Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.


Messages - Rev. Edward Engelbrecht

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 58
1
Your Turn / Re: Self Defense
« on: Yesterday at 08:58:17 PM »
I have been pondering Matthew 5: 38--42.

38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40 And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. 41 And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42 Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you."

Jesus begins with a standard for equal justice from the Law of Moses. No doubt, there were various interpretations and applications of the standard in Judaism during the first century. It might be used to justify legal action (cf. v. 40) or to justify extra-legal forms of retaliation (e.g., the Zealots and Sicarii resisting Roman occupation, referenced in v. 41).

Something I notice about the passage is that none of the examples are life-threatening. They are all examples of annoyance and inconvenience involving humiliation, loss of property, and time. The "evil" in v. 39 describes exploitative behavior but not something like murder. Jesus is teaching his disciples to endure annoyances and inconveniences rather than demand equitable treatment or to seek vengeance. Therefore, I conclude that the passage does not forbid someone from defending against loss of life.

2
Your Turn / Re: Self Defense
« on: Yesterday at 08:16:09 AM »
Below is the reason I found Dr. Biermann's article of interest. Our family has been living with questions of self defense since last fall. A protection order offers no actual protection. The police can and do show up in a matter of minutes but not every time. For example, if there is a high priority issue in progress, that will slow them down. Someone acting with intent to harm or kill will not be quickly stopped by police.

Members of the congregation have offered to loan me weapons; two officers have invited me to train with them at the gun range. So far I have not pursued those options. We have had armed persons at services. The case is assigned to the Columbus stalking detectives; the prosecutor is pursuing felony charges.

https://youtu.be/6m-VaOnMc5Y

3
Your Turn / Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« on: June 23, 2021, 03:37:53 PM »
I would put money on the assertion that no LCMS pastor ever objected to members or his congregation praying for one another, visiting each other, comforting each other, and otherwise nurturing and tending to each other. "Mrs. Johnson is in the hospital? How dare the Schmidts pray for her recovery! Who authorized Mrs. Jones to go up to her room and hold her hand and pray with her? That's all MY job! No one else may pray, visit, nurture, and otherwise show care for a member of MY flock, especially not the other members of MY flock! Mrs. Johnson will just have to sit in the hospital by herself until I get back from this conference." Such a tirade has never happened. Even the hyper-Euros, if such there be, were glad to know that the Schmidt family prayed for Mrs. Johnson and Mrs. Jones went up to her room to visit her, and that the members of the flock showed mutual care and support.

As for preaching/teaching the Word and the job of listening, that is just the catechism. Hold it sacred and gladly hear and learn it. That's your job. All receptive, no feedback except a hearty Amen. It isn't a dialog, it is a one-way thing from God to man mediated through the Church. Our response is not preaching/teaching back, but prayer and praise with the faith created by the preaching and teaching.

Peter, Catechism is inherently dialogue, developing as questions and answers. Our printed editions embody that teaching method from the earliest years of the church, which also illustrates how a faithful pastor interacts with his flock. If we don't listen to our people, how will we discern how to apply Law and Gospel for their lives?
That's true. And the answer to the question about our approach to the Word is that we are to hold it sacred and gladly hear and learn it. So if a pastor says it is his job to preach and the congregation's job to listen, then (assuming the context of that conversation was the sermon in worship) that pastor was simply reiterating what the catechism teaches about the matter. It is his job to preach and it is the laity's job to listen.   

Thanks. My experience is that some pastors never get out of preach mode and end up taking offense when people ask them questions after/outside the service. Perhaps because of insecurity, they are uncomfortable listening to their people.


What happens when confirmation students ask questions other than those written for them in the Catechism? The Small Catechism isn't really a dialogue when the teacher tells them what questions they are to ask so that he can read the answers out of a book.

My point was that the printed catechism stems from dialogue that took place across centuries (e.g., modern catechisms address topics like abortion and euthanasia, which earlier editions did not). If current catechumens ask questions, praise God, we address them. Perhaps that dialogue leads to a future edition of the catechism.

4
Your Turn / Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« on: June 23, 2021, 11:47:31 AM »
I would put money on the assertion that no LCMS pastor ever objected to members or his congregation praying for one another, visiting each other, comforting each other, and otherwise nurturing and tending to each other. "Mrs. Johnson is in the hospital? How dare the Schmidts pray for her recovery! Who authorized Mrs. Jones to go up to her room and hold her hand and pray with her? That's all MY job! No one else may pray, visit, nurture, and otherwise show care for a member of MY flock, especially not the other members of MY flock! Mrs. Johnson will just have to sit in the hospital by herself until I get back from this conference." Such a tirade has never happened. Even the hyper-Euros, if such there be, were glad to know that the Schmidt family prayed for Mrs. Johnson and Mrs. Jones went up to her room to visit her, and that the members of the flock showed mutual care and support.

As for preaching/teaching the Word and the job of listening, that is just the catechism. Hold it sacred and gladly hear and learn it. That's your job. All receptive, no feedback except a hearty Amen. It isn't a dialog, it is a one-way thing from God to man mediated through the Church. Our response is not preaching/teaching back, but prayer and praise with the faith created by the preaching and teaching.

Peter, Catechism is inherently dialogue, developing as questions and answers. Our printed editions embody that teaching method from the earliest years of the church, which also illustrates how a faithful pastor interacts with his flock. If we don't listen to our people, how will we discern how to apply Law and Gospel for their lives?
That's true. And the answer to the question about our approach to the Word is that we are to hold it sacred and gladly hear and learn it. So if a pastor says it is his job to preach and the congregation's job to listen, then (assuming the context of that conversation was the sermon in worship) that pastor was simply reiterating what the catechism teaches about the matter. It is his job to preach and it is the laity's job to listen.   

Thanks. My experience is that some pastors never get out of preach mode and end up taking offense when people ask them questions after/outside the service. Perhaps because of insecurity, they are uncomfortable listening to their people.

5
Your Turn / Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« on: June 23, 2021, 11:02:08 AM »
I would put money on the assertion that no LCMS pastor ever objected to members or his congregation praying for one another, visiting each other, comforting each other, and otherwise nurturing and tending to each other. "Mrs. Johnson is in the hospital? How dare the Schmidts pray for her recovery! Who authorized Mrs. Jones to go up to her room and hold her hand and pray with her? That's all MY job! No one else may pray, visit, nurture, and otherwise show care for a member of MY flock, especially not the other members of MY flock! Mrs. Johnson will just have to sit in the hospital by herself until I get back from this conference." Such a tirade has never happened. Even the hyper-Euros, if such there be, were glad to know that the Schmidt family prayed for Mrs. Johnson and Mrs. Jones went up to her room to visit her, and that the members of the flock showed mutual care and support.

As for preaching/teaching the Word and the job of listening, that is just the catechism. Hold it sacred and gladly hear and learn it. That's your job. All receptive, no feedback except a hearty Amen. It isn't a dialog, it is a one-way thing from God to man mediated through the Church. Our response is not preaching/teaching back, but prayer and praise with the faith created by the preaching and teaching.

Peter, Catechism is inherently dialogue, developing as questions and answers. Our printed editions embody that teaching method from the earliest years of the church, which also illustrates how a faithful pastor interacts with his flock. If we don't listen to our people, how will we discern how to apply Law and Gospel for their lives?

6
Your Turn / Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« on: June 23, 2021, 06:07:53 AM »
Pres. Benke wrote:

Quote
d) know for sure that there are plenty of LCMS clergy who would disagree with what we're saying in the sense that their opinion is that visitation/tending/prayer belongs to their Divine Call and no one else should be out there doing that.

I have interacted with pastors who told their members they could only get forgiveness through their absolution and not, for example, through praying the Lord's Prayer. I learned about this view after publication of an article on the topic of confession and absolution and subsequent conversations on the topic.

One pastor who thought this way grew out of this mindset, as I recall. I'm not sure about what happened with others.

I have heard a pastor say that it was his job to preach and the congregation's job to listen, that ministry did not involve dialogue.

So I can't confirm the particular concern Pres. Benke voices but I have seen examples of the attitude he describes. I've not seen these issues in recent years. It would be closer to twenty years ago.

7
Your Turn / Re: Self Defense
« on: June 22, 2021, 05:34:41 AM »

A feature of Dr. Biermann's article that confused me was his statements that human beings do not have rights because they are contingent beings. He holds that there are no human rights (and therefore, no right to self defense or to bear arms). He does hold that a police officer could intervene to defend someone because he is called to do so.


I read the passage on "rights" in Dr. Biermann's article as indicating his endorsement of the idea that a decent Christian anthropology would not regard human persons as any sort of Enlightenment version of rational autonomous agents endowed with inalienable "rights."  It strikes me as a coram Deo perspective: from a God's-eye view, all human persons are fragile sinners who depend completely on God for their existence and identity; therefore, any anthropology that includes an assertion of human "rights" will inevitably lead to an inflated, self-important account of humanity that is an affront to God and neighbor.

Dr. Biermann wrote an excellent text surveying Lutheran approaches to virtue ethics, and virtue ethicists are generally discouraging about the legitimacy of "rights."  So I suppose his comments in the LF article come as no surprise.

Of course, coram hominibus, indifference (or hostility) to human "rights" has historically been catastrophic among human communities.  So "rights" may not have much theological traction, but they better have social and legal traction in our public life.

Tom Pearson

I have to say, I did find the arguments surprising because of texts like the following in current translations:

Proverbs 29:7
A righteous man knows the rights of the poor; a wicked man does not understand such knowledge.

Proverbs 31:4--5
It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine or for rulers to take strong drink,
Lest they drink and forget what has been decreed and pervert the rights of all the afflicted.

Proverbs 31:8
Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute.

Proverbs 31:9
Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.

The word in these passages is a Hebrew/Near Eastern legal term (וְדִין) for justice. Luther translates with "Sache"; KJV with "cause." The sense is that people may expect just treatment from others. So, for example, with the Fifth Commandment, they may expect that their neighbors will not murder them. I don't know how that relates to Enlightenment ideals of human rights but the legal idea of rights seems much older than the Enlightenment and foundational to legal proceedings.

8
Your Turn / Re: Self Defense
« on: June 21, 2021, 08:18:45 PM »
Civil law gives every citizen the right to defend oneself as well as others from deadly harm.

More accurately, civil law recognizes and protects the right to defend oneself as well as others from deadly harm.

Our question is whether "divine law" recognizes and protects the right to defend oneself or others from deadly harm. We know that Jesus did not exercise his right to defend himself from deadly harm. He also commanded his followers "to carry your cross," (whatever that might mean).

The statement about civil law was a mild correction to a common error.  Our civil legal system bases many things on the concept of fundamental rights that individuals have without any grant from civil authority.

If "divine law" does not recognize a right to defensive uses of force, why did Jesus not tell his disciples to get rid of the swords they had?

A feature of Dr. Biermann's article that confused me was his statements that human beings do not have rights because they are contingent beings. He holds that there are no human rights (and therefore, no right to self defense or to bear arms). He does hold that a police officer could intervene to defend someone because he is called to do so.

9
Your Turn / Re: Bible Study Recommendations?
« on: June 21, 2021, 11:48:49 AM »
CPH has a resource called, Life by His Word, which includes reproduceable studies for every book and chapter of Scripture. I think they are even downloadable. One might start out talking about family/household as the foundation for government since discipline and care are learned first at home, which God instituted. On the topic of government, your group might cover the following texts:

Genesis 9:5-6. The Lord Commands Retribution
Genesis 41. Joseph Becomes Second to Pharaoh
Exodus 1. Living under Bad Government
Deuteronomy 17:14-20. Moses Describes Judgment and Kingship
Judges 2. Israel goes astray
Nehemiah. A Faithful Government Official
Acts 5. The Apostles Obey God rather than Man
Romans 13. The Role of Government
1 Peter 2:13-25. Christian Citizens

No doubt, others may add other passages and thoughts.

Basic questions:
In view of Scripture, what makes good government?
In view of Scripture, what makes bad government?
How was the relationship of God's people to government different in the Old and New Testaments?
What is my role, responsibility, and privilege as a Christian citizen?
How are you praying for your leadership? Explain the reason for the petitions you voice.

10
Your Turn / Re: Self Defense
« on: June 20, 2021, 07:09:29 PM »
Our church has installed an armed intruder alarm. If activated it will notify our local police department that we havemanmarmed intruder and they need to respond accordingly. Don't expect we'll ever need to use it. The equipment was supplied to us free of charge by our church insurance company.

This is helpful to know. Thank you.

11
Your Turn / Re: Self Defense
« on: June 20, 2021, 02:17:14 PM »
For the New Testament, I suppose these passages illustrate the tensions:

Luke 22:35-38, 49-51
Matthew 26:52

12
Your Turn / Self Defense
« on: June 19, 2021, 06:18:50 PM »
I've been reading "Safety First: Should Christians Bring Guns into Churches?" by Joel Biermann (LF, Winter 2020, 39-46). I find myself pondering Dr Biermann's statement that Christians should not defend themselves. I see some issues with the essay.

For example, he quotes Luther commenting on the Sermon on the Mount regarding turning the other cheek and similar passages. These quotations are from early Luther in the mid-1520s, as near as I can tell. I wonder whether Luther's mature thought on such questions has been considered. For example, Lutheran princes participated in defensive leagues because of the threats from Rome. (If memory serves, the Schmalkald Articles were drafted to facilitate such a league.) How would that factor into one's thinking about the matter of self-defense?

I find myself thinking about Nehemiah chapter 4, where the remnant is rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem while bearing arms. Also, Mordecai's drafted letter on behalf of King Ahasuerus making it legal for the Jewish people to defend themselves against any that might attack them (Esther 8 ). These might be dismissed As Old Testament texts that do not speak to the Christian life. However, these passages deserve some consideration as we simply do not dismiss the Old Testament.

As an inner city pastor, the matter of defense is not an abstract question for me. I wonder what others think.

13
Your Turn / Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« 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.

14
Your Turn / Re: Fasting Seminar
« on: June 17, 2021, 10:16:14 PM »
Do we consider the bridegroom to have been taken away in which case we should fast - and early disciples did fast - Acts 13:2-3; 14:23 - these are all the references to fasting; the words are used in other contexts to refer to "hunger"? Do we consider the bridegroom to be with us (the resurrection) in which case it is not the time to fast?

Yes.

Orthodox Christians (Anitochian, in particular) do not Fast during Paschatide (through Ascension Day) because the victorious bridegroom is still with us.  But the Friday after Ascension Day the normal Wednesday + Friday fasting resumes.

The victorious Bridegroom is always with us through the Eucharist.   Yet we still pray for the coming of His Kingdom.

So the question posed is truly a "both/and" rather than an "either/or".

Yes. I always eat three meals on Sunday, even in Lent, to feast the resurrection. Throughout Eastertide, I ate three regular meals. A difference is, having fasted, one do not eat so much during a feast season. One's stomach feels too tight.

15
Your Turn / Re: Fasting Seminar
« on: June 17, 2021, 02:06:01 PM »
Excellent.

The burden of proof is truly upon those who have knowingly and willfully departed from the early Christian practice.

And not simply with regard to Fasting!

And St. Paul (and the Holy Spirit) remind us that such things are not commanded or required (Colossians 2:16-23):  "Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day.  These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.  Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you. Such a person also goes into great detail about what they have seen; they are puffed up with idle notions by their unspiritual mind.  They have lost connection with the head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow.  Since you died with Christ to the elemental spiritual forces of this world, why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its rules:  'Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!'?  These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish with use, are based on merely human commands and teachings.  Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence."

You want to fast?  Go ahead.  Is it helpful?  Perhaps.  But do not make it obligatory on others.

I think the parallel with worship and prayer is a helpful one. When Jesus teaches about fasting, He says, "When you fast . . ." setting forth an expectation that people will. But He doesn't go into details about when. He does provide comment about how, given that some at that time were doing it for show.

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 58