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Messages - Mike Bennett

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91
Your Turn / Re: An Open Letter from Dr. Carl Braaten
« on: November 01, 2010, 09:58:04 AM »
I have a high regard for Dr. Braatan as a professor of systematics. He taught me much about Tillich, Pannenberg and other systematic theologians and brought me to a greater understanding of that phase of theological enterprise.
I am less impressed with his recent missives on ecclesiology and the role of ELCA publications.


I find it kind of surprising that Braaten still considers himself a "Tillichian."  

He explicitly states that he is not and never was a "Tillichian."

Mike Bennett

Maybe he isn't now, but he was when we last drank beer together, which was in 1986.

Wednesday evening last week he explicitly said that he was not a "Tillichian" during the time he was Tillich's teaching assistant and learning from Tillich, nor at any other period of his life.  I wasn't drinking beer, so I think I heard correctly.

Mike Bennett

In that case, I'll defer to your sober experience.  The local hockey team was celebrating at the next two tables over and I only heard about every other word anyway.  In fact, maybe it was "Teilhard" that he said, not "Tillich."  Better?  Or worse?

So that this isn’t a memory contest, the following from his recent memoir, Because of Christ.  I can’t give page numbers because I have it on Kindle, so I’ll show chapters and Kindle Location numbers.

Preface (location 79):  “Paul Tillich was my most important mentor on my way to becoming a theologian.  Yet, I knew I could never become a Tilichian.”

Chapter Six (location 585):  “Although I had been a student of Tillich, I was in no way a Tillichian, and furthermore I never regarded Tillich’s theology as American.  It was thoroughly Germanic.”

Mike Bennett

92
Your Turn / Re: An Open Letter from Dr. Carl Braaten
« on: October 31, 2010, 07:54:21 PM »
I'm not on the editorial board of The Lutheran nor do I fully comprehend its policies on what advertising it accepts or rejects.  But in the end, how they make those decisions is not really of any interest or concern to me.  No person or group has any claim of entitlement to purchase ad space in The Lutheran's pages.  So it should not be taken as an affront if advertising is refused.  On the other hand, many might make the argument that acceptance of advertising is a tacit approval of the material by the publication.  I think that is a logical stretch, but we know that it is a leap commonly made.  In the best of all possible worlds the kind of publication that The Lutheran is (or aspires to be) would have no advertising of any kind, but the financial realities make that prospect less than dim.

Braaten's complaint against the editor of the Lutheran seems to be grounded in his sense that there was a 'wall of separation' (to borrow a phrase)  between the conference he organized under the CORE umbrealla and NALC.  To be sure the chronology bears him out mechanically, but he strains credibility when he suggests that the formation of something like NALC was not already underway.  It was not underway as far as Braaten or CORE was concerned, but it is just plain naive to think that the conference would not have appealed to those angered or disgruntled with the actions of the 2009 churchwide assembly and who were already thinking about alternatives and what that church should look like.  It is true that the organizers of the conference bear no direct responsibility for the subsequent actions of others who went on to organize an alternative Lutheran shop in North America.  But like it or not, it is probable that those who will write the history of NALC (should its existence be long or short) will, like the editor of The Lutheran, discern that the conference figured in the history of its origin.  Was the magazine's judgment prescient, or was it simply making reasonable assumptions about what would be the next step for many of those who would attend that event?


Jim, "many" others, who enthusiastically attended the theological conference, had and have no interest in forming another denominational body.  In fact, one activity of Lutheran CORE is to encourage and facilitate mutual respect, support, and understanding between orthodox Lutherans who are "leaving" and those who are "staying," to use the well-understood shorthand of the recent year's conversations. It's a challenging undertaking, and those who pretend that anybody who hasn't drunk the CWA2009 kool aid is either "leaving" or is a fellow traveller with those who are "leaving" are not helpful (but why should they want to be?)

Miike Bennett

93
Your Turn / Re: An Open Letter from Dr. Carl Braaten
« on: October 31, 2010, 07:43:40 PM »
I have a high regard for Dr. Braatan as a professor of systematics. He taught me much about Tillich, Pannenberg and other systematic theologians and brought me to a greater understanding of that phase of theological enterprise.
I am less impressed with his recent missives on ecclesiology and the role of ELCA publications.


I find it kind of surprising that Braaten still considers himself a "Tillichian." 

He explicitly states that he is not and never was a "Tillichian."

Mike Bennett

Maybe he isn't now, but he was when we last drank beer together, which was in 1986.

Wednesday evening last week he explicitly said that he was not a "Tillichian" during the time he was Tillich's teaching assistant and learning from Tillich, nor at any other period of his life.  I wasn't drinking beer, so I think I heard correctly.

Mike Bennett

94
Your Turn / Re: An Open Letter from Dr. Carl Braaten
« on: October 30, 2010, 11:29:45 AM »
I have a high regard for Dr. Braatan as a professor of systematics. He taught me much about Tillich, Pannenberg and other systematic theologians and brought me to a greater understanding of that phase of theological enterprise.
I am less impressed with his recent missives on ecclesiology and the role of ELCA publications.


I find it kind of surprising that Braaten still considers himself a "Tillichian." 

He explicitly states that he is not and never was a "Tillichian."

Mike Bennett

95
Your Turn / Re: An Open Letter from Dr. Carl Braaten
« on: October 30, 2010, 11:23:22 AM »

An Open Letter to the Editor of The Lutheran, the magazine of the ELCA
from Dr. Carl Braaten


Bravo.

Mike Bennett

96
So, why won't you just direct everyone to where the official statements can be found by posting a link? Are the the ELCA's official statements of belief not on the web anywhere?

Sorry, George, I have a day job. I can't drop everything to do your research for you.

Here: http://www.elca.org/What-We-Believe/Statements-of-Belief/ELCA-Confession-of-Faith.aspx

It appears you did have time to mock me by posting the same links that I copied from the Gnesio website.

Remember this post? Notice the similarities?

These are the links included in that "biased source". Could you please tell us which ones are to websites that are not either "the ELCA's own description of itself" or the website of an ELCA congregation?

http://www.elca.org/What-We-Believe/New-or-Returning-to-Church/Dig-Deeper/The-Bible.aspx

http://www.elca.org/What-We-Believe/New-or-Returning-to-Church/Dig-Deeper/The-Holy- Trinity.aspx

http://www2.elca.org/questions/Results.asp?recid=58

http://www.herchurch.org/

http://www.elca.org/What-We-Believe/New-or-Returning-to-Church/Dig-Deeper/The-Holy- Spirit.aspx

http://www2.elca.org/questions/Results.asp?recid=4

http://www.elca.org/What-We-Believe/New-or-Returning-to-Church/Dig-Deeper/Salvation.aspx

http://www.elca.org/What-We-Believe/New-or-Returning-to-Church/Dig-Deeper/The- Resurrection.aspx

http://www.elca.org/What-We-Believe/New-or-Returning-to-Church/Dig-Deeper/Virgin-Birth.aspx

http://www.elca.org/What-We-Believe/New-or-Returning-to-Church/Dig-Deeper/Satan.aspx

https://www.elcabop.org/Home/UnderstandMyBenefits/Health/ELCAPrimary/HospMed/~/

http://www.elca.org/What-We-Believe/New-or-Returning-to-Church/Dig-Deeper/Homosexuality-and-the- ELCA.aspx


I expect rude snarkiness like that from Austin or Stoffregen. I don't expect it from one of the moderators.


Copying  a link to a page and then a list of links to sub pages, each under the "Did Deeper" category, and claiming they are the same, and then making a snarky comment about the one who provided the link to the main page in response to your churlish demand is, well, exactly what would be expected of you.

Mike Bennett

97
So, why won't you just direct everyone to where the official statements can be found by posting a link? Are the the ELCA's official statements of belief not on the web anywhere?

Sorry, George, I have a day job. I can't drop everything to do your research for you.

Here: http://www.elca.org/What-We-Believe/Statements-of-Belief/ELCA-Confession-of-Faith.aspx

Which is essentially where the links on the Gnesio website send a person.

Peace in the Lord Jesus Christ!
Rob Buechler

Not true.  In each case the Gnesio links send one to a "Dig Deeper" sub page which has a conspicuous note saying what it is and what it is not.  Richard's link is to the official statement of beliefs.

Mike Bennett

98
The ELCA's web site is the ELCA's public face to the world. What is posted there represents the ELCA. You may say it is not accurate, it is an error, it is wrong, but the fact is that it is posted there, and until, and unless, it is changed, it does, de facto, represent the ELCA publicly.

Why you don't, can't, or refuse, to get this point, is what is escaping me.


A conspicuous note at the "Dig Deeper" page explicitly says the writings there do not in fact represent ELCA's beliefs.  One might ask why then they are there.  But to pretend they are what they explicitly say they are not is, well, I can't say here what that is.
 
Mike Bennett

99
Here are some thought provoking pieces about the differences between ELCA and LCMS (and other orthodox Lutheran churches) with regards doctrine. Take a look and see what you think. The website is: http://gnesiolutheran.com/elca-lcms-2/

Peace in the Lord Jesus Christ!
Rob Buechler

What I think is that whomever writes the crap on the ELCA website probably flunked confirmation.
And whoever compares "something from the ELCA website" to official statements of the LCMS is doing everyone a disservice.

It is quite true that it is garbage. The problem is that the person writing this stuff on the website is writing it with the authority of the National Office. Indeed one of the people writing this garbage is a former bishop of the Rocky Mountain Synod. So it is garbage, but it is also official garbage. It cannot be that those in charge no NOTHING about what is on the website. So you cannot pass this off as some "nut" who is writing unbeknownst to the ELCA brass.

So yes, it is official on an official website. Therefore it is open to being compared "officially" with the LCMS statements.

Peace in the Lord Jesus Christ!
Rob Buechler

The "Dig Deeper" site at elca.org includes the following conspicuous note:

About Dig Deeper
Dig Deeper pages invite fresh explorations of Christian faith for people new or returning to church life.

These articles express the viewpoints of the individual writers; they do not constitute the ELCA’s official Confession of Faith.

These pages are being reviewed. Send suggestions, improvements and new topics for Dig Deeper to info@elca.org.


Why those in charge of the elca web pages would choose to post stuff that does not represent the official Confession of Faith, I have no idea.  But that's what it is. 

Mike Bennett

100
Your Turn / Re: The Bible Summarized in Only a Few Words
« on: October 10, 2010, 10:00:36 PM »
If the term "kitsch" offended you, I apologize.

It did, and I accept your apology.

Mike Bennett

101
Your Turn / Re: The Bible Summarized in Only a Few Words
« on: October 09, 2010, 11:14:45 AM »
Didn't say it was "wrong." Just said it was kitschy.

 kitsch \ˈkich\ noun
[German] 1925
  1      : something that appeals to popular or lowbrow taste and is often of poor quality
  2      : a tacky or lowbrow quality or condition 〈teetering on the brink of kitsch —Ron Miller〉 — kitsch adjective — kitschy \ˈki-chē\ adjective

Merriam-Webster, I. (2003). Merriam-Webster's collegiate dictionary. (Eleventh ed.). Springfield, Mass.: Merriam-Webster, Inc.

I don't get it.  But rather than getting myself banned from this list and polite society in general for the response that's boiling, I'm going to drop it.  But I plan to continue doing what Edward Englebrecht described above.

Mike Bennett

102
Your Turn / Re: ELCA Fiscal Crisis continues into 2010
« on: October 08, 2010, 10:12:03 PM »

It is a misunderstanding of Traditionalism to think it applies to our near history or only to our denominations etc.  And that misunderstanding is a fatal a flaw of revisionism, they are confused when they believe that we are allowed to revise Scripture and Tradition, Christ and Christ's words are eternal.


I can imagine the Pope saying that, but not Luther.

If I believed jpetty's version of Luther I'd swim the Tiber tomorrow.

Mike Bennett

103
Your Turn / Re: The Bible Summarized in Only a Few Words
« on: October 08, 2010, 08:58:33 PM »
Perhaps.

My point really is that "prooftexting" is not a particularly helpful way to combat anything, and "prooftexting" is precisely what this is, even if in a good cause.


When a either an honest inquirer or a scoffer challenges the basis for some portion of the Creed and the orthodox believer can support it from Scripture, I'm for that.  If that's "prooftexting" so be it. Seems 'way more valuable than trying to come up with 66 of something from the Bible because the protestant Bible has 66 books.

"Combatting" something isn't all it's about.  Answering honest questions from adolescent kids involved in the last two years of official Christian education in the congregation is pretty important.  If some kid asks me "Where on earth did that come from?" regarding some portion of the Creed, and I'm unable to give a supportable, forthcoming response, I've got to start looking over my shoulder for the guy with the millstone and the rope.  I would think that's important for a pastor too, but I'm naive and never went to school near salt water.

Mike Bennett

104
Your Turn / Re: The Bible Summarized in Only a Few Words
« on: October 08, 2010, 08:45:43 PM »
Perhaps if you'd spent 9 months with a college roommate's Jehovah's Witnesses tutor visiting every Wednesday night with a passle of crap about how the Nicene Creed was just made up by the (shudder!) pope, and how we must go direct to scripture to learn how we're not allowed to vote or have blood transfusions, and never mind that popish creed, you be more enchanted.  Or not.

And if we use scriptures just like they do, why should our witness be believed any more than theirs? Jehovah Witnesses are a good example of a "Scripture alone" group -- basing everything on proof-texts from the Bible; without the correctives that grace alone and faith alone bring with them.

Hooey.

Jehovah's Witnesses are of the worst sort of Scripture twisters, liars, and revisers of history. (e.g. the nonsense about the Creed being created of whole cloth by the Pope).

Mike Bennett

105
Your Turn / Re: Homosexuality Within Lutheranism
« on: October 08, 2010, 04:49:02 PM »
Ptmccain's time-out has taught me well.  ;)


 ::)

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