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Topics - Rev. Edward Engelbrecht

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106
Your Turn / Inspiration of Scripture
« on: January 31, 2016, 12:49:15 PM »
I noticed when entering through the ALPB site that they have a book titled, On the Inspiration of Scripture by Robert W. Jenson. I am familiar with Robert Preus's book of a similar title, Inspiration of Scripture, but I have not seen the Jenson book. I wonder whether anyone on the forum has used both books and could comment on how they are similar and different.

107
Your Turn / Espionage Ethics: Lying
« on: June 26, 2015, 09:07:40 PM »
Well, as Pres. Benke recommended, I watched the film, “The Good Lie” (2014; PG-13). I’m planning to write some review comments on the value of the film for teaching about lying. But before I do that, I would invite readers here to get a copy of the film and watch it. It is a wonderful film, which our household well enjoyed, both heart breaking and heartwarming.

I'll wait a little bit before posting my comments. If you are interested in viewing the film and don't want the plot spoiled, don't open the thread until you've had a chance to view it

108
Last Fall I received an odd phone message that puzzles me to this day. It was a call from Dr. Ron Feuerhahn, retired professor of historical theology from Concordia Seminary St. Louis under whom I had studied years ago. In the message Dr. Feuerhahn asked me about a statement by a former colleague of mine, Robert C. Baker, who is now adjunct professor of philosophy and bioethics at Lindenwood University’s Belleville, IL campus. Robert had apparently made a comment about the adoption of post-Kantian ethics in the LCMS, which was then cited in Christian News. I had no idea what Ron Feuerhahn was talking about and why he had contacted me about it. It had been some time since I visited with Robert and we had never discussed post-Kantian ethics (whatever that was!). So I tried calling Ron but could not reach him by phone. I then emailed him and encouraged him to contact Robert directly with his questions since I did not know anything about the topic.

I never heard back from Dr. Feuerhahn about the matter, so while I was at the seminary library one day, I looked up the passage about post-Kantian ethics in Christian News. Sure enough, there was a quote attributed to Robert Baker, which was drawn from the Luther Quest online forum. I decided to contact Robert and learn what this was about. Robert acknowledged that he had made the comment on Luther Quest but that he had no idea why Dr. Feuerhahn would contact me about it. He agreed that I did the right thing by urging Dr. Feuerhahn to follow up directly with Robert. (That apparently never happened and Dr. Feuerhahn is now in heaven, having died March 13, 2015.) I then asked Robert more about post-Kantian ethics and he explained, as I recall, that it was an end-justifies-the-means approach to moral issues and that he believed it was an increasing problem in the LCMS.

I have since that time kept an eye out for this approach to ethics as I’ve been reading so much LCMS history in recent days. As I’ve noted on the History Project thread, end-justifies-the-means or situation ethics were among the accusations of false doctrine and practice during the Ultimatum/Walkout years. I’ve also noted that Eighth Commandment issues loomed large in the accusations about tactics from that era.

I recently came across the following passage, which seems out of character with the LCMS catechetical tradition as I know it:
Quote
We need to be reminded that it is the element of malice, consciously and deliberately telling an untruth with the desire to hurt, that constitutes the true lie. Unwittingly to repeat that which we believe to be true is not a lie, nor is it lying to make a harmless statement required by love that may not be in the strictest accordance with fact. The real lie is the black lie, deliberately told in malice of heart.
B. A. Maurer, The Ten Commandments Will Not Budge (St. Louis: CPH, 1951), 69.
What struck me was the description of love requiring untruth and that untruth was not so much an issue but rather malice was the issue. It seemed as though the commandment was fading into the background while intentions were stepping forward. Was this an early instance of end-justifies-the-means or situation ethics manifesting itself in LCMS catechetics already in 1951? Is this a root of what appears to be the espionage ethics used during the Ultimatum/Walkout years where participants might argue that the righteousness of their cause or their loving intention made it okay to tell lies?

109
As mentioned in the thread “On Doing Local History,” I’m pursing a large history project regarding the Walkout years and the years leading up to them (1950s to 70s). Below you will find a list of accusations I have compiled from various books on the topic. I plan to put these accusations through a verification process, seeking firsthand testimony about events and period documents that would corroborate or falsify the accusations. The goal is to get a more objective view of the history and to help settle matters that continue to harm our church.

STRATEGIES
Clandestine organization
Conspiracy to mislead the synod/subversion
Dictatorial control
Duplicity
Preus Way, The
Revenge

TACTICS
Altering official documents
Betrayal
Blackmail threatened
Collusion
Committee loading
Confidentiality breeched
Cover up
Deal making
Demonstrations
Deprived of their votes
Division causing and confusing
Embarrassment
Forgery
Gossip/innuendo/rumor mongering
Guilt through association
Harassment, bullying
Hate mail bombing
Illegal proceedings
Impounding student funds, cutting off faculty salaries
Infighting
Intimidation
Lawsuits threatened
Leaking documents
Lying/dishonesty
Malfeasance
Mandatory retirements
Manipulation of synodical publications
Matthew 18 violated
Misquoting
Misrepresentation
Political theatre
Psychological abuse
Psychological characterizations
Psychological evaluations threatened
Purging/appointing
Repression
Rumor planting
Sexual material sent
Spying/moles/eavesdropping
Stealing personal correspondence
Taping conversations
Situational/neo-orthodox ethics
Slander/libel/yellow journalism
Silencing dissent
Subversive practices
Synod decision ignored
Unauthorized activity
Verbal Attacks
Vigilantism
Vote buying
Worst construction on things

FALSE DOCTRINE/PRACTICE
Devil’s existence denied
End justifies the means
False interpretation
Gospel reductionism
Hell’s existence denied
Historical criticism
Legalism
Liberal theology
Racism
Silencing the Word of God
Subversion of Scripture’s authority
Third use of the Law denied
Unionism
Universalism
Witch hunting

110
Your Turn / Scientology
« on: April 09, 2015, 06:15:22 AM »

111
Your Turn / On Doing Local History
« on: March 14, 2015, 07:31:16 PM »
I'm reading Carol Kammen's On Doing Local History, 2nd ed. (Walnut Creek, CA: Altamira Press, 2003). I also recently read John R. Hannah's The New York Role in the Missouri War: A Paper for the New York Area Lutheran Historical Society (Wartburg Lutheran Home, Mount Vernon, New York, September 24, 1994).

A part of the paper that really leaped out at me was this:

Quote
Briefly an incident at Concordia College, Bronxville should be mentioned as unique to the Synod's treatment of New York. The Preus controlled Board made life so unhappy for the President, Robert Schnabel, that he offered his resignation. His was followed by the Deans. None of that is unique to the Synod's Colleges. But in the case of Bronxville, Preus personally visited the College and (unsuccessfully) tried to persuade the President to withdraw his resignation. He then met with the Board and prompted them to elect an alternate Chairman of the Board, whereupon, the Deans withdrew their resignations.

I have never heard of this incident, which I suppose is what makes local history fascinating. I found online that Schnabel passed away in 2009. Since there are a number of New Yorkers and East Coasters on the forum, I wondered whether anyone knew more about this event or whether anything further is published about it.

For example, if Preus's board was pressuring Schnabel, why did Preus then go to NY and try to convince Schnabel to withdraw his resignation?

112
Your Turn / Serious Question
« on: February 12, 2015, 08:20:22 PM »
Quote
Norman Teigen: Someone wants Becker put under 24/7 surveillance. Now he is publicly warned to repent and recant.  I think that Savanarola was given these same choices. Let the auto-da-fe begin.

Lutherman: I rather doubt anyone wants to burn Matthew Becker at the stake...

Randy Bosch: Wow, Norman!  You sure keep fanning the flames!  Do you sell firewood, too?

Norman Teigen: I am experienced in shrub and brush cutting and burning.  I know how to build controlled fires.  The idea is to have the right materials and to properly stack them.  Combustion is all a matter of applied heat and natural elements.   I see the elements for a metaphorical burning of a University professor labeled by the howlers as a heretic.

I was reading this serious exchange on the “Church Discipline, or Unhealthy Harrassment” thread and thought of this question, which I’ve put into the form of a survey.

Moderators, if this is too serious a question and you want to close the thread, I understand.

113
Your Turn / Bible Studies at My Church
« on: January 19, 2015, 11:23:18 AM »
A colleague and I have been discussing this question about practice in Lutheran churches. My pastor makes his own Bible Studies (as I think many do) and does a good job. My sense is that pastors do different things depending on topics needed, available time, etc. Wondering about the participants on ALPB.

Disclosure: I edit some of the Bible Studies at CPH. I do not intend this to be a discussion of CPH products so let's not go there since I know some folks will find that irritating. I'm interested in parish practice, which I suppose others will find interesting as well. (Richard and Peter, if I should not ask this sort of thing, just let me know or tie off the thread.)

In Christ,
EE

114
Your Turn / Comparative Religions
« on: November 30, 2014, 02:24:30 PM »
I have for years used Ward J. Fellows, Religions East and West. I'm curious to know what comparative religions books folks have found most helpful.

In Christ,
EE

115
Your Turn / Transparency
« on: November 03, 2014, 04:47:44 PM »
In a recent post Pres. Benke complimented me on my transparency, which is a term one hears around the church these days. The word got me thinking, just what do we mean by transparency in the synod and what does it look like? Is it something required of individuals, groups, synod entities, or all of the above? What are the standards? Would, for example, the campaigns of persons running for office in the synod have expectations of transparency toward one another? Could we ask all members of the praesidium to make all of their records available on an internet site or is that going too far?

So I went to the ESV Bible concordance and looked for "transparency" or related terms. All I found was Revelation 21:21, which doesn't really help.

I checked my concordance to the Book of Concord and found nothing.

I searched the revised edition of the 2013 LCMS Handbook fully expecting to find something. No hits.

Transparency seems to be a cutting edge term, which may mean our expectations of one another are changing. I wonder whether we can define it for use in the Lutheran Church or whether there is something equivalent in the tradition.

In Christ,
EE

116
Your Turn / Religion, Spirituality, and the Lutheran Church
« on: October 27, 2014, 05:41:00 PM »
Read another interesting article at nat geo, which received a remarkable 44 comments, many of them negative and even menacing.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/10/141026-yazidis-middle-east-iraq-islamic-state-religion-world-ngbooktalk/

Questions the interview raised for me:

Why is the word "religion" so hated?

Why is the word "spirituality" more acceptable?

Which one is Lutheranism? (or neither?).

Is the sentiment, "People need protection, not religions," good policy? How could that go right? How could it go wrong?

Anyway, I'm looking forward to reading the book.

In Christ,
EE

117
Your Turn / Parthenogenesis
« on: October 24, 2014, 08:54:00 AM »
Had this with coffee this morning. Be sure to read the comments after the article.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/10/141023-virgin-birth-pythons-snakes-animals-science/?utm_medium=referral&utm_source=pulsenews

In Christ,
EE

118
Your Turn / Questions of Canon and Authority
« on: October 23, 2014, 08:59:18 AM »
Dr. Becker has been asking questions on canon and authority under the ALPB at 100 thread, which are getting buried in the discussion over there. So I am starting a new thread. I'll let Matt bring his content over here.

Matt, as general editor I wrote the introductions to the books of the Bible in TLSB, based in part on information provided by our consultants. As I recall, the section of the introduction to James titled, "Luther on James," was my research. It demonstrates that Luther's opinions about James changed over time and concludes, "Despite Luther's early, harsh opinions and influence as an interpreter, the Lutheran Church has held that James is rightly part of the NT, citing its authority in the Book of Concord" (TLSB, p. 2132). As I mentioned earlier, Luther himself cites the Book of James as divine teaching in Large Catechism III 122--24.

In Christ,
EE

119
Your Turn / Plagiarism
« on: October 11, 2014, 08:30:20 AM »
Woke this morning to discover, "Sen. John Walsh, D-Mont., said Friday his master's degree from the U.S. Army War College has been revoked because of plagiarism" (On Politics news article 10.10.2014; by Catalina Camia). The senator describes the matter as an "unintentional mistake."

Authors, in this cut and paste digital world, cut and paste less. Strive to have your own thoughts. Put things in your own words!  And give credit where credit is due. Think seventh and eighth commandments and slow down.

In Christ,
EE

120
Your Turn / Non-Lutheran Speakers at LCMS Events
« on: October 01, 2014, 04:52:39 PM »
Recently I read some concern about a non-Lutheran speaker who presented at the 2014 symposium at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. I also notice that at the upcoming Lutheranism and the Classics conference at Concordia Theological Seminary, Ft. Wayne, there will be a Roman Catholic speaker. I'm not highlighting these examples as criticism of either seminary---I have family very involved with each institution. I am, instead, wondering how widespread the practice is of having non-LCMS speakers address LCMS gatherings.

For example, I can recall circuit meetings in days gone by where a representative of the area hospital chaplaincy program addressed an LCMS circuit. I am wondering whether other LCMS members of the forum recall similar experiences for:

National LCMS events
District events
Circuit events

In Christ,
EE

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