Author Topic: CoWo, What's Wrong with It?  (Read 43719 times)

grabau14

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Re: CoWo, What's Wrong with It?
« Reply #285 on: February 08, 2011, 09:54:11 AM »
Another book that is real easy for laity to get into and is a good intro to Luther and his theology is Herman Preus' "A Theology to Live By."  For some reason we're reading this for winkel (I would prefer if we actually read Luther, sigh). 

Also, my laity prefer a good mix of topical study along with a study of the book and I typically put my own stuff together as I can't stand to use someone elses material.  That being said, the LHM study of creation is good as is Dr. Paul Maier's Jesus Christ: Legend or Lord.  Those are the only two canned studies I have used in the last 3 years.

Wayne Kofink

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Re: CoWo, What's Wrong with It?
« Reply #286 on: February 08, 2011, 09:59:33 AM »

Did Luther have any major disagreements with the Reformed or Anabaptists over what musical instruments to use in worship?

I don't know if it could be considered a major disagreement, but Luther supported the use of instruments in worship while Zwingli forbade instruments in church and had organs destroyed. Personally, I dislike any "rules"  about what kind of instruments or musical styles Lutherans can use in worship. I was disappointed when I lost two members because they heard a tambourine used in a choir anthem. I was frustrated to hear from a pastor-developer that one of the ELCA powers-that-be told him if a mission congregation started an organ fund, all mission support would be cut off.

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: CoWo, What's Wrong with It?
« Reply #287 on: February 08, 2011, 10:47:27 AM »

Did Luther have any major disagreements with the Reformed or Anabaptists over what musical instruments to use in worship?

I don't know if it could be considered a major disagreement, but Luther supported the use of instruments in worship while Zwingli forbade instruments in church and had organs destroyed. Personally, I dislike any "rules"  about what kind of instruments or musical styles Lutherans can use in worship. I was disappointed when I lost two members because they heard a tambourine used in a choir anthem. I was frustrated to hear from a pastor-developer that one of the ELCA powers-that-be told him if a mission congregation started an organ fund, all mission support would be cut off.

Since I'm vacationing in Mazatlan I don't have my resources, but a book on the history of church music indicated that the use of the organ (and other instruments) in worship was not to accompany the singing -- which was done a cappella -- but to provide instrumental music. What I don't remember is when this practiced changed to accompanied singing.
"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]

George Erdner

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Re: CoWo, What's Wrong with It?
« Reply #288 on: February 08, 2011, 10:54:07 AM »

Did Luther have any major disagreements with the Reformed or Anabaptists over what musical instruments to use in worship?

I don't know if it could be considered a major disagreement, but Luther supported the use of instruments in worship while Zwingli forbade instruments in church and had organs destroyed. Personally, I dislike any "rules"  about what kind of instruments or musical styles Lutherans can use in worship. I was disappointed when I lost two members because they heard a tambourine used in a choir anthem. I was frustrated to hear from a pastor-developer that one of the ELCA powers-that-be told him if a mission congregation started an organ fund, all mission support would be cut off.

I also dislike such rules. I am not surprised that some members might have siezed upon the use of a tambourine as their excuse for leaving. I have trouble believing that was anything more than the straw that broke the camel's back. I find it hard to believe that members who previously had no problems or complaints would leave over that issue alone, though I am very familiar with incidents of people who were looking for an excuse to leave for some time seized upon something trivial to use as their excuse.

I can understand how the ELCA powers-that-be might regard starting an organ fund as a premature action, or misprioritization of resources. I grew up in a mission congregation of the ULCA. I can recall the adults discussing priorities, and securing a piece of land and enough funds to break ground and start the building was a much higher priority than an organ fund. If that anecdote was about attempting to start an organ fund before other, more pressing matters had been resolved, I'd be inclined to agree with the ELCA powers-that-be (and that doesn't happen in here more than once every three months!). On the other hand, if the mission start had their building under construction and all of their other ducks in a row, then maybe it was time to start an organ fund. Then again, once the mission congregation had reached that point, then maybe it was time to stop being a mission congregation.

Weedon

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Re: CoWo, What's Wrong with It?
« Reply #289 on: February 08, 2011, 04:03:40 PM »
Brian,

You recall correctly.  It gradually changed from the 17th to the 18th centuries, when the organ presenting its own music became much rarer.  Pietism in general supported the use of the organ to accompany the singing of the people, rather the choir presenting its music and the organ presenting its music.  Just gave a presentation on the liturgy at the Magdeburg Cathedral in 1613 and one of the more striking points of that liturgy was that these Lutherans in 1613 only had the people actually SING one song in the Divine Service:  the German Creed - We All Believe.  The choir sang the entirety of the rest of the service.  A very good book that chronicles the shift toward congregational song (supported by the organ) is Dr. Joseph Herl's *Worship Wars in Early Lutheranism* - a very interesting read.

peter_speckhard

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Re: CoWo, What's Wrong with It?
« Reply #290 on: February 08, 2011, 04:12:07 PM »
I think one aspect of worship related to outreach that gets lost in all this is a seeming abuse of the third article of the creed. What I'm getting at is simply-- at what point does a person go from being lost to saved? I would expect Lutherans (as well as Catholics and some others) to say "when they are baptized" and some other groups to say something more along the lines "when they make a decisions to receive Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior" or some such. But both groups would still be talking about faith and salvation.

But at some point seemingly in the last generation or two, we stopped talking about that altogether and decided to go with the categories of churched/unchurched. But what kind of a category is that? What does it have to do with? Mostly just institutional viability. It is as though we don't trust theological/sacramental categories to reflect any sort of reality, spiritual or otherwise, so we go by sociological categories because at least they are visible enough to manipulate. Thus, we deal with "unchurched" people who are already baptized and in some cases confirmed, but are not functionally Christians, and we realize that we need somehow to move them from the category of "not functionally Christian" but we can't rebaptize them and we can't go all decision theology, so we have the church put on some activities they might enjoy coming to and say we changed them from unchurched to churched as though somehow that matters. But nothing happened in that switch. They did not repent, get baptized, or otherwise "turn their life over to Jesus" or go from being an unbeliever to a believer or whatever, they just started showing up around the building more often for various events, just so long as they like the music.  

George Erdner

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Re: CoWo, What's Wrong with It?
« Reply #291 on: February 08, 2011, 04:28:12 PM »
I think one aspect of worship related to outreach that gets lost in all this is a seeming abuse of the third article of the creed. What I'm getting at is simply-- at what point does a person go from being lost to saved? I would expect Lutherans (as well as Catholics and some others) to say "when they are baptized" and some other groups to say something more along the lines "when they make a decisions to receive Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior" or some such. But both groups would still be talking about faith and salvation.

But at some point seemingly in the last generation or two, we stopped talking about that altogether and decided to go with the categories of churched/unchurched. But what kind of a category is that? What does it have to do with? Mostly just institutional viability. It is as though we don't trust theological/sacramental categories to reflect any sort of reality, spiritual or otherwise, so we go by sociological categories because at least they are visible enough to manipulate. Thus, we deal with "unchurched" people who are already baptized and in some cases confirmed, but are not functionally Christians, and we realize that we need somehow to move them from the category of "not functionally Christian" but we can't rebaptize them and we can't go all decision theology, so we have the church put on some activities they might enjoy coming to and say we changed them from unchurched to churched as though somehow that matters. But nothing happened in that switch. They did not repent, get baptized, or otherwise "turn their life over to Jesus" or go from being an unbeliever to a believer or whatever, they just started showing up around the building more often for various events, just so long as they like the music.  

I was always taught that it is a good thing to receive Communion and to hear God's word preached. I agree that turning unbaptized people into baptized people is very important. I would imagine that among the people who do not ever go to church are some who were baptized but then turned away from the church, and others who were never even baptized in the first place. I do not know how to tell which category any "unchurched" person belongs to, so I assume that just dragging all of the unchurched into the church and then sorting 'em out after they're there makes the most sense.

But then, when Jesus told Peter and Andrew, "Come, and I will make you fishers of men", He was talking to fishermen who were accustomed to hauling in huge nets full of fish, not just catching a trout or a bass one at a time on a baited hook. So, I interpret that as meaning that when fishing for people, we should use big nets and not little hooks. In another parable, Jesus told of the sower who scattered seeds. He didn't talk of the horticulturalist who planted seeds one at a time in little pots. He talked of sowing big handfuls of seeds. I interpret that as meaning when spreading the Word of God, scatter it in big handfuls, don't only sit down and talk to people one-by-one. Not that fishing with a hook or planting seeds one at a time are bad things. Jesus never said to not do that. But He did endorse big, sweeping harvests twice. So, trying for big sweeping harvests of people should be considered a good thing, right?

Mike Bennett

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Re: CoWo, What's Wrong with It?
« Reply #292 on: February 08, 2011, 04:42:54 PM »

I can understand how the ELCA powers-that-be might regard starting an organ fund as a premature action, or misprioritization of resources. I grew up in a mission congregation of the ULCA. I can recall the adults discussing priorities, and securing a piece of land and enough funds to break ground and start the building was a much higher priority than an organ fund. If that anecdote was about attempting to start an organ fund before other, more pressing matters had been resolved, I'd be inclined to agree with the ELCA powers-that-be (and that doesn't happen in here more than once every three months!). On the other hand, if the mission start had their building under construction and all of their other ducks in a row, then maybe it was time to start an organ fund. Then again, once the mission congregation had reached that point, then maybe it was time to stop being a mission congregation.


Precisely.  I love our organ, but a good one isn't something to be fund-raised for while receiving alms from other congregations. 

Rather like a young man saving up for a Corvette while living rent-free in what would otherwise be his parents' spare bedroom, because he "can't afford" his own place.  (I like Corvettes, and approve of giving a generous hand to our kids as they start out in life, but not both at the same time).

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Rev. Kevin Scheuller

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Re: CoWo, What's Wrong with It?
« Reply #293 on: February 08, 2011, 05:08:15 PM »
Peter, I think you've identified a big, messy sticking point here.  Of course, whenever I've heard the old canard (usually spoken by Evangelicals) that "being in a church doesn't make one a Christian any more than being in a garage makes one a car," I've found it to be offensive because it's such an accusatory statement, it calls everyone's faith into question. It's almost like our culture's version of the anxious bench that the puritans used back in the day.  

The kernel of truth that rings true in that statement is more positively exclaimed when we (Lutherans) say that our identity in Christ is defined by the identity He gave us at our baptism.  We are Christians because we are connected to Christ - claimed by Him as His in our baptism - not in our membership at "St. John's by the gas station."  Your follow-up question brings us to our current problem.  What do we do about all of those baptized (many also confirmed) who find other things to do besides come to worship?  I suppose each generation brings newer and more numerous distractions.  We still believe it is the work of the Holy Spirit to "call, gather, enlighten, and sanctify," the debate is over whether or not "CoWo" or any other tool we might use provides a conduit or an obstacle to the Holy Spirit.  

mqll

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Re: CoWo, What's Wrong with It?
« Reply #294 on: February 08, 2011, 06:15:20 PM »
I think one aspect of worship related to outreach that gets lost in all this is a seeming abuse of the third article of the creed. What I'm getting at is simply-- at what point does a person go from being lost to saved? I would expect Lutherans (as well as Catholics and some others) to say "when they are baptized" and some other groups to say something more along the lines "when they make a decisions to receive Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior" or some such. But both groups would still be talking about faith and salvation.

But at some point seemingly in the last generation or two, we stopped talking about that altogether and decided to go with the categories of churched/unchurched. But what kind of a category is that? What does it have to do with? Mostly just institutional viability. It is as though we don't trust theological/sacramental categories to reflect any sort of reality, spiritual or otherwise, so we go by sociological categories because at least they are visible enough to manipulate. Thus, we deal with "unchurched" people who are already baptized and in some cases confirmed, but are not functionally Christians, and we realize that we need somehow to move them from the category of "not functionally Christian" but we can't rebaptize them and we can't go all decision theology, so we have the church put on some activities they might enjoy coming to and say we changed them from unchurched to churched as though somehow that matters. But nothing happened in that switch. They did not repent, get baptized, or otherwise "turn their life over to Jesus" or go from being an unbeliever to a believer or whatever, they just started showing up around the building more often for various events, just so long as they like the music.  

Well, Peter I think it reflects the reality of a lot of America. In Europe, in the West, other places, you can find people who really don't understand what Christianity is. Have not been baptized, etc. I was talking with a missionary to Amsterdam once who was from OK and he said in Tulsa the drug dealers can share the Gospel message with you.

But this is how things are: Jesus spoke to the Israelites and said that they needed to repent. Wasn't that the shock for them?

So, getting to the church, I think you do a dis-service in simply talking about going from unchurched to churched, when there are so many books that speak about the need for spiritual growth in the church. Books like Simple Church for example. It is not simply a matter of having people come to an attractive rock concert.

But I think this emphasis would be a lot better—there does not have to be some GRAND MOMENT of conversion. The church simply slips a person into its daily life. Isn't that a better metaphor of what the church is?

Jonathan Priest

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Re: CoWo, What's Wrong with It?
« Reply #295 on: February 08, 2011, 07:56:50 PM »
But at some point seemingly in the last generation or two, we stopped talking about that altogether and decided to go with the categories of churched/unchurched. But what kind of a category is that? What does it have to do with? Mostly just institutional viability. It is as though we don't trust theological/sacramental categories to reflect any sort of reality, spiritual or otherwise, so we go by sociological categories because at least they are visible enough to manipulate.

Your point reminded me of something we discerned during last night's Monday new member class. We read about the theological categories of church fellowship/membership used by God when instructing Peter about the centurion Cornelius. The language was in the framework of Leviticus: unclean, common, and clean. God commmands Peter to eat. Peter says that he has never eaten anything either unclean and common. God tells Peter to not call "common" what God has made clean. It is interesting that the Gentile Cornelius is not referred to by God as unclean but as common. More importantly, faith, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and baptism are all inseparably intertwined in this passage as is the "clean" status. The baptized, elect, are neither unclean or common but "clean". Top status. Why do churches no longer use "kosher" language? We are mostly Gentiles. However, I am reminded by Jewish believers in Jesus that we Gentiles have been given a bump-up, not just a washing off. Hence we are not just a people, but a priesthood. Churched / unchurched? How about neither unclean, nor common, but clean! Our new members nearly ALL have come through the invitation through family and friends -- or they are young people who move to New York City from the Midwest who find us through our website and our close proximity to the subway.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2011, 08:06:43 PM by Jonathan Priest »

revdsid

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Re: CoWo, What's Wrong with It?
« Reply #296 on: February 09, 2011, 08:04:55 AM »
A few anecdotes about Rob Bell, Mars Hill and Zondervan.

1) Met a fellow LCMS pastor at a national conference. When he found out I lived near G.R. and had NEVER gone to see Rob Bell he was dumbfounded. "Why, he's the BEST preacher in the U.S.!" I just had to admit that a) I could borrow the videos (NOOMA) from any of a dozen Reformed churches in my neighborhood and b) he was a false teacher. The conversation closed. I guess pastors are as star struck as any occupation.

2) Mars Hill doesn't "do funerals". Its not in their "purpose." Local LCMS (and other) churches have to graciously bury people on their behalf.

3) Zondervan is now part of Rupert Murdoch's publishing "empire." I would stick to CPH, especially as they have been totally "made over" and are doing a great job now.

Steverem

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Re: CoWo, What's Wrong with It?
« Reply #297 on: February 09, 2011, 08:46:51 AM »
A few anecdotes about Rob Bell, Mars Hill and Zondervan.

1) Met a fellow LCMS pastor at a national conference. When he found out I lived near G.R. and had NEVER gone to see Rob Bell he was dumbfounded. "Why, he's the BEST preacher in the U.S.!" I just had to admit that a) I could borrow the videos (NOOMA) from any of a dozen Reformed churches in my neighborhood and b) he was a false teacher. The conversation closed. I guess pastors are as star struck as any occupation.

2) Mars Hill doesn't "do funerals". Its not in their "purpose." Local LCMS (and other) churches have to graciously bury people on their behalf.

3) Zondervan is now part of Rupert Murdoch's publishing "empire." I would stick to CPH, especially as they have been totally "made over" and are doing a great job now.

While there are no doubt Reformed churches (Lutheran churches, for that matter) that have Bell's materials, I don't think there's any real tie between Bell and the Reformed branch of Christianity.  Bell is a part of the Emergent (or Emerging--there seems to be a shade of difference) church movement, which sees itself as post-denominational, and eschews such titles.  Matter of fact, the leading voices speaking out against the theology of Bell and his kin are indeed Calvinists--most notably D. A. Carlson, Kevin DeYoung, Tim Challies, and the pastor of the "other" Mars Hill Church, Mark Driscoll.  I wish there were more Lutherans on that list, frankly.

Labeling anything that appears to be outside of the Lutheran tradition as "Reformed" is no more helpful than when people label anything not liberal mainline Protestant as "fundamentalist."  I think we owe it to the other Christian traditions to accurately represent their views when discussing the merits (and demerits) of their theologies.

revdsid

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Re: CoWo, What's Wrong with It?
« Reply #298 on: February 09, 2011, 03:47:23 PM »
Steve,

You over interpreted my comment-- I wasn't picking on Reformed theology, per se, most of the churches in my area are Reformed. They tend to be Willow Creek Association and Arminian. I am aware and am glad for the strict Calvinist rebuttal to Bell's theology. There are comparatively few "Emergent" churches-- so some one in the "reformed" world (and indeed Lutheran) was buying all those books and videos. I think it is pretty obvious who Zondervan markets their books to. I am quite comfortable dividing our world into Catholic, Lutheran, Reformed, Orthodox and Stone Cold Pagan... and some of my best friends are CRC.

Steverem

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Re: CoWo, What's Wrong with It?
« Reply #299 on: February 09, 2011, 04:27:17 PM »
Steve,

You over interpreted my comment-- I wasn't picking on Reformed theology, per se, most of the churches in my area are Reformed. They tend to be Willow Creek Association and Arminian. I am aware and am glad for the strict Calvinist rebuttal to Bell's theology. There are comparatively few "Emergent" churches-- so some one in the "reformed" world (and indeed Lutheran) was buying all those books and videos. I think it is pretty obvious who Zondervan markets their books to. I am quite comfortable dividing our world into Catholic, Lutheran, Reformed, Orthodox and Stone Cold Pagan... and some of my best friends are CRC.

So you're defining "Reformed" as "Protestant"?  I guess I'm not as comfortable as you are with that--I see the "Reformed" and "Arminian" schools of thought as wholly separate groups under the larger umbrella of "Protestant."  (For that matter, I don't have a big problem grouping "Lutheran" as a third category under "Protestant," but I know the ECs around here would probably object.)

(BTW, you're not one of those people who calls all different types of soda "Coke," are you?   ;))
« Last Edit: February 09, 2011, 05:21:40 PM by Steverem »