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Messages - R. T. Fouts

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Your Turn / Re: Finding faith in the new progressive movement
« on: December 24, 2017, 07:53:59 PM »
There is a clear disjunction between progressivism with its utopian ends and Christian eschatology. That said, what progressives often attempt to manifest through earthly governments, we embrace communally as proleptic participants in our not-yet realized future, because we are also living it now.  The difference, however, is that progressivism hinges the accomplishment of these social values upon human institutions.  Their failure rests in the notion that humans (and therefore human institutions) are inherently good and trustworthy.  Recognizing the reality of human depravity, we recognize a need for governments. But we also realize true biblical justice through charity, not by means of secular authorities.

I attended an ELCA service this afternoon with a family member. Beautiful building. Lots of people. Jesus the baby was present as was Jesus the social justice warrior. The Jesus who came to die for our sins was absent.  The message had lots of emphasis on reading yourself into the Scriptures and looking for God in your feelings. Little emphasis on looking to the external Word for truth.  Iím not sure what translation was used for the readings but it was definitely PC.  Very progressive.

By "progressivism" I was speaking in the technical sense of American culture and life, typified by the "progressive movement" from 1870ish-1920ish, and experiencing an ideological "revival" of sorts in American political life today.  It was a movement that promised a utopian future, which generated an inevitable let-down in the decades which followed when the capacities of man for evil and destruction became so evident in the early 20th century that post-Enlightenment optimism which saw the human condition "progressing" to a higher and better reality was shattered.   I was speaking of an ideology that underpins much of what might be called "leftism" today... which doesn't really have to do with what bible translation is being used in Scripture.   We were probably using the word in two different ways.

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Your Turn / Re: New LCMS Catechism -- A Question
« on: December 20, 2017, 02:44:31 PM »
It all goes back to Genesis. That's where Jesus takes the question when the Pharisees ask him about divorce and remarriage. When we run issues of male/female, marriage, dominion, in the way of power grabs then we are running it all through a hermeneutic of exploitation, thus the very "shame" that made the primordial couple hide their nakedness.  When it is all run though the Creator, in whose image we are remade in Christ, then it is a hermeneutic of gift that defines questions of authority and dominion. In Christ, authority is not exploitative but is a sacrificial gift, reciprocated likewise by the other.

To return to the original question, abuse in many forms follows the way of Genesis 3, the her,enduring of exploitation which defines the relationship in terms of what each can seize for oneself from the other.  Abuse is inimical to marriage, which was instituted to reflect the communion between God and his creatures, between male and female.

Abuse can, even as Moses allowed a certificate of divorce, violate marriage and become a viable reason for divorce.  But In the way of Creation, this is always a tragedy compounded by human sin, and the temptation to turn what God intended to reflect mutual gift of one to the other into  exploitation. Word studies on "porneia" miss the point. The issue is that a sexually unfaithful spouse, just as an abusive one, has effectively abandoned the marriage already. 

But this hermeneutic of exploitation can be reversed in the image of God in Christ... Through death and resurrection.  Still, those who refuse to die in Christ die alone in their way of an and exploitation. Abuse does not necessitate divorce. Forgiveness is possible. But to divorce an abusive spouse when such abuse persists without repentance is, often, an unfortunate necessity. It should still be lamented. Anytime sin fractures what God has unified, it is lamentable.

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Your Turn / Re: Finding faith in the new progressive movement
« on: December 20, 2017, 02:25:39 PM »
There is a clear disjunction between progressivism with its utopian ends and Christian eschatology. That said, what progressives often attempt to manifest through earthly governments, we embrace communally as proleptic participants in our not-yet realized future, because we are also living it now.  The difference, however, is that progressivism hinges the accomplishment of these social values upon human institutions.  Their failure rests in the notion that humans (and therefore human institutions) are inherently good and trustworthy.  Recognizing the reality of human depravity, we recognize a need for governments. But we also realize true biblical justice through charity, not by means of secular authorities.

It is not humanity essentially that is the problem, but human sinfulness. In this respect, insofar as the church consists of fallen humans I do say the same. Insofar as the church consists of saints, redeemed into the image of God in Christ... No.  But there is an inherent difference between an attempt to make utopia ourselves via human institutions (progressivism) and simply living out the Kingod of God in which we are already a part through the church.


Do you say the same thing about the church - made up of humans (and therefore a human institution)?

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Your Turn / Re: In Colorado, The Cake is in the Supreme Court oven
« on: December 19, 2017, 08:33:18 PM »
Swap LBGT with African American all day. The business owner assumes the economic risks of a boycott and, simply, rejecting paying customers regardless.  It is his business. His risk. Is it wrong? Yes, but it is still his right. 

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Your Turn / Re: In Colorado, The Cake is in the Supreme Court oven
« on: December 19, 2017, 08:29:51 PM »
If a gay baker refused to bake a cake for my son's confirmation, because he dislikes Christianity, I would not sue him.  I would go find another baker.  He has a right to operate his own business however he likes.

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Your Turn / Re: Finding faith in the new progressive movement
« on: December 19, 2017, 08:17:31 PM »
There is a clear disjunction between progressivism with its utopian ends and Christian eschatology. That said, what progressives often attempt to manifest through earthly governments, we embrace communally as proleptic participants in our not-yet realized future, because we are also living it now.  The difference, however, is that progressivism hinges the accomplishment of these social values upon human institutions.  Their failure rests in the notion that humans (and therefore human institutions) are inherently good and trustworthy.  Recognizing the reality of human depravity, we recognize a need for governments. But we also realize true biblical justice through charity, not by means of secular authorities.

7
Your Turn / Re: In Colorado, The Cake is in the Supreme Court oven
« on: December 18, 2017, 12:16:47 AM »
I take a libertarian approach to this issue, no it has nothing to do with my views against same sex marriage.  If a racist baker refuses to bake for blacks... I say let him. He is declining Capitol, rejecting customers, and will be judged by the free market when people boycott his business.  He will reap what he does regardless.   Still, it is important that we allow business people to produce the products they wish to produce.

8
Your Turn / Re: LCMS kerfuffle
« on: December 18, 2017, 12:12:04 AM »
I've never felt that the age of the earth was a matter Lutherans should be all that preoccupied with. Bishop Ussher saddled the Anglicans and, therefore, the Reformed with that dispute.  I am quite comfortable leaving the age of the earth question unanswered so long as we understand that God is Creator, we are his Creatures... And that dynamic is the primary concern of Genesis 1-2. While I have no qualms with a six day creationist viewpoint, we still had better recognize that focusing on this issue misses the point of the text.  The "who" of Creator is immeasurably more important than the "when." And one can maintain a confession of biblical inspiration and inerrancy without committing to a 24 hour day length here.  I personally lean toward the 24 hour day, but I also recognize that this rests on flimsy exegetical grounds.

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Your Turn / Re: Noah the movie
« on: February 23, 2014, 02:31:00 AM »
WHO CARES how inaccurate it is...

How about we just take the opportunity to use this attention to talk about the Gospel to people!  People get stuff wrong.. duh...   who cares.... lets take those conversations and preach the GOSPEL!

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Your Turn / Re: The Public Role of the Pastor In The Community
« on: February 17, 2013, 04:19:21 AM »
No BA here, but I do have a BS from Northwest Missouri State.  I like to say that I started with some BS and just kept piling it on. :)  I found doing my undergraduate work outside of the Concordia system had its advantages.  I just exchanged some of the advantage of having more of a foundation in the languages, for building a foundation in experience that makes worldliness a little less shocking than it would have been having grown up in sheltered suburbia.  I laughed once when one of my seminary classmates tried to defend how "worldly" people are at Concordia schools by pointing out they "even had a gay person there!"  Really?  Shocking! I'm sure it has evolved since the late 90s, though. They may have four or five there now.  :)

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Your Turn / Re: The Public Role of the Pastor In The Community
« on: February 14, 2013, 06:46:39 PM »
I agree -- I don't think Pastor Rossow is totally at fault.  The media took those comments out of context.  Nonetheless, when such discussions are open to the public, as I predicted at the time, they can create a great scandal.   I think it would just be great to see the Brothers own up to their role, and try to do something so that the "comments" on their articles are more "in-house" by log-in only.  Typically, the articles there are not a problem at all.  I find many of them very helpful, in fact.  It is the commentary that follows that, frankly, gives them a bad name.   

I also agree -- it is sad that these comments were shared with the media after they had, in fact, been taken down.  Apparently, it was President Harrison who had actually contacted Pastor Rossow to have them taken down.  I commend President Harrison for this -- I really think we need to come up with some sort of general "code of conduct" for how we behave online.   Obviously, Synod can't "control" privately owned websites... but some general rules we agree on, so we can prevent public offense and keep the in-house discussions, in-house. 

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Your Turn / Re: Rear Admiral the Rev. Daniel Gard
« on: February 14, 2013, 03:53:38 PM »
I replied to this post in another thread -- but I'll repeat it here.

Congratulations on your well deserved promotion Dr. Gard.  May the Lord be with you as you endeavor to fulfill the ministry you've been entrusted with. 

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Your Turn / Re: The Public Role of the Pastor In The Community
« on: February 14, 2013, 03:52:34 PM »
Quote
And as I stated before, there seems to be an underlying doubt about the efficacy of The Word and its status as a performative speech act manifested by those who question and/or condemn his actions.

EXACTLY.   That's my point as well.  If we fear that proclaiming the Word in a pluralistic setting simply allows the Gospel to "blend in" with all the false religions present, we in essence say that we doubt the ability of the Holy Spirit in the Word to distinguish itself through it all. 

I'm not sure why we feel the need to refute pluralism every time we engage (or refuse to engage) our pluralistic culture.  The Gospel essentially does that already.  One action will neither tear down someone's pluralistic worldview, nor will it confirm them in pluralism.  When the Word is spoken, though, accompanied by the Holy Spirit... that Word never returns void.   It seems some are putting more credence on the *potential* of false impressions to lead people astray than  on the efficacy of the WORD itself. 

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Your Turn / Re: The Public Role of the Pastor In The Community
« on: February 14, 2013, 03:47:53 PM »
Chaplains,

Please join with me in congratulating our newest flag officer, Chaplain Dan Gard, CAPT, CHC, USNR to Rear Admiral (lower half) for the Naval Reserve Chaplain community. Dan is currently serving as Joint Task Force chaplain, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.  Dr. Gard serves the church as full-time professor of Exegetical Theology, Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne and is also the Dean for Military Chaplain Programs at the Seminary.  Blessings, Dan, on your promotion and service to God and Country!
 

Mark J. Schreiber
CAPT, CHC, USN (Ret.)
Director, Ministry to the Armed Forces

Well deserved.  God's blessings on all this promotion will mean for the ministry God has entrusted to you, Dr. Gard. 

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Your Turn / Re: The Public Role of the Pastor In The Community
« on: February 14, 2013, 12:44:19 PM »
Whether or not we should "pray with" them... and whether or not we should participate in these events... are different questions.  Rev. Morris didn't pray.   From my view of what he said, his Trinitarian blessing actually stuck out like a sore thumb against all the generic nonsense everyone else was speaking.   

It gets to be an odd question, though.  Should I decline if I am asked to offer a prayer before a meal at a community dinner, because some who are present might not be Christians?    IF this is not a WORSHIP SERVICE (and I don't think it is), offering a prayer in this context is no different... but these events are sort of in a grey area... not really worship, not the same as a community event, etc...

My general rule of thumb... if such a tragedy were to happen in my community and I were asked to join... would be, to ask to be given the chance to instead read a word of Scripture or speak a meditation upon Scripture, rather than to pray. 

That said -- I still don't think these events count as syncretistic worship services.   They are community events, for the purpose of hearing various words of comfort, in a pluralistic world.   Again, the advantage of being in a pluralistic world is that we actually get an invitation... we can present a clear Gospel message in these forums... as Paul did in Acts 17... without trying to correct an entire pluralistic culture in a single statement.    Correcting pluralism doesn't happen in one statement, it happens as you engage people with a message that IS exclusive... and guide them through the struggle over time. 

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