Author Topic: Lutheran CORE Statement on Authority/Inspiration of Scripture  (Read 2084 times)

Richard Johnson

  • ALPB Administrator
  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 10376
  • Create in me a clean heart, O God.
    • View Profile
The following statement has been produced by Lutheran CORE, an ELCA reform organization, as a contribution to the five-year sutdy on the role of Scripture now underway in the ELCA. Signatures are solicited; if you are inclined to sign, e-mail L-CORE@charter.net. Or if you are just inclined to discuss, why not do it here?

A Lutheran Statement on the Authority and Interpretation of Scripture in the Church

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has begun a major five-year initiative on Scripture and the Word of God: "Book of Faith: Lutherans Read the Bible." As members of the ELCA, we are deeply concerned about the role and interpretation of the Bible within our church, and we welcome the opportunity to participate in this important work. We offer the following statement as part of our contribution to this initiative.

1. The canonical books of the Old and New Testaments are the written Word of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who has revealed himself most fully and completely in Jesus Christ. The Bible bears witness to and receives its ultimate authority from the Triune God--Father, Son, and Holy Spirit--as definitively revealed in, by, and through Jesus the Messiah, the incarnate Word of God, from and through whom the written Word came to be.

2. God gives his written Word to the church--the community of believers across time and space who confess and worship Jesus as Lord and Messiah and God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The church is only able to recognize the authority of Scripture as the Word of God by the power of the Holy Spirit given to the community of Jesus Christ. Further, the church is only able to submit to and obey Scripture by this same Spirit. The misuse of the written Word by the church or individuals does not divest Scripture of its authority but rather reveals sinful disobedience and rebellion on the part of human beings.

3. The proper relationship of the church to the Bible then is that of appointed steward responsible for its correct care and use. Therefore the interpretation of Scripture is the prerogative and responsibility of the church; the church cannot and must not surrender its stewardship of Scripture to either the secular academy or others who would usurp the Scriptures for contemporary ideological agendas. At the same time, neither the church nor the individual believer is judge or master over the written Word. The church's interpretation of Scripture is bound by Scripture's own witness. For the ELCA and the Lutheran community, the Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church provide a faithful and sufficient summary and witness to the content and boundaries of Biblical proclamation, faith, and life. This witness includes the biblical diagnosis of sin as the catastrophic infection affecting every human being. All human beings are sinners, turned inward upon themselves, under the judgment of God. This condition is so pervasive and dire that it can be overcome by nothing less than the incarnation, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ in whom the Old Testament's history of Israel is fulfilled and consummated. The Scripture's own distinction between law and Gospel informs and guides the church in faithful proclamation; the spoken Word is used by the Holy Spirit so that sinners are convicted of the truth that they are indeed dead in their sins, and redeemed and forgiven for the sake of Christ Jesus who transforms them for lives of new and fruitful obedience.

4. The present generation has no new authority or special revelation to authorize new or additional meanings that contradict or undermine the plain sense reading of the Bible. Responsible scholarship often deepens the church's understanding of the Word of God. One of the distinctive marks of such scholarship is concern for continuity with the church before us, and care to build upon the foundation of faith bequeathed to us. Any revision of the church's interpretation and application of the written Word can only be legitimately undertaken on the basis of the Scripture itself. Those who advocate for changes in interpretation and application are called to demonstrate how such changes are congruent with the comprehensive witness of the Scriptures and the confessions of the church.

5. Some claim that the ELCA is divided between two approaches to interpreting Scripture: one "traditional" and the other "contextual," "both of which are valid and irreconcilable." "Traditional" presumably describes the position represented by this present statement. By contrast, the "contextual" approach emphasizes the contemporary context at the expense of Scripture's intrinsic meaning and authority. Human reason, personal experience, and contemporary culture are regarded as final arbiters of the Bible. The "contextual" approach puts aside two millennia of the church's reading and interpretation of Scripture and threatens the church's confession of the Bible as God's written Word.

6. When the primacy and immediacy of the interpreter's experience and contemporary context predominate over the written Word, interpretation becomes a means of importing contemporary social political agendas into Scripture. Under the guise of contextual principles, these contemporary agendas increasingly control the church's interpretation of Scripture and threaten to displace the Bible's message of redemption and transformation. Antinomian ideologies of inclusivity and acceptance become determinative for the church's proclamation. The result is a sweeping revision of Christian faith and life, contradictory to and discontinuous with that of classical, orthodox Christianity.

7. Increasingly the "traditional" approach to Biblical interpretation is dismissed as a Lutheran version of fundamentalism. In contrast to fundamentalism, the "traditional" approach to the Bible is neither literalism nor bibliolatry. The "traditional" approach recognizes the divine and human character of the Bible; gives priority to the living Word, Jesus, from whom the Scripture receives its authority; and makes responsible use of the tools of historical criticism. The "contextual" approach, on the other hand, endangers the authority of the Bible within the church as "the inspired Word of God and the authoritative source and norm of (the church's) proclamation, faith, and life" (ELCA Constitution 2.03). The "contextual" approach so emphasizes the human nature of Scripture as to virtually exclude divine revelation from the Biblical message.

8. The claim is now quite commonplace within the church that both the "traditional" and the "contextual" approaches reflect a legitimate diversity in Biblical interpretation. Not only is the claim that both "are valid and irreconcilable," a logical absurdity but it is disingenuous as well. The two approaches begin and end with radically opposed understandings of the church and the Christian faith. More to the point are the words of Jesus: "A house divided against itself cannot stand" (Mark 3:25) and "No one can serve two masters" (Matthew 6:24). In reality the "contextual" approach vitiates the authority of the Bible within the church and ignores the Lutheran teaching that "Holy Scripture remains the only judge, rule, and norm according to which all doctrines should and must be understood and judged" (Formula of Concord, Epitome I, 3).

We are grateful that the ELCA has undertaken this study on the nature of Biblical interpretation. It is long overdue and is desperately needed now in our church. We desire to participate more fully in this initiative.

At the same time, we have serious concerns about this initiative. If the study merely reaffirms the current situation in the ELCA regarding Biblical interpretation, then the study will have failed, and our church will be the worse for it. Some people in the ELCA are calling for a plurality of interpretations of the Bible. We are, however, seeking for something more definitive than that.

We believe that a Lutheran understanding of the Bible is readily available to us in our Confessions and through our heritage within the church catholic. Major themes for a Lutheran understanding of Scripture should include, among others: the centrality of Christ in Scripture, the plain sense of Scripture, the distinction between law and Gospel, the relationship between Scripture and church and between Scripture and Confession, the unity of the Bible as the inspired and written Word of God, Scripture as its own interpreter, and the authority of the Bible as sola Scriptura.

May God's Spirit give us his blessing as we "search the Scriptures" anew.

Lutheran CORE Steering Committee:

Paull Spring, State College, PA, chair
Erma Wolf, Brandon, SD, vice chair
W. Stevens Shipman, Lock Haven, PA, secretary
Mark Chavez, Landisville, PA, director
Mark Graham, Roanoke, VA
Scott Grorud, Hutchinson, MN
Ken Kimball, Waterville, IA
Victor Langford, Seattle, WA
Ryan Schwarz, Washington, DC
Paul Ulring, Columbus, OH
« Last Edit: May 25, 2007, 08:01:05 PM by Richard Johnson »
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

BeornBjornson

  • Guest
Re: Lutheran CORE Statement on Authority/Inspiration of Scripture
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2007, 11:10:30 PM »
 Bishop Mocko’s open letter, displayed elsewhere on this forum by Pastor Johnson, and his kind words and exhortation regarding A Lutheran Statement on the Authority and Interpretation of Scripture in the Church has spurred me to see if interest in discussion, dissemination, and endorsement of the Statement can be rekindled among and by at least some among regular posters and lurkers of Forum-Online.  A brief account of how the Statement came to be follows in the next posting. 

Before that, I would remind readers that the Lutheran Coalition for Reform (Lutheran CORE) is the successor organization to SolidRock but with a wider range of concerns and a longer time-frame.   SolidRock came together solely to organize opposition to the pro-glbt agenda leading up to the ELCA’s 2005 CWA—after which SolidRock closed shop.  Lutheran CORE also remains committed to the orthodox and traditional Biblical understanding and practice of the Church regarding marriage and sexual behavior.  However, it is also concerned with upholding the orthodox and traditional Trinitarian Naming and understanding of God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in the liturgical and sacramental practices of the Church as well as in the Church’s teaching, preaching, and confession.  And, obviously, as demonstrated by the Statement, Lutheran CORE has concerns about the authority and interpretation of Scripture.  In contrast to SolidRock, Lutheran CORE is planning and building for the long haul in terms of reform and renewal of the ELCA.  We do not plan to be a one or two CWA organization—and our focus is not simply on ecclesiastical politics, but on bringing together in partnership for reform and renewal as many laity, pastors, reform groups, congregations, and synods as we can across the orthodox-traditional Lutheran spectrum within the ELCA, from evangelical Lutherans to evangelical catholics and in between.  Lutheran CORE is not a subset of WordAlone though WordAlone is by far the largest of the various reform groups affiliated with Lutheran CORE—and WordAlone’s logistical structure and the encouragement and involvement of WordAlone leadership has been invaluable (and those of us on the Lutheran CORE Steering Committee are deeply appreciative).   
   
Now back to the Statement (next post).

Ken Kimball, Pastor, Old East Paint Creek Lutheran Church, Waterville, IA and Old West Paint Creek Lutheran Church, Waukon, IA, in the northeast corner of the Northeastern Iowa Synod.

In the interest of full disclosure:
Member of Lutheran CORE Steering Committee
Member of Call to Faithfulness (reform group in NE IA Synod)
Member of WordAlone (as of this past April)
Will be subscribing to the Rule of the Society of the Holy Trinity at the STS General Retreat in August and have been  (and will continue to be) an active participant in the Iowa/Nebraska Chapter of STS. 
Predecessor Church Body: ALC   
Seminary:  Luther Northwestern, St. Paul, class of ’87 
College: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (2 years; started in Nuclear Engineering on NROTC scholarship; was involved with Word of God community and attended University Lutheran Chapel LCMS during my years in Ann Arbor).  Transferred to and graduated from St. Olaf, Northfield, MN class of ’83 with B.A. in English.
Home-town: Bricelyn, Minnesota
Married with two step-children (now adults) and proud “Papa Ken” to a grandson and a granddaughter. 
Nuff said (more than enough)


BeornBjornson

  • Guest
Re: Lutheran CORE Statement on Authority/Inspiration of Scripture
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2007, 11:12:57 PM »
A Short History of the Statement: At the behest of the Lutheran CORE Steering Committee and urged on in particular by chairman Pastor Paull Spring, I began drafting a statement that I hoped initially could be completed in time to discussed, emended, and endorsed at the Call to Faithfulness “Conference on the Authority of Scripture and the Life of the Church” at Nazareth Lutheran in Cedar Falls, Feb 23-24.  Pastor Spring saw the Conference (with presentations by Dr. Karl Donfried & Dr. Jim Nestingen)  as an opportunity to be proactive in light of the slowly unfolding ELCA initiative on Scripture, Book of Faith: Lutherans Read the Bible. 
   The task proved more challenging and time-consuming for a parish pastor than I anticipated and by the time of the Cedar Falls Conference it was unfinished.  However, the Conference proved to be both catalyst and springboard for the subsequent development of the Statement.  Among the key resources I drew upon were The 9.5 Theses, Braaten’s Principles of Lutheran Theology, and Donfried’s Who Owns the Bible?  I also wrote with a copy of the ELCA News Release of Presiding Bishop Hanson’s remarks to the March 2005 Conference of Bishops and Dr. Craig Nessan’s presentation to the March 2006 Conference of Bishops for reference. With constructive criticism and helpful exchanges via e-mail from colleagues in Call to Faithfulness and the CORE Steering Committee and from two of the ELCA’s leading orthodox Biblical scholars (Karl Donfried being one of them) the Statement began to take shape.   
   At that point, Paull Spring and I began a month long collaboration (sometimes more of a wrestling match) hammering out the Statement via e-mail and over the phone, word by word, sentence by sentence—all in the through Lent and into Holy Week. 
   The result was A Lutheran Statement on the Authority and Interpretation of Scripture in the Church (the good stuff is by Paull Spring; the glaring errors and omissions are mine!).  The first thing to be said about the Statement is that it is far from perfect.  It is not a complete statement on Scripture; it does not say or cover everything that could be said.  While neither Pastor Spring (the title Paull prefers) or I were or are perfectly satisfied with the document, we were and are sufficiently satisfied that is good enough as a “first salvo” from the orthodox and classical Lutheran side in the forthcoming ELCA initiative and deliberation on the authority and interpretation of Scripture. 
   The Statement was subsequently endorsed by the CORE Steering Committee and by Call to Faithfulness.  It was then made available over the internet and released at the WordAlone annual convention.  Our aim and hope was and is to procure as many names in support of the Statement as we can and then to send those names along with the Statement to Presiding Bishop Hanson and those involved with the Book of Faith: Lutherans Read the Bible initiative.  We also hope to make the Statement widely available throughout the synods and congregations of the ELCA.
   My next post is my take on what I see as the focus of the Statement. 
Ken Kimball
« Last Edit: July 16, 2007, 04:55:53 PM by BeornBjornson »

BeornBjornson

  • Guest
Re: Lutheran CORE Statement on Authority/Inspiration of Scripture
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2007, 11:14:28 PM »
The Statement’s Focus:
   A particular focus or target of this statement is the danger to the historic Christian (and Lutheran) faith represented by the “contextual approach to Scripture interpretation” and the “revisionist” theology funded by the contextual approach.  While paragraphs 5-8 of the Statement specifically address this danger and its traveling companions of “antinomian ideologies of inclusivity and acceptance,” the first four paragraphs were also written in cognizance of the threat posed by “contextualist-revisionism.” 
   We live in a time when, from within the church itself, the classical Christian understanding of the Trinity is dismissed as a patriarchal human construct, when the Old Testament is viewed with suspicion for its supposed primitive and patriarchal view of God and morality, and when ideological speculation separates Jesus from the written text of the Scriptures and makes “Jesus” a plasticized “Gumby” figure to be bent and twisted in accordance with our whims (i.e. “context”).  By assertion of the classical and traditional Christian understanding of God’s Old Testament identity, the Trinity, and the Incarnation—all inextricably connected and revealed through and in Scripture—Paragraph One of the Statement rebukes the blatant anti-Trinitarianism, subtle anti-Semitism, and vapid christologies of “contextualist-revisionism.”   
   Paragraphs Two and Three affirm the classical and orthodox understanding of the relationship between Scripture and the church (and other human authorities).  We stand beneath the Word, not over it, again contra  “contextualist-revisionism.” 
   Again, in a time when many in the ELCA seem eager to shed the insights of the Lutheran Reformation as a historically-conditioned burden and embarrassment no longer applicable to our modern “context,” Paragraph Three lifts up the Lutheran Confessions as a trustworthy exposition of the Word of God that still speaks to us in our time.  One of the great blind-spots of “contextualist-revisionism” is a terribly inadequate understanding of sin, which contributes to an enthusiast antinomianism coupled with a recasting of Gospel as Law with the church in the role of change agent for social and political revision. 
   Paragraph Four marks the transition from affirmation of the continuing validity of the orthodox understanding of Scripture and revelation to a more pointed critique of revisionism.  While speaking positively of the continuing place and need for responsible scholarship, the challenge and bar for change in the church’s teaching and practice is set high—Scripture itself. 
   With that I conclude my introductory remarks, leaving the Statement to speak for itself.   I am willing, insofar as time and other duties and responsibilities allow, to clarify and answer what questions and objections I can.  I will be far happier to let more knowledgeable and versatile minds go at it, deliberating the issues and perhaps shedding further light as what direction the ELCA’s initiative should take and to what ends it should arrive.  I will add that I have been deeply appreciative of and enlightened by the learning and insights of our LCMS brethren and Team Hesse (both Lou and Debbie), and so, as this is a pan-Lutheran forum, I invite and welcome your input, correction, suggestions, and challenges along with those of ELCA brothers and sisters from all sides (I’m learning, Erma!)  in the discussion over Scripture.
Ken Kimball

Eric_Swensson

  • Guest
Re: Lutheran CORE Statement on Authority/Inspiration of Scripture
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2007, 02:27:32 PM »
Why is there no discussion of this statement?

Mike Bennett

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 1031
    • View Profile
Re: Lutheran CORE Statement on Authority/Inspiration of Scripture
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2007, 02:52:38 PM »
The Statement’s Focus:
   A particular focus or target of this statement is the danger to the historic Christian (and Lutheran) faith represented by the “contextual approach to Scripture interpretation”    
Two ignorant questions from one who is hoping to be able to discuss Lutheran CORE and its Statement on Scripture with some intelligence in our congregation council meeting this evening, and is supposed to be doing some actual work for my employer between now and then: 

1. Is "contextualist" a term that's generally used and used by "friends" of that method, or only by detractors?

2. How would you summarize the main features of a "contextual approach to Scripture interpretation"?

Thanks.

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

BeornBjornson

  • Guest
Re: Lutheran CORE Statement on Authority/Inspiration of Scripture
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2007, 05:03:28 PM »
Mike,

Thanks for the questions.  I hope I can get this response out in time to be of use to you tonight. 

Your first question:
Quote
Is "contextualist" a term that's generally used and used by "friends" of that method, or only by detractors?
From an ELCA NEWS SERVICE release  March 11, 2005.  ELCA Bishops Hear Concerns, Surplus News From Presiding Bishop 05-042JB
Presiding Bishop Hanson in addressing the Conference of Bishops is reported as having said:
“Two “hermeneutics” or paradigms are at work among the members of the ELCA that make agreement difficult on scriptural and theological matters.  The Rev. Craig L. Nessan, academic dean and professor of contextual theology, Wartburg Theological Seminary, an ELCA seminary in Dubuque, Iowa, writes that there is a “traditional approach” and a “contextual approach” in interpreting Scripture, both of which are valid and irreconcilable, “ Hanson told the bishops. 

So yes, I would say that “contextual” is a term generally used and used by friends of that method.  And a “contextualist” would be someone who uses that method in contrast to the methods employed by a “traditionalist” or “literalist.” 

Your second question: 
Quote
How would you summarize the main features of a "contextual approach to Scripture interpretation"?

   First, see paragraphs 5, 6, & 7 of the Statement. 

Second, this is what I drew from Dr. Nessan’s presentation to the Conference of Bishops in March of 2006 (a year after PB Hanson cited Nessan in his March 2005 remarks to the COB—something I need to clarify and correct in my previous posting). 
1.   Emphasis upon the interpreter’s present “context” (personal, social, political, et al) as providing the keys or lens by which to read and interpret Scripture.
2.   Emphasis upon the interpreter’s determination of what constituted “the function of the text in the original community/audience for which it was written”
3.   Appeal to the Spirit or “Living God” working through the interpreter to bring authority to and meaning from the text.
4.   Appeal to “a surplus of meanings” (Nessan) or “polyvalence” (Powell) of Biblical texts to justify the discovery of meanings/interpretations not explicitly intended by the original authors.  Here I will offer some quotes from Dr. Nessan’s presentation
Quote
p. 11--Another valuable concept in recent hermeneutical theory is that proposal that texts possess a “surplus of meaning.”  The power of a given text is not exhausted by how it functioned in the earliest community to which it was directed. Rather, especially as authoritative Scripture, the biblical text is “God-breathed” into ever new contexts of interpretation where it once again functions as the Word of God for new hearers. Over time Bible texts continue to mean new things to new people in new settings.
p. 12--The notion that biblical texts have a surplus of meaning means that they are indeed open to new and fresh interpretations in ever emerging contexts.
p. 12-13-- As we imagine the authority of Scripture as a living word in ever new contexts and generations, we need to acknowledge the diversity of possible interpretations and explanations that can and have been offered for the same text. In the previous section, we argued that the literal (plain) sense of the text has normative significance for the process of interpretation. … Rather, each new interpretation is carried out in a new hermeneutical setting (i.e., world, occasion, audience, message) that leads to the unveiling of new significance.
p. 13-14  “However, according to the power of texts to transcend their original speaking, it is possible for text to “say more” than it previously said. This is what is meant by affirming that texts have a surplus of meaning. Each text has a reservoir of meaning that is drawn upon in every new act of interpretation. Texts cannot say less in interpretation than they said in their original speaking. But they can say more—much more!”
In conclusion, I would add this description/critique of my own: 
   The “contextual” approach is so named, it would seem, more for its concern for the contemporary context of the interpreter than for the historical context of Scripture.  The defining principle of this approach would be that Scripture and its content no longer have prior meaning or intrinsic authority apart from the interpreter.  Human reason, personal experience, and contemporary culture are regarded as authorities equal with (and in terms of practical reality, greater than) Scripture.  This is coupled with a deliberate exclusion or disqualification of two millennia of the church’s reading and interpretation of Scripture.  Not surprisingly, the “contextual” approach is widely embraced and employed by those seeking to change the church’s teaching and practice on sexuality, among other things.

Hope this is helpful.  It's a rush job to get it out so you can use it and I have some pressing pastoral care responsibilities to go attend to. 

Ken


Mike Bennett

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 1031
    • View Profile
Re: Lutheran CORE Statement on Authority/Inspiration of Scripture
« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2007, 12:19:23 AM »
Mike,

Thanks for the questions.  I hope I can get this response out in time to be of use to you tonight. 

<snip the meat of the response>

Hope this is helpful.  It's a rush job to get it out so you can use it and I have some pressing pastoral care responsibilities to go attend to. 

Ken



Extremely helpful, thank you.  As it turns out there was not occasion to discuss this at congregation council.  But it will be helpful to me nevertheless.  I hope it will be equally helpful to some others, so that I didn't take  you from your responsibilities only for my selfish benefit!

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

peter_speckhard

  • ALPB Administrator
  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 17035
    • View Profile
Re: Lutheran CORE Statement on Authority/Inspiration of Scripture
« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2007, 02:01:06 AM »
Will this statement come before the ELCA Assembly in any way?

Eric_Swensson

  • Guest
Re: Lutheran CORE Statement on Authority/Inspiration of Scripture
« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2007, 06:55:11 AM »

Extremely helpful, thank you.  As it turns out there was not occasion to discuss this at congregation council.  But it will be helpful to me nevertheless.  I hope it will be equally helpful to some others, so that I didn't take  you from your responsibilities only for my selfish benefit!

Mike Bennett
Quote

Not selfish at all. My prayer is that more people would find themsleves reading this forum, asking questions, doing some more thinking about how this church is reading the Bible and taking it to their conggregational leaders. We could all get a renewed sense of call in the ELCA.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2007, 10:20:54 AM by Richard Johnson »

BeornBjornson

  • Guest
Re: Lutheran CORE Statement on Authority/Inspiration of Scripture
« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2007, 09:16:03 AM »
Pastor Speckhard inquired:
Quote
Will this statement come before the ELCA Assembly in any way?


Not officially.  There is supposed to be some sort of report on the Book of Faith initiative and perhaps a trial run of some of the "resources" generated thus far.  Our hope is to have made the Statement available both in this time leading up to the CWA and in copies quietly but unofficially distributed to voting members and visitors who are willing to receive a copy.  Perhaps then questions can be raised in whatever forums or workshops on the Book of Faith that might be part of the CWA.  I'm sure we'll be accused of being divisive and uncollegial etc. 

Ken

BeornBjornson

  • Guest
Re: Lutheran CORE Statement on Authority/Inspiration of Scripture
« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2007, 09:22:30 AM »
 
Quote
Extremely helpful, thank you.  As it turns out there was not occasion to discuss this at congregation council.  But it will be helpful to me nevertheless.  I hope it will be equally helpful to some others, so that I didn't take  you from your responsibilities only for my selfish benefit!

Mike Bennett

You're welcome and thank you for asking.  I echo Eric's words as well, in that your questions benefited us all.  My anxiety (and self-critique) in the rushed product I produced is what I see as the insufficiency and vagueness of my answer.  That's in part due to the nature of the contextualist beast itself which shies away from clear definitions and specificity and prefers murky ambiguity, using words and terms of traditional Lutheranism but imbuing them with different meanings.   More later.
Ken

navyman

  • Guest
Re: Lutheran CORE Statement on Authority/Inspiration of Scripture
« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2007, 11:57:50 AM »
I would hope that something positive would come from this discussion.  As well this whole issue is going to have an effect on all members of the ELCA for many years to come.   

As one educated in the LC MS system, I'll stand on what I learned from my pastor, and the reading material based on a solid Confessional stand.

Look forward to reading every post.  Thanks for a wonderful start!  I support Word Alone, and the reform groups that are trying to bring the ELCA back to a true Lutheran Scriptural stand.  Which seemed to be lost with the mergers of the ALC, LCA, AELC, and then into the ELCA, where ALC lost its true stand on Scripture, along with its confessional stand.

You may have a long up hill battle, but I hope you have some great success, looking forward to your discussion.

Don