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ALPB => Your Turn => Topic started by: jebutler on December 25, 2018, 10:18:42 PM

Title: Luther on Prager U
Post by: jebutler on December 25, 2018, 10:18:42 PM
Prof. Stephen Cornils of Wartburg Theological Seminary has posted a video on Prager University on You Tube.

I'd never heard of him previously. Any thoughts from our ELCA participants about him? Here is a link to the video. Any thoughts?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NCbhlC_sThY
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 25, 2018, 10:54:45 PM
I don't believe he's a professor at Wartburg Seminary. He is not listed as faculty or staff. He is chair of the board of directors of Wartburg Seminary. He was pastor of Mount Olivet Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, which was the largest congregation in the ELCA. It's baptized membership is 14,732 according to the ELCA website. (Their average worship is 2549.) I believe that the largest ELCA congregation is now Hope Lutheran in West Des Moines, IA with a membership of 17,814 and an average worship attendance of 12,054.
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: Charles Austin on December 25, 2018, 11:06:50 PM
I have encountered the name before, but I'm not sure where. Although he is pictured on the Wartburg site clerically garbed, his name does not come up in a search of the ELCA clergy roster.
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: James_Gale on December 25, 2018, 11:31:34 PM
I don't believe he's a professor at Wartburg Seminary. He is not listed as faculty or staff. He is chair of the board of directors of Wartburg Seminary. He was pastor of Mount Olivet Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, which was the largest congregation in the ELCA. It's baptized membership is 14,732 according to the ELCA website. (Their average worship is 2549.) I believe that the largest ELCA congregation is now Hope Lutheran in West Des Moines, IA with a membership of 17,814 and an average worship attendance of 12,054.


He retired from Mt. Olivet earlier this year. He was one of a large pastoral staff, but not the senior pastor.
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: Charles Austin on December 26, 2018, 12:11:33 AM
But why isn’t his name on our clergy roster?
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: readselerttoo on December 26, 2018, 12:17:50 AM
One of the mis-interpretations about Luther's legacy is that a human became a free individual.  This was an unfortunate result of the Reformation process and certainly some of the other reformers took what Luther proposed in terms of the human person and created their inaccurate and non-biblical interpretations.  Leading to the awful venture of the Enlightenment with its resultant belief that the human being could act independent of God and successfully so without fear of reprisal.  But Luther would NEVER say that the human being was a free actor before God's judgment.  In fact the human was in bondage to sin and could never free himself based on a so-called free will.  To say so would limit the scope of Jesus' effective death and resurrection for others.  To say so would be active rebellion against God as God was the one and only judge of the human person. 

What Luther started was to abolish the need for the medieval Church as buffer for one's own requirement to make justification for himself.  The whole medieval church's system of penance and indulgences would fall on this.  Luther freed the individual from the corporate nature of the church's system for making justification for a person based on the system of indulgences.  Now each person from the Pope to the person on the street had to make answer for each's own failue before God's righteous eye.  One could no longer hide from God's demand for personal accountability by appealing to the medieval Church's penitential system.

But the human as free actor was an Enlightenment value based on later reformers who took Luther's initial idea and ran off with it by drawing other conclusions which perhaps work for the secular humanism of the day but not for the religious person who could not hide from God's demand for accountability before Himself and the neighbor.
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: James_Gale on December 26, 2018, 12:21:47 AM
But why isn’t his name on our clergy roster?


I don’t know.
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: Dave Benke on December 26, 2018, 09:48:23 AM
I don't believe he's a professor at Wartburg Seminary. He is not listed as faculty or staff. He is chair of the board of directors of Wartburg Seminary. He was pastor of Mount Olivet Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, which was the largest congregation in the ELCA. It's baptized membership is 14,732 according to the ELCA website. (Their average worship is 2549.) I believe that the largest ELCA congregation is now Hope Lutheran in West Des Moines, IA with a membership of 17,814 and an average worship attendance of 12,054.

Those two are bigger than the biggest Missouri Synod congregations.  In terms of denominational polity, the ELCA allows for delegate selection based on more than the Missouri Synod's one/one ratio (one pastor and one lay delegate from each congregation regardless of membership), doesn't it?  How does that work in practical terms - what gets brought forward and passed, who gets elected, etc.?

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: Charles Austin on December 26, 2018, 10:54:17 AM
A little scrolling around the internet teaches us that Dennis Prager is a long-time commentator and columnist and that "Prager U" is one of his online "projects." His columns suggest that he is Jewish, a strong-strong supporter of Israel (and thinks that modern American Jews do not support Israel enough), believes that the current president is the "best friend Israel ever had," deplores the "destruction" of the Miss America Pageant, is a strong Trump supporter and is on the far right on other current social issues.  It appears that one of his columns has nasty things to say about the Southern Poverty Law Center. Others can read and come to their own conclusions.
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 26, 2018, 11:04:01 AM
I have encountered the name before, but I'm not sure where. Although he is pictured on the Wartburg site clerically garbed, his name does not come up in a search of the ELCA clergy roster.


His name became known back in 1993 when he had to resign from Central Lutheran Church in Minneapolis over affairs he had ten years earlier while serving a congregation in California. If I remember right, his father was the bishop in California. I don't know what happened to his roster status at that time.

Some info on this here (http://www.startribune.com/templates/Print_This_Story?sid=11574591)


A LinkedIn site listed him as "Lead Pastor at West Campus of Mt Olivet."
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: Mike Bennett on December 26, 2018, 11:14:15 AM
Three statements jumped out at me:

1. Luther was flawed.  Well, of course he was.

2. An indulgence was like a Get Out of Hell Free card.  No, it wasn’t. One could describe it as a Get Out of Purgatory Free (or quicker) card,  I suppose.

3. Luther taught the autonomy of the individual under God. (I’m paraphrasing, but that was the gist).  No, he did not. Luther recognized three authorities to whom all are subject: Family, Civil Government, Church. 
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: DeHall1 on December 26, 2018, 11:18:13 AM
I don't believe he's a professor at Wartburg Seminary. He is not listed as faculty or staff. He is chair of the board of directors of Wartburg Seminary. He was pastor of Mount Olivet Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, which was the largest congregation in the ELCA. It's baptized membership is 14,732 according to the ELCA website. (Their average worship is 2549.) I believe that the largest ELCA congregation is now Hope Lutheran in West Des Moines, IA with a membership of 17,814 and an average worship attendance of 12,054.


He retired from Mt. Olivet earlier this year. He was one of a large pastoral staff, but not the senior pastor.

IIRC, Pastor Cornils was the "Lead Pastor" at the  Mt. Olivet's West Campus (in Victoria, MN) until he retired in June 2018....So, regardless of the situation in California in the 90's, he returned to the ELCA roster as a Pastor.  He is listed as "The Rev. Dr. Stephen Cornils" in Wartburg Seminary documents and official ELCA documents regarding Wartburg Seminary.  Not sure what that means, however.  I know retired pastors in the LCMS often refer to themselves as "Reverend"....But they can also be found listed in the LCMS locator.   
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: Mike Bennett on December 26, 2018, 11:19:54 AM
A little scrolling around the internet teaches us that Dennis Prager is a long-time commentator and columnist and that "Prager U" is one of his online "projects." His columns suggest that he is Jewish, a strong-strong supporter of Israel (and thinks that modern American Jews do not support Israel enough), believes that the current president is the "best friend Israel ever had," deplores the "destruction" of the Miss America Pageant, is a strong Trump supporter and is on the far right on other current social issues.  It appears that one of his columns has nasty things to say about the Southern Poverty Law Center. Others can read and come to their own conclusions.

I had thought we were being asked for reactions to the video.  Silly me.
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: jebutler on December 26, 2018, 11:27:49 AM
A little scrolling around the internet teaches us that Dennis Prager is a long-time commentator and columnist and that "Prager U" is one of his online "projects."

Why do you put the word "projects" in quotes? Are you quoting someone? Are you implying that his Prager U is not a project? Are you implying that there is something nefarious about it?


 His columns suggest that he is Jewish, a strong-strong supporter of Israel (and thinks that modern American Jews do not support Israel enough), believes that the current president is the "best friend Israel ever had," deplores the "destruction" of the Miss America Pageant, is a strong Trump supporter and is on the far right on other current social issues.

They only suggest that he is Jewish? He's never made any attempt to hide his faith.

It appears that one of his columns has nasty things to say about the Southern Poverty Law Center. Others can read and come to their own conclusions.

You mean the  Southern Poverty Law Center that wrote about PragerU on its "Hatewatch" blog? I don't know why he might be upset with an organization that lists him on a blog called "Hatewatch." Could you think of any reasons why that might upset him?
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: Richard Johnson on December 26, 2018, 11:32:40 AM
If I remember right, his father was the bishop in California. I don't know what happened to his roster status at that time.


You remember incorrectly. His father, E. J. Cornils, was a prominent pastor in the South Pacific District of the ALC, I believe executive vice president, but never president/bishop.
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 26, 2018, 01:54:25 PM
If I remember right, his father was the bishop in California. I don't know what happened to his roster status at that time.


You remember incorrectly. His father, E. J. Cornils, was a prominent pastor in the South Pacific District of the ALC, I believe executive vice president, but never president/bishop.


Not the first time I've been incorrect. You are right, he was the executive vice president of the South Pacific District when I began there in 1976. Gaylerd Falde was the President/Bishop.


I stopped getting ELCA Yearbooks in 2008, but Stephen Cornils is on the roster in that volume.
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 26, 2018, 01:55:43 PM
A little scrolling around the internet teaches us that Dennis Prager is a long-time commentator and columnist and that "Prager U" is one of his online "projects." His columns suggest that he is Jewish, a strong-strong supporter of Israel (and thinks that modern American Jews do not support Israel enough), believes that the current president is the "best friend Israel ever had," deplores the "destruction" of the Miss America Pageant, is a strong Trump supporter and is on the far right on other current social issues.  It appears that one of his columns has nasty things to say about the Southern Poverty Law Center. Others can read and come to their own conclusions.

I had thought we were being asked for reactions to the video.  Silly me.


The original post asked if we had thoughts about him.
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: LCMS87 on December 26, 2018, 03:29:32 PM
The him of the initial post obviously referring to Cornils, not Prager.
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: mj4 on December 26, 2018, 03:58:09 PM
I have encountered the name before, but I'm not sure where. Although he is pictured on the Wartburg site clerically garbed, his name does not come up in a search of the ELCA clergy roster.

The Wartburg website identifies him as a member of the ELCA Church Council, yet he is not on the Church Council directory.

https://directory.elca.org/Pages/index.aspx/churchwide/church-council (https://directory.elca.org/Pages/index.aspx/churchwide/church-council)
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: Charles Austin on December 26, 2018, 04:11:47 PM
So he was off the roster because of some misconduct, and then got back on the roster? But he’s off again, apparently.  Maybe the Wartburg site is not up-to-date.
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: Steven W Bohler on December 26, 2018, 04:47:44 PM
I have encountered the name before, but I'm not sure where. Although he is pictured on the Wartburg site clerically garbed, his name does not come up in a search of the ELCA clergy roster.


His name became known back in 1993 when he had to resign from Central Lutheran Church in Minneapolis over affairs he had ten years earlier while serving a congregation in California. If I remember right, his father was the bishop in California. I don't know what happened to his roster status at that time.

Some info on this here (http://www.startribune.com/templates/Print_This_Story?sid=11574591)


A LinkedIn site listed him as "Lead Pastor at West Campus of Mt Olivet."

One of the men mentioned in that article as having to resign due to sexual infidelity -- Rev. Mose Henney -- is currently listed as "Pastor Mose" at Lamb of God Lutheran (LCMS) in Las Vegas, according to their 12/23/18 bulletin.  Even though he was ordained as an ELCA pastor, and is not currently listed on the LCMS roster.  I recall there was a bit of a hub-bub about this a while back on either Steadfast Lutherans or LutherQuest, but I do not believe anything ever came of it.  I seem to recall something about him also operating a private wedding chapel in Las Vegas, as well. 

For all the huffing and puffing about Rev. Otten not being rostered and yet serving a Missouri Synod congregation, there does not seem to be much concern about this.  Despite Otten's call predating the rule requiring such a rostering, while this certainly is after that rule.
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 26, 2018, 04:50:03 PM
So he was off the roster because of some misconduct, and then got back on the roster? But he’s off again, apparently.  Maybe the Wartburg site is not up-to-date.


From what I've seen in old ELCA Yearbooks, he was not removed from the roster. He resigned as pastor of Central Lutheran, Minneapolis because of misconduct that occurred 10 years earlier that had become public. If I remember the details right, and I've had faulty memories before, it was brought up in divorce proceedings.


Not all cases of misconduct - even sexual misconduct - result in removal from the roster. In some cases, a bishop may require the successful completion of therapy and perhaps ongoing counseling if the person is going to serve a congregation again.
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 26, 2018, 05:09:28 PM
I have encountered the name before, but I'm not sure where. Although he is pictured on the Wartburg site clerically garbed, his name does not come up in a search of the ELCA clergy roster.

The Wartburg website identifies him as a member of the ELCA Church Council, yet he is not on the Church Council directory.

https://directory.elca.org/Pages/index.aspx/churchwide/church-council (https://directory.elca.org/Pages/index.aspx/churchwide/church-council)


From the Church Council Minutes of November 2017 as part of an en bloc election of people to boards:


To re-elect to the board of directors of Wartburg Theological Seminary for a six-year term ending in December 2023: The Rev. Stephen J. Cornils and the Rev. Kathryn A. Kleinhans.


The "ELCA Church Council" under his (and other) names, probably indicates that they are elected to the board by the ELCA Church Council.
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: Charles Austin on December 26, 2018, 05:37:28 PM
Maybe he is still clergy, but not on the ELCA roster?
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on December 26, 2018, 06:47:12 PM
A little scrolling around the internet teaches us that Dennis Prager is a long-time commentator and columnist and that "Prager U" is one of his online "projects." His columns suggest that he is Jewish, a strong-strong supporter of Israel (and thinks that modern American Jews do not support Israel enough), believes that the current president is the "best friend Israel ever had," deplores the "destruction" of the Miss America Pageant, is a strong Trump supporter and is on the far right on other current social issues.  It appears that one of his columns has nasty things to say about the Southern Poverty Law Center. Others can read and come to their own conclusions.

Dennis Prager is a conservative (lower-case "c") Jew rooted in Orthodox Judaism, and first came to public notice some 35 years ago when he took over as host of "Religion on the Line," which aired Sunday nights on talk radio KABC in Los Angeles.  Soon afterwards he was hosting the daily evening show (when the Dodgers weren't playing, providing a conservative intellectual counterweight to Michael Jackson's (not the pop singer or the beer critic) more liberal (and very-highly-rated and highly-regarded) morning program on the same station.  This was in a day when talk radio was focussed more on interviewing a wide range of guests and listeners calling in to chat with the guests.  Part of his breaking into a more national audience was occasional essays in First Things when Richard John Neuhaus was editor.

From the beginning Prager always has had a strong focus on ethics, and that has never changed.  I've listened to him off-and-on since he started at KABC, and he is always respectful and generous to and with those with whom he disagrees.  If he has something "nasty" to say about any thing, it has to be truly repugnant.

Pax, Steven+
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on December 26, 2018, 07:13:13 PM

His name became known back in 1993 when he had to resign from Central Lutheran Church in Minneapolis over affairs he had ten years earlier while serving a congregation in California. If I remember right, his father was the bishop in California. I don't know what happened to his roster status at that time.

Pr. Stephen Cornils was never removed from the ELCA clergy roster.  His father, the Rev. E. J. Pr. Cornils (who retired several years before the creation of the ELCA), was Executive VP of the ALC's South Pacific District in the '60s and '70s, and an executive in the old ALC's stewardship/finance department before that.

Pax, Steven+
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on December 26, 2018, 07:32:35 PM
Maybe he is still clergy, but not on the ELCA roster?

He's in the last printed (2017) ELCA Yearbook, which has the roster dated 8/31/16.  His name doesn't appear on the on-line Directory' list of those removed 9/1/16-12/31/17.  His name doesn't appear on the current on-line roster, but then mine didn't either for some time earlier this summer.

Pax, Steven+
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: Richard Johnson on December 26, 2018, 08:14:26 PM
Record keeping seems to be kind of a problem. Months and months after my successor resigned, the congregation was still not listed on the "vacancy" list put out by the Synod. I finally emailed the Synod office and said, "I know this isn't any of my business, but you really might want to list this congregation as vacant . . . " They thanked me and two or three weeks later it finally appeared.
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 27, 2018, 01:41:56 AM
Record keeping seems to be kind of a problem. Months and months after my successor resigned, the congregation was still not listed on the "vacancy" list put out by the Synod. I finally emailed the Synod office and said, "I know this isn't any of my business, but you really might want to list this congregation as vacant . . . " They thanked me and two or three weeks later it finally appeared.


And there was the time The Lutheran sort of had your obituary.
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: mj4 on December 27, 2018, 01:52:58 PM
I have encountered the name before, but I'm not sure where. Although he is pictured on the Wartburg site clerically garbed, his name does not come up in a search of the ELCA clergy roster.

The Wartburg website identifies him as a member of the ELCA Church Council, yet he is not on the Church Council directory.

https://directory.elca.org/Pages/index.aspx/churchwide/church-council (https://directory.elca.org/Pages/index.aspx/churchwide/church-council)


From the Church Council Minutes of November 2017 as part of an en bloc election of people to boards:


To re-elect to the board of directors of Wartburg Theological Seminary for a six-year term ending in December 2023: The Rev. Stephen J. Cornils and the Rev. Kathryn A. Kleinhans.


The "ELCA Church Council" under his (and other) names, probably indicates that they are elected to the board by the ELCA Church Council.

I'm sure you're right about that, but the Wartburg website does leave one to conjecture.
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: jebutler on December 27, 2018, 02:04:45 PM
I have encountered the name before, but I'm not sure where. Although he is pictured on the Wartburg site clerically garbed, his name does not come up in a search of the ELCA clergy roster.

The Wartburg website identifies him as a member of the ELCA Church Council, yet he is not on the Church Council directory.

https://directory.elca.org/Pages/index.aspx/churchwide/church-council (https://directory.elca.org/Pages/index.aspx/churchwide/church-council)

From the Church Council Minutes of November 2017 as part of an en bloc election of people to boards:

To re-elect to the board of directors of Wartburg Theological Seminary for a six-year term ending in December 2023: The Rev. Stephen J. Cornils and the Rev. Kathryn A. Kleinhans.

The "ELCA Church Council" under his (and other) names, probably indicates that they are elected to the board by the ELCA Church Council.

I'm sure your right about that, but the Wartburg website does leave one to conjecture.

Watching the video, he simply identifies himself as being from "Wartburg Theological Seminary." The implication, I think, is that he is on the theological faculty there, or at least is somehow on the staff. But he is neither; he's merely on their Board of Directors. That troubles me. I strikes me as a bit dishonest.

Does anyone else feel that way?
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: James_Gale on December 27, 2018, 02:12:14 PM
I have encountered the name before, but I'm not sure where. Although he is pictured on the Wartburg site clerically garbed, his name does not come up in a search of the ELCA clergy roster.

The Wartburg website identifies him as a member of the ELCA Church Council, yet he is not on the Church Council directory.

https://directory.elca.org/Pages/index.aspx/churchwide/church-council (https://directory.elca.org/Pages/index.aspx/churchwide/church-council)

From the Church Council Minutes of November 2017 as part of an en bloc election of people to boards:

To re-elect to the board of directors of Wartburg Theological Seminary for a six-year term ending in December 2023: The Rev. Stephen J. Cornils and the Rev. Kathryn A. Kleinhans.

The "ELCA Church Council" under his (and other) names, probably indicates that they are elected to the board by the ELCA Church Council.

I'm sure your right about that, but the Wartburg website does leave one to conjecture.

Watching the video, he simply identifies himself as being from "Wartburg Theological Seminary." The implication, I think, is that he is on the theological faculty there, or at least is somehow on the staff. But he is neither; he's merely on their Board of Directors. That troubles me. I strikes me as a bit dishonest.

Does anyone else feel that way?


Unless the seminary gave him permission to say that, I agree.
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: Charles Austin on December 27, 2018, 02:20:32 PM
Several things about this smell fishy to me. But perhaps I am just being too suspicious and cynical.
Someone call Wartburg seminary, and ask them about this video and his identification with them.  Then call the office of the ELCA secretary and determined his status on our roster.
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: pearson on December 27, 2018, 02:24:19 PM

Watching the video, he simply identifies himself as being from "Wartburg Theological Seminary." The implication, I think, is that he is on the theological faculty there, or at least is somehow on the staff. But he is neither; he's merely on their Board of Directors. That troubles me. I strikes me as a bit dishonest.

Does anyone else feel that way?


The Trustees of The University of Texas Coordinating Board, which oversees eight academic campuses and six academic health institutions, routinely identify themselves publicly as being with "The University of Texas."  In my experience, it's a higher education thing.

Tom Pearson
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: jebutler on December 27, 2018, 02:36:47 PM

Someone call Wartburg seminary, and ask them about this video and his identification with them. 

Why? His picture is on their website. He is on the Board of Directors. He was appointed to that position by the ELCA Church Council. That is clearly identified. (And thanks to Prof. Pearson for noting that identifying with the school when you serve on their Board is common in higher education. That answers that question.)

Or are you saying that Wartburg is giving out misinformation and that he really isn't on their Board?

Then call the office of the ELCA secretary and determined his status on our roster.

That might be reasonable. But that is assuming their paperwork is up to date. I just saw a notification that a college/seminary classmate of mine has resigned from the Synod's roster. His church's website no longer lists him as pastor. But when I looked him up on the Synod's website, he was still listed as being on our roster and serving as pastor of his former parish. So maybe they're just slow about such things.
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: mj4 on December 27, 2018, 02:59:30 PM

Watching the video, he simply identifies himself as being from "Wartburg Theological Seminary." The implication, I think, is that he is on the theological faculty there, or at least is somehow on the staff. But he is neither; he's merely on their Board of Directors. That troubles me. I strikes me as a bit dishonest.

Does anyone else feel that way?


The Trustees of The University of Texas Coordinating Board, which oversees eight academic campuses and six academic health institutions, routinely identify themselves publicly as being with "The University of Texas."  In my experience, it's a higher education thing.

Tom Pearson

His identification with Wartburg in the video suggests an institutional imprimatur. That's what some might find troubling.
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: jebutler on December 27, 2018, 03:09:34 PM

Watching the video, he simply identifies himself as being from "Wartburg Theological Seminary." The implication, I think, is that he is on the theological faculty there, or at least is somehow on the staff. But he is neither; he's merely on their Board of Directors. That troubles me. I strikes me as a bit dishonest.

Does anyone else feel that way?


The Trustees of The University of Texas Coordinating Board, which oversees eight academic campuses and six academic health institutions, routinely identify themselves publicly as being with "The University of Texas."  In my experience, it's a higher education thing.

Tom Pearson

His identification with Wartburg in the video suggests an institutional imprimatur. That's what some might find troubling.

I don't think his identification suggests that Wartburg approves or sanctions this video, no more than I would think so if a member of the Board of Regent at one of our seminaries was to do one. But by stating that he is from WTS, he gives the impression that he is on their faculty (at least I would think to most folks. I know I went to the WTS website and looked under Faculty to find him. I was surprised to find out that he was only on their Board of Directors.)

I thank Dr. Pearson for explaining that this is common in higher education circles. But it still makes me feel uneasy, much like someone with an honorary degree calling him/herself "doctor."
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: Mark Brown on December 27, 2018, 03:18:29 PM
This entire thread is encapsulates our present media moment so well.  First Pr. Austen works the fake news smear machine so well I'd have to assume he's funded by the Russians. (He's an adulterer! He's not on the clergy roster! He's lying!)  Then he bids it become a shame mob. (Call both the sem and the Denominational office.)

And the entire point is simply one of institutional hygiene.  Because let's face it, if you can't be part of an ELCA seminary if you at one time held to biblical sexuality morality even if you've since repented of such a grievous error, making a video for Prager U (eww, cooties, they probably still hold biblical sexual morality) would be much worse.  The fierce urgency of now demands we remedy this. 
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: gan ainm on December 27, 2018, 03:21:50 PM
This entire thread is encapsulates our present media moment so well.  First Pr. Austen works the fake news smear machine so well I'd have to assume he's funded by the Russians. (He's an adulterer! He's not on the clergy roster! He's lying!)  Then he bids it become a shame mob. (Call both the sem and the Denominational office.)

And the entire point is simply one of institutional hygiene.  Because let's face it, if you can't be part of an ELCA seminary if you at one time held to biblical sexuality morality even if you've since repented of such a grievous error, making a video for Prager U (eww, cooties, they probably still hold biblical sexual morality) would be much worse.  The fierce urgency of now demands we remedy this.

Nailed it! 

Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: Charles Austin on December 27, 2018, 05:06:51 PM
My, My! Such fever and psychologizing!
I was merely seeking information. What is the website? Who is speaking and from what standing or perspective?
I had encountered the name of Stephen Cornils years ago and knew he was a pastor in Minneapolis. I knew he had retired - or at least left - the large church in Minneapolis. That was on their website.
So as  simple matter of wondering where he was now, I looked at the ELCA clergy roster. He wasn't there. Others, not this humble correspondent, found information about his background.
Not finding him on the ELCA roster, and even if they were late in posting his current status, he should have been there, I began to wonder. I am a curious person and sometimes wondering leads to interesting findings, sometimes not.
Then suddenly, there is a slam down mention of (ta da! again!) the ELCA and sexuality, which, based on what we know now; has nothing to do with the question at hand.
Personally, I don't really care. Whatever his status is won't affect how I get through tomorrow.
So if folks really want to know things, I suggested how they might proceed.

Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: Mike Bennett on December 27, 2018, 05:23:33 PM
I have encountered the name before, but I'm not sure where. Although he is pictured on the Wartburg site clerically garbed, his name does not come up in a search of the ELCA clergy roster.

The Wartburg website identifies him as a member of the ELCA Church Council, yet he is not on the Church Council directory.

https://directory.elca.org/Pages/index.aspx/churchwide/church-council (https://directory.elca.org/Pages/index.aspx/churchwide/church-council)

From the Church Council Minutes of November 2017 as part of an en bloc election of people to boards:

To re-elect to the board of directors of Wartburg Theological Seminary for a six-year term ending in December 2023: The Rev. Stephen J. Cornils and the Rev. Kathryn A. Kleinhans.

The "ELCA Church Council" under his (and other) names, probably indicates that they are elected to the board by the ELCA Church Council.

I'm sure your right about that, but the Wartburg website does leave one to conjecture.

Watching the video, he simply identifies himself as being from "Wartburg Theological Seminary." The implication, I think, is that he is on the theological faculty there, or at least is somehow on the staff. But he is neither; he's merely on their Board of Directors. That troubles me. I strikes me as a bit dishonest.

Does anyone else feel that way?


Unless the seminary gave him permission to say that, I agree.

Umm, the Board governs the seminary. The seminary does not “give permission” to a Board member to do or say anything.
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: Mike Bennett on December 27, 2018, 05:34:23 PM
We were given a link to a video purporting to say some things about the impact of Luther and the Protestant Reformation, and where do we immediately and persistently go? Three pages into this, I cannot stop remembering the following, which has been attributed to Socrates, Eleanor Roosevelt, and who knows who else: “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.”  There, now everybody (except George Rahn) can be offended.
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: Charles Austin on December 27, 2018, 06:11:53 PM
I'm not offended.
It's an inane saying. Socrates might have said it, but not Mrs. Roosevelt.
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: RandyBosch on December 27, 2018, 06:47:12 PM
I'm not offended.
It's an inane saying. Socrates might have said it, but not Mrs. Roosevelt.

Most likely Socrates, but rendered in English as "“Strong minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, weak minds discuss people.”

Professional HR folks are more likely to be offended...
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: James_Gale on December 27, 2018, 08:31:24 PM
I have encountered the name before, but I'm not sure where. Although he is pictured on the Wartburg site clerically garbed, his name does not come up in a search of the ELCA clergy roster.

The Wartburg website identifies him as a member of the ELCA Church Council, yet he is not on the Church Council directory.

https://directory.elca.org/Pages/index.aspx/churchwide/church-council (https://directory.elca.org/Pages/index.aspx/churchwide/church-council)

From the Church Council Minutes of November 2017 as part of an en bloc election of people to boards:

To re-elect to the board of directors of Wartburg Theological Seminary for a six-year term ending in December 2023: The Rev. Stephen J. Cornils and the Rev. Kathryn A. Kleinhans.

The "ELCA Church Council" under his (and other) names, probably indicates that they are elected to the board by the ELCA Church Council.

I'm sure your right about that, but the Wartburg website does leave one to conjecture.

Watching the video, he simply identifies himself as being from "Wartburg Theological Seminary." The implication, I think, is that he is on the theological faculty there, or at least is somehow on the staff. But he is neither; he's merely on their Board of Directors. That troubles me. I strikes me as a bit dishonest.

Does anyone else feel that way?


Unless the seminary gave him permission to say that, I agree.

Umm, the Board governs the seminary. The seminary does not “give permission” to a Board member to do or say anything.


The Board as a whole governs the seminary and could give an individual Board member authority to speak as a Wartburg representative. An individual Board member acting alone has no such authority.
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: DCharlton on December 27, 2018, 09:30:17 PM
Several things about this smell fishy to me. But perhaps I am just being too suspicious and cynical.
Someone call Wartburg seminary, and ask them about this video and his identification with them.  Then call the office of the ELCA secretary and determined his status on our roster. 

As the Presiding Bishop said about another controversial pastor who is publicly identified with the ELCA, since his opinion is outside of the official policies of the Wartburg, there is no reason to get worked up about it.  We should no more care about what he says publicly than we care what Decolonize Lutheranism, Naked and Ashamed or Ebenezer Lutheran says.  Right?
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on December 28, 2018, 12:45:51 AM
Several things about this smell fishy to me. But perhaps I am just being too suspicious and cynical.
Someone call Wartburg seminary, and ask them about this video and his identification with them.  Then call the office of the ELCA secretary and determined his status on our roster.

And then there's https://www.wartburgseminary.edu/staff/rev-dr-stephen-cornils/
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: Charles Austin on December 28, 2018, 03:59:15 AM
So if he is a 1970 graduate of Wartburg, he and I were in Dubuque at the same time.
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: RandyBosch on December 28, 2018, 10:10:07 AM
Despite the rather creepy descent of this thread into all things Cornils  (Perhaps soon we will learn whether or not he frequents Chik-fil-a or however its spelled...), I actually watched the YouTube video.  After all, many of you religiously watch the talking heads on TV and Cable "news" and "opinion" shows, most of whom tout impressive institution linked credentials without the permission of those institutions (and sometimes do not claim to be spokespersons for them).

My reaction to the Cornils' Luther video is that it was a very shallow, weak on facts gloss about Luther and the Reformation.  Close enough to make the uninformed think they've learned something really factual.  Far enough off to assure misunderstanding and negative reaction to the man and his alleged influence on almost everything that occurred after he posted on the door. 

After all, according to Cornils, the printing press invention was a bit different than you learned about it (see  https://www.livescience.com/43639-who-invented-the-printing-press.html to reconnect to reality); Luther was the most stubborn, cranky, non-PC guy who ever lived; Luther (unbeknownst to him) lit the fuse that created capitalism, democracy, free will and a huge host of other cultural and civilizational changing milestones (including the Renaissance and the Enlightenment).  But, enough.

I trust that this does not represent the current educational value to be gained at Wartburg.

Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: Richard Johnson on December 28, 2018, 11:32:14 AM


I trust that this does not represent the current educational value to be gained at Wartburg.

Well, if it's any comfort, there aren't that many students.
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: Charles Austin on December 28, 2018, 11:46:40 AM
They report 180 students in all programs. I suspect about a hundred of those are M.Div.
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: DCharlton on December 28, 2018, 11:51:04 AM
My reaction to the Cornils' Luther video is that it was a very shallow, weak on facts gloss about Luther and the Reformation.  Close enough to make the uninformed think they've learned something really factual.  Far enough off to assure misunderstanding and negative reaction to the man and his alleged influence on almost everything that occurred after he posted on the door. 

That's a good summary of most of what takes place at Prager U.  My son has complained about similar representations of Plato and Aristotle and other supposed fathers of capitalism.
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: MaddogLutheran on December 28, 2018, 12:01:26 PM
Several things about this smell fishy to me. But perhaps I am just being too suspicious and cynical.
Someone call Wartburg seminary, and ask them about this video and his identification with them.  Then call the office of the ELCA secretary and determined his status on our roster.

And then there's https://www.wartburgseminary.edu/staff/rev-dr-stephen-cornils/
So backtracking from this link, I see that he is chair of the board of directors.  I have no stake in any of this, but I imagine that being chair gives a person some authority...though obviously institutionally dependent.  Not quite sure what the separation of authority is between the board of directors and the foundation trustees, but I'd guess it's daily operations versus endowment funds.

Of course, all this is a quite separate from the content of Dr. Cornils public pronouncements.  Multiple things can be true at the same time, we should not lose sight of that.  But I fear once again we're being pushed into tribal corners.  Someone alluded to it upstream, but I'm not sure what the ELCA representative difference is between Nadia Bolz-Webber, for example, and Dr. Cornils, other than which tribe one perceives them to belong.  The former was a featured speaker at an ELCA youth gathering, the latter is board chair of an ELCA seminary and was elected to that board by the ELCA church council, known hotbed of regressive policies.

Of course, I'm also not quite sure what to make of a seminary the describes itself on its internet homepage as "basically Hogwarts".  But obviously Dr. Cornils is suspect because of his association with Prager U (the veracity of that entity I make no particular comment here), although I will dispute the Southern Poverty Law Center's current moral righteousness as an arbiter of truth.
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: Mark Brown on December 28, 2018, 12:05:44 PM


I trust that this does not represent the current educational value to be gained at Wartburg.

Well, if it's any comfort, there aren't that many students.

That is some high quality gallows humor. I almost snorted out my coffee.
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 28, 2018, 12:56:37 PM
They report 180 students in all programs. I suspect about a hundred of those are M.Div.


I believe that's larger than when I was there ('72-'76). As I recall, there were less than 30 in my graduating class.
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 28, 2018, 01:08:30 PM
As a generalization, there tends to be "popular" presentation and "academic" presentations. As an illustration, much of the critiques I've read against the MBTI are criticizing the "popular" books and understanding. There are also "academic" books and journals that contain social science experiments at the college level and higher.


That's also true in theology. It's likely that should our lay people be quizzed on the finer (academic) points of theology, they would fail. Popular books like the Left Behind series or The DaVinci Code or The Late Great Planet Earth from a generation ago, are popular and present popular theologies. They use common language rather the technical terms that better When Hal Lindsey writes a commentary on Revelation, I do not expect it to be an academic treatise like the Hermeneia series or The International Critical Commentaries.

I see Dr. Cornils's presentation to be a popular presentation of Luther; not completely technically accurate, but designed for a pretty uninformed audience.
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: MaddogLutheran on December 28, 2018, 01:24:49 PM
As a generalization, there tends to be "popular" presentation and "academic" presentations. As an illustration, much of the critiques I've read against the MBTI are criticizing the "popular" books and understanding. There are also "academic" books and journals that contain social science experiments at the college level and higher.


That's also true in theology. It's likely that should our lay people be quizzed on the finer (academic) points of theology, they would fail. Popular books like the Left Behind series or The DaVinci Code or The Late Great Planet Earth from a generation ago, are popular and present popular theologies. They use common language rather the technical terms that better When Hal Lindsey writes a commentary on Revelation, I do not expect it to be an academic treatise like the Hermeneia series or The International Critical Commentaries.

I see Dr. Cornils's presentation to be a popular presentation of Luther; not completely technically accurate, but designed for a pretty uninformed audience.
Agree, it appears to be "dumbed down" for a wider audience.  That's always problematic to those who know more about a subject, and leaves knowledgeable people wondering whether, in this case Dr. Cornils, knows better.  Maybe he knows his stuff, but his popular translation is just not that good.  Judging by others' comments here, it seems he missed the mark on the heart of Luther and the Reformation.  Admittedly it's not an easy task.
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: Dan Fienen on December 28, 2018, 02:08:26 PM
As a generalization, there tends to be "popular" presentation and "academic" presentations. As an illustration, much of the critiques I've read against the MBTI are criticizing the "popular" books and understanding. There are also "academic" books and journals that contain social science experiments at the college level and higher.


That's also true in theology. It's likely that should our lay people be quizzed on the finer (academic) points of theology, they would fail. Popular books like the Left Behind series or The DaVinci Code or The Late Great Planet Earth from a generation ago,are popular and present popular theologies. They use common language rather the technical terms that better When Hal Lindsey writes a commentary on Revelation, I do not expect it to be an academic treatise like the Hermeneia series or The International Critical Commentaries.

I see Dr. Cornils's presentation to be a popular presentation of Luther; not completely technically accurate, but designed for a pretty uninformed audience.
Any text, whether article, book, blog, video, etc., can be produced for technically savvy experts or at a "popular" level for general consumption.  Those produced for general consumption will avoid technical language, simplify complex issues and discussions, ignore some of the more intricate issues and arguments and generally "dumb it down" for non specialists.  It's not so much about the intelligence of the presumed audience but their background in the subject matter (or lack of it).  One can be quite learned in one area but a novice in another.  Learned theologians who attempt to pontificate about scientific matters generally make as many gaffs as do accomplished scientists when they pontificate about theology.

But none of this excuses a text whether academic, technical or popular for promulgating inaccuracies, fabrications, or falsehoods about the subject matter.  I'm sure that evolutionary scientists do not excuse religious proponents of creationism who produce popular level discussions of evolution that misconstrue evolutionary theory or evidence as being acceptable because what they're producing are "popular" rather than "academic" works.  Or suppose a popular book about the Civil War were written that portrayed the antebellum condition of slaves as happy, well cared for and content and the cause of the war was Northern attempts to suppress Southern civilization.  Such a work would not be accepted simply because it is "popular" rather than academic.  Neither should a popular presentation of Martin Luther be accepted that misrepresents him.
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 28, 2018, 03:46:57 PM
Perhaps off topic, perhaps not. I saw, liked, and reposted this picture on Facebook.
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 28, 2018, 04:39:08 PM
Regarding the use of a model rather than a worker.


A novice might see nothing wrong with the picture.


Someone with a little knowledge would know that you don't hold a soldering iron where she's holding it.


Someone with more knowledge knows about the soldering iron and also the fact that soldering doesn't happen on that side of the board.


Experts with more knowledge than I have may find even more fault with her approach to soldering on the mother board.


I've yet to discover what the "Dr." in Stephen Cornils name refers to. Ph.D.? Th.D.? D.Ed.? D.Min.? And what specific area did he get his doctorate? I expect someone with a Ph.D. in Lutheran Confessional theology to know more about that topic than someone with an M.D. degree. Conversely, I would go to one of these doctors for a pain in my side, but not to the other.



Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: Mike Bennett on December 28, 2018, 05:17:04 PM
As a generalization, there tends to be "popular" presentation and "academic" presentations. As an illustration, much of the critiques I've read against the MBTI are criticizing the "popular" books and understanding. There are also "academic" books and journals that contain social science experiments at the college level and higher.


That's also true in theology. It's likely that should our lay people be quizzed on the finer (academic) points of theology, they would fail. Popular books like the Left Behind series or The DaVinci Code or The Late Great Planet Earth from a generation ago, are popular and present popular theologies. They use common language rather the technical terms that better When Hal Lindsey writes a commentary on Revelation, I do not expect it to be an academic treatise like the Hermeneia series or The International Critical Commentaries.

I see Dr. Cornils's presentation to be a popular presentation of Luther; not completely technically accurate, but designed for a pretty uninformed audience.

I disagree with the premise that it’s ok for a “popular” presentation to be inaccurate because the hearer/reader is not equipped to handle the full “academic” version. Part of any expert’s tool kit is the ability to explain material in his/her field to a non-expert in such a way that the hearer receives accurate albeit less than exhaustive information. Two examples: (1) My doctor communicating with me regarding my medical condition; (2) My responsibility in my pre-retirement profession to communicate financial matters to those who were not expert in finance.
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: Richard Johnson on December 28, 2018, 08:46:54 PM
They report 180 students in all programs. I suspect about a hundred of those are M.Div.

Hard to know, of course, but I "suspect" that's not correct, and I "suspect" that figure includes pretty much anybody who is taking even a single class.
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: Richard Johnson on December 28, 2018, 08:48:06 PM
They report 180 students in all programs. I suspect about a hundred of those are M.Div.


I believe that's larger than when I was there ('72-'76). As I recall, there were less than 30 in my graduating class.

Even if there were 100 MDiv students, and assuming three years of study and a year of internship, that would make for a graduating class of 25, wouldn't it?
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: Dan Fienen on December 28, 2018, 10:37:02 PM
There are, as I understand it, three levels of carpentry, rough, finish and cabinetry.  Of the three, cabinetr by far demands the greatest degree of care and precision and involves the more intricate work.  Finish carpentry still needs precision if joints and corners are going to be tight and look good.  Rough can be rougher still and since joints and corners will be covered up, they don’t need to fit as tightly.  But even so, rough carpentry can’t be sloppy or the walls will be out of plumb and alignment, floors slope and doors and windows won’t close.  Measuring and assembly still needs care and a degree of accuracy.


Just because a work is being done for popular consumption doesn’t justify outright distortion of the subject matter even if it doesn’t need to meet the rigorous standards demanded of scholarly work.
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: Rev. Edward Engelbrecht on December 29, 2018, 07:04:05 AM
There are, as I understand it, three levels of carpentry, rough, finish and cabinetry.  Of the three, cabinetr by far deimands the greatest degree of care and precision and involves the more intricate work.  Finish carpentry still needs precision if joints and corners are going to be tight and look good.  Rough can be rougher still and since joints and corners will be covered up, they don’t need to fit as tightly.  But even so, rough carpentry can’t be sloppy or the walls will be out of plumb and alignment, floors slope and doors and windows won’t close.  Measuring and assembly still needs care and a degree of accuracy.


Just because a work is being done for popular consumption doesn’t justify outright distortion of the subject matter even if it doesn’t need to meet the rigorous standards demanded of scholarly work.

This is a good comparison for understanding the problems and the challenges of presenting history in simple ways. Thanks for sharing it.

The video does include errors in fact and misleading statements, which one would want to avoid at any level of work. At the same time, the narrative is well told and illustrated in an engaging way. I hope the author and university have an opportunity to improve it. A good consultant might work wonders.
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: Steven W Bohler on December 29, 2018, 08:30:38 AM
There are, as I understand it, three levels of carpentry, rough, finish and cabinetry.  Of the three, cabinetr by far deimands the greatest degree of care and precision and involves the more intricate work.  Finish carpentry still needs precision if joints and corners are going to be tight and look good.  Rough can be rougher still and since joints and corners will be covered up, they don’t need to fit as tightly.  But even so, rough carpentry can’t be sloppy or the walls will be out of plumb and alignment, floors slope and doors and windows won’t close.  Measuring and assembly still needs care and a degree of accuracy.


Just because a work is being done for popular consumption doesn’t justify outright distortion of the subject matter even if it doesn’t need to meet the rigorous standards demanded of scholarly work.

This is a good comparison for understanding the problems and the challenges of presenting history in simple ways. Thanks for sharing it.

The video does include errors in fact and misleading statements, which one would want to avoid at any level of work. At the same time, the narrative is well told and illustrated in an engaging way. I hope the author and university have an opportunity to improve it. A good consultant might work wonders.

Rev. Engelbrecht,

I genuinely appreciate your way of finding a positive way of saying things.  Not just on this matter, but throughout this board.  Thank you! I often fail in that, to my chagrin.
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: Charles Austin on December 29, 2018, 10:15:04 AM
Flaws, whether cataclysmic or small, in internet "things" are inevitable because the medium allows anyone to do anything.
   During my sixty years of writing for magazines, newspapers, and radio stations, nothing  - and I mean nothing - I wrote was published or aired unless at least two and usually more editors up the line saw it, asked questions about it, caught things that could be unclear to the reader, and tidied up my grammar. Sometimes these editors knew more about the subject than I did, and if they did not know the details of what I was writing about - theology, for example - the made me make things clearer to them.
   They could not catch absolutely everything, of course, but that's how it worked.
   With today's internet, anyone can create anything, an article, a video, a whole show and slam it up online without any buffer or checking.
   It is a problem. caveat lector
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: readselerttoo on December 29, 2018, 01:47:39 PM
As a generalization, there tends to be "popular" presentation and "academic" presentations. As an illustration, much of the critiques I've read against the MBTI are criticizing the "popular" books and understanding. There are also "academic" books and journals that contain social science experiments at the college level and higher.


That's also true in theology. It's likely that should our lay people be quizzed on the finer (academic) points of theology, they would fail. Popular books like the Left Behind series or The DaVinci Code or The Late Great Planet Earth from a generation ago, are popular and present popular theologies. They use common language rather the technical terms that better When Hal Lindsey writes a commentary on Revelation, I do not expect it to be an academic treatise like the Hermeneia series or The International Critical Commentaries.

I see Dr. Cornils's presentation to be a popular presentation of Luther; not completely technically accurate, but designed for a pretty uninformed audience.

I disagree with the premise that it’s ok for a “popular” presentation to be inaccurate because the hearer/reader is not equipped to handle the full “academic” version. Part of any expert’s tool kit is the ability to explain material in his/her field to a non-expert in such a way that the hearer receives accurate albeit less than exhaustive information. Two examples: (1) My doctor communicating with me regarding my medical condition; (2) My responsibility in my pre-retirement profession to communicate financial matters to those who were not expert in finance.

I couldn't agree more with this.  Why dispense inaccuracies esp. at the popular level!
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: Michael Slusser on December 29, 2018, 02:18:36 PM
I disagree with the premise that it’s ok for a “popular” presentation to be inaccurate because the hearer/reader is not equipped to handle the full “academic” version. Part of any expert’s tool kit is the ability to explain material in his/her field to a non-expert in such a way that the hearer receives accurate albeit less than exhaustive information. Two examples: (1) My doctor communicating with me regarding my medical condition; (2) My responsibility in my pre-retirement profession to communicate financial matters to those who were not expert in finance.

I couldn't agree more with this.  Why dispense inaccuracies esp. at the popular level!
I agree also. In my introductory courses--even on such topics as Judaism or Islam--I tried my best not to teach the students anything they would have to unlearn if they pursued the subject more deeply.

Peace,
Michael
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 29, 2018, 06:35:20 PM
I couldn't agree more with this.  Why dispense inaccuracies esp. at the popular level!


It's popular to talk about the Torah coming from Moses. It's not accurate. Should we refuse to call them "The Books of Moses"?


It's inaccurate to talk about Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John as the authors of the gospels. It's quite likely that they were not written by men with those names. They do not tell us who wrote them.


Did Jesus give the Lord's Prayer twice (or more often) which leads to the versions in Matthew and Luke; or did one of the gospel writers record an inaccurate version of Jesus' words?


I found nothing inaccurate in Cornils's presentation. There were generalized statements that would be nuanced further in a detailed study of Luther's legacy in the world.
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: gan ainm on December 29, 2018, 07:21:42 PM
I couldn't agree more with this.  Why dispense inaccuracies esp. at the popular level!


It's popular to talk about the Torah coming from Moses. It's not accurate. Should we refuse to call them "The Books of Moses"?


It's inaccurate to talk about Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John as the authors of the gospels. It's quite likely that they were not written by men with those names. They do not tell us who wrote them.


Did Jesus give the Lord's Prayer twice (or more often) which leads to the versions in Matthew and Luke; or did one of the gospel writers record an inaccurate version of Jesus' words?


I found nothing inaccurate in Cornils's presentation. There were generalized statements that would be nuanced further in a detailed study of Luther's legacy in the world.

Not accurate/inaccurate according to whom?  And by not accurate , do you mean not true?

Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 30, 2018, 12:54:27 AM
I couldn't agree more with this.  Why dispense inaccuracies esp. at the popular level!


It's popular to talk about the Torah coming from Moses. It's not accurate. Should we refuse to call them "The Books of Moses"?


It's inaccurate to talk about Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John as the authors of the gospels. It's quite likely that they were not written by men with those names. They do not tell us who wrote them.


Did Jesus give the Lord's Prayer twice (or more often) which leads to the versions in Matthew and Luke; or did one of the gospel writers record an inaccurate version of Jesus' words?


I found nothing inaccurate in Cornils's presentation. There were generalized statements that would be nuanced further in a detailed study of Luther's legacy in the world.

Not accurate/inaccurate according to whom?  And by not accurate , do you mean not true?


Not accurate does not necessarily mean not true. If I say, "It's about a foot long" and a tape measure shows that it is actually 13.5 inches long. Was my original statement not true, or just not quite accurate?


In some situations, "about a foot long" is accurate enough, e.g., to find a piece of wood to fill in a gap. When actually filling in the gap, measure twice, cut once, is the motto; so that the measurement will be accurate to that task.


There are memes on Facebook that illustrate accuracy (or truth) depends on one's perspective. One pictures shows two people looking at a number on the ground from opposite sides. One insists that it's a six the other states that it is a nine. Both are true from their perspective.


Another has a 3-D cylinder (picture attached). A light from the top cast a shadow of a circle on the wall. "It's a circle." A light from the side cast a shadow of a square on the wall. "It's a square." Both statements are true, but neither fully captures the whole truth of the cylinder. We might say that both statements are accurate to a point; but they also miss the whole truth.
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: gan ainm on December 30, 2018, 05:26:39 AM
I couldn't agree more with this.  Why dispense inaccuracies esp. at the popular level!


It's popular to talk about the Torah coming from Moses. It's not accurate. Should we refuse to call them "The Books of Moses"?


It's inaccurate to talk about Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John as the authors of the gospels. It's quite likely that they were not written by men with those names. They do not tell us who wrote them.


Did Jesus give the Lord's Prayer twice (or more often) which leads to the versions in Matthew and Luke; or did one of the gospel writers record an inaccurate version of Jesus' words?


I found nothing inaccurate in Cornils's presentation. There were generalized statements that would be nuanced further in a detailed study of Luther's legacy in the world.

Not accurate/inaccurate according to whom?  And by not accurate , do you mean not true?


Not accurate does not necessarily mean not true. If I say, "It's about a foot long" and a tape measure shows that it is actually 13.5 inches long. Was my original statement not true, or just not quite accurate?


In some situations, "about a foot long" is accurate enough, e.g., to find a piece of wood to fill in a gap. When actually filling in the gap, measure twice, cut once, is the motto; so that the measurement will be accurate to that task.


There are memes on Facebook that illustrate accuracy (or truth) depends on one's perspective. One pictures shows two people looking at a number on the ground from opposite sides. One insists that it's a six the other states that it is a nine. Both are true from their perspective.


Another has a 3-D cylinder (picture attached). A light from the top cast a shadow of a circle on the wall. "It's a circle." A light from the side cast a shadow of a square on the wall. "It's a square." Both statements are true, but neither fully captures the whole truth of the cylinder. We might say that both statements are accurate to a point; but they also miss the whole truth.

Thank you for your description of how you are using 'not accurate'.  Now, again what is your answer to my first question:  Not accurate according to whom (in regards to author of the Torah and authors of the Gospels)?
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: Rev. Edward Engelbrecht on December 30, 2018, 06:04:45 AM
There are, as I understand it, three levels of carpentry, rough, finish and cabinetry.  Of the three, cabinetr by far deimands the greatest degree of care and precision and involves the more intricate work.  Finish carpentry still needs precision if joints and corners are going to be tight and look good.  Rough can be rougher still and since joints and corners will be covered up, they don’t need to fit as tightly.  But even so, rough carpentry can’t be sloppy or the walls will be out of plumb and alignment, floors slope and doors and windows won’t close.  Measuring and assembly still needs care and a degree of accuracy.


Just because a work is being done for popular consumption doesn’t justify outright distortion of the subject matter even if it doesn’t need to meet the rigorous standards demanded of scholarly work.

This is a good comparison for understanding the problems and the challenges of presenting history in simple ways. Thanks for sharing it.

The video does include errors in fact and misleading statements, which one would want to avoid at any level of work. At the same time, the narrative is well told and illustrated in an engaging way. I hope the author and university have an opportunity to improve it. A good consultant might work wonders.

Rev. Engelbrecht,

I genuinely appreciate your way of finding a positive way of saying things.  Not just on this matter, but throughout this board.  Thank you! I often fail in that, to my chagrin.

Thanks for your kind words, Steven.
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 30, 2018, 10:17:03 AM
Thank you for your description of how you are using 'not accurate'.  Now, again what is your answer to my first question:  Not accurate according to whom (in regards to author of the Torah and authors of the Gospels)?


There are many answers to not accurate to whom? One is the text itself. Moses dies before Deuteronomy ends, so he couldn't have written those verses after his death. When you look for the name of the writers of the gospels in the gospels, it is not to be found.
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: pearson on December 30, 2018, 10:45:50 AM

There are memes on Facebook that illustrate accuracy (or truth) depends on one's perspective. One pictures shows two people looking at a number on the ground from opposite sides. One insists that it's a six the other states that it is a nine. Both are true from their perspective.

Another has a 3-D cylinder (picture attached). A light from the top cast a shadow of a circle on the wall. "It's a circle." A light from the side cast a shadow of a square on the wall. "It's a square." Both statements are true, but neither fully captures the whole truth of the cylinder. We might say that both statements are accurate to a point; but they also miss the whole truth.


Ah, if only all of reality were just memes on Facebook.

Tom Pearson
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: readselerttoo on December 30, 2018, 12:30:31 PM
Thank you for your description of how you are using 'not accurate'.  Now, again what is your answer to my first question:  Not accurate according to whom (in regards to author of the Torah and authors of the Gospels)?


There are many answers to not accurate to whom? One is the text itself. Moses dies before Deuteronomy ends, so he couldn't have written those verses after his death. When you look for the name of the writers of the gospels in the gospels, it is not to be found.

Why would it be necessary for an author by the name of Matthew be named in the Gospel of Matthew itself for it to be authentically the Gospel of St. Matthew?
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 30, 2018, 11:57:02 PM

There are memes on Facebook that illustrate accuracy (or truth) depends on one's perspective. One pictures shows two people looking at a number on the ground from opposite sides. One insists that it's a six the other states that it is a nine. Both are true from their perspective.

Another has a 3-D cylinder (picture attached). A light from the top cast a shadow of a circle on the wall. "It's a circle." A light from the side cast a shadow of a square on the wall. "It's a square." Both statements are true, but neither fully captures the whole truth of the cylinder. We might say that both statements are accurate to a point; but they also miss the whole truth.


Ah, if only all of reality were just memes on Facebook.


It is a good source of people's "perceptions" - what they believe to be the reality and the beliefs that govern their lives. You may or may not agree with their perceptions; which you can then share as a meme on Facebook.
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 31, 2018, 12:18:04 AM
Thank you for your description of how you are using 'not accurate'.  Now, again what is your answer to my first question:  Not accurate according to whom (in regards to author of the Torah and authors of the Gospels)?


There are many answers to not accurate to whom? One is the text itself. Moses dies before Deuteronomy ends, so he couldn't have written those verses after his death. When you look for the name of the writers of the gospels in the gospels, it is not to be found.

Why would it be necessary for an author by the name of Matthew be named in the Gospel of Matthew itself for it to be authentically the Gospel of St. Matthew?


Because the best place to look for the author of a document is within the document itself. That is the primary source of information about the document. Most of the biblical letters tell us who wrote them. My sermon manuscripts have my name printed on them. Any book you buy or borrow lists the author(s).


We already know that secondary sources, Papias, as recorded by Eusebius, and Irenaeus were inaccurate in believing that Matthew was originally written in Hebrew. There is a "Gospel of the Hebrews" that was used by the Ebionites, but it is not the canonical gospel of Matthew. If those early church histories were wrong about Matthew being in Hebrew, they could easily be wrong about the name of the author.
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: gan ainm on December 31, 2018, 10:59:50 AM
Thank you for your description of how you are using 'not accurate'.  Now, again what is your answer to my first question:  Not accurate according to whom (in regards to author of the Torah and authors of the Gospels)?


There are many answers to not accurate to whom? One is the text itself. Moses dies before Deuteronomy ends, so he couldn't have written those verses after his death. When you look for the name of the writers of the gospels in the gospels, it is not to be found.

May I ask yet again, not accurate according to whom?  Which specific "accurate source" is it you believe as to who the authors of Scripture (the Torah and Gospels in particular) are and why do you believe that/those source(s) vs. the people for millennia who 1. accept the Torah was written by Moses and the Gospels were written by the traditional authors for whom the books are named, and 2. believe the mysteries of God like a little child?  For example:

Matthew 11:24-26 (ESV)
24 But I tell you that it will be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom than for you.”  25 At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; 26 yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.


I hope this Matthew passage is not in your "not accurate" bucket.  Regardless, I hope you have a blessed New Year.  God's Peace be with you.


Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 31, 2018, 11:53:13 AM
Thank you for your description of how you are using 'not accurate'.  Now, again what is your answer to my first question:  Not accurate according to whom (in regards to author of the Torah and authors of the Gospels)?


There are many answers to not accurate to whom? One is the text itself. Moses dies before Deuteronomy ends, so he couldn't have written those verses after his death. When you look for the name of the writers of the gospels in the gospels, it is not to be found.

May I ask yet again, not accurate according to whom?  Which specific "accurate source" is it you believe as to who the authors of Scripture (the Torah and Gospels in particular) are and why do you believe that/those source(s) vs. the people for millennia who 1. accept the Torah was written by Moses and the Gospels were written by the traditional authors for whom the books are named, and 2. believe the mysteries of God like a little child?  For example:

Matthew 11:24-26 (ESV)
24 But I tell you that it will be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom than for you.”  25 At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; 26 yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.


I hope this Matthew passage is not in your "not accurate" bucket.  Regardless, I hope you have a blessed New Year.  God's Peace be with you.


I have told you the authoritative source: The Bible. Every time I have laid out the differences between the creation accounts in Genesis 1:1-2:4a and in 2:4b-25 with adults or confirmation students; they conclude that there must be two different stories. Old Testament scholars who have more time to study other stories continue that conclusion throughout the Torah - there are different sources.


As any teacher (and perhaps even pastors) who read stories by youth, different styles are readily apparent. (That's one way teachers catch students who have plagiarized off the internet - the writing style changes.) The Bible gives us different writing styles in the Torah.


Language scholars that I read place the beginning of distinct Hebrew letters around the 10th century BC. This places it 250-300 years after the Exodus and Moses' death. How could Moses have written it if the Hebrews didn't have writing at that time?


As I see it, the legend of Moses' authorship is a like referring to a dictionary as "Websters". None of the recent ones were edited by Noah Webster.
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: Dan Fienen on December 31, 2018, 12:26:23 PM
How stupid believers must have been for thousands of years not to have caught what is so obvious to modern scholars.
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: aletheist on December 31, 2018, 12:39:01 PM
Because the best place to look for the author of a document is within the document itself. That is the primary source of information about the document. Most of the biblical letters tell us who wrote them.
Including the Pastoral Epistles.  Do you affirm accordingly that Paul actually wrote them?

As I see it, the legend of Moses' authorship is a like referring to a dictionary as "Websters".
And yet, Jesus spoke about the Pentateuch on multiple occasions as if Moses actually wrote it.
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 31, 2018, 01:01:07 PM
How stupid believers must have been for thousands of years not to have caught what is so obvious to modern scholars.


And for hundreds of years "scholars" took everything in scriptures as allegories. That was wrong, too.
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 31, 2018, 02:20:42 PM
Because the best place to look for the author of a document is within the document itself. That is the primary source of information about the document. Most of the biblical letters tell us who wrote them.
Including the Pastoral Epistles.  Do you affirm accordingly that Paul actually wrote them?


No, I don't affirm that Paul wrote them. He was dead by the time deacons, elders, and bishops became church offices.


Do you agree that
The Gospel of Philip,
The Gospel or Traditions of Matthias,
The Gospel of Peter,
The Gospel of Thomas,
The Preaching of Peter,
The Gospel of Bartholomew,
The Book of James or Protevangelium,
The Infancy Gospel of Thomas
were not written by Philip, Matthias, Peter, Bartholomew, James, and Thomas?

What do you say about
The Apocalypse of Peter,
The Apocalypse of Paul,
The Apocalypse of Thomas,
The Apocalypse of the Virgin,
The Revelation of Stephen?
Where they written by Peter, Paul, Thomas, Mary, and Stephen?
 
We have a copy of 3 Corinthians that claims to be written by Paul. It's found in the Acts of Paul. Should we except Pauline authorship just because it says it was written by Paul?

As I see it, the legend of Moses' authorship is a like referring to a dictionary as "Websters".
And yet, Jesus spoke about the Pentateuch on multiple occasions as if Moses actually wrote it.

And we talk about Webster's as if Noah Webster actually wrote the dictionary, too.

The NT attributes psalms to David. Yet, it's not likely that he wrote the psalms. The introduction to the psalms in the CEB Study Bible says: "It is unlikely that David wrote any of these psalms, so the phrase 'of David' could also be translated 'dedicated to David' or 'for David' or 'in honor of David.' The phrase seems to be a way of honoring David's memory and influence. The poets who likely wrote the psalms were members of levitical guilds, such as those of Korah (ss Pss 42-43; 1 chron 9:19; 2 Chron 20:19) and Asaph (see Ps 50; 1 Chron 16:5, 7; 25:1-2; Era 3:10)." (p. 838 OT)

Over the years, "Song of Solomon" (KJV through RSV) became "Song of Songs," because scholars came to realize that it was not written by Solomon.

The belief that a book was written by Moses, Paul, David, or Solomon doesn't make it so.
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: aletheist on December 31, 2018, 02:25:26 PM
The belief that a book was written by Moses, Paul, David, or Solomon doesn't make it so.
And the belief that a book was not written by Moses, Paul, David, or Solomon does not make it so, either.
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: jebutler on December 31, 2018, 03:09:38 PM
Because the best place to look for the author of a document is within the document itself. That is the primary source of information about the document. Most of the biblical letters tell us who wrote them.
Including the Pastoral Epistles.  Do you affirm accordingly that Paul actually wrote them?


No, I don't affirm that Paul wrote them. He was dead by the time deacons, elders, and bishops became church offices.


Do you agree that
The Gospel of Philip,
The Gospel or Traditions of Matthias,
The Gospel of Peter,
The Gospel of Thomas,
The Preaching of Peter,
The Gospel of Bartholomew,
The Book of James or Protevangelium,
The Infancy Gospel of Thomas
were not written by Philip, Matthias, Peter, Bartholomew, James, and Thomas?

What do you say about
The Apocalypse of Peter,
The Apocalypse of Paul,
The Apocalypse of Thomas,
The Apocalypse of the Virgin,
The Revelation of Stephen?
Where they written by Peter, Paul, Thomas, Mary, and Stephen?
 
We have a copy of 3 Corinthians that claims to be written by Paul. It's found in the Acts of Paul. Should we except Pauline authorship just because it says it was written by Paul?

As I see it, the legend of Moses' authorship is a like referring to a dictionary as "Websters".
And yet, Jesus spoke about the Pentateuch on multiple occasions as if Moses actually wrote it.

And we talk about Webster's as if Noah Webster actually wrote the dictionary, too.

The NT attributes psalms to David. Yet, it's not likely that he wrote the psalms. The introduction to the psalms in the CEB Study Bible says: "It is unlikely that David wrote any of these psalms, so the phrase 'of David' could also be translated 'dedicated to David' or 'for David' or 'in honor of David.' The phrase seems to be a way of honoring David's memory and influence. The poets who likely wrote the psalms were members of levitical guilds, such as those of Korah (ss Pss 42-43; 1 chron 9:19; 2 Chron 20:19) and Asaph (see Ps 50; 1 Chron 16:5, 7; 25:1-2; Era 3:10)." (p. 838 OT)

Over the years, "Song of Solomon" (KJV through RSV) became "Song of Songs," because scholars came to realize that it was not written by Solomon.

The belief that a book was written by Moses, Paul, David, or Solomon doesn't make it so.

So here we have it. The fact that the four Gospel writers don't name their authors is proof that Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John did not write them since that is the best place to look for the author.

But the Pastorals identify Paul as the author. But he can't be the author, because...church offices. And David didn't write the Psalms attributed to him. And Solomon didn't write the Song attributed to him.

So, its a "heads I win; tails you lose" thing here.

Oh Brian, those other books you identify. None of them were ever accepted by the Church as Scripture. Don't know if you knew that or not. Otherwise, why point to them?
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: pearson on December 31, 2018, 04:21:52 PM

And yet, Jesus spoke about the Pentateuch on multiple occasions as if Moses actually wrote it.




The belief that a book was written by Moses, Paul, David, or Solomon doesn't make it so.


Did Jesus have "beliefs"?  Including false "beliefs" about the authorship of the Torah?

Tom Pearson
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 31, 2018, 04:47:37 PM
The belief that a book was written by Moses, Paul, David, or Solomon doesn't make it so.
And the belief that a book was not written by Moses, Paul, David, or Solomon does not make it so, either.


Certainly, so we look, first of all to the texts for evidence of their author(s). What does the text claim about it's author? Is the language and grammar proper for a writing at that time in history? Does the historical setting within the writing match the historical setting of the (supposed) author or does it better fit another time in history? Is their theological consistency with other writings by the author? And so on. The "critical" method, as I was told in seminary, is "asking questions" of the text - then seeking answers. The answers to such questions has led many to conclude that Moses did not write the Torah. David did not write the Psalms. Solomon did not write the Songs, Paul did not write the pastorals.


For example, the style of writing and the theological proclamation in Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Samuels, & Kings is consistent, e.g., a centralized place to worship YHWH. Conclusion 1: they came from the same source; but since Moses has died at the end of Deuteronomy, he couldn't have written the follow-up volumes. Conclusion 2: Moses couldn't have written Deuteronomy. Conclusion 3: This collection of Israelite history was written or compiled after the final event at the end of Kings, namely, the exile.
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 31, 2018, 04:51:30 PM
Did Jesus have "beliefs"?  Including false "beliefs" about the authorship of the Torah?


Yup. He was a product of the culture and beliefs he was living in. I doubt that he wore Levi jeans and Nike shoes or even knew about them. We just read how 12-year-old Jesus increased in wisdom (Luke 2:52). He wasn't born knowing everything. He was taught by his parents and teachers in the temple.
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: gan ainm on December 31, 2018, 04:52:40 PM
This discussion exemplifies ‘why Seminex?’.
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 31, 2018, 04:57:52 PM
So here we have it. The fact that the four Gospel writers don't name their authors is proof that Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John did not write them since that is the best place to look for the author.

But the Pastorals identify Paul as the author. But he can't be the author, because...church offices. And David didn't write the Psalms attributed to him. And Solomon didn't write the Song attributed to him.

So, its a "heads I win; tails you lose" thing here.


Nope, it's a method of looking to the text first of all to determine the authorship. However, just because it claims to be written by someone doesn't make it so. It was quite common in the ancient times to try and fool people into believing that one could write as well as a famous author. (They didn't have copyright laws.)


Quote
Oh Brian, those other books you identify. None of them were ever accepted by the Church as Scripture. Don't know if you knew that or not. Otherwise, why point to them?


Because they illustrate my point that just because a writing claims to be written by someone doesn't make it so. The church fathers had to use something besides just an author's claim to be Paul or Peter, etc. to determine the authorship of a writing.


If you conclude that the pastorals must be written by Paul because they say they were written by Paul, then you would have to accept all of these other writings as authentic because they claim to be written by Paul, Peter, etc.
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: aletheist on December 31, 2018, 05:42:16 PM
If you conclude that the pastorals must be written by Paul because they say they were written by Paul, then you would have to accept all of these other writings as authentic because they claim to be written by Paul, Peter, etc.
My point was to highlight the inconsistency of your approach.  The Gospels were supposedly not written by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, because the texts themselves do not identify their authors (except, at least arguably, John).  The Pastoral Epistles were supposedly not written by Paul, even though the texts themselves identify him as their author.

We do not conclude that the pastorals were written by Paul because they say they were written by Paul, but because the early Church affirmed that they were written by Paul.  The same is true regarding the authorship of the Gospels.

Did Jesus have "beliefs"?  Including false "beliefs" about the authorship of the Torah?
Yup. He was a product of the culture and beliefs he was living in.
Just to be completely clear--you hold that Jesus Christ had false beliefs, including His belief that Moses wrote the Torah?
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: Dan Fienen on December 31, 2018, 09:23:07 PM
From Brian’s contributions to this discussion I conclude that whether or not a document identifies its author is irrelevant to the question of authorship.  Since identification of authorship within a document doesn’t count as evidence of that authorship, how can lack of such identification count as evidence?
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: Pr. Don Kirchner on January 01, 2019, 08:40:35 AM
From Brian’s contributions to this discussion I conclude that whether or not a document identifies its author is irrelevant to the question of authorship.  Since identification of authorship within a document doesn’t count as evidence of that authorship, how can lack of such identification count as evidence?

It doesn't. It's Brian logic, and y'all spent a page going down another rabbit hole. Sounds like there will be even more in 2019.
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: RandyBosch on January 01, 2019, 10:18:33 AM
From Brian’s contributions to this discussion I conclude that whether or not a document identifies its author is irrelevant to the question of authorship.  Since identification of authorship within a document doesn’t count as evidence of that authorship, how can lack of such identification count as evidence?

It doesn't. It's Brian logic, and y'all spent a page going down another rabbit hole. Sounds like there will be even more in 2019.

I understand that "rabbit hole" is a correct identifier for this problem.
However, since it pops up with regularity all over the field of the Forum, I prefer to think of it as a
              "Mole Hole",
...and down the tunnel goes another thread. 

Remembering the groundskeeper's obsession in "Caddyshack", these pop-up might better be ignored.
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 01, 2019, 12:20:33 PM

And yet, Jesus spoke about the Pentateuch on multiple occasions as if Moses actually wrote it.




The belief that a book was written by Moses, Paul, David, or Solomon doesn't make it so.


Did Jesus have "beliefs"?  Including false "beliefs" about the authorship of the Torah?

Tom Pearson


Are you calling God a liar?


Writers of scriptures used the knowledge that they had at the time. Sometimes it was inaccurate, like the earth being covered with a big blue bowl (or firmament). Sometimes they were using illustrations, like "God's right arm," when God doesn't really have arms. Lying, as I recall someone else pointing out, involves the intention to make false statements. Biblical writers do not intend to make false statements (except for writers who intentionally put another's name on their writings).


We also read in scriptures about God changing his mind. Would we say that his original statement, e.g., the destruction of Ninevah was a lie when their repentance caused God to repent of the evil he planned to do?
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 01, 2019, 12:35:09 PM
From Brian’s contributions to this discussion I conclude that whether or not a document identifies its author is irrelevant to the question of authorship.  Since identification of authorship within a document doesn’t count as evidence of that authorship, how can lack of such identification count as evidence?


I believe that it's pretty well established that what a person says about himself needs to be checked out by other sources. I can state that I am the greatest piano player in Arizona. I could even write it down in a letter or a book. Would you believe it? If you really wanted to know if it was a true statement, you would check other reliable and trustworthy sources to confirm or deny what I said about myself. Muhammed Ali proclaimed, "I am the greatest." Should we believe him? Should we hear with other boxing experts say about his abilities?


What a writer says about himself is both a source of evidence and something to be challenged. Additional evidence should be looked at the confirm or deny what they say.


I presume that you do not accept the NT Apocrypha as authentic writings from the first century apostles even though the authors claim to be folks from the first century?


The same kind of judgment is made when others make a claim. When my mother tells you that I'm the greatest piano player in the state; you might consider her assessment to be biased. The comments of a recognized music critic would hold more weight. Thus we evaluate the claims of the 2nd & 3rd century writers who talk about the authors of the gospels. Do they have a hidden agenda? Are they biased? What is their judgment based on? We know that Papias judgment that Matthew was originally written in Hebrew is a false assessment.


Critical thinkers don't just accept what someone says. We evaluate both the speaker and the evidence that they present.


Of course critical thinking is discouraged among some Christians: "God said it. I believe it; and that's that." (I have had people say that to me.)
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: readselerttoo on January 01, 2019, 01:20:25 PM

And yet, Jesus spoke about the Pentateuch on multiple occasions as if Moses actually wrote it.




The belief that a book was written by Moses, Paul, David, or Solomon doesn't make it so.


Did Jesus have "beliefs"?  Including false "beliefs" about the authorship of the Torah?

Tom Pearson


Are you calling God a liar?


Writers of scriptures used the knowledge that they had at the time. Sometimes it was inaccurate, like the earth being covered with a big blue bowl (or firmament). Sometimes they were using illustrations, like "God's right arm," when God doesn't really have arms. Lying, as I recall someone else pointing out, involves the intention to make false statements. Biblical writers do not intend to make false statements (except for writers who intentionally put another's name on their writings).


We also read in scriptures about God changing his mind. Would we say that his original statement, e.g., the destruction of Ninevah was a lie when their repentance caused God to repent of the evil he planned to do?

Actually I mis-read the original referred to post.  Yes, God (ie. Jesus) can be addressed by a deceiver and was addressed so at one point in the Gospels.   But one who plants the idea or wonderment of whether Jesus could be deceived is walking the way of God's wrath.  Jesus conquers everything...even falsely laid accusations that God could be deceived.

BTW, the issue of God changing God's mind was a historical observation and a resultant conclusion drawn by the historian of the writing in the Hebrew Scriptures. 

When Jesus is the one being accused, that is a different "animal" altogether.  Then the one who is making such a statement is standing before God himself and must make answer for his accusation.  Just sayin'
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: readselerttoo on January 01, 2019, 01:32:40 PM
Did Jesus have "beliefs"?  Including false "beliefs" about the authorship of the Torah?


Yup. He was a product of the culture and beliefs he was living in. I doubt that he wore Levi jeans and Nike shoes or even knew about them. We just read how 12-year-old Jesus increased in wisdom (Luke 2:52). He wasn't born knowing everything. He was taught by his parents and teachers in the temple.

See my comment above about false accusations made toward God.
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: gan ainm on January 01, 2019, 03:01:55 PM
From Brian’s contributions to this discussion I conclude that whether or not a document identifies its author is irrelevant to the question of authorship.  Since identification of authorship within a document doesn’t count as evidence of that authorship, how can lack of such identification count as evidence?


I believe that it's pretty well established that what a person says about himself needs to be checked out by other sources. I can state that I am the greatest piano player in Arizona. I could even write it down in a letter or a book. Would you believe it? If you really wanted to know if it was a true statement, you would check other reliable and trustworthy sources to confirm or deny what I said about myself. Muhammed Ali proclaimed, "I am the greatest." Should we believe him? Should we hear with other boxing experts say about his abilities?


What a writer says about himself is both a source of evidence and something to be challenged. Additional evidence should be looked at the confirm or deny what they say.


I presume that you do not accept the NT Apocrypha as authentic writings from the first century apostles even though the authors claim to be folks from the first century?


The same kind of judgment is made when others make a claim. When my mother tells you that I'm the greatest piano player in the state; you might consider her assessment to be biased. The comments of a recognized music critic would hold more weight. Thus we evaluate the claims of the 2nd & 3rd century writers who talk about the authors of the gospels. Do they have a hidden agenda? Are they biased? What is their judgment based on? We know that Papias judgment that Matthew was originally written in Hebrew is a false assessment.


Critical thinkers don't just accept what someone says. We evaluate both the speaker and the evidence that they present.


Of course critical thinking is discouraged among some Christians: "God said it. I believe it; and that's that." (I have had people say that to me.)

I thought you may enjoy Luther's perspective, below, since you have apparently rejected confessional Lutheranism and 'progressed' on to human relativism.

In 1537 he [Luther] told the Wittenberg congregation that he believed in the Trinity even though he could not comprehend how God could be three persons in one God because "Holy Scripture, which is God's Word, says so; and I abide by what it states."  from "Sermons on John 1 and 2, 1537", LW 22:6; WA 46:542.5-6.
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: Dan Fienen on January 01, 2019, 03:22:01 PM
From Brian’s contributions to this discussion I conclude that whether or not a document identifies its author is irrelevant to the question of authorship.  Since identification of authorship within a document doesn’t count as evidence of that authorship, how can lack of such identification count as evidence?


I believe that it's pretty well established that what a person says about himself needs to be checked out by other sources. I can state that I am the greatest piano player in Arizona. I could even write it down in a letter or a book. Would you believe it? If you really wanted to know if it was a true statement, you would check other reliable and trustworthy sources to confirm or deny what I said about myself. Muhammed Ali proclaimed, "I am the greatest." Should we believe him? Should we hear with other boxing experts say about his abilities?


What a writer says about himself is both a source of evidence and something to be challenged. Additional evidence should be looked at the confirm or deny what they say.


I presume that you do not accept the NT Apocrypha as authentic writings from the first century apostles even though the authors claim to be folks from the first century?


The same kind of judgment is made when others make a claim. When my mother tells you that I'm the greatest piano player in the state; you might consider her assessment to be biased. The comments of a recognized music critic would hold more weight. Thus we evaluate the claims of the 2nd & 3rd century writers who talk about the authors of the gospels. Do they have a hidden agenda? Are they biased? What is their judgment based on? We know that Papias judgment that Matthew was originally written in Hebrew is a false assessment.


Critical thinkers don't just accept what someone says. We evaluate both the speaker and the evidence that they present.


Of course critical thinking is discouraged among some Christians: "God said it. I believe it; and that's that." (I have had people say that to me.)
The point I was making was actually a more modest one than you’re disputing.  You stated as one bit of evidence against Matthean, Lucan, etc. authorship that the authors are not specifically identified in the text.  My point was that should not count as evidence against the traditional attribution since if they were attributed in the text by your reasoning that should not count as evidence in favor of traditional attribution.  What the text itself says about authorship in your estimation is irrelevant. 
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on January 01, 2019, 03:38:17 PM

I found nothing inaccurate in Cornils's presentation. There were generalized statements that would be nuanced further in a detailed study of Luther's legacy in the world.

On this I agree with Brian.  (Isn't that a nice way to end one year and begin another?)  Pr. Cornils' 5-minute presentation fits fine with most of the recent presentations of Luther and his place/legacy in history, particularly those produced with scholarly assistance for the general public around the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, which were viewed rather favorably here.

While I likely would have had a different tone from Pr. Cornils' had I been doing a Prager University video on Luther as a key foundational source of what would became important themes for American republicanism, frankly I'm rather puzzled by the largely negative responses here to this video's content -- particularly from those I wouldn't expect to be predisposed to reject anything coming from Prager U simply because its from Prager.

Happy New Year!  Steven+
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 02, 2019, 12:19:04 AM

And yet, Jesus spoke about the Pentateuch on multiple occasions as if Moses actually wrote it.




The belief that a book was written by Moses, Paul, David, or Solomon doesn't make it so.


Did Jesus have "beliefs"?  Including false "beliefs" about the authorship of the Torah?

Tom Pearson


Are you calling God a liar?


Writers of scriptures used the knowledge that they had at the time. Sometimes it was inaccurate, like the earth being covered with a big blue bowl (or firmament). Sometimes they were using illustrations, like "God's right arm," when God doesn't really have arms. Lying, as I recall someone else pointing out, involves the intention to make false statements. Biblical writers do not intend to make false statements (except for writers who intentionally put another's name on their writings).


We also read in scriptures about God changing his mind. Would we say that his original statement, e.g., the destruction of Ninevah was a lie when their repentance caused God to repent of the evil he planned to do?

Actually I mis-read the original referred to post.  Yes, God (ie. Jesus) can be addressed by a deceiver and was addressed so at one point in the Gospels.   But one who plants the idea or wonderment of whether Jesus could be deceived is walking the way of God's wrath.  Jesus conquers everything...even falsely laid accusations that God could be deceived.

BTW, the issue of God changing God's mind was a historical observation and a resultant conclusion drawn by the historian of the writing in the Hebrew Scriptures. 

When Jesus is the one being accused, that is a different "animal" altogether.  Then the one who is making such a statement is standing before God himself and must make answer for his accusation. Just sayin'


And the words we have in scriptures are, at best, a Greek translation of Jesus' Aramaic words - and thus, the interpretation of the translator. We often have the words of the narrator: the Gospel writer whoever that might be. They, like those writing about God changing his mind, are writing their historical observations and conclusions. Jesus did not write the Gospels. According to this article (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Language_of_Jesus), 12 Aramaic phrases have been passed on to us in the Gospels. The rest of the words in red come from an ancient writer's translation into Greek and then modern translators into English.
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: readselerttoo on January 02, 2019, 05:10:04 AM

And yet, Jesus spoke about the Pentateuch on multiple occasions as if Moses actually wrote it.




The belief that a book was written by Moses, Paul, David, or Solomon doesn't make it so.


Did Jesus have "beliefs"?  Including false "beliefs" about the authorship of the Torah?

Tom Pearson


Are you calling God a liar?


Writers of scriptures used the knowledge that they had at the time. Sometimes it was inaccurate, like the earth being covered with a big blue bowl (or firmament). Sometimes they were using illustrations, like "God's right arm," when God doesn't really have arms. Lying, as I recall someone else pointing out, involves the intention to make false statements. Biblical writers do not intend to make false statements (except for writers who intentionally put another's name on their writings).


We also read in scriptures about God changing his mind. Would we say that his original statement, e.g., the destruction of Ninevah was a lie when their repentance caused God to repent of the evil he planned to do?

Actually I mis-read the original referred to post.  Yes, God (ie. Jesus) can be addressed by a deceiver and was addressed so at one point in the Gospels.   But one who plants the idea or wonderment of whether Jesus could be deceived is walking the way of God's wrath.  Jesus conquers everything...even falsely laid accusations that God could be deceived.

BTW, the issue of God changing God's mind was a historical observation and a resultant conclusion drawn by the historian of the writing in the Hebrew Scriptures. 

When Jesus is the one being accused, that is a different "animal" altogether.  Then the one who is making such a statement is standing before God himself and must make answer for his accusation. Just sayin'


And the words we have in scriptures are, at best, a Greek translation of Jesus' Aramaic words - and thus, the interpretation of the translator. We often have the words of the narrator: the Gospel writer whoever that might be. They, like those writing about God changing his mind, are writing their historical observations and conclusions. Jesus did not write the Gospels. According to this article (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Language_of_Jesus), 12 Aramaic phrases have been passed on to us in the Gospels. The rest of the words in red come from an ancient writer's translation into Greek and then modern translators into English.


I believe and confess that Jesus is alive and that his word does not fail, ie. is infallible.  He is beyond the boundary of sin and death.  Therefore his words are effective not relegated to someone's translation issue(s) nor hidden from us but are living witnesses and testimony about himself (ie. about God).
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: DCharlton on January 02, 2019, 09:16:42 AM
And the words we have in scriptures are, at best, a Greek translation of Jesus' Aramaic words - and thus, the interpretation of the translator. We often have the words of the narrator: the Gospel writer whoever that might be. They, like those writing about God changing his mind, are writing their historical observations and conclusions. Jesus did not write the Gospels. According to this article (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Language_of_Jesus), 12 Aramaic phrases have been passed on to us in the Gospels. The rest of the words in red come from an ancient writer's translation into Greek and then modern translators into English.

We need to be consistent in our historical relativism.  If Jesus was limited by his historical context, so are we.  We only know these things from the point of view of the early 21st Century C.E.  Our own historical limitations prevent us from knowing what future generations will know.  Since future generations will certainly revise or even reject our conclusions, we shouldn't give them too much weight, should we?
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: Charles Austin on January 02, 2019, 10:33:26 AM
The late Franklin D. Fry, son of the late great Franklin Clark Fry, was often heard to say that - in faith and hope - we often take our "reverent best guess."
Personally, I would say our faith is more than a "guess," but Pastor Charlton is right. We know not know what revelations lie ahead.
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 02, 2019, 11:12:39 AM
And the words we have in scriptures are, at best, a Greek translation of Jesus' Aramaic words - and thus, the interpretation of the translator. We often have the words of the narrator: the Gospel writer whoever that might be. They, like those writing about God changing his mind, are writing their historical observations and conclusions. Jesus did not write the Gospels. According to this article (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Language_of_Jesus), 12 Aramaic phrases have been passed on to us in the Gospels. The rest of the words in red come from an ancient writer's translation into Greek and then modern translators into English.

We need to be consistent in our historical relativism.  If Jesus was limited by his historical context, so are we.  We only know these things from the point of view of the early 21st Century C.E.  Our own historical limitations prevent us from knowing what future generations will know.  Since future generations will certainly revise or even reject our conclusions, we shouldn't give them too much weight, should we?


One of the clear words from Jesus (and John) is: "Repent" (μετανοεῖτε 2 person plural, present, imperative - a command for us to keep on repenting) With that charge ringing in our ears, we always have to believe that it's possible that we are wrong. So how can we give our conclusions too much weight?
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on January 02, 2019, 11:46:57 AM

We need to be consistent in our historical relativism.  If Jesus was limited by his historical context, so are we.  We only know these things from the point of view of the early 21st Century C.E.  Our own historical limitations prevent us from knowing what future generations will know. 

From this perspective, our historical limitations also prevent us from knowing what past generations knew.  Or as the old saying goes, "We've forgotten more about Christ than you'll ever know."

;)
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 02, 2019, 04:34:44 PM

We need to be consistent in our historical relativism.  If Jesus was limited by his historical context, so are we.  We only know these things from the point of view of the early 21st Century C.E.  Our own historical limitations prevent us from knowing what future generations will know. 

From this perspective, our historical limitations also prevent us from knowing what past generations knew.  Or as the old saying goes, "We've forgotten more about Christ than you'll ever know."

 ;)


I'm wondering if we also have differences when talking about Christ as one's own "personal savior." My experiences with Jesus will not be the same as your experiences with Jesus. Neither of us have quite the same experiences as did the saints of the previous centuries or those first believers or of the generations that come after us.


At the same time, there is also a corporate aspect of the Christian faith. Believers are incorporated into the one body of Christ. The early believers used the word καθολικός to describe their connection to the whole. We aren't individual believers, but part of something bigger than ourselves that crosses time and space.


I remember folks saying ages ago about our faith being personal, but not private. I would also say that it is personal, but not individualistic.
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: peter_speckhard on January 02, 2019, 10:46:15 PM

Of course critical thinking is discouraged among some Christians: "God said it. I believe it; and that's that." (I have had people say that to me.)
How is that any different from your claim that the Bible is your highest authority?
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 02, 2019, 11:07:35 PM

Of course critical thinking is discouraged among some Christians: "God said it. I believe it; and that's that." (I have had people say that to me.)
How is that any different from your claim that the Bible is your highest authority?


I believe I talked about the Bible as the primary source. It really isn't the highest authority. We use theological lenses through which we read the Bible. Those lenses, e.g., the Trinity, Law and Gospel, the two natures of Christ, etc. carry more weight than the Bible. That is, should someone state that the Bible presents Jesus as a human, we would say that their reading of the Bible is wrong (at least from our Christian perspective). When someone reads James and concludes that we are saved by our works, we would say that their reading of the Bible is wrong. There is a sense that the Church that created the Holy Bible stands over it as the proper interpret of the Bible. There is also a sense that the Bible as the Word of God is the authority over the Church.
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: Charles Austin on January 03, 2019, 05:15:23 AM
We don't like to say it, but we admit - with the Eastern part of the Church - that "Tradition" is also authoritative, insofar as it interprets Scripture or when it interprets Scripture or when it creates creeds from Scripture or when it builds moral codes or cosmologies from Scripture.
These "things" change at times, or have a flexibility that is exercised different ways in different parts of the Church so their "authority" is not absolute or immutable or universal.
Once a "creed" was "Jesus is Lord." Now it is more than those few words. Once a church without the episcopal authority of ordained bishops was inconceivable. Now we say the apostolic, episcopal authority can exist without that particular office.
Some claim our 16th Century documents are "the" interpretations or declarations of what Scripture says so we must follow them. Others say sometimes the confessions get it right, but that "right" need not remain forever.
Were I living in 1575, I think I might have subscribed wholly to the Lutheran confessional documents as "the" clear teaching of what Scripture says about faith, church, and life.
I am not; and I do not.
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: Dave Benke on January 03, 2019, 08:58:33 AM
I read an article in First Things this week about the changes in Roman Catholic ecclesiology that have, in the opinion of the author, led to a more tightly woven hierarchical authority.  He identifies the canonization, so to speak, of canon law in the first part of the 20th century as critical to the current state of affairs.  In practical terms, then, the greater the dependence on globally activated and enforced structures for ecclesial authority, the less power to change is available for any enclaves or conclaves of the people of God.  The leader is what it's all about.  So no matter the theological undergirding, the strength or lack thereof of tradition, the personalization of Biblical authority in the perspective of the individual reading the authoritative Word - at the end of the day the rule book rules. 

It's a cautionary word for Protestants.  Although Lutherans claim Scripture and Confessions, the denominations are run by rule books, handbooks, bylaws, resolutions and the like.  So the fine-tuners of the rules become the keepers of what passes for truth.  Prager U is an edge-piece, enabled by democratized media options.  Over time, less and less people care about the rule book or the makers of the rule book (i.e. denominations), and more and more people head off to the land of You Tube or non-denominational settings or play golf on Sundays.

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: D. Engebretson on January 03, 2019, 09:03:21 AM

Of course critical thinking is discouraged among some Christians: "God said it. I believe it; and that's that." (I have had people say that to me.)
How is that any different from your claim that the Bible is your highest authority?


I believe I talked about the Bible as the primary source. It really isn't the highest authority. We use theological lenses through which we read the Bible. Those lenses, e.g., the Trinity, Law and Gospel, the two natures of Christ, etc. carry more weight than the Bible. That is, should someone state that the Bible presents Jesus as a human, we would say that their reading of the Bible is wrong (at least from our Christian perspective). When someone reads James and concludes that we are saved by our works, we would say that their reading of the Bible is wrong. There is a sense that the Church that created the Holy Bible stands over it as the proper interpret of the Bible. There is also a sense that the Bible as the Word of God is the authority over the Church.

Given this approach would you then say that to arrive at conclusions the "church" has not (e.g. one nature vs. two natures of Christ, etc.) would still be legitimate exegetical conclusions?  The way I read your response it sounds like you see the church predetermining its conclusions rather than affirming what it sees the text clearly revealing.
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: mj4 on January 03, 2019, 10:17:02 AM

Of course critical thinking is discouraged among some Christians: "God said it. I believe it; and that's that." (I have had people say that to me.)
How is that any different from your claim that the Bible is your highest authority?


I believe I talked about the Bible as the primary source. It really isn't the highest authority. We use theological lenses through which we read the Bible. Those lenses, e.g., the Trinity, Law and Gospel, the two natures of Christ, etc. carry more weight than the Bible. That is, should someone state that the Bible presents Jesus as a human, we would say that their reading of the Bible is wrong (at least from our Christian perspective). When someone reads James and concludes that we are saved by our works, we would say that their reading of the Bible is wrong. There is a sense that the Church that created the Holy Bible stands over it as the proper interpret of the Bible. There is also a sense that the Bible as the Word of God is the authority over the Church.

I get your point about the lenses through which we view scripture having a sort of authority of their own, but I think you may overstate it a bit. Yes, we may view scripture through the lens of the Trinity or Law and Gospel, but these are lenses that were derived from centuries, or even millennia, of reading the scriptures. Early followers of Jesus would have had different lenses. They might have interpreted the Jewish scriptures and their experience of Jesus through the lens of the Shema, or themes of liberation, or the call of the Prophets. Subsequent converts, Hellenistic Jews or Roman or whatever, would have had different lenses, and yet over time all Christians still regard the scriptures as the source and norm for doctrine.
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 03, 2019, 10:45:07 AM
I read an article in First Things this week about the changes in Roman Catholic ecclesiology that have, in the opinion of the author, led to a more tightly woven hierarchical authority.  He identifies the canonization, so to speak, of canon law in the first part of the 20th century as critical to the current state of affairs.  In practical terms, then, the greater the dependence on globally activated and enforced structures for ecclesial authority, the less power to change is available for any enclaves or conclaves of the people of God.  The leader is what it's all about.  So no matter the theological undergirding, the strength or lack thereof of tradition, the personalization of Biblical authority in the perspective of the individual reading the authoritative Word - at the end of the day the rule book rules. 

It's a cautionary word for Protestants.  Although Lutherans claim Scripture and Confessions, the denominations are run by rule books, handbooks, bylaws, resolutions and the like.  So the fine-tuners of the rules become the keepers of what passes for truth.  Prager U is an edge-piece, enabled by democratized media options.  Over time, less and less people care about the rule book or the makers of the rule book (i.e. denominations), and more and more people head off to the land of You Tube or non-denominational settings or play golf on Sundays.


A speaker I heard years ago, I think it was Tex Sample, used an illustration I've also used. When he/I was growing up, when we got a new board game, we started by reading the instructions - the rules about how to play the game. Our children grew up with video games where there often were no instructions. You learned the "rules" by playing the game - through man trials and errors. And the "rules" on the next level might not be the same as those in this level. His concluded by wondering how do we talk about "rules," e.g., the Ten Commandments, to a population who often live in a video world with ever changing rules?
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: Dave Benke on January 03, 2019, 05:10:46 PM
I read an article in First Things this week about the changes in Roman Catholic ecclesiology that have, in the opinion of the author, led to a more tightly woven hierarchical authority.  He identifies the canonization, so to speak, of canon law in the first part of the 20th century as critical to the current state of affairs.  In practical terms, then, the greater the dependence on globally activated and enforced structures for ecclesial authority, the less power to change is available for any enclaves or conclaves of the people of God.  The leader is what it's all about.  So no matter the theological undergirding, the strength or lack thereof of tradition, the personalization of Biblical authority in the perspective of the individual reading the authoritative Word - at the end of the day the rule book rules. 

It's a cautionary word for Protestants.  Although Lutherans claim Scripture and Confessions, the denominations are run by rule books, handbooks, bylaws, resolutions and the like.  So the fine-tuners of the rules become the keepers of what passes for truth.  Prager U is an edge-piece, enabled by democratized media options.  Over time, less and less people care about the rule book or the makers of the rule book (i.e. denominations), and more and more people head off to the land of You Tube or non-denominational settings or play golf on Sundays.


A speaker I heard years ago, I think it was Tex Sample, used an illustration I've also used. When he/I was growing up, when we got a new board game, we started by reading the instructions - the rules about how to play the game. Our children grew up with video games where there often were no instructions. You learned the "rules" by playing the game - through man trials and errors. And the "rules" on the next level might not be the same as those in this level. His concluded by wondering how do we talk about "rules," e.g., the Ten Commandments, to a population who often live in a video world with ever changing rules?

Shooting the breeze with people over the holidays out in the marketplace, when it came up that I was a priest, the response went right to confession - "would you hear my confession?"  I said sure, and they would have to enumerate their sins.  "What is a sin - what does that mean?" was the response.  I went with the Ten Commandments as a starter.  And they had not heard of them.  I don't think that's weird.  That's more and more "normal." 

At the same time, we specifically catechize the six chief parts beginning at age 8 because of the new normal.

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: Steven W Bohler on January 03, 2019, 05:37:10 PM
I read an article in First Things this week about the changes in Roman Catholic ecclesiology that have, in the opinion of the author, led to a more tightly woven hierarchical authority.  He identifies the canonization, so to speak, of canon law in the first part of the 20th century as critical to the current state of affairs.  In practical terms, then, the greater the dependence on globally activated and enforced structures for ecclesial authority, the less power to change is available for any enclaves or conclaves of the people of God.  The leader is what it's all about.  So no matter the theological undergirding, the strength or lack thereof of tradition, the personalization of Biblical authority in the perspective of the individual reading the authoritative Word - at the end of the day the rule book rules. 

It's a cautionary word for Protestants.  Although Lutherans claim Scripture and Confessions, the denominations are run by rule books, handbooks, bylaws, resolutions and the like.  So the fine-tuners of the rules become the keepers of what passes for truth.  Prager U is an edge-piece, enabled by democratized media options.  Over time, less and less people care about the rule book or the makers of the rule book (i.e. denominations), and more and more people head off to the land of You Tube or non-denominational settings or play golf on Sundays.


A speaker I heard years ago, I think it was Tex Sample, used an illustration I've also used. When he/I was growing up, when we got a new board game, we started by reading the instructions - the rules about how to play the game. Our children grew up with video games where there often were no instructions. You learned the "rules" by playing the game - through man trials and errors. And the "rules" on the next level might not be the same as those in this level. His concluded by wondering how do we talk about "rules," e.g., the Ten Commandments, to a population who often live in a video world with ever changing rules?

Shooting the breeze with people over the holidays out in the marketplace, when it came up that I was a priest, the response went right to confession - "would you hear my confession?"  I said sure, and they would have to enumerate their sins.  "What is a sin - what does that mean?" was the response.  I went with the Ten Commandments as a starter.  And they had not heard of them.  I don't think that's weird.  That's more and more "normal." 

At the same time, we specifically catechize the six chief parts beginning at age 8 because of the new normal.

Dave Benke

Why did you tell him he had to enumerate his sins?
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: Dave Benke on January 03, 2019, 06:48:29 PM
I read an article in First Things this week about the changes in Roman Catholic ecclesiology that have, in the opinion of the author, led to a more tightly woven hierarchical authority.  He identifies the canonization, so to speak, of canon law in the first part of the 20th century as critical to the current state of affairs.  In practical terms, then, the greater the dependence on globally activated and enforced structures for ecclesial authority, the less power to change is available for any enclaves or conclaves of the people of God.  The leader is what it's all about.  So no matter the theological undergirding, the strength or lack thereof of tradition, the personalization of Biblical authority in the perspective of the individual reading the authoritative Word - at the end of the day the rule book rules. 

It's a cautionary word for Protestants.  Although Lutherans claim Scripture and Confessions, the denominations are run by rule books, handbooks, bylaws, resolutions and the like.  So the fine-tuners of the rules become the keepers of what passes for truth.  Prager U is an edge-piece, enabled by democratized media options.  Over time, less and less people care about the rule book or the makers of the rule book (i.e. denominations), and more and more people head off to the land of You Tube or non-denominational settings or play golf on Sundays.


A speaker I heard years ago, I think it was Tex Sample, used an illustration I've also used. When he/I was growing up, when we got a new board game, we started by reading the instructions - the rules about how to play the game. Our children grew up with video games where there often were no instructions. You learned the "rules" by playing the game - through man trials and errors. And the "rules" on the next level might not be the same as those in this level. His concluded by wondering how do we talk about "rules," e.g., the Ten Commandments, to a population who often live in a video world with ever changing rules?

Shooting the breeze with people over the holidays out in the marketplace, when it came up that I was a priest, the response went right to confession - "would you hear my confession?"  I said sure, and they would have to enumerate their sins.  "What is a sin - what does that mean?" was the response.  I went with the Ten Commandments as a starter.  And they had not heard of them.  I don't think that's weird.  That's more and more "normal." 

At the same time, we specifically catechize the six chief parts beginning at age 8 because of the new normal.

Dave Benke

Why did you tell him he had to enumerate his sins?

I didn't say that using the concept of enumeration, but of "sin" - confess your sin.  I guess by including the "s" you took it to be a descriptor of enumeration.  More telling, what was missing was the concept of sin itself.  So I guess a question is how to get to Jesus as the Savior of the world without sin as a prerequisite.  There's always death. Really.  Always.

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 04, 2019, 01:37:46 AM
I didn't say that using the concept of enumeration, but of "sin" - confess your sin.  I guess by including the "s" you took it to be a descriptor of enumeration.  More telling, what was missing was the concept of sin itself.  So I guess a question is how to get to Jesus as the Savior of the world without sin as a prerequisite.  There's always death. Really.  Always.


I remember a discussion at seminary: if a tribe was discovered that didn't have a concept of sin, would we have to teach them that before we could share the gospel with them?


For some people, death is not a curse, but a relief from the burdens of life or from chronic pain
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: readselerttoo on January 04, 2019, 05:33:38 AM
I didn't say that using the concept of enumeration, but of "sin" - confess your sin.  I guess by including the "s" you took it to be a descriptor of enumeration.  More telling, what was missing was the concept of sin itself.  So I guess a question is how to get to Jesus as the Savior of the world without sin as a prerequisite.  There's always death. Really.  Always.


I remember a discussion at seminary: if a tribe was discovered that didn't have a concept of sin, would we have to teach them that before we could share the gospel with them?


For some people, death is not a curse, but a relief from the burdens of life or from chronic pain

...a relief in despair but not a relief in hope.
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: DCharlton on January 04, 2019, 11:16:10 AM

We need to be consistent in our historical relativism.  If Jesus was limited by his historical context, so are we.  We only know these things from the point of view of the early 21st Century C.E.  Our own historical limitations prevent us from knowing what future generations will know. 

From this perspective, our historical limitations also prevent us from knowing what past generations knew.  Or as the old saying goes, "We've forgotten more about Christ than you'll ever know."

;)

Exactly.  Historical relativism works both ways.  We are as limited by our own historical and cultural context as every other generation, past and future.  When Pastor Stoffregen argues that Jesus was a man of the 1st Century C.E., and therefore limited in what he knew, my response is that Pastor Stoffregen is equally limited by his 21st Century context.  Why should I give any weight to what a man limited by his 21st Century context says?
Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 04, 2019, 01:30:35 PM
I didn't say that using the concept of enumeration, but of "sin" - confess your sin.  I guess by including the "s" you took it to be a descriptor of enumeration.  More telling, what was missing was the concept of sin itself.  So I guess a question is how to get to Jesus as the Savior of the world without sin as a prerequisite.  There's always death. Really.  Always.


I remember a discussion at seminary: if a tribe was discovered that didn't have a concept of sin, would we have to teach them that before we could share the gospel with them?


For some people, death is not a curse, but a relief from the burdens of life or from chronic pain

...a relief in despair but not a relief in hope.


For the woman in the middle years of my ministry who had been bed-ridden for years with chronic arthritis, and for the man early in my ministry with very painful bone cancer, death was a relief from pain. The curse in the garden was that the man would have to work hard. Returning to dust meant "rest from the labors" (Rev 14:13). These folks did not see death as a relief from despair; but a relief from pain, a relief from toil.

Title: Re: Luther on Prager U
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 04, 2019, 01:34:32 PM

We need to be consistent in our historical relativism.  If Jesus was limited by his historical context, so are we.  We only know these things from the point of view of the early 21st Century C.E.  Our own historical limitations prevent us from knowing what future generations will know. 

From this perspective, our historical limitations also prevent us from knowing what past generations knew.  Or as the old saying goes, "We've forgotten more about Christ than you'll ever know."

 ;)

Exactly.  Historical relativism works both ways.  We are as limited by our own historical and cultural context as every other generation, past and future.  When Pastor Stoffregen argues that Jesus was a man of the 1st Century C.E., and therefore limited in what he knew, my response is that Pastor Stoffregen is equally limited by his 21st Century context.  Why should I give any weight to what a man limited by his 21st Century context says?


I give what you say the weight I believe it deserves as it speaks to my 21st century context. What some people say causes me to go, "WOW!" and incorporate their words into my context. What some people say causes me to go, "Where in the world did they come up with that idea?" because it doesn't connect with my context. This is also true when I read about folks in the 1st century or d6th century BC. Some of it relates to me and my context; and some of it doesn't.


Even with folks living in the same house on the same day, their reactions to what our president says (or what a preacher says) can cause quite different responses. There is much more to context than the year on the calendar.