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ALPB => Your Turn => Topic started by: GalRevRedux on June 01, 2021, 08:52:53 AM

Title: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: GalRevRedux on June 01, 2021, 08:52:53 AM
A well-stated article, in my view.
Donna

 https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2021/may-web-only/womens-ordination-saddleback-jesus-not-female-debate.html?fbclid=IwAR1ilTa1pk9B9DPlm0DVkZA-K05IPXgrhZPTjEUp4DTFNqLcRPG-nJb-J5I (https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2021/may-web-only/womens-ordination-saddleback-jesus-not-female-debate.html?fbclid=IwAR1ilTa1pk9B9DPlm0DVkZA-K05IPXgrhZPTjEUp4DTFNqLcRPG-nJb-J5I)
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Charles Austin on June 01, 2021, 08:59:56 AM
Yes.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: peterm on June 01, 2021, 10:02:45 AM
Very thoughtful and spot on
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Dan Fienen on June 01, 2021, 10:22:17 AM
I agree, it is a very well stated and interesting article. I also did not enter the pastoral ministry in order to argue about, or defend against women's ordination. As theological topics go, I'm really not very interested in it. The church body under whose authority I was ordained and as a called pastor joined has after prayerful and careful study and deliberation decided that the ancient traditions concerning women's ordination were correct and affirms that women's ordination is contrary to God's revealed will.


As I said, it is a topic that I do not obsess over nor am I particularly inclined to debate. If someone is interested in the reasons for which we have rejected women's ordination, there are a number of books and article to which I could direct them. Personally, I am satisfied with our reasoning.


That also means that I do not obsess over correcting any women who have been ordained in other church bodies that do ordain women in the error of their ways. I assume that they were properly ordained under their church discipline and ultimately they and their church body will answer to God for their stewardship of God's Word and Will, as will I and my church body. I am determined to treat such ordained women with the same courtesy, professionalism, and respect as I expect to be treated. I have on very rare occasions needed to remind them of the courtesy that we as fellow clergy owe to each other. I do deplore those from either side who feel the need to threat those with whom we disagree with contempt.


Quite frankly, it seems to me that if I were to engage in theological discussion, women's ordination would be rather far down on the list of items for discussion or debate. There are theological differences between denominations, even between the LCMS and ELCA, that are of a much more interest and significance than ordination. Nor do I feel the need to bolster my confidence in the conclusions that I and we have reached by loudly proclaiming that those who have not reached the same conclusions have turned a deaf ear to the promptings of the Holy Spirit.


I find it interesting that usually those who most loudly proclaim the need for all Christians to be unified insist that in all areas of disagreement or dispute among us, we should unify under their understanding, or at the least, where their understanding is dominant and controls practice. Thus, for example, as was recently pointed out on this Forum, in the ELCA there have been identified four differing understandings of God's will on the matter of same sex relationships, and those who hold three of them will not be thereby expelled, however, only one of those understandings has been officially adopted and governs the practice of the ELCA. And all must recognize and abide under that practice, their understandings need not be considered.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Charles Austin on June 01, 2021, 11:33:46 AM
Pastor Fienen:
Quite frankly, it seems to me that if I were to engage in theological discussion, women's ordination would be rather far down on the list of items for discussion or debate.

Me:
And yet, it is that issue, and that issue alone which caused your church body to break fellowship with the ALC.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Terry W Culler on June 01, 2021, 11:34:32 AM
Dr. Francis Monseth, the late Dean of the Free Lutheran Seminary, noted that every Lutheran group that teaches the inerrancy of Scripture ordains only men.  That is what leads to different opinions on women's ordination.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: John_Hannah on June 01, 2021, 11:40:43 AM
Pastor Fienen:
Quite frankly, it seems to me that if I were to engage in theological discussion, women's ordination would be rather far down on the list of items for discussion or debate.

Me:
And yet, it is that issue, and that issue alone which caused your church body to break fellowship with the ALC.

That's not actually true, Charles. It was not that issue alone. For example "inerrency" and Biblical hermeneutics was paramont and more important to most delegates. (You know six-day, Jonah, and all that.)

Peace, JOHN
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Charles Austin on June 01, 2021, 11:48:57 AM
You are mostly right, John. But the issues of "inerrancy," Jonah, and creation days didn't seem to gain break-it-up traction concerning hermeneutical matters. Ordaining women made a certain hermeneutic clearly visible.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: peter_speckhard on June 01, 2021, 11:51:03 AM
Makes perfect sense if you take for granted that WO is Scriptural, and unsurprising if you think it isn't. The debate is pretty much over, as is the era when it was somehow provocative. It still might come up here and there as a side-note, but Christianity has divided over it and both sides have moved on. Liberal Protestant denominations have moved on to other far, more provocative campaigns. Pretty much everyone else has answered the question of WO differently than liberal Protestantism but equally sees it as a question asked and answered, not a current theological debate. Something like the Saddleback change makes (small) news as a residual reminder that the divide is not yet perfectly clean and total, but it is getting there. The author of the article doesn't want to revisit an old argument because it is tedious and distracting from what she sees as her real work. It is equally tedious and distracting to conservative/traditional/orthodox when people bring up our lack of women pastors as some sort of problem or open question. WO is simply the clearest line demarcating the deeper division between RC/Orthodox/conservative Protestant Christendom and revisionist/progressive/liberal Protestant Christendom. 
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Dan Fienen on June 01, 2021, 12:09:15 PM
Pastor Fienen:
Quite frankly, it seems to me that if I were to engage in theological discussion, women's ordination would be rather far down on the list of items for discussion or debate.

Me:
And yet, it is that issue, and that issue alone which caused your church body to break fellowship with the ALC.

You are mostly right, John. But the issues of "inerrancy," Jonah, and creation days didn't seem to gain break-it-up traction concerning hermeneutical matters. Ordaining women made a certain hermeneutic clearly visible.


A couple of observations.


I said that I am uninterested in rehashing the old debates or obsessing over women's ordination. There may well be some in the LCMS who are and do.


I am also not responsible for all the actions of the LCMS, especially those that took place during my days in college, seminary, graduate school, and when I was busy trying to plant a church as my first call. I had little interest in our relationship with the ALC, there were no ALC churches in my immediate area to have relationships with and zero influence over LCMS inter-church relations.


Thanks to John Hannah for pointing out that women's ordination was not the sole reason for the break up of fellowship with the ALC.


I will note that women's ordination is one of the more visible and obvious effects of differing Biblical hermeneutics. One would need to ask, or hear a sermon or Bible class on the topic to notice a differing hermeneutic over inerrancy, Jonah, and the like. A woman in the pulpit is quite visible and obvious. Again, thanks to Peter for his observations.


I also note the practical difficulties of maintaining altar and pulpit fellowship where one church ordains women and the other does not. What happens to women pastors in such a situation. Would they be excluded from joint worship settings thus offending those who do ordain them, or those who do not ordain women be offended by being forced to accept women pastors in joint settings? Generally there is an expectation that in such arrangements, pastors may serve in the churches of either church bodies. Would women pastors of the one body be excluded in such an exchange?



Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Charles Austin on June 01, 2021, 12:15:17 PM
Peter:
WO is simply the clearest line demarcating the deeper division between RC/Orthodox/conservative Protestant Christendom and revisionist/progressive/liberal Protestant Christendom.
Me:
You do understand, Peter, that there are RC/Orthodox/other Protestant (even conservative) christians who do not have a problem with women’s ordination, even if it came into their own church body? They are just not on that stump now.
Back in the days of the LCMS battle for the Bible, there were several checklists for purity of doctrine put out by the Christian Newa and related factions.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: peter_speckhard on June 01, 2021, 12:38:04 PM
Peter:
WO is simply the clearest line demarcating the deeper division between RC/Orthodox/conservative Protestant Christendom and revisionist/progressive/liberal Protestant Christendom.
Me:
You do understand, Peter, that there are RC/Orthodox/other Protestant (even conservative) christians who do not have a problem with women’s ordination, even if it came into their own church body? They are just not on that stump now.
Back in the days of the LCMS battle for the Bible, there were several checklists for purity of doctrine put out by the Christian Newa and related factions.
Of course there are people who aren't on that stump now but who periodically get on it. As I said, such discussion amounts to tedious distraction to people intent on doing real ministry in our conservative church bodies just as much as they do in your progressive church bodies. On both sides of the divide the question has been asked and answered. 
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Coach-Rev on June 01, 2021, 01:09:28 PM
Dr. Francis Monseth, the late Dean of the Free Lutheran Seminary, noted that every Lutheran group that teaches the inerrancy of Scripture ordains only men.  That is what leads to different opinions on women's ordination.

and this would simply not be true.  The NALC holds to it, and ordains women.  From the NALC "Commission on Theology and Doctrine:"  "the Bible is a truthful, reliable book that will not lead us into error or falsehood, nor does it contain error or falsehood."  (The Bible As The Word of God - Statement paper, p. 14).

And with that, I really don't want to get into a debate over the differing views either.  Simply pointing out that his statement is untrue.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Michael Slusser on June 01, 2021, 01:14:10 PM
The article linked by GalRevRedux at the start of this thread is still a very good sign. Accepting ordination for the right reason is always key, and it gives me great satisfaction to read what the Rev. Warren has to say. She is a priest of the Anglican Church of North America, not The Episcopal Church. I hadn't realized that women could be ordained in ACNA.

Peace,
Michael
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 01, 2021, 01:33:48 PM
Makes perfect sense if you take for granted that WO is Scriptural, and unsurprising if you think it isn't. The debate is pretty much over, as is the era when it was somehow provocative. It still might come up here and there as a side-note, but Christianity has divided over it and both sides have moved on. Liberal Protestant denominations have moved on to other far, more provocative campaigns. Pretty much everyone else has answered the question of WO differently than liberal Protestantism but equally sees it as a question asked and answered, not a current theological debate. Something like the Saddleback change makes (small) news as a residual reminder that the divide is not yet perfectly clean and total, but it is getting there. The author of the article doesn't want to revisit an old argument because it is tedious and distracting from what she sees as her real work. It is equally tedious and distracting to conservative/traditional/orthodox when people bring up our lack of women pastors as some sort of problem or open question. WO is simply the clearest line demarcating the deeper division between RC/Orthodox/conservative Protestant Christendom and revisionist/progressive/liberal Protestant Christendom.


There are some of us who see ordination as adiaphora. It is not commanded nor forbidden in scriptures.


In the Old Testament, Levites were born into their priestly calling.


1 Timothy 4:14 talks about Timothy receiving a gift when hands were laid on him; but it's not stated if that was an ordination; part of the baptism ceremony; or a type of confirmation.


Hands were laid on the seven deacons (Acts 6:6). Was that an ordination or was it a way of conveying the Holy Spirit upon folks (see Acts 8:17; 19:6)? Or healing (Acts 9:12)? Or something else, like with the sending of Paul and Barnabas (Acts 13:3)?


I might be worth talking about what is ordination. What does it signify?
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 01, 2021, 01:40:33 PM
She writes: But while half of the church is trying to convince us to quit our jobs, the other half wants to cheerlead for us as gladiatorial smashers of the patriarchy.

It can be the same person doing both. I overheard a member of another congregation stating that he didn't agree with female pastors. This surprised me because one of the three pastors at his congregation was a woman. I asked, "What about Sally?" "Oh, Sally. I like her. She's different."
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Weedon on June 01, 2021, 02:58:09 PM
I think the point Peter was making is that this not an “endless controversy” but “settled matter” depending. It is absolutely settled for the church historically speaking; and now it is absolutely settled for revisionists or progressives or whatever the current name is. The point is, Donna has no intention of being convinced otherwise. Nor do I. It’s not that we don’t understand each other’s reasonings; but that understanding them, we reject them. To her, I am in error. To me, she is in error. This is never going to change, until the day we stand before the Throne and all error is lost in the light of His shining truth and holiness.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 01, 2021, 03:50:36 PM
I think the point Peter was making is that this not an “endless controversy” but “settled matter” depending. It is absolutely settled for the church historically speaking; and now it is absolutely settled for revisionists or progressives or whatever the current name is. The point is, Donna has no intention of being convinced otherwise. Nor do I. It’s not that we don’t understand each other’s reasonings; but that understanding them, we reject them. To her, I am in error. To me, she is in error. This is never going to change, until the day we stand before the Throne and all error is lost in the light of His shining truth and holiness.


Doesn't the differences about this "settled matter" indicate a measure of relative truth (to bring a topic from another discussion). What is settled and true for you, is not the same thing that is settled and true for me. You have your reality about women's ordination and I have mine.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Weedon on June 01, 2021, 04:07:44 PM
Nope. One of us has the truth of the matter, which alone is God-pleasing and revealed. The other has human opinion.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: DCharlton on June 01, 2021, 04:16:59 PM
Nope. One of us has the truth of the matter, which alone is God-pleasing and revealed. The other has human opinion.

Both can be wrong.  Both can't be right.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: DCharlton on June 01, 2021, 04:20:22 PM
I think the point Peter was making is that this not an “endless controversy” but “settled matter” depending. It is absolutely settled for the church historically speaking; and now it is absolutely settled for revisionists or progressives or whatever the current name is. The point is, Donna has no intention of being convinced otherwise. Nor do I. It’s not that we don’t understand each other’s reasonings; but that understanding them, we reject them. To her, I am in error. To me, she is in error. This is never going to change, until the day we stand before the Throne and all error is lost in the light of His shining truth and holiness.

One of the nice things about there being an ELCA and a LCMS is that we are not caught up in an endless controversy.  When two groups cannot reach agreement on such an important issue as who should be ordained, it is better for them to go their separate ways.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Rev. Edward Engelbrecht on June 01, 2021, 04:24:16 PM
Dr. Francis Monseth, the late Dean of the Free Lutheran Seminary, noted that every Lutheran group that teaches the inerrancy of Scripture ordains only men.  That is what leads to different opinions on women's ordination.

This is likely true among Lutherans but not among other conservative Protestants. For example, there are Pentecostals who confess inerrancy but commonly have women ministers. For them the gifts of the Spirit would trump other concerns about order or apostolic norms. These are reasons to look past passages that might restrict the practice.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Coach-Rev on June 01, 2021, 04:51:49 PM
Dr. Francis Monseth, the late Dean of the Free Lutheran Seminary, noted that every Lutheran group that teaches the inerrancy of Scripture ordains only men.  That is what leads to different opinions on women's ordination.

This is likely true among Lutherans but not among other conservative Protestants. For example, there are Pentecostals who confess inerrancy but commonly have women ministers. For them the gifts of the Spirit would trump other concerns about order or apostolic norms. These are reasons to look past passages that might restrict the practice.

Did you not see my post?  It is most definitely NOT true. 

Dr. Francis Monseth, the late Dean of the Free Lutheran Seminary, noted that every Lutheran group that teaches the inerrancy of Scripture ordains only men.  That is what leads to different opinions on women's ordination.

and this would simply not be true.  The NALC holds to it, and ordains women.  From the NALC "Commission on Theology and Doctrine:"  "the Bible is a truthful, reliable book that will not lead us into error or falsehood, nor does it contain error or falsehood."  (The Bible As The Word of God - Statement paper, p. 14).

And with that, I really don't want to get into a debate over the differing views either.  Simply pointing out that his statement is untrue.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: GalRevRedux on June 01, 2021, 04:57:55 PM
I think the point Peter was making is that this not an “endless controversy” but “settled matter” depending. It is absolutely settled for the church historically speaking; and now it is absolutely settled for revisionists or progressives or whatever the current name is. The point is, Donna has no intention of being convinced otherwise. Nor do I. It’s not that we don’t understand each other’s reasonings; but that understanding them, we reject them. To her, I am in error. To me, she is in error. This is never going to change, until the day we stand before the Throne and all error is lost in the light of His shining truth and holiness.

This may sound strange to you, but I have never thought of this as a matter of being”in error” or not. I can live with differences in interpretation and practice. Maybe that is my ELCA roots coming to light. I do realize that, to LCMS folks, “WO” (how I adore that abbreviation - not) is a matter so egregious as to be heretical. Yet the NALC, my church body, has built an amicable and respectful relationship with the LCMS in spite of the presence of many like me within its ministerium. Yes, some matters are non negotiable - we agree about that. Anyway, I am not interested in rehashing the old pro and con stuff, it’s been done to death around here. We all just talk past each other, you’re  right about that too. I leave it to God.

Dr. Phil often asks “Would you rather be right or happy?” when dealing with broken families. Clearly being right is the most important thing in some parts of the church’s broken family, too.

I simply thought it was a worthwhile read, insightful and enlightening. No agenda, hidden or otherwise.

Donna
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Tom Eckstein on June 01, 2021, 05:00:17 PM
Dr. Francis Monseth, the late Dean of the Free Lutheran Seminary, noted that every Lutheran group that teaches the inerrancy of Scripture ordains only men.  That is what leads to different opinions on women's ordination.

This is likely true among Lutherans but not among other conservative Protestants. For example, there are Pentecostals who confess inerrancy but commonly have women ministers. For them the gifts of the Spirit would trump other concerns about order or apostolic norms. These are reasons to look past passages that might restrict the practice.

Ed, I've found that one reason certain Pentecostal groups (such as AOG) allow women to be "pastors" or "ministers" is that they do not have a Lutheran understanding of the pastoral office.  In fact, they use the title "pastor" very loosely.  For example, at the AOG in my city they've had several "youth pastors" whose functions are limited to what an LCMS DCE would do.  Thus, when they hear the LCMS say "We don't allow women to serve as pastors!" they often think we mean that we don't allow women to do any kind of church work.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Rev. Edward Engelbrecht on June 01, 2021, 05:02:14 PM
Dr. Francis Monseth, the late Dean of the Free Lutheran Seminary, noted that every Lutheran group that teaches the inerrancy of Scripture ordains only men.  That is what leads to different opinions on women's ordination.

This is likely true among Lutherans but not among other conservative Protestants. For example, there are Pentecostals who confess inerrancy but commonly have women ministers. For them the gifts of the Spirit would trump other concerns about order or apostolic norms. These are reasons to look past passages that might restrict the practice.

Did you not see my post?  It is most definitely NOT true. 

Dr. Francis Monseth, the late Dean of the Free Lutheran Seminary, noted that every Lutheran group that teaches the inerrancy of Scripture ordains only men.  That is what leads to different opinions on women's ordination.

and this would simply not be true.  The NALC holds to it, and ordains women.  From the NALC "Commission on Theology and Doctrine:"  "the Bible is a truthful, reliable book that will not lead us into error or falsehood, nor does it contain error or falsehood."  (The Bible As The Word of God - Statement paper, p. 14).

And with that, I really don't want to get into a debate over the differing views either.  Simply pointing out that his statement is untrue.

No, Coach. I did not see your post. I just came from praying the Service of Commendation with someone and dropped in on this thread.

Do you have a link to the NALC paper you cite? I would like to read it.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Tom Eckstein on June 01, 2021, 05:06:17 PM
I think the point Peter was making is that this not an “endless controversy” but “settled matter” depending. It is absolutely settled for the church historically speaking; and now it is absolutely settled for revisionists or progressives or whatever the current name is. The point is, Donna has no intention of being convinced otherwise. Nor do I. It’s not that we don’t understand each other’s reasonings; but that understanding them, we reject them. To her, I am in error. To me, she is in error. This is never going to change, until the day we stand before the Throne and all error is lost in the light of His shining truth and holiness.

This may sound strange to you, but I have never thought of this as a matter of being”in error” or not. I can live with differences in interpretation and practice. Maybe that is my ELCA roots coming to light. I do realize that, to LCMS folks, “WO” (how I adore that abbreviation - not) is a matter so egregious as to be heretical. Yet the NALC, my church body, has built an amicable and respectful relationship with the LCMS in spite of the presence of many like me within its ministerium. Yes, some matters are non negotiable - we agree about that. Anyway, I am not interested in rehashing the old pro and con stuff, it’s been done to death around here. We all just talk past each other, you’re  right about that too. I leave it to God.

Dr. Phil often asks “Would you rather be right or happy?” when dealing with broken families. Clearly being right is the most important thing in some parts of the church’s broken family, too.

I simply thought it was a worthwhile read, insightful and enlightening. No agenda, hidden or otherwise.

Donna

Even though I respect much of what the NALC stands for, I believe they have a bit of a blind spot when it comes to WO.  Not only are there no positive affirmations of WO in Holy Scripture, but there are clear prohibitions of WO in Scripture that have been recognized as settling the issue by the vast majority of the Church catholic throughout history - and that is still the case in 2021.  Therefore, those minority of Christians who have jumped head first into the practice of WO in open rejection of the practice of the Church catholic are not acting in Christian humility on this issue.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Rev. Edward Engelbrecht on June 01, 2021, 05:06:52 PM
Dr. Francis Monseth, the late Dean of the Free Lutheran Seminary, noted that every Lutheran group that teaches the inerrancy of Scripture ordains only men.  That is what leads to different opinions on women's ordination.

This is likely true among Lutherans but not among other conservative Protestants. For example, there are Pentecostals who confess inerrancy but commonly have women ministers. For them the gifts of the Spirit would trump other concerns about order or apostolic norms. These are reasons to look past passages that might restrict the practice.

Ed, I've found that one reason certain Pentecostal groups (such as AOG) allow women to be "pastors" or "ministers" is that they do not have a Lutheran understanding of the pastoral office.  In fact, they use the title "pastor" very loosely.  For example, at the AOG in my city they've had several "youth pastors" whose functions are limited to what an LCMS DCE would do.  Thus, when they hear the LCMS say "We don't allow women to serve as pastors!" they often think we mean that we don't allow women to do any kind of church work.

Thanks, Tom. They do have different views of ordination and ministry as they come from the Wesleyan and Revival traditions. But Pentecostal women do preach, which doesn't happen in the traditional Lutheran congregations.

Have you ever discussed deaconesses with them? I've not had the opportunity.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Tom Eckstein on June 01, 2021, 05:13:26 PM
Dr. Francis Monseth, the late Dean of the Free Lutheran Seminary, noted that every Lutheran group that teaches the inerrancy of Scripture ordains only men.  That is what leads to different opinions on women's ordination.

This is likely true among Lutherans but not among other conservative Protestants. For example, there are Pentecostals who confess inerrancy but commonly have women ministers. For them the gifts of the Spirit would trump other concerns about order or apostolic norms. These are reasons to look past passages that might restrict the practice.

Ed, I've found that one reason certain Pentecostal groups (such as AOG) allow women to be "pastors" or "ministers" is that they do not have a Lutheran understanding of the pastoral office.  In fact, they use the title "pastor" very loosely.  For example, at the AOG in my city they've had several "youth pastors" whose functions are limited to what an LCMS DCE would do.  Thus, when they hear the LCMS say "We don't allow women to serve as pastors!" they often think we mean that we don't allow women to do any kind of church work.

Thanks, Tom. They do have different views of ordination and ministry as they come from the Wesleyan and Revival traditions. But Pentecostal women do preach, which doesn't happen in the traditional Lutheran congregations.

Have you ever discussed deaconesses with them? I've not had the opportunity.

Ed, yes, I agree with you that the AOG has women preach.  In fact, many AOG congregations also have non-ordanined men and women preach "if the Spirit leads."  Again, the LCMS and AOG have different views of the pastoral office.

I've been able to clear up the confusion with the local AOG people - especially since our congregation has had a deaconess for the past three years!  What's really interesting is that the majority of AOG people take Scripture very literally, and so when I point out the NT texts on the prohibition of women in the pastoral office, they usually acknowledge that the LCMS has the more biblical stance on this issue.  In fact, I know of some AOG congregations that will NOT allow women to preach in a public service precisely because the Scripture's prohibitions against this practice.  They are not as interested in the practice of the Church catholic on this issue simply because they tend to ignore the teaching of the Church catholic on many other issues as well.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Coach-Rev on June 01, 2021, 05:22:22 PM

Do you have a link to the NALC paper you cite? I would like to read it.

You can find it here:  https://thenalc.org/wp-content/uploads/Documents/Teaching%20Statements/The-Bible-as-the-Word-of-God-Final.pdf
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Dave Benke on June 01, 2021, 07:17:41 PM
I believe the ALPB has taken an opinion that allows for contribution and interaction with, for instance, the ACNA and NALC with full approval.  Independent and pan-Lutheran.  So the LCMS allows itself to pretend it's in dialog with these groups when as Will and Peter indicate, it really can't do so, won't do so and therefore heads off to places a lot less amenable in actuality like the Southern Baptists or WELS/ELS.  Which is a shame.

In the same mode, the LCMS has a fine deaconess program that then proceeds to forbid the commissioned deaconesses from reading Scripture during church when they sign their document of participation in the Conference of Deaconesses.  And - this is only hearsay - chooses through its new St. Louis President NOT to renew the Dean of Chapel position, because maybe a woman was heard chanting, or far worse, reading out loud during his tenure.   Dumb stunts.  Theologically vacuous.

On a positive note, the article referenced by RevGal is really enjoyable to read. 

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Weedon on June 01, 2021, 07:26:15 PM
You can’t be in dialog with those you believe to be in error on a given point, Bishop? Really???
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Dave Benke on June 01, 2021, 09:29:42 PM
You can’t be in dialog with those you believe to be in error on a given point, Bishop? Really???

And how are those LCMS/ELCA dialogs going these days, Will?

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Weedon on June 01, 2021, 09:39:01 PM
Not nearly so well as the NALC and Continuing Anglican dialogs.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: peter_speckhard on June 01, 2021, 10:02:55 PM
Dave, your mask is slipping. You shouldn’t let people see that in your view true dialog can only happen between people who doubt their own position, and those who favor dialog are really expressing their openness to the idea that what they believe could be false. You should continue to publicly favor dialog in any and every situation while insisting that openness to dialog is the sign of supreme confidence in one’s own position, and unwillingness to dialog is a sign of fear.

The LCMS is not pretending any more than the ELCA is pretending. Both have considered a question. Both have answered it. The LCMS has taken the side of global Christendom through the centuries. The ELCA has taken the side of novelty and innovation. Both sides are equally certain.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: George Rahn on June 01, 2021, 10:10:30 PM
How does ordination reflect through the glass of JBF, justification by faith?  Another issue is whether “ordination” is to a public office for preaching and teaching the Gospel.  And what does that entail? Thirdly, how does scripture actually forbid women this specific office?  That is, if you agree scripture even addresses that. 

 I know these issues have been discussed ad nauseum  at this site as well as through others.  But I think it’s good and timely to restate some of the arguments again.

Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Charles Austin on June 01, 2021, 11:33:12 PM
Pastor Weedon writes:
 One of us has the truth of the matter, which alone is God-pleasing and revealed. The other has human opinion.
And Pastor Charlton writes:
Both can be wrong.  Both can't be right.
Peter writes:
The ELCA has taken the side of novelty and innovation.

I comment, first to Peter:
Thanks for ignoring and dismissing all our theology and prayer and discussion and calling our view mere "novelty and innovation." You keep finding new ways to insult us.
To Pastor Weedon and Pastor Charlton, Hogwash to both comments.
Pastor Weedon, perhaps the Church was right to order an all-male priesthood for all those years. Perhaps that was “revealed”. Is it ever possible that “more” can be “revealed”?
Pastor Charlton, are all theological concepts totally universal and eternal? Can the Spirit not guide the church in different ways in different times or different places? The date of Easter controversies come to mind, the time when Christians were excommunicated for not observing Easter on the “right” day. Or the Synod of Whitby in 664 which imposed the “Roman” way of computing the date for Easter on the Irish and Britons?
Now: Dare  I play with speculation concerning The Spirit?
“Well, here are all these Christians passionate about a male-only clergy,” thinks The Spirit. “They’ve got a lot of history and some quirky theology behind them, but it would be a whopping can of worms opened to make a fast change.”
   The Spirit takes another sip of chamomile tea. “Then, we’ve got these Protestants and others just tearing along, with some trendy theology and after only a couple-hundred years of discussion, ordaining women right and left. Bishops even! It’s not doing any real harm and is actually doing some good in some places for some people. I don’t like the rift between those two groups, but losing those ELCA folks would be bad for the Church, and making those LCMS people put women in their pulpits would probably be bad for their churches and the Church. They will both overstate their positions, but let Us let them both continue with Our blessing. There’s time to find ways to bring them together.”
See. Both can be right.

Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 02, 2021, 02:43:12 AM
Dr. Francis Monseth, the late Dean of the Free Lutheran Seminary, noted that every Lutheran group that teaches the inerrancy of Scripture ordains only men.  That is what leads to different opinions on women's ordination.

This is likely true among Lutherans but not among other conservative Protestants. For example, there are Pentecostals who confess inerrancy but commonly have women ministers. For them the gifts of the Spirit would trump other concerns about order or apostolic norms. These are reasons to look past passages that might restrict the practice.


I believe that it's also true that the passages that conservative Protestants use for not ordaining women are not the passages, nor the reasons, that Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox have male-only clergy.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 02, 2021, 02:47:22 AM
Dr. Francis Monseth, the late Dean of the Free Lutheran Seminary, noted that every Lutheran group that teaches the inerrancy of Scripture ordains only men.  That is what leads to different opinions on women's ordination.

This is likely true among Lutherans but not among other conservative Protestants. For example, there are Pentecostals who confess inerrancy but commonly have women ministers. For them the gifts of the Spirit would trump other concerns about order or apostolic norms. These are reasons to look past passages that might restrict the practice.

Ed, I've found that one reason certain Pentecostal groups (such as AOG) allow women to be "pastors" or "ministers" is that they do not have a Lutheran understanding of the pastoral office.  In fact, they use the title "pastor" very loosely.  For example, at the AOG in my city they've had several "youth pastors" whose functions are limited to what an LCMS DCE would do.  Thus, when they hear the LCMS say "We don't allow women to serve as pastors!" they often think we mean that we don't allow women to do any kind of church work.


According to an AoG pastor who used to attend a pericope study group, he was rare among their clergy because he had a seminary degree. Their process for being ordained a pastor is quite different than ours.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Rev. Edward Engelbrecht on June 02, 2021, 06:39:29 AM

Do you have a link to the NALC paper you cite? I would like to read it.

You can find it here:  https://thenalc.org/wp-content/uploads/Documents/Teaching%20Statements/The-Bible-as-the-Word-of-God-Final.pdf

Thanks very much. This is an interesting statement both for what it says and for what it does not say. It would be especially helpful to see how this worked out in particular examples.

One confusing thing about the document are the indented paragraphs that appear to be block quotes but have no citation information. I'm not sure whether they are block quotes or not.

How is this statement used in the NALC, I wonder.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Weedon on June 02, 2021, 07:45:43 AM
Pr. Austin,

I’m no more interesting in debating and rehashing it again than Donna is. You’ve come to your conclusions; I have come to mine. That’s why whatever else it is, it is not an “endless controversy.” It is a settled area of disagreement.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: peter_speckhard on June 02, 2021, 08:25:22 AM
Pastor Weedon writes:
 One of us has the truth of the matter, which alone is God-pleasing and revealed. The other has human opinion.
And Pastor Charlton writes:
Both can be wrong.  Both can't be right.
Peter writes:
The ELCA has taken the side of novelty and innovation.

I comment, first to Peter:
Thanks for ignoring and dismissing all our theology and prayer and discussion and calling our view mere "novelty and innovation." You keep finding new ways to insult us.
To Pastor Weedon and Pastor Charlton, Hogwash to both comments.
Pastor Weedon, perhaps the Church was right to order an all-male priesthood for all those years. Perhaps that was “revealed”. Is it ever possible that “more” can be “revealed”?
Pastor Charlton, are all theological concepts totally universal and eternal? Can the Spirit not guide the church in different ways in different times or different places? The date of Easter controversies come to mind, the time when Christians were excommunicated for not observing Easter on the “right” day. Or the Synod of Whitby in 664 which imposed the “Roman” way of computing the date for Easter on the Irish and Britons?
Now: Dare  I play with speculation concerning The Spirit?
“Well, here are all these Christians passionate about a male-only clergy,” thinks The Spirit. “They’ve got a lot of history and some quirky theology behind them, but it would be a whopping can of worms opened to make a fast change.”
   The Spirit takes another sip of chamomile tea. “Then, we’ve got these Protestants and others just tearing along, with some trendy theology and after only a couple-hundred years of discussion, ordaining women right and left. Bishops even! It’s not doing any real harm and is actually doing some good in some places for some people. I don’t like the rift between those two groups, but losing those ELCA folks would be bad for the Church, and making those LCMS people put women in their pulpits would probably be bad for their churches and the Church. They will both overstate their positions, but let Us let them both continue with Our blessing. There’s time to find ways to bring them together.”
See. Both can be right.
In your goofy scenario, the Holy Spirit says the ELCA is right but has the patience for how slow to catch on the LCMS is. Even pretending to be God doesn’t render you capable of imagining mutually exclusive positions both being correct.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: peter_speckhard on June 02, 2021, 09:01:14 AM

Peter writes:
The ELCA has taken the side of novelty and innovation.

I comment, first to Peter:
Thanks for ignoring and dismissing all our theology and prayer and discussion and calling our view mere "novelty and innovation." You keep finding new ways to insult us.

I did not call your view "mere" novelty and innovation. I said it was on the side of novelty an innovation. Which manifestly, literally, metaphorically, and in all other is perfectly true and accurate. If you think it insulting to be found on the side of novelty and innovation, don't be on that side. And if I were looking for new ways to insult you, I certainly wouldn't choose an old, well-worn, and familiar observation about you, which is that you're on the side of novelty and innovation.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Charles Austin on June 02, 2021, 09:09:17 AM
Wrong on two points, Peter. I’m suggesting that a gracious God is able to say OK to both views on what constitutes coordination. What we must wait to bring together is how you and I are going to get along and have full church fellowship while holding these desperate views.
As for the “novelty and innovation” semi-insult, I commend your deft, though incomplete “moderation.”
I’ll be in fellowship with you, even though you don’t ordain women.
Can you be in fellowship with me, and simply not go to ELCA services where women preside?
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Dan Fienen on June 02, 2021, 09:35:58 AM
Wrong on two points, Peter. I’m suggesting that a gracious God is able to say OK to both views on what constitutes coordination. What we must wait to bring together is how you and I are going to get along and have full church fellowship while holding these desperate views.
As for the “novelty and innovation” semi-insult, I commend your deft, though incomplete “moderation.”
I’ll be in fellowship with you, even though you don’t ordain women.
Can you be in fellowship with me, and simply not go to ELCA services where women preside?
Can you really be in fellowship with us and accept that when we have joint worship no ELCA women pastors or partnered homosexual pastors are allowed to lead part of the worship? Can you really be in fellowship with us and accept that in the exchange of pastors between our church bodies no ELCA women pastors or partnered homosexual pastors will be accepted by the LCMS?

You say that you are willing to be in fellowship with me, how does that create an obligation for me to be willing to be in fellowship with you? We have differing understandings as to what is necessary for fellowship. Why does that create an obligation for me to abandon my principles in favor of yours?


It has become a standard trope in police procedural TV shows for the creepy male villain to declare his love for the hapless female damsel in distress as though his love for her creates an obligation for her to reciprocate his affection. Parallels?
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: peter_speckhard on June 02, 2021, 09:38:18 AM
Wrong on two points, Peter. I’m suggesting that a gracious God is able to say OK to both views on what constitutes coordination. What we must wait to bring together is how you and I are going to get along and have full church fellowship while holding these desperate views.
As for the “novelty and innovation” semi-insult, I commend your deft, though incomplete “moderation.”
I’ll be in fellowship with you, even though you don’t ordain women.
Can you be in fellowship with me, and simply not go to ELCA services where women preside?
You are simply sidestepping the whole issue of what God has revealed to be His will. What errors a gracious God may choose to tolerate is a separate issue entirely from what is truth and what is error. And you assume that being in full fellowship is the absolute mandate that matters more than any other consideration.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Dan Fienen on June 02, 2021, 09:43:56 AM

Peter writes:
The ELCA has taken the side of novelty and innovation.

I comment, first to Peter:
Thanks for ignoring and dismissing all our theology and prayer and discussion and calling our view mere "novelty and innovation." You keep finding new ways to insult us.

I did not call your view "mere" novelty and innovation. I said it was on the side of novelty an innovation. Which manifestly, literally, metaphorically, and in all other is perfectly true and accurate. If you think it insulting to be found on the side of novelty and innovation, don't be on that side. And if I were looking for new ways to insult you, I certainly wouldn't choose an old, well-worn, and familiar observation about you, which is that you're on the side of novelty and innovation.
Charles, why do you care so much what we say about you or whether we insult you? Do you value our opinion so much?
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Dave Likeness on June 02, 2021, 09:59:46 AM
The 'ELCA has adopted the rather simplistic approach to fellowship with other denominations:

"We can agree to disagree"   This approach accomplishes nothing and puts the emphasis on
artificial unity which is really not unity at all.  Their Altar fellowship with denominations which
deny the Real Presence of Christ in the Sacrament of Holy Communion is not genuine unity.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Tom Eckstein on June 02, 2021, 10:09:10 AM
Dave, your mask is slipping. You shouldn’t let people see that in your view true dialog can only happen between people who doubt their own position, and those who favor dialog are really expressing their openness to the idea that what they believe could be false. You should continue to publicly favor dialog in any and every situation while insisting that openness to dialog is the sign of supreme confidence in one’s own position, and unwillingness to dialog is a sign of fear.

The LCMS is not pretending any more than the ELCA is pretending. Both have considered a question. Both have answered it. The LCMS has taken the side of global Christendom through the centuries. The ELCA has taken the side of novelty and innovation. Both sides are equally certain.

Peter, I love what you said above - especially the portion I emphasized.  People can debate whether we're interpreting the WO prohibition texts correctly.  What they CAN'T debate is the simple fact that the vast majority of Christians throughout history and still today view the WO prohibition texts as clearly teaching that it is not God's will for women to serve in the pastoral office.  Therefore, as I said in a previous post, those minority of modern Christians who have jumped head first into the practice of WO are not only engaging in "novelty and innovation" but are NOT practicing Christian humility out of respect for the Church catholic.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: DCharlton on June 02, 2021, 11:14:29 AM
Pastor Charlton, are all theological concepts totally universal and eternal? Can the Spirit not guide the church in different ways in different times or different places? The date of Easter controversies come to mind, the time when Christians were excommunicated for not observing Easter on the “right” day. Or the Synod of Whitby in 664 which imposed the “Roman” way of computing the date for Easter on the Irish and Britons?
Now: Dare  I play with speculation concerning The Spirit?
“Well, here are all these Christians passionate about a male-only clergy,” thinks The Spirit. “They’ve got a lot of history and some quirky theology behind them, but it would be a whopping can of worms opened to make a fast change.”
   The Spirit takes another sip of chamomile tea. “Then, we’ve got these Protestants and others just tearing along, with some trendy theology and after only a couple-hundred years of discussion, ordaining women right and left. Bishops even! It’s not doing any real harm and is actually doing some good in some places for some people. I don’t like the rift between those two groups, but losing those ELCA folks would be bad for the Church, and making those LCMS people put women in their pulpits would probably be bad for their churches and the Church. They will both overstate their positions, but let Us let them both continue with Our blessing. There’s time to find ways to bring them together.”
See. Both can be right.

What an incredibly obtuse and ignorant response to what I said.  It doesn't really warrant a response, but I'll try anyway.

I was simply asserting that while two things cannot both be true at the same time and in the same way, they can both be wrong.  In other words, if I can prove proposition A to be false, it doesn't automatically prove that proposition B is true. 

Your argument that if two statements are taken equivocally they might both be true at the same time doesn't address the question. 
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Charles Austin on June 02, 2021, 11:20:40 AM
Dave Likeness totally misunderstands the ELCA position when he writes that it is ”We can agree to disagree."
No that is not true. We say that our disagreements still exist, but we will work to overcome them. And to reach agreement. But meanwhile we can be in mission and ministry and in fellowship together.
We do not simply “agree to disagree.”
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: D. Engebretson on June 02, 2021, 11:44:27 AM
We say that our disagreements still exist, but we will work to overcome them. And to reach agreement. But meanwhile we can be in mission and ministry and in fellowship together.
We do not simply “agree to disagree.”

Disagreements come in different ways and are of varying levels of seriousness.  Are there limits for the ELCA with regard to differences?  That is, are there some differences that preclude being in "mission and ministry and in fellowship together"? Or limit the degree of that fellowship and cooperation?  What unresolved differences would keep the ELCA from seeking or entering into such fellowship and cooperation?
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Charles Austin on June 02, 2021, 12:38:31 PM
I don’t know for certain, but I believe, unfortunately, that for many in the ELCA, the refusal to ordain women or to even discuss it, would be a reason for not fully sharing mission and ministry together.
I have personally seen two Presbyterian Churches and their pastors come to a greater, more “sacramental“ view of the sacrament, as a result of sharing with ELCA congregations.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Charles Austin on June 02, 2021, 01:09:07 PM
Pastor Charlton, it can be “true” that God finds an all-male priesthood for the Roman Catholic Church, the Missouri Synod, and maybe some others, “pleasing.”
And it can be “true” that God finds women clergy in the ELCA, the Episcopal church and numerous other denominations also “pleasing.“
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 02, 2021, 01:28:51 PM
Pr. Austin,

I’m no more interesting in debating and rehashing it again than Donna is. You’ve come to your conclusions; I have come to mine. That’s why whatever else it is, it is not an “endless controversy.” It is a settled area of disagreement.


I believe that God can and does change people's minds. It's certainly happened to me over the years. Whatever is "settled" now, could be changed as we better come to understand God's ways in our world.


There are numerous studies on how faith grows (or matures, which might be a better analogy).
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 02, 2021, 01:30:20 PM
In your goofy scenario, the Holy Spirit says the ELCA is right but has the patience for how slow to catch on the LCMS is. Even pretending to be God doesn’t render you capable of imagining mutually exclusive positions both being correct.



Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 02, 2021, 01:34:08 PM

Peter writes:
The ELCA has taken the side of novelty and innovation.

I comment, first to Peter:
Thanks for ignoring and dismissing all our theology and prayer and discussion and calling our view mere "novelty and innovation." You keep finding new ways to insult us.

I did not call your view "mere" novelty and innovation. I said it was on the side of novelty an innovation. Which manifestly, literally, metaphorically, and in all other is perfectly true and accurate. If you think it insulting to be found on the side of novelty and innovation, don't be on that side. And if I were looking for new ways to insult you, I certainly wouldn't choose an old, well-worn, and familiar observation about you, which is that you're on the side of novelty and innovation.


We see it as being on the side of the Gospel. It is being on the side of God's grace. As I recall one speaker saying during a homosexuality discussion, it's because we are so centered on justification by grace that we must have these discussions. From our perspective, you are on the side of the Law. Because you view us from that perspective, the charge of antinomianism keeps being hurled at us. From our perspective, you are legalistic.



Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 02, 2021, 01:40:36 PM
Can you really be in fellowship with us and accept that when we have joint worship no ELCA women pastors or partnered homosexual pastors are allowed to lead part of the worship? Can you really be in fellowship with us and accept that in the exchange of pastors between our church bodies no ELCA women pastors or partnered homosexual pastors will be accepted by the LCMS?


What do LCMS folks do when they attend an LCMS congregation where women are reading lessons when they believe that's wrong? Does that mean that the LCMS is not in fellowship with itself?

Quote
You say that you are willing to be in fellowship with me, how does that create an obligation for me to be willing to be in fellowship with you? We have differing understandings as to what is necessary for fellowship. Why does that create an obligation for me to abandon my principles in favor of yours?


Loving one's enemies is difficult. Continuing to seek to be friends and kind towards those who are unfriendly and unkind can be difficult; but I believe that's what God has called us to do. We repent when we fail to do that.


I had numerous friends in high school who got drunk, smoked pot, and used foul language. I didn't do any of that. I didn't abandon my principles to be friends with them. In fact, my hope is that they would see something of the Spirit-imposed righteousness in me that might make them want to be in a relationship with God. My life, including my relationship with them and how I treated them, is a witness to our God who so loved the world. (Jesus didn't say that God only loved believers.)
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 02, 2021, 01:44:16 PM
I think the point Peter was making is that this not an “endless controversy” but “settled matter” depending. It is absolutely settled for the church historically speaking; and now it is absolutely settled for revisionists or progressives or whatever the current name is. The point is, Donna has no intention of being convinced otherwise. Nor do I. It’s not that we don’t understand each other’s reasonings; but that understanding them, we reject them. To her, I am in error. To me, she is in error. This is never going to change, until the day we stand before the Throne and all error is lost in the light of His shining truth and holiness.

This may sound strange to you, but I have never thought of this as a matter of being”in error” or not. I can live with differences in interpretation and practice. Maybe that is my ELCA roots coming to light. I do realize that, to LCMS folks, “WO” (how I adore that abbreviation - not) is a matter so egregious as to be heretical. Yet the NALC, my church body, has built an amicable and respectful relationship with the LCMS in spite of the presence of many like me within its ministerium. Yes, some matters are non negotiable - we agree about that. Anyway, I am not interested in rehashing the old pro and con stuff, it’s been done to death around here. We all just talk past each other, you’re  right about that too. I leave it to God.

Dr. Phil often asks “Would you rather be right or happy?” when dealing with broken families. Clearly being right is the most important thing in some parts of the church’s broken family, too.

I simply thought it was a worthwhile read, insightful and enlightening. No agenda, hidden or otherwise.

Donna

Even though I respect much of what the NALC stands for, I believe they have a bit of a blind spot when it comes to WO.  Not only are there no positive affirmations of WO in Holy Scripture, but there are clear prohibitions of WO in Scripture that have been recognized as settling the issue by the vast majority of the Church catholic throughout history - and that is still the case in 2021.  Therefore, those minority of Christians who have jumped head first into the practice of WO in open rejection of the practice of the Church catholic are not acting in Christian humility on this issue.


A major difference is that what some see as universal prohibitions, others see as cultural situations of that time and place, like the length of hair and head covering section.


We also do not have the same understanding of ordination as the Roman Catholics and Orthodox. It is not a sacrament for us. It doesn't produce an ontological change in the one who is ordained. We are set apart by the church for particular functions.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Jim Butler on June 02, 2021, 01:44:47 PM
I believe the ALPB has taken an opinion that allows for contribution and interaction with, for instance, the ACNA and NALC with full approval.  Independent and pan-Lutheran.  So the LCMS allows itself to pretend it's in dialog with these groups when as Will and Peter indicate, it really can't do so, won't do so and therefore heads off to places a lot less amenable in actuality like the Southern Baptists or WELS/ELS.  Which is a shame.

On a positive note, the article referenced by RevGal is really enjoyable to read. 

Dave Benke

Why do you say that the LCMS only "pretends" to be in dialogue with these two groups?

I will grant that I haven't spoken to anyone who is part of the ACNA/LCMS dialog, but I have spoken to people who are on the NALC/LCMS dialogue; they have been quite productive overall. A few years ago, they released a joint statement on Scripture: https://thenalc.org/2016/07/28/lcc-lcms-nalc-scripture-statement/

You can’t be in dialog with those you believe to be in error on a given point, Bishop? Really???

And how are those LCMS/ELCA dialogs going these days, Will?

Dave Benke

I don't know about anywhere else, but I was part of the New England LCMS/ELCA dialog for several years. Then, one year, the ELCA simply dropped the discussions. At our last session, we asked when we could schedule our next meeting and the answer was "We'll get back to you." They never got back to us. Jim Keurulainen called their bishop and the NES bishop never returned his call. He tried to talk to her about it a Board meeting for Lutheran Social Services, she didn't want to schedule a day. It was pretty clear that she had no interest in continuing any kind of dialog.

So I guess I'd answer, "Not too well. But not for a lack of trying on our part."
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 02, 2021, 01:46:59 PM
Wrong on two points, Peter. I’m suggesting that a gracious God is able to say OK to both views on what constitutes coordination. What we must wait to bring together is how you and I are going to get along and have full church fellowship while holding these desperate views.
As for the “novelty and innovation” semi-insult, I commend your deft, though incomplete “moderation.”
I’ll be in fellowship with you, even though you don’t ordain women.
Can you be in fellowship with me, and simply not go to ELCA services where women preside?
You are simply sidestepping the whole issue of what God has revealed to be His will. What errors a gracious God may choose to tolerate is a separate issue entirely from what is truth and what is error. And you assume that being in full fellowship is the absolute mandate that matters more than any other consideration.


Is it truth that women's head should be covered? Or is that an error? Are those the only two choices?


Being one as the Trinity is one is Jesus' prayer for us. I think that it matters a lot. How that unity is expressed is still up for grabs. I am certain that our disunity hurts our witness in the world.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 02, 2021, 01:54:28 PM
Dave, your mask is slipping. You shouldn’t let people see that in your view true dialog can only happen between people who doubt their own position, and those who favor dialog are really expressing their openness to the idea that what they believe could be false. You should continue to publicly favor dialog in any and every situation while insisting that openness to dialog is the sign of supreme confidence in one’s own position, and unwillingness to dialog is a sign of fear.

The LCMS is not pretending any more than the ELCA is pretending. Both have considered a question. Both have answered it. The LCMS has taken the side of global Christendom through the centuries. The ELCA has taken the side of novelty and innovation. Both sides are equally certain.

Peter, I love what you said above - especially the portion I emphasized.  People can debate whether we're interpreting the WO prohibition texts correctly.  What they CAN'T debate is the simple fact that the vast majority of Christians throughout history and still today view the WO prohibition texts as clearly teaching that it is not God's will for women to serve in the pastoral office.  Therefore, as I said in a previous post, those minority of modern Christians who have jumped head first into the practice of WO are not only engaging in "novelty and innovation" but are NOT practicing Christian humility out of respect for the Church catholic.


And for much of human history, women were not allowed to hold public office. Women were not allowed to vote. In some places, women were not allowed to attend school. In contrast to that centuries-long tradition of women being second class humans, scriptures, and thus God, often elevates them to be superior to men in faith. There was a female judge in Judges. Judah had a queen. The Moabite Ruth becomes an example of faithfulness. Even Luther argued that Mary is the supreme example of what it means to trust God. The gospels agree that God chose women to be the first to witness the resurrection and to be messengers of that truth to the disciples.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 02, 2021, 02:00:10 PM
Pastor Charlton, are all theological concepts totally universal and eternal? Can the Spirit not guide the church in different ways in different times or different places? The date of Easter controversies come to mind, the time when Christians were excommunicated for not observing Easter on the “right” day. Or the Synod of Whitby in 664 which imposed the “Roman” way of computing the date for Easter on the Irish and Britons?
Now: Dare  I play with speculation concerning The Spirit?
“Well, here are all these Christians passionate about a male-only clergy,” thinks The Spirit. “They’ve got a lot of history and some quirky theology behind them, but it would be a whopping can of worms opened to make a fast change.”
   The Spirit takes another sip of chamomile tea. “Then, we’ve got these Protestants and others just tearing along, with some trendy theology and after only a couple-hundred years of discussion, ordaining women right and left. Bishops even! It’s not doing any real harm and is actually doing some good in some places for some people. I don’t like the rift between those two groups, but losing those ELCA folks would be bad for the Church, and making those LCMS people put women in their pulpits would probably be bad for their churches and the Church. They will both overstate their positions, but let Us let them both continue with Our blessing. There’s time to find ways to bring them together.”
See. Both can be right.

What an incredibly obtuse and ignorant response to what I said.  It doesn't really warrant a response, but I'll try anyway.

I was simply asserting that while two things cannot both be true at the same time and in the same way, they can both be wrong.  In other words, if I can prove proposition A to be false, it doesn't automatically prove that proposition B is true. 

Your argument that if two statements are taken equivocally they might both be true at the same time doesn't address the question.


What is true and what is false is not always so clear cut. Sometimes two different things can be true because they are different perspectives of the truth.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 02, 2021, 02:03:16 PM
Dave Likeness totally misunderstands the ELCA position when he writes that it is ”We can agree to disagree."
No that is not true. We say that our disagreements still exist, but we will work to overcome them. And to reach agreement. But meanwhile we can be in mission and ministry and in fellowship together.
We do not simply “agree to disagree.”


The unity I have with my brothers is not based on us agreeing with each other. It comes from having common parents. The emphasis on agreeing with each other in order to be in Christian fellowship is a false understanding of our relationship with each other who have a common Father.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: DCharlton on June 02, 2021, 02:05:52 PM
Pastor Charlton, it can be “true” that God finds an all-male priesthood for the Roman Catholic Church, the Missouri Synod, and maybe some others, “pleasing.”
And it can be “true” that God finds women clergy in the ELCA, the Episcopal church and numerous other denominations also “pleasing.“

Which does not in any way refute what I stated earlier.  In fact, I already said that when two statements are taken equivocally, they can contradict each other without either one having to be false.  For instance, the statements, "A dolphin is a mammal," and "A dolphin is a fish," when taken equivocally, can both be true.  (The reason they can both be true is that in some parts of the world, the fish known as the Mahi Mahi is called a dolphin.)

What I am talking about two statements that purport to be true at the same time and in the same way.  These two statements cannot be true at the same time and in the same way:

a.  God's Word prohibits women from serving in the office of Word and Sacrament.
b.  God's Word permits women to serve in the office of Word and Sacrament.

They cannot be true at the same time in the same way.  Both of them, however, can be false. 
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 02, 2021, 02:09:08 PM
We say that our disagreements still exist, but we will work to overcome them. And to reach agreement. But meanwhile we can be in mission and ministry and in fellowship together.
We do not simply “agree to disagree.”

Disagreements come in different ways and are of varying levels of seriousness.  Are there limits for the ELCA with regard to differences?  That is, are there some differences that preclude being in "mission and ministry and in fellowship together"? Or limit the degree of that fellowship and cooperation?  What unresolved differences would keep the ELCA from seeking or entering into such fellowship and cooperation?


Our full communion agreements are something more than "fellowship and cooperation". We can cooperate with non-Christian groups. We may even participate in inter-faith events. Our full communion agreements are based on the premise that the other believers, like us, have a proper understanding of the gospel: justification by God's grace through Jesus Christ, and the sacraments are administered according to the gospel.


For example, we and the Reformed agree in the real presence of Christ in the sacrament, but exactly how he is present remains a mystery. Some of those details is like arguing how many angels will fit on the head of a pin. They have little to nothing to do with our witness to the world about the grace of God.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: DCharlton on June 02, 2021, 02:15:06 PM
Pastor Charlton, are all theological concepts totally universal and eternal? Can the Spirit not guide the church in different ways in different times or different places? The date of Easter controversies come to mind, the time when Christians were excommunicated for not observing Easter on the “right” day. Or the Synod of Whitby in 664 which imposed the “Roman” way of computing the date for Easter on the Irish and Britons?
Now: Dare  I play with speculation concerning The Spirit?
“Well, here are all these Christians passionate about a male-only clergy,” thinks The Spirit. “They’ve got a lot of history and some quirky theology behind them, but it would be a whopping can of worms opened to make a fast change.”
   The Spirit takes another sip of chamomile tea. “Then, we’ve got these Protestants and others just tearing along, with some trendy theology and after only a couple-hundred years of discussion, ordaining women right and left. Bishops even! It’s not doing any real harm and is actually doing some good in some places for some people. I don’t like the rift between those two groups, but losing those ELCA folks would be bad for the Church, and making those LCMS people put women in their pulpits would probably be bad for their churches and the Church. They will both overstate their positions, but let Us let them both continue with Our blessing. There’s time to find ways to bring them together.”
See. Both can be right.

What an incredibly obtuse and ignorant response to what I said.  It doesn't really warrant a response, but I'll try anyway.

I was simply asserting that while two things cannot both be true at the same time and in the same way, they can both be wrong.  In other words, if I can prove proposition A to be false, it doesn't automatically prove that proposition B is true. 

Your argument that if two statements are taken equivocally they might both be true at the same time doesn't address the question.

What is true and what is false is not always so clear cut. Sometimes two different things can be true because they are different perspectives of the truth.

That's because the statements are equivocal.  They are not asserting that two contradictory things are true at the same time and in the same way.  Instead, they assert that two contradictory things are true from different perspectives.

You're also forgetting that to understand the example above, one has to know the truth.  The truth is that the object is neither a circle, nor a rectangle.  It is a cylinder.  Your example proves what I am asserting, that two contradictory propositions can both be false.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 02, 2021, 02:15:29 PM
Pastor Charlton, it can be “true” that God finds an all-male priesthood for the Roman Catholic Church, the Missouri Synod, and maybe some others, “pleasing.”
And it can be “true” that God finds women clergy in the ELCA, the Episcopal church and numerous other denominations also “pleasing.“

Which does not in any way refute what I stated earlier.  In fact, I already said that when two statements are taken equivocally, they can contradict each other without either one having to be false.  For instance, the statements, "A dolphin a mammal," and "A dolphin is a fish," when taken equivocally, can both be true.  (The reason they can both be true is that in some parts of the world, the fish known as the Mahi Mahi is called a dolphin.)

What I am talking about two statements that purport to be true at the same time and in the same way.  These two statements cannot be true at the same time and in the same way:

a.  God's Word prohibits women from serving in the office of Word and Sacrament.
b.  God's Word permits women to serve in the office of Word and Sacrament.

They cannot be true at the same time in the same way.  Both of them, however, can be false.


Your analogy is flawed because it is always humans who interpret God's Word. There were humans who wrote it. There were humans who copied it (sometimes seeking to "improve" it). There are humans who translate it. There are humans who read and interpret it.


More properly:
a. Your interpretation of God's word prohibits women from serving in the office of Word and Sacrament.
b. Our interpretation of God's word permits women to serve in the office of Word and Sacrament.


Both statements are true.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Charles Austin on June 02, 2021, 02:17:03 PM
I don’t know what timing situation you described was, but it could be that the comments that your Synod president brought to one of our church wide assemblies prompted that reaction. I heard many at that assembly say, following your president’s remarks, “well there’s no point in even talking to them then.”
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 02, 2021, 02:21:06 PM
That's because the statements are equivocal.  They are not asserting that two contradictory things are true at the same time and in the same way.  Instead, they assert that two contradictory things are true from different perspectives.

You're also forgetting that to understand the example above, one has to know the truth.  The truth is that the object is neither a circle, nor a rectangle.  It is a cylinder.  Your example proves what I am asserting, that two contradictory propositions can both be false.


Ah, in the illustration, we are able to see the Truth. In real life, not so much. We only have our perspectives. When we recognize this, we might be able to get closer to the Truth. When I argue that the shape is a circle, and you argue that the shape is a square; it makes a whale of a difference if I assume we are both right and we need to learn from each other. Together we might come to realize that we are both looking at a cylinder from different perspectives.

However, if either one of us assumes, "I've got the truth and the other is wrong," we will never get beyond our individual perspective. What we perceive as true, becomes Truth (and it's incomplete).


I see this as analogous to our full communion agreements. We assume that we both are seeing the truth of God and we need to learn from each other; rather than assuming we are right and you are wrong.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: DCharlton on June 02, 2021, 02:24:13 PM
Pastor Charlton, it can be “true” that God finds an all-male priesthood for the Roman Catholic Church, the Missouri Synod, and maybe some others, “pleasing.”
And it can be “true” that God finds women clergy in the ELCA, the Episcopal church and numerous other denominations also “pleasing.“

Which does not in any way refute what I stated earlier.  In fact, I already said that when two statements are taken equivocally, they can contradict each other without either one having to be false.  For instance, the statements, "A dolphin a mammal," and "A dolphin is a fish," when taken equivocally, can both be true.  (The reason they can both be true is that in some parts of the world, the fish known as the Mahi Mahi is called a dolphin.)

What I am talking about two statements that purport to be true at the same time and in the same way.  These two statements cannot be true at the same time and in the same way:

a.  God's Word prohibits women from serving in the office of Word and Sacrament.
b.  God's Word permits women to serve in the office of Word and Sacrament.

They cannot be true at the same time in the same way.  Both of them, however, can be false.

Your analogy is flawed because it is always humans who interpret God's Word. There were humans who wrote it. There were humans who copied it (sometimes seeking to "improve" it). There are humans who translate it. There are humans who read and interpret it.

No.  God also interprets God's Word.  Or better yet, God's Word is God's interpretation us.  God is the judge of what is true or not, regardless of how many different ways human beings interpret the Scriptures.

Quote
More properly:
a. Your interpretation of God's word prohibits women from serving in the office of Word and Sacrament.
b. Our interpretation of God's word permits women to serve in the office of Word and Sacrament.

Both statements are true.

What a lazy way of arguing?  You completely changed the meaning of the proposition in order to arrive at your preferred answer.  Did you try that in math class as a child, rewriting the equation so that it matched your preferred answer?
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Tom Eckstein on June 02, 2021, 02:33:36 PM
Dave, your mask is slipping. You shouldn’t let people see that in your view true dialog can only happen between people who doubt their own position, and those who favor dialog are really expressing their openness to the idea that what they believe could be false. You should continue to publicly favor dialog in any and every situation while insisting that openness to dialog is the sign of supreme confidence in one’s own position, and unwillingness to dialog is a sign of fear.

The LCMS is not pretending any more than the ELCA is pretending. Both have considered a question. Both have answered it. The LCMS has taken the side of global Christendom through the centuries. The ELCA has taken the side of novelty and innovation. Both sides are equally certain.

Peter, I love what you said above - especially the portion I emphasized.  People can debate whether we're interpreting the WO prohibition texts correctly.  What they CAN'T debate is the simple fact that the vast majority of Christians throughout history and still today view the WO prohibition texts as clearly teaching that it is not God's will for women to serve in the pastoral office.  Therefore, as I said in a previous post, those minority of modern Christians who have jumped head first into the practice of WO are not only engaging in "novelty and innovation" but are NOT practicing Christian humility out of respect for the Church catholic.


And for much of human history, women were not allowed to hold public office. Women were not allowed to vote. In some places, women were not allowed to attend school. In contrast to that centuries-long tradition of women being second class humans, scriptures, and thus God, often elevates them to be superior to men in faith. There was a female judge in Judges. Judah had a queen. The Moabite Ruth becomes an example of faithfulness. Even Luther argued that Mary is the supreme example of what it means to trust God. The gospels agree that God chose women to be the first to witness the resurrection and to be messengers of that truth to the disciples.

The civic examples you give have NOTHING to do with how and why the vast majority of Christians have been opposed to WO.

The biblical examples you give of women do not speak to the issue of why women are not to serve in the pastoral office.  It's not unlike those who refer to the fact that women were the first witnesses of Jesus' resurrection.  What does that have to do with women serving in the pastoral office?  Those who hold to the biblical and catholic position that women should not serve in the pastoral office have NEVER suggested that women can't be witnesses about Jesus as any lay person (male or female) can.

The same reason a woman cannot represent Christ as the Head of His Bride is the same reason a woman can't be the head of her husband.  The fact that women have and can hold secular positions of authority has nothing to do with the reasons why women are not to be pastors.

It is a simple fact that the vast majority of Christians throughout history have been opposed to WO - and this is NOT for cultural reasons!

Finally, your point about women wearing head coverings or having "long hair" (1st Cor. ch. 11) - the universal principle that Paul is asserting is that there must be a distinction between male and female whereas the local expression of that in Corinth was that women had head coverings.  So, the local expression of the distinction between male and female can change whereas the fact that there must always be a distinction between male and female within the church does NOT change.  As for women serving as pastors, Paul's assertion that women are NOT to be pastors is not a local expression but is ITSELF a universal principle!  The context makes this clear!
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 02, 2021, 02:34:02 PM
No.  God also interprets God's Word.  Or better yet, God's Word is God's interpretation us.  God is the judge of what is true or not, regardless of how many different ways human beings interpret the Scriptures.


I have hundreds and hundreds of commentaries. God didn't write any of them.


I have files and files of word studies where I look at how Greek and Hebrew words are used throughout scriptures. God didn't do that work. I did.


God may give me insights into the meaning of his Word as I look over my hours of work on a passage; but almost never does God just give me a magical insight without a lot of human work.

Quote
Quote
More properly:
a. Your interpretation of God's word prohibits women from serving in the office of Word and Sacrament.
b. Our interpretation of God's word permits women to serve in the office of Word and Sacrament.

Both statements are true.

What a lazy way of arguing?  You completely changed the meaning of the proposition in order to arrive at your preferred answer.  Did you try that in math class as a child, rewriting the equation so that it matched your preferred answer?


What I wrote is the truth. What you wrote is in error. There have been times when I've had to correct a math equation when it included mistakes.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: DCharlton on June 02, 2021, 02:40:24 PM
That's because the statements are equivocal.  They are not asserting that two contradictory things are true at the same time and in the same way.  Instead, they assert that two contradictory things are true from different perspectives.

You're also forgetting that to understand the example above, one has to know the truth.  The truth is that the object is neither a circle, nor a rectangle.  It is a cylinder.  Your example proves what I am asserting, that two contradictory propositions can both be false.

Ah, in the illustration, we are able to see the Truth. In real life, not so much. We only have our perspectives. When we recognize this, we might be able to get closer to the Truth. When I argue that the shape is a circle, and you argue that the shape is a square; it makes a whale of a difference if I assume we are both right and we need to learn from each other. Together we might come to realize that we are both looking at a cylinder from different perspectives.

However, if either one of us assumes, "I've got the truth and the other is wrong," we will never get beyond our individual perspective. What we perceive as true, becomes Truth (and it's incomplete).

I see this as analogous to our full communion agreements. We assume that we both are seeing the truth of God and we need to learn from each other; rather than assuming we are right and you are wrong.

I said nothing about assuming which side is right.  I am assuming that two propositions cannot be true at the same time and in the same way.  That doesn't rule out the possibility that both propositions are false.  Neither does it rule out that they are both true at different times and in different ways. Constant equivocation does not solve the problem of truth, it only avoids it.

I'm in favor of humility in our dialogue with other people.  It is certainly wise and helpful to assume that one does not have the whole truth, even when one is certain of having part of the truth.  On the other hand, denying the existence of truth altogether, as you seem to propose is dangerous.  In the real world, questions of truth and falsehood have consequences.   

If there is a God, and that God truly wills some things rather than others, then it matters whether a given thing is in accordance with God's will, or not.  What matters is neither my perspective, nor yours, but God's.  You may assert that God will forgive us for our false perspective, but again, it matters infinitely whether your assertion is true or not.   
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: DCharlton on June 02, 2021, 02:43:09 PM
I have hundreds and hundreds of commentaries. God didn't write any of them.

Only a fool would mistake a commentary for God's Word. 

Quote
What I wrote is the truth. What you wrote is in error. There have been times when I've had to correct a math equation when it included mistakes.

If I didn't know better, I would think you were joking. 
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Dan Fienen on June 02, 2021, 03:13:55 PM
Can you really be in fellowship with us and accept that when we have joint worship no ELCA women pastors or partnered homosexual pastors are allowed to lead part of the worship? Can you really be in fellowship with us and accept that in the exchange of pastors between our church bodies no ELCA women pastors or partnered homosexual pastors will be accepted by the LCMS?


What do LCMS folks do when they attend an LCMS congregation where women are reading lessons when they believe that's wrong? Does that mean that the LCMS is not in fellowship with itself?


There are LCMS folks who would in that situation get up and walk out. I had a neighboring pastor contact my District President to complain about me because I allowed women to read lessons in my church. (Shouldn't complain too much, I got a published Concordia Journal article out of that dispute.) We have a history of some LCMS folks not being in fellowship with other LCMS folk. Not a good thing but we do take fellowship seriously.


But I think that you missed the point of my hypothetical. When two church bodies are in fellowship, it seems likely that on occasion joint worship services would be planned. Since the LCMS not only does not ordain women or partnered homosexuals but will not and considers it against God's will to do so and the ELCA believes the opposite, whose beliefs should govern the selections for officiants and participating clergy at such events?


You say that you are willing to be in fellowship with me, how does that create an obligation for me to be willing to be in fellowship with you? We have differing understandings as to what is necessary for fellowship. Why does that create an obligation for me to abandon my principles in favor of yours?



Loving one's enemies is difficult. Continuing to seek to be friends and kind towards those who are unfriendly and unkind can be difficult; but I believe that's what God has called us to do. We repent when we fail to do that.


I had numerous friends in high school who got drunk, smoked pot, and used foul language. I didn't do any of that. I didn't abandon my principles to be friends with them. In fact, my hope is that they would see something of the Spirit-imposed righteousness in me that might make them want to be in a relationship with God. My life, including my relationship with them and how I treated them, is a witness to our God who so loved the world. (Jesus didn't say that God only loved believers.)



Perhaps we would consider the refusal of fellowship as a form of tough love to emphasize the importance that we place on the issues in contention?


Does loving one's enemies mean that we have to marry them?


Is it loving or even honest to be friends with people simply because we hope to be able to change them into believing and acting like us? One of the most effective types of evangelism is with people with whom we have some form of relationship like friendship. Does that mean that it is a good idea, even our duty, to go out of our way to try to become friends with people with whom we would not likely be friends simply because we hope that we can use that friendship to convert them?


I suspect also the we are in danger here again of treating words ambiguously. Typically when I talk about befriending someone I am talking about being helpful to them with some difficulty that they are having. Possibly ending up in a more long term relationship in which I become a resource person for them in need. That is often different from being friends which usually means a more long term relationship of mutual affection, enjoyment of being together, and mutual aid in need. If I am willing to befriend, i.e. be helpful to, someone, even long term, does that mean that I have to be their friends so that we often hang out together etc.?
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Dan Fienen on June 02, 2021, 03:18:48 PM

I had numerous friends in high school who got drunk, smoked pot, and used foul language. I didn't do any of that. I didn't abandon my principles to be friends with them. In fact, my hope is that they would see something of the Spirit-imposed righteousness in me that might make them want to be in a relationship with God. My life, including my relationship with them and how I treated them, is a witness to our God who so loved the world. (Jesus didn't say that God only loved believers.)
And if your friends in high school demanded that if you were really a friend you would get drunk, smoke pot, and use foul language like they did? Or at least approved of their drinking, smoking, and cussing?
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: peter_speckhard on June 02, 2021, 03:42:11 PM
I don’t know what timing situation you described was, but it could be that the comments that your Synod president brought to one of our church wide assemblies prompted that reaction. I heard many at that assembly say, following your president’s remarks, “well there’s no point in even talking to them then.”
If you’re talking about President Kieschnick at the ELCA 2009 CWA, well, I heard his speech. Thought it was excellent. Gracious, winsome, but clear and unequivocal about what we believe, teach, and confess, and why we do so. If the reaction was that if we really believe what we say we believe, then there is no point in talking to us, okay. Your loss.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Dan Fienen on June 02, 2021, 03:53:46 PM
I get the impression sometimes that we are only worth talking to if there is a reasonable expectation that we can be talked into abandoning our position for that of the other.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Dave Likeness on June 02, 2021, 04:07:35 PM
Biblical authority is at the heart of the disagreements between the ELCA and LCMS.
Whether you are talking about women's ordination, homosexual marriages, or
practicing homosexual pastors who are married.......clearly, the ELCA has caved into
the culture and ignored Scriptures.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: pastorg1@aol.com on June 02, 2021, 04:15:32 PM
The hermeneutic in these decisions was listening to stories, not Scripture.

Peter (What you sees is what you gets) Garrison
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Charles Austin on June 02, 2021, 04:18:58 PM
Not Kieschnick, Barry.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Dan Fienen on June 02, 2021, 04:30:08 PM
Biblical authority is at the heart of the disagreements between the ELCA and LCMS.
Whether you are talking about women's ordination, homosexual marriages, or
practicing homosexual pastors who are married.......clearly, the ELCA has caved into
the culture and ignored Scriptures.
To be fair, that is our perspective, YMMV.


Charles in particular has often emphasized that the ELCA did not arrive at their position arbitrarily or capriciously, but after much prayerful and careful study and deliberation. I personally have no reason to doubt that. What I don not get is why that should automatically convince us of the correctness of their position and the error of our own. Our position on these contested matters also was arrived at after much careful and prayerful study and deliberation. Can you accept that while we take a position opposite of yours, we are trying as best we can to God's will as we have come to see and know it?


It is so easy for people to perceive those with whom they disagree as doing so for all the wrong reasons, while viewing one's own motives as pure. Purity in this life is at best something to be striven for not expected to attain.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: DeHall1 on June 02, 2021, 04:34:36 PM
Not Kieschnick, Barry.
This one?
https://www.elca.org/News-and-Events/2925
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Charles Austin on June 02, 2021, 04:38:06 PM
Dave Likeness writes:
…clearly, the ELCA has caved into the culture and ignored Scriptures.

I comment:
It is unfair, not to mention dishonest for you to keep saying this. The road to the decisions we made on everything from ordination for women to the current issues is paved with study of Scripture and theology. Now, you may not like how we did that and you may disagree with our conclusions. You can say that we studied scripture incorrectly if you wish. But you may not say that we ignored scripture.
And you may not say that we simply “caved into the culture.“ It is attitudes like that and statements like that that destroy the possibility of dialogue. But it is the attitude that prevails in this modest forum.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Charles Austin on June 02, 2021, 04:41:20 PM
No, that was 1997. I’m talking about much later, maybe it wasn’t Barry. One of your other Synod  presidents. Long ago. No longer matters.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: peter_speckhard on June 02, 2021, 04:43:25 PM
Dave Likeness writes:
…clearly, the ELCA has caved into the culture and ignored Scriptures.

I comment:
It is unfair, not to mention dishonest for you to keep saying this. The road to the decisions we made on everything from ordination for women to the current issues is paved with study of Scripture and theology. Now, you may not like how we did that and you may disagree with our conclusions. You can say that we studied scripture incorrectly if you wish. But you may not say that we ignored scripture.
And you may not say that we simply “caved into the culture.“ It is attitudes like that and statements like that that destroy the possibility of dialogue. But it is the attitude that prevails in this modest forum.
Look at Brian’s post upstream. He says we once didn’t ordain women just as women once couldn’t vote and so forth. He clearly draws the parallel between secular social changes of the last 100 years regarding women and church teaching and practice regarding women.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: peter_speckhard on June 02, 2021, 04:45:27 PM
No, that was 1997. I’m talking about much later, maybe it wasn’t Barry. One of your other Synod  presidents. Long ago. No longer matters.
Pretty sure it was Kieschnick in 2009 just prior to your big votes. I heard other people in the hall say similar things to what you heard— that there is no discussion to be had with such people.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Steven W Bohler on June 02, 2021, 04:52:54 PM
The article linked by GalRevRedux said its author was weary of debating women's ordination.  And now, we have spent 6 pages debating it, with no end in sight.  Irony.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Weedon on June 02, 2021, 04:55:45 PM
My point: useless to do this again. I refuse to debate it.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: John_Hannah on June 02, 2021, 04:59:49 PM
No, that was 1997. I’m talking about much later, maybe it wasn’t Barry. One of your other Synod  presidents. Long ago. No longer matters.

1997. Then it was Barry (1992-1998).
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: peter_speckhard on June 02, 2021, 05:05:28 PM
No, that was 1997. I’m talking about much later, maybe it wasn’t Barry. One of your other Synod  presidents. Long ago. No longer matters.

1997. Then it was Barry (1992-1998).
I think Charles meant the link was to a 1997 statement and he’s thinking of something much more recent than that.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Dan Fienen on June 02, 2021, 05:06:45 PM
No, that was 1997. I’m talking about much later, maybe it wasn’t Barry. One of your other Synod  presidents. Long ago. No longer matters.
Some Synodical President said some things that were offensive in your eyes. We are to blame for comments like that breaking up talks. Which one? When? Doesn't really matter, can't be bothered to figure out just what was said that was so offensive. Talks broke off, LCMS was to blame, we are always to blame. LCMS Repent for being so offensive!
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: George Rahn on June 02, 2021, 05:19:32 PM

Peter writes:
The ELCA has taken the side of novelty and innovation.

I comment, first to Peter:
Thanks for ignoring and dismissing all our theology and prayer and discussion and calling our view mere "novelty and innovation." You keep finding new ways to insult us.

I did not call your view "mere" novelty and innovation. I said it was on the side of novelty an innovation. Which manifestly, literally, metaphorically, and in all other is perfectly true and accurate. If you think it insulting to be found on the side of novelty and innovation, don't be on that side. And if I were looking for new ways to insult you, I certainly wouldn't choose an old, well-worn, and familiar observation about you, which is that you're on the side of novelty and innovation.


We see it as being on the side of the Gospel. It is being on the side of God's grace. As I recall one speaker saying during a homosexuality discussion, it's because we are so centered on justification by grace that we must have these discussions. From our perspective, you are on the side of the Law. Because you view us from that perspective, the charge of antinomianism keeps being hurled at us. From our perspective, you are legalistic.

Actually the issue of WO and ordination, in general, must be discussed under the focus of public service and that would be discussed under the law first being God’s law and then related to that of public mores and custom.  These matters have to do with order in society.  The grace aspect is God’s commitment that the Christian preaching as an office be maintained.  Forgiveness and grace are for individuals not for social orders.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: D. Engebretson on June 02, 2021, 05:21:43 PM
...we and the Reformed agree in the real presence of Christ in the sacrament, but exactly how he is present remains a mystery. Some of those details is like arguing how many angels will fit on the head of a pin. They have little to nothing to do with our witness to the world about the grace of God.

How times have changed since Luther and Zwingli.  For Luther the doctrine of the real physical presence of Christ was anything but "arguing how many angels will fit on the head of a pin."  For him it impinged directly on the doctrine of Christology.  In that sense it has everything to do with "our witness to the world about the grace of God."  If you don't get Christ right, you don't get the gospel right. But again, many Lutherans have long since been on different pages on such matters....
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Jim Butler on June 02, 2021, 05:35:18 PM

For example, we and the Reformed agree in the real presence of Christ in the sacrament, but exactly how he is present remains a mystery. Some of those details is like arguing how many angels will fit on the head of a pin. They have little to nothing to do with our witness to the world about the grace of God.

That's funny you should say that. The agreements with the Reformed took place while I was at Gordon-Conwell. I had profs that were UCC, PCUSA, and Reformed Church in America. I asked them if they now agreed that Christ was present in the sacrament. Not only did they not believe it, they did not believe Christ was present in the sacrament in any way whatsoever. Christ might be present in the congregation by the presence of the Spirit, but he is not present in the elements (hence the Formula's insistence that we partake of Christ's body with the mouth). When I asked the systematics profs about the agreement, they just laughed and said it did a nice job of papering over the differences, but that the differences still remained.

I also recall talking with the NE Synod bishop about this in our dialogs. He said that Lutheran and Reformed views are not contradictory, they are complimentary. Lutherans emphasize Christ present in the elements; the Reformed emphasize Christ's presence in the community. I pointed out that Lutherans have never rejected Christ's presence in the community and that the Reformed have always rejected Christ's presence in the elements. My discussions with my Reformed profs just drove that home.

A couple of years ago, there was an article in Modern Reformation by a Lutheran and a Presbyterian discussing the differences in the Sacrament. It was very well done. About a year ago, there was a discussion on the views of the Sacrament on the White Horse Inn. It was quite clear: there is no agreement in this issue.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: George Rahn on June 02, 2021, 05:39:48 PM
I get the impression sometimes that we are only worth talking to if there is a reasonable expectation that we can be talked into abandoning our position for that of the other.

This seems to be true from the ELCA perspective.  It is built on the notion of power and grandiosity, a form of the theology of glory.  The LCMS takes seriously the matter of doctrine as teaching and clarifying what is God’s law and then, what is the Christian Gospel?  LCMS is centered in its teaching first and then invites fellowship  from that center.  The ELCA in matters of ecumenism and fellowship seem to downplay this methodology.  LCMS method is far and apart from y’all come join us mentality because it seriously centers itself on what it believes, teaches and then confesses publicly.  From that center the invitation to others in social/societal matters comes next.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: George Rahn on June 02, 2021, 05:52:13 PM
Dave Likeness writes:
…clearly, the ELCA has caved into the culture and ignored Scriptures.

I comment:
It is unfair, not to mention dishonest for you to keep saying this. The road to the decisions we made on everything from ordination for women to the current issues is paved with study of Scripture and theology. Now, you may not like how we did that and you may disagree with our conclusions. You can say that we studied scripture incorrectly if you wish. But you may not say that we ignored scripture.
And you may not say that we simply “caved into the culture.“ It is attitudes like that and statements like that that destroy the possibility of dialogue. But it is the attitude that prevails in this modest forum.

While there may have been reflection on the scriptures in the case of ELCA on WO, et. al., it was the hermeneutic applied during deliberations which decided the matter of public policy. 
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: George Rahn on June 02, 2021, 06:07:37 PM
Dave Likeness writes:
…clearly, the ELCA has caved into the culture and ignored Scriptures.

I comment:
It is unfair, not to mention dishonest for you to keep saying this. The road to the decisions we made on everything from ordination for women to the current issues is paved with study of Scripture and theology. Now, you may not like how we did that and you may disagree with our conclusions. You can say that we studied scripture incorrectly if you wish. But you may not say that we ignored scripture.
And you may not say that we simply “caved into the culture.“ It is attitudes like that and statements like that that destroy the possibility of dialogue. But it is the attitude that prevails in this modest forum.
Look at Brian’s post upstream. He says we once didn’t ordain women just as women once couldn’t vote and so forth. He clearly draws the parallel between secular social changes of the last 100 years regarding women and church teaching and practice regarding women.

I fail to see the problem.  Both matters are about public policy and fall under the rubric of living under the law. 
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Michael Slusser on June 02, 2021, 06:12:02 PM
The article linked by GalRevRedux said its author was weary of debating women's ordination.  And now, we have spent 6 pages debating it, with no end in sight.  Irony.
["Like" button]
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 02, 2021, 06:57:55 PM
...we and the Reformed agree in the real presence of Christ in the sacrament, but exactly how he is present remains a mystery. Some of those details is like arguing how many angels will fit on the head of a pin. They have little to nothing to do with our witness to the world about the grace of God.

How times have changed since Luther and Zwingli.  For Luther the doctrine of the real physical presence of Christ was anything but "arguing how many angels will fit on the head of a pin."  For him it impinged directly on the doctrine of Christology.  In that sense it has everything to do with "our witness to the world about the grace of God."  If you don't get Christ right, you don't get the gospel right. But again, many Lutherans have long since been on different pages on such matters....


The Reformed with whom we are full communion partners are not Zwinglians. Calvin was just as opposed to Zwingli as Luther.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Steven W Bohler on June 02, 2021, 07:35:56 PM
...we and the Reformed agree in the real presence of Christ in the sacrament, but exactly how he is present remains a mystery. Some of those details is like arguing how many angels will fit on the head of a pin. They have little to nothing to do with our witness to the world about the grace of God.

How times have changed since Luther and Zwingli.  For Luther the doctrine of the real physical presence of Christ was anything but "arguing how many angels will fit on the head of a pin."  For him it impinged directly on the doctrine of Christology.  In that sense it has everything to do with "our witness to the world about the grace of God."  If you don't get Christ right, you don't get the gospel right. But again, many Lutherans have long since been on different pages on such matters....


The Reformed with whom we are full communion partners are not Zwinglians. Calvin was just as opposed to Zwingli as Luther.

But not for the same reasons.  And Luther, and the Lutheran Reformers, rejected Calvin's teaching on the Supper just as energetically as they did Zwingli's teaching.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 02, 2021, 08:39:10 PM
...we and the Reformed agree in the real presence of Christ in the sacrament, but exactly how he is present remains a mystery. Some of those details is like arguing how many angels will fit on the head of a pin. They have little to nothing to do with our witness to the world about the grace of God.

How times have changed since Luther and Zwingli.  For Luther the doctrine of the real physical presence of Christ was anything but "arguing how many angels will fit on the head of a pin."  For him it impinged directly on the doctrine of Christology.  In that sense it has everything to do with "our witness to the world about the grace of God."  If you don't get Christ right, you don't get the gospel right. But again, many Lutherans have long since been on different pages on such matters....


The Reformed with whom we are full communion partners are not Zwinglians. Calvin was just as opposed to Zwingli as Luther.

But not for the same reasons.  And Luther, and the Lutheran Reformers, rejected Calvin's teaching on the Supper just as energetically as they did Zwingli's teaching.


Not so much in Luther's Day. The opposition came later and is expressed in the Formula of Concord. There is nothing against Calvin in any of the earlier confessions.


We recognized those differences. We no longer live in that century. We, the ELCA and Reformed, both have matured. We have come to view our differences more like the two people looking at the figure on the ground. From one perspective it's a 6 from another perspective it's a 9. We recognize that we talk about the real presence of Christ in the sacrament from different perspectives; but we are close enough to share it and presiders with each other as we continue to talk about what we know about the elephant in the room.


I regularly had a UCC minister and a couple of retired Presbyterian ministers preach and preside for me when I went on vacation (or was in the hospital). All were regular worshipers at our services. (One admitted that he came to appreciate the liturgy much more than he had before after spending about a year worshiping with us.)
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Steven W Bohler on June 02, 2021, 09:01:43 PM
...we and the Reformed agree in the real presence of Christ in the sacrament, but exactly how he is present remains a mystery. Some of those details is like arguing how many angels will fit on the head of a pin. They have little to nothing to do with our witness to the world about the grace of God.

How times have changed since Luther and Zwingli.  For Luther the doctrine of the real physical presence of Christ was anything but "arguing how many angels will fit on the head of a pin."  For him it impinged directly on the doctrine of Christology.  In that sense it has everything to do with "our witness to the world about the grace of God."  If you don't get Christ right, you don't get the gospel right. But again, many Lutherans have long since been on different pages on such matters....


The Reformed with whom we are full communion partners are not Zwinglians. Calvin was just as opposed to Zwingli as Luther.

But not for the same reasons.  And Luther, and the Lutheran Reformers, rejected Calvin's teaching on the Supper just as energetically as they did Zwingli's teaching.


Not so much in Luther's Day. The opposition came later and is expressed in the Formula of Concord. There is nothing against Calvin in any of the earlier confessions....


Well, of course not.  Calvin was not active or published until near the end of Luther's life so it would be kind of hard for him to respond to what Calvin had not yet written or taught. 
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on June 02, 2021, 09:36:58 PM
Don't be adding facts in response to Brian's arguments. He works on perception and concludes his own facts. That's Brian's reality.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Dave Likeness on June 02, 2021, 10:21:41 PM
Martin Luther (1483-1546)
John Calvin....(1509-1564)

As a public service this modest forum offers the dates for the lives of Luther & Calvin
To quote historian Lewis W. Spitz, "From 1555 to his death in 1564, Calvin's presence
and influence in Geneva was great. He published his Institutes in their final Latin text
in 1559 and the final French edition in 1560."  .
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 03, 2021, 01:39:02 AM
Martin Luther (1483-1546)
John Calvin....(1509-1564)

As a public service this modest forum offers the dates for the lives of Luther & Calvin
To quote historian Lewis W. Spitz, "From 1555 to his death in 1564, Calvin's presence
and influence in Geneva was great. He published his Institutes in their final Latin text
in 1559 and the final French edition in 1560."  .


And according to the editor's introduction to the Large Catechism in K&W, Calvin's first edition of his Institutes was influenced by Vincent Obsopoeus' 1529 Latin translation of Luther's Large Catechism with his additions of classical citations and allusions to ancient history. So, he was aware of Luther even if Luther wasn't aware of him.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 03, 2021, 01:40:33 AM
Don't be adding facts in response to Brian's arguments. He works on perception and concludes his own facts. That's Brian's reality.


I certainly couldn't make conclusions based on your perceptions or your reality. (Besides, I happen to think mine are better than yours.)
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Rev. Edward Engelbrecht on June 03, 2021, 06:59:44 AM
I enjoyed Calvin and Hobbes. When will someone do a Calvin and Luther comic? I'm imagining a dialogue on the Lord's Supper that ends with Luther pouncing on Calvin like an enraged tiger. In the final cell, a roughed up Calvin would complain, "But I bought a copy of your Large Catechism! Take it easy!" Luther would respond, "I would never buy a copy of your Institutes, even if I was alive."
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: peter_speckhard on June 03, 2021, 08:40:52 AM
Don't be adding facts in response to Brian's arguments. He works on perception and concludes his own facts. That's Brian's reality.


I certainly couldn't make conclusions based on your perceptions or your reality. (Besides, I happen to think mine are better than yours.)
On what basis or by what standard do you think yours are better than his? Better is a comparative term requiring some sort of scale of goodness. If your perceptions are all you have to go by, you have no way of knowing whose perceptions align better with reality. You simply live in two separate realities, and you have no access to his. You can prefer yours to his because yours is the only one available to you, much like we might prefer earth to some other planet. But you cannot meaningfully say that yours is better than his.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: DeHall1 on June 03, 2021, 08:53:09 AM
Martin Luther (1483-1546)
John Calvin....(1509-1564)

As a public service this modest forum offers the dates for the lives of Luther & Calvin
To quote historian Lewis W. Spitz, "From 1555 to his death in 1564, Calvin's presence
and influence in Geneva was great. He published his Institutes in their final Latin text
in 1559 and the final French edition in 1560."  .


And according to the editor's introduction to the Large Catechism in K&W, Calvin's first edition of his Institutes was influenced by Vincent Obsopoeus' 1529 Latin translation of Luther's Large Catechism with his additions of classical citations and allusions to ancient history. So, he was aware of Luther even if Luther wasn't aware of him.

You wrote:
“Not so much in Luther's Day. The opposition came later and is expressed in the Formula of Concord. There is nothing against Calvin in any of the earlier confessions.”

The point being made is that Luther would not have written anything against Calvin in Luther’s earlier confessions, because Calvin’s works were published well after Luther’s death.

No one is suggesting that Calvin wasn’t aware of Luther.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Richard Johnson on June 03, 2021, 08:55:59 AM
Quote
"And Luther, and the Lutheran Reformers, rejected Calvin's teaching on the Supper just as energetically as they did Zwingli's teaching."

Well, of course not.  Calvin was not active or published until near the end of Luther's life so it would be kind of hard for him to respond to what Calvin had not yet written or taught.

I can understand why Brian was confused about what you said.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Terry W Culler on June 03, 2021, 09:14:26 AM
In 1536 Lutheran theologians including Luther, Bugenhagen and Melancthon signed the Wittenberg Concord with Reformed theologians led by Bucer and Capito.  They arrived at an agreement about the Lord's Supper which enabled them to commune together in fellowship.  Calvin's first edition of the Institutes and an early publication on the Supper were in line with this agreement.  BTW, it set Zurich's teeth on edge.  Calvin, later on, reaches an agreement with Bullenger that essentially voids the Wittenberg Concord.  My suspicion is that Calvin was trying to be the hinge that brought all Protestants together, but it failed.  After that both sides began to focus on differences rather than agreements until the Reformed folks said we were Eutychians and we said they were Nestorians.  I would still argue that real Calvinists and Lutherans are closer to one another on the issue of the Real Presence than either of us are to others.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Rev. Edward Engelbrecht on June 03, 2021, 10:37:54 AM
In my experience, everyone but the Zwinglians will agree that Christ's presence in the Sacrament is a miracle and a mystery. But for the Reformed it is a spiritual real presence rather than a physical real presence. They may sound similar but they're not saying the same thing.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Terry W Culler on June 03, 2021, 11:07:50 AM
In my experience, everyone but the Zwinglians will agree that Christ's presence in the Sacrament is a miracle and a mystery. But for the Reformed it is a spiritual real presence rather than a physical real presence. They may sound similar but they're not saying the same thing.

I'm not claiming they're the same thing, what I am saying is that the Calvinist position is the closest to the Lutheran understanding.  And once again we should note that Luther shared communion with Bucer based on a similar statement.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Weedon on June 03, 2021, 01:24:15 PM
This is another endless controversy. In my opinion, we are not served by weasel words like “presence” and certainly not “presence of Christ.” After all, if He ascended to fill the universe with Himself exactly where can one escape His presence!?!! And not a single time does the NT speak of “the presence” at all in relation to the Supper; surely that ought give us some pause?

Rather, let’s stick with the dominical words: it’s not a disagreement about presence, but about whether the bread in the Supper is His body and the wine is His blood, the body as He explicates that He gave for us, the blood He shed for us. It’s really as simple as that. We either believe and confess that simple truth (as inexplicable and mysterious as it is) or we don’t.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Rev. Edward Engelbrecht on June 03, 2021, 01:47:12 PM
"Real presence," though customary, has become a weakened term.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 03, 2021, 02:45:55 PM
In my experience, everyone but the Zwinglians will agree that Christ's presence in the Sacrament is a miracle and a mystery. But for the Reformed it is a spiritual real presence rather than a physical real presence. They may sound similar but they're not saying the same thing.


One approach is that they are using different language to talk about a mysterious presence that, in the end, is undefinable.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 03, 2021, 02:48:12 PM
This is another endless controversy. In my opinion, we are not served by weasel words like “presence” and certainly not “presence of Christ.” After all, if He ascended to fill the universe with Himself exactly where can one escape His presence!?!! And not a single time does the NT speak of “the presence” at all in relation to the Supper; surely that ought give us some pause?

Rather, let’s stick with the dominical words: it’s not a disagreement about presence, but about whether the bread in the Supper is His body and the wine is His blood, the body as He explicates that He gave for us, the blood He shed for us. It’s really as simple as that. We either believe and confess that simple truth (as inexplicable and mysterious as it is) or we don’t.


The Reformed would agree that the bread in the Supper is his body and the win is his blood. They use, essentially, the same words of institution that we use. If the words create the reality, (and not the belief of the presider,) then what's the problem?
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Weedon on June 03, 2021, 04:20:38 PM
Not IN the Supper. We’d ask no more than this: Is that which each communicant puts into the mouth the body that was given for you into death on Calvary? Is that which is poured down each communicants’ throat from the chalice the blood that won forgiveness of sin? If any person confess THAT, a Lutheran rejoices to recognize: “We share the same confession of the Supper!” In my experience, those who say they believe in the real presence of Christ in the Supper don’t mean that they orally eat and drink what in the Words of Institution our Savior says He is giving us.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Tom Eckstein on June 03, 2021, 04:51:54 PM
Not IN the Supper. We’d ask no more than this: Is that which each communicant puts into the mouth the body that was given for you into death on Calvary? Is that which is poured down each communicants’ throat from the chalice the blood that won forgiveness of sin? If any person confess THAT, a Lutheran rejoices to recognize: “We share the same confession of the Supper!” In my experience, those who say they believe in the real presence of Christ in the Supper don’t mean that they orally eat and drink what in the Words of Institution our Savior says He is giving us.

I remember once asking a Presbyterian:  "Do you believe that Christ is present in the Lord's Supper?"  He said:  "Absolutely!  See!  We believe the same thing."  Then I asked:  "Do you believe you eat Christ's physical body given for our salvation when you eat the consecrated bread?  Do you believe you drink Christ's physical blood shed for our salvation when you drink the consecrated wine?"  He then said:  "No!  We certainly do NOT believe that!"  Then I said:  "So, we DON'T believe the same thing!"
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Charles Austin on June 03, 2021, 05:14:46 PM
And, Tom Eckstein, how much does that matter? 500 years ago, people fought to the death championing one side or other side of that question. There may have been reasons, political and social as well as theological, to do that.
I wonder what the differences in understanding, not to mention even using the categories of substance or essence or accidence mean or matter today in terms of proclamation or ministry or outreach.
I, of course, endorse the confessional Lutheran description of what the sacrament is and how we approach it. Is “mine” only way? Must Someone fully, in every sense, endorse my way before we can share the Lord’s  supper together? Does our salvation or the “purity“ of our faith depend upon such things?
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Tom Eckstein on June 03, 2021, 05:26:45 PM
And, Tom Eckstein, how much does that matter? 500 years ago, people fought to the death championing one side or other side of that question. There may have been reasons, political and social as well as theological, to do that.
I wonder what the differences in understanding, not to mention even using the categories of substance or essence or accidence mean or matter today in terms of proclamation or ministry or outreach.
I, of course, endorse the confessional Lutheran description of what the sacrament is and how we approach it. Is “mine” only way? Must Someone fully, in every sense, endorse my way before we can share the Lord’s  supper together? Does our salvation or the “purity“ of our faith depend upon such things?

It matters GREATLY!  What the Lord's Supper IS is just as important as what the Gospel IS.  Obviously, we should not hate those who disagree with us much less use violence against them!  But we MUST, for love's sake, take a firm stand for the Truth.  Just as we can't have various opinions about Christ (e.g., is He Creator or created?) that are equally true we can't have various opinions about Christ's Supper ("It IS His Body/Blood" versus "It's NOT His Body and Blood!") that are equally true.

Now, can someone have saving faith and be confused about what the Supper IS?  Yes.  But that's why we have catechesis!  And we should not share the Lord's Supper together until we can say the same thing about what it IS!
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: MaddogLutheran on June 03, 2021, 05:33:13 PM
And, Tom Eckstein, how much does that matter? 500 years ago, people fought to the death championing one side or other side of that question. There may have been reasons, political and social as well as theological, to do that.

Again I'm left wondering why you reserve for yourself the right to decide what should matter to others.  This is begging the question by appealing to authority...your own, or people that agree with you.

If you were truly fair and open-minded about such things, that would be one thing.  But you are very insistent that things you care about should matter to everyone else.

It's not unreasonable to continue to believe, as a Lutheran, that the Lutheran view matters.  At least when Lutherans collectively have not renounced it.  Especially when we are no longer killing each other over it.  This continues to be a matter of intellectual honesty about what we believed 500 years ago, and whether we have had any reason to modify it today.  I'm not talking about how we act on that (burning heretics at the stake).  I'm talking about what we believe.

Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Dave Benke on June 03, 2021, 06:00:28 PM
Martin Luther (1483-1546)
John Calvin....(1509-1564)

As a public service this modest forum offers the dates for the lives of Luther & Calvin
To quote historian Lewis W. Spitz, "From 1555 to his death in 1564, Calvin's presence
and influence in Geneva was great. He published his Institutes in their final Latin text
in 1559 and the final French edition in 1560."  .


And according to the editor's introduction to the Large Catechism in K&W, Calvin's first edition of his Institutes was influenced by Vincent Obsopoeus' 1529 Latin translation of Luther's Large Catechism with his additions of classical citations and allusions to ancient history. So, he was aware of Luther even if Luther wasn't aware of him.

I've always liked the changing of names to latin or Greek derivatives from that age and time.

Good old Phil Schwarzerd becomes Melanchthon
Matt Vlacic becomes Flacius
And Vinnie Heidnecker becomes Obsopoeus

Puttin' on the Ritz.

Salpinx (one of my prep/college nicknames)
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 03, 2021, 06:49:43 PM
And, Tom Eckstein, how much does that matter? 500 years ago, people fought to the death championing one side or other side of that question. There may have been reasons, political and social as well as theological, to do that.
I wonder what the differences in understanding, not to mention even using the categories of substance or essence or accidence mean or matter today in terms of proclamation or ministry or outreach.
I, of course, endorse the confessional Lutheran description of what the sacrament is and how we approach it. Is “mine” only way? Must Someone fully, in every sense, endorse my way before we can share the Lord’s  supper together? Does our salvation or the “purity“ of our faith depend upon such things?

It matters GREATLY!  What the Lord's Supper IS is just as important as what the Gospel IS.  Obviously, we should not hate those who disagree with us much less use violence against them!  But we MUST, for love's sake, take a firm stand for the Truth.  Just as we can't have various opinions about Christ (e.g., is He Creator or created?) that are equally true we can't have various opinions about Christ's Supper ("It IS His Body/Blood" versus "It's NOT His Body and Blood!") that are equally true.

Now, can someone have saving faith and be confused about what the Supper IS?  Yes.  But that's why we have catechesis!  And we should not share the Lord's Supper together until we can say the same thing about what it IS!

Every full communion partner of the ELCA says "It is the body of Christ." That's enough for us. Not enough for you.

We also say, the church IS the one body of Christ. We believe that all the folks in those other denominations are part of that one body of Christ, and we are willing to indicate that by sharing Christ's supper with them. You aren't.


Just as important as what it is, is what it does. Matthew says it forgives sins. Paul says that it makes us one body.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Tom Eckstein on June 03, 2021, 07:01:22 PM
And, Tom Eckstein, how much does that matter? 500 years ago, people fought to the death championing one side or other side of that question. There may have been reasons, political and social as well as theological, to do that.
I wonder what the differences in understanding, not to mention even using the categories of substance or essence or accidence mean or matter today in terms of proclamation or ministry or outreach.
I, of course, endorse the confessional Lutheran description of what the sacrament is and how we approach it. Is “mine” only way? Must Someone fully, in every sense, endorse my way before we can share the Lord’s  supper together? Does our salvation or the “purity“ of our faith depend upon such things?

It matters GREATLY!  What the Lord's Supper IS is just as important as what the Gospel IS.  Obviously, we should not hate those who disagree with us much less use violence against them!  But we MUST, for love's sake, take a firm stand for the Truth.  Just as we can't have various opinions about Christ (e.g., is He Creator or created?) that are equally true we can't have various opinions about Christ's Supper ("It IS His Body/Blood" versus "It's NOT His Body and Blood!") that are equally true.

Now, can someone have saving faith and be confused about what the Supper IS?  Yes.  But that's why we have catechesis!  And we should not share the Lord's Supper together until we can say the same thing about what it IS!


Every full communion partner of the ELCA says "It is the body of Christ." That's enough for us. Not enough for you.


We also say, the church IS the one body of Christ. We believe that all the folks in those other denominations are part of that one body of Christ, and we are willing to indicate that by sharing Christ's supper with them. You aren't.

The Reformed (most of them) may use the Verba but when you ask them if the Verba mean that Christ's Body is given in the bread that we eat and that Christ's blood is given in the wine that we drink, they say "No!"  If you read their confessions, Brian, this will become clear to you.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Tom Eckstein on June 03, 2021, 07:08:05 PM
And, Tom Eckstein, how much does that matter? 500 years ago, people fought to the death championing one side or other side of that question. There may have been reasons, political and social as well as theological, to do that.
I wonder what the differences in understanding, not to mention even using the categories of substance or essence or accidence mean or matter today in terms of proclamation or ministry or outreach.
I, of course, endorse the confessional Lutheran description of what the sacrament is and how we approach it. Is “mine” only way? Must Someone fully, in every sense, endorse my way before we can share the Lord’s  supper together? Does our salvation or the “purity“ of our faith depend upon such things?

It matters GREATLY!  What the Lord's Supper IS is just as important as what the Gospel IS.  Obviously, we should not hate those who disagree with us much less use violence against them!  But we MUST, for love's sake, take a firm stand for the Truth.  Just as we can't have various opinions about Christ (e.g., is He Creator or created?) that are equally true we can't have various opinions about Christ's Supper ("It IS His Body/Blood" versus "It's NOT His Body and Blood!") that are equally true.

Now, can someone have saving faith and be confused about what the Supper IS?  Yes.  But that's why we have catechesis!  And we should not share the Lord's Supper together until we can say the same thing about what it IS!

Every full communion partner of the ELCA says "It is the body of Christ." That's enough for us. Not enough for you.

We also say, the church IS the one body of Christ. We believe that all the folks in those other denominations are part of that one body of Christ, and we are willing to indicate that by sharing Christ's supper with them. You aren't.


Just as important as what it is, is what it does. Matthew says it forgives sins. Paul says that it makes us one body.

Actually, Matthew has Jesus saying:  τοῦτο γάρ ἐστιν τὸ αἷμά μου τῆς διαθήκης τὸ περὶ πολλῶν ἐκχυννόμενον εἰς ἄφεσιν ἁμαρτιῶν.

According to Jesus, His Blood that we drink ( Πίετε ἐξ αὐτοῦ πάντες ) is connected to the forgiveness we receive in the Lord's Supper.  Therefore, denying that His Blood is actually being drunk is problematic!
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Rev. Edward Engelbrecht on June 03, 2021, 08:06:20 PM
Tom, I think the ELCA folks know the beliefs are different. The parties have agreed that it no longer matters to them. The doctrine of the Supper has moved from essential to the category of open questions in their theology.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 03, 2021, 08:31:05 PM
And, Tom Eckstein, how much does that matter? 500 years ago, people fought to the death championing one side or other side of that question. There may have been reasons, political and social as well as theological, to do that.
I wonder what the differences in understanding, not to mention even using the categories of substance or essence or accidence mean or matter today in terms of proclamation or ministry or outreach.
I, of course, endorse the confessional Lutheran description of what the sacrament is and how we approach it. Is “mine” only way? Must Someone fully, in every sense, endorse my way before we can share the Lord’s  supper together? Does our salvation or the “purity“ of our faith depend upon such things?

It matters GREATLY!  What the Lord's Supper IS is just as important as what the Gospel IS.  Obviously, we should not hate those who disagree with us much less use violence against them!  But we MUST, for love's sake, take a firm stand for the Truth.  Just as we can't have various opinions about Christ (e.g., is He Creator or created?) that are equally true we can't have various opinions about Christ's Supper ("It IS His Body/Blood" versus "It's NOT His Body and Blood!") that are equally true.

Now, can someone have saving faith and be confused about what the Supper IS?  Yes.  But that's why we have catechesis!  And we should not share the Lord's Supper together until we can say the same thing about what it IS!

Every full communion partner of the ELCA says "It is the body of Christ." That's enough for us. Not enough for you.

We also say, the church IS the one body of Christ. We believe that all the folks in those other denominations are part of that one body of Christ, and we are willing to indicate that by sharing Christ's supper with them. You aren't.


Just as important as what it is, is what it does. Matthew says it forgives sins. Paul says that it makes us one body.

Actually, Matthew has Jesus saying:  τοῦτο γάρ ἐστιν τὸ αἷμά μου τῆς διαθήκης τὸ περὶ πολλῶν ἐκχυννόμενον εἰς ἄφεσιν ἁμαρτιῶν.

According to Jesus, His Blood that we drink ( Πίετε ἐξ αὐτοῦ πάντες ) is connected to the forgiveness we receive in the Lord's Supper.  Therefore, denying that His Blood is actually being drunk is problematic!


To be technical, the Verba are about drinking from "the cup." They never state what's in the cup. "Wine" never occurs in any of the four Verba in scriptures. "Fruit of the vine" is mentioned afterwards in Mark and Matthew in a passage where Jesus says he will not be drinking it with us until the kingdom comes.

Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Charles Austin on June 03, 2021, 09:12:49 PM
Mr. Spatz writes:
Again I'm left wondering why you reserve for yourself the right to decide what should matter to others.  This is begging the question by appealing to authority...your own, or people that agree with you.
If you were truly fair and open-minded about such things, that would be one thing.  But you are very insistent that things you care about should matter to everyone else.
I comment:
Read more carefully. I did not insist that anyone agree with what I think is important (nor did I say what I thought was really important.) I asked a question.
Pastor Eckstein answered quite forcefully.
He wrote:
It matters GREATLY!  What the Lord's Supper IS is just as important as what the Gospel IS. 
I comment:
I find that a sorry overstatement: but he obviously doesn’t.

Pastor Eckstein wrote:
Just as we can't have various opinions about Christ (e.g., is He Creator or created?) that are equally true we can't have various opinions about Christ's Supper ("It IS His Body/Blood" versus "It's NOT His Body and Blood!") that are equally true.
I comment:
Having been in on this part of the Lutheran-Reformed Dialogues, I know how hard some things are to understand or explain. What is the Presence? Where is the Presence? Why is the Presence important and how?
The short-hand conclusion (unsatisfying, I know, to almost everyone in this modest forum): We agree that Christ is present in the sacrament, in the elements. We don’t agree in the how or nature of that presence. But – and this is the important thing, as I have said in this forum about a hundred and ninety times – what we may disagree about is not enough to keep us from sharing sacrament, ministry and mission together.
Pastor Eckstein writes:
And we should not share the Lord's Supper together until we can say the same thing about what it IS!
I comment:
I understand that this is important to him and probably some others. But the definition and details of that “same thing” are a tangled thicket from which we will probably never escape. Unless, that is, we allow for some differences for the sake of mission and ministry and outreach.
And Pastor Englebrecht writes:
Tom, I think the ELCA folks know the beliefs are different. The parties have agreed that it no longer matters to them. The doctrine of the Supper has moved from essential to the category of open questions in their theology.
I comment:
Sigh! No, it matters. We do not diminish what we teach and practice about the sacrament, but we think we can be blessed by participating together and learning from one another. That doesn’t necessarily mean teaching about the Lord’s Supper are “open questions.” You LCMSers seek a “unity” in understanding that I dare to say does not exist within your own congregations.
The life of one of my parishes was enriched when for July and August one summer we shared services with a Presbyterian church. More people, better music, weekly communion (they adopting our practice, and keeping it when the summer was over!), new friends and some joint projects that helped both congregations.
Tell me what was wrong with that. Tell me how the Gospel proclamation was dishonored or diminished by that.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Tom Eckstein on June 03, 2021, 09:30:50 PM
And, Tom Eckstein, how much does that matter? 500 years ago, people fought to the death championing one side or other side of that question. There may have been reasons, political and social as well as theological, to do that.
I wonder what the differences in understanding, not to mention even using the categories of substance or essence or accidence mean or matter today in terms of proclamation or ministry or outreach.
I, of course, endorse the confessional Lutheran description of what the sacrament is and how we approach it. Is “mine” only way? Must Someone fully, in every sense, endorse my way before we can share the Lord’s  supper together? Does our salvation or the “purity“ of our faith depend upon such things?

It matters GREATLY!  What the Lord's Supper IS is just as important as what the Gospel IS.  Obviously, we should not hate those who disagree with us much less use violence against them!  But we MUST, for love's sake, take a firm stand for the Truth.  Just as we can't have various opinions about Christ (e.g., is He Creator or created?) that are equally true we can't have various opinions about Christ's Supper ("It IS His Body/Blood" versus "It's NOT His Body and Blood!") that are equally true.

Now, can someone have saving faith and be confused about what the Supper IS?  Yes.  But that's why we have catechesis!  And we should not share the Lord's Supper together until we can say the same thing about what it IS!

Every full communion partner of the ELCA says "It is the body of Christ." That's enough for us. Not enough for you.

We also say, the church IS the one body of Christ. We believe that all the folks in those other denominations are part of that one body of Christ, and we are willing to indicate that by sharing Christ's supper with them. You aren't.


Just as important as what it is, is what it does. Matthew says it forgives sins. Paul says that it makes us one body.

Actually, Matthew has Jesus saying:  τοῦτο γάρ ἐστιν τὸ αἷμά μου τῆς διαθήκης τὸ περὶ πολλῶν ἐκχυννόμενον εἰς ἄφεσιν ἁμαρτιῶν.

According to Jesus, His Blood that we drink ( Πίετε ἐξ αὐτοῦ πάντες ) is connected to the forgiveness we receive in the Lord's Supper.  Therefore, denying that His Blood is actually being drunk is problematic!


To be technical, the Verba are about drinking from "the cup." They never state what's in the cup. "Wine" never occurs in any of the four Verba in scriptures. "Fruit of the vine" is mentioned afterwards in Mark and Matthew in a passage where Jesus says he will not be drinking it with us until the kingdom comes.

Oh please!  Brian!  Do I really even need to explain why it was WINE in "The Cup"?  Nice way to totally avoid the point I made.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Tom Eckstein on June 03, 2021, 09:33:22 PM
Tom, I think the ELCA folks know the beliefs are different. The parties have agreed that it no longer matters to them. The doctrine of the Supper has moved from essential to the category of open questions in their theology.

Ed, I agree - and I think it's sad!
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on June 03, 2021, 09:36:29 PM
And, Tom Eckstein, how much does that matter? 500 years ago, people fought to the death championing one side or other side of that question. There may have been reasons, political and social as well as theological, to do that.
I wonder what the differences in understanding, not to mention even using the categories of substance or essence or accidence mean or matter today in terms of proclamation or ministry or outreach.
I, of course, endorse the confessional Lutheran description of what the sacrament is and how we approach it. Is “mine” only way? Must Someone fully, in every sense, endorse my way before we can share the Lord’s  supper together? Does our salvation or the “purity“ of our faith depend upon such things?

It matters GREATLY!  What the Lord's Supper IS is just as important as what the Gospel IS.  Obviously, we should not hate those who disagree with us much less use violence against them!  But we MUST, for love's sake, take a firm stand for the Truth.  Just as we can't have various opinions about Christ (e.g., is He Creator or created?) that are equally true we can't have various opinions about Christ's Supper ("It IS His Body/Blood" versus "It's NOT His Body and Blood!") that are equally true.

Now, can someone have saving faith and be confused about what the Supper IS?  Yes.  But that's why we have catechesis!  And we should not share the Lord's Supper together until we can say the same thing about what it IS!

Every full communion partner of the ELCA says "It is the body of Christ." That's enough for us. Not enough for you.

We also say, the church IS the one body of Christ. We believe that all the folks in those other denominations are part of that one body of Christ, and we are willing to indicate that by sharing Christ's supper with them. You aren't.


Just as important as what it is, is what it does. Matthew says it forgives sins. Paul says that it makes us one body.

Actually, Matthew has Jesus saying:  τοῦτο γάρ ἐστιν τὸ αἷμά μου τῆς διαθήκης τὸ περὶ πολλῶν ἐκχυννόμενον εἰς ἄφεσιν ἁμαρτιῶν.

According to Jesus, His Blood that we drink ( Πίετε ἐξ αὐτοῦ πάντες ) is connected to the forgiveness we receive in the Lord's Supper.  Therefore, denying that His Blood is actually being drunk is problematic!


To be technical, the Verba are about drinking from "the cup." They never state what's in the cup. "Wine" never occurs in any of the four Verba in scriptures. "Fruit of the vine" is mentioned afterwards in Mark and Matthew in a passage where Jesus says he will not be drinking it with us until the kingdom comes.

Oh please!  Brian!  Do I really even need to explain why it was WINE in "The Cup"?  Nice way to totally avoid the point I made.

Always the games. And he calls it scholarship.  ::)
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 04, 2021, 03:33:40 AM
And, Tom Eckstein, how much does that matter? 500 years ago, people fought to the death championing one side or other side of that question. There may have been reasons, political and social as well as theological, to do that.
I wonder what the differences in understanding, not to mention even using the categories of substance or essence or accidence mean or matter today in terms of proclamation or ministry or outreach.
I, of course, endorse the confessional Lutheran description of what the sacrament is and how we approach it. Is “mine” only way? Must Someone fully, in every sense, endorse my way before we can share the Lord’s  supper together? Does our salvation or the “purity“ of our faith depend upon such things?

It matters GREATLY!  What the Lord's Supper IS is just as important as what the Gospel IS.  Obviously, we should not hate those who disagree with us much less use violence against them!  But we MUST, for love's sake, take a firm stand for the Truth.  Just as we can't have various opinions about Christ (e.g., is He Creator or created?) that are equally true we can't have various opinions about Christ's Supper ("It IS His Body/Blood" versus "It's NOT His Body and Blood!") that are equally true.

Now, can someone have saving faith and be confused about what the Supper IS?  Yes.  But that's why we have catechesis!  And we should not share the Lord's Supper together until we can say the same thing about what it IS!

Every full communion partner of the ELCA says "It is the body of Christ." That's enough for us. Not enough for you.

We also say, the church IS the one body of Christ. We believe that all the folks in those other denominations are part of that one body of Christ, and we are willing to indicate that by sharing Christ's supper with them. You aren't.


Just as important as what it is, is what it does. Matthew says it forgives sins. Paul says that it makes us one body.

Actually, Matthew has Jesus saying:  τοῦτο γάρ ἐστιν τὸ αἷμά μου τῆς διαθήκης τὸ περὶ πολλῶν ἐκχυννόμενον εἰς ἄφεσιν ἁμαρτιῶν.

According to Jesus, His Blood that we drink ( Πίετε ἐξ αὐτοῦ πάντες ) is connected to the forgiveness we receive in the Lord's Supper.  Therefore, denying that His Blood is actually being drunk is problematic!


To be technical, the Verba are about drinking from "the cup." They never state what's in the cup. "Wine" never occurs in any of the four Verba in scriptures. "Fruit of the vine" is mentioned afterwards in Mark and Matthew in a passage where Jesus says he will not be drinking it with us until the kingdom comes.

Oh please!  Brian!  Do I really even need to explain why it was WINE in "The Cup"?  Nice way to totally avoid the point I made.

Always the games. And he calls it scholarship.  ::)


I find it ironic that you insist on a very, vary narrow understanding of "This is my body," but play loose with "this cup." How many of your congregations use individual glasses rather than "a cup"? Jesus' words (as recorded by Paul and Luke) are clear: "This cup is the new covenant in my blood." He did not say, "This wine." Yes, that's what scholarship does. The symbols that especially Paul emphasizes are one loaf and one cup. We eat from one loaf. We drink from one cup. We who are many are one body.


If Jesus was so clear about "the blood of the new covenant for many for the forgiveness of sins," why didn't the other three writers remember to include it in their words of institution?


A second question: Why does the LSB skip over "for many" if they are basing the verba on Matthew's account? (Mark also includes ὑπὲρ πολλῶν, so that phrase occurs twice as often as εἰς ἄφεσιν ἁμαρτιῶν in the four accounts of the verba.) No two are exactly the same, although the accounts in Mark and Matthew have more similarities with each other than the ones in 1 Corinthians and Luke, which are more similar to each other than the other two. Scholars make guesses about which might be the most original.


Anyway, ELW, like LBW before it uses, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness of sin. Do this for the remembrance of me." It appears that both of us take bits and pieces from the different accounts. Neither of us quote exactly any of the biblical verses.


A chart of ELW, LSB, and the four biblical accounts from the NRSV is attached.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Charles Austin on June 04, 2021, 04:24:26 AM
Another word about what I think is “important” in these kinds of discussions. YMMV.
   For the first quarter of my life (plus a few years), church “differences” were an essential part of the faith. We were Lutherans, others were Presbyterians, Baptists were strange, and the papist Catholics were the enemy. Our “Lutheraness” defined the faith, and for the most part was reinforced by every aspect of our church life.
   “Ecumenism” was an unknown word, relations (generally hostile) between churches were clearly defined, big walls built around certain doctrines, big lines drawn in the sand, cross them and you’re on “the other side”.
   It took, I believe, the Second Vatican Council to revive the word “ecumenism.” It had existed among Protestants, of course, since the 1910 World Missionary Conference in Edinburgh and in the World Student Christian Federation and the World Council of Churches since the 1940s, but inter-church relations, both ecclesially and personally (at least among midwestern Lutherans) were rare and generally cause for concern.
   I did numerous things as a teenager that irritated my parents, but the “worst” thing I did was to date a Catholic girl for about six months. (And of course, she couldn’t come to any social event of my Luther League.)
   People in this modest forum will have experienced the ecumenical movement of the last 50 years. Jump to today, please.
   My questions about inter-church relations now have to do with the mission and ministry of the Church. Can we afford to live as if it were 1580? Are our various “truths” so important that we must reinforce old walls, keep drawing old lines? We know what is happening to church membership and participation in the 21st Century. And we are not talking about “church membership,” but about the proclamation of the Gospel and its impact on the world. What does it look like to the un-churched or semi-churched if we focus on our differences or define ourselves so narrowly that being “Lutheran” means we will not share the closest fellowship in the faith with other Lutherans, let alone Presbyterians or Episcopalians?
   Quick answer: It does not look good and the proclamation of the Gospel suffers.
   The ecumenical dialogues of the past 60 years carefully waded through centuries of history, theology, civil orders and pieties. Some people today, I know, have come late to this ecumenical “party” and find the music strange, the drinks sour. Other says there can be no such party. Some operate from “principles” that didn’t even exist when we first fought over doctrines.
   I remain among those who think we are being led us to new kinds of fellowship with brother and sister Christians, not because our old “differences” didn’t matter, not because we have solved all our problems, but because today’s world needs to hear the Gospel and see us as fellow Christians, not warring factions.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: James S. Rustad on June 04, 2021, 08:56:32 AM
   For the first quarter of my life (plus a few years), church “differences” were an essential part of the faith. We were Lutherans, others were Presbyterians, Baptists were strange, and the papist Catholics were the enemy. Our “Lutheraness” defined the faith, and for the most part was reinforced by every aspect of our church life.

There were also big differences between the branches of Lutheranism.  My mother told me of a big meeting at the church her parents attended to discuss the problem of those Norwegian Lutheran boys from the next town over coming and dating the German Lutheran girls in her home town.  She said it wasn't that they were Norwegians that was the problem but that Norwegian Lutherans didn't believe exactly the same things as German Lutherans and didn't do church exactly the right way.

Like several other German Lutheran girls in town she ended up marrying one of those Norwegian Lutherans.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: D. Engebretson on June 04, 2021, 09:02:35 AM
...And we are not talking about “church membership,” but about the proclamation of the Gospel and its impact on the world. What does it look like to the un-churched or semi-churched if we focus on our differences or define ourselves so narrowly that being “Lutheran” means we will not share the closest fellowship in the faith with other Lutherans, let alone Presbyterians or Episcopalians?
   Quick answer: It does not look good and the proclamation of the Gospel suffers....
   
...I remain among those who think we are being led us to new kinds of fellowship with brother and sister Christians, not because our old “differences” didn’t matter, not because we have solved all our problems, but because today’s world needs to hear the Gospel and see us as fellow Christians, not warring factions.

I agree that the world needs to "hear the Gospel."  More now than ever.  So for the sake of discussion, let's go with the idea that ecumenism should ultimately serve the wider church's need for evangelistic outreach.  For a moment let's step away from differences on the sacraments and some of the other issues we are debating here. 

But let's be honest: Are we all on the same page on the work of evangelism and outreach with regard to the proclamation of the Gospel? I suspect there are fundamental issues here as well.  We have debated, for example, the whole area of the salvation of those who do not believe in Jesus. If evangelism's purpose is to lead people to Christ, and the purpose to lead them to Christ is for eternal salvation from sin, death and the devil, we will have to ultimately deal with sin.  But, again, we stumble here on agreement.  How could there be unified evangelistic efforts if one church body insists on calling people to repentance for certain sins another church body insists are not sins at all?

Right now the ecumenical agreements the ELCA has more or less work for them.  They don't appear to have any real serious debates on these issues.  But how does one bridge that gap with those more on the right side of the spectrum? If our discussions and debates here on this forum are any indication, we are quite far apart on the rather basic areas of evangelistic outreach.   
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Dan Fienen on June 04, 2021, 09:21:06 AM
Another word about what I think is “important” in these kinds of discussions. YMMV.
   For the first quarter of my life (plus a few years), church “differences” were an essential part of the faith. We were Lutherans, others were Presbyterians, Baptists were strange, and the papist Catholics were the enemy. Our “Lutheraness” defined the faith, and for the most part was reinforced by every aspect of our church life.
   “Ecumenism” was an unknown word, relations (generally hostile) between churches were clearly defined, big walls built around certain doctrines, big lines drawn in the sand, cross them and you’re on “the other side”.
   It took, I believe, the Second Vatican Council to revive the word “ecumenism.” It had existed among Protestants, of course, since the 1910 World Missionary Conference in Edinburgh and in the World Student Christian Federation and the World Council of Churches since the 1940s, but inter-church relations, both ecclesially and personally (at least among midwestern Lutherans) were rare and generally cause for concern.
   I did numerous things as a teenager that irritated my parents, but the “worst” thing I did was to date a Catholic girl for about six months. (And of course, she couldn’t come to any social event of my Luther League.)
   People in this modest forum will have experienced the ecumenical movement of the last 50 years. Jump to today, please.
   My questions about inter-church relations now have to do with the mission and ministry of the Church. Can we afford to live as if it were 1580? Are our various “truths” so important that we must reinforce old walls, keep drawing old lines? We know what is happening to church membership and participation in the 21st Century. And we are not talking about “church membership,” but about the proclamation of the Gospel and its impact on the world. What does it look like to the un-churched or semi-churched if we focus on our differences or define ourselves so narrowly that being “Lutheran” means we will not share the closest fellowship in the faith with other Lutherans, let alone Presbyterians or Episcopalians?
   Quick answer: It does not look good and the proclamation of the Gospel suffers.
   The ecumenical dialogues of the past 60 years carefully waded through centuries of history, theology, civil orders and pieties. Some people today, I know, have come late to this ecumenical “party” and find the music strange, the drinks sour. Other says there can be no such party. Some operate from “principles” that didn’t even exist when we first fought over doctrines.
   I remain among those who think we are being led us to new kinds of fellowship with brother and sister Christians, not because our old “differences” didn’t matter, not because we have solved all our problems, but because today’s world needs to hear the Gospel and see us as fellow Christians, not warring factions.
Your Mileage May Vary, but trust mine over yours every day. Your life experience as a Lutheran differs from mine, Charles, as do the conclusions that you have drawn from them. But through those experiences you have been able to grow out of your younger unenlightened state and change your mind about things that once were seen to be important but enlightenment has allowed to see differently. If you could do it, I should be able to do it. So do so, already!! I should know God wants me to and should realize that the Holy Spirit is leading me in the same direction that He led you, Charles.

"Today's world needs to hear the Gospel" you say. And I agree. But what Gospel is that that the world needs? Is there agreement across Christendom as to the Gospel that needs to be proclaimed and the world needs to hear? I remember in my younger days the discussions (arguments) about what Christian mission work should look like. The old Christian exclusivity was a scandal and a stumbling block to Christian mission. It was cultural and religious imperialism. It was an assumption of Christian superiority to assume that the people we met needed to adopt our religion. The Christian mission should not be to convert people to Christ, but to help them be better people, to have a more profound sense of who they were. Rather than convert Muslims to Christ, make them better Muslims, help Hindus to be better Hindi.

Another approach was for Christian mission to improve people's lives. We were to help people and even if the name of Jesus never came up, if they never knew we were helping as Christians, that was fine, we had done God's work. Always preach the Gospel, use words if necessary, but the assumption was that words were rarely necessary and probably should be avoided. What we did in showing God's love was enough. Our example in helping the poor and oppressed was enough, better than words.

We should draw our inspiration from Jesus who was for the poor and oppressed, who championed the outcast and powerless. The Kingdom of God comes when the oppressed are liberated, the outcast championed, and the poor are lifted up. That was His mission and should be ours. Liberation was Jesus' Gospel and should be ours.

I hear echoes of this in the insistence that I hear from some that everyone who is saved, everyone who ends up in heaven will do so because of Jesus. Saved by Jesus, but they don't necessarily have correct belief in Jesus, or any belief in Him at all. Faith in Jesus is nice and good, but not necessary. It is comforting. The question should not be what you believe about Jesus, but how does your belief affect how you live your life.

Is this the Gospel upon which we will agree and that the world needs to hear?

I remember back in my college days the insistence that one cannot do any serious Biblical study without employing the tools generally collectively called "Higher Criticism." All reputable Bible scholars employ those methods. One way to know if one is dealing with a reputable Bible scholar is if they employ higher criticism. If they don't, they can't be reputable. It's in the definition. So we all needed to follow the scholarly consensus. One of my professors figured that he could reliably establish that Jesus existed and went around with twelve disciples. Further than that he really could not establish. The Bible told us many stories about Jesus and we could learn important things from them, but historical facts were not one of them. Another professor thought that if he were to teach systematic theology at the seminary he would use two textbooks. One would be the Bible, the other would be Martin Heidegger's Being and Time. We should accept the tools and methods of the skeptical Higher Criticism as God's gifts to us to be used without question.

Some people perhaps remember Richard John Neuhaus, originally LCMS, then he saw the light and joined first the AELC and then by merger the ELCA, finally he was apostate from enlightenment and converted to the RCC and supported the oppression of women and denial of their rights by opposing abortion. Even so, at least at one time, he was well known in these precincts and well regarded by at least some. One of his more well known sayings was what came to be known a Neuhaus' Law, "Where orthodoxy is optional, orthodoxy will sooner or later be proscribed." This was well discussed in the March, 2009 issue of First Things, the journal that Neuhaus founded, in the article "The Unhappy Fate of Optional Orthodoxy." (https://www.firstthings.com/article/2009/03/the-unhappy-fate-of-optional-orthodoxy) I will leave it for others with more experience in the ELCA to examine their experience of this in the ELCA - whose witness to their experience will, of course, be merely hearsay and only their experience as the disgruntled losers in the oh so genial discussion. I see this playing out on the national scene and especially in social media as anyone who expresses a thought or sentiment not in line with the new progressive, anti-racist, anti-homophobic, anti-transphobic orthodoxy is to be hounded from social media, their accounts canceled, their jobs, canceled, their lives subject to invective.

So, what I have thought important, for the good of the ill-defined Gospel I should back away from and join together anyone and everyone who has a message to proclaim. My Mileage Does Vary.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 04, 2021, 11:51:07 AM
I agree that the world needs to "hear the Gospel."  More now than ever.  So for the sake of discussion, let's go with the idea that ecumenism should ultimately serve the wider church's need for evangelistic outreach.  For a moment let's step away from differences on the sacraments and some of the other issues we are debating here. 


I would go even further. The world also needs to "see the Gospel" being lived out among those who follow Jesus.

Quote
But let's be honest: Are we all on the same page on the work of evangelism and outreach with regard to the proclamation of the Gospel? I suspect there are fundamental issues here as well.  We have debated, for example, the whole area of the salvation of those who do not believe in Jesus. If evangelism's purpose is to lead people to Christ, and the purpose to lead them to Christ is for eternal salvation from sin, death and the devil, we will have to ultimately deal with sin.  But, again, we stumble here on agreement.  How could there be unified evangelistic efforts if one church body insists on calling people to repentance for certain sins another church body insists are not sins at all?


I have never not called anyone to task for sins. We all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. To single out any particular group as being worse sinners than others is, in itself, a sin. I've said this before, those who have had abortions and those who oppose abortions are both sinners who need to repent. Both are sinners who are forgiven by Jesus. Those who are in homosexual marriages and those who oppose them are both sinners who need to repent. Both are sinners who are forgiven by Jesus.


An issue that I see is that some folks are more intent on calling out the sins of others without examining their own sins. (Self-)righteously pointing out the logs in others' eyes while ignoring splinters in their own.


Quote
Right now the ecumenical agreements the ELCA has more or less work for them.  They don't appear to have any real serious debates on these issues.  But how does one bridge that gap with those more on the right side of the spectrum? If our discussions and debates here on this forum are any indication, we are quite far apart on the rather basic areas of evangelistic outreach.


I find the issue is even more basic. We are unlikely to agree on what is a Christian. You've hinted at the idea that there is a list of behaviors that Christians should avoid if they are going to be Christian; but, does obedience to such a list make one a Christian? I think not.


I am critical of some of my "liberal" friends when they aren't really "liberal." I've stated this before: the first definition of "liberal" in the dictionary is: "willing to respect or accept behavior or opinions different from one's own; open to new ideas." Some even fail in the second definition: "relating to or denoting a political and social philosophy that promotes individual rights, civil liberties, democracy, and free enterprise."


The ELCA is a liberal Lutheran body. We state that our members do not have to agree with our social teaching statements. We "recognize" that there are at least four different views about homosexual relationships in our congregations. We have not insisted that every member has to agree on this issue.


About a generation earlier, we provided a way by which candidates who opposed the historic episcopate could opt out of a synod bishop officiating at their ordination.


We have tried to make space for those who had different views. We were being "liberal," as it is defined above. However, not all so-called liberals are liberal. They were and are not open to the views of others. However, as much as the ELCA tried to create space for those with differing views, it was the conservatives who broke away after CCM with WordAlone and LCMC. It was the conservatives who broke away after 2009 with NALC.


The ELCA declares in its Constitution (and in the constitutions of every congregation): 2.05. This church accepts the Unaltered Augsburg Confession as a true witness to the Gospel, acknowledging as one with it in faith and doctrine all churches that likewise accept the teachings of the Unaltered Augsburg Confession.

We state that we are in fellowship with you. (Unfortunately, we don't always act like it.) However, you, as well as others who accept the teachings of the Unaltered Augsburg Confession, are not willing to be in fellowship with us.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Dan Fienen on June 04, 2021, 12:01:22 PM

We have tried to make space for those who had different views. We were being "liberal," as it is defined above. However, not all so-called liberals are liberal. They were and are not open to the views of others. However, as much as the ELCA tried to create space for those with differing views, it was the conservatives who broke away after CCM with WordAlone and LCMC. It was the conservatives who broke away after 2009 with NALC.


I am not ELCA and have little experience with the ELCA. For most of my ministry, my LCMS church was the only Lutheran church in town. Even in the one city where there was an ELCA church, there were two larger LCMS churches in town and we had enough trouble getting along divided as we were by a common school and cemetery.


So I cannot say how the space that you say you created for differing views has worked out in practice. My observation has been that whether we are talking liberal or conservative, right or left, up or down, whenever someone asserts that they have created space for those with differing views, the space thus created looks quite different to those who are graciously granting that special space for the "others," than those who should feel grateful for having a space created for them. Often that space appears to be in a corner, out the way, where they can be cornered.

The ELCA declares in its Constitution (and in the constitutions of every congregation): 2.05. This church accepts the Unaltered Augsburg Confession as a true witness to the Gospel, acknowledging as one with it in faith and doctrine all churches that likewise accept the teachings of the Unaltered Augsburg Confession.

We state that we are in fellowship with you. (Unfortunately, we don't always act like it.) However, you, as well as others who accept the teachings of the Unaltered Augsburg Confession, are not willing to be in fellowship with us.

So, do you assert that your declaring fellowship with us creates an obligation for us to declare fellowship with you, with all the concomitant mutual obligations? Must we accept that your interpretation of the UAC and Scripture is equally acceptable to us as our own?
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: D. Engebretson on June 04, 2021, 12:42:33 PM
I have never not called anyone to task for sins. We all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. To single out any particular group as being worse sinners than others is, in itself, a sin. I've said this before, those who have had abortions and those who oppose abortions are both sinners who need to repent. Both are sinners who are forgiven by Jesus. Those who are in homosexual marriages and those who oppose them are both sinners who need to repent. Both are sinners who are forgiven by Jesus.


An issue that I see is that some folks are more intent on calling out the sins of others without examining their own sins. (Self-)righteously pointing out the logs in others' eyes while ignoring splinters in their own.

But here again we come to a conundrum.  You will call someone to task for their sins, yet I'm still not sure how you define said behavior as sin.  We teach our people to use the mirror of the law, specifically the 10 Commandments.  I'll assume, for the moment, that this is also your standard.  But we do not agree with how these very commandments are defined. 

I do not deny forgiveness for any sin which is repented of.  No group contains worse sinners than the next.  We all sin and fall short of the glory of God.  But, again, we come to the nitty gritty of exactly what constitutes sin.  I still think we are on very different pages.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: D. Engebretson on June 04, 2021, 12:46:48 PM
I find the issue is even more basic. We are unlikely to agree on what is a Christian. You've hinted at the idea that there is a list of behaviors that Christians should avoid if they are going to be Christian; but, does obedience to such a list make one a Christian? I think not....

We state that we are in fellowship with you. (Unfortunately, we don't always act like it.) However, you, as well as others who accept the teachings of the Unaltered Augsburg Confession, are not willing to be in fellowship with us.

To the first, no.  We do not define a Christian by the sins they supposedly "avoid."  We define them by faith in Christ Jesus. 

To the second, I'm not exactly sure how you see yourself in fellowship with the LCMS or what is required for us to "be willing" to be in fellowship with you.  Is your idea of fellowship that you simply accept us for who we are?  Live and let live?  This requires clarification.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Dan Fienen on June 04, 2021, 02:42:06 PM
I find the issue is even more basic. We are unlikely to agree on what is a Christian. You've hinted at the idea that there is a list of behaviors that Christians should avoid if they are going to be Christian; but, does obedience to such a list make one a Christian? I think not....

We state that we are in fellowship with you. (Unfortunately, we don't always act like it.) However, you, as well as others who accept the teachings of the Unaltered Augsburg Confession, are not willing to be in fellowship with us.

To the first, no.  We do not define a Christian by the sins they supposedly "avoid."  We define them by faith in Christ Jesus. 

To the second, I'm not exactly sure how you see yourself in fellowship with the LCMS or what is required for us to "be willing" to be in fellowship with you.  Is your idea of fellowship that you simply accept us for who we are?  Live and let live?  This requires clarification.
There appear to be almost as many different concepts of what defines a Christian as there are Christian groups doing the defining. That in itself makes talking about what is necessary to be a Christian difficult. It also makes it likely that the unspoken assumptions with which each commentator speaks dooms such generalizations.


A frequent analogy for Christians is that of a family. This is often a useful analogy but has its own difficulties. First, it needs to be remembered that it is an analogy so that Christianity is not in every detail exactly like a family. Every analogy pushed far enough breaks down and becomes a false analogy. Thus in this analogy as in other analogies to reason from the nature of what it is compared to back to determine the nature of the thing being compared is fraught with difficulty. The following chain of reasoning is not secure.


A group of Christians is like a family.


Families operate like this.


Therefore Christians operate like this.


Second, families are not all alike, which makes reasoning from the nature of families to how Christian operate or should operate may be assuming a generalization about families that is false. Leo Tolstoy observed, "All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." For all of us, our families are not always happy families, and there is no Christian group that are always all happy campers.


Third, one fundamental principle that seems to be true of all Christian groupings is that being a Christian is assumed to be not just a small isolated part of a persons life, like a hobby they participate in when they have nothing else to do, but is a part of and affects the entirety of one's life. Lives are complicated with many moving parts. Life is often messy. Why should we think that being a Christian is simple?


At one time I was a Rotarian. What made me a Rotarian was that I joined the club and had my name put on the club roster and I paid my dues. Like much else in life, being a Rotarian could be as little as showing up for meetings (in the club that I was a part we had lunch on Thursdays and your dues paid for lunch whether you showed up or not) or could become a life obsession. The Rotary also suggests to its members a kind code of conduct. They have 4 Way Test:


1. Is it the TRUTH?
2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
3. Will it bring GOOD WILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?
4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?


Now, that is not the definition of being a Rotarian, just what Rotarians are supposed to be like.


Similarly, being a Christian is not defined by observing certain codes of conducts, but it is God's will that Christians will want to follow that.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 04, 2021, 04:20:31 PM
So, do you assert that your declaring fellowship with us creates an obligation for us to declare fellowship with you, with all the concomitant mutual obligations? Must we accept that your interpretation of the UAC and Scripture is equally acceptable to us as our own?


1. We do not state that the other churches have to accept our understanding of the Unaltered Augsburg Confession. Perhaps, similarly, it's enough that other church bodies agree that the Gospel is about God justifying sinners by grace through Jesus Christ or that the real presence of Christ is in the sacrament without getting into all the minute details of those key doctrines.


2. When one person declares, "I love you," is the other obligated to respond, "I love you, too"? Unrequited love is common topic in media. It's part of life.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 04, 2021, 04:44:11 PM
I have never not called anyone to task for sins. We all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. To single out any particular group as being worse sinners than others is, in itself, a sin. I've said this before, those who have had abortions and those who oppose abortions are both sinners who need to repent. Both are sinners who are forgiven by Jesus. Those who are in homosexual marriages and those who oppose them are both sinners who need to repent. Both are sinners who are forgiven by Jesus.


An issue that I see is that some folks are more intent on calling out the sins of others without examining their own sins. (Self-)righteously pointing out the logs in others' eyes while ignoring splinters in their own.

But here again we come to a conundrum.  You will call someone to task for their sins, yet I'm still not sure how you define said behavior as sin.  We teach our people to use the mirror of the law, specifically the 10 Commandments.  I'll assume, for the moment, that this is also your standard.  But we do not agree with how these very commandments are defined. 

I do not deny forgiveness for any sin which is repented of.  No group contains worse sinners than the next.  We all sin and fall short of the glory of God.  But, again, we come to the nitty gritty of exactly what constitutes sin.  I still think we are on very different pages.


Sin is the failure to trust God. Or, from another perspective: sin is trusting self = selfishness, self-centeredness. It would have been sinful for Jesus to turn stones into bread to feed his hungry self; but he has no problems feeding thousands of people who were hungry. Jesus will not jump off the temple to show off his trust in his Father to the world; but he will ascend into heaven before his disciples. He will not assume authority over all the kingdoms of the world at Satan's word; but we believe he will return at the Father's proper time to become King of kings and Lord of lords.


Jesus' temptations were not about doing anything evil, but doing good things for the wrong reasons; and/or in response to the wrong word.


I don't think our differences are so much about defining sin, but how we approach the authority of scriptures. We see it as God's Word written and addressed particular situations at a particular time. They may (or may not) directly apply to our situation and time. You tend to see scriptures as God speaking a Word for all people at all times.


We see that situation-ness of Paul's comments about hair length and head coverings in 1 Corinthians 11 to be a word addressed to the people in Corinth in the middle of the first century. Even in a recent discussion in this forum, it was applied to today metaphorically to be about gender issues rather than the literal hair length and head coverings. Ironically, nearly every portrayal of Jesus (and apostles and prophets) show them with long hair! The exact thing that Paul calls disgraceful (1 Cor 11:14).


We tend to use that approach to all of scriptures. Sometimes the literal meaning applies directly to us in the 21st century. Sometimes we decide that the situation when it was written was so specific that it no longer applies directly to us.


To phrase this a different way, we tend to emphasize the human-element in the transmission of God's Word to us. The Bible was written by human beings to other human beings at a particular time and place in history.


You tend to emphasize the divine-element in the transmission of God's Word to us. God wrote it and God knew what was going to happen in the 21st century when he had the authors pen those words millennia ago.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 04, 2021, 05:04:05 PM
I find the issue is even more basic. We are unlikely to agree on what is a Christian. You've hinted at the idea that there is a list of behaviors that Christians should avoid if they are going to be Christian; but, does obedience to such a list make one a Christian? I think not....

We state that we are in fellowship with you. (Unfortunately, we don't always act like it.) However, you, as well as others who accept the teachings of the Unaltered Augsburg Confession, are not willing to be in fellowship with us.

To the first, no.  We do not define a Christian by the sins they supposedly "avoid."  We define them by faith in Christ Jesus. 

To the second, I'm not exactly sure how you see yourself in fellowship with the LCMS or what is required for us to "be willing" to be in fellowship with you.  Is your idea of fellowship that you simply accept us for who we are?  Live and let live?  This requires clarification.


I have had some very good relationships with LCMS clergy. However, to be fair, they were ordained prior to the split; so they were taught by the professors that some deemed heretical. Rather than "live and let live," I would say, "respect and expect to be respected." You are not our enemy. To return to examples I've used in other discussions, you have views of God (the elephant in the room) and God's ways that are a bit different ours. For either of us to state, "I'm right. You're wrong." Or, "We orthodox and you're heretical or heterodox." Is not showing respect. To agree that we have different understandings - and seek to learn from each other can lead to fruitful dialogues and cherished friendships. God is bigger than any of our individual understandings.


One of my best friends was the LCMS minister about 20 miles from us in Nebraska where I served some 40 years ago. We got together regularly for discussions and beer. (Probably more like beer and discussions.) We did not agree about women's ordination. He was more open in his communion practices than the LCMS might like; but he also recognized that he was the only Lutheran church in town and had to minister to all the Lutherans who might come. (He has since died.) His wife was more conservative than he, and we continue to get together whenever we're in the area.


Once when I was visiting we were talking about my work as a chaplain at the alcoholic rehab hospital (which was in their town). She didn't think that she could work there without witnessing to them about Jesus Christ as their savior and Lord. The chaplains' job was not to convert the clients, but to lead them through the 12-step program, whoever their Higher Power might be. In the middle of our discussion, she went into the other room to quiet down her children. (They had four of them.) She came back. I asked, "Did you talk to them about Jesus Christ as their savior and Lord?" She and her husband both smiled at me. Then we finished our beers.


I was visiting another pastor who had been a neighbor but accepted a Call to another state. We disagreed about our agreement with The Episcopal Church. After we expressed our views. He thanked me for not getting angry at him. I wasn't angry. I tried very hard to understand the position of the opposition. Understanding their position doesn't mean that I will agree with it; but I can understand where they are coming from. It also helps me discern where they might be misinterpreting our position. I try to correct that when I can. In this case, we were both willing to listen to each other. We got done with our discussion and walk. Went into the house and had lunch.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Dan Fienen on June 04, 2021, 05:06:24 PM
So, do you assert that your declaring fellowship with us creates an obligation for us to declare fellowship with you, with all the concomitant mutual obligations? Must we accept that your interpretation of the UAC and Scripture is equally acceptable to us as our own?


1. We do not state that the other churches have to accept our understanding of the Unaltered Augsburg Confession. Perhaps, similarly, it's enough that other church bodies agree that the Gospel is about God justifying sinners by grace through Jesus Christ or that the real presence of Christ is in the sacrament without getting into all the minute details of those key doctrines.


2. When one person declares, "I love you," is the other obligated to respond, "I love you, too"? Unrequited love is common topic in media. It's part of life.
Yet you and Charles keep throwing it in our faces that you have declared fellowship with us but we have been unwilling to reciprocate. Typical behavior of unrequited love that feels itself wronged thereby.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 04, 2021, 05:25:11 PM
There appear to be almost as many different concepts of what defines a Christian as there are Christian groups doing the defining. That in itself makes talking about what is necessary to be a Christian difficult. It also makes it likely that the unspoken assumptions with which each commentator speaks dooms such generalizations.


F'sure. I have actually asked that question in ecumenical groups and usually the answers differ along denominational lines.

Quote
A frequent analogy for Christians is that of a family. This is often a useful analogy but has its own difficulties. First, it needs to be remembered that it is an analogy so that Christianity is not in every detail exactly like a family. Every analogy pushed far enough breaks down and becomes a false analogy. Thus in this analogy as in other analogies to reason from the nature of what it is compared to back to determine the nature of the thing being compared is fraught with difficulty. The following chain of reasoning is not secure.

A group of Christians is like a family.

Families operate like this.

Therefore Christians operate like this.


Second, families are not all alike, which makes reasoning from the nature of families to how Christian operate or should operate may be assuming a generalization about families that is false. Leo Tolstoy observed, "All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." For all of us, our families are not always happy families, and there is no Christian group that are always all happy campers.

A friend's family is quite divided politically. They have a rule on their family facebook page and in their annual gathering of sisters and cousins that they will not talk politics. They will concentrate on the things that unite them as a family, rather than their differences.

Quote
Third, one fundamental principle that seems to be true of all Christian groupings is that being a Christian is assumed to be not just a small isolated part of a persons life, like a hobby they participate in when they have nothing else to do, but is a part of and affects the entirety of one's life. Lives are complicated with many moving parts. Life is often messy. Why should we think that being a Christian is simple?


In the past few years I've been thinking that what defines a Christian - or at least the fruit by which we are to be known - is precisely the way we relate to one another. The Christian faith must be lived within a community - one where we forgive and are forgiven; one where we love and are loved; one where the fruit of the Spirit are expressed (and most of them require other people to be expressed). And you are right, it's messy.


The inclusion of Matthew 18 in scriptures indicates that from the beginning, it was known that believers would sin against each other - and we have to deal with it in the proper way.

Quote
At one time I was a Rotarian. What made me a Rotarian was that I joined the club and had my name put on the club roster and I paid my dues. Like much else in life, being a Rotarian could be as little as showing up for meetings (in the club that I was a part we had lunch on Thursdays and your dues paid for lunch whether you showed up or not) or could become a life obsession. The Rotary also suggests to its members a kind code of conduct. They have 4 Way Test:

1. Is it the TRUTH?
2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
3. Will it bring GOOD WILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?
4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

Now, that is not the definition of being a Rotarian, just what Rotarians are supposed to be like.


If one is of the mind to recall these good codes of conduct, it's likely that they are not responding in a fit of anger - or a defensive reaction.

Quote
Similarly, being a Christian is not defined by observing certain codes of conducts, but it is God's will that Christians will want to follow that.


But what makes us Christians, is not following a certain code of conduct, but the realization that we will fail to follow whatever codes we should follow. Repentance is at the heart of Jesus' preaching (as well as John the Baptist's and the disciples who followed Jesus. It is admitting that we do wrong. It is throwing ourselves on the mercy of God. It is being assured by Jesus that there is forgiveness for us.


I've also thought a bit in the past few years, if repentance (admitting I'm wrong) is a key element of the Christian proclamation, why do so many Christian insist that they are right?
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 04, 2021, 05:39:26 PM
So, do you assert that your declaring fellowship with us creates an obligation for us to declare fellowship with you, with all the concomitant mutual obligations? Must we accept that your interpretation of the UAC and Scripture is equally acceptable to us as our own?


1. We do not state that the other churches have to accept our understanding of the Unaltered Augsburg Confession. Perhaps, similarly, it's enough that other church bodies agree that the Gospel is about God justifying sinners by grace through Jesus Christ or that the real presence of Christ is in the sacrament without getting into all the minute details of those key doctrines.


2. When one person declares, "I love you," is the other obligated to respond, "I love you, too"? Unrequited love is common topic in media. It's part of life.
Yet you and Charles keep throwing it in our faces that you have declared fellowship with us but we have been unwilling to reciprocate. Typical behavior of unrequited love that feels itself wronged thereby.


We don't feel wronged by your actions; disappointed. Not just for us, but for the whole Christian church on earth that the witness of the disciples who love one another is frequently lost in the world.


I remember some ALC bigwigs stating that we did not push for a merger with the LCA (even though we were theologically similar) because we wanted to bring the LCMS along. LCUSA (1967-1988) was a first step in the three bodies working together. Working together on LBW was another step. (Some previous mergers were preceded by working together on a hymnal, e.g., the SBH in 1958 followed by the merger that created TALC in 1960 and LCA in 1962.) However, the disappointment of the LCMS pulling out of the LBW project near the end, which they instigated; and the formation of AELC, and the ending of fellowship between ALC and LCMS, pushed the ALC away from holding out for a really big Lutheran denomination in America.


A neighboring pastor was on the Commission for a New Lutheran Church. He remarked how different the AELC folks were from the others when they seemed to come to an impasse. His read: the AELC folks had never been through a merger. In their experience, differences resulted in a split in a denomination. There was no give and take. The ALC and LCA folks had been through the process before and believed they would find ways through the impasses.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: peter_speckhard on June 04, 2021, 06:08:11 PM
So, do you assert that your declaring fellowship with us creates an obligation for us to declare fellowship with you, with all the concomitant mutual obligations? Must we accept that your interpretation of the UAC and Scripture is equally acceptable to us as our own?


1. We do not state that the other churches have to accept our understanding of the Unaltered Augsburg Confession. Perhaps, similarly, it's enough that other church bodies agree that the Gospel is about God justifying sinners by grace through Jesus Christ or that the real presence of Christ is in the sacrament without getting into all the minute details of those key doctrines.


2. When one person declares, "I love you," is the other obligated to respond, "I love you, too"? Unrequited love is common topic in media. It's part of life.
So it is loveless not to be in communion fellowship with someone?
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 04, 2021, 07:16:19 PM
So, do you assert that your declaring fellowship with us creates an obligation for us to declare fellowship with you, with all the concomitant mutual obligations? Must we accept that your interpretation of the UAC and Scripture is equally acceptable to us as our own?


1. We do not state that the other churches have to accept our understanding of the Unaltered Augsburg Confession. Perhaps, similarly, it's enough that other church bodies agree that the Gospel is about God justifying sinners by grace through Jesus Christ or that the real presence of Christ is in the sacrament without getting into all the minute details of those key doctrines.


2. When one person declares, "I love you," is the other obligated to respond, "I love you, too"? Unrequited love is common topic in media. It's part of life.
So it is loveless not to be in communion fellowship with someone?


Nope. An unrequited love can be, "I love being your friend, but I don't want to marry you." (I know a few couples whose relationships improved after they divorced and stopped living together. They are better as friends than as spouses.)
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Charles Austin on June 04, 2021, 11:12:49 PM
Pastor Fienen, you so overstate, wrinkle, exaggerate, mis-use and warp what I said that I cannot find an appropriate entry point to begin a response. It may be that - as with moderator Peter - you have lived and currently inhabit a world totally unlike mine. Or you choose, by your overstated responses, to build a world unlike mine.
As for the LCMS, I came to maturity during the optimism of the Oliver Harms presidency and LCMS/ALC fellowship. On the staff of the Lutheran Council in the U.S.A., I experienced the unraveling of inter-Lutheran ecumenical dialogue following the Preus election. New appointees to the dialogues shocked our dialogue partners by wanting to dismiss all previous agreements and “start over” and insisting on issueing a “minority report” rather than a consensus to dialogue talks.
The LCMS schism, formation of the AELC and plans for the AELC, LCA, ALC merger totally changed the landscape for Lutheranism, which became more ecumenical, but less inter-Lutheran.
Those of us seeking expanded opportunities found them in ecumenical dialogue and cooperation. Those seeking to lift higher and “defend” Lutheranism found ways to do that
Personally, I was instructed and inspired by RJN and the “evangelical catholic” approach to Lutheranism. Things change, don’t they?
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: D. Engebretson on June 05, 2021, 08:50:44 AM
On the other hand, some of us entered the ministry long after those earlier inter-Lutheran efforts, post-walk out, and a year just before the merger and founding of the ELCA.  We have watched the ELCA evolve far from its predecessor bodies, widening the gap that began decades ago to a degree that we honestly don't know how to breach.  If the clock were rolled back to the days of Harms and Co. we probably would have a starting point of discussion where solid common ground could again be explored.  But those days are long past, and changes put in place since then have changed the Lutheran landscape in ways our forefathers probably could not have imagined. 

I studied theology post-walk out under Dr. Robert Preus and the faculty that he assembled at CTSFW.  As with many other classes it had a tremendous impact on how we approach the church and Lutheran theology.  My counterparts who came out of the ELCA seminaries in that same period were taught and trained in much different ways.  My generation of Lutheran clergy is quite different than the ones who once dialogued in the 60s.  Much different.  At times it's almost as if we came from different cultures and countries. 

We can continue to discuss our differences, attempting to better understand them, but the positions laid down well before this have, in large part, now solidified and deepened. For the LCMS to re-enter dialogues with the goal of pulpit and altar fellowship would require the renunciation and abandonment of much that has been formed over the decades of my active ministry.  If that happened it would inevitably result in a major division within the church body.  I know that I would seriously reassess my membership. 

Even during my 30+ years of ministry I have seen seismic changes in the Lutheran landscape that I would not have anticipated in 1987 when I was ordained.  I formed a friendship with one ELCA pastor, but even he eventually left the synod and is now a member of the LCMC.  I am sorry that such differences and divisions have resulted, but I am not regretful of the training I received and still embrace.  As a pastor who lives and works in a community that has a diversity of clergy, I respect those who minister in other churches in very different contexts.  But the common ground we may have once known decades ago is largely gone. We live in very, very different worlds.   
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Dan Fienen on June 05, 2021, 09:55:02 AM
Pastor Fienen, you so overstate, wrinkle, exaggerate, mis-use and warp what I said that I cannot find an appropriate entry point to begin a response. It may be that - as with moderator Peter - you have lived and currently inhabit a world totally unlike mine. Or you choose, by your overstated responses, to build a world unlike mine.
As for the LCMS, I came to maturity during the optimism of the Oliver Harms presidency and LCMS/ALC fellowship. On the staff of the Lutheran Council in the U.S.A., I experienced the unraveling of inter-Lutheran ecumenical dialogue following the Preus election. New appointees to the dialogues shocked our dialogue partners by wanting to dismiss all previous agreements and “start over” and insisting on issueing a “minority report” rather than a consensus to dialogue talks.
The LCMS schism, formation of the AELC and plans for the AELC, LCA, ALC merger totally changed the landscape for Lutheranism, which became more ecumenical, but less inter-Lutheran.
Those of us seeking expanded opportunities found them in ecumenical dialogue and cooperation. Those seeking to lift higher and “defend” Lutheranism found ways to do that
Personally, I was instructed and inspired by RJN and the “evangelical catholic” approach to Lutheranism. Things change, don’t they?
You said YMMV, well my mileage does vary, but you don't like my mileage so you do an Adam Savage and reject my reality and substitute your own. It is often said that there are two sides to every story (at least). We see the 60s and 70s (and beyond) from different perspectives but my perspective since it does not agree with yours must be rejected. And by the way, I was not accusing you of much of anything in my response. I was talking about how I experienced those years, long before I knew you even existed. To use Brian's favorite elephant, you grope and perceive a spear, I grope and perceive a wall. But since a wall is very different than a spear, I must just be making it all up.

I have a slim volume in my library from the Fortress Press Guides to Biblical Scholarship series, What is Form Criticism? by Edgar V. McKnight. In it, as an example of Form Criticism, he discusses the form critical analysis of Mark 8:27-33 by Reginald H. Fuller. After he has analyzed this pericope of Peter's great confession of Jesus and weeded out all the later additions by Mark and community we are left with quite a different story.

Quote
This leaves a pronouncement story consisting of three parts: the question of Jesus as to who they say he is; the answer of Peter, "You are the Christ"; and the pronouncement by Jesus, "Get behind me, Satan!"  For you are not on the side of God, but of men."  Hence, Jesus rejects messiahship as "a merely human and even diabolical temptation."  (Material summarized and quoted from Reginald H. Fuller, The Foundations of New Testament Christology (New York: Scribner's, 1965), p. 109.  Quoted in Edgar V. McKnight, What is Form Criticism? (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1969), pp. 72-73.)

Am I to accept without question this conclusion of Biblical scholarship that Jesus rejected as demonic the idea that He was the Messiah?

Neither of us, I fear, have totally accepted or forgiven those years. I am confident that there was much fault on all sides. I know that it was traumatic for me although I was more or less on the sidelines as a student at Concordia Lutheran Junior College, Ann Arbor, 1970-1972, and Concordia Senior College, 1972-1974, and then at Concordia Theological Seminary, Springfield/Fort Wayne, 1974-1978. In your world, you and your guys are the heroes of the epic, bravely battling the forces of repression, fear, timidity in the face of change, unwillingness to leave the past behind and face the new world in which we live. Yes, I live in a different world. But I do not believe that because my experiences and perceptions are different than yours that mine is a fantasy or delusion.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: John_Hannah on June 05, 2021, 10:12:19 AM
Pastor Fienen, you so overstate, wrinkle, exaggerate, mis-use and warp what I said that I cannot find an appropriate entry point to begin a response. It may be that - as with moderator Peter - you have lived and currently inhabit a world totally unlike mine. Or you choose, by your overstated responses, to build a world unlike mine.
As for the LCMS, I came to maturity during the optimism of the Oliver Harms presidency and LCMS/ALC fellowship. On the staff of the Lutheran Council in the U.S.A., I experienced the unraveling of inter-Lutheran ecumenical dialogue following the Preus election. New appointees to the dialogues shocked our dialogue partners by wanting to dismiss all previous agreements and “start over” and insisting on issueing a “minority report” rather than a consensus to dialogue talks.
The LCMS schism, formation of the AELC and plans for the AELC, LCA, ALC merger totally changed the landscape for Lutheranism, which became more ecumenical, but less inter-Lutheran.
Those of us seeking expanded opportunities found them in ecumenical dialogue and cooperation. Those seeking to lift higher and “defend” Lutheranism found ways to do that
Personally, I was instructed and inspired by RJN and the “evangelical catholic” approach to Lutheranism. Things change, don’t they?
You said YMMV, well my mileage does vary, but you don't like my mileage so you do an Adam Savage and reject my reality and substitute your own. It is often said that there are two sides to every story (at least). We see the 60s and 70s (and beyond) from different perspectives but my perspective since it does not agree with yours must be rejected. And by the way, I was not accusing you of much of anything in my response. I was talking about how I experienced those years, long before I knew you even existed. To use Brian's favorite elephant, you grope and perceive a spear, I grope and perceive a wall. But since a wall is very different than a spear, I must just be making it all up.

I have a slim volume in my library from the Fortress Press Guides to Biblical Scholarship series, What is Form Criticism? by Edgar V. McKnight. In it, as an example of Form Criticism, he discusses the form critical analysis of Mark 8:27-33 by Reginald H. Fuller. After he has analyzed this pericope of Peter's great confession of Jesus and weeded out all the later additions by Mark and community we are left with quite a different story.

Quote
This leaves a pronouncement story consisting of three parts: the question of Jesus as to who they say he is; the answer of Peter, "You are the Christ"; and the pronouncement by Jesus, "Get behind me, Satan!"  For you are not on the side of God, but of men."  Hence, Jesus rejects messiahship as "a merely human and even diabolical temptation."  (Material summarized and quoted from Reginald H. Fuller, The Foundations of New Testament Christology (New York: Scribner's, 1965), p. 109.  Quoted in Edgar V. McKnight, What is Form Criticism? (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1969), pp. 72-73.)

Am I to accept without question this conclusion of Biblical scholarship that Jesus rejected as demonic the idea that He was the Messiah?

Neither of us, I fear, have totally accepted or forgiven those years. I am confident that there was much fault on all sides. I know that it was traumatic for me although I was more or less on the sidelines as a student at Concordia Lutheran Junior College, Ann Arbor, 1970-1972, and Concordia Senior College, 1972-1974, and then at Concordia Theological Seminary, Springfield/Fort Wayne, 1974-1978. In your world, you and your guys are the heroes of the epic, bravely battling the forces of repression, fear, timidity in the face of change, unwillingness to leave the past behind and face the new world in which we live. Yes, I live in a different world. But I do not believe that because my experiences and perceptions are different than yours that mine is a fantasy or delusion.

Where was Edgar V. McKnight teaching? Springfield or St. Louis? I don't recall the name, but then there are a lot of faculty members I never met, especially from Springfield but also after my time at St. Louis.

Peace, JOHN  (SL, 1961-65)
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Dave Likeness on June 05, 2021, 10:27:19 AM
Dr. Edgar V. McKnight was a New Testament Scholar who taught at Furman University
for 35 years.  He died in 2020 at the age of 89.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: John_Hannah on June 05, 2021, 10:33:57 AM
Dr. Edgar V. McKnight was a New Testament Scholar who taught at Furman University
for 35 years.  He died in 2020 at the age of 89.

Then, his viewpoint is not evidence of defective teaching at St. Louis.   :)

Peace, JOHN
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Dan Fienen on June 05, 2021, 11:00:27 AM
My point was not that McKnight was part of the liberal wing of the LCMS or ELCA, he wasn't. So far as I could tell he was Baptist. The book that I quoted from was published by Fortress Press, Lutheran, and the scholarship that he represented was typical of the era. One of the great theological enterprises of the time was to distinguish between the Jesus of faith, generally accepted as a legendary figure with tenuous connection to the Jesus of history. This was the theology that was around and being taught.


Dr. Edgar V. McKnight was a New Testament Scholar who taught at Furman University
for 35 years.  He died in 2020 at the age of 89.

Then, his viewpoint is not evidence of defective teaching at St. Louis.   :)

Peace, JOHN
I never said that it was. My point was that was the kind of theology that was around and being taught by some. That was a part of the much vaunted Historical Critical Method. If you want an examination of the theology being taught at St. Louis I suggest Paul A. Zimmerman's A Seminary in Crisis: The Inside Story of the Preus Fact Finding Committee and Exodus from Concordia: A Report on the 1974 Walkout by the Board of Control, Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: John_Hannah on June 05, 2021, 11:49:29 AM
My point was not that McKnight was part of the liberal wing of the LCMS or ELCA, he wasn't. So far as I could tell he was Baptist. The book that I quoted from was published by Fortress Press, Lutheran, and the scholarship that he represented was typical of the era. One of the great theological enterprises of the time was to distinguish between the Jesus of faith, generally accepted as a legendary figure with tenuous connection to the Jesus of history. This was the theology that was around and being taught.


Dr. Edgar V. McKnight was a New Testament Scholar who taught at Furman University
for 35 years.  He died in 2020 at the age of 89.

Then, his viewpoint is not evidence of defective teaching at St. Louis.   :)

Peace, JOHN
I never said that it was. My point was that was the kind of theology that was around and being taught by some. That was a part of the much vaunted Historical Critical Method. If you want an examination of the theology being taught at St. Louis I suggest Paul A. Zimmerman's A Seminary in Crisis: The Inside Story of the Preus Fact Finding Committee and Exodus from Concordia: A Report on the 1974 Walkout by the Board of Control, Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri.

I have read it and found no conclusive evidence of defective teaching. Sorry to disappoint you.   :)

Peace, JOHN
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Dan Fienen on June 05, 2021, 11:59:29 AM
My point was not that McKnight was part of the liberal wing of the LCMS or ELCA, he wasn't. So far as I could tell he was Baptist. The book that I quoted from was published by Fortress Press, Lutheran, and the scholarship that he represented was typical of the era. One of the great theological enterprises of the time was to distinguish between the Jesus of faith, generally accepted as a legendary figure with tenuous connection to the Jesus of history. This was the theology that was around and being taught.


Dr. Edgar V. McKnight was a New Testament Scholar who taught at Furman University
for 35 years.  He died in 2020 at the age of 89.

Then, his viewpoint is not evidence of defective teaching at St. Louis.   :)

Peace, JOHN
I never said that it was. My point was that was the kind of theology that was around and being taught by some. That was a part of the much vaunted Historical Critical Method. If you want an examination of the theology being taught at St. Louis I suggest Paul A. Zimmerman's A Seminary in Crisis: The Inside Story of the Preus Fact Finding Committee and Exodus from Concordia: A Report on the 1974 Walkout by the Board of Control, Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri.

I have read it and found no conclusive evidence of defective teaching. Sorry to disappoint you.   :)

Peace, JOHN
Not surprisingly we reach differing conclusions.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 05, 2021, 12:45:25 PM
I have a slim volume in my library from the Fortress Press Guides to Biblical Scholarship series, What is Form Criticism? by Edgar V. McKnight. In it, as an example of Form Criticism, he discusses the form critical analysis of Mark 8:27-33 by Reginald H. Fuller. After he has analyzed this pericope of Peter's great confession of Jesus and weeded out all the later additions by Mark and community we are left with quite a different story.

Quote
This leaves a pronouncement story consisting of three parts: the question of Jesus as to who they say he is; the answer of Peter, "You are the Christ"; and the pronouncement by Jesus, "Get behind me, Satan!"  For you are not on the side of God, but of men."  Hence, Jesus rejects messiahship as "a merely human and even diabolical temptation."  (Material summarized and quoted from Reginald H. Fuller, The Foundations of New Testament Christology (New York: Scribner's, 1965), p. 109.  Quoted in Edgar V. McKnight, What is Form Criticism? (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1969), pp. 72-73.)

Am I to accept without question this conclusion of Biblical scholarship that Jesus rejected as demonic the idea that He was the Messiah?


First of all, form criticism has undergone refinements since 1965. In early days there were some outlandish claims made that are no longer in vogue.


Secondly, one of the themes throughout Mark's gospel is the "messianic secret." This can be understood as Mark attacking the common messianic expectations among the people - probably, especially by the Zealots, who saw themselves as agents to bring in the messianic kingdom by waging war against the Romans - a war that was going on when Mark was written. Ched Myers, in his commentary on Mark, Binding the Strong Man, argues for this interpretation: Jesus' followers were not to be like the Zealots, but like Jesus in refusing to fight against the Romans.

What I have written about Mark's gospel. Mark begins his writing with a statement by the narrator: “The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ [or Messiah] [(a?) Son of God].” Right from the beginning, we, the readers, know more than the characters in the narrative. We are already anticipating this writing to be “good news” – which is a comment about what the writing does to us, rather than just what it says. We are already anticipating ways that Jesus will be attested as the Messiah, the Son of God – and watching how the characters come to realize this – if they ever do; and what it properly means to call Jesus, the Messiah, the Son of God.

For Mark, the proper understanding of Jesus as the Messiah, the Son of God comes from the only other human (besides "Mark,") to call Jesus, "Son of God": the centurion who sees him die.

To me, it is clear in the passage with Peter's confession that he doesn't yet understand what it means to call Jesus, "Messiah." For him, it would mean avoiding the cross. For Jesus, it means going to the cross, suffering, dying, and being raised.

Quote
Neither of us, I fear, have totally accepted or forgiven those years. I am confident that there was much fault on all sides. I know that it was traumatic for me although I was more or less on the sidelines as a student at Concordia Lutheran Junior College, Ann Arbor, 1970-1972, and Concordia Senior College, 1972-1974, and then at Concordia Theological Seminary, Springfield/Fort Wayne, 1974-1978. In your world, you and your guys are the heroes of the epic, bravely battling the forces of repression, fear, timidity in the face of change, unwillingness to leave the past behind and face the new world in which we live. Yes, I live in a different world. But I do not believe that because my experiences and perceptions are different than yours that mine is a fantasy or delusion.

One of the outcomes of those turbulent years is that the LCMS lost the moderate influence from the professors, students, and others who left to form the AELC. I believe that that influence is what led the LCMS to approve fellowship with the ALC in 1969. (One report I heard is that the moderates agreed to vote for Preus as president, if his supporters would agree to vote for fellowship.)

The split also informed the ALC that waiting for a merger that would include the LCMS was never going to happen. The LCMS lost its influence over the ALC; and further, with the demise of LCUSA, the LCMS had no voice with the ELCA. Essentially, both sides moved further apart from each other. The LCMS without the more liberal influence became more conservative; and the ELCA without input from the LCMS moved in a more liberal direction.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Rev. Edward Engelbrecht on June 05, 2021, 04:21:26 PM
A well-stated article, in my view.
Donna

 https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2021/may-web-only/womens-ordination-saddleback-jesus-not-female-debate.html?fbclid=IwAR1ilTa1pk9B9DPlm0DVkZA-K05IPXgrhZPTjEUp4DTFNqLcRPG-nJb-J5I (https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2021/may-web-only/womens-ordination-saddleback-jesus-not-female-debate.html?fbclid=IwAR1ilTa1pk9B9DPlm0DVkZA-K05IPXgrhZPTjEUp4DTFNqLcRPG-nJb-J5I)

I'm going to loop back to the original topic for this thread. Here is a quote from the end of the article that I think sums up the author's point

"In the end, the work of Christ himself is the only thing that makes women’s ordination remotely compelling. The harvest is plentiful. The workers are few."

As I read the Scripture, I confess I see the opposite. This argument was never more compelling than in the first years of the church. Yet our Lord Jesus Christ did not choose any women to be apostles. The apostles did not ordain any women pastors. They certainly appreciated women colleagues in ministry and welcomed their service. But they kept the callings separate. In view of this, the harvest argument seems weak and empty to me.

For full context---I have a family member who is a deaconess. I respect and value that calling. Why should I support women's ordination?
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Tom Eckstein on June 05, 2021, 05:21:43 PM
A well-stated article, in my view.
Donna

 https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2021/may-web-only/womens-ordination-saddleback-jesus-not-female-debate.html?fbclid=IwAR1ilTa1pk9B9DPlm0DVkZA-K05IPXgrhZPTjEUp4DTFNqLcRPG-nJb-J5I (https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2021/may-web-only/womens-ordination-saddleback-jesus-not-female-debate.html?fbclid=IwAR1ilTa1pk9B9DPlm0DVkZA-K05IPXgrhZPTjEUp4DTFNqLcRPG-nJb-J5I)

I'm going to loop back to the original topic for this thread. Here is a quote from the end of the article that I think sums up the author's point

"In the end, the work of Christ himself is the only thing that makes women’s ordination remotely compelling. The harvest is plentiful. The workers are few."

As I read the Scripture, I confess I see the opposite. This argument was never more compelling than in the first years of the church. Yet our Lord Jesus Christ did not choose any women to be apostles. The apostles did not ordain any women pastors. They certainly appreciated women colleagues in ministry and welcomed their service. But they kept the callings separate. In view of this, the harvest argument seems weak and empty to me.

For full context---I have a family member who is a deaconess. I respect and value that calling. Why should I support women's ordination?

In light of Ed's post, as O. Hoffmann was famous for saying:  "What more is there to say but 'Amen!'"
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 05, 2021, 08:17:55 PM
A well-stated article, in my view.
Donna

 https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2021/may-web-only/womens-ordination-saddleback-jesus-not-female-debate.html?fbclid=IwAR1ilTa1pk9B9DPlm0DVkZA-K05IPXgrhZPTjEUp4DTFNqLcRPG-nJb-J5I (https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2021/may-web-only/womens-ordination-saddleback-jesus-not-female-debate.html?fbclid=IwAR1ilTa1pk9B9DPlm0DVkZA-K05IPXgrhZPTjEUp4DTFNqLcRPG-nJb-J5I)

I'm going to loop back to the original topic for this thread. Here is a quote from the end of the article that I think sums up the author's point

"In the end, the work of Christ himself is the only thing that makes women’s ordination remotely compelling. The harvest is plentiful. The workers are few."

As I read the Scripture, I confess I see the opposite. This argument was never more compelling than in the first years of the church. Yet our Lord Jesus Christ did not choose any women to be apostles. The apostles did not ordain any women pastors. They certainly appreciated women colleagues in ministry and welcomed their service. But they kept the callings separate. In view of this, the harvest argument seems weak and empty to me.

For full context---I have a family member who is a deaconess. I respect and value that calling. Why should I support women's ordination?


While not called "apostles," the woman at the tomb certainly fit the definition of the word: they were sent with a message.


We can also ask if the reluctance to send out women as apostles was more about their safety and the cultural taboos against woman being involved in public activities than any theological reasons. Remember that the disciples were surprised to see Jesus talking to a woman in John 4.

Joachim Jeremias in Jerusalem in the Time of Christ says this about the role of women:
… a woman was expected to remain unobserved in public. There is a recorded saying of one of the oldest scribes we know, Jose b. Johanan of Jerusalem (c. 150 BC): ‘Talk not much with womankind’, to which was added, ‘They said this of a man’s own wife: how much more of his fellow’s wife!’ rules of propriety forbade a man to be alone with a woman, to look at a married woman, or even to give her a greeting. It was disgraceful for a scholar to speak with a woman in the street. A woman who conversed with everyone in the street could,  …  be divorced without the payment prescribed in the marriage settlement. [p. 360]



Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Rev. Edward Engelbrecht on June 06, 2021, 06:11:18 AM
So ANYONE sent with a message has the office of apostle? Of course not. No church on earth believes or teaches that.

The women at the tomb fulfilled the calling of God's people to bear witness as already described in the Old Testament (Psalm 145:10--12). Every church can recognize that.

The culture argument is likewise empty when you consider that Christ openly broke cultural norms by eating with sinners, touching a funeral bier, etc. Why break these norms but fail to ordain women if He intended all along to ordain them? I don't see a compelling argument from God's Word.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: peter_speckhard on June 06, 2021, 08:12:22 AM
Also, the choosing of Matthias over Justus from among many other possible candidates to replace Judas makes clear that Apostle is a specific office that not every qualified person holds, not a description of a function that any Christian might at times perform.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 06, 2021, 12:45:02 PM
Also, the choosing of Matthias over Justus from among many other possible candidates to replace Judas makes clear that Apostle is a specific office that not every qualified person holds, not a description of a function that any Christian might at times perform.


There were specific requirements for the office of apostle: 1. having been with Jesus throughout his ministry from his baptism to his ascension; and 2. having been a witness to his resurrection. (Acts 1:22) (Note, being a male was not one of the requirements.)


However, Paul frequently refers to himself as "an apostle," even though he did not meet those two requirements and didn't become one of the Twelve (Rom 1:1; 11:13; 1 Cor 1:1; 4:9; 9:1-2; 15:9; 2 Cor 1:1; Gal 1:1; Eph 1:1; Col 1:1; 1 Thess 2:7; 1 Tim 1:1; 2:7; 2 Tim 1:1, 11; Tit 1:1). He even uses "the office of an apostle" (ἀποστολή) in reference to himself (Rom 1:5; 1 Cor 9:2).


In addition, "apostle" (ἀπόστολος) is used of others outside of the Twelve: Barnabas and Paul (Acts 14:14); Andronicus and Junia? (Rom 16:7); Titus (2 Cor 8:23); perhaps James, the Lord's brother (Gal 1:19); Epaphroditus (Phil 2:25). (In some of these verses translators use "messenger" rather than "apostle". I certainly believe that the women at the tomb were "messengers".)


There's also a tradition of calling Mary Magdalene "the apostle to the apostles." For at least 1000 years the church has looked at her as an apostle (a "messenger" sent by God).
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: peter_speckhard on June 06, 2021, 12:49:22 PM
Also, the choosing of Matthias over Justus from among many other possible candidates to replace Judas makes clear that Apostle is a specific office that not every qualified person holds, not a description of a function that any Christian might at times perform.


There were specific requirements for the office of apostle: 1. having been with Jesus throughout his ministry from his baptism to his ascension; and 2. having been a witness to his resurrection. (Acts 1:22) (Note, being a male was not one of the requirements.)


However, Paul frequently refers to himself as "an apostle," even though he did not meet those two requirements and didn't become one of the Twelve (Rom 1:1; 11:13; 1 Cor 1:1; 4:9; 9:1-2; 15:9; 2 Cor 1:1; Gal 1:1; Eph 1:1; Col 1:1; 1 Thess 2:7; 1 Tim 1:1; 2:7; 2 Tim 1:1, 11; Tit 1:1). He even uses "the office of an apostle" (ἀποστολή) in reference to himself (Rom 1:5; 1 Cor 9:2).


In addition, "apostle" (ἀπόστολος) is used of others outside of the Twelve: Barnabas and Paul (Acts 14:14); Andronicus and Junia? (Rom 16:7); Titus (2 Cor 8:23); perhaps James, the Lord's brother (Gal 1:19); Epaphroditus (Phil 2:25). (In some of these verses translators use "messenger" rather than "apostle". I certainly believe that the women at the tomb were "messengers".)


There's also a tradition of calling Mary Magdalene "the apostle to the apostles." For at least 1000 years the church has looked at her as an apostle (a "messenger" sent by God).
That’s true. So what? The same can be said of pastor— lots of people shepherd or pastor others through difficult times. Many non-pastors are very pastoral. Every words has a range of meanings and applications. To deliberately confuse them as you routinely do is to militate against communication.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 06, 2021, 12:51:25 PM
So ANYONE sent with a message has the office of apostle? Of course not. No church on earth believes or teaches that.

The women at the tomb fulfilled the calling of God's people to bear witness as already described in the Old Testament (Psalm 145:10--12). Every church can recognize that.

The culture argument is likewise empty when you consider that Christ openly broke cultural norms by eating with sinners, touching a funeral bier, etc. Why break these norms but fail to ordain women if He intended all along to ordain them? I don't see a compelling argument from God's Word.


If Jesus is our example, then we should only ordain Jewish men (and probably unmarried men if we follow Paul's advice). We also know that those people, whom you call "ordained," were very poor followers. Five times in Matthew, Jesus describes them as having "little faith." In Mark, he indicates that they have no faith. Judas will betray Jesus and commit suicide. Peter will deny Jesus. All of them run away when Jesus is arrested. I don't think any of them would pass the scrutiny that we put candidates for ordination through. Those who continued to follow Jesus all the way through death and to the tomb were women. Perhaps God is trying to say something to us through his Word, but we haven't been willing to listen.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 06, 2021, 12:57:36 PM
Also, the choosing of Matthias over Justus from among many other possible candidates to replace Judas makes clear that Apostle is a specific office that not every qualified person holds, not a description of a function that any Christian might at times perform.


There were specific requirements for the office of apostle: 1. having been with Jesus throughout his ministry from his baptism to his ascension; and 2. having been a witness to his resurrection. (Acts 1:22) (Note, being a male was not one of the requirements.)


However, Paul frequently refers to himself as "an apostle," even though he did not meet those two requirements and didn't become one of the Twelve (Rom 1:1; 11:13; 1 Cor 1:1; 4:9; 9:1-2; 15:9; 2 Cor 1:1; Gal 1:1; Eph 1:1; Col 1:1; 1 Thess 2:7; 1 Tim 1:1; 2:7; 2 Tim 1:1, 11; Tit 1:1). He even uses "the office of an apostle" (ἀποστολή) in reference to himself (Rom 1:5; 1 Cor 9:2).


In addition, "apostle" (ἀπόστολος) is used of others outside of the Twelve: Barnabas and Paul (Acts 14:14); Andronicus and Junia? (Rom 16:7); Titus (2 Cor 8:23); perhaps James, the Lord's brother (Gal 1:19); Epaphroditus (Phil 2:25). (In some of these verses translators use "messenger" rather than "apostle". I certainly believe that the women at the tomb were "messengers".)


There's also a tradition of calling Mary Magdalene "the apostle to the apostles." For at least 1000 years the church has looked at her as an apostle (a "messenger" sent by God).
That’s true. So what? The same can be said of pastor— lots of people shepherd or pastor others through difficult times. Many non-pastors are very pastoral. Every words has a range of meanings and applications. To deliberately confuse them as you routinely do is to militate against communication.


Yes, ἀπόστολος refers to a particular office; and it refers to anyone who is sent with a message. It should have been clear that when I, like Bernard, call Mary Magdalene, "an apostle," it wasn't in reference to the particular office held by the Twelve; but more like the more general office held by anyone who is sent with a message, like Paul, Barnabas, Titus, Epaphrodites, you, me, and, hopefully, the members of our congregations who are filled with the Spirit to go out and boldly proclaim the gospel.


Was Mary Magdalene sent by God with a message of good news to the apostles?
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Dave Likeness on June 06, 2021, 01:30:38 PM
In first century Jewish culture, women were usually treated as second class citizens and had
few rights that men enjoyed.  They were not suppose to learn from rabbis and were not to
be instructed in the Torah.  Women were seen as property in a Jewish patriarchal society.
In an ancient prayer the Jewish man gives thanks that God has not made him a Gentile,
slave or a woman.

In his public ministry Jesus elevated the status of women.  He had fellowship with them,
allowed them to support his ministry with money.  He allowed women to serve Him and
not remain as spectators.  However, the role of women did not include becoming apostles.
Of course they could share the Good News of Jesus with others without being an apostle.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Rev. Edward Engelbrecht on June 06, 2021, 01:51:51 PM
So ANYONE sent with a message has the office of apostle? Of course not. No church on earth believes or teaches that.

The women at the tomb fulfilled the calling of God's people to bear witness as already described in the Old Testament (Psalm 145:10--12). Every church can recognize that.

The culture argument is likewise empty when you consider that Christ openly broke cultural norms by eating with sinners, touching a funeral bier, etc. Why break these norms but fail to ordain women if He intended all along to ordain them? I don't see a compelling argument from God's Word.


If Jesus is our example, then we should only ordain Jewish men (and probably unmarried men if we follow Paul's advice). We also know that those people, whom you call "ordained," were very poor followers. Five times in Matthew, Jesus describes them as having "little faith." In Mark, he indicates that they have no faith. Judas will betray Jesus and commit suicide. Peter will deny Jesus. All of them run away when Jesus is arrested. I don't think any of them would pass the scrutiny that we put candidates for ordination through. Those who continued to follow Jesus all the way through death and to the tomb were women. Perhaps God is trying to say something to us through his Word, but we haven't been willing to listen.

Jewish Jesus sends His Jewish apostles out to make disciples of all nations. Acts records that as they go they appoint elders in the new congregations. So there isn't an ethnic limit but consistently there is a gender difference in the callings.

So that approach to the culture argument doesn't hold up either.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Dan Fienen on June 06, 2021, 03:00:41 PM
It should be apparent by now that this is an endless controversy. Each side has their evidence and their well considered and bolstered arguments, none of which will convince the other side who has their own evidence and well considered and bolstered arguments. I'm not sure that either side is willing to be convinced that the position that they oppose is even at all reasonable. It has become an interminable tennis rally, the argument goes across the net and is responded to at least well enough to make it back. Neither side is able to put it away for the point, much less the game or match.


About the only thing that we are agreed upon, is that this is important. It is important enough for those who favor women's ordination that they will not budge to allow that if women's ordination is such a big deal for those opposed they will graciously forgo ordaining women for the sake of unity. Neither are those opposed willing, for the sake of unity, graciously to accept women's ordination if it means that much to those who support it. We are at an impasse.


As is usual in such disputes, both sides figure that the other side should be much more willing to compromise than they actually have proven to be. And know that they themselves have already compromised as much as they dare. We contend for an important principle that must be defended. The others are simply being stubborn and prideful. We have the declension of principled: I am principled, you are stubborn, he is a pig headed fool.


Even though we are conflicted over women's ordination (and more recently the ordination of partnered homosexuals) can we still be civil, can we still work together in some matters, can we show the world that even though we cannot agree we still love each other? All of those can be difficult. I know that there are some within my fellowship that balk at being civil to women pastors or the ELCA. That is wrong and is an embarrassment to the LCMS. It also seems to me that there are some in the ELCA who take anything less than a whole hearted acceptance of all the the ELCA has done and stood for including women's ordination, endorsement of  same sex sexual relationships, marriage, and ordination for those in such a relationship, anything less than complete acceptance is uncivil, and hateful. I suspect that there are those in the ELCA who consider us because of our policies as misogynistic, homophobic, transphobic, and less polite terms. In the end it matters no more what LCMS people say about the ELCA than it does what ELCA people think and say about the LCMS. But we do at times have trouble being civil.


And we can work together. We work together in social ministry, although that is becoming more difficult. We work together in Lutheran World Relief. We were working out an agreement to work together with the U.N. in combatting malaria until the ELCA found it necessary to pull out of the joint project. For decades we have supported joint social service agencies. That is coming to an end in part because some of our social services are deeply affected by our differing beliefs concerning same sex relationships (adoption and foster parenting are especially affected) and even more recently with some states and municipalities terminating contracts for social services unless same sex couples are treated the same as heterosexual. But where we can, why not work together?


Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 06, 2021, 03:57:40 PM
It should be apparent by now that this is an endless controversy. Each side has their evidence and their well considered and bolstered arguments, none of which will convince the other side who has their own evidence and well considered and bolstered arguments. I'm not sure that either side is willing to be convinced that the position that they oppose is even at all reasonable. It has become an interminable tennis rally, the argument goes across the net and is responded to at least well enough to make it back. Neither side is able to put it away for the point, much less the game or match.

About the only thing that we are agreed upon, is that this is important. It is important enough for those who favor women's ordination that they will not budge to allow that if women's ordination is such a big deal for those opposed they will graciously forgo ordaining women for the sake of unity. Neither are those opposed willing, for the sake of unity, graciously to accept women's ordination if it means that much to those who support it. We are at an impasse.

As is usual in such disputes, both sides figure that the other side should be much more willing to compromise than they actually have proven to be. And know that they themselves have already compromised as much as they dare. We contend for an important principle that must be defended. The others are simply being stubborn and prideful. We have the declension of principled: I am principled, you are stubborn, he is a pig headed fool.

Even though we are conflicted over women's ordination (and more recently the ordination of partnered homosexuals) can we still be civil, can we still work together in some matters, can we show the world that even though we cannot agree we still love each other? All of those can be difficult. I know that there are some within my fellowship that balk at being civil to women pastors or the ELCA. That is wrong and is an embarrassment to the LCMS. It also seems to me that there are some in the ELCA who take anything less than a whole hearted acceptance of all the the ELCA has done and stood for including women's ordination, endorsement of  same sex sexual relationships, marriage, and ordination for those in such a relationship, anything less than complete acceptance is uncivil, and hateful. I suspect that there are those in the ELCA who consider us because of our policies as misogynistic, homophobic, transphobic, and less polite terms. In the end it matters no more what LCMS people say about the ELCA than it does what ELCA people think and say about the LCMS. But we do at times have trouble being civil.

And we can work together. We work together in social ministry, although that is becoming more difficult. We work together in Lutheran World Relief. We were working out an agreement to work together with the U.N. in combatting malaria until the ELCA found it necessary to pull out of the joint project. For decades we have supported joint social service agencies. That is coming to an end in part because some of our social services are deeply affected by our differing beliefs concerning same sex relationships (adoption and foster parenting are especially affected) and even more recently with some states and municipalities terminating contracts for social services unless same sex couples are treated the same as heterosexual. But where we can, why not work together?


The issue is more basic than women's ordination, it's ordination itself. We don't allow ordained men in each other's church bodies to preach or preside in our congregations. Our full-communion agreements are really about accepting the ordinations of the other church bodies. Their clergy can preach and preside in our congregations and we in theirs. I have used Presbyterians and UCC clergy to preach and preside when I was on vacation. Two congregations I had served had UCC clergy serve as interims. (Should a clergy from a full-communion partner seek to be called to one of our congregations, they would have to join the ELCA roster, and similarly should an ELCA clergy be called to one of their congregations.)


I think it was the first year I was here, I had a retired LCMS clergy fill in for me. He was recommended by the other ELCA pastor in town. He had often used him. He would preside over the sacrament, but I heard that he didn't receive it. He was a retired military chaplain, so was probably more ecumenical than most LCMS clergy.



Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Dan Fienen on June 06, 2021, 08:08:34 PM

The issue is more basic than women's ordination, it's ordination itself. We don't allow ordained men in each other's church bodies to preach or preside in our congregations. Our full-communion agreements are really about accepting the ordinations of the other church bodies. Their clergy can preach and preside in our congregations and we in theirs. I have used Presbyterians and UCC clergy to preach and preside when I was on vacation. Two congregations I had served had UCC clergy serve as interims. (Should a clergy from a full-communion partner seek to be called to one of our congregations, they would have to join the ELCA roster, and similarly should an ELCA clergy be called to one of their congregations.)


I think it was the first year I was here, I had a retired LCMS clergy fill in for me. He was recommended by the other ELCA pastor in town. He had often used him. He would preside over the sacrament, but I heard that he didn't receive it. He was a retired military chaplain, so was probably more ecumenical than most LCMS clergy.
I see your point. There was one time when I had a bit of a tiff with a woman pastor. We were both in the local ministerial association and both had volunteered for the local police chaplaincy sponsored by the ministerial association and I thought worked reasonably well together as colleagues in that ministry. She was perhaps a bit younger than me, a second career pastor on her first assignment. I'm actually not sure that she was actually ordained yet but was working though the process in the United Methodist Church. In any case we worked cordially together, had a few theological discussions and I had given her a couple of books from my library that she was interested in and I wasn't really any more.


In any case, she started teasing me that we really should do a pulpit exchange. I tried to gently and politely discourage her but she persisted. Finally I simply told her that the rules of my church body forbad that, it could get me disciplined or kicked out (perhaps a slight overstatement, it would have meant at least a serious conversation with the District) and it seemed to me disrespectful that she was not taking my "No" as no. I thought that I had treated her with respect, unlike some of my brother LCMS pastors that she had dealt with and i knew their attitude. We occasionally chuckled together about that. She apologized.


No it was not that she was a female pastor that was the sticking point. My answer would have been the same if she had been one of her male colleagues.


I recognize the ordination of a pastor within a different church body. That is why I can treat them, male, female, or whatever, as professional colleagues and work with them in the areas where I will do ecumenical work without a problem on my part. They are recognized by that church as qualified for the pastoral ministry within their fellowship, subject to their discipline, and according to their standards. I may disagree with them on whether their standards are good ones but that is their business not mine. But the pulpit to which I was called is subject to our standards and discipline not theirs so they have no more right to demand to occupy my pulpit than I would have to demand to occupy theirs.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 06, 2021, 08:36:37 PM

The issue is more basic than women's ordination, it's ordination itself. We don't allow ordained men in each other's church bodies to preach or preside in our congregations. Our full-communion agreements are really about accepting the ordinations of the other church bodies. Their clergy can preach and preside in our congregations and we in theirs. I have used Presbyterians and UCC clergy to preach and preside when I was on vacation. Two congregations I had served had UCC clergy serve as interims. (Should a clergy from a full-communion partner seek to be called to one of our congregations, they would have to join the ELCA roster, and similarly should an ELCA clergy be called to one of their congregations.)


I think it was the first year I was here, I had a retired LCMS clergy fill in for me. He was recommended by the other ELCA pastor in town. He had often used him. He would preside over the sacrament, but I heard that he didn't receive it. He was a retired military chaplain, so was probably more ecumenical than most LCMS clergy.
I see your point. There was one time when I had a bit of a tiff with a woman pastor. We were both in the local ministerial association and both had volunteered for the local police chaplaincy sponsored by the ministerial association and I thought worked reasonably well together as colleagues in that ministry. She was perhaps a bit younger than me, a second career pastor on her first assignment. I'm actually not sure that she was actually ordained yet but was working though the process in the United Methodist Church. In any case we worked cordially together, had a few theological discussions and I had given her a couple of books from my library that she was interested in and I wasn't really any more.


In any case, she started teasing me that we really should do a pulpit exchange. I tried to gently and politely discourage her but she persisted. Finally I simply told her that the rules of my church body forbad that, it could get me disciplined or kicked out (perhaps a slight overstatement, it would have meant at least a serious conversation with the District) and it seemed to me disrespectful that she was not taking my "No" as no. I thought that I had treated her with respect, unlike some of my brother LCMS pastors that she had dealt with and i knew their attitude. We occasionally chuckled together about that. She apologized.


No it was not that she was a female pastor that was the sticking point. My answer would have been the same if she had been one of her male colleagues.


I recognize the ordination of a pastor within a different church body. That is why I can treat them, male, female, or whatever, as professional colleagues and work with them in the areas where I will do ecumenical work without a problem on my part. They are recognized by that church as qualified for the pastoral ministry within their fellowship, subject to their discipline, and according to their standards. I may disagree with them on whether their standards are good ones but that is their business not mine. But the pulpit to which I was called is subject to our standards and discipline not theirs so they have no more right to demand to occupy my pulpit than I would have to demand to occupy theirs.


Some 40 years ago, I was visiting with a conservative LCMS pastor in Nebraska. (He's still at the same congregation  where he's been since 1979.) Between our two towns was another ALC congregation. John, minister at the in-between town preached each week at a Methodist congregation. (There were three Methodist churches and one Lutheran, and the Methodist and Lutheran ministers covered all four. (John had actually grown up Methodist in Texas, but went to a Lutheran college, became Lutheran, and went on to seminary.) At first the LCMS minister said that he couldn't preach in a Methodist church, like John did; but then he changed his mind. As I recall his words, "I could preach there once, and I would have to tell them that if they agreed with what I was telling them, they needed to join an LCMS congregation."
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: MaddogLutheran on June 07, 2021, 09:19:44 AM
A well-stated article, in my view.
Donna

 https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2021/may-web-only/womens-ordination-saddleback-jesus-not-female-debate.html?fbclid=IwAR1ilTa1pk9B9DPlm0DVkZA-K05IPXgrhZPTjEUp4DTFNqLcRPG-nJb-J5I (https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2021/may-web-only/womens-ordination-saddleback-jesus-not-female-debate.html?fbclid=IwAR1ilTa1pk9B9DPlm0DVkZA-K05IPXgrhZPTjEUp4DTFNqLcRPG-nJb-J5I)
Thank you for sharing this, Pastor Donna.  I too grow weary of such burden bearing symbolism, and I'm not bearing any.  Helpful to read this perspective.  Sometimes I just want to see us get on with it.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Charles Austin on June 07, 2021, 04:59:02 PM
Discussion is dying on this forum. It is dying because we are prohibited from discussing real, personal, experiential matters. How can you have a discussion without discussing the persons involved in the exchange? How can the discussion be complete if the “personal” is eliminated?
I think that’s what has happened in the last postings that were deleted from this modest forum.
Heaven forbid that we should discuss what some consider “moribund” or what others consider their serious struggles are with certain critical topics?
No one was name-calling;no one was engaging in the dread “ad hominem.’ And yet a half-dozen or so comments were deleted. What is someone afraid of?
Crud.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Rev. Edward Engelbrecht on June 07, 2021, 07:43:57 PM
For my part, discussion here seems better. I'm glad Donna felt comfortable to post and hope others feel encouraged, too. I did think this thread had gone wildly astray, which is why I tried to loop it back around to the original post.

Regarding women's ordination, I think the competency argument and the justice argument are the governing arguments for the topic (as they have also served in the issue that immediately followed: ordination of persons in homosexual relationships).  I think none of the women's ordination arguments are truly rooted in biblical teaching and practice. I pray that churches retain the biblical and historic practices for the sake of good order while advancing opportunities for women through deaconess programs. That is the most constructive way to advance the great commission.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: peter_speckhard on June 07, 2021, 07:54:09 PM
Discussion is dying on this forum. It is dying because we are prohibited from discussing real, personal, experiential matters. How can you have a discussion without discussing the persons involved in the exchange? How can the discussion be complete if the “personal” is eliminated?
I think that’s what has happened in the last postings that were deleted from this modest forum.
Heaven forbid that we should discuss what some consider “moribund” or what others consider their serious struggles are with certain critical topics?
No one was name-calling;no one was engaging in the dread “ad hominem.’ And yet a half-dozen or so comments were deleted. What is someone afraid of?
Crud.
I didn't delete anything or see what was deleted apart from Will's one post about the discussion becoming moribund and your response. But I'm assuming it was deleted because it wasn't on topic and wasn't reflecting well on the forum. I don't think anyone is afraid of anything, but people do prefer not to read crud. 
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Charles Austin on June 07, 2021, 08:44:56 PM
Pastor Engelbrecht:
I pray that churches retain the biblical and historic practices for the sake of good order while advancing opportunities for women through deaconess programs. That is the most constructive way to advance the great commission.
Me:
And what of the churches, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, Reformed, Episcopalian, Baptist, and  a bunch of others here and all over the world who already ordain women? All steps taken prayerfully and with much scripture study, in order to advance the gospel. What about us?
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Rev. Edward Engelbrecht on June 07, 2021, 09:06:58 PM
Pastor Engelbrecht:
I pray that churches retain the biblical and historic practices for the sake of good order while advancing opportunities for women through deaconess programs. That is the most constructive way to advance the great commission.
Me:
And what of the churches, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, Reformed, Episcopalian, Baptist, and  a bunch of others here and all over the world who already ordain women? All steps taken prayerfully and with much scripture study, in order to advance the gospel. What about us?

I'm not sure I understand your question. Can you elaborate? What are you asking?
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Charles Austin on June 07, 2021, 09:17:35 PM
I don’t know. Maybe I’m asking if in your view of the church we are in or out. Or what the current situation says about unity within the Christian family.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: peter_speckhard on June 07, 2021, 10:20:15 PM
I don’t know. Maybe I’m asking if in your view of the church we are in or out. Or what the current situation says about unity within the Christian family.
You are in error. That isn’t so easy an in or out question. As far as teaching goes, out. As far as having many people with saving faith who are living members of the Body of Christ, in. Your question assumes a visible Church, as though one could compile a list of organizations that are officially “in.”
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Dan Fienen on June 07, 2021, 10:25:22 PM
I don’t know. Maybe I’m asking if in your view of the church we are in or out. Or what the current situation says about unity within the Christian family.
As I have been asked a number of times in this forum, why does it matter so much what we think about you? Ultimately the only one who matters what He thinks about you is God. Why do you care so much what others would say?
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Charles Austin on June 07, 2021, 10:52:52 PM
Well, Pastor Fienen, as I have said here 1,546 times, I think it hurts the proclamation of the Gospel when we are divided over things that ought not divide us.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Dan Fienen on June 08, 2021, 01:01:54 AM
Well, Pastor Fienen, as I have said here 1,546 times, I think it hurts the proclamation of the Gospel when we are divided over things that ought not divide us.
It would be disputed as to who causes division in the church. Those who introduce changes into the church and expect everybody else to just go along with it, or those who resist such novelties. I have no reason to doubt that those who introduced the novelties of women's ordination or the ordination of those in same sex relationships did so after much prayerful and careful study and deliberation, and did so for what they believed were cogent and necessary reasons. But I can but assure you that those of us who oppose these novelties continue to do so after prayerful and careful study and deliberation for what we believe are cogent and necessary reasons.


I consider those who have accused those who have advocated for these changes of doing so frivolously or thoughtlessly just to fit in with progressive society do the advocates of those changes an injustice. While there may be those for which that might be accurate, I very much doubt that would be true of the majority. Similarly, while some may resist these changes out of fear, stubbornness, or unthinking conservativeness, or misogyny or homophobia, I reject strenuously that is true of the majority.


It is a tale as old as time to presume that my motivations, and the motivations of those I align with are all pure, while the motivations of those opposed are base. The reality is invariably more complicated and motivations mixed. Divisions in the church are as old as the New Testament. How do we manage dissention? Can we disagree without being disagreeable? I firmly believe that divorce is not God pleasing and always a result of sin. But as we are always dealing with sinners, sometimes it is inevitable, even kinder than the alternative. So also with divisions in Christendom.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 08, 2021, 02:24:12 AM
I've said this before. If one begins with Galatians 3:26-28: You are all God’s children through faith in Christ Jesus. All of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek; there is neither slave nor free; nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.



Treating men and women the same in regards to ordination makes perfect sense.


If one looks at 1 Corinthians 11:5: Every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered disgraces her head. It is the same thing as having her head shaved.


We conclude that women spoke in church. Prophesying is proclaiming God's Word to the people.


Quite different conclusions come from starting with 1 Corinthians 14:33b-35 Like in all the churches of God’s people, the women should be quiet during the meeting. They are not allowed to talk. Instead, they need to get under control, just as the Law says. If they want to learn something, they should ask their husbands at home. It is disgraceful for a woman to talk during the meeting.


1 Timothy 2:11-12 presents some translation issues, like CEB indicates in some foornotes:  A wife1 should learn quietly with complete submission.  I don’t allow a wife2 to teach or to control her husband.3 Instead, she should be a quiet listener.


[1] 1 Timothy 2:11: Or a woman
[2] 1 Timothy 2:12: Or a woman
[3] 1 Timothy 2:12: Or a man

I remember discussing back in seminary, all of these verses - and I started two years after the first women were ordained in the ALC/LCA. We began with Galatians, and then interpreted the 1 Corinthian passage from that. Namely, that it wasn't about worship leadership, but the women, who sat in a separate section, talking to each other during the service. The advice is, rather than ask questions or gossip among themselves during worship - leading to less decency and less order - they should be quiet and ask their husbands at home if they had any questions.


We also had a functional view of ordination. Anyone who can properly do the things that pastors are required to do can jump through the hoops to be ordained.


There were also two opposing discussions about ordination. We should either do away with it so that we can better emphasize the ministry of all the baptized; or offer ordinations to all vocations. Ordain plumbers and doctors and teachers, and everyone else who is serving God in their vocations.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Dan Fienen on June 08, 2021, 04:19:25 AM
I've said this before. If one begins with Galatians 3:26-28: You are all God’s children through faith in Christ Jesus. All of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek; there is neither slave nor free; nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.



Treating men and women the same in regards to ordination makes perfect sense.


If one looks at 1 Corinthians 11:5: Every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered disgraces her head. It is the same thing as having her head shaved.


We conclude that women spoke in church. Prophesying is proclaiming God's Word to the people.


Quite different conclusions come from starting with 1 Corinthians 14:33b-35 Like in all the churches of God’s people, the women should be quiet during the meeting. They are not allowed to talk. Instead, they need to get under control, just as the Law says. If they want to learn something, they should ask their husbands at home. It is disgraceful for a woman to talk during the meeting.


1 Timothy 2:11-12 presents some translation issues, like CEB indicates in some foornotes:  A wife1 should learn quietly with complete submission.  I don’t allow a wife2 to teach or to control her husband.3 Instead, she should be a quiet listener.


[1] 1 Timothy 2:11: Or a woman
[2] 1 Timothy 2:12: Or a woman
[3] 1 Timothy 2:12: Or a man

I remember discussing back in seminary, all of these verses - and I started two years after the first women were ordained in the ALC/LCA. We began with Galatians, and then interpreted the 1 Corinthian passage from that. Namely, that it wasn't about worship leadership, but the women, who sat in a separate section, talking to each other during the service. The advice is, rather than ask questions or gossip among themselves during worship - leading to less decency and less order - they should be quiet and ask their husbands at home if they had any questions.


We also had a functional view of ordination. Anyone who can properly do the things that pastors are required to do can jump through the hoops to be ordained.


There were also two opposing discussions about ordination. We should either do away with it so that we can better emphasize the ministry of all the baptized; or offer ordinations to all vocations. Ordain plumbers and doctors and teachers, and everyone else who is serving God in their vocations.
This is your perspective,  your interpretation,  the verses that you decide to start from. I, we  have our own perspectives,  interpretations, and starting points. Why should we be obliged to follow your view point rather than ours?
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Richard Johnson on June 08, 2021, 06:13:43 AM
Discussion is dying on this forum. It is dying because we are prohibited from discussing real, personal, experiential matters. How can you have a discussion without discussing the persons involved in the exchange? How can the discussion be complete if the “personal” is eliminated?
I think that’s what has happened in the last postings that were deleted from this modest forum.
Heaven forbid that we should discuss what some consider “moribund” or what others consider their serious struggles are with certain critical topics?
No one was name-calling;no one was engaging in the dread “ad hominem.’ And yet a half-dozen or so comments were deleted. What is someone afraid of?
Crud.
I didn't delete anything or see what was deleted apart from Will's one post about the discussion becoming moribund and your response. But I'm assuming it was deleted because it wasn't on topic and wasn't reflecting well on the forum. I don't think anyone is afraid of anything, but people do prefer not to read crud.

Yep. It was I who got fed up and deleted stuff.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Rev. Edward Engelbrecht on June 08, 2021, 06:44:41 AM
I don’t know. Maybe I’m asking if in your view of the church we are in or out. Or what the current situation says about unity within the Christian family.

I think what drives your question is one of the great modern church movements: ecumenism, which dominated concerns in the twentieth century. It's interesting to me that you don't include in your list one of the flag ships: the UCC. I think the ELCA is following that flag ship, first in ecumenical concern but ultimately in doctrine and practice.

I regard anyone who worships the triune God and trusts in Jesus for the forgiveness of sins as a fellow Christian. Unity accomplished by the Lord.

Now, in ecumenical relations, I think the ELCA has painted itself into a corner, also with women's ordination. How do you unite with the largest church bodies when they do not ordain women and do not plan to start? You can only unite with other liberal churches, which is what is happening. And the more those churches move left, the less they are able to achieve their goals of broad unity.

That's how I see things and, to prevent thread drift, the effect of women's ordination upon church life.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Charles Austin on June 08, 2021, 08:46:01 AM
“Unite” is not the word to use, nor is organic “Union” the current goal. We look to remove old hatreds, Old hostility,  old disagreements which may no longer be necessary. We want to find more extensive ways to “be together,” even at the altar, even though we have not solved every single problem of doctrine and/or piety. We in the ELCA have not  painted ourselves into a corner, especially with regard to some of the largest international church fellowships and communions, for instance, Anglicanism, the reformed churches, the Methodist churches, and several other church fellowships around the world.
We will need to seek a different kind of fellowship and or cooperation in ministry and mission with other parts of the church Catholic. We are, I think, ready to do that. Some potential dialogue partners, however, want the dialogue to be on their terms only. That’s not the way dialogue works. And we have to pursue those opportunities where we see some chance of progress. In some parts of Christendom, we do not see much possibility for progress, at least not in ways that we think could help a common mission and ministry.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: peter_speckhard on June 08, 2021, 09:15:22 AM
In some parts of Christendom, we do not see much possibility for progress, at least not in ways that we think could help a common mission and ministry.
That's true for us as well. And liberal Protestantism is one of those parts. Orthodoxy, Roman Catholicism, Evangelicalism, and African/Asian Protestantism are all more fertile ground for worthwhile discussion. 
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Dave Benke on June 08, 2021, 09:32:07 AM
In some parts of Christendom, we do not see much possibility for progress, at least not in ways that we think could help a common mission and ministry.
That's true for us as well. And liberal Protestantism is one of those parts. Orthodoxy, Roman Catholicism, Evangelicalism, and African/Asian Protestantism are all more fertile ground for worthwhile discussion.

In an inter-Lutheran online forum, the dialog is often going to be between points of view on the liberal Protestant and ecumenical side of the aisle and points of view on the conservative Protestant and ecumenical side of the aisle.  Iron, it is said un-ironically, is supposed to sharpen iron. 

Krister Stendahl wrote the book back in the day giving the exegetical connection between Galatians 3 and the service of women in the Church including, eventually, ordination.  The passage, and its exegesis, continues to be important across all the churchly divides in understanding the difference between the equal status of all the redeemed for salvation as compared to the ability of all to be authorized and eligible for all roles in the church.  And for Lutherans, the Predigamt is at the top of the list in terms of roles.  So we would and should treat the comparison of points of view as important. 

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Steven W Bohler on June 08, 2021, 10:16:14 AM
Well, Pastor Fienen, as I have said here 1,546 times, I think it hurts the proclamation of the Gospel when we are divided over things that ought not divide us.

If you are so sure that women's ordination ought not divide us, then stop doing it.  But you won't, will you?  Because you too think the issue is significant enough to divide the Church, unless everyone goes along with your view.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 08, 2021, 10:24:22 AM
In some parts of Christendom, we do not see much possibility for progress, at least not in ways that we think could help a common mission and ministry.
That's true for us as well. And liberal Protestantism is one of those parts. Orthodoxy, Roman Catholicism, Evangelicalism, and African/Asian Protestantism are all more fertile ground for worthwhile discussion.


Yet, many of those church bodies have different views and practices of ordination than you do, e.g. celibacy, only bishops can officiate; but you don’t let those differences prevent you from seeing them as “fertile ground for worthwhile discussions.”
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Rev. Edward Engelbrecht on June 08, 2021, 11:44:32 AM
In some parts of Christendom, we do not see much possibility for progress, at least not in ways that we think could help a common mission and ministry.
That's true for us as well. And liberal Protestantism is one of those parts. Orthodoxy, Roman Catholicism, Evangelicalism, and African/Asian Protestantism are all more fertile ground for worthwhile discussion.

In an inter-Lutheran online forum, the dialog is often going to be between points of view on the liberal Protestant and ecumenical side of the aisle and points of view on the conservative Protestant and ecumenical side of the aisle.  Iron, it is said un-ironically, is supposed to sharpen iron. 

Krister Stendahl wrote the book back in the day giving the exegetical connection between Galatians 3 and the service of women in the Church including, eventually, ordination.  The passage, and its exegesis, continues to be important across all the churchly divides in understanding the difference between the equal status of all the redeemed for salvation as compared to the ability of all to be authorized and eligible for all roles in the church.  And for Lutherans, the Predigamt is at the top of the list in terms of roles.  So we would and should treat the comparison of points of view as important. 

Dave Benke

Pres. Benke, I've always understood Galatians 3:26--29 to be about justification rather than ministry/ordination. Is there something in the passage that made Stendahl decide that it was about ministry/ordination?
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 08, 2021, 12:23:49 PM
Well, Pastor Fienen, as I have said here 1,546 times, I think it hurts the proclamation of the Gospel when we are divided over things that ought not divide us.

If you are so sure that women's ordination ought not divide us, then stop doing it.  But you won't, will you?  Because you too think the issue is significant enough to divide the Church, unless everyone goes along with your view.


Most of Christianity has bishops who are required the officiants at ordinations. (That has been a requirement since the 4th century - also required was at least three bishops to lay hands on any newly elected bishops.) Are you willing to change your policies to elect "bishops" and to follow the historic practices for bishops?
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 08, 2021, 12:28:44 PM
In some parts of Christendom, we do not see much possibility for progress, at least not in ways that we think could help a common mission and ministry.
That's true for us as well. And liberal Protestantism is one of those parts. Orthodoxy, Roman Catholicism, Evangelicalism, and African/Asian Protestantism are all more fertile ground for worthwhile discussion.

In an inter-Lutheran online forum, the dialog is often going to be between points of view on the liberal Protestant and ecumenical side of the aisle and points of view on the conservative Protestant and ecumenical side of the aisle.  Iron, it is said un-ironically, is supposed to sharpen iron. 

Krister Stendahl wrote the book back in the day giving the exegetical connection between Galatians 3 and the service of women in the Church including, eventually, ordination.  The passage, and its exegesis, continues to be important across all the churchly divides in understanding the difference between the equal status of all the redeemed for salvation as compared to the ability of all to be authorized and eligible for all roles in the church.  And for Lutherans, the Predigamt is at the top of the list in terms of roles.  So we would and should treat the comparison of points of view as important. 

Dave Benke

Pres. Benke, I've always understood Galatians 3:26--29 to be about justification rather than ministry/ordination. Is there something in the passage that made Stendahl decide that it was about ministry/ordination?


When ordination is about function, it is centered in justification. The justified who can function properly in that office, are eligible for ordination. I remember one professor stating that all of us are laity (from the Greek, λάος = "people," but some of the "people" are set apart to be "shepherds." It doesn't mean that we are no longer part of the λαός.


What is your understanding of ministry and ordination? (Granted, the "ministry" question was one that the ELCA did not resolve at his formation, and still are evolving with our changing rosters for non-ordained church workers.) Or, what does ordination do?


My understanding is that ordination is the Church (the ELCA) affirming that this person is qualified to properly preach the gospel and administer the sacraments according to our Lutheran understanding. The use of bishops as officiants and synod candidacy committees, and ELCA affiliated seminaries are ways that the candidate is affirmed by the Church and not just an individual decision.


It is not much different from doctors, lawyers, accountants, etc. passing their boards so that their clients are assured that they are qualified to proper perform their professions.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 08, 2021, 12:44:23 PM
Our ordination service begins with this statement.


All baptized Christians are called to share
in Christ’s ministry of love and service in the world,
to the glory of God and for the sake of the human family and the whole creation.
According to apostolic usage you are now to be entrusted
with the office of word and sacrament in the one holy catholic church
by the laying on of hands and by prayer.
[Evangelical Lutheran Worship: Occasional Services for the Assembly]


It affirms the ministry of all the baptized as well as the set-apartness of us in the "office of word and sacrament".


Three scripture passages are read at the beginning.
John 20:21-23
Matthew 28:18-20
1 Corinthians 11:23-26


Four are read as part of the "Charge".
1 Timothy 6:11-12
Acts 20:28
1 Peter 5:2-4
1 Corinthians 4:1-2
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: peter_speckhard on June 08, 2021, 01:27:39 PM
In some parts of Christendom, we do not see much possibility for progress, at least not in ways that we think could help a common mission and ministry.
That's true for us as well. And liberal Protestantism is one of those parts. Orthodoxy, Roman Catholicism, Evangelicalism, and African/Asian Protestantism are all more fertile ground for worthwhile discussion.


Yet, many of those church bodies have different views and practices of ordination than you do, e.g. celibacy, only bishops can officiate; but you don’t let those differences prevent you from seeing them as “fertile ground for worthwhile discussions.”
True, because they (mostly) remain on the same side of what I've called the great divide or the one grand chasm that goes perpendicular to denominational boundaries. Most denominational differences stem from different orderings of authority such as Scripture, Reason, Tradition, Council/Pope. The problem with liberal Protestantism is that it is officially sola scriptura but does not respect the authority of Scripture, at least not in the sense that those who originally claimed the need for sola scriptura understood the authority of Scripture. We see it, for example, when you write off things St. Paul says in Scripture as his own captivity to the worldly ways of his day. When the words of Scripture are not the Word of God for you, you are functionally without authority when you maintain sola scriptura, which really means speaking authoritatively yourself and claiming it is God speaking. When people point out that Tradition and Council/Pope don't admit of ordaining women, you say you don't go by those things, you go by Scripture. But when Scripture also doesn't admit of it, you say yeah, but Scripture is wrong about that. The Spirit is doing a new thing among us. We can only conclude it is a different spirit than the One that works among us.

In terms of fertile ecumentical ground I similarly don't see much hope in pursuing talks with rebel Catholics who reject their own church's teaching on this or that, either. They are similarly without functional authority. Or non-traditional Orthodox-- if such a thing existed, on what basis would one discuss things with them? To what does one appeal? Resolving disagreements and conflicts involves getting down to some sort of shared foundation. It is that foundation that has cracked and opened into a chasm between traditional/conservative/orthodox Christians and revisionist/progressive Christians. 
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Charles Austin on June 08, 2021, 01:34:56 PM
Pastor Bohler:
Because you too think the issue is significant enough to divide the Church, unless everyone goes along with your view.
Me:
No, for the 580th time, no. You do not have to “go along” with my view on ordination for women. But we should seek, not cut off, opportunities for full fellowship in spite of our difference on this point. (And some other points.) We need to very carefully examine our prior “check-lists” of “essentials” concerning cooperation and fellowship. It is not 1580. It is not 1918. It is not even post Vatican II days of the 1960s. All I hear from one “side” here is how this thing, or that thing or some other thing absolutely must keep us from sharing the sacrament and our ministries. Most here have drawn the line in the sand and stick to it. That is why for some years now I have not favored “official” inter-Lutheran dialogue with the LCMS. I have hopes that living together locally just might erase some of those lines.
Don’t ask me why I am optimistic. I don’t know and it doesn’t make sense. It is a burden to bear, and I just cannot put it down, despite what I hear in this modest forum, which - in my hopeful opinion - does not represent the fullness of American Lutheranism, that fullness including not just the pastors, seminary profs and convention overtures, but the people in the pews.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: George Rahn on June 08, 2021, 02:27:22 PM
Presupposing authority of scriptures, what are the scriptures one is as ascribing authority to?  Everything in the Bible?  Was sola scriptura even an issue in the Lutheran reformation?  It may have been for the Calvinists.  But not for Lutherans.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Tom Eckstein on June 08, 2021, 04:35:46 PM
Somewhere upstream someone suggested that since there are only TWO Scripture texts where female pastors are prohibited, we don't have to take that prohibition all that seriously.  In response to this assertion, below is a 2014 unpublished article by John Kleinig (found on his web page):

One of the repeated objections to the traditional teaching that women are not to serve as
pastors is that only two passages in the New Testament directly forbid this practice. That is
true! They are 1 Corinthians 14:33b
-38 and 1 Timothy 2:11-14. Yet those two passages are
backed up by Christ’s choice of men as apostles, the nomination of two ‘men” by the church
in Jerusalem in Acts 1:21 as candidates to replace Judas, and tradition of the Early Church.
The argument from frequency of testimony itself is weak, for the truth of God’s teaching does
not depend on how frequently that matter is mentioned in the New Testament. What matters
is that an article of faith or a practice is taught by Christ and his apostles, not how often it is
taught. It must also be consistent with what else is taught and not contradict any other clear
article of faith.
If the church would refuse to accept a doctrine or practice that was not mentioned more than
two times, it would have to call into question the following teachings and practices.
1. The following articles of faith from the Apostles Creed and Nicene Creed would not pass
the test.
 Christ’s conception by the Holy Spirit (Matt 1:20; Luke 1:35)
 Christ as one substance/one being with God the Father (Hebrews
1:3; John 10:30?)
 Christ’s descent into hell (1 Peter 3:19; Eph 4:7-10?)
 Christ as the Judge of the living and the dead (Acts 10:42; 2 Timothy
4:1)
 The Holy Spirit as Lord (1 Cor 3:18)
 The Holy Spirit as the Life Giver (John 6:63)
 The procession of the Holy Spirit from God the Father (John 15:26)
 Baptism for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38; 22:16)
2. The following liturgical practices could also be dismissed.
 The teaching of one baptism rather than repeated washings in
Ephesians 4:5
 Christ’s command to baptize in the name of the Father and of the Son
and of the Holy Spirit in Matthew 28:19
 Christ’s command for the ongoing celebration of Holy Communion
(Luke 22:19; 1 Cor 11:24-25)
 Christ’s instruction to pray the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13; Luke
11:2-4)
While it is argued that only two NT passages forbid the ordination of women, there is not
even one passage in the NT that actually authorises women to be pastors. Galatians 3:28 is
the only text that has been used to support the case. Yet that verse does not speak about the
ordained ministry but only about the unity of baptised women and men as co-heirs with Jesus
in the family of God.
The ordination of women is part of the doctrine of the apostolic ministry of Christ, the
ministry of word and sacrament. It is in itself not an article of faith but a practice that has
been instituted by Christ and his apostles. As a practical matter it is remarkable that it is
mentioned at all, let alone twice in two completely different contexts. Nevertheless the
weight of these passages does not depend on their repetition but on the reasons given for their
prohibition of women as pastors, the chief of which is that this is a command of Christ.


Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 08, 2021, 05:06:22 PM
True, because they (mostly) remain on the same side of what I've called the great divide or the one grand chasm that goes perpendicular to denominational boundaries. Most denominational differences stem from different orderings of authority such as Scripture, Reason, Tradition, Council/Pope. The problem with liberal Protestantism is that it is officially sola scriptura but does not respect the authority of Scripture, at least not in the sense that those who originally claimed the need for sola scriptura understood the authority of Scripture. We see it, for example, when you write off things St. Paul says in Scripture as his own captivity to the worldly ways of his day. When the words of Scripture are not the Word of God for you, you are functionally without authority when you maintain sola scriptura, which really means speaking authoritatively yourself and claiming it is God speaking. When people point out that Tradition and Council/Pope don't admit of ordaining women, you say you don't go by those things, you go by Scripture. But when Scripture also doesn't admit of it, you say yeah, but Scripture is wrong about that. The Spirit is doing a new thing among us. We can only conclude it is a different spirit than the One that works among us.


 Even the LCMS writes off things St. Paul says in Scripture as his own captivity to the worldly ways of his day. When women in your church do not have their heads covered when praying and prophesying; you have written off that scripture. (Same if women have short hair and men and long hair.) When you have clergy who have had more than one wife, you have written off that scripture.


I don't recall that I have ever said that scripture is wrong. I state that we need to try and discover the meaning the scripture had for its first intended audience before we jump to the meaning(s) it may have for us today. Concluding that Paul was telling the women to stop chattering among themselves during the worship service is quite different than saying Paul was telling women never to speak in worship. (We know that Paul allowed women to pray and prophesy during worship.)


It makes quite a difference if γυνή and ἀνήρ are seen as "wife" and "husband" or "woman" and "man" in 1 Timothy 2. In addition, whether the commands in vv. 11-12 are for all places, or only within worship. (We tend to look at vv. 9-10 about a woman's clothing to apply to all places and all times; not just what they wear to worship. Similarly, the commend to men to "pray everywhere" in v. 9 moves it out of the limited worship space and time into the world and all times.) If you allow women to be teachers in your schools or have authority over men in business and politics, you could be writing off this scripture.


Even more significant, I think, is how αὐθεντεῖν is understood/translated in v. 12. The CEB sees it as "to control." Others use, "to have authority," "to usurp authority," "to exercise authority." A couple modern versions as well as BDAG have, "to tell a man what to do." Lowe & Nida define it: "to control in a domineering manner," and offer idiomatic translations as: "to shout orders at," "to bark at." It makes quite a difference for interpreting this verse if one assumes the word is about any and all authority over men, or a particular kind of overbearing authority that is unbecoming of a woman (or wife; or anyone).

It is clear to me that this hapax legomenon has a different meaning than ἐξουσία,  the much more common word translated "authority." They are not synonyms. They are not equal in meaning. To interpret them the same is a mistake.

Oh, to throw another passage at you, 1 Timothy 2:15 says that a woman will be saved (σώζω) through child-bearing. I believe that we all push that aside in favor of women (and men) being saved through God's grace.

Rather than dismiss the authority of scriptures as you claim we do, I see us (or at least some of us,) taking scriptures even more authoritatively than you do; but we search for the meaning the text was meant to proclaim.

Quote
In terms of fertile ecumenical ground I similarly don't see much hope in pursuing talks with rebel Catholics who reject their own church's teaching on this or that, either. They are similarly without functional authority. Or non-traditional Orthodox-- if such a thing existed, on what basis would one discuss things with them? To what does one appeal? Resolving disagreements and conflicts involves getting down to some sort of shared foundation. It is that foundation that has cracked and opened into a chasm between traditional/conservative/orthodox Christians and revisionist/progressive Christians.

It was pointed out way back when the commission was forming our new Lutheran Church that the LCMS, having never gone through a merger, had never had to seriously examine their foundation to see what was truly important and what one was willing to give up for the sake of a greater good. The ALC and LCA had done that before entering into the ELCA. The AELC were newbies to this process.

If we are going to be biblical, "our foundation is Jesus Christ" (1 Cor 3:11) or "the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone" (Eph 2:20). Jesus Christ is the foundation of our mergers and our ecumenical agreements.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: D. Engebretson on June 08, 2021, 05:14:26 PM
It is always interesting to see which direction threads will drift.  Like anything it depends on the prevailing winds of the moment.  The article simply wished to state that women who seek ordination do it out of a sense of wanting to serve the church, and not as a 'statement.' 

Then we drifted full bore into the deep and troubled waters of fellowship.  Obviously women's ordination is only one issue of many that impacts fellowship concerns between church bodies such as the LCMS and the ELCA. To some it seems that this is the 'key' issue, or chief among only a few, but the truth is that pulpit and altar fellowship is a lot more complicated than just one issue.  It probably deserves its own thread, but I'm not sure how far we'd get in a productive manner. 

To truly examine the fundamental issues that impact fellowship between church bodies such as the LCMS and ELCA you really need to look deeper than issues such as women's ordination.  For example, you need to look at our differing views of the scriptures themselves, not to mention how differently we utilize the primary confessional documents of the Book of Concord.  Our ongoing discussions on this forum often reveal the wide gulfs in that area alone.  I'm not going to drag out all of the differences that this produces, since we are all familiar with them.  But they are significant, at least for many in the LCMS. 
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Steven W Bohler on June 08, 2021, 05:32:24 PM
Pastor Bohler:
Because you too think the issue is significant enough to divide the Church, unless everyone goes along with your view.
Me:
No, for the 580th time, no. You do not have to “go along” with my view on ordination for women. But we should seek, not cut off, opportunities for full fellowship in spite of our difference on this point. (And some other points.) We need to very carefully examine our prior “check-lists” of “essentials” concerning cooperation and fellowship. It is not 1580. It is not 1918. It is not even post Vatican II days of the 1960s. All I hear from one “side” here is how this thing, or that thing or some other thing absolutely must keep us from sharing the sacrament and our ministries. Most here have drawn the line in the sand and stick to it. That is why for some years now I have not favored “official” inter-Lutheran dialogue with the LCMS. I have hopes that living together locally just might erase some of those lines.
Don’t ask me why I am optimistic. I don’t know and it doesn’t make sense. It is a burden to bear, and I just cannot put it down, despite what I hear in this modest forum, which - in my hopeful opinion - does not represent the fullness of American Lutheranism, that fullness including not just the pastors, seminary profs and convention overtures, but the people in the pews.

But, whether you agree or not, we DO see this issue as Church-dividing.  And while you seemingly see the ordination of women as not required (since you are willing to be in fellowship with churches, such as ours, that refuse to ordain women), apparently you value the ordination of women over Church fellowship, as you have made that choice knowing how it would be received.  So, like it or not, you have chosen to divide the Church over this issue.  Now, to be fair, it is only ONE of the issues you and your church have chosen to elevate over fellowship.  But it IS one of the issues you have preferred to fellowship.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: peter_speckhard on June 08, 2021, 05:34:44 PM
The LCMS does not write off St. Paul as being captive to the worldly views of his day. We recognize meaning and context. If x is disgraceful, x ought not be done. That is not a declaration that x is always and everywhere disgraceful. In the same way, recognizing meaning and context allows us to know that St. Paul does not contradict himself on the matter of circumcision.

If we are wrong about head coverings and hair length, it isn’t because we think St. Paul was captive to his culture and not speaking the Word of God (although in a few places he distinguishes between his own opinion and revelation from God, which we acknowledge). It would be because we misinterpreted his authoritative writing. In terms of authority, there is a big difference between, “I misunderstood you and thus didn’t do what you said,” and, “I understood you but also understood your shortcomings and compensated for them and thus didn’t do what you said.” If the LCMS is wrong about head coverings, it will be with the former explanation, not the latter. If the ELCA is wrong about women’s ordination (and I believe it is) it will be with the latter explanation.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Tom Eckstein on June 08, 2021, 05:56:10 PM
The LCMS does not write off St. Paul as being captive to the worldly views of his day. We recognize meaning and context. If x is disgraceful, x ought not be done. That is not a declaration that x is always and everywhere disgraceful. In the same way, recognizing meaning and context allows us to know that St. Paul does not contradict himself on the matter of circumcision.

If we are wrong about head coverings and hair length, it isn’t because we think St. Paul was captive to his culture and not speaking the Word of God (although in a few places he distinguishes between his own opinion and revelation from God, which we acknowledge). It would be because we misinterpreted his authoritative writing. In terms of authority, there is a big difference between, “I misunderstood you and thus didn’t do what you said,” and, “I understood you but also understood your shortcomings and compensated for them and thus didn’t do what you said.” If the LCMS is wrong about head coverings, it will be with the former explanation, not the latter. If the ELCA is wrong about women’s ordination (and I believe it is) it will be with the latter explanation.

Peter, I'm also tired of Brian quoting the "women's head covering/long hair" from 1 Cor. 11 because it's on the level of the "shrimp argument" from Leviticus.  Simply put, the context of 1 Cor. 11 is clear that the universal unchanging principle is that there is a distinction between male and female, and one way that universal unchanging principle was expressed in Corinth in Paul's day is that women had head coverings/long hair whereas men did not.  We have the same custom in our own culture where most men and most women still wear different types of clothing.  Most men don't show up church in a dress and most women don't show up with a man's suit and tie because most Christians still accept Paul's teaching that God wants there to be a distinction between male and female.  HOW this distinction is expressed varies from time to time and culture to culture, but we still are obedient to the unchanging principle.  As for ordaining women into the pastoral office, in 1st Cor. 14 and elsewhere is it clear that this prohibition is not a temporary local expression of a universal principle but is itself a universal principle that applies to all times and places.  Just as the Son cannot be the head of God the Father and just as the wife cannot be the head of her husband, a woman cannot represent Christ as the Bridegroom who is head over His bride, the church.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: George Rahn on June 08, 2021, 07:01:21 PM
True, because they (mostly) remain on the same side of what I've called the great divide or the one grand chasm that goes perpendicular to denominational boundaries. Most denominational differences stem from different orderings of authority such as Scripture, Reason, Tradition, Council/Pope. The problem with liberal Protestantism is that it is officially sola scriptura but does not respect the authority of Scripture, at least not in the sense that those who originally claimed the need for sola scriptura understood the authority of Scripture. We see it, for example, when you write off things St. Paul says in Scripture as his own captivity to the worldly ways of his day. When the words of Scripture are not the Word of God for you, you are functionally without authority when you maintain sola scriptura, which really means speaking authoritatively yourself and claiming it is God speaking. When people point out that Tradition and Council/Pope don't admit of ordaining women, you say you don't go by those things, you go by Scripture. But when Scripture also doesn't admit of it, you say yeah, but Scripture is wrong about that. The Spirit is doing a new thing among us. We can only conclude it is a different spirit than the One that works among us.


 Even the LCMS writes off things St. Paul says in Scripture as his own captivity to the worldly ways of his day. When women in your church do not have their heads covered when praying and prophesying; you have written off that scripture. (Same if women have short hair and men and long hair.) When you have clergy who have had more than one wife, you have written off that scripture.


I don't recall that I have ever said that scripture is wrong. I state that we need to try and discover the meaning the scripture had for its first intended audience before we jump to the meaning(s) it may have for us today. Concluding that Paul was telling the women to stop chattering among themselves during the worship service is quite different than saying Paul was telling women never to speak in worship. (We know that Paul allowed women to pray and prophesy during worship.)


It makes quite a difference if γυνή and ἀνήρ are seen as "wife" and "husband" or "woman" and "man" in 1 Timothy 2. In addition, whether the commands in vv. 11-12 are for all places, or only within worship. (We tend to look at vv. 9-10 about a woman's clothing to apply to all places and all times; not just what they wear to worship. Similarly, the commend to men to "pray everywhere" in v. 9 moves it out of the limited worship space and time into the world and all times.) If you allow women to be teachers in your schools or have authority over men in business and politics, you could be writing off this scripture.


Even more significant, I think, is how αὐθεντεῖν is understood/translated in v. 12. The CEB sees it as "to control." Others use, "to have authority," "to usurp authority," "to exercise authority." A couple modern versions as well as BDAG have, "to tell a man what to do." Lowe & Nida define it: "to control in a domineering manner," and offer idiomatic translations as: "to shout orders at," "to bark at." It makes quite a difference for interpreting this verse if one assumes the word is about any and all authority over men, or a particular kind of overbearing authority that is unbecoming of a woman (or wife; or anyone).

It is clear to me that this hapax legomenon has a different meaning than ἐξουσία,  the much more common word translated "authority." They are not synonyms. They are not equal in meaning. To interpret them the same is a mistake.

Oh, to throw another passage at you, 1 Timothy 2:15 says that a woman will be saved (σώζω) through child-bearing. I believe that we all push that aside in favor of women (and men) being saved through God's grace.

Rather than dismiss the authority of scriptures as you claim we do, I see us (or at least some of us,) taking scriptures even more authoritatively than you do; but we search for the meaning the text was meant to proclaim.

Quote
In terms of fertile ecumenical ground I similarly don't see much hope in pursuing talks with rebel Catholics who reject their own church's teaching on this or that, either. They are similarly without functional authority. Or non-traditional Orthodox-- if such a thing existed, on what basis would one discuss things with them? To what does one appeal? Resolving disagreements and conflicts involves getting down to some sort of shared foundation. It is that foundation that has cracked and opened into a chasm between traditional/conservative/orthodox Christians and revisionist/progressive Christians.

It was pointed out way back when the commission was forming our new Lutheran Church that the LCMS, having never gone through a merger, had never had to seriously examine their foundation to see what was truly important and what one was willing to give up for the sake of a greater good. The ALC and LCA had done that before entering into the ELCA. The AELC were newbies to this process.

If we are going to be biblical, "our foundation is Jesus Christ" (1 Cor 3:11) or "the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone" (Eph 2:20). Jesus Christ is the foundation of our mergers and our ecumenical agreements.

"Jesus Christ is the foundation of our mergers and ecumenical agreements."  I do not agree with this conclusion.  To me it does not square biblically.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 09, 2021, 01:56:32 AM
It is always interesting to see which direction threads will drift.  Like anything it depends on the prevailing winds of the moment.  The article simply wished to state that women who seek ordination do it out of a sense of wanting to serve the church, and not as a 'statement.' 

Then we drifted full bore into the deep and troubled waters of fellowship.  Obviously women's ordination is only one issue of many that impacts fellowship concerns between church bodies such as the LCMS and the ELCA. To some it seems that this is the 'key' issue, or chief among only a few, but the truth is that pulpit and altar fellowship is a lot more complicated than just one issue.  It probably deserves its own thread, but I'm not sure how far we'd get in a productive manner. 

To truly examine the fundamental issues that impact fellowship between church bodies such as the LCMS and ELCA you really need to look deeper than issues such as women's ordination.  For example, you need to look at our differing views of the scriptures themselves, not to mention how differently we utilize the primary confessional documents of the Book of Concord.  Our ongoing discussions on this forum often reveal the wide gulfs in that area alone.  I'm not going to drag out all of the differences that this produces, since we are all familiar with them.  But they are significant, at least for many in the LCMS.


Remember that the ALC and LCMS were in fellowship for 11 years while the ALC ordained women, 1970-1981. (Fellowship was approved in 1969. The first woman ordained was in 1970, so she was in seminary earning her degree when fellowship was approved.)
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 09, 2021, 02:02:21 AM
The LCMS does not write off St. Paul as being captive to the worldly views of his day. We recognize meaning and context. If x is disgraceful, x ought not be done. That is not a declaration that x is always and everywhere disgraceful. In the same way, recognizing meaning and context allows us to know that St. Paul does not contradict himself on the matter of circumcision.

If we are wrong about head coverings and hair length, it isn’t because we think St. Paul was captive to his culture and not speaking the Word of God (although in a few places he distinguishes between his own opinion and revelation from God, which we acknowledge). It would be because we misinterpreted his authoritative writing. In terms of authority, there is a big difference between, “I misunderstood you and thus didn’t do what you said,” and, “I understood you but also understood your shortcomings and compensated for them and thus didn’t do what you said.” If the LCMS is wrong about head coverings, it will be with the former explanation, not the latter. If the ELCA is wrong about women’s ordination (and I believe it is) it will be with the latter explanation.


I don't see it as misunderstanding at all. Well, I would say that the LCMS misunderstands Paul. He wasn't writing about women in leadership positions, but women sitting in the pews (or whatever they sat on) talking to each other during the worship service. They were creating a disturbance. In terms of leadership, Paul allowed women to pray and prophesy during worship. They were in leadership roles. At Pentecost, the Spirit spoke through all the disciples, men and women.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 09, 2021, 02:03:37 AM
"Jesus Christ is the foundation of our mergers and ecumenical agreements."  I do not agree with this conclusion.  To me it does not square biblically.


You don't think that our ecumenical discussion begin with "I believe in Jesus Christ, God's only son, our Lord" and we build from that?
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Rev. Edward Engelbrecht on June 09, 2021, 08:05:48 AM
The LCMS does not write off St. Paul as being captive to the worldly views of his day. We recognize meaning and context. If x is disgraceful, x ought not be done. That is not a declaration that x is always and everywhere disgraceful. In the same way, recognizing meaning and context allows us to know that St. Paul does not contradict himself on the matter of circumcision.

If we are wrong about head coverings and hair length, it isn’t because we think St. Paul was captive to his culture and not speaking the Word of God (although in a few places he distinguishes between his own opinion and revelation from God, which we acknowledge). It would be because we misinterpreted his authoritative writing. In terms of authority, there is a big difference between, “I misunderstood you and thus didn’t do what you said,” and, “I understood you but also understood your shortcomings and compensated for them and thus didn’t do what you said.” If the LCMS is wrong about head coverings, it will be with the former explanation, not the latter. If the ELCA is wrong about women’s ordination (and I believe it is) it will be with the latter explanation.

Peter, I'm also tired of Brian quoting the "women's head covering/long hair" from 1 Cor. 11 because it's on the level of the "shrimp argument" from Leviticus.  Simply put, the context of 1 Cor. 11 is clear that the universal unchanging principle is that there is a distinction between male and female, and one way that universal unchanging principle was expressed in Corinth in Paul's day is that women had head coverings/long hair whereas men did not.  We have the same custom in our own culture where most men and most women still wear different types of clothing.  Most men don't show up church in a dress and most women don't show up with a man's suit and tie because most Christians still accept Paul's teaching that God wants there to be a distinction between male and female.  HOW this distinction is expressed varies from time to time and culture to culture, but we still are obedient to the unchanging principle.  As for ordaining women into the pastoral office, in 1st Cor. 14 and elsewhere is it clear that this prohibition is not a temporary local expression of a universal principle but is itself a universal principle that applies to all times and places.  Just as the Son cannot be the head of God the Father and just as the wife cannot be the head of her husband, a woman cannot represent Christ as the Bridegroom who is head over His bride, the church.

Yes, Tom. Well said. The congregation sent Paul a list of practical questions, whether to use head coverings being one of them. Paul first praises them for observing the traditions he passed on then goes into instructions about THE BASIS of the practice he described (v. 3).

A comparable issue today would be wearing a wedding ring. Scripture does not command the wearing of such rings. Scripture does command the modesty and fidelity that such rings signify in our culture. So Paul is teaching a biblical principle about male/female relations by connecting with a cultural practice and device. The device may not be the same everywhere at every time but the principle involved is: The Lord made men and women different, therefore, respect and maintain the difference.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: D. Engebretson on June 09, 2021, 08:38:53 AM
It is always interesting to see which direction threads will drift.  Like anything it depends on the prevailing winds of the moment.  The article simply wished to state that women who seek ordination do it out of a sense of wanting to serve the church, and not as a 'statement.' 

Then we drifted full bore into the deep and troubled waters of fellowship.  Obviously women's ordination is only one issue of many that impacts fellowship concerns between church bodies such as the LCMS and the ELCA. To some it seems that this is the 'key' issue, or chief among only a few, but the truth is that pulpit and altar fellowship is a lot more complicated than just one issue.  It probably deserves its own thread, but I'm not sure how far we'd get in a productive manner. 

To truly examine the fundamental issues that impact fellowship between church bodies such as the LCMS and ELCA you really need to look deeper than issues such as women's ordination.  For example, you need to look at our differing views of the scriptures themselves, not to mention how differently we utilize the primary confessional documents of the Book of Concord.  Our ongoing discussions on this forum often reveal the wide gulfs in that area alone.  I'm not going to drag out all of the differences that this produces, since we are all familiar with them.  But they are significant, at least for many in the LCMS.


Remember that the ALC and LCMS were in fellowship for 11 years while the ALC ordained women, 1970-1981. (Fellowship was approved in 1969. The first woman ordained was in 1970, so she was in seminary earning her degree when fellowship was approved.)

Regardless of the above, this does not taken into account the tremendous changes that occurred in the years following.  It also does not acknowledge that the LCMS was not supportive of women's ordination regardless of what the ALC was practicing at the time. 
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Dan Fienen on June 09, 2021, 09:51:12 AM
In 1969 the LCMS and ALC established Altar and Pulpit fellowship. The LCMS was participating in the development of a new joint hymnal and was a member of LCUSA. In 1970 the ALC changed its practice and understanding of ordination by ordaining a woman. (I wonder if it would have been more acceptable to Brian if the LCMS had immediately terminated fellowship rather than taking a number of years to see if something could have been worked out?) In the decades following, the ALC would change more, entering into a merger with the LCA and AELC, entered into fellowship agreements with a number of non-Lutheran denominations, and after 2009 ordaining partnered homosexuals. Recently the ELCA has elected its first transsexual Bishop. Clearly, the ALC did not remain constant in beliefs and practices. Clearly, the ALC did not remain constant and unchanged over the decades but changed which also involved changes in its relationships with other church bodies.


Over that same time period, the LCMS also changed, in some ways changed in the opposite direction than did the ALC. Eventually it broke off fellowship with the ALC, had its own schism, established international fellowship agreements with Lutheran churches around the globe. Yes, the LCMS changed over the years. But are we to take it that while change in the ALC was good and right, change in the LCMS was deceitful and wrong?
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: peter_speckhard on June 09, 2021, 10:00:00 AM
The LCMS does not write off St. Paul as being captive to the worldly views of his day. We recognize meaning and context. If x is disgraceful, x ought not be done. That is not a declaration that x is always and everywhere disgraceful. In the same way, recognizing meaning and context allows us to know that St. Paul does not contradict himself on the matter of circumcision.

If we are wrong about head coverings and hair length, it isn’t because we think St. Paul was captive to his culture and not speaking the Word of God (although in a few places he distinguishes between his own opinion and revelation from God, which we acknowledge). It would be because we misinterpreted his authoritative writing. In terms of authority, there is a big difference between, “I misunderstood you and thus didn’t do what you said,” and, “I understood you but also understood your shortcomings and compensated for them and thus didn’t do what you said.” If the LCMS is wrong about head coverings, it will be with the former explanation, not the latter. If the ELCA is wrong about women’s ordination (and I believe it is) it will be with the latter explanation.


I don't see it as misunderstanding at all. Well, I would say that the LCMS misunderstands Paul. He wasn't writing about women in leadership positions, but women sitting in the pews (or whatever they sat on) talking to each other during the worship service. They were creating a disturbance. In terms of leadership, Paul allowed women to pray and prophesy during worship. They were in leadership roles. At Pentecost, the Spirit spoke through all the disciples, men and women.
What I said and you apparently agree with is that if the LCMS is wrong about head coverings, it is because we misunderstood an authoritative text. If the ELCA is wrong about women's ordination, it is because they understood the matter better than the author of the text (who was blind to his own cultural biases) and therefore did not regard the text as authoritative.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Dave Benke on June 09, 2021, 10:36:49 AM
The LCMS does not write off St. Paul as being captive to the worldly views of his day. We recognize meaning and context. If x is disgraceful, x ought not be done. That is not a declaration that x is always and everywhere disgraceful. In the same way, recognizing meaning and context allows us to know that St. Paul does not contradict himself on the matter of circumcision.

If we are wrong about head coverings and hair length, it isn’t because we think St. Paul was captive to his culture and not speaking the Word of God (although in a few places he distinguishes between his own opinion and revelation from God, which we acknowledge). It would be because we misinterpreted his authoritative writing. In terms of authority, there is a big difference between, “I misunderstood you and thus didn’t do what you said,” and, “I understood you but also understood your shortcomings and compensated for them and thus didn’t do what you said.” If the LCMS is wrong about head coverings, it will be with the former explanation, not the latter. If the ELCA is wrong about women’s ordination (and I believe it is) it will be with the latter explanation.


I don't see it as misunderstanding at all. Well, I would say that the LCMS misunderstands Paul. He wasn't writing about women in leadership positions, but women sitting in the pews (or whatever they sat on) talking to each other during the worship service. They were creating a disturbance. In terms of leadership, Paul allowed women to pray and prophesy during worship. They were in leadership roles. At Pentecost, the Spirit spoke through all the disciples, men and women.
What I said and you apparently agree with is that if the LCMS is wrong about head coverings, it is because we misunderstood an authoritative text. If the ELCA is wrong about women's ordination, it is because they understood the matter better than the author of the text (who was blind to his own cultural biases) and therefore did not regard the text as authoritative.

Apply the "authoritative text" clause to females reading one or more of the appointed lessons.  The way I read the more hardline positions in the Missouri Synod, a female reading an appointed lesson is engaged in an act of insubordination, because that function belongs only to a pastor; if the pastor allows for the act of insubordination to take place, he is engaged in an act of insubordination, and if the congregation accepts the pastor's allowance, it is engaged in an act of insubordination.  All of this flows from the passage mentioned above about women keeping silence. 

The question then is whether there is an area of "misunderstanding" or a change in further understanding the texts as pertains to the pastoral office when the pastor allows females to speak. 

The ancient volumes on this in our denominational files head the dialog box away from the absolute, and toward "encourage" or "discourage" when it comes to this issue. 
That's more than a punt.  It's a way of saying that there can be various understandings of that passage in terms of appropriate conduct as long as it does not involve proclamation/preaching or administration of the sacraments.  I'm in agreement with those ancient documents.

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: John_Hannah on June 09, 2021, 11:17:27 AM
I believe we should strictly follow these texts. Women should not chatter among themselves or otherwise create disturbances from the pew. Neither should men, by the way, even if Paul did not mention it.

Peace, JOHN
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: peter_speckhard on June 09, 2021, 11:48:09 AM
The LCMS does not write off St. Paul as being captive to the worldly views of his day. We recognize meaning and context. If x is disgraceful, x ought not be done. That is not a declaration that x is always and everywhere disgraceful. In the same way, recognizing meaning and context allows us to know that St. Paul does not contradict himself on the matter of circumcision.

If we are wrong about head coverings and hair length, it isn’t because we think St. Paul was captive to his culture and not speaking the Word of God (although in a few places he distinguishes between his own opinion and revelation from God, which we acknowledge). It would be because we misinterpreted his authoritative writing. In terms of authority, there is a big difference between, “I misunderstood you and thus didn’t do what you said,” and, “I understood you but also understood your shortcomings and compensated for them and thus didn’t do what you said.” If the LCMS is wrong about head coverings, it will be with the former explanation, not the latter. If the ELCA is wrong about women’s ordination (and I believe it is) it will be with the latter explanation.


I don't see it as misunderstanding at all. Well, I would say that the LCMS misunderstands Paul. He wasn't writing about women in leadership positions, but women sitting in the pews (or whatever they sat on) talking to each other during the worship service. They were creating a disturbance. In terms of leadership, Paul allowed women to pray and prophesy during worship. They were in leadership roles. At Pentecost, the Spirit spoke through all the disciples, men and women.
What I said and you apparently agree with is that if the LCMS is wrong about head coverings, it is because we misunderstood an authoritative text. If the ELCA is wrong about women's ordination, it is because they understood the matter better than the author of the text (who was blind to his own cultural biases) and therefore did not regard the text as authoritative.

Apply the "authoritative text" clause to females reading one or more of the appointed lessons.  The way I read the more hardline positions in the Missouri Synod, a female reading an appointed lesson is engaged in an act of insubordination, because that function belongs only to a pastor; if the pastor allows for the act of insubordination to take place, he is engaged in an act of insubordination, and if the congregation accepts the pastor's allowance, it is engaged in an act of insubordination.  All of this flows from the passage mentioned above about women keeping silence. 

The question then is whether there is an area of "misunderstanding" or a change in further understanding the texts as pertains to the pastoral office when the pastor allows females to speak. 

The ancient volumes on this in our denominational files head the dialog box away from the absolute, and toward "encourage" or "discourage" when it comes to this issue. 
That's more than a punt.  It's a way of saying that there can be various understandings of that passage in terms of appropriate conduct as long as it does not involve proclamation/preaching or administration of the sacraments.  I'm in agreement with those ancient documents.

Dave Benke
I'm not sure one can be engaged in an act of insubordination with the full approval of the one to whom one is subordinate. If someone is commanded to sin, the sin is not insubordination regardless of whether they wrongly obey the command, in which case the sin is whatever sin they were commanded to commit, or they properly disobey the command, in which case the disobedience is faithfulness to God, not the sin of insubordination.

I would put lay readers in the same category as soloists and choirs. I understand not everyone sees it that way.

But that is my point. If I am wrong, it is because I took St. Paul's text as utterly authoritative but didn't understand it well enough to apply it properly. I can have a good discussion with other people who understand that text as utterly authoritative but don't agree with me on some point of application, as might happen at a circuit meeting in the LCMS. I can't have a good discussion about applications of that text with people who don't regard the text as authoritative but only as one man's culturally conditioned opinion. The ELCA is therefore not a fertile ground for ecumenical work. Until we agree that, "St. Paul wrote it into Sacred Scripture, but only because he was blinded to his own cultural biases, so we who are more enlightened need not go by what he wrote" is a denial of the authority of Scripture and renders sola scriptura utterly pointless, we are not in a position to have a fruitful discussion any particular text.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: D. Engebretson on June 09, 2021, 12:44:29 PM
G.K. Chesterton said, “Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to that arrogant oligarchy who merely happen to be walking around.” Is there a reason, when it comes to the role of women in ministry, that we discount much of the history of Christianity on that issue?
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 09, 2021, 01:59:29 PM
It is always interesting to see which direction threads will drift.  Like anything it depends on the prevailing winds of the moment.  The article simply wished to state that women who seek ordination do it out of a sense of wanting to serve the church, and not as a 'statement.' 

Then we drifted full bore into the deep and troubled waters of fellowship.  Obviously women's ordination is only one issue of many that impacts fellowship concerns between church bodies such as the LCMS and the ELCA. To some it seems that this is the 'key' issue, or chief among only a few, but the truth is that pulpit and altar fellowship is a lot more complicated than just one issue.  It probably deserves its own thread, but I'm not sure how far we'd get in a productive manner. 

To truly examine the fundamental issues that impact fellowship between church bodies such as the LCMS and ELCA you really need to look deeper than issues such as women's ordination.  For example, you need to look at our differing views of the scriptures themselves, not to mention how differently we utilize the primary confessional documents of the Book of Concord.  Our ongoing discussions on this forum often reveal the wide gulfs in that area alone.  I'm not going to drag out all of the differences that this produces, since we are all familiar with them.  But they are significant, at least for many in the LCMS.


Remember that the ALC and LCMS were in fellowship for 11 years while the ALC ordained women, 1970-1981. (Fellowship was approved in 1969. The first woman ordained was in 1970, so she was in seminary earning her degree when fellowship was approved.)

Regardless of the above, this does not taken into account the tremendous changes that occurred in the years following.  It also does not acknowledge that the LCMS was not supportive of women's ordination regardless of what the ALC was practicing at the time.


Yes, a tremendous change occurred in the LCMS. Much of the moderate faction that supported fellowship (and were more theologically akin to the ALC,) left. They were no longer present to add their voices and vote at your conventions. Those left, many of whom were never in favor of fellowship, were successful in "unfriending" us.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: mariemeyer on June 09, 2021, 02:31:37 PM
The LCMS does not write off St. Paul as being captive to the worldly views of his day. We recognize meaning and context. If x is disgraceful, x ought not be done. That is not a declaration that x is always and everywhere disgraceful. In the same way, recognizing meaning and context allows us to know that St. Paul does not contradict himself on the matter of circumcision.

If we are wrong about head coverings and hair length, it isn’t because we think St. Paul was captive to his culture and not speaking the Word of God (although in a few places he distinguishes between his own opinion and revelation from God, which we acknowledge). It would be because we misinterpreted his authoritative writing. In terms of authority, there is a big difference between, “I misunderstood you and thus didn’t do what you said,” and, “I understood you but also understood your shortcomings and compensated for them and thus didn’t do what you said.” If the LCMS is wrong about head coverings, it will be with the former explanation, not the latter. If the ELCA is wrong about women’s ordination (and I believe it is) it will be with the latter explanation.

Peter, I'm also tired of Brian quoting the "women's head covering/long hair" from 1 Cor. 11 because it's on the level of the "shrimp argument" from Leviticus.  Simply put, the context of 1 Cor. 11 is clear that the universal unchanging principle is that there is a distinction between male and female, and one way that universal unchanging principle was expressed in Corinth in Paul's day is that women had head coverings/long hair whereas men did not.  We have the same custom in our own culture where most men and most women still wear different types of clothing.  Most men don't show up church in a dress and most women don't show up with a man's suit and tie because most Christians still accept Paul's teaching that God wants there to be a distinction between male and female.  HOW this distinction is expressed varies from time to time and culture to culture, but we still are obedient to the unchanging principle.  As for ordaining women into the pastoral office, in 1st Cor. 14 and elsewhere is it clear that this prohibition is not a temporary local expression of a universal principle but is itself a universal principle that applies to all times and places.  Just as the Son cannot be the head of God the Father and just as the wife cannot be the head of her husband, a woman cannot represent Christ as the Bridegroom who is head over His bride, the church.

Yes, Tom. Well said. The congregation sent Paul a list of practical questions, whether to use head coverings being one of them. Paul first praises them for observing the traditions he passed on then goes into instructions about THE BASIS of the practice he described (v. 3).

A comparable issue today would be wearing a wedding ring. Scripture does not command the wearing of such rings. Scripture does command the modesty and fidelity that such rings signify in our culture. So Paul is teaching a biblical principle about male/female relations by connecting with a cultural practice and device. The device may not be the same everywhere at every time but the principle involved is: The Lord made men and women different, therefore, respect and maintain the difference.

What is the difference between man and woman that Scripture teaches us we are to respect and maintain in the home, the Church and society?  Is it a spiritual difference applicable only in the home?  the Church?

What is the difference between man and woman that determines when or why God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,  are not free to act as God in and through the life of a woman in the home, the Church or society? 

Is it the nature of God that prevents God the Father, God the Son and/or God the Holy Spirit from working authoritatively as God in and through a woman in the home, the Church or society?

Or, is it that nature of woman that limits or restrains God the Father, God the Son or God the Holy Spirit from working in and through a woman in the same way that God is free to work through a man.

Or, is it simply God's Law that God not be God in the life of woman as God is God in the  life of a man?

Bottom line, what is it about the nature of God  that God cannot be God in and through the life of woman in the same way God is God in and through the life of man.

Marie  Meyer
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: peter_speckhard on June 09, 2021, 02:41:14 PM
I think it misses the mark to frame it as a spiritual difference. I think it clarifies things more to think of it as a vocational difference.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Dan Fienen on June 09, 2021, 02:46:41 PM

What is the difference between man and woman that Scripture teaches us we are to respect and maintain in the home, the Church and society?  Is it a spiritual difference applicable only in the home?  the Church?

What is the difference between man and woman that determines when or why God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,  are not free to act as God in and through the life of a woman in the home, the Church or society? 

Is it the nature of God that prevents God the Father, God the Son and/or God the Holy Spirit from working authoritatively as God in and through a woman in the home, the Church or society?

Or, is it that nature of woman that limits or restrains God the Father, God the Son or God the Holy Spirit from working in and through a woman in the same way that God is free to work through a man.

Or, is it simply God's Law that God not be God in the life of woman as God is God in the  life of a man?

Bottom line, what is it about the nature of God  that God cannot be God in and through the life of woman in the same way God is God in and through the life of man.

Marie  Meyer
I'm not really interested in arguing against or for women's ordination. But there is a point in your post that I do want to comment on. I am not sure that you actually meant what I am seeing in your post, but it does somewhat resemble what I have also seen in others in this fight.

When we refuse to ordain women, are we trying to prevent God from acting through women as we believe God does through ordained men? If that is not your point, I apologize Marie, but will note that others also seem to be saying that.

Within certain limits, God can do whatever He decides to do and we cannot stop Him. What are these limits?

God will not act against His nature. Who God is and what God is constrains Him to act consistently with that nature. Here I believe that God is different than humans. We do act inconsistently with our nature. We are sinners and as Paul so eloquently described it, our sinful nature is at war with our sanctified nature. We are in conflict with God and with ourselves and what God has made us to be. God has no such internal conflict.

God's choices put constraints on His choices and actions. It is a fundamental characteristic of our reality that every choice limits future choices. The Bible at times talks as though God changes His mind, but I believe those are anthropomorphisms used to describe the actions of a timeless God in ways that are comprehensible to time bound humans.

These limits mean that God is not inconsistent.

It is not up to us to decide what God can or cannot do, or what God will or will not do. To do so would be almost the definition of hubris. However, God's nature and His choices can and do limit what God can and will do. 

We learn about God's nature and God's decisions from Scripture. I don't know that there is anything that the Bible says about the nature of God that would prevent Him from deciding that women may be ordained as pastors. But we in the LCMS do read passages from the Bible that we understand as telling us that God decided that women not be ordained as pastors. We could, of course, be wrong about that as many people constantly try to convince us. But it is not us telling God what He cannot do as has been alleged. It is us reading what we believe God has decided Himself not to do.

Perhaps the point that I am contesting is not that we can prevent God from doing something that He has decided to do but that we try to prevent Him from doing it among us. We may be wrong in how we interpret what Scripture says about His intentions in the area (I don't think so), but I do not believe that we are willfully trying to put our will, desire, and decisions over that of God. There is a difference.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 09, 2021, 02:59:45 PM
G.K. Chesterton said, “Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to that arrogant oligarchy who merely happen to be walking around.” Is there a reason, when it comes to the role of women in ministry, that we discount much of the history of Christianity on that issue?


Giving the ancestors a vote doesn't mean that we let them dictate to us. I've already mentioned that the tradition handed down to us from the fourth century included the historic episcopate that required at least three bishops attesting to the qualifications of a new bishop through the laying on of hands at ordinations; and bishops had to attest to the qualifications of every pastor through the laying on of hands at ordinations. You continue to disregard that long-standing tradition. Both our church bodies have disregarded some traditions of the ancestors.


One argument in answer to your question is that much if not all of the history of Christianity was written by men. The role of women was discounted or removed. We know that Priscilla/Prisca taught Apollos. We know that she, Mary, Junia were notable women in the church at Rome.


From the Wiki article on "Women in Church History."

From the very beginning of the early Christian church, women were important members of the movement, although much of the information in the New Testament on the work of women has been overlooked.[1] Since sources of information stemming from the New Testament church was written and interpreted by men, many assumed that it had been a "man's church". Recently, scholars have begun looking in mosaics, frescoes, and inscriptions of that period for information about women's roles in the early church.[1]

The historian Geoffrey Blainey wrote that women were more influential during the period of Jesus' brief ministry than they were in the next thousand years of Christianity. Blainey points to several Gospel accounts of Jesus imparting important teachings to women: his meeting with the Samaritan woman at the well, his anointing by Mary of Bethany, his public admiration for a poor widow who donated some copper coins to the Temple in Jerusalem, his stepping to the aid of the woman accused of adultery, and the presence of Mary Magdalene at his side as he was crucified. Blainey concludes that "as the standing of women was not high in Palestine, Jesus' kindnesses towards them were not always approved by those who strictly upheld tradition."[2]


[1] MacHaffie, Barbara J. Her story: Women in Christian tradition. Fortress Press, 2006
[2] Blainey, Geoffrey. A Short History of Christianity, Penguin Viking; 2011; pp 19-20

The article goes on to point out that Origin prohibited women from even prophesying in the church, because they were not permitted to teach. He went beyond Paul's writing in silencing women.

Tertullian wrote the women were not to "teach, baptize, offer, nor claim for herself any function proper to a man, least of all the sacerdotal office." Yet, we know from other sources, the women baptized other women. (This was proper since baptism candidates went into the water nude.)

Clement of Alexandria, c. 180, wrote about the equality of men and women in the church (as well as God in male and female images;) but his view did not carry the day. The silence of women by Tertullian became the norm.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Dan Fienen on June 09, 2021, 03:14:53 PM
G.K. Chesterton said, “Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to that arrogant oligarchy who merely happen to be walking around.” Is there a reason, when it comes to the role of women in ministry, that we discount much of the history of Christianity on that issue?


Giving the ancestors a vote doesn't mean that we let them dictate to us. I've already mentioned that the tradition handed down to us from the fourth century included the historic episcopate that required at least three bishops attesting to the qualifications of a new bishop through the laying on of hands at ordinations; and bishops had to attest to the qualifications of every pastor through the laying on of hands at ordinations. You continue to disregard that long-standing tradition. Both our church bodies have disregarded some traditions of the ancestors.


One argument in answer to your question is that much if not all of the history of Christianity was written by men. The role of women was discounted or removed. We know that Priscilla/Prisca taught Apollos. We know that she, Mary, Junia were notable women in the church at Rome.


From the Wiki article on "Women in Church History."

From the very beginning of the early Christian church, women were important members of the movement, although much of the information in the New Testament on the work of women has been overlooked.[1] Since sources of information stemming from the New Testament church was written and interpreted by men, many assumed that it had been a "man's church". Recently, scholars have begun looking in mosaics, frescoes, and inscriptions of that period for information about women's roles in the early church.[1]

The historian Geoffrey Blainey wrote that women were more influential during the period of Jesus' brief ministry than they were in the next thousand years of Christianity. Blainey points to several Gospel accounts of Jesus imparting important teachings to women: his meeting with the Samaritan woman at the well, his anointing by Mary of Bethany, his public admiration for a poor widow who donated some copper coins to the Temple in Jerusalem, his stepping to the aid of the woman accused of adultery, and the presence of Mary Magdalene at his side as he was crucified. Blainey concludes that "as the standing of women was not high in Palestine, Jesus' kindnesses towards them were not always approved by those who strictly upheld tradition."[2]


[1] MacHaffie, Barbara J. Her story: Women in Christian tradition. Fortress Press, 2006
[2] Blainey, Geoffrey. A Short History of Christianity, Penguin Viking; 2011; pp 19-20

The article goes on to point out that Origin prohibited women from even prophesying in the church, because they were not permitted to teach. He went beyond Paul's writing in silencing women.

Tertullian wrote the women were not to "teach, baptize, offer, nor claim for herself any function proper to a man, least of all the sacerdotal office." Yet, we know from other sources, the women baptized other women. (This was proper since baptism candidates went into the water nude.)

Clement of Alexandria, c. 180, wrote about the equality of men and women in the church (as well as God in male and female images;) but his view did not carry the day. The silence of women by Tertullian became the norm.
I am not clear just what you are saying here. You seem to want to make an important point that only men wrote the Bible and imply that if women would have written part of it the Bible would teach different things than it has taught. So, what are you indicating?


1) God the Holy Spirit was so limited that He was unable to move women to write those portions of God's Word in Scripture that He would have wanted to be written.


or


2) The men of the early church overpowered God and prevented the women that He wanted to write portions of Scripture from doing so.

In either case, you seem to imply that the Bible which we have is not the Bible God wanted us to have and was too feeble to make sure we got. Fortunately, we have the modern progressive Christians to make up for the feebleness of God and complete His incomplete work.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Dan Fienen on June 09, 2021, 03:58:39 PM
Another way to look at this. Do our progressive siblings wish to contend that God could not have limited the pastoral ministry to men if He wanted to? Is it their intention to limit what God could decide?
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 09, 2021, 05:02:27 PM
Another way to look at this. Do our progressive siblings wish to contend that God could not have limited the pastoral ministry to men if He wanted to? Is it their intention to limit what God could decide?


God did not limit it. Men did. There are enough indications in the early scriptures and Jesus' ministry, and some in the early church that indicate women were in leadership roles. Something happened to push them out. Conclusion: men did it, contrary to God's wishes.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: peter_speckhard on June 09, 2021, 05:12:42 PM
Another way to look at this. Do our progressive siblings wish to contend that God could not have limited the pastoral ministry to men if He wanted to? Is it their intention to limit what God could decide?


God did not limit it. Men did. There are enough indications in the early scriptures and Jesus' ministry, and some in the early church that indicate women were in leadership roles. Something happened to push them out. Conclusion: men did it, contrary to God's wishes.
How do you know it wasn’t the Spirit doing a new thing in accord with God’s wishes?
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Charles Austin on June 09, 2021, 05:54:10 PM
Pastor Engebretson:
G.K. Chesterton said, “Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to that arrogant oligarchy who merely happen to be walking around.” Is there a reason, when it comes to the role of women in ministry, that we discount much of the history of Christianity on that issue?
Me:
Because Chesterson is often wrong And on some things his opinion is no better than ours. We prefer ours
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Dan Fienen on June 09, 2021, 06:06:03 PM
Another way to look at this. Do our progressive siblings wish to contend that God could not have limited the pastoral ministry to men if He wanted to? Is it their intention to limit what God could decide?


God did not limit it. Men did. There are enough indications in the early scriptures and Jesus' ministry, and some in the early church that indicate women were in leadership roles. Something happened to push them out. Conclusion: men did it, contrary to God's wishes.
That is your interpretation of the record, our interpretation is different. I see no reason to automatically defer to your wisdom or reasoning.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: peter_speckhard on June 09, 2021, 06:14:15 PM
Pastor Engebretson:
G.K. Chesterton said, “Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to that arrogant oligarchy who merely happen to be walking around.” Is there a reason, when it comes to the role of women in ministry, that we discount much of the history of Christianity on that issue?
Me:
Because Chesterson is often wrong And on some things his opinion is no better than ours. We prefer ours
Rarely. Not often. Everyone prefers their own opinions, but not everyone’s opinions agree with the wisest among us. The reality is that you discount much of Christian history on that issue out of hubris; you simply think you know better.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Tom Eckstein on June 09, 2021, 06:55:44 PM
The LCMS does not write off St. Paul as being captive to the worldly views of his day. We recognize meaning and context. If x is disgraceful, x ought not be done. That is not a declaration that x is always and everywhere disgraceful. In the same way, recognizing meaning and context allows us to know that St. Paul does not contradict himself on the matter of circumcision.

If we are wrong about head coverings and hair length, it isn’t because we think St. Paul was captive to his culture and not speaking the Word of God (although in a few places he distinguishes between his own opinion and revelation from God, which we acknowledge). It would be because we misinterpreted his authoritative writing. In terms of authority, there is a big difference between, “I misunderstood you and thus didn’t do what you said,” and, “I understood you but also understood your shortcomings and compensated for them and thus didn’t do what you said.” If the LCMS is wrong about head coverings, it will be with the former explanation, not the latter. If the ELCA is wrong about women’s ordination (and I believe it is) it will be with the latter explanation.

Peter, I'm also tired of Brian quoting the "women's head covering/long hair" from 1 Cor. 11 because it's on the level of the "shrimp argument" from Leviticus.  Simply put, the context of 1 Cor. 11 is clear that the universal unchanging principle is that there is a distinction between male and female, and one way that universal unchanging principle was expressed in Corinth in Paul's day is that women had head coverings/long hair whereas men did not.  We have the same custom in our own culture where most men and most women still wear different types of clothing.  Most men don't show up church in a dress and most women don't show up with a man's suit and tie because most Christians still accept Paul's teaching that God wants there to be a distinction between male and female.  HOW this distinction is expressed varies from time to time and culture to culture, but we still are obedient to the unchanging principle.  As for ordaining women into the pastoral office, in 1st Cor. 14 and elsewhere is it clear that this prohibition is not a temporary local expression of a universal principle but is itself a universal principle that applies to all times and places.  Just as the Son cannot be the head of God the Father and just as the wife cannot be the head of her husband, a woman cannot represent Christ as the Bridegroom who is head over His bride, the church.

Yes, Tom. Well said. The congregation sent Paul a list of practical questions, whether to use head coverings being one of them. Paul first praises them for observing the traditions he passed on then goes into instructions about THE BASIS of the practice he described (v. 3).

A comparable issue today would be wearing a wedding ring. Scripture does not command the wearing of such rings. Scripture does command the modesty and fidelity that such rings signify in our culture. So Paul is teaching a biblical principle about male/female relations by connecting with a cultural practice and device. The device may not be the same everywhere at every time but the principle involved is: The Lord made men and women different, therefore, respect and maintain the difference.

What is the difference between man and woman that Scripture teaches us we are to respect and maintain in the home, the Church and society?  Is it a spiritual difference applicable only in the home?  the Church?

What is the difference between man and woman that determines when or why God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,  are not free to act as God in and through the life of a woman in the home, the Church or society? 

Is it the nature of God that prevents God the Father, God the Son and/or God the Holy Spirit from working authoritatively as God in and through a woman in the home, the Church or society?

Or, is it that nature of woman that limits or restrains God the Father, God the Son or God the Holy Spirit from working in and through a woman in the same way that God is free to work through a man.

Or, is it simply God's Law that God not be God in the life of woman as God is God in the  life of a man?

Bottom line, what is it about the nature of God  that God cannot be God in and through the life of woman in the same way God is God in and through the life of man.

Marie  Meyer

Marie, as Peter said, Scripture doesn't treat this issue as a spiritual difference but a VOCATIONAL difference.  God the Father and and God the Son are equal in essence and yet the Father is the head of the Son.  In the same way, a husband and a wife are equal and yet the husband is the head of the wife.  These roles are not interchangeable. 

If you're still wonderfing WHY the Father is the head of the Son and WHY the husband is the head of the wife, you'll have to see God about that.  But His Word is clear, in any case.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on June 09, 2021, 07:10:06 PM
Another way to look at this. Do our progressive siblings wish to contend that God could not have limited the pastoral ministry to men if He wanted to? Is it their intention to limit what God could decide?


God did not limit it. Men did. There are enough indications in the early scriptures and Jesus' ministry, and some in the early church that indicate women were in leadership roles. Something happened to push them out. Conclusion: men did it, contrary to God's wishes.

And around and around we go.  ::)
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: D. Engebretson on June 09, 2021, 08:24:15 PM
Another way to look at this. Do our progressive siblings wish to contend that God could not have limited the pastoral ministry to men if He wanted to? Is it their intention to limit what God could decide?


God did not limit it. Men did. There are enough indications in the early scriptures and Jesus' ministry, and some in the early church that indicate women were in leadership roles. Something happened to push them out. Conclusion: men did it, contrary to God's wishes.

And around and around we go.  ::)

It seems we are again entering the proverbial 'rabbit hole.'  We've fallen in here so often and yet we keep going in.  It leads nowhere.  Surely there's something else we can more productively discuss....
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Charles Austin on June 09, 2021, 08:47:18 PM
Peter writes:
The reality is that you discount much of Christian history on that issue out of hubris; you simply think you know better.
I comment:
You know, Peter, I’m really tired of this unfortunate and incorrect characterization of how we make our decisions. You think it’s just “oh! I have a better idea let’s do it my way.“ That’s not it. And we have told you numerous times that we make these decisions, such as our decision to ordain women, with considerable prayer and study.
You may not like how we do that prayer and study, but darn it, I am tired of you saying that our decisions are made frivolously, with no appeal at all to tradition, scripture and theology.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Dan Fienen on June 09, 2021, 09:26:13 PM
Peter writes:
The reality is that you discount much of Christian history on that issue out of hubris; you simply think you know better.
I comment:
You know, Peter, I’m really tired of this unfortunate and incorrect characterization of how we make our decisions. You think it’s just “oh! I have a better idea let’s do it my way.“ That’s not it. And we have told you numerous times that we make these decisions, such as our decision to ordain women, with considerable prayer and study.
You may not like how we do that prayer and study, but darn it, I am tired of you saying that our decisions are made frivolously, with no appeal at all to tradition, scripture and theology.
I do get it, this was not frivolous or done on a whim. But in your prayer and study you have decided that you know better than 19 centuries of the church catholic. I'm sure you believe that you do know better, that you are correct.

What I would ask of you is to recognize that our rejection of what you have decided is not just a knee jerk conservative reaction or fear of our churches getting cooties. We also have made our decisions with prayer and careful study, not frivolously. We have simply reached opposite conclusions.


I know that it is hard for you to understand how anyone who gives this issue serious consideration, after considering all your careful study, of Scripture, of the history of the Church, of society, and what you know of men and women, and all your prayerful deliberations, and after you have presented it so persuasively, you find it hard how anyone could not reach the same conclusions that you have. Surely, our dissent must mean that we have not really considered what you say, or God's will for us carefully enough. Believe me, I understand how you feel. We feel the same way about you.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Steven W Bohler on June 09, 2021, 09:30:36 PM
Peter writes:
The reality is that you discount much of Christian history on that issue out of hubris; you simply think you know better.
I comment:
You know, Peter, I’m really tired of this unfortunate and incorrect characterization of how we make our decisions. You think it’s just “oh! I have a better idea let’s do it my way.“ That’s not it. And we have told you numerous times that we make these decisions, such as our decision to ordain women, with considerable prayer and study.
You may not like how we do that prayer and study, but darn it, I am tired of you saying that our decisions are made frivolously, with no appeal at all to tradition, scripture and theology.

Tradition?  No, there is basically NO tradition of women pastors in the history of the Church.  Scripture?  Only if you take passages that speak to the equality of God's grace for all sinners and misconvert that into speaking about ordination.  Theology?  Like when it was pointed out to your convention that it was acting contrary to the Confessions and leaders/delegates acknowledged it and went ahead anyway? 
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: peter_speckhard on June 09, 2021, 10:29:14 PM
Peter writes:
The reality is that you discount much of Christian history on that issue out of hubris; you simply think you know better.
I comment:
You know, Peter, I’m really tired of this unfortunate and incorrect characterization of how we make our decisions. You think it’s just “oh! I have a better idea let’s do it my way.“ That’s not it. And we have told you numerous times that we make these decisions, such as our decision to ordain women, with considerable prayer and study.
You may not like how we do that prayer and study, but darn it, I am tired of you saying that our decisions are made frivolously, with no appeal at all to tradition, scripture and theology.
I never said you did anything without prayer and study. I’m sure you studied the tradition you refuted quite closely. But you still refuted it. And it was still an act of hubris. You did what you did because you thought you knew better than St. Paul and nineteen centuries of Christian history. That was the conclusion of your prayer and study— that you knew better than they did.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: pastorg1@aol.com on June 10, 2021, 12:28:39 AM
This is the experience I had in the ELCA.

Peter (Shopping water wings for the Tiber swim. What kind did RJN use?) Garrison
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 10, 2021, 02:27:48 AM
Another way to look at this. Do our progressive siblings wish to contend that God could not have limited the pastoral ministry to men if He wanted to? Is it their intention to limit what God could decide?


God did not limit it. Men did. There are enough indications in the early scriptures and Jesus' ministry, and some in the early church that indicate women were in leadership roles. Something happened to push them out. Conclusion: men did it, contrary to God's wishes.
How do you know it wasn’t the Spirit doing a new thing in accord with God’s wishes?


Because we have seen how God has blessed our church and our members through the ministry of our women clergy. Had God been against it, we wouldn't have such marvelous ministries by these women.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 10, 2021, 02:31:52 AM
Pastor Engebretson:
G.K. Chesterton said, “Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to that arrogant oligarchy who merely happen to be walking around.” Is there a reason, when it comes to the role of women in ministry, that we discount much of the history of Christianity on that issue?
Me:
Because Chesterson is often wrong And on some things his opinion is no better than ours. We prefer ours
Rarely. Not often. Everyone prefers their own opinions, but not everyone’s opinions agree with the wisest among us. The reality is that you discount much of Christian history on that issue out of hubris; you simply think you know better.


"Scripture alone" doesn't mean "scripture & tradition alone." Tradition, as good as it might be, takes a back seat to scripture, grace, and faith. Those three alone are our authority.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 10, 2021, 02:34:40 AM
Peter writes:
The reality is that you discount much of Christian history on that issue out of hubris; you simply think you know better.
I comment:
You know, Peter, I’m really tired of this unfortunate and incorrect characterization of how we make our decisions. You think it’s just “oh! I have a better idea let’s do it my way.“ That’s not it. And we have told you numerous times that we make these decisions, such as our decision to ordain women, with considerable prayer and study.
You may not like how we do that prayer and study, but darn it, I am tired of you saying that our decisions are made frivolously, with no appeal at all to tradition, scripture and theology.
I never said you did anything without prayer and study. I’m sure you studied the tradition you refuted quite closely. But you still refuted it. And it was still an act of hubris. You did what you did because you thought you knew better than St. Paul and nineteen centuries of Christian history. That was the conclusion of your prayer and study— that you knew better than they did.


Again, you confuse scriptures with your interpretation of scripture. We don't refute St. Paul, we have studied his words and come to a different interpretation of them than you have. Your insistence that your interpretation must be the right is also an act of hubris. Or, possibly the biblical hard-heartedness.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Charles Austin on June 10, 2021, 03:43:59 AM
And you, Peter, have locked down your interpretation of tradition and scripture, turning the revelation of God into a historic artifact, a mere rule book telling us that we must view creation, the faith and our acts of devotion one way whether it is the day after the resurrection, 325, 1517 or 2021.
Forget God-given human intelligence.
Forget science.
Forget two thousand years of human experience in the faith.
You’ve got it all. Every question answered. No ambiguity. No uncertainty on anything. Even wondering “what if…“ or thinking “maybe it ought to be” is considered an assault on your locked down, comfortable, know-it-all Faith. Not only do you “know” everything, you’re absolutely certain that what you know is the indisputable word and will of God, which you pump up with opinions from your favorite writers provided they aren’t tainted by “liberalism” or live in modern times.
To me that’s pride, and that profanes everything that God has given us as intelligent human beings.
I may be wrong about some things that I think theologically, but I would rather be wrong in a faithful attempt to use human intelligence than right as a programmed robot.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Dave Benke on June 10, 2021, 08:38:30 AM
The LCMS does not write off St. Paul as being captive to the worldly views of his day. We recognize meaning and context. If x is disgraceful, x ought not be done. That is not a declaration that x is always and everywhere disgraceful. In the same way, recognizing meaning and context allows us to know that St. Paul does not contradict himself on the matter of circumcision.

If we are wrong about head coverings and hair length, it isn’t because we think St. Paul was captive to his culture and not speaking the Word of God (although in a few places he distinguishes between his own opinion and revelation from God, which we acknowledge). It would be because we misinterpreted his authoritative writing. In terms of authority, there is a big difference between, “I misunderstood you and thus didn’t do what you said,” and, “I understood you but also understood your shortcomings and compensated for them and thus didn’t do what you said.” If the LCMS is wrong about head coverings, it will be with the former explanation, not the latter. If the ELCA is wrong about women’s ordination (and I believe it is) it will be with the latter explanation.

Peter, I'm also tired of Brian quoting the "women's head covering/long hair" from 1 Cor. 11 because it's on the level of the "shrimp argument" from Leviticus.  Simply put, the context of 1 Cor. 11 is clear that the universal unchanging principle is that there is a distinction between male and female, and one way that universal unchanging principle was expressed in Corinth in Paul's day is that women had head coverings/long hair whereas men did not.  We have the same custom in our own culture where most men and most women still wear different types of clothing.  Most men don't show up church in a dress and most women don't show up with a man's suit and tie because most Christians still accept Paul's teaching that God wants there to be a distinction between male and female.  HOW this distinction is expressed varies from time to time and culture to culture, but we still are obedient to the unchanging principle.  As for ordaining women into the pastoral office, in 1st Cor. 14 and elsewhere is it clear that this prohibition is not a temporary local expression of a universal principle but is itself a universal principle that applies to all times and places.  Just as the Son cannot be the head of God the Father and just as the wife cannot be the head of her husband, a woman cannot represent Christ as the Bridegroom who is head over His bride, the church.

Yes, Tom. Well said. The congregation sent Paul a list of practical questions, whether to use head coverings being one of them. Paul first praises them for observing the traditions he passed on then goes into instructions about THE BASIS of the practice he described (v. 3).

A comparable issue today would be wearing a wedding ring. Scripture does not command the wearing of such rings. Scripture does command the modesty and fidelity that such rings signify in our culture. So Paul is teaching a biblical principle about male/female relations by connecting with a cultural practice and device. The device may not be the same everywhere at every time but the principle involved is: The Lord made men and women different, therefore, respect and maintain the difference.

What is the difference between man and woman that Scripture teaches us we are to respect and maintain in the home, the Church and society?  Is it a spiritual difference applicable only in the home?  the Church?

What is the difference between man and woman that determines when or why God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,  are not free to act as God in and through the life of a woman in the home, the Church or society? 

Is it the nature of God that prevents God the Father, God the Son and/or God the Holy Spirit from working authoritatively as God in and through a woman in the home, the Church or society?

Or, is it that nature of woman that limits or restrains God the Father, God the Son or God the Holy Spirit from working in and through a woman in the same way that God is free to work through a man.

Or, is it simply God's Law that God not be God in the life of woman as God is God in the  life of a man?

Bottom line, what is it about the nature of God  that God cannot be God in and through the life of woman in the same way God is God in and through the life of man.

Marie  Meyer

Marie, as Peter said, Scripture doesn't treat this issue as a spiritual difference but a VOCATIONAL difference.  God the Father and and God the Son are equal in essence and yet the Father is the head of the Son.  In the same way, a husband and a wife are equal and yet the husband is the head of the wife.  These roles are not interchangeable. 

If you're still wonderfing WHY the Father is the head of the Son and WHY the husband is the head of the wife, you'll have to see God about that.  But His Word is clear, in any case.

I bolded the phrase above because it brought to mind a controversy from awhile back.  The subordination of the Son to the Father, in your term "vocationally", was taught for a time, and maybe still is by some, as eternal.  Although it isn't.  It's for the time within the scope of time, that is, until the eschaton, for the sake of the reconciliation of the world, so not eternal.  Eternal subordination of the Son to the Father was an import to the Missouri Synod from the Reformed camp, and eventually was removed from at least one published source.

Does that change the concept of subordination with regard to the divine/human comparison vocationally in the here and now?  Maybe. Maybe not.  We do have glimpses of eternity - "foretaste of the feast to come" is a phrase we use, the in-breaking of God's Realm of Grace with an eye/taste of the Realm of Glory.  In that sense, the sense of the mysteries and earthly stewardship of vocation, could vocation be extended beyond creaturely boundaries? 

Dave Benke

Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: D. Engebretson on June 10, 2021, 08:53:11 AM
So if those of us who do not accept women's ordination are guilty of biblical hardheartedness, hubris, pride and acting like "programed robots," why are we still even attempting to 'discuss' this issue or giving the appearance of a discussion? Those who believe that the issue is settled have been called to repentance.  If we do not 'repent,' then I guess you should just 'shake the dust from your feet' and move on.  The call was clear in my ears.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Charles Austin on June 10, 2021, 09:22:18 AM
We are willing to discuss it, Pastor Engebretsen. You are not willing to discuss it.
What are you afraid of? We would be happy to prevent all our arguments, all our reasons to you. Actually Pastor Stoffregen has tried to do that in this modest forum.
You call us to repentance and break fellowship with us.
I have this sort of gut feeling that you fear that too much discussion just might convince a number of your people that we are right.
Personally, as I have said before in this modest forum, I’m not sure I see the point in serious discussions at this time. I believe that someday the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod will ordain women. I have no interest in trying to make that happen, or standing to do so, but I believe that it will happen.
So for now, carry-on.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Tom Eckstein on June 10, 2021, 09:40:04 AM
The LCMS does not write off St. Paul as being captive to the worldly views of his day. We recognize meaning and context. If x is disgraceful, x ought not be done. That is not a declaration that x is always and everywhere disgraceful. In the same way, recognizing meaning and context allows us to know that St. Paul does not contradict himself on the matter of circumcision.

If we are wrong about head coverings and hair length, it isn’t because we think St. Paul was captive to his culture and not speaking the Word of God (although in a few places he distinguishes between his own opinion and revelation from God, which we acknowledge). It would be because we misinterpreted his authoritative writing. In terms of authority, there is a big difference between, “I misunderstood you and thus didn’t do what you said,” and, “I understood you but also understood your shortcomings and compensated for them and thus didn’t do what you said.” If the LCMS is wrong about head coverings, it will be with the former explanation, not the latter. If the ELCA is wrong about women’s ordination (and I believe it is) it will be with the latter explanation.

Peter, I'm also tired of Brian quoting the "women's head covering/long hair" from 1 Cor. 11 because it's on the level of the "shrimp argument" from Leviticus.  Simply put, the context of 1 Cor. 11 is clear that the universal unchanging principle is that there is a distinction between male and female, and one way that universal unchanging principle was expressed in Corinth in Paul's day is that women had head coverings/long hair whereas men did not.  We have the same custom in our own culture where most men and most women still wear different types of clothing.  Most men don't show up church in a dress and most women don't show up with a man's suit and tie because most Christians still accept Paul's teaching that God wants there to be a distinction between male and female.  HOW this distinction is expressed varies from time to time and culture to culture, but we still are obedient to the unchanging principle.  As for ordaining women into the pastoral office, in 1st Cor. 14 and elsewhere is it clear that this prohibition is not a temporary local expression of a universal principle but is itself a universal principle that applies to all times and places.  Just as the Son cannot be the head of God the Father and just as the wife cannot be the head of her husband, a woman cannot represent Christ as the Bridegroom who is head over His bride, the church.

Yes, Tom. Well said. The congregation sent Paul a list of practical questions, whether to use head coverings being one of them. Paul first praises them for observing the traditions he passed on then goes into instructions about THE BASIS of the practice he described (v. 3).

A comparable issue today would be wearing a wedding ring. Scripture does not command the wearing of such rings. Scripture does command the modesty and fidelity that such rings signify in our culture. So Paul is teaching a biblical principle about male/female relations by connecting with a cultural practice and device. The device may not be the same everywhere at every time but the principle involved is: The Lord made men and women different, therefore, respect and maintain the difference.

What is the difference between man and woman that Scripture teaches us we are to respect and maintain in the home, the Church and society?  Is it a spiritual difference applicable only in the home?  the Church?

What is the difference between man and woman that determines when or why God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,  are not free to act as God in and through the life of a woman in the home, the Church or society? 

Is it the nature of God that prevents God the Father, God the Son and/or God the Holy Spirit from working authoritatively as God in and through a woman in the home, the Church or society?

Or, is it that nature of woman that limits or restrains God the Father, God the Son or God the Holy Spirit from working in and through a woman in the same way that God is free to work through a man.

Or, is it simply God's Law that God not be God in the life of woman as God is God in the  life of a man?

Bottom line, what is it about the nature of God  that God cannot be God in and through the life of woman in the same way God is God in and through the life of man.

Marie  Meyer

Marie, as Peter said, Scripture doesn't treat this issue as a spiritual difference but a VOCATIONAL difference.  God the Father and and God the Son are equal in essence and yet the Father is the head of the Son.  In the same way, a husband and a wife are equal and yet the husband is the head of the wife.  These roles are not interchangeable. 

If you're still wonderfing WHY the Father is the head of the Son and WHY the husband is the head of the wife, you'll have to see God about that.  But His Word is clear, in any case.

I bolded the phrase above because it brought to mind a controversy from awhile back.  The subordination of the Son to the Father, in your term "vocationally", was taught for a time, and maybe still is by some, as eternal.  Although it isn't.  It's for the time within the scope of time, that is, until the eschaton, for the sake of the reconciliation of the world, so not eternal.  Eternal subordination of the Son to the Father was an import to the Missouri Synod from the Reformed camp, and eventually was removed from at least one published source.

Does that change the concept of subordination with regard to the divine/human comparison vocationally in the here and now?  Maybe. Maybe not.  We do have glimpses of eternity - "foretaste of the feast to come" is a phrase we use, the in-breaking of God's Realm of Grace with an eye/taste of the Realm of Glory.  In that sense, the sense of the mysteries and earthly stewardship of vocation, could vocation be extended beyond creaturely boundaries? 

Dave Benke

Dave, thanks for your input.  My response:

First, we must distinguish between the Son's functional subordination to the Father (which is biblical!) versus subordinationism which falsely teaches that the Son is less than the Father ontologically.

Second, even if the Son's subordination to the Father is limited to his incarnation, this doesn't change the fact that the husband is the head of his wife and this is connected to the fact that Christ is the head of His Bride, the church - and how this relates to only men serving as pastors is in effect this side of the parousia.

Third, I disagree with you that the ETERNAL subordination of the Son to the Father among certain Lutherans comes from the Reformed, as though this is a historical novelty.  The fact is is that not only does Scripture suggest an ETERNAL functional subordination of the Son to the Father, but we see this being the majority view among the Fathers of the 1st and 2nd centuries.  See this paper for evidence of this:
http://www.retrochristianity.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Power-in-Unity-Diversity-in-Rank-Paper-ETS-National-Version-2.pdf (http://www.retrochristianity.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Power-in-Unity-Diversity-in-Rank-Paper-ETS-National-Version-2.pdf)

Finally, in view of my third point above, I believe Kleinig was spot on in his essay in the FIRST edition of "Women Pastors?"  Those who challenged him do not really understand his arguments.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: D. Engebretson on June 10, 2021, 09:44:12 AM
We are willing to discuss it, Pastor Engebretsen. You are not willing to discuss it.
What are you afraid of? We would be happy to prevent all our arguments, all our reasons to you. Actually Pastor Stoffregen has tried to do that in this modest forum.
You call us to repentance and break fellowship with us.
I have this sort of gut feeling that you fear that too much discussion just might convince a number of your people that we are right.
Personally, as I have said before in this modest forum, I’m not sure I see the point in serious discussions at this time. I believe that someday the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod will ordain women. I have no interest in trying to make that happen, or standing to do so, but I believe that it will happen.
So for now, carry-on.

You have mentioned fear many times before when some of us hold on to certain convictions.  Yet that doesn't seem to be applied to faith itself.  There we see trust and conviction.  I am not fearful, simply convinced, as you are.  I really don't see you or your church body reversing their commitment to the ordination of women anymore than we will in adopting it.  You could be right that one day the LCMS will ordain women.  That's not my prediction, at least not in my lifetime. And you may be right that there is no "point in serious discussions at this time" between our two church bodies, especially on this issue.  Do you really think that we could, through such a discussion, move your church body back to where we are? Or even close to it? Not realistically.  It works both ways.  I suppose the fear question can be posed in both directions. Are you afraid that with enough discussion we might convince you otherwise?  You'd probably say no.  It is no different for us.  We are not afraid.  Just convinced as you are.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: peter_speckhard on June 10, 2021, 09:46:20 AM
We are willing to discuss it, Pastor Engebretsen. You are not willing to discuss it.
What are you afraid of? We would be happy to prevent all our arguments, all our reasons to you. Actually Pastor Stoffregen has tried to do that in this modest forum.
You call us to repentance and break fellowship with us.
I have this sort of gut feeling that you fear that too much discussion just might convince a number of your people that we are right.
Personally, as I have said before in this modest forum, I’m not sure I see the point in serious discussions at this time. I believe that someday the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod will ordain women. I have no interest in trying to make that happen, or standing to do so, but I believe that it will happen.
So for now, carry-on.
No, by your own terms you are not willing to discuss it. Earlier you said willingness to have genuine dialogue required openness to changing your position. You are not open to changing your position.

You are correct, however, that we (speaking for myself, I at least) do not consider ecumenical dialogue between the LCMS and the ELCA or other mainliners to be worth pursuing. I'm much more interested in talks with continuing Anglicans, Orthodox, Catholics, Evangelicals, and global south institutional Protestants. Liberal Protestantism is essentially one thing no matter the denominational stripe, and it is a sectarian thing.   
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Matt Hummel on June 10, 2021, 10:03:36 AM
We are willing to discuss it, Pastor Engebretsen. You are not willing to discuss it.
What are you afraid of? We would be happy to prevent all our arguments, all our reasons to you. Actually Pastor Stoffregen has tried to do that in this modest forum.
You call us to repentance and break fellowship with us.
I have this sort of gut feeling that you fear that too much discussion just might convince a number of your people that we are right.
Personally, as I have said before in this modest forum, I’m not sure I see the point in serious discussions at this time. I believe that someday the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod will ordain women. I have no interest in trying to make that happen, or standing to do so, but I believe that it will happen.
So for now, carry-on.

Charles- Folks are done discussing for the same reason that when I encounter a flat earther who wants to dialogue, I don’t. You have your thick file of proofs and information. You are quite serious in your intentions. But you start from a fundamentally flawed proposition. And, tbh, some folks pointed me towards the comments on the ELCA FB account. The official one. All the comments were about purging the Bound Conscience folks from the Party. So PLEASE don’t talk to us about dialogue and listening.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: peter_speckhard on June 10, 2021, 10:23:31 AM
The LCMS does not write off St. Paul as being captive to the worldly views of his day. We recognize meaning and context. If x is disgraceful, x ought not be done. That is not a declaration that x is always and everywhere disgraceful. In the same way, recognizing meaning and context allows us to know that St. Paul does not contradict himself on the matter of circumcision.

If we are wrong about head coverings and hair length, it isn’t because we think St. Paul was captive to his culture and not speaking the Word of God (although in a few places he distinguishes between his own opinion and revelation from God, which we acknowledge). It would be because we misinterpreted his authoritative writing. In terms of authority, there is a big difference between, “I misunderstood you and thus didn’t do what you said,” and, “I understood you but also understood your shortcomings and compensated for them and thus didn’t do what you said.” If the LCMS is wrong about head coverings, it will be with the former explanation, not the latter. If the ELCA is wrong about women’s ordination (and I believe it is) it will be with the latter explanation.

Peter, I'm also tired of Brian quoting the "women's head covering/long hair" from 1 Cor. 11 because it's on the level of the "shrimp argument" from Leviticus.  Simply put, the context of 1 Cor. 11 is clear that the universal unchanging principle is that there is a distinction between male and female, and one way that universal unchanging principle was expressed in Corinth in Paul's day is that women had head coverings/long hair whereas men did not.  We have the same custom in our own culture where most men and most women still wear different types of clothing.  Most men don't show up church in a dress and most women don't show up with a man's suit and tie because most Christians still accept Paul's teaching that God wants there to be a distinction between male and female.  HOW this distinction is expressed varies from time to time and culture to culture, but we still are obedient to the unchanging principle.  As for ordaining women into the pastoral office, in 1st Cor. 14 and elsewhere is it clear that this prohibition is not a temporary local expression of a universal principle but is itself a universal principle that applies to all times and places.  Just as the Son cannot be the head of God the Father and just as the wife cannot be the head of her husband, a woman cannot represent Christ as the Bridegroom who is head over His bride, the church.

Yes, Tom. Well said. The congregation sent Paul a list of practical questions, whether to use head coverings being one of them. Paul first praises them for observing the traditions he passed on then goes into instructions about THE BASIS of the practice he described (v. 3).

A comparable issue today would be wearing a wedding ring. Scripture does not command the wearing of such rings. Scripture does command the modesty and fidelity that such rings signify in our culture. So Paul is teaching a biblical principle about male/female relations by connecting with a cultural practice and device. The device may not be the same everywhere at every time but the principle involved is: The Lord made men and women different, therefore, respect and maintain the difference.

What is the difference between man and woman that Scripture teaches us we are to respect and maintain in the home, the Church and society?  Is it a spiritual difference applicable only in the home?  the Church?

What is the difference between man and woman that determines when or why God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,  are not free to act as God in and through the life of a woman in the home, the Church or society? 

Is it the nature of God that prevents God the Father, God the Son and/or God the Holy Spirit from working authoritatively as God in and through a woman in the home, the Church or society?

Or, is it that nature of woman that limits or restrains God the Father, God the Son or God the Holy Spirit from working in and through a woman in the same way that God is free to work through a man.

Or, is it simply God's Law that God not be God in the life of woman as God is God in the  life of a man?

Bottom line, what is it about the nature of God  that God cannot be God in and through the life of woman in the same way God is God in and through the life of man.

Marie  Meyer

Marie, as Peter said, Scripture doesn't treat this issue as a spiritual difference but a VOCATIONAL difference.  God the Father and and God the Son are equal in essence and yet the Father is the head of the Son.  In the same way, a husband and a wife are equal and yet the husband is the head of the wife.  These roles are not interchangeable. 

If you're still wonderfing WHY the Father is the head of the Son and WHY the husband is the head of the wife, you'll have to see God about that.  But His Word is clear, in any case.

I bolded the phrase above because it brought to mind a controversy from awhile back.  The subordination of the Son to the Father, in your term "vocationally", was taught for a time, and maybe still is by some, as eternal.  Although it isn't.  It's for the time within the scope of time, that is, until the eschaton, for the sake of the reconciliation of the world, so not eternal.  Eternal subordination of the Son to the Father was an import to the Missouri Synod from the Reformed camp, and eventually was removed from at least one published source.

Does that change the concept of subordination with regard to the divine/human comparison vocationally in the here and now?  Maybe. Maybe not.  We do have glimpses of eternity - "foretaste of the feast to come" is a phrase we use, the in-breaking of God's Realm of Grace with an eye/taste of the Realm of Glory.  In that sense, the sense of the mysteries and earthly stewardship of vocation, could vocation be extended beyond creaturely boundaries? 

Dave Benke

Dave, thanks for your input.  My response:

First, we must distinguish between the Son's functional subordination to the Father (which is biblical!) versus subordinationism which falsely teaches that the Son is less than the Father ontologically.

Second, even if the Son's subordination to the Father is limited to his incarnation, this doesn't change the fact that the husband is the head of his wife and this is connected to the fact that Christ is the head of His Bride, the church - and how this relates to only men serving as pastors is in effect this side of the parousia.

Third, I disagree with you that the ETERNAL subordination of the Son to the Father among certain Lutherans comes from the Reformed, as though this is a historical novelty.  The fact is is that not only does Scripture suggest an ETERNAL functional subordination of the Son to the Father, but we see this being the majority view among the Fathers of the 1st and 2nd centuries.  See this paper for evidence of this:
http://www.retrochristianity.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Power-in-Unity-Diversity-in-Rank-Paper-ETS-National-Version-2.pdf (http://www.retrochristianity.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Power-in-Unity-Diversity-in-Rank-Paper-ETS-National-Version-2.pdf)

Finally, in view of my third point above, I believe Kleinig was spot on in his essay in the FIRST edition of "Women Pastors?"  Those who challenged him do not really understand his arguments.
It seems to me the Trinitarian question as applied to the issue of male/female is really an exploration into why revelation says what it says about men and women. That it says what it says about male/female should be a point of agreement. The two natures of Christ may or may not help anyone understand the matter and may or may not be wholly, partially, or not analogous at all. The question is how men and women can be ontologically the same, which is necessary for the Incarnation/Redemption to apply to all people, yet be meaningfully distinguished in terms of their roles in God's design of humanity. The two natures of Christ seems like an apt comparison. Same essence, complete equality, and yet distinguished from the Father.

We confess that Jesus has two natures, divine and human, yet is one Lord, one altogether, not by confusion of substance but by unity of person. One, however, not by conversion of the divinity into flesh but by the assumption of the humanity into God. Yet we also confess that he equal to the Father with respect to His divinity and less than the Father with respect to His humanity. This is a pretty big mystery. When we say that the Son is less than the Father with respect to His humanity we have to acknowledge that His humanity is not separable from His person, nor is it merely temporal. To all eternity Christ is fully human and less than the Father with respect to His humanity, yet also fully God and equal to the Father with respect to His divinity. Correct?

To assert the eternal subordination of the Son, one denies on the face of it the unity of God and equality of persons. But to deny the eternal subordination of the Son is, seemingly, to deny the eternal twofold nature of Christ as God and Man or to deny the distinction between God and Man altogether, as though humanity were not less than or subordinate to God.

Humanity as male/female is also a mysterious topic. There are ways to state things that seemingly result in a denial of some aspect of revelation whether you affirm or deny the statement. I find it helpful to assert that the (unfallen) human individual is/has the image of God, but so also does the relationship of father/mother/child, within which individuals relate differently to each other despite relating to God in identical ways as individuals bearing His image.   
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Coach-Rev on June 10, 2021, 11:08:18 AM
Jeff simply notes:

now 17+ pages of regurgitating the same arguments that have been used by both sides time and again.  Might it be time to shut this one down?  Moderators, what say you?
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Tom Eckstein on June 10, 2021, 11:16:43 AM
The LCMS does not write off St. Paul as being captive to the worldly views of his day. We recognize meaning and context. If x is disgraceful, x ought not be done. That is not a declaration that x is always and everywhere disgraceful. In the same way, recognizing meaning and context allows us to know that St. Paul does not contradict himself on the matter of circumcision.

If we are wrong about head coverings and hair length, it isn’t because we think St. Paul was captive to his culture and not speaking the Word of God (although in a few places he distinguishes between his own opinion and revelation from God, which we acknowledge). It would be because we misinterpreted his authoritative writing. In terms of authority, there is a big difference between, “I misunderstood you and thus didn’t do what you said,” and, “I understood you but also understood your shortcomings and compensated for them and thus didn’t do what you said.” If the LCMS is wrong about head coverings, it will be with the former explanation, not the latter. If the ELCA is wrong about women’s ordination (and I believe it is) it will be with the latter explanation.

Peter, I'm also tired of Brian quoting the "women's head covering/long hair" from 1 Cor. 11 because it's on the level of the "shrimp argument" from Leviticus.  Simply put, the context of 1 Cor. 11 is clear that the universal unchanging principle is that there is a distinction between male and female, and one way that universal unchanging principle was expressed in Corinth in Paul's day is that women had head coverings/long hair whereas men did not.  We have the same custom in our own culture where most men and most women still wear different types of clothing.  Most men don't show up church in a dress and most women don't show up with a man's suit and tie because most Christians still accept Paul's teaching that God wants there to be a distinction between male and female.  HOW this distinction is expressed varies from time to time and culture to culture, but we still are obedient to the unchanging principle.  As for ordaining women into the pastoral office, in 1st Cor. 14 and elsewhere is it clear that this prohibition is not a temporary local expression of a universal principle but is itself a universal principle that applies to all times and places.  Just as the Son cannot be the head of God the Father and just as the wife cannot be the head of her husband, a woman cannot represent Christ as the Bridegroom who is head over His bride, the church.

Yes, Tom. Well said. The congregation sent Paul a list of practical questions, whether to use head coverings being one of them. Paul first praises them for observing the traditions he passed on then goes into instructions about THE BASIS of the practice he described (v. 3).

A comparable issue today would be wearing a wedding ring. Scripture does not command the wearing of such rings. Scripture does command the modesty and fidelity that such rings signify in our culture. So Paul is teaching a biblical principle about male/female relations by connecting with a cultural practice and device. The device may not be the same everywhere at every time but the principle involved is: The Lord made men and women different, therefore, respect and maintain the difference.

What is the difference between man and woman that Scripture teaches us we are to respect and maintain in the home, the Church and society?  Is it a spiritual difference applicable only in the home?  the Church?

What is the difference between man and woman that determines when or why God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,  are not free to act as God in and through the life of a woman in the home, the Church or society? 

Is it the nature of God that prevents God the Father, God the Son and/or God the Holy Spirit from working authoritatively as God in and through a woman in the home, the Church or society?

Or, is it that nature of woman that limits or restrains God the Father, God the Son or God the Holy Spirit from working in and through a woman in the same way that God is free to work through a man.

Or, is it simply God's Law that God not be God in the life of woman as God is God in the  life of a man?

Bottom line, what is it about the nature of God  that God cannot be God in and through the life of woman in the same way God is God in and through the life of man.

Marie  Meyer

Marie, as Peter said, Scripture doesn't treat this issue as a spiritual difference but a VOCATIONAL difference.  God the Father and and God the Son are equal in essence and yet the Father is the head of the Son.  In the same way, a husband and a wife are equal and yet the husband is the head of the wife.  These roles are not interchangeable. 

If you're still wonderfing WHY the Father is the head of the Son and WHY the husband is the head of the wife, you'll have to see God about that.  But His Word is clear, in any case.

I bolded the phrase above because it brought to mind a controversy from awhile back.  The subordination of the Son to the Father, in your term "vocationally", was taught for a time, and maybe still is by some, as eternal.  Although it isn't.  It's for the time within the scope of time, that is, until the eschaton, for the sake of the reconciliation of the world, so not eternal.  Eternal subordination of the Son to the Father was an import to the Missouri Synod from the Reformed camp, and eventually was removed from at least one published source.

Does that change the concept of subordination with regard to the divine/human comparison vocationally in the here and now?  Maybe. Maybe not.  We do have glimpses of eternity - "foretaste of the feast to come" is a phrase we use, the in-breaking of God's Realm of Grace with an eye/taste of the Realm of Glory.  In that sense, the sense of the mysteries and earthly stewardship of vocation, could vocation be extended beyond creaturely boundaries? 

Dave Benke

Dave, thanks for your input.  My response:

First, we must distinguish between the Son's functional subordination to the Father (which is biblical!) versus subordinationism which falsely teaches that the Son is less than the Father ontologically.

Second, even if the Son's subordination to the Father is limited to his incarnation, this doesn't change the fact that the husband is the head of his wife and this is connected to the fact that Christ is the head of His Bride, the church - and how this relates to only men serving as pastors is in effect this side of the parousia.

Third, I disagree with you that the ETERNAL subordination of the Son to the Father among certain Lutherans comes from the Reformed, as though this is a historical novelty.  The fact is is that not only does Scripture suggest an ETERNAL functional subordination of the Son to the Father, but we see this being the majority view among the Fathers of the 1st and 2nd centuries.  See this paper for evidence of this:
http://www.retrochristianity.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Power-in-Unity-Diversity-in-Rank-Paper-ETS-National-Version-2.pdf (http://www.retrochristianity.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Power-in-Unity-Diversity-in-Rank-Paper-ETS-National-Version-2.pdf)

Finally, in view of my third point above, I believe Kleinig was spot on in his essay in the FIRST edition of "Women Pastors?"  Those who challenged him do not really understand his arguments.
It seems to me the Trinitarian question as applied to the issue of male/female is really an exploration into why revelation says what it says about men and women. That it says what it says about male/female should be a point of agreement. The two natures of Christ may or may not help anyone understand the matter and may or may not be wholly, partially, or not analogous at all. The question is how men and women can be ontologically the same, which is necessary for the Incarnation/Redemption to apply to all people, yet be meaningfully distinguished in terms of their roles in God's design of humanity. The two natures of Christ seems like an apt comparison. Same essence, complete equality, and yet distinguished from the Father.

We confess that Jesus has two natures, divine and human, yet is one Lord, one altogether, not by confusion of substance but by unity of person. One, however, not by conversion of the divinity into flesh but by the assumption of the humanity into God. Yet we also confess that he equal to the Father with respect to His divinity and less than the Father with respect to His humanity. This is a pretty big mystery. When we say that the Son is less than the Father with respect to His humanity we have to acknowledge that His humanity is not separable from His person, nor is it merely temporal. To all eternity Christ is fully human and less than the Father with respect to His humanity, yet also fully God and equal to the Father with respect to His divinity. Correct?

To assert the eternal subordination of the Son, one denies on the face of it the unity of God and equality of persons. But to deny the eternal subordination of the Son is, seemingly, to deny the eternal twofold nature of Christ as God and Man or to deny the distinction between God and Man altogether, as though humanity were not less than or subordinate to God.

Humanity as male/female is also a mysterious topic. There are ways to state things that seemingly result in a denial of some aspect of revelation whether you affirm or deny the statement. I find it helpful to assert that the (unfallen) human individual is/has the image of God, but so also does the relationship of father/mother/child, within which individuals relate differently to each other despite relating to God in identical ways as individuals bearing His image.   

Thanks for your insights on this, Peter!

I would like to respond briefly to your words:  "To assert the eternal subordination of the Son, one denies on the face of it the unity of God and equality of persons." I realized that some people assert this, but the majority of early Church Father's did not.  (See the paper I linked for Dave.)  Simply put, the eternal FUNCTIONAL subordination of the Son to the Father is not in conflict with the fact that they are ONTOLOGICALLY equal.

Next, you also wrote:  "To all eternity Christ is fully human and less than the Father with respect to His humanity, yet also fully God and equal to the Father with respect to His divinity. Correct?" To be honest, I'm not sure how to answer your question.  I will need to ponder this some more.  My first impulse is to disagree because the Son was not ALWAYS incarnate.  He became incarnate IN TIME and will exist as "God in human flesh" from now on.  But there was a time in eternity past (if we can speak of "a time" in terms of eternity?) when the Son was not "in the flesh."  But maybe I simply misunderstand the point you are trying to make.

In any case, we agree that functional subordination and ontological equality are not in conflict.  Therefore, when you replied to Marie's post earlier by stating that the difference between male and female is a VOCATIONAL rather than a spiritual one, I totally agree with you!
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Dave Benke on June 10, 2021, 11:52:31 AM
Maybe I'm missing something here about the end-game, ie "eternity" from the before and after side of time.  In eternity, is there a functional subordination of the Son to the Father?  My brain says No.  The unity of the Trinity in all regards will then be, as before the beginning, beyond sin, death, destruction and time.  No functional subordination left.  No?

God reigning, God enthroned, and yet and still God wiping away every tear from every eye. 

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 10, 2021, 11:59:46 AM
I bolded the phrase above because it brought to mind a controversy from awhile back.  The subordination of the Son to the Father, in your term "vocationally", was taught for a time, and maybe still is by some, as eternal.  Although it isn't.  It's for the time within the scope of time, that is, until the eschaton, for the sake of the reconciliation of the world, so not eternal.  Eternal subordination of the Son to the Father was an import to the Missouri Synod from the Reformed camp, and eventually was removed from at least one published source.

Does that change the concept of subordination with regard to the divine/human comparison vocationally in the here and now?  Maybe. Maybe not.  We do have glimpses of eternity - "foretaste of the feast to come" is a phrase we use, the in-breaking of God's Realm of Grace with an eye/taste of the Realm of Glory.  In that sense, the sense of the mysteries and earthly stewardship of vocation, could vocation be extended beyond creaturely boundaries? 


I believe that one of the problems is that the Greek, ὑποτάσσω, is not quite equivalent to the English, "subordinate." The range of meanings for the Greek word go beyond "subordination." For example, it is used of young Jesus "being obedient" to his parents (Luke 2:51). I don't believe that made him "subordinate" to them. He remains their God and Lord, even as he obeys them. "Submit," is another way the word is translated, e.g., the demons submit to the disciples commands (Luke 10:17, 20). ("Obey" would also work in that context.) Yet, we know that later the disciples will not get demons to submit/obey them. This word is used about the "the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets" (1 Corinthians 14:32), or as CEB puts it, "the spirits of the prophets are under the control of the prophets." Assuming that it is the Holy Spirit that is speaking through the prophets, we wouldn't conclude that the Spirit is subordinate to the prophets. The Spirit remains divine, even while the human vehicles can control the prophetic speech within the assembly.


It is 1 Corinthians 15:27-28 that talks about everything being subject/submissive/subordinate/under the control of Jesus (see also Ephesians 1:22; Philippians 3:21,) except the one who put everything under his control. But then it indicates that Jesus is subject/submissive/subordinate/under the control of God. This could mean, as it did in Luke, that the Second Person continues to obey the First Person, like young Jesus obeyed his parents. Not a difference in rank, like the word "subordinate" can imply.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Jeremy Loesch on June 10, 2021, 12:02:27 PM
Jeff simply notes:

now 17+ pages of regurgitating the same arguments that have been used by both sides time and again.  Might it be time to shut this one down?  Moderators, what say you?

It doesn't appear to me than anyone is actually discussing women's ordination.  The discussion is about why there is no discussion.  The ELCA won't discuss it.  The LCMS won't discuss it.  To each church body, women's ordination is settled theology.  What's there to discuss?

Jeremy
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Dan Fienen on June 10, 2021, 12:23:38 PM
I've long thought that a big part of the problem with parsing out the inner workings of God is that God is in some ways, and especially in the inner workings of God as Three Persons in One Being, is far outside our personal experiences. All language is to an extent metaphorical. But our language about God much more so than usual. None of us have directly experienced what it is to be Three in One. Talk about God operates at the very fringe of our language. We do not have in our standard vocabulary the words or concepts to express or even think about God's reality. Even talking about God as Three Persons in One Being is a metaphor for the ineffable nature of God.


Any metaphor if pushed too far becomes false. If I say I have a hard problem, I mean that it is difficult to solve, not that if I hit the problem with a hammer it would strongly resist being deformed by the hammer. Our metaphors for God, since they begin by trying to describe the indescribable are very easily pushed beyond their applicability. We need to accept that there is much about God that we simply cannot know in detail. What we need to know, the Bible does make clear.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Dan Fienen on June 10, 2021, 12:33:07 PM
I hear the Biblical evidence and the reasoning that those who favor women's ordination submit for consideration and they seem generally reasonable. I hear the Biblical evidence and the reasoning that those who refuse women's ordination submit for consideration and they seem generally reasonable. Both, it seems to me, make points that give the other side difficulty in dealing with. Perhaps this is why both sides seem so quickly to degenerate into ad hominem arguments and personal invective. And the nature of the issue does not readily lend itself to compromise. To compromise for a little bit of women's ordination would be like trying to be a little bit pregnant. One either is or is not. A church body either ordains women or does not. Where is there compromise?
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 10, 2021, 12:35:08 PM
Jeff simply notes:

now 17+ pages of regurgitating the same arguments that have been used by both sides time and again.  Might it be time to shut this one down?  Moderators, what say you?

It doesn't appear to me than anyone is actually discussing women's ordination.  The discussion is about why there is no discussion.  The ELCA won't discuss it.  The LCMS won't discuss it.  To each church body, women's ordination is settled theology.  What's there to discuss?


We can discuss differing ways the pertinent passages are interpreted and translated.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 10, 2021, 12:37:06 PM
I've long thought that a big part of the problem with parsing out the inner workings of God is that God is in some ways, and especially in the inner workings of God as Three Persons in One Being, is far outside our personal experiences. All language is to an extent metaphorical. But our language about God much more so than usual. None of us have directly experienced what it is to be Three in One. Talk about God operates at the very fringe of our language. We do not have in our standard vocabulary the words or concepts to express or even think about God's reality. Even talking about God as Three Persons in One Being is a metaphor for the ineffable nature of God.


Any metaphor if pushed too far becomes false. If I say I have a hard problem, I mean that it is difficult to solve, not that if I hit the problem with a hammer it would strongly resist being deformed by the hammer. Our metaphors for God, since they begin by trying to describe the indescribable are very easily pushed beyond their applicability. We need to accept that there is much about God that we simply cannot know in detail. What we need to know, the Bible does make clear.


So, like Paul indicated, whatever we think we know is only partial.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: peter_speckhard on June 10, 2021, 01:21:56 PM
Maybe I'm missing something here about the end-game, ie "eternity" from the before and after side of time.  In eternity, is there a functional subordination of the Son to the Father?  My brain says No.  The unity of the Trinity in all regards will then be, as before the beginning, beyond sin, death, destruction and time.  No functional subordination left.  No?

God reigning, God enthroned, and yet and still God wiping away every tear from every eye. 

Dave Benke
I’m not understanding how a lack of sin, death, destruction, and time puts an end to subordination. Is the Son less than Father with respect to His humanity to all eternity or just within time? Or is He not human in eternity? Or is humanity not less than God the Father?

It seems to me somewhat Satanic to object to rank/subordination in the abstract, as though the distinction between angels and archangels were a result of the Fall.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 10, 2021, 01:42:32 PM
Maybe I'm missing something here about the end-game, ie "eternity" from the before and after side of time.  In eternity, is there a functional subordination of the Son to the Father?  My brain says No.  The unity of the Trinity in all regards will then be, as before the beginning, beyond sin, death, destruction and time.  No functional subordination left.  No?

God reigning, God enthroned, and yet and still God wiping away every tear from every eye. 

Dave Benke
I’m not understanding how a lack of sin, death, destruction, and time puts an end to subordination. Is the Son less than Father with respect to His humanity to all eternity or just within time? Or is He not human in eternity? Or is humanity not less than God the Father?

It seems to me somewhat Satanic to object to rank/subordination in the abstract, as though the distinction between angels and archangels were a result of the Fall.


The biblical term is not "less than," but κενόω: he emptied himself. The second person was not "flesh" before "he became flesh" (σὰρξ ἐγένετο) and σαρκόω, which is used in the Nicene Creed. I would interpret these as indicated that there was a time when he was not human flesh. From what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15, the human flesh we and Jesus had is not the same σὰρξ we have for eternity. Human flesh decays. It doesn't last forever.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Charles Austin on June 10, 2021, 01:57:00 PM
Pastor Engebretson:
Do you really think that we could, through such a discussion, move your church body back to where we are? Or even close to it?
Me:
The very way you state the situation underlines the problem.
Sometimes the purpose of dialogue is not to get to one side agreeing with the other but finding ways to work together as fully as possible even though a certain level of disagreement continues to exist.
If you enter a dialogue declaring at the beginning “we will never change,“ you might be missing one purpose of the dialogue.
Your church body wanted to dismantle some social service agencies because of our view on matters relating to sexuality. The point of dialogue in those settings is not for one party to change, or convince the other party which is “right,” but to find ways to work together despite the differences.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: aletheist on June 10, 2021, 02:00:29 PM
Is the Son less than Father with respect to His humanity to all eternity or just within time? Or is He not human in eternity? Or is humanity not less than God the Father?
Fortunately, the Formula of Concord provides unambiguous answers to these questions.

Quote from: FC SD VIII.26
Hence also the human nature, after the resurrection from the dead, has its exaltation above all creatures in heaven and on earth; which is nothing else than that He entirely laid aside the form of a servant, and yet did not lay aside His human nature, but retains it to eternity, and is put in the full possession and use of the divine majesty according to His assumed human nature.
Quote from: FC SD VIII.61
Christ is equal to the Father only according to the divine nature, while according to the assumed human nature He is beneath God; from which it is manifest that we make no confusionem, exaequationem, abolitionem, that is, no confusion, equalization, or abolition of natures in Christ

As Lutherans we thus believe, teach, and confess that Christ retains His human nature for all eternity, and according to that nature He is beneath (German unter, Latin sub) God the Father.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: peter_speckhard on June 10, 2021, 02:07:36 PM
Is the Son less than Father with respect to His humanity to all eternity or just within time? Or is He not human in eternity? Or is humanity not less than God the Father?
Fortunately, the Formula of Concord provides unambiguous answers to these questions.

Quote from: FC SD VIII.26
Hence also the human nature, after the resurrection from the dead, has its exaltation above all creatures in heaven and on earth; which is nothing else than that He entirely laid aside the form of a servant, and yet did not lay aside His human nature, but retains it to eternity, and is put in the full possession and use of the divine majesty according to His assumed human nature.
Quote from: FC SD VIII.61
Christ is equal to the Father only according to the divine nature, while according to the assumed human nature He is beneath God; from which it is manifest that we make no confusionem, exaequationem, abolitionem, that is, no confusion, equalization, or abolition of natures in Christ

As Lutherans we thus believe, teach, and confess that Christ retains His human nature for all eternity, and according to that nature He is beneath (German unter, Latin sub) God the Father.
Indeed. Rhetorical questions to make a point. It seemed to me Dave was linking the idea of subordination/rank/hierarchy to sin, death, and the fallen world. My point is that sin is what makes hierarchy and subordination dangerous, and sin is the only thing that resents it. There is no reason to think there would be a problem with hierarchy in a sinless world. Presumably Adam and Eve would have been king and Queen without tyranny and without being envied for it.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: mariemeyer on June 10, 2021, 03:47:55 PM

Peter wrote  "The question is how men and women can be ontologically the same, which is necessary for the Incarnation/Redemption to apply to all people, yet be meaningfully distinguished in terms of their roles in God's design of humanity. The two natures of Christ seems like an apt comparison. Same essence, complete equality, and yet distinguished from the Father."

Peter surfaces what I regard the foundational issue in claiming true knowledge of God's will for man and woman.  Does God relate to human men and women according to their common human nature/being  or according to the distinct male and female sexuality that belongs to who they are as humans, not God.

According to the LCMS, the "theological matrix" for true knowledge of woman's identity (ontology/nature/being), purpose (telos)and relationship (ethics) to man is "the order of creation immutable structure" defined as a descending chain of being....
God, Jesus the Christ,man, woman also stated as  God, man, woman, animals.


Genesis 2: 23 reads,  "The the man said, "This at last  is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh, she shall be called Woman because she was taken out of Man."

The Lutheran Bible Study note reads: "First name Adam gives to his wife. Like the name of man ('adam), the name of his wife ('ishshah)  is a classification.  In his role as God's steward (see note 1:26), Adam gives a name to this category of being.[/i]
, just as he had given names to the rest of God's creation."

Two thoughts: I am no Hebrew scholar, but I understand the Hebrew for the man in the Genesis 2:23 is ish.  There is a play on words of ish and ishshah for  man and woman.

The study notes use the text to claim that Adam here gave the woman a name that identifies her as belonging to a different "category of being." IOW, Genesis reveals that there is a ontological distinction between man and woman.

The only possible conclusion is that Jesus, the Christ, born of the virgin woman Mary, did not receive his human identity as true man from his mother.  She would have belonged to a different "category of being."   As a man, he would have belong to a different category of being than his mother.

I submit that the only possible way to address this "endless controversy" is to critically examine how the LCMS arrives at and defines the order of creation chain of being structure, even if it requires a study of The Lutheran Study Bible.

marie meyer

 
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: peter_speckhard on June 10, 2021, 03:56:25 PM
I think the Creedal formulations make clear that not every category is an ontological category. The persons of the Trinity are distinct yet ontologically the same. Male and female are distinct yet ontologically the same. So I think you’re reading too much into it too a ontological difference when TLSB refers to Eve as a category of being. The point is that Eve was ontologically the same — flesh of my flesh and bone of my bone— and yet distinct and different. It wasn’t just Eve who is called Woman but everyone in the same category of being— female humans as opposed to male humans— who are being named by Adam as Woman.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Tom Eckstein on June 10, 2021, 04:30:35 PM
Maybe I'm missing something here about the end-game, ie "eternity" from the before and after side of time.  In eternity, is there a functional subordination of the Son to the Father?  My brain says No.  The unity of the Trinity in all regards will then be, as before the beginning, beyond sin, death, destruction and time.  No functional subordination left.  No?

God reigning, God enthroned, and yet and still God wiping away every tear from every eye. 

Dave Benke
I’m not understanding how a lack of sin, death, destruction, and time puts an end to subordination. Is the Son less than Father with respect to His humanity to all eternity or just within time? Or is He not human in eternity? Or is humanity not less than God the Father?

It seems to me somewhat Satanic to object to rank/subordination in the abstract, as though the distinction between angels and archangels were a result of the Fall.

Peter, you have now cleared up my confusion.  In your previous post I thought you were trying to suggest that the result of Christ's incarnation was that He was "God in the Flesh" also in eternity PAST.  I realize now you were correctly asserting that Christ is "God in human flesh" for all eternity -  NOW and FUTURE.

But even before Christ's incarnation, in eternity PAST, I think there is good biblical support for and much evidence from the early Church fathers that Christ was FUNCTIONALLY subordinate to the Father while being ONTOLOGIALL equal.

Finally, I agree with you 100% that subordination of any kind is not the result of the fall but something that can fit well with the Pre-fall creation as well as the future New Creation.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: GalRevRedux on June 10, 2021, 05:20:27 PM
Jeff simply notes:

now 17+ pages of regurgitating the same arguments that have been used by both sides time and again.  Might it be time to shut this one down?  Moderators, what say you?

Please.

Amen.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: peter_speckhard on June 10, 2021, 05:44:28 PM
I locked the thread about CN because it was personal. This thread, I think, though indeed on a tired topic, is worth leaving open because previous incarnations of the same topic included different people and in any event are not readily visible to lurkers.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: mariemeyer on June 10, 2021, 08:03:22 PM
Jeff simply notes:

now 17+ pages of regurgitating the same arguments that have been used by both sides time and again.  Might it be time to shut this one down?  Moderators, what say you?

Please.

Amen.

If only the thread would recognize how, within the LCMS, natural human reason misuses the written and Incarnate Word to justify a pre-Fall order of creation that mirrors a chain of being world view.  I understand your frustration.  To understand mine I would encourage you to obtain a copy of THE Lutheran Study Bible published by CPH.  The study notes, beginning with Genesis, weave a thread supporting an ideology where the human man displaces God's rightful place in the life of woman. 

My thinking is informed by Luther's Commentary on Galatians, his Magnificat Commentary, Let God Be God by Philip Watson and Grace and Reason by Bryan Gerrish.   

I never aspired to be ordained. Consecrated as a Deaconess in 1960, I served a parish for two years prior to marrying my husband after his vicarage year.  After that my calling was  "home maker" (aka wife and mom) and volunteer when opportunities presented themselves.  This included several years on the ALPB Board, the Board of Lutheran Bible Translators, LIRS and Board for Lutheran Social Services of New York City.

Along the way a completed a year of CPE at the Nassau County Medical Center. Within the LCMS this was perceived by some as a first step toward ordination.  In truth, it was my desire to better understand the LCMS as a family system as well as my place in my Otten family of origin. My life experience taught me that there are times one has to love a brother in Christ enough to question how they arrive at a chain of being world view on the basis of Genesis 1-5  where God is said to have assigned woman a subordinate identity, function and place in relation to man. 

Marie Meyer
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Charles Austin on June 11, 2021, 02:08:14 AM
Billy Graham’s daughter on women preaching and ordination. She preaches, but does not feel called to the “authority” conferred by ordination.
https://religionnews.com/2021/06/09/anne-graham-lotz-i-just-have-to-follow-the-lord-and-what-hes-called-me-to-do/
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Rev. Edward Engelbrecht on June 11, 2021, 06:31:23 AM
Jeff simply notes:

now 17+ pages of regurgitating the same arguments that have been used by both sides time and again.  Might it be time to shut this one down?  Moderators, what say you?

Please.

Amen.

If only the thread would recognize how, within the LCMS, natural human reason misuses the written and Incarnate Word to justify a pre-Fall order of creation that mirrors a chain of being world view.  I understand your frustration.  To understand mine I would encourage you to obtain a copy of THE Lutheran Study Bible published by CPH.  The study notes, beginning with Genesis, weave a thread supporting an ideology where the human man displaces God's rightful place in the life of woman. 

My thinking is informed by Luther's Commentary on Galatians, his Magnificat Commentary, Let God Be God by Philip Watson and Grace and Reason by Bryan Gerrish.   

I never aspired to be ordained. Consecrated as a Deaconess in 1960, I served a parish for two years prior to marrying my husband after his vicarage year.  After that my calling was  "home maker" (aka wife and mom) and volunteer when opportunities presented themselves.  This included several years on the ALPB Board, the Board of Lutheran Bible Translators, LIRS and Board for Lutheran Social Services of New York City.

Along the way a completed a year of CPE at the Nassau County Medical Center. Within the LCMS this was perceived by some as a first step toward ordination.  In truth, it was my desire to better understand the LCMS as a family system as well as my place in my Otten family of origin. My life experience taught me that there are times one has to love a brother in Christ enough to question how they arrive at a chain of being world view on the basis of Genesis 1-5  where God is said to have assigned woman a subordinate identity, function and place in relation to man. 

Marie Meyer

Thank you for serving, Marie.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Dave Benke on June 11, 2021, 08:30:45 AM
Is the Son less than Father with respect to His humanity to all eternity or just within time? Or is He not human in eternity? Or is humanity not less than God the Father?
Fortunately, the Formula of Concord provides unambiguous answers to these questions.

Quote from: FC SD VIII.26
Hence also the human nature, after the resurrection from the dead, has its exaltation above all creatures in heaven and on earth; which is nothing else than that He entirely laid aside the form of a servant, and yet did not lay aside His human nature, but retains it to eternity, and is put in the full possession and use of the divine majesty according to His assumed human nature.
Quote from: FC SD VIII.61
Christ is equal to the Father only according to the divine nature, while according to the assumed human nature He is beneath God; from which it is manifest that we make no confusionem, exaequationem, abolitionem, that is, no confusion, equalization, or abolition of natures in Christ

As Lutherans we thus believe, teach, and confess that Christ retains His human nature for all eternity, and according to that nature He is beneath (German unter, Latin sub) God the Father.

The phrase "to eternity" is of interest.  The reason I've brought it up at all is the connection between "eternal" "functional" subordination of the Son to the Father and its connection to the eternal subordination of woman to man as what Tom has called vocation. 

The Son is no longer going to redeem the world in eternity.  That has been accomplished.  The vocation to "do the will of the Father" through redemption is complete. 

Mark 12:24, 25 lets us know that in heaven we - humanity - will not be marrying but will be as angels:  οταν γαρ εκ νεκρων αναστωσιν ουτε γαμουσιν ουτε γαμισκονται αλλ εισιν ως αγγελοι οι εν τοις ουρανοις.   Ergo the vocation of husband/wife will have been completed in time, so not eternal.

So aren't those the two bookends when it comes to the use of vocation and subordination?  Why not?  Or, based on Mark 12:24, 25 even if analysis of the texts and tradition demonstrate that the Son is eternally subordinate to the Father, don't the words of Jesus tell us that the male/female vocational roles of super/sub-ordination have been completed at the end of time?

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: peter_speckhard on June 11, 2021, 09:49:32 AM
Just as an aside to tie some threads together, Matt 22:29 “You are wrong because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God,” would make a great confirmation verse for some 8th graders I’ve known.

I’m not sure the vocation of the Son to do the will of the Father can ever be completed. Jesus’ self-sacrificial mission is simply a function of His eternal being/person. He claims to imitate the Father or to limit Himself to what He sees the Father doing, to have a united will with the Father, etc. Even to sit at the right hand of the Father implies doing the Father’s will. In a way it is meaningless; they will the same thing. In eternity, whether the Father is doing the will of the Son or the Son is doing the will of the Father is moot. Because of the perfection of the reciprocal love that is God, it couldn’t be otherwise.

They are neither married nor given in marriage in the resurrection. Are they therefore neither male nor female in heaven? That would imply something odd about the resurrection of the body as well as the nature and purpose of male/female. Was Adam male before Eve was created? Certainly they were male and female before the Fall.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Dave Benke on June 11, 2021, 10:30:35 AM
They are neither married nor given in marriage in the resurrection. Are they therefore neither male nor female in heaven? That would imply something odd about the resurrection of the body as well as the nature and purpose of male/female. Was Adam male before Eve was created? Certainly they were male and female before the Fall.

That's why I copied the Greek text - ως αγγελοι - anthropocentricity is what we do best.  Because it's who we are.  When we're not that any more - when we're as angels, why would we need to divvy up angelically into male and female? 

Instead of phone a friend, maybe we need to ask an angel.

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: pearson on June 11, 2021, 10:37:38 AM

I think the Creedal formulations make clear that not every category is an ontological category. The persons of the Trinity are distinct yet ontologically the same. Male and female are distinct yet ontologically the same. So I think you’re reading too much into it too a ontological difference when TLSB refers to Eve as a category of being. The point is that Eve was ontologically the same — flesh of my flesh and bone of my bone— and yet distinct and different. It wasn’t just Eve who is called Woman but everyone in the same category of being— female humans as opposed to male humans— who are being named by Adam as Woman.


What happens if vocation (invoked earlier by Pr. Speckhard) possesses an ontological status, instead of merely a functional status, alongside of (or instead of) male-female dichotomy possessing an ontological status?  That is, what happens if creation has been endowed with embedded structures of vocational roles, all possessing equal ontological validity?  What happens if the possibilities of Adam securing his life through painful toil and Eve the privilege of childbirth were present in Creation from the beginning, as eternal ontological possibilities?   Why should anyone think that the ontological arrangements of Creation were confined to the Garden of Eden?  Furthermore, ontology isn't limited to the expression of stratified hierarchies.  How about vocational roles instead of sexual rank?

Tom Pearson
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Dave Benke on June 11, 2021, 11:01:24 AM
What happens if the possibilities of Adam securing his life through painful toil and Eve the privilege of childbirth were present in Creation from the beginning, as eternal ontological possibilities? 

Sounds like an ontologically divine "Plan B" - So "let's say they never eat from the tree of good and evil.  No pain, all gain.  But let's say they do eat from that tree.  Let's imbed in their very being the possibility of pain - sweating for the guy, childbirth pains for the Rib.  That'll work."

The texts don't help you out with that thought, since Adam's already the Gardener (or The Rev. Dr. Gardener), and since the word "cursed" is there at the beginning for The Snake. 

Secondly, "eternal" is tough when it comes to "eternal ontological possibilities,"  since it would lead to the potential for pain, sweat and toil in eternal bliss, which would change the definition of the word "bliss", no?

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: peter_speckhard on June 11, 2021, 11:03:33 AM
They are neither married nor given in marriage in the resurrection. Are they therefore neither male nor female in heaven? That would imply something odd about the resurrection of the body as well as the nature and purpose of male/female. Was Adam male before Eve was created? Certainly they were male and female before the Fall.

That's why I copied the Greek text - ως αγγελοι - anthropocentricity is what we do best.  Because it's who we are.  When we're not that any more - when we're as angels, why would we need to divvy up angelically into male and female? 

Instead of phone a friend, maybe we need to ask an angel.

Dave Benke
We wouldn’t need to, but it wouldn’t be us doing the divvying, it would be the Creator. And why wouldn’t He? Is there no value to maleness and femaleness apart from biological function? Are they meaningful categories in isolation from each other? The male/female distinction was good in Paradise and still a first article gift in this fallen world. Why would it somehow stop being good just because it was not biologically necessary in eternity? Jesus never needed the procreative biological function of maleness in His earthly life or in the resurrection. But He was still male. Why wouldn’t the same be true of women, that they are female in this life and in the resurrection apart from any need for pro creative biological function?

Jesus didn’t need feet to get around. He could disappear and appear whenever. But He still had feet. We won’t really “need” any body parts in the resurrection, but if it is a resurrection of the body, it is the resurrection of human bodies, which are by definition male or female.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Dave Benke on June 11, 2021, 11:28:07 AM
They are neither married nor given in marriage in the resurrection. Are they therefore neither male nor female in heaven? That would imply something odd about the resurrection of the body as well as the nature and purpose of male/female. Was Adam male before Eve was created? Certainly they were male and female before the Fall.

That's why I copied the Greek text - ως αγγελοι - anthropocentricity is what we do best.  Because it's who we are.  When we're not that any more - when we're as angels, why would we need to divvy up angelically into male and female? 

Instead of phone a friend, maybe we need to ask an angel.

Dave Benke
We wouldn’t need to, but it wouldn’t be us doing the divvying, it would be the Creator. And why wouldn’t He? Is there no value to maleness and femaleness apart from biological function? Are they meaningful categories in isolation from each other? The male/female distinction was good in Paradise and still a first article gift in this fallen world. Why would it somehow stop being good just because it was not biologically necessary in eternity? Jesus never needed the procreative biological function of maleness in His earthly life or in the resurrection. But He was still male. Why wouldn’t the same be true of women, that they are female in this life and in the resurrection apart from any need for pro creative biological function?

Jesus didn’t need feet to get around. He could disappear and appear whenever. But He still had feet. We won’t really “need” any body parts in the resurrection, but if it is a resurrection of the body, it is the resurrection of human bodies, which are by definition male or female.

Because - and you're not either willing or able to acknowledge this - we will be αλλ εισιν ως αγγελοι οι εν τοις ουρανοις according to our Lord.  Bodies, yes, but what kinds of bodies?  Angelic. 

I believe I can fly.

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 11, 2021, 11:32:49 AM
They are neither married nor given in marriage in the resurrection. Are they therefore neither male nor female in heaven? That would imply something odd about the resurrection of the body as well as the nature and purpose of male/female. Was Adam male before Eve was created? Certainly they were male and female before the Fall.


From The Torah: A Modern Commentary

From the Midrash:
Man and woman were originally undivided, that is, the first human was created with the characteristics of both sexes, a hermaphrodite [Gen. R. 8:1].




Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: pearson on June 11, 2021, 11:35:06 AM
Thanks for this, Pr. Benke.


Sounds like an ontologically divine "Plan B" - So "let's say they never eat from the tree of good and evil.  No pain, all gain.  But let's say they do eat from that tree.  Let's imbed in their very being the possibility of pain - sweating for the guy, childbirth pains for the Rib.  That'll work."


I've been mulling over that which has become fairly standard in some contemporary theological literature -- that "possibilities" are real existents -- that "possibilities" are actual things -- that God created an eternal range of "possibilities," some of which, as we receive them, become instantiated in our world.  It's a derivative of "possible worlds" talk.  So, according to this approach, the "possibility" that Adam and Eve would violate God's command and bring to an end their time in the Garden, with the result that Adam and Eve would have to struggle to survive outside the Garden, was built into Creation as real, existing possibilities.  Thus, vocational roles were integral to the order of things in the Garden, finally manifested in their current form after the Fall.  It's all rather speculative, of course -- but, then again, so was homoousion.   


The texts don't help you out with that thought, since Adam's already the Gardener (or The Rev. Dr. Gardener), and since the word "cursed" is there at the beginning for The Snake. 


I'm not sure how cursing the serpent (or, "cursed is the ground," later) might negate what was built into the ontological structures of Creation.  Can you elaborate?


Secondly, "eternal" is tough when it comes to "eternal ontological possibilities,"  since it would lead to the potential for pain, sweat and toil in eternal bliss, which would change the definition of the word "bliss", no?


That's a good point.  But it seems that not all "eternal ontological possibilities" are realized within the context of human existence.  It's the "possibilities" that are eternal, and woven into the essential structures of Creation; and not the realization of those "possibilities."  Does that make sense?

Tom Pearson
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 11, 2021, 11:40:14 AM

I think the Creedal formulations make clear that not every category is an ontological category. The persons of the Trinity are distinct yet ontologically the same. Male and female are distinct yet ontologically the same. So I think you’re reading too much into it too a ontological difference when TLSB refers to Eve as a category of being. The point is that Eve was ontologically the same — flesh of my flesh and bone of my bone— and yet distinct and different. It wasn’t just Eve who is called Woman but everyone in the same category of being— female humans as opposed to male humans— who are being named by Adam as Woman.


What happens if vocation (invoked earlier by Pr. Speckhard) possesses an ontological status, instead of merely a functional status, alongside of (or instead of) male-female dichotomy possessing an ontological status?  That is, what happens if creation has been endowed with embedded structures of vocational roles, all possessing equal ontological validity?  What happens if the possibilities of Adam securing his life through painful toil and Eve the privilege of childbirth were present in Creation from the beginning, as eternal ontological possibilities?   Why should anyone think that the ontological arrangements of Creation were confined to the Garden of Eden?  Furthermore, ontology isn't limited to the expression of stratified hierarchies.  How about vocational roles instead of sexual rank?


It conveys quite a different image if the Hebrew words "'adam" and "eve" are actually translated. That is: "What happens if the possibilities of Humanity securing its life through painful toil and Life the privilege of childbirth were present in Creation from the beginning, as eternal ontological possibilities?" This gives a better idea of how the ancient (and modern) Hebrews would have heard Genesis.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: aletheist on June 11, 2021, 11:40:38 AM
Because - and you're not either willing or able to acknowledge this - we will be αλλ εισιν ως αγγελοι οι εν τοις ουρανοις according to our Lord.  Bodies, yes, but what kinds of bodies?  Angelic.
The context of the quoted passage has nothing whatsoever to do with what our resurrected bodies will be like. Jesus simply states that after the resurrection, we will neither marry nor be given in marriage--just like angels in heaven, in that specific respect. Do angels even have physical bodies in heaven? My understanding is that this is a fundamental difference between humans and angels--we were created to have physical bodies, but they were not. Am I wrong?
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: aletheist on June 11, 2021, 11:54:18 AM
I've been mulling over that which has become fairly standard in some contemporary theological literature -- that "possibilities" are real existents -- that "possibilities" are actual things -- that God created an eternal range of "possibilities," some of which, as we receive them, become instantiated in our world.  It's a derivative of "possible worlds" talk.
This strikes me as a category mistake, because anything that exists is by definition actual, not merely possible. I find it helpful instead to talk about certain unactualized possibilities nevertheless being real, which means that they are such as they are regardless of what any finite mind thinks about them. Note that this does not preclude them from being dependent on how they are conceived by an infinite mind, namely, the mind of God.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: peter_speckhard on June 11, 2021, 12:00:43 PM
Because - and you're not either willing or able to acknowledge this - we will be αλλ εισιν ως αγγελοι οι εν τοις ουρανοις according to our Lord.  Bodies, yes, but what kinds of bodies?  Angelic.
The context of the quoted passage has nothing whatsoever to do with what our resurrected bodies will be like. Jesus simply states that after the resurrection, we will neither marry nor be given in marriage--just like angels in heaven, in that specific respect. Do angels even have physical bodies in heaven? My understanding is that this is a fundamental difference between humans and angels--we were created to have physical bodies, but they were not. Am I wrong?
Exactly. We will be like angels with respect to marriage, not with respect to being pure, bodiless spirit beings. I carefully distinguished marriage from male/female and used the only examples we have of pre-Fall and post-Resurrection humans to point out that male/female is not a distinction resulting from the Fall. It is a good aspect of Creation, redeemed, not eliminated. Jesus was not “like the angels” when He ate a fish and showed them His hands and side. And even talk of eternity being marriageless must take into account the bridegroom/bride pattern that apparently exists outside of time.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Dave Benke on June 11, 2021, 12:00:57 PM
Thanks for this, Pr. Benke.


Sounds like an ontologically divine "Plan B" - So "let's say they never eat from the tree of good and evil.  No pain, all gain.  But let's say they do eat from that tree.  Let's imbed in their very being the possibility of pain - sweating for the guy, childbirth pains for the Rib.  That'll work."


I've been mulling over that which has become fairly standard in some contemporary theological literature -- that "possibilities" are real existents -- that "possibilities" are actual things -- that God created an eternal range of "possibilities," some of which, as we receive them, become instantiated in our world.  It's a derivative of "possible worlds" talk.  So, according to this approach, the "possibility" that Adam and Eve would violate God's command and bring to an end their time in the Garden, with the result that Adam and Eve would have to struggle to survive outside the Garden, was built into Creation as real, existing possibilities.  Thus, vocational roles were integral to the order of things in the Garden, finally manifested in their current form after the Fall.  It's all rather speculative, of course -- but, then again, so was homoousion.   


The texts don't help you out with that thought, since Adam's already the Gardener (or The Rev. Dr. Gardener), and since the word "cursed" is there at the beginning for The Snake. 


I'm not sure how cursing the serpent (or, "cursed is the ground," later) might negate what was built into the ontological structures of Creation.  Can you elaborate?


Secondly, "eternal" is tough when it comes to "eternal ontological possibilities,"  since it would lead to the potential for pain, sweat and toil in eternal bliss, which would change the definition of the word "bliss", no?


That's a good point.  But it seems that not all "eternal ontological possibilities" are realized within the context of human existence.  It's the "possibilities" that are eternal, and woven into the essential structures of Creation; and not the realization of those "possibilities."  Does that make sense?

Tom Pearson

Here's the problem.  You're kind of making sense to me.  I find that frightening.  That's why "rather speculative" is necessary, at least for me.  Eternal possibilities is a category that's newish, because in eternity I was thinking all will be at the same time mystery and facticity.  Which is a mystery from my current perspective.

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 11, 2021, 12:04:53 PM
They are neither married nor given in marriage in the resurrection. Are they therefore neither male nor female in heaven? That would imply something odd about the resurrection of the body as well as the nature and purpose of male/female. Was Adam male before Eve was created? Certainly they were male and female before the Fall.

That's why I copied the Greek text - ως αγγελοι - anthropocentricity is what we do best.  Because it's who we are.  When we're not that any more - when we're as angels, why would we need to divvy up angelically into male and female? 

Instead of phone a friend, maybe we need to ask an angel.

Dave Benke
We wouldn’t need to, but it wouldn’t be us doing the divvying, it would be the Creator. And why wouldn’t He? Is there no value to maleness and femaleness apart from biological function? Are they meaningful categories in isolation from each other? The male/female distinction was good in Paradise and still a first article gift in this fallen world. Why would it somehow stop being good just because it was not biologically necessary in eternity? Jesus never needed the procreative biological function of maleness in His earthly life or in the resurrection. But He was still male. Why wouldn’t the same be true of women, that they are female in this life and in the resurrection apart from any need for pro creative biological function?

Jesus didn’t need feet to get around. He could disappear and appear whenever. But He still had feet. We won’t really “need” any body parts in the resurrection, but if it is a resurrection of the body, it is the resurrection of human bodies, which are by definition male or female.


Paul in 1 Corinthians 15 is very clear that the resurrected body will be different from our earthly bodies. It will be as different as a seed (that is put in the ground and dies) and the plant, e.g., wheat, that rises from death out of the ground, We have to be raised with a spiritual body if we are to live eternally because our earthly bodies, our flesh and blood, cannot inherit the eternal kingdom. They decay. They do not last forever. A change in bodies has to happen if we are going to live eternally.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: George Rahn on June 11, 2021, 12:10:11 PM
Careful.  Eternal means out of time or beyond time.  We have no access to eternal within ourselves as we are time-bound creatures immediately dependent on the Creator. 

The distinction in contrast is between eternal and everlasting in that everlasting means a time-bound forever.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: peter_speckhard on June 11, 2021, 12:10:27 PM
“A bad day is when I lie in bed and think of things that might have been.”

In the sermon I preached for my stillborn daughter’s funeral I spoke about the temptation to live in a world of what might have been. But such a world has no Creator. I called it the deceiver’s empty realm of empty promises. If potentialities are realities, do they always exist? If there was potential for Hitler to die young and never rise to power, must there be a world where that happened? Or does every moment of time forever destroy what irrevocable potentialities do not materialize. If every “what might be” is in some sense real, what distinguishes it from what might have been? It time itself the engine of grinding possibilities into realities, which therefore permanently destroys the unused possibilities?
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Dave Benke on June 11, 2021, 12:15:10 PM
Because - and you're not either willing or able to acknowledge this - we will be αλλ εισιν ως αγγελοι οι εν τοις ουρανοις according to our Lord.  Bodies, yes, but what kinds of bodies?  Angelic.
The context of the quoted passage has nothing whatsoever to do with what our resurrected bodies will be like. Jesus simply states that after the resurrection, we will neither marry nor be given in marriage--just like angels in heaven, in that specific respect. Do angels even have physical bodies in heaven? My understanding is that this is a fundamental difference between humans and angels--we were created to have physical bodies, but they were not. Am I wrong?
Exactly. We will be like angels with respect to marriage, not with respect to being pure, bodiless spirit beings. I carefully distinguished marriage from male/female and used the only examples we have of pre-Fall and post-Resurrection humans to point out that male/female is not a distinction resulting from the Fall. It is a good aspect of Creation, redeemed, not eliminated. Jesus was not “like the angels” when He ate a fish and showed them His hands and side. And even talk of eternity being marriageless must take into account the bridegroom/bride pattern that apparently exists outside of time.

In terms of angelic bodiless-ness (not an actual word):  And yet the angel appeared to Mary.  And spoke so that the words could be heard. And later a host sang/proclaimed out loud.  And yet Isaiah 6 and the six wings and the coal and the covering of the angelic "feet."  And the flying.  Always the flying.  And the cherubim and the flaming sword guarding/preventing the way back to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.   No physical presence?  Bodi-less?  Or body plus?  Or bodiless plus, ontological shape-shifting, meaning that's how we will be "as angels" - bodily resurrected, angelic in shape-shifting actualization.  And of course Balaam's ass and the angel with the sword , Mr. Ed the All-Seeing Donkey, and the angel in physical bodi-ful person asking Balaam why he's beaten his donkey three times because Balaam couldn't see with his human eyes what Mr. Ed could see with his donkey eyes.

Speculation is rife.

Dave Benke

Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: peter_speckhard on June 11, 2021, 12:16:32 PM
They are neither married nor given in marriage in the resurrection. Are they therefore neither male nor female in heaven? That would imply something odd about the resurrection of the body as well as the nature and purpose of male/female. Was Adam male before Eve was created? Certainly they were male and female before the Fall.

That's why I copied the Greek text - ως αγγελοι - anthropocentricity is what we do best.  Because it's who we are.  When we're not that any more - when we're as angels, why would we need to divvy up angelically into male and female? 

Instead of phone a friend, maybe we need to ask an angel.

Dave Benke
We wouldn’t need to, but it wouldn’t be us doing the divvying, it would be the Creator. And why wouldn’t He? Is there no value to maleness and femaleness apart from biological function? Are they meaningful categories in isolation from each other? The male/female distinction was good in Paradise and still a first article gift in this fallen world. Why would it somehow stop being good just because it was not biologically necessary in eternity? Jesus never needed the procreative biological function of maleness in His earthly life or in the resurrection. But He was still male. Why wouldn’t the same be true of women, that they are female in this life and in the resurrection apart from any need for pro creative biological function?

Jesus didn’t need feet to get around. He could disappear and appear whenever. But He still had feet. We won’t really “need” any body parts in the resurrection, but if it is a resurrection of the body, it is the resurrection of human bodies, which are by definition male or female.


Paul in 1 Corinthians 15 is very clear that the resurrected body will be different from our earthly bodies. It will be as different as a seed (that is put in the ground and dies) and the plant, e.g., wheat, that rises from death out of the ground, We have to be raised with a spiritual body if we are to live eternally because our earthly bodies, our flesh and blood, cannot inherit the eternal kingdom. They decay. They do not last forever. A change in bodies has to happen if we are going to live eternally.
Nobody said we wouldn’t be changed. The mortal, perishable body puts on immortality. The change cannot be entire or the pronoun “we” in “we shall be changed” would cease to refer to anything. There has to be some kind of continuity of person before and after the change.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 11, 2021, 12:21:18 PM
Because - and you're not either willing or able to acknowledge this - we will be αλλ εισιν ως αγγελοι οι εν τοις ουρανοις according to our Lord.  Bodies, yes, but what kinds of bodies?  Angelic.
The context of the quoted passage has nothing whatsoever to do with what our resurrected bodies will be like. Jesus simply states that after the resurrection, we will neither marry nor be given in marriage--just like angels in heaven, in that specific respect. Do angels even have physical bodies in heaven? My understanding is that this is a fundamental difference between humans and angels--we were created to have physical bodies, but they were not. Am I wrong?
Exactly. We will be like angels with respect to marriage, not with respect to being pure, bodiless spirit beings. I carefully distinguished marriage from male/female and used the only examples we have of pre-Fall and post-Resurrection humans to point out that male/female is not a distinction resulting from the Fall. It is a good aspect of Creation, redeemed, not eliminated. Jesus was not “like the angels” when He ate a fish and showed them His hands and side. And even talk of eternity being marriageless must take into account the bridegroom/bride pattern that apparently exists outside of time.

In terms of angelic bodiless-ness (not an actual word):  And yet the angel appeared to Mary.  And spoke so that the words could be heard. And later a host sang/proclaimed out loud.  And yet Isaiah 6 and the six wings and the coal and the covering of the angelic "feet."  And the flying.  Always the flying.  And the cherubim and the flaming sword guarding/preventing the way back to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.   No physical presence?  Bodi-less?  Or body plus?  Or bodiless plus, ontological shape-shifting, meaning that's how we will be "as angels" - bodily resurrected, angelic in shape-shifting actualization.  And of course Balaam's ass and the angel with the sword , Mr. Ed the All-Seeing Donkey, and the angel in physical bodi-ful person asking Balaam why he's beaten his donkey three times because Balaam couldn't see with his human eyes what Mr. Ed could see with his donkey eyes.

Speculation is rife.

Dave Benke


"Angels" are never pictured with wings in scriptures. In fact, Claus Westermann wrote a book about this: God’s Angels Need No Wings. Angels seem to have picked up wings from two sources: from other religions and from combining the idea of God’s messengers with the Cherubim and Seraphim, who are not messengers/angels.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Dave Benke on June 11, 2021, 12:23:17 PM
Because - and you're not either willing or able to acknowledge this - we will be αλλ εισιν ως αγγελοι οι εν τοις ουρανοις according to our Lord.  Bodies, yes, but what kinds of bodies?  Angelic.
The context of the quoted passage has nothing whatsoever to do with what our resurrected bodies will be like. Jesus simply states that after the resurrection, we will neither marry nor be given in marriage--just like angels in heaven, in that specific respect. Do angels even have physical bodies in heaven? My understanding is that this is a fundamental difference between humans and angels--we were created to have physical bodies, but they were not. Am I wrong?
Exactly. We will be like angels with respect to marriage, not with respect to being pure, bodiless spirit beings. I carefully distinguished marriage from male/female and used the only examples we have of pre-Fall and post-Resurrection humans to point out that male/female is not a distinction resulting from the Fall. It is a good aspect of Creation, redeemed, not eliminated. Jesus was not “like the angels” when He ate a fish and showed them His hands and side. And even talk of eternity being marriageless must take into account the bridegroom/bride pattern that apparently exists outside of time.

In terms of angelic bodiless-ness (not an actual word):  And yet the angel appeared to Mary.  And spoke so that the words could be heard. And later a host sang/proclaimed out loud.  And yet Isaiah 6 and the six wings and the coal and the covering of the angelic "feet."  And the flying.  Always the flying.  And the cherubim and the flaming sword guarding/preventing the way back to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.   No physical presence?  Bodi-less?  Or body plus?  Or bodiless plus, ontological shape-shifting, meaning that's how we will be "as angels" - bodily resurrected, angelic in shape-shifting actualization.  And of course Balaam's ass and the angel with the sword , Mr. Ed the All-Seeing Donkey, and the angel in physical bodi-ful person asking Balaam why he's beaten his donkey three times because Balaam couldn't see with his human eyes what Mr. Ed could see with his donkey eyes.

Speculation is rife.

Dave Benke


"Angels" are never pictured with wings in scriptures. In fact, Claus Westermann wrote a book about this: God’s Angels Need No Wings. Angels seem to have picked up wings from two sources: from other religions and from combining the idea of God’s messengers with the Cherubim and Seraphim, who are not messengers/angels.

What then are cherubim and seraphim?  When I grow up I want to be like them.  They seem to be in the military.  Air force.

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: aletheist on June 11, 2021, 12:24:20 PM
If every “what might be” is in some sense real, what distinguishes it from what might have been? It time itself the engine of grinding possibilities into realities, which therefore permanently destroys the unused possibilities?
The present is when some real possibilities are becoming actualities, thereby precluding other real possibilities from ever becoming actualities. From that standpoint, everything in the past is already actual, so I am not terribly interested in "what might have been," expressed as counterfactuals. From our time-bound perspective, real possibilities always lie in the future, along with real necessities expressed as subjunctive conditionals--if X were to happen, then Y would happen.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 11, 2021, 12:25:49 PM
Nobody said we wouldn’t be changed. The mortal, perishable body puts on immortality. The change cannot be entire or the pronoun “we” in “we shall be changed” would cease to refer to anything. There has to be some kind of continuity of person before and after the change.


Yes, like the continuity between a seed (that dies) and the plant that rises up. They have completely different "bodies," but the same DNA. Or we might think of the life cycle of a butterfly: egg, caterpillar, chrysalis, butterfly. Four completely different bodies/shapes, but all the same DNA.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: aletheist on June 11, 2021, 12:27:07 PM
No physical presence?  Bodi-less?  Or body plus?  Or bodiless plus, ontological shape-shifting, meaning that's how we will be "as angels" - bodily resurrected, angelic in shape-shifting actualization.
Again, the relevant statements by Jesus say nothing whatsoever about our resurrected bodies, only that we will neither marry nor be given in marriage once we have received them.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 11, 2021, 12:28:55 PM
What then are cherubim and seraphim?  When I grow up I want to be like them.  They seem to be in the military.  Air force.

From my notes:

Cherubim (about 75 occurrences) are primarily decorations: made from gold for the mercy seat (Exodus 25:18, 19, 20, 22; 37:7, 8, 9; Numbers 7:89; 1 Samuel 4:4; 6:2; and others); woven into fabric of the inner curtains of the tabernacle and the veils (Exodus 26:1, 31; 36:8, 35); two huge ones carved from olive wood for the inner sanctuary; many carved on the walls and doors and panels (1 Kings 6-8; 2 Chronicles 3-5); Ezekiel describes the cherubim as having four faces and four wings (10:14, 21) or two faces (41:18).

The word “seraphim” occurs 7 times. Five of those it refers to “venomous snakes” or “serpents” (Numbers 21:6, 8; Deuteronomy 8:15; Isaiah 14:29; 30:6). As “seraphim,” (Isaiah 6:2, 6, where they have six wings) they were probably originally mythological beings pictured as having serpents’ bodies—possibly the personification of lightning, since the root SRPh means “to burn”.

Even though they have wings, the pictures of cherubim and seraphim given in the OT do not resemble our modern (nor even the ancient) image of angels.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: pearson on June 11, 2021, 12:56:28 PM

“A bad day is when I lie in bed and think of things that might have been.”

In the sermon I preached for my stillborn daughter’s funeral I spoke about the temptation to live in a world of what might have been. But such a world has no Creator. I called it the deceiver’s empty realm of empty promises. If potentialities are realities, do they always exist? If there was potential for Hitler to die young and never rise to power, must there be a world where that happened? Or does every moment of time forever destroy what irrevocable potentialities do not materialize. If every “what might be” is in some sense real, what distinguishes it from what might have been? It time itself the engine of grinding possibilities into realities, which therefore permanently destroys the unused possibilities?


Well, from the things I've been reading recently, this is an exercise in biblical metaphysics, and it's an occasional hot topic among those who go in for this sort of arcana.  So here's how the game is played (as best I can tell):  You're right to say that "such a world has no Creator."  That because the realm of "possibilities" is not a world as we know it.  Those limitless "possibilities" exist prior to the instantiation of any particular world (such as ours).  Therefore, "possible worlds" all have the status of pre-Creation options for instantiating an actual world.  But those "possible worlds" all have a type of metaphysical existence, simply as "possibilities."  So one option for God was to create a world slightly different from the one we actually occupy; perhaps a world in which particle physics, say, is not quite so weird.

Thus, the phrase "In the beginning" (Genesis 1:1), as George Rahn points out, is strictly as temporal phrase, identifying the first moment of instantiation of one particular "possible world" -- ours.  But it's not the only world God could have made.

Gottfried Leibniz (1646-1716, and a Lutheran), for instance, goes to great lengths in his Discourse on Metaphysics, to explain how God created "the best of all possible worlds," since God selected (from a range of pre-existing, and still existing, "possible worlds") our own world as the "best possible."  More recently, Alvin Plantinga (not a Lutheran) has made the same argument in an effort to defeat the intractable "problem of evil."

It turns out, then, that this stuff isn't all that new or unusual.  But it is metaphysics, which, I suppose, is an acquired taste.  And it is an effort to make some comprehensive, systematic sense of the biblical text.  Luther did it on occasion, Melanchthon did it in spades, and the later Lutheran scholastics (including Leibniz) -- oh, my.

So what else might be the objection to treating vocation as having ontological status?

Tom Pearson   
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: pearson on June 11, 2021, 01:02:59 PM

Nobody said we wouldn’t be changed. The mortal, perishable body puts on immortality. The change cannot be entire or the pronoun “we” in “we shall be changed” would cease to refer to anything. There has to be some kind of continuity of person before and after the change.


Exactly so.  If the resurrected "me" is to have the same essential identity as the current "me," then something has to carry over.  And the more we discover about how Creation works, it seems increasingly likely we can plausibly speculate that what "carries over" must have some form of physical embodiment.

Tom Pearson
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Dave Benke on June 11, 2021, 01:06:54 PM

Nobody said we wouldn’t be changed. The mortal, perishable body puts on immortality. The change cannot be entire or the pronoun “we” in “we shall be changed” would cease to refer to anything. There has to be some kind of continuity of person before and after the change.


Exactly so.  If the resurrected "me" is to have the same essential identity as the current "me," then something has to carry over.  And the more we discover about how Creation works, it seems increasingly likely we can plausibly speculate that what "carries over" must have some form of physical embodiment.

Tom Pearson

And the same applies to the angels, who are part of the created order.  Or are they not part of the created order in your opinion? 

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Dave Benke on June 11, 2021, 01:16:04 PM
No physical presence?  Bodi-less?  Or body plus?  Or bodiless plus, ontological shape-shifting, meaning that's how we will be "as angels" - bodily resurrected, angelic in shape-shifting actualization.
Again, the relevant statements by Jesus say nothing whatsoever about our resurrected bodies, only that we will neither marry nor be given in marriage once we have received them.

The pertinent statement is "when the dead rise they will be as the angels in heaven."  The secondary phrase in the sentence applies to marriage.  The substance of the sentence is that the dead will be as the angels in heaven.  Embodied and enspirited angels.

Dave Benke

Outside of the enjoyment of speculative thought, this dialog is literally about how many angels can fit on the head of a pin - meaning that angels, who exist ontologically, have size or can change in size.  All steering of the topic back toward anthropological/human discussion fails to address "as the angels in heaven," which not insubstantially is the phrase of Our Lord.

And in the Time of Pandemic, once we have learned that a living thing, a CoronaVirus, squeezes 15,000 particles of itself onto the head of a pin, I would like a teensy angelic army zapping each one out of existence on that pinhead.  Or at least some Pfizer in the veins.

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: pearson on June 11, 2021, 01:24:28 PM

And the same applies to the angels, who are part of the created order.  Or are they not part of the created order in your opinion? 


I'm afraid I don't know enough to answer your question very well, Pr. Benke.  Does the phrase "the created order" refer to what happened immediately after "In the beginning?"  If so, then I suppose angels are not part of "the created order" (since, I'm guessing, they were around prior to what Genesis describes as happening immediately after "In the beginning").  But do angels have an ontological status as beings created by God prior to "In the beginning"?  That sounds plausible; but I don't really know.

My wife believes I am married to an angel.  I'll ask her.

Tom Pearson
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Dave Benke on June 11, 2021, 01:34:52 PM

And the same applies to the angels, who are part of the created order.  Or are they not part of the created order in your opinion? 


I'm afraid I don't know enough to answer your question very well, Pr. Benke.  Does the phrase "the created order" refer to what happened immediately after "In the beginning?"  If so, then I suppose angels are not part of "the created order" (since, I'm guessing, they were around prior to what Genesis describes as happening immediately after "In the beginning").  But do angels have an ontological status as beings created by God prior to "In the beginning"?  That sounds plausible; but I don't really know.

My wife believes I am married to an angel.  I'll ask her.

Tom Pearson

With regard to your wife, if that's what she believes, I'd leave her alone.  Don't risk bursting that bubble.

With regard to angelic being timing in the creation, the sense is after day one (from a Roman Catholic source):

One of the most plausible theories claims that all the angels were created on the first day of creation and that the fall of Satan occurred when God separated the light from the dark.

St. Augustine explains part of this theory in City of God.

For when God said, “Let there be light, and there was light,” if we are justified in understanding in this light the creation of the angels, then certainly they were created partakers of the eternal light which is the unchangeable Wisdom of God, by which all things were made, and whom we call the only-begotten Son of God; so that they, being illumined by the Light that created them, might themselves become light and be called “Day,” in participation of that unchangeable Light and Day which is the Word of God, by whom both themselves and all else were made.


Sounds reasonable to me.  A day and night difference.  Which, at this time in Finland, is barely noticeable.

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: pearson on June 11, 2021, 01:44:42 PM

St. Augustine explains part of this theory in City of God.

For when God said, “Let there be light, and there was light,” if we are justified in understanding in this light the creation of the angels, then certainly they were created partakers of the eternal light which is the unchangeable Wisdom of God, by which all things were made, and whom we call the only-begotten Son of God; so that they, being illumined by the Light that created them, might themselves become light and be called “Day,” in participation of that unchangeable Light and Day which is the Word of God, by whom both themselves and all else were made.


Thanks for this, Pr. Benke.

I'm in no position to dispute with Augustine.  It makes sense to me.  Is it the best explanation for the ontological status of angels?  Maybe.

Tom Pearson
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: aletheist on June 11, 2021, 02:34:20 PM
The pertinent statement is "when the dead rise they will be as the angels in heaven."  The secondary phrase in the sentence applies to marriage.  The substance of the sentence is that the dead will be as the angels in heaven.  Embodied and enspirited angels.
That is not what our Lord said.

Matthew 22:30 - "For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven."
Mark 12:25 - "For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven."
Luke 20:34-36 - "The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage, but those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and to the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage, for they cannot die anymore, because they are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection."

According to Matthew and Mark, the only sense in which our Lord said that we will be "like angels in heaven" after the resurrection is that we will neither marry nor be given in marriage. According to Luke, He also said that we will be "equal to angels," rather than "lower than the angels" (Hebrews 2:9) as we are now. Again, Jesus said nothing whatsoever about our resurrected bodies in these texts.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 11, 2021, 07:35:29 PM
The pertinent statement is "when the dead rise they will be as the angels in heaven."  The secondary phrase in the sentence applies to marriage.  The substance of the sentence is that the dead will be as the angels in heaven.  Embodied and enspirited angels.
That is not what our Lord said.

Matthew 22:30 - "For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven."
Mark 12:25 - "For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven."
Luke 20:34-36 - "The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage, but those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and to the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage, for they cannot die anymore, because they are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection."

According to Matthew and Mark, the only sense in which our Lord said that we will be "like angels in heaven" after the resurrection is that we will neither marry nor be given in marriage. According to Luke, He also said that we will be "equal to angels," rather than "lower than the angels" (Hebrews 2:9) as we are now. Again, Jesus said nothing whatsoever about our resurrected bodies in these texts.


Hmmm, if we take Luke literally, we all become sons! Sons of God and sons of the resurrection.


I also note that the other times that "marry and giving in marriage" are used in the NT, it is reference to what people were doing on Noah's day before the flood (Matt 24:38; Luke 17:27). Was that a good thing?
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 12, 2021, 12:04:45 PM
A video where a woman deals with the question: "Should Women Be in Ministry?"


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gUFT6FrICAU&t=3s


A question she asks, "What is it about ministry that a woman cannot do?" (Our functional view of ministry.)
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: peter_speckhard on June 12, 2021, 12:22:11 PM
A video where a woman deals with the question: "Should Women Be in Ministry?"


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gUFT6FrICAU&t=3s


A question she asks, "What is it about ministry that a woman cannot do?" (Our functional view of ministry.)
What is it about consecrating the elements that a robot can’t do? The issue of women’s ordination has nothing to do with skills and ability and everything to do with authorization. The Scriptures do not authorize it. Doesn’t mean people are aren’t ordained aren’t capable of doing what ordained people do.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Jim Butler on June 12, 2021, 12:53:50 PM
A video where a woman deals with the question: "Should Women Be in Ministry?"


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gUFT6FrICAU&t=3s


A question she asks, "What is it about ministry that a woman cannot do?" (Our functional view of ministry.)

Who is this "Our" in "Our functional view of ministry"?

I didn't think the ELCA had the WELS view of ministry. I thought y'all were more into Grabau's side of things. Or maybe you use "our" and "we" like Charles which really means "My" and "I".

The question she asks "What is it about ministry that a woman cannot do?" is the question of those who hold a functional view. This is why the WELS does not allow women to vote. Given their functional view of the ministry, they wouldn't have any reason to withhold ordination.

But God did not give an divinely ordained function. He gave a divinely ordained office. And God gives qualifications for that office and we do not have the right to change those qualifications.

Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 12, 2021, 01:21:14 PM
A video where a woman deals with the question: "Should Women Be in Ministry?"


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gUFT6FrICAU&t=3s (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gUFT6FrICAU&t=3s)


A question she asks, "What is it about ministry that a woman cannot do?" (Our functional view of ministry.)
What is it about consecrating the elements that a robot can’t do? The issue of women’s ordination has nothing to do with skills and ability and everything to do with authorization. The Scriptures do not authorize it. Doesn’t mean people are aren’t ordained aren’t capable of doing what ordained people do.


It has everything to do with skills and abilities when one has a functional view of ordination as we do.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: peter_speckhard on June 12, 2021, 01:32:21 PM
A video where a woman deals with the question: "Should Women Be in Ministry?"


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gUFT6FrICAU&t=3s (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gUFT6FrICAU&t=3s)


A question she asks, "What is it about ministry that a woman cannot do?" (Our functional view of ministry.)
What is it about consecrating the elements that a robot can’t do? The issue of women’s ordination has nothing to do with skills and ability and everything to do with authorization. The Scriptures do not authorize it. Doesn’t mean people are aren’t ordained aren’t capable of doing what ordained people do.


It has everything to do with skills and abilities when one has a functional view of ordination as we do.
Then why have ordination at all? Any fourth grader can read the Words of Institution. Any layperson (well, maybe not any, but a lot of them) can preach or at least read a prepared sermon. 
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: pearson on June 12, 2021, 01:39:58 PM

It has everything to do with skills and abilities when one has a functional view of ordination as we do.


Allow me to echo Pr. Butler's question above:  who is "we"?

I'm under the impression that I'm a Lutheran. I earned my MDiv. at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, and I was never taught a "functionalist" view of ministry there.  I earned an STM at Gettysburg Theological Seminary, and I was never taught a "functionalist" view of ministry there.  Where does this come from?

I'll tell you what I think: "functionalism" is a concept developed out of seventeenth and eighteenth century British-American political philosophy, reified in the twentieth century in largely British-American analytic philosophy of mind and axiology.  As far as I can tell, "functionalism" has no traction in Lutheran theology whatsoever (albeit, it seems to have survived in rather thin traditions of practice within slices of American Lutheranism).

Tom Pearson
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Dan Fienen on June 12, 2021, 01:41:45 PM
A video where a woman deals with the question: "Should Women Be in Ministry?"


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gUFT6FrICAU&t=3s (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gUFT6FrICAU&t=3s)


A question she asks, "What is it about ministry that a woman cannot do?" (Our functional view of ministry.)
What is it about consecrating the elements that a robot can’t do? The issue of women’s ordination has nothing to do with skills and ability and everything to do with authorization. The Scriptures do not authorize it. Doesn’t mean people are aren’t ordained aren’t capable of doing what ordained people do.


It has everything to do with skills and abilities when one has a functional view of ordination as we do.
Fine, with your functional view of the pastoral office it makes sense. But we in the LCMS do not share that view. Do you suggest that because women's ordination makes sense to your understanding of the pastoral office, we also should take your view as authoritative for us and because of that approve women's ordination?
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Coach-Rev on June 12, 2021, 01:57:04 PM
could I try to redirect the conversation then, without even getting at my own personal views of what Scripture has to say on the matter?

Can both sides at least agree that women's ordination is in no way a salvific matter in Scripture, unlike other liberal causes-du-jour? 

FWIW, the title is appropriate:  an "endless controversy" that still should be shut down, IMO.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: peter_speckhard on June 12, 2021, 02:06:30 PM
I’m not sure why people think this thread should be shut down. Yes, it is an endless controversy. But if we won’t discuss it here, where should it be discussed? If we refuse to discuss things Lutherans are always disagreeing about, what shall we discuss?
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Dan Fienen on June 12, 2021, 02:12:15 PM
Sometimes I wonder what the real purpose of discussion about women's ordination is? Is the purpose to explore and discuss the Biblical text to try to come to an understanding of what it says about the topic and determine as best we can what God's will in the matter is? Or does the purpose of the discussion begin with the desire, for whatever reason, to establish women's ordination as the practice and belief of the church and thus we discuss to find a way to interpret the Scriptural text in such a way that it is seen as authorizing that practice? Or it could also be the opposite and discussion begins with forbidding women's ordination and then we try to find a way to understand Scripture as forbidding it?


Do we determine what view we have of pastoral ministry according to how that view will affect our view on women's ordination? Is it that a functional view of ministry supports women's ordination so lets hold that view?



Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Jim Butler on June 12, 2021, 02:17:33 PM

It has everything to do with skills and abilities when one has a functional view of ordination as we do.


Allow me to echo Pr. Butler's question above:  who is "we"?

I'm under the impression that I'm a Lutheran. I earned my MDiv. at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, and I was never taught a "functionalist" view of ministry there.  I earned an STM at Gettysburg Theological Seminary, and I was never taught a "functionalist" view of ministry there.  Where does this come from?

I'll tell you what I think: "functionalism" is a concept developed out of seventeenth and eighteenth century British-American political philosophy, reified in the twentieth century in largely British-American analytic philosophy of mind and axiology.  As far as I can tell, "functionalism" has no traction in Lutheran theology whatsoever (albeit, it seems to have survived in rather thin traditions of practice within slices of American Lutheranism).

Tom Pearson

The 19th century Lutheran theologian from Erlangen, Johann W F Hoefling was a proponent of the functional view of ministry. Walther has some extremely strong words for this view; none of them positive.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 12, 2021, 02:25:13 PM
A video where a woman deals with the question: "Should Women Be in Ministry?"


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gUFT6FrICAU&t=3s (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gUFT6FrICAU&t=3s)


A question she asks, "What is it about ministry that a woman cannot do?" (Our functional view of ministry.)

Who is this "Our" in "Our functional view of ministry"?

I didn't think the ELCA had the WELS view of ministry. I thought y'all were more into Grabau's side of things. Or maybe you use "our" and "we" like Charles which really means "My" and "I".

The question she asks "What is it about ministry that a woman cannot do?" is the question of those who hold a functional view. This is why the WELS does not allow women to vote. Given their functional view of the ministry, they wouldn't have any reason to withhold ordination.

But God did not give an divinely ordained function. He gave a divinely ordained office. And God gives qualifications for that office and we do not have the right to change those qualifications.


As I wrote in the discussion "If Not 'Functional," than What?"


The ALC had it its constitution.
"6.33. The status of the clergy differs from that of the laity only as to function."

I also remember professors at seminary stating that we had a functional understanding of ordination. We are set apart by the church to do certain things.


Are you sure that God gave an office and not functions? What biblical verse(s) do you use to support that?


I've recently looked at the list of gifts God gives the church in Romans 12:6-8; 1 Corinthians 12:8-10, 28; Ephesians 4:11. I see these as functions. Below are the different terms and the number of times they occur in the four lists.


Prophets (all four lists) (προφητεία, προφήτης)
Teachers (three lists) (διδάσκαλος, διδάσκων, διδασκαλία)
Apostles (two lists) (ἀπόστολος)
Healers (two lists) (χαρίσματα ἱαμάτων)
Leaders (two lists) (προϊστάμενος, κυβέρνησις)
Miracle workers (two lists) (δυνάμις)
Tongue Speakers (two lists) (γένη γλωσσῶν)


The following were in one list.
Discerning Spirits (διακρίσεις πνευμάτων)
Encouragers (παρακλήσις)
Evangelists (εὐαγγελιστής)
Faith (πίστις)
Givers (μεταδιδούς)
Helpers (ἀντιλήμψις)
Interpreting Tongues (ἑρμηνεία γλωσσῶν)
Mercy-showers (ἐλεών)
Pastors/Shepherds (ποιμήν)
Servers (διακονία)
Word of Knowledge (λόγος γνώσεως)
Word of Wisdom (λόγος σοφίας)


In addition, John 21 has Jesus giving Peter tasks to do:
Βόσκε τὰ ἀρνία μου. "Feed my lambs."
Ποίμαινε τὰ πρόβατά μου. "Shepherd my sheep."

Βόσκε τὰ πρόβατά μου. "Feed my sheep."


These are verbs of action. He didn't tell him, enter the office of a shepherd, but the verb "to shepherd," "to take care of," "to feed."


The "office" words of "elder," "overseer," and "deacon," were all used in the OT. They weren't new positions created by the church. In addition, "elder," (πρεσβύτερος) is the only one that is something like an office. One entered it by being old, the basic meaning of the related verb πρεσβεύω; but it also takes on the meaning of "to be an ambassador." The other two positions are based on verbs. They involve doing something: deacons (διάκονος) are those who διακονέω = "to serve, to wait on, to provide for, to minister to." Bishops/overseers/supervisors (ἐπίσκοπος) are those who ἐπισκοπέω = "to look after, to oversee, to visit".
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: pearson on June 12, 2021, 02:54:22 PM

Are you sure that God gave an office and not functions? What biblical verse(s) do you use to support that?

I've recently looked at the list of gifts God gives the church in Romans 12:6-8; 1 Corinthians 12:8-10, 28; Ephesians 4:11. I see these as functions.
 

You are confusing the part for the whole, Pr. Stoffregen.  Of course there are a variety of "functions" associated with the office of the ministry.  But the doctrine of the ministry in the Lutheran tradition is not reducible to those "functions."  The Lutheran doctrine of ministry is a theoretical elaboration that combines a number of theological desiderata, including (but certainly not limited to) scrutiny of a lexicon of scriptural terminology.  One can no more legitimately reduce the doctrine of ministry to ecclesial functions than one can reduce the currently fashionable doctrine of gender to biological functions.

Tom Pearson
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: mariemeyer on June 12, 2021, 03:31:12 PM

“A bad day is when I lie in bed and think of things that might have been.”

In the sermon I preached for my stillborn daughter’s funeral I spoke about the temptation to live in a world of what might have been. But such a world has no Creator. I called it the deceiver’s empty realm of empty promises. If potentialities are realities, do they always exist? If there was potential for Hitler to die young and never rise to power, must there be a world where that happened? Or does every moment of time forever destroy what irrevocable potentialities do not materialize. If every “what might be” is in some sense real, what distinguishes it from what might have been? It time itself the engine of grinding possibilities into realities, which therefore permanently destroys the unused possibilities?


Well, from the things I've been reading recently, this is an exercise in biblical metaphysics, and it's an occasional hot topic among those who go in for this sort of arcana.  So here's how the game is played (as best I can tell):  You're right to say that "such a world has no Creator."  That because the realm of "possibilities" is not a world as we know it.  Those limitless "possibilities" exist prior to the instantiation of any particular world (such as ours).  Therefore, "possible worlds" all have the status of pre-Creation options for instantiating an actual world.  But those "possible worlds" all have a type of metaphysical existence, simply as "possibilities."  So one option for God was to create a world slightly different from the one we actually occupy; perhaps a world in which particle physics, say, is not quite so weird.

Thus, the phrase "In the beginning" (Genesis 1:1), as George Rahn points out, is strictly as temporal phrase, identifying the first moment of instantiation of one particular "possible world" -- ours.  But it's not the only world God could have made.

Gottfried Leibniz (1646-1716, and a Lutheran), for instance, goes to great lengths in his Discourse on Metaphysics, to explain how God created "the best of all possible worlds," since God selected (from a range of pre-existing, and still existing, "possible worlds") our own world as the "best possible."  More recently, Alvin Plantinga (not a Lutheran) has made the same argument in an effort to defeat the intractable "problem of evil."

It turns out, then, that this stuff isn't all that new or unusual.  But it is metaphysics, which, I suppose, is an acquired taste.  And it is an effort to make some comprehensive, systematic sense of the biblical text.  Luther did it on occasion, Melanchthon did it in spades, and the later Lutheran scholastics (including Leibniz) -- oh, my.

So what else might be the objection to treating vocation as having ontological status?

Tom Pearson

Is Luther's understanding of vocation associated with the "ontological status" of human beings created as male and female?  IOW, is Luther's understanding of vocation associated with our common human nature or is vocation  defined according to  the distinct male and female sexuality that belongs to our human nature?

Marie Meyer       
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Rev. Edward Engelbrecht on June 12, 2021, 04:03:39 PM
I would not use the term ontology for this discussion. I've never seen the word used for Lutheran doctrine of the call, vocation, or mankind created as male and female until I saw persons using it on this forum.

Can anyone cite a published Lutheran dogmatic that uses this ontology term for the above doctrines?
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Charles Austin on June 12, 2021, 04:41:34 PM
In the English reformation, there were times when semi literate clergy who could do a little more than “read” the liturgy were ordained.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Dave Likeness on June 12, 2021, 05:15:43 PM
In his preface to the Small Catechism, Martin Luther wrote:

"the common man, especially in the villages, knows practically nothing of Christian doctrine.
and many of the pastors are almost entirely incompetent and unable to teach."



Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Dan Fienen on June 12, 2021, 05:16:45 PM
In the English reformation, there were times when semi literate clergy who could do a little more than “read” the liturgy were ordained.
So??? I don't doubt that was true. And I seem to recall that it wasn't all that uncommon for younger sons especially of the lesser nobility that were deemed no good for anything useful would be set up as clergy in some place that would provide them a living.


I hope that you're not suggesting that if the useless or semi-literate could be pastors, (setting the bar that low), women could be also.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: pearson on June 12, 2021, 07:23:17 PM


Is Luther's understanding of vocation associated with the "ontological status" of human beings created as male and female?  IOW, is Luther's understanding of vocation associated with our common human nature or is vocation  defined according to  the distinct male and female sexuality that belongs to our human nature?
     

Aside from ancient formulations like "religious vocation" or "spiritual vocation," the concept of "vocation" is a fairly modern one (William Placher has a fine anthology on "vocation," Callings, which has passages from the early church Fathers, through Luther, to  twentieth century Christian writers; but the term "vocation" does not show up until the latter historical period).  So a Lutheran doctrine, or even a coherent concept, of "vocation" has to be extrapolated from scattered remarks on relationships, labor, occupational training and employment, social roles, moral obligations, and the like.

So there's no definitive answer I know of, Deaconess Meyer, to your question.  As far as I understand (and I haven't read everything in Luther on this topic, so this is subject to correction), a plausible argument can be (and has been) made that when Luther is speaking about marriage and family, male and female are ontologically distinct categories within the larger ontologically distinct category of the (sinful) human person.  That may well carry the implication that males and females in designated relationships (such as marriage) may have different vocational roles.  But I would argue that such vocational roles are temporal and mundane, and do not influence the relationship that males and females alike have with the Triune God.  This seems pretty obvious to me: I don't know why it would be controversial.

What I am still curious about, and trying to figure out an answer for, is the question of whether the very existence of "vocations" (and of "vocational roles") can be legitimately described as being built in to the original act of Creation.  I've always been puzzled why those who speak of "order(s) of creation" are so singularly focused on the sole issue of ordering male-female relationships.  I'm more interested (because I think it is more important, and more central to human experience) in the "order of vocation" that we are all called to live out daily.

I hope that is helpful, Deaconess Meyer.

Tom Pearson
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: D. Engebretson on June 12, 2021, 07:25:09 PM
A question she asks, "What is it about ministry that a woman cannot do?" (Our functional view of ministry.).....

As I wrote in the discussion "If Not 'Functional," than What?"


The ALC had it its constitution.
"6.33. The status of the clergy differs from that of the laity only as to function."

I also remember professors at seminary stating that we had a functional understanding of ordination. We are set apart by the church to do certain things.

Your understanding of the pastor seems to be more about function than office.  You appear to place one above the other.  If that is the view of your church, why not just hire the most capable person and assign appropriate tasks?  Why ordain them? 

In your Service of Ordination it states:
Within the people of God and for the sake of the gospel ministry entrusted to all believers, God has instituted the office of the ministry of word and sacrament. In the service of Ordination to the Ministry of Word and Sacrament, the church entrusts this office to those who have accepted the church’s call and sends them into this ministry.

So it seems that your church emphasizes the idea of "office" primarily when referring to the position of pastor.  Office is more than just function.  Even outside the church the idea of holding a "public office" involves the taking of an oath and the entrusting of authority exercised on behalf of someone else.  As one who has been sworn into the office of chaplain of a city fire department, I was asked to promise to uphold the constitution of the US, the state constitution and all local ordinances.  That is much more than I would have been asked had I applied for a job at Walmart. The office of pastor has always required a higher level of responsibility than other offices in the church, in part, because the pastor represents not only the church but Christ Himself. 

So how do you understand "office" as it applies to the pastor?

Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: pearson on June 12, 2021, 07:48:21 PM

I would not use the term ontology for this discussion. I've never seen the word used for Lutheran doctrine of the call, vocation, or mankind created as male and female until I saw persons using it on this forum.

Can anyone cite a published Lutheran dogmatic that uses this ontology term for the above doctrines?


In Reformation and Catholicity, Gustav Aulén has a section in which he speaks of ordination as involving an ontological change in the ordinand.  There may also be similar passages in Aulén's The Faith of the Christian Church; I don't recall.  The Swedish Lutheran tradition may be more likely to express the "ontological" dimension than others, I suppose (Wingren?  Nygren?).

As I mentioned earlier, Pr. Engelbrecht, my interest in this "ontology" talk is because I'd like to see if it's possible to situate "vocation" as an integral aspect of the original act of Creation.  As a Lutheran, I think of "ontology" as trying to answer the question, "If you did an inventory of all the things that show up as a result of God's original act of Creation, what would be on the list?"  Would "vocations" be on the list?  I've previously said that I'm pretty well convinced that moral theology is intimately tied to "vocations" (and "vocational roles'), so I'd like to see if the case can be made that "vocations" qualify as an ontological category (meaning, does the Genesis account of Creation include "vocations"?)

Does that make sense?

Tom Pearson
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: peter_speckhard on June 12, 2021, 08:08:57 PM
I think vocation has to be part of creation for the simple reason that God called things into existence. Therefore, serving the purposes for which God created it becomes everything’s vocation. Satan and the demons were created but rejected the purpose for which they were created. They denied their vocation. Trees that don’t bear fruit, people who do not love God and their neighbor, they illustrate the needed connection between creation and vocation.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: mariemeyer on June 12, 2021, 08:25:39 PM


Is Luther's understanding of vocation associated with the "ontological status" of human beings created as male and female?  IOW, is Luther's understanding of vocation associated with our common human nature or is vocation  defined according to  the distinct male and female sexuality that belongs to our human nature?
     

Aside from ancient formulations like "religious vocation" or "spiritual vocation," the concept of "vocation" is a fairly modern one (William Placher has a fine anthology on "vocation," Callings, which has passages from the early church Fathers, through Luther, to  twentieth century Christian writers; but the term "vocation" does not show up until the latter historical period).  So a Lutheran doctrine, or even a coherent concept, of "vocation" has to be extrapolated from scattered remarks on relationships, labor, occupational training and employment, social roles, moral obligations, and the like.

So there's no definitive answer I know of, Deaconess Meyer, to your question.  As far as I understand (and I haven't read everything in Luther on this topic, so this is subject to correction), a plausible argument can be (and has been) made that when Luther is speaking about marriage and family, male and female are ontologically distinct categories within the larger ontologically distinct category of the (sinful) human person.  That may well carry the implication that males and females in designated relationships (such as marriage) may have different vocational roles.  But I would argue that such vocational roles are temporal and mundane, and do not influence the relationship that males and females alike have with the Triune God.  This seems pretty obvious to me: I don't know why it would be controversial.

What I am still curious about, and trying to figure out an answer for, is the question of whether the very existence of "vocations" (and of "vocational roles") can be legitimately described as being built in to the original act of Creation.  I've always been puzzled why those who speak of "order(s) of creation" are so singularly focused on the sole issue of ordering male-female relationships.  I'm more interested (because I think it is more important, and more central to human experience) in the "order of vocation" that we are all called to live out daily.

I hope that is helpful, Deaconess Meyer.

Tom Pearson

Thanks for your response...  I do not understand the following...

"As far as I understand (and I haven't read everything in Luther on this topic, so this is subject to correction), a plausible argument can be (and has been) made that when Luther is speaking about marriage and family, male and female are ontologically distinct categories within the larger ontologically distinct category of the (sinful) human person. "


The concept of "male and female are ontologically distinct categories within the larger ontologically distinct category of the (sinful) human person. "  eludes me.

On the basis of my limited education I understand ontology to deal with the essential being of God as the "I am who I am."  The being (beingness) of God is God.  Father, Son and Holy Spirit are not ontologically distinct categories with the larger ontologically distinct category of God. 

So also, being human is who man and woman are ...that is the category of being to which male and female belong.  The essence of our being is that we are human.  Being male or female belongs to our human nature.  Neither man or woman can be human alone.   Being male or female is not a distinct category within the larger ontologically distinct category of being human.   

Marie Meyer
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 12, 2021, 08:31:06 PM

Are you sure that God gave an office and not functions? What biblical verse(s) do you use to support that?

I've recently looked at the list of gifts God gives the church in Romans 12:6-8; 1 Corinthians 12:8-10, 28; Ephesians 4:11. I see these as functions.
 

You are confusing the part for the whole, Pr. Stoffregen.  Of course there are a variety of "functions" associated with the office of the ministry.  But the doctrine of the ministry in the Lutheran tradition is not reducible to those "functions."  The Lutheran doctrine of ministry is a theoretical elaboration that combines a number of theological desiderata, including (but certainly not limited to) scrutiny of a lexicon of scriptural terminology.  One can no more legitimately reduce the doctrine of ministry to ecclesial functions than one can reduce the currently fashionable doctrine of gender to biological functions.


There is a doctrine of ministry that applies to all the baptized. One should consider their vocation, whatever it is, as ministry. One garbage collector saw that as his ministry to make his community healthier and safer for all who live there. His view of his work was much more than just picking up trash.


Where it gets messier is with the ordained ministry. Just looked at the biblical passages where "ordain/ordination" are used. In the Hebrew, it's often a translation of an idiom, literally, "fill the hand" or shortened, "fill"; (Ex 28:41; 29:9, 29, 33, 35; 32:29; Lev 8:22, 33; Num 3:3. Scholars guess that this might refer to giving something to the candidate to represent the position they are about to assume. In modern day it might be like putting a gavel in the hand of the new chair of a board; or giving putting a scepter in the hand to a new monarch, or a crozier to a new bishop. The LXX continued to use the symbolism of "filling the hand."


As such, it seems to me to be a bit more like our installation service, where symbols of the pastoral office are given; rather than an ordination. The offspring of Aaron (and all Levites) are born into the priestly tribe. "Filling the hand," with some symbol is more like recognizing that this person will be taking over those duties at this time.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 12, 2021, 08:40:37 PM
A question she asks, "What is it about ministry that a woman cannot do?" (Our functional view of ministry.).....

As I wrote in the discussion "If Not 'Functional," than What?"


The ALC had it its constitution.
"6.33. The status of the clergy differs from that of the laity only as to function."

I also remember professors at seminary stating that we had a functional understanding of ordination. We are set apart by the church to do certain things.

Your understanding of the pastor seems to be more about function than office.  You appear to place one above the other.  If that is the view of your church, why not just hire the most capable person and assign appropriate tasks?  Why ordain them? 

In your Service of Ordination it states:
Within the people of God and for the sake of the gospel ministry entrusted to all believers, God has instituted the office of the ministry of word and sacrament. In the service of Ordination to the Ministry of Word and Sacrament, the church entrusts this office to those who have accepted the church’s call and sends them into this ministry.

So it seems that your church emphasizes the idea of "office" primarily when referring to the position of pastor.  Office is more than just function.  Even outside the church the idea of holding a "public office" involves the taking of an oath and the entrusting of authority exercised on behalf of someone else.  As one who has been sworn into the office of chaplain of a city fire department, I was asked to promise to uphold the constitution of the US, the state constitution and all local ordinances.  That is much more than I would have been asked had I applied for a job at Walmart. The office of pastor has always required a higher level of responsibility than other offices in the church, in part, because the pastor represents not only the church but Christ Himself. 

So how do you understand "office" as it applies to the pastor?


Actually, the following are the words of the latest ordination liturgy. [Evangelical Lutheran Worship: Occasional Services for the Assembly, copyright 2009]

All baptized Christians are called to share
in Christ’s ministry of love and service in the world,
to the glory of God and for the sake of the human family and the whole creation.
According to apostolic usage you are now to be entrusted
with the office of word and sacrament in the one holy catholic church
by the laying on of hands and by prayer.

The following question is also asked:

Before almighty God, to whom you must give account,
and in the presence of this congregation, I ask:
Will you assume this office,
believing that the Church’s call is God’s call
to the ministry of Word and Sacrament?

The subsequent questions are about what the candidates will do - the functions they will perform that are expected of those in the office. It's a bit like going into a doctor's office. The office is not the important thing, but the skill of the doctor and staff to do their duties.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 12, 2021, 08:45:12 PM

I would not use the term ontology for this discussion. I've never seen the word used for Lutheran doctrine of the call, vocation, or mankind created as male and female until I saw persons using it on this forum.

Can anyone cite a published Lutheran dogmatic that uses this ontology term for the above doctrines?


In Reformation and Catholicity, Gustav Aulén has a section in which he speaks of ordination as involving an ontological change in the ordinand.  There may also be similar passages in Aulén's The Faith of the Christian Church; I don't recall.  The Swedish Lutheran tradition may be more likely to express the "ontological" dimension than others, I suppose (Wingren?  Nygren?).

As I mentioned earlier, Pr. Engelbrecht, my interest in this "ontology" talk is because I'd like to see if it's possible to situate "vocation" as an integral aspect of the original act of Creation.  As a Lutheran, I think of "ontology" as trying to answer the question, "If you did an inventory of all the things that show up as a result of God's original act of Creation, what would be on the list?"  Would "vocations" be on the list?  I've previously said that I'm pretty well convinced that moral theology is intimately tied to "vocations" (and "vocational roles'), so I'd like to see if the case can be made that "vocations" qualify as an ontological category (meaning, does the Genesis account of Creation include "vocations"?)

Does that make sense?


Do these verses from Genesis 2 relate to your question?


there was still no human being to farm the fertile land, (Gen 2:5d)

The LORD God took the human and settled him in the garden of Eden to farm it and to take care of it. (Gen 2:15)
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: peter_speckhard on June 12, 2021, 09:19:22 PM

On the basis of my limited education I understand ontology to deal with the essential being of God as the "I am who I am."  The being (beingness) of God is God.  Father, Son and Holy Spirit are not ontologically distinct categories with the larger ontologically distinct category of God. 

So also, being human is who man and woman are ...that is the category of being to which male and female belong.  The essence of our being is that we are human.  Being male or female belongs to our human nature.  Neither man or woman can be human alone.   Being male or female is not a distinct category within the larger ontologically distinct category of being human.   

Marie Meyer
I'm not sure I'm understanding your application of ontology. In one sense, Adam was human before there was Eve. He didn't become human by having a human counterpart. However, God did not call that good. He divided humanity into male and female, and that very division becomes part of the image of God. Every individual human is fully human, but every individual human is also either male or female, not neither, not both. If there any other categorization of people one can say that of? Male and female He created them. Not tall and short, not left-handed and right-handed, noy any other distinction. But this distinction is right there in Eden. So I would say being male or female is indeed a distinct category within the larger ontologically distinct category of human.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: D. Engebretson on June 12, 2021, 10:11:22 PM
So also, being human is who man and woman are ...that is the category of being to which male and female belong.  The essence of our being is that we are human.  Being male or female belongs to our human nature.  Neither man or woman can be human alone.   Being male or female is not a distinct category within the larger ontologically distinct category of being human.   

Marie Meyer

If male and female are not "distinct categories" within what it means to be human, it begs a question for me as to why God created man and then created woman out of man.  Why He created woman specifically to be a "helper" to man, etc.  I'm not following what it means for male and female to "belong to our human nature," and let lack a distinctiveness within that nature.  Maybe I'm missing something here....
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Rev. Edward Engelbrecht on June 12, 2021, 10:30:23 PM

I would not use the term ontology for this discussion. I've never seen the word used for Lutheran doctrine of the call, vocation, or mankind created as male and female until I saw persons using it on this forum.

Can anyone cite a published Lutheran dogmatic that uses this ontology term for the above doctrines?


In Reformation and Catholicity, Gustav Aulén has a section in which he speaks of ordination as involving an ontological change in the ordinand.  There may also be similar passages in Aulén's The Faith of the Christian Church; I don't recall.  The Swedish Lutheran tradition may be more likely to express the "ontological" dimension than others, I suppose (Wingren?  Nygren?).

As I mentioned earlier, Pr. Engelbrecht, my interest in this "ontology" talk is because I'd like to see if it's possible to situate "vocation" as an integral aspect of the original act of Creation.  As a Lutheran, I think of "ontology" as trying to answer the question, "If you did an inventory of all the things that show up as a result of God's original act of Creation, what would be on the list?"  Would "vocations" be on the list?  I've previously said that I'm pretty well convinced that moral theology is intimately tied to "vocations" (and "vocational roles'), so I'd like to see if the case can be made that "vocations" qualify as an ontological category (meaning, does the Genesis account of Creation include "vocations"?)

Does that make sense?

Tom Pearson

Tom, this usage sounds too Roman to me. Perhaps Aulen embraces it because of the mutual belief in apostolic succession as a feature of ordination. I wouldn't trade in that ontology talk just as I wouldn't run with a merely functional view. I prefer the biblical emphasis on calling and qualities, which are recognized by the church through the ordination.

I certainly see vocations in Genesis. Someone pointed out keeping the garden. I would add "Be fruitful . . ." which only happens if males behave as males and females as females.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: pearson on June 12, 2021, 10:45:24 PM

On the basis of my limited education I understand ontology to deal with the essential being of God as the "I am who I am."  The being (beingness) of God is God.  Father, Son and Holy Spirit are not ontologically distinct categories with the larger ontologically distinct category of God. 


Yes, ontology does deal with Being.  But unless you are a certain kind of thinker, Being is another way of talking about the concept of "existence"; and since there are many different modes of "existence" (many different kinds of existing things), Being is often treated as a plural concept, not a unitary concept.  That's why I speak of ontology in terms of an inventory, or a catalogue, of existants.

I would have supposed that the Creeds (especially the Athanasian Creed) regard the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit as ontologically distinct categories ("Persons"), not to be confused.  But I'm not sure the Church can penetrate any deeper into that ontological mystery than the Church already has.

Tom Pearson   
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: pearson on June 12, 2021, 10:47:49 PM

Do these verses from Genesis 2 relate to your question?


there was still no human being to farm the fertile land, (Gen 2:5d)

The LORD God took the human and settled him in the garden of Eden to farm it and to take care of it. (Gen 2:15)


Yes, that's excellent; thank you, Pr. Stoffregen (and thanks to Pr. Engelbrecht as well).

It does look like Adam had at least one vocation from the start.

Tom Pearson
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Dan Fienen on June 12, 2021, 11:46:29 PM

Do these verses from Genesis 2 relate to your question?


there was still no human being to farm the fertile land, (Gen 2:5d)

The LORD God took the human and settled him in the garden of Eden to farm it and to take care of it. (Gen 2:15)


Yes, that's excellent; thank you, Pr. Stoffregen (and thanks to Pr. Engelbrecht as well).

It does look like Adam had at least one vocation from the start.

Tom Pearson
The world's true oldest profession,  farming.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: RevG on June 13, 2021, 08:24:41 AM
Having a little fun here.  Forgive me if I am coming across as “that guy.”

We can say that farming is not really what Adam was doing, rather it was much more akin to what we would refer to as gardening today.  Farming as we know it is the part of the curse and certainly not viewed favorably by Genesis. At least as it relates to the larger narrative of God’s people as shepherds Cain and Abel, Abraham and family etc.. 
Lots of beautiful stuff that can be unpacked.

Peace and Blessed Sunday,
Scott+
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: mariemeyer on June 13, 2021, 11:01:31 AM

On the basis of my limited education I understand ontology to deal with the essential being of God as the "I am who I am."  The being (beingness) of God is God.  Father, Son and Holy Spirit are not ontologically distinct categories with the larger ontologically distinct category of God. 


Yes, ontology does deal with Being.  But unless you are a certain kind of thinker, Being is another way of talking about the concept of "existence"; and since there are many different modes of "existence" (many different kinds of existing things), Being is often treated as a plural concept, not a unitary concept.  That's why I speak of ontology in terms of an inventory, or a catalogue, of existants.

I would have supposed that the Creeds (especially the Athanasian Creed) regard the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit as ontologically distinct categories ("Persons"), not to be confused.  But I'm not sure the Church can penetrate any deeper into that ontological mystery than the Church already has.

Tom Pearson   

I understand ontology to deal with basic categories and which of these entities exist on the most fundamental level.
   
At the most fundamental level God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are GOD.   That is the essence of their Being - there nothing other than the Three, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,  that are God.  Each is not a category of being other than God.

At the most fundamental level the human female and the human female are human. Being human is the category of being which both are.  is there   Animals are male and female, but that it not their category being.

Adam (ish) existed as a human before the creation of the woman (ishshah).   He recognized her as "bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh."   The woman, was, like him, God's creation, a fellow human being. Without the woman God brought to man, he could never have known what it was to be or been the man God created Adam to be.  He recognized that she was a human being like him, but that she was also unlike him. 

According to The Lutheran Study Bible, the man Adam, in his role as God's steward, gives a name "to this category of created beings, just as he has given a name to the rest of God's creation."

The not so subtle note suggests the man did not see her as the only being who was"bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh,"  but as a creature that was a "different category of beings."  I suspect he could "see" that she was a sexual being just as animals are sexual being....but she was like him as a human being... a standing, walking creation of God with whom he could communicate and " be one flesh. 

His one flesh union with her would be that of two human beings (ish and ishshah).  Unlike, God they were male and female.  Together they were human beings, created in the image of God for fellowship with God as stewards of God's creation. Like the animals they were male  and female, unlike the animals they were human beings created in the image of God to know and be known to God.  To know God as their Creator by Whom and for Whom they were created.  Together they were to be the glory of God within God's creation.   

Thus the ontological classifications of being after God's creation of woman, ishshah, were God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit), human (male and female), and the many animals who, like the  human man and woman were sexual beings. 

Being male or female belongs to being human and animal. Being male or female does not define what it means to be human not God. 
     
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: peter_speckhard on June 13, 2021, 12:43:18 PM

On the basis of my limited education I understand ontology to deal with the essential being of God as the "I am who I am."  The being (beingness) of God is God.  Father, Son and Holy Spirit are not ontologically distinct categories with the larger ontologically distinct category of God. 


Yes, ontology does deal with Being.  But unless you are a certain kind of thinker, Being is another way of talking about the concept of "existence"; and since there are many different modes of "existence" (many different kinds of existing things), Being is often treated as a plural concept, not a unitary concept.  That's why I speak of ontology in terms of an inventory, or a catalogue, of existants.

I would have supposed that the Creeds (especially the Athanasian Creed) regard the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit as ontologically distinct categories ("Persons"), not to be confused.  But I'm not sure the Church can penetrate any deeper into that ontological mystery than the Church already has.

Tom Pearson   

I understand ontology to deal with basic categories and which of these entities exist on the most fundamental level.
   
At the most fundamental level God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are GOD.   That is the essence of their Being - there nothing other than the Three, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,  that are God.  Each is not a category of being other than God.

At the most fundamental level the human female and the human female are human. Being human is the category of being which both are.  is there   Animals are male and female, but that it not their category being.

Adam (ish) existed as a human before the creation of the woman (ishshah).   He recognized her as "bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh."   The woman, was, like him, God's creation, a fellow human being. Without the woman God brought to man, he could never have known what it was to be or been the man God created Adam to be.  He recognized that she was a human being like him, but that she was also unlike him. 

According to The Lutheran Study Bible, the man Adam, in his role as God's steward, gives a name "to this category of created beings, just as he has given a name to the rest of God's creation."

The not so subtle note suggests the man did not see her as the only being who was"bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh,"  but as a creature that was a "different category of beings."  I suspect he could "see" that she was a sexual being just as animals are sexual being....but she was like him as a human being... a standing, walking creation of God with whom he could communicate and " be one flesh. 

His one flesh union with her would be that of two human beings (ish and ishshah).  Unlike, God they were male and female.  Together they were human beings, created in the image of God for fellowship with God as stewards of God's creation. Like the animals they were male  and female, unlike the animals they were human beings created in the image of God to know and be known to God.  To know God as their Creator by Whom and for Whom they were created.  Together they were to be the glory of God within God's creation.   

Thus the ontological classifications of being after God's creation of woman, ishshah, were God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit), human (male and female), and the many animals who, like the  human man and woman were sexual beings. 

Being male or female belongs to being human and animal. Being male or female does not define what it means to be human not God. 
     
Marie, I don't think ontology can only refer to the most fundamental category. It refers to any category by which one can say one can't exist as itself outside that category. More foundation than human is "living things," by which we would be ontologically the same as animals, or "created things" by which we would be ontologically the same as the sun. Dogs and snakes are not ontologically the same merely by virtue of being animals even if animal is an ontological category.

It is quite a stretch to say that the editors of TSLB were suggesting that Adam thought Eve was like another animal or something other than a fellow human. The whole text argues very obviously against such an interpretation, so unless the editors were truly dense they wouldn't make a footnote suggesting that. I think the confusion is the word "being." I suppose they could have used "thing" or "item" but then they would be accused of dehumanizing her in that way. The point is that Adam recognized her as a human just like he himself was human, but also as a new and distinct category of human unlike him. It wasn't just, "Hey look, God made another one of me." (Think of the old "Adam and Steve" argument regarding homosexulaity). In the category of humans, Eve was just another one like Adam. But there was more to it than that. Male and female He created them. Adam was recognizing another person who was nevertheless in a different category, and that category is not ontological at the level of human, but is ontological at the level of person. God made everyone, but He made us with the category of male and female. Everyone is one or the other. Nobody is neither or both. All the TSLB footnote is saying that Adam named not just Eve as a new human person in the world but a new category of humanity-- woman-- that applies to more than just Eve.     
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 13, 2021, 02:18:15 PM

Do these verses from Genesis 2 relate to your question?


there was still no human being to farm the fertile land, (Gen 2:5d)

The LORD God took the human and settled him in the garden of Eden to farm it and to take care of it. (Gen 2:15)


Yes, that's excellent; thank you, Pr. Stoffregen (and thanks to Pr. Engelbrecht as well).

It does look like Adam had at least one vocation from the start.

Tom Pearson
The world's true oldest profession,  farming.


An interesting (at least to me) sidebar in The CEB Study Bible related to this.


Dominion or Dependence?
 
Humanity is increasingly endangering its environment. How then, should we understand God’s giving humanity power over creation in Genesis 1:26-28? These verses have been interpreted by some as granting humans unlimited power and license to exploit nature for their own use.
 
“Take charge of” (Gen 1:26; KJV, NRSV: “have dominion”) translates the Hebrew word for “rule.” It’s used elsewhere for the authority of masters over servants (Lev 25:43) and kings over subjects (Ps 72:8). So it does grant humanity power and authority over the animal world. But the word doesn’t in itself define the way power is exercised, since power can be used for either caring or harsh rule. In the context of Genesis 1, humans are viewed as God’s representatives in creation (see sidebar, “In God’s image” at Gen 1), So, “taking charge” must be understood as exercising the same kind of authority God would exercise in the natural world.
 
An entirely different picture of the human place in nature is present in Genesis 2:4b-3:24. Here the first human is made out of the “topsoil” of the earth’s “fertile land” and given their command to “farm” it (Gen 2:5, 7, 15). The word translated “farm” in the CEB almost always means “serve.” It expresses the service of servants to masters (Gen 12:6), of one people to another (Exod 5:90, and of people to God (Exod 4:23). So human beings are created specifically to serve the fertile soil. Humans in this account depend on nature rather than exert dominion over it.
 
These two different images of the human as ruler and as servant point to universally acknowledged realities. Humanity has the unique power to alter the world, but we are ultimately dependent on the earth and its life for survival. (p. 8 OT)
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: mariemeyer on June 13, 2021, 03:01:10 PM
One possible way to address "the endless controversy" is to begin with God, the nature of God by Whom and for Whom Man, male and female were created.  Both were to subdue the earth, both were to procreate sons and daughters, both were to know and be known to God.  Knowing and being known to God originated in their being holy as God's was holy and letting God be God, the source of all that was good in their life. (see Genesis one)

Thus, human life that originated with God, was created for God's purpose and was by God's design theocentric.  The essence of every human being whether male or female, their purpose (telos) and their relationship (ethics) to one another was to "Let God be God" in each of their lives and in the life of one another.

God promised to be with them according to God's nature as the source of their being.  They were to trust they had been given all that was good and necessary for their life as Man, male and female recreated in the image of God.  God would relate to each of them,  male and female, as their God and Image Maker. 

From the beginning the  common human vocation of male and female, was to give God glory in their daily life.

Beginning in Genesis and continuing through Revelation God related to man and to woman according to God's nature as the I Am WHO I AM for you. They were created to know GOD as the source of all that was necessary for a good and holy life and to be known to God as God's Beloved.   They, man and woman, were created to be the glory of God's creation.

Including "the order of creation" as a Biblical topic, whether defined as a chain of being and or an order of command, originates in the deductive reason of natural human reason.... not the mind of God as revealed in the written and Incarnate Word.

Unless it can be demonstrated that God the Father, God the Son or God the Holy Spirit relate to man and woman in any way other than according to their nature as the I AM Who I Am for you, the claim that a static immutable structured "order of creation" is a Biblical Topic or doctrine must be re-examined.  The ultimate issue is God's order for living relationship of the ONE true living God to man and woman and their letting God be God in their life.

No where does the different  manner in which God created man and woman reveal God's intent that God would relate to woman as God in and through the man.  Both were to let God be God in their life.   

Marie Meyer
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: aletheist on June 13, 2021, 03:18:53 PM
The essence of every human being whether male or female, their purpose (telos) and their relationship (ethics) to one another was to "Let God be God" in each of their lives and in the life of one another. ... The ultimate issue is God's order for living relationship of the ONE true living God to man and woman and their letting God be God in their life. ... Both were to let God be God in their life.
This expression, "let God be God," comes up repeatedly in your posts, not only in this thread but throughout all the years that I have been reading and occasionally participating in the discussions here. What is the Scriptural and confessional basis for it? Where exactly do the Bible and the Book of Concord state or imply that the purpose of every human being is to "let God be God in their life"? What does it mean in practical terms? How would the church be different if we all genuinely complied with it? What does it have to do with the proper relationship between men and women in general, let alone the "endless controversy" over whether God truly calls certain women to be pastors rather than only certain men?
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: peter_speckhard on June 13, 2021, 03:50:35 PM
One possible way to address "the endless controversy" is to begin with God, the nature of God by Whom and for Whom Man, male and female were created.  Both were to subdue the earth, both were to procreate sons and daughters, both were to know and be known to God.  Knowing and being known to God originated in their being holy as God's was holy and letting God be God, the source of all that was good in their life. (see Genesis one)

Thus, human life that originated with God, was created for God's purpose and was by God's design theocentric.  The essence of every human being whether male or female, their purpose (telos) and their relationship (ethics) to one another was to "Let God be God" in each of their lives and in the life of one another.

God promised to be with them according to God's nature as the source of their being.  They were to trust they had been given all that was good and necessary for their life as Man, male and female recreated in the image of God.  God would relate to each of them,  male and female, as their God and Image Maker. 

From the beginning the  common human vocation of male and female, was to give God glory in their daily life.

Beginning in Genesis and continuing through Revelation God related to man and to woman according to God's nature as the I Am WHO I AM for you. They were created to know GOD as the source of all that was necessary for a good and holy life and to be known to God as God's Beloved.   They, man and woman, were created to be the glory of God's creation.

Including "the order of creation" as a Biblical topic, whether defined as a chain of being and or an order of command, originates in the deductive reason of natural human reason.... not the mind of God as revealed in the written and Incarnate Word.

Unless it can be demonstrated that God the Father, God the Son or God the Holy Spirit relate to man and woman in any way other than according to their nature as the I AM Who I Am for you, the claim that a static immutable structured "order of creation" is a Biblical Topic or doctrine must be re-examined.  The ultimate issue is God's order for living relationship of the ONE true living God to man and woman and their letting God be God in their life.

No where does the different  manner in which God created man and woman reveal God's intent that God would relate to woman as God in and through the man.  Both were to let God be God in their life.   

Marie Meyer
I don’t think anything I believe or have stated in these endless discussions interferes with the idea that every human being should let God be God. God speaks. He spoke through St. Paul. God (not St. Paul, not men generally, but God the Creator of us all) revealed that men and women are equally His children, but are not the same. Letting God be God means listening attentively when God reveals things in Genesis 2 or in the NT epistles. Refusing to let God be God would lead us to begin with what we know of God and extrapolate from human reasoning what He must think about men and women in defiance of what He actually said. A fully theocentric worldview is not in the least bit threatened by the sharp distinction between male and female God wove into His creation and His story.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: pastorg1@aol.com on June 13, 2021, 04:14:44 PM
In Macy’s today, a baseball cap declaring, “Sexuality is a Social Construct.”

Peter (Grew up with separate “Boys” and “Girls” drinking fountains in grade school) Garrison
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Terry W Culler on June 13, 2021, 08:34:26 PM
In Macy’s today, a baseball cap declaring, “Sexuality is a Social Construct.”

Peter (Grew

When I was in elementary school the boys and girls had different entrances.  Not sure why since we then all had to go to the same rooms, but maybe the keep the line mayhem down to just one side of the building
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: pastorg1@aol.com on June 13, 2021, 10:09:31 PM
In my day girls had “cooties” and were not to be approached. Then they’d try to kiss the boys. Yikes.

Peter (I put wet sand from the sandbox on my face to make a scratchy “beard” and chase back.) Garrison
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: peter_speckhard on June 13, 2021, 10:18:09 PM
In my day girls had “cooties” and were not to be approached. Then they’d try to kiss the boys. Yikes.

Peter (I put wet sand from the sandbox on my face to make a scratchy “beard” and chase back.) Garrison
My daughters say, “Girls go to college to get more knowledge. Boys go to Jupiter to more stupider!” To which my sons reply, “Yeah? Well we’re back! Mission accomplished!”
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 14, 2021, 01:10:03 AM

Do these verses from Genesis 2 relate to your question?


there was still no human being to farm the fertile land, (Gen 2:5d)

The LORD God took the human and settled him in the garden of Eden to farm it and to take care of it. (Gen 2:15)


Yes, that's excellent; thank you, Pr. Stoffregen (and thanks to Pr. Engelbrecht as well).

It does look like Adam had at least one vocation from the start.

Tom Pearson
The world's true oldest profession,  farming.


Did some study on the Hebrew word translated "to farm" by CEB: עָבַד `abad.
More literally, the verses above could be translated, "to work the ground," like NIV does. Other translations use, "cultivate" or "till" - English words that convey a more specific meaning of working the ground.


The same Hebrew word is used in Genesis 3:23 as part of Adam's duties after the fall. It is also used of Cain's work in Genesis 4:2, 12.


However, most often (at least in the references I've looked in the Torah,) it refers to "serving other people or God or gods)," which is also translated, "worshiping God (or gods)," e.g. Exodus 3:12.


The noun, עֶבֶד `ebed refers to "a slave," "a servant," "a subject," including "servants of God."
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: mariemeyer on June 14, 2021, 10:44:37 AM
Moderator Peter  Speckhard writes...
"I don’t think anything I believe or have stated in these endless discussions interferes with the idea that every human being should let God be God. God speaks. He spoke through St. Paul. God (not St. Paul, not men generally, but God the Creator of us all) revealed that men and women are equally His children, but are not the same. Letting God be God means listening attentively when God reveals things in Genesis 2 or in the NT epistles. Refusing to let God be God would lead us to begin with what we know of God and extrapolate from human reasoning what He must think about men and women in defiance of what He actually said. A fully theocentric worldview is not in the least bit threatened by the sharp distinction between male and female God wove into His creation and His story."

My question, "What is the sharp distinction between male and female that God wove into His creation and His story?"

During my life I have been a daughter, sister, woman, wife, mother, grandmother and now, a great-grandmother. In each area of life the defining relationship that shaped my identity, the purpose for which I was created and all my relationships, whether in the home, the church or society, was God's relationship to me. 

Neither my father, nor any of the LCMS men who were my pastor, parochial school teachers, confirmation class teacher or college theology professors, taught me that God related to me or was present in my life on the basis of any "sharp" distinction between male and female. The day of my marriage to Bill, his father preached a sermon in which both of us were directed to live out our marriage relationship with Christ at the center of our marriage. (Something about  a cord of three strands not being broken.)

Humans are distinct as male and female, a distinction that belongs to who we are as creatures, not God the Creator. 

The question is whether God the Father, God the Son or God the Holy Spirit, relate to man and woman according to Their nature as God, or according to the created "sharp distinction" between man and woman. IOW, is the living presence of God in the life of the men and women  whom God claims as His sons and daughters according to the nature of God or their distinct sexuality?  Is the One Holy Catholic Church, the ONE Body of Christ divided in two parts according to distinct sexuality of the many men and woman who ARE the Church, the Bride of Christ.

marie meyer
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: peter_speckhard on June 14, 2021, 12:10:36 PM


My question, "What is the sharp distinction between male and female that God wove into His creation and His story?"

During my life I have been a daughter, sister, woman, wife, mother, grandmother and now, a great-grandmother. In each area of life the defining relationship that shaped my identity, the purpose for which I was created and all my relationships, whether in the home, the church or society, was God's relationship to me. 

Neither my father, nor any of the LCMS men who were my pastor, parochial school teachers, confirmation class teacher or college theology professors, taught me that God related to me or was present in my life on the basis of any "sharp" distinction between male and female. The day of my marriage to Bill, his father preached a sermon in which both of us were directed to live out our marriage relationship with Christ at the center of our marriage. (Something about  a cord of three strands not being broken.)

Humans are distinct as male and female, a distinction that belongs to who we are as creatures, not God the Creator. 

The question is whether God the Father, God the Son or God the Holy Spirit, relate to man and woman according to Their nature as God, or according to the created "sharp distinction" between man and woman. IOW, is the living presence of God in the life of the men and women  whom God claims as His sons and daughters according to the nature of God or their distinct sexuality?  Is the One Holy Catholic Church, the ONE Body of Christ divided in two parts according to distinct sexuality of the many men and woman who ARE the Church, the Bride of Christ.

marie meyer
I think God relates to you as your Father and to me as my Father, which makes us brother and sister in Christ.

The sharp distinction between male and female that God wove into creation and His story is obvious from the beginning. It is the first thing the Scriptures say about mankind in the plural-- male and female He created them. It is written into the fabric of ongoing creation; "Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife and they shall become one flesh," which Jesus and St. Paul both reiterate emphatically. The covenants clearly distinguish the sexes in circumcision and in the Passover. God related to all of the people of Israel, male and female, according to His nature as God and according to the covenant of circumcision, which only applied to males but which nevertheless incorporated females and made them collectively "a people." A female Jew was "uncircumcised" but nevertheless part of the people of Israel via the covenant of circumcision. I guess if you really want to you could say therefore that God related to men differently than He related to women in salvation history, but to make that argument you'd have to reject the collective unity of the people of God. The male/female distinction is even part of the pattern of the New Creation in the Gospels and NT with the bride/bridegroom relationship of Christ and Church. There simply is no way to understand humanity as created or salvation history as revealed without acknowledging the sharp distinction between male and female that is not part of the fall but part of the original creation and redeemed in the New Creation. This is part of the reason the effort to treat the sexes as the same in all but tangential procreative function always leads to confusion on the nature of marriage and anthropology (the T and other letters in the rainbow alphabet).

The point is simply that recognizing the distinction between male and female and recognizing that God made them different and in some ways with different, complementary purposes in no way means God doesn't relate to men and women equally according to His nature as God.   
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Dave Likeness on June 14, 2021, 01:19:28 PM
The Apostle Paul writes: "For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female,
for you are all one in Christ Jesus."  Galatians 3:27,28

All believers are one in Christ. It is the unity that counts and is important.   The status of Jew
and Greek, slave and free, male and female can no longer divide us, but can only unite all
baptized believers in Christ. In the first century that was a revolutionary statement. Yet the
fact remains that Christ unites all believers and that fact is crucial to understanding the Church.             
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: mariemeyer on June 14, 2021, 05:52:52 PM
Peter writes, "There simply is no way to understand humanity as created or salvation history as revealed without acknowledging the sharp distinction between male and female that is not part of the fall but part of the original creation and redeemed in the New Creation."


So how is the pre-fall "sharp distinction" of man and woman played out in the Church... in the home...in society?

As I understand the NT, the oneness of man and woman who are ONE Holy Body of Christ, is the work of God the Holy Spirit.  Due to the Living Presence of God the Holy Spirit working through the Means of Grace, man and woman who are the Church are now of one mind, heart, spirit and will.... the mind, heart, spirit and will of Christ, Head of the Church. 

Through Baptism, they are branches grafted to the same vine...IOW, the inner life of Christ is now a living reality in man and woman.  Both the Christian man and the Christian woman are changed from within even as they remain distinctly male or female. Rather than being directed inward toward self, including their distinct sexuality, both are directed to know God as revealed in Christ. 

According to Luther, a true biblical theology of creation, including the creation of man and woman, begins not with the creature, but the Creator. From a Lutheran perspective, it is crucial that we begin with the grace and freedom of God at creation. We, neither man nor woman, can understand or know the will of our good and gracious Creator apart from God's revelation of God in the Incarnate Son of God born of the virgin Mary.

If we try to understand God's work of creation in Genesis one and two apart from God revealed in Christ, we end with an understanding of creation that originates in natural reason.  The key to understanding God's work of creating Man, male and female, God's presence and promises to the people of Israel and God's presence in the birth, life, death and resurrection of the Son of Man and the Son of God.

Mary, the Mother of God the Son incarnate as the Son of Man, "got it."  What God accomplished in and through her through for the world is a work as significant as the creation of woman from a man ...if not more so.  Adam was asleep when God created woman from Adam for Adam.

Mary carried the Son of God in her womb for 9 months, she suffered the pain of giving birth to the Son of God become the Son of Man and then nursed him from her breasts.  Yet Mary did not  consider what God accomplished from her for the sake of the world as anything that set her above or apart from any milk maid... 

In the Magnificat Luther states that Mary, by her words and the example of her experience, teaches us how to know God....if we would but listen to her.  What might Mary teach us, man and woman, about God's work of creating woman from man?  Is it about the nature of God in relation to man and woman... or about an immtuable order of creation structure order of being structure of God, man, woman, animals?

Marie Meyer
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: peter_speckhard on June 14, 2021, 09:55:25 PM
Marie, I’m at a loss to discover where you think I disagree with you on any of this other than your last sentence, which is a false alternative. I don’t think it is at all fair to describe the LCMS position as though somehow woman were some level of creature between human and animal. Even the must arch-conservative advocate of patriarchy would not describe their views that way. The immutable order of creation is that men are men and women are women, and nobody is neither or both. To be human is to be either male or female, and they aren’t the same thing. 
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: mariemeyer on June 15, 2021, 09:47:56 AM


Marie, I’m at a loss to discover where you think I disagree with you on any of this other than your last sentence, which is a false alternative. I don’t think it is at all fair to describe the LCMS position as though somehow woman were some level of creature between human and animal. Even the must arch-conservative advocate of patriarchy would not describe their views that way. The immutable order of creation is that men are men and women are women, and nobody is neither or both. To be human is to be either male or female, and they aren’t the same thing. 

Peter,

The so called "false alternative" appears in CPH publications that have  passed  the LCMS doctrinal review. (I have previously called attention to them.)  The critical issue is how "the order of creation" as a chain of being and/or a chain of command appears in LCMS writings including CTCR reports, Bible Studies, CPH books and Study Bibles. 

Previously you wrote," There simply is no way to understand humanity as created or salvation history as revealed without acknowledging the sharp distinction between male and female that is not part of the fall but part of the original creation and redeemed in the New Creation."

Perhaps I do not understand what is meant by "the sharp distinction between male and female that originates in Genesis two.What is the "sharp distinction" in question?  Does it refer to a distinction in being? in purpose? in the relationship between man and woman? a difference in authority?
 
We agree that humans are distinct as male and female.  We agree that Genesis 1-5 reveals God's will that Man, male and female, made in the image of God, were created as God's representatives on earth, stewards of God's creation and procreators of humans who would know and be known to God as Adam and Eve knew and were known to God.  IOW, the relationship between God and humans was to be an intimate relationship of unlike to unlike, Creator/creature, and like to like, God and human being good.   I think we agree that neither male or female could accomplish God's will for creation without the other.

We also agree that God created man and woman in different ways.  The man was created first. The woman was created from the man flesh of his flesh and bone of his bone.  The woman was created for the man who could not accomplish God's will for humanity alone.  He needed a "helper," a counterpart that would be like him, yet unlike him. 

Where we begin to differ is in the following... "The point is simply that recognizing the distinction between male and female and recognizing that God made them different and in some ways with different, complementary purposes in no way means God doesn't relate to men and women equally according to His nature as God."   

First - I bag the terms "equal" or "equality." I do not think it's a biblical term used in reference to man and woman. 

The presenting issue is how the different manner in which God created man and woman reveal that they have "different complementary purposes?"  What are the two different complementary purposes for which God created man and woman?  Where do they apply? in the home? in the Church? in society.  If they belong to a pre-Fall deep distinction that belongs to being male and female, then the different purposes have to apply in society.

Whether in the home, the Church or society, man and woman are who they are.  The pre-Fall order of creation distinction has to apply when and wherever they are.. that is to say it belongs to their being.  It is simply not possible to state that the deep created distinction does not apply beyond the home and church.

Thus, my question remains, "What is the deep created distinction revealed as God's will in different manner God created man and woman?" How are we to live out the deep created distinction in the home? the Church? society?

Marie



   
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Tom Eckstein on June 15, 2021, 09:52:14 AM
Peter writes, "There simply is no way to understand humanity as created or salvation history as revealed without acknowledging the sharp distinction between male and female that is not part of the fall but part of the original creation and redeemed in the New Creation."


So how is the pre-fall "sharp distinction" of man and woman played out in the Church... in the home...in society?

As I understand the NT, the oneness of man and woman who are ONE Holy Body of Christ, is the work of God the Holy Spirit.  Due to the Living Presence of God the Holy Spirit working through the Means of Grace, man and woman who are the Church are now of one mind, heart, spirit and will.... the mind, heart, spirit and will of Christ, Head of the Church. 

Through Baptism, they are branches grafted to the same vine...IOW, the inner life of Christ is now a living reality in man and woman.  Both the Christian man and the Christian woman are changed from within even as they remain distinctly male or female. Rather than being directed inward toward self, including their distinct sexuality, both are directed to know God as revealed in Christ. 

According to Luther, a true biblical theology of creation, including the creation of man and woman, begins not with the creature, but the Creator. From a Lutheran perspective, it is crucial that we begin with the grace and freedom of God at creation. We, neither man nor woman, can understand or know the will of our good and gracious Creator apart from God's revelation of God in the Incarnate Son of God born of the virgin Mary.

If we try to understand God's work of creation in Genesis one and two apart from God revealed in Christ, we end with an understanding of creation that originates in natural reason.  The key to understanding God's work of creating Man, male and female, God's presence and promises to the people of Israel and God's presence in the birth, life, death and resurrection of the Son of Man and the Son of God.

Mary, the Mother of God the Son incarnate as the Son of Man, "got it."  What God accomplished in and through her through for the world is a work as significant as the creation of woman from a man ...if not more so.  Adam was asleep when God created woman from Adam for Adam.

Mary carried the Son of God in her womb for 9 months, she suffered the pain of giving birth to the Son of God become the Son of Man and then nursed him from her breasts.  Yet Mary did not  consider what God accomplished from her for the sake of the world as anything that set her above or apart from any milk maid... 

In the Magnificat Luther states that Mary, by her words and the example of her experience, teaches us how to know God....if we would but listen to her.  What might Mary teach us, man and woman, about God's work of creating woman from man?  Is it about the nature of God in relation to man and woman... or about an immtuable order of creation structure order of being structure of God, man, woman, animals?

Marie Meyer

Marie, you said:  "...or about an immtuable order of creation structure order of being structure of God, man, woman, animals?"

I'm not sure where you get the idea the LCMS - now or ever - suggest that women are of a different ONTOLOGICAL category than men.  As Peter as stressed to you numerous times, men and woman are both human beings created in God's image and yet we are also male and female.  We are ONTOLOGICALLY the same in our relationship to God, but God has given us different roles and vocations as male and female in His creation.  These two facts are not in opposition to each other.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Tom Eckstein on June 15, 2021, 09:58:20 AM


Marie, I’m at a loss to discover where you think I disagree with you on any of this other than your last sentence, which is a false alternative. I don’t think it is at all fair to describe the LCMS position as though somehow woman were some level of creature between human and animal. Even the must arch-conservative advocate of patriarchy would not describe their views that way. The immutable order of creation is that men are men and women are women, and nobody is neither or both. To be human is to be either male or female, and they aren’t the same thing. 

Peter,

The so called "false alternative" appears in CPH publications that have  passed  the LCMS doctrinal review. (I have previously called attention to them.)  The critical issue is how "the order of creation" as a chain of being and/or a chain of command appears in LCMS writings including CTCR reports, Bible Studies, CPH books and Study Bibles. 

Previously you wrote," There simply is no way to understand humanity as created or salvation history as revealed without acknowledging the sharp distinction between male and female that is not part of the fall but part of the original creation and redeemed in the New Creation."

Perhaps I do not understand what is meant by "the sharp distinction between male and female that originates in Genesis two.What is the "sharp distinction" in question?  Does it refer to a distinction in being? in purpose? in the relationship between man and woman? a difference in authority?
 
We agree that humans are distinct as male and female.  We agree that Genesis 1-5 reveals God's will that Man, male and female, made in the image of God, were created as God's representatives on earth, stewards of God's creation and procreators of humans who would know and be known to God as Adam and Eve knew and were known to God.  IOW, the relationship between God and humans was to be an intimate relationship of unlike to unlike, Creator/creature, and like to like, God and human being good.   I think we agree that neither male or female could accomplish God's will for creation without the other.

We also agree that God created man and woman in different ways.  The man was created first. The woman was created from the man flesh of his flesh and bone of his bone.  The woman was created for the man who could not accomplish God's will for humanity alone.  He needed a "helper," a counterpart that would be like him, yet unlike him. 

Where we begin to differ is in the following... "The point is simply that recognizing the distinction between male and female and recognizing that God made them different and in some ways with different, complementary purposes in no way means God doesn't relate to men and women equally according to His nature as God."   

First - I bag the terms "equal" or "equality." I do not think it's a biblical term used in reference to man and woman. 

The presenting issue is how the different manner in which God created man and woman reveal that they have "different complementary purposes?"  What are the two different complementary purposes for which God created man and woman?  Where do they apply? in the home? in the Church? in society. If they belong to a pre-Fall deep distinction that belongs to being male and female, then the different purposes have to apply in society.

Whether in the home, the Church or society, man and woman are who they are.  The pre-Fall order of creation distinction has to apply when and wherever they are.. that is to say it belongs to their being.  It is simply not possible to state that the deep created distinction does not apply beyond the home and church.

Thus, my question remains, "What is the deep created distinction revealed as God's will in different manner God created man and woman?" How are we to live out the deep created distinction in the home? the Church? society?

Marie



 

Marie, you write:  "If they belong to a pre-Fall deep distinction that belongs to being male and female, then the different purposes have to apply in society."  My response:  "Why do you draw that conclusion?"

First of all, you can't equate the purpose of government/society in a fallen world with what government/society may have been like if the fall had never occured.

Second, the rest of Scripture is clear that God has specific roles for male and female in the Church and home but doesn't stress these same roles for government/society in this fallen world.  The relationship between a Christian husband and wife is connected to how Christ relates to His Bride, the Church.  But various vocations in the left-hand kingdom have nothing to do with this.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: peter_speckhard on June 15, 2021, 10:19:48 AM


Marie, I’m at a loss to discover where you think I disagree with you on any of this other than your last sentence, which is a false alternative. I don’t think it is at all fair to describe the LCMS position as though somehow woman were some level of creature between human and animal. Even the must arch-conservative advocate of patriarchy would not describe their views that way. The immutable order of creation is that men are men and women are women, and nobody is neither or both. To be human is to be either male or female, and they aren’t the same thing. 

Peter,

The so called "false alternative" appears in CPH publications that have  passed  the LCMS doctrinal review. (I have previously called attention to them.)  The critical issue is how "the order of creation" as a chain of being and/or a chain of command appears in LCMS writings including CTCR reports, Bible Studies, CPH books and Study Bibles. 

Previously you wrote," There simply is no way to understand humanity as created or salvation history as revealed without acknowledging the sharp distinction between male and female that is not part of the fall but part of the original creation and redeemed in the New Creation."

Perhaps I do not understand what is meant by "the sharp distinction between male and female that originates in Genesis two.What is the "sharp distinction" in question?  Does it refer to a distinction in being? in purpose? in the relationship between man and woman? a difference in authority?
 
We agree that humans are distinct as male and female.  We agree that Genesis 1-5 reveals God's will that Man, male and female, made in the image of God, were created as God's representatives on earth, stewards of God's creation and procreators of humans who would know and be known to God as Adam and Eve knew and were known to God.  IOW, the relationship between God and humans was to be an intimate relationship of unlike to unlike, Creator/creature, and like to like, God and human being good.   I think we agree that neither male or female could accomplish God's will for creation without the other.

We also agree that God created man and woman in different ways.  The man was created first. The woman was created from the man flesh of his flesh and bone of his bone.  The woman was created for the man who could not accomplish God's will for humanity alone.  He needed a "helper," a counterpart that would be like him, yet unlike him. 

Where we begin to differ is in the following... "The point is simply that recognizing the distinction between male and female and recognizing that God made them different and in some ways with different, complementary purposes in no way means God doesn't relate to men and women equally according to His nature as God."   

First - I bag the terms "equal" or "equality." I do not think it's a biblical term used in reference to man and woman. 

The presenting issue is how the different manner in which God created man and woman reveal that they have "different complementary purposes?"  What are the two different complementary purposes for which God created man and woman?  Where do they apply? in the home? in the Church? in society.  If they belong to a pre-Fall deep distinction that belongs to being male and female, then the different purposes have to apply in society.

Whether in the home, the Church or society, man and woman are who they are.  The pre-Fall order of creation distinction has to apply when and wherever they are.. that is to say it belongs to their being.  It is simply not possible to state that the deep created distinction does not apply beyond the home and church.

Thus, my question remains, "What is the deep created distinction revealed as God's will in different manner God created man and woman?" How are we to live out the deep created distinction in the home? the Church? society?

Marie

The specific answers to specific questions require us to "let God be God" as you say. In other words, we don't answer them with natural reason but with revelation. We know from Scripture that in the home the husband is the head of the wife. We know from Scripture that women are not to exercise authority over men in the church. We can argue about translations and applications, but we at least we're letting God be God by saying that we need to look to His revelation to discover His will for us. We lack any similar verses to apply to the realm of society generally, which makes for different takes when it comes to Christians living in places with different governmental and societal relationships to Christianity or any particular church. It is going strictly by philosophical, human reasoning to extrapolate from an ontological position the idea that we must live out our faith distinctly also in society if we do in church and home. As a wife, you let God be your God in part by submitting to your husband. As a laymember of a church, you let God be God in part by letting Him speak to you through the Word and Sacraments as presented by your pastor. As a Christian woman in society, you let God be God by loving your neighbor however the opportunity presents itself. I don't know what else Scripture says about it.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: mariemeyer on June 15, 2021, 08:13:41 PM
Peter writes, "There simply is no way to understand humanity as created or salvation history as revealed without acknowledging the sharp distinction between male and female that is not part of the fall but part of the original creation and redeemed in the New Creation."


So how is the pre-fall "sharp distinction" of man and woman played out in the Church... in the home...in society?

As I understand the NT, the oneness of man and woman who are ONE Holy Body of Christ, is the work of God the Holy Spirit.  Due to the Living Presence of God the Holy Spirit working through the Means of Grace, man and woman who are the Church are now of one mind, heart, spirit and will.... the mind, heart, spirit and will of Christ, Head of the Church. 

Through Baptism, they are branches grafted to the same vine...IOW, the inner life of Christ is now a living reality in man and woman.  Both the Christian man and the Christian woman are changed from within even as they remain distinctly male or female. Rather than being directed inward toward self, including their distinct sexuality, both are directed to know God as revealed in Christ. 

According to Luther, a true biblical theology of creation, including the creation of man and woman, begins not with the creature, but the Creator. From a Lutheran perspective, it is crucial that we begin with the grace and freedom of God at creation. We, neither man nor woman, can understand or know the will of our good and gracious Creator apart from God's revelation of God in the Incarnate Son of God born of the virgin Mary.

If we try to understand God's work of creation in Genesis one and two apart from God revealed in Christ, we end with an understanding of creation that originates in natural reason.  The key to understanding God's work of creating Man, male and female, God's presence and promises to the people of Israel and God's presence in the birth, life, death and resurrection of the Son of Man and the Son of God.

Mary, the Mother of God the Son incarnate as the Son of Man, "got it."  What God accomplished in and through her through for the world is a work as significant as the creation of woman from a man ...if not more so.  Adam was asleep when God created woman from Adam for Adam.

Mary carried the Son of God in her womb for 9 months, she suffered the pain of giving birth to the Son of God become the Son of Man and then nursed him from her breasts.  Yet Mary did not  consider what God accomplished from her for the sake of the world as anything that set her above or apart from any milk maid... 

In the Magnificat Luther states that Mary, by her words and the example of her experience, teaches us how to know God....if we would but listen to her.  What might Mary teach us, man and woman, about God's work of creating woman from man?  Is it about the nature of God in relation to man and woman... or about an immtuable order of creation structure order of being structure of God, man, woman, animals?

Marie Meyer

Marie, you said:  "...or about an immtuable order of creation structure order of being structure of God, man, woman, animals?"

I'm not sure where you get the idea the LCMS - now or ever - suggest that women are of a different ONTOLOGICAL category than men.  As Peter as stressed to you numerous times, men and woman are both human beings created in God's image and yet we are also male and female.  We are ONTOLOGICALLY the same in our relationship to God, but God has given us different roles and vocations as male and female in His creation.  These two facts are not in opposition to each other.
Pastor Eckstein:

Suggest you read the CPH book LadyLike Living Biblically.  It passed doctrinal review, was recommended by President Harrison and Professor Peter Scaer.

Human is a category of being...male or female is not.  Human males and human females belong to the same category of being, human.  They are different in several ways, most certainly in that men are fathers, not mothers.  They most certainly are not spiritually different.

It's been 60 years since I took a few philosophy classes, but we seem to be operating with a different understanding of ontology.  I do not understand the Bible to say anything about "roles." I believe that man and woman were both created for the same purpose,  to give God glory, to be God's stewards in creation, to be God representatives on earth and above all, to know and be known to God.

marie   I
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: peter_speckhard on June 15, 2021, 08:35:43 PM
Peter writes, "There simply is no way to understand humanity as created or salvation history as revealed without acknowledging the sharp distinction between male and female that is not part of the fall but part of the original creation and redeemed in the New Creation."


So how is the pre-fall "sharp distinction" of man and woman played out in the Church... in the home...in society?

As I understand the NT, the oneness of man and woman who are ONE Holy Body of Christ, is the work of God the Holy Spirit.  Due to the Living Presence of God the Holy Spirit working through the Means of Grace, man and woman who are the Church are now of one mind, heart, spirit and will.... the mind, heart, spirit and will of Christ, Head of the Church. 

Through Baptism, they are branches grafted to the same vine...IOW, the inner life of Christ is now a living reality in man and woman.  Both the Christian man and the Christian woman are changed from within even as they remain distinctly male or female. Rather than being directed inward toward self, including their distinct sexuality, both are directed to know God as revealed in Christ. 

According to Luther, a true biblical theology of creation, including the creation of man and woman, begins not with the creature, but the Creator. From a Lutheran perspective, it is crucial that we begin with the grace and freedom of God at creation. We, neither man nor woman, can understand or know the will of our good and gracious Creator apart from God's revelation of God in the Incarnate Son of God born of the virgin Mary.

If we try to understand God's work of creation in Genesis one and two apart from God revealed in Christ, we end with an understanding of creation that originates in natural reason.  The key to understanding God's work of creating Man, male and female, God's presence and promises to the people of Israel and God's presence in the birth, life, death and resurrection of the Son of Man and the Son of God.

Mary, the Mother of God the Son incarnate as the Son of Man, "got it."  What God accomplished in and through her through for the world is a work as significant as the creation of woman from a man ...if not more so.  Adam was asleep when God created woman from Adam for Adam.

Mary carried the Son of God in her womb for 9 months, she suffered the pain of giving birth to the Son of God become the Son of Man and then nursed him from her breasts.  Yet Mary did not  consider what God accomplished from her for the sake of the world as anything that set her above or apart from any milk maid... 

In the Magnificat Luther states that Mary, by her words and the example of her experience, teaches us how to know God....if we would but listen to her.  What might Mary teach us, man and woman, about God's work of creating woman from man?  Is it about the nature of God in relation to man and woman... or about an immtuable order of creation structure order of being structure of God, man, woman, animals?

Marie Meyer

Marie, you said:  "...or about an immtuable order of creation structure order of being structure of God, man, woman, animals?"

I'm not sure where you get the idea the LCMS - now or ever - suggest that women are of a different ONTOLOGICAL category than men.  As Peter as stressed to you numerous times, men and woman are both human beings created in God's image and yet we are also male and female.  We are ONTOLOGICALLY the same in our relationship to God, but God has given us different roles and vocations as male and female in His creation.  These two facts are not in opposition to each other.
Pastor Eckstein:

Suggest you read the CPH book LadyLike Living Biblically.  It passed doctrinal review, was recommended by President Harrison and Professor Peter Scaer.

Human is a category of being...male or female is not.  Human males and human females belong to the same category of being, human.  They are different in several ways, most certainly in that men are fathers, not mothers.  They most certainly are not spiritually different.

It's been 60 years since I took a few philosophy classes, but we seem to be operating with a different understanding of ontology.  I do not understand the Bible to say anything about "roles." I believe that man and woman were both created for the same purpose,  to give God glory, to be God's stewards in creation, to be God representatives on earth and above all, to know and be known to God.

marie   I
Nobody would disagree that both men and women were created to glorify God as His representatives and stewards, and to know and be known by Him. The question is whether there is any distinction in how they best do those things. Every vocation is a call to glorify God somehow, and generally to serve the neighbor somehow. Does God call only men or only women to glorify Him and serve the neighbor in this or that specific way? Yes.

I think Ladylike is simply a celebration of the traditional femininity that so much of feminism denigrates as insufficiently masculine. The questions you’re asking of the book don’t address the purpose of the book. The authors are trying to defang the monster of being told to submit to your husband by showing how living with that Biblical idea (among others) is rewarding, fulfilling, and potentially playful and fun, not the stuff of the Handmaid’s Tale.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Tom Eckstein on June 15, 2021, 11:08:49 PM
Peter writes, "There simply is no way to understand humanity as created or salvation history as revealed without acknowledging the sharp distinction between male and female that is not part of the fall but part of the original creation and redeemed in the New Creation."


So how is the pre-fall "sharp distinction" of man and woman played out in the Church... in the home...in society?

As I understand the NT, the oneness of man and woman who are ONE Holy Body of Christ, is the work of God the Holy Spirit.  Due to the Living Presence of God the Holy Spirit working through the Means of Grace, man and woman who are the Church are now of one mind, heart, spirit and will.... the mind, heart, spirit and will of Christ, Head of the Church. 

Through Baptism, they are branches grafted to the same vine...IOW, the inner life of Christ is now a living reality in man and woman.  Both the Christian man and the Christian woman are changed from within even as they remain distinctly male or female. Rather than being directed inward toward self, including their distinct sexuality, both are directed to know God as revealed in Christ. 

According to Luther, a true biblical theology of creation, including the creation of man and woman, begins not with the creature, but the Creator. From a Lutheran perspective, it is crucial that we begin with the grace and freedom of God at creation. We, neither man nor woman, can understand or know the will of our good and gracious Creator apart from God's revelation of God in the Incarnate Son of God born of the virgin Mary.

If we try to understand God's work of creation in Genesis one and two apart from God revealed in Christ, we end with an understanding of creation that originates in natural reason.  The key to understanding God's work of creating Man, male and female, God's presence and promises to the people of Israel and God's presence in the birth, life, death and resurrection of the Son of Man and the Son of God.

Mary, the Mother of God the Son incarnate as the Son of Man, "got it."  What God accomplished in and through her through for the world is a work as significant as the creation of woman from a man ...if not more so.  Adam was asleep when God created woman from Adam for Adam.

Mary carried the Son of God in her womb for 9 months, she suffered the pain of giving birth to the Son of God become the Son of Man and then nursed him from her breasts.  Yet Mary did not  consider what God accomplished from her for the sake of the world as anything that set her above or apart from any milk maid... 

In the Magnificat Luther states that Mary, by her words and the example of her experience, teaches us how to know God....if we would but listen to her.  What might Mary teach us, man and woman, about God's work of creating woman from man?  Is it about the nature of God in relation to man and woman... or about an immtuable order of creation structure order of being structure of God, man, woman, animals?

Marie Meyer

Marie, you said:  "...or about an immtuable order of creation structure order of being structure of God, man, woman, animals?"

I'm not sure where you get the idea the LCMS - now or ever - suggest that women are of a different ONTOLOGICAL category than men.  As Peter as stressed to you numerous times, men and woman are both human beings created in God's image and yet we are also male and female.  We are ONTOLOGICALLY the same in our relationship to God, but God has given us different roles and vocations as male and female in His creation.  These two facts are not in opposition to each other.
Pastor Eckstein:

Suggest you read the CPH book LadyLike Living Biblically.  It passed doctrinal review, was recommended by President Harrison and Professor Peter Scaer.

Human is a category of being...male or female is not.  Human males and human females belong to the same category of being, human.  They are different in several ways, most certainly in that men are fathers, not mothers.  They most certainly are not spiritually different.

It's been 60 years since I took a few philosophy classes, but we seem to be operating with a different understanding of ontology.  I do not understand the Bible to say anything about "roles." I believe that man and woman were both created for the same purpose,  to give God glory, to be God's stewards in creation, to be God representatives on earth and above all, to know and be known to God.

marie   I

Marie, I'm aware of the book and I honestly don't see how you think it suggests that the LCMS is suggesting that women are somehow ONTOLOGICALLY different than men.  The book rejoices in the the different FUNCTIONS or VOCATIONS (if you don't like the word "roles") that Scripture clearly attributes to men and women, respectfually.  Yet the book nowhere suggests that men and women are not equal as human beings before God.  I get the feeling you are trying to find error where it simply doesn't exist!
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Tom Eckstein on June 15, 2021, 11:11:26 PM
Peter writes, "There simply is no way to understand humanity as created or salvation history as revealed without acknowledging the sharp distinction between male and female that is not part of the fall but part of the original creation and redeemed in the New Creation."


So how is the pre-fall "sharp distinction" of man and woman played out in the Church... in the home...in society?

As I understand the NT, the oneness of man and woman who are ONE Holy Body of Christ, is the work of God the Holy Spirit.  Due to the Living Presence of God the Holy Spirit working through the Means of Grace, man and woman who are the Church are now of one mind, heart, spirit and will.... the mind, heart, spirit and will of Christ, Head of the Church. 

Through Baptism, they are branches grafted to the same vine...IOW, the inner life of Christ is now a living reality in man and woman.  Both the Christian man and the Christian woman are changed from within even as they remain distinctly male or female. Rather than being directed inward toward self, including their distinct sexuality, both are directed to know God as revealed in Christ. 

According to Luther, a true biblical theology of creation, including the creation of man and woman, begins not with the creature, but the Creator. From a Lutheran perspective, it is crucial that we begin with the grace and freedom of God at creation. We, neither man nor woman, can understand or know the will of our good and gracious Creator apart from God's revelation of God in the Incarnate Son of God born of the virgin Mary.

If we try to understand God's work of creation in Genesis one and two apart from God revealed in Christ, we end with an understanding of creation that originates in natural reason.  The key to understanding God's work of creating Man, male and female, God's presence and promises to the people of Israel and God's presence in the birth, life, death and resurrection of the Son of Man and the Son of God.

Mary, the Mother of God the Son incarnate as the Son of Man, "got it."  What God accomplished in and through her through for the world is a work as significant as the creation of woman from a man ...if not more so.  Adam was asleep when God created woman from Adam for Adam.

Mary carried the Son of God in her womb for 9 months, she suffered the pain of giving birth to the Son of God become the Son of Man and then nursed him from her breasts.  Yet Mary did not  consider what God accomplished from her for the sake of the world as anything that set her above or apart from any milk maid... 

In the Magnificat Luther states that Mary, by her words and the example of her experience, teaches us how to know God....if we would but listen to her.  What might Mary teach us, man and woman, about God's work of creating woman from man?  Is it about the nature of God in relation to man and woman... or about an immtuable order of creation structure order of being structure of God, man, woman, animals?

Marie Meyer

Marie, you said:  "...or about an immtuable order of creation structure order of being structure of God, man, woman, animals?"

I'm not sure where you get the idea the LCMS - now or ever - suggest that women are of a different ONTOLOGICAL category than men.  As Peter as stressed to you numerous times, men and woman are both human beings created in God's image and yet we are also male and female.  We are ONTOLOGICALLY the same in our relationship to God, but God has given us different roles and vocations as male and female in His creation.  These two facts are not in opposition to each other.
Pastor Eckstein:

Suggest you read the CPH book LadyLike Living Biblically.  It passed doctrinal review, was recommended by President Harrison and Professor Peter Scaer.

Human is a category of being...male or female is not.  Human males and human females belong to the same category of being, human.  They are different in several ways, most certainly in that men are fathers, not mothers.  They most certainly are not spiritually different.

It's been 60 years since I took a few philosophy classes, but we seem to be operating with a different understanding of ontology.  I do not understand the Bible to say anything about "roles." I believe that man and woman were both created for the same purpose,  to give God glory, to be God's stewards in creation, to be God representatives on earth and above all, to know and be known to God.

marie   I

By the way, you say "Human is a category of being...male or female is not.  Human males and human females belong to the same category of being, human.  They are different in several ways, most certainly in that men are fathers, not mothers.  They most certainly are not spiritually different."  I agree with this 100%.  So, I'm not sure what your concern is.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Rebekah Curtis on June 15, 2021, 11:31:39 PM
https://themasculinist.com/the-masculinist-51-if-youre-debating-substance-youve-already-lost/
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: peter_speckhard on June 15, 2021, 11:36:35 PM
As with the TLSB study note, I think treating the word “being” as an ontological statement presses it into service beyond what anyone intended. Clearly male and female are categories. The first and typical female was Eve. Adam saw her and recognized her as a new category of… creature? Thing? All the note was getting at is that Adam recognized Eve as different from himself and that the difference was/would not be limited to them as individuals but as categories. She wasn’t just a different person, she was in a different category, a different kind of person. Mankind, not just the two of them in the garden, is male and female per God’s design. To make the word “being” in the note refer to an ontological statement that somehow denies Adam and Eve are both in same category as humans is not only to read into the wording way too far but also to assume the authors of the notes were quite foolish. Same with Ladylike. Let the book serve the particular purpose it was written for. It wasn’t written to be a Pieper-esque anthropological study. It was a popular defense of traditional feminine self-understanding and practical attitudes and behaviors against feminist criticisms.

Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 16, 2021, 12:55:03 AM
As with the TLSB study note, I think treating the word “being” as an ontological statement presses it into service beyond what anyone intended. Clearly male and female are categories. The first and typical female was Eve. Adam saw her and recognized her as a new category of… creature? Thing? All the note was getting at is that Adam recognized Eve as different from himself and that the difference was/would not be limited to them as individuals but as categories. She wasn’t just a different person, she was in a different category, a different kind of person. Mankind, not just the two of them in the garden, is male and female per God’s design. To make the word “being” in the note refer to an ontological statement that somehow denies Adam and Eve are both in same category as humans is not only to read into the wording way too far but also to assume the authors of the notes were quite foolish. Same with Ladylike. Let the book serve the particular purpose it was written for. It wasn’t written to be a Pieper-esque anthropological study. It was a popular defense of traditional feminine self-understanding and practical attitudes and behaviors against feminist criticisms.


Remember in the Genesis 2 story, Eve shows up after God had presented all the animals to Adam. They were the creatures who were different - not fit for him. The attraction of Eve is that she was like Adam in nearly all aspects. Certainly much more like Adam than all the other animals God presented to him. Adam's words about Eve are not, "She's so different than me," but "she's the same. Bone from my bone, flesh from my flesh."
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: peter_speckhard on June 16, 2021, 09:15:58 AM
As with the TLSB study note, I think treating the word “being” as an ontological statement presses it into service beyond what anyone intended. Clearly male and female are categories. The first and typical female was Eve. Adam saw her and recognized her as a new category of… creature? Thing? All the note was getting at is that Adam recognized Eve as different from himself and that the difference was/would not be limited to them as individuals but as categories. She wasn’t just a different person, she was in a different category, a different kind of person. Mankind, not just the two of them in the garden, is male and female per God’s design. To make the word “being” in the note refer to an ontological statement that somehow denies Adam and Eve are both in same category as humans is not only to read into the wording way too far but also to assume the authors of the notes were quite foolish. Same with Ladylike. Let the book serve the particular purpose it was written for. It wasn’t written to be a Pieper-esque anthropological study. It was a popular defense of traditional feminine self-understanding and practical attitudes and behaviors against feminist criticisms.


Remember in the Genesis 2 story, Eve shows up after God had presented all the animals to Adam. They were the creatures who were different - not fit for him. The attraction of Eve is that she was like Adam in nearly all aspects. Certainly much more like Adam than all the other animals God presented to him. Adam's words about Eve are not, "She's so different than me," but "she's the same. Bone from my bone, flesh from my flesh."
I know. Like Adam, she was human. Unlike Adam, she was female. There was a new category of thing in the world requiring a name. The objection seems to be calling this new category of thing a new category of being. I think the authors of the note intended the word "being" to be a simple noun. Here is a new category of thing/being/creature that is also uniquely new in being both the same and different from Adam just like men and women generally are the same and different. Marie seems to be taking the word "being" at a more more philosophical level as though the authors of the note were declaring that men and women are not both ontologically human, which, we all agree, would have disastrous results for soteriology and other doctrinal disciplines.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 16, 2021, 11:17:35 AM
As with the TLSB study note, I think treating the word “being” as an ontological statement presses it into service beyond what anyone intended. Clearly male and female are categories. The first and typical female was Eve. Adam saw her and recognized her as a new category of… creature? Thing? All the note was getting at is that Adam recognized Eve as different from himself and that the difference was/would not be limited to them as individuals but as categories. She wasn’t just a different person, she was in a different category, a different kind of person. Mankind, not just the two of them in the garden, is male and female per God’s design. To make the word “being” in the note refer to an ontological statement that somehow denies Adam and Eve are both in same category as humans is not only to read into the wording way too far but also to assume the authors of the notes were quite foolish. Same with Ladylike. Let the book serve the particular purpose it was written for. It wasn’t written to be a Pieper-esque anthropological study. It was a popular defense of traditional feminine self-understanding and practical attitudes and behaviors against feminist criticisms.


Remember in the Genesis 2 story, Eve shows up after God had presented all the animals to Adam. They were the creatures who were different - not fit for him. The attraction of Eve is that she was like Adam in nearly all aspects. Certainly much more like Adam than all the other animals God presented to him. Adam's words about Eve are not, "She's so different than me," but "she's the same. Bone from my bone, flesh from my flesh."
I know. Like Adam, she was human. Unlike Adam, she was female. There was a new category of thing in the world requiring a name. The objection seems to be calling this new category of thing a new category of being. I think the authors of the note intended the word "being" to be a simple noun. Here is a new category of thing/being/creature that is also uniquely new in being both the same and different from Adam just like men and women generally are the same and different. Marie seems to be taking the word "being" at a more more philosophical level as though the authors of the note were declaring that men and women are not both ontologically human, which, we all agree, would have disastrous results for soteriology and other doctrinal disciplines.


Being female was not new. That category was present among animals and plants. What made this creature a fitting helper to Adam was not her femaleness (which was present among the animals,) but that she was human like him.


Actually, the word "female" (Heb. נְקֵבָה) doesn't occur in Genesis 2, 3, or 4. It's in Genesis 1:27, then not again until 5:2, then 6:19 of the animals in the Ark. While infrequent, even אִשָּׁה ('ishshah) is used of female animals (Genesis 7:2).
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on June 16, 2021, 11:35:20 AM
As with the TLSB study note, I think treating the word “being” as an ontological statement presses it into service beyond what anyone intended. Clearly male and female are categories. The first and typical female was Eve. Adam saw her and recognized her as a new category of… creature? Thing? All the note was getting at is that Adam recognized Eve as different from himself and that the difference was/would not be limited to them as individuals but as categories. She wasn’t just a different person, she was in a different category, a different kind of person. Mankind, not just the two of them in the garden, is male and female per God’s design. To make the word “being” in the note refer to an ontological statement that somehow denies Adam and Eve are both in same category as humans is not only to read into the wording way too far but also to assume the authors of the notes were quite foolish. Same with Ladylike. Let the book serve the particular purpose it was written for. It wasn’t written to be a Pieper-esque anthropological study. It was a popular defense of traditional feminine self-understanding and practical attitudes and behaviors against feminist criticisms.

Remember in the Genesis 2 story, Eve shows up after God had presented all the animals to Adam. They were the creatures who were different - not fit for him. The attraction of Eve is that she was like Adam in nearly all aspects. Certainly much more like Adam than all the other animals God presented to him. Adam's words about Eve are not, "She's so different than me," but "she's the same. Bone from my bone, flesh from my flesh."
I know. Like Adam, she was human. Unlike Adam, she was female. There was a new category of thing in the world requiring a name. The objection seems to be calling this new category of thing a new category of being. I think the authors of the note intended the word "being" to be a simple noun. Here is a new category of thing/being/creature that is also uniquely new in being both the same and different from Adam just like men and women generally are the same and different. Marie seems to be taking the word "being" at a more more philosophical level as though the authors of the note were declaring that men and women are not both ontologically human, which, we all agree, would have disastrous results for soteriology and other doctrinal disciplines.

Being female was not new. That category was present among animals and plants. What made this creature a fitting helper to Adam was not her femaleness (which was present among the animals,) but that she was human like him.

No one is suggesting, as you imply, that a woman is no different from a cow. The new category is woman.

God could have simply cloned Adam as a helper for him. He didn't. He created woman. Thanks be to God!
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 16, 2021, 11:53:54 AM
As with the TLSB study note, I think treating the word “being” as an ontological statement presses it into service beyond what anyone intended. Clearly male and female are categories. The first and typical female was Eve. Adam saw her and recognized her as a new category of… creature? Thing? All the note was getting at is that Adam recognized Eve as different from himself and that the difference was/would not be limited to them as individuals but as categories. She wasn’t just a different person, she was in a different category, a different kind of person. Mankind, not just the two of them in the garden, is male and female per God’s design. To make the word “being” in the note refer to an ontological statement that somehow denies Adam and Eve are both in same category as humans is not only to read into the wording way too far but also to assume the authors of the notes were quite foolish. Same with Ladylike. Let the book serve the particular purpose it was written for. It wasn’t written to be a Pieper-esque anthropological study. It was a popular defense of traditional feminine self-understanding and practical attitudes and behaviors against feminist criticisms.

Remember in the Genesis 2 story, Eve shows up after God had presented all the animals to Adam. They were the creatures who were different - not fit for him. The attraction of Eve is that she was like Adam in nearly all aspects. Certainly much more like Adam than all the other animals God presented to him. Adam's words about Eve are not, "She's so different than me," but "she's the same. Bone from my bone, flesh from my flesh."
I know. Like Adam, she was human. Unlike Adam, she was female. There was a new category of thing in the world requiring a name. The objection seems to be calling this new category of thing a new category of being. I think the authors of the note intended the word "being" to be a simple noun. Here is a new category of thing/being/creature that is also uniquely new in being both the same and different from Adam just like men and women generally are the same and different. Marie seems to be taking the word "being" at a more more philosophical level as though the authors of the note were declaring that men and women are not both ontologically human, which, we all agree, would have disastrous results for soteriology and other doctrinal disciplines.

Being female was not new. That category was present among animals and plants. What made this creature a fitting helper to Adam was not her femaleness (which was present among the animals,) but that she was human like him.

No one is suggesting, as you imply, that a woman is no different from a cow. The new category is woman.

God could have simply cloned Adam as a helper for him. He didn't. He created woman. Thanks be to God!


Before the woman, God formed all the animals to see if they would be perfect helpers for the human.


Then the LORD God said, "It's not good that the human is alone. I will make him a helper that is perfect for him." So the LORD God formed from the fertile land all the wild animals and all the birds of the sky and brought them to the human to see what he would name them. The human gave each living being its name. The human named all the livestock, all the birds in the sky, and all the wild animals. But a helper perfect for him was nowhere to be found. (Genesis 2:18-20, CEB)


What was different about this last creature was not that she was female, but that she was human like the man.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Rev. Edward Engelbrecht on June 16, 2021, 12:00:20 PM
Marie, I think Tom, Peter, and Don are correctly describing the writer's intention in this case. A philosophical ontology was not in my mind as editor. As I've noted, I had not experienced this use of the term in this category of doctrine before seeing it on ALPB. It appears to be a Roman Catholic use, although someone cited Aulen saying something similar, perhaps because of views about apostolic succession that he shares with Roman Catholics.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on June 16, 2021, 12:07:14 PM
As with the TLSB study note, I think treating the word “being” as an ontological statement presses it into service beyond what anyone intended. Clearly male and female are categories. The first and typical female was Eve. Adam saw her and recognized her as a new category of… creature? Thing? All the note was getting at is that Adam recognized Eve as different from himself and that the difference was/would not be limited to them as individuals but as categories. She wasn’t just a different person, she was in a different category, a different kind of person. Mankind, not just the two of them in the garden, is male and female per God’s design. To make the word “being” in the note refer to an ontological statement that somehow denies Adam and Eve are both in same category as humans is not only to read into the wording way too far but also to assume the authors of the notes were quite foolish. Same with Ladylike. Let the book serve the particular purpose it was written for. It wasn’t written to be a Pieper-esque anthropological study. It was a popular defense of traditional feminine self-understanding and practical attitudes and behaviors against feminist criticisms.

Remember in the Genesis 2 story, Eve shows up after God had presented all the animals to Adam. They were the creatures who were different - not fit for him. The attraction of Eve is that she was like Adam in nearly all aspects. Certainly much more like Adam than all the other animals God presented to him. Adam's words about Eve are not, "She's so different than me," but "she's the same. Bone from my bone, flesh from my flesh."
I know. Like Adam, she was human. Unlike Adam, she was female. There was a new category of thing in the world requiring a name. The objection seems to be calling this new category of thing a new category of being. I think the authors of the note intended the word "being" to be a simple noun. Here is a new category of thing/being/creature that is also uniquely new in being both the same and different from Adam just like men and women generally are the same and different. Marie seems to be taking the word "being" at a more more philosophical level as though the authors of the note were declaring that men and women are not both ontologically human, which, we all agree, would have disastrous results for soteriology and other doctrinal disciplines.

Being female was not new. That category was present among animals and plants. What made this creature a fitting helper to Adam was not her femaleness (which was present among the animals,) but that she was human like him.

No one is suggesting, as you imply, that a woman is no different from a cow. The new category is woman.

God could have simply cloned Adam as a helper for him. He didn't. He created woman. Thanks be to God!


Before the woman, God formed all the animals to see if they would be perfect helpers for the human.


Then the LORD God said, "It's not good that the human is alone. I will make him a helper that is perfect for him." So the LORD God formed from the fertile land all the wild animals and all the birds of the sky and brought them to the human to see what he would name them. The human gave each living being its name. The human named all the livestock, all the birds in the sky, and all the wild animals. But a helper perfect for him was nowhere to be found. (Genesis 2:18-20, CEB)

What was different about this last creature was not that she was female, but that she was human like the man.

What was different was that she was woman, not a clone of Adam.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: peter_speckhard on June 16, 2021, 12:35:50 PM
The first thing God said to mankind was "Be fruitful and multiply." I'm pretty sure the fact that Eve was female was almost just as important as the fact that she was human.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: D. Engebretson on June 16, 2021, 01:03:14 PM
Before the woman, God formed all the animals to see if they would be perfect helpers for the human.

The way this sentence is constructed it means that God formed all the animals with (or for) the purpose of seeing if they would be perfect helpers for the human. If that is your intent, where in the language of Genesis is that supported?
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 17, 2021, 01:52:45 AM
The first thing God said to mankind was "Be fruitful and multiply." I'm pretty sure the fact that Eve was female was almost just as important as the fact that she was human.


But in that account, male and female were created at the same time. As the CEB translates Genesis 1:27


God created humanity in God’s own image,
    in the divine image God created them,[1]
        male and female God created them.

[1] Genesis 1:27: Heb has singular him, referring to humanity.

The same command was given to fish and birds in 1:22. In some fish species; they can change their gender, e.g., the clown fish.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 17, 2021, 02:23:28 AM
Before the woman, God formed all the animals to see if they would be perfect helpers for the human.

The way this sentence is constructed it means that God formed all the animals with (or for) the purpose of seeing if they would be perfect helpers for the human. If that is your intent, where in the language of Genesis is that supported?


After God decided that it wasn't good for the man to be alone and "I will make a helper fit for him.῾ God then forms all the animals and brings them to the man who calls the name of each animal. Then the narrator tells us, "a helper fit for Adam was not found." It sure sounds to me that God was presenting all the animals to Adam so that he might find a helper fit for him. At least in English translations, v. 21 begins with "So," a word that designates a result. (It is a וְ in Hebrew, which is often not translated, or translated with "and," but it can also mean, "so.") So as a result of Adam not finding a proper helper among the animals God presented to him, God puts Adam to sleep to build another human from his side. Adam will also call the name of his wife, "Eve" in 3:20 - the same words used earlier with Adam naming the animals.


(Interestingly, at least to me, in the LXX, it gives her name in verse 20 as Zoe (Ζωή) but else where, e.g., 4:1, she is called Eve (Εὕα).)
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on June 17, 2021, 07:56:35 AM
The same command was given to fish and birds in 1:22. In some fish species; they can change their gender, e.g., the clown fish.

What do social roles have to do with being fruitful and multiplying? Was Eve simply a second man who identified as a woman? If so, how could she be fruitful and multiply?   ::)
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: D. Engebretson on June 17, 2021, 08:51:44 AM
Before the woman, God formed all the animals to see if they would be perfect helpers for the human.

The way this sentence is constructed it means that God formed all the animals with (or for) the purpose of seeing if they would be perfect helpers for the human. If that is your intent, where in the language of Genesis is that supported?


After God decided that it wasn't good for the man to be alone and "I will make a helper fit for him.῾ God then forms all the animals and brings them to the man who calls the name of each animal. Then the narrator tells us, "a helper fit for Adam was not found." It sure sounds to me that God was presenting all the animals to Adam so that he might find a helper fit for him. At least in English translations, v. 21 begins with "So," a word that designates a result. (It is a וְ in Hebrew, which is often not translated, or translated with "and," but it can also mean, "so.") So as a result of Adam not finding a proper helper among the animals God presented to him, God puts Adam to sleep to build another human from his side. Adam will also call the name of his wife, "Eve" in 3:20 - the same words used earlier with Adam naming the animals.


(Interestingly, at least to me, in the LXX, it gives her name in verse 20 as Zoe (Ζωή) but else where, e.g., 4:1, she is called Eve (Εὕα).)

A clarification: Your original sentence implied that the animals were created for the purpose of finding a helper for man.  Your reply shifts to their presentation before Adam and their naming. 
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 17, 2021, 12:22:35 PM
Before the woman, God formed all the animals to see if they would be perfect helpers for the human.

The way this sentence is constructed it means that God formed all the animals with (or for) the purpose of seeing if they would be perfect helpers for the human. If that is your intent, where in the language of Genesis is that supported?


After God decided that it wasn't good for the man to be alone and "I will make a helper fit for him.῾ God then forms all the animals and brings them to the man who calls the name of each animal. Then the narrator tells us, "a helper fit for Adam was not found." It sure sounds to me that God was presenting all the animals to Adam so that he might find a helper fit for him. At least in English translations, v. 21 begins with "So," a word that designates a result. (It is a וְ in Hebrew, which is often not translated, or translated with "and," but it can also mean, "so.") So as a result of Adam not finding a proper helper among the animals God presented to him, God puts Adam to sleep to build another human from his side. Adam will also call the name of his wife, "Eve" in 3:20 - the same words used earlier with Adam naming the animals.


(Interestingly, at least to me, in the LXX, it gives her name in verse 20 as Zoe (Ζωή) but else where, e.g., 4:1, she is called Eve (Εὕα).)

A clarification: Your original sentence implied that the animals were created for the purpose of finding a helper for man.  Your reply shifts to their presentation before Adam and their naming.


Why does the author tell us about the LORD God forming all the animals immediately after telling us that the LORD God said that it's not good for the human (ha`adam) to be alone; I will make a helper fit for him? My answer: it is presented as God's way of providing possible helpers fit for the man. Exactly the same Hebrew grammar is used in v. 19 as in v. 21. In v. 21, the waw consecutive is translated "so." In v. 19 it is translated "now." It could just as easily be translated, "so." That is, as a result of it not being good for the human, God now formed (or had formed earlier and now brings them to the human) all the animals.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Steven W Bohler on June 17, 2021, 01:24:21 PM
Before the woman, God formed all the animals to see if they would be perfect helpers for the human.

The way this sentence is constructed it means that God formed all the animals with (or for) the purpose of seeing if they would be perfect helpers for the human. If that is your intent, where in the language of Genesis is that supported?


After God decided that it wasn't good for the man to be alone and "I will make a helper fit for him.῾ God then forms all the animals and brings them to the man who calls the name of each animal. Then the narrator tells us, "a helper fit for Adam was not found." It sure sounds to me that God was presenting all the animals to Adam so that he might find a helper fit for him. At least in English translations, v. 21 begins with "So," a word that designates a result. (It is a וְ in Hebrew, which is often not translated, or translated with "and," but it can also mean, "so.") So as a result of Adam not finding a proper helper among the animals God presented to him, God puts Adam to sleep to build another human from his side. Adam will also call the name of his wife, "Eve" in 3:20 - the same words used earlier with Adam naming the animals.


(Interestingly, at least to me, in the LXX, it gives her name in verse 20 as Zoe (Ζωή) but else where, e.g., 4:1, she is called Eve (Εὕα).)

A clarification: Your original sentence implied that the animals were created for the purpose of finding a helper for man.  Your reply shifts to their presentation before Adam and their naming.


Why does the author tell us about the LORD God forming all the animals immediately after telling us that the LORD God said that it's not good for the human (ha`adam) to be alone; I will make a helper fit for him? My answer: it is presented as God's way of providing possible helpers fit for the man. Exactly the same Hebrew grammar is used in v. 19 as in v. 21. In v. 21, the waw consecutive is translated "so." In v. 19 it is translated "now." It could just as easily be translated, "so." That is, as a result of it not being good for the human, God now formed (or had formed earlier and now brings them to the human) all the animals.

Are you suggesting that God did not know, even before He created, that the animals would not be suitable helper(s) for Adam?  That the creation of Eve was sort of a Plan B to remedy His failure?
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 17, 2021, 02:16:33 PM
Before the woman, God formed all the animals to see if they would be perfect helpers for the human.

The way this sentence is constructed it means that God formed all the animals with (or for) the purpose of seeing if they would be perfect helpers for the human. If that is your intent, where in the language of Genesis is that supported?


After God decided that it wasn't good for the man to be alone and "I will make a helper fit for him.῾ God then forms all the animals and brings them to the man who calls the name of each animal. Then the narrator tells us, "a helper fit for Adam was not found." It sure sounds to me that God was presenting all the animals to Adam so that he might find a helper fit for him. At least in English translations, v. 21 begins with "So," a word that designates a result. (It is a וְ in Hebrew, which is often not translated, or translated with "and," but it can also mean, "so.") So as a result of Adam not finding a proper helper among the animals God presented to him, God puts Adam to sleep to build another human from his side. Adam will also call the name of his wife, "Eve" in 3:20 - the same words used earlier with Adam naming the animals.


(Interestingly, at least to me, in the LXX, it gives her name in verse 20 as Zoe (Ζωή) but else where, e.g., 4:1, she is called Eve (Εὕα).)

A clarification: Your original sentence implied that the animals were created for the purpose of finding a helper for man.  Your reply shifts to their presentation before Adam and their naming.


Why does the author tell us about the LORD God forming all the animals immediately after telling us that the LORD God said that it's not good for the human (ha`adam) to be alone; I will make a helper fit for him? My answer: it is presented as God's way of providing possible helpers fit for the man. Exactly the same Hebrew grammar is used in v. 19 as in v. 21. In v. 21, the waw consecutive is translated "so." In v. 19 it is translated "now." It could just as easily be translated, "so." That is, as a result of it not being good for the human, God now formed (or had formed earlier and now brings them to the human) all the animals.

Are you suggesting that God did not know, even before He created, that the animals would not be suitable helper(s) for Adam?  That the creation of Eve was sort of a Plan B to remedy His failure?


God knew. In the same way God knew before creation that the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus would be necessary, even though he had given promises to Abraham, the Law to Moses, oracles to prophets. We don't hear anyone saying about the Law on Sinai, "This will never work, so we'll wait for God to create another plan of salvation."


Well, we do have indications that God told the people that kings wouldn't work. The people still wanted them. God gave them. In most cases, they didn't work.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: George Rahn on June 17, 2021, 02:30:34 PM
Before the woman, God formed all the animals to see if they would be perfect helpers for the human.

The way this sentence is constructed it means that God formed all the animals with (or for) the purpose of seeing if they would be perfect helpers for the human. If that is your intent, where in the language of Genesis is that supported?


After God decided that it wasn't good for the man to be alone and "I will make a helper fit for him.῾ God then forms all the animals and brings them to the man who calls the name of each animal. Then the narrator tells us, "a helper fit for Adam was not found." It sure sounds to me that God was presenting all the animals to Adam so that he might find a helper fit for him. At least in English translations, v. 21 begins with "So," a word that designates a result. (It is a וְ in Hebrew, which is often not translated, or translated with "and," but it can also mean, "so.") So as a result of Adam not finding a proper helper among the animals God presented to him, God puts Adam to sleep to build another human from his side. Adam will also call the name of his wife, "Eve" in 3:20 - the same words used earlier with Adam naming the animals.


(Interestingly, at least to me, in the LXX, it gives her name in verse 20 as Zoe (Ζωή) but else where, e.g., 4:1, she is called Eve (Εὕα).)

A clarification: Your original sentence implied that the animals were created for the purpose of finding a helper for man.  Your reply shifts to their presentation before Adam and their naming.


Why does the author tell us about the LORD God forming all the animals immediately after telling us that the LORD God said that it's not good for the human (ha`adam) to be alone; I will make a helper fit for him? My answer: it is presented as God's way of providing possible helpers fit for the man. Exactly the same Hebrew grammar is used in v. 19 as in v. 21. In v. 21, the waw consecutive is translated "so." In v. 19 it is translated "now." It could just as easily be translated, "so." That is, as a result of it not being good for the human, God now formed (or had formed earlier and now brings them to the human) all the animals.

Are you suggesting that God did not know, even before He created, that the animals would not be suitable helper(s) for Adam?  That the creation of Eve was sort of a Plan B to remedy His failure?


God knew. In the same way God knew before creation that the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus would be necessary, even though he had given promises to Abraham, the Law to Moses, oracles to prophets. We don't hear anyone saying about the Law on Sinai, "This will never work, so we'll wait for God to create another plan of salvation."


Well, we do have indications that God told the people that kings wouldn't work. The people still wanted them. God gave them. In most cases, they didn't work.

It is indicative how important it is to God that He has a relationship, and a relationship specifically with His human creatures.  And, at His first preference, not even mediated by kings.  His is a loving relationship from the start and from His side.  Although and from our side sin played THE part in disrupting that relationship until God took on human flesh and blood and died in our place releasing us from our indebtedness to having to make our right and case before God!
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: mariemeyer on June 17, 2021, 05:41:08 PM
Marie, I think Tom, Peter, and Don are correctly describing the writer's intention in this case. A philosophical ontology was not in my mind as editor. As I've noted, I had not experienced this use of the term in this category of doctrine before seeing it on ALPB. It appears to be a Roman Catholic use, although someone cited Aulen saying something similar, perhaps because of views about apostolic succession that he shares with Roman Catholics.

Pr. Engelbrecht, several characteristics of TLSB are perplexing to me.

For example: wives and women are listed as biblical topics. For some reason, neither husbands or men are listed as biblical topics.  How can this be? Are men and woman so different that only women and wives are "topics" addressed in the Bible?

The 65 scholars consulted to write comments on the books of Scripture, introductions to the books and study notes began with the premise that a created difference between man and woman is that  men know the mind and will of God in ways not given to women.  They are designated by God to  teach woman the nature of her being, her purpose and the order of her relationship to men.  Rather than being "topics" in the Bible, men are the ones designated by God  to teach women and wives are "topic" in the Bible. 

Study notes begin with a God ordained "order of creation" that is a functional hierarchy of knowledge. How God created man and woman, man first, woman from the man, woman for the man, man having the authority to name woman all are given as reasons revealing God's will that man be the more responsible "party" in the order of creation.  It's all very rational.   

According to the TLSB man's sin is that he failed to exercise his authority as the head of the human community.  From the beginning, prior to the fall, man's role was to rule over woman.  "The order God established at creation has not been altered by the fall. Together, Adam and Eve will continue to rule over creation (1:28)."   However,   "God also intends that Adam remain God's steward, responsible for cultivating creation (vv, 17,23) and that the husband will remain the head of the family."     That women may now experience "the order of creation" as troublesome and a source of suffering is a direct result of the fall. 

What does this mean??? What about the pre-Fall "order of creation" might now be "troublesome" to woman?

Another confusing dimension of TLSB  is how the Incarnation of God the Son as the true Son of Man, born of the virgin Mary, is dismissed in study notes and comments.  Again the question, "What were the biblical scholars thinking about Mary, mother of God the Son incarnate as the Son of Man, when they stated that she was"confused by his calling," that "she did not agree with his decision to  leave the carpentry trade and live like a rabbi," and that "Jesus down played the suggestion that she was especially blessed because of their earthly calling."

Ironically, readers of the TLSB are directed to Luther's Magnificat Commentary.  I wonder how many of the consultants read where Luther states that Mary, as taught by the Holy Spirit, teaches us how to know God?  Given that the majority of laymen and laywomen have not read Luther on the Magnificat, why was Luther not quoted in TLSB comments on Mary? Why was the uniqueness of her invitation from God to be God's helper in the Incarnation ignored? 

The endless controversy concerns the biblical witness to how God, from the beginning, worked as God in the creation of Man, male and female in the image of God.  I understand a Lutheran theology of creation to beCreatio ex Nihilo.  In the Magnificat Commentary Luther states that the nature of God to "work from nothing"  remained the same in the incarnation of God the Son as the One true Son of Man as at the creation of woman from man.   

Whether at the creation of woman from man or the Incarnation of Jesus the Christ from a woman, God's work originated in and revealed the nature of  God's Divine gracious goodness in the life of man and woman.  Mary, as taught by the Holy Spirit, knew that what God accomplished from her for all the good of all humanity, was all about God.  God's work from her for human did not place her above any milk maid or any shepherd boy.

Marie Meyer
   
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: peter_speckhard on June 18, 2021, 02:54:04 PM
It seems to me somewhat obvious why women are a topic and men aren’t: most of the people named in the Bible are men. It is why there are left-handed stores but not right-handed stores. A right-handed store or a section in the Bible on men would serve no purpose other than to exclude lefties and women. A left handed store and a section of the commentary on women aren’t about exclusion but inclusion.

That God gave certain knowledge to Adam before Eve was formed, meaning Eve got it mediated through Adam, is just what happens in Gen. 2. Today, women and men have access to the same Bible; God doesn’t reveal things to men that He doesn’t also reveal to women.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Dan Fienen on June 18, 2021, 05:54:31 PM
You have your own understanding and interpretation of ordination and pastoral ministry. Your position on women’s ordination and service within pastoral ministry makes sense within that paradigm. Our understanding and paradigm differs from yours in several significant ways. We also have studied this carefully and prayerfully. In our paradigm, women’s ordination does not fit.


So, what are we to make of this? You argue your position, we do ours. I see no reason why we should be obligated a priori to prefer your position over the one we hold. Nor accept without question that our difference here and on other topics should not be church dividing. Seems to me that to enter into altar and pulpit fellowship with our two incompatible practices would be tantamount to giving yours priority. Can you see how that might be objectionable to us?
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Rev. Edward Engelbrecht on June 18, 2021, 06:09:36 PM

Marie, I think Tom, Peter, and Don are correctly describing the writer's intention in this case. A philosophical ontology was not in my mind as editor. As I've noted, I had not experienced this use of the term in this category of doctrine before seeing it on ALPB. It appears to be a Roman Catholic use, although someone cited Aulen saying something similar, perhaps because of views about apostolic succession that he shares with Roman Catholics.

Pr. Engelbrecht, several characteristics of TLSB are perplexing to me.

SORRY YOU ARE PERPLEXED. I'LL RESPOND BRIEFLY IN ALL CAPS TO DISTINGUISH MY ANSWERS.

For example: wives and women are listed as biblical topics. For some reason, neither husbands or men are listed as biblical topics.  How can this be? Are men and woman so different that only women and wives are "topics" addressed in the Bible?

PETER'S POINT ABOVE ADDRESSES THIS MATTER WELL.

The 65 scholars consulted to write comments on the books of Scripture, introductions to the books and study notes began with the premise that a created difference between man and woman is that  men know the mind and will of God in ways not given to women.  They are designated by God to  teach woman the nature of her being, her purpose and the order of her relationship to men.  Rather than being "topics" in the Bible, men are the ones designated by God  to teach women and wives are "topic" in the Bible. 

I DON'T KNOW WHERE YOU'RE GETTING THIS IDEA FROM. I WOULD CERTAINLY NOT AGREE THAT MEN INHERENTLY KNOW MORE ABOUT THE MIND OF GOD THAN WOMEN. I DON'T RECALL THAT EVER BEING AN ASSUMPTION OF THE PROJECT.

Study notes begin with a God ordained "order of creation" that is a functional hierarchy of knowledge. How God created man and woman, man first, woman from the man, woman for the man, man having the authority to name woman all are given as reasons revealing God's will that man be the more responsible "party" in the order of creation.  It's all very rational.   

YOU SEEM TO BE FRUSTRATED BY 1 TIMOTHY 2:13. PERHAPS SHARE HOW YOU WOULD INTERPRET AND APPLY THIS VERSE IN IT'S CONTEXT.

According to the TLSB man's sin is that he failed to exercise his authority as the head of the human community.  From the beginning, prior to the fall, man's role was to rule over woman.  "The order God established at creation has not been altered by the fall. Together, Adam and Eve will continue to rule over creation (1:28)."   However,   "God also intends that Adam remain God's steward, responsible for cultivating creation (vv, 17,23) and that the husband will remain the head of the family."     That women may now experience "the order of creation" as troublesome and a source of suffering is a direct result of the fall. 

What does this mean??? What about the pre-Fall "order of creation" might now be "troublesome" to woman?

YOU ARE PUTTING QUOTATION MARKS AROUND TEXT THAT I AM NOT SEEING IN THE NOTES. IT WOULD BE MORE HELPFUL IF YOUR CITATIONS WERE MORE PRECISE.

Another confusing dimension of TLSB  is how the Incarnation of God the Son as the true Son of Man, born of the virgin Mary, is dismissed in study notes and comments.  Again the question, "What were the biblical scholars thinking about Mary, mother of God the Son incarnate as the Son of Man, when they stated that she was"confused by his calling," that "she did not agree with his decision to  leave the carpentry trade and live like a rabbi," and that "Jesus down played the suggestion that she was especially blessed because of their earthly calling."

I THINK THESE QUESTIONS WERE ADDRESSED EARLIER, PERHAPS IN ANOTHER THREAD.

Ironically, readers of the TLSB are directed to Luther's Magnificat Commentary.  I wonder how many of the consultants read where Luther states that Mary, as taught by the Holy Spirit, teaches us how to know God?  Given that the majority of laymen and laywomen have not read Luther on the Magnificat, why was Luther not quoted in TLSB comments on Mary? Why was the uniqueness of her invitation from God to be God's helper in the Incarnation ignored? 

PLEASE CONSIDER, WHAT OTHER STUDY BIBLE EVEN BOTHERS TO DIRECT YOU TO LUTHER'S COMMENTARY ON THE MAGNIFICAT? THE NOTES IN THE STUDY BIBLE ARE AS LARGE AS ANY FIVE VOLUMES OF THE CONCORDIA COMMENTARY SERIES COMBINED. IT IS ENORMOUS, BUT FOR PRACTICAL REASONS COULD NOT INCLUDE EVERYTHING. VERY FEW STUDY BIBLES GO TO THE TROUBLE OF REFERENCING CHURCH FATHERS AT ALL. YOU MIGHT OFFER THANKS THAT THE AUTHOR IN THIS CASE DECIDED TO INCLUDE REFERENCE TO LUTHER'S COMMENTARY SO THAT OTHERS MIGHT DISCOVER IT.

The endless controversy concerns the biblical witness to how God, from the beginning, worked as God in the creation of Man, male and female in the image of God.  I understand a Lutheran theology of creation to beCreatio ex Nihilo.  In the Magnificat Commentary Luther states that the nature of God to "work from nothing"  remained the same in the incarnation of God the Son as the One true Son of Man as at the creation of woman from man.   

Whether at the creation of woman from man or the Incarnation of Jesus the Christ from a woman, God's work originated in and revealed the nature of  God's Divine gracious goodness in the life of man and woman.  Mary, as taught by the Holy Spirit, knew that what God accomplished from her for all the good of all humanity, was all about God.  God's work from her for human did not place her above any milk maid or any shepherd boy.

Marie Meyer

I ENCOURAGE YOU TO CONTACT THE CURRENT EDITORIAL TEAM AT CONCORDIA PUBLISHING HOUSE WITH YOUR QUESTIONS. THEY ARE NOW THE RESPONSIBLE PARTY FOR THIS PUBLICATION. PERHAPS THEY WILL INVITE YOU TO WORK ON A SECOND EDITION.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Charles Austin on June 18, 2021, 07:51:26 PM
Pastor Fienen writes:
Seems to me that to enter into altar and pulpit fellowship with our two incompatible practices would be tantamount to giving yours priority. Can you see how that might be objectionable to us?

I comment:
You obviously have a hard time thinking through "both sides" even when the answer favors your position.
So I state, borrowing your words: Seems to me that to enter into altar and pulpit fellowship with our two incompatible practices would be tantamount to giving yours priority. (See below) Can you see how that might be objectionable to us?
To which I add: Can you imagine how our women pastors would object if there was even the mere suggestion that the full fellowship would not apply to them?
So for today, right now, and the near future - dead issue, ain't gonna happen, neither "side" would stand for it.
For the future.... who knows?
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 18, 2021, 08:25:11 PM

YOU SEEM TO BE FRUSTRATED BY 1 TIMOTHY 2:13. PERHAPS SHARE HOW YOU WOULD INTERPRET AND APPLY THIS VERSE IN IT'S CONTEXT.


The following is the translation of that verse by the CEB, and then comments in their Study Bible on that verse, which I suspect are quite different than in the Lutheran Study Bible.


I don’t allow a wife1 to teach or to control her husband.2 Instead, she should be a quiet listener.



1 Or a woman
2 Or a man


Although Paul's instructions could refer to women's roles in a church service, the language of 1 Timothy 2:11-15 fits specific practices in the home much better. The Greek term gynē (used throughout this section) could simply refer to “a woman,” but it's often used more specifically to refer to “a woman who is married” – that is, “a wife.” The best translation is indicated by the context, usually by the mention of a man, her husband (in Paul, see 1 Cor 5:1; 7:2, 4, 10, 11, 12, 14, 16, 33; 9:5; Eph 5:23, 28 31, 33). The context in 1 Timothy 2:11-15 indicates that Paul is referring to “a wife” (and husband). First, Paul's language refers to an individual woman (singular) and an individual man. In the Greco-Roman world, such language wouldn't be appropriate in references to persons outside of close family members. Second, this text involves specific directions regarding the instruction of a woman in the faith, which is the responsibility of her husband in the home (see 1 Cor 14:35). Third, Paul's instruction is supported by a reference to the classic passage concerning marriage, Genesis 2:18-24. Fourth, this text ends with a focus on childbirth, which is clearly a domestic issue. Finally, the letter as a whole indicates that false teaching among women was being discussed in the day-to-day activities of the home. Through private storytelling, myths, genealogies, gossip, and slander, false teaching was spreading from house to house (1 Tim 3:11; 4:7, 5:13; cf. 1 Tim 1:4). In part, this false teaching attacked marriage and marital relations (1 Tim 4:3; 5:14). Moreover, 2 Timothy 3:6-7 indicates that men who were false teachers in Ephesus were targeting women in their homes. In contrast, women aren't singled out for violations in public teaching in either 1 Timothy or 2 Timothy.

 
In instructions for men to “pray everywhere” in 1 Timothy 2:8 shouldn't be limited to public worship services, and if the instructions concerning women's dress wouldn't have been limited to worship services, then Paul's instructions in 1 Timothy 2:11-15 would be best read as the apostle's attempt to deal with false teaching that was being spread (more privately) among women from home to home. As in Corinth (1 Cor 14:35), it was necessary for wives to receive instruction about the Christian faith in the home in order to solve these problems.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Dan Fienen on June 18, 2021, 10:18:37 PM
Pastor Fienen writes:
Seems to me that to enter into altar and pulpit fellowship with our two incompatible practices would be tantamount to giving yours priority. Can you see how that might be objectionable to us?

I comment:
You obviously have a hard time thinking through "both sides" even when the answer favors your position.
So I state, borrowing your words: Seems to me that to enter into altar and pulpit fellowship with our two incompatible practices would be tantamount to giving yours priority. (See below) Can you see how that might be objectionable to us?
To which I add: Can you imagine how our women pastors would object if there was even the mere suggestion that the full fellowship would not apply to them?
So for today, right now, and the near future - dead issue, ain't gonna happen, neither "side" would stand for it.
For the future.... who knows?
You misunderstand me. I understand full well how establishing a fellowship with the LCMS that would exclude your women pastors from participation as pastors in joint events, pulpit exchanges, and the like would be offensive to them. Either your practice of women's ordination would be the rule for joint activity, which would be offensive to our practice of not ordaining them, or our practice of not ordaining women which would be offensive to your women pastors (understandably) and those who support women's ordination in your denomination. An impasse, and I'm glad you understand that.


However, it has been asserted on occasion by ELCA members that since both our church bodies subscribe to the Augsburg Confession, that you consider there to be a kind of fellowship between us and seem a bit offended that we do not recognize that fellowship and reciprocate. From what has been written there seems to be an insistence that we ought to be in fellowship with you despite the obstacle of women's ordination. If so, then what of our division over women's ordination?

No, that would mean we would consider those things essential. And you are the ones making the separation. We have never said "we are out of fellowship with the LCMS."

In fact, the ELCA Constitution declares:2.05. This church accepts the Unaltered Augsburg Confession as a true witness to the Gospel, acknowledging as one with it in faith and doctrine all churches that likewise accept the teachings of the Unaltered Augsburg Confession.

So, we have declared ourselves to be "one … in faith and doctrine" with the LCMS and all others who "accept the teachings of the Unaltered Augsburg Confession."


If we are at fault for "making the separation" and you "have never said 'we are out of fellowship with the LCMS.' " then do you or do you not consider our differing understandings and practices of the pastoral ministry an obstacle
to a functioning fellowship relationship?
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Charles Austin on June 18, 2021, 11:18:05 PM
Simple.
When I go to an LCMS church, I am welcomed at the altar.
If a member of the LCMS chooses to go to an ELCA church some Sunday, they are not made to feel guilty when they commune.
All based on our common subscription to the Confessions, not whether we believe in a 6-day creation or ordination for women.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Dan Fienen on June 18, 2021, 11:21:50 PM
Simple.
When I go to an LCMS church, I am welcomed at the altar.
If a member of the LCMS chooses to go to an ELCA church some Sunday, they are not made to feel guilty when they commune.
All based on our common subscription to the Confessions, not whether we believe in a 6-day creation or ordination for women.
Are you offended that when I attend an ELCA church (which I do occasionally) I do not commune?
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Charles Austin on June 18, 2021, 11:34:06 PM
Disappointed, not offended.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Dan Fienen on June 19, 2021, 12:05:52 AM
Disappointed, not offended.
Sorry to disappoint you that I choose to honor the commitments that I made when I joined the LCMS. Do you figure that commitments made when joining a Church should easily be set aside? Do you typically encourage people to ignore their commitments?
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 19, 2021, 02:14:07 AM
Disappointed, not offended.
Sorry to disappoint you that I choose to honor the commitments that I made when I joined the LCMS. Do you figure that commitments made when joining a Church should easily be set aside? Do you typically encourage people to ignore their commitments?


Another way of looking at it is living by God's grace which God bestows on us through the sacrament or living by the rules of a denomination.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Charles Austin on June 19, 2021, 04:37:23 AM
Pastor Fienen:
Sorry to disappoint you that I choose to honor the commitments that I made when I joined the LCMS.
Me:
No, you are not. Not really.

Pastor Fienen:
Do you figure that commitments made when joining a Church should easily be set aside?
Me:
“Easily”? No. Always? No. But sometimes? Yes.

Pastor Fienen:
Do you typically encourage people to ignore their commitments?
Me:
No, I do not.
Do you typically look only to your laws, rules, and what you think are your temporal “commitments” when ministering or witnessing in the name of Jesus?
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: D. Engebretson on June 19, 2021, 09:10:57 AM
When I was studying at Nashotah House (a seminary of the TEC) they would celebrate the Sacrament each day.  I faithfully attended chapel during my summer and winter intensives, but chose not to commune.  Even at my graduation, which was held at a local chapel in the context of a divine service, I did not commune, although I did go forward, with hands and arms crossed, to receive a "blessing," as to not make things overly awkward (since my graduation attire consisted of cassock, surplice, and tippet, rendering me in appearance no different than other clergy that day).  In all cases this was accepted and I did receive any negative feedback.  Somewhat surprisingly I was the only one that seemed not to be communing, even though there were others studying there from church bodies outside of the TEC.  I did so partly out of my commitment to uphold our fellowship practice in the LCMS, but also because I realized that as much as I liked and respected the Anglicans with whom I studied, and among whom I briefly lived, I knew that there were, in my estimation as a LCMS pastor, serious issues of fellowship between our two church bodies.  As a guest in their midst I did not speak out on those differences, and to this day I retain a good relationship with the people of Nashotah and a couple of folks from my study time with whom I still have some contact.   
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Charles Austin on June 19, 2021, 09:53:20 AM
Tell me what purpose that served, other than to preserve your particular kind of loyalty to your church body. Did the Anglicans themselves advise you not to receive?
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: D. Engebretson on June 19, 2021, 10:10:25 AM
Tell me what purpose that served, other than to preserve your particular kind of loyalty to your church body. Did the Anglicans themselves advise you not to receive?

No, they did not tell me to not to receive.  I chose not to.  For me it was a question of honesty and integrity.  And it was not simply to "preserve...loyalty" to my church body.  As much as I liked the Anglicans, especially the Anglo-Catholics, our confession was not the same. For them not an issue.  For me it was. 
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Dan Fienen on June 19, 2021, 10:11:42 AM
Disappointed, not offended.
Sorry to disappoint you that I choose to honor the commitments that I made when I joined the LCMS. Do you figure that commitments made when joining a Church should easily be set aside? Do you typically encourage people to ignore their commitments?


Another way of looking at it is living by God's grace which God bestows on us through the sacrament or living by the rules of a denomination.
Pastor Fienen:
Sorry to disappoint you that I choose to honor the commitments that I made when I joined the LCMS.
Me:
No, you are not. Not really.

Pastor Fienen:
Do you figure that commitments made when joining a Church should easily be set aside?
Me:
“Easily”? No. Always? No. But sometimes? Yes.

Pastor Fienen:
Do you typically encourage people to ignore their commitments?
Me:
No, I do not.
Do you typically look only to your laws, rules, and what you think are your temporal “commitments” when ministering or witnessing in the name of Jesus?



As usual, Charles, you over state your case and exaggerate the fault you find in others. No, I do not look only to laws, rules, and "commitments" (ah, those scare quotes again, another favorite of yours to show your disapproval of others). Just as you do not always encourage disregard of "commitments." I remember your disdain of those, especially in the years following the 2009 CWA, who did not live up to their commitments as pastors and congregations of the ELCA. You were scathing of those who withheld mission contributions in protest of what they believed were incorrect new policies, who were not assiduous in promoting ELCA events and programs which, among other things, promoted the acceptance of same sex partnerings as God ordained and God pleasing, who sought to leave the ELCA even though in your mind they had absolutely no reason to do so, or even assisted and encouraged others to do so also. But then those "commitments" that were being neglected were different, you approved of them. Our commitments as members of the LCMS you often do not. Big difference.


You have complained at how badly you and Brian have been treated here in this forum. And I will agree, some of our people have not been especially polite or respectful. You complain that we conservative usurpers on this forum have driven your friends and colleagues away. Calling them heretics and the like. Yet You and Brian portray me and my colleagues in the LCMS as virtually heretics or worse. Deniers of the Grace of God, reliers on following rules or correct belief rather than on the Grace of God. I find that as insulting as being called a heretic.


Obeying rules for the sake of obeying rules is not a good thing. Neither is breaking rules because one feels like it or finds them inconvenient. I don't know how it is in the ELCA, but in the LCMS when we join the LCMS we make a commitment to "walk together" with each other and that includes following agreed upon practices and rules. Typically there is room for exceptions and discretion in following those rules, but it is also expected that discretion does not include simply disregarding a disliked rule. There are also procedures for dissent and for policies to be reconsidered.


Nor are the policies, practices, and rules that we have established simply arbitrary. They have been enacted after careful prayer and study. You do not agree with the conclusions that we reached, fine, but that does not mean that there was no reasoning behind our work. Neither does your disagreement with us mean that those of us who are committed to walking together in the LCMS do so because we trust in that commitment, following those rules, and holding those beliefs rather than the Grace given us in Jesus Christ. We hold those beliefs, follow those rules, participate in that commitment because we trust in the Grace God gave us in Christ and we are committed to following Him who died to save us from our sinful condition and seek to serve Him the best we know how. Does Grace demand that we be disobedient to what we perceive as His will to prove our dependence on Grace? Shall we continue to sin so that Grace may abound?
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Michael Slusser on June 19, 2021, 10:38:31 AM
Tell me what purpose that served, other than to preserve your particular kind of loyalty to your church body. Did the Anglicans themselves advise you not to receive?

No, they did not tell me to not to receive.  I chose not to.  For me it was a question of honesty and integrity.  And it was not simply to "preserve...loyalty" to my church body.  As much as I liked the Anglicans, especially the Anglo-Catholics, our confession was not the same. For them not an issue.  For me it was.
Your decision matches the one that the members of the Lutheran-Catholic Dialogue made during the years when I was a member. One, our churches were not in communion with each other, and we were there as representatives of our churches;  two, abstention from communion at each other's Divine Services expressed and reinforced the tension caused by our lack of oneness, the tension which motivated us in our work of dialogue.

Peace,
Michael
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 19, 2021, 11:24:11 AM
Tell me what purpose that served, other than to preserve your particular kind of loyalty to your church body. Did the Anglicans themselves advise you not to receive?

No, they did not tell me to not to receive.  I chose not to.  For me it was a question of honesty and integrity.  And it was not simply to "preserve...loyalty" to my church body.  As much as I liked the Anglicans, especially the Anglo-Catholics, our confession was not the same. For them not an issue.  For me it was.


Where in Scriptures does it say our confessions have to be the same in order to receive the Lord’s Supper. I posit that none of the disciples had the same confession as Jesus when he instituted the sacrament. I recognize that later Christian writings talk about a common confession, but they do not have the same authority as Scriptures.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Dave Benke on June 19, 2021, 11:25:03 AM
Tell me what purpose that served, other than to preserve your particular kind of loyalty to your church body. Did the Anglicans themselves advise you not to receive?

No, they did not tell me to not to receive.  I chose not to.  For me it was a question of honesty and integrity.  And it was not simply to "preserve...loyalty" to my church body.  As much as I liked the Anglicans, especially the Anglo-Catholics, our confession was not the same. For them not an issue.  For me it was.
Your decision matches the one that the members of the Lutheran-Catholic Dialogue made during the years when I was a member. One, our churches were not in communion with each other, and we were there as representatives of our churches;  two, abstention from communion at each other's Divine Services expressed and reinforced the tension caused by our lack of oneness, the tension which motivated us in our work of dialogue.

Peace,
Michael

Your second point gets to, I believe, the heart of the matter.   "That they may be one" is the high priestly prayer of our Lord.  When we are not one, it brings, or should bring, tension and pain.  To refrain from attending the Eucharist is not a light matter for Christians.  It is the Feast of Victory, our common union in the crucified and risen Lord, who prayed on our behalf to the Father for unity among us.  To be unable to join in reception of the Meal is to go away with hunger pangs, praying that eventually, having hungered and thirsted for righteousness, we might be together for the Feast if at all possible  prior to the Eschaton.

In a real sense, this is what drove RJN (+) to his life's work toward healing the breach, and eventually to the Roman Catholic Church. 

Dave Benke

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 19, 2021, 11:30:13 AM
Tell me what purpose that served, other than to preserve your particular kind of loyalty to your church body. Did the Anglicans themselves advise you not to receive?

No, they did not tell me to not to receive.  I chose not to.  For me it was a question of honesty and integrity.  And it was not simply to "preserve...loyalty" to my church body.  As much as I liked the Anglicans, especially the Anglo-Catholics, our confession was not the same. For them not an issue.  For me it was.
Your decision matches the one that the members of the Lutheran-Catholic Dialogue made during the years when I was a member. One, our churches were not in communion with each other, and we were there as representatives of our churches;  two, abstention from communion at each other's Divine Services expressed and reinforced the tension caused by our lack of oneness, the tension which motivated us in our work of dialogue.
And yet when a synod committee I was on held our overnight meetings at a Catholic retreat center, the sisters always invited us to participate in their morning Eucharist. But when I’ve attended a Catholic mass where a friend is the priest, we did not go forward. (At his ordination, we went forward for a blessing. I was garbed in my clerical. The bishop talked with me during the reception.) I can disagree with their, and follow them; or break them if they invite me, too.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Dan Fienen on June 19, 2021, 11:57:39 AM
Tell me what purpose that served, other than to preserve your particular kind of loyalty to your church body. Did the Anglicans themselves advise you not to receive?

No, they did not tell me to not to receive.  I chose not to.  For me it was a question of honesty and integrity.  And it was not simply to "preserve...loyalty" to my church body.  As much as I liked the Anglicans, especially the Anglo-Catholics, our confession was not the same. For them not an issue.  For me it was.


Where in Scriptures does it say our confessions have to be the same in order to receive the Lord’s Supper. I posit that none of the disciples had the same confession as Jesus when he instituted the sacrament. I recognize that later Christian writings talk about a common confession, but they do not have the same authority as Scriptures.
We have been down this particular rabbit hole before. You disagree with our interpretation of Scripture and the Confessions but that does not in itself make us wrong. Nor are we obliged to go by your interpretation until we can convince you otherwise.

If you are really interested in the reasons for our practice I recommend the CTCR document Admission to the Lord's Supper: Basics of Biblical and Confessional Teaching (https://files.lcms.org/wl/?id=g29xOTh7i8GZChOvfp0jDdopaTwTdvha). As I said, we have been here before, so I know that you reject our interpretation and reasoning, So be it. 
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Charles Austin on June 19, 2021, 12:43:51 PM
Pastor Fienen (my emphasis added):
You have complained at how badly you and Brian have been treated here in this forum. And I will agree, some of our people have not been especially polite or respectful. You complain that we conservative usurpers on this forum have driven your friends and colleagues away. Calling them heretics and the like. Yet You and Brian portray me and my colleagues in the LCMS as virtually heretics or worse.Deniers of the Grace of God, reliers on following rules or correct belief rather than on the Grace of God. I find that as insulting as being called a heretic.

Me:
Then you are too easily insulted. And your comment about being called heretics or worse is simply hogwash. I have said here 1000 times that I consider members of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod fellow Christians, fellow Lutherans, brothers and sisters in the body of Christ with whom I would be glad to commune. I don’t say that about heretics, so please stop overstating everything.
Yes, I know your policies very well. I still love you, but I think they’re stupid and I think they get in the way of the gospel.
Because I have been involved ecumenically, my experience has been quite different from yours. I have experienced the spirit leading us to closer communion across denominational lines, even when it is not “official.“ Father Slusser is correct. While officially representing our churches in The dialogs, we follow certain protocols.
Both Lutheran and Roman catholic members of the international dialogue team told me that the only time they did not commune together at each other‘s altars was during the official dialogue meetings and events.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Dan Fienen on June 19, 2021, 01:31:22 PM
For all your bragging about how well you know us, your knowledge is quite superficial. We at times hardly speak the same language, but no matter you know that your language and world views are quite superior but even so you are gracious enough to be willing to share and allow us into your light. It feels so well something that you graciously condescend to go slumming on our side of town.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 19, 2021, 02:20:18 PM
We have been down this particular rabbit hole before. You disagree with our interpretation of Scripture and the Confessions but that does not in itself make us wrong. Nor are we obliged to go by your interpretation until we can convince you otherwise.

If you are really interested in the reasons for our practice I recommend the CTCR document Admission to the Lord's Supper: Basics of Biblical and Confessional Teaching (https://files.lcms.org/wl/?id=g29xOTh7i8GZChOvfp0jDdopaTwTdvha). As I said, we have been here before, so I know that you reject our interpretation and reasoning, So be it.


I've read it. For the most part we do not disagree about the interpretation of Scriptures. They admit that the present-day situation of our differing denominations is not addressed in scriptures. There was one congregation for all Christians in Corinth. The unity that is talked about is that among all the believers, not just those of a particular denomination.



Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: peter_speckhard on June 19, 2021, 04:28:07 PM
“That they may be one” is not the whole quotation. How are they to be one? As the Father and Son are one. United wills and minds— that is the kind of unity Jesus prays for. When Christians work against each other by teaching mutually-exclusive things, they are not one no matter how often they commune at the same rail.

Being in communion doesn’t mean always understanding or in some cases agreeing. It means deferring to the teaching of the church. Commune where you allow your faith and life to be corrected. Otherwise you’re putting on an outward show.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Steven W Bohler on June 19, 2021, 05:47:51 PM
Pastor Fienen (my emphasis added):
You have complained at how badly you and Brian have been treated here in this forum. And I will agree, some of our people have not been especially polite or respectful. You complain that we conservative usurpers on this forum have driven your friends and colleagues away. Calling them heretics and the like. Yet You and Brian portray me and my colleagues in the LCMS as virtually heretics or worse.Deniers of the Grace of God, reliers on following rules or correct belief rather than on the Grace of God. I find that as insulting as being called a heretic.

Me:
Then you are too easily insulted. And your comment about being called heretics or worse is simply hogwash. I have said here 1000 times that I consider members of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod fellow Christians, fellow Lutherans, brothers and sisters in the body of Christ with whom I would be glad to commune. I don’t say that about heretics, so please stop overstating everything.
Yes, I know your policies very well. I still love you, but I think they’re stupid and I think they get in the way of the gospel.
Because I have been involved ecumenically, my experience has been quite different from yours. I have experienced the spirit leading us to closer communion across denominational lines, even when it is not “official.“ Father Slusser is correct. While officially representing our churches in The dialogs, we follow certain protocols.
Both Lutheran and Roman catholic members of the international dialogue team told me that the only time they did not commune together at each other‘s altars was during the official dialogue meetings and events.

Rev. Austin,

I have a question about this line from your above post: "Both Lutheran and Roman catholic members of the international dialogue team told me that the only time they did not commune together at each other‘s altars was during the official dialogue meetings and events."

Why was that?  I mean, if they had no problems communing togther everywhere else, and every other time, EXCEPT during these dialogues, why did they have a problem THEN?  What was it about those dialogues that made them change during (and then, I presume, change back after) the dialogues?  Surely the dialogues should have been the perfect place to demonstrate their unity by communing together.  And yet, according to you, it was precisely THERE that they did not. 

I can only come up with a couple of explanations:
1. They knew that such joint communion was forbidden by their church bodies and understood that, as official representatives of those bodies, they must adhere to the "rules" even though when they were away they did not.  Either because they feared reprisals from church leaders or out of a sort of forced respect for the church body.  In short, they were hypocrites.
2. They felt that joint communion was possible and right at the dialogues (just as they felt it was everywhere else and any other time, as you allege they said) but saw something greater getting in the way.  Perhaps fear of criticism from others in their church bodies, perhaps something else.  But, in any case, something outweighed communion fellowship (which they enjoyed prior to, and after, these dialogues).

Neither of those speaks well for these clergymen, so I am sure there must be other explanations. I am looking forward to you telling me why they COULD rightly commune together "all the time", before and afterwards, but not during these dialogues.  That is, what was it about the dialogues that made joint communion impossible, or at least unprofitable.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Charles Austin on June 19, 2021, 05:51:46 PM
Pastor Fienen:
For all your bragging about how well you know us, your knowledge is quite superficial.
Me:
It doesn’t matter, but what the hey….  I would wager that I have had as much intense involvement with Missouri Synod theology as you have, and that I have had considerably more involvement with Missouri Synod theologians, district presidents, Synod  presidents and other leaders than you.I spent four years with the Lutheran Council in the USA, during the time of the Missouri Synod troubles, and got to know a large number of your people and your leaders. In the last 20 years, I have kept in touch with quite a number of people in your church body. But I’m not bragging about it, I’m just offering it as an indication that maybe there may be a few times when I know what I’m talking about.

Pastor Fienen:
We at times hardly speak the same language, …
Me:
I had no difficulty talking with Jack Preus, though we disagreed seriously. I had no difficulty talking with Ralph Bphlman, or Sam  Nafzger, or President Kieschnick. Or Dr. Piepkorn, Horace Hummel, Eugene Klug, or a dozen or more other LCMS seminary profs whose names I have forgotten.  Ponder that.

Pastor Fienen:
…but no matter you know that your language and world views are quite superior but even so you are gracious enough to be willing to share and allow us into your light.
Me:
It’s not my light, but you’re welcome.

Pastor Fienen:
It feels so well something that you graciously condescend to go slumming on our side of town.
Me:
There you go again. Loving your role as the “victim.“ Dreading that I might think ill of you. First, I don’t, although I believe you are seriously wrong on some significant matters. Second, why do you care what I think of you?
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 19, 2021, 05:59:42 PM
“That they may be one” is not the whole quotation. How are they to be one? As the Father and Son are one. United wills and minds— that is the kind of unity Jesus prays for. When Christians work against each other by teaching mutually-exclusive things, they are not one no matter how often they commune at the same rail.

Being in communion doesn’t mean always understanding or in some cases agreeing. It means deferring to the teaching of the church. Commune where you allow your faith and life to be corrected. Otherwise you’re putting on an outward show.


I certainly believe that my wife and I are one even when we have opposing positions. We are two separate persons; but one couple. There are many different denominations; but there is one holy catholic and apostolic church.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Steven W Bohler on June 19, 2021, 06:01:01 PM
Pastor Fienen:
For all your bragging about how well you know us, your knowledge is quite superficial.
Me:
It doesn’t matter, but what the hey….  I would wager that I have had as much intense involvement with Missouri Synod theology as you have, and that I have had considerably more involvement with Missouri Synod theologians, district presidents, Synod  presidents and other leaders than you.I spent four years with the Lutheran Council in the USA, during the time of the Missouri Synod troubles, and got to know a large number of your people and your leaders. In the last 20 years, I have kept in touch with quite a number of people in your church body. But I’m not bragging about it, I’m just offering it as an indication that maybe there may be a few times when I know what I’m talking about.

Pastor Fienen:
We at times hardly speak the same language, …
Me:
I had no difficulty talking with Jack Preus, though we disagreed seriously. I had no difficulty talking with Ralph Bphlman, or Sam  Nafzger, or President Kieschnick. Or Dr. Piepkorn, Horace Hummel, Eugene Klug, or a dozen or more other LCMS seminary profs whose names I have forgotten.  Ponder that.

Pastor Fienen:
…but no matter you know that your language and world views are quite superior but even so you are gracious enough to be willing to share and allow us into your light.
Me:
It’s not my light, but you’re welcome.

Pastor Fienen:
It feels so well something that you graciously condescend to go slumming on our side of town.
Me:
There you go again. Loving your role as the “victim.“ Dreading that I might think ill of you. First, I don’t, although I believe you are seriously wrong on some significant matters. Second, why do you care what I think of you?

Rev. Austin,

Simply knowing, or being friends with, or interviewing LCMS leaders does not mean that you know diddly-squat about what our church teaches, or why.  I talk with my doctor.  But that does not mean that I know medicine.  When you are directed to things -- like books or CTCR studies or the like -- which explain what our church teaches (and why), you routinely tell us you are not interested.  So, pardon me if I reject your claim to understand LCMS teachings better than Rev. Fienen.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Charles Austin on June 19, 2021, 06:03:23 PM
Pastor Bohler:
Why was that?  I mean, if they had no problems communing togther everywhere else, and every other time, EXCEPT during these dialogues, why did they have a problem THEN?  What was it about those dialogues that made them change during (and then, I presume, change back after) the dialogues?  Surely the dialogues should have been the perfect place to demonstrate their unity by communing together.  And yet, according to you, it was precisely THERE that they did not. 
I can only come up with a couple of explanations:
1. They knew that such joint communion was forbidden by their church bodies and understood that, as official representatives of those bodies, they must adhere to the "rules" even though when they were away they did not.  Either because they feared reprisals from church leaders or out of a sort of forced respect for the church body.  In short, they were hypocrites.
Me:
They did not fear reprisals. They were not hypocrites. But I don’t think there’s any way I can make you understand that.

Pastor Bohler:
2. They felt that joint communion was possible and right at the dialogues (just as they felt it was everywhere else and any other time, as you allege they said) but saw something greater getting in the way.  Perhaps fear of criticism from others in their church bodies, perhaps something else.  But, in any case, something outweighed communion fellowship (which they enjoyed prior to, and after, these dialogues).
Me:
They were seeking adequate ways to say how they felt about Inter-communion, and everybody did not feel the same way with regard to the matter, and not every single member of the dialogue was engaged in inter-communion. But some were. As I said, they were being led by the spirit into places that are not totally defined or prescribed by denominational rules. Again, I do not think there is any way I can make you understand that.

Pastor Bohler:
Neither of those speaks well for these clergymen, so I am sure there must be other explanations. I am looking forward to you telling me why they COULD rightly commune together "all the time", before and afterwards, but not during these dialogues.  That is, what was it about the dialogues that made joint communion impossible, or at least unprofitable.
Me:
See above. And remember that theologians and Bishops from Italy, Sweden, Finland, Germany as well as the United States, might have a different take on the matter than you.
And, following your most recent posting, I realize again that there’s no point in discussing these things with you.
I have read your books.
And your experience, along with Pastor Fienen, with any kind of serious ecumenical theological dialogue is so lacking that you do not know, to use your term, diddly squat about how such dialogs are conducted, how they proceed, and what conclusions they reach. Pastor Stoffregen and I have suggested that you read our Ecumenical agreements. But I think even that would be a waste of time. You’re just not prepared.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 19, 2021, 06:05:52 PM
Pastor Fienen:
For all your bragging about how well you know us, your knowledge is quite superficial.
Me:
It doesn’t matter, but what the hey….  I would wager that I have had as much intense involvement with Missouri Synod theology as you have, and that I have had considerably more involvement with Missouri Synod theologians, district presidents, Synod  presidents and other leaders than you.I spent four years with the Lutheran Council in the USA, during the time of the Missouri Synod troubles, and got to know a large number of your people and your leaders. In the last 20 years, I have kept in touch with quite a number of people in your church body. But I’m not bragging about it, I’m just offering it as an indication that maybe there may be a few times when I know what I’m talking about.

Pastor Fienen:
We at times hardly speak the same language, …
Me:
I had no difficulty talking with Jack Preus, though we disagreed seriously. I had no difficulty talking with Ralph Bphlman, or Sam  Nafzger, or President Kieschnick. Or Dr. Piepkorn, Horace Hummel, Eugene Klug, or a dozen or more other LCMS seminary profs whose names I have forgotten.  Ponder that.

Pastor Fienen:
…but no matter you know that your language and world views are quite superior but even so you are gracious enough to be willing to share and allow us into your light.
Me:
It’s not my light, but you’re welcome.

Pastor Fienen:
It feels so well something that you graciously condescend to go slumming on our side of town.
Me:
There you go again. Loving your role as the “victim.“ Dreading that I might think ill of you. First, I don’t, although I believe you are seriously wrong on some significant matters. Second, why do you care what I think of you?

Rev. Austin,

Simply knowing, or being friends with, or interviewing LCMS leaders does not mean that you know diddly-squat about what our church teaches, or why.  I talk with my doctor.  But that does not mean that I know medicine.  When you are directed to things -- like books or CTCR studies or the like -- which explain what our church teaches (and why), you routinely tell us you are not interested.  So, pardon me if I reject your claim to understand LCMS teachings better than Rev. Fienen.


True, talking to my doctor won't teach me anything about medicine; but listening to him I could learn a lot.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Charles Austin on June 19, 2021, 06:15:32 PM
Brian, I’ve also had experience in ecumenical dialogue with Missouri Synod theologians who will listen to a Presbyterian explain what they believe about the sacrament and the real presence of Christ in the elements,  and then look that Presbyterian right in the eye and say “I don’t believe you,” and cite Calvin or some ancient worthy to “prove” that the modern Presbyterian can’t possibly believe what the Presbyterian says he actually does believe.
Finished here, I am.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 19, 2021, 06:46:55 PM
Brian, I’ve also had experience in ecumenical dialogue with Missouri Synod theologians who will listen to a Presbyterian explain what they believe about the sacrament and the real presence of Christ in the elements,  and then look that Presbyterian right in the eye and say “I don’t believe you,” and cite Calvin or some ancient worthy to “prove” that the modern Presbyterian can’t possibly believe what the Presbyterian says he actually does believe.
Finished here, I am.


Yes, and I've heard them do that with Roman Catholics, too. Conversely, I had a Roman Catholic friend ask me about some Lutheran beliefs because of what a priest had told him about Lutherans - and it wasn't positive - and wasn't accurate.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: George Rahn on June 19, 2021, 07:53:22 PM
Brian, I’ve also had experience in ecumenical dialogue with Missouri Synod theologians who will listen to a Presbyterian explain what they believe about the sacrament and the real presence of Christ in the elements,  and then look that Presbyterian right in the eye and say “I don’t believe you,” and cite Calvin or some ancient worthy to “prove” that the modern Presbyterian can’t possibly believe what the Presbyterian says he actually does believe.
Finished here, I am.

Ok.  However the Presbyterian may not be representing their confessional teaching in terms of what that denomination might officially confess and teach.  Could be that there would be a personal difference between what the Presbyterian is explaining to the hearer and it contradict the Reformed confessional teaching itself.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: George Rahn on June 19, 2021, 08:01:05 PM
Much of this can be cleared up by pushing folks toward listening and agreeing with what Jesus is saying in the original institution of Holy Communion.  Jesus says: “This is my Body, given for you.”  Jesus is saying that this bread is His Body.  Lutherans take Jesus at His word.  We don’t reflect and say to ourselves, “What does He mean here?”  See the errors Jesus addresses in John 6.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Steven W Bohler on June 19, 2021, 08:30:53 PM
Rev. Austin and Rev. Stoffregen,

And the two of you do that very thing right here -- telling us LCMS folks that you don't believe what we say we believe, right after we explain it to you.  Or that it doesn't matter what we actually say or write or teach, what matters is how others perceive it -- and that they are right in holding those perceptions (despite our protests) because, well, we are those darn mean old LCMS'ers who once told your wife that she could not commune in the church she left for another church body -- even though her dad was once the congregational president and she went to an LCMS university and your grandmother (or something) was Jewish.  And something about head-coverings.  Oh, and shrimp.  I better not forget the shrimp.  And Broadway plays and sand-castles.  And foreign trips where you visited with your dear friend, the pope.  So, of course, you know better than we do what we believe and why.  Even though we have studied for years in LCMS schools and served in the LCMS for decades.  No, no, no -- you two know everything about the LCMS and we know nothing.  My goodness, one of you was even a JOURNALIST!  So, of course, you must know it all!
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Charles Austin on June 19, 2021, 08:58:57 PM
Eat a cookie, Pastor Bohler. Pet a cat. And forget everything having to do with Yankee Stadium.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on June 19, 2021, 09:15:18 PM

Simply knowing, or being friends with, or interviewing LCMS leaders does not mean that you know diddly-squat about what our church teaches, or why.  I talk with my doctor.  But that does not mean that I know medicine.  When you are directed to things -- like books or CTCR studies or the like -- which explain what our church teaches (and why), you routinely tell us you are not interested.  So, pardon me if I reject your claim to understand LCMS teachings better than Rev. Fienen.


True, talking to my doctor won't teach me anything about medicine; but listening to him I could learn a lot.

Always the intellectual dishonesty, changing what someone wrote to inflict the cheap shot. 😡

Steve spoke of talking with his doctor, which includes listening.

 ::)
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Dave Likeness on June 19, 2021, 10:06:55 PM
"forget everything having to do with Yankee Stadium"  Minnesota  transplant from New Jersey

Yankee Stadium is the majestic cathedral of major league baseball.  It is the home of the
New York Yankees who have won 27 World Series Championships.  They are the most
famous and successful sports franchise  in American history.  Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe
DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Mariano  Rivera, Derek Jeter are a few of the Yankees who are
in the MLB Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.   It is impossible to forget Yankee Stadium.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Charles Austin on June 19, 2021, 10:46:48 PM
Dave Likeness writes:
It is impossible to forget Yankee Stadium.
I comment:
Nonetheless, for the sake of his peace of mind (if he can achieve that), and to avoid wasting cyberspace in this modest forum, Pastor Bohler should.  ;)
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Steven W Bohler on June 20, 2021, 07:59:05 AM
Dave Likeness writes:
It is impossible to forget Yankee Stadium.
I comment:
Nonetheless, for the sake of his peace of mind (if he can achieve that), and to avoid wasting cyberspace in this modest forum, Pastor Bohler should.  ;)

Good golly, I had not thought about that for weeks (since the last time you brought it up in one of these little snotty posts of yours) -- until you brought it up again. Perhaps it is YOU who should forget it.  Unless your intent is simply to stir up trouble.  Which would be evil.  Even satanic.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Charles Austin on June 20, 2021, 09:55:34 AM
Nah, Stirring up trouble sometimes stimulates discussion, brings out hidden truth, opens up discussion participants, and, by the way, can be fun.
If the stirring is done, as is my wont, with gentility and affection. 😉
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: peter_speckhard on June 20, 2021, 11:31:26 AM
Nah, Stirring up trouble sometimes stimulates discussion, brings out hidden truth, opens up discussion participants, and, by the way, can be fun.
If the stirring is done, as is my wont, with gentility and affection. 😉
Finished here you never will be. You are compulsive.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Charles Austin on June 20, 2021, 12:30:36 PM
Pastor Fienen, Pastor Kirchner and Bishop Benke have almost as many postings as I have. And, as I have noted before, I am one of the few people here representing a certain progressive viewpoint. I guess that means I have to speak up more often than some other people.
And, as noted above, I try hard to hold to my normal stance of speaking with gentility, wit and affection. It ain’t always easy.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Randy Bosch on June 20, 2021, 12:32:44 PM
Nah, Stirring up trouble sometimes stimulates discussion, brings out hidden truth, opens up discussion participants, and, by the way, can be fun.
If the stirring is done, as is my wont, with gentility and affection. 😉 

Got it. 
You were stirring with gentility and affection when you stated that LCMS policies were "stupid" earlier in this thread.
You were stirring with gentility and affection on the thread about the American Catholic Bishops discussing an updated teaching statement about Communion a short time ago when you excoriated them in blistering, unloving terms, and painted them as guilty and unforgiven of all the misdeeds of the Catholic Church at large for the scandals about priest-abuse that unfolded over the past decades.   
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Randy Bosch on June 20, 2021, 12:35:41 PM
Nah, Stirring up trouble sometimes stimulates discussion, brings out hidden truth, opens up discussion participants, and, by the way, can be fun.
If the stirring is done, as is my wont, with gentility and affection. 😉
Finished here you never will be. You are compulsive.

Another thread destroyed by Charles Austin, but finished here he will never be.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Steven W Bohler on June 20, 2021, 01:19:40 PM
Nah, Stirring up trouble sometimes stimulates discussion, brings out hidden truth, opens up discussion participants, and, by the way, can be fun.
If the stirring is done, as is my wont, with gentility and affection. 😉

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GgnClrx8N2k

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJ1koU26aeY
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: mariemeyer on June 20, 2021, 04:37:43 PM
The following appeared here on June1st...

"Rick Warren’s Saddleback church recently made headlines by ordaining three female leaders. I was grateful to see these women recognized and lent both the public authority and institutional accountability that comes from ordination. But when I read the news, I also thought with a heavy sigh, “Oh, here we go again.” I knew the debate about women’s roles in the church would dominate conversation all week, and I could already predict the rutted arguments I’d hear recited over and over."

Three weeks later and LCMS members of this list remain stuck in the same rut...defending an the order of creation structure where man and woman differ in origin, being, purpose and assigned non-interchangeable positions in relation to one another.

According to the accepted rational  the Genesis 2 biblical account of how God created the human male reveals God's design and will for an immutable pre-fall order of creation where the man, according to his visible created maleness, has natural precedence and authority in relation to woman. [/ This legal structure, known as the order of creation, does not apply in society.  It was for the sake of order and unity in the home and  among the people of God that God ordained the order.   

In the home and among the people of God, the order of creation structure binds God's authority to the man's position in the home and church.  NT texts are interpreted on the basis of the order of creation structure.

In society, God is free to work through man and woman to preserve creation. What Luther referred to as the orders of preservation. 

To date no one here has asked if God the Son violated the order of creation by taking on our human nature...by coming down to us as True God and true Man... by revealing the nature of God, not to regard the lowly estate of a young Jewish as a barrier to God the Son becoming a human man, but the freedom of God to act as God in, through and from the virgin Mary.

Was the incarnation of God the Son the ultimate violation of the order of creation as defined in LCMS literature?

Marie Meyer

Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Charles Austin on June 20, 2021, 05:11:34 PM
Seems to me that the wonderful grace of God invades and, in a way, often breaks all “orders” in creation, sometimes temporarily, sometimes permanently. We can chart or claim to know what the orders of creation are, but, we may be wrong, and God may be changing them right before our eyes.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Dave Likeness on June 20, 2021, 05:45:13 PM
Some things never change in God's creation....God instituted marriage as a life long commitment
between one man and one woman.  Holy Scripture has given us the institution of marriage according
to God's Will.  We are not at liberty to change it and cave into our current culture.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: George Rahn on June 20, 2021, 07:03:51 PM
Pre-fall and post-fall with subsequent exile bear different results for humans.  We have absolutely no access to pre-fall conditions.   History begins when humans take under their control management of their own lives contrary to their Creator.  What type of bearing has this now ie. post-fall is always contrary to God’s will.  However, though, we manage things even social structures giving us stability but only relative stability.  The push-pull of public opinion rules the day and perhaps for a time provides peace.  But time and change (ie. fall and exile) often destroy what humans put together.  And God is happy with none of it…but He lets it proceed under His wrath and relative grace until His last Day.  If you think we aren’t going to be impacted by that Day, you are wandering in self deceit.


And yet APART from law a righteousness of God has appeared…
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Dan Fienen on June 20, 2021, 07:54:23 PM
Seems to me that the wonderful grace of God invades and, in a way, often breaks all “orders” in creation, sometimes temporarily, sometimes permanently. We can chart or claim to know what the orders of creation are, but, we may be wrong, and God may be changing them right before our eyes.
How can we tell if God is changing the orders of creation right before our eyes? I am reminded of the dictum that man is not a rational creature but a rationalizing creature. How can we decide if it is God changing the orders of creation or we wishing that He would and rationalizing what we want as God's new will?
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Charles Austin on June 20, 2021, 08:55:34 PM
Carefully. Prayerfully. Intelligently. Scientifically. And remembering that we may have gotten it wrong the first time.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Dan Fienen on June 20, 2021, 09:24:00 PM
Carefully. Prayerfully. Intelligently. Scientifically. And remembering that we may have gotten it wrong the first time.
I hear you. But we also have considered our understandings in these matters carefully, prayerfully, applying our intelligence and scholarship. We do recognize that our forebearers could have been wrong, as could those who today seek to correct their errors. Respect for your care, prayers, intelligence, and scholarship does not include automatically preferring your conclusions over our own prayerful and careful scholarship. Nor is it axiomatic that current conclusions are always better that traditional conclusions.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: pearson on June 20, 2021, 10:24:56 PM
I don't know if this is Pr. Fienen's question, but here's mine:


Carefully. Prayerfully. Intelligently. Scientifically. And remembering that we may have gotten it wrong the first time.


Scientifically?  How could scientific analysis determine if God happens to be doing something to alter the "order(s) of creation" suddenly -- "changing them right before our eyes"?

Tom Pearson
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: peter_speckhard on June 21, 2021, 12:11:46 AM
The following appeared here on June1st...

"Rick Warren’s Saddleback church recently made headlines by ordaining three female leaders. I was grateful to see these women recognized and lent both the public authority and institutional accountability that comes from ordination. But when I read the news, I also thought with a heavy sigh, “Oh, here we go again.” I knew the debate about women’s roles in the church would dominate conversation all week, and I could already predict the rutted arguments I’d hear recited over and over."

Three weeks later and LCMS members of this list remain stuck in the same rut...defending an the order of creation structure where man and woman differ in origin, being, purpose and assigned non-interchangeable positions in relation to one another.

According to the accepted rational  the Genesis 2 biblical account of how God created the human male reveals God's design and will for an immutable pre-fall order of creation where the man, according to his visible created maleness, has natural precedence and authority in relation to woman. [/ This legal structure, known as the order of creation, does not apply in society.  It was for the sake of order and unity in the home and  among the people of God that God ordained the order.   

In the home and among the people of God, the order of creation structure binds God's authority to the man's position in the home and church.  NT texts are interpreted on the basis of the order of creation structure.

In society, God is free to work through man and woman to preserve creation. What Luther referred to as the orders of preservation. 

To date no one here has asked if God the Son violated the order of creation by taking on our human nature...by coming down to us as True God and true Man... by revealing the nature of God, not to regard the lowly estate of a young Jewish as a barrier to God the Son becoming a human man, but the freedom of God to act as God in, through and from the virgin Mary.

Was the incarnation of God the Son the ultimate violation of the order of creation as defined in LCMS literature?

Marie Meyer
No. Not as I see it. The Incarnation is a mystery we accept without understanding based on revelation. In some ways, so is the distinction between male and female. It isn’t just Gen. 2, it is also other places in Scripture that address the matter specifically and inference from Scripture that address the issue more generally or tangentially. It seems to me your position does an end around to avoid the Scriptures that address it by beginning with a set of foundational interpretations and using human reasoning from there to make things make sense even in opposition to divine revelation.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 21, 2021, 02:09:31 AM
The following appeared here on June1st...

"Rick Warren’s Saddleback church recently made headlines by ordaining three female leaders. I was grateful to see these women recognized and lent both the public authority and institutional accountability that comes from ordination. But when I read the news, I also thought with a heavy sigh, “Oh, here we go again.” I knew the debate about women’s roles in the church would dominate conversation all week, and I could already predict the rutted arguments I’d hear recited over and over."

Three weeks later and LCMS members of this list remain stuck in the same rut...defending an the order of creation structure where man and woman differ in origin, being, purpose and assigned non-interchangeable positions in relation to one another.

According to the accepted rational  the Genesis 2 biblical account of how God created the human male reveals God's design and will for an immutable pre-fall order of creation where the man, according to his visible created maleness, has natural precedence and authority in relation to woman. [/ This legal structure, known as the order of creation, does not apply in society.  It was for the sake of order and unity in the home and  among the people of God that God ordained the order.   

In the home and among the people of God, the order of creation structure binds God's authority to the man's position in the home and church.  NT texts are interpreted on the basis of the order of creation structure.

In society, God is free to work through man and woman to preserve creation. What Luther referred to as the orders of preservation. 

To date no one here has asked if God the Son violated the order of creation by taking on our human nature...by coming down to us as True God and true Man... by revealing the nature of God, not to regard the lowly estate of a young Jewish as a barrier to God the Son becoming a human man, but the freedom of God to act as God in, through and from the virgin Mary.

Was the incarnation of God the Son the ultimate violation of the order of creation as defined in LCMS literature?

Marie Meyer
No. Not as I see it. The Incarnation is a mystery we accept without understanding based on revelation. In some ways, so is the distinction between male and female. It isn’t just Gen. 2, it is also other places in Scripture that address the matter specifically and inference from Scripture that address the issue more generally or tangentially. It seems to me your position does an end around to avoid the Scriptures that address it by beginning with a set of foundational interpretations and using human reasoning from there to make things make sense even in opposition to divine revelation.


The Bible is clear about humans being males and females. However, most of the present-day discussion is about what it means to be "masculine" or "feminine." The Bible has very little, if anything to say about that. Those words don't occur in the NRSV, ESV, or NIV translations. "Masculine" does occur in the CEB in 4 Maccabees 15:23 about a woman!
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: George Rahn on June 21, 2021, 11:31:19 AM
Carefully. Prayerfully. Intelligently. Scientifically. And remembering that we may have gotten it wrong the first time.

Sorry.  But we aren’t privy to this type of reflection where we could attempt to measure what God is doing.  It is one of these type of presuppositions of which the ELCA operates that has ruined its public image.  To even mention what God is doing is to simply project one’s own wishes and desires onto  God. 
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Dave Benke on June 21, 2021, 11:39:00 AM
The position of male dominance and authority in every regard including societal roles was the position of the old Synodical Conference Lutheran denominations.  I believe it's imbedded in some of the current ideologies in the Missouri Synod.  Rulings and discussion on whether women should serve in the military, especially in front-line positions have come with that thought framework. 

At the same time, great care has been taken by others, particularly women in the LCMS, to limit the proscriptions to service in the Church especially in public worship.  And the as-of-now official positions leave those areas open to a bit of variety of practices, with the term "distinctive functions of the pastoral office" being the place-holder.  In other words, it's possible for a woman to be the president of the congregation or an officer of a congregation, to be an acolyte, to read a lesson, to sing a solo, to be in diaconal service - all are permitted. 

And at the same time, there are pastors who will not attend the Eucharist at a church where a woman reads a lesson.  To me that indicates a deeper connection to the "old" rules and rubrics, including dis-fellowshiping with those who are not in violation of the denomination's rules. 


Dave Benke
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Charles Austin on June 21, 2021, 12:40:41 PM
Maybe bishop Benke  remembers the time, not so many years back, and prompted by the increasing number of denominations with female chaplains, when an overture presented to an LCMS convention was designed to ask the military to make sure that no LCMS chaplain would ever be required to serve under the command of a higher-ranking female chaplain.
I think it was buried somewhere without a vote, but it was presented.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: George Rahn on June 21, 2021, 01:13:15 PM
I don't know if this is Pr. Fienen's question, but here's mine:


Carefully. Prayerfully. Intelligently. Scientifically. And remembering that we may have gotten it wrong the first time.


Scientifically?  How could scientific analysis determine if God happens to be doing something to alter the "order(s) of creation" suddenly -- "changing them right before our eyes"?

Tom Pearson

At first I didn’t see this.  But this is spot on.  How can science as a limited method accurately measure what God is doing?  Again, creatures are limited beings who have limited access to what appears before us.  Our access to God is only in how we are impacted by God through His law and Gospel.  Any mention from the podium that “this” is what the Holy Spirit might be doing is rubbish.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Randy Bosch on June 21, 2021, 01:24:37 PM
Maybe bishop Benke  remembers the time, not so many years back, and prompted by the increasing number of denominations with female chaplains, when an overture presented to an LCMS convention was designed to ask the military to make sure that no LCMS chaplain would ever be required to serve under the command of a higher-ranking female chaplain.
I think it was buried somewhere without a vote, but it was presented. 

If existent, the ice of Minnesota lakes is extremely thin this time of year, except on ALPB, apparently.
So, organizations to which you have belonged had measures introduced for action which were tabled (buried), perhaps never voted on, but presented.  Do you therefore live with the vague memories of less than salutary proposals proclaiming who you are?  I hope not, and don't think that you do.  Better, to also not foist things tabled or voted down as the definition of fellow Christians today.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Dan Fienen on June 21, 2021, 01:55:50 PM
Simple.When I go to an LCMS church, I am welcomed at the altar.If a member of the LCMS chooses to go to an ELCA church some Sunday, they are not made to feel guilty when they commune.All based on our common subscription to the Confessions, not whether we believe in a 6-day creation or ordination for women.
Are you offended that when I attend an ELCA church (which I do occasionally) I do not commune?
Disappointed, not offended.
Disappointed, not offended.
Sorry to disappoint you that I choose to honor the commitments that I made when I joined the LCMS. Do you figure that commitments made when joining a Church should easily be set aside? Do you typically encourage people to ignore their commitments?


Just received the online edition of Forum Letter, July, 2021. An item in the Omnium Gatherum section caught my eye. Our fearless editor commented on recent Facebook discussion of an ELCA congregation in Michigan that employed an LCMS organist. The organist did not commune at the ELCA congregation (in line with LCMS policy). That was accepted by several pastors of the congregation, but the current pastor has now insisted that the organist commune. Our beloved editor the Rev. Editor Dr. Richard O. Johnson expressed his outrage at that intolerance. (Well if he hasn't been granted his doctorate, we certainly should for putting up with us these many years.)
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Randy Bosch on June 21, 2021, 02:00:49 PM
Simple.When I go to an LCMS church, I am welcomed at the altar.If a member of the LCMS chooses to go to an ELCA church some Sunday, they are not made to feel guilty when they commune.All based on our common subscription to the Confessions, not whether we believe in a 6-day creation or ordination for women.
Are you offended that when I attend an ELCA church (which I do occasionally) I do not commune?
Disappointed, not offended.
Disappointed, not offended.
Sorry to disappoint you that I choose to honor the commitments that I made when I joined the LCMS. Do you figure that commitments made when joining a Church should easily be set aside? Do you typically encourage people to ignore their commitments?


Just received the online edition of Forum Letter, July, 2021. An item in the Omnium Gatherum section caught my eye. Our fearless editor commented on recent Facebook discussion of an ELCA congregation in Michigan that employed an LCMS organist. The organist did not commune at the ELCA congregation (in line with LCMS policy). That was accepted by several pastors of the congregation, but the current pastor has now insisted that the organist commune. Our beloved editor the Rev. Editor Dr. Richard O. Johnson expressed his outrage at that intolerance. (Well if he hasn't been granted his doctorate, we certainly should for putting up with us these many years.)

Perhaps the organist, if granted the privilege of approaching the Communion rail/station/..., might cross their arms across their chest to receive a blessing.  If that is proscribed, then...
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on June 21, 2021, 02:08:34 PM
The Bible is clear about humans being males and females. However, most of the present-day discussion is about what it means to be "masculine" or "feminine." The Bible has very little, if anything to say about that. Those words don't occur in the NRSV, ESV, or NIV translations. "Masculine" does occur in the CEB in 4 Maccabees 15:23 about a woman!

Well, I do know that you have introduced the concept of masculine/feminine and social roles into this conversation, suggesting, e.g., that clown fish change their gender. I don't know if a clown fish can knowingly change its gender. I do know that experts state that a clown fish can change its sex.
Title: Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
Post by: mariemeyer on June 21, 2021, 02:18:25 PM
The following appeared here on June1st...

"Rick Warren’s Saddleback church recently made headlines by ordaining three female leaders. I was grateful to see these women recognized and lent both the public authority and institutional accountability that comes from ordination. But when I read the news, I also thought with a heavy sigh, “Oh, here we go again.” I knew the debate about women’s roles in the church would dominate conversation all week, and I could already predict the rutted arguments I’d hear recited over and over."

Three weeks later and LCMS members of this list remain stuck in the same rut...defending an the order of creation structure where man and woman differ in origin, being, purpose and assigned non-interchangeable positions in relation to one another.

According to the accepted rational  the Genesis 2 biblical account of how God created the human male reveals God's design and will for an immutable pre-fall order of creation where the man, according to his visible created maleness, has natural precedence and authority in relation to woman. [/ This legal structure, known as the order of creation, does not apply in society.  It was for the sake of order and unity in the home and  among the people of God that God ordained the order.   

In the home and among the people of God, the order of creation structure binds God's authority to the man's position in the home and church.  NT texts are interpreted on the basis of the order of creation structure.

In society, God is free to work through man and woman to preserve creation. What Luther referred to as the orders of preservation. 

To date no one here has asked if God the Son violated the order of creation by taking on our human nature...by coming down to us as True God and true Man... by revealing the nature of God, not to regard the lowly estate of a young Jewish as a barrier to God the Son becoming a human man, but the freedom of God to act as God in, through and from the virgin Mary.

Was the incarnation of God the Son the ultimate violation of the order of creation as defined in LCMS literature?

Marie Meyer
No. Not as I see it. The Incarnation is a mystery we accept without understanding based on revelation. In some ways, so is the distinction between male and female. It isn’t just Gen. 2, it is also other places in Scripture that address the matter specifically and inference from Scripture that address the issue more generally or tangentially. It seems to me your position does an end around to avoid the Scriptures that address it by beginning with a set of foundational interpretations and using human reasoning from there to make things make sense even in opposition to divine revelation.

Given that I am a woman not a man, I have never played football.  I do, however,  understand what it means to attempt an end run.

The above strikes me as a misguided attempt to deny, dismiss, deflect and or disregard the fact that the order of creation, as defined and applied it the LCMS originates, in natural human reason. IOW, it's a classic end run to avoid  the one foundational Law to which man and woman are both subject, the first commandment... that we Let God, revealed as I AM WHo I AM for you, man and woman, be God in the lif