Author Topic: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article  (Read 8556 times)

mariemeyer

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Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
« Reply #15 on: November 11, 2010, 11:44:25 AM »
I've read the Statement of the Forty-Four which many of them signed.



And what in the Statement of the Forty-Four is not consistent with Lutheran theology or that takes the edge off what belongs to the Lutheran Confessions?

Marie

James_Gale

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Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
« Reply #16 on: November 11, 2010, 11:48:40 AM »

I know that Pelikan was lured off by the smells and bells of Eastern Orthodoxy.


In other words, Dr. Pelikan's move to the Orthodox Church is evidence that the ALPB wanted to make the Lutheran Confessions "more palatable to other confessions within American Christianity?

Hmmmm.

There are not American believers who belong to the Eastern Orthodox church?

Exactly which Christian confessions originated purely in the United States?

Mike

Yes, some Americans are members of Orthodox Churches.  But are you seriously arguing that the ALPB -- or any Lutheran group for that matter -- sought to make the Lutheran Confessions more palatable to the Orthodox?

You wrote of "American Christianity."  That was your term.  The Orthodox have a presence in America.  But they most assuredly are not part of what anyone could call "American Christianity."  Indeed, perhaps more than any other segment of the Christian world, the Orthodox have resisted buying into "American Christianity."

Michael Slusser

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Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
« Reply #17 on: November 11, 2010, 12:31:45 PM »
I'm surprised that BJS is just now discovering this article.  John Hannah makes some great points IMO but he loses me with his accolades for Kieshnick.  What this article reveals is the deep partisanship within our church body which is much akin to the political realm in our country. 

Wohlrabe, in the article Mike Gehlhausen just quoted, blames the ALPB people for introducing political maneuvering and party spirit into the LCMS. Or am I misreading him?

Peace,
Michael
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mariemeyer

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Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
« Reply #18 on: November 11, 2010, 02:08:34 PM »

Father Slusser:

I think the article to which Mike refers is based on Chaplain Wohlrabe doctoral dissertation. (Wohlrabe is currently an LCMS Vice President.)  Wohlrabe is among those who trace most, if not all, of Missouri's departure from true orthodox Lutheranism to the ALPB. At the time the "44" prepared A Statement, several of the men who founded the ALPB were still alive and signed A Statement. Wohlrabe reasons that the ALPB gave birth to the"44" who gave birth to Seminex and Seminex is the origin of all that ails the ELCA.

To the best of my knowledge the men who signed A Statement were primarily educators and parish pastors. I have the list of men before me and see very few, if any names, of men who were elected to synodical offices.  The only name I associate with a synodical position is H.F. Wind who I believe was primarily involved in LCMS Human Care efforts. 

I submit that holding the ALPB responsible for Missouri's departure from orthodoxy has something to due with the fact that the ALPB originated in NYC. There has to be someone to blame. Those East Coast liberals are an obvious target.

I have a month by month summary of American Lutheran articles beginning with Feb, 1937.   In April 1938 the ALPB adopted the slogan "A Changeless Christ for a Changing World." The ALPB existed to proclaim Christ to a fallen world.  I am going to read through the summary of articles for evidence of political maneuvering and party spirit.

Marie meyer   


revjagow

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Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
« Reply #19 on: November 11, 2010, 02:25:12 PM »
I'm surprised that BJS is just now discovering this article.  John Hannah makes some great points IMO but he loses me with his accolades for Kieshnick.  What this article reveals is the deep partisanship within our church body which is much akin to the political realm in our country. 

Wohlrabe, in the article Mike Gehlhausen just quoted, blames the ALPB people for introducing political maneuvering and party spirit into the LCMS. Or am I misreading him?

Peace,
Michael

The last paragraph looked very similar to one of Glen Beck's infamous blackboard talks.   That was quite a leap of logic Rev. Wohlrabe took!

It also did not answer the question of what in the Statement of 44 is inconsistent with Lutheran theology (I have not read it, so I would not know what Mike G. may be alluding to here).

What I find disappointing is the suspicion and look of conspiratorial eyes toward an organization I've come to know and respect over the years.  It's not as if it is above suspicion, but I feel they deserve better than these little pokes and attempts to associate the group with this or that liberal theology.  If anything, ALPB serves the purpose of preventing the drift away from catholicity and orthodoxy (note the lack of capital letters) among Lutherans.  It's in the mission statement for anyone who cares to look: 

Quote
The American Lutheran Publicity Bureau (ALPB), established in 1914, is a non-profit organization independent of official church control, linked by faith and confession to the Church it serves. Committed to an understanding of Lutheran tradition as evangelical and catholic, the ALPB affirms the Church's scriptural and confessional foundations in order to foster renewal within the Lutheran bodies of North America, Lutheran churches abroad, and the wider ecumenical community. The ALPB holds that all those under Christ who hold fast the Scriptures and Lutheran Confessions have a common life, with a distinctive role to play in conveying the Gospel message. In an era in which the Church in North America must address an increasingly post-Christian and secular culture, the ALPB makes the theological, liturgical and devotional resources of our confessional heritage accessible and relevant to all Lutherans as well as to friends in other communions. 
 

Soli Deo Gloria!

ddrebes

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Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
« Reply #20 on: November 11, 2010, 02:27:44 PM »
Every time I think I've gotten a handle on the divisions in American Lutheranism, something like this comes along makes me simultaneously laugh and despair all over again.

Michael Slusser

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Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
« Reply #21 on: November 11, 2010, 02:52:57 PM »
From what I read last summer, I'd say Wohlrabe nails one point:

Then, in 1945, the members of the editorial board for the American Lutheran called a meeting of “like-minded individuals,” who then drafted “A Statement” (the so-called Statement of the Forty-Four). This document called into question the Missouri Synod’s traditional position on church fellowship. (Bolding is mine.)

As much as I've heard people on this Forum say the whole trouble is about whether Scripture is treated as authoritative or not, I still think the issue isn't higher criticism or the like, at least where the LCMS is concerned; it's where Pr. Wohlrabe says it is: the "traditional position on church fellowship." To the extent that ALPB tries to give expression to a Lutheran "common life" (see the mission statement helpfully cited by revjagow), it is bound to raise questions about that position.

Peace,
Michael
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carlvehse

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Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
« Reply #22 on: November 11, 2010, 03:02:47 PM »
Here's the text of the Statement of the Forty-Four along with the list of signatories.

Dave Benke

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Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
« Reply #23 on: November 11, 2010, 03:09:40 PM »
I'll see John Wohlrabe next week and I plan to congratulate him on insightfully preparing the ground for what happens to be the truth:  The ALPB is responsible for Matt Harrison's election.  

First of all, how many of the interlocutors here didn't also win elections - Will Weedon, Glen Piper and others all swept in.  These are our peeps.  I wasn't swept out.  And my overture turned resolution passed right through into a highly regarded CTCR document - "Together With All Creatures."   Secondly and fundamentally, the bottom-line reason ALPB is the church-political font and source par excellence is that it promotes dialog, even and especially about worship and other controverted items, without being nasty and, well, immature (for the most part), as is so much the norm in the Steadfast/Questblogosphere.  Forum publishes John Pless and many other well-regarded Missourians, and all is done in a spirit of common engagement.  This was if I'm not mistaken, the whole thematic of "It's Time."  ALPB was and IS It's Time.  John establishes the historical basis for the clear fact, which is that all credit should be given to the preeminent evangelical and catholic voice in American Lutheranism at this time - The American Lutheran Publicity Bureau.  If and as the Missourians on the Board bring Matt out for conversation, the influence will continue, and possibly, just possibly, a Missouri Synod that engages the world with the Gospel of hope will take shape, just as the ALPB intends it to.  Not only is the ALPB not the problem - the ALPB holds and is itself the solution - a dialogical engine for the evangelical and catholic movement of the Church through time unto eternity.

So thank you, John Wohlrabe.  And thank you, Paul McCain and so many other Missouri luminaries who make this their true dialogical home.  And thank God for the American Lutheran Publicity Bureau.  Paul Sauer, John Hannah, Marie Meyer et al, these are YOUR days to shine!

Dave Benke

ptmccain

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Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
« Reply #24 on: November 11, 2010, 03:18:37 PM »
This is the only Internet forum where I learn about things like gun-toting birds in New York City. Priceless.

Dave Benke

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Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
« Reply #25 on: November 11, 2010, 03:40:47 PM »
I don't see an "agenda of ecumenism", Mike, on the part of John or any of the alpb leaders, but an agenda that desires to promote and share evangelical and catholic Christianity appropriately across all the divides.  As you've no doubt seen and heard here, communio in sacris is held in high esteem, even as and while gathering for prayer, study and conversation - for the mtuual conversation and consolation of the brethren, in the words of Luther - is possible acress the boundaries of denominational affiliation.  And even as we establish new and more official gathering-places for ecumenical dialog, as I'm sure Al Collver will endeavor.

Dave Benke

Dave Benke

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Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
« Reply #26 on: November 11, 2010, 03:44:53 PM »
I'll be up at the Reservoir tomorrow morning, Paul, and bring your greetings to the feathered platoons on patrol.  The early birds are easier to deal with than the night owls.  I don't mess with them much at all, although the local priest is known to jog around the Res. at midnight.  But then he has a Rottweiler.

Dave Benke

Michael Slusser

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Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
« Reply #27 on: November 11, 2010, 04:24:30 PM »

But I also think that it is fair to point out that the ALPB definitely seems to have pushed an agenda of ecumenism at least in its early years.  Father Slusser seems to pick up on that, and I don't think he really has a dog in this LCMS internecine fight.
Mike

Actually, Mike, what I said was that the Statement of the 44, as Pr. Wohlrabe points out, "called into question the Missouri Synod's position on church fellowship." (That is true, and it comes through clearly in A Statement.) Then I said, "To the extent that ALPB tries to give expression to a Lutheran "common life" (see the mission statement helpfully cited by revjagow), it is bound to raise questions about that position." Nothing there about ecumenism; just an alternative glimpse of a coherent Lutheran presence.

Peace,
Michael
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James_Gale

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Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
« Reply #28 on: November 11, 2010, 04:42:53 PM »
I don't see an "agenda of ecumenism", Mike, on the part of John or any of the alpb leaders, but an agenda that desires to promote and share evangelical and catholic Christianity appropriately across all the divides.  As you've no doubt seen and heard here, communio in sacris is held in high esteem, even as and while gathering for prayer, study and conversation - for the mtuual conversation and consolation of the brethren, in the words of Luther - is possible acress the boundaries of denominational affiliation.  And even as we establish new and more official gathering-places for ecumenical dialog, as I'm sure Al Collver will endeavor.

Dave Benke

That's fair.  And I did point to the ALPB's early years.  And perhaps you'll at least admit that even as some were wrong to accuse those of ecumenism who simply wanted to render the Divine Service liturgy in English to be more welcoming to American society, those who did embrace unionistic and ecumenical ideas would find good cover within the ALPB and perhaps even some internal agreement in places.

There is always a tension in fellowship issues in this fallen sinful world.  Sometimes, the dust-ups resulting from that tension are unpleasant, but I believe maintaining that tension appropriately is important.

Thanks again for your thoughts and your participation here.

Mike

I find it odd that you speak of "accusing" someone of ecumenism.  Are your arguing that ecumenism is bad? 

I can understand criticizing the way in which some person or group approaches ecumenism.  But so long as it is approached properly, I don't see how ecumenism could be viewed as anything but good.

Michael Slusser

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Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
« Reply #29 on: November 11, 2010, 04:50:11 PM »
Maybe Mike means "unionism," which is an important technical term in the LCMS.

Peace,
Michael
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