Author Topic: Lutheran, Catholics "on the way" to greater unity  (Read 9309 times)

Fletch

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Re: Lutheran, Catholics "on the way" to greater unity
« Reply #60 on: November 03, 2015, 10:04:50 AM »
I am not surprised, Lou, that you are as apocalyptic about the Church Catholic as you are about our nation and the world. Everything, you say, is lost or sinking. Except perhaps you and your congregation; and you don't seem much interested in reaching out or serious dialogue with the rest of us.
But I could be wrong about that.

Seems Lou believes in original sin and the prophecies of the Book of Revelation, among others.  Of course, from an experential perspective, it seems the hourly/daily/weekly/yearly news reports reinforce that things are indeed getting worse but that only confirms the accuracy of Scripture - assuming one does not over rely on the importance of the historical critical hermeneutic (initiated by Schleiermacher?) vs. the Scripture interprets Scripture hermeneutic.  I think I'll side with Lou and a few thousand years of Scripture interpretation vs. the moderns and postmoderns on this one.

... Fletch

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Re: Lutheran, Catholics "on the way" to greater unity
« Reply #61 on: November 03, 2015, 10:17:55 AM »
Well, you are not getting the point. What is needed is a theocentric approach to scripture--one that believes what is presented--and not a convergence of various anthropocentric readings of same. Such a reading requires hard work, perseverance, and humility. Attributes in short supply in the fallen context.


How can one believe what is presented if they don't read and understand what is presented?


Theocentric vs. anthropocentric readings is a false dichotomy.


An anthropocentric understanding of humanity can only speak this way.....You are very well-tuned in the philosophical categories of Schleiermacher. There are other ways of reasoning more congenial to Christian faith. Jesus, not I, is the alpha and the omega. We need to recover the hearing and understanding that in scripture God is the speaker and we are the hearers and move away from the historical notion that scripture is an ancient artifact to be examined and analyzed by our intellect and other means for whatever we can imagine may have been in there.


Never read Schleiermacher. I still don't see the dichotomy that you are trying to make.


Agreed, you don't.


Please illustrate the difference by exegeting a passage of scripture from both your theocentric and what you suppose is an anthropocentric approach. Perhaps key verses in Protestant Catholic discussions: Matthew 16:13-20.



This should be a key passage......is it about Peter, the Church, and what we are to do? Or about Jesus? His person and work, and how that work is impacting the world?


Of course it's about Jesus' work - but how is his work being done that impacts the world? How can you separate Jesus' work from his words to Peter (and to us?)? Does our confession about Jesus make a difference in the work Jesus can accomplish among us? Jews, Muslims, and Mormons consider Jesus a great prophet. What is the "rock" on which Jesus is building his church? The person of Peter (with all his faults)? The confession of Peter that Jesus is the Messiah, the son of the living God? The recognition that a proper confession/revelation comes only from the Father and not from flesh and blood?


Is Peter meant to represent the whole church when Jesus gives the keys to him or just an individual whom Jesus has placed in a position of authority to use the keys? ("You" in those verses is singular. It is addressed only to Peter.)


There can't be a separation of God's work and Peter's response. The revelation about Jesus from the Father has to result in a public confession of it by Peter. We can also throw in the importance of the location: Caesarea Philippi. Knowing something about that city adds to our understanding of Jesus' questions.


So we hear this conversation between Jesus and Peter. Is it to be like a news report that we watch on TV about people in a far away place and a long ago time? Or is it meant to do something in our lives here and now - we become part of the ongoing story?
"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: Lutheran, Catholics "on the way" to greater unity
« Reply #62 on: November 03, 2015, 10:21:00 AM »
I am not surprised, Lou, that you are as apocalyptic about the Church Catholic as you are about our nation and the world. Everything, you say, is lost or sinking. Except perhaps you and your congregation; and you don't seem much interested in reaching out or serious dialogue with the rest of us.
But I could be wrong about that.


No, I am interested in serious dialog... tell me about our Lord Jesus, His way, and work in the world.


Yup, the Lord is working in the world to bring Lutherans and Catholics together. Bad shepherds were those who let the sheep scatter. Our Good Shepherd seeks to bring us together. Do you know not see "on the way to greater unity" as the work of our one Lord?
"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: Lutheran, Catholics "on the way" to greater unity
« Reply #63 on: November 03, 2015, 10:57:03 AM »
Well, you are not getting the point. What is needed is a theocentric approach to scripture--one that believes what is presented--and not a convergence of various anthropocentric readings of same. Such a reading requires hard work, perseverance, and humility. Attributes in short supply in the fallen context.


How can one believe what is presented if they don't read and understand what is presented?


Theocentric vs. anthropocentric readings is a false dichotomy.


An anthropocentric understanding of humanity can only speak this way.....You are very well-tuned in the philosophical categories of Schleiermacher. There are other ways of reasoning more congenial to Christian faith. Jesus, not I, is the alpha and the omega. We need to recover the hearing and understanding that in scripture God is the speaker and we are the hearers and move away from the historical notion that scripture is an ancient artifact to be examined and analyzed by our intellect and other means for whatever we can imagine may have been in there.


Never read Schleiermacher. I still don't see the dichotomy that you are trying to make.


Agreed, you don't.


Please illustrate the difference by exegeting a passage of scripture from both your theocentric and what you suppose is an anthropocentric approach. Perhaps key verses in Protestant Catholic discussions: Matthew 16:13-20.



This should be a key passage......is it about Peter, the Church, and what we are to do? Or about Jesus? His person and work, and how that work is impacting the world?


Lou

And from Matthew 16:13-20 "on this rock", is the church going to be built on Peter (the man - anthropocentric) or on Peter's confession (the church of confessing Christians - theocentric)?


First of all, in both cases it is Jesus who is building his church (theocentric) whether on Peter or Peter's confession. Even if it is built upon sinful people like Peter, it is to him that the Father gave a revelation about Jesus (theocentric); it is to him that Jesus gives the keys to the kingdom (theocentric). He is in that position because of God's work in his life.

Secondly, what exegetical support do you offer that it is Peter's confession? Over and over again Jesus refers to "you" (singular = Peter). Jesus is speaking directly to the person of Peter, and not about an "it," like his confession. While in Greek, πέτρος (masculine form, Peter's name) and πέτρα (feminine form, "rock") are slightly different, so some argue that Jesus is talking about something slightly different than the person "Peter." However, in Aramaic, the language Jesus probably spoke, they would have been exactly the same. "You are Rock and upon this rock I will build my assembly."


Note also that Jesus had talked in 7:24 about building on a rock (πέτρα): "Therefore everyone who is hearing these words of mine and doing them, shall be like a wise man who built his house on the rock." There is both hearing what Jesus has said (theocentric) and doing them (anthropocentric) that creates the solid foundation on rock. Later he will talk about those who hear and don't do.

I maintain a separation of theos (God's actions) and anthropos (our responses) in our study of scriptures results in houses on sand that will not stand.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2015, 11:01:52 AM by Brian Stoffregen »
"The church ... had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Team Hesse

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Re: Lutheran, Catholics "on the way" to greater unity
« Reply #64 on: November 03, 2015, 11:15:49 AM »
I am not surprised, Lou, that you are as apocalyptic about the Church Catholic as you are about our nation and the world. Everything, you say, is lost or sinking. Except perhaps you and your congregation; and you don't seem much interested in reaching out or serious dialogue with the rest of us.
But I could be wrong about that.


No, I am interested in serious dialog... tell me about our Lord Jesus, His way, and work in the world.


Yup, the Lord is working in the world to bring Lutherans and Catholics together. Bad shepherds were those who let the sheep scatter. Our Good Shepherd seeks to bring us together. Do you know not see "on the way to greater unity" as the work of our one Lord?


When working to achieve whatever you hope to achieve you are denying what has already been given. Unity is ours in Christ, whatever else you are up to is something else.


Lou

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Re: Lutheran, Catholics "on the way" to greater unity
« Reply #65 on: November 03, 2015, 12:33:35 PM »
I am not surprised, Lou, that you are as apocalyptic about the Church Catholic as you are about our nation and the world. Everything, you say, is lost or sinking. Except perhaps you and your congregation; and you don't seem much interested in reaching out or serious dialogue with the rest of us.
But I could be wrong about that.


No, I am interested in serious dialog... tell me about our Lord Jesus, His way, and work in the world.


Yup, the Lord is working in the world to bring Lutherans and Catholics together. Bad shepherds were those who let the sheep scatter. Our Good Shepherd seeks to bring us together. Do you know not see "on the way to greater unity" as the work of our one Lord?


When working to achieve whatever you hope to achieve you are denying what has already been given. Unity is ours in Christ, whatever else you are up to is something else.


Nein! We seek to witness to the world what God has given. Our witness to the unity that is ours in Christ is abysmal. Does the world see the followers of Jesus loving one another? Not so much.


Why did Peter have to utter his words of confession. Couldn't God's revelation have been kept in his head - in his thoughts. If Jesus knows our thoughts, he wouldn't have to say: "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." He speaks so that the rest of us know that God has given him that revelation. Our actions witness to what God has done.


God's gifts call out a responds from us. A tree bears fruit - and it is known by its fruit. We are known as Jesus' followers by our fruit.
"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: Lutheran, Catholics "on the way" to greater unity
« Reply #66 on: November 03, 2015, 01:22:23 PM »
I am not surprised, Lou, that you are as apocalyptic about the Church Catholic as you are about our nation and the world. Everything, you say, is lost or sinking. Except perhaps you and your congregation; and you don't seem much interested in reaching out or serious dialogue with the rest of us.
But I could be wrong about that.


No, I am interested in serious dialog... tell me about our Lord Jesus, His way, and work in the world.


Yup, the Lord is working in the world to bring Lutherans and Catholics together. Bad shepherds were those who let the sheep scatter. Our Good Shepherd seeks to bring us together. Do you know not see "on the way to greater unity" as the work of our one Lord?


When working to achieve whatever you hope to achieve you are denying what has already been given. Unity is ours in Christ, whatever else you are up to is something else.


Nein! We seek to witness to the world what God has given. Our witness to the unity that is ours in Christ is abysmal. Does the world see the followers of Jesus loving one another? Not so much.


Why did Peter have to utter his words of confession. Couldn't God's revelation have been kept in his head - in his thoughts. If Jesus knows our thoughts, he wouldn't have to say: "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." He speaks so that the rest of us know that God has given him that revelation. Our actions witness to what God has done.


God's gifts call out a responds from us. A tree bears fruit - and it is known by its fruit. We are known as Jesus' followers by our fruit.


Sure, Brian. So how are you doing? No grudges, no vengeance, keeping the law, forgiving, being merciful, prayer, praise, and thanksgiving, preaching, teaching, presiding, baptizing, and lots more; feed the hungry, clothe the naked, heal the sick, care for the widow and orphan, and lots more.....all kinds of things to get done before I even begin to worry about some notion of a visible unity. Working on unity seems to become a distraction when viewed through this lens, no? Kind of reminds me of the old movie "The Russians are coming, the Russians are coning." the character played by Jonathan Winters spent his time running around saying "we have got to get organized" while everyone else actually dealt with the crisis. When the movie ended Winters was sort of ready to begin (he felt organized) and the crisis was past.


Lou

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Re: Lutheran, Catholics "on the way" to greater unity
« Reply #67 on: November 03, 2015, 06:22:31 PM »
I am not surprised, Lou, that you are as apocalyptic about the Church Catholic as you are about our nation and the world. Everything, you say, is lost or sinking. Except perhaps you and your congregation; and you don't seem much interested in reaching out or serious dialogue with the rest of us.
But I could be wrong about that.


No, I am interested in serious dialog... tell me about our Lord Jesus, His way, and work in the world.


Yup, the Lord is working in the world to bring Lutherans and Catholics together. Bad shepherds were those who let the sheep scatter. Our Good Shepherd seeks to bring us together. Do you know not see "on the way to greater unity" as the work of our one Lord?


When working to achieve whatever you hope to achieve you are denying what has already been given. Unity is ours in Christ, whatever else you are up to is something else.


Nein! We seek to witness to the world what God has given. Our witness to the unity that is ours in Christ is abysmal. Does the world see the followers of Jesus loving one another? Not so much.


Why did Peter have to utter his words of confession. Couldn't God's revelation have been kept in his head - in his thoughts. If Jesus knows our thoughts, he wouldn't have to say: "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." He speaks so that the rest of us know that God has given him that revelation. Our actions witness to what God has done.


God's gifts call out a responds from us. A tree bears fruit - and it is known by its fruit. We are known as Jesus' followers by our fruit.


Sure, Brian. So how are you doing? No grudges, no vengeance, keeping the law, forgiving, being merciful, prayer, praise, and thanksgiving, preaching, teaching, presiding, baptizing, and lots more; feed the hungry, clothe the naked, heal the sick, care for the widow and orphan, and lots more.....all kinds of things to get done before I even begin to worry about some notion of a visible unity. Working on unity seems to become a distraction when viewed through this lens, no? Kind of reminds me of the old movie "The Russians are coming, the Russians are coning." the character played by Jonathan Winters spent his time running around saying "we have got to get organized" while everyone else actually dealt with the crisis. When the movie ended Winters was sort of ready to begin (he felt organized) and the crisis was past.


Many of those things I am doing through ecumenical and interfaith groups. United we can to more than we each do individually or congregationally.


Jesus did not say, "They will know you are my disciples by the way you feed the hungry." He did say that the way we love one another (and I think he was referring specifically to believers) is our witness to the world that we are Jesus' disciples. All kinds of groups feed the hungry, clothe the naked, etc. Secular schools have food and clothing drives. What made the early Christian community stand out in the world was the way they loved and cared for each other - regardless of their nationality, gender, economic status, etc.
"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]

Steven Tibbetts

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Re: Lutheran, Catholics "on the way" to greater unity
« Reply #68 on: November 03, 2015, 09:18:48 PM »

So it's cheerful and no doubt worth reading, but not "news" or "the future" in any dramatic sense.


I think it is fair to say that the North American L-RC Dialogues have, over the years, been, uh, enthusiastic in describing that their work -- which has been generally theologically first-rate, sometimes leading the international dialogues -- would soon lead to Eucharistic sharing between Lutherans and Catholic.  I think it is pretty clear that their work has had a positive effect, even down to parish life, in how Lutherans and Catholics speak of and live the Faith. 

At the same time, I'd say that the North American Dialogues have also been more eager about concretely expressing our unity than either the International Dialogues or, ahem, the ecclesial officials of North American churches participating in the Dialogues.  At least that's how the USCCB and ELCA news releases read to me.

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Re: Lutheran, Catholics "on the way" to greater unity
« Reply #69 on: November 03, 2015, 09:36:40 PM »

So it's cheerful and no doubt worth reading, but not "news" or "the future" in any dramatic sense.


I think it is fair to say that the North American L-RC Dialogues have, over the years, been, uh, enthusiastic in describing that their work -- which has been generally theologically first-rate, sometimes leading the international dialogues -- would soon lead to Eucharistic sharing between Lutherans and Catholic.  I think it is pretty clear that their work has had a positive effect, even down to parish life, in how Lutherans and Catholics speak of and live the Faith. 

At the same time, I'd say that the North American Dialogues have also been more eager about concretely expressing our unity than either the International Dialogues or, ahem, the ecclesial officials of North American churches participating in the Dialogues.  At least that's how the USCCB and ELCA news releases read to me.

Pax, Steven+
I think your analysis is very reasonable.

Peace,
Michael
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Re: Lutheran, Catholics "on the way" to greater unity
« Reply #70 on: November 03, 2015, 10:56:55 PM »
United we can to more than we each do individually or congregationally.





This is the part that frightens me the most--the idea "we can do more". Historically when we "unite to do more" it has translated into more death and destruction, including when "the church" has been more united. The Roman Church in its unified days of hegemony unleashed some awful things against the neighbor. Likewise, the Eastern Church does not have a sterling reputation among its neighbors for actions taken during times of its hegemony. None of us think "bigness" is particularly a good thing in most facets of life. Our nation went through a "trust-buster" period against "big business". Some believe today that Wall street has gotten way too big. Others are of a mind Big Labor is a problem. Monsanto is believed to be much too big. One party rule has meant problems for many countries. Too much concentration of power and authority in fallen human institutions peopled by fallen individuals has not meant good things for the greater populace. It is simple hubris to believe these facets of human nature do not apply to the very human institution we call the "visible church." I think one of the reasons God has allowed the disunity to predominate is because it is safer for His people. If we could actually be unified as one as the father and Jesus are one it would be a different story but until God actually does that by raising us to new life, it best remain our prayer rather than become our agenda.


Lou

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Re: Lutheran, Catholics "on the way" to greater unity
« Reply #71 on: November 04, 2015, 02:24:48 AM »
United we can to more than we each do individually or congregationally.





This is the part that frightens me the most--the idea "we can do more". Historically when we "unite to do more" it has translated into more death and destruction, including when "the church" has been more united. The Roman Church in its unified days of hegemony unleashed some awful things against the neighbor. Likewise, the Eastern Church does not have a sterling reputation among its neighbors for actions taken during times of its hegemony. None of us think "bigness" is particularly a good thing in most facets of life. Our nation went through a "trust-buster" period against "big business". Some believe today that Wall street has gotten way too big. Others are of a mind Big Labor is a problem. Monsanto is believed to be much too big. One party rule has meant problems for many countries. Too much concentration of power and authority in fallen human institutions peopled by fallen individuals has not meant good things for the greater populace. It is simple hubris to believe these facets of human nature do not apply to the very human institution we call the "visible church." I think one of the reasons God has allowed the disunity to predominate is because it is safer for His people. If we could actually be unified as one as the father and Jesus are one it would be a different story but until God actually does that by raising us to new life, it best remain our prayer rather than become our agenda.


When the church was united with itself - the first 300 years. It was an effective witness in a world of heathens. When the church became united with Empire. Then death and destruction came. As the saying goes: "Power tends to corrupt." The church gained power. A quote I read, but can't remember where, is that the Christianity changed from being a religion we were willing to die for, to one we were willing to kill for. Another author suggested, and I agree, that Constantine's conversion was more about changing Christianity than about changing Constantine.
"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: Lutheran, Catholics "on the way" to greater unity
« Reply #72 on: November 04, 2015, 07:32:30 AM »
United we can to more than we each do individually or congregationally.





This is the part that frightens me the most--the idea "we can do more". Historically when we "unite to do more" it has translated into more death and destruction, including when "the church" has been more united. The Roman Church in its unified days of hegemony unleashed some awful things against the neighbor. Likewise, the Eastern Church does not have a sterling reputation among its neighbors for actions taken during times of its hegemony. None of us think "bigness" is particularly a good thing in most facets of life. Our nation went through a "trust-buster" period against "big business". Some believe today that Wall street has gotten way too big. Others are of a mind Big Labor is a problem. Monsanto is believed to be much too big. One party rule has meant problems for many countries. Too much concentration of power and authority in fallen human institutions peopled by fallen individuals has not meant good things for the greater populace. It is simple hubris to believe these facets of human nature do not apply to the very human institution we call the "visible church." I think one of the reasons God has allowed the disunity to predominate is because it is safer for His people. If we could actually be unified as one as the father and Jesus are one it would be a different story but until God actually does that by raising us to new life, it best remain our prayer rather than become our agenda.


When the church was united with itself - the first 300 years. It was an effective witness in a world of heathens. When the church became united with Empire. Then death and destruction came. As the saying goes: "Power tends to corrupt." The church gained power. A quote I read, but can't remember where, is that the Christianity changed from being a religion we were willing to die for, to one we were willing to kill for. Another author suggested, and I agree, that Constantine's conversion was more about changing Christianity than about changing Constantine.


Thank you for supporting my contention. We live in the post-Constantinian age. Pandora's box was opened. The cat is out of the bag. People think in terms and categories consistent with that age. Some in the church think all would be well if we all were united, but the only unity we know is the unity of Rome we embraced so many  centuries ago. Rome was not christianized so much as christianity was Romanized. We have all returned to being creatures of law, attempting to force, coerce, negotiate, and compromise our way to some sense of a visible unity rather than soaking in the unity provided by the Lord and radiating that same unity out into the world.


Lou

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Re: Lutheran, Catholics "on the way" to greater unity
« Reply #73 on: November 04, 2015, 08:36:30 AM »
Lou writes:
The cat is out of the bag.

I comment:
Would someone explain to me how this is supposed to be a bad thing? Why should the poor cat be in the bag in the first place? Seems to me that letting it out of the bag would be a good thing to do.
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Re: Lutheran, Catholics "on the way" to greater unity
« Reply #74 on: November 04, 2015, 09:31:23 AM »
Lou writes:
The cat is out of the bag.

I comment:
Would someone explain to me how this is supposed to be a bad thing? Why should the poor cat be in the bag in the first place? Seems to me that letting it out of the bag would be a good thing to do.


It is an idiom. I do not know the origin. But I do know feral cats. When you catch one it is best to keep them "in the bag" until you are ready to deal with them in all of their ferocity.


Lou