Author Topic: The Bible Summarized in Only a Few Words  (Read 2442 times)

Mike Bennett

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Re: The Bible Summarized in Only a Few Words
« Reply #15 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
« Last Edit: October 08, 2010, 08:59:37 PM by Mike Bennett »
“What peace can there be, so long as the many whoredoms and sorceries of your mother Jezebel continue?”  2 Kings 9:22

LutherMan

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Re: The Bible Summarized in Only a Few Words
« Reply #16 on: October 08, 2010, 08:49:19 PM »
ICAM with you, Mike Bennett!

Mike Bennett

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Re: The Bible Summarized in Only a Few Words
« Reply #17 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
“What peace can there be, so long as the many whoredoms and sorceries of your mother Jezebel continue?”  2 Kings 9:22

Edward Engelbrecht

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Re: The Bible Summarized in Only a Few Words
« Reply #18 on: October 09, 2010, 08:03:52 AM »
I like to see a teacher with his finger on the text of Scripture when he's teaching. Theology without a text will stray.

Just read this morning that Luther's first known and preached sermon was on John 3:16. Not a bad summary of the Bible. Suitable for the church or for the stadium.  :)

ptmccain

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Re: The Bible Summarized in Only a Few Words
« Reply #19 on: October 09, 2010, 09:20:35 AM »
Misapplying Biblical passages by taking them out of context, of course, is wrong. But I am having a hard time understanding the concern about showing how the truth of each phrase of the Nicene Creed can be demonstrated by the text of the Scriptures is not a good thing. Can you help me here, Richard?

Richard Johnson

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Re: The Bible Summarized in Only a Few Words
« Reply #20 on: October 09, 2010, 11:02:14 AM »
Didn't say it was "wrong." Just said it was kitschy.
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

ptmccain

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Re: The Bible Summarized in Only a Few Words
« Reply #21 on: October 09, 2010, 11:09:43 AM »
A definition of "kitsch" is:

1.  Sentimentality or vulgar, often pretentious bad taste, especially in the arts: "When money tries to buy beauty it tends to purchase a kind of courteous kitsch" (William H. Gass).

So, not sure how/why you feel showing how the phrases in the Creed are anchored in Biblical texts is "kitsch."

Again, help me understand your point, Richard. Thanks.

« Last Edit: October 09, 2010, 11:13:08 AM by ptmccain »

Mike Bennett

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Re: The Bible Summarized in Only a Few Words
« Reply #22 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
“What peace can there be, so long as the many whoredoms and sorceries of your mother Jezebel continue?”  2 Kings 9:22

Edward Engelbrecht

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Re: The Bible Summarized in Only a Few Words
« Reply #23 on: October 09, 2010, 01:43:58 PM »
In 1550 Melanchthon published Enarratio Symboli Nicaeni, which includes Bible references, as I recall. So, the practice seems to be venerable Reformation-era Kitsch, which is the best kind of kitsch, of course.

It is found in Corpus Reformatorum XXIII. Trying to find a copy of Google Books but not pulling it up.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2010, 01:51:26 PM by Edward Engelbrecht »

ptmccain

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Re: The Bible Summarized in Only a Few Words
« Reply #24 on: October 09, 2010, 01:52:54 PM »
I consider the "Here I Stand" socks we sell at CPH to be the best Reformation kitsch I've ever seen. That and the bobble-head Katie and Martin Luther statues.

 :D

Richard Johnson

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Re: The Bible Summarized in Only a Few Words
« Reply #25 on: October 09, 2010, 02:32:53 PM »
Well, there's kitsch and then there's kitsch. Reminds me of a game a colleague and I used to play, back in the days when Augsburg Fortress still did synod displays. We challenged one another to find the tackiest thing they had for sale. Trouble is, we could never agree; too many choices.

I really did not mean to ruffle anyone's feathers. Certainly there is a long tradition, going back to the Fathers, of citing Scripture verses after virtually every sentence. I suspect it hit its stride during the scholastic period, because it fit in well with scholastic methodology. I just don't find it a particularly helpful way to discuss theology or doctrine, and often veers off into "proof-texting," thus encouraging that as a means of theological discourse.

If it is helpful to others, well and good. Same thing with music or art; you may find help and comfort and strength in something that I find trite and uninspiring. Doesn't mean I'm better than you, or smarter than you, or anything like that. It simply means different people find different things to be useful. My original statement was "I'm not too enchanted" by this, and I offered an alternative exercise that I found more helpful. If the term "kitsch" offended you, I apologize.
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

ptmccain

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Re: The Bible Summarized in Only a Few Words
« Reply #26 on: October 09, 2010, 02:47:47 PM »
No ruffled feathers here, but still continued curiosity.

Perhaps I could ask you this, Richard, to better understand your comments.

If and when somebody asks you, "Pastor, where does the Bible teach the things we say when we confess the Nicene Creed?" How would you go about answering them?
« Last Edit: October 09, 2010, 02:49:37 PM by ptmccain »

Richard Johnson

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Re: The Bible Summarized in Only a Few Words
« Reply #27 on: October 09, 2010, 03:05:31 PM »
Let me start by saying that in 36 years, no one has ever asked me that.

I would likely begin with a brief historical comment about when and why the creed was written. I would then explain that it is in many ways a kind of summary of Biblical faith (though I think that argument would fly better with the Apostles' Creed). I would say that the first article summarizes what we believe about the Father, with particular focus on what Genesis teaches in the first two chapters; that the second article summarizes what we believe about the Son of God, with an outline of what the gospels teach about his life, and the epistles about his "future," and with particular attention to answering questions that arose about his nature in the early centuries; that the third article summarizes what we believe about the Holy Spirit, including the church, reminding them to review what they learned in the Small Catechism. I would explain that the creed in and of itself is not found in the Bible, but that it summarizes teachings that are found in the Bible.

Then I'd send them to your website for the proof texts.  ;D
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

grabau14

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Re: The Bible Summarized in Only a Few Words
« Reply #28 on: October 09, 2010, 03:20:20 PM »
Do you not have Baptist like influences out there in California, Richard?  In my neck of the woods, there is a very popular Baptist radio station that virtually all the "good Lutherans" listen to.  Those who know their SC well aren't as misled as others who do not remember their catechism.  The Baptists (at least the ones on the radio) have on occassion called those who use creeds papists.  Baptist radio makes the life of a Lutheran pastor challenging and exciting-one must always be ready to discuss the creeds, decision theology, infant baptism, and the end times.

During the height of the Dan Brown Da Vinci Code book/movie, I had plenty of questions come my way. 

ptmccain

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Re: The Bible Summarized in Only a Few Words
« Reply #29 on: October 09, 2010, 03:27:25 PM »
Then I'd send them to your website for the proof texts.  ;D

Sounds like a plan. Best for them not to take your word for it, or mine, but God's.