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ALPB => Your Turn => Topic started by: TERJr on June 07, 2020, 12:28:40 PM

Title: Trinity Sunday
Post by: TERJr on June 07, 2020, 12:28:40 PM
Below is the benediction from today’s worship at a local ELCA congregation. It smells like Sundays and Seasons but half of me hopes I’m wrong and the other half would be relieved that it wasn’t produced by the new pastor.

“God, the creator, Jesus, the Christ, and the Holy Spirit, the comforter, bless you and keep you in eternal love.”

To this all were supposed to say “Amen” but I cannot.
Title: Re: Trinity Sunday
Post by: Charles Austin on June 07, 2020, 01:01:44 PM
Why?
You don’t believe in God, the creator?
You don’t believe in Jesus, the Christ?
You don’t believe in the Holy Spirit?
And if you choose to say that something “smells” like Sundays and seasons, that suggests to me that you are predisposed to dislike what you are reading.
Beloved Spouse and I “attended” worship at the national Cathedral in Washington DC this morning. Terrific music. A wonderful sermon by Bishop Budde that stated clearly the events of the past week and told how God who is creating, loving, and empowering as Father, Son and Holy Spirit can serve us and how we should serve that God known as Father, Son and Holy Spirit by being creative and loving and using our “powers” for good.
Elegant Book of Common Prayer language, too.
Title: Re: Trinity Sunday
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on June 07, 2020, 01:09:53 PM
Below is the benediction from today’s worship at a local ELCA congregation. It smells like Sundays and Seasons but half of me hopes I’m wrong and the other half would be relieved that it wasn’t produced by the new pastor.

“God, the creator, Jesus, the Christ, and the Holy Spirit, the comforter, bless you and keep you in eternal love.”

To this all were supposed to say “Amen” but I cannot.

I don't see it in Sundays and Seasons, nor do I find it at sundaysandseasons.com.

Why?


Think about it, Charlie.

Fraternally, Steven+

Title: Re: Trinity Sunday
Post by: Dan Fienen on June 07, 2020, 01:40:38 PM
The benediction was obviously not the standard Biblical passage for a benediction that is typical for liturgical worship. That in itself should not be big problem in this era of custom written liturgies. Noting God the Father as Creator for this Sunday with Genesis 1 as the OT Lesson could be a nice tie in. Nothing wrong with Jesus, the Christ or the Holy Spirit, the comforter. It does avoid any explicitly male references for God, but is not too obvious, awkward, or obnoxious about it. Not my style of benediction (I prefer straight Biblical benedictions) but as these things go, not bad.
Title: Re: Trinity Sunday
Post by: RDPreus on June 07, 2020, 02:16:41 PM
I don't understand why people make up benedictions when the Aaronic and Pauline benedictions are so very good.  I don't understand why TLH page 15 (LSB page 184) isn't everyone's favorite setting for the Divine Service.  I don't understand why those who gave us LBW and LW thought that "This is the Feast" is a worthy replacement of the Gloria in Excelsis.  I don't understand why people don't prefer the great Lutheran chorales to schmaltzy 19th century Methodist hymns.  Here I'm planning to retire in a couple of months and there are still so many things I can't understand!  :)
Title: Re: Trinity Sunday
Post by: RDPreus on June 07, 2020, 02:17:29 PM
Oh, and I don't understand why everyone doesn't confess the Athanasian Creed every Trinity Sunday.
Title: Re: Trinity Sunday
Post by: Dave Likeness on June 07, 2020, 02:33:29 PM
This morning I bumped into a live stream worship service of an ELCA parish of 3,500
members in the Midwest.  It was labeled as "The Sunday After Pentecost".  No mention
of the fact that the Christian Church celebrates Trinity Sunday on this day.

The Scripture reading was Psalm 8 from THE MESSAGE paraphrase by Peterson.
The Homily  centered around the fact that we need to repent of racism due to
the Minneapolis murder which has captured our attention in recent days.
Title: Re: Trinity Sunday
Post by: Charles Austin on June 07, 2020, 03:24:52 PM
What do you bumped into, Dave likeness, Sounds bad, and probably was bad.
But I’m wondering whether one might find, in large numbers of Missouri Synod congregations this morning, a focus totally on the doctrine of the holy Trinity and virtually nothing about what is going on in our country today. That would be bad, too.
Title: Re: Trinity Sunday
Post by: peter_speckhard on June 07, 2020, 03:50:58 PM
What do you bumped into, Dave likeness, Sounds bad, and probably was bad.
But I’m wondering whether one might find, in large numbers of Missouri Synod congregations this morning, a focus totally on the doctrine of the holy Trinity and virtually nothing about what is going on in our country today. That would be bad, too.
You wonder about things that would be bad if true? Man, this lockdown has left you with way too much time.
Title: Re: Trinity Sunday
Post by: Richard Johnson on June 07, 2020, 03:58:53 PM
This morning I bumped into a live stream worship service of an ELCA parish of 3,500
members in the Midwest.  It was labeled as "The Sunday After Pentecost".  No mention
of the fact that the Christian Church celebrates Trinity Sunday on this day.

The Scripture reading was Psalm 8 from THE MESSAGE paraphrase by Peterson.
The Homily  centered around the fact that we need to repent of racism due to
the Minneapolis murder which has captured our attention in recent days.

Well, at least the Psalm paraphrase took the lectionary Psalm for the day . . ,  ::) :P
Title: Re: Trinity Sunday
Post by: Richard Johnson on June 07, 2020, 04:02:20 PM
Quite a while ago, it was announced the Bp. Eaton would record a sermon for Holy Trinity to give pastors a break (and, one would hope, prevent some heresy   ;) ). This, as I say, was several weeks ago. When the sermon came out earlier this week, the ELCA Clergy Facebook universe lit up with outrage that she hadn't addressed the racial situation--no doubt because the video had been done before the current crisis. Ultimately a revised sermon was sent out--which I'm sure Bp. Eaton herself decided to do, without influence from the bloviating bloggers who blast "bloviating bishops."
Title: Re: Trinity Sunday
Post by: TERJr on June 07, 2020, 04:39:56 PM
Why?
You don’t believe in God, the creator?
You don’t believe in Jesus, the Christ?
You don’t believe in the Holy Spirit?
And if you choose to say that something “smells” like Sundays and seasons, that suggests to me that you are predisposed to dislike what you are reading.
Beloved Spouse and I “attended” worship at the national Cathedral in Washington DC this morning. Terrific music. A wonderful sermon by Bishop Budde that stated clearly the events of the past week and told how God who is creating, loving, and empowering as Father, Son and Holy Spirit can serve us and how we should serve that God known as Father, Son and Holy Spirit by being creative and loving and using our “powers” for good.
Elegant Book of Common Prayer language, too.

Steven, thank you for looking it up.

Charles,
I am happy for you that you had a worship experience that had faithful preaching and a theologically orthodox and beautifully written liturgy. Not everyone is so fortunate.
The triune God in all three persons creates. This is clear from the Genesis reading.
The three persons in their perichoretic relations are God. The proper name of God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. “Creator” does not name the first person of the Trinity. Reducing the three persons to functions is modalist. The benediction I cited fails to name God properly and should not have used.
In my judgment, Sundays and Seasons is in general a cesspool of poor, if not heterodox theology driven by being in bondage to sin and the Zeitgeist. The writing is at best clumsy and often excruciatingly bad.
If you can restrain your knee jerk reactions to criticism of the ELCA—including by those of us who are still in it—I doubt you would sign off on publishing much of what is in Sundays and Seasons.
Now I’m going fishing...
Tom
Title: Re: Trinity Sunday
Post by: peter_speckhard on June 07, 2020, 04:48:42 PM
Why?
You don’t believe in God, the creator?
You don’t believe in Jesus, the Christ?
You don’t believe in the Holy Spirit?
And if you choose to say that something “smells” like Sundays and seasons, that suggests to me that you are predisposed to dislike what you are reading.
Beloved Spouse and I “attended” worship at the national Cathedral in Washington DC this morning. Terrific music. A wonderful sermon by Bishop Budde that stated clearly the events of the past week and told how God who is creating, loving, and empowering as Father, Son and Holy Spirit can serve us and how we should serve that God known as Father, Son and Holy Spirit by being creative and loving and using our “powers” for good.
Elegant Book of Common Prayer language, too.

Steven, thank you for looking it up.

Charles,
I am happy for you that you had a worship experience that had faithful preaching and a theologically orthodox and beautifully written liturgy. Not everyone is so fortunate.
The triune God in all three persons creates. This is clear from the Genesis reading.
The three persons in their perichoretic relations are God. The proper name of God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. “Creator” does not name the first person of the Trinity. Reducing the three persons to functions is modalist. The benediction I cited fails to name God properly and should not have used.
In my judgment, Sundays and Seasons is in general a cesspool of poor, if not heterodox theology driven by being in bondage to sin and the Zeitgeist. The writing is at best clumsy and often excruciatingly bad.
If you can restrain your knee jerk reactions to criticism of the ELCA—including by those of us who are still in it—I doubt you would sign off on publishing much of what is in Sundays and Seasons.
Now I’m going fishing...
Tom
David Hart told me the same thing about the LCMS committal service, where is says, "May God the Father, who created this body, God the Son who by His blood redeemed this body, and God the Holy Spirit who through Holy Baptism sanctified this body to be His temple keep these remains until the day of the resurrection of all flesh." He said the Orthodox would never say that. On the other hand, he said they would say something like , "May God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, one God in three persons, who created this body..." and it would take forever. But it wouldn't mess up the doctrine of the Trinity, or even feint in that direction.
Title: Re: Trinity Sunday
Post by: Charles Austin on June 07, 2020, 04:51:41 PM
Tom writes:
 The writing (in Sunday’s and Seasons) is at best clumsy and often excruciatingly bad.
If you can restrain your knee jerk reactions to criticism of the ELCA—including by those of us who are still in it—I doubt you would sign off on publishing much of what is in Sundays and Seasons.

I comment:
You probably do not remember the times here when I have been critical of the ELCA and have specifically voiced my not so humble opinion that S&S is often a terrible mess of inelegant,inept language and goofy riffs on theology. I frequently rewrote most of the prayers and usually did not use the tinkering with “traditional” (At least since 1959) liturgical language. If I felt the need for alternatives to the SBH or LBW, I generally went to the Book of Common Prayer.
Title: Re: Trinity Sunday
Post by: James J Eivan on June 07, 2020, 04:58:59 PM
Below is the benediction from today’s worship at a local ELCA congregation. It smells like Sundays and Seasons but half of me hopes I’m wrong and the other half would be relieved that it wasn’t produced by the new pastor.

“God, the creator, Jesus, the Christ, and the Holy Spirit, the comforter, bless you and keep you in eternal love.”

To this all were supposed to say “Amen” but I cannot.

I don't see it in Sundays and Seasons, nor do I find it at sundaysandseasons.com.

Why?


Think about it, Charlie.

Fraternally, Steven+
It reminds me of sitting in a pastor's office in outside Pittsburgh the week after Easter in 1986. I flew to Pittsburgh to accompany a classmate and his wife across state to another classmate's wedding.

Sitting there I read a report on the writing of the constitution of the 'new Lutheran church' as it was known at that time ... totally flabbergasted to read that the confession in Father, Son, and Holy Spirit passed by only 6 or 8 votes.  It is tragic to witness what could not be done in a proper orderly way is being foisted on that church by hook and crook.😨
Title: Re: Trinity Sunday
Post by: James J Eivan on June 07, 2020, 05:08:16 PM
I don't understand why people make up benedictions when the Aaronic and Pauline benedictions are so very good.  I don't understand why TLH page 15 (LSB page 184) isn't everyone's favorite setting for the Divine Service.  I don't understand why those who gave us LBW and LW thought that "This is the Feast" is a worthy replacement of the Gloria in Excelsis.  I don't understand why people don't prefer the great Lutheran chorales to schmaltzy 19th century Methodist hymns.  Here I'm planning to retire in a couple of months and there are still so many things I can't understand!  :)
Oh, and I don't understand why everyone doesn't confess the Athanasian Creed every Trinity Sunday.
LIKE!
I fail to understand why so many hymns had to be re-written  ... and truncated and/or beautiful historical hymn tune arrangements butchered.


 If one had the intelligence in LW to sing 'How Great Thou Art', why in God's Holy Name were we too stupid to sing 'Come Thou Almighty King' on The Feast of The Holy Trinity?
Title: Re: Trinity Sunday
Post by: readselerttoo on June 07, 2020, 05:14:00 PM
Obviously the final blessing attempts to address the relational aspect between Father, Son and Holy Spirit by avoiding and omitting it.  Sterile language produces a sterile blessing.  There is no personal warmth except in the reference to the Holy Spirit as the Comforter.  While it may be true about these functions of the Persons, Jesus is more than the Christ.  He is the Father's only begotten (one and only, ie. unique, one of a kind) Son as well as the redeemer of sinner-humanity.  To avoid the Father-Son reference is to lose much of what Christianity is about, imo.  And I suspect the congregation omitted confession of the Creeds unless they used a Person-less version of those creeds which I know are out there.
Title: Re: Trinity Sunday
Post by: Weedon on June 07, 2020, 05:23:38 PM
Pete,

I think I pointed out back then: Hart’s cirtique fails on the grounds that the Western Litany uses the exact same lingo and did before the schism in the undivided Church:

“Pater de caelis Deus, miserere nobis. Fili Redemptor mundi Deus, miserere nobis. Spiritus Sancte Deus, miserere nobis.” 
“O God the Father in heaven: Have mercy upon us. O God the Son, Redeemer of the world: Have mercy upon us. O God the Holy Ghost: Have mercy upon us.”
Title: Re: Trinity Sunday
Post by: James J Eivan on June 07, 2020, 05:35:13 PM
What do you bumped into, Dave likeness, Sounds bad, and probably was bad.
But I’m wondering whether one might find, in large numbers of Missouri Synod congregations this morning, a focus totally on the doctrine of the holy Trinity and virtually nothing about what is going on in our country today. That would be bad, too.
Comparing the deliberate avoidance of Biblical language when pronouncing the Aaronic Benediction with the omission of a social ministry topic in LCMS sermons is quite laughable  ... and quite tragic. 


Comparing the two is a horrendously invalid apples and oranges comparison.

The omission of social ministry topics, no matter how timely and current in no way is comparable to altering the inspired inerrant Word of The Living God so satisfy the sinful selfish desire of a small but vocal minority is a sad example of theology run a muck.


The fact that Rev Austin continues to express his disdain with the LCMS is tragically repetitious and painfully predictably.
Title: Re: Trinity Sunday
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 07, 2020, 05:57:21 PM
The Scripture reading was Psalm 8 from THE MESSAGE paraphrase by Peterson.
The Homily  centered around the fact that we need to repent of racism due to
the Minneapolis murder which has captured our attention in recent days.


I consider THE MESSAGE to be a translation. Peterson taught Hebrew and Greek. He made his translation from the original languages. Not like Taylor and The Living Bible where he paraphrased from an English translation.
Title: Re: Trinity Sunday
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 07, 2020, 05:59:56 PM
What do you bumped into, Dave likeness, Sounds bad, and probably was bad.
But I’m wondering whether one might find, in large numbers of Missouri Synod congregations this morning, a focus totally on the doctrine of the holy Trinity and virtually nothing about what is going on in our country today. That would be bad, too.
Comparing the deliberate avoidance of Biblical language when pronouncing the Aaronic Benediction with the omission of a social ministry topic in LCMS sermons is quite laughable  ... and quite tragic.
 


So, you would prefer an Old Testament text with no reference to the Trinity over a contemporary composition that is clearly trinitarian?

Quote
Comparing the two is a horrendously invalid apples and oranges comparison.


Yup, one is about the Trinity. The other isn't.

Quote
The omission of social ministry topics, no matter how timely and current in no way is comparable to altering the inspired inerrant Word of The Living God so satisfy the sinful selfish desire of a small but vocal minority is a sad example of theology run a muck.


Theology that has no connection with real life is a dead theology.

Quote
The fact that Rev Austin continues to express his disdain with the LCMS is tragically repetitious and painfully predictably.


Well, the LCMS my wife grew up in, and who ran the college we attended and graduated from is not the LCMS of today.
Title: Re: Trinity Sunday
Post by: pastorg1@aol.com on June 07, 2020, 06:05:34 PM
Dog’s Eulogy on Holy Trinity Sunday

He was a good dog in the ways all dogs are good. Really good in the ways some are.

An infallible old pope (not a poetic new pope) declared that after death we can see our dogs in the “eternity of Christ.”
I wish I could baptize my dog.
I don’t know about his faith- but he does good work: He has a stained-glass window dedicated to him at a church in town. The pastor said kids come to the church “for Jesus and that dog.”

I have carried him for walks in two of his sixteen years; the first because he was too small and now this last year because he spins around a shriveled leg like a dervish with a lost shoe. His days are spins and pants and he naps long naps.

I can carry him because he’s kid-size. I got him when my son grew too big to hold. I rock him without my always noticing. As a new dad I rocked my kid, bags of groceries, tool boxes; new dads do that. The dog lets me rock him. He doesn’t squirm. Mellow.

On our walk I carry him besides the hedgerows. See his nose dart left and right as he picks up the faded morse code from far-below pee spots and dashes. He gets his information second-hand from the barking around the hills. A gossip is an echotier in French- my dog passes on the echoing barks in his foreign pink tongue.

Luther had his dog Toelpel who will be in heaven “with a golden tail.” The kind reformer and kind pope were comforting crying children. I want to be comforted. My ailing dog is older by two years than Kipling’s.

There was a German pastor kicked out of the church for baptizing cats. Imagine the third splash of water- all yowls, claws and the unwinding of a broken spring. My old dog wouldn’t fuss at the splashes of water.

One, two, three: He’d calmly, respectfully lick the Trinity off his nose- feathers and all- trusting something good was happening that he didn’t fully understand.
Title: Re: Trinity Sunday
Post by: peter_speckhard on June 07, 2020, 06:16:29 PM
What do you bumped into, Dave likeness, Sounds bad, and probably was bad.
But I’m wondering whether one might find, in large numbers of Missouri Synod congregations this morning, a focus totally on the doctrine of the holy Trinity and virtually nothing about what is going on in our country today. That would be bad, too.
Comparing the deliberate avoidance of Biblical language when pronouncing the Aaronic Benediction with the omission of a social ministry topic in LCMS sermons is quite laughable  ... and quite tragic.
 


So, you would prefer an Old Testament text with no reference to the Trinity over a contemporary composition that is clearly trinitarian?

Quote
Comparing the two is a horrendously invalid apples and oranges comparison.


Yup, one is about the Trinity. The other isn't.

Quote
The omission of social ministry topics, no matter how timely and current in no way is comparable to altering the inspired inerrant Word of The Living God so satisfy the sinful selfish desire of a small but vocal minority is a sad example of theology run a muck.


Theology that has no connection with real life is a dead theology.

Quote
The fact that Rev Austin continues to express his disdain with the LCMS is tragically repetitious and painfully predictably.


Well, the LCMS my wife grew up in, and who ran the college we attended and graduated from is not the LCMS of today.
What does the LCMS teach today that it didn’t teach back when your wife was in it?
Title: Re: Trinity Sunday
Post by: J. Thomas Shelley on June 07, 2020, 08:03:31 PM
David Hart told me the same thing about the LCMS committal service, where is says, "May God the Father, who created this body, God the Son who by His blood redeemed this body, and God the Holy Spirit who through Holy Baptism sanctified this body to be His temple keep these remains until the day of the resurrection of all flesh." He said the Orthodox would never say that. On the other hand, he said they would say something like , "May God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, one God in three persons, who created this body..." and it would take forever. But it wouldn't mess up the doctrine of the Trinity, or even feint in that direction.

Since you mentioned the Orthodox:  We don't say anything like that in the Funeral, Burial, or Memorial services.

But since today is Orthodox Pentecost, you may appreciate this excerpt from the sixth of the seven "kneeling prayers" from the Kneeling Vespers of Pentecost (https://www.goarch.org/-/the-great-vespers-of-pentecost), which is served immediately following the Divine Liturgy:

Quote
The glorious wisdom of the Father, You are the great help of those in peril, giving light to those in darkness and the shadow of death. Lord of everlasting glory, beloved Son of the Most High, eternal light of eternal light, Sun of righteousness, hear our supplications and give rest to the souls of Your servants, our fathers and brothers and other kin by blood, and all of the household of faith who have since fallen asleep and whose memorial we keep this day. For in You is the strength of all and in Your hand You hold the far reaches of the earth. Almighty Master, God of our Fathers and Lord merciful Lord of the living and the dead, Creator of all mortal nature, composed and again dissolved, of life and of death, of earthly existence and of the departure hence, You measure out the years for the living and set times of death, bringing down to Hades and raising up, fettering in weakness and liberating in power; You provide aptly for the present and fittingly dispose what is to come, restoring those who are wounded by the sting of death with the hope of resurrection.

Master, Lord of all, our God and Redeemer, the hope of all, at the ends of the earth and far away at sea, on this latter great and saving day of Pentecost You disclosed to us the mystery of the holy, consubstantial, co-eternal and life-giving Trinity, indivisible yet distinct, and in the descent and presence of Your holy and life-giving Spirit poured out its grace upon Your holy Apostles in the form of fiery tongues, making them proclaimers and confessors of our holy Faith, of true knowledge of God. On this universal and salutary feast, deign to accept petitions for those imprisoned in Hades, thus giving us great hope, and relief to the departed from their grievous distress and Your comfort.

Hear us, humble and pitiable, as we pray to You, and give rest to the souls of Your Servants who have departed this life, in a place of light, a place of renewed life, a joyous place, shunned alike by pain and sorrow and sighing. And place their spirits where the Righteous dwell, counting them worthy of peace and repose; for the dead do not praise You, Lord, nor do those in Hades dare to offer You glory, but it is we the living who bless and entreat You and offer You propitiatory prayers and sacrifices for their souls.
Title: Re: Trinity Sunday
Post by: TERJr on June 07, 2020, 08:15:00 PM
Tom writes:
 The writing (in Sunday’s and Seasons) is at best clumsy and often excruciatingly bad.
If you can restrain your knee jerk reactions to criticism of the ELCA—including by those of us who are still in it—I doubt you would sign off on publishing much of what is in Sundays and Seasons.

I comment:
You probably do not remember the times here when I have been critical of the ELCA and have specifically voiced my not so humble opinion that S&S is often a terrible mess of inelegant,inept language and goofy riffs on theology. I frequently rewrote most of the prayers and usually did not use the tinkering with “traditional” (At least since 1959) liturgical language. If I felt the need for alternatives to the SBH or LBW, I generally went to the Book of Common Prayer.

Charles,
I don’t think we disagree then.

p.s. Smallmouth on a fly rod are a lot of fun.
Title: Re: Trinity Sunday
Post by: Charles Austin on June 07, 2020, 09:22:17 PM
Bluefish on a rod and reel 4 miles off shore are fun too. And surf-casting on the Jersey Shore when you get a 30-inch striper on line.
Title: Re: Trinity Sunday
Post by: J. Thomas Shelley on June 07, 2020, 09:37:13 PM
I'm loving these references to fishing on Orthodox Pentecost.

Troparion of Pentecost

Blessed   are   You ,   O   Christ   our   God ,   
who   made   fishermen   all - wise ,   
sending   upon   them   the   Holy   Spirit 
and ,   through   them ,   drawing   the   world .   
O   Loving   One ,   glory   to   You!

We sang that 15 times today between Orthros, Liturgy, and Kneeling Vespers.

This is a "praise chorus" of antiquity!
Title: Re: Trinity Sunday
Post by: JEdwards on June 07, 2020, 10:40:37 PM
What does the LCMS teach today that it didn’t teach back when your wife was in it?
That documents other than the Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions bind the teaching and preaching of LCMS pastors. See the actions of the 1973 Convention with respect to “A Statement of Scriptural and Confessional Principles” by JAO Preus.

Peace,
Jon
Title: Re: Trinity Sunday
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 08, 2020, 01:48:59 AM
What does the LCMS teach today that it didn’t teach back when your wife was in it?


One big difference is that they were willing to be in fellowship with the ALC. Some of the leaders and many of the clergy of the LCMS were taught by the professors that were expelled/walked out of Concordia, St. Louis. I could sit down and have conversations with LCMS clergy taught by those professors. They would listen and speak. We could have our differences and still be respectful of each other. One of my good friends with such an LCMS minister - ordained in 1968. We disagreed about women's ordination. We still got together at least monthly for beer and conversation. He expressed his disagreement with the newer clergy over their narrow-mindedness and judgmentalness. He talked about a district president he new in Wisconsin (where he had grown up) who did not want Fort Wayne grads coming in because there were some who wanted to take away some freedoms in some of the more moderate congregations, e.g., take away the women's right to vote. He was fearful when a new district president was elected that there were some who might come after him for heresy. He was more moderate - having been taught by those expelled professors. He also saw his congregation as the church for all Lutherans, since my ALC congregation was 20 miles and two towns away. His daughter and her husband moved to a town that had no LCMS congregation so they joined the ELCA church rather than not be Lutheran. They, with their pastor, invited him to participate in his grandchild's baptism and he did - something I know some LCMS clergy in this forum would refuse to do.

In contrast, I did visit once with another LCMS clergy in the area who was much more conservative. The ALC minister who served in a town between us also preached every week at a Methodist congregation. The LCMS guy at first said the couldn't do that. Then he changed his mind. "I would be willing to preach there once, but I would tell the people that if they agreed with what he preached to them, they should join an LCMS congregation." That strikes me as a belief that comes pretty close to saying that we are the only true church.

Back then, I traveled on gospel teams: first for LBI in Seattle; then LEM out of Minneapolis; then a little bit with LYA (a west coast start-up from LYE). I know that there were times we led worship in LCMS congregations. We were Lutherans. That's all that mattered. I doubt that such a ministry would happen in today's LCMS.
Title: Re: Trinity Sunday
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 08, 2020, 01:55:14 AM
What does the LCMS teach today that it didn’t teach back when your wife was in it?
That documents other than the Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions bind the teaching and preaching of LCMS pastors. See the actions of the 1973 Convention with respect to “A Statement of Scriptural and Confessional Principles” by JAO Preus.


Prior to that document, many in the LCMS were pretty much like the ALC and LCA in their critical approach to scriptures. That changed.
Title: Re: Trinity Sunday
Post by: Charles Austin on June 08, 2020, 05:11:45 AM
Brian (re change in the LCMS):
 Prior to that document, many in the LCMS were pretty much like the ALC and LCA in their critical approach to scriptures. That changed.
Me:
Yes, this was my experience also. And I knew and heard of LCMS pastors who - sometimes painfully and for both good and bad reasons - changed how they preached and what they said in public after 1973.
Title: Re: Trinity Sunday
Post by: Jeremy_Loesch on June 08, 2020, 06:25:37 AM
Dog’s Eulogy on Holy Trinity Sunday

He was a good dog in the ways all dogs are good. Really good in the ways some are.

An infallible old pope (not a poetic new pope) declared that after death we can see our dogs in the “eternity of Christ.”
I wish I could baptize my dog.
I don’t know about his faith- but he does good work: He has a stained-glass window dedicated to him at a church in town. The pastor said kids come to the church “for Jesus and that dog.”

I have carried him for walks in two of his sixteen years; the first because he was too small and now this last year because he spins around a shriveled leg like a dervish with a lost shoe. His days are spins and pants and he naps long naps.

I can carry him because he’s kid-size. I got him when my son grew too big to hold. I rock him without my always noticing. As a new dad I rocked my kid, bags of groceries, tool boxes; new dads do that. The dog lets me rock him. He doesn’t squirm. Mellow.

On our walk I carry him besides the hedgerows. See his nose dart left and right as he picks up the faded morse code from far-below pee spots and dashes. He gets his information second-hand from the barking around the hills. A gossip is an echotier in French- my dog passes on the echoing barks in his foreign pink tongue.

Luther had his dog Toelpel who will be in heaven “with a golden tail.” The kind reformer and kind pope were comforting crying children. I want to be comforted. My ailing dog is older by two years than Kipling’s.

There was a German pastor kicked out of the church for baptizing cats. Imagine the third splash of water- all yowls, claws and the unwinding of a broken spring. My old dog wouldn’t fuss at the splashes of water.

One, two, three: He’d calmly, respectfully lick the Trinity off his nose- feathers and all- trusting something good was happening that he didn’t fully understand.

You wrote that? That's beautiful. Thank you for sharing this. My condolences.

Jeremy
Title: Re: Trinity Sunday
Post by: James J Eivan on June 08, 2020, 09:15:57 AM
Brian (re change in the LCMS):
 Prior to that document, many in the LCMS were pretty much like the ALC and LCA in their critical approach to scriptures. That changed. (Emphasis Added)
Me:
Yes, this was my experience also. And I knew and heard of LCMS pastors who - sometimes painfully and for both good and bad reasons - changed how they preached and what they said in public after 1973.
It is interesting that while much is said and written about 'that document' nothing has been said or written indicating 'that document' contains anything in conflict with Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions.


Apparently 'that document' enabled pastors to better preach, teach and express the Scriptures and Confessions.
Title: Re: Trinity Sunday
Post by: readselerttoo on June 08, 2020, 09:53:52 AM
Brian (re change in the LCMS):
 Prior to that document, many in the LCMS were pretty much like the ALC and LCA in their critical approach to scriptures. That changed. (Emphasis Added)
Me:
Yes, this was my experience also. And I knew and heard of LCMS pastors who - sometimes painfully and for both good and bad reasons - changed how they preached and what they said in public after 1973.
It is interesting that while much is said and written about 'that document' nothing has been said or written indicating 'that document' contains anything in conflict with Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions.


Apparently 'that document' enabled pastors to better preach, teach and express the Scriptures and Confessions.

Except "that document" placed itself or was placed by vote to be on par with scripture and the Lutheran confessions.  It isn't.  It makes the LCMS skirt close to sectarianism and reduces the confessional priority of scripture as the only judge, rule and norm see FC preface (richter, regel. richschnur) of Christian teaching by creating additional parameters.  big no no
Title: Re: Trinity Sunday
Post by: James J Eivan on June 08, 2020, 10:22:16 AM

Brian (re change in the LCMS):
 Prior to that document, many in the LCMS were pretty much like the ALC and LCA in their critical approach to scriptures. That changed. (Emphasis Added)
Me:
Yes, this was my experience also. And I knew and heard of LCMS pastors who - sometimes painfully and for both good and bad reasons - changed how they preached and what they said in public after 1973.
It is interesting that while much is said and written about 'that document' nothing has been said or written indicating 'that document' contains anything in conflict with Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions.


Apparently 'that document' enabled pastors to better preach, teach and express the Scriptures and Confessions.


Except "that document" placed itself or was placed by vote to be on par with scripture and the Lutheran confessions.  It isn't.  It makes the LCMS skirt close to sectarianism and reduces the confessional priority of scripture as the only judge, rule and norm see FC preface (richter, regel. richschnur) of Christian teaching by creating additional parameters.  big no no
OK ... the document is in accordance with scriptures and the confessions .... but is sectarian.  Guess that's clear as mud. 

By the way, a sect is "a group of people with somewhat different religious beliefs (typically regarded as heretical) from those of a larger group to which they belong."

Apparently you are having difficulties demonstrating how the document is different (and heretical) ... therefore it is rather difficult to honestly label it sectarian?
Title: Re: Trinity Sunday
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 08, 2020, 01:39:08 PM

Brian (re change in the LCMS):
 Prior to that document, many in the LCMS were pretty much like the ALC and LCA in their critical approach to scriptures. That changed. (Emphasis Added)
Me:
Yes, this was my experience also. And I knew and heard of LCMS pastors who - sometimes painfully and for both good and bad reasons - changed how they preached and what they said in public after 1973.
It is interesting that while much is said and written about 'that document' nothing has been said or written indicating 'that document' contains anything in conflict with Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions.


Apparently 'that document' enabled pastors to better preach, teach and express the Scriptures and Confessions.


Except "that document" placed itself or was placed by vote to be on par with scripture and the Lutheran confessions.  It isn't.  It makes the LCMS skirt close to sectarianism and reduces the confessional priority of scripture as the only judge, rule and norm see FC preface (richter, regel. richschnur) of Christian teaching by creating additional parameters.  big no no
OK ... the document is in accordance with scriptures and the confessions .... but is sectarian.  Guess that's clear as mud. 

By the way, a sect is "a group of people with somewhat different religious beliefs (typically regarded as heretical) from those of a larger group to which they belong."

Apparently you are having difficulties demonstrating how the document is different (and heretical) ... therefore it is rather difficult to honestly label it sectarian?

Your original comment needs some nuancing, too. "It is interesting that while much is said and written about 'that document' nothing has been said or written indicating 'that document' contains anything in conflict with Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions." That document contains nothing in conflict with the LCMS's understanding of Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions. It's not a document that expresses the ELCA's understanding of Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions. In fact, as Charles and I have heard from some older LCMS clergy, it doesn't express their understanding of (nor what they had been taught) about Scripture and the Lutheran Confession.

"Sectarian" depends on how you define "a larger group to which they belong." If the larger group is only the LCMS, then it was inline with what the larger group believes. If the larger group are the Lutherans, i.e., those who adhere to the Augsburg Confession, the LCMS is seen as sectarian by some of us. If the larger group is the one holy catholic and apostolic church, I see the LCMS as sectarian.


The sectarian policies as I see them are the refusal to worship with other Lutherans/Christians. Refusing to be part of Lutheran World Federation. The refusal to share the Lord's Supper with other believers. Classifying others as heretical or heterodox, (while considering themselves as orthodox or confessional).


In my conversation with the conservative LCMS pastor, who would insist that if folks agreed with his preaching they needed to join an LCMS congregation, I asked if the LCMS was sectarian. He said that they were. I'm pretty sure that in his view, they were right and everyone else was wrong.
Title: Re: Trinity Sunday
Post by: readselerttoo on June 08, 2020, 02:46:44 PM

Brian (re change in the LCMS):
 Prior to that document, many in the LCMS were pretty much like the ALC and LCA in their critical approach to scriptures. That changed. (Emphasis Added)
Me:
Yes, this was my experience also. And I knew and heard of LCMS pastors who - sometimes painfully and for both good and bad reasons - changed how they preached and what they said in public after 1973.
It is interesting that while much is said and written about 'that document' nothing has been said or written indicating 'that document' contains anything in conflict with Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions.


Apparently 'that document' enabled pastors to better preach, teach and express the Scriptures and Confessions.


Except "that document" placed itself or was placed by vote to be on par with scripture and the Lutheran confessions.  It isn't.  It makes the LCMS skirt close to sectarianism and reduces the confessional priority of scripture as the only judge, rule and norm see FC preface (richter, regel. richschnur) of Christian teaching by creating additional parameters.  big no no
OK ... the document is in accordance with scriptures and the confessions .... but is sectarian.  Guess that's clear as mud. 

By the way, a sect is "a group of people with somewhat different religious beliefs (typically regarded as heretical) from those of a larger group to which they belong."

Apparently you are having difficulties demonstrating how the document is different (and heretical) ... therefore it is rather difficult to honestly label it sectarian?

You are not demonstrating to me how the 1973 document clarifies and does not place itself on par with the scriptures and the Lutheran  confessions.  In fact all you bring to the table are accusations with little substantive proof.
Title: Re: Trinity Sunday
Post by: James J Eivan on June 08, 2020, 02:57:23 PM

Brian (re change in the LCMS):
 Prior to that document, many in the LCMS were pretty much like the ALC and LCA in their critical approach to scriptures. That changed. (Emphasis Added)
Me:
Yes, this was my experience also. And I knew and heard of LCMS pastors who - sometimes painfully and for both good and bad reasons - changed how they preached and what they said in public after 1973.
It is interesting that while much is said and written about 'that document' nothing has been said or written indicating 'that document' contains anything in conflict with Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions.


Apparently 'that document' enabled pastors to better preach, teach and express the Scriptures and Confessions.


Except "that document" placed itself or was placed by vote to be on par with scripture and the Lutheran confessions.  It isn't.  It makes the LCMS skirt close to sectarianism and reduces the confessional priority of scripture as the only judge, rule and norm see FC preface (richter, regel. richschnur) of Christian teaching by creating additional parameters.  big no no
OK ... the document is in accordance with scriptures and the confessions .... but is sectarian.  Guess that's clear as mud. 

By the way, a sect is "a group of people with somewhat different religious beliefs (typically regarded as heretical) from those of a larger group to which they belong."

Apparently you are having difficulties demonstrating how the document is different (and heretical) ... therefore it is rather difficult to honestly label it sectarian?

You are not demonstrating to me how the 1973 document clarifies and does not place itself on par with the scriptures and the Lutheran  confessions.  In fact all you bring to the table are accusations with little substantive proof. <Emphasis added>
Accusations ??  Where?? I have simply asked for documentation that ‘that document’ is in conflict with the Scriptures and Confessions.  How is asking a question an accusation?
Title: Re: Trinity Sunday
Post by: TERJr on June 08, 2020, 04:30:11 PM
What’s the over/under on how many more posts it will take to get to homosexuality?
Title: Re: Trinity Sunday
Post by: Eileen Smith on June 08, 2020, 04:35:03 PM
John Reumann+ wrote an article a number of years ago on this subject.  He came down on the side of seeing our pets in heaven.  I wish I had saved it as it was so poignant. 
Title: Re: Trinity Sunday
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 08, 2020, 07:28:39 PM
Accusations ??  Where?? I have simply asked for documentation that ‘that document’ is in conflict with the Scriptures and Confessions.  How is asking a question an accusation?


If the document only says what Scripture and the Confessions state, it's unnecessary. I'd rather read Scripture and the Confessions. The ELCA and I would guess all the other Lutheran bodies get along fine without "that document". It's unnecessary. Why do you have it?
Title: Re: Trinity Sunday
Post by: Steven W Bohler on June 08, 2020, 08:21:39 PM
Accusations ??  Where?? I have simply asked for documentation that ‘that document’ is in conflict with the Scriptures and Confessions.  How is asking a question an accusation?


If the document only says what Scripture and the Confessions state, it's unnecessary. I'd rather read Scripture and the Confessions. The ELCA and I would guess all the other Lutheran bodies get along fine without "that document". It's unnecessary. Why do you have it?

Of course, by that reasoning then the Confessions themselves are unnecessary.
Title: Re: Trinity Sunday
Post by: peter_speckhard on June 08, 2020, 08:30:01 PM
Dog’s Eulogy on Holy Trinity Sunday

He was a good dog in the ways all dogs are good. Really good in the ways some are.

An infallible old pope (not a poetic new pope) declared that after death we can see our dogs in the “eternity of Christ.”
I wish I could baptize my dog.
I don’t know about his faith- but he does good work: He has a stained-glass window dedicated to him at a church in town. The pastor said kids come to the church “for Jesus and that dog.”

I have carried him for walks in two of his sixteen years; the first because he was too small and now this last year because he spins around a shriveled leg like a dervish with a lost shoe. His days are spins and pants and he naps long naps.

I can carry him because he’s kid-size. I got him when my son grew too big to hold. I rock him without my always noticing. As a new dad I rocked my kid, bags of groceries, tool boxes; new dads do that. The dog lets me rock him. He doesn’t squirm. Mellow.

On our walk I carry him besides the hedgerows. See his nose dart left and right as he picks up the faded morse code from far-below pee spots and dashes. He gets his information second-hand from the barking around the hills. A gossip is an echotier in French- my dog passes on the echoing barks in his foreign pink tongue.

Luther had his dog Toelpel who will be in heaven “with a golden tail.” The kind reformer and kind pope were comforting crying children. I want to be comforted. My ailing dog is older by two years than Kipling’s.

There was a German pastor kicked out of the church for baptizing cats. Imagine the third splash of water- all yowls, claws and the unwinding of a broken spring. My old dog wouldn’t fuss at the splashes of water.

One, two, three: He’d calmly, respectfully lick the Trinity off his nose- feathers and all- trusting something good was happening that he didn’t fully understand.
Bravo!
Title: Re: Trinity Sunday
Post by: Charles Austin on June 08, 2020, 09:02:06 PM
It disturbs me that a German pastor was allegedly booted out because he baptized cats. But cats may not need baptizing, having once been divine themselves. And if one were to baptize a cat, the method would have to be sprinkling, not immersion. That latter could be a problem and the officiant might be subject to charges of animal abuse. 
Title: Re: Trinity Sunday
Post by: Dan Fienen on June 08, 2020, 09:04:26 PM
It disturbs me that a German pastor was allegedly booted out because he baptized cats. But cats may not need baptizing, having once been divine themselves. And if one were to baptize a cat, the method would have to be sprinkling, not immersion. That latter could be a problem and the officiant might be subject to charges of animal abuse.
Unless, of course, it were a Turkish Van cat.
Title: Re: Trinity Sunday
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 09, 2020, 03:05:35 AM
Accusations ??  Where?? I have simply asked for documentation that ‘that document’ is in conflict with the Scriptures and Confessions.  How is asking a question an accusation?


If the document only says what Scripture and the Confessions state, it's unnecessary. I'd rather read Scripture and the Confessions. The ELCA and I would guess all the other Lutheran bodies get along fine without "that document". It's unnecessary. Why do you have it?

Of course, by that reasoning then the Confessions themselves are unnecessary.


A majority of Christians do not have our Confessions. They get along quite well without them. They are unnecessary for salvation.
Title: Re: Trinity Sunday
Post by: Steven W Bohler on June 09, 2020, 09:09:22 AM
Accusations ??  Where?? I have simply asked for documentation that ‘that document’ is in conflict with the Scriptures and Confessions.  How is asking a question an accusation?


If the document only says what Scripture and the Confessions state, it's unnecessary. I'd rather read Scripture and the Confessions. The ELCA and I would guess all the other Lutheran bodies get along fine without "that document". It's unnecessary. Why do you have it?

Of course, by that reasoning then the Confessions themselves are unnecessary.


A majority of Christians do not have our Confessions. They get along quite well without them. They are unnecessary for salvation.



1. We are not talking about non-Lutheran Christians. 
2. We are not on a generic Christian discussion site, but a Lutheran one. 
3. You are a Lutheran (I believe that is still your claim). 
4. You swore to teach according to the Confessions (or at least some of them) when you were ordained. 

Why?  Since Lutherans claim the Confessions only teach what the Bible teaches, they are unnecessary according to the reasoning you gave above.  Oh, and by the way, I see that you changed from simply "unnecessary" in the earlier post to "unnecessary for salvation" in your latest one.  There is a big difference between the two.
Title: Re: Trinity Sunday
Post by: D. Engebretson on June 09, 2020, 09:14:57 AM
A majority of Christians do not have our Confessions. They get along quite well without them. They are unnecessary for salvation.

I suppose they believe they get along well without them.  One might wonder that without a good and historically-tested definition of God to confess on a regular basis whether their fidelity to that confession is faithful. I think that examples abound in various denominations where the definition of God becomes skewed and muddied, if not in outright confession, then in practice and actual preaching.
Title: Re: Trinity Sunday
Post by: Dan Fienen on June 09, 2020, 09:28:19 AM
I have been amused that the few times that I have picked up brochures from a church that proudly eschews creeds and confessions, they invariably include a statement of beliefs. Sometimes their statement of beliefs includes a rejection of creeds.
Title: Re: Trinity Sunday
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 09, 2020, 01:45:21 PM
Accusations ??  Where?? I have simply asked for documentation that ‘that document’ is in conflict with the Scriptures and Confessions.  How is asking a question an accusation?


If the document only says what Scripture and the Confessions state, it's unnecessary. I'd rather read Scripture and the Confessions. The ELCA and I would guess all the other Lutheran bodies get along fine without "that document". It's unnecessary. Why do you have it?

Of course, by that reasoning then the Confessions themselves are unnecessary.


A majority of Christians do not have our Confessions. They get along quite well without them. They are unnecessary for salvation.

1. We are not talking about non-Lutheran Christians.


I was.

Quote
2. We are not on a generic Christian discussion site, but a Lutheran one. 


Yes, and there are non-Lutheran participants.

Quote
3. You are a Lutheran (I believe that is still your claim). 


Yup.

Quote
4. You swore to teach according to the Confessions (or at least some of them) when you were ordained. 


Yup.

Quote
Why?  Since Lutherans claim the Confessions only teach what the Bible teaches, they are unnecessary according to the reasoning you gave above.  Oh, and by the way, I see that you changed from simply "unnecessary" in the earlier post to "unnecessary for salvation" in your latest one.  There is a big difference between the two.


The Confessions are what make us Lutheran Christians. When I talk about them in confirmation and new member classes, they are presented as things that make us different from other Christians. We have a different history, different documents, and different emphases. This class comes after one where I talk about what makes us Christians - like other Christians: belief in the Trinity, the teaching about Jesus Christ as God and human, our savior and Lord, the Bible being the Word of God, the gospel as the means of salvation, the creeds as summaries of our Christian beliefs.


Yes, I changed it. You can't talk about the Confessions being necessary until you qualify it: Necessary for what? I would guess that a vast majority of Lutherans do not have, nor have they ever read the Book of Concord. Their knowledge of it is limited to the Small Catechism that they studied in confirmation. I also found that many people were confused about the Small Catechism. They believed that the whole book, e.g., 100 pages of stuff they had in confirmation class was Luther's Small Catechism when most of it was somebody's comments about Luther's writing. More than once I've given people just the Small Catechism and they exclaimed, "This isn't it!" Or, "Is this all of it?"


I also confess that I had never heard about the Book of Concord (or at least don't remember hearing about it) until I was in the LCMS college and there was a required class on it. I then checked and our church library did not have a copy of it. It just isn't that important (or necessary) to most Lutheran Christians.
Title: Re: Trinity Sunday
Post by: Steven W Bohler on June 09, 2020, 09:47:33 PM
OK, Rev. Stoffregen, let's try it this way: Do the Confessions teach differently from the Bible?

1. If no, then they are unnecessary (according to your earlier reasoning).  So why have them?  Why not just use the Bible?  Isn't subscribing to them just as unnecessary (and potential schismatic) as you accuse the LCMS in its use of "that document"?  Or worse, since the LCMS does not elevate "that document" to the level of the Confessions?

2. If yes, then why did you swear to teach according to them?

Title: Re: Trinity Sunday
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 10, 2020, 03:48:10 AM
OK, Rev. Stoffregen, let's try it this way: Do the Confessions teach differently from the Bible?

1. If no, then they are unnecessary (according to your earlier reasoning).  So why have them?  Why not just use the Bible?  Isn't subscribing to them just as unnecessary (and potential schismatic) as you accuse the LCMS in its use of "that document"?  Or worse, since the LCMS does not elevate "that document" to the level of the Confessions?

2. If yes, then why did you swear to teach according to them?


1. We Lutherans have them as part of our history and emphasis. Presbyterians don't have them because they are not part of their history nor their emphasis. Same with Methodists and Baptists and Anglicans. However, each of those groups have historical documents that promote what they seek to emphasize in the scriptures. Our emphasis, based on Romans and Galatians and Augsburg IV, is on God justifying sinners by grace. Roman Catholics tend to emphasize Matthew and our need to follow Jesus' teachings. (The word "grace" doesn't even occur in Matthew.)


2. 'Cause I'm a Lutheran Christian. What our confessions emphasize I agree with. We are to be the "gospel" church. It is precisely this emphasis that leaves salvation totally in God's hands why I can say that our Confessions are unnecessary for salvation.
Title: Re: Trinity Sunday
Post by: Steven W Bohler on June 10, 2020, 09:49:15 AM
OK, Rev. Stoffregen, let's try it this way: Do the Confessions teach differently from the Bible?

1. If no, then they are unnecessary (according to your earlier reasoning).  So why have them?  Why not just use the Bible?  Isn't subscribing to them just as unnecessary (and potential schismatic) as you accuse the LCMS in its use of "that document"?  Or worse, since the LCMS does not elevate "that document" to the level of the Confessions?

2. If yes, then why did you swear to teach according to them?


1. We Lutherans have them as part of our history and emphasis. Presbyterians don't have them because they are not part of their history nor their emphasis. Same with Methodists and Baptists and Anglicans. However, each of those groups have historical documents that promote what they seek to emphasize in the scriptures. Our emphasis, based on Romans and Galatians and Augsburg IV, is on God justifying sinners by grace. Roman Catholics tend to emphasize Matthew and our need to follow Jesus' teachings. (The word "grace" doesn't even occur in Matthew.)


2. 'Cause I'm a Lutheran Christian. What our confessions emphasize I agree with. We are to be the "gospel" church. It is precisely this emphasis that leaves salvation totally in God's hands why I can say that our Confessions are unnecessary for salvation.

Lots of words but no answer to the actual question.  Do the Confessions teach differently than the Bible?  Still waiting for your answer...
Title: Re: Trinity Sunday
Post by: James J Eivan on June 10, 2020, 09:55:42 AM
OK, Rev. Stoffregen, let's try it this way: Do the Confessions teach differently from the Bible?

1. If no, then they are unnecessary (according to your earlier reasoning).  So why have them?  Why not just use the Bible?  Isn't subscribing to them just as unnecessary (and potential schismatic) as you accuse the LCMS in its use of "that document"?  Or worse, since the LCMS does not elevate "that document" to the level of the Confessions?

2. If yes, then why did you swear to teach according to them?


1. We Lutherans have them as part of our history and emphasis. Presbyterians don't have them because they are not part of their history nor their emphasis. Same with Methodists and Baptists and Anglicans. However, each of those groups have historical documents that promote what they seek to emphasize in the scriptures. Our emphasis, based on Romans and Galatians and Augsburg IV, is on God justifying sinners by grace. Roman Catholics tend to emphasize Matthew and our need to follow Jesus' teachings. (The word "grace" doesn't even occur in Matthew.)


2. 'Cause I'm a Lutheran Christian. What our confessions emphasize I agree with. We are to be the "gospel" church. It is precisely this emphasis that leaves salvation totally in God's hands why I can say that our Confessions are unnecessary for salvation.

Lots of words but no answer to the actual question.  Do the Confessions teach differently than the Bible?  Still waiting for your answer...
Your answer may be found in the bottom of some rabbit hole somewhere.😃😅
Title: Re: Trinity Sunday
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 10, 2020, 03:08:39 PM
OK, Rev. Stoffregen, let's try it this way: Do the Confessions teach differently from the Bible?

1. If no, then they are unnecessary (according to your earlier reasoning).  So why have them?  Why not just use the Bible?  Isn't subscribing to them just as unnecessary (and potential schismatic) as you accuse the LCMS in its use of "that document"?  Or worse, since the LCMS does not elevate "that document" to the level of the Confessions?

2. If yes, then why did you swear to teach according to them?


1. We Lutherans have them as part of our history and emphasis. Presbyterians don't have them because they are not part of their history nor their emphasis. Same with Methodists and Baptists and Anglicans. However, each of those groups have historical documents that promote what they seek to emphasize in the scriptures. Our emphasis, based on Romans and Galatians and Augsburg IV, is on God justifying sinners by grace. Roman Catholics tend to emphasize Matthew and our need to follow Jesus' teachings. (The word "grace" doesn't even occur in Matthew.)


2. 'Cause I'm a Lutheran Christian. What our confessions emphasize I agree with. We are to be the "gospel" church. It is precisely this emphasis that leaves salvation totally in God's hands why I can say that our Confessions are unnecessary for salvation.

Lots of words but no answer to the actual question.  Do the Confessions teach differently than the Bible?  Still waiting for your answer...


They emphasize particular parts of the Bible; but they do not teach the whole Bible. Thus, we have other denominations who emphasize other parts of the Bible. They tend to become filters through which we read the whole Bible, which also tend to blind us to other interpretations. E.g., how Roman Catholics or Jewish scholars interpret the passages.
Title: Re: Trinity Sunday
Post by: Steven W Bohler on June 10, 2020, 03:11:33 PM
OK, Rev. Stoffregen, let's try it this way: Do the Confessions teach differently from the Bible?

1. If no, then they are unnecessary (according to your earlier reasoning).  So why have them?  Why not just use the Bible?  Isn't subscribing to them just as unnecessary (and potential schismatic) as you accuse the LCMS in its use of "that document"?  Or worse, since the LCMS does not elevate "that document" to the level of the Confessions?

2. If yes, then why did you swear to teach according to them?


1. We Lutherans have them as part of our history and emphasis. Presbyterians don't have them because they are not part of their history nor their emphasis. Same with Methodists and Baptists and Anglicans. However, each of those groups have historical documents that promote what they seek to emphasize in the scriptures. Our emphasis, based on Romans and Galatians and Augsburg IV, is on God justifying sinners by grace. Roman Catholics tend to emphasize Matthew and our need to follow Jesus' teachings. (The word "grace" doesn't even occur in Matthew.)


2. 'Cause I'm a Lutheran Christian. What our confessions emphasize I agree with. We are to be the "gospel" church. It is precisely this emphasis that leaves salvation totally in God's hands why I can say that our Confessions are unnecessary for salvation.

Lots of words but no answer to the actual question.  Do the Confessions teach differently than the Bible?  Still waiting for your answer...


They emphasize particular parts of the Bible; but they do not teach the whole Bible. Thus, we have other denominations who emphasize other parts of the Bible. They tend to become filters through which we read the whole Bible, which also tend to blind us to other interpretations. E.g., how Roman Catholics or Jewish scholars interpret the passages.

More words and you STILL have not answered the question.  Why is that?  Do the Confessions teach differently from the Bible? 
Title: Re: Trinity Sunday
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 10, 2020, 03:21:35 PM
OK, Rev. Stoffregen, let's try it this way: Do the Confessions teach differently from the Bible?

1. If no, then they are unnecessary (according to your earlier reasoning).  So why have them?  Why not just use the Bible?  Isn't subscribing to them just as unnecessary (and potential schismatic) as you accuse the LCMS in its use of "that document"?  Or worse, since the LCMS does not elevate "that document" to the level of the Confessions?

2. If yes, then why did you swear to teach according to them?


1. We Lutherans have them as part of our history and emphasis. Presbyterians don't have them because they are not part of their history nor their emphasis. Same with Methodists and Baptists and Anglicans. However, each of those groups have historical documents that promote what they seek to emphasize in the scriptures. Our emphasis, based on Romans and Galatians and Augsburg IV, is on God justifying sinners by grace. Roman Catholics tend to emphasize Matthew and our need to follow Jesus' teachings. (The word "grace" doesn't even occur in Matthew.)


2. 'Cause I'm a Lutheran Christian. What our confessions emphasize I agree with. We are to be the "gospel" church. It is precisely this emphasis that leaves salvation totally in God's hands why I can say that our Confessions are unnecessary for salvation.

Lots of words but no answer to the actual question.  Do the Confessions teach differently than the Bible?  Still waiting for your answer...


They emphasize particular parts of the Bible; but they do not teach the whole Bible. Thus, we have other denominations who emphasize other parts of the Bible. They tend to become filters through which we read the whole Bible, which also tend to blind us to other interpretations. E.g., how Roman Catholics or Jewish scholars interpret the passages.

More words and you STILL have not answered the question.  Why is that?  Do the Confessions teach differently from the Bible?


I've answered it to the best of my ability, which means I will probably not answer it the way you want me to answer it. As Charles often says, "Life is messy." Some questions are not easily answered because there are too many nuances.


The Bible has a range of teachings. It informs such diverse groups as the three main branches of Judaism; the Roman Catholics and Orthodox and all that varied types of Protestant churches - and those who might go beyond Protestantism: Universalists, Pentecostalism, Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses, Christian Scientists. Our Confessions certainly teach something different than what many of these groups find taught in the Bible. As.a liberal-minded Lutheran, I respect these other teachings and believe we can learn from them. I'm not willing to say that they aren't biblical; even if they run counter to our Confessions. I don't quite live in a world where everything ends up being black and white; right and wrong. "It depends" quite often comes out of my mouth.
Title: Re: Trinity Sunday
Post by: NCLutheran2 on June 10, 2020, 03:50:44 PM
More words and you STILL have not answered the question.  Why is that?  Do the Confessions teach differently from the Bible?

Reading through the lines, I think Brian and I would have a similar answer to this question.

Insofar as the Confessions discuss matters of scripture (as opposed to practices or issues of the day), I believe that the Confessions teach doctrine in accordance with the Bible. However, they do not contain the whole breadth and depth of context found in the Bible. Similar to how someone can read the plot of a movie on Wikipedia but miss out on the experience of watching the film, someone who only reads the Confessions without reading the Bible would arrive at a correct understanding of the doctrines they discuss but miss the full context that the scriptures provide. These other contexts and emphases found in scripture are what allow for other confessions (small c), such as the Thirty-Nine articles, the Three Forms of Unity, etc., to exist and serve as valid interpretations of scripture alongside our Book of Concord.

While the words of scripture do not change, our knowledge and interpretations of scripture are always changing. Our Confessions bear witness to how scripture was taught and interpreted at discrete points in time, enabling them to serve as denominational foundations. But they are works of human hands and lack the divine inspiration that holy scriptures have. As a result, there is always the possibility that confessions can be superseded with time - while Lutherans haven't done this, this has happened fairly frequently in the Reformed tradition, for example.
Title: Re: Trinity Sunday
Post by: James J Eivan on June 10, 2020, 04:08:02 PM
More words and you STILL have not answered the question.  Why is that?  Do the Confessions teach differently from the Bible?

Reading through the lines, I think Brian and I would have a similar answer to this question.

Insofar as the Confessions discuss matters of scripture (as opposed to practices or issues of the day), I believe that the Confessions teach doctrine in accordance with the Bible. However, they do not contain the whole breadth and depth of context found in the Bible. Similar to how someone can read the plot of a movie on Wikipedia but miss out on the experience of watching the film, someone who only reads the Confessions without reading the Bible would arrive at a correct understanding of the doctrines they discuss but miss the full context that the scriptures provide. These other contexts and emphases found in scripture are what allow for other confessions (small c), such as the Thirty-Nine articles, the Three Forms of Unity, etc., to exist and serve as valid interpretations of scripture alongside our Book of Concord.

While the words of scripture do not change, our knowledge and interpretations of scripture are always changing. Our Confessions bear witness to how scripture was taught and interpreted at discrete points in time, enabling them to serve as denominational foundations. But they are works of human hands and lack the divine inspiration that holy scriptures have. As a result, there is always the possibility that confessions can be superseded with time - while Lutherans haven't done this, this has happened fairly frequently in the Reformed tradition, for example.
So then, are the Scriptures and Confessions in conflict TODAY?  If so, where?


If an ordained pastor has vowed to teach in accordance with the Scriptures and Confessions,  he must have agreed at least at the time or ordination that is was true ... or he perjured and lied at the ordination. 
Title: Re: Trinity Sunday
Post by: readselerttoo on June 10, 2020, 04:39:30 PM
Holy Scripture (properly defined, ie. the prophetic and apostolic writings of the Old and New Testaments) is the ONLY judge, rule and norm
(richter, regel, richtschnur) by which all dogmas, doctrines and teachers are measured in terms of the law and the Gospel.  Our Lutheran confessions, as I read them, agree with what scripture speaks and teaches.  But they are not on par with Holy Scripture in the standard of measuring apostolic authority.
Title: Re: Trinity Sunday
Post by: peter_speckhard on June 10, 2020, 04:44:57 PM
Holy Scripture (properly defined, ie. the prophetic and apostolic writings of the Old and New Testaments) is the ONLY judge, rule and norm
(richter, regel, richtnur) by which all dogmas, doctrines and teachers are measured in terms of the law and the Gospel.  Our Lutheran confessions, as I read them, agree with what scripture speaks and teaches.  But they are not on par with Holy Scripture in the standard of measuring apostolic authority.
The interesting question is by what authority the first sentence is true. Is Lutheranism defined first and foremost in terms of justification or sola scriptura?
Title: Re: Trinity Sunday
Post by: readselerttoo on June 10, 2020, 05:35:09 PM
Holy Scripture (properly defined, ie. the prophetic and apostolic writings of the Old and New Testaments) is the ONLY judge, rule and norm
(richter, regel, richtnur) by which all dogmas, doctrines and teachers are measured in terms of the law and the Gospel.  Our Lutheran confessions, as I read them, agree with what scripture speaks and teaches.  But they are not on par with Holy Scripture in the standard of measuring apostolic authority.
The interesting question is by what authority the first sentence is true. Is Lutheranism defined first and foremost in terms of justification or sola scriptura?

I think in order to use sola scriptura as a tenet in talking about authority one has to define what scripture is.  As you know thw Bible is a collection of writings,ie. Biblia.  What is apostolic and what is prophetic must also be taken into consideration when measuring what is sola scriptura.  If that is defined and agreed upon then one can see the validity of FC (Formula of Concord), Preface which says clearly that Holy Scripture is the ONLY judge, rule and norm in measuring apostolic authority and clarity of the New Testament kerygma.

The most apt and direct answer to the above question about Lutheranism (and I would venture to say Christianity itself) is the issue of justification ala unaltered Augsburg Confession article 4.  Justification has much to do about righteousness which is received righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ that sin is forgiven.  Again this has bearing on how one defines Holy Scripture. 

So actually I think one informs the other, ie. Holy Scripture and justification.

A deeply interesting topic to me is what and how important FC, Preface is for us to consider today.
Title: Re: Trinity Sunday
Post by: Keith Falk on June 10, 2020, 09:16:08 PM
More words and you STILL have not answered the question.  Why is that?  Do the Confessions teach differently from the Bible?

Reading through the lines, I think Brian and I would have a similar answer to this question.

Insofar as the Confessions discuss matters of scripture (as opposed to practices or issues of the day), I believe that the Confessions teach doctrine in accordance with the Bible. However, they do not contain the whole breadth and depth of context found in the Bible. Similar to how someone can read the plot of a movie on Wikipedia but miss out on the experience of watching the film, someone who only reads the Confessions without reading the Bible would arrive at a correct understanding of the doctrines they discuss but miss the full context that the scriptures provide. These other contexts and emphases found in scripture are what allow for other confessions (small c), such as the Thirty-Nine articles, the Three Forms of Unity, etc., to exist and serve as valid interpretations of scripture alongside our Book of Concord.

While the words of scripture do not change, our knowledge and interpretations of scripture are always changing. Our Confessions bear witness to how scripture was taught and interpreted at discrete points in time, enabling them to serve as denominational foundations. But they are works of human hands and lack the divine inspiration that holy scriptures have. As a result, there is always the possibility that confessions can be superseded with time - while Lutherans haven't done this, this has happened fairly frequently in the Reformed tradition, for example.
So then, are the Scriptures and Confessions in conflict TODAY?  If so, where?


If an ordained pastor has vowed to teach in accordance with the Scriptures and Confessions,  he must have agreed at least at the time or ordination that is was true ... or he perjured and lied at the ordination.


Unfortunately, I the ordination vows only require that the ordinand vow to preach and teach according to Scripture and Confessions - not actually that the ordinand BELIEVE them.
Title: Re: Trinity Sunday
Post by: Richard Johnson on June 10, 2020, 10:27:41 PM



Unfortunately, in the ordination vows only require that the ordinand vow to preach and teach according to Scripture and Confessions - not actually that the ordinand BELIEVE them.

Though if you are coming into the Lutheran church from another communion, as I did, you get to profess that you actually believe them!
Title: Re: Trinity Sunday
Post by: J. Thomas Shelley on June 10, 2020, 10:41:30 PM



Unfortunately, in the ordination vows only require that the ordinand vow to preach and teach according to Scripture and Confessions - not actually that the ordinand BELIEVE them.

Though if you are coming into the Lutheran church from another communion, as I did, you get to profess that you actually believe them!

Q - "...is this your confession?

A - "Yes."

A "Yes" which is unnuanced and unambiguous.

As though the parchment of the Confession of Augsburg were laid out before you with quill pen extended:  "SIGN".

January 7, 1990.

Yesterday but simultaneously long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away.
Title: Re: Trinity Sunday
Post by: pearson on June 11, 2020, 12:16:51 PM


Holy Scripture (properly defined, ie. the prophetic and apostolic writings of the Old and New Testaments) is the ONLY judge, rule and norm
(richter, regel, richtnur) by which all dogmas, doctrines and teachers are measured in terms of the law and the Gospel.  Our Lutheran confessions, as I read them, agree with what scripture speaks and teaches.  But they are not on par with Holy Scripture in the standard of measuring apostolic authority.


The interesting question is by what authority the first sentence is true. Is Lutheranism defined first and foremost in terms of justification or sola scriptura?


Not only an interesting question, but a powerfully important one.  If Lutheranism is defined first and foremost in terms of sola scriptura, then we are perhaps best understood as a radically reductionistic movement within the church catholic.  There are a whole lot of things integral to western Christianity -- liturgy, ecclesiology, ethics, hermeneutics -- that cannot be fully accounted for by scripture alone.  For most of the twentieth century, the question of the relation of scripture and tradition (maybe that should be Tradition with a captial "T") was among the hottest topics within ecumenical endeavors; Lutherans from Jaroslav Pelikan to Oscar Cullmann wrote major essays on the authoritative intersection of Bible and Church.  Scripture is primary; it is the initial authority; Scripture has priority.  But to claim that it is the only authority is to impoverish western Christianity.  I hope Lutherans are not interested in that.

Pr. Rahn mentions "apostolic authority."  Is "apostolic authority" identical to "scriptural authority"?  From a historical perspective, that would seem a very difficult claim to sustain.

Tom Pearson
Title: Re: Trinity Sunday
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 11, 2020, 12:27:56 PM


Holy Scripture (properly defined, ie. the prophetic and apostolic writings of the Old and New Testaments) is the ONLY judge, rule and norm
(richter, regel, richtnur) by which all dogmas, doctrines and teachers are measured in terms of the law and the Gospel.  Our Lutheran confessions, as I read them, agree with what scripture speaks and teaches.  But they are not on par with Holy Scripture in the standard of measuring apostolic authority.


The interesting question is by what authority the first sentence is true. Is Lutheranism defined first and foremost in terms of justification or sola scriptura?


Not only an interesting question, but a powerfully important one.  If Lutheranism is defined first and foremost in terms of sola scriptura, then we are perhaps best understood as a radically reductionistic movement within the church catholic.  There are a whole lot of things integral to western Christianity -- liturgy, ecclesiology, ethics, hermeneutics -- that cannot be fully accounted for by scripture alone.  For most of the twentieth century, the question of the relation of scripture and tradition (maybe that should be Tradition with a captial "T") was among the hottest topics within ecumenical endeavors; Lutherans from Jaroslav Pelikan to Oscar Cullmann wrote major essays on the authoritative intersection of Bible and Church.  Scripture is primary; it is the initial authority; Scripture has priority.  But to claim that it is the only authority is to impoverish western Christianity.  I hope Lutherans are not interested in that.

Pr. Rahn mentions "apostolic authority."  Is "apostolic authority" identical to "scriptural authority"?  From a historical perspective, that would seem a very difficult claim to sustain.


There is also a question of solo scriptura refers just to the Bible or to God's Word. I believe that Luther talked more about the Word of God than scripture. As I've noted before, scripture is used to support every Christian heresy. A major shift in the constitutional confession of faith from ALC (which was similar LCMS's) to ELCA is that it does not begin with the Bible.


1. The triune God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (and that language is in the Constitution).
2. Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and the Gospel as the power of God for the salvation of all who believe.
     a. Jesus is the Word of God incarnate.
     b. The proclamation of God's message to us as Law and Gospel is the Word of God.
     c. The canonical Scriptures are the written Word of God.


There are interpretive norms for us to properly hear the Word of God from Scriptures; namely, our confession about the Trinity, our beliefs about Jesus Christ, and the proper understanding of Law/Gospel.