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Messages - Mike Bennett

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961
Your Turn / Re: Degrees of Disagreement
« on: October 10, 2007, 11:48:27 AM »
In his 3392nd posting to the Forum (the mind boggles), Brian wrote:

Brian, I do understand that you like to be provocative.  But surely you understand that the supposed quote you attribute to an unnamed "LCMS pastor" does not logically follow from a belief that everything in scripture is without errors, including science, etc. (whatever "etc." might be).
I didn't say that the quote was logical -- I am saying that the quote happened. There is no place within this pastor's 6000 year history of the universe to allow for dinosaurs. When this pastor was asked about all the dinosaur fossils that were a few miles away, he answered, "God created them to confuse the unbelievers." I present this not to be provocative, but to indicate that this is a belief among Christians in the U.S. -- even among some Lutherans. This is one way "inerrancy" is defined.

My main point was, that as much as it might delight you to repeat this supposed quote, it does not follow from a belief in Scriptural inerrancy.  So you might as well have associated Scriptural inerrancy with the story of the skeleton who went into the bar and ordered a beer . . . . . and a mop.  Or the Frenchman, the Englishman and the Texan on the airplane . . . . . They simply have nothing to do with Scriptural inerrancy.  

Mike Bennett

962
Your Turn / Re: Martin Marty's articles in the Lutheran
« on: October 10, 2007, 11:20:09 AM »
Don Whitbeck writes (re a professor mentioned upstream):
After all, his son is an active homosexual, and he supports his son, no matter what.

I comment:
And is this not the dreaded ad hominem kind of comment that has no place in this discussion? Furthermore, it is about one who is not even personally involved here. We can criticize the views, but to apply this sort of "reasoning" to the analysis is just creepy.

Charles, the former bishop of my synod cited his own daughter's active lesbianism as essentially the foundation of his own views on that issue - both verbally in my presence, and in writing in the synod's supplement to The Lutheran.  I don't think he was making an ad hominem attack against himself.  Further, it's been observed that the increasing incidence of activities such as divorce, abortion, and homosexual activity within peoples' immediate families create more and more people who are unwilling to oppose those activities.  And that argument isn't an ad hominem either.  So is Don's observation an ad homimem and creepy simply because he's Don?  Wouldn't that be an ad hominem itself?

Mike Bennett  ::)

963
Your Turn / Re: Degrees of Disagreement
« on: October 10, 2007, 11:04:59 AM »

What do you mean by "inerrant"? There are at least three different understandings of the word, which is part of the reason it is not included in the ELCA's Confession of Faith.

1. Everything in scripture is without errors, including science, etc. Thus, there was six 24-hour days of creation, and as a LCMS pastor said, "There were no such things as dinosaurs because they aren't in the Bible."


Brian, I do understand that you like to be provocative.  But surely you understand that the supposed quote you attribute to an unnamed "LCMS pastor" does not logically follow from a belief that everything in scripture is without errors, including science, etc. (whatever "etc." might be).  In fact, that the supposed quote itself is internally illogical.  One might just as well say that the color orange didn't exist in OT or NT times because it isn't mentioned in the Bible, or that children didn't play with balls in those times, because ballgames aren't mentioned in the Bible.  Or that there were no parakeets or robins.  Simply illogical assertions, having nothing to do with whether one does or doesn't believe that scripture is without error.

Mike Bennett

964
Your Turn / Re: Spoof
« on: October 08, 2007, 11:54:08 AM »
Wasn't last night's spoof game a hoot? I can't wait for them to play a real game, which, of course, all kidding aside, the Packers will dominate.

Who you gonna believe - Peter and David, or your own lyin' eyes?  Bears 27, Packers 20.

Mike Bennett  ;D

965
Your Turn / Re: Spoof
« on: October 08, 2007, 11:51:16 AM »
Sometimes I think we are talking about a different Football entirely.  Can we assume that because we are all fans of Football, that it is the same Football?  I've heard unversalists say "It doesn't matter whether you start out in Manchester, Liverpool, Green Bay or Chicago, all roads lead to the football stadium."  I'm just not so sure that's true.  I'm not sure its the same game.  If I say Manchester United is the greatest football team in history and you say it the Packers, what do we really have in common.

David Charlton (no relation to Sir Bobby)

Or for that matter the French rugby team (who edged New Zealand's All Black team yesterday).   

Mike Bennett

966
Your Turn / Re: May God Preserve us From Faithless Pastors
« on: October 01, 2007, 03:47:05 PM »

Not once in our ecumenical creeds do we confess that we believe in the Bible.

 On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures;


You beat me to it.  :P

Well, I'm older so I've been confessing it longer.  ;)

In those words we are confessing our belief in Jesus' resurrection per the witness of the Scriptures. That is different than professing a faith in the Bible.

John Dornheim

OK, in the third article we confess, "We believe in the Holy Spirit . . . . . He has spoken through the scriptures . . . . ."

Mike Bennett

Actually, of course, we confess, "He has spoken through the prophets."  My bad.

Mike Bennett

967
Your Turn / Re: May God Preserve us From Faithless Pastors
« on: October 01, 2007, 02:44:27 PM »

Not once in our ecumenical creeds do we confess that we believe in the Bible.

 On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures;


You beat me to it.  :P

Well, I'm older so I've been confessing it longer.  ;)

In those words we are confessing our belief in Jesus' resurrection per the witness of the Scriptures. That is different than professing a faith in the Bible.

John Dornheim

OK, in the third article we confess, "We believe in the Holy Spirit . . . . . He has spoken through the scriptures . . . . ."

Mike Bennett

968
Your Turn / Re: WordAlone
« on: August 24, 2007, 04:53:53 PM »
Ok, I'll try.
1. A number of the Minneapolis delegates decided at the" last minute" not to go, so replacements were "appointed"

2. Not expecting a sudden deluge of votes on Saturday one of the Minneapolis delegates had a flight out at 10:00am Saturday morning. He was immediately replaced by a homosexual person from Central Lutheran.

3. One of the Saturday items passed by just 9 votes, 318 to 309, that"s about 40% of the voters. The rest of the 1069 delegates had already left.


I absolutely do not understand how somebody who was selected be one of 1,069 voting members (approximately one ELCA Lutheran of every 5,000) could have decided to catch a 10:00 a.m. plane out of town on a day when business was scheduled through 4:00, nor how "a number of" these chosen few could have simply "decided at the last minute not to go."

They say in a representative democracy we get the government we deserve.  The same could be said of our CWAs, it seems to me.

Mike Bennett
2005 CWA voting member

969
ELCA Churchwide Assembly 2007 / Re: Questions for 2009
« on: August 21, 2007, 04:45:11 PM »
in a congregation on Sunday morning you are likely to find people who are pretty satisfied with themselves at least about the portion of God's Law that is to be found in the readings/text for the day.  They need the law.

Gee Dan, I didn't meet you when you visited our congregation.  ::)

Mike Bennett

970
ELCA Churchwide Assembly 2007 / Re: Questions for 2009
« on: August 21, 2007, 12:06:32 PM »
But after the boss, the accusing wife, the angry neighbor accuses with the law, the sinner's (that would be me) response is to explain why (s)he isn't guilty of breaking the law - how it is that I didn't neglect my office work, I didn't neglect my duty to my family, it's normal for dogs to get out and dig up flowerbeds - I'm OK; I'm not guilty.  Get out of my face.  You need to accept me as I am.
Yes, some respond that way. (It's a more typical response of males than females.)

My wife, for one, is much more likely to accept the fact that she did something wrong, (even when she didn't,) that every problem in the world is her fault. She can't do anything right. She is not the only woman I've heard who has taken the blame for everything bad that has happened. Sometimes it isn't their fault.

A theology professor at seminary came to a new understanding of this while his wife was going to seminary. He had generalized our sin as wanting to be like God -- sins of pride, of wanting to be more than human, mroe than what God created them to be. What he learned from his wife is that females are more likely to put themselves down -- to consider themselves less than human, less than what God has created them to be.

When looking at a congregation, some need to be knocked down by the law, to have their pride and attempts and self-justification exposed. Some need to be empowered and reminded that they are esteemed children of God. Sin and thus forgiveness and new life take many forms within people.

I do agree.  Some resist Law and self-justify.  Others are slain by it and need to be comforted.  You pastors are paid the big bucks  ;D to sort out the two.  And then they all need to hear the forgiveness of the Gospel.

Mike Bennett

971
ELCA Churchwide Assembly 2007 / Re: Questions for 2009
« on: August 21, 2007, 11:35:32 AM »
Everything in life preaches law.  When people come to church they should get to hear the gospel.

Luther said, “Whoever would abolish the law, abolishes the gospel also." What are your thoughts on that?

You can't "abolish the law."  The law is written into the structure of life.  As I said, everything preaches law. 

Only the church preaches gospel.

But after the boss, the accusing wife, the angry neighbor accuses with the law, the sinner's (that would be me) response is to explain why (s)he isn't guilty of breaking the law - how it is that I didn't neglect my office work, I didn't neglect my duty to my family, it's normal for dogs to get out and dig up flowerbeds - I'm OK; I'm not guilty.  Get out of my face.  You need to accept me as I am.

The Church's preaching of Law, and the Church's Gospel solution are different - you damned well (literally) are guilty of violating the Law.  And you are not OK.  But the Gospel says you are forgiven, for Jesus Christ's sake.  His righteousness has been given to you freely, in exchange for your unrighteousness. Big, big difference.  And to make it clear you need to start at the beginning (with the Law) not in the middle.

Mike Bennett


972
ELCA Churchwide Assembly 2007 / Re: Questions for 2009
« on: August 16, 2007, 12:15:59 PM »
A good example of this, Richard, was the Bishop of metro DC, Ted Schneider, who opposed action at this CWA although his Synod is RIC and he is clearly on the side of changing V and E and D and G. Now there is churchmanship I can respect.


J. Ruby 

I comment:
I do not believe the situation can be described in such simplistic terms and consider it an insult to all in the discussion to do so. There are more than two "sides," and none of them are as clear cut as described here.

I think you are right in that there are, in general, not merely two "sides" but lots of shades of gray.

OTOH, often there are two clearly identified sides on any given issue. For example, I'm sure among those who favored the resolution at the CWA, and those who opposed it, there were lots of different reasons, lots of shades of opinion. When we reach the bottom line, however, one must chose: either that amendment was a good thing for the church, or it was not.

Bishop Riley of New Jersey, President of the Conference of Bishops, did exactly the same as Bishop Schneider, despite being on the same side of "The Issue" as Bishop Schneider. 

Mike Bennett

973
ELCA Churchwide Assembly 2007 / Re: Questions for 2009
« on: August 16, 2007, 11:52:08 AM »
Joe Copek writes:
We need some definitive resolutoni to this and soon.  I think all of us are growing tired of the "battle".

I say (again):
But if we refuse to consider the matter a "battle" and approach it as a matter of brothers and sisters in Christ trying to find ways to live together, preach the gospel, and serve the world even as we disagree about some things, we grow less weary. It took a couple of centuries to sort out the "nature of Christ" matter in the creed and we are still discussing aspects of that with our Eastern Orthodox partners in the faith.

Did you really mean the nature of Christ, or the procession of the Holy Spirit?  Just checking.

Mike Bennett

974
Your Turn / Re: Does It Really Matter?
« on: August 03, 2007, 06:10:28 PM »
But is this really the time to try and clobber our bishops? It seems - as I said over there to the one most wrought up about this - exceedingly insensitive.

Well, the bishops have a responsibility to care for the flock.  If they are not properly exercising their care, then they are not doing what God called them to do.

There is no requirement that I know of for people to express care and concern through an inter-faith service.  Rather, there are many avenues that they could have taken to publicly and consistently express their care and concern most effectively as ministers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

On one level, I do empathize with them.  I do believe that they were honestly doing what they thought was appropriate to comfort people.  The problem is that true comfort comes through Jesus, and as public ministers of the Gospel, they need to be about proclaiming that clearly.

If they clearly say that salvation and true comfort only comes through the great hope that we have in the great resurrection of all on the Last Day of whom Jesus has already arisen as the first-fruits of the dead -- the resurrection where only those who cling to Christ will live with him forever -- then I would have less of a concern with it though I would still consider such participation unwise and giving the appearance of a contradiction at the heart of the message.

Is one prayer service in Minneapolis going to become the cancer that invades every topic on this forum?  Mention of it immediately dominated the "Prayers for Minneapolis ....." topic.  Then somebody started a topic with the apparent sole purpose of scolding somebody who disagrees with him.  Now it's being discussed here.  LCMS doesn't do joint prayer services, except for the ones who do. ELCA people do, except for the ones who don't.  OK?

 :'( Mike Bennett  :'(

975
Your Turn / Re: The Gospels -- Jesus Remembered
« on: August 03, 2007, 05:13:56 PM »


Would you agree with me that Mark's story ends with silence? That the women disobey the angel's command to go and tell?

I agree that the story ends with the women saying nothing to anyone as they fled from the tomb.  What happened when they reached the disciples Mark doesn't say.  It's left ambiguous as to whether or not they told the disciples and Peter since the story does end with their silence as they fled from the tomb.

Have we all conceded that the Mark 16 the Church has read for 2,000 years is not all real, so that the real Gospel of Mark ends at 16:8?  So that verses 9 and 10, which explicitly say that Mary Magdalene "went and reported to those who had been with Him" are useless to us in figuring out whether the silence in verse 8 was forever, or only while they were fleeing, or something in between?  Seems sort of a butt-headed way to read anything.   :o

Mike Bennett

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