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Messages - Michael Slusser

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1
Your Turn / Rev. Dr. Darold Beekmann, RIP
« on: January 24, 2021, 11:56:32 AM »
The President of Lutheran Theological Seminary in Gettysburg from 1990 to 2000 has died:

https://www.startribune.com/obituaries/detail/0000380176/?fullname=rev-dr-darold-h-beekmann

Peace,
Michael

2
Your Turn / Re: Church and weddings...
« on: January 18, 2021, 02:19:29 PM »
How many have considered having a wedding (or memorial service) on Sunday morning as part of the normal Eucharist? For many active church people, the congregation is their family. They often see them more often than relatives who may live in different states. It makes these occasional rites feel more like a church worship service.


(I have done both: weddings and memorial services during the Sunday morning worship. They were appreciated.)
I've not done one of these, but I like the idea, provided the wedding doesn't take over the Sunday service. I have know the Sunday morning service wedding to be used in RC and Norwegian Lutheran congregations.

Peace,
Michael

3
Your Turn / Re: The Church's Response to Government and Governing
« on: January 17, 2021, 07:29:08 PM »
This article deserves a look. My background includes a little fundamentalism and more than a little Pentecostalism. I can say that much that is cautionary about this New Apostolic movement gels with my experiences there.

https://religionunplugged.com/news/2021/1/12/charismatics-are-at-war-with-each-other-over-failed-prophecies-of-trump-victory
Wow! That article and the comments fill a gap in my experience and understanding. There's a lot of back-and-forth there, with some moderation, too.

Thanks for bringing it to our attention, Pr. Morris.

Peace,
Michael

4
Your Turn / Re: Valpo mascot task force
« on: January 15, 2021, 01:32:06 PM »
In Neo-Ancient Google Greek, the only reliable source of course, the difference between capital and head is clear, so that intent might not be confused:
       κεφάλαιο ή κεφάλι .  (capital or head...)
So, elimination of a capital becomes "off with its top", and the column cannot support beams and architraves - structures are an integration of elements, all of which are required for stability.

Perhaps Capital University might consider renaming its mascot "Letters"... the Capital Letters.
Athletes could then have a legitimate basis for "Letters" on their jackets.
;D ;D ;D

Peace,
Michael

5
Your Turn / Re: Valpo mascot task force
« on: January 13, 2021, 11:53:10 PM »
Quote
If the Cresset goes out of publication, that to me is a more serious topic and loss.  That's philosophical/theological/academic anchor.  Why stop that?

Forgot link. Just the note at the top of the page. http://thecresset.org/index.html
Yes, that is a worrying question, I checked their site and can see that The Cresset is a real vehicle of expression of the University's mission and seriousness.

Peace,
Michael

6
Your Turn / Re: Valpo mascot task force
« on: January 13, 2021, 11:46:08 PM »
Koalas are sedentary because they are drugged.  Eucalyptus leaves are narcotic.  How much better to be named after a mighty hunter?  Go Nimrods!

But Nimrod was a male. Not inclusive enough.
How do you know? Ancient Hebrew lacks the array of pronouns to account for all the possibilities.

"My name is Nimrod and my personal pronoun identity is................."
When I was at Duquesne University, our men's teams were the Dukes, the women the Duchesses. The male predominance took over and the Duchesses became Dukes. I worried about our conference foes--the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, Massachusetts Minutemen. Rhode Island finessed the issue by dubbing their women the Wrams.

The University of Arkansas at Monticello fields the Boll Weevils and the Cotton Blossoms. On the basis of an overheard conversation at Mayo Clinic only, I believe that men also play under the Cotton Blossoms monicker.

Peace,
Michael

7
Your Turn / Re: The Church's Response to Government and Governing
« on: January 11, 2021, 11:01:51 PM »
Since that statement was adopted, how many times has the ELCA issued a prophetic denunciation that translated as a rebuke to the political left more than to the political right?  When have Republicans been fairly satisfied and Democrats felt attacked by a PB of the ELCA? The same could be true in reverse for the LCMS, but I’m far more confident that the LCMS leadership has opined less in general and stuck to core Christian teachings when it has spoken.
After all, the left has to be wrong exactly as often as the right (if they were ever wrong). It's a quota system.
😏 Not at all. It could be that one side is always or nearly always correct.
Then I suppose you'll stop using that argument and simply present the merits.

Peace,
Michael

8
Your Turn / Re: The Church's Response to Government and Governing
« on: January 11, 2021, 08:48:43 PM »
Since that statement was adopted, how many times has the ELCA issued a prophetic denunciation that translated as a rebuke to the political left more than to the political right?  When have Republicans been fairly satisfied and Democrats felt attacked by a PB of the ELCA? The same could be true in reverse for the LCMS, but I’m far more confident that the LCMS leadership has opined less in general and stuck to core Christian teachings when it has spoken.
After all, the left has to be wrong exactly as often as the right (if they were ever wrong). It's a quota system.

Peace,
Michael

9
Your Turn / Re: The Church's Response to Government and Governing
« on: January 11, 2021, 04:52:38 PM »
https://pjmedia.com/instapundit/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/pelosi_welcomes_activists_to_dc_1-10-21.jpg

When protesters occupied the officers of several members of congress, including Nancy Pelosi, and refused to leave, this was her response:

"We welcome the presence of these activists, and we strongly urge the capitol police to allow them to continue to organize and participate in our democracy."
I clicked the link you provide, and found it to be a tweet from Pelosi on Nov. 13, 2018. The only protest reported in the next day's NYTimes was of climate activists led by new representative, Ocasio Cortez:
Quote
WASHINGTON — Freshman orientation for new members of Congress had barely begun when Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the 29-year-old darling of the progressive left and newly elected congresswoman from New York, visited Nancy Pelosi’s office for the first time. She was not there to meet the House Democratic leader.

She was there to protest.

“This is not about personality, this is not about rebuke, this is not about confrontation — it’s about making sure that we are getting the job done,” she declared, moments before she spoke to young activists who staged a sit-in to demand a Green New Deal to address climate change. Of Ms. Pelosi, she said, “I think she really appreciates civic engagement.”

I'm curious how close a parallel you see between that occasion and the armed invasion of the Capitol to stop the tallying of the votes of the Electoral College.

Peace,
Michael

10
Your Turn / Re: For the Joyous Feast of our Lord’s Baptism
« on: January 09, 2021, 08:02:54 PM »
From the House Postil sermon on the same by Luther:

Thus the Godhead in all its fullness, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, was manifested this day in profoundest graciousness and friendliness, each person of the Trinity clearly distinguished, so that everyone might know what and how to believe concerning God, especially what his stance toward Christ should be. ...

Thank you, Pr. Weedon, for introducing me to the fact that Luther saw this Trinitarian revelation in the Baptism. It is (without benefit of Luther) in my homily for tomorrow. The Holy Trinity is not a puzzle nor an absurdity: we can sit in front of the icon of the Baptism in our minds, be still, and know that already on earth we can be consciously present with our Parent, the one whose life we share.

Peace,
Michael

11
Your Turn / Re: Coronavirus news
« on: January 09, 2021, 10:33:59 AM »
THat's a terrific and very "New York/New Jersey" idea: smudge the year on your driver's license.

3 month wait for 75 year olds in New Jersey for the vaccine, from last night's news, even though they initiated "phase 1b" earlier than NYS.  I will have to go with insider trading, I think, to get mine before May, with 9 million of us on the line in the City.  What I should have done this week was to have the 3 Kings come down the aisle bearing their gifts:  Moderna, Pfizer and AstroZeneca.

Dave Benke
;D  ;D  ;D

Peace,
Michael

12
Your Turn / Re: The Orders of Creation - an Essay by Ed Schroeder
« on: January 05, 2021, 03:30:10 PM »

Second, with regard to the division of the Mosaic Law into distinct categories (moral, ceremonial, civil, purity, etc.), and the subsequent dismissal of all but the moral law, I’m afraid Pr. Stoffregen is largely correct in his assessment.  That division does indeed have a long history in the western Christian tradition, but it appears to have emerged only in late antiquity.  Scripture offers no such neat categorization of the Mosaic Law.  And it seems plausible to suggest that the Old Testament Hebrews understood the Law holistically, as constitutive of their collective identity as a coherent community of God’s chosen people, with no preference of a “moral law” given priority over the others.  But certainly, by the time you get to the sixteenth century Lutheran reformers, the whole idea of “Law” (including “God’s Law") had gone through several historical and ideological transformations, resulting in an evolving concept of divine law/natural law/moral law as a singular theological topic.

Again, I appreciate your advancing the discussion on this theme, Pr. Engelbrecht.

Tom Pearson
Ptolemy's Letter to Flora (2nd c.) has a tripartite sorting of laws into ones which came from God, others which came from Moses, and still others which came from Jewish elders. An article by Francis T. Fallon (Vigiliae Christianae 30 [1976] 45-51) shows that "distinctions not only with regard to various levels  meaning in the Law but also with regard to different origins for different passages in the Law were familiar in the Hellenized Judaism in the Diaspora prior to the time of Ptolemy." Such distinctions are as old as Christianity, if not older (I don't have access to Fallon's full article to see how far back he thinks it goes). In any case, they can be found in the teaching of Jesus himself.

Peace,
Michael

13
Your Turn / Re: LCMS Inc 2020 Report
« on: January 03, 2021, 08:22:47 PM »
Thanks, Richard.
I thank Richard also. In particular, he pinpointed the place where I read that--Jack Treon Robinson's dissertation.

Peace,
Michael

14
Your Turn / Re: LCMS Inc 2020 Report
« on: January 03, 2021, 10:57:14 AM »
Father, oh, quite correct. There was some really awesome stuff in there; and some stuff that made me scratch my head a bit. The chief idea I think is wrong is that Lutheran Orthodoxy developed out of that Melanchthonian blight and represented a betrayal of the Gospel’s, “lively function.”

About the title, there’s something about the word “function,” I think. Now, if it had been: The Life-giving Gospel or The Living and Enlivening Gospel or The Promise that Raises the Dead or something like that...

I recommend the book mostly because I think it help gets into the theological issues of the time, but as a Festschrift, without the edge of polemics.

P.S. A memorable line (though going from memory so no doubt a paraphrase): The Gospel must give sight to the blind, not merely suggest that seeing is better than blindness; it must open deaf ears, not merely suggest that hearing is better than deafness; it must raise the dead, not merely suggest that life is better death. I think that was in the essay that dealt with the so-called Melanchthonian blight...

P.S.S. I have often chuckled to myself that a festschrift in honor of Dr. Caemmerer really ought to have entitled: Goal, Malady, Means.
Thank you! That "memorable line" truly is memorable.
In any case, if some of the authors decried Lutheran Orthodoxy explicitly, I can see how that would be a problem for a seminary faculty. Of course, if they were saying only that some Lutherans' orthodoxy was weaker and less vigorous than it could and should be, well, that is an argument that perhaps should be going on in most churches.
Didn't Dr. Caemmerer get in trouble for participating in some kind of end-of-the-war celebration in St. Louis?

Peace,
Michael

15
Your Turn / Re: LCMS Inc 2020 Report
« on: January 02, 2021, 09:28:19 PM »
I honestly think the book that gives you the best insight into the best (and the worst) of the theology of 801 at the time is the rather amazing festschrift for Caemmerer with the entirely boring title, *The Lively Function of the Gospel.* In said volume, my all time favorite essay is the one by Korby on...WORSHIP. If I recall correctly, the biggest insight into the Valpo-Seminex theology (owing much to Elert) was in the Betram essay (if I am remembering correctly). The language of the Melanchthonian blight was telling. Or maybe that was Schroeder. I can’t remember after all these years. But the volume is an outstanding portrait of where the sem was theologically at that particular moment. And characteristic of their thought (though not, I think of Piepkorn’s) was that there was a fundamental deterioration of Luther’s insights in the later Orthodoxy.
I'm curious about the phrase,
Quote
with the entirely boring title, *The Lively Function of the Gospel.*
That sounds pretty invigorating to me.
I don't press you to say what the "the best (and the worst)" were, but presumably you really like some of the contributions, such as Korby on worship, and see others as showing signs that theology at Concordia Saint Louis was losing its way. Is that correct?

Peace,
Michael

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