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ALPB => Your Turn => Topic started by: mariemeyer on March 25, 2021, 03:02:41 PM

Title: God's regard
Post by: mariemeyer on March 25, 2021, 03:02:41 PM
Reflections on the Magnificat prompted me to reread Luther's Magnificat Commentary, LW Vol 21 and the ALPB book, The Church, Selected Writings of Arthue Carl Piepkorn,Part III, Mary Archetype of the Church.

Luther writes, "In order properly to understand this sacred hymn of praise,  we need to bear in mind that the Blessed Virgin Mary is speaking on the basis of her own experience in which she was enlightened and instructed by the Holy Spirit...the Holy Spirit taught her this deep insight and wisdom, that God is the kind of Lord who doe nothing but exalt those of low degree...Just as God in the beginning of creation made the world  our of nothing, whence He is called the Creator and the Almighty, so His manner of work remains unchanged...

"She finds herself the Mother of God exalted above all mortals, and still remains so simple and that she does not think of any poor serving maid as beneath her....

Mary stated, For He has regarded the low estate of His handmaiden.

Luther comments, "Hence she does not glory in her worthiness not yet in her unworthiness, but solely in the divine regard....They therefore do her an injustice who hold that she gloried, not indeed in her virginity, but in her humility.  She gloried neither in the one nor in the other, but only in the gracious regard of God. Hence the stress lies not on the word 'low estate,' but on the word regarded/ For not her humility, but God's regard is to be praised."


Piepkorn calls attention to how Mary, the Mother of God,  is the link that unites Christ and humanity, and that her fiat mihi is the response of all Christians to God's call to servanthood.

"She (Mary) is the symbol of the presence  of God among His people, the one who combines in her person the expectation of Israel and the entire mystery of the Church."

There is so much more in the writings of Luther and Lutheran scholars on God's regard for Mary and the work the Triune God accomplished in and through her. It is for this reason I ask why or how it is that the Lutheran scholars who worked on The Lutheran Study Bible disregarded the significance of Mary as the Bearer  of the Eternal Word.

Marie Meyer
Title: Re: God's regard
Post by: peter_speckhard on March 25, 2021, 03:37:54 PM
I wouldn’t say they disregarded her as the bearer of the Word. The note on Lk. 1:48 talks about how she thanked God for exalting her through the conception of Jesus in her womb. But given how big a topic Mary is, it would have been nice to see a page dedicated to the role/topic of Mary, sort of like the maps, diagrams, or topical articles they inserted to explain other things.

I didn’t work on TLSB, but my guess is that it was a combination of space constraints and an inability to get everyone comfortable with what exactly such a page would say. Some people would not appreciate, for example, Luther’s “ever-Virgin” descriptor, while others would hesitate to have a Lutheran Bible disagreeing with Luther on that. It probably felt like saying nothing would be better than trying to definitively settle an argument.

If they gave you a page to insert in Mary, what would you want it to say?
Title: Re: God's regard
Post by: Weedon on March 25, 2021, 03:48:44 PM
I, for one, would have been glad to see both TLSB and LSB actually use the language of our confessions and say SOMEWHERE:

Lutheran Christians joyfully confess: On account of this personal union and communion of the natures, Mary, the most blessed Virgin, did not bear a mere man. But, as the angel (Gabriel) testifies, she bore a man who is truly the Son of the most high God. He showed His divine majesty even in His mother’s womb, because He was born of a virgin without violating her virginity. Therefore, she is truly the mother of God and yet has remained a virgin. SD VIII:24

One would think there couldn’t be too much of a problem with citing the Formula of Concord, but alas this IS the Missouri Synod...
Title: Re: God's regard
Post by: RDPreus on March 25, 2021, 07:41:38 PM
Luther's commentary on the Magnificat is wonderful reading.  One thing I love about Lent is that we sing the Magnificat every week at the midweek Lenten services.  Mary is truly an icon of the Church in faith and humble obedience.
Title: Re: God's regard
Post by: mariemeyer on March 25, 2021, 08:22:50 PM
The Lutheran Study Bible is 2371 pages.  There is one page for "Women Disciples."   

Mary is one of the women mentioned. The social status of Mary of Nazareth reads, "The wife of Joseph the carpenter and the mother of Jesus, James, Jude and other children."

Her relationship to Jesus reads, "Mary was Jesus mother. She respected him and knew he was special (Jn21:1-5), but was confused by His calling. She did not agree with Jesus decision to leave the carpentry trade and life as a rabbi. Jesus down played the suggestion that Mary was especially blessed because of their earthly relationship. At the crucifixion He showed kindness to her by entrusting her to the care of his disciple John. She gathered with the apostles after Jesus' resurrection. Rev.12 may memorialize her role in history as a representative of Israel and as the mother of the Christ."   

The Lutheran Study Bible mentions Luther's Magnificat Commentary, but does not quote one word of what Luther wrote regarding Mary and how she teach us to know and love God. 

There are pages and pages of quotes lesser known theologians.  One full page is given to a lengthy quote from Gregory Lockwood. Lockwood is of the opinion that a woman is always under the authority of a man; her father, her husband or some other man in the  house.

What possible defense is there for one paragraph on Mary, and a full page for Lockwood.

I submit there is no defense for failure to quote Luther's Magnificat Commentary...or for how the Study Bible dismisses God's regard for Mary, the young virgin chosen to be the mother of Jesus, the Son of God and the Son of Man.

Marie Otten Meyer


Title: Re: God's regard
Post by: Rev. Edward Engelbrecht on March 25, 2021, 08:25:21 PM
TLSB quotes extensively from the Lutheran Confessions, Luther, and Church Fathers. I don't recall any debate about the particular passage mentioned above or about Mary as Theotokos. Peter is correct about space constraints. As general editor I urged writers to cite pertinent historical and theological sources and found myself supplying such when authors did not. The number of authors who could contribute well exegetically, devotionally, and historically was small especially if you asked them to meet schedule on top of all that.

I suppose that for every quote published in TLSB, one could wish for five or ten more that might have appeared.
Title: Re: God's regard
Post by: Weedon on March 25, 2021, 08:29:05 PM
On what ground does anyone assert that “She did not agree with Jesus decision to leave the carpentry trade and live as a rabbi”?  And how the heck did such an assertion pass doctrinal review???

And Dr. Pieper has some choice words about those who declare that she definitvely IS the mother of James and Judas, etc.; as did Martin Luther who called Helvidius a fool for thinking such a thing. Sigh.

TLSB has some very good stuff in it; but it also has silliness like the above. Frankly, the older and grumpier I get, the more I prefer my KJV with Apocrypha and without ANYONE’S study notes.
Title: Re: God's regard
Post by: Dave Likeness on March 25, 2021, 08:46:01 PM
Here is what Pieper says about the perpetual virginity of Mary:

"If the Christology of a theologian is orthodox in all other respects,
he is not to be considered as a heretic for holding that Mary bore
other children in a natural manner after she had given birth to the
Son of God."  page 308  Christian Dogmatics Vol 2

"Since the question is a purely historical one, it is best not to spend
too much time on it."  page 309 Christian Dogmatics Vol. 2
Title: Re: God's regard
Post by: Weedon on March 25, 2021, 08:50:09 PM
Dave, now try quoting the section where he disparages those with “tender exegetical consciences” who disallow the teaching of the perpetual virginity. Good grief.
Title: Re: God's regard
Post by: Dave Likeness on March 25, 2021, 08:59:44 PM
 Dr. Robert Preus taught us the word COGENT in our Systematic Classes at
Concordia Seminary, St. Louis.    Dr. David Scaer wrote a cogent article
that Mary gave birth to other children after the birth of Christ.  As Dr. Pieper
would say nobody can call Dr. Scaer a heretic.
Title: Re: God's regard
Post by: Weedon on March 25, 2021, 09:09:27 PM
Dave, does that mean you won’t cite the part of Pieper that I referenced?

Let’s be clear. St. Basil the Great already made it clear that our faith doesn’t hang on Mary’s virginity post partum; it hangs on it to the birth. Luther certainly would concur with that. What he would not concur with is those who insist dogmatically that Mary HAD other children. If Scaer does that, he’s just wrong. And Pieper would call him out for it, as would Luther, as would St. Basil. Gerhard put it most simply: “We respond from Jerome Against Helvidius: We believe that God was born of the Virgin, because we read it. we do not believe that Mary had relations with Joseph after the birth, because we do not read it. So it suffices for our faith that the mother of the Messiah is called virgin in Isaiah 7:14, Luke 1:35.”

P.S. I do apologize for the sharp tone which I should not have taken, and particularly with an older brother or sister in the faith. Please forgive me.
Title: Re: God's regard
Post by: Weedon on March 25, 2021, 09:13:32 PM
P.S. Still waiting to hear on what basis anyone can make assertions about Mary being displeased with Christ leaving the carpenter’s trade. The more I think about that the more it floors me that that’s in there.
Title: Re: God's regard
Post by: Rob Morris on March 25, 2021, 09:40:17 PM
P.S. Still waiting to hear on what basis anyone can make assertions about Mary being displeased with Christ leaving the carpenter’s trade. The more I think about that the more it floors me that that’s in there.

Especially given:
1) The angel's prophecies and
2) The extremely high regard for rabbis in First Century Judaism - they were the rockstars of the culture. For her to oppose that reminds me of the old Bob Newhart routine with Abraham Lincoln's PR guy correcting him: "No, no, no... you were a logsplitter, then an attorney! It doesn't really make sense, you leaving your law practice to go split logs."
Title: Re: God's regard
Post by: Dave Benke on March 25, 2021, 10:16:37 PM
On what ground does anyone assert that “She did not agree with Jesus decision to leave the carpentry trade and live as a rabbi”?  And how the heck did such an assertion pass doctrinal review???

And Dr. Pieper has some choice words about those who declare that she definitvely IS the mother of James and Judas, etc.; as did Martin Luther who called Helvidius a fool for thinking such a thing. Sigh.

TLSB has some very good stuff in it; but it also has silliness like the above. Frankly, the older and grumpier I get, the more I prefer my KJV with Apocrypha and without ANYONE’S study notes.

I agree with both you and Marie on this.  I actually don't use TLSB and don't recommend it, and have a well-worn Thomson's Chain Reference Bible KJV that serves pastoral ministry needs. 

Maybe by the way here, O Grumpy One, but I also agreed with your comments on the LCMS blog (mysteriously the article appeared on my phone - how does that happen?) concerning this very upcoming Sunday, Palm Sunday.  I demur on whether the blame goes to Vatican II, but not on the conclusion, which was that Palm Sunday is a good thing in and of itself.  You can provide the link should you so choose. 

Dave Benke
Title: Re: God's regard
Post by: J. Thomas Shelley on March 25, 2021, 11:39:13 PM
Maybe by the way here, O Grumpy One, but I also agreed with your comments on the LCMS blog (mysteriously the article appeared on my phone - how does that happen?) concerning this very upcoming Sunday, Palm Sunday.  I demur on whether the blame goes to Vatican II, but not on the conclusion, which was that Palm Sunday is a good thing in and of itself.  You can provide the link should you so choose. 

Dave Benke

From the east bank of the Bosporus and five weeks away from Palm Sunday, I'm intrigued.

Hope the link is forthcoming.

My interest stems from having just posted re:  The Annunciation onto my LInkedIn feed:

Quote

The Feast  this year is just three days before Western Palm Sunday.  The two days are beautifully comingled in this 17th century hymn by Paul Gerhardt:

O Lord, how shall I meet Thee,
How welcome Thee aright?
Thy people long to greet Thee,
My Hope, my heart's Delight!
O kindle, Lord, most holy,
Thy lamp within my breast
To do in spirit lowly
All that may please Thee best.

Thy Zion strews before Thee
Green boughs and fairest palms,
And I, too, will adore Thee
With joyous songs and psalms.
My heart shall bloom forever
For Thee with praises new
And from Thy name shall never
Withhold the honor due.

Title: Re: God's regard
Post by: peter_speckhard on March 26, 2021, 12:16:51 AM
I think TLSB is generally pretty good, certainly better for congregational Bible studies than any other study Bible I know of. Sure, there are unfortunate omissions or comments/notes I take exception to, but man, talk about a tough crowd. It was a massive undertaking and generally well done. If anyone in this forum found a study Bible they had zero problems with, I guarantee you other people in this forum would have huge problems with it.

Instead of fault-finding or insisting that there is no defense/excuse/reasonable explanation for what it does or does not say, why not simply write what the various notes should have said?

As I suspected, much of the Mary stuff was probably considered taking a side in some controversy. The study Bible project probably couldn’t afford to be delve into disputed waters too much and still expect wide acceptance in synod.
Title: Re: God's regard
Post by: Rev. Edward Engelbrecht on March 26, 2021, 06:56:48 AM
For those who have complaints about the Study Bible, be sure you write out your concerns clearly and submit them to the current Bible editor at CPH. That is the best way to have your concerns represented and addressed.

Be sure to cite the specific page and text you think needs to be changed or improved. General complaints will be little help to the editor and will likely produce no results. Broad changes will not be made due to associated costs; smaller corrections may be made at a reprinting. That's the process.
Title: Re: God's regard
Post by: D. Engebretson on March 26, 2021, 08:52:05 AM
I agree with Pr. Speckhard that TLSB is "generally pretty good."  I use it frequently along with other source material and other study bibles, as well as the Greek/Hebrew scriptures, etc. Study Bibles are like commentaries in that you will always find some who believe the given work is good and some who take issue with it.  The Concordia Commentary series, of which I own several volumes and use regularly, has taken similar criticism on certain volumes.  In the front of the TLSB you find almost 60 "Writers of Study Notes" listed, and over 50 names as those who contributed to the many articles, charts and maps. Many of the names represent established scholars in the LCMS both inside and outside of academia, some who are also accomplished authors in their own right.  I think that Pr. Engelbrecht did a great job in shepherding this massive project which produced a very useful reference Bible. 
Title: Re: God's regard
Post by: Weedon on March 26, 2021, 09:03:16 AM
Bishop, I noted your kind comment and appreciated it. For any are interested, here is the link (note: thread drift). Also please note that while I am the author of the article, I’m not the author of the title. :)

https://witness.lcms.org/2021/did-vatican-ii-ruin-palm-sunday/

Peter and Don, I said that there’s a lot of good info in the study Bible, but I still cannot wrap my mind around how DR passed that statement. Obviously, I have not searched the Bible like Marie has. I honestly rarely use it. I pull it out on occasion to check how the study notes dealt with this or that passage, but as I said: I’ve taken to almost exclusively using my KJV without notes. After all, as this morning’s Psalm reminded me: “The entrance of Thy words giveth light.” It is not that we need to bring some light TO God’s Word, but it is the light God gives us to bring to everything else!

Edward, good counsel!
Title: Re: God's regard
Post by: Dave Benke on March 26, 2021, 09:10:34 AM
I suppose the shortest answer to your question, Don, is that I don't study the Bible with a study Bible for the most part.  It's more productive for my brain, such as it is, to study the text and context directly, and then fill in with other resources. 

Just reading Will's post, which is similar.  Also, the title not coming from the author of the blog article is a helpful addendum for me.  I wrote a book for CPH back in the late middle ages and gave them two titles either of which seemed on point to me.  They opted for a third, of their (who were they?) own. 

Dave Benke
Title: Re: God's regard
Post by: peter_speckhard on March 26, 2021, 09:37:22 AM
I don't think a study Bible is meant to be a pastor's study material. It is meant for general congregational and in-home use. It gives basic information like the who, what, when, where, and why of various books, explains theological terms, gives translations of names, gives maps of, say, Paul's missionary journeys, various charts on things like OT feast days, illustrations of things like the Tabernacle, and of course, footnotes of varying degrees of helpfulness. TLSB also has little application pages, like (to pick one at random) p. 1425, between Daniel and Hosea, which gives purely practical, rubber-hits-road tips in an article on how one can use the basic doctrines of the Apostles' Creed in doing personal, conversational evangelism, as well as a suggested, lifelong course of Christian growth via catechism study, prayer, and witness.

People like Dave and Will, as well as pastors generally, have already learned far more in seminary than the study Bible offers. But I've found it to very valuable in leading Bible studies at church and recommend it for people who want to give a Bible as a gift to a grandchild or whatever. Sure, I've come across difficult passages where the footnotes essentially punted and didn't address the actual difficulty, or places where I've had to point out that there is some dispute about a matter that TLSB presents as cut and dried. and, as we've noted, an unfortunate lack of a full page/article on the topic of Mary. But if everyone came to the Bible study with a KJV without notes, a lot more of the Bible study would be spent filling in details and explanations that TLSB addresses right off the bat. 
Title: Re: God's regard
Post by: D. Engebretson on March 26, 2021, 09:41:09 AM
I realize that it is thread drift, but the idea of study Bibles is an interesting topic in its own. I have what is probably one of the early LCMS ones, dated 1942 with John T. Mueller as the editor. It was billed as "pocket size" and was a revision of the New Testament with Notes, published by the American Tract Society. It is a copy that originally belonged to my wife's grandfather who was a very devout and studious Lutheran layman. Looking at the notes on the Magnificat in particular, it is interesting that the great concern was about some praying to Mary and paying her "divine honors." A sizeable note is provided on verse 48 of Luke 1 commenting on Mary's words that "all generations will call me blessed."

Over the years several church bodies have published their own study bibles. I remember when the Orthodox church came out with one published by Thomas Nelson, complete with prayers and devotional aids, whose notes were referenced profusely with the early church fathers. The Roman Catholic church has a number of them as well, as well as a substantial one put out by the Reformed church called the Geneva Study Bible.  It is an interesting and quick way to compare and contrast how various Christian traditions may treat a given passage or section of scripture.

I realize that one should approach a study of scripture on its own as you begin.  There is always the temptation to cut the process short by taking what someone else said and short-changing a serious wrestling with the text.  I think that many pastors today do this by the very fact that they no longer use the original languages.  A friend of mine, a newly ordained pastor at the time, sold me his copy of Lenski's commentary set while I was on vicarage.  It surprised me at the time.  I don't look at Lenski a lot these days, but his detailed approach to the Greek is still relevant and helpful.  I see study bibles as small commentaries in a similar ways; useful for reference and comparison.  I think they are especially helpful for our laity who lack formal training in exegesis.  I'm sure that it was a great aid to my wife's grandfather in his day. 
Title: Re: God's regard
Post by: John_Hannah on March 26, 2021, 09:46:08 AM
Bishop, I noted your kind comment and appreciated it. For any are interested, here is the link (note: thread drift). Also please note that while I am the author of the article, I’m not the author of the title. :)

https://witness.lcms.org/2021/did-vatican-ii-ruin-palm-sunday/


The pastoral advantage to the reform of Palm/Passion Sunday is that the many who do not come on Good Friday will hear the "Greatest Story Ever Told" at least once on  Sunday.

Peace, JOHN
Title: Re: God's regard
Post by: Weedon on March 26, 2021, 09:51:40 AM
You know, there’s a member here at St. Paul who frowned when TLSB came out (and of course, I did recommend it to the whole congregation; and still would). But his comment struck me, probably something his pastor taught him as a youth. He said: “Catholics and others have to put notes in their Bible because they don’t teach exactly and clearly what the Scriptures say and need to explain some things away; Lutheran Bibles don’t need notes, because we just believe what God says.”  But I pointed out to him, as Peter writes above, that it is useful for maps and info on the different cultures and times we encounter there. Still it has stuck with me and given me pause.
Title: Re: God's regard
Post by: D. Engebretson on March 26, 2021, 09:54:41 AM
Bishop, I noted your kind comment and appreciated it. For any are interested, here is the link (note: thread drift). Also please note that while I am the author of the article, I’m not the author of the title. :)

https://witness.lcms.org/2021/did-vatican-ii-ruin-palm-sunday/


The pastoral advantage to the reform of Palm/Passion Sunday is that the many who do not come on Good Friday will hear the "Greatest Story Ever Told" at least once on  Sunday.

Peace, JOHN

When I came to my current parish over 20 years ago they still had the tradition of celebrating confirmation on that Sunday.  This was not something I was familiar with in my youth or early ministry, but kind of understood it was a way to allow youth to participate in the Sacrament on Maundy Thursday.  That said, it bothered me that I couldn't have Lent on its own terms, so after that first year I moved confirmation to a later date and restored Palm Sunday to its original intent, albeit with Passion Sunday as well, as this newer tradition had already set it by 2000.  Personally, I would like to celebrate Palm Sunday as a 'stand alone,' and always make sure the Palm Sunday procession is included, and further, I often preach on the Palm Sunday gospel reading.
Title: Re: God's regard
Post by: Weedon on March 26, 2021, 09:59:06 AM
Don, that’s what I opted to do this year: preach the Palm Sunday Gospel (though we’ll still have the St. Matthew Passion) because we’ve preached the conflated passion throughout Lent.
Title: Re: God's regard
Post by: John_Hannah on March 26, 2021, 10:07:06 AM

Personally, I would like to celebrate Palm Sunday as a 'stand alone,' and always make sure the Palm Sunday procession is included, and further, I often preach on the Palm Sunday gospel reading.


The Palm Sunday procession is a cherished tradition. It is kept by all the churches I know who also keep the Passion Gospel.

Peace, JOHN
Title: Re: God's regard
Post by: Jeremy Loesch on March 26, 2021, 10:08:46 AM
Bishop, I noted your kind comment and appreciated it. For any are interested, here is the link (note: thread drift). Also please note that while I am the author of the article, I’m not the author of the title. :)

https://witness.lcms.org/2021/did-vatican-ii-ruin-palm-sunday/

Peter and Don, I said that there’s a lot of good info in the study Bible, but I still cannot wrap my mind around how DR passed that statement. Obviously, I have not searched the Bible like Marie has. I honestly rarely use it. I pull it out on occasion to check how the study notes dealt with this or that passage, but as I said: I’ve taken to almost exclusively using my KJV without notes. After all, as this morning’s Psalm reminded me: “The entrance of Thy words giveth light.” It is not that we need to bring some light TO God’s Word, but it is the light God gives us to bring to everything else!

Edward, good counsel!

Will, your comments on the study Bible and commentaries reminds me of sitting in Lou Brighton's NT Isagogics class..."Gentlemen...know the Word.  Love the Word.  Be your own commentary." 

Thanks for the flashback.

Jeremy

PS- I try to be my own commentary, but do rely on some of the books on my shelves. 
Title: Re: God's regard
Post by: Rev. Edward Engelbrecht on March 26, 2021, 10:21:58 AM
Bishop, I noted your kind comment and appreciated it. For any are interested, here is the link (note: thread drift). Also please note that while I am the author of the article, I’m not the author of the title. :)

https://witness.lcms.org/2021/did-vatican-ii-ruin-palm-sunday/

Peter and Don, I said that there’s a lot of good info in the study Bible, but I still cannot wrap my mind around how DR passed that statement. Obviously, I have not searched the Bible like Marie has. I honestly rarely use it. I pull it out on occasion to check how the study notes dealt with this or that passage, but as I said: I’ve taken to almost exclusively using my KJV without notes. After all, as this morning’s Psalm reminded me: “The entrance of Thy words giveth light.” It is not that we need to bring some light TO God’s Word, but it is the light God gives us to bring to everything else!

Edward, good counsel!

Will, what is the specific error you see? Can you quote it with a page reference?

Marie, is your concern that there is no specific article on Mary?

TLSB was not the first Lutheran Study Bible. See p. xxii for a list of earlier examples. One could also mention the Bible that AF released just before TLSB. There is nothing un-Lutheran about publishing a Bible with notes.
Title: Re: God's regard
Post by: Charles Austin on March 26, 2021, 11:06:23 AM
Pastor Hannah:
The pastoral advantage to the reform of Palm/Passion Sunday is that the many who do not come on Good Friday will hear the "Greatest Story Ever Told" at least once on  Sunday.
Me:
Amen to that! Often on Palm Sunday, I either did not preach or gave very short sermon to allow for the reading of the entire passion story, often from Luke, which I believe reads best, but sometimes from the other gospels or a combination.
Title: Re: God's regard
Post by: mariemeyer on March 26, 2021, 11:14:22 AM
For those who have complaints about the Study Bible, be sure you write out your concerns clearly and submit them to the current Bible editor at CPH. That is the best way to have your concerns represented and addressed.

Be sure to cite the specific page and text you think needs to be changed or improved. General complaints will be little help to the editor and will likely produce no results. Broad changes will not be made due to associated costs; smaller corrections may be made at a reprinting. That's the process.

I offer a reality check based on experience.  On two occasions I expressed "concerns' for two CPH books.  My letters were not stated as "complaints;" they offered specific references to sub-biblical non Confessional statements in a book that passed doctrinal review. 

The doctrine in question was the Trinity. Two essays in Women Pastors? referred to the  eternal subordination of God the Son to God the Father.  Both linked the eternal subordination of the Son to the Father to substantiate the claim that the Bible teaches the subordination of woman to man in the church and home.

Having heard nothing I contacted three pastors and alerted them to the two essays.  They wrote to CPH, President Harrison and Prof. John Pless.  The first edition of Women Pastors? quietly disappeared.  Persons who called CPH  were told it was "sold out."  The reason for a second edition was never made public, nor were existing book recalled. Many had been  shipped to partner churches in Africa.

My second failed attempt to hear from CPH concerned Lady Like Living. Here again, the book passed doctrinal review,  even when Genesis 2 was used to support a God ordained order of creation hierarchy; God> man>woman> animals.   The book clearly support a non-biblical chain of being. 

Like David Benke, my LCMS school education began with the KJV Bible; no study notes.  The Thompson Chain Reference Bible was used in high and college.   Because The Lutheran Study Bible is said to be for the laity, all the more reason to guard against taking the laity down a path that distorts how God the Father,  God the Son and God the Holy Spirit work as God in and through man and woman.

The ultimate issue here is letting the Triune God, as revealed in the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, be God in the life of man and woman.  More about this after I re-read Luther's Magnificat Commentary. 

Marie Otten Meyer




   


Title: Re: God's regard
Post by: peter_speckhard on March 26, 2021, 12:36:15 PM
For those who have complaints about the Study Bible, be sure you write out your concerns clearly and submit them to the current Bible editor at CPH. That is the best way to have your concerns represented and addressed.

Be sure to cite the specific page and text you think needs to be changed or improved. General complaints will be little help to the editor and will likely produce no results. Broad changes will not be made due to associated costs; smaller corrections may be made at a reprinting. That's the process.

I offer a reality check based on experience.  On two occasions I expressed "concerns' for two CPH books.  My letters were not stated as "complaints;" they offered specific references to sub-biblical non Confessional statements in a book that passed doctrinal review. 

The doctrine in question was the Trinity. Two essays in Women Pastors? referred to the  eternal subordination of God the Son to God the Father.  Both linked the eternal subordination of the Son to the Father to substantiate the claim that the Bible teaches the subordination of woman to man in the church and home.

Having heard nothing I contacted three pastors and alerted them to the two essays.  They wrote to CPH, President Harrison and Prof. John Pless.  The first edition of Women Pastors? quietly disappeared.  Persons who called CPH  were told it was "sold out."  The reason for a second edition was never made public, nor were existing book recalled. Many had been  shipped to partner churches in Africa.

My second failed attempt to hear from CPH concerned Lady Like Living. Here again, the book passed doctrinal review,  even when Genesis 2 was used to support a God ordained order of creation hierarchy; God> man>woman> animals.   The book clearly support a non-biblical chain of being. 

Like David Benke, my LCMS school education began with the KJV Bible; no study notes.  The Thompson Chain Reference Bible was used in high and college.   Because The Lutheran Study Bible is said to be for the laity, all the more reason to guard against taking the laity down a path that distorts how God the Father,  God the Son and God the Holy Spirit work as God in and through man and woman.

The ultimate issue here is letting the Triune God, as revealed in the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, be God in the life of man and woman.  More about this after I re-read Luther's Magnificat Commentary. 

Marie Otten Meyer

Is it possible you're using the word "subordination" to mean different things? I doubt very much that Pr. Engelbrecht and CPH generally fail to understand the doctrine of the Trinity as well as you do. But it wouldn't surprise me at all if the term "subordination" has so many nuances that what strikes one person as a problem simply fails to strike another person as a problem.

Whenever people address the verses (mostly in St. Paul's letters) that refer to the significance of Adam being formed before Eve or how human, this-worldly marriage offers a picture of the union between Christ and His bride the Church, the people who object that there is a Trinitarian problem involved almost always point out what those verses can't mean, but they never (to my knowledge) say what those verses do mean except by claiming St. Paul was culturally limited and therefore not applicable to us on that topic, or by explicating them in such a way that there would be zero theological or practical difference if the verses said the opposite, that Eve was formed before Adam or that husbands should submit to their wives. 

That Mary is a major figure in salvation history is something few people have an issue with.
Title: Re: God's regard
Post by: J. Thomas Shelley on March 26, 2021, 12:43:17 PM
Pastor Hannah:
The pastoral advantage to the reform of Palm/Passion Sunday is that the many who do not come on Good Friday will hear the "Greatest Story Ever Told" at least once on  Sunday.
Me:
Amen to that! Often on Palm Sunday, I either did not preach or gave very short sermon to allow for the reading of the entire passion story, often from Luke, which I believe reads best, but sometimes from the other gospels or a combination.

Likewise.

My conscious Christian formation was all post-Vatican II, 1978 LBW/1979 BCP.

In the parish we would begin Palm Sunday with the Procession, ideally outdoors (although the weather often did not cooperate); the Passion read in dialog form followed by an appropriate choral anthem.  We had a three year rotation of

"See How He Dies"
"Droop, there, O Sacred Head" (Gordon Young)
"A Lenten Meditation" (Wagner)

followed immediately by a responsive Intercession as the prayer of the faithful which was basically a recap of the Passion.

It is noteworthy the congregation NEVER had a Good Friday service until my arrival. 

Now, with the excuse of COVID and "keeping everybody safe" they have reverted to their former ways.

Kyrie eleison.
Title: Re: God's regard
Post by: jebutler on March 26, 2021, 01:45:09 PM
Bishop, I noted your kind comment and appreciated it. For any are interested, here is the link (note: thread drift). Also please note that while I am the author of the article, I’m not the author of the title. :)

https://witness.lcms.org/2021/did-vatican-ii-ruin-palm-sunday/

Peter and Don, I said that there’s a lot of good info in the study Bible, but I still cannot wrap my mind around how DR passed that statement. Obviously, I have not searched the Bible like Marie has. I honestly rarely use it. I pull it out on occasion to check how the study notes dealt with this or that passage, but as I said: I’ve taken to almost exclusively using my KJV without notes. After all, as this morning’s Psalm reminded me: “The entrance of Thy words giveth light.” It is not that we need to bring some light TO God’s Word, but it is the light God gives us to bring to everything else!

Edward, good counsel!

Will, what is the specific error you see? Can you quote it with a page reference?

Marie, is your concern that there is no specific article on Mary?

TLSB was not the first Lutheran Study Bible. See p. xxii for a list of earlier examples. One could also mention the Bible that AF released just before TLSB. There is nothing un-Lutheran about publishing a Bible with notes.

Ed, Will is referring to the chart on page 1726, "Women Disciples." The second name listed is "Mary of Nazareth" which states, "She did not agree with Jesus' decision to leave the carpentry trade and live as a rabbi" using Mark 3:21 and Luke 8:19-21 as proof passages. First, I would think "Mary, the Mother of the Lord" would be a better title. Second, while we know that Mary went with Jesus' brothers, we do not know that she was upset that he wasn't working as a carpenter any longer; that's an odd assertion to make; the writer should have left it with "She was confused by His mission" (as were most of the Lord's followers!).
Title: Re: God's regard
Post by: jebutler on March 26, 2021, 01:54:06 PM
Dave, does that mean you won’t cite the part of Pieper that I referenced?

Let’s be clear. St. Basil the Great already made it clear that our faith doesn’t hang on Mary’s virginity post partum; it hangs on it to the birth. Luther certainly would concur with that. What he would not concur with is those who insist dogmatically that Mary HAD other children. If Scaer does that, he’s just wrong. And Pieper would call him out for it, as would Luther, as would St. Basil. Gerhard put it most simply: “We respond from Jerome Against Helvidius: We believe that God was born of the Virgin, because we read it. we do not believe that Mary had relations with Joseph after the birth, because we do not read it. So it suffices for our faith that the mother of the Messiah is called virgin in Isaiah 7:14, Luke 1:35.”

P.S. I do apologize for the sharp tone which I should not have taken, and particularly with an older brother or sister in the faith. Please forgive me.

I'm one of those who does not believe that Mary was always virgin. Never have. Never will.

On the other hand, to each his own. I know you believe her perpetual virginity. We had a pastor in our circuit who believed the same thing. As long as those who confess this also do not insist dogmatically that Mary did NOT have other children, the I think we're all good.

My problem is that some of those that do make that assertion have been pretty dogmatic with me about it. To me, that's the issue.
Title: Re: God's regard
Post by: Weedon on March 26, 2021, 02:03:40 PM
Jim, thanks for looking up the reference. You are correct, though I’d go further. I don’t think it shows she was confused by His mission, but that she was concerned for her son’s physical and mental well being. He was “working himself to the bone” as we say. And as His mom, she loved Him and wanted to make Him take His rest.

In my experience of PV, the dogmatism runs the other way! I will say the oddest thing to me is that those who identify the Mary who is the mother of James and Joses with the Blessed Virgin have, for instance, St. Mark writing in Mark 15:40 “There were also women looking on afar off; among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the Less and of Joses, and Salome.” This to me is a slam dunk that the Virgin is not the same Mary, because surely, surely the Evangelist would have written: with Mary, HIS mother. And let’s add that in John 19:25 we have a reference to “his mother, *his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleopas.*

Now, none of that has anything to say about perpetual virginity per se. It’s just that I deny that it makes sense given the above that Mary the mother of James and Joses IS the Mary who is Jesus’ own mother. FWIW.
Title: Re: God's regard
Post by: peter_speckhard on March 26, 2021, 02:12:24 PM
Jim, thanks for looking up the reference. You are correct, though I’d go further. I don’t think it shows she was confused by His mission, but that she was concerned for her son’s physical and mental well being. He was “working himself to the bone” as we say. And as His mom, she loved Him and wanted to make Him take His rest.

In my experience of PV, the dogmatism runs the other way! I will say the oddest thing to me is that those who identify the Mary who is the mother of James and Joses with the Blessed Virgin have, for instance, St. Mark writing in Mark 15:40 “There were also women looking on afar off; among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the Less and of Joses, and Salome.” This to me is a slam dunk that the Virgin is not the same Mary, because surely, surely the Evangelist would have written: with Mary, HIS mother. And let’s add that in John 19:25 we have a reference to “his mother, *his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleopas.*

Now, none of that has anything to say about perpetual virginity per se. It’s just that I deny that it makes sense given the above that Mary the mother of James and Joses IS the Mary who is Jesus’ own mother. FWIW.
I think any speculation (which ought to be avoided where possible) should be qualified. "She may have been confused about..." or "Perhap not understanding His mission, she..." or "The Scriptures do not specify what the family's concern was, but one can imagine that..." or "Christians have offered various explanations over the years as to why she..."

Title: Re: God's regard
Post by: Weedon on March 26, 2021, 02:12:56 PM
Well stated, Peter. I do think in the interplay we see in, say, Mark 3, we have Jesus naming the 12, then the friends (or family) wanting to lay hold on him because he is beside himself, and Jesus’ family then arriving and asking to see Him, and He makes it clear that there’s a new family that has superseded the old family: those who sit at His feet and receive His Word. Of course, Luke makes it clear that Mary is in THAT family too. “But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart” “But his mother kept all these saying in her heart.” 
Title: Re: God's regard
Post by: Weedon on March 26, 2021, 02:20:04 PM
By the way, the Basil quote I alluded to earlier is:

For "he did not know her" - it says - "until she gave birth to a Son, her firstborn." But this could make one suppose that Mary, after having offered in all her purity her own service in giving birth to the Lord, by virtue of the Holy Spirit, did not subsequently refrain from normal conjugal relations. That would not have affected the teaching of our religion at all, because Mary's virginity was necessary until the service of the Incarnation, and what happened afterward need not be investigated in order to affect the doctrine of the mystery. But since the lovers of Christ [that is, the faithful] do not allow themselves to hear that the Mother of God ceased at a given moment to be a virgin, we consider their testimony sufficient. -- St. Basil the Great, Homily [PG 31, 1468]

A friend of mine (Pr. Larry Beane) once likened this to the tradition of St. Peter being crucified upside down and St. Paul being beheaded outside Rome. In just the same way, the Church hands on this tradition, this bit of info, about Mary, and the point Pieper was at pains to safeguard was that there is nothing in Scripture per se that must be read as necessarily CONTRADICTING this tradition; but no one can be called a heretic for denying it (since it is tradition, not inspired Scripture) provided his Christology is otherwise sound. The reason he connects it with the Christology, I believe, is because of the close connection between the closed womb birth (alluded to in SD VIII:24) and the notion of why Joseph and Mary may not have had conjugal relations. The person who would deny the possibility of either closed womb birth or subsequent preservation of virginity because they would not be possible, has departed from the grounds of sound Christology (by denying the communication of the divine majesty, the genus maiestaticum). But note the careful lingo of SD VII:100 “and as people believe, when He was born of His mother.” As people believe is quite parallel to St. Basil’s the lovers of Christ and their testimony. But it is not “as the Scriptures declare”. Tradition, not Word of God for sure. The way I teach it is to say: “According to the tradition of the Church, Mary remained a Virgin; and the Scriptures do not rule this out, and the Lutheran Confessions clearly supposed the tradition was true, but was a tradition nonetheless.”
Title: Re: God's regard
Post by: peter_speckhard on March 26, 2021, 03:19:24 PM
On another thread there is some discussion of a recent FL article in which I included a letter circulated by my uncle back in the 1960's explaining why he was leaving the LCMS. One of his complaints was that the LCMS did not allow much leeway on doctrinal matters, but insisted that things be stated and understood  too precisely. Additionally, we were too quick to go after each other at the slightest hint of deviation.

I think this thread illustrates the pros and cons of that culture. Every single doctrine and practice has people who are passionate about it with strong opinions. Marie pays close attention to anything that addresses male and female. When CPH publishes a book that says or implies things she disagrees with on the topic of men and women, she considers it a serious problem. Even including footnotes citing books by authors who disagree becomes a matter of suspicion. Extend that same principle to other people and other doctrines and practices and you end up with a culture that demands precision and does not tolerate error. Which in general is good, but which presupposes agreement as the starting point. 
Title: Re: God's regard
Post by: Weedon on March 26, 2021, 03:33:46 PM
I think, Peter, it is a sign of a church that still believes that there is a faith once delivered to the saints; and our task is to preserve and hand that faith on. The danger (which I believe I’ve pointed out repeatedly) is to equate various doctrinal schemata for expounding that faith WITH the dogma of that faith itself. And this is at the heart of the “bifurcation” Piepkorn once decried between the Symbols and the dogmatic tradition which they inspired. It is always of interest to me where the statements of the Symbols make the dogmaticians uncomfortable. You can witness it in Gerhard when he has to deal with the Apology’s treatment of the Sacraments when to him it is settled matter that Luther got this right when he said two: no more and no less. There are many other examples.

FWIW, after Marie pointed out the problem with some of the essays in that book I did write my friend Dr. John Kleinig. We had a good but brief discussion in which I pointed out that Marie did have Chemnitz on her side. I think the desire for precision is born out of a conviction that there IS a faith once delivered to the saints; and none of us dare assume that the form of that faith we happen to be handed at any given moment is simply to be equated with that faith. Rather, we heed St. Paul’s exhortation: “Test all things; hold fast that which is good.”
Title: the page 1726 note on the BVM
Post by: Harvey_Mozolak on March 26, 2021, 05:29:23 PM
no one has mentioned that the note on page 1726 has one last hang nail to file....  The section ill-named Mary of Nazareth, concludes: "Rv 12 may memorialize her special role in history as a representative of Israel and as the mother of the Church." 

back in the days of my youth when first reading this and asking about this and later in at least my Junior College days in Milwaukee (and I think at Sem in Springfield) the Rev 12 description of this woman was taught not to, definitely, be Mary of Nazareth, Mother of God.  Maybe it was a symbol of the church or something like that... but not Mary definitely.  Now, of course, the commentary on the page of Rev 12 does not mention Mary at all and uses the term REPRESENTATIVE and the pronoun SHE... but not her name Mary as such (unless I over look it).   How does that match any of you who were taught this text pre-1970?

Not that I ever thought it was anyone other, obviously, than blessed Mary.
Title: Re: God's regard
Post by: mariemeyer on March 26, 2021, 05:48:12 PM
Peter writes.."Is it possible you're using the word "subordination" to mean different things? I doubt very much that Pr. Engelbrecht and CPH generally fail to understand the doctrine of the Trinity as well as you do. But it wouldn't surprise me at all if the term "subordination" has so many nuances that what strikes one person as a problem simply fails to strike another person as a problem."

The above is totally in appropriate for the moderator of this Forum.

Marie Otten Meyer
Title: Re: God's regard
Post by: Rev. Edward Engelbrecht on March 26, 2021, 05:55:27 PM
Bishop, I noted your kind comment and appreciated it. For any are interested, here is the link (note: thread drift). Also please note that while I am the author of the article, I’m not the author of the title. :)

https://witness.lcms.org/2021/did-vatican-ii-ruin-palm-sunday/

Peter and Don, I said that there’s a lot of good info in the study Bible, but I still cannot wrap my mind around how DR passed that statement. Obviously, I have not searched the Bible like Marie has. I honestly rarely use it. I pull it out on occasion to check how the study notes dealt with this or that passage, but as I said: I’ve taken to almost exclusively using my KJV without notes. After all, as this morning’s Psalm reminded me: “The entrance of Thy words giveth light.” It is not that we need to bring some light TO God’s Word, but it is the light God gives us to bring to everything else!

Edward, good counsel!

Will, what is the specific error you see? Can you quote it with a page reference?

Marie, is your concern that there is no specific article on Mary?

TLSB was not the first Lutheran Study Bible. See p. xxii for a list of earlier examples. One could also mention the Bible that AF released just before TLSB. There is nothing un-Lutheran about publishing a Bible with notes.

Ed, Will is referring to the chart on page 1726, "Women Disciples." The second name listed is "Mary of Nazareth" which states, "She did not agree with Jesus' decision to leave the carpentry trade and live as a rabbi" using Mark 3:21 and Luke 8:19-21 as proof passages. First, I would think "Mary, the Mother of the Lord" would be a better title. Second, while we know that Mary went with Jesus' brothers, we do not know that she was upset that he wasn't working as a carpenter any longer; that's an odd assertion to make; the writer should have left it with "She was confused by His mission" (as were most of the Lord's followers!).

Thanks for getting me to the specific text. Here are a few thoughts. When reading a note in a Study Bible, it’s important to remember that there is almost always more that can be said about a topic. The information is intentionally brief.

There is a cultural fact the author might have included. The oldest son was responsible for heading the family, which would have included providing for a widowed mother. (We see Jesus doing this in John 19:26–27; for unstated reasons, Jesus entrusts His mother to a disciple rather than to a brother. What follows may explain why.) Jesus’ family role would have included the family trade, for which Joseph and Jesus were known (Matthew 13:55; Mark 6:3). He was not simply the carpenter’s son but was a carpenter by trade. By living as a rabbi, Jesus abandoned His trade and the immediate means to support and lead the family, which would lead to family strife. Evidence of how bad that strife was can be seen in John 7:1–8 where Jesus’ brothers mock Him, do not believe in Him, and would send Him into Judea under dangerous circumstances. The brothers are deeply upset with Jesus for pursing the ministry.

Mary is not included in the statements of John 7 but she is included in Mark 3:21, 31–32. She has sided with the brothers in this family issue. In Mark 3:21, “He is out of His mind” is not an expression of concern that Jesus is bearing too much stress because of the crowds. Cf. the broader context of Mark 3 and the similar expression in John 10:20. They are deeply upset with and about Jesus rather than simply concerned for Jesus. I do not think it is coincidence that Jesus’ saying in the midst of Mark 3 is about “a house . . . divided.” (Cf. Matthew 10:34–38.) By leaving the family to purse a divine call, Jesus has divided His family. I suppose we see a prelude to this in Luke 2:41–50.

No doubt, others will have other thoughts but I thought I might fill in a bit more from culture and context to help you better understand this author's perspective.
Title: Re: God's regard
Post by: peter_speckhard on March 26, 2021, 06:17:35 PM
Peter writes.."Is it possible you're using the word "subordination" to mean different things? I doubt very much that Pr. Engelbrecht and CPH generally fail to understand the doctrine of the Trinity as well as you do. But it wouldn't surprise me at all if the term "subordination" has so many nuances that what strikes one person as a problem simply fails to strike another person as a problem."

The above is totally in appropriate for the moderator of this Forum.

Marie Otten Meyer
No it isn't. It is a serious question. You keep pointing to a Trinitarian problem, but that doesn't seem likely to me at all given the authors in question. It seems to me far more likely that the disagreement or misunderstanding lies elsewhere, most probably in the definition of subordination. How is that inappropriate for the moderator? 
Title: Re: God's regard
Post by: Weedon on March 26, 2021, 06:31:29 PM
1 Corinthians 15:28 is the passage at issue. “And when all things shall be subdued under him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.” The question is whether this can possibly be a reference to the Eternal Son as Son or whether it a reference to the humanity which the Son assumed into the unity of His person. That later is how St. Augustine and St. John Chrysostom and the Church as a whole has taken this, and in the sense of the Athanasian Creed: “Equal to the Father as touching His godhead; inferior to the Father as touching His manhood.” And Marie is right, that this ought never be read, then, as though it applied to the Divine Person of the Son per se. There is no subordination in the Persons of the Trinity, even though there is order of eternal origins, with the Father as the source of Godhead and the Son receiving His Godhead from the Father’s begetting and the Spirit receiving His Godhead from the Father’s via spiration through (and so also from) the Son.
Title: Re: God's regard
Post by: Weedon on March 26, 2021, 06:42:34 PM
Harvey, so very, very good to see you participating on the forum again. Welcome back! I’ve missed your contributions. As to the point you made, interesting that Dr. Louis Brighton’s Revelation Commentary explicitly identifies the woman as Mary, the connecting point between Israel and Church. Israel, if you will, pregnant with the Christ, and the Church who brings Him forth to the world. I wish I had the commentary here to cite from, but I remember he ran the text in the quite traditional way.
Title: Re: God's regard
Post by: Harvey_Mozolak on March 26, 2021, 07:07:35 PM
 “Equal to the Father as touching His godhead; inferior to the Father as touching His manhood.”

Obviously good words but the term inferior (no Latin or Greek scholar here) can sound, at least in English, as open to several meanings also, like subordination.  Remembering the recently (in these parts) referenced meditation by the Papal Chaplain on the True God and True Man distinctions... true man is something readily accepted by moderns (and mostly no more than that) but "certainly a man" may not capture well what the chaplain nicely pointed out might be more the weight of the terminology-- perfect man. 

Jesus is the New Adam, the Good Adam in the midst of all fallen Adams and Eves. 

So is the inferiority (infierior nature/status one simply that of the fact that, not using his divine prerogatives and abilities, Jesus couldn't because he didn't will to... do things like walk thru walls most of the time and used doorways prior to the resurrection.   Is this a weak illustration?  If someone is shorter or younger than I am, one could say they are inferior (everyone scream now!)... or the short and young person might consider me inferior to them (swallow the scream).  But in either case it might not be a value or moral judgement so much as a simple comparison, we are not the same.  Someone come up with a better illustration.  Is that all that we are talking about?  Inferior in the sense that the perfect Adam does not move like a spirit.... or have perfect wisdom being used like God, does it mean that?

I am writing a paper on Life and why it may not be an attribute of God and that it does not fit as a replacement for love in the sense of the text:  God is love.  We do not say, God is life.  God gives life.  Life comes from within him but the eternal may not be life, but rather is beyond life, the creator of life and certainly Eve's life and resurrected life.  Subordination of course readily falls into trouble as one introduces obedience as a characteristic of subordination.  But is that obedience less like groveling and more like gravity obeys on earth.  Human beings are just under God because God created them, we must bow because of the gravity of God.  We are earthbound.  Furthermore now, sin sunk.  Cakes will never achieve obedience from bakers but always be subordinate. 
Title: Re: God's regard
Post by: peter_speckhard on March 26, 2021, 07:09:29 PM
1 Corinthians 15:28 is the passage at issue. “And when all things shall be subdued under him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.” The question is whether this can possibly be a reference to the Eternal Son as Son or whether it a reference to the humanity which the Son assumed into the unity of His person. That later is how St. Augustine and St. John Chrysostom and the Church as a whole has taken this, and in the sense of the Athanasian Creed: “Equal to the Father as touching His godhead; inferior to the Father as touching His manhood.” And Marie is right, that this ought never be read, then, as though it applied to the Divine Person of the Son per se. There is no subordination in the Persons of the Trinity, even though there is order of eternal origins, with the Father as the source of Godhead and the Son receiving His Godhead from the Father’s begetting and the Spirit receiving His Godhead from the Father’s via spiration through (and so also from) the Son.
Not subordination, but an order of eternal origins. Issues of source (similarly authority). Giver/Receiver. Begetter/Begotten. I don't think there is disagreement about the relations in and among the persons of the Trinity. There is disagreement about whether "subordination" is an appropriate word in English to describe any of them. Some would say that if there is an order of eternal origins, that is almost by definition a matter of subordination, with the caveat that subordinate doesn't mean less or unequal, it means being in the receiver position in a giver/receiver relationship, or not the source but the one to whom the source flows. Others would say, no, the word by definition implies inherent inferiority or unequal, lesser status. That, it seems to me, is where most of the disagreement lies-- in the choice and application of English descriptors, not in the understanding of the relationships among the persons of the Trinity.

The reason I suspect that is the case is that I never read or hear anyone disagreeing in this board on any statement concerning the Trinity. But we always disagree on applications to husband/wife, or male/female, or women's ordination, or something to do with women and authority. I think it mistaken to impute that disagreement to a more fundamental disagreement on the nature of the Trinity. 
Title: Re: God's regard
Post by: Weedon on March 26, 2021, 07:36:02 PM
Harvey, I think the “less than” or “inferior to” refers to the humanity which remains humanity and never becomes the godhead to all eternity. St. Augustine thought that’s what the 1 Cor. 15 verse was especially teaching. In His human nature the Son will remain subject to and less than and inferior to the Father *for all eternity*, even when that human nature is exalted to share via the communication of attributes in the prerogatives that properly belong to the Divine Nature.
Title: Re: God's regard
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on March 26, 2021, 08:52:16 PM
1 Corinthians 15:28 is the passage at issue. “And when all things shall be subdued under him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.” The question is whether this can possibly be a reference to the Eternal Son as Son or whether it a reference to the humanity which the Son assumed into the unity of His person. That later is how St. Augustine and St. John Chrysostom and the Church as a whole has taken this, and in the sense of the Athanasian Creed: “Equal to the Father as touching His godhead; inferior to the Father as touching His manhood.” And Marie is right, that this ought never be read, then, as though it applied to the Divine Person of the Son per se. There is no subordination in the Persons of the Trinity, even though there is order of eternal origins, with the Father as the source of Godhead and the Son receiving His Godhead from the Father’s begetting and the Spirit receiving His Godhead from the Father’s via spiration through (and so also from) the Son.


A quick study of ὑποτάσσω might be helpful. It occurs six times in 1 Cor 15:27-28. In an earlier discussion on orders of creation, the word seems to be more like placing team members in their proper positions on a baseball field. Rather than a ranking of people from better to worse. Most telling it its use for Jesus "being subject" to his parents in Luke 2:51. (NRSV translates it "be obedient," ESV uses "be submissive to." Such an ordering in the household certainly did not mean that Jesus was less important than Mary and Joseph.


Similarly, we are "to be subject" to governing authorities (Romans 13:1; see also 1 Peter 2:13); and the spirits of prophets "are subject" to prophets (1 Cor 14:32). I don't believe this was a ranking of prophets; that some are better than others. Nor that people elected to government positions are better people than those who lost election or didn't bother to run because they had their own important work to do.
Title: Re: God's regard
Post by: Rev. Edward Engelbrecht on March 27, 2021, 08:05:25 AM
Marie, I remember this project. I think you've asked me about it once before on alpb.

I was not the editor for the project. When I was asked to serve as senior editor for professional and academic books, this project was on hold. There were a few articles that did not have complete permissions. It's been years so I'm foggy on the details of what happened.

What I recall is asking team members to approach the authors about dropping the essays that did not have complete permissions. The author's agreed, the essays were dropped, and the book moved forward in production. It was very well received and the first edition did sell out.

I remember that doctrinal concerns were raised. Since I did not handle the edit, I don't know too much more about how the second edition was completed. I would not be surprised if essays that were held up for the first edition were included in a second edition, which would have changed the content of the book.

I'm not sure to whom you addressed your letter of concern. I don't think it was to me. It must have been to another colleague, unless you sent it as a to-whom-it-may-concern type of letter. Generally speaking, a letter moves to the editor who is handling the project. If a colleague did not get back to you, I'm sorry for that. I am not the micromanaging type so I would not have been checking up on what colleagues were doing with correspondence. It would be normal for the editor to keep in-house decisions in-house rather than explain everything just as congregational leaders do not explain everything that happens at an elders meeting or vestry meeting. Another example would be the recent changes in practice here on the forum. We know why the changes were enacted but we do not know how the decisions were reached. And we really don't need to know.
Title: Re: God's regard
Post by: Dave Benke on March 27, 2021, 08:38:31 AM
The eternal subordination of the Son to the Father in the Trinity was included in an article/pamphlet authored by Dr. George Wollenburg (+).  The material came directly from an outside source - The Biblical Council on Manhood (and Womanhood).  It was used, on the New Testament side, along with tortured exegesis of passages in Genesis, to state that females are subordinate to males eternally.  Weird bad theology to be sure.  And George retracted the pamphlet eventually. 

In many and various ways that whole enterprise was used as a "biblical" way to buttress the ongoing decisions against women's ordination to the pastoral office. 

Dave Benke
Title: Re: God's regard
Post by: Harvey_Mozolak on March 27, 2021, 09:20:54 AM
In many and various ways that whole enterprise was used as a "biblical" way to buttress the ongoing decisions against women's ordination to the pastoral office. 
Dave Benke

Dave, I wonder if that is not the way the church has often functioned in any number of issues....and said, "Oh, we don't ordain women (or whatever issue), never have, what kind of walls are there around doing or saying that... and where there are no walls, are there nearby rocks and stones we can build up into a barrier."   And what is the opposite in the illustration?n I think it might be an honest look at the terrain and any existing structure, when and how completed and how low the bar.   As some of you have aptly pointed out... the doctrine of the Trinity stands quite clearly in many perimeters but to use its materials to deal with teachings on marriage can be less clearly drawn, at least by some. 

Side thought:  Our teaching and practice for infant baptism is far less controversial among Lutherans but we have used Sacred Tradition to carry some stones and rocks into place, haven't we?
Title: Re: God's regard
Post by: Weedon on March 27, 2021, 09:43:30 AM
Again, to me the Church’s traditional stance on only ordaining certain men simply doesn’t need any buttressing, since 1 Cor. 14 and 1 Tim 2 and 3 do the job on all on their own.

Just so we’re clear: I’ve never been taught, never taught, and never believed that all women are, as women, always under the authority of some male. I certainly believe all of us are under authority and so subordinate, in various roles and in the complex web of human society. Children to parents; wives to husbands; citizens to governing authorities; and so on. Think table of duties.

I’ve thought  about a parallel in the office of the ministry. At St. Paul’s we have clear “rank” or “ordo” in the office of the ministry. Pastor Ball is in every sense the bishop: and he assigns what Pastor Gleason and I are to attend to within the parameters of our call. So, as it happens, this weekend he “authorized” (“deputized”?) me to preach and celebrate the Sacrament in his place. But it is non-reciprocal. He is the chief pastor of this parish, and we assist him in carrying out the duties of the office of the ministry. But here’s the point: we’re all fully in the office of the ministry. We’re all fully vested with the authority of that office to administer it whenever called upon to do so. But I’m still “under” Pr. Ball’s authority, even though we’re “equals” in office.

So with husbands and wives. We’re heirs together of grace; we’re equally children of the heavenly Father through the gracious waters of Baptism. And yet I still have an authority as her husband that Cindi does not bear as my wife. As always in the Church, not a “lording it over” kind of authority, but an authority nonetheless. But I have zero authority over, say, Marie. She is my sister in Christ via Baptism. I am not her pastor. I am her brother in Christ. Together we’re “kids of the Kingdom.” And as a consecrated deaconess, she’s also my coworker in the Kingdom’s work.
Title: Re: God's regard
Post by: Harvey_Mozolak on March 27, 2021, 10:36:16 AM
Will,  as far as the relationship of wife and husband:  I have always taught couples, in premarital counseling, that the relationship is one of ebb and flow... if one of the couple is mentally ill, authority must say in the case of forced hospitalization fall to the one who is healthy, a decision regarding the education of their children may just more heavily flow to the person who is by vocation a teacher rather than the husband who is a mechanic and some decision about the car be more his than hers... whether to go to church or not should go more helpfully to the more faithful Christian or to the one who is rather than to the weaker of the two or one who is not a Christian.  And in the case of toss ups, he should buy her a comb for her lovely hair and he a chain and fob for his watch (or was it a watch for this fob and chain)... and do the Matthias prayerful casting  of lots or asking someone of great wisdom for advice and follow it.  Two heads doth a monster make, death for the headless but woe also to a head behaving monstrously not only hatefully or sinfully but also stupidly.  And I have seen more relationship with an unreasonable husband asserting headship and wifely submission than I have seen partnership and companionship of shared leadership without regard to submission and obedience issues. 
Title: Re: God's regard
Post by: Dan Fienen on March 27, 2021, 10:48:43 AM
Especially in view of last Sunday's Gospel Reading, Mark 10:35-45, we need to be careful how we conceptualize headship, authority, and subordination. The world tends to see those in terms of privilege and power. Jesus would have us think in terms of responsibility and service.
Title: Re: God's regard
Post by: Weedon on March 27, 2021, 10:55:21 AM
Exactly, Dan. Exactly. Responsibility TO serve.
Title: Re: God's regard
Post by: peter_speckhard on March 27, 2021, 11:05:18 AM
Exactly, Dan. Exactly. Responsibility TO serve.
As in “...as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself up for her...”
Title: Re: God's regard
Post by: D. Engebretson on March 27, 2021, 11:21:23 AM
I have always stressed this truth as I explain the Eph. 5 passage during premarital counseling, especially in light of the submission/subordination words in that section.  Dan, you echoed my exact message: service and responsibility.
Title: Re: God's regard
Post by: Dan Fienen on March 27, 2021, 11:41:53 AM
In my sermon last Sunday I touched on Eph. 5 as an illustration of the kind of servant leadership Jesus calls us to. Very few of us will be in positions of governmental authority, a few more will be leaders of clubs and organizations, but all of us have experience in families and the dynamics of leadership in families.
Title: Re: God's regard
Post by: D. Engebretson on March 27, 2021, 11:55:30 AM
Funny how sometimes we think alike.  I did the very same thing.  Hard to avoid that passage when Paul so explicitly talks about submission, and Jesus talks about servanthood. We are all called to serve each other, and the family is a key area in the life of a Christian.
Title: Re: God's regard
Post by: mariemeyer on March 27, 2021, 12:27:25 PM
Marie, I remember this project. I think you've asked me about it once before on alpb.

I was not the editor for the project. When I was asked to serve as senior editor for professional and academic books, this project was on hold. There were a few articles that did not have complete permissions. It's been years so I'm foggy on the details of what happened.

What I recall is asking team members to approach the authors about dropping the essays that did not have complete permissions. The author's agreed, the essays were dropped, and the book moved forward in production. It was very well received and the first edition did sell out.

I remember that doctrinal concerns were raised. Since I did not handle the edit, I don't know too much more about how the second edition was completed. I would not be surprised if essays that were held up for the first edition were included in a second edition, which would have changed the content of the book.

I'm not sure to whom you addressed your letter of concern. I don't think it was to me. It must have been to another colleague, unless you sent it as a to-whom-it-may-concern type of letter. Generally speaking, a letter moves to the editor who is handling the project. If a colleague did not get back to you, I'm sorry for that. I am not the micromanaging type so I would not have been checking up on what colleagues were doing with correspondence. It would be normal for the editor to keep in-house decisions in-house rather than explain everything just as congregational leaders do not explain everything that happens at an elders meeting or vestry meeting. Another example would be the recent changes in practice here on the forum. We know why the changes were enacted but we do not know how the decisions were reached. And we really don't need to know.

I first wrote to Prof. William Schumacher, acting chairman of the Doctrinal Review Commission.  I do not know to whom the three pastors I contacted wrote regarding essays that refer to the eternal subordination of God the Son to God the Father. 

The first essay in question, The Ordination of Women and the Doctrine of the Holy Trinity, was by John W Kleinig.   ""In I Corinthians 15:25-18, Paul goes so far as to say that the Son is not just subordinate to the Father until the resurrection of the dead on the last day but will be forever subordinate to the Father, so that God the Father may be all in all."   

The second essay, Gender Considerations on the Pastoral Office, by Robert Schaibley  followed the lead of the late George Wollenburg.
Schaibley  writes " Subordination finds expression within the mystery of the Blessed Holy Trinity: The Son is who he is in relation to the Father. There is an eternal relationship of superordination and subordination in the Trinity, between the Father and the Son." ...That this subordination of the Son to the Father is not merely part of the state of humiliation is evident from I Cor 15:28....The eternal subordination of the Son to the Father involves the oneness of God, the unity of the Godhead.

Pieper's Dogmatics clearly state that I Corinthians 15:28 cannot be used to support the eternal  subordination of the God the Son to God the Father.

 
 
Title: Re: God's regard
Post by: Pr. Terry Culler on March 27, 2021, 12:43:38 PM
Eternal subordination of the Son is the death of  Nicene Christian doctrine.  There can be no true subordination within the Godhead.
Title: Re: God's regard
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on March 27, 2021, 01:03:34 PM
Eternal subordination of the Son is the death of  Nicene Christian doctrine.  There can be no true subordination within the Godhead.


What is the "order" of fathers and sons? Why is that language used for persons of the Godhead?


One of definitions of ὑποτάσσομαι is: "to submit to the orders or directives of someone - to obey" (Lowe & Nida). Isn't it orthodox to say that Jesus, the Son, was obedient to the Father: "Not my will but yours"?
Title: Re: God's regard
Post by: peter_speckhard on March 27, 2021, 01:15:52 PM
Whether we use the terms First Person of the Trinity and Second Person of the Trinity, or God the Father and God the Son, we can't escape some sense of order in which God the Father/First Person is not the same as God the Son/Second Person. Nor could you reverse the order. A son's relationship to a father is not the same as a father's relationship to a son. Nor would we change the way we speak of the persons of the Trinity and call the Son the 1st Person of the Trinity and the Father the 2nd Person. I suppose we could do that, but it wouldn't ring true or be faithful to any historic way of describing the Trnity. Whether we use numerical order or a familial parallel, the only question is whether subordination is an appropriate descriptor. Two comes after one. Sons receive from Fathers. If being begotten means being subordinate to the begetter, then being begotten of the Father from eternity means being subordinate from eternity. That is the issue; does being begotten mean being subordinate to the begetter? No person of the Trinity is "before" or "after" another. They aren't ranked, nor is there is a temporal or spatial sense in which one is prior to or higher than the other. People disagree about what word describes the relationship. Being begotten by the begetter does not mean being "of majesty less" rather than coequal, or not equally infinite, almighty, eternal, etc. But it does mean something. What? 

Here is a practical way of looking at it. We can pray to any person of the Trinity or to the Triune God as One. When Jesus teaches us to pray, He says "Our Father." He tenderly invites us to believe that God is our Father so that we address Him as dear children address a dear Father. In other words, we put ourselves in the place of God the Son. But when we pray to Jesus, we aren't being invited to believe that God is our true Son. We don't pray to God as a father speaks to a son, but only as a son speaks to a father. Why?   

Subordination is an English word. If it doesn't work, and it seems not to, what word would express the distinction better?
 
Title: Re: God's regard
Post by: Weedon on March 27, 2021, 01:23:45 PM
There’s nothing wrong with subordinate. It communicates just fine. It’s a mistake, however, to apply it to the Eternal Son and Word of the Father in His divine nature; it works just fine, however, when describing the relation to the Father of that nature which the Eternal and co-equal Son assumed from the Theotokos.
Title: Re: God's regard
Post by: Rev. Edward Engelbrecht on March 27, 2021, 01:24:49 PM
Marie, I remember this project. I think you've asked me about it once before on alpb.

I was not the editor for the project. When I was asked to serve as senior editor for professional and academic books, this project was on hold. There were a few articles that did not have complete permissions. It's been years so I'm foggy on the details of what happened.

What I recall is asking team members to approach the authors about dropping the essays that did not have complete permissions. The author's agreed, the essays were dropped, and the book moved forward in production. It was very well received and the first edition did sell out.

I remember that doctrinal concerns were raised. Since I did not handle the edit, I don't know too much more about how the second edition was completed. I would not be surprised if essays that were held up for the first edition were included in a second edition, which would have changed the content of the book.

I'm not sure to whom you addressed your letter of concern. I don't think it was to me. It must have been to another colleague, unless you sent it as a to-whom-it-may-concern type of letter. Generally speaking, a letter moves to the editor who is handling the project. If a colleague did not get back to you, I'm sorry for that. I am not the micromanaging type so I would not have been checking up on what colleagues were doing with correspondence. It would be normal for the editor to keep in-house decisions in-house rather than explain everything just as congregational leaders do not explain everything that happens at an elders meeting or vestry meeting. Another example would be the recent changes in practice here on the forum. We know why the changes were enacted but we do not know how the decisions were reached. And we really don't need to know.

I first wrote to Prof. William Schumacher, acting chairman of the Doctrinal Review Commission.  I do not know to whom the three pastors I contacted wrote regarding essays that refer to the eternal subordination of God the Son to God the Father. 

The first essay in question, The Ordination of Women and the Doctrine of the Holy Trinity, was by John W Kleinig.   ""In I Corinthians 15:25-18, Paul goes so far as to say that the Son is not just subordinate to the Father until the resurrection of the dead on the last day but will be forever subordinate to the Father, so that God the Father may be all in all."   

The second essay, Gender Considerations on the Pastoral Office, by Robert Schaibley  followed the lead of the late George Wollenburg.
Schaibley  writes " Subordination finds expression within the mystery of the Blessed Holy Trinity: The Son is who he is in relation to the Father. There is an eternal relationship of superordination and subordination in the Trinity, between the Father and the Son." ...That this subordination of the Son to the Father is not merely part of the state of humiliation is evident from I Cor 15:28....The eternal subordination of the Son to the Father involves the oneness of God, the unity of the Godhead.

Pieper's Dogmatics clearly state that I Corinthians 15:28 cannot be used to support the eternal  subordination of the God the Son to God the Father.

Thanks, Marie. Since you raised concern with the commission, CPH would have let the commission communicate with you. You would not hear directly from anyone at CPH. Will never contacted me about this matter or publication. So I was not part of the discussion.
Title: Re: God's regard
Post by: Harvey_Mozolak on March 27, 2021, 01:43:32 PM
There’s nothing wrong with subordinate. It communicates just fine. It’s a mistake, however, to apply it to the Eternal Son and Word of the Father in His divine nature; it works just fine, however, when describing the relation to the Father of that nature which the Eternal and co-equal Son assumed from the Theotokos.

And in the human nature he was subordinate because he was the truest, perfect man (like Eve and Adam before the Fall) as well as true God.
Title: Re: God's regard
Post by: peter_speckhard on March 27, 2021, 01:44:58 PM
There’s nothing wrong with subordinate. It communicates just fine. It’s a mistake, however, to apply it to the Eternal Son and Word of the Father in His divine nature; it works just fine, however, when describing the relation to the Father of that nature which the Eternal and co-equal Son assumed from the Theotokos.
What word might work better to describe the Eternal Son in relationship to Eternal Father? Being eternally begotten of the Father does not mean being eternally subordinate to the Father, but what does it mean? If someone doesn't get what the creed means by "begotten" (especially in some sort of eternal, non-biological sense) and needs help understanding what it means, what phrases or words would come in handy to explain it? Because in trying to avoid any sense that could be taken as the Son being less than coequal, we run into the opposite danger of denying God's own self-revelation in terms of Father/Son altogether. In denying any sense of sons being inherently subordinate/after/contingent/dependent on fathers, we could end up obliterating the distinction between Father and Son in eternity for fear of blurring the divine and human natures of Christ.
   
Title: Re: God's regard
Post by: Weedon on March 27, 2021, 02:09:39 PM
Actually, Pete, nothing wrong with following Luther on this one. In the Small Catechism in German, he uses the word for “born.” Vom Vater in Ewigkeit geboren  He is true God born of the Father from eternity; and also true Man born of the Virgin Mary. Born sufficiently gets the cardinal idea of begotten: he is of the same nature as. Not a similar nature. The same. Dogs birth dogs. Cats birth cats. Humans birth humans. Eternal God birthed Eternal God. And I think it was Melachthon who quipped:

Quid sit nasci
Quid processus
Me nescare
Sum professus.
Title: Re: God's regard
Post by: peter_speckhard on March 27, 2021, 02:44:37 PM
Actually, Pete, nothing wrong with following Luther on this one. In the Small Catechism in German, he uses the word for “born.” Vom Vater in Ewigkeit geboren  He is true God born of the Father from eternity; and also true Man born of the Virgin Mary. Born sufficiently gets the cardinal idea of begotten: he is of the same nature as. Not a similar nature. The same. Dogs birth dogs. Cats birth cats. Humans birth humans. Eternal God birthed Eternal God. And I think it was Melachthon who quipped:

Quid sit nasci
Quid processus
Me nescare
Sum professus.
Right. Very God of very God, begotten not made, being of one substance with the Father... God begets God, human begets human. But within that unity, there is a distinction of persons. Honor your father and your mother. You're both fully human, and as humanity relates to non-human things, you and your parents are indistinguishably representatives of humanity. But the Son is still born of the Father and the Father is not born of the Son. There is a distinction between the persons within the unity of God. It is that distinction, not that essential unity, to which the word subordination may or may not helpfully apply. That disagreement-- whether subordination helpfully describes the fundamental distinction of persons (not fundamental unity of the Godhead)-- is what people disagree about, not whether God the Son is eternal or coequal or of the same essence as God the Father. It is whether "Son" in relation to His "Father" is by definition in some sense subordinate despite being of the same essence or whether their relationship is necessarily identical in both directions. We can say that such as a the Father is, such is the Son. But can we say that as the Son is to His Father, so the Father is to the Son? No, we can't. Why not. Because the Father is the begetter and the Son is the begotten.   

That's why I said originally that I didn't think we had a difference of Trinitarian understanding, we had a disagreement on the helpfulness of a particular English word in explaining our common Trinitarian theology. Marie thought that point totally inappropriate for me to make, but I still think it accurately describes the disagreement going on here.
Title: Re: God's regard
Post by: Weedon on March 27, 2021, 03:04:19 PM
I suspect the whole kerfuffle was mostly caused by a departure from the “form of sound words” for surely when the Church confesses: “And in this Trinity none is before or after; none greater or less than another; but the whole three Persons are coeternal and coequal” and so the language of “subordination” which Arius applied to the Son in His divine person, is ruled out of bounds. As Eternal Son, He is most certainly not subordinated to the Father, but as the exalted Son in His human nature, He now most certainly is. It’s okay to admit that it was a mistake to use that term of the Eternal Son in His divine person.

P.S. And I certainly mean not to impugn Dr. Kleinig, from whom I have learned so very much. I just think in that essay he spoke incorrectly and I wrote him directly to tell him so. He’s a great, great theologian and I owe him a debt I can never repay for all the great things he taught me. But like all of us, including myself!, not infallible.
Title: Re: God's regard
Post by: peter_speckhard on March 27, 2021, 03:27:55 PM
I suspect the whole kerfuffle was mostly caused by a departure from the “form of sound words” for surely when the Church confesses: “And in this Trinity none is before or after; none greater or less than another; but the whole three Persons are coeternal and coequal” and so the language of “subordination” which Arius applied to the Son in His divine person, is ruled out of bounds. As Eternal Son, He is most certainly not subordinated to the Father, but as the exalted Son in His human nature, He now most certainly is. It’s okay to admit that it was a mistake to use that term of the Eternal Son in His divine person.

P.S. And I certainly mean not to impugn Dr. Kleinig, from whom I have learned so very much. I just think in that essay he spoke incorrectly and I wrote him directly to tell him so. He’s a great, great theologian and I owe him a debt I can never repay for all the great things he taught me. But like all of us, including myself!, not infallible.
Agreed. My point is that Kleinig didn’t have defective Trinitarian theology, he chose a controversial and unhelpful English word. But what should he have chosen to pinpoint the distinction? We can’t say that as the Son is to the Father, such is the Father to the Son. It isn’t true. There is an eternal relationship of Fatherness and Sonness. If the latter is not subordinate, what what would be a better English word or phrase? If “Son” is not by definition subordinate to “Father,” (and we can’t avoid those words without deviating from God’s self-revelation) then what is Son to Father?
Title: Re: God's regard
Post by: Weedon on March 27, 2021, 03:54:09 PM
The Son has eternal being from the Father; The Father has His eternal being from no one. He is the fountain of godhead. The Son has this from the Father as coequal and coeternal God. I think the word source is what you’re looking for provided it is safeguarded by “eternal.”  Or as the poet, Prudentius put it:

Corde natus ex parentis ante mundi exordium
A et O cognominatus, ipse fons et clausula
Omnium quae sunt, fuerunt, quaeque post futura sunt.
Title: Re: God's regard
Post by: Harvey_Mozolak on March 27, 2021, 04:55:37 PM
I am not sure I am understanding what you all are saying about the Father and the Son (and we haven't added the Holy Spirit yet) but I do think it can become-- not so helpful things to say.  If one thinks that begotten is a difficult term and subordinate also... being born of the Father can also be very misunderstood (as if one could at all understand anything of the things-within-the-Godhead processes). 

And the difficulty is doubled when we take a mysterious feature of the Trinity (confessed but not understood) and apply it to human relationships like husband and wife or for some women and men...  now we have added more cracks to spring pond. 
Title: Re: God's regard
Post by: Weedon on March 27, 2021, 05:04:23 PM
Harvey, I disagree. “Born of the Father” is actually perfect. Because it shows that we’re not taking “born” in the usual way and we’re attributing the sole source of the Son’s being to the Father. Yet since He shares the Father’s nature, He possesses all that the Father has true God. So eternality, omniscience, omnipotence, and so on.
Title: Re: God's regard
Post by: Harvey_Mozolak on March 27, 2021, 05:39:13 PM
I will not argue that you make a good case but to the average human ear... it is not that clear, you either have all the baggage of human ordinary birth attributed to God or you have the gods have sons and daughters as Greeks and Romans described in their myths and legends.  IMO, of course.  St. John, as you probably agree, handles it best as he describes our Lord's relationship to his and our Father.  But that is set in prayer, in our Lord's teaching and proclamation and not in Pieper-like paragraphs peering into the inner workings of the Trinity using specially crafted and defined terms apart from ordinary usage and often in Latin or Greek.  One of the first notes I wrote in my volumes of Francis' triple header was, "Let's give God some privacy!"  That is why I would never come close to being a lower level dogmatician.  But these things are never taught in average parish bible classes, inquirers classes or confirmation instruction.  And that is a good thing.  IMO.
Title: Re: God's regard
Post by: Weedon on March 27, 2021, 05:49:05 PM
But the Athanasian Creed teaches these things precisely in the context of worship: And the catholic faith is this: that we worship one God in Trinity and Trinity in unity, neither confusing the persons nor dividing the substance. And Harvey, I ALWAYS covered these things in Catechism for adults and for children (and frequently pointed to Luther’s original language in the SC, which I think the English obscures a bit). It’s not difficult at all once you grasp that every point of comparison doesn’t hold; how could it? So just teach them the point of comparison that DOES hold: origination. Heavens, I might recommend a reread of Dorothy Sayer’s *Mind of the Maker* for she makes it plain that this is not mysterious mumbo jumbo but truth that can be straightforwardly expressed; and since we always “kinda” grasp things beyond our full understanding (do you really understand what happens when you turn the key in your car’s ignition or type on your iPad? I sure don’t!), but can clearly comprehend their proper “use” (if you will), the Doctrine of the Two Natures in Christ and of the Holy Trinity is like that. We can know it’s great use: to come to know and love and worship and adore the One who proclaims Himself to us in terms that we will not fully fathom to all eternity, but we can still know and love the Person of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. I can love that which I cannot fully comprehend (like I love Cindi and she loves me).
Title: Re: God's regard
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on March 27, 2021, 05:51:49 PM
I suspect the whole kerfuffle was mostly caused by a departure from the “form of sound words” for surely when the Church confesses: “And in this Trinity none is before or after; none greater or less than another; but the whole three Persons are coeternal and coequal” and so the language of “subordination” which Arius applied to the Son in His divine person, is ruled out of bounds. As Eternal Son, He is most certainly not subordinated to the Father, but as the exalted Son in His human nature, He now most certainly is. It’s okay to admit that it was a mistake to use that term of the Eternal Son in His divine person.

P.S. And I certainly mean not to impugn Dr. Kleinig, from whom I have learned so very much. I just think in that essay he spoke incorrectly and I wrote him directly to tell him so. He’s a great, great theologian and I owe him a debt I can never repay for all the great things he taught me. But like all of us, including myself!, not infallible.
Agreed. My point is that Kleinig didn’t have defective Trinitarian theology, he chose a controversial and unhelpful English word. But what should he have chosen to pinpoint the distinction? We can’t say that as the Son is to the Father, such is the Father to the Son. It isn’t true. There is an eternal relationship of Fatherness and Sonness. If the latter is not subordinate, what what would be a better English word or phrase? If “Son” is not by definition subordinate to “Father,” (and we can’t avoid those words without deviating from God’s self-revelation) then what is Son to Father?


I word I suggested above is "obedient". The Son obeys the Father.
Title: Re: God's regard
Post by: peter_speckhard on March 27, 2021, 06:21:22 PM
But the Athanasian Creed teaches these things precisely in the context of worship: And the catholic faith is this: that we worship one God in Trinity and Trinity in unity, neither confusing the persons nor dividing the substance. And Harvey, I ALWAYS covered these things in Catechism for adults and for children (and frequently pointed to Luther’s original language in the SC, which I think the English obscures a bit). It’s not difficult at all once you grasp that every point of comparison doesn’t hold; how could it? So just teach them the point of comparison that DOES hold: origination. Heavens, I might recommend a reread of Dorothy Sayer’s *Mind of the Maker* for she makes it plain that this is not mysterious mumbo jumbo but truth that can be straightforwardly expressed; and since we always “kinda” grasp things beyond our full understanding (do you really understand what happens when you turn the key in your car’s ignition or type on your iPad? I sure don’t!), but can clearly comprehend their proper “use” (if you will), the Doctrine of the Two Natures in Christ and of the Holy Trinity is like that. We can know it’s great use: to come to know and love and worship and adore the One who proclaims Himself to us in terms that we will not fully fathom to all eternity, but we can still know and love the Person of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. I can love that which I cannot fully comprehend (like I love Cindi and she loves me).
Origination seems to me identical to St. Paul's arguments re: Adam and Eve, which then gets rendered "order of creation." It isn't chronological so much as it is a matter of origins. She shall be called woman because she was taken out of man. But then it is reciprocal; every man since Adam, including the second Adam, is born of woman. The Son loves the Father with the same love He received from the Father. That doesn't mean the Son loses His Sonship and becomes a Father, or that the Father, in receiving love from the Son, loses His Fatherhood and becomes a Son.

Obedience language is even worse than subordination language in in terms of how it strikes modern ears. But what I find troublesome is that so many of the objections stem from a beginning point at the practical level that amounts to little more than modern sensibilities taken as a given. "Given that we can't say wives are to obey or submit to their husbands (unless the husband makes the identical promise to his wife), given the validity of the sexual revolution, given interchangeable equality of all people regardless of sex as a Christian ideal, how can we understand verses in Scripture that speak of source and authority?" What we end up with, then, is a focus on all the things the verses in question can't possibly be saying. The positive assessment of what the verses actually do mean is that they would mean the same thing at a practical level if the sexes were reversed in them. Every practical, concrete application that sees a difference between men and women (beyond reproductive function) ends up being declared wrong, and every theological assessment essentially says the Bible would mean the same thing and be less confusing is these verses weren't in it.

In nearly every thread that includes a discussion of male/female I end up asking people to quit pointing out what is wrong and say what would be right. And if they do, I then ask how anything would be different if the sexes were reversed.
Title: Re: God's regard
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on March 27, 2021, 07:18:48 PM
Obedience language is even worse than subordination language in in terms of how it strikes modern ears.


Yet, obedience language is used of children obeying parents, of soldiers obeying officers, of obeying commands from law enforcement, of the people of God obeying God's commands.


There are objections to its use in marriage vows; but I've heard no objections in other arenas where obedience is expected. We willingly obeyed the instructions given to us when we went to get our Covid-19 vaccines. That helped the whole process be done "decently and in order."
Title: Re: God's regard
Post by: Weedon on March 27, 2021, 09:15:00 PM
Again, Peter, origination is the way the Church does this.

The Father is neither made nor begotten.
The Son is of the Father alone, begotten, not made.
The Spirit is of the Father and of the Son, neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding.

This is what preserves there being ONE Father, not three Fathers, etc. Basic Athanasian Creed stuff. The persons are not distinguished except in these inter-Trinitarian relationships so that the God who is born of Mary is identified for us not as the Father or the Spirit, but the Son, that is the sole-begotten One. Order is a fine word for it: there is an order of origination and it is absolutely not reciprocal. The Father receives from no one; the Son from the Father alone; the Spirit from the Father and the Son (because He receives from the Father, and to be Father always includes having the Son).

And as a sort of parallel. We know from Scripture that the Son prays for us. The Spirit intercedes within us with groans too deep for words. But the Father does not pray for us. He is the one who RECEIVES the prayers of the other two divine persons on our behalf. Everything is “toward” the Father “through” the Son and “in” the Holy Spirit. Or as the Larger Catechism puts it: the Spirit brings us to the Son who presents us to the Father (paraphrase).
Title: Re: God's regard
Post by: jebutler on March 27, 2021, 10:22:03 PM
I will not argue that you make a good case but to the average human ear... it is not that clear, you either have all the baggage of human ordinary birth attributed to God or you have the gods have sons and daughters as Greeks and Romans described in their myths and legends.  IMO, of course.  St. John, as you probably agree, handles it best as he describes our Lord's relationship to his and our Father.  But that is set in prayer, in our Lord's teaching and proclamation and not in Pieper-like paragraphs peering into the inner workings of the Trinity using specially crafted and defined terms apart from ordinary usage and often in Latin or Greek.  One of the first notes I wrote in my volumes of Francis' triple header was, "Let's give God some privacy!"  That is why I would never come close to being a lower level dogmatician.  But these things are never taught in average parish bible classes, inquirers classes or confirmation instruction.  And that is a good thing.  IMO.

I've taught these things to inmates at the jail.

Some of the guys are looking for just about anything and they'll come to the Protestant service which I conduct and then also attend the Jehovah's Witness Bible study on another day of the week. So the issue of who Jesus is and the doctrine of the Trinity often comes up.

Another time it came up when I was preaching on John 3 and one of the guys wanted to know why Jesus is called God's "only begotten" Son. Why did John describe Jesus that way?

Actually, last Sunday I had a tenth grader come up to me after the service and ask me questions about this. Granted, she's unusually bright (pre-COVID, she asked me if Lutherans are Chalcedonian in their Christology). But yes, such questions do come up!
Title: Re: God's regard
Post by: David Garner on March 29, 2021, 10:33:22 PM
When speaking of the Son obeying the Father (submitting to, doing the will of, etc.), it might be helpful to recognize that the Father also obeys the Son.  "Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do."  Etc.

The Father and the Son conform their wills to one another in perfect love, not necessarily perfect obedience in the sense we tend to use the term.  It is right to say Jesus is perfectly obedient to the Father.  It would not be right to say our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ is in some way beholden to obey the Father, as if He is the Father's slave or hireling or pet.  Jesus obeys the Father because He loves the Father.  The Father acts on Jesus' prayer to forgive because He loves His Son.  They do not owe one another obedience.  Yet they cannot do otherwise, so perfect is their love.

Add in the Holy Spirit to the discussion and the math stays the same.
Title: Re: God's regard
Post by: peter_speckhard on March 30, 2021, 12:26:29 AM
When speaking of the Son obeying the Father (submitting to, doing the will of, etc.), it might be helpful to recognize that the Father also obeys the Son.  "Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do."  Etc.

The Father and the Son conform their wills to one another in perfect love, not necessarily perfect obedience in the sense we tend to use the term.  It is right to say Jesus is perfectly obedient to the Father.  It would not be right to say our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ is in some way beholden to obey the Father, as if He is the Father's slave or hireling or pet.  Jesus obeys the Father because He loves the Father.  The Father acts on Jesus' prayer to forgive because He loves His Son.  They do not owe one another obedience.  Yet they cannot do otherwise, so perfect is their love.

Add in the Holy Spirit to the discussion and the math stays the same.
Yes. But also consider the prayer in the garden. "Father, if it be your will, let this cup pass from me..." God the Son is asking. God the Father in love has a different plan. But the point remains-- love and obedience go hand in hand, and obedience is not about acting on orders but hearing love and responding in love, like an echo. If my son asks me for a fish to eat, there is a sense in which I obey him by giving him one. But his asking me for a fish and my telling him to brush his teeth are not the same thing. Sons honor and obey their fathers in a different way than fathers honor and obey their sons. The relationship is not the same in both directions, and erasing that difference erases the distinction between father and son altogether. The Son prays to the Father. If we can say the Father prays to the Son, it is in a different way altogether.