Author Topic: Interim Report on talks, LCMS, LCC and ACNA  (Read 1468 times)

Dan Fienen

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 13255
    • View Profile
Interim Report on talks, LCMS, LCC and ACNA
« on: February 23, 2016, 04:31:49 PM »
An interim report On Closer ACQUAINTANCE:An interim report on the ecumenical dialogue between the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod (LCMS), and Lutheran Church–Canada (LCC), as presented to Archbishop Foley Beach (ACNA), President Robert Bugbee (LCC), and President Matthew Harrison (LCMS) has been released and can be read on line or downloaded at the previous link.

Ecumenical dialog began between the LCMS and LCC (the Canadian offshoot of the LCMS) and the ACNA (Anglican Church in North America) in 2010.  This report outlines areas of agreement, disagreement and progress.
Pr. Daniel Fienen
LCMS

Richard Johnson

  • ALPB Administrator
  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 10578
  • Create in me a clean heart, O God.
    • View Profile
Re: Interim Report on talks, LCMS, LCC and ACNA
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2016, 08:55:33 PM »
Thanks for posting this. I just read the conclusion, which was really quite remarkable. I look forward to reading the whole document.
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

Charles Austin

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 14704
    • View Profile
    • Charles is Coloring
Re: Interim Report on talks, LCMS, LCC and ACNA
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2016, 07:23:26 AM »
This would be a major development, for it would link (and quite quite closely) the LCMS with a church in the Anglican communion, and acknowledge the validity of agreement where the other party does not have to sign on to the Lutheran confessions and the writings of Walther.
It would even acknowledge the validity of Anglican interpretations of sacrament and ministry.
Interesting. 
Retired ELCA Pastor. Iowa native. Now in Minneapolis. One must always ponder both the value and the dangers of poking the bear. Aroused and stimulated, the bear usually shows its true self. Or it might leap to an extreme version of itself. You never know with bears.

Jeremy Loesch

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 2255
    • View Profile
Re: Interim Report on talks, LCMS, LCC and ACNA
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2016, 07:35:47 AM »
I was pleased to read that report too. I think the ecumenical efforts of our church body do not get the positive reporting they deserve. And I see that the LWF and the ILT are meeting together at the remodeled Latin School in Wittenberg. It's good that they have a cup of coffee together.

Jeremy
A Lutheran pastor growing into all sorts of things.

Matt Staneck

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 3337
  • Shabbat Shalom! Matthew 11:28-30, 12:8
    • View Profile
Re: Interim Report on talks, LCMS, LCC and ACNA
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2016, 11:05:27 AM »
Great little report! I appreciate Bishop Harrison's desire to engage ecumenical partners such as the Anglicans. There are several ACNA churches in the five boroughs and it is good to know we have close cousins nearby.

If you haven't read the 39 Articles on Religion you really should check them out. The formulators relied heavily upon the Augsburg Confession and it shows.

M. Staneck
Matt Staneck, Pastor
St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church
Queens, NY

Richard Johnson

  • ALPB Administrator
  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 10578
  • Create in me a clean heart, O God.
    • View Profile
Re: Interim Report on talks, LCMS, LCC and ACNA
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2016, 11:35:56 AM »
I'm teaching, at my Episcopal congregation, a class on the Ten Commandments this Lent. One thing I did was to print, in parallel columns, the Small Catechism, Heidelberg Catechism, Westminster Catechism. The Book of Common Prayer catechism doesn't treat each commandment separately, so I went looking and found a series of sermons on the Commandments by Cranmer. It clearly shows Luther's influence; each sermon concludes with what is essentially a close paraphrase of the Small Catechism.
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

J. Thomas Shelley

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 4232
    • View Profile
Re: Interim Report on talks, LCMS, LCC and ACNA
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2016, 12:08:18 PM »
Having been part of a failed movement to create a Lutheran Diocese within the ACNA I read this as truly excellent news.

The ACNA would like to have a stronger theological foundation than just the Augustana-inspired 39 Articles; they would like the Book of Concord itself.

The mutual interchange through the centuries has been liturgical as well as theological.  Cranmer borrowed heavily from the German Evangelical Church Orders in creating the first Book of Common Prayer.  Those English translations, in turn, became the basis for the Common Service.
Greek Orthodox Deacon -Ecumenical Patriarchate
Ordained to the Holy Diaconate Mary of Egypt Sunday A.D. 2022

Baptized, Confirmed, and Ordained United Methodist.
Served as a Lutheran Pastor October 31, 1989 - October 31, 2014.
Charter member of the first chapter of the Society of the Holy Trinity.

scott9

  • Guest
Re: Interim Report on talks, LCMS, LCC and ACNA
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2016, 12:27:55 PM »
This is a very encouraging report.  However, I have to take issue with the characterization of the LCMS' supposed position regarding 2 Tim 3:16 and 2 Pet 1:20-21 when it writes:

Both Churches understand 2 Tim 3:16 and 2 Pet
1:20-21 to speak of the entire Holy Scripture of both
Old and New Testaments, whose full inspiration by the
Holy Spirit we unhesitatingly affirm.
(5)

It surely is the case that the LCMS believes (and should believe) that both the OT and the NT are inspired by the Holy Spirit; this is most certainly true.  However, the two passages can only be referring at the time to the OT as there was no NT Scripture.  They apply, but only by extension, not by original reference, and this is masked by the wording of the report.

mj4

  • Guest
Re: Interim Report on talks, LCMS, LCC and ACNA
« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2016, 01:18:40 PM »
In 1532 he (Cranmer) was sent to Germany, officially as ambassador to the emperor Charles V but with instructions to establish contact with the Lutheran princes. At Nürnberg he made the acquaintance of Andreas Osiander, whose theological position midway between Luther and the old orthodoxy appealed to Cranmer’s cautious temperament, while Osiander’s niece Margaret appealed even more strongly to one who had for too long remained in uncongenial celibacy. Despite his priest’s orders, he married her in 1532; at the same time, his theological views underwent a further decided change in the direction of Reformed opinion.

from Geoffrey Elton's entry in Britannica, http://www.britannica.com/biography/Thomas-Cranmer-archbishop-of-Canterbury.

Brian Stoffregen

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 44252
  • ἐγὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν, ἀγαπᾶτε τοὺς ἐχθροὺς ὑμῶν
    • View Profile
Re: Interim Report on talks, LCMS, LCC and ACNA
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2016, 01:23:43 PM »
This is a very encouraging report.  However, I have to take issue with the characterization of the LCMS' supposed position regarding 2 Tim 3:16 and 2 Pet 1:20-21 when it writes:

Both Churches understand 2 Tim 3:16 and 2 Pet
1:20-21 to speak of the entire Holy Scripture of both
Old and New Testaments, whose full inspiration by the
Holy Spirit we unhesitatingly affirm.
(5)

It surely is the case that the LCMS believes (and should believe) that both the OT and the NT are inspired by the Holy Spirit; this is most certainly true.  However, the two passages can only be referring at the time to the OT as there was no NT Scripture.  They apply, but only by extension, not by original reference, and this is masked by the wording of the report.


Don't the Anglicans include the Apocrypha in the Old Testament readings?
"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]

Jim Butler

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 1994
    • View Profile
Re: Interim Report on talks, LCMS, LCC and ACNA
« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2016, 01:59:57 PM »
This is a very encouraging report.  However, I have to take issue with the characterization of the LCMS' supposed position regarding 2 Tim 3:16 and 2 Pet 1:20-21 when it writes:

Both Churches understand 2 Tim 3:16 and 2 Pet
1:20-21 to speak of the entire Holy Scripture of both
Old and New Testaments, whose full inspiration by the
Holy Spirit we unhesitatingly affirm.
(5)

It surely is the case that the LCMS believes (and should believe) that both the OT and the NT are inspired by the Holy Spirit; this is most certainly true.  However, the two passages can only be referring at the time to the OT as there was no NT Scripture.  They apply, but only by extension, not by original reference, and this is masked by the wording of the report.


Don't the Anglicans include the Apocrypha in the Old Testament readings?

The report states, "Both churches agree in their estimate of the status of the Old Testament Apocrypha, or deutero-canonical books, as Art. VI echoes Luther: “And the other Books (as Hi- erome saith) the Church doth read for example of life and instruction of manners; but yet it doth not apply them to establish any doctrine.”"
The significance of the passage of time, right? The significance of the passage of time. So when you think about it, there is great significance to the passage of time. -- VP Kamala Harris

Michael Slusser

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 5521
    • View Profile
Re: Interim Report on talks, LCMS, LCC and ACNA
« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2016, 05:35:19 PM »
The Report "On Closer Acquaintance" is a very fine piece of work. The parties are not yet able to walk in each other's shoes without some pinching or slipping, but both the tone sustained throughout and the numerous agreements testify to a very fruitful dialogue so far and great promise for the future.

Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

Peace,
Michael
Fr. Michael Slusser
Retired Roman Catholic priest and theologian

J. Eriksson

  • ALPB Forum Regular
  • ****
  • Posts: 311
    • View Profile
Re: Interim Report on talks, LCMS, LCC and ACNA
« Reply #12 on: February 25, 2016, 07:04:25 PM »
I'm teaching, at my Episcopal congregation, a class on the Ten Commandments this Lent. One thing I did was to print, in parallel columns, the Small Catechism, Heidelberg Catechism, Westminster Catechism. The Book of Common Prayer catechism doesn't treat each commandment separately, so I went looking and found a series of sermons on the Commandments by Cranmer. It clearly shows Luther's influence; each sermon concludes with what is essentially a close paraphrase of the Small Catechism.

I want those parallel columns(please)  and if those Cranmer sermons are online the link.  it's a few thousand miles to the library.

best
james in japan
I'm not a pastor.  Please don't call me one.

mj4

  • Guest
Re: Interim Report on talks, LCMS, LCC and ACNA
« Reply #13 on: February 25, 2016, 07:12:29 PM »
This is a very encouraging report.  However, I have to take issue with the characterization of the LCMS' supposed position regarding 2 Tim 3:16 and 2 Pet 1:20-21 when it writes:

Both Churches understand 2 Tim 3:16 and 2 Pet
1:20-21 to speak of the entire Holy Scripture of both
Old and New Testaments, whose full inspiration by the
Holy Spirit we unhesitatingly affirm.
(5)

It surely is the case that the LCMS believes (and should believe) that both the OT and the NT are inspired by the Holy Spirit; this is most certainly true.  However, the two passages can only be referring at the time to the OT as there was no NT Scripture.  They apply, but only by extension, not by original reference, and this is masked by the wording of the report.

The report is called "an interim report". Perhaps you could propose this suggestion, and any others, for the next report.

LutherMan

  • Guest
Re: Interim Report on talks, LCMS, LCC and ACNA
« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2016, 11:28:35 AM »
http://blogs.lcms.org/2016/confessional-lutherans-anglicans-draw-closer
Confessional Lutherans, Anglicans draw closer
By Mathew Block

Participants in the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) and Lutheran Church—Canada’s (LCC) ongoing ecumenical dialogue have released an interim report on their work so far. Titled “On Closer Acquaintance,” the document is the culmination of six years of regular discussions among the three church bodies and highlights the discovery of significant doctrinal agreement between the Anglican and Lutheran participants.

The authors are clear that there is still much work to be done before altar and pulpit fellowship between the two sides would be possible. Nevertheless, they have found the discussions promising enough to publicly declare their prayer “that, in the time and manner of His choosing, our Lord would grant each side in our conversations to acknowledge our ‘first cousin’ to be in fact a true sister church, with the result that we would welcome each other wholeheartedly to our respective altars and enjoy the blessed situation in which our clergy and people would be interchangeable with each other as we stand under the grace of God and work for His kingdom.”

In the meantime, they encourage all three church bodies to “consider the ways in which we can cooperate and come together in ways that fall short of full communion but do allow the greatest measure of cooperation while maintaining full theological integrity.”

The report can be downloaded at lcms.org/doc/acna-report.
Church leaders react

The leaders of the three churches welcomed the report warmly, reflecting on the growing relationship between confessional Anglicans and Lutherans.

“In a time when so many churches are departing from the teachings of the Bible, it has been refreshing to see the stand for Scriptural truth that is being made by The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod and Lutheran Church—Canada,” said ACNA Archbishop Rev. Dr. Foley Beach. “We agree on the essentials of the faith and share a common desire to evangelize North America with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”

LCMS President Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison expressed a similar perspective.

“In these trying times for global Christianity, we were joyously surprised and deeply heartened to learn of ACNA and its struggle to be faithful to the New Testament and historic Christian faith,” he said. “By God’s grace we have found real friends who have encouraged us deeply. We have been inspired by the journey of these men and women out of a church body which had abandoned the New Testament. They have sacrificed greatly, virtually all of them losing the properties of their respective congregations due to the structure of the Episcopal Church. I pray that we would be so courageous facing such difficulties.”

LCC President Rev. Dr. Robert Bugbee praised the dialogue and the growing theological consensus between confessional Lutherans and Anglicans.

“These discussions have been marked by great thoroughness and theological integrity,” he noted. “Nobody reached for easy compromises, nor did anyone paper over matters that needed to be fully worked through on the basis of God’s Word. Biblical Christians throughout North America face many pressures — not only with the secularization of our society but also because of the doctrinal decay and revisionism in much of mainline Christianity. We thank the Lord for the commitment of our Anglican friends and ask Him to use our witness to hold Christ the Savior out to people all around us.”

All three leaders were present for the most recent round of dialogue between the LCMS, ACNA and LCC, held Feb. 8-9 in St. Louis. A major focus of the meeting was finalizing the report on the six-year dialogue so far.
A comparison of doctrinal positions

The report begins by recounting the close history of Anglicans and Lutherans, suggesting that while they are not as yet “sister churches,” they are “the closest ecumenical cousins in Christendom.” Moreover, the current divisions in world Anglicanism mirror similar divisions in world Lutheranism. In these situations, confessional Anglicans and confessional Lutherans find they have much in common. Each tradition also has much to offer the other.

“We note that while Anglicans have been famous for their patterns of prayer and devotion, Lutherans have majored in more precise doctrinal definition and theological precision,” the report states. “While both sides acknowledge the essential quality of both lex credendi and lex orandi, it may be that Lutherans can assist Anglicans toward more careful attention to the first and that Anglicans can help Lutherans to deepen their practice of the second.”

The report compares the doctrinal positions of the two traditions at length and acknowledges the churches have found strong agreement on a number of areas, including the subjects of the Trinity, the person of Jesus Christ, the authority of Scripture, the creeds, original sin, justification and good works.

The talks also identified areas that require further discussion. In particular, the report notes, “The ordering of the ministry is the area where we have found the most work, study and discussion needs to be done to reach a common understanding of the connection between our practices.” To that end, the paper encourages Lutherans to “consider the ways in which the ministry of the bishop (as distinct from presbyter) is already at work among them” and encourages Anglicans to consider “how recognition of the office of bishop can go hand in hand with acknowledgement of the unicity of the office instituted by Christ.” Likewise, the report identifies the diaconate as another topic that would be beneficial to discuss.

The two sides also address the topic of female ordination in the report. The LCMS and LCC both understand the ordained ministry to preclude women. The report notes that a majority within ACNA also hold this position even as they are “engaged at the present time in a consensus-seeking discussion with the minority within its midst that takes the opposite view.”

Additional doctrinal stances compared in the report include the Church, Holy Baptism, Holy Communion, Holy Absolution and the role of Christian rulers.
Moving forward

“When our open-ended conversations began six years ago, some of the signatories to this report approached our task with a mixture of low expectations and a certain nervousness before the unknown,” the report admits in its conclusion. “All of us are somewhat surprised to have discovered the deep common bonds between us in the Body of Christ, and to have registered the large measure of consensus that we have documented above. We regard these things that we have discovered together as a gift of the Lord and trust Him to use our findings to His glory and to the good of the universal Church. As we commend this report to the people and clergy of ACNA, LCMS and LCC, we encourage Lutherans and Anglicans to remember each other in prayer, to embrace one another in Christian love, to encourage each other to confess Christ boldly in our ever darkening times, and to support each other in mission and outreach in faithfulness to Him who has laid the same Great Commission on us all.”

Elsewhere in the report the authors write, “We earnestly hope that these pages may be read and pondered as widely as possible by the clergy and people of our respective church bodies, not only in private but also in the setting of Bible classes, clergy and theological conferences, and other appropriate forums of Christian education.”

Mathew Block (communications@lutheranchurch.ca) is editor of The Canadian Lutheran and communications manager for Lutheran Church—Canada. He also serves as editor for the International Lutheran Council and blogs with First Things.

Posted Feb. 23, 2016