Author Topic: Mum is the word - Why you don't post  (Read 6611 times)

Brian Hughes

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Re: Mum is the word - Why you don't post
« Reply #75 on: December 04, 2008, 08:20:15 PM »
  Sadly, tree fell and owl fled.   What a haunting sound they make!  (I couldn't resist)

  So, if you ARE in the woods and a tree falls, owls flee and the trees make haunting sounds. What if you're not in the woods?  Do the owls stay in the tree and charge first floor apartment rental rates?  Is the falling tree quieter than a fleeing owl because you're not there to hear it?  Does it make a difference if it's a Spotted Owl?  Do California Spotted Owls wear tie-dye shirts?  Is the dye in California tee-shirts more dangerous than paint on Chinese children's toys? Are children's toys good for them at Christmas, or should we flee from them, making haunting sounds as we exit WalMart?  Is it OK to shop at Walmart or do we undermine the health care system every time we use our credit cards there?  How many credit cards *should* one have in one's wallet?

So many questions, so few forums ...
 
« Last Edit: December 04, 2008, 08:23:27 PM by Brian Hughes »

MRoot

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Re: Mum is the word - Why you don't post
« Reply #76 on: December 04, 2008, 08:56:32 PM »
Back on the point for a moment:
There is a theological issue involved here beyond being nice and one that the Lutheran “Streitkultur” needs to take more seriously.  Christian language, and especially theological argument, should witness to the God who is Love, incarnate in Jesus, who is the Truth.  Truth and love are finally one.  When language seeking the truth is not spoken in love it is inadequate in its witness.  We are to speak the truth in love not to be nice, but because when we speak the truth in something other than love, then what we say is defective precisely as truth.  When Luther says that the 8th commandment means that I should interpret my neighbor in the best possible light, I think we should take that as an epistemological point: I am most likely to rightly understand the neighbor when I interpret the neighbor in the best light.  That should apply to theological argument.  We ought to think about how Luther on the 8th commandment applies to arguments in settings like this one.  (I will grant that I myself in some of the ecumenical arguments within the ELCA a few years ago may have spoken in less than loving ways; I am not sinless in this respect.)
Michael Root

Weedon

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Re: Mum is the word - Why you don't post
« Reply #77 on: December 04, 2008, 09:21:38 PM »
Michael,

I'm singing the three-fold "Amen" over here.  I couldn't agree more.

Lutheran_Lay_Leader

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Re: Mum is the word - Why you don't post
« Reply #78 on: December 04, 2008, 09:34:04 PM »
Back on the point for a moment:
There is a theological issue involved here beyond being nice and one that the Lutheran “Streitkultur” needs to take more seriously.  Christian language, and especially theological argument, should witness to the God who is Love, incarnate in Jesus, who is the Truth.  Truth and love are finally one.  When language seeking the truth is not spoken in love it is inadequate in its witness.  We are to speak the truth in love not to be nice, but because when we speak the truth in something other than love, then what we say is defective precisely as truth.  When Luther says that the 8th commandment means that I should interpret my neighbor in the best possible light, I think we should take that as an epistemological point: I am most likely to rightly understand the neighbor when I interpret the neighbor in the best light.  That should apply to theological argument.  We ought to think about how Luther on the 8th commandment applies to arguments in settings like this one.  (I will grant that I myself in some of the ecumenical arguments within the ELCA a few years ago may have spoken in less than loving ways; I am not sinless in this respect.)
Michael Root

Have you given any thought to the fact that some people come from a family or cultural environment in which love abounds, but is expressed at a high decibel level? I would imagine that there are some in here with very little first hand experience with the low-key, soft, gentle Hallmark Card expressions of love that others seem to regard as the only flavor that love comes in. Some marital relationships I have observed that are clearly based on intense feelings of mutual love are also marked by yelling, screaming, occasional plate throwing and extremely passionate "make-up" relations. I suspect that one of the things that keeps many people at arm's length from Christianity is the idea that the only valid expression of Christian love appears to be too "fairy tale" for some people to identify with.

TravisW

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Re: Mum is the word - Why you don't post
« Reply #79 on: December 05, 2008, 12:04:47 AM »
Back on the point for a moment:
There is a theological issue involved here beyond being nice and one that the Lutheran “Streitkultur” needs to take more seriously.  Christian language, and especially theological argument, should witness to the God who is Love, incarnate in Jesus, who is the Truth.  Truth and love are finally one.  When language seeking the truth is not spoken in love it is inadequate in its witness.  We are to speak the truth in love not to be nice, but because when we speak the truth in something other than love, then what we say is defective precisely as truth.  When Luther says that the 8th commandment means that I should interpret my neighbor in the best possible light, I think we should take that as an epistemological point: I am most likely to rightly understand the neighbor when I interpret the neighbor in the best light.  That should apply to theological argument.  We ought to think about how Luther on the 8th commandment applies to arguments in settings like this one.  (I will grant that I myself in some of the ecumenical arguments within the ELCA a few years ago may have spoken in less than loving ways; I am not sinless in this respect.)
Michael Root

Have you given any thought to the fact that some people come from a family or cultural environment in which love abounds, but is expressed at a high decibel level? I would imagine that there are some in here with very little first hand experience with the low-key, soft, gentle Hallmark Card expressions of love that others seem to regard as the only flavor that love comes in. Some marital relationships I have observed that are clearly based on intense feelings of mutual love are also marked by yelling, screaming, occasional plate throwing and extremely passionate "make-up" relations. I suspect that one of the things that keeps many people at arm's length from Christianity is the idea that the only valid expression of Christian love appears to be too "fairy tale" for some people to identify with.

Good point.  A buddy of mine and I have often talked about how all ELCA clergy (since we're both ELCA members) seem to have taken a "niceness" class.  The ALPB has taught me that this isn't necessarily the case.   ;) 
That being said, I'm personally used to a bit of "acidity" and a whole lot of stubbornness when it comes to argument, moreso than outright hostility or flat-out passive-aggressiveness. 
However, my pet peeve is the straw-man argument.  Members of this forum has burned so many straw men that it's contributing to global warning. 

Richard Johnson

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Re: Mum is the word - Why you don't post
« Reply #80 on: December 05, 2008, 12:05:01 AM »
Anyone ever had Hodak's fried chicken? Some of the best I have ever had. Great local place in St. Louis. One of the joys of working in the city, is all the great eateries within minutes of Concordia Publishing House.

[Just doing my part to contribute to topic drift].

Does CPH sell it?  ;D

Obviously not, or we would have had a commercial for it by now.  8)
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

Harvey_Mozolak

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Re: Mum is the word - Why you don't post
« Reply #81 on: December 05, 2008, 06:16:11 AM »
and of course as you are saying, *the best possible light* is the light of Christ, people tend to look less shadowy there...    Harvey Mozolak

When Luther says that the 8th commandment means that I should interpret my neighbor in the best possible light, I think we should take that as an epistemological point: I am most likely to rightly understand the neighbor when I interpret the neighbor in the best light. 
Harvey S. Mozolak
my poetry blog is listed below:

http://lineandletterlettuce.blogspot.com

ptmccain

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Re: Mum is the word - Why you don't post
« Reply #82 on: December 05, 2008, 06:34:34 AM »
Obviously not, or we would have had a commercial for it by now.  8)

http://www.hodaks.com/

Golden Fried Chicken

Our famous chicken platter comes complete with four pieces of chicken, as well as healthy portions of fries and cole slaw.

$7.00 ($7.40 w/ Hot BBQ Sauce)
« Last Edit: December 05, 2008, 06:45:20 AM by ptmccain »

Brian Hughes

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Re: Mum is the word - Why you don't post
« Reply #83 on: December 05, 2008, 06:37:40 AM »
Obviously not, or we would have had a commercial for it by now.  8)

http://www.hodaks.com/

 Well ... it's a good thing AF doesn't sell it 'cause we'd be out of luck come the next synod assembly!



MRoot

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Re: Mum is the word - Why you don't post
« Reply #84 on: December 05, 2008, 06:45:55 AM »
It isn't the "decibel level" that has come to concern me about the way we Lutherans argue.  It is the uncharitableness: the quick shift to the ad hominem, the rapid assumption of bad faith.  My concern is not that this turns people off; it is that it hinders the pursuit of truth.  Argument will better lead to truth when it does not engage in these behaviors.  I think that is generally true, but true in a qualitatively different and deeper sense in theology.
Michael Root

Charles_Austin

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Re: Mum is the word - Why you don't post
« Reply #85 on: December 05, 2008, 07:07:18 AM »
I think that in church circles there is a tendency to take stenuous discussion too "personally." Covering politicians, I always found it interesting how they could rip each other to shreds in political debate; but maintain cordial personal relations.Perhaps this was becaue they had to work together no matter what.
It seems harder for church folk to do this.
Back in the mid-1970s, the late Dr. J.A.O. Preus arrived at a meeting of the Lutheran Council in the USA intending to have the Council's news bureau - the late great Erik Modean and myself - disbanded, or at least to have the two of us fired. He didn't like it that we were covering the LC-MS controversy.
The attempt to can us failed. That evening, Erik and I were in the bar at the Gramercy Park Hotel. Dr. Preus and two other LC-MS notables came in. I fretted. But Dr. Preus, left the other two at the bar, came over and sat with Erik and I, beginning a conversation about "the old days."
The attempt to fire us wasn't "personal," it was political. And he accepted the fact that his effort failed. No hard feelings? Yes, there were some, but life went on. And in the years following his move off center stage in the LC-MS, Dr. Preus was always genial and friendly whenever our paths would cross.

John_Hannah

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Re: Mum is the word - Why you don't post
« Reply #86 on: December 05, 2008, 07:15:30 AM »
I think that in church circles there is a tendency to take stenuous discussion too "personally." Covering politicians, I always found it interesting how they could rip each other to shreds in political debate; but maintain cordial personal relations.Perhaps this was becaue they had to work together no matter what.
It seems harder for church folk to do this.
Back in the mid-1970s, the late Dr. J.A.O. Preus arrived at a meeting of the Lutheran Council in the USA intending to have the Council's news bureau - the late great Erik Modean and myself - disbanded, or at least to have the two of us fired. He didn't like it that we were covering the LC-MS controversy.
The attempt to can us failed. That evening, Erik and I were in the bar at the Gramercy Park Hotel. Dr. Preus and two other LC-MS notables came in. I fretted. But Dr. Preus, left the other two at the bar, came over and sat with Erik and I, beginning a conversation about "the old days."
The attempt to fire us wasn't "personal," it was political. And he accepted the fact that his effort failed. No hard feelings? Yes, there were some, but life went on. And in the years following his move off center stage in the LC-MS, Dr. Preus was always genial and friendly whenever our paths would cross.

Charles is right. I always found Jack that way the few times I was with him. I always made a point of my disagreement(s) with him. He didn't react disrespectfully at all.

I totally agree with Michael Root about the (often pervese) nature of theological discussion in modern American Lutheranism. It is saddening to me.

Peace, JOHN HANNAH
Pr. JOHN HANNAH, STS

Lutheran_Lay_Leader

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Re: Mum is the word - Why you don't post
« Reply #87 on: December 05, 2008, 07:26:09 AM »
It isn't the "decibel level" that has come to concern me about the way we Lutherans argue.  It is the uncharitableness: the quick shift to the ad hominem, the rapid assumption of bad faith.  My concern is not that this turns people off; it is that it hinders the pursuit of truth.  Argument will better lead to truth when it does not engage in these behaviors.  I think that is generally true, but true in a qualitatively different and deeper sense in theology.
Michael Root


I think what you're observing is more a phenomena of the use of this medium than of Lutherans. Cyberspace forums like this tend to have an effect on the pace of escalation of discussions and debates. It's one of those "comes with the territory" things.

Brian Hughes

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Re: Mum is the word - Why you don't post
« Reply #88 on: December 05, 2008, 07:53:56 AM »

The attempt to fire us wasn't "personal," it was political. And he accepted the fact that his effort failed. No hard feelings? Yes, there were some, but life went on.

  Fascinating revelation.  My interpretation is a connection of some dots; the ongoing sniping at LC-MS pastors may be related to this prior experience.  Interesting ... interesting

 

Brian Hughes

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Re: Mum is the word - Why you don't post
« Reply #89 on: December 05, 2008, 08:11:18 AM »

I think what you're observing is more a phenomena of the use of this medium than of Lutherans. Cyberspace forums like this tend to have an effect on the pace of escalation of discussions and debates. It's one of those "comes with the territory" things.

 Back in the old days ... mid-80's, I ran a BBS in DC that focused on theological and political conversations.  Since we were located on Capitol Hill and my day job was targeting yuppies who worked for Congress, it seemed like a natural.  From the opening days of cyber-discussion it was heated.  And would regularly wander off topic.  Once "echo-mail" was invented (mirroring message bases on more than two other BBS systems, thereby greatly expanding the user base), things would get out of hand very quickly.

There were filters you could use, automatically deleting some user's posts or deleting them based on key words in the message.  Invariably this would bring howls of censorship, heavy handedness, 1984 truthers, etc., etc. 

The other dynamic that we've thus far not discussed is the total volume of posts/users that's possible in a cyber conversation.  Like small groups everywhere, too many people will shut out folks on the edges.  Just like small groups have to remain small for people to have room for voice, so too this medium.

And lastly ... if things were different, they wouldn't be the way they are.  Whenever we use words like "should" and "ought", we know we are in the area of the Law.  Not a bad place for Lutherans, but recognize its function; limit inappropriate behavior by the power of the sword, er, moderator and point us toward our need for Christ.