Author Topic: Interviews  (Read 1747 times)

peter_speckhard

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Interviews
« on: July 18, 2007, 03:14:49 PM »
I got some great interviews yesterday and over lunch today, but there is no time to write them up and post them yet because of the schedule.Yesterday I spoke with the micro-synod Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America in a group interview. They are all former LCMS guys who have left the synod since the election of President Kieschnick. Interesting take on things from them.

Today I interviewed 3rd veep Wohlrabe, 1st veep Diekelman, long-time veep King whose service was acknowledged this morning, and Dr. Bartelt of the St. Louis sem, who was instrumental in the Res. 5-01 Specific Ministry presentations for the floor committee. All very interesting takes on the questions listed somewhere else in this thread. I doubt I'll be able to post any of them until tomorrow, but stay tuned.

Note to ALPB--Wohlrabe knows too much. After the interview he asked me where this was being published and when I told him he spoke in the minutest of detail concerning the alpb's history and relationship with the LCMS. It turns out his Th.D thesis is on the history of the doctrine of ministry in American Lutheranism and the LCMS. So if anyone wants to know what the alpb folks were up to at, say, the 1935 LCMS convention, Wohlrabe can tell you off the top of his head.

 

jebutler

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Re: Interviews
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2007, 03:32:28 PM »
I had John for LCMS history when he was a Walther fellow.

He is a very good historian. I don't doubt but that he can tell you all about the ALPB and what was going on in the 1930s.

I've always thought that more research should be done on the ALPB and it's influence on the LCMS. It's a bit of forgotten history (other than "A Statement").
These are things that we can discuss among learned and reasonable people, or even among ourselves. (Luther, SA III, paraphrased).

Mike Bennett

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Re: Interviews
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2007, 03:49:29 PM »
I got some great interviews yesterday and over lunch today, but there is no time to write them up and post them yet because of the schedule.Yesterday I spoke with the micro-synod Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America in a group interview. They are all former LCMS guys who have left the synod since the election of President Kieschnick. Interesting take on things from them.

Today I interviewed 3rd veep Wohlrabe, 1st veep Diekelman, long-time veep King whose service was acknowledged this morning, and Dr. Bartelt of the St. Louis sem, who was instrumental in the Res. 5-01 Specific Ministry presentations for the floor committee. All very interesting takes on the questions listed somewhere else in this thread. I doubt I'll be able to post any of them until tomorrow, but stay tuned.

Note to ALPB--Wohlrabe knows too much. After the interview he asked me where this was being published and when I told him he spoke in the minutest of detail concerning the alpb's history and relationship with the LCMS. It turns out his Th.D thesis is on the history of the doctrine of ministry in American Lutheranism and the LCMS. So if anyone wants to know what the alpb folks were up to at, say, the 1935 LCMS convention, Wohlrabe can tell you off the top of his head.

 

That's funny.  I read a paper by him sometime in the past few months in which he referred to the ALPB's _Lutheran Forum_ having now become the _Forum Letter_.  The gist of the piece was that ALPB is a nefarious organization.  I didn't pay much attention to it, figuring that he hadn't even taken the time to know that the two publications are published concurrently. 

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

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Re: Interviews
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2007, 03:50:23 PM »
Are saying I'm not nefarious?

Mike Bennett

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Re: Interviews
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2007, 03:53:17 PM »
I got some great interviews yesterday and over lunch today, but there is no time to write them up and post them yet because of the schedule.Yesterday I spoke with the micro-synod Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America in a group interview. They are all former LCMS guys who have left the synod since the election of President Kieschnick. Interesting take on things from them.

Today I interviewed 3rd veep Wohlrabe, 1st veep Diekelman, long-time veep King whose service was acknowledged this morning, and Dr. Bartelt of the St. Louis sem, who was instrumental in the Res. 5-01 Specific Ministry presentations for the floor committee. All very interesting takes on the questions listed somewhere else in this thread. I doubt I'll be able to post any of them until tomorrow, but stay tuned.

Note to ALPB--Wohlrabe knows too much. After the interview he asked me where this was being published and when I told him he spoke in the minutest of detail concerning the alpb's history and relationship with the LCMS. It turns out his Th.D thesis is on the history of the doctrine of ministry in American Lutheranism and the LCMS. So if anyone wants to know what the alpb folks were up to at, say, the 1935 LCMS convention, Wohlrabe can tell you off the top of his head.

 

That's funny.  I read a paper by him sometime in the past few months in which he referred to the ALPB's _Lutheran Forum_ having now become the _Forum Letter_.   I didn't pay much attention to it, figuring that he hadn't even taken the time to know that the two publications are published concurrently.  Here's the quote:

"In 1914, an organization was started in New York City called the American Lutheran Publicity Bureau (ALPB), which began publication of a magazine in 1918 called "The American Lutheran" (which later became "The Lutheran Forum" and now "The Forum Letter") ... No action was ever taken against them in the fashion that President Kieschnick is now proposing the COP take against signers of TTMBO."

And the link: http://www.concordtx.org/opinions/anders.htm

Mike Bennett
“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: Interviews
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2007, 03:56:40 PM »
Are saying I'm not nefarious?

I don't know.  I'd read good things about you in the _Forum Letter_, but those are probably just nefarious propagenda to cover up for your nefarious intent.  Is that a black Dracula cape you're wearing?

I think the link I just posted was to an article commenting on the article I'd originally seen, and not the article itself. 

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

Richard Johnson

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Re: Interviews
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2007, 04:44:05 PM »


I think the link I just posted was to an article commenting on the article I'd originally seen, and not the article itself. 


The original paper appears to be posted at http://www.concordtx.org/msnews/intoler.htm
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

Grabauski

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Re: Interviews
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2007, 10:00:39 PM »
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Yesterday I spoke with the micro-synod Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America in a group interview.

Small correction: ELDoNA is not a 'synod'. Cf., e.g., Bishop Heiser's introductory article in The Lutheran Herald in August of last year http://web.mac.com/hunnius/iWeb/ELDoNA/Papers_files/herald0806.pdf, which I will attempt to post as a separate message.

EJG

Grabauski

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Re: Interviews
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2007, 10:03:09 PM »
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Bishop Heiser's introductory article in The Lutheran Herald in August of last year http://web.mac.com/hunnius/iWeb/ELDoNA/Papers_files/herald0806.pdf

Do We Need 'Another Synod'?
by The Rt. Rev. James D. Heiser
Bishop, The Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America Pastor, Salem Lutheran Church (Malone, Texas)

Another new synod? Don't we have enough of them already? Won't this just divide the Church even further?" These are questions which can be legimately asked, and they deserve an honest answer. There are plenty of people who believe that "more than one" is "too many" when it comes to the number of synods/fellowships/associations of Lutherans in this country. Such people yearn for the 'One Big Synod' (OBS) where all doctrinal differences are consider to be 'not divisive of fellowship'. The OBS has been the recurring dream of many 'Lutherans' in America; it was the goal of the General Synod in the early nineteenth century and it certainly seems to be the intention of the ELCA and its 'wannabes' in the LC--MS and WELS. Appeals for the OBS are usually expressed in terms of a theology of glory: its proponents talk about all the glorious things which could be accomplished if only Lutherans would stop talking about, and dividing over, doctrine.

However, there are others who do not desire to be the OBS, but whose self-identification is inextricably connected to it: these are the Micro Synods (MS). The MS bodies define their existence over against the various candidates for, and advocates of, the OBS. The MS fellowships usually define themselves around documents such as the Brief Statement (1897 or 1932), or theologians of the 1930s and '40s as "the" expression of faithful Lutheranism in America (or, perhaps, the world, since they have great reservations about European Lutheranism, 'hyper' or otherwise). The MS leaders define their 'orthodoxy' over against the OBS crowd by demonstrating ad nauseum that the OBS bodies don't teach what people were teaching in the 1930s. Such displays are usually amusing to everyone (since they are usually ellaborate proofs of something which no one denies)-- with the exception of the MS leaders, who use it as 'proof ' that they are the legitimate heirs of the chair of Walther, Pieper (either Francis or August), Schaller, et cetera. From the prospective of the MS, there will never be enough such fellowships, because there will always be further division based on appeals to the latest midrash of a letter or sermon by Walther or Pieper.

The MS give the appearance of being the Synodical Conference in amber; there is the appearance of still being alive, but they are in fact simply preserving something which is long gone.

The MS bodies need the OBS groups because the MS define themselves over against the OBS. If the OBS bodies vanished tomorrow, the MS would be thrown into an identity crisis. The MS groups are like a bunch of 'Protestants' who define themselves as 'not Roman Catholic'--it gets very hard for them to tell you who they are and what they teach in the absence of the enemy over against which they define themselves. For the OBS crowd, more than one synod will always be too many; for the MS, there will never be enough.

This has been the cycle for Lutherans in America for many decades. I believe that the error of both the OBS and MS is that they lack true catholicity-- catholicity in the sense in which that term is used in the Athanasian Creed and the rest of our Lutheran Confessions: neither the OBS nor the MS are truly interested in the unbroken unity of doctrine and practice in the one true Church.

The OBS teachers essentially maintain that there is no true doctrine; doctrinal differences are irrelevant. It appears that the OBS are largely beholden to the higher critical mentality, and having dispensed with belief in an inerrant and inspired Holy Scripture, and yet still desiring to 'be Church,' they seek to gain such assurance not by adherence to the one, holy catholic and apostolic faith, but through unionism. I believe that their practice maintains the notion that if only they can merge the Church to be 'one,' then they will know that they are in 'the Church.' This explains the drive the establish the OBS, and it explains the frantic ecumenical activities within the OBS toward Rome, which bore its most humiliating fruit to date in the tragic Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification.

However, the plight of the MS is just as tragic. Although maintaining that they adhere to the one true faith, in fact they seem more concerned with maintaining the peculiarities of the private teachers and writings of late 19th and early 20th century Lutherans. They pine for a past that probably never was, and which we may be quite sure will not come again.

History does not stop: for good or for ill, it will never be pre-World War II America ever again. I believe that the way of the MS groups is the path which leads to despair because they labor for something which can never be. Their adoration of theologians who were and are, frankly, obscure simply heightens the tragedy of the situation.

In every generation from the resurrection until the return of the Christ in glory, the Lord God's people are a pilgrim people who lack an enduring city until the New Jerusalem comes down from heaven. The faithful in each generation seek to stand with the one true Church divided among the generations and nations of men. There is a tendency toward obscurantism among MS leaders which ignores 1,900 years of Christian teachers unless they happen to say (or can be 'interpreted' to say) what MS folks want them to say. Needless to say, such a mentality is not catholic.

We need to truly listen to the Church of past ages. We should begin by cultivating an openness to the listen once again to 500 years of Lutheran teachers. There is a great deal which we can learn from these theologians-- and one of the things which we could learn is their eagerness to listen to the faithful teachers of even earlier generations. Martin Luther, Philip Melanchthon, Martin Chemnitz and other orthodox theologians saw themselves as the students--not the masters--of the earlier fathers. We need to learn such a spirit again. We began with two questions: "Don't we have enough fellowships/synods/etc. already? Won't this just divide the Church even further?" Actually, these were the questions of the Reformation. Certainly, both the Roman Catholics and the Eastern Orthodox maintained that the Lutherans (and others) were simply dividing the Church. The Reformation is only defensible if one maintains (as Scripture does) that it is necessary to separate from false teachers, and we observe that the teachings of neither the OBS nor the MS conform to that of the Holy Scriptures nor the Lutheran Confessions. In fact, both groups tend to look upon Scripture and the Confessions with a suspicious eye, and a need to 'adjust' the interpretation of them to fit the doctrinal particularities of their specific visions of the pined-after Synodical Conference. We have no desire to participate in the OBS/ MS dichotomy; they are too much like binary stars, destined to orbit round and round each other forever and ever. We desire to hear the voice of our fathers in Christ's holy catholic and apostolic Church; but above all we desire to hear the voice of our Good Shepherd.

In short, we believe that it is not a question of whether there are 'too many' or 'too few' Lutheran synods. It is a matter of whether those who are truly in agreement with Holy Scripture and the Book of Concord (1580) will acknowledge the unity which is established by the Holy Spirit, and work together in that fellowship. Some of the pastors of our diocese have waited for years before taking this step. Far from being 'too hasty,' we have waited for others to take this step and lead, so that we might have followed. The decision to begin a new diocese was not an easy one, but we believe it is necessary, and that to continue to wait would not best serve the congregations entrusted to the care of the pastors of the diocese. We are not interested in the political squabbles of the OBS/MS groups and we do not, and will not, define ourselves over according to their controversies. We have organized ourselves as a 'diocese' because this is the traditional structure of the church throughout most of her history. A 'diocese' is an administrative area which is overseen by a bishop. As we observe on our website (www.eldona.org):

We recognize that the term "diocese" has not often been used among Lutherans in North America; but we found that the other terms which are being used are inadequate or misleading. A "synod" is a meeting of bishops--not an organization. Terms such as 'fellowship' or 'association' seem too vague, or have too often been misused. And for a man-made organization to usurp the name 'Church' to itself seems presumptuous, at best. We are a diocese: our bishop serves his fellow pastors, even as he serves the congregation which the Lord of the Church has placed into his care.

The congregations are not members of the diocese-- each congregation is overseen by her pastor; it is the responsibility of the diocesan bishop to oversee the pastors of the diocese. As we seek to go about the work to which the Lord of the Church has called us, it is my prayer that we would keep one another in prayer, and be built up through the Word.

Richard Johnson

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Re: Interviews
« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2007, 10:32:40 PM »
Worth noting that he uses the term "microsynod," which, far as I know, was coined by Forum Letter editor Saltzman.
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

Grabauski

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Re: Interviews
« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2007, 08:14:20 AM »
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Worth noting that he uses the term "microsynod," which, far as I know, was coined by Forum Letter editor Saltzman.

He's been using it since at least 1992...and I don't think he was even aware of Forum Letter at the time, since it's not something that received a 'push' among students at the seminary...so it may well be that it was an independent usage. OTOH, I can recall 'microsynod' being in use when I was at the seminary (85-89); do you have an 'official date' of its coinage?

EJG

janielou13

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Re: Interviews
« Reply #11 on: July 19, 2007, 08:47:21 AM »
Speaking from an older personages perspective,,,,,,,, the term micro synod arose in the 60's after the rise of same soon after the breakup of the Synodical Conferance, and the ensuing kerfuffels..... which as Pastor Heiser acutely notes, still go on.

Richard Johnson

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Re: Interviews
« Reply #12 on: July 19, 2007, 10:27:29 AM »
OK then, I stand corrected.
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS