Author Topic: Rev. Rolf Preus Re-Instated to LCMS  (Read 56554 times)

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Rev. Rolf Preus Re-Instated to LCMS
« Reply #30 on: November 29, 2013, 05:41:51 PM »
Doctrinal nuance or obscure even trivial point of teaching does masquerade as faithful orthodoxy but in our age we are much more likely to find vague generality masquerading as the Gospel.  It must also be said, in fairness, that sometimes what seems the stretching of a point of disagreement is more significant for its consequences than the actual article of faith itself.


The gospel is a very clear generality: God forgives sinners by his grace through faith in Jesus. Anything beyond that distorts the gospel. Requiring adherence to a doctrinal nuance destroys the gospel - requiring anything destroys the gospel because then puts the attention on us, our words, our thoughts, rather than on God and what God has done.

"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]

Dave Benke

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Re: Rev. Rolf Preus Re-Instated to LCMS
« Reply #31 on: November 29, 2013, 06:17:17 PM »
Doctrinal nuance or obscure even trivial point of teaching does masquerade as faithful orthodoxy but in our age we are much more likely to find vague generality masquerading as the Gospel.  It must also be said, in fairness, that sometimes what seems the stretching of a point of disagreement is more significant for its consequences than the actual article of faith itself.


The gospel is a very clear generality: God forgives sinners by his grace through faith in Jesus. Anything beyond that distorts the gospel. Requiring adherence to a doctrinal nuance destroys the gospel - requiring anything destroys the gospel because then puts the attention on us, our words, our thoughts, rather than on God and what God has done.

I'm sure there's been a thread on this phrase, but between the ELCA and LC-MS and then among the ELS/WELS/LC-MS the everlasting dialog is over what is meant by "satis est."  ELS/WELS along with LC-MS goes for "the Gospel in all its articles," and then WELS/ELS includes women's suffrage (!) and Boy Scouts as  part of "all its articles," while LC-MS does not.  On the ELCA/LC-MS grid, the ELCA seems to LC-MS folks to have almost no content in "satis est," since the authority of the Word of God seems compromised in ELCA teaching.

Dave Benke

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Rev. Rolf Preus Re-Instated to LCMS
« Reply #32 on: November 29, 2013, 07:03:19 PM »
On the ELCA/LC-MS grid, the ELCA seems to LC-MS folks to have almost no content in "satis est," since the authority of the Word of God seems compromised in ELCA teaching.


Some years ago the LCMS did a shore comparison between themselves and ALC. As I recall, the differences between "gospel" was that the ALC (and now ELCA) sees it as the clear general statement of God forgiving our sins through Christ (or something similar). Thus, we can have full communion with other denominations who agree with us about our "gospel statement". The LCMS sees the gospel as being defined by our confessions in the Book of Concord. Thus, for them, agreement on the gospel means agreeing with the Book of Concord.


Of course, the ELCA had our own big internal squabble about "satis est" when implementing our full communion agreement with The Episcopal Church.
"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]

readselerttoo

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Re: Rev. Rolf Preus Re-Instated to LCMS
« Reply #33 on: November 29, 2013, 07:18:46 PM »
On the ELCA/LC-MS grid, the ELCA seems to LC-MS folks to have almost no content in "satis est," since the authority of the Word of God seems compromised in ELCA teaching.


Some years ago the LCMS did a shore comparison between themselves and ALC. As I recall, the differences between "gospel" was that the ALC (and now ELCA) sees it as the clear general statement of God forgiving our sins through Christ (or something similar). Thus, we can have full communion with other denominations who agree with us about our "gospel statement". The LCMS sees the gospel as being defined by our confessions in the Book of Concord. Thus, for them, agreement on the gospel means agreeing with the Book of Concord.


Of course, the ELCA had our own big internal squabble about "satis est" when implementing our full communion agreement with The Episcopal Church.


ELCA tends to see itself as the authority when it comes to defining the authority of the Word of God.  It is the Augsburg Confession generally and then the Formula of Concord specifically in the Rule and Norm section which carefully explains the issue adequately.  When it comes to defining its praxis in concert with this authority issue, the ecclesiological articles in AC are sufficient to identify the one Gospel and sacraments as the standard.  The ELCA needs to regain confessional theology not as subscriptional but as what confessional theology really is, ie. confessional, having to do with confessing publicly the Gospel as satis est.  A healthy and robust use of the confessions in this way could help ELCA make a more definitive biblical witness imho.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2013, 07:25:43 PM by readselerttoo »

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Rev. Rolf Preus Re-Instated to LCMS
« Reply #34 on: November 29, 2013, 07:40:16 PM »
On the ELCA/LC-MS grid, the ELCA seems to LC-MS folks to have almost no content in "satis est," since the authority of the Word of God seems compromised in ELCA teaching.


Some years ago the LCMS did a shore comparison between themselves and ALC. As I recall, the differences between "gospel" was that the ALC (and now ELCA) sees it as the clear general statement of God forgiving our sins through Christ (or something similar). Thus, we can have full communion with other denominations who agree with us about our "gospel statement". The LCMS sees the gospel as being defined by our confessions in the Book of Concord. Thus, for them, agreement on the gospel means agreeing with the Book of Concord.


Of course, the ELCA had our own big internal squabble about "satis est" when implementing our full communion agreement with The Episcopal Church.


ELCA tends to see itself as the authority when it comes to defining the authority of the Word of God.  It is the Augsburg Confession generally and then the Formula of Concord specifically in the Rule and Norm section which carefully explains the issue adequately.  When it comes to defining its praxis in concert with this authority issue, the ecclesiological articles in AC are sufficient to identify the one Gospel and sacraments as the standard.  The ELCA needs to regain confessional theology not as subscriptional but as what confessional theology really is, ie. confessional, having to do with confessing publicly the Gospel as satis est.  A healthy and robust use of the confessions in this way could help ELCA make a more definitive biblical witness imho.


Frankly, I believe that our ecumenical communion worship last Wednesday night with Presbyterians, UCC, and Methodists was a very definitive biblical witness of the gospel. We are one body in Christ. We are all sinners. We are all forgiven sinners.
"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]

readselerttoo

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Re: Rev. Rolf Preus Re-Instated to LCMS
« Reply #35 on: November 29, 2013, 07:48:24 PM »
On the ELCA/LC-MS grid, the ELCA seems to LC-MS folks to have almost no content in "satis est," since the authority of the Word of God seems compromised in ELCA teaching.


Some years ago the LCMS did a shore comparison between themselves and ALC. As I recall, the differences between "gospel" was that the ALC (and now ELCA) sees it as the clear general statement of God forgiving our sins through Christ (or something similar). Thus, we can have full communion with other denominations who agree with us about our "gospel statement". The LCMS sees the gospel as being defined by our confessions in the Book of Concord. Thus, for them, agreement on the gospel means agreeing with the Book of Concord.


Of course, the ELCA had our own big internal squabble about "satis est" when implementing our full communion agreement with The Episcopal Church.


ELCA tends to see itself as the authority when it comes to defining the authority of the Word of God.  It is the Augsburg Confession generally and then the Formula of Concord specifically in the Rule and Norm section which carefully explains the issue adequately.  When it comes to defining its praxis in concert with this authority issue, the ecclesiological articles in AC are sufficient to identify the one Gospel and sacraments as the standard.  The ELCA needs to regain confessional theology not as subscriptional but as what confessional theology really is, ie. confessional, having to do with confessing publicly the Gospel as satis est.  A healthy and robust use of the confessions in this way could help ELCA make a more definitive biblical witness imho.


Frankly, I believe that our ecumenical communion worship last Wednesday night with Presbyterians, UCC, and Methodists was a very definitive biblical witness of the gospel. We are one body in Christ. We are all sinners. We are all forgiven sinners.


No doubt, I do not disagree.  But internally the ELCA has much work to do to make consistent its teaching documents with its confessional identity.   God's condemnation of sinners comes first then the sweet message of forgiveness.  God's word is authoritative in its own right but as it is used in the ELCA that authority is compromised in places and a return to reflection on its own confessional documents could help overturn this compromising situation.

Mike Bennett

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Re: Rev. Rolf Preus Re-Instated to LCMS
« Reply #36 on: November 29, 2013, 07:59:49 PM »

The gospel is a very clear generality: God forgives sinners by his grace through faith in Jesus. Anything beyond that distorts the gospel. Requiring adherence to a doctrinal nuance destroys the gospel - requiring anything destroys the gospel because then puts the attention on us, our words, our thoughts, rather than on God and what God has done.

I won't get into whether your your "Anything beyond that . . . . . " sentence is correct or incorrect, but merely observe that the compilers of the Book of Concord intentionally included the Athanasian Creed, which disagrees.
“What peace can there be, so long as the many whoredoms and sorceries of your mother Jezebel continue?”  2 Kings 9:22

Mike Bennett

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Re: Rev. Rolf Preus Re-Instated to LCMS
« Reply #37 on: November 29, 2013, 08:08:55 PM »


Frankly, I believe that our ecumenical communion worship last Wednesday night with Presbyterians, UCC, and Methodists was a very definitive biblical witness of the gospel. We are one body in Christ. We are all sinners. We are all forgiven sinners.

That's good. In ours on Thanksgiving day, the Episcopal Rector did not find time to utter the name "Jesus" during the sermon, though allusions to and quotes from John Muir were plentiful, and we were exhorted to focus on being "attentional."  The Presbyterian minister beamed. I couldn't see our pastor from where I sat.
“What peace can there be, so long as the many whoredoms and sorceries of your mother Jezebel continue?”  2 Kings 9:22

jebutler

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Re: Rev. Rolf Preus Re-Instated to LCMS
« Reply #38 on: November 29, 2013, 09:36:43 PM »
On the ELCA/LC-MS grid, the ELCA seems to LC-MS folks to have almost no content in "satis est," since the authority of the Word of God seems compromised in ELCA teaching.


Some years ago the LCMS did a shore comparison between themselves and ALC. As I recall, the differences between "gospel" was that the ALC (and now ELCA) sees it as the clear general statement of God forgiving our sins through Christ (or something similar). Thus, we can have full communion with other denominations who agree with us about our "gospel statement". The LCMS sees the gospel as being defined by our confessions in the Book of Concord. Thus, for them, agreement on the gospel means agreeing with the Book of Concord.


Of course, the ELCA had our own big internal squabble about "satis est" when implementing our full communion agreement with The Episcopal Church.

I don't remember that document as much as I do the report "The Function of Doctrine and Theology" (the FODT report) that came out in the early 1980s. That was, I believe, written by LCUSA, not the LCMS, but did a good job of illustrating the differences between the LCMS and the ALC/LCA at the time.
These are things that we can discuss among learned and reasonable people, or even among ourselves. (Luther, SA III, paraphrased).

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Rev. Rolf Preus Re-Instated to LCMS
« Reply #39 on: November 29, 2013, 09:59:39 PM »

The gospel is a very clear generality: God forgives sinners by his grace through faith in Jesus. Anything beyond that distorts the gospel. Requiring adherence to a doctrinal nuance destroys the gospel - requiring anything destroys the gospel because then puts the attention on us, our words, our thoughts, rather than on God and what God has done.

I won't get into whether your your "Anything beyond that . . . . . " sentence is correct or incorrect, but merely observe that the compilers of the Book of Concord intentionally included the Athanasian Creed, which disagrees.


Or it agrees if the doing good that it requires is to believe that God forgives sinners by grace through Jesus. That was a way it was taught at seminary to avoid it requiring some kind of good works.
"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: Rev. Rolf Preus Re-Instated to LCMS
« Reply #40 on: November 29, 2013, 10:06:36 PM »


Frankly, I believe that our ecumenical communion worship last Wednesday night with Presbyterians, UCC, and Methodists was a very definitive biblical witness of the gospel. We are one body in Christ. We are all sinners. We are all forgiven sinners.

That's good. In ours on Thanksgiving day, the Episcopal Rector did not find time to utter the name "Jesus" during the sermon, though allusions to and quotes from John Muir were plentiful, and we were exhorted to focus on being "attentional."  The Presbyterian minister beamed. I couldn't see our pastor from where I sat.


I could criticize the sermon, too. But I believe that the action of coming together as brothers and sisters in Christ declares more than any words do. We sang together as one. We all ate from one loaf that had been consecrated properly. We confessed our faith in the words of the Nicene Creed. What is proclaimed in a service is much more than just a sermon.
"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: Rev. Rolf Preus Re-Instated to LCMS
« Reply #41 on: November 29, 2013, 10:10:32 PM »
On the ELCA/LC-MS grid, the ELCA seems to LC-MS folks to have almost no content in "satis est," since the authority of the Word of God seems compromised in ELCA teaching.


Some years ago the LCMS did a shore comparison between themselves and ALC. As I recall, the differences between "gospel" was that the ALC (and now ELCA) sees it as the clear general statement of God forgiving our sins through Christ (or something similar). Thus, we can have full communion with other denominations who agree with us about our "gospel statement". The LCMS sees the gospel as being defined by our confessions in the Book of Concord. Thus, for them, agreement on the gospel means agreeing with the Book of Concord.


Of course, the ELCA had our own big internal squabble about "satis est" when implementing our full communion agreement with The Episcopal Church.

I don't remember that document as much as I do the report "The Function of Doctrine and Theology" (the FODT report) that came out in the early 1980s. That was, I believe, written by LCUSA, not the LCMS, but did a good job of illustrating the differences between the LCMS and the ALC/LCA at the time.


The one page pamphlet I'm referring to quoted the FODT Report, but was prepared by the LCMS and only dealt with the ALC. I thoughts it was accurate in what it said about the ALC - and not derogatory.
"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]

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Re: Rev. Rolf Preus Re-Instated to LCMS
« Reply #42 on: December 01, 2013, 12:10:56 AM »
Thanks for posting the January, 1998 letter.  Let's see:  November 1997 to November 2013 is a sixteen year absence from the LCMS.  How many of Pastor Preus' issues about the LCMS have been sufficiently addressed.  It would be ideal to read a followup letter from Rolf Preus to learn how much has changed in the LCMS for him to want to come back.

swbohler

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Re: Rev. Rolf Preus Re-Instated to LCMS
« Reply #43 on: December 01, 2013, 08:22:45 AM »
Thanks for posting the January, 1998 letter.  Let's see:  November 1997 to November 2013 is a sixteen year absence from the LCMS.  How many of Pastor Preus' issues about the LCMS have been sufficiently addressed.  It would be ideal to read a followup letter from Rolf Preus to learn how much has changed in the LCMS for him to want to come back.

Perhaps the change is not only on one side (change in the LCMS).  Perhaps Rev. Preus realized the ELS was not the paradise he had hoped it to be.  Perhaps Rev. Preus himself has changed in how he views some of those issues (or their importance) that troubled him in the past about the LCMS. 

Dave Benke

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Re: Rev. Rolf Preus Re-Instated to LCMS
« Reply #44 on: December 01, 2013, 08:36:12 AM »
Thanks for posting the January, 1998 letter.  Let's see:  November 1997 to November 2013 is a sixteen year absence from the LCMS.  How many of Pastor Preus' issues about the LCMS have been sufficiently addressed.  It would be ideal to read a followup letter from Rolf Preus to learn how much has changed in the LCMS for him to want to come back.

Perhaps the change is not only on one side (change in the LCMS).  Perhaps Rev. Preus realized the ELS was not the paradise he had hoped it to be.  Perhaps Rev. Preus himself has changed in how he views some of those issues (or their importance) that troubled him in the past about the LCMS.

This, written from the perspective of a personal friend, has the ping of accuracy.

Dave Benke