ALPB Forum Online

ALPB => Your Turn => Topic started by: John_Hannah on April 29, 2018, 04:26:05 PM

Title: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: John_Hannah on April 29, 2018, 04:26:05 PM
If you have read Richard Johnson's spectacular history of the ALPB's first 100 years you will know that as the world changed, the ALPB frequently adapted in order to serve changing needs. Entering now our second century of service, your distinguished Board of Directors is considering how we might better serve you, your congregations, and your colleagues in ministry.

What is it that you would like to see from the ALPB? How can we help you proclaim the changeless Christ to your people and to your community? Are there tools we could produce for you? We welcome any and all suggestions, comments, and complaints.  Ask your friends who don't participate in this forum.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Peace, JOHN HANNAH (Board President)
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: J. Thomas Shelley on April 29, 2018, 08:04:55 PM
The ALPB resources that were most beneficial to me:

1)  For All The Saints.  My only suggestion is to offer a clear polyethelene slip cover.   Most of my volumes required careful taping of the spines after years of toting to hospital rooms.

2)  Aubrey Bougher's excellent tract 10 Questions and Answers about the Weekly Eucharist

3)  The bulletin-insert formatted pages on Private Confession and an examination of conscience based on Luther's explanation of the 10 Commandments which appeared many years ago in an issue of Lutheran Forum

It would be wonderful if ALPB could acquire the rights to reprint the About Being Lutheran series which had appeared in The Bride of Christ.   Lutheran Liturgical Renewal did publish a slim volume containing the first thirty or so, but there were quite a few published in the magazine subsequent to the book's printing.
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Harvey_Mozolak on April 29, 2018, 08:36:23 PM
what about a supplemental volume to FOR ALL THE SS?  Possible contents might be texts of the other daily offices, additional readings, more prayers and litanies, even a few texts of hymns.... other ideas?  I use Pfatteicher's Daily Prayer of the Church which does contain much more and I use For All the SS for the Biblical Readings (used the non-Biblical readings for a couple of cycles a few years back). 
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: SomeoneWrites on April 29, 2018, 10:16:56 PM
Free resources linked from the main page. 
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Dan Fienen on April 29, 2018, 10:18:49 PM
Some care needs to be shown.  If you try to put everything anybody might like, those volumes could quickly become unwieldy.  Don’t forget, a hippopotamus is a race horse built to government specs, and a camel is a race horse designed by a committee.
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Charles Austin on April 30, 2018, 06:19:49 AM
Sorry, guys, but I fear future "products" will have to be digital. Those of us who have a remaining love of the "feel" and texture of books and magazines are passing.
Making "For All the Saints" digital would be terrific; but I suspect the task would be virtually impossible.
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: John_Hannah on April 30, 2018, 07:35:33 AM
Sorry, guys, but I fear future "products" will have to be digital. Those of us who have a remaining love of the "feel" and texture of books and magazines are passing.
Making "For All the Saints" digital would be terrific; but I suspect the task would be virtually impossible.

Thank you. You are correct. We have explored at length a digital For All the Saints and found it impossible. The main impediment would be that of obtaining all those copyrights again without all those wonderful volunteers from St. Matthew's Church in White Plains, NY.   :)

Peace, JOHN
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Dan Fienen on April 30, 2018, 07:49:44 AM
A similar product, Treasury of Daily Prayer, from CPH is available on Kindle or as an Android app, “PrayNow.”
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: gan ainm on April 30, 2018, 08:05:02 AM
A similar product, Treasury of Daily Prayer, from CPH is available on Kindle or as an Android app, “PrayNow.”

Pray Now is also available as an iPhone app.  I love it!  Excellent daily combination of Psalm, OT reading, NT reading, hymn excerpt, prayer for the day, and a relevant writing usually by Martin Luther or an early church father.  Plus a few more items like short orders of the day. 
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Dave Benke on April 30, 2018, 09:04:35 AM
What seem to be coming forth so far are ideas for publications, whether paper or digital. 

Thinking of the name - American Lutheran Publicity Bureau - how about this purposefully inter-Lutheran or pan-Lutheran "bureau" gathering and leading people in conversation about the issues of the day from its unique pan-Lutheran perspective, perhaps in conjunction with a Lutheran university or college (Valparaiso?).  In that regard, it could be valuable to consider either dropping "American" or intentionally globalizing the gatherings of Lutheran leaders, since the Lutheran movement is being propelled most dynamically in the global South.  This would be going public, or publicizing, Lutheran evangelical catholicity, which at least to me would be a most worthwhile way to push forward. 

I could think of a host of topics that would bring global attention to Lutheran priorities.

Dave Benke

Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on April 30, 2018, 12:15:03 PM

2)  Aubrey Bougher's excellent tract 10 Questions and Answers about the Weekly Eucharist


That was published by Lutheran Liturgical Renewal, who also published quarterly The Bride of Christ.  I was on LLR's board at its end, and we offered to give the resources (and the rights to them) to ALPB.  By then LLR was not really operating and most of its remaining materials were already housed at St. Augustine's House, who last I heard still had them and, at least officially, from whom they remained available.  Though at a recent STS General Retreat, +Aubrey brought a box of 10 Questions... he still had stored at home, and was giving the tracts away.

Pax, Steven+
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Charles Austin on April 30, 2018, 12:20:51 PM
Is Bougher Still operating as an independent Lutheran pastor?
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on April 30, 2018, 12:36:08 PM
Is Bougher Still operating as an independent Lutheran pastor?

No.  He was received into International Lutheran Fellowship around the turn of the century, and was part of its transformation into the Lutheran Church-International (http://www.lutheranchurchinternational.org/), of whose Northeastern Diocese he has been Bishop for the last decade.  He retired as Pastor at Christ Church, Rosedale, about 3 years ago. 

Pax, Steven+
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Mark Brown on April 30, 2018, 02:47:29 PM
This is a really tough question for a couple of reasons. First, focusing on the "AL", I just don't think you can honestly create a pan-Lutheran identity with all of the current American Lutheran institutions.  The LCMS/WELS/ELS and the NALC/LCMC groupings can function roughly as they always did, but there just isn't much to say between the first group and the ELCA, and the second group and the ELCA are the results of schisms.  Discussions between LCMS/WELS/ELS/NALC/LCMC can be cordial if somewhat routine. You have the feeling of working from most of the same assumptions.  But the ELCA works with completely different and new ones even if they go by old names.  Second, focusing on the "P", I tend to think that the environment for church is dramatically different than even 15 years ago.  At the founding it was a positive environment where publicity was largely what was needed.  If you got the word out, people responded.  The past 20 years have been something of a neutral environment.  No longer if you build it they would come, but if you provided quality and were "nice and winsome" you could still gain a hearing.  I think we are largely in a negative environment which means that just gathering a crowd doesn't necessarily lead to discipleship.  You see the "nice and winsome" group having sanded off so much offending content that it is hard to tell what they are about, it doesn't seen to be Jesus.  And anyone who remembers the positive environment is old enough today to just be retired.

So, what does a Publicity Bureau do in such an environment?  Everything that I think one should or could be doing that would be effective requires a strategic change.  It could decide that LCMS/WELS/ELS just isn't Lutheran and dedicate itself to healing the schism and making the emerging former mainline merger-church as friendly to neo-Lutheranism as possible.  The goal would be increasing the knowledge of Lutheran ideas (probably modern ones) in non-Lutheran areas.  (Essentially the Thrivent no longer for Lutherans strategy.)  It could decide that the ELCA is no longer authentically Lutheran, and set about building ties between the Lutheran denominations.  Part of that mission I would think would be creating some type of pan-Lutheran modern day clearinghouse of authentic Lutheran voices on relevant topics.  Think The Gospel Coalition or something similar.  Take the Forum Letter and make it a daily stop. Focus on getting pastoral voices, not theologians or even church hierarchs.

My guess is that such strategic decisions are outside the thought and ability of the organization.  That might actually be to its credit.  Like the old westerns, certain times call for men and decisions that aren't acceptable if they themselves are successful in their job.  Athanasius was a necessary cur. 
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Richard Johnson on April 30, 2018, 05:12:28 PM
Fascinating analysis, Pr. Brown. I would push back on two points:

(1) I'm not convinced that a "pan-Lutheran identity" remains impossible (nor am I convinced that it is even something that can be "created"). There are other very limited examples. The Lutheran Historical Conference works very nicely with participation from ELCA, NALC, LCMS, WELS. Lutheran World Relief seems to still be a vibrant cooperative agency. The Society of the Holy Trinity, while predominantly ELCA/NALC, has members as well from LCMS and other bodies.

(2) That "Lutheran identity" is not a reality the can, or does, exist solely in institutional church bodies; it is a reality that exists among individuals. There are many things we have in common, regardless of church body; and there are many in every church body that identify much more deeply as "Lutheran" than as "ELCA" or "LCMS" or "NALC" or "WELS." The current hostility between various church bodies is certainly a serious issue, and arguably at the lowest state in the memory of most of us. But to read American Lutheran history is to know that there was great hostility as well at other points in that history, and in God's grace, that hostility was ultimately overcome. The troubled times in which one lives generally seems to be the worst it has ever been, but that is seldom true. The ALPB has lived through some of those hostile times, and has been an instrument for bridging hostilities more than once in its history. Who knows if it might play that role again?
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Weedon on April 30, 2018, 05:41:30 PM
Mark’s got me thinking, so it’s clearly his fault. ;)

What if ALPB should go on existing because the Lutheran Confession of the faith is actually facing multiple challenges in the institutional life of ALL the present bodies in the USA wearing the moniker “Lutheran”? What if it existed in order to give a forum, a talking place, for Lutherans who are committed to the confessions of the 1580 Book of Concord as a fair and accurate summation of authentic Scriptural teaching on the points it addresses, where we can actually think and pray together about how we might be called to bring that confession to fuller expression in our respective bodies? What if it became a place not of the predictable bashing, but of repentant reflection that begins with “is it I, Lord”? What if?
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Harvey_Mozolak on April 30, 2018, 05:48:59 PM
Will, we would have to muzzle this Forum... ah, I mean myself and most of the rest of us... or at least install post reply governors. 
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Weedon on April 30, 2018, 06:05:09 PM
Well, if anyone buys into the notion, I wonder what we’d come up with if the members of the various churches/synods offered their thoughts on the points where their own body falls short / is in tension / downright conflicts with the Confessions? And no one should be allowed to cross the line and start ragging on another body - that’s just a diversion until we’ve exhaustively treated the problem areas we’d identify in our own body. And maybe we shouldn’t even argue with the assessment of any IN our church/synod till we’ve heard the whole thing out and sat with it for a while.
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Mark Brown on April 30, 2018, 06:17:23 PM
I'm open to a lot of Pr. Johnson's ideas.  Namely:
 - The Laity are much closer than the clergy or the institutions.  But I believe that is because they are both in general poorly catechized and hence given to "can't we get along" mushiness.  If we just took the current laity's definition of Lutheran the church is basically a nostalgia club with a grab bag of ill-defined slogans, ethnic tropes and "we can drink beer here".
- A Lutheran identity is something to be fostered in individuals.  But I'd argue it can't exist apart from those institutions that form and nurture it.  This is the para-church argument.  A para-church can help solidify an identity, but it is an auxiliary institution or a lobbying institution.  Akin to saying "don't skip leg day" at the gym.
- Maintaining something that keeps some discussion open is a wise thing.  Who knows.  The Spirit might grant revival and the current insanity might recede.

But I'd argue that things like the Historical Conference would work because the mission is limited to preserving history.  Things like the LWR work both because the mission is limited to works of mercy, and the entire organization runs on ELCA rules anyway.  You won't find LWR getting into the situation of a couple of years ago of World Vision over sex issues, because they already are there.  If you are LCMS, you can choose to go your own way (hence the emphasis on the LCMS institutional efforts), or you can decide that in these things we can work together.

And maybe the big disagreement would be an age/generation divide.  I can witness many of the older ministers maintain fine relations across lines.  But starting about my age and much worse getting younger there are two modes of operation.  The first is we can maintain cordial relations if you Mr. LCMS largely agree to remain silent about a lot of things.  Essentially the LWR agreement.  But when you get to the 30 year olds and younger that is no longer operable.  At that point, my experience has been all bigot all the time.  And as they say, the children are the future.  And what I'd add is that institutions, it is an intransigent minority that ultimately gets its way over the entire organization, as long as their ask isn't perceived as too costly.  You can't take LWR type agreements and have a long term.

I like Pr. Weedon's idea and formulation.  I think that would fit in with the general idea of taking the Forum Letter to a daily stop.  The only thing I'd ask Pr. Weedon is how can an institution that is hardening around option 4 of their sexuality statement be taken as a serious dialog partner committed to the confessions of 1580?  That is simply a denial of the 6th commandment.  It is lawlessness as we've been hearing John tell us in the epistle lessons recently.

Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Weedon on April 30, 2018, 06:33:51 PM
Mark,

That would be out of bounds for someone in LCMS to ask at first, if my suggestion were taken. FWIW, it might the sort of comment that someone in the ELCA might choose to make.
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Harvey_Mozolak on April 30, 2018, 07:01:23 PM
Will, is the starting point the Confessions or the Scripture itself?  I say that because some might say that it was more important, to use your words that here intentionally alter, to bring ... (the Scriptures)... to fuller expression in our respective bodies?   I know you have a point, not arguing its validity, but why start at the Confessions instead of the Scripture?  My point being in part that we may disagree on a Confessional stance because we already disagree on what the Scripture is saying... or worse what the Scripture is. 

However, your track of asking for self evaluation, better-- self-examination, without criticism of others might be a very helpful and a healthy thing to do.  Our NALC, IMO and probably I stand somewhat alone in this, is that we are too young, too small, recently bruised and healing... and we fear self-examination of certain areas and things because it is or might be feared that such self-study might divide us.  That may also be a fear among other bodies too that are larger and fear their size diminishment and shadow of the growth of other non-Lutherans around us. 
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Dave Likeness on April 30, 2018, 07:06:04 PM
At this time in history, the LCMS and the ELCA are miles and miles apart on the authority of Holy Scripture
and acceptance of the Lutheran Confessions.  The infamous ELCA Assembly decision in 2009 splintered their
own church body and alienated the LCMS.  There is no pan-Lutheranism harmony in America today and these two
major church bodies are not officially talking to each other about anything which is vital.   

Bottom Line: Perhaps the ALPB can rethink its major mission
as it faces  dysfunctional Lutheran fellowship as a current reality..
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on April 30, 2018, 07:11:54 PM
Well, if anyone buys into the notion, I wonder what we’d come up with if the members of the various churches/synods offered their thoughts on the points where their own body falls short / is in tension / downright conflicts with the Confessions? And no one should be allowed to cross the line and start ragging on another body - that’s just a diversion until we’ve exhaustively treated the problem areas we’d identify in our own body. And maybe we shouldn’t even argue with the assessment of any IN our church/synod till we’ve heard the whole thing out and sat with it for a while.


It seems that a distinction can exist between a person's thoughts, beliefs, convictions, etc., and those of the church body to which s/he belongs. While being judged by the group one belongs to was the norm in Jesus' day, e.g., "Nothing good can come from Nazareth," that is not as true or applicable today. Not all ELCA folks are the same. Not all LCMS folks are the same. At the same time, it can cause problems to criticize one's own church body. "Traditionalists" report experiencing wrath within the ELCA. More "progressive" folks can be fearful of speaking their minds in the LCMS.


While we can and have discussed our Confessions, it is also clear that the ELCA and LCMS have different approaches to them (and even further differences when talking with individual's approaches to them).


I also wonder how directly do they speak to some of the hot issues of our day: inspiration of scriptures (cf. inerrancy); women's role in the church (readers? prayers? ordination?); sexual relationships (living together, homosexual relationships)? For instance, even though the AC supports marriages between a man and a woman, it doesn't mean it opposes same-sex marriages. It is silent about them. They were unknown in those days. Women's ordination was unknown - (as well as women's suffrage). I recognize that I'm also betraying a more ELCA approach to the confessions - they were written at a particular time and place for particular issues back then rather than divine-guided truths for all times and places.
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on April 30, 2018, 07:13:35 PM
At this time in history, the LCMS and the ELCA are miles and miles apart on the authority of Holy Scripture
and acceptance of the Lutheran Confessions.  The infamous ELCA Assembly decision in 2009 splintered their
own church body and alienated the LCMS.  There is no pan-Lutheranism harmony in America today and these two
major church bodies are not officially talking to each other about anything which is vital.   

Bottom Line: Perhaps the ALPB can rethink its major mission
as it faces  dysfunctional Lutheran fellowship as a current reality..


How are we "miles and miles apart on the authority of Holy Scripture and acceptance of the Lutheran Confessions"? We hold to the authority of scriptures - that they are the Word of God. We hold to the authority of the Confessions. We don't interpret them in quite the same way as the LCMS; but they are no less authoritative for us.
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Dave Benke on April 30, 2018, 07:31:46 PM
Fascinating analysis, Pr. Brown. I would push back on two points:

(1) I'm not convinced that a "pan-Lutheran identity" remains impossible (nor am I convinced that it is even something that can be "created"). There are other very limited examples. The Lutheran Historical Conference works very nicely with participation from ELCA, NALC, LCMS, WELS. Lutheran World Relief seems to still be a vibrant cooperative agency. The Society of the Holy Trinity, while predominantly ELCA/NALC, has members as well from LCMS and other bodies.

(2) That "Lutheran identity" is not a reality the can, or does, exist solely in institutional church bodies; it is a reality that exists among individuals. There are many things we have in common, regardless of church body; and there are many in every church body that identify much more deeply as "Lutheran" than as "ELCA" or "LCMS" or "NALC" or "WELS." The current hostility between various church bodies is certainly a serious issue, and arguably at the lowest state in the memory of most of us. But to read American Lutheran history is to know that there was great hostility as well at other points in that history, and in God's grace, that hostility was ultimately overcome. The troubled times in which one lives generally seems to be the worst it has ever been, but that is seldom true. The ALPB has lived through some of those hostile times, and has been an instrument for bridging hostilities more than once in its history. Who knows if it might play that role again?

I'm with you on much of this, Richard. 
In terms of the Confessions of 1580, what ALPB represented at least in the Richard John Neuhaus phase and I think in the earlier years as well was that Lutheranism as envisioned in the Confessions, in particular the Augsburg Confession, was and is meant to be an evangelical and catholic reforming movement in and for the Church.  This means for one that the Lutheran movement across its various denominational versions is an ecumenical movement, and is designed to encourage conversation among all Christians.  That focus could be of assistance to ALPB, and could be of assistance not only to the wider Church but to the various Lutheran bodies, especially if it emanates from a source external to those bodies.

The history of the alpb of course was in the middle years to be a force for Lutheran unity.  I think that could still be the target, in a different way, by representing people committed to the evangelical and catholic core of Lutheranism especially in the Augsburg Confession but in all the Confessional writings to and with a wide group of participants.

Dave Benke
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Dan Fienen on April 30, 2018, 08:55:31 PM
Fascinating analysis, Pr. Brown. I would push back on two points:

(1) I'm not convinced that a "pan-Lutheran identity" remains impossible (nor am I convinced that it is even something that can be "created"). There are other very limited examples. The Lutheran Historical Conference works very nicely with participation from ELCA, NALC, LCMS, WELS. Lutheran World Relief seems to still be a vibrant cooperative agency. The Society of the Holy Trinity, while predominantly ELCA/NALC, has members as well from LCMS and other bodies.

(2) That "Lutheran identity" is not a reality the can, or does, exist solely in institutional church bodies; it is a reality that exists among individuals. There are many things we have in common, regardless of church body; and there are many in every church body that identify much more deeply as "Lutheran" than as "ELCA" or "LCMS" or "NALC" or "WELS." The current hostility between various church bodies is certainly a serious issue, and arguably at the lowest state in the memory of most of us. But to read American Lutheran history is to know that there was great hostility as well at other points in that history, and in God's grace, that hostility was ultimately overcome. The troubled times in which one lives generally seems to be the worst it has ever been, but that is seldom true. The ALPB has lived through some of those hostile times, and has been an instrument for bridging hostilities more than once in its history. Who knows if it might play that role again?

I'm with you on much of this, Richard. 
In terms of the Confessions of 1580, what ALPB represented at least in the Richard John Neuhaus phase and I think in the earlier years as well was that Lutheranism as envisioned in the Confessions, in particular the Augsburg Confession, was and is meant to be an evangelical and catholic reforming movement in and for the Church.  This means for one that the Lutheran movement across its various denominational versions is an ecumenical movement, and is designed to encourage conversation among all Christians.  That focus could be of assistance to ALPB, and could be of assistance not only to the wider Church but to the various Lutheran bodies, especially if it emanates from a source external to those bodies.

The history of the alpb of course was in the middle years to be a force for Lutheran unity.  I think that could still be the target, in a different way, by representing people committed to the evangelical and catholic core of Lutheranism especially in the Augsburg Confession but in all the Confessional writings to and with a wide group of participants.

Dave Benke
As I understand from some things written in these pages the Formula of Concord is considered optional by some in the ELCA.
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Weedon on April 30, 2018, 09:01:59 PM
Harvey,

Glad you asked that, because I’m sure lots of folks thought it. The reason I’d advocate starting with the Confessions and points of tension with current teaching or practice is because they are an interpretation of Scripture that Lutherans of every stripe have said gets it right. That should enable us to look at ourselves (and I really do advocate looking at ourselves rather than at others) and evaluate ourselves with the same (or very similar) standard that our fellow Lutherans are using to look at themselves.

For the record, if we take the Confessions with the seriousness they deserve, we will learn to hear them for what they are: PART of a conversation on the Sacred Scripture that has been going on from the revelation of the Son of God as the fulfillment of the OT (i.e., a conversation that begins even before the NT is assembled). To acknowledge a point Brian frequently raises, we are not to isolate them from that conversation and we cannot do so without actually distorting their message. If in our day the conversation has moved on and is different from that of the 16th century (how could it not be?), we still are better resourced to speak the good news into this world today when we are thoroughly grounded in that moment of beautiful clarity that they embody because they actually made explicit key assumptions that had only been implicit before. I mean, I suppose in one way, THE thing they make crystal clear is that God’s love for you and his judgment of you doesn’t hang on you getting your act together; if your act is gotten together at all, that comes as a result of believing that God’s love for you in Christ is unchangeable, that His judgment of you is in Christ you are His, forgiven, adopted, and passionately loved. I think everything in the Confessions flows out from that central and joyous “aha” — and something I think we need to pay very careful attention to is that the best of the writers of medieval church would totally have said the same thing, but the IMPRESSION that was given by the way the church ordered her life was in fact the exact opposite. Worth pondering indeed. Luther writes in the LC that everything in the Church is ordered toward the forgiveness of sins so that a Christian may daily come to the assembly to receive it. And that shows up among us today where? How?

Anyway, that’s why I’d argue we start from the Symbols and focus on some serious self-examination.
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Richard Johnson on April 30, 2018, 09:08:02 PM

As I understand from some things written in these pages the Formula of Concord is considered optional by some in the ELCA.

It's not clear if you are expressing ignorance here or simply polemics, but what you say is not correct. The ELCA Statement of Faith refers to the Unaltered Augsburg Confession as a "true witness to the Gospel" and implies that it is the fundamental basis for our Lutheran identity. Then it says "This church accepts the other confessional writings in the Book of Concord, namely, the Apology of the Augsburg Confession, the Smalcald Articles and the Treatise, the Small Catechism, the Large Catechism, and the Formula of Concord, as further valid interpretations of the faith of the Church." That is not as firm a confessional commitment as might be desired, but it is hardly saying "FC is optional." You have to remember that the FC in particular was never accepted as a binding confession by most of the non-German Lutheran churches, and so it is not in the ELCA's DNA in the same way it might be a church with exclusively German heritage.

Now how seriously individual members of the ELCA live out that acceptance of FC (and the rest) as "valid interpretations" is another question. Heck, how seriously individual members of the ELCA live out the commitment that "the canonical Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as the inspired Word of God [are] the authoritative source and norm of [our] proclamation, faith, and life" is certainly open to discussion. But of course this is precisely the kind of discussion, I would think, that Pr. Weedon might have in mind by his thoughtful proposal.
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Charles Austin on April 30, 2018, 09:23:32 PM
Moderator Richard makes some smart comments.
Most of you know that I believe formal, official theological dialogue between the ELCA and the LCMS or WELS would not be fruitful. I do not think it would be a good use of time to have official dialogues at this point in history.
But there is a place, maybe several places, not at the "denominational" level, where Lutherans can and should gather across the borders. And there are Lutherans at the local level who can and should do that as well, along with Lutherans with special interests, concerns or ministries such as immigration, refugee resettlement, music, liturgics and certain social issues. (We could even have two inter-Lutheran informal coalitions on the abortion issue - one on the "pro-choice" side, the other on the "pro-life" side.)
I do not see a "big-picture" inter-Lutheran strategy being very workable today.
But if ALPB could facilitate some other things....
The difficulties will, of course, remain. If an ALPB publication gives voice to a particular strong partisan on an issue, does that mean that people in the denomination which does not side with that partisan will dismiss the ALPB as in thrall to the "other side."
I notice elsewhere that for some, the mere fact that someone in the ELCA is invited to speak at an LCMS seminary is a cause for great offense. And some in the ELCA would simply dismiss almost any LCMS speaker, when there are some people in the LCMS - though not in high officialdom - who could find a welcome at ELCA conversations.
Most informal, and unofficial conclaves of inter-Lutheran stripe lean heavily to a "side". Can ALPB create places where different stripes and different sides can gather? And will people on all sides be willing to take some heat for hanging with "the enemy"?
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on May 01, 2018, 12:50:08 AM
Moderator Richard makes some smart comments.
Most of you know that I believe formal, official theological dialogue between the ELCA and the LCMS or WELS would not be fruitful. I do not think it would be a good use of time to have official dialogues at this point in history.
But there is a place, maybe several places, not at the "denominational" level, where Lutherans can and should gather across the borders. And there are Lutherans at the local level who can and should do that as well, along with Lutherans with special interests, concerns or ministries such as immigration, refugee resettlement, music, liturgics and certain social issues. (We could even have two inter-Lutheran informal coalitions on the abortion issue - one on the "pro-choice" side, the other on the "pro-life" side.)
I do not see a "big-picture" inter-Lutheran strategy being very workable today.
But if ALPB could facilitate some other things....
The difficulties will, of course, remain. If an ALPB publication gives voice to a particular strong partisan on an issue, does that mean that people in the denomination which does not side with that partisan will dismiss the ALPB as in thrall to the "other side."
I notice elsewhere that for some, the mere fact that someone in the ELCA is invited to speak at an LCMS seminary is a cause for great offense. And some in the ELCA would simply dismiss almost any LCMS speaker, when there are some people in the LCMS - though not in high officialdom - who could find a welcome at ELCA conversations.
Most informal, and unofficial conclaves of inter-Lutheran stripe lean heavily to a "side". Can ALPB create places where different stripes and different sides can gather? And will people on all sides be willing to take some heat for hanging with "the enemy"?


Not too long ago we had an LCMS clergy over for dinner. I met him on this forum. He was in town. We ate and had a good fellowship together. He few years ago we did the same with another LCMS clergy from the forum who was passing through. Such encounters happen and can be fruitful.
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: John_Hannah on May 01, 2018, 07:39:48 AM
Fascinating analysis, Pr. Brown. I would push back on two points:

(1) I'm not convinced that a "pan-Lutheran identity" remains impossible (nor am I convinced that it is even something that can be "created"). There are other very limited examples. The Lutheran Historical Conference works very nicely with participation from ELCA, NALC, LCMS, WELS. Lutheran World Relief seems to still be a vibrant cooperative agency. The Society of the Holy Trinity, while predominantly ELCA/NALC, has members as well from LCMS and other bodies.

(2) That "Lutheran identity" is not a reality the can, or does, exist solely in institutional church bodies; it is a reality that exists among individuals. There are many things we have in common, regardless of church body; and there are many in every church body that identify much more deeply as "Lutheran" than as "ELCA" or "LCMS" or "NALC" or "WELS." The current hostility between various church bodies is certainly a serious issue, and arguably at the lowest state in the memory of most of us. But to read American Lutheran history is to know that there was great hostility as well at other points in that history, and in God's grace, that hostility was ultimately overcome. The troubled times in which one lives generally seems to be the worst it has ever been, but that is seldom true. The ALPB has lived through some of those hostile times, and has been an instrument for bridging hostilities more than once in its history. Who knows if it might play that role again?

To the list of pan-Lutheran cooperatives add:

1.  Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS)
2.  The Lutheran musicians association (I forgot the name)
3.  The host of local social service agencies most of whom belong to an umbrella institution (name ?) and together comprise the largest social service enterprise in the nation

Peace, JOHN
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Jeremy Loesch on May 01, 2018, 08:28:09 AM
Pastor Hannah, #2 is quite possibly the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians (ALCM). It was a big thing with my church music friends in college.

Jeremy
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Harvey_Mozolak on May 01, 2018, 08:33:19 AM
Will, as something of The-Suggester-in-Chief, would you see things being helpful weighted more in the first stages of self-examination or study in which of the following choices?

As a member of the NALC/LCMS/ELCA/LCMC/WS/OtherLuth

1. I see my church fulfilling and living out the the Lutheran Confessions in the following manner...
OR
2. I see my church NOT FULLY fulfilling and living out the the Lutheran Confessions in the following manner.
OR
3. a combination of the both of the above
OR
4. (something I did  NOT include above as an option, therefore this: ____)
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: FrPeters on May 01, 2018, 08:36:17 AM
Collegial discussion among those who have even little in common, even when blunt and pointed is never a bad thing.  Official talks between the ELCA and the NALC/LCMC or LCMS/WELS/ELS is probably not going anywhere.

In the LF I miss the Una Sancta (liturgical) focus -- especially when it was more than theoretical but very practical as that journal was in its earliest days.  The Forum Letter is something I generally read as soon as I get it. . . the Forum journal awaits a time and, if I am skipping through the pages while on hold on my phone, I might find something to go back to but some of them never got read.  I have subscribed since 1974 and I often reach back into older issues more than rush to read the current ones.  Maybe that is just me.
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: John_Hannah on May 01, 2018, 09:30:22 AM
Pastor Hannah, #2 is quite possibly the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians (ALCM). It was a big thing with my church music friends in college.

Jeremy

Yes, that's what I'm thinking of. (I'm not a musician at all but know of them.)
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Weedon on May 01, 2018, 10:30:37 AM
Harvey,

I’d suggest making it as simple as sharing reflections on various areas where you see your church body advocating or practicing or teaching something that makes your brow pucker when it comes to the express teaching of the Lutheran Symbols.

For example, my own first item would be that whatever Missouri means by “closed communion” (and we seem to operate simultaneously with a number of notions of what it does mean), what none of our churches seem to have any interest in is actually living the practice described in the Symbols of  giving the Sacrament only to those who have been examined and absolved. That pastoral care includes TALKING to and actually knowing something of every person who presents themselves to receive the Sacrament and where things are with them. Of course, not implying that it was done every time. It wasn’t. But it was done regularly. And it was regarded as an essential part of the stewardship of the sacrament and actually caring about where people are in their walk with the Lord. Its last vestiages in LCMS were the “announcing for communion” which had become largely perfunctory, and that’s why I suspect when it died away, it went away without any hullabaloo.

In any case, I think it is utterly safe to say that NONE of us practice this personal attention to the spiritual state of the communicant in Missouri anymore. I think it’s a point of tension with the expectations expressed in the Confessions that can never be resolved by asking simply and only of visitors: “Are you a member of an LCMS congregation?” And never asking our own regular communicants anything at all.

P.S. Stiller’s book on Liturgical Life in Leipzig during Bach’s tenure showed how very real and alive this was still: a pastor had to be called who’s chief responsibility was the hearing of confession and the granting of absolution and comfort as the populace thronged to the confessional seat before approaching the Sacrament.
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Harvey_Mozolak on May 01, 2018, 12:24:50 PM
Thanks for the example.
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Mark Brown on May 01, 2018, 01:02:29 PM
Two thoughts.
 @John_Hannah re: pan-Lutheran.  Again musicians have a defined goal which in large part is the propagation of the Lutheran musical heritage.  All modern Lutherans can easily lay claim to that.  Nobody yet is retcon-ing it for modern polemics and it would be hard to do.  But in regard to the works of mercy organizations, I'd propose a thought experiment.  Would LIRS or LWR or any of these organizations ever accept as their director a former head of LCMS-World Relief & Human Care who would guide the strategy and tone of the organization? Or for that matter can you imagine Valparaiso hiring say Joel Biermann or even Jeff Gibbs, one of the most gentle yet forceful people I have ever met, for their theology department?  The most likely fact that you can't tells you that those organizations are not truly pan-Lutheran.  They are organizations of one side that will accept money or participation from the other as long as nothing challenges the way things are done.

@Weedon, re:Confessional Pastoral Practice.  I agree with what you say, but I'd point to both the AC and more clearly I think the SA progression.  The gospel (SA4) takes concrete form in Baptism (SA5), Sacrament of the Altar (SA6), the Keys (SA7).  The Keys are elaborated in confession (SA8), Excommunication (SA9) and the Providing of Ministers/Ordination and Call (SA10).  If you want to know the church (SA12) "like any 7 year old child" you look for those things.  If I was picking on bad practice this is what I would say.  We have settled on Gospel Reductionism because all we really stomach as concrete realities are Baptism and the Supper.  We are not willing to submit to the Keys.  And we are certainly not willing to do so if it means confession beyond a corporate happening or might even mean that sins could be bound.  My historical intuition would be that what we are seeing today in the Roman Catholic church, which is a replacement of Confession and Absolution with what they call conscience or the private sphere, is what happened in the Lutheran church earlier.  A rejection of the Keys as having any true public use.  We can make fun of Pentecostals in that they often don't have the Lord's Supper and down play the baptism of water, but they do practice the keys between each other.  And best of luck to any pastor who doesn't have the talking skills of Pericles who tries to use them when the offended person calls the District President.  The type of pastoral practice you highlight is an outgrowth of faith in the Keys as real things.  A big question is always do I have this type of relationship with this person which takes years to build and even then might not last that trial.
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Harvey_Mozolak on May 01, 2018, 01:55:16 PM
there are, Mark, a number of other factors fraying the edge of private/individual Confession/Absolution....  the flowering of the counsel of Psychiatrists and the lesser degreed folks...  the complete seal of confession is not a well believed thing on the part of laity IMO....  the acceptability of certain sins that were not even felt to be polite much less immoral in days gone by at least in certain circles...  the sporadic nature of church attendance and the OK-ness of it will certainly not allow any extras like announcing much less confessing anything...  I think you would find if you ask people older than I am that the announcement as a time of confession beyond, how are you doing and the mrs and the kids was already taking a hit in the 40's certainly and maybe before that... I only know what my father/pastor told me about the 40's... even the act of going to church to announce by the family's father was a patriarchal thing that did not and would not stand up among todays post-nuclear family...   
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Weedon on May 01, 2018, 02:41:59 PM
Mark,

EXACTLY. We simply no longer have an office of the keyS. We have the office of a key. And if the door is always left open, it seems kind of pointless. But, of course, this is a failure of love on our part for the erring sister or brother. Love certainly accepts and readily forgives, but it doesn’t tell the person about to hurt themselves or another: I love you and accept you; do whatever you want. No, it has the hard conversation about their choices, their decisions. Bonhoeffer famously said in Life Together that there is no man so alone as the man left alone in his sin. And I fear this is what our abandonment of the binding key has done. Nor is it solely a pastoral failing; in the LCMS we inherited the strong tradition that Christ gave the keys to the church and that his church exercises them through the office but with consent. Consent has long since, I fear, been withdrawn.

And why? Fear. We are afraid. We have a bad conscience. And we’ve got a tacit agreement going (unspoken, of course) that I won’t expose you if you won’t expose me. As though we really didn’t believe in a God to whom all hearts are open, all desires known and from whom no secrets are hid. Or, as if our Savior must have been mistaken when He warned us that there IS nothing we hide that won’t be revealed.

And the utterly sad thing is that the very gift of Christ where the primary battling for the good conscience goes on is the one means of grace we’ve more or less openly tossed away. Our Confessions say that it would be a wicked thing for private absolution to be removed from the church. We have been wicked.
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: John_Hannah on May 01, 2018, 03:15:57 PM
This thread has turned quite lively and I am grateful for your participation. The ALPB will be only what you want it to be. Thanks.

Peace, JOHN
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Charles Austin on May 01, 2018, 03:16:25 PM
Pastor Weedon, I cannot get in tune with your suggestion that it is private absolution which takes precedence.  I have experienced it, and I have offered it, and I understand its value.
However, for me personally, and for most people I know the absolution presented at the beginning of the service, or at a service of general confession is equally compelling.
Of course people need to be taught about confessing their sins so that they may do so in the Ways in which we hope the announcement of absolution will be most meaningful.
But I think private confession and absolution among Lutherans is not and will never be a big thing.
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: John_Hannah on May 01, 2018, 03:25:47 PM

Bonhoeffer famously said in Life Together that there is no man so alone as the man left alone in his sin. And I fear this is what our abandonment of the binding key has done. Nor is it solely a pastoral failing; in the LCMS we inherited the strong tradition that Christ gave the keys to the church and that his church exercises them through the office but with consent. Consent has long since, I fear, been withdrawn.


WILL

I don't know that we (LCMS) ever had a strong tradition of private confession and absolution. I think of the 1943 Synodical Catechism. The Fifth Chief Part was devoted to a defense of our (Walther's) congregational polity; private confession and absolution are barely mentioned, if at all. Already in 1529  (LC, V) Luther was lamenting that few if any were coming.

I do think it would be good to return to the ideal of the Lutheran Confessions. I just don't know how today's pastors can make much of an impact on the situation. Having said that, this topic would be an excellent theme to run in one of the two Forums. I can imagine several articles from different points of view. How about you?

Peace, JOHN
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Pr. Don Kirchner on May 01, 2018, 03:32:27 PM
However, for me personally, and for most people I know the absolution presented at the beginning of the service, or at a service of general confession is equally compelling.
Of course people need to be taught about confessing their sins so that they may do so in the Ways in which we hope the announcement of absolution will be most meaningful.

Except, e.g., during the Easter season...

My concern, and I believe it is echoed by many, some even in this modest forum, is that the Repent/Forgive theme [Confession] is a poor entre into the Easter morning or Easter season liturgy. It is poor logically, poor pastorally, and poor dramatically (because the liturgy properly done is a drama and must flow and have a more-or-less logical arc from beginning to end).
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Mark Brown on May 01, 2018, 04:04:33 PM
Mark,

EXACTLY. We simply no longer have an office of the keyS. We have the office of a key. And if the door is always left open, it seems kind of pointless. But, of course, this is a failure of love on our part for the erring sister or brother. Love certainly accepts and readily forgives, but it doesn’t tell the person about to hurt themselves or another: I love you and accept you; do whatever you want. No, it has the hard conversation about their choices, their decisions. Bonhoeffer famously said in Life Together that there is no man so alone as the man left alone in his sin. And I fear this is what our abandonment of the binding key has done. Nor is it solely a pastoral failing; in the LCMS we inherited the strong tradition that Christ gave the keys to the church and that his church exercises them through the office but with consent. Consent has long since, I fear, been withdrawn.

And why? Fear. We are afraid. We have a bad conscience. And we’ve got a tacit agreement going (unspoken, of course) that I won’t expose you if you won’t expose me. As though we really didn’t believe in a God to whom all hearts are open, all desires known and from whom no secrets are hid. Or, as if our Savior must have been mistaken when He warned us that there IS nothing we hide that won’t be revealed.

And the utterly sad thing is that the very gift of Christ where the primary battling for the good conscience goes on is the one means of grace we’ve more or less openly tossed away. Our Confessions say that it would be a wicked thing for private absolution to be removed from the church. We have been wicked.

Mind meld achieved.  Let me tease out one more thing at the risk of pushing too far.  If we are acting wickedly, which I think we are.  And we do not acknowledge that, which we don't.  Can we receive the Supper for our good, or is it always to our judgment?  If you only allow One Key, do you really get to choose which one?

I'll take some of that back practically in that corporate confession isn't nothing, many folks carry on a clear personal examination, and God is merciful and gracious.  But we make fun of the reformed for not having the supper because they don't recognize the body, but do we?  The body exists under the headship of Christ.  If we deny the other Key we've said to the King we don't really want you around. 
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Dave Benke on May 01, 2018, 04:26:47 PM
Two thoughts.
 @John_Hannah re: pan-Lutheran.  Again musicians have a defined goal which in large part is the propagation of the Lutheran musical heritage.  All modern Lutherans can easily lay claim to that.  Nobody yet is retcon-ing it for modern polemics and it would be hard to do.  But in regard to the works of mercy organizations, I'd propose a thought experiment.  Would LIRS or LWR or any of these organizations ever accept as their director a former head of LCMS-World Relief & Human Care who would guide the strategy and tone of the organization? Or for that matter can you imagine Valparaiso hiring say Joel Biermann or even Jeff Gibbs, one of the most gentle yet forceful people I have ever met, for their theology department?  The most likely fact that you can't tells you that those organizations are not truly pan-Lutheran.  They are organizations of one side that will accept money or participation from the other as long as nothing challenges the way things are done.

@Weedon, re:Confessional Pastoral Practice.  I agree with what you say, but I'd point to both the AC and more clearly I think the SA progression.  The gospel (SA4) takes concrete form in Baptism (SA5), Sacrament of the Altar (SA6), the Keys (SA7).  The Keys are elaborated in confession (SA8), Excommunication (SA9) and the Providing of Ministers/Ordination and Call (SA10).  If you want to know the church (SA12) "like any 7 year old child" you look for those things.  If I was picking on bad practice this is what I would say.  We have settled on Gospel Reductionism because all we really stomach as concrete realities are Baptism and the Supper.  We are not willing to submit to the Keys.  And we are certainly not willing to do so if it means confession beyond a corporate happening or might even mean that sins could be bound.  My historical intuition would be that what we are seeing today in the Roman Catholic church, which is a replacement of Confession and Absolution with what they call conscience or the private sphere, is what happened in the Lutheran church earlier.  A rejection of the Keys as having any true public use.  We can make fun of Pentecostals in that they often don't have the Lord's Supper and down play the baptism of water, but they do practice the keys between each other.  And best of luck to any pastor who doesn't have the talking skills of Pericles who tries to use them when the offended person calls the District President.  The type of pastoral practice you highlight is an outgrowth of faith in the Keys as real things.  A big question is always do I have this type of relationship with this person which takes years to build and even then might not last that trial.


Regarding your comment to John, we have had Missouri Synod heads of interLutheran agencies, even very recently.  We’re they not real Missouri Synod Lutherans?  How do you judge that?  Your statement seems unnecessarily “us-them-y”.

There are tons of Missouri Lutherans serving on inter-Lutheran agency boards and as execs/staff.  Should they all resign?  Or are they inherently unfaithful?

Dave Benke
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: mj4 on May 01, 2018, 04:47:22 PM
3.  The host of local social service agencies most of whom belong to an umbrella institution (name ?) and together comprise the largest social service enterprise in the nation

Peace, JOHN

Lutheran Services in America

Homepage: http://www.lutheranservices.org/ (http://www.lutheranservices.org/)
Board of Directors: http://www.lutheranservices.org/BoardOfDirectors (http://www.lutheranservices.org/BoardOfDirectors)
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Mark Brown on May 01, 2018, 05:02:04 PM

Regarding your comment to John, we have had Missouri Synod heads of interLutheran agencies, even very recently.  We’re they not real Missouri Synod Lutherans?  How do you judge that?  Your statement seems unnecessarily “us-them-y”.

There are tons of Missouri Lutherans serving on inter-Lutheran agency boards and as execs/staff.  Should they all resign?  Or are they inherently unfaithful?

Dave Benke

Pastor Benke, did I say anything about faithfulness, resigning or any of the other things you impute to me?  No.  And I don't appreciate that imputation.  What I proposed was a thought experiment.  Can you imagine someone who has held a position in an LCMS institution being offered the leadership of a supposedly pan-lutheran one.  It is simply a test of how pan-lutheran they really are.  Or just call it a remembrance of Neuhaus' law.

As far as I know, you have John Nunes, who was named head of LWR in 2007.  But let's be concrete.  Of Thrivent (which probably shouldn't count anymore), LWR, LIRS, LSS, any others?  When was the last time a CEO of those organizations was a member of a congregation of the LCMS?  I don't know.  Maybe I am way off, but I doubt it.  I'm willing to be proven all wet.  I'd be happy to be so.
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Weedon on May 01, 2018, 05:15:30 PM
Mark,

Yeah, I think it’s a step too far to say that we’re receiving the Sacrament to our judgment by the loss of the binding key. We can say thanks be to God that true worthiness consists in believing Christ’s promise: for you, for the forgiveness of sins.

But what you ask in the second paragraph of your reply to me is quite profound in its implications. Have we, in effect, attempted to alter our Lord by only allowing Him to BE our Lord when He is using the loosing key? I’ll have you, Lord, but only on my terms? Which terms then amount to: I need you to be my personal warm fuzzy; no uncomfortable words, warnings or demands allowed. Finally such forgiveness ends up as no forgiveness at all, for there is nothing that needs forgiveness, nothing we really need to turn from.

So a related question to the use of the binding key in private settings: have we all but lost it in public proclamation? Korby spoke of a law whose teeth were so filed that it could only numb you to death. Is it the same problem in our preaching? That we are terrified of what God is actually saying to us in the text and so agree to sit, mind numbed, through the same stock pious platitudes piled on one more time and just as powerless this time as last, rather than venture out into the wild and wooly world where God’s Word kills and gives life?
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: John_Hannah on May 01, 2018, 05:17:09 PM

Regarding your comment to John, we have had Missouri Synod heads of interLutheran agencies, even very recently.  We’re they not real Missouri Synod Lutherans?  How do you judge that?  Your statement seems unnecessarily “us-them-y”.

There are tons of Missouri Lutherans serving on inter-Lutheran agency boards and as execs/staff.  Should they all resign?  Or are they inherently unfaithful?

Dave Benke

Pastor Benke, did I say anything about faithfulness, resigning or any of the other things you impute to me?  No.  And I don't appreciate that imputation.  What I proposed was a thought experiment.  Can you imagine someone who has held a position in an LCMS institution being offered the leadership of a supposedly pan-lutheran one.  It is simply a test of how pan-lutheran they really are.  Or just call it a remembrance of Neuhaus' law.

As far as I know, you have John Nunes, who was named head of LWR in 2007.  But let's be concrete.  Of Thrivent (which probably shouldn't count anymore), LWR, LIRS, LSS, any others?  When was the last time a CEO of those organizations was a member of a congregation of the LCMS?  I don't know.  Maybe I am way off, but I doubt it.  I'm willing to be proven all wet.  I'd be happy to be so.

The last CEO of LSSNY was a member of an LCMS congregation here.

Peace, JOHN
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: mj4 on May 01, 2018, 05:18:38 PM
When was the last time a CEO of those organizations was a member of a congregation of the LCMS?  I don't know.  Maybe I am way off, but I doubt it.  I'm willing to be proven all wet.  I'd be happy to be so.

"As a lifelong member of the LCMS, one of LSA’s affiliate church bodies, I know that this church body has a steadfast commitment to their faith, their history, and the work of mercy professed that Christ calls us to."

CHARLOTTE HABERAECKER
President and CEO of Lutheran Services in America
202-499-5821
chaberaecker@lutheranservices.org
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Charles Austin on May 01, 2018, 05:22:25 PM
Pastor Brown writes:
Can you imagine someone who has held a position in an LCMS institution being offered the leadership of a supposedly pan-lutheran one.

I comment:
I can. Yes, I can.
Now, some LCMS crabbies will complain that those folks are traitors; as they have complained with ELCA folk head some inter-Lutheran agencies.
But we dare not let the crabbies run things for us.
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: mj4 on May 01, 2018, 05:34:31 PM
Can you imagine someone who has held a position in an LCMS institution being offered the leadership of a supposedly pan-lutheran one.

From the LIRS website (https://www.lirs.org/our-leadership (https://www.lirs.org/our-leadership)):

LIRS BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The board is composed of 17 members who have knowledge of and commitment to refugees and immigrants. LIRS believes strength is found in diversity and that refugees and immigrants need a voice at the table of influence. All branches of the Lutheran Church, as well as other denominations, are represented on the board. There are also three former refugees or first generation immigrants on the board. The LIRS president is an ex-officio member of the board.

LIRS is currently seeking nominations for prospective board and committee members who are committed to our mission, share our core values, and are prepared to dedicate themselves in this service. We invite Lutherans and others to consider joining us. All directors must be at least 18 years old.

2019 Board of Directors Nominations Process & What You Need to Know,
https://www.speakcdn.com/assets/2474/2019_call_for_nominations.pdf (https://www.speakcdn.com/assets/2474/2019_call_for_nominations.pdf)

2019 Board of Directors Nominations Form
https://www.speakcdn.com/assets/2474/nominations_form_2019.pdf (https://www.speakcdn.com/assets/2474/nominations_form_2019.pdf)
 
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Coach-Rev on May 02, 2018, 08:45:49 AM
Now how seriously individual members of the ELCA live out that acceptance of FC (and the rest) as "valid interpretations" is another question. Heck, how seriously individual members of the ELCA live out the commitment that "the canonical Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as the inspired Word of God [are] the authoritative source and norm of [our] proclamation, faith, and life" is certainly open to discussion. But of course this is precisely the kind of discussion, I would think, that Pr. Weedon might have in mind by his thoughtful proposal.

True of most Lutheran congregations/individuals, methinks, no matter whose initials adorn the sign.  For example:  Article XI, Augsburg Confession states:  "It is taught among us that private absolution should be retained and not allowed to fall into disuse."

Private Confession in a Lutheran congregation does happen, but is the exception rather than the rule.

(cited from Tappert, T. G. (Ed.). (1959). The Book of Concord the confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. (p. 34). Philadelphia: Mühlenberg Press.)
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: FrPeters on May 02, 2018, 08:50:03 AM
Private confession does not happen.  It is modeled and taught.  The problem is not that people don't go but they don't know or see it. Most Lutheran pastors have either given up on it or do not themselves see it as worth the effort.  FWIW my parish of 300 does not have a great outpouring of folks coming for private confession but an average of 10 a week do.  They only do this because it has been preached and taught as part of our life together as the baptized.  Incidentally, the people who come more frequently than not are evangelicals, burned out on the nebulous or success oriented or happy talk non-denominational churches and seeking grace that comes concretely and real in a rich and vibrant liturgical life and sacramental offering.
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: John_Hannah on May 02, 2018, 09:09:46 AM
OK. We hear you. Let's have a vigorous discussion of AC, XI.

What else would you like from the ALPB?

(Trying to keep the thread on track)  Peace, JOHN
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Charles Austin on May 02, 2018, 09:40:22 AM
John:
Continue to strive for a balance and a variety in ALPB publications, that is, let the varied voices of Lutheranism in our land be heard. I sometimes sense that ALPB in recent years has decided to stand in opposition to what was predominating in the church bodies themselves.
RJN was a critique of the LCMS in his day, and Forum Letter was his vehicle.
Today, I see in both the Forum Letter and the magazine more of the "loyal (or not loyal) opposition" than the internal and fraternal dialogue. That choice can be made, and may be necessary, since "official" publications give rather little space to those who aren't totally thrilled with the course of the denominations.
ALPB can provide balance and variety, and I hope that it continues to do so.
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on May 02, 2018, 10:59:24 AM
Now how seriously individual members of the ELCA live out that acceptance of FC (and the rest) as "valid interpretations" is another question. Heck, how seriously individual members of the ELCA live out the commitment that "the canonical Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as the inspired Word of God [are] the authoritative source and norm of [our] proclamation, faith, and life" is certainly open to discussion. But of course this is precisely the kind of discussion, I would think, that Pr. Weedon might have in mind by his thoughtful proposal.

True of most Lutheran congregations/individuals, methinks, no matter whose initials adorn the sign.  For example:  Article XI, Augsburg Confession states:  "It is taught among us that private absolution should be retained and not allowed to fall into disuse."

Private Confession in a Lutheran congregation does happen, but is the exception rather than the rule.

(cited from Tappert, T. G. (Ed.). (1959). The Book of Concord the confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. (p. 34). Philadelphia: Mühlenberg Press.)


From Kolb & Wengert (including footnotes)

Concerning confession it is taught that private absolution[1] should be retained and not abolished. However, it is not necessary to enumerate all misdeeds and sins,[2] since it is not possible to do so. Psalm 19[:12*]: “But who can detect their errors?”
 
[1] privata absolution, using the Latin technical term for receiving personal forgiveness after confession of sins to a priest.
 
[2] Required by the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215, chap. 21. The Council decreed that only those going to private confession were to be admitted to the sacrament.
   
Back in my seminary days (40+ years ago), I remember a professor stating that Protestant private confession was called "counseling". On one hand, counseling sessions don't usually have the liturgical form of a confessional rite; but on the other hand, we also confess that the gospel comes through "mutual conversation and consolation" (SA 4). Could not a conversation within (or even outside of a "counseling session") offer the same gospel/absolution as in the Individual Confession and Forgiveness rite?
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on May 02, 2018, 11:01:30 AM
Back in my seminary days (40+ years ago), I remember a professor stating that Protestant private confession was called "counseling".


He was wrong.
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: SomeoneWrites on May 02, 2018, 11:01:59 AM
Could not a conversation within (or even outside of a "counseling session") offer the same gospel/absolution as in the Individual Confession and Forgiveness rite?

I don't think that's the issue. 
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Richard Johnson on May 02, 2018, 11:14:54 AM
Could not a conversation within (or even outside of a "counseling session") offer the same gospel/absolution as in the Individual Confession and Forgiveness rite?

No.
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on May 02, 2018, 05:21:07 PM
Could not a conversation within (or even outside of a "counseling session") offer the same gospel/absolution as in the Individual Confession and Forgiveness rite?

No.


Luther says yes in the Smalcald Articles

[4:] Concerning the Gospel[1]
We now want to return to the gospel, which gives guidance and help against sin in more than one way, because God is extravagantly rich in his grace: first, through the spoken word, in which the forgiveness of sins is preached to the whole world (which is the proper function of the gospel); second, through baptism; third, through the holy Sacrament of the Altar; fourth, through the power of the keys and also through the mutual conversation and consolation of brothers and sisters.[2] Matthew 18[:20*]: “Where two or three are gathered …”[3]

[1] From this point forward, because of an apparent heart attack, Luther was forced to dictate the rest of SA. Caspar Cruciger Sr. recorded SA III, 4-9 and 13-15, and another, unknown secretary recorded SA III, 10-12.
 
[2] Luther uses a Latin phrase (per mutuum colloquium et consolationen fratrum), which may have originated in the monastic practice of mutual confession, as a way of referring to absolution by a neighbor or friend. See Sermons on Matthew 18-24 (1537-40) (WA 47:297-305) and The Babylonian captivity of the Church (1520) (WA 6:546, 11-547, 35; LW 36:86-88).
 
[3] Luther cites the text in Latin as “Where two are gathered …,” conflating this text with Matthew 18:19.




As I understand this article, the grace given in preaching, sacraments, penance, is no different than that given in a mutual conversations and consolation between folks.
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on May 02, 2018, 05:25:07 PM
Back in my seminary days (40+ years ago), I remember a professor stating that Protestant private confession was called "counseling".


He was wrong.


I have gone through the fourth and fifth steps with numerous clients in a alcoholic rehab hospital. There was as much or more sense of sins being forgiven in that counseling session than when I have gone through the Individual Confession and Absolution rite in our hymnals.


I've also talked with Roman Catholics who went regularly to confession as their religious duty while in parochial school. For them it was more of a joke. They really didn't confess their worst sins. An honest act of contrition doesn't necessarily come because of a rite. It can come in a conversation with a caring friend.
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Pr. Don Kirchner on May 02, 2018, 06:31:37 PM
Could not a conversation within (or even outside of a "counseling session") offer the same gospel/absolution as in the Individual Confession and Forgiveness rite?

No.


Luther says yes in the Smalcald Articles

[4:] Concerning the Gospel[1]
We now want to return to the gospel, which gives guidance and help against sin in more than one way, because God is extravagantly rich in his grace: first, through the spoken word, in which the forgiveness of sins is preached to the whole world (which is the proper function of the gospel); second, through baptism; third, through the holy Sacrament of the Altar; fourth, through the power of the keys and also through the mutual conversation and consolation of brothers and sisters.[2] Matthew 18[:20*]: “Where two or three are gathered …”[3]

[1] From this point forward, because of an apparent heart attack, Luther was forced to dictate the rest of SA. Caspar Cruciger Sr. recorded SA III, 4-9 and 13-15, and another, unknown secretary recorded SA III, 10-12.
 
[2] Luther uses a Latin phrase (per mutuum colloquium et consolationen fratrum), which may have originated in the monastic practice of mutual confession, as a way of referring to absolution by a neighbor or friend. See Sermons on Matthew 18-24 (1537-40) (WA 47:297-305) and The Babylonian captivity of the Church (1520) (WA 6:546, 11-547, 35; LW 36:86-88).
 
[3] Luther cites the text in Latin as “Where two are gathered …,” conflating this text with Matthew 18:19.

As I understand this article, the grace given in preaching, sacraments, penance, is no different than that given in a mutual conversations and consolation between folks.

No, Luther does not say "Yes," as your quote shows.
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Coach-Rev on May 02, 2018, 06:38:23 PM
As I understand this article, the grace given in preaching, sacraments, penance, is no different than that given in a mutual conversations and consolation between folks.

Then your understanding of both CA XI and your quotes above are wrong. 

Absolution is most definitely NOT "mutual conversation and consolation." 

To quote the late Rev. Dr. Gerhard Forde, "Theology is For Proclamation," NOT conversation.
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on May 02, 2018, 07:01:16 PM
Could not a conversation within (or even outside of a "counseling session") offer the same gospel/absolution as in the Individual Confession and Forgiveness rite?

No.


Luther says yes in the Smalcald Articles

[4:] Concerning the Gospel[1]
We now want to return to the gospel, which gives guidance and help against sin in more than one way, because God is extravagantly rich in his grace: first, through the spoken word, in which the forgiveness of sins is preached to the whole world (which is the proper function of the gospel); second, through baptism; third, through the holy Sacrament of the Altar; fourth, through the power of the keys and also through the mutual conversation and consolation of brothers and sisters.[2] Matthew 18[:20*]: “Where two or three are gathered …”[3]

[1] From this point forward, because of an apparent heart attack, Luther was forced to dictate the rest of SA. Caspar Cruciger Sr. recorded SA III, 4-9 and 13-15, and another, unknown secretary recorded SA III, 10-12.
 
[2] Luther uses a Latin phrase (per mutuum colloquium et consolationen fratrum), which may have originated in the monastic practice of mutual confession, as a way of referring to absolution by a neighbor or friend. See Sermons on Matthew 18-24 (1537-40) (WA 47:297-305) and The Babylonian captivity of the Church (1520) (WA 6:546, 11-547, 35; LW 36:86-88).
 
[3] Luther cites the text in Latin as “Where two are gathered …,” conflating this text with Matthew 18:19.

As I understand this article, the grace given in preaching, sacraments, penance, is no different than that given in a mutual conversations and consolation between folks.

No, Luther does not say "Yes," as your quote shows.


Where do you see Luther making a distinction between the grace of God given in preaching, sacraments, penance, from that in mutual conversation and consolation?
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on May 02, 2018, 07:04:56 PM
As I understand this article, the grace given in preaching, sacraments, penance, is no different than that given in a mutual conversations and consolation between folks.

Then your understanding of both CA XI and your quotes above are wrong. 

Absolution is most definitely NOT "mutual conversation and consolation." 

To quote the late Rev. Dr. Gerhard Forde, "Theology is For Proclamation," NOT conversation.


1. How do you understand "mutual conversation and consolation" in SC 4?


2. How do you understand this rubric in ELW's Individual Confession and Forgiveness: "The pastor may engage the penitent in conversation, sharing admonition, counsel, and comfort from the scriptures" (p. 244)?
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Pr. Don Kirchner on May 02, 2018, 07:06:21 PM
Could not a conversation within (or even outside of a "counseling session") offer the same gospel/absolution as in the Individual Confession and Forgiveness rite?

No.


Luther says yes in the Smalcald Articles

[4:] Concerning the Gospel[1]
We now want to return to the gospel, which gives guidance and help against sin in more than one way, because God is extravagantly rich in his grace: first, through the spoken word, in which the forgiveness of sins is preached to the whole world (which is the proper function of the gospel); second, through baptism; third, through the holy Sacrament of the Altar; fourth, through the power of the keys and also through the mutual conversation and consolation of brothers and sisters.[2] Matthew 18[:20*]: “Where two or three are gathered …”[3]

[1] From this point forward, because of an apparent heart attack, Luther was forced to dictate the rest of SA. Caspar Cruciger Sr. recorded SA III, 4-9 and 13-15, and another, unknown secretary recorded SA III, 10-12.
 
[2] Luther uses a Latin phrase (per mutuum colloquium et consolationen fratrum), which may have originated in the monastic practice of mutual confession, as a way of referring to absolution by a neighbor or friend. See Sermons on Matthew 18-24 (1537-40) (WA 47:297-305) and The Babylonian captivity of the Church (1520) (WA 6:546, 11-547, 35; LW 36:86-88).
 
[3] Luther cites the text in Latin as “Where two are gathered …,” conflating this text with Matthew 18:19.

As I understand this article, the grace given in preaching, sacraments, penance, is no different than that given in a mutual conversations and consolation between folks.

No, Luther does not say "Yes," as your quote shows.

Where do you see Luther making a distinction between the grace of God given in preaching, sacraments, penance, from that in mutual conversation and consolation?

He doesn't.
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on May 02, 2018, 07:53:02 PM
Could not a conversation within (or even outside of a "counseling session") offer the same gospel/absolution as in the Individual Confession and Forgiveness rite?

No.


Luther says yes in the Smalcald Articles

[4:] Concerning the Gospel[1]
We now want to return to the gospel, which gives guidance and help against sin in more than one way, because God is extravagantly rich in his grace: first, through the spoken word, in which the forgiveness of sins is preached to the whole world (which is the proper function of the gospel); second, through baptism; third, through the holy Sacrament of the Altar; fourth, through the power of the keys and also through the mutual conversation and consolation of brothers and sisters.[2] Matthew 18[:20*]: “Where two or three are gathered …”[3]

[1] From this point forward, because of an apparent heart attack, Luther was forced to dictate the rest of SA. Caspar Cruciger Sr. recorded SA III, 4-9 and 13-15, and another, unknown secretary recorded SA III, 10-12.
 
[2] Luther uses a Latin phrase (per mutuum colloquium et consolationen fratrum), which may have originated in the monastic practice of mutual confession, as a way of referring to absolution by a neighbor or friend. See Sermons on Matthew 18-24 (1537-40) (WA 47:297-305) and The Babylonian captivity of the Church (1520) (WA 6:546, 11-547, 35; LW 36:86-88).
 
[3] Luther cites the text in Latin as “Where two are gathered …,” conflating this text with Matthew 18:19.

As I understand this article, the grace given in preaching, sacraments, penance, is no different than that given in a mutual conversations and consolation between folks.

No, Luther does not say "Yes," as your quote shows.

Where do you see Luther making a distinction between the grace of God given in preaching, sacraments, penance, from that in mutual conversation and consolation?

He doesn't.


So you now agree with me that the grace given in the rite of penance (office of the keys) is the same grace that can be given in mutual conversation and consolation. There's no difference.
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Pr. Don Kirchner on May 02, 2018, 08:17:00 PM
That wasn’t your original question, to which Rev Johnson correctly answered, “No.”
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Richard Johnson on May 02, 2018, 08:39:32 PM


I have gone through the fourth and fifth steps with numerous clients in a alcoholic rehab hospital. There was as much or more sense of sins being forgiven in that counseling session than when I have gone through the Individual Confession and Absolution rite in our hymnals.


I've also talked with Roman Catholics who went regularly to confession as their religious duty while in parochial school. For them it was more of a joke. They really didn't confess their worst sins. An honest act of contrition doesn't necessarily come because of a rite. It can come in a conversation with a caring friend.

I've known people who say they feel closer to God when they are out in nature than when they receive the Eucharist.  I've talked with Lutherans who regularly went to church but for them it was more of a joke, or a way to keep peace in the family.

So what?
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on May 03, 2018, 02:06:52 AM
That wasn’t your original question, to which Rev Johnson correctly answered, “No.”


My original question (based on SC4): Could not a conversation within (or even outside of a "counseling session") offer the same gospel/absolution as in the Individual Confession and Forgiveness rite?


How is it different from the statement: the grace given in the rite of penance (office of the keys) is the same grace that can be given in mutual conversation and consolation?
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on May 03, 2018, 02:15:08 AM


I have gone through the fourth and fifth steps with numerous clients in a alcoholic rehab hospital. There was as much or more sense of sins being forgiven in that counseling session than when I have gone through the Individual Confession and Absolution rite in our hymnals.


I've also talked with Roman Catholics who went regularly to confession as their religious duty while in parochial school. For them it was more of a joke. They really didn't confess their worst sins. An honest act of contrition doesn't necessarily come because of a rite. It can come in a conversation with a caring friend.

I've known people who say they feel closer to God when they are out in nature than when they receive the Eucharist.  I've talked with Lutherans who regularly went to church but for them it was more of a joke, or a way to keep peace in the family.

So what?


I'm suggesting that the sacrament of absolution takes place among Lutherans a lot more often than just within the liturgical rite officiated by a pastor. It happens among our members often as they bring God's grace to one another in conversations and consolation. We may not be fulfilling AC XI in quite the same way as Luther envisioned, but I think often members hear the contrition and sorrow of friends and offer them the grace that comes from God through Jesus.
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Charles Austin on May 03, 2018, 05:11:21 AM
I see a certain legalism or ritualism or even, OMG! NO!, rigid fundamentalism in stressing the way the Confessions speak of imparting the grace of God and absolution.
   I have worked almost weekly with people in recovery and I'm with Pastor Stoffregen in noting that there is more serious confession and gracious absolution in the steps of AA than is found in most churches.
   Step 4 says: (We) made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
   Step 5 says: (We) admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
   Step 6 says: (We) were entirely ready to have God remove these defects of character.
   Step 7 says: (We) humbly asked him to remove our shortcomings.
   Alcoholics, working with their sponsors and others in the program spend hours on the steps and often repeat them on a regular basis. They face their sins and character defects quite directly and intensely.
   Then they list people they have harmed and attempt to make amends to them.
   AA does not require acceptance of any religious doctrine, but when the steps are done within a context of Christian faith it is indeed confession and absolution.
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Dan Fienen on May 03, 2018, 08:44:51 AM
We need to be clear as to what is the point of this exercise.  Is it to encourage good and meaningful ways for sinners/saints to confront their sin and sinfulness and receive God's gracious forgiveness in the Gospel?  Or is it to promote/demand that private confession and absolution be practiced in our churches because that is the way that Lutherans ought to confess their sins and receive forgiveness and/or it is mentioned in the Lutheran Confessions as not having been abolished so that to be confessional we must maintain this rite?  If the former, private confession and absolution can be discussed as to its usefulness and appropriateness and perhaps how it may be adapted to current conditions and mores.  If the latter, then adaptation is not really an option because the point of the discussion is to force its use and nothing less or different than the classic rite will do.  Personally, I favor the former.
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: MaddogLutheran on May 03, 2018, 08:52:53 AM
I see a certain legalism or ritualism or even, OMG! NO!, rigid fundamentalism in stressing the way the Confessions speak of imparting the grace of God and absolution.
Could you be more specific about this?  Perhaps your attitude is why you bristle at confessional objections to our full communion agreement with the Reformed.  The Confessions don't say what they do out of legalism or fundamentalism when they address mutually exclusive propositions, such as denying the (physical) Real Presence in the Lord's Supper.

Sterling Spatz


Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Pr. Don Kirchner on May 03, 2018, 09:29:36 AM
I'm suggesting that the sacrament of absolution takes place among Lutherans a lot more often than just within the liturgical rite officiated by a pastor. It happens among our members often as they bring God's grace to one another in conversations and consolation.

Then you have a different definition of "sacrament" than that which Lutherans confess. For a sacrament is, by definition, a "rite." IOW, "means of grace" and "sacrament" are not synonymous. Sacraments are means of grace. The preached and written word and the mutual conversation and consolation are means of grace but are not sacraments.

"If we call Sacraments rites which have the command of God, and to which the promise of grace has been added, it is easy to decide what are properly Sacraments. For rites instituted by men will not in this way be Sacraments properly so called. For it does not belong to human authority to promise grace. Therefore signs instituted without God's command are not sure signs of grace, even though they perhaps instruct the rude [children or the uncultivated], or admonish as to something [as a painted cross]. Therefore Baptism, the Lord's Supper, and Absolution, which is the Sacrament of Repentance, are truly Sacraments. For these rites have God's command and the promise of grace, which is peculiar to the New Testament. For when we are baptized, when we eat the Lord's body, when we are absolved, our hearts must be firmly assured that God truly forgives us for Christ's sake." [Ap XIII, 3-5]

"And here you see that Baptism, both in its power and signification, comprehends also the third Sacrament [absolution], which has been called repentance, as it is really nothing else than Baptism." [LC 74-75]
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: MaddogLutheran on May 03, 2018, 09:34:12 AM


I have gone through the fourth and fifth steps with numerous clients in a alcoholic rehab hospital. There was as much or more sense of sins being forgiven in that counseling session than when I have gone through the Individual Confession and Absolution rite in our hymnals.


I've also talked with Roman Catholics who went regularly to confession as their religious duty while in parochial school. For them it was more of a joke. They really didn't confess their worst sins. An honest act of contrition doesn't necessarily come because of a rite. It can come in a conversation with a caring friend.

I've known people who say they feel closer to God when they are out in nature than when they receive the Eucharist.  I've talked with Lutherans who regularly went to church but for them it was more of a joke, or a way to keep peace in the family.

So what?


I'm suggesting that the sacrament of absolution takes place among Lutherans a lot more often than just within the liturgical rite officiated by a pastor. It happens among our members often as they bring God's grace to one another in conversations and consolation. We may not be fulfilling AC XI in quite the same way as Luther envisioned, but I think often members hear the contrition and sorrow of friends and offer them the grace that comes from God through Jesus.
Sigh.  It's unfortunate to see an ELCA rostered leader confused about what exactly is a sacrament, according to the Lutheran Confessions.

Having said that, specifically identifying grace in the sacraments does not preclude grace being found elsewhere.  Only that that "other" grace is not explicitly sacramental.  Perhaps Joseph Sittler might be helpful here.
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Pr. Don Kirchner on May 03, 2018, 09:42:55 AM


I have gone through the fourth and fifth steps with numerous clients in a alcoholic rehab hospital. There was as much or more sense of sins being forgiven in that counseling session than when I have gone through the Individual Confession and Absolution rite in our hymnals.


I've also talked with Roman Catholics who went regularly to confession as their religious duty while in parochial school. For them it was more of a joke. They really didn't confess their worst sins. An honest act of contrition doesn't necessarily come because of a rite. It can come in a conversation with a caring friend.

I've known people who say they feel closer to God when they are out in nature than when they receive the Eucharist.  I've talked with Lutherans who regularly went to church but for them it was more of a joke, or a way to keep peace in the family.

So what?

I'm suggesting that the sacrament of absolution takes place among Lutherans a lot more often than just within the liturgical rite officiated by a pastor. It happens among our members often as they bring God's grace to one another in conversations and consolation. We may not be fulfilling AC XI in quite the same way as Luther envisioned, but I think often members hear the contrition and sorrow of friends and offer them the grace that comes from God through Jesus.
Sigh.  It's unfortunate to see an ELCA rostered leader confused about what exactly is a sacrament, according to the Lutheran Confessions.

Having said that, specifically identifying grace in the sacraments does not preclude grace being found elsewhere.  Only that that "other" grace is not explicitly sacramental.  Perhaps Joseph Sittler might be helpful here.

Perhaps Lutheranism 101 might be helpful.

https://www.amazon.com/Lutheranism-101-Concordia-Publishing-House/dp/0758625057/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1525354791&sr=8-1&keywords=lutheranism+101
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Dave Benke on May 03, 2018, 09:46:38 AM

Regarding your comment to John, we have had Missouri Synod heads of interLutheran agencies, even very recently.  We’re they not real Missouri Synod Lutherans?  How do you judge that?  Your statement seems unnecessarily “us-them-y”.

There are tons of Missouri Lutherans serving on inter-Lutheran agency boards and as execs/staff.  Should they all resign?  Or are they inherently unfaithful?

Dave Benke

Pastor Benke, did I say anything about faithfulness, resigning or any of the other things you impute to me?  No.  And I don't appreciate that imputation.  What I proposed was a thought experiment.  Can you imagine someone who has held a position in an LCMS institution being offered the leadership of a supposedly pan-lutheran one.  It is simply a test of how pan-lutheran they really are.  Or just call it a remembrance of Neuhaus' law.

As far as I know, you have John Nunes, who was named head of LWR in 2007.  But let's be concrete.  Of Thrivent (which probably shouldn't count anymore), LWR, LIRS, LSS, any others?  When was the last time a CEO of those organizations was a member of a congregation of the LCMS?  I don't know.  Maybe I am way off, but I doubt it.  I'm willing to be proven all wet.  I'd be happy to be so.

Current Thrivent CEO is LCMS; he was formerly the CAO of the LCMS.  The answer to your thought experiment is that it does not have to remain in the imagination.  It happens, is happening, has happened.  I just came from the national LSA meeting, and there are plenty of LCMS CEOs among the 300 in LSA around the country.   

Dave Benke
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: John_Hannah on May 03, 2018, 10:40:44 AM

Regarding your comment to John, we have had Missouri Synod heads of interLutheran agencies, even very recently.  We’re they not real Missouri Synod Lutherans?  How do you judge that?  Your statement seems unnecessarily “us-them-y”.

There are tons of Missouri Lutherans serving on inter-Lutheran agency boards and as execs/staff.  Should they all resign?  Or are they inherently unfaithful?

Dave Benke

Maybe we are closer to Lutheran unity than some would wish.    :o 8)  ;D

Peace, JOHN

Pastor Benke, did I say anything about faithfulness, resigning or any of the other things you impute to me?  No.  And I don't appreciate that imputation.  What I proposed was a thought experiment.  Can you imagine someone who has held a position in an LCMS institution being offered the leadership of a supposedly pan-lutheran one.  It is simply a test of how pan-lutheran they really are.  Or just call it a remembrance of Neuhaus' law.

As far as I know, you have John Nunes, who was named head of LWR in 2007.  But let's be concrete.  Of Thrivent (which probably shouldn't count anymore), LWR, LIRS, LSS, any others?  When was the last time a CEO of those organizations was a member of a congregation of the LCMS?  I don't know.  Maybe I am way off, but I doubt it.  I'm willing to be proven all wet.  I'd be happy to be so.

Current Thrivent CEO is LCMS; he was formerly the CAO of the LCMS.  The answer to your thought experiment is that it does not have to remain in the imagination.  It happens, is happening, has happened.  I just came from the national LSA meeting, and there are plenty of LCMS CEOs among the 300 in LSA around the country.   

Dave Benke
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on May 03, 2018, 11:26:40 AM
I'm suggesting that the sacrament of absolution takes place among Lutherans a lot more often than just within the liturgical rite officiated by a pastor. It happens among our members often as they bring God's grace to one another in conversations and consolation.

Then you have a different definition of "sacrament" than that which Lutherans confess. For a sacrament is, by definition, a "rite." IOW, "means of grace" and "sacrament" are not synonymous. Sacraments are means of grace. The preached and written word and the mutual conversation and consolation are means of grace but are not sacraments.

"If we call Sacraments rites which have the command of God, and to which the promise of grace has been added, it is easy to decide what are properly Sacraments. For rites instituted by men will not in this way be Sacraments properly so called. For it does not belong to human authority to promise grace. Therefore signs instituted without God's command are not sure signs of grace, even though they perhaps instruct the rude [children or the uncultivated], or admonish as to something [as a painted cross]. Therefore Baptism, the Lord's Supper, and Absolution, which is the Sacrament of Repentance, are truly Sacraments. For these rites have God's command and the promise of grace, which is peculiar to the New Testament. For when we are baptized, when we eat the Lord's body, when we are absolved, our hearts must be firmly assured that God truly forgives us for Christ's sake." [Ap XIII, 3-5]

"And here you see that Baptism, both in its power and signification, comprehends also the third Sacrament [absolution], which has been called repentance, as it is really nothing else than Baptism." [LC 74-75]


There are places where Lutherans of old considered penance a sacrament. As I recall, Luther called it "The Sacrament of Absolution." That's hinted at your quote from the Apology. He later retracted it as a third sacrament because there's no visible element and placed penance under baptism.


Does repentance as daily baptism require a rite to receive God's grace of forgiveness? Can sacramental grace come as one man told me: every morning as he showers, he visualizes God washing away his sins and raising him up as a new, clean man?
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on May 03, 2018, 11:43:00 AM


I have gone through the fourth and fifth steps with numerous clients in a alcoholic rehab hospital. There was as much or more sense of sins being forgiven in that counseling session than when I have gone through the Individual Confession and Absolution rite in our hymnals.


I've also talked with Roman Catholics who went regularly to confession as their religious duty while in parochial school. For them it was more of a joke. They really didn't confess their worst sins. An honest act of contrition doesn't necessarily come because of a rite. It can come in a conversation with a caring friend.

I've known people who say they feel closer to God when they are out in nature than when they receive the Eucharist.  I've talked with Lutherans who regularly went to church but for them it was more of a joke, or a way to keep peace in the family.

So what?


I'm suggesting that the sacrament of absolution takes place among Lutherans a lot more often than just within the liturgical rite officiated by a pastor. It happens among our members often as they bring God's grace to one another in conversations and consolation. We may not be fulfilling AC XI in quite the same way as Luther envisioned, but I think often members hear the contrition and sorrow of friends and offer them the grace that comes from God through Jesus.
Sigh.  It's unfortunate to see an ELCA rostered leader confused about what exactly is a sacrament, according to the Lutheran Confessions.

Well, as quoted above and now again (Ap XIII 3-4 from K&W with boldface added):


    If we define the sacraments as rites, which have the command of God and to which the promise of grace has been added, it is easy to determine what the sacraments are, properly speaking. For humanly instituted rites are not sacraments, properly speaking, because human beings do not have the authority to promise grace. Therefore signs instituted without the command of God are not sure signs of grace, even though they perhaps serve to teach or admonish the common folk. Therefore, the sacraments are actually baptism, the Lord’s Supper, and absolution (the sacrament of repentance).

Melanchthon does not include a visible symbol in his definition here. Thus, absolution was seen as a third sacrament.

Quote
Having said that, specifically identifying grace in the sacraments does not preclude grace being found elsewhere.  Only that that "other" grace is not explicitly sacramental.  Perhaps Joseph Sittler might be helpful here.


We talked at seminary about sacramental grace that could occurred without the sacrament - like when one spouse forgives the other. Perhaps you didn't have such discussions at your seminary. Sacramental grace can happen without the rites. It certainly happens within the rites.
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: gan ainm on May 03, 2018, 12:09:06 PM
Once again, we run into the fundamental difference between the LC-MS and many parts of the ELCA - it appears that not only the authority of Scripture (LC-MS belief is Scripture is inspired and inerrant) is viewed differently, but also the authority of the Confessions is viewed differently.  How can both traditions seriously call themselves Lutheran when the fundamental beliefs appear to be in conflict and unreconcilable?  It's sadly similar to the current cultural mess: today I self-identify as a girl so call me a girl, tomorrow perhaps I'll self-identify as a boy so call me a boy or I will be offended, and who knows about next week - perhaps I'll decide I'm really a giraffe regardless of what my body parts and DNA specify that I am.   When the mountain is exchanged for an iceberg it becomes far easier to drift.  :o

https://www.lcms.org/about/beliefs/lutheran-confessions

Drawn from God’s Word, the Lutheran Confessions are a true and binding exposition of Holy Scripture and serve as authoritative texts for all pastors, congregations and other rostered church workers of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod.

The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod accepts the Scriptures as the inspired and inerrant Word of God, and the LCMS subscribes unconditionally to all the symbolical books of the Evangelical Lutheran Church as a true and unadulterated statement and exposition of the Word of God.

We accept the Lutheran Confessions as articulated in the Book of Concord of 1580 because they are drawn from the Word of God, and on that account we regard their doctrinal content as a true and binding exposition of Holy Scripture and as authoritative for all pastors, congregations and other rostered church workers of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod.

The Three Ecumenical or Universal Creeds
The Augsburg Confession
The Defense of the Augsburg Confession
The Large Catechism
The Small Catechism
The Smalcald Articles
Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope
The Epitome of the Formula of Concord
The Solid Declaration of the Formula of Concord
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Don Whitbeck on May 03, 2018, 12:17:38 PM


I have gone through the fourth and fifth steps with numerous clients in an alcoholic rehab hospital. There was as much or more sense of sins being forgiven in that counseling session than when I have gone through the Individual Confession and Absolution rite in our hymnals.


I've also talked with Roman Catholics who went regularly to confession as their religious duty while in parochial school. For them, it was more of a joke. They really didn't confess their worst sins. An honest act of contrition doesn't necessarily come because of a rite. It can come in a conversation with a caring friend.

I've known people who say they feel closer to God when they are out in nature than when they receive the Eucharist.  I've talked with Lutherans who regularly went to church but for them, it was more of a joke or a way to keep peace in the family.

So what?

I'm suggesting that the sacrament of absolution takes place among Lutherans a lot more often than just within the liturgical rite officiated by a pastor. It happens among our members often as they bring God's grace to one another in conversations and consolation. We may not be fulfilling AC XI in quite the same way as Luther envisioned, but I think often members hear the contrition and sorrow of friends and offer them the grace that comes from God through Jesus.
Sigh.  It's unfortunate to see an ELCA rostered leader confused about what exactly is a sacrament, according to the Lutheran Confessions.

Having said that, specifically identifying grace in the sacraments does not preclude grace being found elsewhere.  Only that that "other" grace is not explicitly sacramental.  Perhaps Joseph Sittler might be helpful here.

Perhaps Lutheranism 101 might be helpful.

https://www.amazon.com/Lutheranism-101-Concordia-Publishing-House/dp/0758625057/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1525354791&sr=8-1&keywords=lutheranism+101

I don't that the ELCA Leadership would be interested in adopting any of it. Maybe, some of their Traditional Pastors, would read it and follow the correct teachings of the Lutheran Chruch, as well as the correct understanding of the BOC.  I have Lutheranism 101, and it is clearly written, and correct, in the teachings presented by Conservative Lutheran Bodies.

Just another area, that drives a deeper divide in talking about recognizing the ELCA as a true Lutheran church.  Brian takes on the BOC and teachings of Luther as well as other issues are not the same of as LCMS, ELS, and others.

The ELCA can teach what they want, doesn't mean that other Lutheran Church Bodies, have to follow their led.

Don
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Pr. Don Kirchner on May 03, 2018, 12:44:24 PM
Can sacramental grace come as one man told me: every morning as he showers, he visualizes God washing away his sins and raising him up as a new, clean man?

We talked at seminary about sacramental grace that could occurred without the sacrament - like when one spouse forgives the other. Perhaps you didn't have such discussions at your seminary. Sacramental grace can happen without the rites. It certainly happens within the rites.

You're down to expressing oxymoronic nonsense, Brian. 
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Dan Fienen on May 03, 2018, 01:15:56 PM
Defining and enumerating the Sacraments was not done in Scripture, they are classifications that the Church has devised for her own convenience.  (The Sacraments themselves, Baptism and Communion, are discussed in Scripture, it is the classification as “Sacrament” that is extra-Biblical.).  The Confessions themselves reflect a certain ambivalence on the matter sometimes speaking of two sometimes three, including Absolution.
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: jebutler on May 03, 2018, 01:19:45 PM
I'm suggesting that the sacrament of absolution takes place among Lutherans a lot more often than just within the liturgical rite officiated by a pastor. It happens among our members often as they bring God's grace to one another in conversations and consolation.

Then you have a different definition of "sacrament" than that which Lutherans confess. For a sacrament is, by definition, a "rite." IOW, "means of grace" and "sacrament" are not synonymous. Sacraments are means of grace. The preached and written word and the mutual conversation and consolation are means of grace but are not sacraments.

"If we call Sacraments rites which have the command of God, and to which the promise of grace has been added, it is easy to decide what are properly Sacraments. For rites instituted by men will not in this way be Sacraments properly so called. For it does not belong to human authority to promise grace. Therefore signs instituted without God's command are not sure signs of grace, even though they perhaps instruct the rude [children or the uncultivated], or admonish as to something [as a painted cross]. Therefore Baptism, the Lord's Supper, and Absolution, which is the Sacrament of Repentance, are truly Sacraments. For these rites have God's command and the promise of grace, which is peculiar to the New Testament. For when we are baptized, when we eat the Lord's body, when we are absolved, our hearts must be firmly assured that God truly forgives us for Christ's sake." [Ap XIII, 3-5]

"And here you see that Baptism, both in its power and signification, comprehends also the third Sacrament [absolution], which has been called repentance, as it is really nothing else than Baptism." [LC 74-75]


There are places where Lutherans of old considered penance a sacrament. As I recall, Luther called it "The Sacrament of Absolution." That's hinted at your quote from the Apology. He later retracted it as a third sacrament because there's no visible element and placed penance under baptism.


Does repentance as daily baptism require a rite to receive God's grace of forgiveness? Can sacramental grace come as one man told me: every morning as he showers, he visualizes God washing away his sins and raising him up as a new, clean man?

Luther discusses whether or not Absolution should be considered a sacrament in _The Babylonian Captivity of the Church._ At the end of the book, he says no, since there is no visible element. So, if by "later" you mean towards the end of the book, then yes he retracted it "later." But he was done with the discussion in 1520.

Melanchthon, in contrast, is a bit more open in the Apology. He's willing to agree to calling Absolution a sacrament. He's also willing to call ordination a sacrament. He will even call prayer a sacrament.

As to your question: I wonder why you even ask it. Seriously, your entire line of argumentation is just silly. Lutherans have never denied that people receive God's grace daily and apart from formal absolution (cf. the Small Catechism under Confession). But they have also stated that private absolution is to be continued, confessing sins that particularly trouble the individual.

There are times when I use the formal rite for individual confession and absolution. I used it earlier this week when I served as confessor to another pastor. I have also granted absolution apart from the formal rite. I was once talking to a man about his father's recent death. One thing led to another and, in the middle of a parking lot, he confessed his sin and I absolved him.

As to your question about the ELW rubric "The pastor may engage the penitent..." (LSB says much the same): Notice that after that rubric, forgiveness is formally pronounced. So your question is quite specious.

I can say that in my own personal experience, I have used one of our pastors as a confessor, he has done a wonderful job of comforting and encouraging me with the Scriptures, but always concluded with absolution.
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: mj4 on May 03, 2018, 01:29:37 PM
You're down to expressing oxymoronic nonsense, Brian.

I would describe counseling, AA, and other forms of amendment of life as a correlative of the sacramental rites, not a substitute. It just muddles our understanding of both to say they are essentially the same thing.
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: MaddogLutheran on May 03, 2018, 01:36:45 PM
We talked at seminary about sacramental grace that could occurred without the sacrament - like when one spouse forgives the other. Perhaps you didn't have such discussions at your seminary. Sacramental grace can happen without the rites. It certainly happens within the rites.
I didn't go to seminary, but I don't need to have to understand what words mean.  I don't know what you think you heard at seminary, but I suspect it was more like grace is not limited to the sacraments--which is why I tried to throw you a bone by mentioning Joseph Sittler.

No, sacramental grace can NOT happen without the rites.  That's a basic linguistic definition--maybe SomeoneWrites can help me out here on that.  The grace that is found in a sacrament can also be found elsewhere.  Sacramental grace is not more potent or beneficial than erstwhile grace.  But I guess it's more helpful to you winning this argument to contradict/misrepresent what the Lutheran Confessions teach.  It's a straw man, but one popular with you, to suggest that other people are being stingy with God's grace--in this case, limiting grace to the sacraments.  We are suggesting no such thing.  I recall you also like to conflate the Lord's Supper with other communal meals, because they both include food.  Yours is an unprincipled mind.

The sacraments are a means of grace so that the faithful can be assured that the grace of God is particularly being shared.  That really is Lutheran 101 stuff--why we have sacraments in the first place.  That's why I can understand, for example,  some Roman Catholic sticklers get annoyed when priests freelance the prescribed words of their rites.  It makes their faithful doubt that the benefits of the sacrament have been bestowed.  The faithful being unsure about such things is something that got Luther really agitated--I would say it was the primary motivation for his Reformation.  So it's thoroughly unhelpful when a Lutheran pastor is confused about our sacraments.  :-\

Sterling Spatz
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Dave Likeness on May 03, 2018, 01:38:36 PM
Pastor Brian Stoffregen is like the sign on the maternity floor door in the hospital:  "Push, Push, Push"
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: peter_speckhard on May 03, 2018, 02:18:51 PM
I think this online forum has played, and still to some degree continues to play, an important role in American Lutheranism as a genuine forum. It covers any topic and involves a wide range of participants. I also know it has a lot of lurkers. I was a lurker before I was a participant, and a regular participant before becoming a moderator (which, amazingly, was over a decade ago) and I know I have benefited tremendously from it.

It is indeed a dauntingly huge and sprawling forum, and trying to mine it for theological, pastoral, or practical nuggets can be a waste of time. But it still has a worthwhile gold to gravel ratio. The biggest problem for newcomers and lurkers has become the shear size of it. We used to get new members fairly regularly. I think we've had only a few in 2018, and not many more in 2017. What this means is that each post is inherently a (very slight) net negative to the value of the forum, which needs to be offset by the value of the post. Useless throwaway posts, once a standard thing to give the threads a bit of a jocular, conversational, and personal flavor are not only not valuable but decrease the value of the forum by adding to the gravel without adding to the gold.

Before posting, everyone should ask how this post will be valued by anyone. If the post can only be understood properly by people with a long history of knowing the posters involves in the exchange, the time has come to rethink posting it. Such things are adding to a sense of staleness.

That having been said, the value of a true online forum remains quite high. 
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: mariemeyer on May 03, 2018, 02:23:38 PM
Awaiting additional thoughts on "what's next for the ALPB."

Persons who have not ordered and read moderator Johnson's ALPB history might do so.    Understanding ALPB history is more productive than continued bickering among contributors to this forum.

In short, ALPB history provides insight as to how our forefathers confronted challenges in their day.  Therein are clues for how the ALPB can play a role in Lutherans confronting the challenges of our day.

Marie Meyer
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Dave Likeness on May 03, 2018, 03:17:33 PM
The integrity of this forum would be increased if people had to use their real name.  Anonymous posters
can throw hand-grenades and nobody is held accountable.  It might also be helpful if folks were limited
to 8 posts per day.   
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Dave Benke on May 03, 2018, 03:38:10 PM
I think this online forum has played, and still to some degree continues to play, an important role in American Lutheranism as a genuine forum. It covers any topic and involves a wide range of participants. I also know it has a lot of lurkers. I was a lurker before I was a participant, and a regular participant before becoming a moderator (which, amazingly, was over a decade ago) and I know I have benefited tremendously from it.

It is indeed a dauntingly huge and sprawling forum, and trying to mine it for theological, pastoral, or practical nuggets can be a waste of time. But it still has a worthwhile gold to gravel ratio. The biggest problem for newcomers and lurkers has become the shear size of it. We used to get new members fairly regularly. I think we've had only a few in 2018, and not many more in 2017. What this means is that each post is inherently a (very slight) net negative to the value of the forum, which needs to be offset by the value of the post. Useless throwaway posts, once a standard thing to give the threads a bit of a jocular, conversational, and personal flavor are not only not valuable but decrease the value of the forum by adding to the gravel without adding to the gold.

Before posting, everyone should ask how this post will be valued by anyone. If the post can only be understood properly by people with a long history of knowing the posters involves in the exchange, the time has come to rethink posting it. Such things are adding to a sense of staleness.

That having been said, the value of a true online forum remains quite high.

I agree with this to a reasonably strong extent.  And I agree with the opinion that there are lots of lurkers who read and don't post.  And I agree that the interpersonal sniping stuff gets in the way of people who might want to post or at least follow a thread closely.

What is not represented here, though, also should be noted.

We have almost nobody who posts from a perspective of contemporary worship in a Lutheran congregation.  And to a large extent, if we include "blended worship", those congregations and pastors represent an outsized percentage of Lutherans in Sunday worship in America.  How could they be invited to participate in a meaningful way? 
 
We have few women who post, and at the same time the women who post are well-regarded.  We have in my memory bank virtually no one who is not Caucasian posting or bringing items of concern to our attention.  We have very few international posters on items of global Lutheran importance.  We have no one to my recollection from our social ministry leadership arenas, which are substantial. 

All that being said, the threads are often serious worthwhile reading.

Dave Benke
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Charles Austin on May 03, 2018, 03:58:13 PM
Dave Likeness writes:
The integrity of this forum would be increased if people had to use their real name.  Anonymous posters can throw hand-grenades and nobody is held accountable.
I comment:
Agreed. And we cannot evaluate the competence of the poster.
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: mj4 on May 03, 2018, 04:51:51 PM
We have very few international posters on items of global Lutheran importance. 

Yes, I wouldn't mind hearing more from our sisters and brothers from around the world. Is that something ALPB can move toward? How would you do that?
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: John_Hannah on May 03, 2018, 05:01:24 PM
This forum is the least of our Forums and activities, all of which (except this) are publication one way or another. The ALPB leadership fully understands that participants here are not representative of our total constituency or potential constituency. That is underlined when we realize that many here do not subscribe or purchase anything we offer at no profit.   :)

Peace, JOHN
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Charles Austin on May 03, 2018, 05:11:06 PM
Could we make participation in this forum contingent upon having a subscription to Lutheran forum the magazine and the newsletter? That would make us all more concerned stakeholders in ALPB publications.
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: gan ainm on May 03, 2018, 05:24:10 PM
If you can’t win ‘em with the Gospel, pound the Law even harder. What a way to increase forum membership. YMMV
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on May 03, 2018, 05:26:28 PM
Defining and enumerating the Sacraments was not done in Scripture, they are classifications that the Church has devised for her own convenience.  (The Sacraments themselves, Baptism and Communion, are discussed in Scripture, it is the classification as “Sacrament” that is extra-Biblical.).  The Confessions themselves reflect a certain ambivalence on the matter sometimes speaking of two sometimes three, including Absolution.


I agree with you on that. Lutherans use a different definition than Roman Catholics or Orthodox, so we have two sacraments while they have seven.
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on May 03, 2018, 05:32:22 PM
I can say that in my own personal experience, I have used one of our pastors as a confessor, he has done a wonderful job of comforting and encouraging me with the Scriptures, but always concluded with absolution.


I'm stating that absolutions often happen between folks without necessarily using the words of the rite. I often hear about ways that members brought comfort and forgiveness to other members who unburdened themselves to a trusted friend.
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on May 03, 2018, 05:36:44 PM
The integrity of this forum would be increased if people had to use their real name.  Anonymous posters
can throw hand-grenades and nobody is held accountable.  It might also be helpful if folks were limited
to 8 posts per day.


Then responses to a person's post should be limited to only 8 per day, too.
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on May 03, 2018, 05:37:13 PM

Luther discusses whether or not Absolution should be considered a sacrament in _The Babylonian Captivity of the Church....

Melanchthon, in contrast, is a bit more open in the Apology...

One of which was specified in my ordination and installation promises.

Pax, Steven+
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on May 03, 2018, 05:41:19 PM
I comment:
Agreed. And we cannot evaluate the competence of the poster.

If we read what he writes, we can.

Pax, Steven+
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Voelker on May 03, 2018, 06:52:33 PM
Dave Likeness writes:
The integrity of this forum would be increased if people had to use their real name.  Anonymous posters can throw hand-grenades and nobody is held accountable.
I comment:
Agreed. And we cannot evaluate the competence of the poster.
And by that do you mean cannot easily dox them?
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Charles Austin on May 03, 2018, 08:01:37 PM
I do not know what dox means.
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Pr. Don Kirchner on May 03, 2018, 08:08:31 PM
There's this online search engine called Google, Charles.

http://www.google.com/search?source=hp&ei=-6PrWsa5CM_c5gKb8K5o&q=dox&oq=dox&gs_l=mobile-gws-wiz-hp.12..0l2j0i131j0l2.1884.3348..5149...0....104.282.2j1......0....1.......3..41.w2s8MYYD1gY%3D
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Charles Austin on May 03, 2018, 09:44:30 PM
Well, I have never done that. Never published private information, and never published anything with "malicious intent." I have, on occasion, sought public information to help me understand who a person is or whence they come.
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: J. Thomas Shelley on May 03, 2018, 11:51:42 PM
I agree with you on that. Lutherans use a different definition than Roman Catholics or Orthodox, so we have two sacraments while they have seven.

My professors for Confessions (Eric Gritch, Scott Gustafson, and Robert Jensen) all taught that Lutherans have three Sacraments:  Baptism, Confession & Absolution, and Eucharist and possibly "three and a half" or four; the final being Ordination.

Teaching that was difficult, exacerbated by resources from Lutheran Brotherhood which perpetuated the "two Sacraments" mythology.

The fact is that Lutherans are a bridge church as Franklin Clark Fry described as "not quite Catholic and not really Protestant"; or more recently as Carl Braaten said "Catholic without being Roman, Orthodox without being Eastern, and Evangelical without being fundamentalist".

So celebrate this  unique place in Christendom and cherish the three Sacraments--or "three and half" or four.
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on May 04, 2018, 03:03:21 AM
I agree with you on that. Lutherans use a different definition than Roman Catholics or Orthodox, so we have two sacraments while they have seven.

My professors for Confessions (Eric Gritch, Scott Gustafson, and Robert Jensen) all taught that Lutherans have three Sacraments:  Baptism, Confession & Absolution, and Eucharist and possibly "three and a half" or four; the final being Ordination.


That was discussed at seminary. It seems clear that Luther considered Confession & Absolution to be under Baptism. There is no command from Christ for ordination, so there are some problems with considering that a sacrament.
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Voelker on May 04, 2018, 11:43:06 AM
Well, I have never done that. Never published private information, and never published anything with "malicious intent." I have, on occasion, sought public information to help me understand who a person is or whence they come.
Good to know. That still comes across as rather creepy. It is of note that you're obviously in disagreement with Pr Tibbetts' comment above, as your comments here and in the past show that you really don't care what someone actually says, but instead invest your interest in who they are, making your judgements accordingly. That's sad, unfair, and explains why you often get fritzed when people take the words you post as they are written.
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: gan ainm on May 04, 2018, 12:04:37 PM
Well, I have never done that. Never published private information, and never published anything with "malicious intent." I have, on occasion, sought public information to help me understand who a person is or whence they come.
Good to know. That still comes across as rather creepy. It is of note that you're obviously in disagreement with Pr Tibbetts' comment above, as your comments here and in the past show that you really don't care what someone actually says, but instead invest your interest in who they are, making your judgements accordingly. That's sad, unfair, and explains why you often get fritzed when people take the words you post as they are written.

I wonder if posting the contents, actual and/or paraphrased, of a private message (as sent from one in this forum to another in this forum) counts as publishing private information?  Hmmmm

I wonder if the bots and spiders that roam the internet gathering information are a sufficient reason to keep ones name and other information private on this forum and others?  Hmmmm

I wonder if all anonymous posters are nefarious by definition?   Hmmmm  That certainly does not sound like best construction to me for those who desire to focus on who rather than what.  But best construction is obviously not a value to all who post here ... and that is my best construction with the observable facts. 

Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Mark Brown on May 04, 2018, 12:18:56 PM

...We have almost nobody who posts from a perspective of contemporary worship in a Lutheran congregation.  And to a large extent, if we include "blended worship", those congregations and pastors represent an outsized percentage of Lutherans in Sunday worship in America.  How could they be invited to participate in a meaningful way? 
 
...We have very few international posters on items of global Lutheran importance...
Dave Benke

That first clip goes to the elephant in the room.  The real church-within-a-church, one that has its own rites and ceremonies, more and more its own formation often absent anything but the barest contact with the Small Catechism, and which tends to join with various para-church ministries instead of the joint ministries of the church they are part of, is that "contemporary" one.  There are good arguments that this is fine.  There are also good arguments that this is scandalous.  How much of the lack of participation is simply the recognition of a real split?  It might not even be a split of "doctrine" (although intuitively lex orandi lex credendi would say that it is even if we can't ID it).  But pragmatically, how does the church of Nashville and Relevance, mesh with the church of the Ages?  Other than something like the Jansenist peace where everyone agreed that for a generation they just would not talk or publish on those matters and let God and conscience sort it out.

The second one forces me to ask does the "A" in "ALPB" mean anything?  And that is not that international might not be interesting and have something to say, but if any mission is too broad it goes nowhere.  America is broad enough as it is and losing the "unum" from the emphasis on the "pluribus".

When ALPB was founded there were clear boundaries of what "A" and "L" meant.  Today, not so much.  Part of that continuing mission might be less publicity of what is known, but a making known what we today intuit or hide in shadows and open secrets.  A bringing into the light what is now in the dark.  What does it mean to be an "American Lutheran"?  How are these practices either part of a living confession, a necessary break with a confession?  Can we admit these things, or still prefer the shadows?
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Steve_Shipman on May 04, 2018, 04:54:35 PM
As a member of the ALPB board, let me introduce a tiny but real issue. We are financially a very marginal operation. What can we be doing that will meet a significant need among North American Lutherans (and perhaps also the wider Lutheran family) while also being financially viable? Perhaps even something that will motivate either sales or financial support of the organization. I know, so mundane and lacking in faith! But also quite practical.
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: gan ainm on May 04, 2018, 05:21:34 PM
As a member of the ALPB board, let me introduce a tiny but real issue. We are financially a very marginal operation. What can we be doing that will meet a significant need among North American Lutherans (and perhaps also the wider Lutheran family) while also being financially viable? Perhaps even something that will motivate either sales or financial support of the organization. I know, so mundane and lacking in faith! But also quite practical.

Is there somewhere on the ALPB that shows a balance sheet, i.e. expenses and income, that we could look at?  Also maybe something about the purpose and expected outcomes of the ALPB.  Might provoke some ideas. 

Not related to the ALPB, just one example of a well managed organization that stays in the black and might provide some ideas:  I'm a member of a club that has a large clubhouse with kitchen and bathrooms and meeting rooms with tables and chairs, TVs, a fishing lake, multiple pistol/rifle shooting ranges of 7 through 100 yards with covered firing positions and noise barriers, a shotgun trap facility, an archery range, and camping spaces, probably 50 acres or so.  Dues are minimal, less than $100 per year per member.  All positions are volunteers with zero pay.  All facility improvements are done by the members.   I think the key is volunteers who are willing to contribute time and talent as well as a few dollars.

Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: John_Hannah on May 04, 2018, 05:47:00 PM
As a member of the ALPB board, let me introduce a tiny but real issue. We are financially a very marginal operation. What can we be doing that will meet a significant need among North American Lutherans (and perhaps also the wider Lutheran family) while also being financially viable? Perhaps even something that will motivate either sales or financial support of the organization. I know, so mundane and lacking in faith! But also quite practical.

Excellent analysis, Steve!

It is understandable that no one is getting rich from those lurkers here who do not subscribe but enjoy our generosity in offering this <alpb.org> at no cost.

What is actually the case is that no one is getting rich from those hard working subscribers who pay their hard earned money so that we can publish and distribute the FORUM package as they stay abreast of affairs in their beloved church.

This is the fact.  Peace, JOHN
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: John_Hannah on May 04, 2018, 05:50:43 PM
As a member of the ALPB board, let me introduce a tiny but real issue. We are financially a very marginal operation. What can we be doing that will meet a significant need among North American Lutherans (and perhaps also the wider Lutheran family) while also being financially viable? Perhaps even something that will motivate either sales or financial support of the organization. I know, so mundane and lacking in faith! But also quite practical.

Is there somewhere on the ALPB that shows a balance sheet, i.e. expenses and income, that we could look at?  Also maybe something about the purpose and expected outcomes of the ALPB.  Might provoke some ideas. 

Not related to the ALPB, just one example of a well managed organization that stays in the black and might provide some ideas:  I'm a member of a club that has a large clubhouse with kitchen and bathrooms and meeting rooms with tables and chairs, TVs, a fishing lake, multiple pistol/rifle shooting ranges of 7 through 100 yards with covered firing positions and noise barriers, a shotgun trap facility, an archery range, and camping spaces, probably 50 acres or so.  Dues are minimal, less than $100 per year per member.  All positions are volunteers with zero pay.  All facility improvements are done by the members.   I think the key is volunteers who are willing to contribute time and talent as well as a few dollars.

Almost all of our work is done by volunteers.  Our "dues" are much less than $100.00. A bit less than $30.00.

Peace, JOHN
President, ALPB
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Charles Austin on May 04, 2018, 06:06:21 PM
Raise the dues. $100 seems appropriate.
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Steven W Bohler on May 04, 2018, 07:00:31 PM
As a member of the ALPB board, let me introduce a tiny but real issue. We are financially a very marginal operation. What can we be doing that will meet a significant need among North American Lutherans (and perhaps also the wider Lutheran family) while also being financially viable? Perhaps even something that will motivate either sales or financial support of the organization. I know, so mundane and lacking in faith! But also quite practical.

Excellent analysis, Steve!

It is understandable that no one is getting rich from those lurkers here who do not subscribe but enjoy our generosity in offering this <alpb.org> at no cost.

What is actually the case is that no one is getting rich from those hard working subscribers who pay their hard earned money so that we can publish and distribute the FORUM package as they stay abreast of affairs in their beloved church.

This is the fact.  Peace, JOHN

Of course, one could also argue that those of us who are not subscribers increase the traffic here and so perhaps lead to others purchasing subscriptions and/or other materials.  That is, we are not a drag on this forum but a draw, a benefit, a plus. We generously contribute here for nothing.  Except the occasional kick in the pants or insult from moderators and subscribers.  :)
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: John_Hannah on May 04, 2018, 07:07:51 PM
Raise the dues. $100 seems appropriate.

Then what? Lots of endless complaining and moaning about legalism, etc. I can hear it now. Jesus died freely out of pure love and grace, so why should I pay for something that appears to be an indulgence? I'm a Lutheran!!! Find another way to fund what I am enjoying here.

Thanks for your suggestion, though. I'll bring it up to the Board.   >:(  8)   ;D

Peace, JOHN
ALPB President


Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Richard Johnson on May 04, 2018, 07:10:56 PM
Raise the dues. $100 seems appropriate.

Way back when ALPB started, there actually were "dues": one dollar a year minimum.

Early on, ALPB ceased being a "membership" organization, so no more "dues." The organization survives on subscriptions and sales, voluntary charitable contributions, and (very minimally) advertising revenue.

But of course, John didn't really mean "dues." He was quoting the subscription price for the Forum package. And very important to our maintenance is the generosity of those who respond each year to our "Christmas appeal" To be sure, you needn't wait until Christmas to make your tax-deductible contribution! You could consider that your "dues," and then a hundred bucks sounds quite reasonable.
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Richard Johnson on May 04, 2018, 07:11:46 PM

Is there somewhere on the ALPB that shows a balance sheet, i.e. expenses and income, that we could look at?  Also maybe something about the purpose and expected outcomes of the ALPB.  Might provoke some ideas. 



That's an interesting idea. John, we should talk about that at the board meeting next week.
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Richard Johnson on May 04, 2018, 07:13:20 PM


Of course, one could also argue that those of us who are not subscribers increase the traffic here and so perhaps lead to others purchasing subscriptions and/or other materials.  That is, we are not a drag on this forum but a draw, a benefit, a plus. We generously contribute here for nothing.  Except the occasional kick in the pants or insult from moderators and subscribers.  :)

Of course it could equally be that you drive visitors away . . . We'll have to commission a survey.  ;)
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Steven W Bohler on May 04, 2018, 07:35:06 PM


Of course, one could also argue that those of us who are not subscribers increase the traffic here and so perhaps lead to others purchasing subscriptions and/or other materials.  That is, we are not a drag on this forum but a draw, a benefit, a plus. We generously contribute here for nothing.  Except the occasional kick in the pants or insult from moderators and subscribers.  :)

Of course it could equally be that you drive visitors away . . . We'll have to commission a survey.  ;)

Please do.  But will you do the same for others who post here (I am assuming your use of "you" is directed at me personally, and not the whole group of non-subscribing contributors)?  Including those who do subscribe?  You're an historian, I understand -- maybe we should bring back Athenian ostracism here.  I would gladly put my name up on the list with, say, Rev. Austin.  And if I am voted off, I will cheerfully leave. 
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Don Whitbeck on May 05, 2018, 11:05:52 AM


Of course, one could also argue that those of us who are not subscribers increase the traffic here and so perhaps lead to others purchasing subscriptions and/or other materials.  That is, we are not a drag on this forum but a draw, a benefit, a plus. We generously contribute here for nothing.  Except the occasional kick in the pants or insult from moderators and subscribers.  :)

Of course it could equally be that you drive visitors away . . . We'll have to commission a survey.  ;)

What about those who are on a fixed income, and see their income shrink every year? Do to Tax increases, food cost ever increases in Electricity, Gas, and Water. Property Taxes going up every year, medical cost for myself and my wife, as well as drug cost increases, insulin cost, and etc.

I enjoy reading ALPB, but I cannot afford $100.00 per year, as well I can't afford the $20.00 per year either.  I live on SS, and three small pensions, and that's it. 

I would hope that you and the Board Members take that into consideration too.

In Christ,

Don
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Keith Falk on May 05, 2018, 12:06:13 PM


Of course, one could also argue that those of us who are not subscribers increase the traffic here and so perhaps lead to others purchasing subscriptions and/or other materials.  That is, we are not a drag on this forum but a draw, a benefit, a plus. We generously contribute here for nothing.  Except the occasional kick in the pants or insult from moderators and subscribers.  :)

Of course it could equally be that you drive visitors away . . . We'll have to commission a survey.  ;)

What about those who are on a fixed income, and see their income shrink every year? Do to Tax increases, food cost ever increases in Electricity, Gas, and Water. Property Taxes going up every year, medical cost for myself and my wife, as well as drug cost increases, insulin cost, and etc.

I enjoy reading ALPB, but I cannot afford $100.00 per year, as well I can't afford the $20.00 per year either.  I live on SS, and three small pensions, and that's it. 

I would hope that you and the Board Members take that into consideration too.

In Christ,

Don


With the exception of commission based professions, everyone is on a fixed income.  My income as a pastor is as fixed as yours.

Sorry, the whole "fixed income" argument is a particular pet peeve of mine.
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Steve Ames on May 05, 2018, 12:27:47 PM
ALPB: “LUTHERAN FORUM and FORUM LETTER, … If you too love the Lutheran tradition, sometimes worry about its future, and want to keep up with the news in the LCMS, the ELCA, the NALC, and LCMC, and with what other faithful Lutherans around the world are thinking and writing about worship, theology, ecumenism and more, …”

Humorous question: Who are the unfaithful Lutherans?

More seriously, I note that LCMS, the ELCA, the NALC, and LCMC make up maybe 90% of American Lutherans.  When I see on this forum online that some opinions are unwelcomed such as from Pastors Preus, Bolland and Bohler perhaps a significant part of the LCMS Is not part of the interests of the ALPB.  It’s your organization, yet may I ask, what is the purpose for the ALPB?

The non-subscribers add information to this forum which would not otherwise be mentioned.  For example, soon Northwestern Publishing House will be releasing the whole Bible Evangelical Heritage Version. https://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Evangelical-Heritage-Version-EHV-Bible/  I do not expect to see ALPB publicize this.   What does the ALPB seek to publicize?

I trust that you have already gone to electronic distribution of LUTHERAN FORUM and FORUM LETTER.   If funds are an issue I would understand requiring a subscription to access this website.  I have the same level of interest for this website as I have for Lutherquest.   If the ALPB decides to go to a subscriber only website I will say my goodbye to this website.
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Don Whitbeck on May 05, 2018, 12:30:05 PM


Of course, one could also argue that those of us who are not subscribers increase the traffic here and so perhaps lead to others purchasing subscriptions and/or other materials.  That is, we are not a drag on this forum but a draw, a benefit, a plus. We generously contribute here for nothing.  Except the occasional kick in the pants or insult from moderators and subscribers.  :)

Of course it could equally be that you drive visitors away . . . We'll have to commission a survey.  ;)

What about those who are on a fixed income, and see their income shrink every year? Do to Tax increases, food cost ever increases in Electricity, Gas, and Water. Property Taxes going up every year, medical cost for myself and my wife, as well as drug cost increases, insulin cost, and etc.

I enjoy reading ALPB, but I cannot afford $100.00 per year, as well I can't afford the $20.00 per year either.  I live on SS, and three small pensions, and that's it. 

I would hope that you and the Board Members take that into consideration too.

In Christ,

Don


With the exception of commission based professions, everyone is on a fixed income.  My income as a pastor is as fixed as yours.

Sorry, the whole "fixed income" argument is a particular pet peeve of mine.

I always thought that Pastors, and their staffs, where always underpaid.  Sorry to hear that, but there are millions of us in the same boat, some at worse than others. Even a person making $95,000.00 is considered to be low income.  It may be a pet peeve for you, but it isn't by many of those in the same boat that we and others find themselves in.

I've seen people obtain help from Human Social Service, as well as Private agencies.  Due to my illness, I not allowed to work, either is my wife, and she is in worst shape then I'm in.  I won't seek out help from Human Social Services either.

In Christ,

Don
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Don Whitbeck on May 05, 2018, 12:34:46 PM
ALPB: “LUTHERAN FORUM and FORUM LETTER, … If you too love the Lutheran tradition, sometimes worry about its future, and want to keep up with the news in the LCMS, the ELCA, the NALC, and LCMC, and with what other faithful Lutherans around the world are thinking and writing about worship, theology, ecumenism and more, …”

Humorous question: Who are the unfaithful Lutherans?

More seriously, I note that LCMS, the ELCA, the NALC, and LCMC make up maybe 90% of American Lutherans.  When I see on this forum online that some opinions are unwelcomed such as from Pastors Preus, Bolland and Bohler perhaps a significant part of the LCMS Is not part of the interests of the ALPB.  It’s your organization, yet may I ask, what is the purpose of the ALPB?

The non-subscribers add information to this forum which would not otherwise be mentioned.  For example, soon Northwestern Publishing House will be releasing the whole Bible Evangelical Heritage Version. https://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Evangelical-Heritage-Version-EHV-Bible/  I do not expect to see ALPB publicize this.   What does the ALPB seek to publicize?

I trust that you have already gone to electronic distribution of LUTHERAN FORUM and FORUM LETTER.   If funds are an issue I would understand requiring a subscription to access this website.  I have the same level of interest for this website as I have for Lutherquest.   If the ALPB decides to go to a subscriber-only website I will say my goodbye to this website.

Yes, I agree, I like both of them. If they want to charge $100.00 to be a part of ALPB, then I will leave also. That would make a lot of people here very happy, I'm sure.

In Christ,

Don
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Richard Johnson on May 05, 2018, 02:43:25 PM
For example, soon Northwestern Publishing House will be releasing the whole Bible Evangelical Heritage Version. https://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Evangelical-Heritage-Version-EHV-Bible/  I do not expect to see ALPB publicize this.   

This is the first I've heard of this. While you correctly expect that ALPB would not "publicize this," it would be entirely normal for one or the other of the ALPB publications to offer a review. In fact I think I'll probably do that in Forum Letter. But like any publication, it won't get reviewed if the organs that review it aren't notified about it.
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Charles Austin on May 05, 2018, 02:44:06 PM
Don writes:
 I won't seek out help from Human Social Services either.
I comment:
Why not? It is one of the ways that we in our society help one another. I am glad when I learn that my taxes make it easier for people in need to live comfortably or to obtain necessary services.
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Dave Benke on May 05, 2018, 03:21:01 PM
For example, soon Northwestern Publishing House will be releasing the whole Bible Evangelical Heritage Version. https://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Evangelical-Heritage-Version-EHV-Bible/  I do not expect to see ALPB publicize this.   

This is the first I've heard of this. While you correctly expect that ALPB would not "publicize this," it would be entirely normal for one or the other of the ALPB publications to offer a review. In fact I think I'll probably do that in Forum Letter. But like any publication, it won't get reviewed if the organs that review it aren't notified about it.

Who is doing the work on this translation?   Who are the scholars involved, and from whence do they come?   I have absolutely never heard of it until this post.  The question in reviewing versions of the Bible is how they turn out. 

You have the ESV, which is the one the Missouri Synod finally went with for its official publications.  So this is the EHV. 

The other thing is the attitude of the poster.  Why would alpb NOT publicize it? 

Dave Benke
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Richard Johnson on May 05, 2018, 03:47:14 PM


Who is doing the work on this translation?   Who are the scholars involved, and from whence do they come?   I have absolutely never heard of it until this post.  The question in reviewing versions of the Bible is how they turn out. 


It appears to be the work of something called the Wartburg Project, described as "an association of Lutheran professors, pastors, teachers, and lay people who worked together to produce a new translation of the Bible." I gather these folks mainly come from WELS and ELS, but are not an "official" group. The web page describes their process and names some of the people involved. General editor is John Brug, a professor emeritus of Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary.

Just reading around a bit, it doesn't appear to be particular quirky. No inclusive language, of course, with regard to humanity (let alone God!). The best I could find was a footnote to "brothers" in Romans 1.13 admitting that "When context indicates it, the Greek word for brothers may refer to all fellow believers, male and female."
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Steve Ames on May 05, 2018, 04:00:33 PM
I do not wish to hijack this thread nor start a new one.  I just meant this as an example of information non-subscribers can bring to the attention of the ALPB.

Rev. Dr. Benke, perhaps you recall a past ALPB thread on a WELS synod convention which discussed Bible translations and some WELS dissatisfaction with the current NIV translation.  There was even a proposal that WELS take up a project of translating the Bible which the synod convention declined to approve.  As a result, the Wartburg Project was begun –
About -- http://wartburgproject.org/

April 2018 – Progress Report https://gallery.mailchimp.com/7cd84c3406fabe06e29ef3a68/files/d5f414e4-4825-4c8c-a666-fb1ae3647b8e/Wartburg_Project_Report_2018_04.pdf

Currently Northwestern Publishing House is offering the EHV Psalms and New Testament.   The Wartburg Project and NPH is getting the whole Bible ready for publication.  The Wartburg Project is working on a Study Bible and judging from their website plan to have this completed in 2019.   The Evangelical Lutheran Synod has revised its annotated Catechism to use Bible verses from the EHV.  Bible Gateway has been licensed to use the EHV on its website.

Rev. Johnson, if I remember, I will let you and ALPB forum online know when NPH starts selling the whole Bile EHV.
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Don Whitbeck on May 05, 2018, 04:24:05 PM
Don writes:
 I won't seek out help from Human Social Services either.
I comment:
Why not? It is one of the ways that we in our society help one another. I am glad when I learn that my taxes make it easier for people in need to live comfortably or to obtain necessary services.

It was pure hell to obtain medical help from the state for my wife's illness. It's a long drawn out process, of filling out all kinds of forms, talking to Social Workers, go to see a State employed Doctor, to evaluate her, (that was more than once by different Doctors.)

Then they took $478.00 out of my pension, gave her Medicaid Health Insurance, which is worthless because Doctors won't treat people with it unless she goes into the hospital.  The State finally gave her a Medicaid/Medicare policy, connected with HAP. HAP doesn't cover a lot of her medical issues, and very little of Medications, of which I pay the majority of all of them.

I went through the same BS, when I applied for Disability, do to my illness. I saw a Shrink for three years, went to the local county Mental Health Clinic. This is what happened, you go in once every three months. You walk in the Shrink office, set down, then they ask three questions, How are you doing? What medications are you taking?  Here are your refills for the medications, check them out at the clinic. That's all.  One time I went in to seen a Shrink a young man, he asked me 8 questions, and then he wrote out a report for the county.

My Social Worker showed me what he wrote. 10 pages of BS that he never even asked me.  I told her this is a bunch of crap, he never asked any questions like this.  She said, well, there is nothing I can do about it. He is the Doctor. That was it.

Three months later I quit, based on what my DO, your over medicated, and we need to get you down to where you can function, like a normal person.  You don't need all of these drugs at all. I will help you, and I can get you down to 4 drugs that will improve your health, and Brain Function. Although, your cognitive functions won't be the same ever. You will always have them the rest of your life.

So that's why I won't go to Social Services.  I hope you understand why Charles.

Thanks for your comment!

Don

Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Charles Austin on May 05, 2018, 05:02:50 PM
OK, I understand, sort of.
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Steve_Shipman on May 06, 2018, 08:02:33 AM
Regarding compensation: I figure that it costs me something like $1000 a year to serve on the ALPB Board, and I consider that a worthwhile contribution. God has blessed me, and I believe this is one way I can be a good steward. I wouldn't have to take Amtrak to New York for the meetings and I could Skype in, of course, to cut that amount, but I prefer to be there in person. I also know what our editors and our executive director get paid, and frankly, I think any of them could win a legal case regarding minimum wage (but please don't tell them). Also, those who write for us might be able to buy a cup or two of coffee at Starbucks annually on what they receive for their efforts. ALPB isn't in it for the money nor is anybody who contributes articles, manuscripts, etc. for us, but there are bills that need to be paid. We have a decent fund balance at the moment, but also are running a slight deficit every year and we aren't the government and can't print money. I don't want to lay a guilt trip on anybody and I realize we are all in different situations financially. But if you can, please take Richard Johnson's gentle hint and consider a tax-deductible contribution each year. It doesn't have to be large -- what if everybody on here would donate at least $25 per year to support ALPB? And more if you are able.
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: John_Hannah on May 06, 2018, 08:25:00 AM
Thanks you, Steve. You are one of hundreds of Lutherans (lay and ordained) who have given themselves, their time, and their possessions for a hundred years in order to make the ALPB what it is. God has blessed American Lutherans through the hands of the many like you.

Peace, JOHN
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Padre Emeritus on June 12, 2018, 09:56:26 PM
A similar product, Treasury of Daily Prayer, from CPH is available on Kindle or as an Android app, “PrayNow.”

Also available for iOS, the operating system that is truly divinely inspired.....
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: gan ainm on June 13, 2018, 07:36:00 AM
A similar product, Treasury of Daily Prayer, from CPH is available on Kindle or as an Android app, “PrayNow.”

Also available for iOS, the operating system that is truly divinely inspired.....

I'm glad you see the light!   ;)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=usfiAsWR4qU
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: Mike Bennett on June 18, 2018, 02:53:44 PM
Thanks you, Steve. You are one of hundreds of Lutherans (lay and ordained) who have given themselves, their time, and their possessions for a hundred years in order to make the ALPB what it is. God has blessed American Lutherans through the hands of the many like you.

Peace, JOHN

Steve is a bit younger than I, so I am sure he has not given to ALPB for 100 years.
Title: Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
Post by: John_Hannah on June 18, 2018, 03:37:31 PM
Thank you, Steve. You are one of hundreds of Lutherans (lay and ordained) who have given themselves, their time, and their possessions for a hundred years in order to make the ALPB what it is. God has blessed American Lutherans through the hands of the many like you.

Peace, JOHN

Steve is a bit younger than I, so I am sure he has not given to ALPB for 100 years.

Well, you never know.  Actually, it's hundreds who have given over a hundred years. Steve is merely one those hundreds. As am I and many others this day.