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Messages - Dadoo

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1
Your Turn / Re: "A Magnificent Faith" by Bridget Heal
« on: September 05, 2019, 07:08:21 PM »
While studying the Leipzig Interim, I came across Heal's book on "art and identity in Lutheran Germany."  16th & 17th century religious turmoil among Catholic, Lutheran, and Reformed Christians seemed most evident in Germany compared to the other Lutheran countries [ie. Scandavania] though I am interested in exploring iconoclasm in Denmark. Noblemen/ electors and burghers theology could reflect Luther or Calvin [or remain Roman] and change between the 3  denominations with ramifications for the citizens. One dynamic is what the author refers to as the 'preserving power' of Lutheranism. When forced to share worship space, Calvinists became frustrated with Lutherans' tendency to leave the medieval gothic churches 'in situ' with dozens of statues/ crucifixes. Luther felt that sacred art like sacred music was helpful/ educational but not theoretically/ necessarily required. Reformed wanted none of it. So a parish church could lose its altar(s) only to have it returned at the whim of the ruling family.

I mistakenly assumed that Calvinist churches [Reformed/ Presbyterian/ Methodist] now allowed some images of Christ and biblical figures [mostly stained glass] by addressing exceptions to iconoclasm on a Reformed website. Despite presenting evidence of such artwork [particularly in UCC churches], I was adamantly informed that all images and sometimes even the cross were not practiced among "most" Calvinists.

Any thoughts?

St. Jacob's Church (St. Jakobskirche), Rothenburg

Dear EC,

I am not so much answering your question as making it more difficult to understand the period of which you speak.

St. Jacob's is today a Lutheran church (I think) It not only has a main altar dedicated to Mary but also a side altar likewise dedicated to Mary. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._James%27s_Church,_Rothenburg_ob_der_Tauber

It also has an altar in the balcony with a rear art piece depicting the last supper complete with a relic: "A drop of Christ's blood on the cross" embedded in it. https://www.scrapbookpages.com/Rothenburg/Tour/JacobsChurchInterior01.html

To make matters even more complicated, the infamous Karlstadt who attempted to "clean up" Wittenberg was its pastor. He went there right after he was dismissed from Wittenberg. All the magnificent artwork was carved and crafted pre Reformation. One wonders if he had learned his lesson or whether the arts were merely stored to be redisplayed in a Lutheran space. Maybe the prince at the time had given him strict limits. I will research this someday.

One might also wonder about the Heilige Geist Kirche in Heidelberg. This is the church Luther preach at  right after posting the 95 theses. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_of_the_Holy_Spirit,_Heidelberg

This church was physically divided in the 18th century so Protestants and Catholics could both use it. That divider was not removed until 1939(!) when it became all protestant. A plaque to Pastor Mass who negotiated the reunion is hung at the place the dividing wall had once met the southern outside wall. The volunteers who staff it are quick to recall his name in great love.

Somehow the pain and triumph of the division of the time of Reformation was written into all these structures, sometimes allowing faith to be at odds with doctrine (though not in total denial and contradiction) for the sake of Faith in the Jesus.

I have been at both these magnificent places recently. They are awe-inspiring if not downright chilling (in a good way) places that point to way beyond themselves to hope and Faith.

If only there were buildings in America that can tell such stories and stirs the soul that much.

2
Your Turn / Re: 2019 Synod Assembies: Something in the Air?
« on: June 07, 2019, 10:17:26 PM »
A quick word from the Southern Ohio Synod, ELCA: This morning the assembly reelected Suzanne Dillahunt on 1st ballot with 87% of the votes going her way; the highest amount of votes for anyone else was 4 (yes, four).

The assembly had no idea how to act after that outcome since in 30 years we never had a bishop's election that did not go to 5 ballots.

I am not sure what is in the air, Pastor Tibbetts, but that is how it went in Springfield, Ohio, June 7th, 2019

3
Your Turn / Re: SIGN: In John 6
« on: August 02, 2015, 08:15:06 AM »
Let me respond in a lengthy fasion in the hope I might address your pondering:


When we are gainfully employed we sometimes refer to ourselves as: “Breadwinners.” It is an endearing phrase to be sure that has meaning and peril. It first and foremost reminds us that, all other claims to the contrary, we work for our food, our daily portions. How the word “winner” got incorporated into the phrase I know not but the inter-web assures me that the term originated in the early 19th century but that its use was limited until the 20th century but then became a commonly used term. The same world wide inter-web also suggests that the term “winner” was read in the sense of “struggle for” or “work hard at.”
I took the tack last Sunday from the pulpit to suggest that food, bread to be exact, is a very complicated substance. It is all too easy to think of it as something picked up quickly on the way home from work. But, it is not that easy, really. Bread comes form flower. Flower comes from grain via a mill. Grain comes from the field, via a seed. Seed comes from grain. Grain comes from seed, and suddenly a longs chain of repeating and intertwined events, each and every link important, stands behind the loaf. Bread is not easy, nor simple, it has roots all the way to the beginning of time and dirt. Yes, dirt. You cannot grow grain without dirt and dirt is made of . . . I will spare you that chain. It is lengthy but it does involve volcanoes, so that makes it kind of neat.
Bread connects us to the beginning of creation. (the fish do too but it would get too lengthy to explain that, let me talk bread here, you can talk fish and wine by yourselves) The term, “Breadwinner” is peculiar if take at 21st century face value. We do not “win” bread. We might not even be able to earn it. The only parts that are in our control is the sowing, reaping and processing. All other things are under the control of time, creation, and the loving hand of the Father. (SC)
As 21st century people we are even further removed from a healthy connection to the reality of our lack of control over our bread. We have cut out the tedious and risky processes that grows the bread. We do jobs, get money, and exchange it for bread (preferably flat, toped with tomato sauces spices, cheese and meat, cooked by someone else and boxed neatly) and then we shout: “Pizza! Let’s eat.”
Moses had no bread to give. We have no bread to give. Behind each and every bit of bread stands God and the fraction of eternity already passed since the beginning of the world. It is too big to be bought, earned, or won. Eating is at some level a receiving of God’s word in creation: “let there be.” Will we received it like Cain?
How did I get to Cain? Let me explain a bit. In Genesis 4 we see Cain and Able laboring over their chosen mode of farming. Both bring sacrifice but God “considered” Able’s sacrifice but not Cain’s. The fact that they will have to labor hard has been told to Adam and Eve in chapter 3. Nothing will come without labor after the Fall. But what is that labor and what is the meaning of the sacrifice made by the brothers? Is the sacrifice given in pride for the labor or in thanksgiving for the unfathomable chain of events that make the harvest possible? And in spite of the labor involved, in spite of the success of our harvests, our riches, our capacity to bring home the bacon, do we not do well to eat our bread in humility? Cain does not think so and gets even more alienated from land and labor. (Gn 4:12)
Manna, to bring this back to Moses and the Gospel of John, is a good example of the need for humility. Israel had done absolutely nothing to set itself free. Moses had done nothing that God did not command and the one time he did depart from God’s instructions by adding his own symbol action, it cost him his ticket into the Holy Land. (Nu 20:2-12) The people and the prophet in the book of Exodus receive from God. They have no cause to boast. If we look at the story closely, it is revealed that they were their own worst enemy at times and were known to complain that they had to be free. (ex: Ex 16:2-3 “the flesh pots of Egypt”)
Manna is received. It is not earned. It is the tangible reminder to Israel that all is in God’s hands even when, and maybe especially when, they think otherwise.
The Holy Eucharist is received. It is not earned. It is the tangible reminder to the One Holy Catholic And Apostolic Church that all is in God’s hands even when, and maybe especially when, we think otherwise. John Kavanaugh writes:
If there is any pre-eminent task for us as we celebrate the Eucharist, then, it is not that we execute it well or work out our different roles, helpful as these things may be. Our task is to believe that our God, in Jesus, is our very food and drink.
The liturgy is not just a meal we have made, not just fellowship, not something we have artistically dreamed up. Its reality does not depend upon our ingenuity or virtue, our expertise in preaching or singing. It is fundamentally an act and gift of God.
"What must we do to perform the works of God?"  Jesus answered them, "This is the work of God, that you believe (lit. put your Faith in) in him whom he has sent.” (6:28-29)
Faith is to stick with Jesus, no matter what. As for the sign for which they ask (6:30), he has already given it, and they should know it. It is because of this sign that they are talking to him at this time. But the sign is not enough. Maybe it is not even that, maybe the sign is already forgotten. Maybe it is too simple, too every-daily, too trivial. Who wants a sign that is merely bread? If bread, which, as I said is neither simple nor easy, is not enough of a sign, what will be? Will turning water into wine be enough? (Jn 2) Will healing sick children be enough? (Jn 4) Will healing the lame be enough? Jn 5) Will multiplying the loafs and fishes be enough? (Jn 6) Will walking on water be enough? (Jn 6) Will making the blind to see be enough? (Jn 9) Will raising the dead be enough? (Jn 11)
Faith is to stick with Jesus, no matter what. To have and cherish him as the Lord of your life because he is the Son and therefore the author of it. What will it take to for you to have Faith? Will it take an “act of God?” Such was had. You can read about it in chapter 19 and 20 of John’s Gospel. And again, Faith is like bread, like Manna. It is simple but complicated. Easy but hard work. It reaches to heaven but falls in pride. Humble Faith is just “mere” Faith. There is no proud Faith. There is only the Faith you received from Father, through the Son, by the Holy Spirit.
There is Bread and Wine. The Lord and the blood of his sacrifice. Where are you?

4
Your Turn / Re: SIGN: In John 6
« on: August 01, 2015, 07:26:34 AM »
I've been studying Chapter 6 of the Gospel of John today, in preparation for the coming series of readings from that chapter.  Focusing of the way SIGN is used in that chapter and throughout the Gospel, I have a few questions that I've been pondering.  I wondered what others might have to say:

1.  Jesus distinguishes between a fleshly and Spiritual interpretation of his both the Feeding of the 5000 and of the gift of Manna in the Wilderness that seems similar to the notion of Spiritual Exegesis.  Does this validate a spiritual/typological interpretation of Scripture?

2.  Does this suggest all events in the created world, in addition to specific events in Salvation History, serve as signs that point to God and to Christ when interpreted in the power of the Holy Spirit?

3.  If if is so, that all created things are signs pointing to God and Christ, and that the sign participates in the thing signified, does this imply that the sign is ontologically grounded in the thing signified, i.e. Christ?

In other words, how far can SIGN, as used in the Gospel of John, be taken?

No.

Actually: Yes, but it is not as simple. Ignatius of Loyola might be an answer to explore these questions. He certainly entertained the notation that anything and everything can and might be a sign but then developed an elaborate system on how a sign must be discerned.
It is  a matter of principle, Ignatius would insist. His principle would be this:

 [Humanity] has been created to this end:  to praise God, and revere Him, and serving Him finally be saved.  All other things on earth, then, have been created because of [humanity] in order to help [them] reach the end of their creation.  ..
We should not look for health more than sickness, nor prefer wealth to poverty, honor to contempt,  a long life to a short one.  But, from these.. Choose and desire those that contribute to the achievement of the end.

Some "signs" might just be from the evil one. Some signs are indeed signs but are not meant for you -- but for someone else they might be a sign to move them closer to their purpose on earth.

So to answer your questions, especially 2 and 3, maybe you need to ponder a definition of the purpose of life in general and Christian life in particular to answer the question: Is this a sign for me?

5
Your Turn / Re: Faith Is More Than Theology
« on: November 14, 2014, 01:54:24 PM »
Pastor Austin,

I was invited by a friend to come and see what had been written because it seemed to the person as significant. After much hesitation since being gone from this forum has been good for Dadoo, having read your three opening posts, I have a few comments:


Pastoral theology, which by form you are writing here, has its basis in the theology and dogma of the branch of the church out of which it arises. Yes, it could be general pastoral theology based on minimalistic understanding of dogma but within a particular denomination, especially if that denomination is confessional and not covenantal, a general, minimalistic dogma is not sufficient or appropriate.

I further note that "grandma Schmidt" might say things like "God needs and extra angel." But, what does she mean by that? Is it a convoluted statement of faith, meaning utter trust that the God of Abraham, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit will act as always and not let the death of a child go unredeemed or allow the child to perish forever? As a pastor, if I sensed it to be thus I would indeed not worry at that moment.
But, is it a veiled plaintiff cry that God stole a grandchild? If I sense that, I cannot merely let her be in that place of unfaith. It would be wrong for a pastor to do that. As a pastor I would have to lance and fix errant belief. There is no other way and the theology and dogma of our tradition is the only resource I will base that repair on.
Maybe she actually believes that. Belief and Faith are not the same thing. Maybe she is actually sure that the dead become angels and that God calls people "upstairs" because angels are needed. Before she gets to teaching Sunday school, before she becomes a parish visitor to the ill and bereaved, she and I need to have a talk. This is not what the church teaches and it is not right to have it taught in church and it is not how the church comforts the bereaved. 

How about "Jock?" He still believes as a Calvinist or even Zwinglian about the Holy Supper. He becomes an ELCA Lutheran. Then, because we do such things, he is elected to go and be a voting member at a CWA. There, maybe someone has prepared a statement on Eucharistic matters. Does Jock belong there? No. Our very polity assumes that we are a church that catechizes thoroughly so that our voting members can actually speak from a Lutheran heart and mind. If they do not, the "L" in the ELCA becomes utterly questionable. I doubt that the generation of pastors who were important in the formation of our ELCA thought that the "L" was optional or negotiable. Shame on them if they did think thus. Yet, without repairing "Jock's" belief about the holy Eucharist, that is what will happen.
To be more specific, our polity is tied to our confessions, which ties us, supposedly, to our dogma and our theology via chapter 2 of the constitution. One must ask whether the confessions were asserted when "Jock" became a member of the ELCA. The constitutional formulations assume that he believes as chapter 2 and therefor as the confessions and the theology of the Lutheran church ELCA state.
As a pastor, I must ask myself if I do not owe the ELCA, which claims me, ordained me, and supervises me the joyous duty to teach her dogma and belief, and her dogma and belief only, within the walls and distinguish openly between what is and what is not taught and believed by ELCA. It is an assertion of ELCA Lutheran Theology. I have been called to do exactly that. "Jock's" Presbyterian pastor did no less by teaching him a different theology.

I note that a few recurring themes are in your post: The LCMS and her communion policy. A bit on Roman Catholic popular opinion versus official teaching is also offered. Peter Speckhard has written extensively and deeply about the former and I would refer you to that body of work as it is an example of dogma and theology becoming pastoral practice and theology  and even in gentle form. For the RC side of things I note that the Roman Catholic layperson can think that the priest should marry. But, his church teaches otherwise and his thinking so does not really alter that and neither does he have a vote. When he speaks of the matter he always has to preface it by saying that he does not believe as his church does. It is an extra step to say that his church should follow him into his new found belief just because he was found to be RC and to be holding it.
That extra step is problematic but a very Lutheran danger. The Lutheran Reformation was a was born out of pastoral crisis. Pr. Charlton can probably remember that quote from our common teacher Walter Bowman. Luther noted that a new belief was taught and that said belief was not only contrary to the general theology of the church but also damaging to the faith and life of those who held this new belief. But the battle that came out of it was a theological battle and, yes, it was a battle for good and rich faith of Christians.
The danger is to follow Luther into the concern for the individual parishioner but then to fail to bring the situation to conclusion through a journey that does not traverse the theology of the church and traverse it at length. A parishioner feels bad. We inquire why this is so. We then have a choice: We can have the person travel the painful path that leads to change and conversion or we can make it easy and relatively painless for them by saying to them: If that is what you feel then it might be  the Holy Sprit inviting you to embrace who you are and that makes it OK. We have no basis for the latter really. It is a convenient and easy way. Joel Osteen embraced it and now owns and fills a stadium telling people that God wants them to be victorious and well, and that they need to embrace themselves and believe in themselves. It is an exercise in pastoral cowardliness that does not want to assert what is unpopular just as it is an exercise in pastoral boorishness to assert the teaching of the church without charity and grace. I recall that Luther apologized to Tetzel for making him the bad guy in the fight and a pariah among Germans. I seem to recall that no other than Luther was the pastor who attended him on his deathbed. That is the pastoral courage that is lacking among Lutherans today and I am not sure that I see it in you opening posts.


Do not welcome Dadoo back, you who read. I came as invited and said a few things. I will read this thread for a while and respond as I see fit. I am a visitor to an old mistake, not a returnee. Save me the rabbit holes that this place is famous for. You will go down them without me.

Keep the Faith,
Dadoo

6
Your Turn / 200 pages is enough
« on: August 21, 2013, 04:38:54 PM »
WIth my last two posts I have just reach a milestone. All my posts here on ALPB since 2005 now total more than 200 pages worth of writing. That is a medium length of the standard A/F or IVP book.

It all adds up. Maybe for the good even. But it adds up and it is enough . . . 

God bless you. I like you all. I ain't angry at any of you, I promise - at least not any more.

But, I think I will go now . . . .

7
Your Turn / Re: Bickering
« on: August 21, 2013, 04:32:47 PM »
I ask again, Pastor Kruse, what "losers. "?

2009 left many, me included, in a place where it was clear to us that what is best about Lutheranism was ignored when it could have been brought to the front and solved the matter.

What losers? Not me! I am Collateral Damage. Losers' office is down the hall. He is the one from whom I borrow all those books written by dead, white dudes.

8
Your Turn / Re: Bickering
« on: August 21, 2013, 04:28:32 PM »
Apparently you found the rest of my post convincing?  Or are you just ignoring the rest of my question? 

I chose a pass because I saw it as a mix of apples and oranges.  My concern in this conversation is about divisions within the Body of Christ.  The rest of your post seemed to concern divisions beyond the Body and, thus, I chose not to engage it.

You seem to me to be suggesting that "what we have in common" provides a basis for establishing some "third way".  My question is "third way to what?" If we already have confessional unity, what is the "third way" leading us toward?  Agreement or compromise on divisive political and social issues?  Why is that necessary or even desirable?

We may have confessional unity, but we often do not behave as though we do.  I'm not talking talking about a third way - I am talking about the "third side" (short hand for the concepts presented in a book with the same title).  Most disagreements take the shape of a two-sided argument in which both parties assume that they are right and, necessarily, the other party must be wrong.  In such disputes, I think both sides are wrong and the better outcome is the third side.  But, how do you find the third side if nobody is putting it on the table?  To begin with, identify and build on common ground.  Secondly, treat one another with respect - as I have suggested, confront the disagreement and not the person with whom you disagree.

It seems to me that with Christianity and, especially among Lutherans, our basic confession is not really in dispute, even when some folks would characterize it as such.  Rather, the matters in dispute are related more to differences about how we - as individuals, as congregations and as denominations - live out of that confession in the secular world.  We might not agree.  We might not be able to develop the third side.  But, at a minimum, we ought to be able to relate with one another in a manner that does not violate the confession we share.

John,

One of my congregation was at CWA 2013. He, being schooled in the confessions and being of the mind that history is not bunk and that Lutheran history is not just normative but ignored at great peril, reports that during the discussion of celebrating 2017 a young pastor rose and strongly objected to the celebration of "a bunch of old white dudes" since they and their writings were no longer relevant and since we had moved on and become a new thing since then.

What is your recollection of that speech?

You, like I, peek in on the ELCA thread on FaceBook. Reading the posts of old and young pastors alike there has taught me that her sentiment is shared by a number of my colleagues. Some of the folks here  make occasional sorties to combat that thinking.  So, my sense is that it is not just a matter of having different thought as how to live out or common convictions. We may lack the  common in our convictions.

9
Your Turn / Re: Bickering
« on: August 21, 2013, 04:21:05 PM »

Pr. Charlton - you are responding to an argument that I did not make.  I did not say that we should not be divided within the church on political and social issues.  I am saying that we can do better than defining ourselves and framing the conversations by our divisions.

Will be distant from a computer the rest of the day so won't be able to respond until maybe tomorrow.

As per doing better: "If things were different, they wouldn't be the way they are."  I'm not sure how you would reduce the division when this church is structured to create and/or exacerbate it.

I don't think it is fair to lay that on the church.  Lay it on the church members.  That is the way that we, as sinners, are wired.  The church did not create the divisions, we did.  We are simul justus et peccator and, given the opportunity, we default to peccator.

Twenty-five years of divisive votes at synodical assemblies and bi-yearly divisive votes at national assemblies: "Oh, so this is the way to do church."  Or more accurately, the group that designed the structure of the ELCA insured it would be embedded in the DNA. Look at how this it was raised in this thread. After every national assembly there are always positive testimonials from the winners. We've seen them again this time round. And I'm sure the losers go home wondering if they should remain. Eventually the continuous votes will run out of losers or the continuing pool of winners will be too small to maintain the institutional edifice.

Brian,

I am wondering: Other than Concordat what other "statement" or "Agreement" has ever failed? OK: Human sexuality really never got to have a vote after just about every synod assembly told national off in '94. It's basic slant was then foisted on synods ad nauseum.  Both these, and I struggle to find any other examples of things going down, where revisited and in the end passed in some form even after the church had in some form turned them down, and in both cases, a new church was formed in response. Once we start a study, it will pass - eventually.

I would say that there is no new church forming due to the passage of the Criminal Justice statement, losers non withstanding, but then those who voted against it were merely a bunch of malcontent grammarians and english composition teachers as well as a few astute logicians.  ;D

10
Your Turn / Re: Bickering
« on: August 21, 2013, 02:11:53 PM »
To be honest, there actually kind of is "policy" in the form of the "Language of Worship" section in Principles for Worship published in preparation of creating ELW. That document is solidly on the side of Metaphorical language as far as the naming of God is concerned. I do not believe that the name of God: "Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit" actually occurs in the document. I do remember that it claimed prevalent use of "Father" in the prayer of the church to be a recent (last 200 years) phenomenon though it did acknowledge that its origin was in the New Testament and on the lips of Jesus. As a document, it came down clearly that new metaphors needed to be discovered to express our ever deepening modern understanding of God.

So is there a official policy? No, but there was one for the worship book we published 7 years ago. That policy will keep on giving, much to the dismay of those of us whose theology considers the Trinitarian formula God's self disclosure.


That document states clearly in Principle 24

Holy Baptism is administered with water in the name of the triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Baptism into the name of the triune God involves confessing and teaching the doctrine and meaning of the Trinity.


There is no other language for use in Holy Baptism.


In regards to a point you bring up, it states:


Background L-9D
 Our addressing God as Father is rooted primarily in the New Testament and in the confessions and piety of the church. Our use of this form of address is related in part to Jesus’ invitation to join him in praying to God in this way. This form of address has become more prevalent in the last two centuries, sometimes overshadowing other ways of addressing God.

There is nothing in the document that discourages the use of "Father" for God. It encourages us to also use other terms and phrases that are found in scriptures.

That is a quote, not from "Principle . . " but from Use of the Means of Grace which is an Appendix to "Principles . . "


You are right. I just searched the pdf file of "Principles for Worship" without realizing it included the appendix. However, "The Use of the Means of Grace" has official standing. "Principles for Worship" was prepared for "provisional use."

Being the guiding principle for ELW it is pro forma a policy, even if it was in use only for the 4 years that ELW was under development. ELW, developed under Principle's boundaries produced a worship book that is theologically questionable to those who do not subscribe to the Metaphorical Language theology as it does not treat Father Son and Holy Spirit as a proper name. ( if it did so the whole metaphorical language argument would go out the window and ELW would have to undergo heavy revision.)

So, John wrote:

Quote

There have been some in the ELCA who avoid Father, Son, and Holy Spirit language for God; but avoidance is not ELCA policy or practice.


I would pose that it is, as far as ELW and S&S texts are used, therefore suggesting more than "some" who do so, ELCA practice to avoid using Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, so much that "Principles . . " might just as well be policy.

11
Your Turn / Re: Bickering
« on: August 21, 2013, 01:46:01 PM »
To be honest, there actually kind of is "policy" in the form of the "Language of Worship" section in Principles for Worship published in preparation of creating ELW. That document is solidly on the side of Metaphorical language as far as the naming of God is concerned. I do not believe that the name of God: "Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit" actually occurs in the document. I do remember that it claimed prevalent use of "Father" in the prayer of the church to be a recent (last 200 years) phenomenon though it did acknowledge that its origin was in the New Testament and on the lips of Jesus. As a document, it came down clearly that new metaphors needed to be discovered to express our ever deepening modern understanding of God.

So is there a official policy? No, but there was one for the worship book we published 7 years ago. That policy will keep on giving, much to the dismay of those of us whose theology considers the Trinitarian formula God's self disclosure.


That document states clearly in Principle 24

Holy Baptism is administered with water in the name of the triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Baptism into the name of the triune God involves confessing and teaching the doctrine and meaning of the Trinity.


There is no other language for use in Holy Baptism.


In regards to a point you bring up, it states:


Background L-9D
 Our addressing God as Father is rooted primarily in the New Testament and in the confessions and piety of the church. Our use of this form of address is related in part to Jesus’ invitation to join him in praying to God in this way. This form of address has become more prevalent in the last two centuries, sometimes overshadowing other ways of addressing God.

There is nothing in the document that discourages the use of "Father" for God. It encourages us to also use other terms and phrases that are found in scriptures.

That is a quote, not from "Principle . . " but from Use of the Means of Grace which is an Appendix to "Principles . . "

12
Your Turn / Re: Bickering
« on: August 21, 2013, 01:29:03 PM »

Pr. Charlton - I apologize if I made that post in a way that caused mis-understanding. 

The "no takers" was nothing more than a reference to the consistent rejection of my suggestion that we re-engage the difficult issues from the "third side".  Doing so would require that we first identify the common ground and build upon that.  I identified what I thought was important common ground.  Curiously, I used three words as I learned them from the Small Catechism in a complete sentence and even that sparked an argument.

But, as I explained above, those are loaded words.  There is a history in the ELCA of avoiding the name of God.  Many, myself included, believe that this constitutes abandonment of the Lutheran Confessions.  Unless a person is willing to make a confession of faith in God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, as the Ecumenical Creeds and the Augsburg Confession does, then I don't believe that we do have common ground.


That is not quite accurate. There have been some in the ELCA who avoid Father, Son, and Holy Spirit language for God; but avoidance is not ELCA policy or practice. Both the Nicene and Apostles' Creeds were used during the week of worship services at the CWA. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit language was used in all but one liturgy; and that one used another biblical formula for the Trinity.

Is said that there is a history in the ELCA.  I did not say it was ELCA policy.  You acknowledge that "there have been some in the ELCA who avoid Father, Son and Holy Spirit language for God..."  Well, that means that there is a history of people doing so.

To be honest, there actually kind of is "policy" in the form of the "Language of Worship" section in Principles for Worship published in preparation of creating ELW. That document is solidly on the side of Metaphorical language as far as the naming of God is concerned. I do not believe that the name of God: "Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit" actually occurs in the document. I do remember that it claimed prevalent use of "Father" in the prayer of the church to be a recent (last 200 years) phenomenon though it did acknowledge that its origin was in the New Testament and on the lips of Jesus. As a document, it came down clearly that new metaphors needed to be discovered to express our ever deepening modern understanding of God.

So is there a official policy? No, but there was one for the worship book we published 7 years ago. That policy will keep on giving, much to the dismay of those of us whose theology considers the Trinitarian formula God's self disclosure.

13
Your Turn / Re: A journey of the heart
« on: August 17, 2013, 03:25:24 PM »
Thanks for the book recommendation, Brian.

God bless you recovery . . . and your hours on the bike.

14
Legalism and antinomianism have dogged the church Lutheran for a long time.

Pr. Kruse - fwiw, I think the piece also addresses antinomianism, just not as aggressively.

I agree that legalism v. antinomianism has characterized the Lutheran movement, pretty much since its inception.  However, what has dogged the church is not that attribute, per se, but the inability of Lutherans to get comfortable with the tension.  In my opinion, the appropriate balance point is beyond our grasp.  I think it is important for us to struggle - struggle together - with the tension.  I think it would be a mistake to ever conclude that we have resolved it. 

I also think it is a mistake, in the middle of these kinds of struggles, to necessarily assume that we cannot walk together with fellow Lutherans with whom we otherwise disagree.  I think we are called to struggle with difficult questions - questions for which all answers, at least on this side of eternity, might be wrong.  We can't struggle if we shun those whose wrong answers are different from our wrong answers.

In so far as it knows about antinomianism, yes it speaks of it but then says in theses 18 that its present problem is legalism. Again, my opinion is that ELCA is legalistic in its endorsement of  autonomianism. "You will walk with us! You will agree to resect our complete contradiction of all you hold true and remain in one organization with us and you will support that organization even in the face of it proclaiming what you abhor. If you don't, you prove you are not a Christian."  Overstated? Yes, it is. But, that is the gift of HSGT - it must be what the "Gift" thing refers to.

As I have pointed out before, after 20 years ELCA no longer struggles together with any "tension." Ideological battles have created made-up minds and no struggle is evident any longer. One either agrees with what the other says or one is the enemy. HSGT wanted to enshrine "struggle" but did so too late to actually have mutual struggle. 10 years earlier it might have worked. Now, it merely hides subcultures that want to solidify and extend victories or stem the tide or turn the boat around by working around the system.

As far as the "appropriate balance point:" If it is out of our grasp, then what are we arguing about? If my balance is your right side of the ditch then it is really only a matter of opinion since the right balance is unknowable. Maybe I'm right - maybe you are wrong - can't grasp it anyhow so why change to your position? Why have one? No. This is insufficient.

It also seems to me that the theses here being discussed have an opinion about the balance. They refuse to let either law or Gospel eliminate the other. Both are to be used to their fullest extent. The issue is not balance but use. Are you applying both, how and when? Again, I am not comfortable with the un grasp-ablity of the balance.

15
The thesis which Dr. Becker translates here are also included in Matthew Harrison's In the House of My Fathers, although he notes that this version, in his opinion is "Buszin's incomplete and occasionally inaccurate translation of the theses, augmented by a translation of the final eight theses." He therefore has presented what he calls "the first English translation of the complete theses."  Not having a sufficient command of German to critique one against the other I'll leave that to someone else.  Nevertheless, the list is worth reading and thinking about. Every Lutheran pastor could benefit from reading this from time to time. I appreciate the fact that Dr. Becker let his translation stand without much commentary, aside from the necessary annotations and a few comments about its relevancy to today's conditions.  To that end, I trust he would say it applies to both sides of the current debates in the Synod today.

Pr. Engebretson,

Historical writings like these remind us that problems are never really new. Legalism and antinomianism have dogged the church Lutheran for a long time. Yet, for whom is this written today? Is ELS, Mr Teigen's denomination marked by legalism? I do not know. He might tell us in his own words. Is your denomination, LCMS - right? - marked by legalism? I would assume that someone out there thinks that. They can speak for themselves I would guess. Is Mr. Mundinger's denomination, the ELCA which I also claim as my church, thick with legalists? Well, yes and no. We are legalistic about being auto-nomian and that is about the extent of the matter. That might mean that we are basically antinomian by definition and these theses, beautifully written as they might be, really do not apply to us, though out there somewhere is probably someone who would like to throw them out as a stick in the eye of those to whom he wants to say: Your not the boss of me now!

I hope Pr. Schwan also wrote theses against antinomianism. Those I would love to read as they would apply to my neck of the woods.

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