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Messages - James B. Bittner

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Your Turn / Re: Judge Amy Barrett Confirmation Hearings
« on: October 17, 2020, 04:44:04 PM »
HaHa Lol ... a UCC pastor out of United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities in a Twin Cities suburb ... hahaha ... she ... cannot do otherwise ...  🤣🤣🤣

Your Turn / Re: Patristic Quotations
« on: August 16, 2010, 01:05:09 PM »
On the Assumption of Mary ...

"It was necessary that the body of the one who preserved her virginity intact in giving birth should also be kept incorrupt after death.  It was necessary that she, who carried the Creator in her womb when he was a baby, should dwell among the tabernacles of heaven ... ."

"It was necessary that the Mother of God share what belongs to her Son and that she be celebrated by all creation."

St. John Damascene
Homily on the Dormition 14

Nope, Richard Johnson is spot on with his observation:  Christian theology is vastly more profound than baiting attempts for an LCMS Inquisition, marketing opportunities for CPH or career opportunities for publishers.

George Erdner asked ...

"On a personal note, both my wife and I were each married once before. We were both divorced before we met. According to some Roman Catholics I have talked to, the Roman Catholic Church does not recognize my wife and I as being validly married. How is that significantly different from not recognizing a civil union or "marriage" between two members of the same gender?"

I am certainly not a canon lawyer, but, as an initial proposal, I would suggest it differs because it recognizes the legitimacy of your prior marriages.  The Church does not recognize your current marriage, because it considers you as still married to your (former) spouses.  In this way, marriage between male and female is implicitly affirmed:  Any question of same-sex "marriage" is not germane to the matter at hand.

Your Turn / Re: Question for President Benke
« on: June 03, 2010, 01:26:44 PM »
Weedon observed ...

     I do think it is possible to demonstrate from within the Great Tradition, that the Church always thought of the Scriptures not as something inert
     and subject to whim of interpreters, but as living and active, judging and ruling and norming the Church's life, her teaching and her practice. 

Yes, yes! or as de Lubac puts it somewhere in his magisterial Medieval Exegesis, Scripture is less a static revelation, given at some point in the past, than it is an ever-revealing gift.  Lutheran theology has consistently held that Scripture must be read and interpreted in, with and through the power of the Holy Spirit, who guides the Holy Church and "keeps it in the one, true faith."  That reading of Scripture is the Great Tradition, which is not opposed to Scripture, but rather the continual manifestation of its saving power.  It is thoroughgoingly trinitarian, in which the Word, begotten of the Father, continues His love for us in the life of their Spirit. 

Dan Fienen aptly wrote: 

"However, what is bothering me is the move that at least some seem to be making to hold only that which is essential to salvation (the minimal Gospel) is essential to theology and the church and we are free as Christians to discard, modify, question everything else as non-essential and so in some way optional."

Yes, indeed ... the Achilles' Heel of Lutheranism.   

Your Turn / Re: Resolution from the Upper Iowa River Conference
« on: March 07, 2010, 04:33:57 PM »
Charles Austin says ... "I agree - sort of - with the priorities (though I might place the Church catholic as first)." 

Yeah, right ... what a howler! ;D    LOL

Your Turn / Re: Resolution from the Upper Iowa River Conference
« on: March 06, 2010, 06:04:10 PM »
From S. P. Tibbetts:  "Resolutions like this really help us to continue the conversation though.  Or were the CWA's actions supposed to end conversation?"

 ;D  LOL

Your Turn / Re: Why Lutherans Can't Evangelize.
« on: March 05, 2010, 05:21:25 PM »
This would be quite an insult to Islam, which specifically teaches that "God has no Son" and that, while respecting Jesus as a great prophet, he is anything but divine.  God simply does not die on a cross ...

On the indefectibility of the Church, consult Matthew 16:18:  "and upon this rock I will build my Church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."  This is pure promise, pure gospel (even though the Romans love this text, it's as Lutheran as can be) ... the Greek verbs are future (active, indicative) tense.  Moreover, consult the Augustana, article VII:  "It is taught among us that one holy Christian church will be and remain forever."  How is such a thing possible, but that the Holy Church participate in the eternal life of the blessed Trinity?  There is no eternal life apart from the Trinity and just so the Holy Catholic Church is guided and sustained by the Spirit of the Triune God.  The Sacred Page is inspired by the Holy Spirit, the Church is led through the ages by the Spirit (as Israel was led by the pillar of cloud and pillar of fire through the wilderness to the Promised Land, a type of the salvation promised to us in Christ.  Thus, what happens throughout the history and life of the Church, the Body of our living Resurrected Lord, cannot be alienated from the activity of the Spirit.  The Church simply cannot err in a manner such that it will lead people to their damnation ... through all of its wanderings to and fro (we are a "stiff-necked people"), nonetheless, the Holy Spirit guides the Body of Christ to its eternal destiny .. life and mutual love in the Risen One.

And I contend that the preparation for the Holy Ministry is seriously diminished when one has to say how one "survived" seminary by dodging and darting, dealing with the "right" people and avoiding others.

Yes, it is. But it's been reality for quite a while now in many of our seminaries.

Thank you, James.  I generally pride myself on my spelling, but this was hurried carelessness ...  I appreciate the correction.

I guess I'm w-a-a-y too old and traditional. From my point of view a young whippersnapper seminarian who believes that he is wading through dreck taking him "away from Scripture and the Confessions" ought to be told to have a little respect for his elders in the faith or find a school that agrees with him.
I might have had some of those thoughts, but stuck with it and learned a few years later how right the professors had been and how wrong I was to think that they were full of crap.

Or, one might suggest, that the "young whippersnapper" revisionists "ought a fortiori ... to have a little respect for (their) elders in the faith" or "find a (church) that agrees with (them)."  If such an edict is warranted with some poor seminarian, how very much more is it warranted when two millenia of concordia, of not a pin-hole's worth of precedent favoring revisionist ideology on the so-called sexuality issue are dismissed with a wave of the hand:  If you had but the slightest respect for the indefectability of the Church and for its guidance by the Holy Spirit of the Triune God, you would have "learned ... how right the (Tradition) had been and how wrong (you are) to think that (it) was full of crap.

Your Turn / Re: Patristic Quotations
« on: February 23, 2010, 03:51:44 PM »
On the Memorial of Polycarp, Bishop and Martyr

"O Lord God Almighty, the Father of thy beloved and blessed Son Jesus Christ, by whom we have received the knowledge of Thee, the God of angels and powers, and of every creature, and of the whole race of the righteous who live before thee, I give Thee thanks that Thou hast counted me worthy of this day and this hour, that I should have a part in the number of Thy martyrs, in the cup of Thy Christ, to the resurrection of eternal life, both of soul and body, through the incorruption (imparted) by the Holy Ghost.  Among whom may I be accepted this day before Thee as a fat and acceptable sacrifice, according as Thou, the ever-truthful God, hast fore-ordained, hast revealed beforehand to me, and now hast fulfilled.  Wherefore also I praise Thee for all things, I bless Thee, I glorify Thee, along with the everlasting and heavenly Jesus Christ, Thy beloved Son, with whom, to Thee, and the Holy Ghost, be glory both now and to all coming ages.  Amen"

     - "The Prayer of Polycarp," from The Martyrdom of Polycarp, XIV

"Having obtained good proof that thy mind is fixed in God as upon an immoveable rock, I loudly glorify (His name) that I have been thought worthy to behold thy blameless face, which may I ever enjoy in God!  I entreat thee, by the grace with which thou art clothed, to press forward in thy course, and to exhort all that they may be saved."

     -  The Epistle of Ignatius to Polycarp, I

Does anyone have a rough estimate as to the proportions of Lutheran CORE membership/affiliation that is LCMS or WELS?

Your Turn / Re: Pope Benedict and PB Mark Hanson
« on: February 13, 2010, 06:43:12 PM »
It may be significant that ...

    In his response, Pope Benedict XVI said he hoped "the continuing Lutheran-Catholic dialogue both in the United States of America and at the international level will help to build upon the agreements reached so far."
     He said it is important to build on the results of the dialogues started in the 1960s. "To build on what has been achieved together since that time, a spiritual ecumenism should be grounded in ardent prayer and in conversion to Christ, the source of grace and truth," Pope Benedict XVI said.
     "May the Lord help us to treasure what has been accomplished so far, to guard it with care, and to foster its development," the pope said to Hanson and the delegation.

This may be significant in that these agreed statements do not include the resolutions of the 2009 ELCA CWA ...

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