Author Topic: ELCA Considering New Procedures for Congregations Considering Leaving the ELCA  (Read 29793 times)

Brian Stoffregen

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I was amazed the committee voted the way they did and my wife has often wondered about how they might have voted if she had not been there to point out the inappropriateness of the funding request. I am certainly not complaining. The fact that I was highlighting is how the composition of that committee was "stacked" with liberalist/revisionists and my wife was the sole traditionalist on a committee of a dozen people.

That is precisely why Charles and I have stated our desire for "traditionalists" to stay. Their voices are important. They are heard -- although the majority may not always agree with them.

Conversely, that's a big part of the reason I joined this forum. A more liberal voice needed to be heard even if the majority of posters disagree with me -- and occasionally, even some of the most conservative/traditional folks have agreed with me about some issues.
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

ptmccain

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"Their voices are important. They are heard."

Why does this sound strangely like, "Some of my best friends are black people."

 ::)

SteveS

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Pr. McCain,

I think that is an unfair comment.  To compare skin color to theological leanings is not right.

Steve Shumate

"Their voices are important. They are heard."

Why does this sound strangely like, "Some of my best friends are black people."

 ::)

Maryland Brian

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That is precisely why Charles and I have stated our desire for "traditionalists" to stay. Their voices are important. They are heard -- although the majority may not always agree with them.


   ::)

  The church is coming apart and desires and wishes will not change that.

hillwilliam

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Marcus Borg "distinguishes between the pre-Easter Jesus, who was a Jewish mystic and the founder of Christianity, and the post-Easter Jesus who is a divine reality that Christians can still experience personally" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcus_Borg)

That is the same idea expressed by Richard Swanson (a Augustana College, Sioux Falls, SD religion department Professor) in the April 2008 issue of The Lutheran magazine. It is also parallels your statement that Jesus was not divine during His time on earth.

Now, how is that an acknowledgment that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh? I would not object if you wanted to distances yourself from Marcus Borg and/or Richard Swanson, but your quotation clearly puts them into the spirit of the Antichrist.

I think that you have it backwards. I see Borg as affirming that Jesus was a man of human flesh. (He may be more sketchy about Jesus divine side before Easter.) 1 John is speaking against Docetists who argued that Jesus was God who only seemed to be a human being. (I think of Q of Star Trek: The Next Generation, a godlike character who assumes human shape to interact with the humans.) I believe it is those who want to attribute to Jesus all of his divine powers and abilities and downplay the limitations of his humanness during his time on earth who are closer to the wrong spirit that 1 John talks about.

How is it that our historic creeds include the statement that Jesus is both fully man and fully God? If Jesus did not have divine powers and abilities why did Satan try to tempt Jesus to use those powers? I agree that Jesus was a man of human flesh but He is also God. If we can be both saint and sinner and God made us, why can't Jesus be both man and deity?

As for what Borg was affirming, please see "The meaning of Jesus: two visions
 By Marcus J. Borg, Nicholas Thomas Wright" and show me there he affirms the earthly divinity of Jesus.

Scott6

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As for what Borg was affirming, please see "The meaning of Jesus: two visions
 By Marcus J. Borg, Nicholas Thomas Wright" and show me there he affirms the earthly divinity of Jesus.

I TA'd for an intro course to Christianity, and the prof required that book, which means I got to teach it in my discussion sessions.  It's a good way to see two people arguing on opposite sides of the same field.

Brian Stoffregen

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Marcus Borg "distinguishes between the pre-Easter Jesus, who was a Jewish mystic and the founder of Christianity, and the post-Easter Jesus who is a divine reality that Christians can still experience personally" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcus_Borg)

That is the same idea expressed by Richard Swanson (a Augustana College, Sioux Falls, SD religion department Professor) in the April 2008 issue of The Lutheran magazine. It is also parallels your statement that Jesus was not divine during His time on earth.

Now, how is that an acknowledgment that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh? I would not object if you wanted to distances yourself from Marcus Borg and/or Richard Swanson, but your quotation clearly puts them into the spirit of the Antichrist.

I think that you have it backwards. I see Borg as affirming that Jesus was a man of human flesh. (He may be more sketchy about Jesus divine side before Easter.) 1 John is speaking against Docetists who argued that Jesus was God who only seemed to be a human being. (I think of Q of Star Trek: The Next Generation, a godlike character who assumes human shape to interact with the humans.) I believe it is those who want to attribute to Jesus all of his divine powers and abilities and downplay the limitations of his humanness during his time on earth who are closer to the wrong spirit that 1 John talks about.

How is it that our historic creeds include the statement that Jesus is both fully man and fully God? If Jesus did not have divine powers and abilities why did Satan try to tempt Jesus to use those powers? I agree that Jesus was a man of human flesh but He is also God. If we can be both saint and sinner and God made us, why can't Jesus be both man and deity?

Jesus is man and God, but as you indicated, when tempted to use godly powers, he did not. His limited himself to human powers and abilities during his time on earth. It's precisely this fact that gives us humans hope of the resurrection after death. If it was because Jesus had divine powers that brought about his resurrection, then there's no hope for us who do not have those divine powers. If, however, he refused to use any of his divine powers and died as a mortal human, while trusting his Father to act on his behalf when he could do nothing for himself; then we have the same hope and promise from the Father.

Quote
As for what Borg was affirming, please see "The meaning of Jesus: two visions
 By Marcus J. Borg, Nicholas Thomas Wright" and show me there he affirms the earthly divinity of Jesus.

Haven't read the book. Don't have the book. However, I do have and have read Borg's book, Jesus: Uncovering the Life, Teaching, and Relevance of a Religious Revolutionary. This was published a year before The Meaning of Jesus. He writes on page 6 (italics in original):

Thus, for Christians, Jesus is utterly central. In a concise sentence, Jesus is for Christians the decisive revelation of God. Slightly more fully, Jesus reveals, discloses, what can be seen of God in a human life and what a life filled with God looks like. This affirmation defines what it means to be Christian. Christians find the decisive revelation of God and life with God in Jesus, just as Jews find the decisive revelation of God in the Torah and Muslims find the decisive revelation of God in the Qur'an.

Then on the next page:

Importantly, Jesus is not the revelation of "all" of God, but of what can be seen of God in human life. Some of God's traditional attributes of qualities cannot be seen in a human life. The omnipresence of God cannot be seen in a human life -- a human being cannot be present everywhere. The infinity of God cannot be seen in a human life -- a human being by definition is finite. So also omnipotence: a human being cannot be all-powerful and still be human. So also omniscience: what could it mean to say that a human is "omniscient" and that Jesus in particular was? That he would "know everything" -- including, for example, the theory of relativity and the capital of Oregon?

So there is much of God that cannot be seen in a human life. But -- and this is what matters -- what can be seen is the character and passion of God. By the "character of God," I mean simply "what God is like." By the "passion of God," I mean simply "what God is passionate about," what God most cares about, what concerns God most. The first is often called the nature of God, the second the will of God. This is what Jesus reveals: the character and passion, the nature and will, of God.


This sounds to me to be much like the opening chapter of John, especially if λόγος is translated "Revelation" rather than "Word". Jesus is the Word/Revelation of God. Borg goes on to argue that to say that Jesus is God, is docetism. If Jesus had all those divine "omni-" abilities, then he was not human. He was God appearing in human form.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2010, 04:16:57 PM by Brian Stoffregen »
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

hillwilliam

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As for what Borg was affirming, please see "The meaning of Jesus: two visions
 By Marcus J. Borg, Nicholas Thomas Wright" and show me there he affirms the earthly divinity of Jesus.

I TA'd for an intro course to Christianity, and the prof required that book, which means I got to teach it in my discussion sessions.  It's a good way to see two people arguing on opposite sides of the same field.

Reaallly! Well come on Scott, does anything in that book contradict the quote from wikipedia that Marcus Borg "distinguishes between the pre-Easter Jesus, who was a Jewish mystic and the founder of Christianity, and the post-Easter Jesus who is a divine reality that Christians can still experience personally" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcus_Borg)

I think that the most charitable way that Borg's understanding of the pre-Easter Jesus is that He was "mostly human". You know kinda like the hero of the Princess Bride was "mostly dead".  ;D What is your take on it.

In the mean time, for those drinking the ELCA cool aid ala Borg, be reminded that resistance is futile.  :o

Coach-Rev

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Re: ELCA Considering New Procedures for Congregations Considering Leaving the EL
« Reply #308 on: December 03, 2010, 04:23:02 PM »
That is precisely why Charles and I have stated our desire for "traditionalists" to stay. Their voices are important. They are heard -- although the majority may not always agree with them.

and like the majority minority you represent, you would also be in the minority in your sentiments.  The ELCA cannot have it both ways:  they cannot want us to stay, but also tell us to shut up, which is PRECISELY what they are doing.  Or, more commonly, as was heard on more than one occasion at our synod assembly (affirmed numerous times by others in this forum), when one was critical of the direction the synod was going, there were mutterings from the floor, "well why don't you just leave then?"

Like it or not, that is the prevailing sentiment in the ELCA, no matter how you or Charles attempt to sidestep, ignore, deflect, or otherwise challenge the issue.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2010, 04:25:21 PM by Coach-Rev »

Brian Stoffregen

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Reaallly! Well come on Scott, does anything in that book contradict the quote from wikipedia that Marcus Borg "distinguishes between the pre-Easter Jesus, who was a Jewish mystic and the founder of Christianity, and the post-Easter Jesus who is a divine reality that Christians can still experience personally" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcus_Borg)

Really Gary! Are you going to tell me that your relationship with the post-Easter Jesus is exactly the same as the relationship the disciples had with the pre-Easter Jesus? Do you shake hands with him, feel his arm on your shoulder, carry on a conversation with him, have him wash your feet, to name a few things the pre-Easter did with the disciples. Post-Easter Jesus appeared and disappeared. In John and Luke, he is clear that the relationship the disciples would have with him after the ascension would be through the Holy Spirit -- certainly a different kind of relationship than they had with the earthly Jesus.
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: ELCA Considering New Procedures for Congregations Considering Leaving the EL
« Reply #310 on: December 03, 2010, 04:29:40 PM »
That is precisely why Charles and I have stated our desire for "traditionalists" to stay. Their voices are important. They are heard -- although the majority may not always agree with them.

and like the majority minority you represent, you would also be in the minority in your sentiments.  The ELCA cannot have it both ways:  they cannot want us to stay, but also tell us to shut up, which is PRECISELY what they are doing.  Or, more commonly, as was heard on more than one occasion at our synod assembly (affirmed numerous times by others in this forum), when one was critical of the direction the synod was going, there were mutterings from the floor, "well why don't you just leave then?"

Like it or not, that is the prevailing sentiment in the ELCA, no matter how you or Charles attempt to sidestep, ignore, deflect, or otherwise challenge the issue.

So, a report from one side about one synod assembly should be considered normative for all 65?
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

hillwilliam

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Marcus Borg "distinguishes between the pre-Easter Jesus, who was a Jewish mystic and the founder of Christianity, and the post-Easter Jesus who is a divine reality that Christians can still experience personally" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcus_Borg)

That is the same idea expressed by Richard Swanson (a Augustana College, Sioux Falls, SD religion department Professor) in the April 2008 issue of The Lutheran magazine. It is also parallels your statement that Jesus was not divine during His time on earth.

Now, how is that an acknowledgment that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh? I would not object if you wanted to distances yourself from Marcus Borg and/or Richard Swanson, but your quotation clearly puts them into the spirit of the Antichrist.

I think that you have it backwards. I see Borg as affirming that Jesus was a man of human flesh. (He may be more sketchy about Jesus divine side before Easter.) 1 John is speaking against Docetists who argued that Jesus was God who only seemed to be a human being. (I think of Q of Star Trek: The Next Generation, a godlike character who assumes human shape to interact with the humans.) I believe it is those who want to attribute to Jesus all of his divine powers and abilities and downplay the limitations of his humanness during his time on earth who are closer to the wrong spirit that 1 John talks about.

How is it that our historic creeds include the statement that Jesus is both fully man and fully God? If Jesus did not have divine powers and abilities why did Satan try to tempt Jesus to use those powers? I agree that Jesus was a man of human flesh but He is also God. If we can be both saint and sinner and God made us, why can't Jesus be both man and deity?

Jesus is man and God, but as you indicated, when tempted to use godly powers, he did not. His limited himself to human powers and abilities during his time on earth. It's precisely this fact that gives us humans hope of the resurrection after death. If it was because Jesus had divine powers that brought about his resurrection, then there's no hope for us who do not have those divine powers. If, however, he refused to use any of his divine powers and died as a mortal human, while trusting his Father to act on his behalf when he could do nothing for himself; then we have the same hope and promise from the Father.

Quote
As for what Borg was affirming, please see "The meaning of Jesus: two visions
 By Marcus J. Borg, Nicholas Thomas Wright" and show me there he affirms the earthly divinity of Jesus.

Haven't read the book. Don't have the book. However, I do have and have read Borg's book, Jesus: Uncovering the Life, Teaching, and Relevance of a Religious Revolutionary. This was published a year before The Meaning of Jesus. He writes on page 6 (italics in original):

Thus, for Christians, Jesus is utterly central. In a concise sentence, Jesus is for Christians the decisive revelation of God. Slightly more fully, Jesus reveals, discloses, what can be seen of God in a human life and what a life filled with God looks like. This affirmation defines what it means to be Christian. Christians find the decisive revelation of God and life with God in Jesus, just as Jews find the decisive revelation of God in the Torah and Muslims find the decisive revelation of God in the Qur'an.

Then on the next page:

Importantly, Jesus is not the revelation of "all" of God, but of what can be seen of God in human life. Some of God's traditional attributes of qualities cannot be seen in a human life. The omnipresence of God cannot be seen in a human life -- a human being cannot be present everywhere. The infinity of God cannot be seen in a human life -- a human being by definition is finite. So also omnipotence: a human being cannot be all-powerful and still be human. So also omniscience: what could it mean to say that a human is "omniscient" and that Jesus in particular was? That he would "know everything" -- including, for example, the theory of relativity and the capital of Oregon?

So there is much of God that cannot be seen in a human life. But -- and this is what matters -- what can be seen is the character and passion of God. By the "character of God," I mean simply "what God is like." By the "passion of God," I mean simply "what God is passionate about," what God most cares about, what concerns God most. The first is often called the nature of God, the second the will of God. This is what Jesus reveals: the character and passion, the nature and will, of God.


This sounds to me to be much like the opening chapter of John, especially if λόγος is translated "Revelation" rather than "Word". Jesus is the Word/Revelation of God. Borg goes on to argue that to say that Jesus is God, is docetism. If Jesus had all those divine "omni-" abilities, then he was not human. He was God appearing in human form.

You said: "Jesus is man and God, but as you indicated, when tempted to use godly powers, he did not."

I ask: So are you saying that He didn't use godly powers because He didn't have them? Are you saying the creeds have it wrong? Couldn't it be that He was conforming His actions to the scriptural witness? (Man does not live by bread alone - Thou shalt not tempt the Lord your God) If Jesus was not divine during His time on earth, how could His death take away the sins of mankind. Borg says that Jesus was very influential in Israel. So was Pilot, could he have taken away our sins?

You said: "Borg goes on to argue that to say that Jesus is God, is docetism. If Jesus had all those divine "omni-" abilities, then he was not human. He was God appearing in human form."

I opine: Gee, that's not how Irenaeus saw it. However, since Borg and you have explained away the Mysteries of God, I can only conclude that Irenaeus and I just see the foolishness of God as being wiser than the wisdom of men.

Oh, and btw God wasn't just seen in the life of Jesus. Jesus was God incarnate.

« Last Edit: December 03, 2010, 10:45:46 PM by hillwilliam »

hillwilliam

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Reaallly! Well come on Scott, does anything in that book contradict the quote from wikipedia that Marcus Borg "distinguishes between the pre-Easter Jesus, who was a Jewish mystic and the founder of Christianity, and the post-Easter Jesus who is a divine reality that Christians can still experience personally" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcus_Borg)

Really Gary! Are you going to tell me that your relationship with the post-Easter Jesus is exactly the same as the relationship the disciples had with the pre-Easter Jesus? Do you shake hands with him, feel his arm on your shoulder, carry on a conversation with him, have him wash your feet, to name a few things the pre-Easter did with the disciples. Post-Easter Jesus appeared and disappeared. In John and Luke, he is clear that the relationship the disciples would have with him after the ascension would be through the Holy Spirit -- certainly a different kind of relationship than they had with the earthly Jesus.

Yes, if it was His will I could shake His hand, etc. Since He has not willed that too date, I rely on the scriptural witness to tell me how I am to relate to Jesus. Of course, thanks to those who have new and advanced methods of discerning God's will, we no longer need the uninformed witness of the disciples. ::)

Mike Bennett

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Because many folks here are unable to deal with the subtle nuances that some of us have in our posts. Or, in other words, they are unable to see shades of gray from their black and white world. Those who see gray have no problems with Charles's posts.


Your contempt for folks who "have a problem" with Charles's posts " ("unable to see shades of gray from their black and white world") shows you absolutely don't get it.  You remind me a bit of somebody else who doesn't get it:  a recent presidential candidate whose efforts to understand those who disagreed with his views were expressed in words something like the following:  "unemployed, frightened, angry, clinging to their guns and their churches."  He understood them and sympathized with them.  Yeah, sure he did.

Mike Bennett
“What peace can there be, so long as the many whoredoms and sorceries of your mother Jezebel continue?”  2 Kings 9:22

gcnuss

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Jesus is man and God, but as you indicated, when tempted to use godly powers, he did not. His limited himself to human powers and abilities during his time on earth. It's precisely this fact that gives us humans hope of the resurrection after death. If it was because Jesus had divine powers that brought about his resurrection, then there's no hope for us who do not have those divine powers. If, however, he refused to use any of his divine powers and died as a mortal human, while trusting his Father to act on his behalf when he could do nothing for himself; then we have the same hope and promise from the Father.

Would you not say that his healings and his exorcisms were examples of using his godly powers?  How about bringing back to life those who had died (Lazarus, Jairus' daughter, etc.)?  I will say that he did not use his godly powers for his own benefit, thus no stones turned into bread, no leaping down from cross, etc.