith.   ::)
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: D. Engebretson on December 11, 2017, 08:39:10 AM
I am curious - Let's say we take the "day" of Genesis 1 as a period of indeterminate length, even of great length. What does that ultimately mean for the overall message of the Bible?  One issue I can see is the issue of death and its relation to sin.  How do those who support the "day" of Genesis as a very long period of time see the impact of this on the message of Scripture?
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 11, 2017, 11:04:58 AM
I am curious - Let's say we take the "day" of Genesis 1 as a period of indeterminate length, even of great length. What does that ultimately mean for the overall message of the Bible?  One issue I can see is the issue of death and its relation to sin.  How do those who support the "day" of Genesis as a very long period of time see the impact of this on the message of Scripture?


There's no indication in Genesis 1 or 2 that death was not part of the original creation. If the humans were immortal from the moment of creation, there would have been no need for the Tree of Life in the garden that would cause the humans to live forever (Genesis 3:22). There is also the issue of where did God get the "skins" to make the clothes for the first humans (Genesis 3:21). Normally, skins that are used for clothing come from dead animals.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on December 11, 2017, 11:21:28 AM
There is also the issue of where did God get the "skins" to make the clothes for the first humans (Genesis 3:21). Normally, skins that are used for clothing come from dead animals.

This after the Fall.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: SomeoneWrites on December 11, 2017, 12:04:16 PM
I am curious - Let's say we take the "day" of Genesis 1 as a period of indeterminate length, even of great length. What does that ultimately mean for the overall message of the Bible?  One issue I can see is the issue of death and its relation to sin.  How do those who support the "day" of Genesis as a very long period of time see the impact of this on the message of Scripture?


There's no indication in Genesis 1 or 2 that death was not part of the original creation. If the humans were immortal from the moment of creation, there would have been no need for the Tree of Life in the garden that would cause the humans to live forever (Genesis 3:22). There is also the issue of where did God get the "skins" to make the clothes for the first humans (Genesis 3:21). Normally, skins that are used for clothing come from dead animals.

I don't understand why you don't use all the exegetical tools at your disposal.  You can look at to what Luther said, heck, even how other denominations have discovered, or other parts of the Bible to see how they interact.  You can even see what the Rabbi's thought http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/5999-fall-of-man

I am curious - Let's say we take the "day" of Genesis 1 as a period of indeterminate length, even of great length. What does that ultimately mean for the overall message of the Bible?  One issue I can see is the issue of death and its relation to sin.  How do those who support the "day" of Genesis as a very long period of time see the impact of this on the message of Scripture?

I really don't see day age come up in people's actual beliefs.  It's usually just a thought or consideration like a theological band-aid to make up for the time discrepancy.  In the LCMS it's either YEC or Omphalism.  Outside of the LCMS/WELS it seems to be Evolution with a bunch of maybe's. 

Even the topic of death and it's relation to sin (most often argued from Romans 6:23) is secondary (imo) to the nature of sin and the historicity of Adam.  The confessions assume this, and I've yet to hear how any Lutherans who accept evolution speak to this in any real capacity. 
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: aletheist on December 11, 2017, 12:17:47 PM
There's no indication in Genesis 1 or 2 that death was not part of the original creation.
There is also no indication in Genesis 1 or 2 that death was part of the original creation.  Of course, if it was, then according to God Himself it was (and presumably still is) "very good" (1:31).
If the humans were immortal from the moment of creation, there would have been no need for the Tree of Life in the garden that would cause the humans to live forever (Genesis 3:22).
There is no indication in Genesis 1 or 2 that eating from the tree of life was necessary for humans to avoid death before the Fall; in fact, God told Adam that he could eat from any tree in the garden, except one.  As with the skins, your reference comes from after the Fall.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: D. Engebretson on December 11, 2017, 04:23:17 PM
I am curious - Let's say we take the "day" of Genesis 1 as a period of indeterminate length, even of great length. What does that ultimately mean for the overall message of the Bible?  One issue I can see is the issue of death and its relation to sin.  How do those who support the "day" of Genesis as a very long period of time see the impact of this on the message of Scripture?


There's no indication in Genesis 1 or 2 that death was not part of the original creation. If the humans were immortal from the moment of creation, there would have been no need for the Tree of Life in the garden that would cause the humans to live forever (Genesis 3:22). There is also the issue of where did God get the "skins" to make the clothes for the first humans (Genesis 3:21). Normally, skins that are used for clothing come from dead animals.

According to Genesis 2:7 God breathed into Adam the "breath of life," at which point he became "a living being."  In Genesis 2:17 God warned Adam that in the day that he ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil he "would surely die."  Clearly a moment of death was anticipated in connection with this act of sinful rebellion against God's clear command.  Clearly death is the result of sin and the penalty against the life God breathed into Him.  How would we not connect death with sin, especially in light of Romans 5:12 - "Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned."  Before you answer I anticipate that you will claim that the death of Romans 5:12 is only a spiritual death, not a physical death, and likewise the death in Genesis 2.  If you do, where in Romans does Paul or God define death that way so that we can draw that conclusion over against the clear understanding of death as both spiritual and physical?
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: SomeoneWrites on December 11, 2017, 04:46:25 PM
I saw this on the BJS thread about the same subject.  I'm not gonna respond there, but this is one of those times to clear up any misconceptions anyone here may have. 

Quote
Also, are you aware of the following facts? If so, how do you deal with them?
1. Polystrate fossils such as vertical trees without root systems deposited all the way through supposed “millions of years” worth of layered sediments. (We’ve observed in the present day a mechanism at Mt. St. Helens which shows how this could happen catastrophically, but not gradually over eons.)
2. Dinosaur soft tissue – stretchy and including blood vessels & blood cells within them. In the present world, there is no mechanism for such tissue to be preserved for tens of thousands, let alone millions of years.
3. 40 feet of finely layered sediment laid down in one day at Mt. St. Helens, which is a very small catastrophe compared to what is recorded in Genesis.
4. A canyon cut out in one day at Mt. St. Helens. It’s named the little grand canyon because of the resemblance, and there’s a river that now flows through it. We know based on observations in the present world that the river DID NOT cut this canyon. (By the way, water would have needed to flow uphill for thousands of years if the Colorado river cut the Grand Canyon, so it’s a pretty safe assumption that the same is true there.)
5. Huge waves, sometimes even 90-degree bends, in sedimentary rock layers over 100 feet thick. If hardened before bending, they would break rather than bend.

This video speaks directly to questions 1+2
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fgpSrUWQplE

This one to the last 3
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Wa_ey3jGPs&t=11s
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 11, 2017, 05:02:12 PM
I am curious - Let's say we take the "day" of Genesis 1 as a period of indeterminate length, even of great length. What does that ultimately mean for the overall message of the Bible?  One issue I can see is the issue of death and its relation to sin.  How do those who support the "day" of Genesis as a very long period of time see the impact of this on the message of Scripture?


There's no indication in Genesis 1 or 2 that death was not part of the original creation. If the humans were immortal from the moment of creation, there would have been no need for the Tree of Life in the garden that would cause the humans to live forever (Genesis 3:22). There is also the issue of where did God get the "skins" to make the clothes for the first humans (Genesis 3:21). Normally, skins that are used for clothing come from dead animals.

According to Genesis 2:7 God breathed into Adam the "breath of life," at which point he became "a living being."  In Genesis 2:17 God warned Adam that in the day that he ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil he "would surely die."  Clearly a moment of death was anticipated in connection with this act of sinful rebellion against God's clear command.  Clearly death is the result of sin and the penalty against the life God breathed into Him.  How would we not connect death with sin, especially in light of Romans 5:12 - "Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned."  Before you answer I anticipate that you will claim that the death of Romans 5:12 is only a spiritual death, not a physical death, and likewise the death in Genesis 2.  If you do, where in Romans does Paul or God define death that way so that we can draw that conclusion over against the clear understanding of death as both spiritual and physical?


I certainly consider the "dying a death" in Genesis 2:17 to be a spiritual death. That is the only way I can make it fit "in the day" (בְיוֹם) of the same verse. (It's been discussed that בְיוֹם = "when", but when does that "when" happen?) Exactly the same word, בְיוֹם, is used in Genesis 3:5. "On the day" (or "when") they eat of the forbidden fruit their eyes will be opened and they will be like God knowing good and evil. That happened as soon as they ate. The "when" is "almost immediately." Thus, we should expect that the death they would die would happen "almost immediately" after eating the forbidden fruit. Their good relationship with God ended almost immediately after their disobedience. Their physical deaths would happen centuries later.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: D. Engebretson on December 11, 2017, 05:57:58 PM
I am curious - Let's say we take the "day" of Genesis 1 as a period of indeterminate length, even of great length. What does that ultimately mean for the overall message of the Bible?  One issue I can see is the issue of death and its relation to sin.  How do those who support the "day" of Genesis as a very long period of time see the impact of this on the message of Scripture?


There's no indication in Genesis 1 or 2 that death was not part of the original creation. If the humans were immortal from the moment of creation, there would have been no need for the Tree of Life in the garden that would cause the humans to live forever (Genesis 3:22). There is also the issue of where did God get the "skins" to make the clothes for the first humans (Genesis 3:21). Normally, skins that are used for clothing come from dead animals.

According to Genesis 2:7 God breathed into Adam the "breath of life," at which point he became "a living being."  In Genesis 2:17 God warned Adam that in the day that he ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil he "would surely die."  Clearly a moment of death was anticipated in connection with this act of sinful rebellion against God's clear command.  Clearly death is the result of sin and the penalty against the life God breathed into Him.  How would we not connect death with sin, especially in light of Romans 5:12 - "Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned."  Before you answer I anticipate that you will claim that the death of Romans 5:12 is only a spiritual death, not a physical death, and likewise the death in Genesis 2.  If you do, where in Romans does Paul or God define death that way so that we can draw that conclusion over against the clear understanding of death as both spiritual and physical?


I certainly consider the "dying a death" in Genesis 2:17 to be a spiritual death. That is the only way I can make it fit "in the day" (בְיוֹם) of the same verse. (It's been discussed that בְיוֹם = "when", but when does that "when" happen?) Exactly the same word, בְיוֹם, is used in Genesis 3:5. "On the day" (or "when") they eat of the forbidden fruit their eyes will be opened and they will be like God knowing good and evil. That happened as soon as they ate. The "when" is "almost immediately." Thus, we should expect that the death they would die would happen "almost immediately" after eating the forbidden fruit. Their good relationship with God ended almost immediately after their disobedience. Their physical deaths would happen centuries later.

Just out of curiosity, do you consider the Adam of this text an actual person or only representative/symbolic of man in general? And do you likewise interpret the eating of the "forbidden fruit" and equally symbolic vs. actual? I ask because I suspect you take it all symbolically and thus any discussion of individual terms (like death) is also influenced by that approach.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on December 11, 2017, 06:03:15 PM
I ask because I suspect you take it all symbolically and thus any discussion of individual terms (like death) is also influenced by that approach.

Along with "the Priestly writer...adapting the Babylonian creation myth for Jewish use."

If יום is used in some contexts to refer to something other than a 24-hour period, then it's possible that the Priestly writer in adapting the Babylonian creation myth for Jewish use, uses it to refer to something other than a 24-hour period.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Rob Morris on December 11, 2017, 09:45:48 PM
I saw this on the BJS thread about the same subject.  I'm not gonna respond there, but this is one of those times to clear up any misconceptions anyone here may have. 

Quote
Also, are you aware of the following facts? If so, how do you deal with them?
1. Polystrate fossils such as vertical trees without root systems deposited all the way through supposed “millions of years” worth of layered sediments. (We’ve observed in the present day a mechanism at Mt. St. Helens which shows how this could happen catastrophically, but not gradually over eons.)
2. Dinosaur soft tissue – stretchy and including blood vessels & blood cells within them. In the present world, there is no mechanism for such tissue to be preserved for tens of thousands, let alone millions of years.
3. 40 feet of finely layered sediment laid down in one day at Mt. St. Helens, which is a very small catastrophe compared to what is recorded in Genesis.
4. A canyon cut out in one day at Mt. St. Helens. It’s named the little grand canyon because of the resemblance, and there’s a river that now flows through it. We know based on observations in the present world that the river DID NOT cut this canyon. (By the way, water would have needed to flow uphill for thousands of years if the Colorado river cut the Grand Canyon, so it’s a pretty safe assumption that the same is true there.)
5. Huge waves, sometimes even 90-degree bends, in sedimentary rock layers over 100 feet thick. If hardened before bending, they would break rather than bend.

This video speaks directly to questions 1+2
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fgpSrUWQplE

This one to the last 3
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Wa_ey3jGPs&t=11s

I debated and decided against commenting last time you linked to this guy's videos. Decided to this time around.

I really and genuinely like to read/listen to alternative points of view, so I ask this with no malice... Can you link to someone who is less condescending and actually takes the time to make a constructive case?

For a few examples: I would think someone trying to promote genuine scientific reflection would tell me why successfully finding just one-third of the necessary componentry of one of the four necessary nucleotides (occurring in an intelligently-designed experiment) is anything approaching proof of abiogenesis? I am willing to hear the argument for it, but none is made. It's a fiat statement. It's essentially, "We found a third of a fourth came about when we tried to give it conditions that might make it occur. Oh, and a group thinks another third might be possible, though in forty years they haven't quite swung it." That's that.

Or tell me why finding fossilized skin covering 90% of a dinosaur (The video author's concession) is different from finding skin covering 90% of the dinosaur (the claim he mocks), or finding soft tissue material in the bones is different (thus Pothole) from finding soft tissue meat in the bones (the mock-worthy video). I am willing to be instructed, but he's too busy throwing shade.

I genuinely tried watching each of the videos you linked. I was interested in the data, but the smart-donkey-ness made it too hard to stomach.

Pothole's approach is unfortunately a perfect example of going about your argument in such a boorish way as to ensure that your current supporters will clap, your opponents will shut you out, and exactly zero minds will be changed. It isn't science, it's bullying. I will happily take a look at anything you recommend, but not if they continue along that vein.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: SomeoneWrites on December 11, 2017, 11:41:44 PM
I saw this on the BJS thread about the same subject.  I'm not gonna respond there, but this is one of those times to clear up any misconceptions anyone here may have. 

Quote
Also, are you aware of the following facts? If so, how do you deal with them?
1. Polystrate fossils such as vertical trees without root systems deposited all the way through supposed “millions of years” worth of layered sediments. (We’ve observed in the present day a mechanism at Mt. St. Helens which shows how this could happen catastrophically, but not gradually over eons.)
2. Dinosaur soft tissue – stretchy and including blood vessels & blood cells within them. In the present world, there is no mechanism for such tissue to be preserved for tens of thousands, let alone millions of years.
3. 40 feet of finely layered sediment laid down in one day at Mt. St. Helens, which is a very small catastrophe compared to what is recorded in Genesis.
4. A canyon cut out in one day at Mt. St. Helens. It’s named the little grand canyon because of the resemblance, and there’s a river that now flows through it. We know based on observations in the present world that the river DID NOT cut this canyon. (By the way, water would have needed to flow uphill for thousands of years if the Colorado river cut the Grand Canyon, so it’s a pretty safe assumption that the same is true there.)
5. Huge waves, sometimes even 90-degree bends, in sedimentary rock layers over 100 feet thick. If hardened before bending, they would break rather than bend.

This video speaks directly to questions 1+2
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fgpSrUWQplE

This one to the last 3
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Wa_ey3jGPs&t=11s

I debated and decided against commenting last time you linked to this guy's videos. Decided to this time around.

I really and genuinely like to read/listen to alternative points of view, so I ask this with no malice... Can you link to someone who is less condescending and actually takes the time to make a constructive case?

For a few examples: I would think someone trying to promote genuine scientific reflection would tell me why successfully finding just one-third of the necessary componentry of one of the four necessary nucleotides (occurring in an intelligently-designed experiment) is anything approaching proof of abiogenesis? I am willing to hear the argument for it, but none is made. It's a fiat statement. It's essentially, "We found a third of a fourth came about when we tried to give it conditions that might make it occur. Oh, and a group thinks another third might be possible, though in forty years they haven't quite swung it." That's that.

Or tell me why finding fossilized skin covering 90% of a dinosaur (The video author's concession) is different from finding skin covering 90% of the dinosaur (the claim he mocks), or finding soft tissue material in the bones is different (thus Pothole) from finding soft tissue meat in the bones (the mock-worthy video). I am willing to be instructed, but he's too busy throwing shade.

I genuinely tried watching each of the videos you linked. I was interested in the data, but the smart-donkey-ness made it too hard to stomach.

Pothole's approach is unfortunately a perfect example of going about your argument in such a boorish way as to ensure that your current supporters will clap, your opponents will shut you out, and exactly zero minds will be changed. It isn't science, it's bullying. I will happily take a look at anything you recommend, but not if they continue along that vein.

Thank you for speaking to me.  I've put warnings in other links about his language and snark.  The reason I've used him is the brevity and citations.  That, and just how clearly and directly he lays out the argument and support.  But I do hear you. 
so... 

I can tell you -
Progress regarding abiogenesis is not as solid as evolution.  There's some leads, and evidence of the formations of nucleotides and such things.  It's definitely plausible with what they got, but they can use more.  Right now there's a few competing theories, just like how plate tectonics competed against other theories. 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MPzWrv6l9l0

Regarding fossilized skin vs. skin, there's a difference.  In the fossilization process, the original material is actually gone and replaced with minerals, often silicates.  As you may have seen, many creationist groups will repeat the same errors. 
The same goes with finding dino blood, "meat," osteocytes,  etc.  The osteocytes were fossilized, which again means that there's no osteocytes there.   Just hemoglobin breakdown and some soft tissue (collagen).  There was no DNA.  Collagen is incredibly stable, and tests have shown that iron (from blood, in this case) acts as an even better preservative.  So you have a rapidly buried sealed "canister" of a stable compound with a preservative agent.  The sequencing of the T-Rex put it very similar to birds, which is more evidence of the connection between therapods and modern birds. 

If you'll go on to look at more misconceptions that keep popping up, here is a much better series to get you started.  I'm here for questions. 
https://www.youtube.com/user/qabala/videos


Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Timothy Schenks on December 11, 2017, 11:45:22 PM
I am a young earth creationist but I’m not a proponent of the idea that the Grand Canyon was formed to drain off the Great Flood.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Harvey_Mozolak on December 12, 2017, 07:42:14 AM
How can you tell it wasn't formed thusly, Timothy?
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Timothy Schenks on December 12, 2017, 09:52:09 AM
I can’t, but I don’t need to and shouldn’t have to use science to explain creation.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 12, 2017, 11:25:54 AM
I am curious - Let's say we take the "day" of Genesis 1 as a period of indeterminate length, even of great length. What does that ultimately mean for the overall message of the Bible?  One issue I can see is the issue of death and its relation to sin.  How do those who support the "day" of Genesis as a very long period of time see the impact of this on the message of Scripture?


There's no indication in Genesis 1 or 2 that death was not part of the original creation. If the humans were immortal from the moment of creation, there would have been no need for the Tree of Life in the garden that would cause the humans to live forever (Genesis 3:22). There is also the issue of where did God get the "skins" to make the clothes for the first humans (Genesis 3:21). Normally, skins that are used for clothing come from dead animals.

According to Genesis 2:7 God breathed into Adam the "breath of life," at which point he became "a living being."  In Genesis 2:17 God warned Adam that in the day that he ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil he "would surely die."  Clearly a moment of death was anticipated in connection with this act of sinful rebellion against God's clear command.  Clearly death is the result of sin and the penalty against the life God breathed into Him.  How would we not connect death with sin, especially in light of Romans 5:12 - "Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned."  Before you answer I anticipate that you will claim that the death of Romans 5:12 is only a spiritual death, not a physical death, and likewise the death in Genesis 2.  If you do, where in Romans does Paul or God define death that way so that we can draw that conclusion over against the clear understanding of death as both spiritual and physical?


I certainly consider the "dying a death" in Genesis 2:17 to be a spiritual death. That is the only way I can make it fit "in the day" (בְיוֹם) of the same verse. (It's been discussed that בְיוֹם = "when", but when does that "when" happen?) Exactly the same word, בְיוֹם, is used in Genesis 3:5. "On the day" (or "when") they eat of the forbidden fruit their eyes will be opened and they will be like God knowing good and evil. That happened as soon as they ate. The "when" is "almost immediately." Thus, we should expect that the death they would die would happen "almost immediately" after eating the forbidden fruit. Their good relationship with God ended almost immediately after their disobedience. Their physical deaths would happen centuries later.

Just out of curiosity, do you consider the Adam of this text an actual person or only representative/symbolic of man in general? And do you likewise interpret the eating of the "forbidden fruit" and equally symbolic vs. actual? I ask because I suspect you take it all symbolically and thus any discussion of individual terms (like death) is also influenced by that approach.


They are myths as my dictionary gives as the first definition: a traditional story, especially one concerning the early history of a people or explaining some natural or social phenomenon, and typically involving supernatural beings or events.


They are told to explain where humans came from, where disobedience to God came from, where pain in childbearing came from, why snakes crawl, why people die, etc. I also maintain that there two separate creation story myths - that likely were adapted from other creation myths of the surrounding people. Just as a preacher might talk about Hobbits and Elves in a sermon as if they are real people, so NT writers can talk about Adam as if he were a real person. They are all narrative characters.Real in the narratives. Not-so-real in reality. 
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: SomeoneWrites on December 12, 2017, 11:46:07 AM
They are told to explain where humans came from, where disobedience to God came from, where pain in childbearing came from, why snakes crawl, why people die, etc. I also maintain that there two separate creation story myths - that likely were adapted from other creation myths of the surrounding people. Just as a preacher might talk about Hobbits and Elves in a sermon as if they are real people, so NT writers can talk about Adam as if he were a real person. They are all narrative characters.Real in the narratives. Not-so-real in reality.

Thank you for speaking clearly and directly.  I actually agree with you.  I actually think that such a position is not in conflict with a saving faith in Jesus. 
I still think this is in conflict with the Lutheran Confessions in regards to original sin
http://bookofconcord.org/sd-originalsin.php 
This is being mindful of understanding what the authors intended, and how they understood it.  They assumed real persons in reality. 
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 12, 2017, 11:57:22 AM
They are told to explain where humans came from, where disobedience to God came from, where pain in childbearing came from, why snakes crawl, why people die, etc. I also maintain that there two separate creation story myths - that likely were adapted from other creation myths of the surrounding people. Just as a preacher might talk about Hobbits and Elves in a sermon as if they are real people, so NT writers can talk about Adam as if he were a real person. They are all narrative characters.Real in the narratives. Not-so-real in reality.

Thank you for speaking clearly and directly.  I actually agree with you.  I actually think that such a position is not in conflict with a saving faith in Jesus. 
I still think this is in conflict with the Lutheran Confessions in regards to original sin
http://bookofconcord.org/sd-originalsin.php (http://bookofconcord.org/sd-originalsin.php) 
This is being mindful of understanding what the authors intended, and how they understood it.  They assumed real persons in reality.


I don't consider our Lutheran Confessions to be infallible nor inerrant. "Adam" (or "Humanity") remains a character in a narrative.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: SomeoneWrites on December 12, 2017, 12:01:08 PM
They are told to explain where humans came from, where disobedience to God came from, where pain in childbearing came from, why snakes crawl, why people die, etc. I also maintain that there two separate creation story myths - that likely were adapted from other creation myths of the surrounding people. Just as a preacher might talk about Hobbits and Elves in a sermon as if they are real people, so NT writers can talk about Adam as if he were a real person. They are all narrative characters.Real in the narratives. Not-so-real in reality.

Thank you for speaking clearly and directly.  I actually agree with you.  I actually think that such a position is not in conflict with a saving faith in Jesus. 
I still think this is in conflict with the Lutheran Confessions in regards to original sin
http://bookofconcord.org/sd-originalsin.php (http://bookofconcord.org/sd-originalsin.php) 
This is being mindful of understanding what the authors intended, and how they understood it.  They assumed real persons in reality.


I don't consider our Lutheran Confessions to be infallible nor inerrant. "Adam" (or "Humanity") remains a character in a narrative.

This doesn't address what I've said.  What do you think I'm saying?
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: peterm on December 12, 2017, 03:46:47 PM
If we permit Scripture to interpret Scripture, the word “day” in Genesis 1 means the same thing as the word “day” in Exodus 20:11.  There is no question that the “day” in Exodus 20:11 is a normal day, which is about 24 hours long.  Now if we, instead of permitting the Scripture to interpret the Scripture, interpret the Scripture informed by extra-biblical opinions, theories, beliefs, or ideologies from the social, political, or natural sciences, we are breaking with sound hermeneutics and we are obfuscating what is inherently clear and straightforward.  There is no good biblical reason to interpret the days in Genesis 1 as being longer or shorter than the days of Exodus 20.

Psalm 90

2 Peter

Both speak of a day being to the Lord as a thousand years.....
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Dave Benke on December 12, 2017, 05:01:13 PM
If we permit Scripture to interpret Scripture, the word “day” in Genesis 1 means the same thing as the word “day” in Exodus 20:11.  There is no question that the “day” in Exodus 20:11 is a normal day, which is about 24 hours long.  Now if we, instead of permitting the Scripture to interpret the Scripture, interpret the Scripture informed by extra-biblical opinions, theories, beliefs, or ideologies from the social, political, or natural sciences, we are breaking with sound hermeneutics and we are obfuscating what is inherently clear and straightforward.  There is no good biblical reason to interpret the days in Genesis 1 as being longer or shorter than the days of Exodus 20.

Psalm 90

2 Peter

Both speak of a day being to the Lord as a thousand years.....

Thank you.

Dave Benke
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 12, 2017, 05:11:43 PM
They are told to explain where humans came from, where disobedience to God came from, where pain in childbearing came from, why snakes crawl, why people die, etc. I also maintain that there two separate creation story myths - that likely were adapted from other creation myths of the surrounding people. Just as a preacher might talk about Hobbits and Elves in a sermon as if they are real people, so NT writers can talk about Adam as if he were a real person. They are all narrative characters.Real in the narratives. Not-so-real in reality.

Thank you for speaking clearly and directly.  I actually agree with you.  I actually think that such a position is not in conflict with a saving faith in Jesus. 
I still think this is in conflict with the Lutheran Confessions in regards to original sin
http://bookofconcord.org/sd-originalsin.php (http://bookofconcord.org/sd-originalsin.php) 
This is being mindful of understanding what the authors intended, and how they understood it.  They assumed real persons in reality.


I don't consider our Lutheran Confessions to be infallible nor inerrant. "Adam" (or "Humanity") remains a character in a narrative.

This doesn't address what I've said.  What do you think I'm saying?


If it is in conflict with the Lutheran Confessions, I don't care. Scriptures trumps the confessions. The Confessions can be wrong. I'm suggesting that the comment about the Lutheran Confessions is irrelevant.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on December 12, 2017, 05:22:58 PM
If [the Biblical creation account as myth] is in conflict with the Lutheran Confessions, I don't care.

Yes, we know, Brian.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Charles Austin on December 12, 2017, 05:38:29 PM
And we know you know Pastor Kirchner.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Mark Schulz on December 12, 2017, 07:08:10 PM
If we must believe that death did not become a part of God's creation until after Adam and Eve sinned, then what about plant death? If Adam and Eve chose to pull, say, a live carrot from the ground for their evening meal one day, didn't that carrot indeed die as it was removed from its sources of nourishment and subsequently eaten and digested?

I find no problem whatsoever with "death as a result of sin" referring to the physical death of humans - the only creatures created in the image of God and as a result designed to live forever.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: gan ainm on December 12, 2017, 07:46:23 PM
If we must believe that death did not become a part of God's creation until after Adam and Eve sinned, then what about plant death? If Adam and Eve chose to pull, say, a live carrot from the ground for their evening meal one day, didn't that carrot indeed die as it was removed from its sources of nourishment and subsequently eaten and digested?

I find no problem whatsoever with "death as a result of sin" referring to the physical death of humans - the only creatures created in the image of God and as a result designed to live forever.

Where does it say in the Scriptures that man needed to eat or drink anything before the fall?  That is, does a being living in the perfect world, or in the new creation to come, require mortal food and drink for sustenance? 

Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 12, 2017, 07:58:42 PM
If we must believe that death did not become a part of God's creation until after Adam and Eve sinned, then what about plant death? If Adam and Eve chose to pull, say, a live carrot from the ground for their evening meal one day, didn't that carrot indeed die as it was removed from its sources of nourishment and subsequently eaten and digested?

I find no problem whatsoever with "death as a result of sin" referring to the physical death of humans - the only creatures created in the image of God and as a result designed to live forever.

Where does it say in the Scriptures that man needed to eat or drink anything before the fall?  That is, does a being living in the perfect world, or in the new creation to come, require mortal food and drink for sustenance?


True, it doesn't say that the humans were required to eat food, but there are these verses in Genesis 1 (boldface added).


29 Then God said, “I now give to you all the plants on the earth that yield seeds and all the trees whose fruit produces its seeds within it. These will be your food. 30 To all wildlife, to all the birds of the sky, and to everything crawling on the ground—to everything that breathes—I give all the green grasses for food.” And that’s what happened.

And in Genesis 2:

16 The Lord God commanded the human, “Eat your fill from all of the garden’s trees; 17 but don’t eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, because on the day you eat from it, you will die!”
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: readselerttoo on December 12, 2017, 08:20:55 PM
If we must believe that death did not become a part of God's creation until after Adam and Eve sinned, then what about plant death? If Adam and Eve chose to pull, say, a live carrot from the ground for their evening meal one day, didn't that carrot indeed die as it was removed from its sources of nourishment and subsequently eaten and digested?

I find no problem whatsoever with "death as a result of sin" referring to the physical death of humans - the only creatures created in the image of God and as a result designed to live forever.

Where does it say in the Scriptures that man needed to eat or drink anything before the fall?  That is, does a being living in the perfect world, or in the new creation to come, require mortal food and drink for sustenance?


True, it doesn't say that the humans were required to eat food, but there are these verses in Genesis 1 (boldface added).


29 Then God said, “I now give to you all the plants on the earth that yield seeds and all the trees whose fruit produces its seeds within it. These will be your food. 30 To all wildlife, to all the birds of the sky, and to everything crawling on the ground—to everything that breathes—I give all the green grasses for food.” And that’s what happened.

And in Genesis 2:

16 The Lord God commanded the human, “Eat your fill from all of the garden’s trees; 17 but don’t eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, because on the day you eat from it, you will die!”

Eating food from the other trees did not result in death.  There is eating for the pleasure of it without any view toward death, at least that is how I read before the Genesis 3 issue.  Food does not have to equate with staying alive, necessarily.  I think you are reading into the text rather than from the text, imo.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: foolishpride on December 12, 2017, 08:47:44 PM
what about plant death?

in Genesis 1:30: to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.

Not sure what breath of life means, but seems like the green plants, they ain't got it?
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Mark Schulz on December 12, 2017, 09:53:27 PM
So plants aren’t alive?!
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Mark Schulz on December 12, 2017, 10:04:14 PM
To be clear - I do not believe the Biblical account necessarily teaches a six, 24 hour day creation, or that plants and animals did not die until after Adam and Eve sinned. I do believe Adam and Eve are real, historical first humans, and that their sin brought death to all human beings. I do not believe the earth (and the universe in which that earth exists) is anything remotely close to 6000 years old. I do believe Genesis teaches that nothing in this creation is random or an accident, but that God created with meaning and purpose, and that Genesis clearly teaches that.

I also do not believe I am guilty of eisegesis or of magisterial treatment of Scripture. I believe my reading of God’s inerrant, inspired Word is just as reasonable as those who insist on young earth and six 24 hour creation days.

BTW - I also did not swear my theological allegiance to the Brief Statement when I was ordained, but rather to Scripture and the Confessions, which I also believe are perfectly in line with what I have said above.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: SomeoneWrites on December 12, 2017, 10:18:37 PM
If it is in conflict with the Lutheran Confessions, I don't care.
Noted.  Though I'm curious why you put it in the conditional, because you're talking like it is without saying it.  If it's to protect yourself, then I understand. 

Scriptures trumps the confessions.
Also noted.  Nothing wrong with that.

The Confessions can be wrong.
Even with Christian hat on, I agree.  I think it IS wrong on more than a couple things.  Nothing wrong with that either. 

I'm suggesting that the comment about the Lutheran Confessions is irrelevant.
It is only irrelevant if one doesn't teach that the Confessions are a true exposition of Scripture.  If they are said to be a true exposition of Scripture, then the caveat, I'm suggesting, should be clear and explicit.

what about plant death?

in Genesis 1:30: to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.

Not sure what breath of life means, but seems like the green plants, they ain't got it?
Yeah, I think this is accurate.  Plants are living, but not in the same way. I think it's also assumed that Humans are different from the beasts in a spiritual way. 

To be clear - I do not believe the Biblical account necessarily teaches a six, 24 hour day creation, or that plants and animals did not die until after Adam and Eve sinned. I do believe Adam and Eve are real, historical first humans, and that their sin brought death to all human beings.
The latter part seems to be the more important part for Lutherans (or at least the LCMS).

I do not believe the earth (and the universe in which that earth exists) is anything remotely close to 6000 years old.
This is where the other part of the LCMS usually goes Omphalist.  But I'm glad you recognize the apparent age of the planet/universe

 
I do believe Genesis teaches that nothing in this creation is random or an accident, but that God created with meaning and purpose, and that Genesis clearly teaches that.

I also do not believe I am guilty of eisegesis or of magisterial treatment of Scripture. I believe my reading of God’s inerrant, inspired Word is just as reasonable as those who insist on young earth and six 24 hour creation days.
I'd say it's more reasonable.  The historicity of Adam and Eve is still something, but you're still in line with the Confessions. 

Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 13, 2017, 01:53:03 AM
what about plant death?

in Genesis 1:30: to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.

Not sure what breath of life means, but seems like the green plants, they ain't got it?


Breath of life probably refers to breathing. Plants don't have lungs to breath air like the animals. That phrase was not used of the fish nor the birds on the previous day.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 13, 2017, 01:57:47 AM
If it is in conflict with the Lutheran Confessions, I don't care.
Noted.  Though I'm curious why you put it in the conditional, because you're talking like it is without saying it.  If it's to protect yourself, then I understand.



With the addition of a midweek Advent worship to prepare and practice for, and a council meeting, I didn't have time to read through the Confessions to see if they might disagree or not.

Quote
I'm suggesting that the comment about the Lutheran Confessions is irrelevant.
It is only irrelevant if one doesn't teach that the Confessions are a true exposition of Scripture.  If they are said to be a true exposition of Scripture, then the caveat, I'm suggesting, should be clear and explicit.


If the Confessions are a true exposition of Scriptures, why bother with Scriptures? My approach is, if what the Confessions proclaim is the truth from scriptures, we will find that same truth by studying scriptures even if we never look at the Confessions.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Timothy Schenks on December 13, 2017, 06:39:24 AM
If it is in conflict with the Lutheran Confessions, I don't care.
Noted.  Though I'm curious why you put it in the conditional, because you're talking like it is without saying it.  If it's to protect yourself, then I understand.



With the addition of a midweek Advent worship to prepare and practice for, and a council meeting, I didn't have time to read through the Confessions to see if they might disagree or not.

Quote
I'm suggesting that the comment about the Lutheran Confessions is irrelevant.
It is only irrelevant if one doesn't teach that the Confessions are a true exposition of Scripture.  If they are said to be a true exposition of Scripture, then the caveat, I'm suggesting, should be clear and explicit.


If the Confessions are a true exposition of Scriptures, why bother with Scriptures? My approach is, if what the Confessions proclaim is the truth from scriptures, we will find that same truth by studying scriptures even if we never look at the Confessions.

Good luck in your new life of non-denominational fundamentalism then. There is a reason the Lutheran Confessions are named Concordia, and you most certainly know that.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Harry Edmon on December 13, 2017, 12:25:11 PM
Dr. Arand has another post on the concordiatheology blog on creation, the first of a series on the different views of creation in Evangelicalism and the need to articulate our Lutheran voice.

https://concordiatheology.org/2017/12/evangelical-creation-debates-travel-guide/
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 13, 2017, 01:48:24 PM
If it is in conflict with the Lutheran Confessions, I don't care.
Noted.  Though I'm curious why you put it in the conditional, because you're talking like it is without saying it.  If it's to protect yourself, then I understand.



With the addition of a midweek Advent worship to prepare and practice for, and a council meeting, I didn't have time to read through the Confessions to see if they might disagree or not.

Quote
I'm suggesting that the comment about the Lutheran Confessions is irrelevant.
It is only irrelevant if one doesn't teach that the Confessions are a true exposition of Scripture.  If they are said to be a true exposition of Scripture, then the caveat, I'm suggesting, should be clear and explicit.


If the Confessions are a true exposition of Scriptures, why bother with Scriptures? My approach is, if what the Confessions proclaim is the truth from scriptures, we will find that same truth by studying scriptures even if we never look at the Confessions.

Good luck in your new life of non-denominational fundamentalism then. There is a reason the Lutheran Confessions are named Concordia, and you most certainly know that.


Yes, I know that they are named that - like LCMS schools. I also think that, while concord might have been it's intentions, it has never happened. Lutherans are not of "one heart". In fact, the ELCA finds agreeing with some other denominations easier than agreeing with some other Lutherans. The Book of Concord is a book of divisiveness rather than concord.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Michael Slusser on December 13, 2017, 02:11:49 PM
Dr. Arand has another post on the concordiatheology blog on creation, the first of a series on the different views of creation in Evangelicalism and the need to articulate our Lutheran voice.

https://concordiatheology.org/2017/12/evangelical-creation-debates-travel-guide/
I have a lot of respect for Dr. Charles Arand and look forward to his future posts announced for that blog. I note that he plans to show that the Lutheran view does not coincide with any of the three major Evangelical views (theistic evolution, old earth creationism, young earth creationism).

Peace,
Michael
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: John_Hannah on December 13, 2017, 02:32:08 PM
Dr. Arand has another post on the concordiatheology blog on creation, the first of a series on the different views of creation in Evangelicalism and the need to articulate our Lutheran voice.

https://concordiatheology.org/2017/12/evangelical-creation-debates-travel-guide/
I have a lot of respect for Dr. Charles Arand and look forward to his future posts announced for that blog. I note that he plans to show that the Lutheran view does not coincide with any of the three major Evangelical views (theistic evolution, old earth creationism, young earth creationism).

Peace,
Michael


Yes, I saw that and am wondering where this will go.  For many years I have wondered why we seem captive to Reformed and Fundamentalist theories.  I admire the Roman Catholic position, which remains faithful to Scripture and the Creed, while being respectful of legitimate science.   :)

Peace, JOHN
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Steven W Bohler on December 13, 2017, 03:58:19 PM
If it is in conflict with the Lutheran Confessions, I don't care.
Noted.  Though I'm curious why you put it in the conditional, because you're talking like it is without saying it.  If it's to protect yourself, then I understand.



With the addition of a midweek Advent worship to prepare and practice for, and a council meeting, I didn't have time to read through the Confessions to see if they might disagree or not.

Quote
I'm suggesting that the comment about the Lutheran Confessions is irrelevant.
It is only irrelevant if one doesn't teach that the Confessions are a true exposition of Scripture.  If they are said to be a true exposition of Scripture, then the caveat, I'm suggesting, should be clear and explicit.


If the Confessions are a true exposition of Scriptures, why bother with Scriptures? My approach is, if what the Confessions proclaim is the truth from scriptures, we will find that same truth by studying scriptures even if we never look at the Confessions.

Good luck in your new life of non-denominational fundamentalism then. There is a reason the Lutheran Confessions are named Concordia, and you most certainly know that.


Yes, I know that they are named that - like LCMS schools. I also think that, while concord might have been it's intentions, it has never happened. Lutherans are not of "one heart". In fact, the ELCA finds agreeing with some other denominations easier than agreeing with some other Lutherans. The Book of Concord is a book of divisiveness rather than concord.

And yet you swore an oath to teach in accord with that book.  Or is that not the case with ELCA/ALC/LCA pastors?
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on December 13, 2017, 05:04:20 PM

If the Confessions are a true exposition of Scriptures, why bother with Scriptures? My approach is, if what the Confessions proclaim is the truth from scriptures, we will find that same truth by studying scriptures even if we never look at the Confessions.

If the Confessions are not a true exposition of Scriptures, why bother with the Confessions?  To which you promised, "by the help of God," at your ordination to "preach and teach the Word of God in accordance with."

Pax, Steven+
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 13, 2017, 07:46:53 PM

If the Confessions are a true exposition of Scriptures, why bother with Scriptures? My approach is, if what the Confessions proclaim is the truth from scriptures, we will find that same truth by studying scriptures even if we never look at the Confessions.

If the Confessions are not a true exposition of Scriptures, why bother with the Confessions?  To which you promised, "by the help of God," at your ordination to "preach and teach the Word of God in accordance with."


Yes, and I also vowed to "be diligent in your study of the Holy Scriptures and in your use of the means of grace." There was nothing about being diligent in my study of the Book of Concord.   
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on December 13, 2017, 08:29:13 PM
But heh, he's "Lutheran through and through."   ::)
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 13, 2017, 09:35:33 PM
But heh, he's "Lutheran through and through."   ::)


And Paul was Jewish through and through - even a Pharisee, and blameless according to the Law.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on December 13, 2017, 10:10:43 PM
But heh, he's "Lutheran through and through."   ::)

And Paul was Jewish through and through - even a Pharisee, and blameless according to the Law.

Indeed. By such a comparison and your relatively low opinion of the Confessions when compared to your personal study of Scripture, you seem to count your Lutheran upbringing as loss.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: SomeoneWrites on December 13, 2017, 10:17:42 PM
So yah.

I'm stoked when people understand and accept the truth of Evolution.  But at the same time, I still don't see how it's compatible with the confessions.  Even a caveat, like "all but this...".  The position of taking the confessions as a historical document makes sense to me, but that vow throws a monkey wrench into it. 
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Rob Morris on December 13, 2017, 11:11:00 PM
So yah.

I'm stoked when people understand and accept the truth of Evolution.  But at the same time, I still don't see how it's compatible with the confessions.  Even a caveat, like "all but this...".  The position of taking the confessions as a historical document makes sense to me, but that vow throws a monkey wrench into it.

Why would that make you be stoked? Not snark - what excites you about people "understanding and accepting the truth of evolution"? In what way do you believe that this understanding and acceptance has benefited them or you?
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: SomeoneWrites on December 14, 2017, 12:25:53 AM
So yah.

I'm stoked when people understand and accept the truth of Evolution.  But at the same time, I still don't see how it's compatible with the confessions.  Even a caveat, like "all but this...".  The position of taking the confessions as a historical document makes sense to me, but that vow throws a monkey wrench into it.

Why would that make you be stoked? Not snark - what excites you about people "understanding and accepting the truth of evolution"? In what way do you believe that this understanding and acceptance has benefited them or you?

I read you're posts - it is very easy to put the best construction on the things you say.  Even then, thank you for the clear expression of your disposition. 

Anyhoo, it's actually kind of simple.  I like when people understand and accept things that are true.  - Round Earth, Evolution, etc.   It moves the conversation forward to better topics.  Even theological/religious discussions I like to hear about ethics, systematics, interpretations (and usually, I'm looking for consistency). 
On a bigger picture, I think it's better for the next generations to understand biology, physics, geology, astronomy, chemistry, etc.  - I get stoked when people understand.  That applies to history, literature, and the social sciences as well.
I get just as wonky when someone says the holocaust didn't happen or that clinical psychology is secular gobbledygook. 

So when it comes to certain bits about Evolution, omphalism I can at least handle.  The errors in YEC drive me batty.

- anecdotally, and as far as benefit, I look at it more like this.
I remember a friend who thought London was a country.  She was 22 at the time.    It's like... "ugh." 
I don't think it's incredibly helpful specifically that I know a decent chunk of geography, but I do think it's good for people to have a general body of knowledge.  I haven't used trig since I last set down my pencil in undergrad.  But a general knowledge of things - like a high school education is arguably a decent minimal standard.  Evolution is part of that. 
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 14, 2017, 01:10:40 AM
But heh, he's "Lutheran through and through."   ::)

And Paul was Jewish through and through - even a Pharisee, and blameless according to the Law.

Indeed. By such a comparison and your relatively low opinion of the Confessions when compared to your personal study of Scripture, you seem to count your Lutheran upbringing as loss.


In my youth I saw myself as a Lutheran first and a Christian second. Now that I'm older - and, in fact, better understand Lutheranism, I see myself as a Christian first (a follower of Christ), and a Lutheran second. There are questions about whether or not Paul gave up his Jewish practices when he became a Christ follower, e.g., follow a kosher diet.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on December 14, 2017, 01:52:53 AM

If the Confessions are a true exposition of Scriptures, why bother with Scriptures? My approach is, if what the Confessions proclaim is the truth from scriptures, we will find that same truth by studying scriptures even if we never look at the Confessions.

If the Confessions are not a true exposition of Scriptures, why bother with the Confessions?  To which you promised, "by the help of God," at your ordination to "preach and teach the Word of God in accordance with."

Yes, and I also vowed to "be diligent in your study of the Holy Scriptures and in your use of the means of grace." There was nothing about being diligent in my study of the Book of Concord.   

Other than that your preaching and teaching will be in accordance with the Lutheran Confessions.  :(
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: pastorg1@aol.com on December 14, 2017, 02:48:51 AM
This point was made clear to one of my more reformed colleagues at PLTS the 80’s.
He asked if he had to go along with the Confessions and was told yes.
He made sure to study and be able to commit himself to the Confessions.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Charles Austin on December 14, 2017, 05:47:33 AM
Steven writes that our preaching and teaching are to be "in accordance with the Lutheran Confessions."
I agree, but there is much breadth of understanding, interpretation, meaning and wiggle-osity to that phrase, "in accordance with."
In applying a strict, literal, wooden usage of the confessions, I do not think that the practices and policies of any of our denominations - the LCMS included - are "in accordance with" those honored documents.
The Book of Concord has been on my desk as a frequently used reference for 50 years, yet I know that certain things taught and done by the ULCA, LCA, and ELCA have not been and are not strictly "in accordance" with a simplistic reading of everything in it.
And so those who seek a narrow concept of "in accordance with" are trying to lock the doors on a barn already devoid of horses.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Matt Hummel on December 14, 2017, 08:47:14 AM
Brian-

May I in all honesty and fraternity suggest that given your statements over the years, that you have the courage of your convictions and leave the Lutheran ministry? I am not sure to where God is calling you, but don’t live in hypocrisy. Live in integrity.

Before anyone thinks I am judging, I am not. The issue is whether you should shepherd in the Lutheran flock.

Several others on this board (me included) have made the decision, and I would guess would be willing to talk in private with you.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: SomeoneWrites on December 14, 2017, 08:57:21 AM
Steven writes that our preaching and teaching are to be "in accordance with the Lutheran Confessions."
I agree, but there is much breadth of understanding, interpretation, meaning and wiggle-osity to that phrase, "in accordance with."
In applying a strict, literal, wooden usage of the confessions, I do not think that the practices and policies of any of our denominations - the LCMS included - are "in accordance with" those honored documents.
The Book of Concord has been on my desk as a frequently used reference for 50 years, yet I know that certain things taught and done by the ULCA, LCA, and ELCA have not been and are not strictly "in accordance" with a simplistic reading of everything in it.
And so those who seek a narrow concept of "in accordance with" are trying to lock the doors on a barn already devoid of horses.

I thought about this in the context of wedding vows, that approach seems absurd.  I get people fail wedding vows near constantly.  I didn't take the Confessional vow, I couldn't.  And If I took wedding vows, even if failed them - which I'm sure I would in some way, I'd still not approach them like this. 
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Charles Austin on December 14, 2017, 09:25:45 AM
I find it passing strange, Mr. Hummel, that from your perspective as an ex-Lutheran now a Roman Catholic, you think you should investigate whether Pastor Stoffregen should "shepherd in the Lutheran flock."
-I find it downright weird that as discussions about the confessions take place, it is soon decided that one should be a wooden-head literalist about those historic (not "biblical", but historic) documents.
-I do not bow to the confessions on every matter related to today's mission and ministry, and neither does the ELCA.
-I do not bow to the confessions on matters of biology, astronomy, or geology, nor am I bound by the views on those things held by the confession-writers.
-I do not bow to the confessions on every interpretation of any verse of scripture they may cite.
-I do not bow to the confessions on matters which have clearly changed in the last 500 years.
-I do not bow to the confessions on matters of ecclesiology which could harm the proclamation of the Gospel in our time.
     For the past 50 years, as I have experienced Lutheranism in this country and around the world, I find a Lutheranism that is - proudly and boldly - more ecumenical, more mission-oriented, more pastoral, and more scholarly than anything in the confessions.
    And neither the views of ex-Lutherans, self-proclaimed hyper-Lutherans, paranoid Lutherans, or Lutherans who feel their faith,profession and dainty self was wounded by some action of a synod, national assembly, or bishop reflect the Lutheranism in which I have ministered as layman, pastor, church official and journalist.
    So go ahead, Mr. Hummel. Call out your panel of those who think people like this humble correspondent and Pastor Stoffregen should leave the Lutheran ministry.
    I will have a suggestion for you if you do that.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: gan ainm on December 14, 2017, 10:24:42 AM
The serpent is certainly working his craftiness.  As to frequent use of humble as a self descriptor - what a joke, no, a disgrace, to the orthodox.  In my experience one who repeatedly uses "I" so often ... well, it is usually a mark of narcissism as to whom one's god really is - the one in the mirror.  I pray the Lord will open the eyes of the blind before it is too late.

Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Charles Austin on December 14, 2017, 11:14:01 AM
In my experience, the serpent hides behind a phony identity. Or a person who hide behind a phony identity is too much of a coward to take seriously
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on December 14, 2017, 01:22:14 PM
Steven writes that our preaching and teaching are to be "in accordance with the Lutheran Confessions."

I was quoting directly from the Rite for Ordination in The Occasional Services from the Service Book and Hymnal , which is the rite used when you and Brian were ordained.  Your problem is not with me.

Fraternally, Steven+
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Charles Austin on December 14, 2017, 01:51:41 PM
 And I explained, Steven, how I see that phrase.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 14, 2017, 03:29:30 PM

If the Confessions are a true exposition of Scriptures, why bother with Scriptures? My approach is, if what the Confessions proclaim is the truth from scriptures, we will find that same truth by studying scriptures even if we never look at the Confessions.

If the Confessions are not a true exposition of Scriptures, why bother with the Confessions?  To which you promised, "by the help of God," at your ordination to "preach and teach the Word of God in accordance with."

Yes, and I also vowed to "be diligent in your study of the Holy Scriptures and in your use of the means of grace." There was nothing about being diligent in my study of the Book of Concord.   

Other than that your preaching and teaching will be in accordance with the Lutheran Confessions.  :(


Certainly. Exactly what I was taught about the Confessions at seminary.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 14, 2017, 03:42:50 PM
Brian-

May I in all honesty and fraternity suggest that given your statements over the years, that you have the courage of your convictions and leave the Lutheran ministry? I am not sure to where God is calling you, but don’t live in hypocrisy. Live in integrity.


I most certainly teach and preach in accordance with the scriptures and our confessions; but I am also an ELCA brand of Lutheran. We don't look at the Confessions in the same way that LCMS or WELS folks do. As I stated in another post, this Book of Concord has done nearly the opposite of what it's name implies. It hasn't brought Lutherans (and other Christians) together "with one heart," but continues to be a source of divisions among Lutherans and between denominations.


The ELCA is working counter to that trend. It is the uniting of many different strains of Lutheranism in America: Germans, Norwegians, Swedes, Danes, Icelanders, etc. We are one of the most ecumenical of denominations with full communion agreements with numerous denominations, and continued discussions with others.


We have a woman as the presiding bishop of our denomination while most of the other Lutherans in America prohibit women from being ordained. We can't possibly be understanding our Confessions in the same way.


One of the things that we are to do as Lutherans is to take adiaphora seriously.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Dan Fienen on December 14, 2017, 05:33:33 PM
It is good to know that in their efforts to be authentically Lutheran, exemplars of Lutheranism, the examples, defenders, and advocates for the Evangelical  Lutheran Church of America our brothers have thrown off the shackles of the Lutheran Confessions for a more scholarly, up to date and above all authentic Lutheranism.  Now those who wish to be authentic 21st Century Lutherans can learn to treat the Confessions as other ancient documents, a measure of where we have been and a source of insight and inspiration.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: gan ainm on December 14, 2017, 05:53:39 PM
In my experience, the serpent hides behind a phony identity. Or a person who hide behind a phony identity is too much of a coward to take seriously

Top O' the mornin' to you too!  Don't you have any Irish friends?  Or just plain friends?  What makes you think my forum name is not my real name?  Special mind reading powers? (Oh, yes, I almost forgot you are apparently your own mind reading god of all acclaim, so perhaps.  The good news is there is always time to repent until there isn't.)

As for the coward comment, apparently you take me seriously enough to respond to my post .   :o

Oh, by the way dearest English major, you forgot to place a period at the end of your last sentence in the post.   ;D

And, to end on the Gospel, Jesus has forgiven you.  And so does this Irish writer.  :)  Cheers, and try to post some items of substance and not just snark or condescension.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: D. Engebretson on December 14, 2017, 06:00:43 PM
There is no doubt that unity around the Book of Concord has failed in the broader Lutheran community.  However, unity around the Bible has failed equally.  There are very different approaches to each between the ELCA on the one hand, and the LCMS/WELS/ELS et al on the other. 

Given the great diversity even between the ELCA and the Episcopalians and others with whom they are in fellowship, what would they identify as the unifying "glue" that holds them together?  It is not a completely unified understanding of Holy Scripture.  It is certainly not unity between the historic confessional documents of the various denominations.  It isn't even a completely unified doctrine of the church.  With such great diversity what is it that keeps them in such a unified fellowship that is not possible with other Lutherans?
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: gan ainm on December 14, 2017, 06:07:57 PM
There is no doubt that unity around the Book of Concord has failed in the broader Lutheran community.  However, unity around the Bible has failed equally.  There are very different approaches to each between the ELCA on the one hand, and the LCMS/WELS/ELS et al on the other. 

Given the great diversity even between the ELCA and the Episcopalians and others with whom they are in fellowship, what would they identify as the unifying "glue" that holds them together?  It is not a completely unified understanding of Holy Scripture.  It is certainly not unity between the historic confessional documents of the various denominations.  It isn't even a completely unified doctrine of the church.  With such great diversity what is it that keeps them in such a unified fellowship that is not possible with other Lutherans?

The desire to create heaven on earth?   Paying attention to the culture's desires and bringing them into the denominations in the hope of ????? 

Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Charles Austin on December 14, 2017, 06:57:34 PM
Pastor Fienen, it is not the shackles of the confessions which need to be broken, it is the shackles of a literalistic wooden-headed locked-into-the-16-century reading of those confessions That no longer serves the Gospel Mission. Please stop saying we have abandoned the confessions.
Be any kind of Lutheran you want to be.
You don’t have to be in ELCA kind of Lutheran. So why do you whine and cry and play the victim when you think you are being criticized?
Do you believe that today your church body completely follows everything in the confessions? Do you really believe that? Or are there things in the confessions that you do not follow and that have changed over the last 500 years?
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 14, 2017, 07:06:10 PM
There is no doubt that unity around the Book of Concord has failed in the broader Lutheran community.  However, unity around the Bible has failed equally.  There are very different approaches to each between the ELCA on the one hand, and the LCMS/WELS/ELS et al on the other. 

Given the great diversity even between the ELCA and the Episcopalians and others with whom they are in fellowship, what would they identify as the unifying "glue" that holds them together?  It is not a completely unified understanding of Holy Scripture.  It is certainly not unity between the historic confessional documents of the various denominations.  It isn't even a completely unified doctrine of the church.  With such great diversity what is it that keeps them in such a unified fellowship that is not possible with other Lutherans?


We agree about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That is enough.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 14, 2017, 07:07:56 PM
It is good to know that in their efforts to be authentically Lutheran, exemplars of Lutheranism, the examples, defenders, and advocates for the Evangelical  Lutheran Church of America our brothers have thrown off the shackles of the Lutheran Confessions for a more scholarly, up to date and above all authentic Lutheranism.  Now those who wish to be authentic 21st Century Lutherans can learn to treat the Confessions as other ancient documents, a measure of where we have been and a source of insight and inspiration.


What makes us Lutheran is Evangelical. Luther want those who followed him to be centered on the Gospel (evangel).
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on December 14, 2017, 07:25:46 PM
Centered, yes. Gospel reductionism, no. Which, in the end, denies the third use of the law. You know, Brian, that part of the Formula of Concord that you deny.

Oh, and then there's that whole two natures of Christ thing, which the Confessions confess but which you deny, according to the Confessions, to the extent that, in your confusion, you cannot even comprehend, much less articulate, the confession.

Which, of course, folds into your Nestorian confession.

Yeah, right. "I am Lutheran, through and through." Maybe, "I was."
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: gan ainm on December 14, 2017, 07:43:52 PM
Pastor Fienen, it is not the shackles of the confessions which need to be broken, it is the shackles of a literalistic wooden-headed locked-into-the-16-century reading of those confessions That no longer serves the Gospel Mission. Please stop saying we have abandoned the confessions.
Be any kind of Lutheran you want to be.
You don’t have to be in ELCA kind of Lutheran. So why do you whine and cry and play the victim when you think you are being criticized?
Do you believe that today your church body completely follows everything in the confessions? Do you really believe that? Or are there things in the confessions that you do not follow and that have changed over the last 500 years?

For those who believe the Word and subscribe to the belief that the Lutheran Confessions accurately express the Scriptures:

Heb 13:4 Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. 5 Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” 6 So we can confidently say,

“The Lord is my helper;
    I will not fear;
what can man do to me?”
7 Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. 8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: SomeoneWrites on December 14, 2017, 08:02:39 PM
*some questions for me*
Hey Rob Morris,
Remember how I was talking about things that drive me batty?

-snip- it is the shackles of a literalistic wooden-headed locked-into-the-16-century reading of those confessions...

-snip I most certainly teach and preach in accordance with the scriptures and our confessions;

-snip One of the things that we are to do as Lutherans is to take adiaphora seriously.


These kinda things do too.  I can understand most denominations.  I may disagree with them, but I feel I understand them.  The above... can't get my head around it.  Not for lack of trying. 
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Rob Morris on December 14, 2017, 08:35:23 PM
*some questions for me*
Hey Rob Morris,
Remember how I was talking about things that drive me batty?

-snip- it is the shackles of a literalistic wooden-headed locked-into-the-16-century reading of those confessions...

-snip I most certainly teach and preach in accordance with the scriptures and our confessions;

-snip One of the things that we are to do as Lutherans is to take adiaphora seriously.


These kinda things do too.  I can understand most denominations.  I may disagree with them, but I feel I understand them.  The above... can't get my head around it.  Not for lack of trying.


When the discussions take this kind of turn, I hear my mom's voice in my head saying, "Rob, if you can't say anything nice..." and I don't usually type anything.

I have wondered (in many times and many places, so this is not a passive-aggressive jab at Pastor Stoffregen or Pastor Austin) if there are times on the Internet that, "This person must just be trolling at this point," really is the 8th-commandment best construction I can put on things.

As to your reply way back this morning, I appreciated it. I definitely fall into the omphalist camp. I would squibble with the name, as I think it unnecessarily implies trickery where I see only artistry (just like a great author writes backstory and a great painter shows their subject's aging). But I don't squibble with it, as saying I am an Omphalist sounds like I specialize in the scientific study of Oompah-Loompahs. Which tends to end the conversation quickly.

A quick end to the evolution debate is fine with me because my complaint with the scientific community's trumpeting of evolution is that in most cases it has zero cash value. E.g. - I am pretty well-read on neuroscience (a natural outflow of my dad having a major TBI when I was in my early teens and my youngest son having childhood epilepsy). Shoehorned into those texts are always comments about "this balance between neuroexciters and neuroinhibitors evolved over hundreds of millions of years," even though that has absolutely zippo to do with any application to brain science today. In fact, if anything, brain science has become amazed at the neuroplasticity of the brain, the degree that it can change over the course of a single lifetime. No need to posit millions of years here. In fact, the whole mammalian/reptilian brain thing has been shown to be dead wrong and really stalled a proper understanding of the unique interplay of our brain's limbic and cortical systems.

Anyway, I am not a big fan of people pounding the table on either side. I have absolute confidence that what is recorded in Scripture is factually correct when seen from God's point of view. Which is, of course, the point of view I believe the Scriptures were written from. And it is a point of view I have to take by means of revelation more than reason. I am cool with that. I still go with six literal days, since it's the plainest reading of the Hebrew, but if I get to heaven and find out that wasn't quite it... what do I care? I'm in heaven, y'know. (Similarly, if I die and it turns out it was wrong and all I do is crumble in my grave... what do I care? I'm just crumbly.)

Have you come across the book "Amazing Truths" by Michael Guillen? It is written by a committed and conservative Christian who was the ABC Science News Editor (so, some legit street cred) about the ways that science and Scripture intersect. Some texts of that nature can be brutal, of the Russia-and-China-are-Gog-and-Magog-and-Jesus-is-returning-in-43-days variety. But I liked this one enough that halfway through I stopped so I could give it my focus while reading it with my elders, which we'll be taking up in the new year. If you get a chance to take a look, I'd value your take, either on the forum or via a private message.

Blessings,
Rob
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on December 14, 2017, 10:03:16 PM
Please stop saying we have abandoned the confessions.

Why, Charles, when one of our more recent social statements begins to explain what very quickly became our official practice and policy with, "Recognizing that this conclusion differs from the historic Christian tradition and the Lutheran Confessions," or (within the context of this particular topic) one of our better-known, widely-cited exegetes (whom you keep defending) keeps declaring that the Lutheran Confessions conflict with the Scriptures?

Pax, Steven+
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Charles Austin on December 14, 2017, 10:16:19 PM
If we re-interpret the Confessions, Steven, if we take issue with certain parts of them; if we find ways to do what they intended to do (seek Christian unity, for example) in ways outside of those cited in the confessions, we have not abandoned the Confessions.
I contend, as noted upstream, that those "strict confessionalists" who contend that it is close adherence to every word in the confessions that "makes" someone "Lutheran" are kidding themselves. They are delusional because they do not adhere to every word in the confessions, they do not bind themselves to every interpretation of scripture cited in those honored documents.
     Furthermore, I rarely see anything in the over and over and over again punch-outs on "confessionalism" that helps us proclaim the Gospel to a modern audience. Some "confessionalists" seem like those at that council in Jerusalem that contended one had to become a circumcised Jew before one could become a Christian.
    I do not believe people have to become 16th Century Germans before they can become Lutheran, or that those who pay no attention at all to "our" confessions - Episcopalians, Reformed, Roman Catholics, for example - must be shunned and avoided because they haven't signed off on the Augustana.
    But this is a well-rutted road.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Dan Fienen on December 14, 2017, 10:48:16 PM

It is indeed a well rutted road and some of the ruts are yours.  Accusations of literalism, or fundamentalism, or demanding that people become 16th century Germans before they can be Lutherans come easily to your lips and make it so easy to dismiss those with whom you disagree as fools, ignoramuses, craven cowards who are too fearful to really trust God, and unconcerned about outreach, evangelism or missions.  Thank God you are not like those of us who have infested your perfectly good discussion board and turned it away from its original purpose to discuss the wonders of the ELCA.


I know, I know, you have great esteem and regard for the true LCMS who was subverted from its glorious progress to being a fit partner to the LCA and ALC in ushering the glorious dawn of American Lutheranism as exemplified by the ELCA.  Its just us scurvy rats that you despise.  Well you endure with your saintly mien and patiently endurance, a victim of our unreasonable angst and calumny, persevering in your thankless calling of trying to bring some enlightenment and sanity to our irrational scribblings.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Charles Austin on December 14, 2017, 10:58:25 PM
I have rarely encountered anyone who enjoys pretending to be a victim more than you, Pastor Fienen.
I do not consider you a fool or an ignoramus or a coward, nor have I ever said you do not care about outreach, evangelism and mission. You persist persist persist in wanting to believe I am pouring moose poop all over you and your church. I am not doing that, but it seems to give you sugar-high kicks to think that I am.
But carry on.
I'd say have a nice day tomorrow; but you would howl that from my position which I consider higher than yours I am trying to control your day. So I won't.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 15, 2017, 03:15:02 AM
Centered, yes. Gospel reductionism, no. Which, in the end, denies the third use of the law. You know, Brian, that part of the Formula of Concord that you deny.


Where have I ever denied the third use of the law? I've argued that there is not a separate third use; that what the Formula talks about is that the law (uses 1 & 2) continue to apply to believers.

Quote
Oh, and then there's that whole two natures of Christ thing, which the Confessions confess but which you deny, according to the Confessions, to the extent that, in your confusion, you cannot even comprehend, much less articulate, the confession.


I have never denied the two natures of Christ thing. Christ is true humanity and true divinity. I've stated that numerous times. However, I also quote Philippians that says that Christ "did not consider being equal with God something to exploit. But he emptied himself" (2:8b-7a). It's like when Superman is Clark Kent - he still retains all of his super-powers, but doesn't make use of them. Jesus retained all of his divinity during the time "he took the form of a servant and by becoming like human beings" (Philippians 2:7bc), but didn't make use of them.


In addition, if it was Jesus' divinity that allowed him to do the miracles he died, what enabled the disciples to do all of the same miracles? They certainly didn't have the same divine nature that Christ did. Jesus sent out the Twelve and later the 70 who healed all the sick, before the Holy Spirit had come upon them at Pentecost.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 15, 2017, 03:19:56 AM
Please stop saying we have abandoned the confessions.

Why, Charles, when one of our more recent social statements begins to explain what very quickly became our official practice and policy with, "Recognizing that this conclusion differs from the historic Christian tradition and the Lutheran Confessions," or (within the context of this particular topic) one of our better-known, widely-cited exegetes (whom you keep defending) keeps declaring that the Lutheran Confessions conflict with the Scriptures?


Who has said that they conflict with scriptures? I've never stated that. I have stated that if there is a conflict, scriptures win. I have stated that if the confessions truly contain the truth of scriptures (and I think that they do,) good exegetes will also find that same truth by studying scriptures.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: D. Engebretson on December 15, 2017, 10:00:49 AM
There is no doubt that unity around the Book of Concord has failed in the broader Lutheran community.  However, unity around the Bible has failed equally.  There are very different approaches to each between the ELCA on the one hand, and the LCMS/WELS/ELS et al on the other. 

Given the great diversity even between the ELCA and the Episcopalians and others with whom they are in fellowship, what would they identify as the unifying "glue" that holds them together?  It is not a completely unified understanding of Holy Scripture.  It is certainly not unity between the historic confessional documents of the various denominations.  It isn't even a completely unified doctrine of the church.  With such great diversity what is it that keeps them in such a unified fellowship that is not possible with other Lutherans?


We agree about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That is enough.

And that in itself is complicated.  As we both know "Gospel" is taken in the scriptures and in the confessions in both a narrow and a broad sense. And even in the narrow sense there are those who see Gospel in a much broader way, especially regarding the person and mission of Jesus Christ.  If agreeing about the Gospel of Jesus Christ is "enough," how do you determine exactly what "enough" of the Gospel is for there to be unity?  Lowest common denominator?
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Timothy Schenks on December 15, 2017, 02:03:49 PM
So yah.

I'm stoked when people understand and accept the truth of Evolution.  But at the same time, I still don't see how it's compatible with the confessions.  Even a caveat, like "all but this...".  The position of taking the confessions as a historical document makes sense to me, but that vow throws a monkey wrench into it.

I noticed that David Chytraeus, one of the writers of the Formula of Concord, signed the dedication page of his book Catechesis Davidis Chytraei (today’s “A Summary of Christian Faith”) with the words:

“From the academy of the city of Rosae on the day after the birthday of the Son of God at the beginning of the year 1568, which is the year 5530 from the beginning of the world.”
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: SomeoneWrites on December 15, 2017, 03:37:17 PM
So yah.

I'm stoked when people understand and accept the truth of Evolution.  But at the same time, I still don't see how it's compatible with the confessions.  Even a caveat, like "all but this...".  The position of taking the confessions as a historical document makes sense to me, but that vow throws a monkey wrench into it.

I noticed that David Chytraeus, one of the writers of the Formula of Concord, signed the dedication page of his book Catechesis Davidis Chytraei (today’s “A Summary of Christian Faith”) with the words:

“From the academy of the city of Rosae on the day after the birthday of the Son of God at the beginning of the year 1568, which is the year 5530 from the beginning of the world.”

I appreciate you posting this.  This is further evidence of what I'm trying to point out.  Yes, it's not IN the confessions.  We can exegete what the author's meant pretty easily on the historicity of Adam in the sections on original sin.  To reinterpret them as metaphor is intellectually dishonest.  It's intellectually dishonest to read a historical Adam as stilted/wooden/16th-century. 

To say "I teach according to the confessions, except x" is honest.
To say "The confessions inform my teaching" is honest.
To say "I teach mostly according to the confessions" is honest. 



 
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 15, 2017, 06:40:16 PM
There is no doubt that unity around the Book of Concord has failed in the broader Lutheran community.  However, unity around the Bible has failed equally.  There are very different approaches to each between the ELCA on the one hand, and the LCMS/WELS/ELS et al on the other. 

Given the great diversity even between the ELCA and the Episcopalians and others with whom they are in fellowship, what would they identify as the unifying "glue" that holds them together?  It is not a completely unified understanding of Holy Scripture.  It is certainly not unity between the historic confessional documents of the various denominations.  It isn't even a completely unified doctrine of the church.  With such great diversity what is it that keeps them in such a unified fellowship that is not possible with other Lutherans?


We agree about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That is enough.

And that in itself is complicated.  As we both know "Gospel" is taken in the scriptures and in the confessions in both a narrow and a broad sense. And even in the narrow sense there are those who see Gospel in a much broader way, especially regarding the person and mission of Jesus Christ.  If agreeing about the Gospel of Jesus Christ is "enough," how do you determine exactly what "enough" of the Gospel is for there to be unity?  Lowest common denominator?


Representatives from both church bodies spend years in discussions to determine exactly what is "enough". Frequently there are books published with some of the findings and finally a document that is voted on by both denominations in their highest legislative bodies. In all cases the lowest common denominator is Jesus.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Charles Austin on December 15, 2017, 07:01:02 PM
    And in all cases, we do not "settle" on the lowest common point of agreement. We can agree on "Jesus" with all kinds of Christian bodies, but we do not declare full fellowship or full partnership in mission with them.
   All of our ecumenical agreements are detailed, nuanced, and the result of years - yes, years - of dialogue on every level. In every agreement, we support, defend, and maintain who we are as Lutherans; but we have found ways to say that some of our "old" points of contention no longer prevail and that the points of disagreement we do have - and still work at - are not serious enough to keep us from sharing mission and ministry.
   It is also clear that if they were to be suddenly plopped down from their time into our discussions, Luther, Melanchthon, and their buddies would be puzzled and outraged. It would be hard to get them caught up on 500 years of history in a constantly changing (reforming) church.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: SomeoneWrites on December 15, 2017, 07:49:42 PM

As to your reply way back this morning, I appreciated it. I definitely fall into the omphalist camp. I would squibble with the name, as I think it unnecessarily implies trickery where I see only artistry (just like a great author writes backstory and a great painter shows their subject's aging). But I don't squibble with it, as saying I am an Omphalist sounds like I specialize in the scientific study of Oompah-Loompahs. Which tends to end the conversation quickly.

I was an Omphalist for a few years, and definitely through my time at Sem.  I have the same issue with the name but it's currently the best short hand for apparent age creation.  I never felt that trickery was an issue with it, as the tree rings in the garden of Eden didn't seem like trickery at all.  Unfortunately it still falls short if explored further, especially in regards to things like Dinos and flood narratives. 


A quick end to the evolution debate is fine with me because my complaint with the scientific community's trumpeting of evolution is that in most cases it has zero cash value. E.g. - I am pretty well-read on neuroscience (a natural outflow of my dad having a major TBI when I was in my early teens and my youngest son having childhood epilepsy). Shoehorned into those texts are always comments about "this balance between neuroexciters and neuroinhibitors evolved over hundreds of millions of years," even though that has absolutely zippo to do with any application to brain science today. In fact, if anything, brain science has become amazed at the neuroplasticity of the brain, the degree that it can change over the course of a single lifetime. No need to posit millions of years here. In fact, the whole mammalian/reptilian brain thing has been shown to be dead wrong and really stalled a proper understanding of the unique interplay of our brain's limbic and cortical systems.

This is why I brought up the geography thing.  Truth doesn't need a cash value.  Either way the principles of natural selection, mutation, genetic drift - all play into the study of biology in general (particularly its history) as well as ecology, zoology, and other overlapping fields.  Geology, radiology, astronomy, paleontology, anthropology all have overlaps that point to an extended history. 

Anyway, I am not a big fan of people pounding the table on either side. I have absolute confidence that what is recorded in Scripture is factually correct when seen from God's point of view. Which is, of course, the point of view I believe the Scriptures were written from. And it is a point of view I have to take by means of revelation more than reason. I am cool with that. I still go with six literal days, since it's the plainest reading of the Hebrew, but if I get to heaven and find out that wasn't quite it... what do I care? I'm in heaven, y'know. (Similarly, if I die and it turns out it was wrong and all I do is crumble in my grave... what do I care? I'm just crumbly.)
Yeah, I'm not a fan to table pounding - though I can see how things get push-to-shove from time to time. 
I do think some of these things have long term consequences.  I know creationists who have some overlap into the climate skepticism (any readers please put the best construction on the term) because they don't believe examination of pre-man climates.  And there I think some significant harm can be done to later generations.  In this instance I have a greater amount of respect for the current pope, who doesn't let evolution get in the way, and sees the problem with climate change. 


Have you come across the book "Amazing Truths" by Michael Guillen? It is written by a committed and conservative Christian who was the ABC Science News Editor (so, some legit street cred) about the ways that science and Scripture intersect. Some texts of that nature can be brutal, of the Russia-and-China-are-Gog-and-Magog-and-Jesus-is-returning-in-43-days variety. But I liked this one enough that halfway through I stopped so I could give it my focus while reading it with my elders, which we'll be taking up in the new year. If you get a chance to take a look, I'd value your take, either on the forum or via a private message.

Blessings,
Rob

I appreciate it and may look into that as I can.  I can tell you my reading list is pretty packed.  I've taken to watching lectures on double speed just to get more info faster.  But if I do, I'd happily discuss it with you. 

Blessings. 
SW
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: R. T. Fouts on December 18, 2017, 12:12:04 AM
I've never felt that the age of the earth was a matter Lutherans should be all that preoccupied with. Bishop Ussher saddled the Anglicans and, therefore, the Reformed with that dispute.  I am quite comfortable leaving the age of the earth question unanswered so long as we understand that God is Creator, we are his Creatures... And that dynamic is the primary concern of Genesis 1-2. While I have no qualms with a six day creationist viewpoint, we still had better recognize that focusing on this issue misses the point of the text.  The "who" of Creator is immeasurably more important than the "when." And one can maintain a confession of biblical inspiration and inerrancy without committing to a 24 hour day length here.  I personally lean toward the 24 hour day, but I also recognize that this rests on flimsy exegetical grounds.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: peterm on December 18, 2017, 01:06:08 PM
Thank you Dr. Fouts.  This is how I explain it to my confirmation students and others who ask.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: SomeoneWrites on December 30, 2017, 11:56:20 PM
Not stoking the fire on this -
Couldn't find any information on this topic for the NALC, LCMC, or such.  I can kind of guess WELS. 
Anyone know of any official positions by the above regarding
Evolution
Age of the Earth
6 day creation
Historical Adam
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Charles Austin on December 31, 2017, 12:37:44 AM
“Official position” is one thing, probably a theological or juridical document. What people actually believe is something quite different.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: SomeoneWrites on December 31, 2017, 12:58:14 AM
“Official position” is one thing, probably a theological or juridical document.


I'd be fine with reading that too.


What people actually believe is something quite different.
I expect this. 
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Harvey_Mozolak on December 31, 2017, 08:31:34 AM
Since the NALC, of which I am a member, does not have many theological papers much less official doctrinal documents other than the Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions, I suspect you will not find a paper on the topics you listed like Evolution, Age of the Earth, 6 day creation, Historical Adam.  I assume you also mean historic Eve.  And this, the historic (whatever that fully means or might mean, which includes in one sense a pre-historic Adam and Eve, pre-historic in the sense that history could be defined as events after The Fall and sin... would be more a area of interest and even concern than the previous three topics as long as God our Creator who is the blessed and only Holy Trinity is not taken out of the story that Scripture presents.   IMO, since I am not any official voice of my church body. 
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Team Hesse on December 31, 2017, 09:09:30 AM
Not stoking the fire on this -
Couldn't find any information on this topic for the NALC, LCMC, or such.  I can kind of guess WELS. 
Anyone know of any official positions by the above regarding
Evolution
Age of the Earth
6 day creation
Historical Adam


Why do you ask? These things rarely come up in my ministry.


The moments that matter to me are the ones like the one that happened a couple of days ago. A young woman confessed to me that she was sure she was going to hell because she had had an abortion years ago and "God cannot possibly forgive someone who murders a child." She told me she kept a gun and would end her life herself when the suffering seemed unbearable. I told her about the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world--all of it. Romans 8 and Jeremiah 31 figured prominently. When I left, she told me the gun was now only for target practice.


Other stuff simply pales when compared to moments like that.


Lou (at best, one of the shepherd's sheepdogs)
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Harvey_Mozolak on December 31, 2017, 09:45:16 AM
Lou, ah yes-- The Logos that created that now re-creates.  Giving timeless rebirth into the new Adam and Eve that come forth from the baptismal Worded waters
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Team Hesse on December 31, 2017, 09:54:14 AM
Lou, ah yes-- The Logos that created that now re-creates.  Giving timeless rebirth into the new Adam and Eve that come forth from the baptismal Worded waters


Ah yes, indeed Harvey, ah yes....


Lou
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Dan Fienen on December 31, 2017, 10:17:58 AM

To be honest, I don't really know what to think about young earth/old earth, six 24 hour day creation, and the like.  I believe that God actively acted in creating the universe (not the Deist, He wound the clock and let it run) and reject atheistic neo-Darwinian evolution that makes random chance God.  I'm OK saying that I don't know just how to fit Genesis and the observable cosmological data.  Nowhere does it say that God has to explain it all to me, or that I would understand it if He did.  It is enough for me to believe that God did it.


I have a level of distrust of what has been called syllogistic theology.  Because the Bible says A and the Bible says B therefore we must believe C.  That works nicely for rather limited and well defined problems, but the real world is much less closely defined and there may be many factors that we just don't know that could introduce factors that throw the careful logical deductions off.  The more we deduce and extrapolate from what we know to figure out what we don't know, the easier for small errors or unexpected factors to throw off the result.  If one set sail from New York harbor for Liverpool, England with a precise compass heading to follow that turned out to be 0.1 degree off, by the time you crossed the Atlantic, you would not find England.  When we sent men to the moon, they left earth orbit on a precise heading, far more accurate than 0.1 degree, but they still needed midcourse correction.  It's not that I don't trust the Bible, I don't trust my or anyone else's ability to extrapolate from what Scripture says to deduce what it must mean.


The most important things for us to learn from the Bible are clear.  Not everything is that important to nail down.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: SomeoneWrites on December 31, 2017, 10:30:48 AM

Why do you ask? These things rarely come up in my ministry.

I find it easier to process what a religion teaches when it's declared, even if the declaration is "we don't know" or "we don't have an official teaching on x."


The moments that matter to me are the ones like the one that happened a couple of days ago. A young woman confessed to me that she was sure she was going to hell because she had had an abortion years ago and "God cannot possibly forgive someone who murders a child." She told me she kept a gun and would end her life herself when the suffering seemed unbearable. I told her about the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world--all of it. Romans 8 and Jeremiah 31 figured prominently. When I left, she told me the gun was now only for target practice.


Other stuff simply pales when compared to moments like that.

For the most part, I agree.  I've got a number of similar experiences like the one you mentioned. 
Also the bulk of my work, including before I went into the ministry, was with youth - and they have a TON of questions.  Being able to engage them was important.  It also seems to come up in official circles in regards to who's allowed to teach what.  I get the sense that an LCMS pastor can be removed for teaching evolution as true.  Someone in the ELCA would be allowed to stay.  I don't know much about the NALC or LCMC, so there's a gap in my knowledge. 
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Team Hesse on December 31, 2017, 10:41:15 AM
so there's a gap in my knowledge.


Sometimes it's healthier to just admit we cannot know everything and simply trust. Knowing all things is one of those God things that is above my pay grade. When I am thinking I know, God usually sends a freight train fully loaded my way to let me know I don't. I am old enough to have been run over a few times by that train......


Lou
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Harvey_Mozolak on December 31, 2017, 11:18:08 AM
It is interesting though that LCMS pastors who seem in the main to be quite conservative, while allowing things like six 24 hour day creation and the like-- or even favoring it-- are somewhat open to allowing things to happen over a much longer period of time.  In my day and training, ordained in 69, Springfield Sem, such openness would not have been publicly allowed as a conservative position.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Dave Likeness on December 31, 2017, 11:35:07 AM
We humbly confess in the Apostles Creed: " I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth"
This confession removes the theory of evolution from the conversation.

Holy Scripture reminds us: "By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God" Heb 11:3
The Christian is enabled by faith to say that God created the universe by His almighty word.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: SomeoneWrites on December 31, 2017, 11:51:59 AM
so there's a gap in my knowledge.


Sometimes it's healthier to just admit we cannot know everything and simply trust. Knowing all things is one of those God things that is above my pay grade. When I am thinking I know, God usually sends a freight train fully loaded my way to let me know I don't. I am old enough to have been run over a few times by that train......


Lou

The gap in my knowledge was in reference to what the NALC and LCMC teaches. 



To be honest, I don't really know what to think about young earth/old earth, six 24 hour day creation, and the like.  I believe that God actively acted in creating the universe (not the Deist, He wound the clock and let it run) and reject atheistic neo-Darwinian evolution that makes random chance God.  I'm OK saying that I don't know just how to fit Genesis and the observable cosmological data.  Nowhere does it say that God has to explain it all to me, or that I would understand it if He did.  It is enough for me to believe that God did it.

Well, for once, it's more than random chance.  There's natural selection.  And there's observable measurements and observations of things like starlight.  I'm okay with a certain level of agnosticism, but I also go in the direction that evidence leads, particularly when it can be corroborated and well supported.

It would be like me showing up at your church on a day of fresh fallen snow, and a child asks how I got there, and I tell them "I flew with my wings."  You can see my car in the lot, the tracks in the snow, my car keys in hand, and my lack of wings.  Nobody could prove I didn't, and another person says, "it doesn't matter because the important thing is he's here," and someone else adds, "There are things we simply can't know." 


We humbly confess in the Apostles Creed: " I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth"
This confession removes the theory of evolution from the conversation.

Holy Scripture reminds us: "By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God" Heb 11:3
The Christian is enabled by faith to say that God created the universe by His almighty word.

This is not the dispute. This is not the dispute of the Catholic Church either, and many Christians that believe both.  When the topic of human origins comes up, the evidence for evolution comes up.  Same with dinosaurs, geology, paleontology, anthropology, biology, etc. 



Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Harvey_Mozolak on December 31, 2017, 12:04:50 PM
Your illustration of the arrival in snow leaving tracks behind is winsome; however, the data is all  part of our somewhat currently understood information about about car tracks and snow and all.... although you did not allow for the somewhat removed but possible arrival by the metal wings of some form of aircraft, of which there are a number of possibilities.  And the time of creation has even more unknown and even unknowable variables and possibilities.  When things are an act of God they may indeed enter the miraculous, the mysterious, even an external act of an opera ad intra that we cannot know or know fully and understandably. 
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: SomeoneWrites on December 31, 2017, 12:09:32 PM
Your illustration of the arrival in snow leaving tracks behind is winsome; however, the data is all  part of our somewhat currently understood information about about car tracks and snow and all.... although you did not allow for the somewhat removed but possible arrival by the metal wings of some form of aircraft, of which there are a number of possibilities.  And the time of creation has even more unknown and even unknowable variables and possibilities.  When things are an act of God they may indeed enter the miraculous, the mysterious, even an external act of an opera ad intra that we cannot know or know fully and understandably.

Thank you, but you missed the disconnect between what was offered as the reason with the evidence at hand.  I recognize the incorporation of miracles and unknown variables.  The point is that outside of the narrative, there is every indication of an alternate occurrence. 
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Dave Benke on December 31, 2017, 12:36:46 PM
Not stoking the fire on this -
Couldn't find any information on this topic for the NALC, LCMC, or such.  I can kind of guess WELS. 
Anyone know of any official positions by the above regarding
Evolution
Age of the Earth
6 day creation
Historical Adam


Why do you ask? These things rarely come up in my ministry.


The moments that matter to me are the ones like the one that happened a couple of days ago. A young woman confessed to me that she was sure she was going to hell because she had had an abortion years ago and "God cannot possibly forgive someone who murders a child." She told me she kept a gun and would end her life herself when the suffering seemed unbearable. I told her about the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world--all of it. Romans 8 and Jeremiah 31 figured prominently. When I left, she told me the gun was now only for target practice.


Other stuff simply pales when compared to moments like that.


Lou (at best, one of the shepherd's sheepdogs)

Tremendous witness, Lou!  Thanks for sharing this on the cusp of the New Year.  In pastoral ministry "on the ground" what comes up time and time again is that the purpose in life and in our lives comes from outside us, from the God who instills in us the hope of the ages in his Son, our Savior.

Dave Benke
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Charles Austin on December 31, 2017, 01:23:21 PM
Lou, we all save memories of moments like that to counter the moments that are quite different from those wonderful moments.
Good for you.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: readselerttoo on December 31, 2017, 01:28:48 PM
I think the silence on these matters from the NALC and LCMC folks is because they take a healthier view in that these matters (ie. evolution, etc.) are best handled by science and not the Church.  When we confess the first article of the creeds that is enough acknowledgment of Who is the author of existence.  They leave it at that.  Our job is to further the Christian confession.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Team Hesse on December 31, 2017, 02:45:23 PM
so there's a gap in my knowledge.


Sometimes it's healthier to just admit we cannot know everything and simply trust. Knowing all things is one of those God things that is above my pay grade. When I am thinking I know, God usually sends a freight train fully loaded my way to let me know I don't. I am old enough to have been run over a few times by that train......


Lou

The gap in my knowledge was in reference to what the NALC and LCMC teaches.



If that is the only gap in your knowledge you are deeply blessed.


Lou
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: SomeoneWrites on December 31, 2017, 07:50:51 PM
I think the silence on these matters from the NALC and LCMC folks is because they take a healthier view in that these matters (ie. evolution, etc.) are best handled by science and not the Church.  When we confess the first article of the creeds that is enough acknowledgment of Who is the author of existence.  They leave it at that.  Our job is to further the Christian confession.

I can assent to this. 
I do think the conversation inevitably intersects, though.

so there's a gap in my knowledge.


Sometimes it's healthier to just admit we cannot know everything and simply trust. Knowing all things is one of those God things that is above my pay grade. When I am thinking I know, God usually sends a freight train fully loaded my way to let me know I don't. I am old enough to have been run over a few times by that train......


Lou

The gap in my knowledge was in reference to what the NALC and LCMC teaches.



If that is the only gap in your knowledge you are deeply blessed.


Lou

The gap in my knowledge was in reference to what the NALC and LCMC teaches.  I do not see where I inferred or implied that was the only gap.  Please read me in context.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: readselerttoo on December 31, 2017, 08:18:50 PM
I think the silence on these matters from the NALC and LCMC folks is because they take a healthier view in that these matters (ie. evolution, etc.) are best handled by science and not the Church.  When we confess the first article of the creeds that is enough acknowledgment of Who is the author of existence.  They leave it at that.  Our job is to further the Christian confession.

I can assent to this. 
I do think the conversation inevitably intersects, though.


Perhaps the safest way is for each to run parallel and not intersect.  Science speaks within its authorized jurisdiction.  Theology speaks from and within its own as well.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: SomeoneWrites on December 31, 2017, 08:29:10 PM
I think the silence on these matters from the NALC and LCMC folks is because they take a healthier view in that these matters (ie. evolution, etc.) are best handled by science and not the Church.  When we confess the first article of the creeds that is enough acknowledgment of Who is the author of existence.  They leave it at that.  Our job is to further the Christian confession.

I can assent to this. 
I do think the conversation inevitably intersects, though.


Perhaps the safest way is for each to run parallel and not intersect.  Science speaks within its authorized jurisdiction.  Theology speaks from and within its own as well.

Perhaps.  That approach has its own strengths and weaknesses. 
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: readselerttoo on December 31, 2017, 08:32:13 PM
I think the silence on these matters from the NALC and LCMC folks is because they take a healthier view in that these matters (ie. evolution, etc.) are best handled by science and not the Church.  When we confess the first article of the creeds that is enough acknowledgment of Who is the author of existence.  They leave it at that.  Our job is to further the Christian confession.

I can assent to this. 
I do think the conversation inevitably intersects, though.


Perhaps the safest way is for each to run parallel and not intersect.  Science speaks within its authorized jurisdiction.  Theology speaks from and within its own as well.

Perhaps.  That approach has its own strengths and weaknesses.

Of course.  But as each subject speaks from and within its own arena, it is always toward the outside and the listener.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: SomeoneWrites on December 31, 2017, 08:33:55 PM
I think the silence on these matters from the NALC and LCMC folks is because they take a healthier view in that these matters (ie. evolution, etc.) are best handled by science and not the Church.  When we confess the first article of the creeds that is enough acknowledgment of Who is the author of existence.  They leave it at that.  Our job is to further the Christian confession.

I can assent to this. 
I do think the conversation inevitably intersects, though.


Perhaps the safest way is for each to run parallel and not intersect.  Science speaks within its authorized jurisdiction.  Theology speaks from and within its own as well.

Perhaps.  That approach has its own strengths and weaknesses.

Of course.  But as each subject speaks from and within its own arena, it is always toward the outside and the listener.

I'm afraid I'm not following.  I apologize. 
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: readselerttoo on December 31, 2017, 08:40:23 PM
I think the silence on these matters from the NALC and LCMC folks is because they take a healthier view in that these matters (ie. evolution, etc.) are best handled by science and not the Church.  When we confess the first article of the creeds that is enough acknowledgment of Who is the author of existence.  They leave it at that.  Our job is to further the Christian confession.

I can assent to this. 
I do think the conversation inevitably intersects, though.


Perhaps the safest way is for each to run parallel and not intersect.  Science speaks within its authorized jurisdiction.  Theology speaks from and within its own as well.

Perhaps.  That approach has its own strengths and weaknesses.

Of course.  But as each subject speaks from and within its own arena, it is always toward the outside and the listener.

I'm afraid I'm not following.  I apologize.

That is, each speaks from it's own authorized arena and since they are in the same room (read "the public") there is always the possibility that one will hear the other, and the reverse.  Or, is each only speaking at the other or do they not recognize their shared space?
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: readselerttoo on December 31, 2017, 09:17:13 PM
I'm less engaged with listening to others now-a-days and more inclined to finesse my own voice.  Why?  Because with listening one is susceptible to the danger of being influenced by alien subject matter.  For instance I think much of ELCA Lutheranism has lost its strength because it has taken into itself alien matter which has caused it to drift from its confessional identity, imo.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: SomeoneWrites on December 31, 2017, 09:20:21 PM
I'm less engaged with listening to others now-a-days and more inclined to finesse my own voice.  Why?  Because with listening one is susceptible to the danger of being influenced by alien subject matter.  For instance I think much of ELCA Lutheranism has lost its strength because it has taken into itself alien matter which has caused it to drift from its confessional identity, imo.

Very quickly. 
I want to thank you and I will respond to this.  It's NYE, I'm heading out, and I don't want to give this a half-done response.  I wish you a delightful evening, and the best of 2018. 
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Team Hesse on January 01, 2018, 08:22:25 AM
I think the silence on these matters from the NALC and LCMC folks is because they take a healthier view in that these matters (ie. evolution, etc.) are best handled by science and not the Church.  When we confess the first article of the creeds that is enough acknowledgment of Who is the author of existence.  They leave it at that.  Our job is to further the Christian confession.

I can assent to this. 
I do think the conversation inevitably intersects, though.

so there's a gap in my knowledge.


Sometimes it's healthier to just admit we cannot know everything and simply trust. Knowing all things is one of those God things that is above my pay grade. When I am thinking I know, God usually sends a freight train fully loaded my way to let me know I don't. I am old enough to have been run over a few times by that train......


Lou

The gap in my knowledge was in reference to what the NALC and LCMC teaches.



If that is the only gap in your knowledge you are deeply blessed.


Lou

The gap in my knowledge was in reference to what the NALC and LCMC teaches.  I do not see where I inferred or implied that was the only gap.  Please read me in context.


Sorry. Our contexts are fundamentally so different I have trouble limiting myself to the category in which you wish to delve.


Back to the question, as an LCMC Pastor I am indifferent to the matters about which you have inquired as long as they do not slop over into christian confession. Any of the views you are asking about can be problematic when they become idolatrous--in other words, impinging upon, or being more important than the confession that "Jesus is Lord". "Who do you say that I am?" is a far more pertinent question to me than how did we get here. Get that one wrong and the rest is just chicken feed, or in St Paul's famous word --skoubala.


Lou
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Dave Benke on January 01, 2018, 10:18:17 AM
I think the silence on these matters from the NALC and LCMC folks is because they take a healthier view in that these matters (ie. evolution, etc.) are best handled by science and not the Church.  When we confess the first article of the creeds that is enough acknowledgment of Who is the author of existence.  They leave it at that.  Our job is to further the Christian confession.

I can assent to this. 
I do think the conversation inevitably intersects, though.

so there's a gap in my knowledge.


Sometimes it's healthier to just admit we cannot know everything and simply trust. Knowing all things is one of those God things that is above my pay grade. When I am thinking I know, God usually sends a freight train fully loaded my way to let me know I don't. I am old enough to have been run over a few times by that train......


Lou

The gap in my knowledge was in reference to what the NALC and LCMC teaches.



If that is the only gap in your knowledge you are deeply blessed.


Lou

The gap in my knowledge was in reference to what the NALC and LCMC teaches.  I do not see where I inferred or implied that was the only gap.  Please read me in context.


Sorry. Our contexts are fundamentally so different I have trouble limiting myself to the category in which you wish to delve.


Back to the question, as an LCMC Pastor I am indifferent to the matters about which you have inquired as long as they do not slop over into christian confession. Any of the views you are asking about can be problematic when they become idolatrous--in other words, impinging upon, or being more important than the confession that "Jesus is Lord". "Who do you say that I am?" is a far more pertinent question to me than how did we get here. Get that one wrong and the rest is just chicken feed, or in St Paul's famous word --skoubala.


Lou

Happy New Year, Lou!  I took a minute to check out the Institute of Lutheran Theology, which you reference in your tag line.  Three of the people affiliated are your wife, Debra; the Chair, who is an old friend and collaborator Gene Bunkowske; and the head football coach at South Dakota State, John Stieglemeier.  In my many years of contact and conversation with the Ft. Wayne seminary (LCMS), the Bunkowskes were unfailingly both passionate about the mission of God and Gospel in global context and possessed of a warm and inviting hospitable demeanor.  Great to know that his vision is continuing at the ILT.

Dave Benke
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Team Hesse on January 01, 2018, 10:53:03 AM
I think the silence on these matters from the NALC and LCMC folks is because they take a healthier view in that these matters (ie. evolution, etc.) are best handled by science and not the Church.  When we confess the first article of the creeds that is enough acknowledgment of Who is the author of existence.  They leave it at that.  Our job is to further the Christian confession.

I can assent to this. 
I do think the conversation inevitably intersects, though.

so there's a gap in my knowledge.


Sometimes it's healthier to just admit we cannot know everything and simply trust. Knowing all things is one of those God things that is above my pay grade. When I am thinking I know, God usually sends a freight train fully loaded my way to let me know I don't. I am old enough to have been run over a few times by that train......


Lou

The gap in my knowledge was in reference to what the NALC and LCMC teaches.



If that is the only gap in your knowledge you are deeply blessed.


Lou

The gap in my knowledge was in reference to what the NALC and LCMC teaches.  I do not see where I inferred or implied that was the only gap.  Please read me in context.


Sorry. Our contexts are fundamentally so different I have trouble limiting myself to the category in which you wish to delve.


Back to the question, as an LCMC Pastor I am indifferent to the matters about which you have inquired as long as they do not slop over into christian confession. Any of the views you are asking about can be problematic when they become idolatrous--in other words, impinging upon, or being more important than the confession that "Jesus is Lord". "Who do you say that I am?" is a far more pertinent question to me than how did we get here. Get that one wrong and the rest is just chicken feed, or in St Paul's famous word --skoubala.


Lou

Happy New Year, Lou!  I took a minute to check out the Institute of Lutheran Theology, which you reference in your tag line.  Three of the people affiliated are your wife, Debra; the Chair, who is an old friend and collaborator Gene Bunkowske; and the head football coach at South Dakota State, John Stieglemeier.  In my many years of contact and conversation with the Ft. Wayne seminary (LCMS), the Bunkowskes were unfailingly both passionate about the mission of God and Gospel in global context and possessed of a warm and inviting hospitable demeanor.  Great to know that his vision is continuing at the ILT.

Dave Benke


And also with you, Dr Benke.
Debbie and I have been "all in" with ILT since its inception. I believe I was the 8th person to complete an MDiv through the institution. We were all pleased when Dr Bunkowske lent his name and expertise to our fledgling efforts. We have graduates now serving in LCMC, NALC, and CALC congregations and a number of students from LCMS, ELCA, WELS, and even Anglican backgrounds in addition to an occasional person from India or Africa. We are not the usual brick and mortar seminary experience. Nearly everything is done on-line with a congregation based mentor guided component making possible flexible schedules and less expensive educational opportunities for those who need to earn an income or care for their families while pursuing an in-depth education. All of our instructors are Lutherans.


An example....., I am currently mentoring a mid-30ish married man through the system. In many ways he has become my "vicar" in the LCMS sense. I believe he will make a fine Pastor who will be a great addition to any roster on which he may serve. In his secular education he already has a Masters in Conflict Resolution from Georgetown and his resume includes stints working on peace making efforts in Rwanda when the Tutsi-Hutu conflict came to resolution. A smart guy from excellent LCMS roots who simply cannot break from the needs of paying bills and college loans for a residence Seminary experience.


Lou
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Gary Schnitkey on January 01, 2018, 02:53:20 PM
Three observations on the recent LCMS kurfuffle.

First, many (if not the vast majority) in natural science fields are reasonably convinced of the earth being much older than 6,000 years.  Given that LCMS largely supports a young earth view, those individuals have mostly unattractive alternatives relative to this teaching including 1) ignoring LCMS teaching or 2) leaving the LCMS.  In the end, the later may be the best  option given that the LCMS demands agreement on all matters doctrine. I would remind LCMS pastors that this includes most that are in the natural science fields.

Second, the only heresy that Jurchen committed in his article was possibly allowing the  treatment of each of the six days in creation as much longer than a “normal” day.  I presume Jurchen was doing this to account for the evidence of a much older earth than 6,000 or so years.  For this, some in the LCMS want to condemn his article.

Third, there is a reason why the LCMS is viewed as a bunch of Pharisees.  I suppose there are confessional and doctrinal advantages to being a  Pharisee.  It does maintain the strength of confessions.  I note, though, that Jesus had strong condemnations for Pharisees.

My suggestion would be for leadership of the LCMS to take a strong stand against organizations like “The Brothers of John the Steadfast”, the organization hosting the resolutions.  If it does not stand against these organizations, the LCMS will always be a pharisaical body.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: RDPreus on January 01, 2018, 03:49:23 PM
Three observations on the recent LCMS kurfuffle.

First, many (if not the vast majority) in natural science fields are reasonably convinced of the earth being much older than 6,000 years.  Given that LCMS largely supports a young earth view, those individuals have mostly unattractive alternatives relative to this teaching including 1) ignoring LCMS teaching or 2) leaving the LCMS.  In the end, the later may be the best  option given that the LCMS demands agreement on all matters doctrine. I would remind LCMS pastors that this includes most that are in the natural science fields.

Second, the only heresy that Jurchen committed in his article was possibly allowing the  treatment of each of the six days in creation as much longer than a “normal” day.  I presume Jurchen was doing this to account for the evidence of a much older earth than 6,000 or so years.  For this, some in the LCMS want to condemn his article.

Third, there is a reason why the LCMS is viewed as a bunch of Pharisees.  I suppose there are confessional and doctrinal advantages to being a  Pharisee.  It does maintain the strength of confessions.  I note, though, that Jesus had strong condemnations for Pharisees.

My suggestion would be for leadership of the LCMS to take a strong stand against organizations like “The Brothers of John the Steadfast”, the organization hosting the resolutions.  If it does not stand against these organizations, the LCMS will always be a pharisaical body.


To liken the ministerium of the Wyoming District of the LCMS to Pharisees displays an ignorance of the theology of both.  The pastors in Wyoming reject all forms of pharisaism.  Those who appeal to extra-biblical authorities (“science”) to interpret a word (“day”) contrary to its natural sense as it appears in the Bible itself are like the Pharisees who also appealed to extra-biblical authorities (“tradition of the elders”) in support of their interpretations of the Bible.  In both cases, men seek to evade the clear sense of the biblical text by appealing to a norm outside of the Bible itself.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: D. Engebretson on January 01, 2018, 05:02:19 PM
Three observations on the recent LCMS kurfuffle.

First, many (if not the vast majority) in natural science fields are reasonably convinced of the earth being much older than 6,000 years.  Given that LCMS largely supports a young earth view, those individuals have mostly unattractive alternatives relative to this teaching including 1) ignoring LCMS teaching or 2) leaving the LCMS.  In the end, the later may be the best  option given that the LCMS demands agreement on all matters doctrine. I would remind LCMS pastors that this includes most that are in the natural science fields.

Second, the only heresy that Jurchen committed in his article was possibly allowing the  treatment of each of the six days in creation as much longer than a “normal” day.  I presume Jurchen was doing this to account for the evidence of a much older earth than 6,000 or so years.  For this, some in the LCMS want to condemn his article.

Third, there is a reason why the LCMS is viewed as a bunch of Pharisees.  I suppose there are confessional and doctrinal advantages to being a  Pharisee.  It does maintain the strength of confessions.  I note, though, that Jesus had strong condemnations for Pharisees.

My suggestion would be for leadership of the LCMS to take a strong stand against organizations like “The Brothers of John the Steadfast”, the organization hosting the resolutions.  If it does not stand against these organizations, the LCMS will always be a pharisaical body.

Are you implying that in the LCMS there be no room for dissent?  That sounds alot like the kind of legalistic control many are already accusing conservatives.  Also, if the LCMS "takes a stand" against organizations such as The Brothers of John the Steadfast, does this mean, then, that they declare by implication that the LCMS will only accept an "old earth" interpretation in keeping with where many see scientific thought today?

And as to the accusation of some in the LCMS being "a bunch of Pharisees," how do you view the Pharisees?  Is your accusation, as Pr. Preus noted, against introducing extra-biblical support material?  Or is it an accusation of spiritual arrogance?  Or something else?  It would be nice to know since I have been a supporter of the traditional interpretation of Genesis 1, and if by doing so I am therefore a "Pharisee," I guess I'll just have to own the title.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Dan Fienen on January 01, 2018, 05:14:56 PM
Unfortunately, Pharisee, like Nazi or fascist, has become more a simple invective rather than a descriptive term that informs us as to what a person believes and attitudes that they hold.  Pharisees held specific beliefs concerning Scripture, obedience to God and theology.  In addition they had some less savory religious habits.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 01, 2018, 05:56:00 PM
Three observations on the recent LCMS kurfuffle.

First, many (if not the vast majority) in natural science fields are reasonably convinced of the earth being much older than 6,000 years.  Given that LCMS largely supports a young earth view, those individuals have mostly unattractive alternatives relative to this teaching including 1) ignoring LCMS teaching or 2) leaving the LCMS.  In the end, the later may be the best  option given that the LCMS demands agreement on all matters doctrine. I would remind LCMS pastors that this includes most that are in the natural science fields.

Second, the only heresy that Jurchen committed in his article was possibly allowing the  treatment of each of the six days in creation as much longer than a “normal” day.  I presume Jurchen was doing this to account for the evidence of a much older earth than 6,000 or so years.  For this, some in the LCMS want to condemn his article.

Third, there is a reason why the LCMS is viewed as a bunch of Pharisees.  I suppose there are confessional and doctrinal advantages to being a  Pharisee.  It does maintain the strength of confessions.  I note, though, that Jesus had strong condemnations for Pharisees.

My suggestion would be for leadership of the LCMS to take a strong stand against organizations like “The Brothers of John the Steadfast”, the organization hosting the resolutions.  If it does not stand against these organizations, the LCMS will always be a pharisaical body.


To liken the ministerium of the Wyoming District of the LCMS to Pharisees displays an ignorance of the theology of both.  The pastors in Wyoming reject all forms of pharisaism.  Those who appeal to extra-biblical authorities (“science”) to interpret a word (“day”) contrary to its natural sense as it appears in the Bible itself are like the Pharisees who also appealed to extra-biblical authorities (“tradition of the elders”) in support of their interpretations of the Bible.  In both cases, men seek to evade the clear sense of the biblical text by appealing to a norm outside of the Bible itself.


First of all, the Bible does not use the word "day". That word comes from English translators. The Hebrew Bible uses, יוֹם. (The Greek LXX uses ἡμέρα.)
Secondly, Brown Driver Briggs Hebrew-English Lexicon of the Old Testament has seven major definition divisions for יוֹם and numerous subdivisions under those seven. A 24-hour period is only one of many definitions of the word. (Of course, you can claim that Lexicons are extra-biblical authorities; but I would counter that the translators of any English version you use are extra-biblical authorities. You can't escape using the wisdom of people when we study scriptures.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 01, 2018, 05:57:22 PM
Unfortunately, Pharisee, like Nazi or fascist, has become more a simple invective rather than a descriptive term that informs us as to what a person believes and attitudes that they hold.  Pharisees held specific beliefs concerning Scripture, obedience to God and theology.  In addition they had some less savory religious habits.


We also have a problem of whether or not the description of a Pharisee comes from a friend of Pharisees or an enemy of Pharisees. How they are described varies greatly in ancient literature.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: RDPreus on January 01, 2018, 06:17:04 PM
Three observations on the recent LCMS kurfuffle.

First, many (if not the vast majority) in natural science fields are reasonably convinced of the earth being much older than 6,000 years.  Given that LCMS largely supports a young earth view, those individuals have mostly unattractive alternatives relative to this teaching including 1) ignoring LCMS teaching or 2) leaving the LCMS.  In the end, the later may be the best  option given that the LCMS demands agreement on all matters doctrine. I would remind LCMS pastors that this includes most that are in the natural science fields.

Second, the only heresy that Jurchen committed in his article was possibly allowing the  treatment of each of the six days in creation as much longer than a “normal” day.  I presume Jurchen was doing this to account for the evidence of a much older earth than 6,000 or so years.  For this, some in the LCMS want to condemn his article.

Third, there is a reason why the LCMS is viewed as a bunch of Pharisees.  I suppose there are confessional and doctrinal advantages to being a  Pharisee.  It does maintain the strength of confessions.  I note, though, that Jesus had strong condemnations for Pharisees.

My suggestion would be for leadership of the LCMS to take a strong stand against organizations like “The Brothers of John the Steadfast”, the organization hosting the resolutions.  If it does not stand against these organizations, the LCMS will always be a pharisaical body.


To liken the ministerium of the Wyoming District of the LCMS to Pharisees displays an ignorance of the theology of both.  The pastors in Wyoming reject all forms of pharisaism.  Those who appeal to extra-biblical authorities (“science”) to interpret a word (“day”) contrary to its natural sense as it appears in the Bible itself are like the Pharisees who also appealed to extra-biblical authorities (“tradition of the elders”) in support of their interpretations of the Bible.  In both cases, men seek to evade the clear sense of the biblical text by appealing to a norm outside of the Bible itself.


First of all, the Bible does not use the word "day". That word comes from English translators. The Hebrew Bible uses, יוֹם. (The Greek LXX uses ἡμέρα.)
Secondly, Brown Driver Briggs Hebrew-English Lexicon of the Old Testament has seven major definition divisions for יוֹם and numerous subdivisions under those seven. A 24-hour period is only one of many definitions of the word. (Of course, you can claim that Lexicons are extra-biblical authorities; but I would counter that the translators of any English version you use are extra-biblical authorities. You can't escape using the wisdom of people when we study scriptures.

The Bible does use the word day.  We are writing in the English language; not in the Hebrew language.  In English the word is day.  Moses, who wrote Genesis 1, also wrote Exodus 20.  We learn from Exodus 20 that the word for day in Genesis 1 is used to refer to an ordinary day, not to an indefinite period of time.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: SomeoneWrites on January 01, 2018, 06:36:00 PM
(from page 17)
That is, each speaks from it's own authorized arena and since they are in the same room (read "the public") there is always the possibility that one will hear the other, and the reverse.  Or, is each only speaking at the other or do they not recognize their shared space?

Thank you for your patience.  If I'm understanding you correctly, I would definitely say there's nuances to each that give them their own voices.  There seems to be a line of distinction between the two and I think, for the most part, that's well and good.  I think the voices speaking to the other, in some context is inevitable.  I think there is a shared space, depending on the questions. 

I think the Noadic Flood is a good example.  It's removed the vagueness of Eden.  Floods leave evidence.  As far as a global flood, there is no record in geology of a global flood 6000 years ago.  Part of the flood miracle is that it left no trace. 

I'm less engaged with listening to others now-a-days and more inclined to finesse my own voice.  Why?  Because with listening one is susceptible to the danger of being influenced by alien subject matter.  For instance I think much of ELCA Lutheranism has lost its strength because it has taken into itself alien matter which has caused it to drift from its confessional identity, imo.

Maybe.  I don't know if I'd approach it that way.  Lutheranism is, in some sense, alien to the Catholic and Orthodox teachings.  Now, it's not necessarily that it would exclude someone from salvation.  From my understanding, Lutherans are not part of "The Church" according to the Orthodox perspective.  That sort of thing.  I think there are more benefits than problems with listening. YMMV

I think the silence on these matters from the NALC and LCMC folks is because they take a healthier view in that these matters (ie. evolution, etc.) are best handled by science and not the Church.  When we confess the first article of the creeds that is enough acknowledgment of Who is the author of existence.  They leave it at that.  Our job is to further the Christian confession.

I can assent to this. 
I do think the conversation inevitably intersects, though.

so there's a gap in my knowledge.


Sometimes it's healthier to just admit we cannot know everything and simply trust. Knowing all things is one of those God things that is above my pay grade. When I am thinking I know, God usually sends a freight train fully loaded my way to let me know I don't. I am old enough to have been run over a few times by that train......


Lou

The gap in my knowledge was in reference to what the NALC and LCMC teaches.



If that is the only gap in your knowledge you are deeply blessed.


Lou

The gap in my knowledge was in reference to what the NALC and LCMC teaches.  I do not see where I inferred or implied that was the only gap.  Please read me in context.


Sorry. Our contexts are fundamentally so different I have trouble limiting myself to the category in which you wish to delve.


Back to the question, as an LCMC Pastor I am indifferent to the matters about which you have inquired as long as they do not slop over into christian confession. Any of the views you are asking about can be problematic when they become idolatrous--in other words, impinging upon, or being more important than the confession that "Jesus is Lord". "Who do you say that I am?" is a far more pertinent question to me than how did we get here. Get that one wrong and the rest is just chicken feed, or in St Paul's famous word --skoubala.


Lou


Thank you.  All good.
I have to say though, when I said "context" I was talking about the context of the discussion.  I'll try and be clearer in what I write. 
Thank you for addressing the LCMC question I was asking.  For the most part, I agree.  There are many Catholics, Orthodox, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, and Lutherans who can accept Evolution and still proclaim Jesus is Lord.  The two are not mutually exclusive.  I've said upstream that there seems to be a problem with how that is combined with the confessions, but I'm seeing that there's groups/people that use the confessions to inform their doctrine -not necessarily BE their doctrine. 
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: D. Engebretson on January 01, 2018, 06:44:00 PM
I think the silence on these matters from the NALC and LCMC folks is because they take a healthier view in that these matters (ie. evolution, etc.) are best handled by science and not the Church.  When we confess the first article of the creeds that is enough acknowledgment of Who is the author of existence.  They leave it at that.  Our job is to further the Christian confession.

I can assent to this. 
I do think the conversation inevitably intersects, though.

so there's a gap in my knowledge.


Sometimes it's healthier to just admit we cannot know everything and simply trust. Knowing all things is one of those God things that is above my pay grade. When I am thinking I know, God usually sends a freight train fully loaded my way to let me know I don't. I am old enough to have been run over a few times by that train......


Lou

The gap in my knowledge was in reference to what the NALC and LCMC teaches.



If that is the only gap in your knowledge you are deeply blessed.


Lou

The gap in my knowledge was in reference to what the NALC and LCMC teaches.  I do not see where I inferred or implied that was the only gap.  Please read me in context.


Sorry. Our contexts are fundamentally so different I have trouble limiting myself to the category in which you wish to delve.


Back to the question, as an LCMC Pastor I am indifferent to the matters about which you have inquired as long as they do not slop over into christian confession. Any of the views you are asking about can be problematic when they become idolatrous--in other words, impinging upon, or being more important than the confession that "Jesus is Lord". "Who do you say that I am?" is a far more pertinent question to me than how did we get here. Get that one wrong and the rest is just chicken feed, or in St Paul's famous word --skoubala.


Lou

Happy New Year, Lou!  I took a minute to check out the Institute of Lutheran Theology, which you reference in your tag line.  Three of the people affiliated are your wife, Debra; the Chair, who is an old friend and collaborator Gene Bunkowske; and the head football coach at South Dakota State, John Stieglemeier.  In my many years of contact and conversation with the Ft. Wayne seminary (LCMS), the Bunkowskes were unfailingly both passionate about the mission of God and Gospel in global context and possessed of a warm and inviting hospitable demeanor.  Great to know that his vision is continuing at the ILT.

Dave Benke


And also with you, Dr Benke.
Debbie and I have been "all in" with ILT since its inception. I believe I was the 8th person to complete an MDiv through the institution. We were all pleased when Dr Bunkowske lent his name and expertise to our fledgling efforts. We have graduates now serving in LCMC, NALC, and CALC congregations and a number of students from LCMS, ELCA, WELS, and even Anglican backgrounds in addition to an occasional person from India or Africa. We are not the usual brick and mortar seminary experience. Nearly everything is done on-line with a congregation based mentor guided component making possible flexible schedules and less expensive educational opportunities for those who need to earn an income or care for their families while pursuing an in-depth education. All of our instructors are Lutherans.


An example....., I am currently mentoring a mid-30ish married man through the system. In many ways he has become my "vicar" in the LCMS sense. I believe he will make a fine Pastor who will be a great addition to any roster on which he may serve. In his secular education he already has a Masters in Conflict Resolution from Georgetown and his resume includes stints working on peace making efforts in Rwanda when the Tutsi-Hutu conflict came to resolution. A smart guy from excellent LCMS roots who simply cannot break from the needs of paying bills and college loans for a residence Seminary experience.


Lou

A good friend of mine - a  layman from a neighboring circuit - has been working on his STM through ILT and also serves occasionally as an instructor.  His name is Jim McGarigle, and I know that after he finishes this degree he wants to pursue a doctorate and eventually teach more extensively for ILT.  Recently they introduced a D.Min program, so their post-grad opportunities are pretty good for pastors looking for online alternatives beyond their M.Div degree. 
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Jim Butler on January 01, 2018, 06:46:53 PM

First of all, the Bible does not use the word "day". That word comes from English translators. The Hebrew Bible uses, יוֹם. (The Greek LXX uses ἡμέρα.)

If the word "day" "comes from English translators" then how would you translate the word?
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Gary Schnitkey on January 02, 2018, 08:17:01 AM
Let me take another track here.  When your LCMS-scientific-minded individuals are questioning LCMS creation theology, those individuals are telling you the LCMS theology is wrong.  A very literal translation of the Bible leads to treatments of the age of the earth that don’t match today’s scientific understanding.  That mis-match occurs in many science fields particularly in the age of the earth:  astronomy with light travel and beginnings of the world, geology with formation of geological structures (i.e., oil formations) and movements of continents, climatology with climatic changes (i.e., ice ages), and biology with evolution.

To deal with this, the LCMS-scientific-minded individual can take several tracks.  The first is to subscribe to other non-standard explanations.  Some have gone to intelligent design and creation studies, both of which have issues.  In the end, LCMS-scientific-minded individuals could reach the conclusion that those alternative explanations are more problematic than they are worth.

A second way is to try to square scientific understanding and theology.  This, in my opinion, is what Jurchen tried to did in his article. His efforts were very mild and he tried to keep with LCMS-theology.  For his efforts, he got condemned.  Thank you to “The Brothers of John the Steadfast”. 

The third way for LCMS-scientific-minded individuals to deal with this is to ignore LCMS creation theology in their daily work but stick with LCMS theology in other matters.  This present issues and erodes the LCMS theology.  If the LCMS is wrong about creation, they are likely wrong about other matters.  If LCMS is wrong about creation, why would you trust LCMS on other matters?  Why aren’t they wrong, for example, about sexuality? 

A fourth way is to leave the LCMS.  There are other denominations that have other interpretations of creation.

In some senses, the LCMS are restricting their membership.  Several decades ago, LCMS decided they did to want more liberal theology.  Now they are deciding whether they want “scientifically-minded” individuals.  Good luck with that.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: SomeoneWrites on January 02, 2018, 09:13:53 AM
Let me take another track here.  When your LCMS-scientific-minded individuals are questioning LCMS creation theology, those individuals are telling you the LCMS theology is wrong.  A very literal translation of the Bible leads to treatments of the age of the earth that don’t match today’s scientific understanding.  That mis-match occurs in many science fields particularly in the age of the earth:  astronomy with light travel and beginnings of the world, geology with formation of geological structures (i.e., oil formations) and movements of continents, climatology with climatic changes (i.e., ice ages), and biology with evolution.

I think this post is a better than your previous.
Like, for example, here you are accurate about how there's every indication that the Earth is old.  It may be an omphalism, but all the history is there. 


To deal with this, the LCMS-scientific-minded individual can take several tracks.  The first is to subscribe to other non-standard explanations.  Some have gone to intelligent design and creation studies, both of which have issues.  In the end, LCMS-scientific-minded individuals could reach the conclusion that those alternative explanations are more problematic than they are worth.
Intelligent Design, a form of creationism (just not necessarily Young Earth), fails to be a theory, fails in explanatory power, and at it's core is deceitful. 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wedge_strategy


A second way is to try to square scientific understanding and theology.  This, in my opinion, is what Jurchen tried to did in his article. His efforts were very mild and he tried to keep with LCMS-theology.  For his efforts, he got condemned.  Thank you to “The Brothers of John the Steadfast”. 

This is an example that science and religion will inevitably converse with each other.  Since there's no way to confirm one's theology, a conflict is inevitable. 

The third way for LCMS-scientific-minded individuals to deal with this is to ignore LCMS creation theology in their daily work but stick with LCMS theology in other matters.  This present issues and erodes the LCMS theology.  If the LCMS is wrong about creation, they are likely wrong about other matters.  If LCMS is wrong about creation, why would you trust LCMS on other matters?  Why aren’t they wrong, for example, about sexuality? 
I heard a Presbyterian describe the LCMS position as a theological time bomb.  I think that's a good metaphor.  It's not going to hit everyone, but I can see it in the younger generations. 
But, like we've seen in the thread, there are many who will declare it a mystery and move on.  I've seen this a ton outside the forums. 

A fourth way is to leave the LCMS.  There are other denominations that have other interpretations of creation.
I want to note that leaving the LCMS does not necessarily mean leaving faith in Jesus.  There are at least a  billion Christians that don't have such a conflict. 

In some senses, the LCMS are restricting their membership.  Several decades ago, LCMS decided they did to want more liberal theology.  Now they are deciding whether they want “scientifically-minded” individuals.  Good luck with that.
I sort of disagree with you here.  This is one where one can be a member, just not a Pastor. 
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: aletheist on January 02, 2018, 09:16:37 AM
A very literal translation of the Bible leads to treatments of the age of the earth that don’t match today’s scientific understanding.
The inspiration of Scripture--and therefore its inerrancy and infallibility--is an article of faith.  To paraphrase Luther, I believe that I cannot, by my own reason or strength, believe the Bible as the Word of God; but the Holy Spirit has called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith.
That mis-match occurs in many science fields particularly in the age of the earth:  astronomy with light travel and beginnings of the world, geology with formation of geological structures (i.e., oil formations) and movements of continents, climatology with climatic changes (i.e., ice ages), and biology with evolution.
What presuppositions are necessary in order to infer the origin and age of the earth from these and other current scientific observations?  Why should we adopt them, rather than accept the account that God Himself has given us?  Why place our ultimate trust in human reason, rather than divine revelation?
The third way for LCMS-scientific-minded individuals to deal with this is to ignore LCMS creation theology in their daily work but stick with LCMS theology in other matters.
I suspect that there are not very many situations when the "scientific" estimates for the age of earth make a significant difference in someone's daily work.  No one seriously disputes that the methods of science are wonderful tools for helping us understand how the universe operates today.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Team Hesse on January 02, 2018, 09:48:02 AM

The inspiration of Scripture--and therefore its inerrancy and infallibility--is an article of faith.  To paraphrase Luther, I believe that I cannot, by my own reason or strength, believe the Bible as the Word of God; but the Holy Spirit has called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith.



I tend to be very much in tune with what you post on here, Jon, but I would be cautious with a paraphrase like this one. It tends to make my teeth itch because it goes perilously close to an Islamic confession where "The Word became book and is among us." Jesus is Lord and He is revealed to us in scripture.


Lou
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: aletheist on January 02, 2018, 10:00:05 AM
I tend to be very much in tune with what you post on here, Jon, but I would be cautious with a paraphrase like this one. It tends to make my teeth itch because it goes perilously close to an Islamic confession where "The Word became book and is among us." Jesus is Lord and He is revealed to us in scripture.
Agreed--faith in Christ is primary; thanks for the corrective.  The main point that I wanted to make was that our confidence in Scripture's divine authority comes most fundamentally from the Holy Spirit, rather than our own reason or strength, although there is also plenty of external evidence for its reliability.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Dave Benke on January 02, 2018, 10:03:06 AM

The inspiration of Scripture--and therefore its inerrancy and infallibility--is an article of faith.  To paraphrase Luther, I believe that I cannot, by my own reason or strength, believe the Bible as the Word of God; but the Holy Spirit has called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith.



I tend to be very much in tune with what you post on here, Jon, but I would be cautious with a paraphrase like this one. It tends to make my teeth itch because it goes perilously close to an Islamic confession where "The Word became book and is among us." Jesus is Lord and He is revealed to us in scripture.


Lou

I'm very much in agreement with Lou on this, Jon.  It becomes a moving of the line - from Lord Jesus Christ to Book and then in the Missouri Synod and other denominations to the Handbook/bylaws/resolutions. 

Dave Benke
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: RDPreus on January 02, 2018, 10:25:30 AM
Faith in Jesus and faith in the inspiration of the Bible go together.  There is no incarnate Word except the One revealed in the written word.  The purpose of the written word is that we may know and believe in the incarnate Word.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: aletheist on January 02, 2018, 10:27:45 AM
I'm very much in agreement with Lou on this, Jon.  It becomes a moving of the line - from Lord Jesus Christ to Book and then in the Missouri Synod and other denominations to the Handbook/bylaws/resolutions.
Right--again, the point was not so much that we place our faith in Scripture itself, but that we recognize its divine authority "as the written Word of God and the only rule and norm of faith and of practice."  We treat the Book of Concord as authoritative only because it is "a true and unadulterated statement and exposition of the Word of God."  And we treat doctrinal resolutions as authoritative only insofar as they are in accordance with the Word of God.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Jim Butler on January 02, 2018, 10:37:19 AM
Let me take another track here.  When your LCMS-scientific-minded individuals are questioning LCMS creation theology, those individuals are telling you the LCMS theology is wrong.

You are making the assumption that the Wyoming District Pastors Conference Resolution speaks for the LCMS and correctly reflects its "creation theology." If you read through many of the responses by LCMS pastors in this discussion, I think you will find that you are very much mistaken.


A very literal translation of the Bible leads to treatments of the age of the earth that don’t match today’s scientific understanding.


What sort of translation would you think is better? How does one create a "translation of the Bible" that is not "literal"?

Of course you don't mean "translation." You mean "interpretation."


To deal with this, the LCMS-scientific-minded individual can take several tracks.  The first is to subscribe to other non-standard explanations.  Some have gone to intelligent design and creation studies, both of which have issues.  In the end, LCMS-scientific-minded individuals could reach the conclusion that those alternative explanations are more problematic than they are worth.

As if standard materialistic evolutionary theory has no "issues." I've talked with atheists who believe in evolutionary theory and even they admit the theory has "issues." There is a limit to human understanding. There is more we do not know than we do know. So of course every answer will have "issues."

A second way is to try to square scientific understanding and theology.  This, in my opinion, is what Jurchen tried to did in his article. His efforts were very mild and he tried to keep with LCMS-theology.  For his efforts, he got condemned.  Thank you to “The Brothers of John the Steadfast”. 

Let's just say that Jurchen spoke for many of us who struggle with this issue and aren't sure of the answers.


The third way for LCMS-scientific-minded individuals to deal with this is to ignore LCMS creation theology in their daily work but stick with LCMS theology in other matters.  This present issues and erodes the LCMS theology.  If the LCMS is wrong about creation, they are likely wrong about other matters.  If LCMS is wrong about creation, why would you trust LCMS on other matters?  Why aren’t they wrong, for example, about sexuality?

If you don't know the difference between "translation" and "interpretation" then why should I have any confidence that you are worth responding to now? It's the same thing.

When people go through my adult members class, I tell them straight up that there are LCMS pastors and members who are young earth creationists. I also tell them that I'm not among them. I tell them that I haven't figured out how to square this circle, but I'm still reading and learning. One thing I like about Lutheranism is the fact that we are comfortable with paradoxes; this is one of them.

In other words, I sound very much like Dr. Jurchens.

People appreciate my honesty. I had one couple join who came out of an Evangelical background. He was relieved that I don't push young earth creationism.

However, while I don't believe the Scriptures speak with clearly as to the age of the earth, I do think they speak quite clearly to the question of sexuality among other things. Other church bodies argue that the Scriptures don't speak clearly to either issue and we can just make it all up as we go along.


A fourth way is to leave the LCMS.  There are other denominations that have other interpretations of creation.

Very few people join a denomination. Most people join a local congregation. I'll leave it at that.


In some senses, the LCMS are restricting their membership.  Several decades ago, LCMS decided they did to want more liberal theology.  Now they are deciding whether they want “scientifically-minded” individuals.  Good luck with that.

Again, you are assuming this is some sort of major issue for us. I don't think it is. I don't think anyone in my congregation is at all aware of this issue. In our two circuits that meet monthly, I met only one other pastor who was all aware of this discussion.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 02, 2018, 12:10:26 PM
A very literal translation of the Bible leads to treatments of the age of the earth that don’t match today’s scientific understanding.
The inspiration of Scripture--and therefore its inerrancy and infallibility--is an article of faith.  To paraphrase Luther, I believe that I cannot, by my own reason or strength, believe the Bible as the Word of God; but the Holy Spirit has called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith.


There are many of us who believe that the Bible is the Word of God; but it still needs to be interpreted by humans. To state that "day" in Genesis 1 must refer to a 24-hour period is an interpretation. There are other places where it means "the period of daylight in opposition to "night" - so: about a 12-hour period of time. There are other uses of the word where it is interpreted as an indefinite period of time, e.g., "all the days of his life." To state that "day" in Genesis 1 is simply a literary device that organizes the eight acts of creation rather than a term of a specific length of time is also an interpretation. None of those interpretations change the fact that the Bible is the Word of God.



Quote
That mis-match occurs in many science fields particularly in the age of the earth:  astronomy with light travel and beginnings of the world, geology with formation of geological structures (i.e., oil formations) and movements of continents, climatology with climatic changes (i.e., ice ages), and biology with evolution.
What presuppositions are necessary in order to infer the origin and age of the earth from these and other current scientific observations?  Why should we adopt them, rather than accept the account that God Himself has given us?  Why place our ultimate trust in human reason, rather than divine revelation?


What presuppositions are you using when you interpret scriptures? You certainly have them. No one can interpret the world, nor Holy Scriptures without trusting human reason. When God wrote on the wall, it needed a human interpreter. When the Ethiopian eunuch read scriptures, he needed a human interpreter. Jews have volumes of the Talmud - human interpretations of the Torah.

Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Weedon on January 02, 2018, 12:11:48 PM
Although the saying, “Every truth is in agreement with every other truth,” is to be upheld, nevertheless, what is true in one field of learning is not always true in other fields of learning. —Martin Luther, Disputation on the Word Made Flesh, Thesis 1, AE 38
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 02, 2018, 12:20:32 PM

The inspiration of Scripture--and therefore its inerrancy and infallibility--is an article of faith.  To paraphrase Luther, I believe that I cannot, by my own reason or strength, believe the Bible as the Word of God; but the Holy Spirit has called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith.



I tend to be very much in tune with what you post on here, Jon, but I would be cautious with a paraphrase like this one. It tends to make my teeth itch because it goes perilously close to an Islamic confession where "The Word became book and is among us." Jesus is Lord and He is revealed to us in scripture.


Lou

I'm very much in agreement with Lou on this, Jon.  It becomes a moving of the line - from Lord Jesus Christ to Book and then in the Missouri Synod and other denominations to the Handbook/bylaws/resolutions. 


Aren't the movements of the line necessary? If not, why was the Book written and preserved? For 20 years the church existed without any NT writings and 40 years without a written Gospel. Jesus Christ and the oral tradition about him (and the Hebrew Scriptures) was sufficient. Then, as the eyewitnesses were dying, another authority was necessary - a written account of Jesus. Even with that, it was deemed necessary to create a Creed that would try and unite the followers of Christ - and the Nicene Creed was created - and a canon of acceptable books was affirmed. The New Testament, creeds, canon laws, confessional statements, constitutions and bylaws were necessary when just confessing "Jesus is Lord," was insufficient to define the Christian faith..
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 02, 2018, 12:22:06 PM
Faith in Jesus and faith in the inspiration of the Bible go together.  There is no incarnate Word except the One revealed in the written word.  The purpose of the written word is that we may know and believe in the incarnate Word.


I agree. Believing and declaring that the Bible is inspired by God is not the same thing as interpreting the Bible - discerning what God is saying and doing for us through those inspired words.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: RDPreus on January 02, 2018, 12:32:55 PM
Faith in Jesus and faith in the inspiration of the Bible go together.  There is no incarnate Word except the One revealed in the written word.  The purpose of the written word is that we may know and believe in the incarnate Word.


I agree. Believing and declaring that the Bible is inspired by God is not the same thing as interpreting the Bible - discerning what God is saying and doing for us through those inspired words.

Quite right.  Some interpret Christ's words, "This is my body" to mean that his body is as far above the altar as heaven is above the earth.  Others interpret the words, "And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day" to mean that there were billions and billions of days.  You're absolutely right.  Some interpret the Bible to mean what it says, while others interpret the Bible to mean what it doesn't say.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: D. Engebretson on January 02, 2018, 01:01:19 PM
Something that doesn't seem to get addressed as much in the 'kerfuffle' about the length of the "day" of Genesis 1 are the implications of what it means for there to be large expanses of time between the events of creation.  One of the issues in this involves the reality of death and its relationship to sin.  I think that the length of creation impinges directly on this doctrine and so the implications go well beyond merely trying to reconcile a biblical text with prevailing scientific thought.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Dave Benke on January 02, 2018, 01:41:24 PM

The inspiration of Scripture--and therefore its inerrancy and infallibility--is an article of faith.  To paraphrase Luther, I believe that I cannot, by my own reason or strength, believe the Bible as the Word of God; but the Holy Spirit has called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith.



I tend to be very much in tune with what you post on here, Jon, but I would be cautious with a paraphrase like this one. It tends to make my teeth itch because it goes perilously close to an Islamic confession where "The Word became book and is among us." Jesus is Lord and He is revealed to us in scripture.


Lou

I'm very much in agreement with Lou on this, Jon.  It becomes a moving of the line - from Lord Jesus Christ to Book and then in the Missouri Synod and other denominations to the Handbook/bylaws/resolutions. 


Aren't the movements of the line necessary? If not, why was the Book written and preserved? For 20 years the church existed without any NT writings and 40 years without a written Gospel. Jesus Christ and the oral tradition about him (and the Hebrew Scriptures) was sufficient. Then, as the eyewitnesses were dying, another authority was necessary - a written account of Jesus. Even with that, it was deemed necessary to create a Creed that would try and unite the followers of Christ - and the Nicene Creed was created - and a canon of acceptable books was affirmed. The New Testament, creeds, canon laws, confessional statements, constitutions and bylaws were necessary when just confessing "Jesus is Lord," was insufficient to define the Christian faith..

Yes they are necessary, in their way.  What has happened through the course of history is that the tertiary, quaternary and quinary level disputes pretty much obliterate recollection of "Jesus is Lord" being sufficient for salvation.  Instead, high dudgeon ensues over comfort dog ministry and whether a non-clergy non-male can read a non-Gospel lesson in church on a Sunday.  The results of these disputes are then codified for the record.  You could take that from a different tangent in whatever denomination you'd like. 

The result of all of that in this country is the "nones."   They're done with all that huffing and puffing.  And the other result is the non-denominational approach.  Again, less huffing and puffing.
 
What's lost is the actual value of actual dialog and engagement with matters of faith and doctrine.  What's also lost is faith community costly discipleship as a witness to and in the world for the sake of the Gospel.

Dave Benke

Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Dave Likeness on January 02, 2018, 10:16:37 PM
As Bishop Benke mentions, the LCMS has minor disputes over comfort dogs and female lectors.
But there is another area of contention in the LCMS:

In a recent survey among LCMS parishes in ten selected districts, it was discovered that the
laity have a misunderstanding about the Book of Concord.  Over 50% of our laity think the
Book of Concord is about grapes.   They had the understanding that Concord Grapes were
used for grape jelly and grape wine.  They believed that the Book of Concord provided recipes
for them.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Charles Austin on January 02, 2018, 10:21:00 PM
If that is really true, and not someone’s idea about a parody, then I am really amused.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 03, 2018, 02:06:35 AM
Faith in Jesus and faith in the inspiration of the Bible go together.  There is no incarnate Word except the One revealed in the written word.  The purpose of the written word is that we may know and believe in the incarnate Word.


I agree. Believing and declaring that the Bible is inspired by God is not the same thing as interpreting the Bible - discerning what God is saying and doing for us through those inspired words.

Quite right.  Some interpret Christ's words, "This is my body" to mean that his body is as far above the altar as heaven is above the earth.  Others interpret the words, "And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day" to mean that there were billions and billions of days.  You're absolutely right.  Some interpret the Bible to mean what it says, while others interpret the Bible to mean what it doesn't say.


Quite right, so when Paul writes, "You are the body of Christ" (1 Cor 12:27a) we must be just like the sacramental bread.


And when he writes: "It's a physical body when it's put into the ground, but it's raised as a spiritual body. If there's a physical body, there's also a spiritual body." (1 Cor 15:44) That must mean that the resurrected Jesus must have a spiritual body - no longer a physical one.


Numerous passages talk about God's "right hand." To interpret that as it says: God has a right hand just like we have right hands; is to misinterpret the texts. It is metaphorical language. We need to interpret the words by what they meant to the original author and hearers. That can mean that interpreting the literal meaning is the wrong interpretation.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 03, 2018, 02:14:29 AM

The inspiration of Scripture--and therefore its inerrancy and infallibility--is an article of faith.  To paraphrase Luther, I believe that I cannot, by my own reason or strength, believe the Bible as the Word of God; but the Holy Spirit has called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith.



I tend to be very much in tune with what you post on here, Jon, but I would be cautious with a paraphrase like this one. It tends to make my teeth itch because it goes perilously close to an Islamic confession where "The Word became book and is among us." Jesus is Lord and He is revealed to us in scripture.


Lou

I'm very much in agreement with Lou on this, Jon.  It becomes a moving of the line - from Lord Jesus Christ to Book and then in the Missouri Synod and other denominations to the Handbook/bylaws/resolutions. 


Aren't the movements of the line necessary? If not, why was the Book written and preserved? For 20 years the church existed without any NT writings and 40 years without a written Gospel. Jesus Christ and the oral tradition about him (and the Hebrew Scriptures) was sufficient. Then, as the eyewitnesses were dying, another authority was necessary - a written account of Jesus. Even with that, it was deemed necessary to create a Creed that would try and unite the followers of Christ - and the Nicene Creed was created - and a canon of acceptable books was affirmed. The New Testament, creeds, canon laws, confessional statements, constitutions and bylaws were necessary when just confessing "Jesus is Lord," was insufficient to define the Christian faith..

Yes they are necessary, in their way.  What has happened through the course of history is that the tertiary, quaternary and quinary level disputes pretty much obliterate recollection of "Jesus is Lord" being sufficient for salvation.  Instead, high dudgeon ensues over comfort dog ministry and whether a non-clergy non-male can read a non-Gospel lesson in church on a Sunday.  The results of these disputes are then codified for the record.  You could take that from a different tangent in whatever denomination you'd like. 

The result of all of that in this country is the "nones."   They're done with all that huffing and puffing.  And the other result is the non-denominational approach.  Again, less huffing and puffing.
 
What's lost is the actual value of actual dialog and engagement with matters of faith and doctrine.  What's also lost is faith community costly discipleship as a witness to and in the world for the sake of the Gospel.


True. No longer can the world look at Christians and exclaim, "See how they love one another."


Or, to use a quote from Jonahathan Swift: "We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another." (The Battle of the Books,Ch. 15: Thoughts on Various Subjects) in 1711.



     
 
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on January 03, 2018, 08:04:32 AM
Faith in Jesus and faith in the inspiration of the Bible go together.  There is no incarnate Word except the One revealed in the written word.  The purpose of the written word is that we may know and believe in the incarnate Word.


I agree. Believing and declaring that the Bible is inspired by God is not the same thing as interpreting the Bible - discerning what God is saying and doing for us through those inspired words.

Quite right.  Some interpret Christ's words, "This is my body" to mean that his body is as far above the altar as heaven is above the earth.  Others interpret the words, "And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day" to mean that there were billions and billions of days.  You're absolutely right.  Some interpret the Bible to mean what it says, while others interpret the Bible to mean what it doesn't say.

Quite right, so when Paul writes, "You are the body of Christ" (1 Cor 12:27a) we must be just like the sacramental bread.

There's a not-so-subtle (intentional) confusion of the Real Presence and confusion between 1Cor 11 and 12. I.e., just another manifestation of intellectual dishonesty.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: readselerttoo on January 03, 2018, 09:20:40 AM
Faith in Jesus and faith in the inspiration of the Bible go together.  There is no incarnate Word except the One revealed in the written word.  The purpose of the written word is that we may know and believe in the incarnate Word.


I agree. Believing and declaring that the Bible is inspired by God is not the same thing as interpreting the Bible - discerning what God is saying and doing for us through those inspired words.

Quite right.  Some interpret Christ's words, "This is my body" to mean that his body is as far above the altar as heaven is above the earth.  Others interpret the words, "And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day" to mean that there were billions and billions of days.  You're absolutely right.  Some interpret the Bible to mean what it says, while others interpret the Bible to mean what it doesn't say.


Quite right, so when Paul writes, "You are the body of Christ" (1 Cor 12:27a) we must be just like the sacramental bread.


And when he writes: "It's a physical body when it's put into the ground, but it's raised as a spiritual body. If there's a physical body, there's also a spiritual body." (1 Cor 15:44) That must mean that the resurrected Jesus must have a spiritual body - no longer a physical one.


Numerous passages talk about God's "right hand." To interpret that as it says: God has a right hand just like we have right hands; is to misinterpret the texts. It is metaphorical language. We need to interpret the words by what they meant to the original author and hearers. That can mean that interpreting the literal meaning is the wrong interpretation.

"That can mean that interpreting the literal meaning is the wrong interpretation."   What does this mean?
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Jim Butler on January 03, 2018, 09:41:03 AM
Faith in Jesus and faith in the inspiration of the Bible go together.  There is no incarnate Word except the One revealed in the written word.  The purpose of the written word is that we may know and believe in the incarnate Word.


I agree. Believing and declaring that the Bible is inspired by God is not the same thing as interpreting the Bible - discerning what God is saying and doing for us through those inspired words.

Quite right.  Some interpret Christ's words, "This is my body" to mean that his body is as far above the altar as heaven is above the earth.  Others interpret the words, "And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day" to mean that there were billions and billions of days.  You're absolutely right.  Some interpret the Bible to mean what it says, while others interpret the Bible to mean what it doesn't say.


Quite right, so when Paul writes, "You are the body of Christ" (1 Cor 12:27a) we must be just like the sacramental bread.


And when he writes: "It's a physical body when it's put into the ground, but it's raised as a spiritual body. If there's a physical body, there's also a spiritual body." (1 Cor 15:44) That must mean that the resurrected Jesus must have a spiritual body - no longer a physical one.


Numerous passages talk about God's "right hand." To interpret that as it says: God has a right hand just like we have right hands; is to misinterpret the texts. It is metaphorical language. We need to interpret the words by what they meant to the original author and hearers. That can mean that interpreting the literal meaning is the wrong interpretation.

1) Brian, you still haven't answered my earlier question. You said that the word "day" is not used in Genesis 1. You stated that was put there by English translators. What word would you use to translate yom?

2) 1 Cor 12:27a--Wow. You like to take stuff out of context don't you? I mean, why not quote the entire passage: "and each of you is a part of it"? Except, of course, it would destroy your point.

3) 1 Cor 15:54--Again, you like to rip out of context. The point Paul is making is contrasting our mortal bodies with the immortal. In Philippians, he notes that our bodies will be like Christ's "glorious body" which is saying the same thing.

4) "God's right hand"--you are correct, that is a metaphor. BTW, one interprets metaphors literally when one interprets it as a metaphor, because that is what it literally is.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Rev Mathew Andersen on January 03, 2018, 09:54:10 AM
Faith in Jesus and faith in the inspiration of the Bible go together.  There is no incarnate Word except the One revealed in the written word.  The purpose of the written word is that we may know and believe in the incarnate Word.


I agree. Believing and declaring that the Bible is inspired by God is not the same thing as interpreting the Bible - discerning what God is saying and doing for us through those inspired words.

Quite right.  Some interpret Christ's words, "This is my body" to mean that his body is as far above the altar as heaven is above the earth.  Others interpret the words, "And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day" to mean that there were billions and billions of days.  You're absolutely right.  Some interpret the Bible to mean what it says, while others interpret the Bible to mean what it doesn't say.

Quite right, so when Paul writes, "You are the body of Christ" (1 Cor 12:27a) we must be just like the sacramental bread.

There's a not-so-subtle (intentional) confusion of the Real Presence and confusion between 1Cor 11 and 12. I.e., just another manifestation of intellectual dishonesty.
It may be dishonesty.  However, I am becoming more convinced that Brian simply lacks the ability to understand context.  He seems to interpret by throwing out multiple possible meanings of words without regard to the contextual clues within the passages in which they occur.  I am growing more and more concerned about Brian himself.  I hope he is OK.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Charles Austin on January 03, 2018, 10:29:54 AM
Here is what some of you guys do not understand about how some of us, people like Brian and this humble correspondent, do study of the texts. We are willing to explore a range of possibilities of meaning. We are willing to look at original context, the context(s) in which a passage has been interpreted, the current context and the context of the person doing the interpretation. We are willing to explore various meanings of words. We are willing to consider things “outside” the verse or word itself.
And then...
We are willing to consider what might be possible in interpreting a text. We need to see whether an earlier interpretation may have been skewed by its context. We need to see how a lot of things might have impacted what has been said about a text.
Then we may (or may not) choose a particular interpretation as true, or credible, or possible, or the one we use in preaching and/or teaching.
Some of you, I believe, (and of course I could be wrong) want to have meaning and interpretation nailed down or limited or formed to fit a setting, doctrine, or “church”.
And of course, we may disagree on the interpretation of context or etymology.
So I think Brian is OK. And I don’t always agree with him.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 03, 2018, 10:52:32 AM
Faith in Jesus and faith in the inspiration of the Bible go together.  There is no incarnate Word except the One revealed in the written word.  The purpose of the written word is that we may know and believe in the incarnate Word.


I agree. Believing and declaring that the Bible is inspired by God is not the same thing as interpreting the Bible - discerning what God is saying and doing for us through those inspired words.

Quite right.  Some interpret Christ's words, "This is my body" to mean that his body is as far above the altar as heaven is above the earth.  Others interpret the words, "And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day" to mean that there were billions and billions of days.  You're absolutely right.  Some interpret the Bible to mean what it says, while others interpret the Bible to mean what it doesn't say.

Quite right, so when Paul writes, "You are the body of Christ" (1 Cor 12:27a) we must be just like the sacramental bread.

There's a not-so-subtle (intentional) confusion of the Real Presence and confusion between 1Cor 11 and 12. I.e., just another manifestation of intellectual dishonesty.


I'm showing the dishonest in RDPreus's approach. If "day" must mean 24-hours because that's what the text says, the "spiritual" must mean "spiritual" because that's what the text says. If the meaning of words can vary within different contexts, then we can't take the meaning from one context and automatically apply that meaning to another context.


An illustration I've used of this is that one cannot know the precise meaning of the word "bar" without the context of a sentence. Consider the different meanings in these sentences:


He was a member of the bar.
He sat at the bar in the bar.
The bouncer barred the entrance.
He was hit by a metal bar.
He was attacked by a grizzly bar.

Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 03, 2018, 11:09:14 AM
Faith in Jesus and faith in the inspiration of the Bible go together.  There is no incarnate Word except the One revealed in the written word.  The purpose of the written word is that we may know and believe in the incarnate Word.


I agree. Believing and declaring that the Bible is inspired by God is not the same thing as interpreting the Bible - discerning what God is saying and doing for us through those inspired words.

Quite right.  Some interpret Christ's words, "This is my body" to mean that his body is as far above the altar as heaven is above the earth.  Others interpret the words, "And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day" to mean that there were billions and billions of days.  You're absolutely right.  Some interpret the Bible to mean what it says, while others interpret the Bible to mean what it doesn't say.


Quite right, so when Paul writes, "You are the body of Christ" (1 Cor 12:27a) we must be just like the sacramental bread.


And when he writes: "It's a physical body when it's put into the ground, but it's raised as a spiritual body. If there's a physical body, there's also a spiritual body." (1 Cor 15:44) That must mean that the resurrected Jesus must have a spiritual body - no longer a physical one.


Numerous passages talk about God's "right hand." To interpret that as it says: God has a right hand just like we have right hands; is to misinterpret the texts. It is metaphorical language. We need to interpret the words by what they meant to the original author and hearers. That can mean that interpreting the literal meaning is the wrong interpretation.

"That can mean that interpreting the literal meaning is the wrong interpretation."   What does this mean?


It means that biblical writers used metaphors, similes, idioms, symbolisms, etc. where words represent something other than their literal meaning. For example, I don't believe that the number 144,000 in Revelation really means exactly 144,000 people (actual, to be really picky, it would have to be 144,000 male Jewish virgins). Those who interpret that number to be literal are making the wrong interpretation. It's meant to be symbolic.


Or, consider the Hebrew word elohim. It's a plural form of the noun. Literally, shouldn't it be translated "gods" or perhaps "divine beings" every time it occurs in the OT? However, when it is used of the one God of Israel, interpreting it as "gods" would be the wrong interpretation and translation. Consider a literal translation of Psalm 82:1: Elohim has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of elohim he holds judgment." If elohim is translated exactly the same both times it's used in that verse, it becomes heresy.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on January 03, 2018, 11:15:13 AM
Faith in Jesus and faith in the inspiration of the Bible go together.  There is no incarnate Word except the One revealed in the written word.  The purpose of the written word is that we may know and believe in the incarnate Word.


I agree. Believing and declaring that the Bible is inspired by God is not the same thing as interpreting the Bible - discerning what God is saying and doing for us through those inspired words.

Quite right.  Some interpret Christ's words, "This is my body" to mean that his body is as far above the altar as heaven is above the earth.  Others interpret the words, "And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day" to mean that there were billions and billions of days.  You're absolutely right.  Some interpret the Bible to mean what it says, while others interpret the Bible to mean what it doesn't say.

Quite right, so when Paul writes, "You are the body of Christ" (1 Cor 12:27a) we must be just like the sacramental bread.

There's a not-so-subtle (intentional) confusion of the Real Presence and confusion between 1Cor 11 and 12. I.e., just another manifestation of intellectual dishonesty.


I'm showing the dishonest in RDPreus's approach. If "day" must mean 24-hours because that's what the text says, the "spiritual" must mean "spiritual" because that's what the text says. If the meaning of words can vary within different contexts, then we can't take the meaning from one context and automatically apply that meaning to another context.


An illustration I've used of this is that one cannot know the precise meaning of the word "bar" without the context of a sentence. Consider the different meanings in these sentences:


He was a member of the bar.
He sat at the bar in the bar.
The bouncer barred the entrance.
He was hit by a metal bar.
He was attacked by a grizzly bar.

To put the best construction on things, I'm beginning to go along with Matthew Andersen. You don't even comprehend, or at least acknowledge, the two contexts in the comparison you make, Brian, between 1 Cor 11 and 1 Cor 12. And this response is utter nonsense and confusion.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: SomeoneWrites on January 03, 2018, 11:19:06 AM
Faith in Jesus and faith in the inspiration of the Bible go together.  There is no incarnate Word except the One revealed in the written word.  The purpose of the written word is that we may know and believe in the incarnate Word.


I agree. Believing and declaring that the Bible is inspired by God is not the same thing as interpreting the Bible - discerning what God is saying and doing for us through those inspired words.

Quite right.  Some interpret Christ's words, "This is my body" to mean that his body is as far above the altar as heaven is above the earth.  Others interpret the words, "And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day" to mean that there were billions and billions of days.  You're absolutely right.  Some interpret the Bible to mean what it says, while others interpret the Bible to mean what it doesn't say.

Quite right, so when Paul writes, "You are the body of Christ" (1 Cor 12:27a) we must be just like the sacramental bread.

There's a not-so-subtle (intentional) confusion of the Real Presence and confusion between 1Cor 11 and 12. I.e., just another manifestation of intellectual dishonesty.


I'm showing the dishonest in RDPreus's approach. If "day" must mean 24-hours because that's what the text says, the "spiritual" must mean "spiritual" because that's what the text says. If the meaning of words can vary within different contexts, then we can't take the meaning from one context and automatically apply that meaning to another context.


An illustration I've used of this is that one cannot know the precise meaning of the word "bar" without the context of a sentence. Consider the different meanings in these sentences:


He was a member of the bar.
He sat at the bar in the bar.
The bouncer barred the entrance.
He was hit by a metal bar.
He was attacked by a grizzly bar.

I don't always disagree with you, and even appreciated your comment on presuppositions upstream. 

I think you'd be better served by again, using all your exegetical tools.  Sure, I don't think anyone is disputing multiple definitions of words.  You defend that the word can be different, but you often don't lay down a solid case why that word should be used.  Or at least, there seem to be very few people here that are compelled by your argument for a different word. 

Yom - for example.  Sure, we understand that day can mean 24 hour day.  It can also mean a longer stretch of time, like "in the day."  Considering your other thoughts on Genesis, I don't know why you're pushing for longer "days."  Sure, things have significant theological consequences (as was pointed out upstream on sin/death), if the narrative is not literal as a whole, why push so hard in that area?   
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 03, 2018, 11:27:20 AM
1) Brian, you still haven't answered my earlier question. You said that the word "day" is not used in Genesis 1. You stated that was put there by English translators. What word would you use to translate yom?


"Day" is the word that it used. What is meant by that word? There are eight definitions in It is used as a literary device to separate and organize the acts of creation into three or four parallel acts: day 1 is connected to day 4; day 2 is connected to day 5; both days 3 and 6 have two acts of creation. Genesis 1 is a marvelous literary work of art where the style of the text also conveys the meaning of the words - God is creating order out of chaos and the composer of the text has created a well-structured piece of literature that emphasizes and explains why Jews rest on the seventh day.


The account in Genesis 2 is much less structured. I note that if "day" as used in Genesis 2:4b means "a 24-hour period" it's in conflict with the six days.

Quote
2) 1 Cor 12:27a--Wow. You like to take stuff out of context don't you? I mean, why not quote the entire passage: "and each of you is a part of it"? Except, of course, it would destroy your point.


That doesn't make any difference to my point. Does "body" change meanings when it's in the sentences: "This is my body" and "You are the body of Christ"?

Quote
3) 1 Cor 15:54--Again, you like to rip out of context. The point Paul is making is contrasting our mortal bodies with the immortal. In Philippians, he notes that our bodies will be like Christ's "glorious body" which is saying the same thing.


So, you agree with me that context is important for understanding the meaning of a word: - that "day" in Genesis 1 could mean something different than in Exodus 20 because the contexts are different? The context of 1 Corinthians 15 comes from the context of what we know about our human bodies - they get old, they deteriorate, they do not last forever. Even when bodies are placed in our graves, they continue to decay and deteriorate. The stuff God gave us for our bodies during our short stay on earth just won't work for an eternal, resurrected life. If that's true for our bodies, why not also for Christ's resurrected, eternal body?

Quote
4) "God's right hand"--you are correct, that is a metaphor. BTW, one interprets metaphors literally when one interprets it as a metaphor, because that is what it literally is.


So, why shouldn't "day" be considered a metaphor in Genesis 1? E.g., a reference to a huge division of time? Or just a literary divice?
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 03, 2018, 11:31:35 AM
To put the best construction on things, I'm beginning to go along with Matthew Andersen. You don't even comprehend, or at least acknowledge, the two contexts in the comparison you make, Brian, between 1 Cor 11 and 1 Cor 12. And this response is utter nonsense and confusion.


"Utter nonsense and confusion" is what I was going for. That's what happens when a literal approach is used. We should be cutting off sinful hands and plucking out sinful eyes, etc.; but we know better to take those clear words of Jesus literally. We look for meanings that make sense in our lives and world - and yet remain connected to the range of definitions of the original words - or implied meanings by metaphors. (It's been argued that all words are metaphors.)
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on January 03, 2018, 11:47:49 AM
To put the best construction on things, I'm beginning to go along with Matthew Andersen. You don't even comprehend, or at least acknowledge, the two contexts in the comparison you make, Brian, between 1 Cor 11 and 1 Cor 12. And this response is utter nonsense and confusion.


"Utter nonsense and confusion" is what I was going for. That's what happens when a literal approach is used. We should be cutting off sinful hands and plucking out sinful eyes, etc.; but we know better to take those clear words of Jesus literally. We look for meanings that make sense in our lives and world - and yet remain connected to the range of definitions of the original words - or implied meanings by metaphors. (It's been argued that all words are metaphors.)

So, in a direct comparison, i.e., in the same context, are you suggesting that Moses changed definitions?

"Exodus 20:8 - “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Exodus 20:9 - Six days you shall labor, and do all your work,
Exodus 20:10 - but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates.
Exodus 20:11 - For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy."

Or, are you suggesting that "day" in laboring for six days and resting on the Sabbath is an indefinite period of time?
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: SomeoneWrites on January 03, 2018, 11:51:17 AM
To put the best construction on things, I'm beginning to go along with Matthew Andersen. You don't even comprehend, or at least acknowledge, the two contexts in the comparison you make, Brian, between 1 Cor 11 and 1 Cor 12. And this response is utter nonsense and confusion.


"Utter nonsense and confusion" is what I was going for. That's what happens when a literal approach is used. We should be cutting off sinful hands and plucking out sinful eyes, etc.; but we know better to take those clear words of Jesus literally. We look for meanings that make sense in our lives and world - and yet remain connected to the range of definitions of the original words - or implied meanings by metaphors. (It's been argued that all words are metaphors.)

So, in a direct comparison, i.e., in the same context, are you suggesting that Moses changed definitions?

"Exodus 20:8 - “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Exodus 20:9 - Six days you shall labor, and do all your work,
Exodus 20:10 - but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates.
Exodus 20:11 - For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy."

This is exactly what I was thinking.  It can still be interpreted that the the short day of rest is for us, and the long day was for God.  Or something.  I just don't think it fits the text. 
Even assuming Christianity is true, I still think the text is myth.  But I can't see a good argument for interpreting 6 days as not 6 24 hour days.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: MaddogLutheran on January 03, 2018, 01:03:04 PM
To put the best construction on things, I'm beginning to go along with Matthew Andersen. You don't even comprehend, or at least acknowledge, the two contexts in the comparison you make, Brian, between 1 Cor 11 and 1 Cor 12. And this response is utter nonsense and confusion.


"Utter nonsense and confusion" is what I was going for. That's what happens when a literal approach is used. We should be cutting off sinful hands and plucking out sinful eyes, etc.; but we know better to take those clear words of Jesus literally. We look for meanings that make sense in our lives and world - and yet remain connected to the range of definitions of the original words - or implied meanings by metaphors. (It's been argued that all words are metaphors.)
As long as you continue claiming that people have said things that they have not, just because you can imagine it, you will continue to be accused of dishonesty.  At best.

Sterling Spatz
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: MaddogLutheran on January 03, 2018, 01:18:25 PM
The moments that matter to me are the ones like the one that happened a couple of days ago. A young woman confessed to me that she was sure she was going to hell because she had had an abortion years ago and "God cannot possibly forgive someone who murders a child." She told me she kept a gun and would end her life herself when the suffering seemed unbearable. I told her about the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world--all of it. Romans 8 and Jeremiah 31 figured prominently. When I left, she told me the gun was now only for target practice.
Your moving story makes me reflect on the "problem" of evangelism, even to our own children.  Last year the president of the Philadelphia seminary gave a talk at my congregation which touched on the challenge in keeping our youth in the church as young adults.  He mentioned that one critical point of those that remained included a non-parent adult speaking personally to them about why faith was important.

Trying to apply that advice in teaching 7th grade Sunday school, I've come to realize another difficulty in reaching both youth and the unchurched:  convincing them they need a Savior in the first place.  Your story, Pr. Hesse, demonstrates how powerful the message of God's love can be, in the right circumstance.  I continue to struggle with how to "sell church" to those who are not conflicted by sin.  Talking about a Savior ends up coming off as "judgmental" to those who don't think they need one at the moment.

It is why I like to challenge the kids with the question, as we go through all the bad stuff that happened in the Old Testament:  is there any sin God cannot forgive?  Sometimes that gets them thinking, if even for a moment.

All this is also why I find the "confessional" reaction to a scientific response to 6-day creation thoroughly unhelpful.  I think Gary Schnitkey's prior post (https://alpb.org/Forum/index.php?topic=6885.msg435328#msg435328) diagnoses this dilemma very well.  If you start by making such stark choices without dealing with reasonable objections, people will tune you out.  That's not an argument for compromising teaching to reach a broader audience.  It's a request for a completely different kind of conversation.

Sterling Spatz
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: SomeoneWrites on January 03, 2018, 02:01:00 PM
The moments that matter to me are the ones like the one that happened a couple of days ago. A young woman confessed to me that she was sure she was going to hell because she had had an abortion years ago and "God cannot possibly forgive someone who murders a child." She told me she kept a gun and would end her life herself when the suffering seemed unbearable. I told her about the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world--all of it. Romans 8 and Jeremiah 31 figured prominently. When I left, she told me the gun was now only for target practice.
Your moving story makes me reflect on the "problem" of evangelism, even to our own children.  Last year the president of the Philadelphia seminary gave a talk at my congregation which touched on the challenge in keeping our youth in the church as young adults.  He mentioned that one critical point of those that remained included a non-parent adult speaking personally to them about why faith was important.

Trying to apply that advice in teaching 7th grade Sunday school, I've come to realize another difficulty in reaching both youth and the unchurched:  convincing them they need a Savior in the first place.  Your story, Pr. Hesse, demonstrates how powerful the message of God's love can be, in the right circumstance.  I continue to struggle with how to "sell church" to those who are not conflicted by sin.  Talking about a Savior ends up coming off as "judgmental" to those who don't think they need one at the moment.

It is why I like to challenge the kids with the question, as we go through all the bad stuff that happened in the Old Testament:  is there any sin God cannot forgive?  Sometimes that gets them thinking, if even for a moment.

All this is also why I find the "confessional" reaction to a scientific response to 6-day creation thoroughly unhelpful.  I think Gary Schnitkey's prior post (https://alpb.org/Forum/index.php?topic=6885.msg435328#msg435328) diagnoses this dilemma very well.  If you start by making such stark choices without dealing with reasonable objections, people will tune you out.  That's not an argument for compromising teaching to reach a broader audience.  It's a request for a completely different kind of conversation.

Sterling Spatz

I agree with your assessment entirely. 
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Rev Mathew Andersen on January 03, 2018, 02:33:11 PM
To put the best construction on things, I'm beginning to go along with Matthew Andersen. You don't even comprehend, or at least acknowledge, the two contexts in the comparison you make, Brian, between 1 Cor 11 and 1 Cor 12. And this response is utter nonsense and confusion.


"Utter nonsense and confusion" is what I was going for. That's what happens when a literal approach is used. We should be cutting off sinful hands and plucking out sinful eyes, etc.; but we know better to take those clear words of Jesus literally. We look for meanings that make sense in our lives and world - and yet remain connected to the range of definitions of the original words - or implied meanings by metaphors. (It's been argued that all words are metaphors.)
Well in that case, you are just being stupid instead of suffering from some kind of inability to comprehend.  No one here take everything in a directly "literal" approach and no one has ever pretended to. So whatever you are addressing it is not here on this board.  Might be best to go and find whoever it is you think you are talking to and talk to them instead.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: pearson on January 03, 2018, 03:08:13 PM

It is metaphorical language. We need to interpret the words by what they meant to the original author and hearers.


I'm not sure that we can ever know "what it meant" to the original author and hearers.  As you, and others here, have often pointed out, language is fluid and dynamic.  "Meaning" does not attach to words in isolation; "meaning" attaches to contexts, and words gesture toward those contexts.  That's what gives words their metaphorical implications.  In the end, or so I think, "word studies" become an artificial exercise, particularly when we are dealing with words in ancient languages.

Tom Pearson
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: SomeoneWrites on January 03, 2018, 03:25:32 PM

It is metaphorical language. We need to interpret the words by what they meant to the original author and hearers.


I'm not sure that we can ever know "what it meant" to the original author and hearers.  As you, and others here, have often pointed out, language is fluid and dynamic.  "Meaning" does not attach to words in isolation; "meaning" attaches to contexts, and words gesture toward those contexts.  That's what gives words their metaphorical implications.  In the end, or so I think, "word studies" become an artificial exercise, particularly when we are dealing with words in ancient languages.

Tom Pearson

I appreciate your level of agnosticism in regard to KNOWING what it meant to the original author and hearers.  It's one of my issues with the bible and religion in general, particularly regarding sacred texts.  I do think there's some degree of what can be known, or at least that some arguments are much more compelling than others. 
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Dave Benke on January 03, 2018, 03:28:49 PM

It is metaphorical language. We need to interpret the words by what they meant to the original author and hearers.


I'm not sure that we can ever know "what it meant" to the original author and hearers.  As you, and others here, have often pointed out, language is fluid and dynamic.  "Meaning" does not attach to words in isolation; "meaning" attaches to contexts, and words gesture toward those contexts.  That's what gives words their metaphorical implications.  In the end, or so I think, "word studies" become an artificial exercise, particularly when we are dealing with words in ancient languages.

Tom Pearson

The proof-texting methodology popular in some circles is context-free and simply attaches one passage anywhere to another passage anywhere else - "Judas went out and hanged himself......Go and do thou likewise."  While in my grad studies at the seminary aeons ago I did many pre-computer word study comparisons, often examining a word from Canaanite roots (Ugaritic) through to Philo of Alexandria, which is a swath of time and cultural difference.  What had to be taken into account throughout was the immediate and more distant context.  And even that was imprecise at best.  Kittel and others like that do a great job of giving the history of the word in context in a variety of historical eras and through a variety of authors biblical and non-biblical.  So although artifical, the exercise can and does lead to relatively firm conclusions.  And yet, those words and phrases may have taken on a very different meaning in the intervening 2000 years.

Dave Benke
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: pearson on January 03, 2018, 03:29:28 PM

Some of you, I believe, (and of course I could be wrong) want to have meaning and interpretation nailed down or limited or formed to fit a setting, doctrine, or “church”.


Well, "nailed down" may be an exaggeration.  But, yes, "meaning and interpretation. . .limited or formed to fit a setting, doctrine, or 'church'" is just what it means to do theology.  "Word studies" (of ancient Greek or Hebrew, say) is not the same thing as doing theology.  "Word studies" may be one ingredient in doing theology, but theological method and lexical method are two entirely different things.  Theological meaning and interpretation is a much bigger playground, and go far beyond the artificial construct of parsing definitions of ancient terms.  And "exploring a range of possibilities" may be an entertaining literary exercise, but it is not integral to theological method.

Tom Pearson 
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Jim Butler on January 03, 2018, 03:32:31 PM
1) Brian, you still haven't answered my earlier question. You said that the word "day" is not used in Genesis 1. You stated that was put there by English translators. What word would you use to translate yom?

"Day" is the word that it used. What is meant by that word? There are eight definitions in It is used as a literary device to separate and organize the acts of creation into three or four parallel acts: day 1 is connected to day 4; day 2 is connected to day 5; both days 3 and 6 have two acts of creation. Genesis 1 is a marvelous literary work of art where the style of the text also conveys the meaning of the words - God is creating order out of chaos and the composer of the text has created a well-structured piece of literature that emphasizes and explains why Jews rest on the seventh day.

What is the antecedent to "it"? I assume the Bible, but I would like to make sure.

If "'Day' is the word that it used" then why did you say that the English translators put the word there? (This is an assertion you made; I'm just trying to figure out why you made it.)

The rest of your paragraph is correct as far as it goes, but it does not explain why one should not understand "day" to be a 24 hour period, especially since Moses consistently uses the phrase "evening and morning." As Don K points out above, that definitely fits in with Exodus 20.

Now, you can argue that Moses (or the Priestly writer or whoever) thought God created the world in six days, but we know much better; it was really billions and trillions of years. But you can't argue that the author of Genesis thought it was anything else than six 24 hour days. It just doesn't work. (By your own admission, you said one of the purposes of writing this was to explain why Jews did not work on the Sabbath. Obviously, you don't think they take billions of years off.)

Of course, you can always go with Isaac Asimov's explanation: Moses really knew it was billions of years, but he only had enough scroll length to describe seven days.

2) 1 Cor 12:27a--Wow. You like to take stuff out of context don't you? I mean, why not quote the entire passage: "and each of you is a part of it"? Except, of course, it would destroy your point.

That doesn't make any difference to my point. Does "body" change meanings when it's in the sentences: "This is my body" and "You are the body of Christ"?

Yes, "body" changes meaning: the first is a statement of fact; the second is a metaphor.

But if you want to say that Jesus is only speaking metaphorically when he says "This is my body" and that the Eucharist really isn't his body, then go ahead. Calvinists, Zwinglians, etc. have been making it for years. Just don't argue that you're Lutheran, because Lutherans have always denied that argument.

3) 1 Cor 15:54--Again, you like to rip out of context. The point Paul is making is contrasting our mortal bodies with the immortal. In Philippians, he notes that our bodies will be like Christ's "glorious body" which is saying the same thing.

So, you agree with me that context is important for understanding the meaning of a word: - that "day" in Genesis 1 could mean something different than in Exodus 20 because the contexts are different? The context of 1 Corinthians 15 comes from the context of what we know about our human bodies - they get old, they deteriorate, they do not last forever. Even when bodies are placed in our graves, they continue to decay and deteriorate. The stuff God gave us for our bodies during our short stay on earth just won't work for an eternal, resurrected life. If that's true for our bodies, why not also for Christ's resurrected, eternal body?

A. Yes, context is important. Has anyone said otherwise? If anything, you are the one who has consistently denied the importance of context. Seriously, reading your comments reminds me of Humpty Dumpty in Alice in Wonderland "When I use a word it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”

B. Yes, "day" could mean something different in Genesis 1 and Ex. 20. Except that would completely destroy Moses' argument in Exodus 20. In fact, it would destroy your own statement, that Genesis 1 "explains why Jews rest on the seventh day." If "day" has a different meaning in Gen. 1 and Ex. 20, then it can't explain "why Jews rest on the seventh day." So it either has different meanings or it makes that explanation; it can't do both.

4) "God's right hand"--you are correct, that is a metaphor. BTW, one interprets metaphors literally when one interprets it as a metaphor, because that is what it literally is.

So, why shouldn't "day" be considered a metaphor in Genesis 1? E.g., a reference to a huge division of time? Or just a literary divice?

Explain how a "huge division of time" can have an "evening and a morning." Explain how that works with Ex. 20, which clearly bases its argument on Genesis 1.

Now, you might argue that Genesis is wrong. It was billions of years (or maybe quadrillions--quintillions anyone?) but the question is: what did the author of Genesis understand it to be? Since, by your own admission, one of the purposes was to explain why the Jews rest on the seventh day, then the understanding must be an ordinary day.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 03, 2018, 03:52:47 PM

It is metaphorical language. We need to interpret the words by what they meant to the original author and hearers.


I'm not sure that we can ever know "what it meant" to the original author and hearers.  As you, and others here, have often pointed out, language is fluid and dynamic.  "Meaning" does not attach to words in isolation; "meaning" attaches to contexts, and words gesture toward those contexts.  That's what gives words their metaphorical implications.  In the end, or so I think, "word studies" become an artificial exercise, particularly when we are dealing with words in ancient languages.


If we aren't seeking the meaning(s) to the original author and hearers, what then becomes the criteria for determining if an interpretation is accurate or far-fetched? The other extreme is to let the text mean whatever a reader thinks it means to him/her. 100 people could read a text and all come up with different interpretations. How would one argue that some might be wrong?
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: pearson on January 03, 2018, 04:00:47 PM

The proof-texting methodology popular in some circles is context-free and simply attaches one passage anywhere to another passage anywhere else - "Judas went out and hanged himself......Go and do thou likewise."  While in my grad studies at the seminary aeons ago I did many pre-computer word study comparisons, often examining a word from Canaanite roots (Ugaritic) through to Philo of Alexandria, which is a swath of time and cultural difference.  What had to be taken into account throughout was the immediate and more distant context.  And even that was imprecise at best.  Kittel and others like that do a great job of giving the history of the word in context in a variety of historical eras and through a variety of authors biblical and non-biblical.  So although artifical, the exercise can and does lead to relatively firm conclusions.  And yet, those words and phrases may have taken on a very different meaning in the intervening 2000 years.


This is good; thank you, Pr. Benke.  Part of what I want to contest is the commonplace notion that language is a "container" for "meaning," or that whatever counts as "meaning" is linguistically constructed.  I think that is simply wrong.  A lot of people (Mark Johnson is one; George Lakoff is another; Wittgenstein before any of them) have convincingly shown (or so it seems to me) that "meaning is use"; that is, "meaning" emerges from the way language is used in human contexts, and it is those contexts that determine the "meaning."  Our contemporary north American context provides a supple framework within which the various uses of language generate "meaning(s)", and we can grasp those "meaning(s)" because we are comfortably ensconced within that framework.  Trying to capture the framework of the ancient Hebrews or of the Hellenistic period of the Roman Empire by inspecting their respective vocabularies and assigning lexical significance to those vocabularies is like busywork in a vacuum.  In itself, that effort will tell us nothing.  A more modest enterprise would be to make an effort to immerse ourselves in the ordinary culture of that time and place, to try to absorb the way those folks made sense of the world, and the way in which they used language to engage that worldview.  It was that worldview that supplied the context of "meaning," and their vocabularies were molded around that "meaning."  So, in the end, I suppose, what rankles is the presentation of linguistic analysis as if it were the description of historical and cultural "meaning."  That ain't right.

Tom Pearson
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 03, 2018, 04:10:22 PM
Explain how a "huge division of time" can have an "evening and a morning." Explain how that works with Ex. 20, which clearly bases its argument on Genesis 1.


The same way that there can be an "evening and a morning" and light before there was a sun, moon, and planets. The text is poetic.

Quote
Now, you might argue that Genesis is wrong. It was billions of years (or maybe quadrillions--quintillions anyone?) but the question is: what did the author of Genesis understand it to be? Since, by your own admission, one of the purposes was to explain why the Jews rest on the seventh day, then the understanding must be an ordinary day.


Genesis 1 (as well as Genesis 2) are mythic. They were written to explain things that were already known. Long before "P" compiled Genesis 1, Jews were resting on the seventh day. Why? A reason given in Genesis 1 and Exodus 20 is because God rested on the seventh day. (That commandment in Deuteronomy 5 gives a different reason for observing the sabbath day, but that was created by a different compiler.)


Why are humans different from all other animals? Genesis 1 says it's because humans were created last and only humans were created in the image of God - both males and females. Genesis 2 has God forming the man first and God breathed the breath of life into him - then woman was made from the rib (or middle) of the man. At the same time, there are similarities between humans and animals. Genesis 1 indicates we were all created in the same way - God spoke and it happened. Genesis 2 has the man and all the animals being formed from the ground ('adamah).
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 03, 2018, 04:16:10 PM

The proof-texting methodology popular in some circles is context-free and simply attaches one passage anywhere to another passage anywhere else - "Judas went out and hanged himself......Go and do thou likewise."  While in my grad studies at the seminary aeons ago I did many pre-computer word study comparisons, often examining a word from Canaanite roots (Ugaritic) through to Philo of Alexandria, which is a swath of time and cultural difference.  What had to be taken into account throughout was the immediate and more distant context.  And even that was imprecise at best.  Kittel and others like that do a great job of giving the history of the word in context in a variety of historical eras and through a variety of authors biblical and non-biblical.  So although artifical, the exercise can and does lead to relatively firm conclusions.  And yet, those words and phrases may have taken on a very different meaning in the intervening 2000 years.


This is good; thank you, Pr. Benke.  Part of what I want to contest is the commonplace notion that language is a "container" for "meaning," or that whatever counts as "meaning" is linguistically constructed.  I think that is simply wrong.  A lot of people (Mark Johnson is one; George Lakoff is another; Wittgenstein before any of them) have convincingly shown (or so it seems to me) that "meaning is use"; that is, "meaning" emerges from the way language is used in human contexts, and it is those contexts that determine the "meaning."  Our contemporary north American context provides a supple framework within which the various uses of language generate "meaning(s)", and we can grasp those "meaning(s)" because we are comfortably ensconced within that framework.  Trying to capture the framework of the ancient Hebrews or of the Hellenistic period of the Roman Empire by inspecting their respective vocabularies and assigning lexical significance to those vocabularies is like busywork in a vacuum.  In itself, that effort will tell us nothing.  A more modest enterprise would be to make an effort to immerse ourselves in the ordinary culture of that time and place, to try to absorb the way those folks made sense of the world, and the way in which they used language to engage that worldview.  It was that worldview that supplied the context of "meaning," and their vocabularies were molded around that "meaning."  So, in the end, I suppose, what rankles is the presentation of linguistic analysis as if it were the description of historical and cultural "meaning."  That ain't right.


I don't buy that argument completely. A word has a range of meanings. That is one can't see the Hebrew word יוֹם and conclude that it must refer to a "dog" because that fits the context. Or to use my illustration of "bar," while it has many different meanings depending on the context, to say, "I had to walk the bar," doesn't make sense. That use of "bar" is outside the range of meanings for the word. Lexicons and concordances and word studies help define the parameters around the meanings of a word. The context then narrows the meaning within the parameters.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: pearson on January 03, 2018, 04:17:28 PM

If we aren't seeking the meaning(s) to the original author and hearers, what then becomes the criteria for determining if an interpretation is accurate or far-fetched? The other extreme is to let the text mean whatever a reader thinks it means to him/her. 100 people could read a text and all come up with different interpretations. How would one argue that some might be wrong?


We do theology.  That means giving up the modern myth that studying ancient words will give us ancient "meanings."  It is not unlike the "LCMS kerfuffle" that originated this thread: if we can just secure the high ground when it comes to "origins," that will empower us to explain everything.  I would rather do theology with the western tradition of catholic Christianity, which would offer a much narrower range of legitimate interpretations, and clear the ground of the really goofy ones.

Tom Pearson
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 03, 2018, 04:25:56 PM

If we aren't seeking the meaning(s) to the original author and hearers, what then becomes the criteria for determining if an interpretation is accurate or far-fetched? The other extreme is to let the text mean whatever a reader thinks it means to him/her. 100 people could read a text and all come up with different interpretations. How would one argue that some might be wrong?


We do theology.  That means giving up the modern myth that studying ancient words will give us ancient "meanings."  It is not unlike the "LCMS kerfuffle" that originated this thread: if we can just secure the high ground when it comes to "origins," that will empower us to explain everything.  I would rather do theology with the western tradition of catholic Christianity, which would offer a much narrower range of legitimate interpretations, and clear the ground of the really goofy ones.


We know what happened when the western tradition of catholic Christianity began to become "goofy." Luther returned to scriptures as the authority and the root of theology. When church fathers affirmed what he read in scriptures, he also used them. Scripture became the authority, not the church. (We could then argue whether or not that was good.)
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Dave Likeness on January 03, 2018, 04:39:41 PM
As I endure another bone-freezing wintry day in the Midwest, it warms my heart to hear
the word "Kittel" mentioned in an above post.   Every pastor needs Gerhard Kittel's
Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (9 volumes) in his library.  It is an excellent
resource for teaching and preaching God's Word. 
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on January 03, 2018, 05:11:04 PM
Explain how a "huge division of time" can have an "evening and a morning." Explain how that works with Ex. 20, which clearly bases its argument on Genesis 1.

The same way that there can be an "evening and a morning" and light before there was a sun, moon, and planets. The text is poetic.

What makes you think the light of verse 3 refers to the sun, moon, or planets?

It doesn't.

A day is measured by one rotation of the earth on its axis. But, I read a survey that found that "Twenty-six percent in a survey of 2200 people conducted in 2012 answered that the Sun revolves around the Earth." Perhaps you're in that category.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Dave Benke on January 03, 2018, 08:53:30 PM

If we aren't seeking the meaning(s) to the original author and hearers, what then becomes the criteria for determining if an interpretation is accurate or far-fetched? The other extreme is to let the text mean whatever a reader thinks it means to him/her. 100 people could read a text and all come up with different interpretations. How would one argue that some might be wrong?


We do theology.  That means giving up the modern myth that studying ancient words will give us ancient "meanings."  It is not unlike the "LCMS kerfuffle" that originated this thread: if we can just secure the high ground when it comes to "origins," that will empower us to explain everything.  I would rather do theology with the western tradition of catholic Christianity, which would offer a much narrower range of legitimate interpretations, and clear the ground of the really goofy ones.


We know what happened when the western tradition of catholic Christianity began to become "goofy." Luther returned to scriptures as the authority and the root of theology. When church fathers affirmed what he read in scriptures, he also used them. Scripture became the authority, not the church. (We could then argue whether or not that was good.)

I'm not a Luther scholar (but I play one on TV - not); however, the proof-texters use the axioms attributed to Luther as their primary hermeneutic to the great disadvantage of actually searching the Scriptures.  Their efforts truly are just word-play, like Bob in "What About Bob" doing goofy word associations.  And in my opinion Luther the Reformer wanted and needed to dispense with the thick crust of overlay that was crippling the Church just as the Renaissance began.  Which was (my opinion) good, real good.  The baby-with-bathwater division then absconded with the kind of rigor Luther demanded of Scriptural study and of the study of history itself and replaced it with a Bible trivia quiz.  In fact, the Confessions are example 1A of the Church being, or at the very least giving it a hard whirl, catholic.

Dave Benke
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 04, 2018, 02:38:58 AM
Explain how a "huge division of time" can have an "evening and a morning." Explain how that works with Ex. 20, which clearly bases its argument on Genesis 1.

The same way that there can be an "evening and a morning" and light before there was a sun, moon, and planets. The text is poetic.

What makes you think the light of verse 3 refers to the sun, moon, or planets?

It doesn't.

A day is measured by one rotation of the earth on its axis. But, I read a survey that found that "Twenty-six percent in a survey of 2200 people conducted in 2012 answered that the Sun revolves around the Earth." Perhaps you're in that category.


Light needs an energy source. Darkness does not. Sun(s?) and moon were not created until v. 14 on day 4. How would anyone know that the earth was rotating on its axis if they had no reference point like the sun and moon? BTW, on what "day" was the earth created? And another thing, does יוֹם in 1:14, 16, 18 have the same definition it does in the other verses of chapter 1? How long would a "day" have been if it wasn't separated from the night?
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Rev Mathew Andersen on January 04, 2018, 08:05:53 AM
Explain how a "huge division of time" can have an "evening and a morning." Explain how that works with Ex. 20, which clearly bases its argument on Genesis 1.

The same way that there can be an "evening and a morning" and light before there was a sun, moon, and planets. The text is poetic.

What makes you think the light of verse 3 refers to the sun, moon, or planets?

It doesn't.

A day is measured by one rotation of the earth on its axis. But, I read a survey that found that "Twenty-six percent in a survey of 2200 people conducted in 2012 answered that the Sun revolves around the Earth." Perhaps you're in that category.


Light needs an energy source. Darkness does not. Sun(s?) and moon were not created until v. 14 on day 4. How would anyone know that the earth was rotating on its axis if they had no reference point like the sun and moon? BTW, on what "day" was the earth created? And another thing, does יוֹם in 1:14, 16, 18 have the same definition it does in the other verses of chapter 1? How long would a "day" have been if it wasn't separated from the night?
It is interesting that you seem unaware of, for instance, the cosmic microwave background which, according to the Big Bang cosmology, predates stars.  Microwaves, of course, are on the same electromagnetic spectrum as visible light. 

There are four fundamental interactions or events in the universe: Strong atomic, weak atomic, gravity and electromagnetic.  These used to be called forces but now they are called interactions because we know what they do but we don't know what they actually ARE or how they do what they do.  So the terminology of event or interaction more clearly conveys our understanding of them.  (by the way, we also do not know what space and time ARE, only how we perceive them).

In short, the existence of the universe implies the existence of electromagnetic interaction with or without the sun or stars.

Also, let's clarify something else.  I know very few serious old earth creationists who claim that the word "day" in Genesis 1 implies millions of years or a long period of time.  The point of being an old earth, or, more accurately, an old universe creationist, is to reconcile the indications of age in the universe with the Genesis account without violating either.  Extending the word "day" does not do that.  First, the addition of "morning and evening" indicate the author was indeed thinking of a 24 hour day or something close to that.  Secondly, placing light before the sun is no problem but placing plants before the sun for a period of millions of years is a problem. Since the point of old earth creationism is to avoid altering the intended meaning of the text, extending the world day is inadequate and does not solve the problem.

That being said, there are some old earth  creationists who really are not concerned with the text and are not that really into the whole  origin question.  (actually most old earth creationists probably fall into this category). If one is going to be an old earth creationist of that stripe, then extending the word "day" is fine.  but they don't really tend to get into debates about the subject anyway.

I say this by the way, as an old universe/young earth creationist.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: D. Engebretson on January 04, 2018, 08:45:34 AM
President Matthew Harrison's response:
https://blogs.lcms.org/2018/64959 (https://blogs.lcms.org/2018/64959) "Concerning the Six-Day Creation"
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: SomeoneWrites on January 04, 2018, 09:08:21 AM

I say this by the way, as an old universe/young earth creationist.

When you say this, do you mean it appears old, but is in fact young? Or the universe is old, and the earth itself is demonstrably young?

President Matthew Harrison's response:
https://blogs.lcms.org/2018/64959 (https://blogs.lcms.org/2018/64959) "Concerning the Six-Day Creation"

His response is what I expected, and yet I'm still a bit disappointed.

Quote
If I reject what Scripture teaches as history about creation, why should I not then reject everything else (including the resurrection itself) that appears contrary to reason?
An errant premise often reaches an errant conclusion. 
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: John_Hannah on January 04, 2018, 09:26:58 AM
"If I reject what Scripture teaches as history about creation, why should I not then reject everything else (including the resurrection itself) that appears contrary to reason?"

That is the logic of rationalism and the Enlightenment. We do not know that it is God's logic.

Peace, JOHN


Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on January 04, 2018, 09:47:55 AM
"If I reject what Scripture teaches as history about creation, why should I not then reject everything else (including the resurrection itself) that appears contrary to reason?"

That is the logic of rationalism and the Enlightenment. We do not know that it is God's logic.

Peace, JOHN

Actually, it's illogic, a logical fallacy. In this context a fallacy often set forth by Fundamentalists.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Richard Johnson on January 04, 2018, 10:11:25 AM
As I endure another bone-freezing wintry day in the Midwest, it warms my heart to hear
the word "Kittel" mentioned in an above post.   Every pastor needs Gerhard Kittel's
Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (9 volumes) in his library.  It is an excellent
resource for teaching and preaching God's Word.

Actually ten volumes. I have a set I'd love to sell, if anyone's interested. (Selling it only because I'm retired and so not really using it; more to the point, I don't have shelf space, and it isn't doing me much good in a box.) When
 get home from Houston (where we're helping with a brand new granddaughter, born Dec. 29), I'm going to list it on eBay probably for $75 plus shipping, but if you're interested, message me and make me an offer.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: mj4 on January 04, 2018, 11:07:52 AM
As I endure another bone-freezing wintry day in the Midwest, it warms my heart to hear
the word "Kittel" mentioned in an above post.   Every pastor needs Gerhard Kittel's
Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (9 volumes) in his library.  It is an excellent
resource for teaching and preaching God's Word.

Yes, I know that his dictionary is highly regarded, but doesn't it give you pause that Kittel was a Nazi and anti-Semite?
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: D. Engebretson on January 04, 2018, 11:36:15 AM
As I endure another bone-freezing wintry day in the Midwest, it warms my heart to hear
the word "Kittel" mentioned in an above post.   Every pastor needs Gerhard Kittel's
Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (9 volumes) in his library.  It is an excellent
resource for teaching and preaching God's Word.

Yes, I know that his dictionary is highly regarded, but doesn't it give you pause that Kittel was a Nazi and anti-Semite?

I never heard this before.  Have you seen that reflected in his scholarship?
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Dave Benke on January 04, 2018, 01:01:33 PM
As I endure another bone-freezing wintry day in the Midwest, it warms my heart to hear
the word "Kittel" mentioned in an above post.   Every pastor needs Gerhard Kittel's
Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (9 volumes) in his library.  It is an excellent
resource for teaching and preaching God's Word.

Yes, I know that his dictionary is highly regarded, but doesn't it give you pause that Kittel was a Nazi and anti-Semite?

I never heard this before.  Have you seen that reflected in his scholarship?

This being a snow day (or two) in NYC, I took some time and read an article on Kittel's Nazi connections written in 1977.  Very illuminating.  And very sad.  As it turns out, Kittel's scholarship as presented during the 1930's-40's definitely took a turn for the worse, as he was recruited to write articles exploring history and archaeology on the Jewish Question and brought forth some very spurious, nasty stuff.  The article can be looked up under Gerhard Kittel biography on a web search, but you have to have a JSTOR account to get to read it.   His last years were spent in prison, separated from his wife, and then at the very end battling to regain control of the TDNT.  He defended himself for his views, but they were way, way off and used by the Nazis to support their ends.

Dave Benke

Dave Benke
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Jim Butler on January 04, 2018, 01:14:40 PM
As I endure another bone-freezing wintry day in the Midwest, it warms my heart to hear
the word "Kittel" mentioned in an above post.   Every pastor needs Gerhard Kittel's
Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (9 volumes) in his library.  It is an excellent
resource for teaching and preaching God's Word.

Yes, I know that his dictionary is highly regarded, but doesn't it give you pause that Kittel was a Nazi and anti-Semite?

I never heard this before.  Have you seen that reflected in his scholarship?

I had never heard it before either. A historian of the holocaust, Robert Ericksen (at Pacific Lutheran University) has done a lot of research into it dating back in 1977.

As to giving 'pause', Kittel was the founding editor, but he was not the only editor, nor did he write all of the entries. His anti-semitism doesn't come through in it anywhere. I think it sad, but his work is still usable.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: LCMS87 on January 04, 2018, 01:48:57 PM
"If I reject what Scripture teaches as history about creation, why should I not then reject everything else (including the resurrection itself) that appears contrary to reason?"

That is the logic of rationalism and the Enlightenment. We do not know that it is God's logic.

Peace, JOHN

Actually, it's illogic, a logical fallacy. In this context a fallacy often set forth by Fundamentalists.

Since the quote that began this comes from President Harrison's article cited above, can you explain a bit more what you mean?

I take him to be saying that if you accept the premise that Scripture is not to be believed concerning creation when what it says is contradicted by human reason and the teachings of science, there are many other teachings of Scripture that must also be dismissed as untrue on the same basis. 

Of course, he asks it as a question.  What is the answer to his why?  On what basis or principle is the Scriptures' teaching on creation to be dismissed but not its teaching on Jesus' resurrection, or miracles, or conception by Spirit in the womb the Virgin? 
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: John_Hannah on January 04, 2018, 02:27:49 PM
"If I reject what Scripture teaches as history about creation, why should I not then reject everything else (including the resurrection itself) that appears contrary to reason?"

That is the logic of rationalism and the Enlightenment. We do not know that it is God's logic.

Peace, JOHN

Actually, it's illogic, a logical fallacy. In this context a fallacy often set forth by Fundamentalists.

Since the quote that began this comes from President Harrison's article cited above, can you explain a bit more what you mean?

I take him to be saying that if you accept the premise that Scripture is not to be believed concerning creation when what it says is contradicted by human reason and the teachings of science, there are many other teachings of Scripture that must also be dismissed as untrue on the same basis. 

Of course, he asks it as a question.  What is the answer to his why?  On what basis or principle is the Scriptures' teaching on creation to be dismissed but not its teaching on Jesus' resurrection, or miracles, or conception by Spirit in the womb the Virgin?

I take the quote the same way. That is what rationalism and the Enlightenment taught in order to discount the Christian faith. I reject their syllogism.

Many faithful Christians confess the creation (and the resurrection) while considering the Genesis--six seven day creation text to be liturgical poetry rather than a scientific account. Myself, I favor the one day creation account (Genesis 2:4).

Peace, JOHN
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Weedon on January 04, 2018, 02:32:31 PM
Just a brief comment on Kittel as a resource: its methodology tends to assume that a word’s origins (its diachronic existence) are in someway determinative of its meaning in actual use (its synchronic existence). It is true that the very existence of a writing system ensures that older significations can be understood and remembered long after the vocable’s signification has altered, but the truth remains solid (as Voelz pointed out): a word most properly means what it means in its contemporary usage and not its (admittedly interesting) etymological history. FWIW. Think of the origins of “nice” and how it originally was understood to be mean foolish, stupid; that doesn’t get you far with how it is used today. “How nice!”
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: LCMS87 on January 04, 2018, 02:46:13 PM
Just a brief comment on Kittel as a resource: its methodology tends to assume that a word’s origins (its diachronic existence) are in someway determinative of its meaning in actual use (its synchronic existence). It is true that the very existence of a writing system ensures that older significations can be understood and remembered long after the vocable’s signification has altered, but the truth remains solid (as Voelz pointed out): a word most properly means what it means in its contemporary usage and not its (admittedly interesting) etymological history. FWIW. Think of the origins of “nice” and how it originally was understood to be mean foolish, stupid; that doesn’t get you far with how it is used today. “How nice!”

Kittel's overemphasis on etymology--what one might label etymological determinism--is what I view as its greatest weakness as well.  I'm somewhat surprised it's taken this long to have it come up. 

Most Americans know what excruciating means.  Ask them about the origin of the word though and you'll find far fewer able to explain.  Yet that in no way stops them from using the word appropriately.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: NCLutheran2 on January 04, 2018, 02:48:20 PM
I take him to be saying that if you accept the premise that Scripture is not to be believed concerning creation when what it says is contradicted by human reason and the teachings of science, there are many other teachings of Scripture that must also be dismissed as untrue on the same basis. 

Of course, he asks it as a question.  What is the answer to his why?  On what basis or principle is the Scriptures' teaching on creation to be dismissed but not its teaching on Jesus' resurrection, or miracles, or conception by Spirit in the womb the Virgin?

I'm not the person you're asking, but this is a question I've considered multiple times so I thought I'd weigh in.

To me, the implication of a scriptural teaching being proven false/otherwise dismissed is that other scriptural teachings that scaffold from the dismissed one are either themselves false, or true but with different (perhaps non-scriptural?) justification. To use the topic at hand, if the universe wasn't created in seven twenty-four hour days, then subsequent scriptural teachings that rely on this for their justification are either themselves false, or perhaps true if an alternative explanation can be found, with the attendant problems of this alternative explanation being accepted, particularly if one has a big focus on sola scriptura.

I think a better example is the idea of original sin. The traditional Western explanation is that Eve first sinned by eating the apple, and since all of humanity are her descendants, all of humanity inherits her sinful nature as Paul notes in Romans. I don't think I have to elaborate on the multitude of beliefs or practices that we have as a consequence of this belief. However, if Adam and Eve are found/presumed not to be actual people who existed, the scriptural basis of original sin (for example) and those beliefs and practices resulting from our belief in original sin, such as our understanding of baptism, now have no scriptural basis. This means that those beliefs and practices we have are either false and unnecessary and must be discarded, or that, if the secondary principle seems true, then alternative reasoning must be found - which may be scriptural or unscriptural. Then it becomes another whole problem of getting others to recognize that our justification is significant.

Obviously this has various stages of severity depending on how far one goes - one can hold the opinion that the opening narrative of Genesis didn't really happen, but the authors are in fact conveying truths about the human condition.

Rob
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Richard Johnson on January 04, 2018, 03:21:03 PM
Just a brief comment on Kittel as a resource: its methodology tends to assume that a word’s origins (its diachronic existence) are in someway determinative of its meaning in actual use (its synchronic existence). It is true that the very existence of a writing system ensures that older significations can be understood and remembered long after the vocable’s signification has altered, but the truth remains solid (as Voelz pointed out): a word most properly means what it means in its contemporary usage and not its (admittedly interesting) etymological history. FWIW. Think of the origins of “nice” and how it originally was understood to be mean foolish, stupid; that doesn’t get you far with how it is used today. “How nice!”

Oh I don’t know . . . I often use it that way. 8)
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: SomeoneWrites on January 05, 2018, 12:12:41 AM
I take him to be saying that if you accept the premise that Scripture is not to be believed concerning creation when what it says is contradicted by human reason and the teachings of science, there are many other teachings of Scripture that must also be dismissed as untrue on the same basis. 

Of course, he asks it as a question.  What is the answer to his why?  On what basis or principle is the Scriptures' teaching on creation to be dismissed but not its teaching on Jesus' resurrection, or miracles, or conception by Spirit in the womb the Virgin?

I'm not the person you're asking, but this is a question I've considered multiple times so I thought I'd weigh in.

To me, the implication of a scriptural teaching being proven false/otherwise dismissed is that other scriptural teachings that scaffold from the dismissed one are either themselves false, or true but with different (perhaps non-scriptural?) justification. To use the topic at hand, if the universe wasn't created in seven twenty-four hour days, then subsequent scriptural teachings that rely on this for their justification are either themselves false, or perhaps true if an alternative explanation can be found, with the attendant problems of this alternative explanation being accepted, particularly if one has a big focus on sola scriptura.

I think a better example is the idea of original sin. The traditional Western explanation is that Eve first sinned by eating the apple, and since all of humanity are her descendants, all of humanity inherits her sinful nature as Paul notes in Romans. I don't think I have to elaborate on the multitude of beliefs or practices that we have as a consequence of this belief. However, if Adam and Eve are found/presumed not to be actual people who existed, the scriptural basis of original sin (for example) and those beliefs and practices resulting from our belief in original sin, such as our understanding of baptism, now have no scriptural basis. This means that those beliefs and practices we have are either false and unnecessary and must be discarded, or that, if the secondary principle seems true, then alternative reasoning must be found - which may be scriptural or unscriptural. Then it becomes another whole problem of getting others to recognize that our justification is significant.

Obviously this has various stages of severity depending on how far one goes - one can hold the opinion that the opening narrative of Genesis didn't really happen, but the authors are in fact conveying truths about the human condition.

Rob

I think this is a solid assessment.  It's not a problem for Christianity as a whole, but definitely has some trouble for Confessional Lutheranism.  I like the term "Scaffolding."  If you don't mind, I'm probably going to steal that. 

To continue -  I don't think rejecting the historicity of one thing means rejecting the historicity of another.  Noah's flood actually ends up being a better example, particularly in interpretation.  Not only is there no geological evidence for the catastrophe, there's no evidence for a genetic bottleneck in any animal/human population for about that time.  The distribution of animal life suggests otherwise.  Paleontology and the fossil record suggests otherwise.  Anthropology suggests otherwise. 
The only corroboration, so to speak, is other myths.  Flood myths make sense in the context of developing in areas with floods, or explanations of shells in uplifted rock.  And the transmissions of myths to other cultures is repeatedly evident.

Even then, there may as well have been a localized flood in the black sea.  There's some evidence for this happening 8-16k years ago.  (And there's evidence of people living 20k years ago making pottery, though that was in China, not the mideast). 


None of these things directly mean other things aren't historical.  It's one thing when there's a lack of evidence, and another when there's tons of evidence that point the opposite direction. 
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on January 05, 2018, 07:32:07 AM
Of course, he asks it as a question.  What is the answer to his why?  On what basis or principle is the Scriptures' teaching on creation to be dismissed but not its teaching on Jesus' resurrection, or miracles, or conception by Spirit in the womb the Virgin?

To continue -  I don't think rejecting the historicity of one thing means rejecting the historicity of another.

[Hope I got the formatting right. I'm on a Kindle.]

That was my point, that rejecting the former means rejecting the latter is illogical.

I mentioned it back on Dec 9th.

https://alpb.org/Forum/index.php?topic=6885.msg434054#msg434054

I recall my first year at Sem, hanging out with some fellow students in a dorm room. I asked one why one could not be a Christian and reject a 6-day, 24-hour creation. (BTW, I do not.) His response was that, if you reject that, pretty soon you're rejecting the resurrection. I did not say anything, but I thought, "No, that doesn't follow. That's right on down the slippery slope."


If this goes beyond what President Harrison was stating, my apologies.

Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Harry Edmon on January 05, 2018, 08:53:53 AM
I think you are misunderstanding the basis for President Harrison's comments.  It is not a matter of logic, it is a matter of hermaneutics.  If you interpret Genesis 1 and 2 that way what does it imply about your interpretation of the rest of Scripture.  The ultimate question is, what does Jesus think about Genesis 1 and 2? If He takes it as literal, how can we not?
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: RDPreus on January 05, 2018, 10:30:35 AM
Yes, it is a matter of hermeneutics, and more fundamentally, a matter of faith.  Rev. Harrison wrote, "If I reject what Scripture teaches as history about creation, why should I not then reject everything else (including the resurrection itself) that appears contrary to reason?"  Specifically, Harrison addressed the rejection of the historicity of the biblical account.  The Christian religion is rooted in history.  Stated more generally, he is asking: if I place my reason above the teaching of the Scriptures on one matter, what is to keep me from placing my reason above the teaching of the Scriptures on any matter?  I see nothing rationalistic about such a question.  Rationalism would rather be the spirit behind the denial of the biblical historical accounts.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on January 05, 2018, 10:45:15 AM
Yes, it is a matter of hermeneutics, and more fundamentally, a matter of faith.  Rev. Harrison wrote, "If I reject what Scripture teaches as history about creation, why should I not then reject everything else (including the resurrection itself) that appears contrary to reason?" 

Because the latter does not necessarily follow from the former.

"'If the Bible is wrong about creation, there is no Gospel. It's as simple as that.' [No, it's not that simple.] that if one Biblical doctrine such as a literal 6-day/24 hour creation fell, your faith would fall because one's faith is based on a conviction that the Scriptures are the inspired and inerrant word of God (a Fundamentalist view) rather than the other way around (the Lutheran view), that, coming to faith through the Gospel, we then confess an inerrant Scripture."

"Gospel and Scripture," CTCR, November 1972

http://www.lcms.org/graphics/assets/media/CTCR/gospel_scripture.pdf

E.g.:

"The truthfulness of the Gospel does not depend upon the inerrancy of the Scriptures. [footnote 13]

and,

"Relative to the role of the Gospel as norm in the Scriptures, however, it is important to observe that it is one thing to say that it is contrary to the Holy Spirit's intent when Scripture is interpreted in such a way that the Gospel is obscured; it is quite another thing to say that since the Holy Spirit's intent in the Scriptures is to proclaim the Gospel, it was never His intent that His Word in Genesis 1-11, for instance, should be understood as relating facts of history, or to say that in view of "the perpetual aim of the Gospel" (AC XXVIII, 66; Latin) apostolic directives for the church's life may be set aside. It is one thing to search the Scriptures to discover ever more fully how they witness to Christ and relate to His Gospel; it is quite another thing to explore the implications of the Gospel for freedom in handling the Scriptures. The interest of one is to see the richness and the glory of the Gospel to aid preaching; the interest of the other is to explain the alleged limitations and flaws of the Bible in a way that avoids the embarrassment of defending it as God's very own inerrant Word while at the same time upholding and affirming its authority. The Gospel is the norm in the Scriptures in the sense that it absolutely prohibits understanding any passage to teach salvation by works. It is not norm in the sense that the center of Scripture becomes a device to sanction a view of the Bible and a method of interpreting it which virtually denies that the whole Bible is God's inspired, authoritative Word on all matters concerning which it speaks." [page 11]

I recall Andy Bartelt's class, when a portion of OT Scripture seemed to be in error. Upon further examination of the Hebrew, however, it was properly explained. Bartelt's quip, "Whew! Almost lost my faith for a minute there!"
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Charles Austin on January 05, 2018, 11:09:16 AM
Again and again and again, we get from that element of your church body, the ridiculous “domino theory” of doctrine. If one small matter falls, then the entire doctrine of the faith collapses. I just don’t get that.
And it adds to the ultimate mythology in your church body, that concept of “unity in doctrine.”
I do not Believe that pastor Preus or your Synod president speak for the majority of people in your church body. And to say there must be “unity” around  their views just ain’t gonna work.
But carry on. Not my business.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Dave Benke on January 05, 2018, 11:18:39 AM
Yes, it is a matter of hermeneutics, and more fundamentally, a matter of faith.  Rev. Harrison wrote, "If I reject what Scripture teaches as history about creation, why should I not then reject everything else (including the resurrection itself) that appears contrary to reason?" 

Because the latter does not necessarily follow from the former.

"'If the Bible is wrong about creation, there is no Gospel. It's as simple as that.' [No, it's not that simple.] that if one Biblical doctrine such as a literal 6-day/24 hour creation fell, your faith would fall because one's faith is based on a conviction that the Scriptures are the inspired and inerrant word of God (a Fundamentalist view) rather than the other way around (the Lutheran view), that, coming to faith through the Gospel, we then confess an inerrant Scripture."

"Gospel and Scripture," CTCR, November 1972

http://www.lcms.org/graphics/assets/media/CTCR/gospel_scripture.pdf

E.g.:

"The truthfulness of the Gospel does not depend upon the inerrancy of the Scriptures. [footnote 13]

and,

"Relative to the role of the Gospel as norm in the Scriptures, however, it is important to observe that it is one thing to say that it is contrary to the Holy Spirit's intent when Scripture is interpreted in such a way that the Gospel is obscured; it is quite another thing to say that since the Holy Spirit's intent in the Scriptures is to proclaim the Gospel, it was never His intent that His Word in Genesis 1-11, for instance, should be understood as relating facts of history, or to say that in view of "the perpetual aim of the Gospel" (AC XXVIII, 66; Latin) apostolic directives for the church's life may be set aside. It is one thing to search the Scriptures to discover ever more fully how they witness to Christ and relate to His Gospel; it is quite another thing to explore the implications of the Gospel for freedom in handling the Scriptures. The interest of one is to see the richness and the glory of the Gospel to aid preaching; the interest of the other is to explain the alleged limitations and flaws of the Bible in a way that avoids the embarrassment of defending it as God's very own inerrant Word while at the same time upholding and affirming its authority. The Gospel is the norm in the Scriptures in the sense that it absolutely prohibits understanding any passage to teach salvation by works. It is not norm in the sense that the center of Scripture becomes a device to sanction a view of the Bible and a method of interpreting it which virtually denies that the whole Bible is God's inspired, authoritative Word on all matters concerning which it speaks." [page 11]

I recall Andy Bartelt's class, when a portion of OT Scripture seemed to be in error. Upon further examination of the Hebrew, however, it was properly explained. Bartelt's quip, "Whew! Almost lost my faith for a minute there!"

This is well-recalled and stated, Don.  For the ancient folks among us, the so-called Battle for the Bible, because of the way it was waged, ended with a rump group becoming empowered to promote the fundamentalist concept that the truthfulness of the Gospel DOES indeed depend on the inerrancy of the Scriptures.  That's the way it has been prosecuted for a full 40 year generation among that rump group and out to God's people. 

Dave Benke
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: LCMS87 on January 05, 2018, 11:21:00 AM
"If I reject what Scripture teaches as history about creation, why should I not then reject everything else (including the resurrection itself) that appears contrary to reason?"

That is the logic of rationalism and the Enlightenment. We do not know that it is God's logic.

Peace, JOHN

Actually, it's illogic, a logical fallacy. In this context a fallacy often set forth by Fundamentalists.

Since the quote that began this comes from President Harrison's article cited above, can you explain a bit more what you mean?

I take him to be saying that if you accept the premise that Scripture is not to be believed concerning creation when what it says is contradicted by human reason and the teachings of science, there are many other teachings of Scripture that must also be dismissed as untrue on the same basis. 

Of course, he asks it as a question.  What is the answer to his why?  On what basis or principle is the Scriptures' teaching on creation to be dismissed but not its teaching on Jesus' resurrection, or miracles, or conception by Spirit in the womb the Virgin?

I take the quote the same way. That is what rationalism and the Enlightenment taught in order to discount the Christian faith. I reject their syllogism.

Many faithful Christians confess the creation (and the resurrection) while considering the Genesis--six seven day creation text to be liturgical poetry rather than a scientific account. Myself, I favor the one day creation account (Genesis 2:4).

Peace, JOHN

(Please excuse the delay in my response.  Between connectivity problems and the topic getting locked for a time, I couldn't get in.)

Thank you for your response.

I had hoped, though, for some sort of principle for when science and reason should be allowed to trump divine revelation and when they shouldn't.  Your position, at least as you've reported it, sounds arbitrary. 

I'm satisfied with Hebrews 11:1, 3 - "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. . . . By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible," and not worrying too much about reconciling what the Scripture says with what science claims.  God's word teaches that the universe was formed at God's command out of nothing and I trust that's true and--as a matter of faith--isn't provable.

I'm interested in understanding on what basis people who believe that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin, did a bunch of miracles then was crucified, died, and rose from the dead reject the revelation of the same Scriptures concerning the creation of the universe.  What is the rationale for doing so, or is it just a matter of personal preference and choice?



Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on January 05, 2018, 11:22:08 AM
I think you are misunderstanding the basis for President Harrison's comments.  It is not a matter of logic, it is a matter of hermaneutics.  If you interpret Genesis 1 and 2 that way what does it imply about your interpretation of the rest of Scripture. 

I see a distinction without a difference.

The ultimate question is, what does Jesus think about Genesis 1 and 2? If He takes it as literal, how can we not?

Agreed. So...?
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on January 05, 2018, 11:27:14 AM
I'm interested in understanding on what basis people who believe that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin, did a bunch of miracles then was crucified, died, and rose from the dead reject the revelation of the same Scriptures concerning the creation of the universe.  What is the rationale for doing so, or is it just a matter of personal preference and choice?

I don't know why one might do that. That said,

"The truthfulness of the Gospel does not depend upon the inerrancy of the Scriptures."
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Charles Austin on January 05, 2018, 11:31:16 AM
Thank you for that quote, Pastor Kirchner.


Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on January 05, 2018, 11:39:17 AM
This is well-recalled and stated, Don.  For the ancient folks among us, the so-called Battle for the Bible, because of the way it was waged, ended with a rump group becoming empowered to promote the fundamentalist concept that the truthfulness of the Gospel DOES indeed depend on the inerrancy of the Scriptures.  That's the way it has been prosecuted for a full 40 year generation among that rump group and out to God's people. 

I recall the Bartelt quip because it was so darn funny. :-) What a great class, and what a great man. He was my Sem advisor.

Yes, as to that "rump group," I went back and looked at some of the outraged and vicious emails to me from members of the MN Faithful before I was unceremoniously booted due to my response to "If the Bible is wrong about creation, there is no Gospel. It's as simple as that." The same guys saw Voelz' hermeneutics textbook as blatant heresy. So it goes.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: LCMS87 on January 05, 2018, 11:40:05 AM
Of course, he asks it as a question.  What is the answer to his why?  On what basis or principle is the Scriptures' teaching on creation to be dismissed but not its teaching on Jesus' resurrection, or miracles, or conception by Spirit in the womb the Virgin?

To continue -  I don't think rejecting the historicity of one thing means rejecting the historicity of another.

[Hope I got the formatting right. I'm on a Kindle.]

That was my point, that rejecting the former means rejecting the latter is illogical.

I mentioned it back on Dec 9th.

https://alpb.org/Forum/index.php?topic=6885.msg434054#msg434054

I recall my first year at Sem, hanging out with some fellow students in a dorm room. I asked one why one could not be a Christian and reject a 6-day, 24-hour creation. (BTW, I do not.) His response was that, if you reject that, pretty soon you're rejecting the resurrection. I did not say anything, but I thought, "No, that doesn't follow. That's right on down the slippery slope."


If this goes beyond what President Harrison was stating, my apologies.

Thanks for your response.

I'm still looking for the principle--perhaps the problem is there is none--that allows one to dismiss some teachings of Scripture on a rational/scientific basis but not others.  That would answer the question "why" our synodical president raised.

I'll grant that slippery slope arguments can be a problem.  Nevertheless, experience shows that there are plenty of slopes that have been slipped down, or should I write "plenty of slopes down which many have slipped"?  I guess I'm asking what the anchor is that stops the potential for slipping?  If some Scriptures are dismissable, why not others?  Is it all a matter of personal preference and choice, like gender?

Now it certainly is true that people often do not think rationally, that they simultaneously believe contradictory things or ignore what would seem to have been a strong precedent.  This is perhaps all the more so in modern times when, "I think, therefore I am" has been replaced by, "I feel, therefore I am."  Is the answer to the question "why?" simply that that's the way it works out and there is no accounting for it?     
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Voelker on January 05, 2018, 11:41:33 AM
This is well-recalled and stated, Don.  For the ancient folks among us, the so-called Battle for the Bible, because of the way it was waged, ended with a rump group becoming empowered to promote the fundamentalist concept that the truthfulness of the Gospel DOES indeed depend on the inerrancy of the Scriptures.  That's the way it has been prosecuted for a full 40 year generation among that rump group and out to God's people. 

I recall the Bartelt quip because it was so darn funny. :-) What a great class, and what a great man.

Yes, as to that "rump group," I went back and looked at some of the outraged and vicious emails to me from members of the MN Faithful before I was unceremoniously booted due to my response to "If the Bible is wrong about creation, there is no Gospel. It's as simple as that." The same guys saw Voelz' hermeneutics textbook as blatant heresy. So it goes.
Ken Ham has drawn far, far too many hearers.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Matt Staneck on January 05, 2018, 11:42:00 AM
Yes, it is a matter of hermeneutics, and more fundamentally, a matter of faith.  Rev. Harrison wrote, "If I reject what Scripture teaches as history about creation, why should I not then reject everything else (including the resurrection itself) that appears contrary to reason?" 

Because the latter does not necessarily follow from the former.

"'If the Bible is wrong about creation, there is no Gospel. It's as simple as that.' [No, it's not that simple.] that if one Biblical doctrine such as a literal 6-day/24 hour creation fell, your faith would fall because one's faith is based on a conviction that the Scriptures are the inspired and inerrant word of God (a Fundamentalist view) rather than the other way around (the Lutheran view), that, coming to faith through the Gospel, we then confess an inerrant Scripture."

"Gospel and Scripture," CTCR, November 1972

http://www.lcms.org/graphics/assets/media/CTCR/gospel_scripture.pdf

E.g.:

"The truthfulness of the Gospel does not depend upon the inerrancy of the Scriptures. [footnote 13]

and,

"Relative to the role of the Gospel as norm in the Scriptures, however, it is important to observe that it is one thing to say that it is contrary to the Holy Spirit's intent when Scripture is interpreted in such a way that the Gospel is obscured; it is quite another thing to say that since the Holy Spirit's intent in the Scriptures is to proclaim the Gospel, it was never His intent that His Word in Genesis 1-11, for instance, should be understood as relating facts of history, or to say that in view of "the perpetual aim of the Gospel" (AC XXVIII, 66; Latin) apostolic directives for the church's life may be set aside. It is one thing to search the Scriptures to discover ever more fully how they witness to Christ and relate to His Gospel; it is quite another thing to explore the implications of the Gospel for freedom in handling the Scriptures. The interest of one is to see the richness and the glory of the Gospel to aid preaching; the interest of the other is to explain the alleged limitations and flaws of the Bible in a way that avoids the embarrassment of defending it as God's very own inerrant Word while at the same time upholding and affirming its authority. The Gospel is the norm in the Scriptures in the sense that it absolutely prohibits understanding any passage to teach salvation by works. It is not norm in the sense that the center of Scripture becomes a device to sanction a view of the Bible and a method of interpreting it which virtually denies that the whole Bible is God's inspired, authoritative Word on all matters concerning which it speaks." [page 11]

I recall Andy Bartelt's class, when a portion of OT Scripture seemed to be in error. Upon further examination of the Hebrew, however, it was properly explained. Bartelt's quip, "Whew! Almost lost my faith for a minute there!"

Thanks for this. On top of this I just wonder where the sense of catholicity is in President Harrison's post. The Brief Statement is a good and true statement because it responds faithfully to the challenges of its day (and even ours). But the post from President Harrison, and the resolutions from Wyoming and South Wisconsin, come off as if a literal 6 day creation was always settled doctrine. This teaching was never really settled in the history of the church. What mattered was the first article of the creed (and I agree Evolution is very problematic for the first article), but it doesn't fly to act as if we have the corner on orthodoxy here when the history of the church shows otherwise. There are church fathers who defended the incarnation and resurrection without maintaining or defending a literal 6 day creation account. Adam, Eve, original sin, God as Creator, all of these things carried and mattered throughout the history of the church. Length of the actual creative act from God was never really on par with those things. It just comes off as strange to say the whole of Christian doctrine depends on the length of the actual creative act from God.

M. Staneck
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on January 05, 2018, 11:46:05 AM
I had hoped, though, for some sort of principle for when science and reason should be allowed to trump divine revelation and when they shouldn't.  You're position, at least as you've reported it, sounds arbitrary. 

Now it certainly is true that people often do not think rationally, that they simultaneously believe contradictory things or ignore what would seem to have been a strong precedent.  This is perhaps all the more so in modern times when, "I think, therefore I am" has been replaced by, "I feel, therefore I am."  Is the answer to the question "why?" simply that that's the way it works out and there is no accounting for it?   

??
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Matt Staneck on January 05, 2018, 11:46:23 AM


This is well-recalled and stated, Don.  For the ancient folks among us, the so-called Battle for the Bible, because of the way it was waged, ended with a rump group becoming empowered to promote the fundamentalist concept that the truthfulness of the Gospel DOES indeed depend on the inerrancy of the Scriptures.  That's the way it has been prosecuted for a full 40 year generation among that rump group and out to God's people. 

Dave Benke

What is that the rump group howls about all the time? "Lex orandi, lex credendi?" Apparently this statement has a very narrow definition, like most things from this group.

M. Staneck
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: LCMS87 on January 05, 2018, 11:50:55 AM
This is well-recalled and stated, Don.  For the ancient folks among us, the so-called Battle for the Bible, because of the way it was waged, ended with a rump group becoming empowered to promote the fundamentalist concept that the truthfulness of the Gospel DOES indeed depend on the inerrancy of the Scriptures.  That's the way it has been prosecuted for a full 40 year generation among that rump group and out to God's people. 

I recall the Bartelt quip because it was so darn funny. :-) What a great class, and what a great man.

Yes, as to that "rump group," I went back and looked at some of the outraged and vicious emails to me from members of the MN Faithful before I was unceremoniously booted due to my response to "If the Bible is wrong about creation, there is no Gospel. It's as simple as that." The same guys saw Voelz' hermeneutics textbook as blatant heresy. So it goes.
Ken Ham has drawn far, far too many hearers.

I always wonder why since Hebrews 1:3 identifies creation from nothing as a matter of faith, in the context something that cannot be seen or proven.  I appreciate apologetics as the wrecking ball that demolishes false understandings and beliefs, but when it is used outside of that vocation problems result.  By definition matters of faith can't be proven--otherwise they wouldn't be matters of faith.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on January 05, 2018, 11:53:17 AM
It just comes off as strange to say the whole of Christian doctrine depends on the length of the actual creative act from God.

Not if you believe the Fundamentalist view that one's faith is based on a conviction that the Scriptures are the inspired and inerrant word of God.

Another recollection... :-). Voelz' hermeneutics class (we were the guinea pigs for the material for the 2nd edition of his textbook) in which it was suggested that "Jesus loves me, this I know. For the Bible tells me so" is not always the case, that it somewhat reflects the Fundamentalist view. It was suggested that a Lutheran view might be,"Jesus loves me, this I know, and the Bible tells me so." 

Interestingly, the song contrasts "For the Bible tells me so" with "Little ones to him belong" and "taking children on his knee," i.e., little ones who believe in Him.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: LCMS87 on January 05, 2018, 11:58:03 AM
I had hoped, though, for some sort of principle for when science and reason should be allowed to trump divine revelation and when they shouldn't.  Your position, at least as you've reported it, sounds arbitrary. 

Now it certainly is true that people often do not think rationally, that they simultaneously believe contradictory things or ignore what would seem to have been a strong precedent.  This is perhaps all the more so in modern times when, "I think, therefore I am" has been replaced by, "I feel, therefore I am."  Is the answer to the question "why?" simply that that's the way it works out and there is no accounting for it?   

??

Exactly.  There's no accounting for it.  It is arbitrary. 

From what's been posted here, it seems that there's no principle or rationale that serves as the basis for dismissing some Scriptures but holding to others.  I'll just chalk it up to divine providence, that in his mercy God allows for this felicitous inconsistency. 
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Matt Staneck on January 05, 2018, 12:00:11 PM
I had hoped, though, for some sort of principle for when science and reason should be allowed to trump divine revelation and when they shouldn't.  You're position, at least as you've reported it, sounds arbitrary. 

Now it certainly is true that people often do not think rationally, that they simultaneously believe contradictory things or ignore what would seem to have been a strong precedent.  This is perhaps all the more so in modern times when, "I think, therefore I am" has been replaced by, "I feel, therefore I am."  Is the answer to the question "why?" simply that that's the way it works out and there is no accounting for it?   

??

Exactly.  There's no accounting for it.  It is arbitrary. 

From what's been posted here, it seems that there's no principle or rationale that serves as the basis for dismissing some Scriptures but holding to others.  I'll just chalk it up to divine providence, that in his mercy God allows for this felicitous inconsistency.

This response comes off as presuming the fundamentalist POV. What about the creeds? What about the church fathers? What about sound Lutheran exegetical work?

M. Staneck
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Matt Staneck on January 05, 2018, 12:01:17 PM
It just comes off as strange to say the whole of Christian doctrine depends on the length of the actual creative act from God.

Not if you believe the Fundamentalist view that one's faith is based on a conviction that the Scriptures are the inspired and inerrant word of God.


We pray for SP Harrison every week because, among other reasons, his is a job with a lot of unfair expectations. I guess I'm just surprised that it might be unfair to expect him to not adopt a fundamentalist hermeneutic?

M. Staneck
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on January 05, 2018, 12:10:50 PM
I had hoped, though, for some sort of principle for when science and reason should be allowed to trump divine revelation and when they shouldn't.  Your position, at least as you've reported it, sounds arbitrary. 

Now it certainly is true that people often do not think rationally, that they simultaneously believe contradictory things or ignore what would seem to have been a strong precedent.  This is perhaps all the more so in modern times when, "I think, therefore I am" has been replaced by, "I feel, therefore I am."  Is the answer to the question "why?" simply that that's the way it works out and there is no accounting for it?   

??

Exactly.  There's no accounting for it.  It is arbitrary. 

From what's been posted here, it seems that there's no principle or rationale that serves as the basis for dismissing some Scriptures but holding to others.  I'll just chalk it up to divine providence, that in his mercy God allows for this felicitous inconsistency.

You seem to minimize reason then chalk up a rejection to a lack of rational thinking. Seemed like a confusion there.

Goodness, I am in no way defending a "principle or rationale that serves as the basis for dismissing some Scriptures but holding to others"! I am holding that faith is not a house of cards, rejecting that "If the Bible is wrong about creation, there is no Gospel. It's as simple as that." That's Fundamentalism, and it's not the Lutheran view.

"The truthfulness of the Gospel does not depend upon the inerrancy of the Scriptures."

Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: peterm on January 05, 2018, 12:11:53 PM
Reading through the last few pages I am led to wonder a couple of things...

1) Creation is from God  That is the thing that Genesis is most clear on, and that is what is confessed in the Creeds.  Though Scripture says that God Spoke things into existence, which I firmly believe, teach and preach,  Is not the "How" of that an ultimate mystery of God that we can comfortably leave as mystery?  Insistence on  a "day" being a day as we understand it seems to me to be somewhat arrogant, and obscuring of the main point that God is the ultimate Creator of all things.

2) this might be heresy in this German dominated forum, but perhaps Grundtvig had it right with his primary emphasis on the Apostles' Creed. (Said tongue in cheek)
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 05, 2018, 12:20:10 PM
Now it certainly is true that people often do not think rationally, that they simultaneously believe contradictory things or ignore what would seem to have been a strong precedent.  This is perhaps all the more so in modern times when, "I think, therefore I am" has been replaced by, "I feel, therefore I am."  Is the answer to the question "why?" simply that that's the way it works out and there is no accounting for it?   


I suspect that the biblical era folks followed more of the African slogan: "I am because we are." Individual thoughts and feelings didn't matter so much. One's identity was wrapped up in the community one was in.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 05, 2018, 12:22:17 PM
I had hoped, though, for some sort of principle for when science and reason should be allowed to trump divine revelation and when they shouldn't.  Your position, at least as you've reported it, sounds arbitrary. 

Now it certainly is true that people often do not think rationally, that they simultaneously believe contradictory things or ignore what would seem to have been a strong precedent.  This is perhaps all the more so in modern times when, "I think, therefore I am" has been replaced by, "I feel, therefore I am."  Is the answer to the question "why?" simply that that's the way it works out and there is no accounting for it?   

??

Exactly.  There's no accounting for it.  It is arbitrary. 

From what's been posted here, it seems that there's no principle or rationale that serves as the basis for dismissing some Scriptures but holding to others.  I'll just chalk it up to divine providence, that in his mercy God allows for this felicitous inconsistency.


Before there was a scripture, there was some sort of principle or rationale that served to dismiss some ancient writings from the canon and to accept others. Such a discernment has been part of the church from the beginning.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: LCMS87 on January 05, 2018, 12:24:28 PM
I had hoped, though, for some sort of principle for when science and reason should be allowed to trump divine revelation and when they shouldn't.  You're position, at least as you've reported it, sounds arbitrary. 

Now it certainly is true that people often do not think rationally, that they simultaneously believe contradictory things or ignore what would seem to have been a strong precedent.  This is perhaps all the more so in modern times when, "I think, therefore I am" has been replaced by, "I feel, therefore I am."  Is the answer to the question "why?" simply that that's the way it works out and there is no accounting for it?   

??

Exactly.  There's no accounting for it.  It is arbitrary. 

From what's been posted here, it seems that there's no principle or rationale that serves as the basis for dismissing some Scriptures but holding to others.  I'll just chalk it up to divine providence, that in his mercy God allows for this felicitous inconsistency.

This response comes off as presuming the fundamentalist POV. What about the creeds? What about the church fathers? What about sound Lutheran exegetical work?

M. Staneck

What about them?  Show me where they address President Harrison's question, "If I reject what Scripture teaches as history about creation, why should I not then reject everything else (including the resurrection itself) that appears contrary to reason?"  Why?  What's the principle the creeds, the fathers, and sound Lutheran exegetical work teach?  That's what I've been seeking.

Why doesn't everyone who dismisses the account of creation or the flood or Jonah's time in the belly of the fish due to rational/scientific reasons also reject the incarnation and resurrection for those same reasons--do a full Bishop John Shelby Spong?  My answer above isn't very different from the answer to the crux theologorum.  It's a matter of God's mercy. 

This doesn't deny that, "The truthfulness of the Gospel does not depend upon the inerrancy of the Scriptures."  But the Scriptures do teach the Gospel.  So why are the irrational and unscientific matters of incarnation and resurrection that are central to redemption retained even as other teachings of Scripture are dismissed on the basis of reason and science? 
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 05, 2018, 12:24:36 PM
Reading through the last few pages I am led to wonder a couple of things...

1) Creation is from God  That is the thing that Genesis is most clear on, and that is what is confessed in the Creeds.  Though Scripture says that God Spoke things into existence, which I firmly believe, teach and preach,  Is not the "How" of that an ultimate mystery of God that we can comfortably leave as mystery?  Insistence on  a "day" being a day as we understand it seems to me to be somewhat arrogant, and obscuring of the main point that God is the ultimate Creator of all things.


The "spoke things into existence" is only true with the Genesis 1 account. In Genesis 2 God is always forming things into existence out of something else: the dirt or the rib. The approach of "spoke things into existence" has already lifted up one portion of scripture and discounted another.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Matt Staneck on January 05, 2018, 12:35:32 PM


What about them?  Show me where they address President Harrison's question, "If I reject what Scripture teaches as history about creation, why should I not then reject everything else (including the resurrection itself) that appears contrary to reason?"  Why?  What's the principle they teach?  That's what I've been seeking.

Why doesn't everyone who dismisses the account of creation or the flood or Jonah's time in the belly of the fish due to rational/scientific reasons also reject the incarnation and resurrection for those same reasons--do a full Bishop John Shelby Spong?  My answer above isn't very different from the answer to the crux theologorum.  It's a matter of God's mercy. 

This doesn't deny that, "The truthfulness of the Gospel does not depend upon the inerrancy of the Scriptures."  But the Scriptures do teach the Gospel.  So why are the irrational and unscientific matters of incarnation and resurrection that are central to redemption retained even as other teachings of Scripture are dismissed on the basis of reason and science?

Everything we know about the scriptures, and sound hermeneutics, flows from Luke 24. Jesus very explicitly stated that the scriptures--all of them--are about him. We believe the scriptures because the resurrected Jesus said they are about him. Missouri Synod Lutherans acting like the church hadn't figured a out sound exegesis of creation/fall/redemption prior to the 1930s is very perplexing. The church fathers confessed the first article without much concern for the length of God's creative act. If they believed God created everything in 6 literal days, it wasn't central to their defense of creation/incarnation/resurrection. The Brief Statement rightly posits a teaching in the face of a world that had a very developed and specific alternative understanding of the universe's origins. But there is nothing new under the sun, ancient Christians went up against philosophies that denied God as Creator, that denied the incarnation, and that denied the reality of the resurrection. In fact, the resurrection and the incarnation have been beat up since the whole thing kicked into motion after Easter. And yet, remarkably, no defense of either has ever rested on the length of time it took God to actually create everything.

To claim that the resurrection--and therefore everything--depends on an understanding of creation taking place in 6 literal days is to remove yourself from catholicity. And that's a problem if you claim to be the Church of the Augsburg Confession.

M. Staneck
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on January 05, 2018, 12:44:02 PM
Show me where [the Creeds] address President Harrison's question, "If I reject what Scripture teaches as history about creation, why should I not then reject everything else (including the resurrection itself) that appears contrary to reason?"  Why?  What's the principle the creeds, the fathers, and sound Lutheran exegetical work teach?  That's what I've been seeking.

"I believe..."
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: John_Hannah on January 05, 2018, 12:44:55 PM


What about them?  Show me where they address President Harrison's question, "If I reject what Scripture teaches as history about creation, why should I not then reject everything else (including the resurrection itself) that appears contrary to reason?"  Why?  What's the principle they teach?  That's what I've been seeking.

Why doesn't everyone who dismisses the account of creation or the flood or Jonah's time in the belly of the fish due to rational/scientific reasons also reject the incarnation and resurrection for those same reasons--do a full Bishop John Shelby Spong?  My answer above isn't very different from the answer to the crux theologorum.  It's a matter of God's mercy. 

This doesn't deny that, "The truthfulness of the Gospel does not depend upon the inerrancy of the Scriptures."  But the Scriptures do teach the Gospel.  So why are the irrational and unscientific matters of incarnation and resurrection that are central to redemption retained even as other teachings of Scripture are dismissed on the basis of reason and science?

Everything we know about the scriptures, and sound hermeneutics, flows from Luke 24. Jesus very explicitly stated that the scriptures--all of them--are about him. We believe the scriptures because the resurrected Jesus said they are about him. Missouri Synod Lutherans acting like the church hadn't figured a out sound exegesis of creation/fall/redemption prior to the 1930s is very perplexing. The church fathers confessed the first article without much concern for the length of God's creative act. If they believed God created everything in 6 literal days, it wasn't central to their defense of creation/incarnation/resurrection. The Brief Statement rightly posits a teaching in the face of a world that had a very developed and specific alternative understanding of the universe's origins. But there is nothing new under the sun, ancient Christians went up against philosophies that denied God as Creator, that denied the incarnation, and that denied the reality of the resurrection. In fact, the resurrection and the incarnation have been beat up since the whole thing kicked into motion after Easter. And yet, remarkably, no defense of either has ever rested on the length of time it took God to actually create everything.

To claim that the resurrection--and therefore everything--depends on an understanding of creation taking place in 6 literal days is to remove yourself from catholicity. And that's a problem if you claim to be the Church of the Augsburg Confession.

M. Staneck

AMEN, Matt!  Thanks.

Peace, JOHN
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: peterm on January 05, 2018, 12:54:34 PM
Reading through the last few pages I am led to wonder a couple of things...

1) Creation is from God  That is the thing that Genesis is most clear on, and that is what is confessed in the Creeds.  Though Scripture says that God Spoke things into existence, which I firmly believe, teach and preach,  Is not the "How" of that an ultimate mystery of God that we can comfortably leave as mystery?  Insistence on  a "day" being a day as we understand it seems to me to be somewhat arrogant, and obscuring of the main point that God is the ultimate Creator of all things.


The "spoke things into existence" is only true with the Genesis 1 account. In Genesis 2 God is always forming things into existence out of something else: the dirt or the rib. The approach of "spoke things into existence" has already lifted up one portion of scripture and discounted another.

I know but that is the part that is in question.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: mj4 on January 05, 2018, 12:55:33 PM
I'm interested in understanding on what basis people who believe that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin, did a bunch of miracles then was crucified, died, and rose from the dead reject the revelation of the same Scriptures concerning the creation of the universe.  What is the rationale for doing so, or is it just a matter of personal preference and choice?

A mythopoetic creation story is a different type of literature from a gospel account. The Genesis creation accounts and the Christian gospels are both the Word of God. They both have a theological intent. They unfailingly tell the Truth. The gospel accounts, though, convey historical features that point more toward an historical reading, including those parts that seem incredible to the modern reader. Those who have ears to hear will hear the Word of God and respond in faith.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Harry Edmon on January 05, 2018, 12:55:37 PM
I think you are misunderstanding the basis for President Harrison's comments.  It is not a matter of logic, it is a matter of hermaneutics.  If you interpret Genesis 1 and 2 that way what does it imply about your interpretation of the rest of Scripture. 

I see a distinction without a difference.

The ultimate question is, what does Jesus think about Genesis 1 and 2? If He takes it as literal, how can we not?

Agreed. So...?
First off, as I stated I agree that we start with Christ, and that we accept the inerrancy of Scripture because Christ did, and because He said the Scriptures were about Him.

Now, as to what Jesus thought about Genesis 1 and 2 we have Him quoting from it in Matt 19:4-5.   I agree that it is a short quote, but is there anything there that indicates that Jesus sees this section of Scripture as a story, allegory, myth, fable, etc?  We also have Paul treating Adam and Eve as historical figures.   What do we do with that?  Finally, is one result of orthodox Christology that Genesis 1 and 2 are true representations of how God created everything?

I do not accept the attempts of the "Answers in Genesis" crowd of trying to reconcile science and Genesis. Science cannot by its nature explain or deal with the miraculous.  So we cannot expect science to explain how God created out of nothing.  See Job 40-41.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Dave Likeness on January 05, 2018, 01:43:39 PM
A poet once asked for the gift to see ourselves as others see us.

Eric Gritsch has written in his "A History of Lutheranism" that C.F.W. Walther (1811-1887) and Francis Pieper
(1852-1931) were the two theologians who shaped the LCMS.  They contended there is no development of
doctrine since the Reformation of Martin Luther.  "They adopted a crude fundamentalism that constantly pointed
out the deviations of non-Missouri Lutherans from the divine truth deposited in the Missouri Synod."  "By 1929
the LCMS suspected all other Lutheran Synods of false teaching and referred to other synods as "our opponents".
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: LCMS87 on January 05, 2018, 01:55:15 PM


What about them?  Show me where they address President Harrison's question, "If I reject what Scripture teaches as history about creation, why should I not then reject everything else (including the resurrection itself) that appears contrary to reason?"  Why?  What's the principle they teach?  That's what I've been seeking.

Why doesn't everyone who dismisses the account of creation or the flood or Jonah's time in the belly of the fish due to rational/scientific reasons also reject the incarnation and resurrection for those same reasons--do a full Bishop John Shelby Spong?  My answer above isn't very different from the answer to the crux theologorum.  It's a matter of God's mercy. 

This doesn't deny that, "The truthfulness of the Gospel does not depend upon the inerrancy of the Scriptures."  But the Scriptures do teach the Gospel.  So why are the irrational and unscientific matters of incarnation and resurrection that are central to redemption retained even as other teachings of Scripture are dismissed on the basis of reason and science?

Everything we know about the scriptures, and sound hermeneutics, flows from Luke 24. Jesus very explicitly stated that the scriptures--all of them--are about him. We believe the scriptures because the resurrected Jesus said they are about him. Missouri Synod Lutherans acting like the church hadn't figured a out sound exegesis of creation/fall/redemption prior to the 1930s is very perplexing. The church fathers confessed the first article without much concern for the length of God's creative act. If they believed God created everything in 6 literal days, it wasn't central to their defense of creation/incarnation/resurrection. The Brief Statement rightly posits a teaching in the face of a world that had a very developed and specific alternative understanding of the universe's origins. But there is nothing new under the sun, ancient Christians went up against philosophies that denied God as Creator, that denied the incarnation, and that denied the reality of the resurrection. In fact, the resurrection and the incarnation have been beat up since the whole thing kicked into motion after Easter. And yet, remarkably, no defense of either has ever rested on the length of time it took God to actually create everything.

To claim that the resurrection--and therefore everything--depends on an understanding of creation taking place in 6 literal days is to remove yourself from catholicity. And that's a problem if you claim to be the Church of the Augsburg Confession.

M. Staneck

I agree with what you've said, but don't see it as addressing any issues I've raised.  I certainly have never written that “the resurrection--and therefore everything--depends on an understanding of creation taking place in 6 literal days.”

My question has been concerning the doctrine of Scripture, what principle or rationale (some) people use to dismiss some Scripture passages on the basis of reason and science but not others. 

President Harrison asked a question that is reasonable to ask.  It addresses the way people think in our culture.  We see it in the news every day.  “You can't trust [pick your politician] because he/she lied.”  And so everything a person ever says is questioned because of something they once said that was either a lie, (something they knew was untrue and spoke with the intention to mislead); untrue, (though they were not aware of that at the time(; or debatable, (unclear, equivocal, but subject to the worst construction for the benefit of one’s political interests).  And though the standard is unfair, the mud sticks. 

The new atheists are doing the same thing all the time with Scripture, taking textual variants--the presence or absence of a direct article or different form of a word in various manuscripts--and declaring Scripture is not trustworthy.  So in our context it’s reasonable to ask, “If I reject what Scripture teaches as history about creation, why should I not then reject everything else (including the resurrection itself) that appears contrary to reason?”  You identify this as fundamentalism.  It sounds to me much like the reformer talking about “that whore reason.”  If you’re giving reason/science magisterial power over Genesis 1 and 2, why not over Luke 2, John 20, or Romans 3?  Why trust the Gospel at all.  What could be more irrational than God loving a miserable sinner like you or me by sending his Son to die a vicarious death? 

So then back up and help me understand what it is that determines which chapters and verses of Scripture are trustworthy and which aren’t and why.  What’s the problem with saying the Gospel is true, and God’s word through which he’s delivered it is true as well, that “God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind,” that “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work,” that “no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit”?  Those exclusive words, “no” and “all” tell me that God didn’t intend his word to be treated as a smorgasbord. 

My guess is that you'd say there's no problem with saying what I’ve suggested except for the bogeyman of fundamentalism.  But your fear of him on the right might help you understand why others fear the bogeyman of higher criticism on the left.  (Bogeyman, here, intended to indicate not that there aren't real problems with fundamentalism and higher criticism, but that sometimes those threats aren’t really present in a given instance, we’re just imagining them.)
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: LCMS87 on January 05, 2018, 02:02:23 PM
Show me where [the Creeds] address President Harrison's question, "If I reject what Scripture teaches as history about creation, why should I not then reject everything else (including the resurrection itself) that appears contrary to reason?"  Why?  What's the principle the creeds, the fathers, and sound Lutheran exegetical work teach?  That's what I've been seeking.

"I believe..."

Nice. 

"I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to Him; but the Holy Spirit has called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith. . . ."

So
It's a matter of God's mercy. 
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on January 05, 2018, 02:14:11 PM
Show me where [the Creeds] address President Harrison's question, "If I reject what Scripture teaches as history about creation, why should I not then reject everything else (including the resurrection itself) that appears contrary to reason?"  Why?  What's the principle the creeds, the fathers, and sound Lutheran exegetical work teach?  That's what I've been seeking.

"I believe..."

Nice. 

"I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to Him; but the Holy Spirit has called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith. . . ."

So
It's a matter of God's mercy. 

Indeed.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: pearson on January 05, 2018, 02:22:29 PM

Yes, it is a matter of hermeneutics, and more fundamentally, a matter of faith.  Rev. Harrison wrote, "If I reject what Scripture teaches as history about creation, why should I not then reject everything else (including the resurrection itself) that appears contrary to reason?"  Specifically, Harrison addressed the rejection of the historicity of the biblical account.  The Christian religion is rooted in history.  Stated more generally, he is asking: if I place my reason above the teaching of the Scriptures on one matter, what is to keep me from placing my reason above the teaching of the Scriptures on any matter?  I see nothing rationalistic about such a question.  Rationalism would rather be the spirit behind the denial of the biblical historical accounts.


Is President Harrison himself suggesting that there is some sort of opposition between reason and faith?

I'd like to read President Harrison as he would want to be read.  Thanks.

Tom Pearson
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: pearson on January 05, 2018, 03:08:33 PM

I had hoped, though, for some sort of principle for when science and reason should be allowed to trump divine revelation and when they shouldn't.  God's command out of nothing and I trust that's true and--as a matter of faith--isn't provable.

. . . .

I'm interested in understanding on what basis people who believe that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin, did a bunch of miracles then was crucified, died, and rose from the dead reject the revelation of the same Scriptures concerning the creation of the universe.  What is the rationale for doing so, or is it just a matter of personal preference and choice?


This is an excellent question, LCMS87.  I'm not sure there is any "principle" that can be clearly articulated to distinguish "when science and reason should be allowed to trump divine revelation and when they shouldn't."  To come at it from the other direction: it's rather like asking for a principle to distinguish when we should reject what science says when it comes to contemporary versions of Neo-Darwinian evolution theory from when we should accept what science says when it comes to medicine or communications technology.  Some folks scoff at the pretensions of scientific claims regarding contemporary evolutionary theory, but those same folks routinely accept what science says when undergoing medical diagnoses.  Is there a principle at work here, one that allows us to delineate clearly and consistently when science should be taken seriously, and when it should not?  I can't find one.  Why should I accept ordinary medical science, but not ordinary evolutionary science?  I dunno.  Likewise, I'm not sure there is a definitive principle or basis for declaring what are the conditions under which we may rely on science, and what are the conditions under which we may rely on revelation.

I suspect that Pr. Staneck may be offering the most reliable way to discern how to make such distinctions.  As the theology of the catholic tradition of western Christianity has matured over the past couple of millennia, it appears the biblical teaching that grounds Christology and soteriology have a central role in that theology.  Other biblical teachings (such as a doctrine of creation) may play a supporting role, but they are neither central, nor adiaphora.  When Luther portrayed the doctrine of justification by grace through faith as implying, "if this article stands the church stands; if this article collapses, the church collapses," he wasn't quoting scripture; he was doing theology.  Quoting scripture is not the same thing as doing theology.  But there is no clear principle that marks off the decisive divide between the conditions under which doing theology trumps quoting scripture, or vice versa.

I've found useful a general heuristic device offered by the philosopher W.V.O. Quine (he is only one of several who have suggested this same analogy).  Quine describes our intellectual convictions ("beliefs") as resembling a web, like a spider's web.  The threads that are closest to the center are the strongest, and most resistant to being disrupted.  The threads of the web that are furthest from the center, near the periphery of the entire web, are the most vulnerable to being torn loose and damaged.  But as long as "the center holds," the web can retain its integrity.  In the same way, there is often no single principle, in science or theology, that can finally define what can stay and what can go.  But in Christian theology, as long as "the center holds," the integrity of our confession remains intact.  And, I am convinced, it is the Spirit, working through the Church, that has held "the center" together in Christian theology the past 2,000 years.

Tom Pearson
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Charles Austin on January 05, 2018, 03:25:59 PM
 And that is a very good point Dr. Pearson. When the center holds we are all right. To make something like biblical  inerrancy or a particular view of creation or the historicity of one particular Bible story as essential is to ignore the center. I have always told people, when I am teaching, that in all of the centuries of church history and struggles over doctrine and teaching and practice, the Holy Spirit seems to have held the center intact.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: LCMS87 on January 05, 2018, 03:45:40 PM

I had hoped, though, for some sort of principle for when science and reason should be allowed to trump divine revelation and when they shouldn't.  God's command out of nothing and I trust that's true and--as a matter of faith--isn't provable.

. . . .

I'm interested in understanding on what basis people who believe that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin, did a bunch of miracles then was crucified, died, and rose from the dead reject the revelation of the same Scriptures concerning the creation of the universe.  What is the rationale for doing so, or is it just a matter of personal preference and choice?


This is an excellent question, LCMS87.  I'm not sure there is any "principle" that can be clearly articulated to distinguish "when science and reason should be allowed to trump divine revelation and when they shouldn't."  To come at it from the other direction: it's rather like asking for a principle to distinguish when we should reject what science says when it comes to contemporary versions of Neo-Darwinian evolution theory from when we should accept what science says when it comes to medicine or communications technology.  Some folks scoff at the pretensions of scientific claims regarding contemporary evolutionary theory, but those same folks routinely accept what science says when undergoing medical diagnoses.  Is there a principle at work here, one that allows us to delineate clearly and consistently when science should be taken seriously, and when it should not?  I can't find one.  Why should I accept ordinary medical science, but not ordinary evolutionary science?  I dunno.  Likewise, I'm not sure there is a definitive principle or basis for declaring what are the conditions under which we may rely on science, and what are the conditions under which we may rely on revelation.

I suspect that Pr. Staneck may be offering the most reliable way to discern how to make such distinctions.  As the theology of the catholic tradition of western Christianity has matured over the past couple of millennia, it appears the biblical teaching that grounds Christology and soteriology have a central role in that theology.  Other biblical teachings (such as a doctrine of creation) may play a supporting role, but they are neither central, nor adiaphora.  When Luther portrayed the doctrine of justification by grace through faith as implying, "if this article stands the church stands; if this article collapses, the church collapses," he wasn't quoting scripture; he was doing theology.  Quoting scripture is not the same thing as doing theology.  But there is no clear principle that marks off the decisive divide between the conditions under which doing theology trumps quoting scripture, or vice versa.

I've found useful a general heuristic device offered by the philosopher W.V.O. Quine (he is only one of several who have suggested this same analogy).  Quine describes our intellectual convictions ("beliefs") as resembling a web, like a spider's web.  The threads that are closest to the center are the strongest, and most resistant to being disrupted.  The threads of the web that are furthest from the center, near the periphery of the entire web, are the most vulnerable to being torn loose and damaged.  But as long as "the center holds," the web can retain its integrity.  In the same way, there is often no single principle, in science or theology, that can finally define what can stay and what can go.  But in Christian theology, as long as "the center holds," the integrity of our confession remains intact.  And, I am convinced, it is the Spirit, working through the Church, that has held "the center" together in Christian theology the past 2,000 years.

Tom Pearson

Thank you, Dr. Pearson, this is helpful. 

The analogy seems to fit well, and tends to justify both the concern President Harrison expressed and the one rejecting Fundamentalism.  The spider's web can survive with some threads being cut.  That doesn't, however, mean that the non-central threads are unimportant.  Cut enough non-central threads and the center won't hold.  I suppose the question then is with what level of risk you're comfortable.




With regard to President Harrison's perspective on faith and reason, I believe he embraces Dr. Luther's perspective:  Reason is a precious gift of God in its ministerial roll, but if it supposes to exercise a magisterial role, claiming authority to judge faith and Scripture, it is a whore.  Of course that doesn't give a simple answer regarding the article referenced earlier, but I think the fair way to read President Harrison is with this perspective of Luther in mind.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: MaddogLutheran on January 05, 2018, 03:49:13 PM

My question has been concerning the doctrine of Scripture, what principle or rationale (some) people use to dismiss some Scripture passages on the basis of reason and science but not others. 
I would say it's because of the difference in how the events in questions occurred and were initially recorded.  Specifically contrasting the resurrection and the creation, only one (the resurrection) had human eye-witness testimony.  The only witness to creation was the Creator Himself.

The good news of the resurrection was immediately shared amongst Jesus' disciples, and it was something about which any human could understand--a dead body coming back to life.  The story of doubting Thomas is about all of us and how we might react to such impossible news.  The creation narrative has no such equivalent.  How does one explain to an ancient people the astrophysical detail of such an event?  That the universe that was created does not have the earth at its epicenter?  That the stars in the night are not mere specks of light but thermonuclear fusion balls just like the one that passes overhead every day?  The simple answer is you don't, because it's not relevant to the story and they have no frame of reference to understand.  Just like we have no "scientific" explanation about the process by which Jesus was resurrected.  Also not relevant to the story.

Again, the problem begins when one uses the creation accounts of the Bible to say that the current scientific explanation is "wrong".  It's not wrong, it's just answering the wrong question.  It's just as wrong when committed atheists like Richard Dawkins claim that science has proven the Bible "wrong".  It doesn't work like that.  Ask a fundamentalist question, get a fundamentalist answer.

Sterling Spatz
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: John_Hannah on January 05, 2018, 04:10:23 PM
"How does one explain to an ancient people the astrophysical detail of such an event?  That the universe that was created does not have the earth at its epicenter?  That the stars in the night are not mere specks of light but thermonuclear fusion balls just like the one that passes overhead every day?"

Thank you Sterling. I would add how would the Hebrew slaves of Pharaoh have understood the living cells which comprise all creatures. Would Ezekiel have grasped molecules? David, atoms? Hermann Sasse, a widely respected conservative Lutheran theologian (d. 1976), once pointed out that God in his compassion did not give Israel a scientific explanation of the creation that they could not have possibly understood.   :)

Peace, JOHN
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: SomeoneWrites on January 05, 2018, 05:13:12 PM

My question has been concerning the doctrine of Scripture, what principle or rationale (some) people use to dismiss some Scripture passages on the basis of reason and science but not others. 
I would say it's because of the difference in how the events in questions occurred and were initially recorded.  Specifically contrasting the resurrection and the creation, only one (the resurrection) had human eye-witness testimony.  The only witness to creation was the Creator Himself.

The good news of the resurrection was immediately shared amongst Jesus' disciples, and it was something about which any human could understand--a dead body coming back to life.  The story of doubting Thomas is about all of us and how we might react to such impossible news.  The creation narrative has no such equivalent.  How does one explain to an ancient people the astrophysical detail of such an event?  That the universe that was created does not have the earth at its epicenter?  That the stars in the night are not mere specks of light but thermonuclear fusion balls just like the one that passes overhead every day?  The simple answer is you don't, because it's not relevant to the story and they have no frame of reference to understand.  Just like we have no "scientific" explanation about the process by which Jesus was resurrected.  Also not relevant to the story.

Again, the problem begins when one uses the creation accounts of the Bible to say that the current scientific explanation is "wrong".  It's not wrong, it's just answering the wrong question.  It's just as wrong when committed atheists like Richard Dawkins claim that science has proven the Bible "wrong".  It doesn't work like that.  Ask a fundamentalist question, get a fundamentalist answer.

Sterling Spatz

Solid response and I agree wholeheartedly
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: aletheist on January 05, 2018, 06:29:53 PM
Why should I accept ordinary medical science, but not ordinary evolutionary science?
For one thing, while ordinary medical (and other) science ascertains how the universe works in the present--experiments are conducted and results are obtained under the same or similar circumstances and time frames as how they will be applied--ordinary evolutionary science posits theories about events that allegedly happened in the very distant past.  While evidence discovered today can be (and is) interpreted as consistent (or inconsistent) with those theories, we cannot conduct direct experiments to test them at the macro level, because that would require the same thousands/millions/billions of years that it supposedly took for the whole process to play out the first time.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: SomeoneWrites on January 05, 2018, 06:38:22 PM
Why should I accept ordinary medical science, but not ordinary evolutionary science?
For one thing, while ordinary medical (and other) science ascertains how the universe works in the present--experiments are conducted and results are obtained under the same or similar circumstances and time frames as how they will be applied--ordinary evolutionary science posits theories about events that allegedly happened in the very distant past.  While evidence discovered today can be (and is) interpreted as consistent (or inconsistent) with those theories, we cannot conduct direct experiments to test them at the macro level, because that would require the same thousands/millions/billions of years that it supposedly took for the whole process to play out the first time.

You, and others, would need to present evidence to why the macro level wouldn't work. 
There's well documented evidence for the transition of whales from land mammals, including the moving of the nostrils, the rear appendages/hips, the appearance of baleen, the consistency in the ear bone structure, etc. 
What evidence is there that physics operated differently 10k years ago?  Is there evidence that light would have behaved differently? 
What evidence is there that radiometric decay would operate differently?
What evidence is there for the geologic changes? The accumulation of chalk?
There are multiple lines of independent evidence that are well supported. 
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: RDPreus on January 05, 2018, 06:41:04 PM

Yes, it is a matter of hermeneutics, and more fundamentally, a matter of faith.  Rev. Harrison wrote, "If I reject what Scripture teaches as history about creation, why should I not then reject everything else (including the resurrection itself) that appears contrary to reason?"  Specifically, Harrison addressed the rejection of the historicity of the biblical account.  The Christian religion is rooted in history.  Stated more generally, he is asking: if I place my reason above the teaching of the Scriptures on one matter, what is to keep me from placing my reason above the teaching of the Scriptures on any matter?  I see nothing rationalistic about such a question.  Rationalism would rather be the spirit behind the denial of the biblical historical accounts.


Is President Harrison himself suggesting that there is some sort of opposition between reason and faith?

I'd like to read President Harrison as he would want to be read.  Thanks.

Tom Pearson

I cannot speak for President Harrison, but I assume that he was taught, as I was, that we need to distinguish between the ministerial use of reason whereby we place our reason under the Scriptures as servant and the magisterial use of reason whereby we place our reason over the Scriptures as judge.  We need to use our reason to understand and apply what the Bible says.  But we may not presume to correct the Bible when it says something that appears to contradict what we think is reasonable.  The incarnation is the best example I can think of.  The little baby in the manger is the almighty God.  Reason cannot explain how this can be but it can explain that it is so.  Reading President Harrison in context, I think he is speaking primarily of matters of historicity.  If we deny the historicity of Genesis 1-3 because we think that to assert it is unreasonable, may we not also deny the historicity of the resurrection of Jesus, which is also unreasonable?  As I read him, this is his logic, and it makes sense to me.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: RDPreus on January 05, 2018, 06:52:57 PM
When I was a 4th year seminarian, I was invited to participate in the founding convention of the International Council on Biblical Inerrancy.  Most of the participants were Reformed.  There were several Missouri Synod Lutherans, including my father, Robert Preus.  I wrote my M Div thesis on that meeting.  It has been a long time, but as I recall, there wasn't any material difference between the Reformed and the Lutherans on inerrancy per se, but when it came to the Bible as a means of grace, we parted company.  For us Lutherans, the question of whether we believe the gospel because we believe the Bible or we believe the Bible because we believe the gospel is a false alternative, because the Bible is the primary means of grace, written that we may believe in Christ.  But we do distinguish between normative authority and efficacy.  When this distinction is blurred, confusion results.

When Missourians bring up the argument about how denying any article will lead to denying every article we are simply making the observation that when the normative authority of the Bible is gone, the theological task is fundamentally altered.  Something else will become the norm, and when that happens the gospel itself will be distorted and ultimately lost.  This doesn't mean that the gospel is a logical deduction from inerrancy.  It means that the Bible is the manger in which Christ lies.  You shoot up the manger and you shoot up baby Jesus.  That's no way to do theology.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on January 05, 2018, 07:07:20 PM
For us Lutherans, the question of whether we believe the gospel because we believe the Bible or we believe the Bible because we believe the gospel is a false alternative...

I don't read where anyone has suggested otherwise. You put up a straw man.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: aletheist on January 05, 2018, 08:02:38 PM
You, and others, would need to present evidence to why the macro level wouldn't work.
I figured that you would respond, and tried to head off your usual line of argument by acknowledging up-front that there is evidence that can be (and is) interpreted as consistent with evolutionary theory.  My point is that, unlike with medical research, you cannot conduct an experiment today to demonstrate that we can (and did) naturally evolve from non-life.  It would take billions of years for it to run its course, or at least many thousands of years just to observe the comparatively short step from apes to humans.  Any artificial measures to speed up the timeline would constitute the introduction of intelligent design, thus invalidating the entire exercise.
What evidence is there that physics operated differently 10k years ago?  Is there evidence that light would have behaved differently?  What evidence is there that radiometric decay would operate differently?  What evidence is there for the geologic changes? The accumulation of chalk?
Substitute "the same" for "differently" and these questions are no more answerable.  In any case, how could we even presume to know what such evidence would look like from a scientific standpoint?  That is precisely the error of most so-called "creation science."  The traditional account includes an entirely supernatural Creation, a metaphysically significant Fall, and an entirely supernatural Flood.  Who (besides God) can say exactly what comprehensive effects each and all of these had on what we now see in the world before us?
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Dan Fienen on January 05, 2018, 11:37:06 PM
Is there any experimental data or present day observation that provides evidence that life evolved from non-living origins?  Life must have come from somewhere.  Is there evidence that shows non-living materials organizing themselves into living organisms?
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: SomeoneWrites on January 06, 2018, 12:43:51 AM
You, and others, would need to present evidence to why the macro level wouldn't work.
I figured that you would respond, and tried to head off your usual line of argument by acknowledging up-front that there is evidence that can be (and is) interpreted as consistent with evolutionary theory. 
I find it more compelling then reducing it to presuppositions.

My point is that, unlike with medical research, you cannot conduct an experiment today to demonstrate that we can (and did) naturally evolve from non-life.  It would take billions of years for it to run its course, or at least many thousands of years just to observe the comparatively short step from apes to humans.  Any artificial measures to speed up the timeline would constitute the introduction of intelligent design, thus invalidating the entire exercise.
I understand this point.  I agree with this point. 
However, that's why there's evidence.  There's corroborating evidence.  There's multiple lines of evidence.  There's predictions that are made from the theory. 
You can look at fossil the record.  You can look at geography.  You can look at genetic evidence (that chromosome 2 fusion site).  You can follow the trends of speciation, and ring species in particular.   


What evidence is there that physics operated differently 10k years ago?  Is there evidence that light would have behaved differently?  What evidence is there that radiometric decay would operate differently?  What evidence is there for the geologic changes? The accumulation of chalk?
Substitute "the same" for "differently" and these questions are no more answerable.  In any case, how could we even presume to know what such evidence would look like from a scientific standpoint?  That is precisely the error of most so-called "creation science."  The traditional account includes an entirely supernatural Creation, a metaphysically significant Fall, and an entirely supernatural Flood.  Who (besides God) can say exactly what comprehensive effects each and all of these had on what we now see in the world before us?
[/quote]

This is where you have to be honest with at least what the records show.  You know that floods leave evidence - much like volcanoes, meteors, rivers, etc.  This is my point that I can't say a global flood never occurred - but I can say there's no evidence for it.  The western interior seaway left evidence for its occurrence. 

Is there any experimental data or present day observation that provides evidence that life evolved from non-living origins?  Life must have come from somewhere.  Is there evidence that shows non-living materials organizing themselves into living organisms?

There's lines of inquiry. 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JzAPGcjYtjY

Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: pearson on January 06, 2018, 12:57:11 AM

Is there evidence that shows non-living materials organizing themselves into living organisms?


No; but that is, in part, because the boundaries around what counts as "living" have become ambiguous over the past century.  We know, for instance, that DNA molecules "organize themselves."  When a DNA strand is broken, the purine and pyramidine molecules "seek out" their corresponding molecule to form a base pair; and they further "seek out" a hydrogen atom to form a bond with the sugar or phosphate backbone, in order to reconstitute the DNA strand.  The self-organizing proclivities of biochemical molecules is a well-known phenomenon.  Does that mean a DNA molecule is "alive"?  Well, what do you mean by "alive"?

The dynamic features of contemporary biochemistry are fascinating and complex.  I've mentioned here before that at least two or three university research centers in the U.S. are, using nanotechnology strategies, creating computer models for constructing human embryos from scratch, molecule by molecule.  If the computer modeling shows this technique to be complete and viable, manufacture of artificial human embryos will inevitably begin -- human embryos that are, molecule for molecule, indistinguishable from "natural" human embryos.  Will those nanomanufactured embryos be "alive"?  Will they be understood as nascent "life"?  Again, what do you mean by "alive"?

Tom Pearson
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 06, 2018, 11:10:54 AM
My question has been concerning the doctrine of Scripture, what principle or rationale (some) people use to dismiss some Scripture passages on the basis of reason and science but not others.
 


I think that "dismiss" is the wrong word. All of scriptures is the Word of God. Some of it we interpret historically and factually. Some of it we interpret figuratively and poetically. We have no problems stating that parables are true even though they don't describe actual, historical events. We can say that the resurrection really happened, and that the gospel reports differ about details, e.g., how many angels/men in white, how many women were at the tomb.

Quote
So then back up and help me understand what it is that determines which chapters and verses of Scripture are trustworthy and which aren’t and why.  What’s the problem with saying the Gospel is true, and God’s word through which he’s delivered it is true as well, that “God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind,” that “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work,” that “no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit”?  Those exclusive words, “no” and “all” tell me that God didn’t intend his word to be treated as a smorgasbord. 


God's Word is trustworthy. Our interpretations of it may not always be trustworthy.I believe that Lutherans have often characterized some passages as clearer than others. Isn't that another way of saying, "We trust the clear passages more than the unclear ones?" The clarity comes from our ability (or inability) to interpret the passages.


We can look at Luther's "born-again" experience. For years he had been reading and interpreting the phrase "righteousness of God" in a particular way. When he interpreted the phrase in a different way, it opened up a whole new truth about God and our salvation. The genitive if Greek can be objective or subjective - and it makes a lot of difference in one's interpretation of the phrase.


Higher criticisms help us discern better ways of interpreting the words we have been given. We know that we shouldn't interpret everything in the newspaper the same way: front page news articles should be interpreted differently than letters to the editor or the words on the comic page. Seeking to interpret all the different genres in Scriptures the same way will lead to misinterpreting them.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: aletheist on January 06, 2018, 11:49:43 AM
I figured that you would respond, and tried to head off your usual line of argument by acknowledging up-front that there is evidence that can be (and is) interpreted as consistent with evolutionary theory.
I find it more compelling then reducing it to presuppositions.
Presuppositions are what dictate whether the evidence is interpreted as consistent with evolutionary theory.
You know that floods leave evidence - much like volcanoes, meteors, rivers, etc.
We know that naturally occurring and localized floods leave certain kinds of evidence, because we have observed them happening and then studied the aftermath.  We do not (and cannot) know for sure what (if any) evidence a supernatural and worldwide flood event would leave, let alone whether and how we could recognize it as such.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: SomeoneWrites on January 06, 2018, 01:19:26 PM
I figured that you would respond, and tried to head off your usual line of argument by acknowledging up-front that there is evidence that can be (and is) interpreted as consistent with evolutionary theory.
I find it more compelling then reducing it to presuppositions.
Presuppositions are what dictate whether the evidence is interpreted as consistent with evolutionary theory.

Which is why I advocate multiple lines of evidence, and corroboration from multiple lines of inquiry.  Starlight has nothing to do with Chromosome 2 fusion. 

You know that floods leave evidence - much like volcanoes, meteors, rivers, etc.
We know that naturally occurring and localized floods leave certain kinds of evidence, because we have observed them happening and then studied the aftermath.  We do not (and cannot) know for sure what (if any) evidence a supernatural and worldwide flood event would leave, let alone whether and how we could recognize it as such.
[/quote]

Then you have to be honest that there's no geological or genetic evidence of Noah's Flood. 
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: NCLutheran2 on January 06, 2018, 02:08:43 PM
We know that naturally occurring and localized floods leave certain kinds of evidence, because we have observed them happening and then studied the aftermath.  We do not (and cannot) know for sure what (if any) evidence a supernatural and worldwide flood event would leave, let alone whether and how we could recognize it as such.

I think this is kind of a cheeky argument. It is entirely reasonable (and some would say obvious) to think that the evidence of an event on a smaller geographic scale is the same as the evidence on a larger scale. That is one of the foundational assumptions of geology. There is no evidence of worldwide sedimentation, or drainage scars, or anything else that would give evidence to a global physical inundation. A worldwide flood doesn't even pass simple logic tests - if there was enough water to cover the world (or at least Mt. Ararat), where did all the water come from, and where did it all go? There's simply no physical space on our planet for that much quantity. I could go on and speculate about different events that could've displaced that much water, but they would all be so catastrophic that they would have easily destroyed all human life in the process. I suppose you could also argue that God placed the water and then removed it, but that seems to directly contradict the evidence we have in Genesis that God "operates" the world in an orderly way - that God put in place the laws of physics we see act uniformly everywhere in creation.

I suppose there's really no need to go on an on about potential scenarios, I guess I am surprised to hear an intelligent Lutheran argue for a literal interpretation of biblical passages that are so obviously literary fiction. Baptists, on the other hand...
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: aletheist on January 06, 2018, 03:11:43 PM
That is one of the foundational assumptions of geology.
My whole point is that those "foundational assumptions" include unchanging "laws of nature" such that all events must be explained only by natural causes.  They are simply not applicable if supernatural interventions, such as Creation and the Flood, have occurred.
I guess I am surprised to hear an intelligent Lutheran argue for a literal interpretation of biblical passages that are so obviously literary fiction.
Maybe it should give you pause, and lead you to entertain the possibility that just because you personally consider something to be "obvious" does not entail that it really is so.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 06, 2018, 03:23:00 PM
That is one of the foundational assumptions of geology.
My whole point is that those "foundational assumptions" include unchanging "laws of nature" such that all events must be explained only by natural causes.  They are simply not applicable if supernatural interventions, such as Creation and the Flood, have occurred.


Supernatural events would leave signs that they had happened. When people were miraculously healed, there were natural evidences of their healings: the lame man could walk, blind men could see, the demon-possessed were in their right mind, etc.


Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: gan ainm on January 06, 2018, 03:29:03 PM
That is one of the foundational assumptions of geology.
My whole point is that those "foundational assumptions" include unchanging "laws of nature" such that all events must be explained only by natural causes.  They are simply not applicable if supernatural interventions, such as Creation and the Flood, have occurred.
I guess I am surprised to hear an intelligent Lutheran argue for a literal interpretation of biblical passages that are so obviously literary fiction.
Maybe it should give you pause, and lead you to entertain the possibility that just because you personally consider something to be "obvious" does not entail that it really is so.

I consider myself to be an intelligent Lutheran, and I agree with aletheist's views on this subject.  Perhaps, however, it has not so much to do with intelligence as with faith in God's Word, and belief the hermeneutic of "scripture interprets scripture" is more appropriate for understanding and accepting God's Word than using science to determine what God can and cannot do - or did.  And, even from the science point of view, extrapolation outside the boundaries of the observable data, as I've said before, is very risky business ... at least that what I was taught in my engineering classes.  AFWIW, I've always been humbled when I read Job 38 - 42; it puts man in his rightful place as creature and God in His rightful place as Creator. 

Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Dave Benke on January 06, 2018, 03:57:30 PM
That is one of the foundational assumptions of geology.
My whole point is that those "foundational assumptions" include unchanging "laws of nature" such that all events must be explained only by natural causes.  They are simply not applicable if supernatural interventions, such as Creation and the Flood, have occurred.
I guess I am surprised to hear an intelligent Lutheran argue for a literal interpretation of biblical passages that are so obviously literary fiction.
Maybe it should give you pause, and lead you to entertain the possibility that just because you personally consider something to be "obvious" does not entail that it really is so.

I consider myself to be an intelligent Lutheran, and I agree with aletheist's views on this subject.  Perhaps, however, it has not so much to do with intelligence as with faith in God's Word, and belief the hermeneutic of "scripture interprets scripture" is more appropriate for understanding and accepting God's Word than using science to determine what God can and cannot do - or did.  And, even from the science point of view, extrapolation outside the boundaries of the observable data, as I've said before, is very risky business ... at least that what I was taught in my engineering classes.  AFWIW, I've always been humbled when I read Job 38 - 42; it puts man in his rightful place as creature and God in His rightful place as Creator.

The finest poetic statement of the majesty of creation, the Creator, and the degree to which we humans are "a little lower than the angels" every written.

Dave Benke
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: readselerttoo on January 06, 2018, 06:14:10 PM
That is one of the foundational assumptions of geology.
My whole point is that those "foundational assumptions" include unchanging "laws of nature" such that all events must be explained only by natural causes.  They are simply not applicable if supernatural interventions, such as Creation and the Flood, have occurred.


Supernatural events would leave signs that they had happened. When people were miraculously healed, there were natural evidences of their healings: the lame man could walk, blind men could see, the demon-possessed were in their right mind, etc.

Maybe only SOME supernatural events would leave signs.  Others, not so much.  It is not necessarily all or nothing.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: RevG on January 06, 2018, 06:33:44 PM
I came across this quote today:

“God, therefore, is not mediocre, but the people’s understanding is mediocre; God is not limited, but the intellectual capacity of the people’s mind is limited.” Novatian (200-258 CE)

Also, l learned Gregory of Nazianzus argued that God needed to allow aspects of man’s fallenness into his revelation otherwise they would not have been capable of receiving and understanding it.

I think these are pertinent to the conversation.  I’m not too keen on arguments from catholicity like I used to be BUT there is an openness amongst the Fathers.  Similary, Rome is quite comfortable with evolution.  Just thinking of Jesuits like Pierre Teilhard de Chardin who were condemned but later vindicated by the likes of Pope Benedict and Pope Francis.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: SomeoneWrites on January 06, 2018, 10:20:22 PM

Maybe only SOME supernatural events would leave signs.  Others, not so much.  It is not necessarily all or nothing.

I agree.  The point I make is that it should be acknowledged that there is no evidence of a global flood that wiped out all creatures aside from a family of 8 and 2 of every kind of animal.  - this from the fields of genetics, paleontology, geology, zoology and physics.  The evidence actually demonstrates that the above did not happen. 
I mean, it's fine to make the claim that it happened and that there's no evidence for it from the above fields of science.  It just should be acknowledged that it didn't leave any evidence from the above fields. 
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: pearson on January 06, 2018, 11:26:49 PM

And, even from the science point of view, extrapolation outside the boundaries of the observable data, as I've said before, is very risky business ... at least that what I was taught in my engineering classes.


Well, this will cause difficulties for the most basic element of science (and engineering): the possibility of making predictions of occurrences in the natural world.  Predictions of scientific phenomena are certainly "extrapolations outside the boundaries of the observable data," since they require information from the past in order to posit results in the future.  The very notion that there are natural laws that ensure what happened in the past can be predicted to happen in the future is a postulate clearly outside the boundaries of observable data.  Neither the past nor the future yield observational data, in any normal sense of that phrase.  So when engineers design a suspension bridge or a supersonic aircraft, I suppose it is a very risky business to predict fracture rates in materials, or to predict air pressure ratios for aircraft wings.  The reality is that scientists (and engineers) make all sorts of extrapolations outside the boundaries of observable data all the time, with pretty reliable results.  I suspect the same is true in evolutionary biology, biochemistry and paleontology, as well as engineering.

Tom Pearson
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: pearson on January 06, 2018, 11:58:20 PM


Why should I accept ordinary medical science, but not ordinary evolutionary science?


For one thing, while ordinary medical (and other) science ascertains how the universe works in the present--experiments are conducted and results are obtained under the same or similar circumstances and time frames as how they will be applied--ordinary evolutionary science posits theories about events that allegedly happened in the very distant past.  While evidence discovered today can be (and is) interpreted as consistent (or inconsistent) with those theories, we cannot conduct direct experiments to test them at the macro level, because that would require the same thousands/millions/billions of years that it supposedly took for the whole process to play out the first time.


True enough.  Testing theories is one criteria for indicating the reliability of a particular theory.  But it's not the only criterion, nor is it a uniform procedure in science, nor does it yield unambiguous results.  Evolutionary science tries (among other things) to tell a story about the past; medical (diagnostic) science tries to tell a story about the future.  Each has problems when it comes to testing its respective theoretical constructs.  If one adopts instead an abductive ("inference to the best explanation") approach, for instance, it's still not clear to me why one would accept a judgment in medical science but not a judgment in evolutionary science.  It's not that "it's all science, anyway"; it's that each of these scientific fields of inquiry attempts to craft the best explanatory model it can at the moment.  Testing the theories on which those models are built is one, albeit haphazard, way to determine if the theories provide the "best explanation."  But it's hardly the only, or even the most friutful, way.

Tom Pearson   
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Charles Austin on January 07, 2018, 03:44:33 AM
What is not fruitful is taking Bible texts and using them to mean what they cannot intend to mean or be, namely treatises on biology, geology, astronomy, cosmology, or medicine in any way that those sciences are used or understood today.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: gan ainm on January 07, 2018, 06:17:16 AM

And, even from the science point of view, extrapolation outside the boundaries of the observable data, as I've said before, is very risky business ... at least that what I was taught in my engineering classes.


Well, this will cause difficulties for the most basic element of science (and engineering): the possibility of making predictions of occurrences in the natural world.  Predictions of scientific phenomena are certainly "extrapolations outside the boundaries of the observable data," since they require information from the past in order to posit results in the future.  The very notion that there are natural laws that ensure what happened in the past can be predicted to happen in the future is a postulate clearly outside the boundaries of observable data.  Neither the past nor the future yield observational data, in any normal sense of that phrase.  So when engineers design a suspension bridge or a supersonic aircraft, I suppose it is a very risky business to predict fracture rates in materials, or to predict air pressure ratios for aircraft wings.  The reality is that scientists (and engineers) make all sorts of extrapolations outside the boundaries of observable data all the time, with pretty reliable results.  I suspect the same is true in evolutionary biology, biochemistry and paleontology, as well as engineering.

Tom Pearson


Bridge building, designing aircraft wings and such are based on information gained in observable tests (i.e. within the boundaries of the experiment) so I think your perspective has much room for understanding engineering principles, just as my perspective has much room for growth in understanding theology.   It is important to note that bridges still fail, aircraft still crash, and people still get sick and die even with all our knowledge and experimentation utilizing observable facts; human understanding of even some of the more basic concepts of science remains flawed.  Weather forecasting is one of the more difficult sciences, even with all the data that is available; we just don't understand and/or can't model all the relevant interactions.  It is ironic that scientists who can't predict the weather accurately for more than a few hours think they can somehow look back into prehistory and state what happened with authority; only God is capable of that - my opinion of course.

Brief summary of the scientific method:  https://www.thoughtco.com/scientific-method-steps-608183
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: SomeoneWrites on January 07, 2018, 08:57:51 AM

And, even from the science point of view, extrapolation outside the boundaries of the observable data, as I've said before, is very risky business ... at least that what I was taught in my engineering classes.


Well, this will cause difficulties for the most basic element of science (and engineering): the possibility of making predictions of occurrences in the natural world.  Predictions of scientific phenomena are certainly "extrapolations outside the boundaries of the observable data," since they require information from the past in order to posit results in the future.  The very notion that there are natural laws that ensure what happened in the past can be predicted to happen in the future is a postulate clearly outside the boundaries of observable data.  Neither the past nor the future yield observational data, in any normal sense of that phrase.  So when engineers design a suspension bridge or a supersonic aircraft, I suppose it is a very risky business to predict fracture rates in materials, or to predict air pressure ratios for aircraft wings.  The reality is that scientists (and engineers) make all sorts of extrapolations outside the boundaries of observable data all the time, with pretty reliable results.  I suspect the same is true in evolutionary biology, biochemistry and paleontology, as well as engineering.

Tom Pearson


Bridge building, designing aircraft wings and such are based on information gained in observable tests (i.e. within the boundaries of the experiment) so I think your perspective has much room for understanding engineering principles, just as my perspective has much room for growth in understanding theology.   It is important to note that bridges still fail, aircraft still crash, and people still get sick and die even with all our knowledge and experimentation utilizing observable facts; human understanding of even some of the more basic concepts of science remains flawed.  Weather forecasting is one of the more difficult sciences, even with all the data that is available; we just don't understand and/or can't model all the relevant interactions.  It is ironic that scientists who can't predict the weather accurately for more than a few hours think they can somehow look back into prehistory and state what happened with authority; only God is capable of that - my opinion of course.

Brief summary of the scientific method:  https://www.thoughtco.com/scientific-method-steps-608183


From the same site you posted
https://www.thoughtco.com/evolution-is-a-scientific-theory-249906

The theory makes observations, tests and predictions
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK208858/
(explanation)


https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9024659
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15388766
(an example)



Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Team Hesse on January 07, 2018, 09:30:15 AM
What is not fruitful is taking Bible texts and using them to mean what they cannot intend to mean or be, namely treatises on biology, geology, astronomy, cosmology, or medicine in any way that those sciences are used or understood today.


And on the other side, the sciences are simply so merciless that they simply cannot be all there is....."Who will rescue us from this body of death?"


Lou
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 07, 2018, 05:35:54 PM
That is one of the foundational assumptions of geology.
My whole point is that those "foundational assumptions" include unchanging "laws of nature" such that all events must be explained only by natural causes.  They are simply not applicable if supernatural interventions, such as Creation and the Flood, have occurred.


Supernatural events would leave signs that they had happened. When people were miraculously healed, there were natural evidences of their healings: the lame man could walk, blind men could see, the demon-possessed were in their right mind, etc.

Maybe only SOME supernatural events would leave signs.  Others, not so much.  It is not necessarily all or nothing.


What kind of supernatural event wouldn't leave signs? If there weren't signs, what's to say that the one reporting it wasn't just hallucinating?
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 07, 2018, 05:39:55 PM


Why should I accept ordinary medical science, but not ordinary evolutionary science?


For one thing, while ordinary medical (and other) science ascertains how the universe works in the present--experiments are conducted and results are obtained under the same or similar circumstances and time frames as how they will be applied--ordinary evolutionary science posits theories about events that allegedly happened in the very distant past.  While evidence discovered today can be (and is) interpreted as consistent (or inconsistent) with those theories, we cannot conduct direct experiments to test them at the macro level, because that would require the same thousands/millions/billions of years that it supposedly took for the whole process to play out the first time.


True enough.  Testing theories is one criteria for indicating the reliability of a particular theory.  But it's not the only criterion, nor is it a uniform procedure in science, nor does it yield unambiguous results.  Evolutionary science tries (among other things) to tell a story about the past; medical (diagnostic) science tries to tell a story about the future.  Each has problems when it comes to testing its respective theoretical constructs.  If one adopts instead an abductive ("inference to the best explanation") approach, for instance, it's still not clear to me why one would accept a judgment in medical science but not a judgment in evolutionary science.  It's not that "it's all science, anyway"; it's that each of these scientific fields of inquiry attempts to craft the best explanatory model it can at the moment.  Testing the theories on which those models are built is one, albeit haphazard, way to determine if the theories provide the "best explanation."  But it's hardly the only, or even the most friutful, way.


Perhaps you know: do drug companies look at how bacteria have evolved in the past to predict how they might evolve in the future and seek antibiotics that might work on the future evolved germs?
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: pearson on January 07, 2018, 06:23:18 PM

Perhaps you know: do drug companies look at how bacteria have evolved in the past to predict how they might evolve in the future and seek antibiotics that might work on the future evolved germs?


Sure.  Or so says my wife, who is a biochemist and formerly an executive with Searle Pharmaceuticals.

Tom Pearson
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Birkholz on January 07, 2018, 09:33:54 PM
Dr. Jurchen has now withdrawn his paper.

https://concordiatheology.org/2018/01/regarding-the-article-by-dr-john-jurchen-in-concordia-journal/ (https://concordiatheology.org/2018/01/regarding-the-article-by-dr-john-jurchen-in-concordia-journal/)
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Michael Slusser on January 07, 2018, 10:06:00 PM
Dr. Jurchen has now withdrawn his paper.

https://concordiatheology.org/2018/01/regarding-the-article-by-dr-john-jurchen-in-concordia-journal/ (https://concordiatheology.org/2018/01/regarding-the-article-by-dr-john-jurchen-in-concordia-journal/)

Dr. Jurchen at the end of his letter says, "I  apologize  and  seek  forgiveness  for  any  confusion  I might  have  caused and  will  ask  the  Concordia  Journal  to withdraw the article due to the lack of clarity and concerns raised."

His ecclesiastical supervisor, Dr. Richard Snow, writes, "Our conversations have been fruitful and God-pleasing. As his ecclesiastical
supervisor, and working under the guidance of my ecclesiastical supervisor, President Harrison, I now gladly submit to you and to the church his letter of confession. I am satisfied with this confession and have offered to him God’s Holy Absolution." 

I find the ambiguity of "confession" (is it restatement of faith" or acknowledgment of sin?) confusing. Public confession and absolution is scarcely known in my tradition (Canossa 1077 springs to mind), and in the present case Dr. Jurchen seems to be confessing his faith, not any sin.

Peace,
Michael                                   
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: SomeoneWrites on January 07, 2018, 10:13:05 PM
Dr. Jurchen has now withdrawn his paper.

https://concordiatheology.org/2018/01/regarding-the-article-by-dr-john-jurchen-in-concordia-journal/ (https://concordiatheology.org/2018/01/regarding-the-article-by-dr-john-jurchen-in-concordia-journal/)

Dr. Jurchen at the end of his letter says, "I  apologize  and  seek  forgiveness  for  any  confusion  I might  have  caused and  will  ask  the  Concordia  Journal  to withdraw the article due to the lack of clarity and concerns raised."

His ecclesiastical supervisor, Dr. Richard Snow, writes, "Our conversations have been fruitful and God-pleasing. As his ecclesiastical
supervisor, and working under the guidance of my ecclesiastical supervisor, President Harrison, I now gladly submit to you and to the church his letter of confession. I am satisfied with this confession and have offered to him God’s Holy Absolution." 

I find the ambiguity of "confession" (is it restatement of faith" or acknowledgment of sin?) confusing. Public confession and absolution is scarcely known in my tradition (Canossa 1077 springs to mind), and in the present case Dr. Jurchen seems to be confessing his faith, not any sin.

Peace,
Michael                                   

Thanks for the update.

It's a confession of faith.
https://concordiatheology.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/JohnJurchenConfession180106.pdf
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Michael Slusser on January 07, 2018, 10:23:12 PM
Dr. Jurchen has now withdrawn his paper.

https://concordiatheology.org/2018/01/regarding-the-article-by-dr-john-jurchen-in-concordia-journal/ (https://concordiatheology.org/2018/01/regarding-the-article-by-dr-john-jurchen-in-concordia-journal/)

Dr. Jurchen at the end of his letter says, "I  apologize  and  seek  forgiveness  for  any  confusion  I might  have  caused and  will  ask  the  Concordia  Journal  to withdraw the article due to the lack of clarity and concerns raised."

His ecclesiastical supervisor, Dr. Richard Snow, writes, "Our conversations have been fruitful and God-pleasing. As his ecclesiastical
supervisor, and working under the guidance of my ecclesiastical supervisor, President Harrison, I now gladly submit to you and to the church his letter of confession. I am satisfied with this confession and have offered to him God’s Holy Absolution." 

I find the ambiguity of "confession" (is it restatement of faith" or acknowledgment of sin?) confusing. Public confession and absolution is scarcely known in my tradition (Canossa 1077 springs to mind), and in the present case Dr. Jurchen seems to be confessing his faith, not any sin.                         

Thanks for the update.

It's a confession of faith.
https://concordiatheology.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/JohnJurchenConfession180106.pdf
Why, then, did Dr. Snow offer him absolution?

Peace,
Michael
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: SomeoneWrites on January 07, 2018, 10:43:18 PM
Dr. Jurchen has now withdrawn his paper.

https://concordiatheology.org/2018/01/regarding-the-article-by-dr-john-jurchen-in-concordia-journal/ (https://concordiatheology.org/2018/01/regarding-the-article-by-dr-john-jurchen-in-concordia-journal/)

Dr. Jurchen at the end of his letter says, "I  apologize  and  seek  forgiveness  for  any  confusion  I might  have  caused and  will  ask  the  Concordia  Journal  to withdraw the article due to the lack of clarity and concerns raised."

His ecclesiastical supervisor, Dr. Richard Snow, writes, "Our conversations have been fruitful and God-pleasing. As his ecclesiastical
supervisor, and working under the guidance of my ecclesiastical supervisor, President Harrison, I now gladly submit to you and to the church his letter of confession. I am satisfied with this confession and have offered to him God’s Holy Absolution." 

I find the ambiguity of "confession" (is it restatement of faith" or acknowledgment of sin?) confusing. Public confession and absolution is scarcely known in my tradition (Canossa 1077 springs to mind), and in the present case Dr. Jurchen seems to be confessing his faith, not any sin.                         

Thanks for the update.

It's a confession of faith.
https://concordiatheology.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/JohnJurchenConfession180106.pdf
Why, then, did Dr. Snow offer him absolution?

Peace,
Michael

"In response to an article I wrote for the Concordia Journal, Winter 2017, entitled The Age of the Earth and
Confessional Lutheranism, you asked me to prepare a confession of my personal faith"
- confession of faith.


"I apologize and seek forgiveness for any confusion I might have caused and will ask the Concordia Journal to
withdraw the article due to the lack of clarity and concerns raised."
- burden of conscience, alleviated by absolution. 
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Charles Austin on January 07, 2018, 11:08:23 PM
Were I still in the religion news biz, this would be a news story.
-College professor writes article about creation and the Bible (a topic of interest in the "wider world")
-The article provokes a considerable stir, with some calling for the professor's ouster.
-Professor retracts article, apologizes for what he said and the "confusion" it caused.
-Professor is "absolved" (of sin? of what?) by his churchly overseer.
I would be asking:
What do his students think? How do they view him and his views?
What of those who may have written favorably about his article? Must they renounce the good things they may have said about it?
And the editors of the journal, where are they in this?
Has this ever happened before with this particular journal?
What does this say about or to other professors who may write articles?
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: SomeoneWrites on January 07, 2018, 11:44:49 PM
What does this say about or to other professors who may write articles?

It doesn't say a lot for Academia.  I'm glad Dr. Kloha took the move to the Bible Museum. 
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Rob Morris on January 07, 2018, 11:54:06 PM
Things like this make me kind of sad.

A confessionally-committed rostered LCMS member takes an action that can at worst be described as reasonably-defensible. Some loud voices in synod raise a great deal of hue and cry. After lengthy conversations, etc., that member is urged to issue an apology for having caused any confusion or offense.

What exactly was won in this scenario? And at what cost? For I can say from experience, it comes at a cost. I could name for you about fifteen former members at my congregation who have pointed to the synod's handling of my public situation as a reason they are now former members. Eight of those former members are right now college-aged. How many people didn't come through the doors in the first place because they googled me and found all the news reports from February of 2013, I have no way of knowing.

Maybe it's the necessary expense of doing confessional business in this current world of ours.

But I lament the expense regardless.

And somehow I get the impression that those issuing the hue and cry aren't lamenting the cost, but wearing as a badge. Maybe that's uncharitable, but it's the impression that I get.

Like I said, the whole thing just makes me kind of sad.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: John_Hannah on January 08, 2018, 06:29:55 AM
Things like this make me kind of sad.

A confessionally-committed rostered LCMS member takes an action that can at worst be described as reasonably-defensible. Some loud voices in synod raise a great deal of hue and cry. After lengthy conversations, etc., that member is urged to issue an apology for having caused any confusion or offense.

What exactly was won in this scenario? And at what cost? For I can say from experience, it comes at a cost. I could name for you about fifteen former members at my congregation who have pointed to the synod's handling of my public situation as a reason they are now former members. Eight of those former members are right now college-aged. How many people didn't come through the doors in the first place because they googled me and found all the news reports from February of 2013, I have no way of knowing.

Maybe it's the necessary expense of doing confessional business in this current world of ours.

But I lament the expense regardless.

And somehow I get the impression that those issuing the hue and cry aren't lamenting the cost, but wearing as a badge. Maybe that's uncharitable, but it's the impression that I get.

Like I said, the whole thing just makes me kind of sad.

Thank you, Rob. Your impressions about this are exactly what I have observed for my sixty five years as a full time member of the synod; I entered Sexta in 1953. What you see is the reason we have quite a weak "Koinonia". Sad, indeed.

Peace, JOHN
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Rev Mathew Andersen on January 08, 2018, 07:58:39 AM
Things like this make me kind of sad.

A confessionally-committed rostered LCMS member takes an action that can at worst be described as reasonably-defensible. Some loud voices in synod raise a great deal of hue and cry. After lengthy conversations, etc., that member is urged to issue an apology for having caused any confusion or offense.

What exactly was won in this scenario? And at what cost? For I can say from experience, it comes at a cost. I could name for you about fifteen former members at my congregation who have pointed to the synod's handling of my public situation as a reason they are now former members. Eight of those former members are right now college-aged. How many people didn't come through the doors in the first place because they googled me and found all the news reports from February of 2013, I have no way of knowing.

Maybe it's the necessary expense of doing confessional business in this current world of ours.

But I lament the expense regardless.

And somehow I get the impression that those issuing the hue and cry aren't lamenting the cost, but wearing as a badge. Maybe that's uncharitable, but it's the impression that I get.

Like I said, the whole thing just makes me kind of sad.
I would disagree.  Yes, the Wyoming district way over reacted.  I don't think there was any thing in Dr Jurchin's article that would indicate he was unconfessional or that he personally believed anything other than 6-day, young earth creation.

However,

The article itself was academically poorly done.  The solution he offered is woefully out of date and is very unsatisfying to serious old earth creationists.  As has been pointed out by many on this board in response to one member who has offered the same passe translations, interpreting "day as "a long period of time" just does not fit the context.  And the whole point of being an old earth creationist is that one wants to maintain the integrity of the translation while accepting an old earth.  Having been an old earth creationist for much of my life (though I now accept a young earth), I found the whole day/long age debate silly even as a teen. Dr Jurchin's article deserved to be retracted, not because it was unconfessional, but simply because it was poorly researched and badly thought out.

I find this to be true in a lot of pastoral ministry.  Pastors are expected to offer opinions and "educate" their members on hosts of subjects the pastor knows little about.  One thing we need to do a better job of is training our pastors that they do not need to offer opinions on every subject.  Speak about the Bible and then about what you know.  As to the rest, let it go or make sure you really research the topic before blogging, writing or speaking.

I think Dr Jurchin knows the Bible well.  I suspect he is well educated on evolution.  But he needed to do other research on old earth creationism before offering a poor compromise.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Dave Benke on January 08, 2018, 08:48:00 AM
Things like this make me kind of sad.

A confessionally-committed rostered LCMS member takes an action that can at worst be described as reasonably-defensible. Some loud voices in synod raise a great deal of hue and cry. After lengthy conversations, etc., that member is urged to issue an apology for having caused any confusion or offense.

What exactly was won in this scenario? And at what cost? For I can say from experience, it comes at a cost. I could name for you about fifteen former members at my congregation who have pointed to the synod's handling of my public situation as a reason they are now former members. Eight of those former members are right now college-aged. How many people didn't come through the doors in the first place because they googled me and found all the news reports from February of 2013, I have no way of knowing.

Maybe it's the necessary expense of doing confessional business in this current world of ours.

But I lament the expense regardless.

And somehow I get the impression that those issuing the hue and cry aren't lamenting the cost, but wearing as a badge. Maybe that's uncharitable, but it's the impression that I get.

Like I said, the whole thing just makes me kind of sad.

Thank you, Rob. Your impressions about this are exactly what I have observed for my sixty five years as a full time member of the synod; I entered Sexta in 1953. What you see is the reason we have quite a weak "Koinonia". Sad, indeed.

Peace, JOHN

Boom.  Agree totally with Rob and John, share their sadness.

Dave Benke
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: SomeoneWrites on January 08, 2018, 09:00:56 AM
I would disagree.  Yes, the Wyoming district way over reacted.  I don't think there was any thing in Dr Jurchin's article that would indicate he was unconfessional or that he personally believed anything other than 6-day, young earth creation.

However,

The article itself was academically poorly done.  The solution he offered is woefully out of date and is very unsatisfying to serious old earth creationists.  As has been pointed out by many on this board in response to one member who has offered the same passe translations, interpreting "day as "a long period of time" just does not fit the context.  And the whole point of being an old earth creationist is that one wants to maintain the integrity of the translation while accepting an old earth.  Having been an old earth creationist for much of my life (though I now accept a young earth), I found the whole day/long age debate silly even as a teen. Dr Jurchin's article deserved to be retracted, not because it was unconfessional, but simply because it was poorly researched and badly thought out.

I find this to be true in a lot of pastoral ministry.  Pastors are expected to offer opinions and "educate" their members on hosts of subjects the pastor knows little about.  One thing we need to do a better job of is training our pastors that they do not need to offer opinions on every subject.  Speak about the Bible and then about what you know.  As to the rest, let it go or make sure you really research the topic before blogging, writing or speaking.

I think Dr Jurchin knows the Bible well.  I suspect he is well educated on evolution.  But he needed to do other research on old earth creationism before offering a poor compromise.

A day-age interpretation is the poorest reconciliation of the Bible and science, so I'd agree the paper could have been better.
I have no doubt he's well educated on the Bible, but I'd be surprised if he's well educated on evolution.  I don't say that as a dig, just a running pattern in my experience. 

When you say you're YEC, do you mean simply that the earth was recently created, or that the Earth also actually gives the appearance of recent creation?
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Rob Morris on January 08, 2018, 09:02:32 AM
Things like this make me kind of sad.

A confessionally-committed rostered LCMS member takes an action that can at worst be described as reasonably-defensible. Some loud voices in synod raise a great deal of hue and cry. After lengthy conversations, etc., that member is urged to issue an apology for having caused any confusion or offense.

What exactly was won in this scenario? And at what cost? For I can say from experience, it comes at a cost. I could name for you about fifteen former members at my congregation who have pointed to the synod's handling of my public situation as a reason they are now former members. Eight of those former members are right now college-aged. How many people didn't come through the doors in the first place because they googled me and found all the news reports from February of 2013, I have no way of knowing.

Maybe it's the necessary expense of doing confessional business in this current world of ours.

But I lament the expense regardless.

And somehow I get the impression that those issuing the hue and cry aren't lamenting the cost, but wearing as a badge. Maybe that's uncharitable, but it's the impression that I get.

Like I said, the whole thing just makes me kind of sad.
I would disagree.  Yes, the Wyoming district way over reacted.  I don't think there was any thing in Dr Jurchin's article that would indicate he was unconfessional or that he personally believed anything other than 6-day, young earth creation.

However,

The article itself was academically poorly done.  The solution he offered is woefully out of date and is very unsatisfying to serious old earth creationists.  As has been pointed out by many on this board in response to one member who has offered the same passe translations, interpreting "day as "a long period of time" just does not fit the context.  And the whole point of being an old earth creationist is that one wants to maintain the integrity of the translation while accepting an old earth.  Having been an old earth creationist for much of my life (though I now accept a young earth), I found the whole day/long age debate silly even as a teen. Dr Jurchin's article deserved to be retracted, not because it was unconfessional, but simply because it was poorly researched and badly thought out.

I find this to be true in a lot of pastoral ministry.  Pastors are expected to offer opinions and "educate" their members on hosts of subjects the pastor knows little about.  One thing we need to do a better job of is training our pastors that they do not need to offer opinions on every subject.  Speak about the Bible and then about what you know.  As to the rest, let it go or make sure you really research the topic before blogging, writing or speaking.

I think Dr Jurchin knows the Bible well.  I suspect he is well educated on evolution.  But he needed to do other research on old earth creationism before offering a poor compromise.

I don't necessarily disagree with what you're saying. But I do think that a healthy organization, even on an academic level, handles what you have termed a "poorly researched and badly thought out" paper differently from the way our synod just handled it. You publish a paper pointing out what you perceive as its weaknesses. You don't demand retractions and threaten church punishment to a Cal Berkeley-educated LCMS member (and LCMS attending) neurochemist because you dislike a few paragraphs of his article. You don't formalize complaints in convention and direct them to his boss and his boss's boss and his boss's boss's boss. And his publisher and his publisher's boss.

I want to be clear: being faithful to Scripture and the Confessions will be costly. And perhaps this is a sterling example of that (though I don't have that impression).

But even if it is true, we must lament that cost.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Charles Austin on January 08, 2018, 11:18:13 AM
Thank you for your witness, Pastor Morris, “back then” and now. I agree that sometimes, perhaps even often, our ministries mean a certain amount of suffering. But sometimes - doggone it! - it is the wrong kind of suffering for the wrong reasons, imposed by those who should be helping us. And those who would inflict the suffering seem heedless of the cost and the “collateral damage.”
Nonetheless, cheers,

Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on January 08, 2018, 12:41:36 PM
Thank you for your witness, Pastor Morris, “back then” and now. I agree that sometimes, perhaps even often, our ministries mean a certain amount of suffering. But sometimes - doggone it! - it is the wrong kind of suffering for the wrong reasons, imposed by those who should be helping us. And those who would inflict the suffering seem heedless of the cost and the “collateral damage.”
Nonetheless, cheers,

Indeed.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Rob Morris on January 08, 2018, 01:11:02 PM
Thank you for your witness, Pastor Morris, “back then” and now. I agree that sometimes, perhaps even often, our ministries mean a certain amount of suffering. But sometimes - doggone it! - it is the wrong kind of suffering for the wrong reasons, imposed by those who should be helping us. And those who would inflict the suffering seem heedless of the cost and the “collateral damage.”
Nonetheless, cheers,

Indeed.

Thanks to both of you and to Prs. Hannah and Benke.

It wasn't my intent to make the story about me. Just to share how my experience has impacted my view of these "kerfuffles".

Epiphany blessings to each of you.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Dave Benke on January 08, 2018, 02:14:00 PM
Thank you for your witness, Pastor Morris, “back then” and now. I agree that sometimes, perhaps even often, our ministries mean a certain amount of suffering. But sometimes - doggone it! - it is the wrong kind of suffering for the wrong reasons, imposed by those who should be helping us. And those who would inflict the suffering seem heedless of the cost and the “collateral damage.”
Nonetheless, cheers,

Indeed.

Thanks to both of you and to Prs. Hannah and Benke.

It wasn't my intent to make the story about me. Just to share how my experience has impacted my view of these "kerfuffles".

Epiphany blessings to each of you.

Although I agree with you, Rob, a point that needs to be made is that there has been precious little faith community learning through the decades when it comes to what we've chosen to call "kerfuffles."  Here's the process -
a)  rush to judgment absent any or with minimal conversation (always based on the "public sin" counterfoil) followed by
b)  public airing of grievances against the doctrinal error and its various sources with
c)  back or front door system pressure producing
d)  some kind of apology or a termination followed inevitably by
e) continued vituperation and backbiting leading to
f) demands for further purification of the leadership position or the institution involved.

This is to Koinonia what corrosion is to your car battery, the release of gas from the interior acid. 

Dave Benke

Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: gan ainm on January 08, 2018, 03:23:46 PM

https://www.cartoonstock.com/directory/c/chip_on_shoulder.asp
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Pasgolf on January 08, 2018, 03:29:21 PM
Thanks David for the list of process.  You have articulated why I am no longer part of LC-MS, despite it's having multiple generations of history in my family.
 
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Dave Benke on January 08, 2018, 03:32:00 PM

https://www.cartoonstock.com/directory/c/chip_on_shoulder.asp

This is great, thanks.  There is a contingent in our denomination and, I suppose, others, that just carries a grudge.  I don't get it. 

Live in the freedom of the Gospel!  We had Three Kings both Friday and yesterday (therefore missing the actual 3 Kings/Epiphany on either side), and the joy of giving as well as the joy of serving were apparent in those kings - one from Puerto Rico, one from Honduras, and one from Guyana.  Gifts were provided by a Lutheran who is a chief at US Customs, and who brought an entire van-load of gifts for us to share in the community.  That's how we roll in the Season of Light.

Dave Benke
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Charles Austin on January 08, 2018, 03:50:03 PM
Bishop Benke makes a good point.
Whether believers are racked, thumb-screwed and whipped by zealot “Inquisitors” in the LCMS or faith-rattled, mind-numbed and water-boarded by anything-goes “Reformers” in the ELCA,  there is gospel, true gospel in the Church, the stories we tell, the work we do, and the blessings the Spirit brings.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Harry Edmon on January 08, 2018, 05:47:05 PM
On the lighter side:

http://babylonbee.com/news/satan-sprinkles-stegosaurus-bones-across-nation-test-christians-faith/

P.S. I believe in creation in six 24 hour days, but I still find this funny!

Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: RogerMartim on January 08, 2018, 08:30:02 PM
Science knows the speed of light which is 186,282 miles per second. It takes anywhere from 490 to 507 seconds for sunlight to reach the Earth; light from Proxima Centauri, our nearest star, takes 4.22 light years to reach earth. Many stars and galaxies are millions, if not billions, of light years away. Wouldn't God be a trickster God if they all appeared at the same time in Genesis? I would not care for a trickster God.
Cannot science be a gift from God in which we use our minds to learn and appreciate that the heavens declare the glory of God?
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: SomeoneWrites on January 08, 2018, 10:11:33 PM
On the lighter side:

http://babylonbee.com/news/satan-sprinkles-stegosaurus-bones-across-nation-test-christians-faith/

P.S. I believe in creation in six 24 hour days, but I still find this funny!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7erl9k01C2M



Science knows the speed of light which is 186,282 miles per second. It takes anywhere from 490 to 507 seconds for sunlight to reach the Earth; light from Proxima Centauri, our nearest star, takes 4.22 light years to reach earth. Many stars and galaxies are millions, if not billions, of light years away.
Words of caution.
 I agree.  This tends to pull out the presuppositionalists, and that tends to go in circles.   

Wouldn't God be a trickster God if they all appeared at the same time in Genesis?
I'm less inclined to think this makes God a trickster.  Instapoofing things, in and of itself, doesn't necessarily imply deception. 
Jesus turning water into wine isn't trickstering- wine is aged grape juice.
I think it gets compounded though with all the other stuff - Dinos having never actually walked the planet.  I think that's when it gets wonky.
 

I would not care for a trickster God.
Neither would I.  Nor an absurd one. 
But, I tend not to go this route, cause that God would still be God.  Islam embraces a deceptive aspect of God.

Cannot science be a gift from God in which we use our minds to learn and appreciate that the heavens declare the glory of God?

This is a better one. 
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on January 09, 2018, 03:28:01 PM
This morning during worship, our Conference professional leaders were singing "O Morning Star, How Fair and Bright."  Pastor O'Brien had introduced the hymn reminding us of the circumstances in which Phillip Nicolai wrote it, noting that English translations tone down what he describes as the "erotic" language used in the bridegroom imagery in the original.  When the fourth stanza began:

      Almighty Father, in Your Son
      You loved us when not yet begun
      Was this old earth's foundation!

this thread came to mind...

Pax, Steven+
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Dave Benke on January 09, 2018, 03:34:23 PM
The lovely and talented Jack Cascione has written The True Rejoinder to President Harrison's message on matters of the age of the earth: LCMS President Dodges Answer on 24-hour Day Creation
LCMS President, Pastor Harrison (as he signs his name), the Synod’s chief doctrinal officer, issued a 1262 word statement in the January, 2018, Lutheran Witness addressing the Synod’s current controversy over the Doctrine of Creation.
The summer 2017 issue of the Concordia Seminary Concordia Journal argued that the Bible does not state that the six days of creation each need to be 24 hours, thus allowing for theistic evolution.  The South Wisconsin and Wyoming districts responded with overtures to the 2019 LCMS convention to reaffirm that each day of creation was 24 hours.
Without identifying the issues or the opponents, much of Harrison’s statement is his own personal testimony on the Doctrine of Creation.  He confesses that God made the world; that he agrees with the Genesis 1 and 2; the Brie f Statement; A Statement of Biblical and Confessional Principles (1973); and the Catechism, but he does not say, the six days were each 24 hour days.
Harrison’s statement has 57 sentences; 17 with question marks, and five are conditional statements based on “if.”
He addresses the more important issues with negative questions, not positive answers.
Harrison even goes so far as to say, “Can we somehow stretch the meaning of a “day” in Genesis 1 into an eon or long period of time?”  He raises similar que stions about life from dust, Adam’s rib, Eve, Eden, the talking serpent, Red Sea, virgin birth, the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and more.
Asking a negative question is not a confession of faith.  How can I not believe there are two genders?  How can I not believe the earth is round?  This doesn’t mean I believe there are two genders or the earth is round.
No court would allow a witness to answer a question with a question.  The witness would be held in contempt for refusing to answer.
Luther said, “Here I stand!”  Harrison says “How can I not stand here?”  It begs the question for negotiation.  With an answer like that, there would never have been a Reformation.
In the age of pluralism anyone (gender nonspecific) who is too certain about anything is a racist.  Absolutes are polarizing, confrontational, bigoted, hate speech.  Harrison’s mission is to help an aging Synod be at peace with itself in its final days.  He reduces LCMS outreach to, “We are like you.  We have questions.  Join us.”
As the PR Director at Concordia Theological Seminary in May of 1981, LCMS President Jacob Preus saw me walking across the courtyard with a camera around my neck.  “Hey you, Cascione!  Come over here!  While he was pounding his left index finger into my right shoulder he said, “‘There is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared’[Psalm 130:4], and don’t you forget it!”  The furor over objective justification had been raging through the Synod, par ticularly Fort Wayne, for the past 6 months, and he was going to put a stop to it.  He was letting the PR Director know he better step in line if he knew what was good for him.  No Socratic Method, no hypothetical situations, no affirmatives posed in the negative.  Students who overheard the conversation turned and walked away.Harrison’s confession of faith is the most offensive part of his statement.Because I believe the Gospel, I recognize the words of my shepherd, Jesus, in Holy Scripture. If I reject what Scripture teaches as history about creation, why should I not then reject everything else (including the resurrection itself) that appears contrary to reason?
During a 1970 tour of Concordia Seminary, our 4t h-year seminary student guide told us, “We don’t believe in the Bible, we believe in Jesus.”  There is no record of Jesus speaking about the six-day creation.  Harrison is offering rehashed Seminex Gospel reductionism.  Mormons, Jews, and Jehovah Witnesses all believe in the six-day creation, but do not believe the Gospel.  Harrison is telling us that all the people in the Old Testament who did not know the Gospel of Jesus Christ had no reason to believe in the six-day creation.
The testimony of the Holy Spirit in every word of Scripture is why we believe the Bible, not by extension because I believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: (2Ti 3:16 KJV).  Where does it say, “Believe the Bible because you believe in Jesus Christ?”  Harrison’s logic is backwards.  I don’t believe the Bible because I believe in Jesus Christ.  I believe in Jesus Christ because I believe the Bible.  Without the Bible, there is no one and nothing to believe in.  I believe in the creation because the Bible says it.  I don’t need excuses or reasons or conditions to believe it.
The new LCMS catechism quotes the Third Commandment and Exodus 20:8-11 as the reason to believe in creation, not the Gospel.  Why can’t Harrison follow that?
Pieper writes: “Scripture forbids us to interpret the days as periods, for it divides these days into evening and morning.  That forces us to accept the days as days of twenty-four hours.” Vol. p. 468.  It is clear from Genesis that God made the world old.  Adam was fully grown, probably with a beard.  The trees in the garden all recorded rings of growth for time that never was.  Science could never address this.  Believing that God made the world is not just an article of faith.  It is also an article of the Law based on simple logic.
If the meaning of “day” is negotiable in the LCMS, why not the meaning of “resurrection of the dead”?  It could mean the resurrection of the soul, and not the body.  It could mean the resurrection of old memories of loved ones.  It could mean the reincarnation of a soul in one new body after another.
Harrison wrote his statement in such a way that all sides can get along without being too particular.
A simple statement, such as, “God made the world in six days.  Therefore each day must necessarily be 24-hours.” would settle the entire issue on the side of truth and unequivocal confession.  If the Synod can’t handle an issue about the length of a day, how will it handle questions over the Lord’s Supper that Luther had to deal with?  What will Harrison do with a question about the word “is”?


My take - It is not possible in the Missouri Synod to get too far to the right edge of the spectrum.  Jack Cascione speaks, of course, from the space at the bottom of the cliff once you've jumped off the right edge.  He's no longer in the denomination.  The ACELC is for all practical purposes its own denomination.  And yet the edge players demand, and command attention. 

What's not being heard in this kerfuffle is the voices of those who hold the St. Louis Seminary and its teachings/teachers to be of good quality and solid Lutheran fabric without the ultra-confessionalist overlay .  They are simply sick and tired of the bogus way an issue becomes a whipping boy; it saps positive Gospel ministry energy as yet another invented crisis must be turned back.  There's a huge middle group of pastors and parishioners who desire nothing but to be about the Father's business. 

What they do not want to do is engage the foolishness.  What they want to do is become part of a Lutheran denomination that is dedicated to and supportive of Gospel mission and ministry in every corner of the US and the world.

Dave Benke
 
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: RevG on January 09, 2018, 04:28:47 PM
It just seems to me that the extreme right is nearing the center in Missouri particularly as the old system of pastors continue to retire or die.

The thing I can't get away from are the two pastor conferences (Wyoming and S. Wisconsin sending letters of rebuke to Concordia Seminary). That's about 450 LCMS pastors agreeing to do so.  Also, S. Wisconsin is one of the major districts of the synod.  Would it not be fair to deduce that that may be a huge indicator of where the LCMS is at?
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: John_Hannah on January 09, 2018, 04:44:23 PM
It just seems to me that the extreme right is nearing the center in Missouri particularly as the old system of pastors continue to retire or die.

The thing I can't get away from are the two pastor conferences (Wyoming and S. Wisconsin sending letters of rebuke to Concordia Seminary). That's about 450 LCMS pastors agreeing to do so.  Also, S. Wisconsin is one of the major districts of the synod.  Would it not be fair to deduce that that may be a huge indicator of where the LCMS is at?

SCOTT

Yes, it is not a good sign. Bear in mind though that not all of those 450 promoted the letters. It could have been only a majority to vote for it. Then some voting "yes" could have done so just to get on with the next item on the agenda and finally to the ultimate purpose of the Pastoral Conference--golf, beer, etc.   ;D

Peace, JOHN
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Voelker on January 09, 2018, 05:38:24 PM
It just seems to me that the extreme right is nearing the center in Missouri particularly as the old system of pastors continue to retire or die.

The thing I can't get away from are the two pastor conferences (Wyoming and S. Wisconsin sending letters of rebuke to Concordia Seminary). That's about 450 LCMS pastors agreeing to do so.  Also, S. Wisconsin is one of the major districts of the synod.  Would it not be fair to deduce that that may be a huge indicator of where the LCMS is at?
There has been a slight shift right, to be sure. Yet the large majority of pastors are not extreme right — instead, they neither care for politics (and for that they cannot be blamed, except that there does come a time when something has to be done), or they are, simply, not organized. The extreme right tends to clump together and pile on when it is useful to do so; their influence is outsized because they are shrill and appear much larger than they are, like a cat with its hair on end as it hisses. Far too many pastors are also gunshy about speaking up — I've been in too many gatherings where people look both ways before speaking disagreement with the prevailing winds. Let it all hang out, guys. You'll be surprised who shares your views.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: SomeoneWrites on January 09, 2018, 06:18:31 PM
With regards to this specific kerfuffle, I admit i don't see too much difference with right/middle/far-right. 
The official position seems to be 6 days via YEC or Omphalism.  I didn't recognize any theistic evolution or even day-age at the Sem, either among faculty or students.  We had a two day pitch on Intelligent Design in systems 1, which reminded me Concordia Chicago/RF where I had a week of Ken Ham in Earth Sciences. 
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Dave Benke on January 09, 2018, 06:24:05 PM
It just seems to me that the extreme right is nearing the center in Missouri particularly as the old system of pastors continue to retire or die.

The thing I can't get away from are the two pastor conferences (Wyoming and S. Wisconsin sending letters of rebuke to Concordia Seminary). That's about 450 LCMS pastors agreeing to do so.  Also, S. Wisconsin is one of the major districts of the synod.  Would it not be fair to deduce that that may be a huge indicator of where the LCMS is at?
There has been a slight shift right, to be sure. Yet the large majority of pastors are not extreme right — instead, they neither care for politics (and for that they cannot be blamed, except that there does come a time when something has to be done), or they are, simply, not organized. The extreme right tends to clump together and pile on when it is useful to do so; their influence is outsized because they are shrill and appear much larger than they are, like a cat with its hair on end as it hisses. Far too many pastors are also gunshy about speaking up — I've been in too many gatherings where people look both ways before speaking disagreement with the prevailing winds. Let it all hang out, guys. You'll be surprised who shares your views.

I agree with
a) there has been a shift to the right
b) the extreme right tends to clump together and pile on and they are shrill

But there's more dystopia in the system than gun-shy pastors not speaking out.  For one, the extreme right piles on "when it is useful to do so."  Of course utility is determined by the clumpers.  Meaning, it can be pretty much anything at any time.  Which means a type of denominational walking on eggs, tiptoeing through the minefield over bulletin inserts or use of laity or hymn selection or......

Secondly, though, that is specifically not what pertains in many quadrants of the country.  There are insignificant numbers of the extremists around on the coasts and in some other areas.  What happens then as something bubbles up through social media into its accusatory phase is that people are drawn into the mess.  Recent threads here are examples.  To me it's those who are in the more recent era who feel their seminary is being hacked to pieces by lunatics who get distressed, even when their own framework of ministry is healthy and headed in a forward direction.

Dave Benke

 
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Charles Austin on January 09, 2018, 07:02:24 PM
To link your current synod president with anything Seminex is a leap that no one with any degree of common sense would try to make. But to use the dread “S” word sounds a battle cry, does it not?
And battle is what some of you like to do. And to create fear, suspicion, and paranoia is a very common tactic, even if one has to say outrageous and untrue things to do so.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Steven W Bohler on January 09, 2018, 07:56:43 PM
Dr, Jurchen apologized and withdrew his article; he asked for forgiveness.  His district president met with him and absolved him.  Both of which, to me anyway, implies a recognition of sin/error.  So, maybe there WAS something there for those pastors in Wyoming and South Wisconsin to be concerned with, huh?
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: readselerttoo on January 09, 2018, 08:30:31 PM
Dr, Jurchen apologized and withdrew his article; he asked for forgiveness.  His district president met with him and absolved him.  Both of which, to me anyway, implies a recognition of sin/error.  So, maybe there WAS something there for those pastors in Wyoming and South Wisconsin to be concerned with, huh?


Maybe it was done under duress.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on January 09, 2018, 08:41:08 PM
Dr, Jurchen apologized and withdrew his article; he asked for forgiveness.  His district president met with him and absolved him.  Both of which, to me anyway, implies a recognition of sin/error.  So, maybe there WAS something there for those pastors in Wyoming and South Wisconsin to be concerned with, huh?

Maybe it was done under duress.

Ya think?!

And who woulda thunk that Steve Bohler would make Dave's and even Charles' point?  :o
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Dave Benke on January 09, 2018, 09:16:38 PM
Dr, Jurchen apologized and withdrew his article; he asked for forgiveness.  His district president met with him and absolved him.  Both of which, to me anyway, implies a recognition of sin/error.  So, maybe there WAS something there for those pastors in Wyoming and South Wisconsin to be concerned with, huh?

Maybe it was done under duress.

Ya think?!

And who woulda thunk that Steve Bohler would make Dave's and even Charles' point?  :o

Post of the year, made completely of iron(y), by SW!  Of course, it is only the ninth of January.     8) 8) 8)

Dave Benke
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Voelker on January 09, 2018, 10:10:18 PM
It just seems to me that the extreme right is nearing the center in Missouri particularly as the old system of pastors continue to retire or die.

The thing I can't get away from are the two pastor conferences (Wyoming and S. Wisconsin sending letters of rebuke to Concordia Seminary). That's about 450 LCMS pastors agreeing to do so.  Also, S. Wisconsin is one of the major districts of the synod.  Would it not be fair to deduce that that may be a huge indicator of where the LCMS is at?
There has been a slight shift right, to be sure. Yet the large majority of pastors are not extreme right — instead, they neither care for politics (and for that they cannot be blamed, except that there does come a time when something has to be done), or they are, simply, not organized. The extreme right tends to clump together and pile on when it is useful to do so; their influence is outsized because they are shrill and appear much larger than they are, like a cat with its hair on end as it hisses. Far too many pastors are also gunshy about speaking up — I've been in too many gatherings where people look both ways before speaking disagreement with the prevailing winds. Let it all hang out, guys. You'll be surprised who shares your views.

I agree with
a) there has been a shift to the right
b) the extreme right tends to clump together and pile on and they are shrill

But there's more dystopia in the system than gun-shy pastors not speaking out.  For one, the extreme right piles on "when it is useful to do so."  Of course utility is determined by the clumpers.  Meaning, it can be pretty much anything at any time.  Which means a type of denominational walking on eggs, tiptoeing through the minefield over bulletin inserts or use of laity or hymn selection or......

Secondly, though, that is specifically not what pertains in many quadrants of the country.  There are insignificant numbers of the extremists around on the coasts and in some other areas.  What happens then as something bubbles up through social media into its accusatory phase is that people are drawn into the mess.  Recent threads here are examples.  To me it's those who are in the more recent era who feel their seminary is being hacked to pieces by lunatics who get distressed, even when their own framework of ministry is healthy and headed in a forward direction.
Sure. I generally understate matters, so...
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Steven W Bohler on January 09, 2018, 11:41:04 PM
Rev. Rahn/Rev. Kirchner/Dr. Benke,

Maybe it was done under duress?  Then you think less of Dr. Jurchen (and President Snow) than do I.  I take them at their word.  You, apparently, are calling them cowards willing to lie and make a mockery of confession/absolution for the sake of personal and/or professional safety. 
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Voelker on January 09, 2018, 11:46:52 PM
WJV/Rev. Kirchner/Dr. Benke,

Maybe it was done under duress?  Then you think less of Dr. Jurchen (and President Snow) than do I.  I take them at their word.  You, apparently, are calling them cowards willing to lie and make a mockery of confession/absolution for the sake of personal and/or professional safety.
I did not speak to that question, and would not speculate on the matter. I take them at their word.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Steven W Bohler on January 09, 2018, 11:52:55 PM
WJV/Rev. Kirchner/Dr. Benke,

Maybe it was done under duress?  Then you think less of Dr. Jurchen (and President Snow) than do I.  I take them at their word.  You, apparently, are calling them cowards willing to lie and make a mockery of confession/absolution for the sake of personal and/or professional safety.
I did not speak to that question, and would not speculate on the matter. I take them at their word.

I apologize.  You are correct -- I am wrong; it was Rev. Rahn who raised the question and not you.  I am sorry for my mistake.  I will edit/correct my earlier post.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Voelker on January 10, 2018, 12:05:35 AM
WJV/Rev. Kirchner/Dr. Benke,

Maybe it was done under duress?  Then you think less of Dr. Jurchen (and President Snow) than do I.  I take them at their word.  You, apparently, are calling them cowards willing to lie and make a mockery of confession/absolution for the sake of personal and/or professional safety.
I did not speak to that question, and would not speculate on the matter. I take them at their word.

I apologize.  You are correct -- I am wrong; it was Rev. Rahn who raised the question and not you.  I am sorry for my mistake.  I will edit/correct my earlier post.
Thank you!
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Rob Morris on January 10, 2018, 12:51:11 AM
Rev. Rahn/Rev. Kirchner/Dr. Benke,

Maybe it was done under duress?  Then you think less of Dr. Jurchen (and President Snow) than do I.  I take them at their word.  You, apparently, are calling them cowards willing to lie and make a mockery of confession/absolution for the sake of personal and/or professional safety.

Let me float a hypothetical...

There is a kerfuffle. There are (cyber-)torches and (overture-)pitchforks being gathered in certain corners. Ecclesiastical supervisors genuinely do not want the situation to escalate to the point of charges and litigation. A carefully-worded confession of belief can be issued stating precisely where the author's commitments lie (which, ironically, happens to be well within confessional teaching). An apology can be given for having caused any confusion or offense. Absolution can be offered to the one issuing the confession and apology that whatever may have been sinful in the process is indeed forgiven by God (and as SA III.iii teaches so clearly, all human actions are tainted by our sinful motivations and debate over which are and are not sinful is pointless). Ecclesiastical supervisors can state that the matter is closed. Further statements would then violate the confessional seal. All litigious avenues (even the recently-approved nuclear option of appealing to the Synod President) are now closed off. The noisy voices complain that it isn't good enough. The dust settles and life goes on. Until the next time.

In this hypothetical, I wouldn't call it "under duress". I would call it realpolitik. Or how the sausage is made in a post-Seminex, post-Yankee Stadium, post-Newtown LCMS.

Now go read the relevant documents again and tell me if every word of what you read doesn't align exactly with this hypothetical (https://concordiatheology.org/2018/01/regarding-the-article-by-dr-john-jurchen-in-concordia-journal/).

Meantime, as I said, the human toll is taken - in this case on Dr. Jurchen and his loved ones, on his teaching ministry, on the ministries of CUNE and CSL and their leadership, on the DP, on the SP, and on both the internal and public perceptions of our Synod's situation. I find it so tragically ironic that the primary intent of the article was to demonstrate how we can lovingly deal with those who have objections to six-24-hour-day creationism. What a demonstration has been given... 

And the thing is: other than prayer and the Holy Spirit's interceding, I can't think of a single way to prevent or materially alter a single stage of the hypothetical. Paraphrasing Churchill: it's the worst system, except for all the others.

I do genuinely wonder why those who seem so eager to pounce on things that are explicitly allowed by our Synod's official polity and statements don't go somewhere they can better agree with the policy or start their own synod/denomination. Logic seems to demand that they are either the weaker brothers, who ought not to use their conscience to enslave others, or the stronger brothers, who ought to bear patiently with those who are weaker.  But either way, whether I happen to be the stronger or the weaker in a given scenario, it is my job to either not enslave them or to bear with them.

Mostly, I thank God that, even though it is peopled entirely by sinners, Christ still reigns over His Church. And the gates of hell cannot prevail against it.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on January 10, 2018, 06:43:49 AM
Rev. Rahn/Rev. Kirchner/Dr. Benke,

Maybe it was done under duress?  Then you think less of Dr. Jurchen (and President Snow) than do I.  I take them at their word.  You, apparently, are calling them cowards willing to lie and make a mockery of confession/absolution for the sake of personal and/or professional safety.

And it never ends...   :(

No, Rob, in some circles it never ends. In confession, God remembers their sin no more. But others, those who are "deeply offended," seem to not only never forget but, in addition, use the gift to show guilt, using it as law, as a hammer, an attempt to justify their own actions.

Lord, have mercy.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Matt Staneck on January 10, 2018, 08:23:26 AM

Let me float a hypothetical...

There is a kerfuffle. There are (cyber-)torches and (overture-)pitchforks being gathered in certain corners. Ecclesiastical supervisors genuinely do not want the situation to escalate to the point of charges and litigation. A carefully-worded confession of belief can be issued stating precisely where the author's commitments lie (which, ironically, happens to be well within confessional teaching). An apology can be given for having caused any confusion or offense. Absolution can be offered to the one issuing the confession and apology that whatever may have been sinful in the process is indeed forgiven by God (and as SA III.iii teaches so clearly, all human actions are tainted by our sinful motivations and debate over which are and are not sinful is pointless). Ecclesiastical supervisors can state that the matter is closed. Further statements would then violate the confessional seal. All litigious avenues (even the recently-approved nuclear option of appealing to the Synod President) are now closed off. The noisy voices complain that it isn't good enough. The dust settles and life goes on. Until the next time.

In this hypothetical, I wouldn't call it "under duress". I would call it realpolitik. Or how the sausage is made in a post-Seminex, post-Yankee Stadium, post-Newtown LCMS.

Now go read the relevant documents again and tell me if every word of what you read doesn't align exactly with this hypothetical (https://concordiatheology.org/2018/01/regarding-the-article-by-dr-john-jurchen-in-concordia-journal/).

Meantime, as I said, the human toll is taken - in this case on Dr. Jurchen and his loved ones, on his teaching ministry, on the ministries of CUNE and CSL and their leadership, on the DP, on the SP, and on both the internal and public perceptions of our Synod's situation. I find it so tragically ironic that the primary intent of the article was to demonstrate how we can lovingly deal with those who have objections to six-24-hour-day creationism. What a demonstration has been given... 

And the thing is: other than prayer and the Holy Spirit's interceding, I can't think of a single way to prevent or materially alter a single stage of the hypothetical. Paraphrasing Churchill: it's the worst system, except for all the others.

I do genuinely wonder why those who seem so eager to pounce on things that are explicitly allowed by our Synod's official polity and statements don't go somewhere they can better agree with the policy or start their own synod/denomination. Logic seems to demand that they are either the weaker brothers, who ought not to use their conscience to enslave others, or the stronger brothers, who ought to bear patiently with those who are weaker.  But either way, whether I happen to be the stronger or the weaker in a given scenario, it is my job to either not enslave them or to bear with them.

Mostly, I thank God that, even though it is peopled entirely by sinners, Christ still reigns over His Church. And the gates of hell cannot prevail against it.

Very helpful analysis, Pr. Morris.

M. Staneck
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Dave Benke on January 10, 2018, 09:11:18 AM
I do genuinely wonder why those who seem so eager to pounce on things that are explicitly allowed by our Synod's official polity and statements don't go somewhere they can better agree with the policy or start their own synod/denomination.

I take the pouncy approach by what WJV terms the "shrill" troopers to be a movement to push the official policy and statements of the denomination into far more rigid articulations.  So it's real-politik by way of push and shove.  Eventually, what irritates shrill-troopers is that the resolutions become in their estimation watered down or made into determinations to study further.  So those who beat down a congregation with female lectors in some district where women serve only in the ladies' aid are frustrated because they haven't the resolution-teeth to mandate prohibition of these (to them) flagrant violations.  Meanwhile on the other side the congregation with female lectors is equally frustrated because the shunning and finger-pointing persists and wears them out. 

My recommendation is to create a different set of mandates - the adiaphora mandates.  "Neither commanded nor forbidden" means that issues x, y and z are - guess what - neither commanded nor forbidden and we're going to walk together with precisely that understanding in our denomination.  And those would have to become - here's the sui generis item for the Missouri Synod - doctrinal resolutions.  So we'd have doctrinal resolutions that would allow adiapora to be adiaphora among us.  As a matter of doctrine. 

How cool would that be?


Logic seems to demand that they are either the weaker brothers, who ought not to use their conscience to enslave others, or the stronger brothers, who ought to bear patiently with those who are weaker.  But either way, whether I happen to be the stronger or the weaker in a given scenario, it is my job to either not enslave them or to bear with them.


And that, to me, is the purpose of the ALPB forum and its interactions, from a Missouri Synod perspective.

Dave Benke
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: John_Hannah on January 10, 2018, 09:15:47 AM
Rev. Rahn/Rev. Kirchner/Dr. Benke,

Maybe it was done under duress?  Then you think less of Dr. Jurchen (and President Snow) than do I.  I take them at their word.  You, apparently, are calling them cowards willing to lie and make a mockery of confession/absolution for the sake of personal and/or professional safety.

Let me float a hypothetical...

There is a kerfuffle. There are (cyber-)torches and (overture-)pitchforks being gathered in certain corners. Ecclesiastical supervisors genuinely do not want the situation to escalate to the point of charges and litigation. A carefully-worded confession of belief can be issued stating precisely where the author's commitments lie (which, ironically, happens to be well within confessional teaching). An apology can be given for having caused any confusion or offense. Absolution can be offered to the one issuing the confession and apology that whatever may have been sinful in the process is indeed forgiven by God (and as SA III.iii teaches so clearly, all human actions are tainted by our sinful motivations and debate over which are and are not sinful is pointless). Ecclesiastical supervisors can state that the matter is closed. Further statements would then violate the confessional seal. All litigious avenues (even the recently-approved nuclear option of appealing to the Synod President) are now closed off. The noisy voices complain that it isn't good enough. The dust settles and life goes on. Until the next time.

In this hypothetical, I wouldn't call it "under duress". I would call it realpolitik. Or how the sausage is made in a post-Seminex, post-Yankee Stadium, post-Newtown LCMS.

Now go read the relevant documents again and tell me if every word of what you read doesn't align exactly with this hypothetical (https://concordiatheology.org/2018/01/regarding-the-article-by-dr-john-jurchen-in-concordia-journal/).

Meantime, as I said, the human toll is taken - in this case on Dr. Jurchen and his loved ones, on his teaching ministry, on the ministries of CUNE and CSL and their leadership, on the DP, on the SP, and on both the internal and public perceptions of our Synod's situation. I find it so tragically ironic that the primary intent of the article was to demonstrate how we can lovingly deal with those who have objections to six-24-hour-day creationism. What a demonstration has been given... 

And the thing is: other than prayer and the Holy Spirit's interceding, I can't think of a single way to prevent or materially alter a single stage of the hypothetical. Paraphrasing Churchill: it's the worst system, except for all the others.

I do genuinely wonder why those who seem so eager to pounce on things that are explicitly allowed by our Synod's official polity and statements don't go somewhere they can better agree with the policy or start their own synod/denomination. Logic seems to demand that they are either the weaker brothers, who ought not to use their conscience to enslave others, or the stronger brothers, who ought to bear patiently with those who are weaker.  But either way, whether I happen to be the stronger or the weaker in a given scenario, it is my job to either not enslave them or to bear with them.

Mostly, I thank God that, even though it is peopled entirely by sinners, Christ still reigns over His Church. And the gates of hell cannot prevail against it.

AMEN

Peace, JOHN
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Steven W Bohler on January 10, 2018, 09:27:47 AM
Rev. Rahn/Rev. Kirchner/Dr. Benke,

Maybe it was done under duress?  Then you think less of Dr. Jurchen (and President Snow) than do I.  I take them at their word.  You, apparently, are calling them cowards willing to lie and make a mockery of confession/absolution for the sake of personal and/or professional safety.

And it never ends...   :(

No, Rob, in some circles it never ends. In confession, God remembers their sin no more. But others, those who are "deeply offended," seem to not only never forget but, in addition, use the gift to show guilt, using it as law, as a hammer, an attempt to justify their own actions.

Lord, have mercy.

No, Rev. Kirchner, it never ends.  But not in the way you seem to think -- for, remember this: I am the one who believes the sincerity of the confession and of the absolution.  Others, apparently including you, are the ones who see this as forced and insincere -- the confession AND the absolution -- a mere ploy to quiet the waters.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on January 10, 2018, 10:39:30 AM
You continue to use the gift as a hammer, Steve. Stop it.

God remembers the sin no more.Leave it alone. It is finished.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Steven W Bohler on January 10, 2018, 10:59:03 AM
You continue to use the gift as a hammer, Steve. Stop it.

God remembers the sin no more.Leave it alone. It is finished.

How am I "using the gift as a hammer", Rev. Kirchner?  I have been reading, for post after post, folks here tut-tutting about how bad those pastors in South Wisconsin and Wyoming were to pass their resolutions, and then I pointed out that the author has apologized and sought forgiveness, which was given by his DP.  And, I wrote, that says to me that there WAS sin/error involved; that the two district pastoral conferences looked to have a point.  So, how is that using the gift as a hammer?  I am not condemning Dr. Jurchen.  I am not questioning his sincerity in seeking forgiveness (that would be you and yours doing that).  I am not talking about Dr. Jurchen at all, really.  I am addressing you and the others here who condemned the pastoral conferences, showing that it certainly appears they had at least some grounds for their concerns and resolutions.  Maybe the Law is hitting you a little bit, Rev. Kirchner.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Rob Morris on January 10, 2018, 11:12:15 AM
No, Rev. Kirchner, it never ends.  But not in the way you seem to think -- for, remember this: I am the one who believes the sincerity of the confession and of the absolution.  Others, apparently including you, are the ones who see this as forced and insincere -- the confession AND the absolution -- a mere ploy to quiet the waters.

I just want to be plain: I do not believe that anyone involved has been insincere - if that is your reading of my words it is an uncharitable one indeed. As it so happens, having interacted personally with one of the people involved, I have every reason to believe the opposite... that all have been quite sincere. Not that a reason would have been necessary. The eighth commandment already had that covered.

Where Dr. Jurchen's published statements caused confusion, he has apologized. He has confessed and received absolution through those who have been called vocationally to do so... most publicly his DP.

That's not a ploy or a mockery. That is what we are supposed to pray will take place if there has been any sin. It's actually addressing the problem in a confessionally-grounded solution.

If we are genuinely concerned with sin and its effects on our Synod, the proper locus will be the confessional. Not the pillory.

If we ever find ourselves considering the confessional a downgrade from the pillory, then we should prayerfully examine whether our motives were God-honoring in the first place.

And if the answer is a bad one, then we, too, should be headed toward the confessional.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 10, 2018, 11:23:31 AM
My recommendation is to create a different set of mandates - the adiaphora mandates.  "Neither commanded nor forbidden" means that issues x, y and z are - guess what - neither commanded nor forbidden and we're going to walk together with precisely that understanding in our denomination.  And those would have to become - here's the sui generis item for the Missouri Synod - doctrinal resolutions.  So we'd have doctrinal resolutions that would allow adiapora to be adiaphora among us.  As a matter of doctrine. 

How cool would that be?


I've often said: "We Lutherans need to take adiaphora seriously."
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: scott9 on January 10, 2018, 11:27:13 AM

My recommendation is to create a different set of mandates - the adiaphora mandates.  "Neither commanded nor forbidden" means that issues x, y and z are - guess what - neither commanded nor forbidden and we're going to walk together with precisely that understanding in our denomination.  And those would have to become - here's the sui generis item for the Missouri Synod - doctrinal resolutions.  So we'd have doctrinal resolutions that would allow adiapora to be adiaphora among us.  As a matter of doctrine. 

How cool would that be?

Actually, the Brief Statement already says this regarding "Open Questions". Those who want to close questions that are to be regarded as open go against this article.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Matt Staneck on January 10, 2018, 11:37:13 AM
A simple question for those who continue to pile on, with their sights now firmly set on the seminary: How do you want this to end?

M. Staneck
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on January 10, 2018, 11:59:41 AM
...then I pointed out that the author has apologized and sought forgiveness, which was given by his DP.  And, I wrote, that says to me that there WAS sin/error involved; that the two district pastoral conferences looked to have a point.  So, how is that using the gift as a hammer? 

More specifically:

So, maybe there WAS something there for those pastors in Wyoming and South Wisconsin to be concerned with, huh?

You do not and I don't think you will understand that it is using the gift as hammer, so further back-and-forth will not be fruitful, Steve.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: LCMS87 on January 10, 2018, 12:26:31 PM
No, Rev. Kirchner, it never ends.  But not in the way you seem to think -- for, remember this: I am the one who believes the sincerity of the confession and of the absolution.  Others, apparently including you, are the ones who see this as forced and insincere -- the confession AND the absolution -- a mere ploy to quiet the waters.

I just want to be plain: I do not believe that anyone involved has been insincere - if that is your reading of my words it is an uncharitable one indeed. As it so happens, having interacted personally with one of the people involved, I have every reason to believe the opposite... that all have been quite sincere. Not that a reason would have been necessary. The eighth commandment already had that covered.

Where Dr. Jurchen's published statements caused confusion, he has apologized. He has confessed and received absolution through those who have been called vocationally to do so... most publicly his DP.

That's not a ploy or a mockery. That is what we are supposed to pray will take place if there has been any sin. It's actually addressing the problem in a confessionally-grounded solution.

If we are genuinely concerned with sin and its effects on our Synod, the proper locus will be the confessional. Not the pillory.

If we ever find ourselves considering the confessional a downgrade from the pillory, then we should prayerfully examine whether our motives were God-honoring in the first place.

And if the answer is a bad one, then we, too, should be headed toward the confessional.

I don't believe, Pr. Morris, that Pr. Bohler had your response in view in the post you quoted.  Rather, he was responding to this exchange: 

Dr, Jurchen apologized and withdrew his article; he asked for forgiveness.  His district president met with him and absolved him.  Both of which, to me anyway, implies a recognition of sin/error.  So, maybe there WAS something there for those pastors in Wyoming and South Wisconsin to be concerned with, huh?

Maybe it was done under duress.

Ya think?!

And who woulda thunk that Steve Bohler would make Dave's and even Charles' point?  :o

Post of the year, made completely of iron(y), by SW!  Of course, it is only the ninth of January.     8) 8) 8)

Dave Benke

Like you Pr. Bohler has expressed his belief that the parties involved, specifically Dr. Jurchen and District President Snow, have been sincere. (cf. reply #449--noting that "under duress" is a reference to the suggestion made in post #445.  That isn't Pr. Bohler's characterization of the matter.)
 
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Dave Benke on January 10, 2018, 12:37:49 PM

My recommendation is to create a different set of mandates - the adiaphora mandates.  "Neither commanded nor forbidden" means that issues x, y and z are - guess what - neither commanded nor forbidden and we're going to walk together with precisely that understanding in our denomination.  And those would have to become - here's the sui generis item for the Missouri Synod - doctrinal resolutions.  So we'd have doctrinal resolutions that would allow adiapora to be adiaphora among us.  As a matter of doctrine. 

How cool would that be?

Actually, the Brief Statement already says this regarding "Open Questions". Those who want to close questions that are to be regarded as open go against this article.

Yes.  And there is substantial room in the Open Question zone.  I believe an appeal to the Brief Statement when it comes to the issues being elevated by the Shrill-Seekers as mandatorily prohibited might prove helpful.  There are boundaries within which we have agreed for lo these 85 years that we're going to Live Together. 

Dave Benke
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Steven W Bohler on January 10, 2018, 12:45:26 PM
A simple question for those who continue to pile on, with their sights now firmly set on the seminary: How do you want this to end?

M. Staneck

Who here is "piling on" and who has "sights now firmly set on the seminary"?
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Steven W Bohler on January 10, 2018, 12:52:35 PM
...then I pointed out that the author has apologized and sought forgiveness, which was given by his DP.  And, I wrote, that says to me that there WAS sin/error involved; that the two district pastoral conferences looked to have a point.  So, how is that using the gift as a hammer? 

More specifically:

So, maybe there WAS something there for those pastors in Wyoming and South Wisconsin to be concerned with, huh?

You do not and I don't think you will understand that it is using the gift as hammer, so further back-and-forth will not be fruitful, Steve.

You're right -- I don't see how defending those pastoral conferences from the attacks made here against them is "using the gift as a hammer".  And, since you can't/won't explain how your accusation makes sense, discussion with you probably is fruitless. 
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Pasgolf on January 10, 2018, 12:59:12 PM
http://thefederalist.com/2018/01/10/dante-can-help-become-better-reader-thinker-year/
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: aletheist on January 10, 2018, 01:04:27 PM
My recommendation is to create a different set of mandates - the adiaphora mandates.  "Neither commanded nor forbidden" means that issues x, y and z are - guess what - neither commanded nor forbidden and we're going to walk together with precisely that understanding in our denomination.  And those would have to become - here's the sui generis item for the Missouri Synod - doctrinal resolutions.  So we'd have doctrinal resolutions that would allow adiapora to be adiaphora among us.  As a matter of doctrine.
Actually, the Brief Statement already says this regarding "Open Questions". Those who want to close questions that are to be regarded as open go against this article.
Yes.  And there is substantial room in the Open Question zone.  I believe an appeal to the Brief Statement when it comes to the issues being elevated by the Shrill-Seekers as mandatorily prohibited might prove helpful.  There are boundaries within which we have agreed for lo these 85 years that we're going to Live Together.
As I have probably said before, the basic problem is the lack of agreement on which issues qualify as adiaphora or "open questions which Scripture answers either not at all or not clearly" (Brief Statement 44).  The current kerfuffle is really over whether six-day young-earth creation is in that category; ditto for lay/female lectors.  Who gets to decide, and on what basis, which questions are treated as open vs. closed?  Polarization is evident between those who want to maximize the number of open questions and those who want to maximize the number of closed questions.  It seems to me that as Lutherans, we should be willing to live with some tension and allow our brothers and sisters to exercise discretion in these matters, rather than constantly trying to impose one's preferred solution on everyone else.  We are supposed to be "walking together" voluntarily, not participating in a forced lockstep march.
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Charles Austin on January 10, 2018, 01:21:26 PM
Your history as a church body, Pastor Bohler, shows that folks "on the move" to purge, correct, convict, purify or otherwise attempt to make sure the synod is "walking together" in doctrine and practice are always looking for bigger fish, more influence and greater authority in controlling or correcting what they see as errant.
For most people it is "reasonable" to allow a certain amount of disagreement and variance in practice and pronounciation of doctrinal schemas. But for many, it is not.
It is in your history as the LCMS.

Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: RevG on January 10, 2018, 01:35:20 PM
A simple question for those who continue to pile on, with their sights now firmly set on the seminary: How do you want this to end?

M. Staneck

Who here is "piling on" and who has "sights now firmly set on the seminary"?

Matt can correct me but there seems to be a target on Concordia Seminary's back these days. While Dr. Jurchen has apologized some are wondering why the Seminary faculty hasn't.  Moreover, to add insult to injury the Steadfast guys have sort of moved the goal posts and have published articles about the faculty's inability to dialogue with those who express concerns over female lectors in chapel.  So we've gone from creationism to dialogue to female lectors in a matter of days.  This can be accurately described as "piling on."

In my mind it sort of begs the question that Matt asks.  Clearly it's not just about the Concordia Journal article it is about something more than that. 
Title: Re: LCMS kerfuffle
Post by: Dave Benke on January 10, 2018, 01:43:59 PM
A simple question for those who continue to pile o