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Messages - TravisW

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Your Turn / Re: Hermeneutical question
« on: February 27, 2009, 11:58:01 AM »
I think it's pretty obvious that David wasn't homosexual. 

Your Turn / Re: Hermeneutical question
« on: February 27, 2009, 12:18:45 AM »
Travis, we all make decisions like this.  In order to maintain the traditional position, you have to overlook lots of Jesus stories about outsiders and people on the fringe who are incorporated into Christ's new community.  (Who, incidentally, did Jesus criticize on this point?  Precisely those who would draw lines and exclude people.)

Not really.  How often did Jesus sanction the sins of his followers? 

Your Turn / Re: Hermeneutical question
« on: February 27, 2009, 12:11:42 AM »
I'm not arguing that the scriptures say something positive about homosexuality, though the David/Jonathan relationship is recounted without judgment or criticism. 

I'm arguing that it doesn't say anything one way or the other.

And, in order to do so, you're essentially working at negating those passages that disagree with your assertion?  "I don't count Leviticus" sounds pretty similar to "I don't count Rome" from the other thread.  

You can personally cut out whatever evidence you want to support any argument you want, but just bear in mind that every time you do that, you are personally making your own argument less compelling.  Using that same tactic, I could make an argument that the Bible doesn't forbid me bedding as many 19-year-old college girls as I like, despite what my wife thinks.  However, that argument would essentially be a house of straw, compelling to nobody but my Old Adam.

Your Turn / Re: Hermeneutical question
« on: February 26, 2009, 11:09:42 PM »
(1)  Is Genesis 1 and 2 really about marriage?  Is the word "marriage" actually used?  Actually, "two shall become one" sounds more like straight on sex to me.  Is Genesis a model for marriage?  Is polygamy God's intention?  Are women to be viewed as property?  If you want to go with Genesis, then you have to take the whole works.

(2)  Yes, frankly we do know much more about some things that people living in 1000 BC did.  We know that pork is perfectly acceptable to eat today, but might have been dangerous in the ancient world.  As for shellfish, they're not my cup of tea, but they're perfectly fine to eat.  Wearing clothing of two different cloths seems all right to me, and stoning disobedient children seems over the top.   (I fail to see what is "gnostic/marcionite" about common sense.)

(3)  The closest Paul ever comes to mentioning homosexuality is in Romans 1.  The other references don't work because of doubt about the translation of the words "arsenokoi" and "malakoi."  Also, most of the references to sex in general are based on "porne," which has to do with sex associated with financial translations--not, in other words, pre-marital sex or sexual activity in general.

(4)  The argument from tradition only works for me to a point.  Slavery was once a tradition too.  When tradition is wrong, it should be changed.

1.  There's a pretty blatant paradigm shift that happens between the joining of Adam and Eve in Genesis 1 and 2 vs. the marriages that come thereafter.  "Taking the whole works" doesn't quite hold water if we're looking at God's original model of marriage.  If you're taking "two will become one" as a mere euphemism for coitus, you're going to miss out on a whole lot of the imagery associated with God creating Eve from a part of Adam, the reuniting of the two to form a whole that continues the work of creation. 

2.  By "We", I'd imagine that you mean Christian folk.  Apparently, Jews and Muslims are way behind the times.  The health aspect is a bit of a red herring to the whole pork/shellfish discussion, as Scripture doesn't really support the idea that God was terribly concerned about undercooked bacon-wrapped scallops and modern Jews and Muslims don't seem to be terribly concerned about the fact that people can eat pork and live perfectly long lives.  Although I do have a running theory about war in the Middle East being caused by the lack of salty, delicious bacon. 

3.  The other references seemed to work just fine for the past couple millenia.  I'd imagine that more than several of the Church Fathers were pretty conversant in Koine Greek, as it was the lingua franca of the Eastern Empire.  How did they interpret those words?  What were their beliefs concerning homosexual behaviors? 

4.  Slavery was a part of Church Tradition?     

Your Turn / Re: Swedish Mission Province, ELCF, ELCK, ECUSA, and LWF
« on: February 08, 2009, 02:26:09 AM »
Speaking of Swedes....

Ooops, wrong thread.

Your Turn / Re: TEC unraveling officially begins
« on: January 29, 2009, 03:00:16 AM »
I agree that church bodies will offer official teaching statements based on their theological understanding of scripture. But can an individual church body declare a particular teaching heretical or orthodox only "for us?" I thought those were catholic designations and could only be declared by the church as a whole.
Since 1054 the Christian church has not been whole. It splintered even more in 1517. Nowadays, Lutherans in American can't even agree about what is orthodox and what is heretical. To think that one could get Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Anglicans, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Methodists, and Baptists to come together and agree is even more outlandish than thinking that the ELCA and LCMS might come to an agreement about what is and what is not Christian or even Lutheran orthodoxy.

If you could measure, in English terms, the distance between the filioque and the lack of a filioque; versus the current degree of doctrinal difference between the ELCA and the Eastern Orthodox church, what would the difference between the two be?

Your Turn / Re: TEC unraveling officially begins
« on: January 22, 2009, 12:59:55 AM »
Well, Brian, if you could make a case for it there is a book deal and tour in your future. How do you figure? Where else in the Book of Jeremiah does he advocate the, well, what is it exactly, they are abolished or, they are just not necessary? Do elaborate, i.e., no longer necessary for what?
I think Jeremiah is pretty clear in 31:31-34. I also think that Paul is pretty clear in Galatians 3:23-4:7. Under the new covenant we no longer need the Law -- it is not abolished. It is part of our nature.

 34 No longer will a man teach his neighbor,
       or a man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,'
       because they will all know me,
       from the least of them to the greatest,"
       declares the LORD.
       "For I will forgive their wickedness
       and will remember their sins no more."

So much for Mr. Erdner's outreach plans.  If we are indeed in the time mentioned by Jeremiah, why does anybody even bother with any sort of evangelism?  For that matter, what need is there for ministers?  Might as well do something more productive then. 

Your Turn / Re: Question on Rules for 2009 ELCA ASSEMBLY
« on: January 16, 2009, 02:26:22 PM »
Arguments from "silence" are not convincing. 
So, when a wife asks a husband, "Are you having an affair?" and there is silence -- that shouldn't say anything to the wife?

Sometimes silence says a lot.

Let the reader understand: The phrase "argument from silence" has a specific meaning. This is not it.
Let the reader further understand: I never used the phrase "argument from silence". I stated: "Sometimes silence says a lot." I gave one specific example where silence says a lot. Someone else noted that silence often means assent.

Wikipedia has this statement (boldface added): "When used as a logical proof in pure reasoning, the argument is classed among the fallacies, but an argument from silence can be a valid and convincing form of abductive reasoning."

Strong emphasis on "can".  The biggest difference between abductive reason and the argument from silence fallacy is that abductive reasoning generally has bolstered support from inductive and/or deductive reasoning. 

Your Turn / Re: Question on Rules for 2009 ELCA ASSEMBLY
« on: January 16, 2009, 02:23:57 PM »
But are they right?
I have my opinions about what makes better sense to me -- but, as it's been said, it's beyond my pay grade to know. Even those interpretations that don't make as much sense to me, I know that those who have made them believe that they are being subservient to the Word of God and being led by the Spirit in their interpretive discernment. I'm not willing to say that they aren't -- even if their conclusions differ from what I believe the Spirit had guided me and others to understand the Word of God to proclaim.

If there are two diametrically opposed positions on an issue that is an either or proposition, only one can be right.  In some capacity, you have to be making determinations as to which you think is right.  There are people who are "being subservient to the Word of God" who believe that Justification comes via faith plus works rather than faith alone.  Are they right, are they not?  At some point, you're throwing your allegiance to one side of an issue or another.  

Your Turn / Re: Question on Rules for 2009 ELCA ASSEMBLY
« on: January 16, 2009, 02:17:53 PM »
Silo? A place to store feed?

There's another definition, generally used in the corporate world, that alludes to processes that do not readilly integrate with others.  "They are operating in a silo" can be used to mean that a process is followed from the lowest level to the highest level without attention paid to how that process affects processes that run parallel to it.

Your Turn / Re: Question on Rules for 2009 ELCA ASSEMBLY
« on: January 16, 2009, 12:33:14 PM »
Craig Nehring writes:
Charles and Brian S. here are constantly telling us that it doesn't matter what the Bible may say,...
I respond:
No. No. And no. You have not been paying attention. I never said that, and I do not believe that Pastor Stoffregen ever said that either.

Craig Nehring continues:
 but if the CWA decides on a new "interpretation" or "understanding" or "reading" of the texts, then that shows that the HS is "moving" us in a new "direction."
I respond:
Yes, possibly. It seems to me that those who say there can never ever be any change in what the church does are limiting the work of God.

Craig Nehring writes:
But what you say is that if the CWA discerns what the Bible says needs to be read between the lines, then yes, you do not care what it says, only that it says what you want it to say.
I respond:
It is not the Church Wide Assembly, but good theology, skilled exegesis and common sense that say the Bible needs to be read "between the lines." And this does not mean that it says only what I want it to say.

Craig Nehring writes:
You constantly end up placing the decisions of the CWA over that of Scripture.
I respond:
Not necessarily. But even if I did, how is this any different from placing the decisions of a council (Nicea, Chalcedon, Trent, take your choice) "over that of Scripture"? How is it any different from placing a packaged set of morals based on interpretation of Scripture over Scripture itself?

Well then, lets call an ecumenical council and have a debate! (of course, that can never happen b/c the majority of the Church agrees with the way its been understood).

That's a great idea.  It would help us break out of our self-imposed ELCA silo. 

Your Turn / Re: Question on Rules for 2009 ELCA ASSEMBLY
« on: January 16, 2009, 12:27:13 PM »
But are they right?

Your Turn / Re: Question on Rules for 2009 ELCA ASSEMBLY
« on: January 16, 2009, 11:02:46 AM »
If we can acknowledge that same-sex commitments are - at times - acceptable; by what basis do we keep people in those relationships, people, whom we may agree are faithful, practicing Christians, from the pastorate solely on the basis of that relationship?

I don't think it's the "commitments" that are being questioned.  I am very committed to any number of people who share my gender.  We should always encourage love and commitment.  It's how that love and commitment are expressed that becomes problematic.  I don't think anyone here is suggesting those in same-sex relationships stop loving each other--they are instead encouraging them to abstain from specific sexual behavior that the Church catholic has believed to be abhorent to God.  Such abstension could indeed be viewed as an act of supreme love and commitment.

While I hear what you're saying, I can tell you with certainty that such abstention would NOT be looked at by my spouse Scott as either an act of supreme love or as fulfillment of our vows. 


In my world, such an abstention is known as "having small children".   :D

Your Turn / Re: Question on Rules for 2009 ELCA ASSEMBLY
« on: January 12, 2009, 05:31:38 PM »
What is meant by German nationalism?  Was that Saxon nationalism, Bavarian nationalism, nationalism in Schleswig-Holstein?  We can't apply a 19th century paradigm of nationalism to 16th century politics.  Did some nobles dislike the Roman Catholic Church sharing power in their provinces?  Most likely.  That's not really "German Nationalism", though.  Ascribing something to "nationalism" prior to the 19th century or at the VERY LEAST the late 18th century is generally unwise.  "Regionalism" may have played a role, but I digress at this point.

Your Turn / Re: Now that's "change we can believe in"
« on: December 13, 2008, 12:29:32 AM »
(what did the Germans found anyway? - Missouri was already French...)

Strasburg, North Dakota (home of Lawrence Welk)

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