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Topics - Mike Bennett

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Your Turn / Lutheran Orthodox Church?
« on: November 23, 2018, 12:01:01 PM »
Does anybody have useful information about or experience with this body?  I recently became aware of it, but have been unable to learn anything useful, such as where the nearest congregation might be.  The web site says to e-mail to ask, but I am just peeking right now. The main thing I have learned is that there are more than a dozen archbishops. I presume therefore that there must be quite a few congregations.

Your Turn / On My Mother's Side - Theology?
« on: September 07, 2010, 01:49:38 PM »
A friend of mine from high school posted a link to this catchy song on his facebook page:

Being a country music lover I like the sound. 

And the theology was pretty good up to a point, I thought, until the answers to the question:  "What's your plan?" So what do you all think of the theology of the answers to that question, from a two natures theological point of view?  I'm thinking it misses the mark regarding exactly Who died on the cross? and Who rose on the third day?  (Jesus of Nazareth, or God the Son, or both?)  But maybe I'm wrong, or maybe those answers are too big for processing by my human brain.

(I also have a little quibble with the "on my Father's side" answer to the question "Where're you from?"  but it's a relatively minor quibble).

Thanks in advance for your thoughts, and for a rancor-free topic.

Mike Bennett

Your Turn / War of One Man Against Every Man
« on: August 30, 2010, 11:13:08 AM »
A teaser from a thought-provoking article:

"The author and commenters bristled at my critique. I bristled right back. The argument escalated. At one point, I said to myself, “All right, you want to play hardball, we’ll play hardball” — and I would have cut loose and said exactly what I wanted to say, except that at that moment my hands were shaking too violently for me to type accurately. I looked at my trembling fingers for a moment. Then I closed that browser tab and spent a few minutes removing all Anglican-related blogs from my bookmarks and my RSS reader. I stopped reading those blogs and have never looked at them again to this day. I don't think I’ve ever made a better decision."

The full article can be read at:

Anybody here who hasn't experienced what Prof. Jacobs writes about?
Anybody here who hasn't experienced it right here at ALPB Forum Online?
Could this be a place where mercy and charity grow?
(By the way, I think this forum is far, far from the worst, which is why it's one of the few I still visit and even occasionally post to).

Mike Bennett

Your Turn / God's Word and Our Interpretation
« on: December 27, 2009, 10:58:10 AM »
On another thread,

Brian Stoffregen wrote:
God's word doesn't change, but our interpretations and applications of it have changed over the centuries, and they change depending on our own life-experiences. It's likely that if you ask a group of people about their understanding of a passage of scriptures, there will be differences -- often because of their own experiences.

To which Tom Pearson replied:
I suppose there is a trivial, empirical sense in which Brian is right about this -- there are a lot of people who have adopted this sort of viewpoint on the understanding of God's Word.  But I also believe this perspective represents a terrible mistake about human understanding, is rationally indefensible, and entails the erosion of the incarnate church.  I guess that makes it a pretty bad idea, no matter how many people fall into it.

During the past half-decade, ELCA folks have sometimes said that the problem in our house is not sexuality, but the authority of scripture.  It seems to me, however, that this question of "interpretation" needs to be addressed before we clarify issues related to the authority of scripture.  Everyone invokes the authority of scripture, on all sides; we saw that repeatedly at the CWA in Minneapolis.  What we need to figure out is what kind of thing an "interpretation" is, what role "interpretation" plays in theology, whether there are good "interpretations" and "bad "interpretations," and how we tell the difference.

Let me offer one puzzlement (expressed in three questions) about all this.  Brian, you say that “God's word doesn't change, but our interpretations and applications of it have changed over the centuries, and they change depending on our own life-experiences.”  If this is so, how do we distinguish between “God’s word” (which doesn’t change) and “interpretations of God’s word” (which do change)?  It is possible reliably to identify “God’s word” apart from any “interpretation of God’s word”?   If not, what’s the point of separating “God’s word” from “interpretations of God’s word”?

And Brian answered:
To give a too simple answer as I need to get ready for church. I've used the oxymoronic phrase tentative absolutes to talk about our understanding/interpretation of God's Word. While we may present our interpretation as an absolute of God's Word, I believe that by seeing it also as a human interpretation, there is always a tentativeness about it; meaning, God can reveal a new and different interpretation/understanding at sometime in the future.

It might be that the dichotomy is better defined as "God's revelation" and "human interpretation". Does an interpretation come only because of our human abilities or is God involved in the interpretations? If the second, would God give different revelations at different times? Based on what I have experienced in my life of faith, I would say yes. It seems as tons God has given different revelations of the meaning of his Word at different times in my life.


I think this has the potential to be a good and useful converstion, so I've started a new thread, on which I request that folks (including my bad self) please refrain from snark, insults, and ad hominem arguments, so actual conversation about an important question can take place.

Forum Blogs / My Sex Life
« on: November 23, 2009, 12:17:09 PM »
The original of this posting has been obliterated by the author.

Your Turn / The Lutheran Study Bible
« on: September 03, 2009, 09:59:05 PM »
Mine was in my mailbox today.  Didn't have much time this evening to thumb through it, but at first glance it looks very good - very Lutheran. I expect to give it a good workout.  I'd be interested in others' observations and reactions.

Mike Bennett

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