Author Topic: Megadeth Bassist to be an LCMS pastor thanks to SMP  (Read 15543 times)

Daniel L. Gard

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Re: Megadeth Bassist to be an LCMS pastor thanks to SMP
« Reply #45 on: January 21, 2012, 04:15:23 PM »
<snip>

Interesting sub-unit with regard to the SMP, which is viewed so favorably in the article referenced, and very favorably by any number of folks in the LC-MS, on the one hand.  On the other hand, there's a Steadfast article indicating from the author's hearing/perspective at the Symposium this week that Larry Rast, new sem president, is not favorable to SMP at Ft. Wayne. 

So are we going to have the two seminaries duking it out over SMP, with sides being taken on the convention floor?  My answer is a tentative "yes," although I am not at all sure about the Larry Rast commentary, having spoken with him about SMP recently myself.  I say "yes" because we need something to fight about, to claim turf about, to take enormous bundles of our time and energy.  We are Missouri and this is what we do.

Dave Benke

Reverend President,

Your summary of Pr. Rossow's post over at the site identified with the steadfast Elector John doesn't quite capture what Pr. Rossow wrote or what Dr. Rast said.  Dr. Rast gave a two-part answer to the question about the future of SMP.  (Some of Pr. Rossow's personal reflections went beyond what Dr. Rast said.)

The context of the question was Dr. Rast's presentation on theological training in the Lutheran Church from the time of Luther to the present including contemporary challenges.  He noted the extraordinary routes to the pastoral ministry which existed for a time both in Luther's day and in Walther's day.  The operative phrase here being, "for a time".  In neither of those historical instances did the extraordinary route become the rule.  When the specific circumstances that called for the extraordinary route were past, the church returned to the full academic training.  (To a degree this is an oversimplification of Dr. Rast's paper.  I imagine you could request a copy from him if you'd like the details.)

The question posed by the pastor, then, had to do with whether Dr. Rast felt it likely that that would be the pattern with the SMP or not.  Dr. Rast's two point answer was immediate and brief.  First, he said that the future of the SMP program is up to the synod.  My take on his answer was that he was reflecting the reality of our polity.  Simply put, the synod is the one with the authority to make decisions on how her pastors will be trained.  His second point was that he believes the best way to prepare well-qualified pastors is residential theological education.  As a faithful servant of the synod, the CTS president would seek to make that case as the future direction of the SMP program is discussed.

To a large degree, the question is not about whether or not to abolish the SMP program or a successor extraordinary route to the pastoral ministry.  The real issue is whether the SMP program will replace the residential theological education model, as Pr. Gemin seems to favor in his final sentence here, will become one of two "standard" routes to the ordained ministry, or will be determined to be inadequate as the primary means of training pastors for our congregations.  If the last, the program could either be revised and strengthened, limited to restrict the "special ministries" to more exceptional circumstances than is currently the case, a combination of these two, or discontinued completely (until the next time we decide we need an exceptional route). 

Given the way the program is structured--an adequate sample of Special Ministry Pastors to evaluate have only recently completed the initial program--we're just beginning to be able to take a look at the results.  I would be shocked if at least some revisions to the program aren't indicated.  Any new program, no matter how carefully planned and implemented, needs to be reviewed and at the very least tweaked once it's begun to operate.  SMP would be unique if no changes whatsoever were indicated.     

Thanks, 87, for the clarification, which goes along (as I indicated) with my own conversations with Larry Rast.  However, as to a duke-out over SMP, I am seeing it now as more than a tentative "yes."  I think this could be one of the highlight reel 12-rounders in 2013.   The enrollment success of SMP is, as I'm seeing it now, viewed as a real threat to the continuation of things the way they are and have been prior.  And for some "tweaking" will mean "gutting."  I'd leave it to the seminaries frankly to figure out the best ways to have an SMP.  They need to be, and know they need to be, MORE nimble in the future in terms of sustaining enrollment.  My sharing out with folks at one of the seminaries, the one not in St. Louis, was that if more "face-time" could be built into SMP, the formation process would be enhanced.  This is the kind of proposal that makes formational sense to me.  Forbidding access to the program by people not X or Y (viz. "ethnic" or "small church") does not make sense to me.

Is it too soon to tell how well alternate and off-site programs work?  If you add in the DELTO grads and the non-traditional route folks, who have been out there for some years now, there is indeed a track record being laid.  Thinking through the Atlantic District's DELTO grads, I'm proud of them, their theological acumen, their pastoral heart and their care and cure of souls.  I think we'll start doing You Tube videos of them and their ministries - ramp up time for the 2013 rodeo. 

Dave Benke

I agree that this will be a major item in 2013. At the same time, it is a very sad reality that this will be subjected to the kinds of political activity you have described. I may be too idealistic but I would like to think that something as important as pastoral formation would not be determined by who makes the best videos. Oh well.....

My sense is that the seminaries and COP should be tasked with this.  Again, that may be idealistic. 

On the other hand, I favor the videos as well - there is ample testimony that the alternate route, ethnic institute, and distance trained pastors are great additions to our pastoral roster in the field.  They are spiritually formed, formed in the Lutheran tradition, and formed for service to Lord and Church.  That's a good thing for our denomination and for the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.

Dave Benke

It is that "evidence" (or at least data) that needs to be presented honestly and openly and, in turn, discussed and evaluated by the Synod. My fear is that videos, etc will cloud that discussion with beautifully produced pieces designed to appeal to the emotions alone. But that, I guess, is now an accepted part of life together.

George Erdner

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Re: Megadeth Bassist to be an LCMS pastor thanks to SMP
« Reply #46 on: January 21, 2012, 06:03:43 PM »
George, I'm not sure where those figures come from but they are no where near true. Perhaps the number of clergy you give is the number currently serving in parish ministry - I'm not sure. I do not have the correct figures available, unfortunately.

George's figures are way wrong.  Way.  We have around 10000 pastors on our roster in the active, candidate and emeritus categories. 

Dave Benke

There you go, George. Our District Presidents track this sort of thing as a routine part of their work.

I looked for this first on the LCMS website, and couldn't find it. That's not to say it's not buried on some page somewhere, but it wasn't easy to find. So, I found it someplace else. The fact is, I stumbled across the number of clergy while attempting to look up the number of congregations. It was one of those things you find when looking for something else.
 

Dave Benke

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Re: Megadeth Bassist to be an LCMS pastor thanks to SMP
« Reply #47 on: January 21, 2012, 06:10:18 PM »
OK - so
CTSFW - Videos
Office of President, LCMS - Videos
Various and sundry religious types - Videos
EveryTomDicknHarry - videos, you tube, flickr, younameityougotvideos

SMP/DELTO - no videos.

I get it. 
Technophobia.

Dave Benke

Daniel L. Gard

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Re: Megadeth Bassist to be an LCMS pastor thanks to SMP
« Reply #48 on: January 21, 2012, 06:22:17 PM »
OK - so
CTSFW - Videos
Office of President, LCMS - Videos
Various and sundry religious types - Videos
EveryTomDicknHarry - videos, you tube, flickr, younameityougotvideos

SMP/DELTO - no videos.

I get it. 
Technophobia.

Dave Benke

I can say, with all humble pride, that I have never produced a video. Not due to technophobia but techno-incompetence.

Timotheus Verinus

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Re: Megadeth Bassist to be an LCMS pastor thanks to SMP
« Reply #49 on: January 21, 2012, 07:21:15 PM »
I've been listening and avoiding replies. Mostly because Matt and others have shown wisdom and charitable spirit, in their observations. And its not my problem any more. :) However...

Starting as a layman and congregational leader, for over fifteen years of working through the challenges represented by alternate route contexts and solutions in LCMS, including working conversations with those involved many years before that, I have gathered some insight.

First there is data. There has been data for decades, along the way and as changes evolved. Many of the adjustments, Lay Minister, DELTO, Deacon were made based in those experiences. There was significant research, data and experience, well done studies. theological, historical and practical, with analysis,... this for the pending resolutions presented and tabled at last convention. The data is not missing. Communication of the data, understandings, and consensus of informed decision was what was missing. This "data" was from servants, engaged ministerium, District leadership, Synod leaders and Seminaries. The climate of the convention seems to have forced tabling the question well researched with real data. I found it very disappointing, although not totally unexpected, even though I was no longer engaged in LCMS.

You really did have the answers and a working response at convention. You knew exactly how many deacons were doing exactly what and why, with data for DELTO et al. I saw the data presented from the COP by representatives of the Seminary. I can probably dig up a copy in a drawer somewhere. There were reports (at least from our and other districts) that summarized every individual deacon's, alt. path's, servant's work and history. Resolutions were written in consensus built from that data.

One of the problems is that the contexts of these responses are not well understood by those not engaged in them, and a reluctance to trust those who have been proven faithful for decades, in those contexts, when they offer wise opinions in submission to the church at large as God shall guide her. Matt is a simple godly man, who knows the seminary, and the alternate work of his father. But he is after all "just a student," and will not step beyond his place and position here ....  still, I'd talk to him, ... and listen to him ... but that's just me. ... and all I have done is listen to Seminary representatives and profs, DP's, high ranking Synod officials, pastors and DElicarspinisterdeao servants and the people in the places they serve. As I always say, "Come and see." ... if you come I can take you to sit with some of those people, but all you really have to do is listen to Matt et al.

No longer have a hand in the game, so the comments are just for what it is worth.

TV
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FrPeters

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Re: Megadeth Bassist to be an LCMS pastor thanks to SMP
« Reply #50 on: January 21, 2012, 07:24:21 PM »
The point of these is that the urgency of the need means that it would not be prudent to uproot the candidate from job, family, and neighborhood only to have them come back to where they were to serve disconnected from the culture they left behind and liturgical Lutherans.... okay that was not the real issue... but it could be and probably is among some...

We don't have all that many places with needs that create such a big urgency and the programs are ripe for abuse by those who do not want to be Lutheranized or who do not want to put in the time.

Rast is right -- not a sem issue but a church one and as long as we are moved by so-called urgencies to justify all sorts of ways to bypass the sems, we will end up with two classes of clergy and with a route to avoid the very things that sems were designed to offer us... not in the least of which is some homogeneity of doctrine and practice.

But what do I know....
Fr Larry Peters
Grace LCMS, Clarksville, TN
http://www.pastoralmeanderings.blogspot.com/

Timotheus Verinus

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Re: Megadeth Bassist to be an LCMS pastor thanks to SMP
« Reply #51 on: January 21, 2012, 07:42:50 PM »
The point of these is that the urgency of the need means that it would not be prudent to uproot the candidate from job, family, and neighborhood only to have them come back to where they were to serve disconnected from the culture they left behind and liturgical Lutherans.... okay that was not the real issue... but it could be and probably is among some...

We don't have all that many places with needs that create such a big urgency and the programs are ripe for abuse by those who do not want to be Lutheranized or who do not want to put in the time.

Rast is right -- not a sem issue but a church one and as long as we are moved by so-called urgencies to justify all sorts of ways to bypass the sems, we will end up with two classes of clergy and with a route to avoid the very things that sems were designed to offer us... not in the least of which is some homogeneity of doctrine and practice.

But what do I know....

The sems are involved, tasked by the church. They are specifically called to provide the things of which you speak in the contexts we are talking about. I have never seen a time where the sems were not pleaded with, to provide for the contexts.

As to the urgency, and emergencies. What I have seen is that God provides. He does not let urgencies go unanswered. Often in response, servants will recognize they need help, and that urgently. They call out to the church ... and the sems.

The only change of mindset that is needed, is for the sems to reply simply, "what can we do to help?"  If they don't, the people will turn to others, including rostered sem trained pastors, who simply ask one question ... "what can I do to help?"

That appears to me to be the hardest question to get some to ask ... I hear it far too rarely.

TV
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Birkholz

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Re: Megadeth Bassist to be an LCMS pastor thanks to SMP
« Reply #52 on: January 21, 2012, 08:16:36 PM »
George, I'm not sure where those figures come from but they are no where near true. Perhaps the number of clergy you give is the number currently serving in parish ministry - I'm not sure. I do not have the correct figures available, unfortunately.

George's figures are way wrong.  Way.  We have around 10000 pastors on our roster in the active, candidate and emeritus categories. 

Dave Benke

There you go, George. Our District Presidents track this sort of thing as a routine part of their work.

I looked for this first on the LCMS website, and couldn't find it. That's not to say it's not buried on some page somewhere, but it wasn't easy to find. So, I found it someplace else. The fact is, I stumbled across the number of clergy while attempting to look up the number of congregations. It was one of those things you find when looking for something else.

Current numbers:
9,632 Ordained Clergy
5,550 serving a parish

Source:www.lcms.org/Document.fdoc?src=lcm&id=965
Pastor Mark Birkholz
Zion Lutheran Church
Naperville, IL
www.zionnaperville.org

Dave Benke

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Re: Megadeth Bassist to be an LCMS pastor thanks to SMP
« Reply #53 on: January 21, 2012, 09:12:49 PM »
homogeneity of doctrine and practice.

In my opinion, that's a true red herring when it comes to SMP/DELTO, at least among the dozen or more of those pastors and students in the Atlantic District. 

TV has a good handle on the training, the need and the result.  He will be in the video.

Dave Benke

Daniel L. Gard

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Re: Megadeth Bassist to be an LCMS pastor thanks to SMP
« Reply #54 on: January 21, 2012, 09:19:40 PM »
homogeneity of doctrine and practice.

In my opinion, that's a true red herring when it comes to SMP/DELTO, at least among the dozen or more of those pastors and students in the Atlantic District. 

TV has a good handle on the training, the need and the result.  He will be in the video.

Dave Benke

Can I make a cameo appearance? No charge!
« Last Edit: January 21, 2012, 09:23:29 PM by Daniel L. Gard »

Timotheus Verinus

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Re: Megadeth Bassist to be an LCMS pastor thanks to SMP
« Reply #55 on: January 21, 2012, 09:48:42 PM »
.....

TV has a good handle on the training, the need and the result.  He will be in the video.

Dave Benke

Aaargh I am trying to get my church to stop videoing my own services! I mean I nearly  stopped reviewing them because when I started critiquing them, it made me paralyzed to try again next Sunday !!  ;D The Holy Spirit has to work overtime to get my messages straight on the way to ears, or in video to do a makeover! .. but I was there, when no one else could go.

God willing I remain His willing servant, seeking to be faithful even in getting up from a fall, and repenting of failure. 

So I will say this, and mean it sincerely. "What can I do to help?"

(I might ask for an approved script and some makeup though ! )

TV

PS Prayers appreciated for my wife as she recovers from an emergency appendectomy, (a deaconess who missed a prison training session today, and might have gone if I didn't tell her to lay back down)   and I am about care and house work. *cringe*
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John_Hannah

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Re: Megadeth Bassist to be an LCMS pastor thanks to SMP
« Reply #56 on: January 22, 2012, 08:43:10 AM »

Pastor Hannah,

Do you have any data to support your contention that the seminaries are currently staffed  for the 1950's level?


Since you are there, you could easily look up old catalogs in the library. They will have a listing of faculty and staff. Count them and compare to student enrollment totals (probably available at the Registrar's office. Then compare those figures to the 2011-12 school year.

Maybe you can disprove my hypothesis. Let us know what you find.

Peace, JOHN
Pr. JOHN HANNAH, STS

Daniel L. Gard

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Re: Megadeth Bassist to be an LCMS pastor thanks to SMP
« Reply #57 on: January 22, 2012, 09:04:12 AM »

Pastor Hannah,

Do you have any data to support your contention that the seminaries are currently staffed  for the 1950's level?


Since you are there, you could easily look up old catalogs in the library. They will have a listing of faculty and staff. Count them and compare to student enrollment totals (probably available at the Registrar's office. Then compare those figures to the 2011-12 school year.

Maybe you can disprove my hypothesis. Let us know what you find.

Peace, JOHN

I believe that the burden of proof rests with the prosecution, Pr. Hannah.

George Erdner

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Re: Megadeth Bassist to be an LCMS pastor thanks to SMP
« Reply #58 on: January 22, 2012, 09:23:16 AM »

Pastor Hannah,

Do you have any data to support your contention that the seminaries are currently staffed  for the 1950's level?


Since you are there, you could easily look up old catalogs in the library. They will have a listing of faculty and staff. Count them and compare to student enrollment totals (probably available at the Registrar's office. Then compare those figures to the 2011-12 school year.

Maybe you can disprove my hypothesis. Let us know what you find.

Peace, JOHN

I believe that the burden of proof rests with the prosecution, Pr. Hannah.

Only in a court of law. In discussion forums, the one who challenges one statement cannot be expected to be satisfied by the one making the first claim saying, "I looked it up". Whoever disputes the veracity of another can only be satisfied by confirming or refutting the claim himself through means that the disputer has confidence in.
 

Daniel L. Gard

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Re: Megadeth Bassist to be an LCMS pastor thanks to SMP
« Reply #59 on: January 22, 2012, 09:31:43 AM »
One should never make a statement as if it were a fact without being able to demonstrate why it is a fact. That burden rests upon the one who makes the statement. As Luther writes in the LC on the 8th Commandment, if a charge is made publicly the evidence must be made public or the charge is to be regarded as false.

I could make some statement about you, George, that would cause you to be viewed negatively. If I did, it would be up to me to prove my statement. It would not be up to you to disprove it.

The defense rests.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2012, 09:57:15 AM by Daniel L. Gard »