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Messages - Rev. Edward Engelbrecht

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1
Your Turn / Re: Stop...Go...Wait...Uh...
« on: Today at 09:31:23 PM »
I was unaware of the Large Catechism project and the furor that sprang up around it. After learning about it here, I came upon some Facebook exchanges that surprised me further. (I've intentionally isolated myself from synod matters so I can focus locally.)

Does the furor look to others like a political test flight, to see who would rally to a cause and measure possibilities for change?
I think so, not about the election but about the willingness of the LCMS to become a recognizable. cohesive counter-culture as opposed to trying to be a faithful presence within mainstream culture. In short, it was an attempt to force a general referendum in the LCMS on the sanity of mainstream American society. Very much akin to the ruckus over wokeism at CUW. To those on the right, the time for going along to get along has passed. The time for choosing has come. Any effort to make Lutheranism of the Christian life seem more palatable to academia, mainline protestantism, of modern society generally is a surrender.   

My sense, though, is that the folks calling for great change were once supporters of the current leadership. They are people who formerly were excited about projects coming out of synod but have grown more cynical and hostile. They haven't gotten what they wanted.
But again, it is a burgeoning movement that has only recently gained much strength (rejecting parochial schools for homeschooling, for example, has a long niche history but in the last five or ten years has become mainstream in the LCMS), and the surrounding culture, which has always been problematic, has moved drastically away from its Christian moorings in the last few years. As I said in the other thread, I think the rapid and highly visible success of the trans movement was the straw that broke the camel's back (along with justifications of the murderous destruction of the Floyd riots and subsequent kowtowing to anti-Christian CRT). Sure these fringe conservatives supported Harrison against Kieschnick. And sure, Harrison hasn't changed. Nor, really, have those who elected him. What has changed, in their mind, is the urgent need of the moment. When Harrison was elected, gay marriage was illegal and candidates of both major parties campaigned against it. The idea of the culture totally dedicated to normalizing drag queens among schoolchildren is recent. Harrison was elected before all that to hold the line. But since then, in their view, the line has broken. What they want now is someone who will lead the effort in the LCMS to regroup as an unapologetic counter-culture now that holding the line within the culture is a lost cause.

My children attend or attended LCMS parochial schools. My congregations have been larger and not really part of this movement. I don't know anyone (I don't think) at Gottesdienst. And I think the recent craziness about the CPH catechism was ridiculous. But I think I understand the deeper impetus behind this movement in ways the old moderates of the LCMS can only seems to perceive as rigid narrow-mindedness, and in this case I think the old moderates are mistaken. This is more than just wanting congregations or the seminaries to be more conservative. It is wanting the LCMS to be a recognizably counter-cultural movement and organization. That's why what really bothers them is appeasing efforts, equivocating, and coming across as trying to be acceptable to the culture or even explain ourselves to the culture on the culture's terms. What the old moderates take as doing our best, so far as it depends on us, to get along with everyone, they are taking as the sounding of an uncertain trumpet.     

The current team stays politically safe since people to the right and to the left can't join hands to form a significant opposition, I suppose. (The Kieschnick folks and the Gottesdienst folks would have to work together but can't.) Yet the bloom is off the rose.

2
Your Turn / Re: Stop...Go...Wait...Uh...
« on: Today at 05:57:49 PM »
I was unaware of the Large Catechism project and the furor that sprang up around it. After learning about it here, I came upon some Facebook exchanges that surprised me further. (I've intentionally isolated myself from synod matters so I can focus locally.)

Does the furor look to others like a political test flight, to see who would rally to a cause and measure possibilities for change?
I think so, not about the election but about the willingness of the LCMS to become a recognizable. cohesive counter-culture as opposed to trying to be a faithful presence within mainstream culture. In short, it was an attempt to force a general referendum in the LCMS on the sanity of mainstream American society. Very much akin to the ruckus over wokeism at CUW. To those on the right, the time for going along to get along has passed. The time for choosing has come. Any effort to make Lutheranism of the Christian life seem more palatable to academia, mainline protestantism, of modern society generally is a surrender.   

My sense, though, is that the folks calling for great change were once supporters of the current leadership. They are people who formerly were excited about projects coming out of synod but have grown more cynical and hostile. They haven't gotten what they wanted.

3
Your Turn / Re: Stop...Go...Wait...Uh...
« on: Today at 05:21:29 PM »
I was unaware of the Large Catechism project and the furor that sprang up around it. After learning about it here, I came upon some Facebook exchanges that surprised me further. (I've intentionally isolated myself from synod matters so I can focus locally.)

Does the furor look to others like a political test flight, to see who would rally to a cause and measure possibilities for change?

4
Your Turn / Re: New CPH Large Catechism
« on: Today at 02:01:24 PM »
(Snip) But just because the LCMS as an institution doesn't have the intestinal fortitude to oppose certain culturally mandated manifestations of feminism doesn't mean that I have to go along.  Now if you don't think featuring women lectors is obedience to this cultural mandate, then I would like to talk to you about this bridge I have for sale on a quit claim deed.  ;D  For you, today, real cheap!

Aaannddd there it is… after much reasoned dialogue, it devolves into “either agree with me or you’re a wimp and a dupe.” Meanwhile, look on my manliness and wiliness and dismay.

Now we are wandering towards that pattern I described before of believing faithfulness=boldness and boldness=rudeness and therefore rudeness=faithfulness.

And it is this very ethos that sparked the “twitstorm” on which this thread was based. If you go read the Gottesdienst article or the Twitter threads linked earlier, you will see this exact mindset. There’s the faithful position, and then there’s all the wimps who refuse to take the faithful position. Not helpful.

Rob, how is your response different from those you are taking to task?

Pastor Engelbrecht, please see my response to Pastor Preus. Hopefully, it addresses your question. If not, please feel free to point out where you believe my post is attacking character rather than critiquing behavior. If I have erred, I apologize.

Rob, I think you know why I did not name names when describing mobbing culture: (1) If you give mobsters a list of names,  they will attack those persons, (2) after suffering through all the steps of Matthew 18 and the synod's process, I signed a non-disclosure agreement, which allowed me to support my family but prevented me from naming names.

People will have conflict. It's how we respond in conflict that sets us apart. Blessed are the peacemakers; the war-makers live miserable, often short lives.

Actually, this is the first time I have ever read you explain why you took the course you took. Thank you for offering it.

I had thought we (those of us defending Edward) had said such at the time. Perhaps I am wrong about that and if so apologize.

Peace, JOHN

John, I think persons did come forward and say that. I was fairly tight lipped at that time because I did not know how things would go. I think I had said I'd made certain promises and that I was keeping my word.

I think NO ONE  in St. Louis wants me to brandish a list of names; I've moved on in my service feeling I did my duty to educate other church workers about the problem. I have toyed with the idea of publishing an article about vetting, mobbing,  and stalking since I've experienced all three.

5
Your Turn / Re: New CPH Large Catechism
« on: Today at 07:34:10 AM »
(Snip) But just because the LCMS as an institution doesn't have the intestinal fortitude to oppose certain culturally mandated manifestations of feminism doesn't mean that I have to go along.  Now if you don't think featuring women lectors is obedience to this cultural mandate, then I would like to talk to you about this bridge I have for sale on a quit claim deed.  ;D  For you, today, real cheap!

Aaannddd there it is… after much reasoned dialogue, it devolves into “either agree with me or you’re a wimp and a dupe.” Meanwhile, look on my manliness and wiliness and dismay.

Now we are wandering towards that pattern I described before of believing faithfulness=boldness and boldness=rudeness and therefore rudeness=faithfulness.

And it is this very ethos that sparked the “twitstorm” on which this thread was based. If you go read the Gottesdienst article or the Twitter threads linked earlier, you will see this exact mindset. There’s the faithful position, and then there’s all the wimps who refuse to take the faithful position. Not helpful.

Rob, how is your response different from those you are taking to task?

Pastor Engelbrecht, please see my response to Pastor Preus. Hopefully, it addresses your question. If not, please feel free to point out where you believe my post is attacking character rather than critiquing behavior. If I have erred, I apologize.

Rob, I think you know why I did not name names when describing mobbing culture: (1) If you give mobsters a list of names,  they will attack those persons, (2) after suffering through all the steps of Matthew 18 and the synod's process, I signed a non-disclosure agreement, which allowed me to support my family but prevented me from naming names.

People will have conflict. It's how we respond in conflict that sets us apart. Blessed are the peacemakers; the war-makers live miserable, often short lives.

6
Your Turn / Re: New CPH Large Catechism
« on: Yesterday at 05:30:23 PM »
(Snip) But just because the LCMS as an institution doesn't have the intestinal fortitude to oppose certain culturally mandated manifestations of feminism doesn't mean that I have to go along.  Now if you don't think featuring women lectors is obedience to this cultural mandate, then I would like to talk to you about this bridge I have for sale on a quit claim deed.  ;D  For you, today, real cheap!

Aaannddd there it is… after much reasoned dialogue, it devolves into “either agree with me or you’re a wimp and a dupe.” Meanwhile, look on my manliness and wiliness and dismay.

Now we are wandering towards that pattern I described before of believing faithfulness=boldness and boldness=rudeness and therefore rudeness=faithfulness.

And it is this very ethos that sparked the “twitstorm” on which this thread was based. If you go read the Gottesdienst article or the Twitter threads linked earlier, you will see this exact mindset. There’s the faithful position, and then there’s all the wimps who refuse to take the faithful position. Not helpful.

Rob, how is your response different from those you are taking to task?

7
Brian,  it was a long way around but it sounds like we're getting settled on the passage.

Which Greek grammar did you study back in the day?

8
Your Turn / Re: Stop...Go...Wait...Uh...
« on: Yesterday at 01:30:08 PM »
Well, the story is a comedy rather than a tragedy. That's good news. Reminds me of an old Warner Brothers bit: "Oh, we the boys of the chorus. We hope you like our show. We know you're rooting for us! And now we have to go."

9
I'll reply by paragraphs to your post above.

1. Actually, BAGD 2nd ed. agrees with the more traditional translations. "Priscilla and Aquila take Apollos aside to teach him undisturbed" (p. 717). In a following paragraph they list other examples where the grammar and context suggest the sense of taking into society/home/circle. Perhaps in these cases the action includes a large number of people. The editors don't include Acts 18 with those passages.

2. I'll not comment here but stay on the topic at hand.

3. See paragraph 1 above.

4. KJV has "they took him unto them" (18:26). This is the type of literal translation I provided above, based on the reflexive form in the Greek. "Them" is italic because it's implied by the grammar rather than literally represented in the Greek.

5. As noted earlier,  the CEB, etc. tends to be less accurate.  They're fine for readability but not helpful for supporting doctrine.

Brian,  instead of looking to the grammar and context, you are again reaching for a lexicon and other translations. I think this may be another example of difference in our training.  I was encouraged to work through the grammar before arriving at an interpretation. Lexicons and translations were there to help after studying the text itself.

10
Your Turn / Re: New CPH Large Catechism
« on: Yesterday at 10:28:54 AM »
I don't think you know what selective fellowship is.  It was used to describe those who expressed altar and pulpit fellowship with congregations with whom their synod was not in altar and pulpit fellowship.  It was not used to describe someone choosing ~not~ to commune at a congregation within his synodical fellowship for conscience reasons.  Those CTS profs didn't think they should commune under those circumstances, but they were not breaking fellowship with anyone.  As an evangelical Lutheran, I look at fellowship as the sharing of the sacred things.  As a legalist, you look at fellowship as an obligation to participate in Communion.  "The synod has spoken.  The synod says there's nothing wrong with having women lectors.  To hell with your conscience that won't let you commune where there are women lectors.  If you will not commune where there are women lectors, you are schismatic.  You should leave the synod!"  Now the fact that the synod didn't have women lectors and indeed opposed the practice for most of its history doesn't faze you.  For you, ecclesiastical identity is not grounded in the permanent truths, the unchanging gospel, the old paths of the fathers.  No.  You subscribe to the Brezhnev doctrine.  It's like a ratchet.  We take.  Then it's ours.  We don't back off.  We just keep on taking.  We move the teaching and practice in a more progressive direction and then claim legitimacy for a position that our fathers would have rejected.  Then we accuse those who won't acquiesce to our change of being the schismatics. 

I learned something by quitting the LCMS, joining the ELS, and getting kicked out of the ELS for confessing the doctrine I was taught in the LCMS.  I learned that I am a Missourian.  Yes, I am.  When I contend for the historic teaching and practice of Missouri, I don't do so out of loyalty to a church-political structure, but out of loyalty to a confession.  I love Missouri.  When she errs (which she will!), I will do my best to point out the error.  That's what brothers do.  We don't appeal to what has been decided politically.  We appeal to what is written.  That's the spirit of Missouri!   

Welcome home, Rolf. And God bless your service among us.

11
It looks like you might be reading the text in view of the lexicon rather than the lexicon in view of the text. Not every lexeme fits in every text. So as I was trained,  you study the text, understand the grammar and then consider the lexemes that agree with the grammar (if they're outside your vocabulary). The lexeme with "circle of acquaintances" might work in other cases but the grammar in verse 28 only allows for three persons: Priscilla,  Aquilla, and Apollos. That is why almost all translators go with something like "took him aside."

One only learns about others in v. 29, which clearly represents a later time when Apollos wanted to travel again. For v. 29 he had to have stayed long enough to meet and know these brothers and for them to feel confident about writing him a letter of recommendation. Do you see how that can't be read back into v. 28?


No. I think that it can be read back into v. 28.
[Only if you overlook the grammar. "Brothers" in v. 29 is the subject of a later sentence. Grammatically, you can't take the subject of a later sentence and read it into an earlier sentence. That's true in Greek as well as English.]

First of all, there wee no verse numbers when it was written.
[We only reference verse numbers for convenience. What you seem not to see is that v. 28 ends with one sentence. Verse 29 adds a later sentence. They are grammatically independent and, according to the basic practices of Greek grammar, you can't mix them.]

Secondly, as I've mentioned, why wouldn't Priscilla and Aquila's welcome be into the community of "brothers" that are mentioned later?
[The key here in your comment is "later." They perhaps did welcome them later into a circle of brothers. But that is not described in their first meeting mentioned in the sentence at the end of v. 28. Taking an inference from a later sentence and reading it back into an earlier sentence goes again basic grammar in Greek, also in English. You could only do this if the later text said something like, "On the same day Priscilla and Aquila met Apollos, they also introduced him to the other brothers," which of course is not there.]

Thirdly, there have been others indicated: verse. 24 has Apollos arriving in Ephesus. Verse 25 says that he was teaching - so there must have been a group of people who had listened to him. Verse 28 says that he was speaking in the synagogue - so there was that community of people.
[All well and good. But the subjects of proslambano are Priscilla and Aquila, not all those other people. None of them are in the nominative case and positioned with the verb in keeping with basic Greek grammar, so you can't conclude that they are part of the proslambano action.]

A fifth issue is whether proslambano is seen as "taking aside" or "receiving/welcoming" Apollos or as the TEV and CEV understand it: "they took him to their home."
[Literally. it says, "But having heard him, Priscilla and Aquilla took him to [themselves]," since the verb is reflexive as described earlier. Some translators will use "took him aside" envisioning the three of them circling up after the synagogue meeting. Others envision the three of them going together to Priscilla and Aquila's home, although there is no explicit reference to a home. These are different thoughts about the idiom. But the reference to a house is not explicitly supported by the wording. And the grammar excludes reading a "circle of friends" into the sentence of v. 28. The grammar shows that the brothers are engaged with Apollos later since the main verbs are separated by a temporal clause, "And when he wished to cross to Achaia."]

I'm adding my comments above in bold and brackets so that you can see the responses point by point.

12
Your Turn / Re: Adiaphora, Open Questions, or Neither
« on: February 03, 2023, 04:06:08 PM »
The second meaning for "anaginwsko" in BAG is "read aloud in public."
The "ana" preposition has a distributive sense. Ancient reading generally was aloud but here the point is out loud to other people. A woodenly literal translation would be "make known" but the word meant public reading already in classical Greek.
Thanks for those clarifications! Still wondering about the basis (if any) for treating the Greek word for "teaching" in 1 Timothy 2:12 as specifically signifying public teaching.

It's the ordinary infinite form, no modifying prefix. Paul uses the related noun in 4:13 where public activity is clearly meant. (Same verb Jesus uses commissioning the apostles,  as I recall.)There are numerous examples of "teach" in 1 Timothy,  which could provide context, though Paul might use other terms.

I would take "teach" to mean especially "teach the Faith" in the NT. Context could tell you whether public or private was meant.

13
Your Turn / Re: Adiaphora, Open Questions, or Neither
« on: February 03, 2023, 03:49:33 PM »
The "ana" preposition has a distributive sense. Ancient reading generally was aloud but here the point is out loud to other people. A woodenly literal translation would be "make known" but the word meant public reading already in classical Greek.

14
Your Turn / Re: Adiaphora, Open Questions, or Neither
« on: February 03, 2023, 02:53:50 PM »
In 1 Timothy 4 there is a command, though it is for Timothy specifically.
Could you be specific about which command in 1 Timothy 4 you reference? There are several.

13 "Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching."

15
Your Turn / Re: Adiaphora, Open Questions, or Neither
« on: February 03, 2023, 02:05:54 PM »
In 1 Timothy 4 there is a command, though it is for Timothy specifically.

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