Author Topic: Ecumenical News  (Read 5000 times)

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Ecumenical News
« Reply #60 on: July 10, 2017, 12:19:46 PM »
Pastor Fienen writes (as usual):
So, we should acknowledge, respect and follow the years of study, dialogue and theological reasoning that went into JDDJ and other such agreements.  Yet the years of study, dialogue and theological reasoning that went into the Lutheran Confessions (not to mention the willingness of the Confessors to defenf their confessionat risk of their lives) can be dismissed with an airy "We're not in the 1580's anymore." 
I comment (as usual with with a sigh):
You petulantly overstate once again. No, we do not "dismiss" the confessions, nor do we dishonor those who prepared them. But it is not 1580, either in the world or in the church. Their is nothing "airy" about my statement. It is just plain common sense.

Pastor Fienen writes:
How long before JDDJ becomes outdated and unfashionable and can be dismissed with a "That's so 20th Century, we aren't 20th Century people anymore."?
I comment:
Actually, I do hope that this document becomes "outdated," that is, replaced by an agreement that brings us even closer together in the body of Christ. Don't you?

Pastor Fienen writes:
When did we realize that theology should come with a sell by date?
I comment:
Well, didn't that first confession of faith, "Jesus is Lord," fade with the development of the creeds.

Pastor Fienen:
At 500 years perhaps the real celebration needs to be the realization that Luther and the Reformers ars far past their sell by date.  We are, or at least some of us are, far wiser, more knowledgeable, and sophisticated than those old drunken German peasants.
Me:
More silly overstatement. It has nothing to do with wisdom, knowledge or sophistication or sobriety. It has to do with healing, fellowship, cooperation, mission and proclamation in the Body of Christ, the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.
Why are you so persistent and nearly fanatic in attempts to preserve the disunity in the church? Luther's goal was correction, not schism. The confessions, particularly Augustana, were intended to be reconciling documents.
Do you believe that every single dispute, situation, theological argument, biblical interpretation, and ecclesial structure is exactly, precisely, and immutably as it was in 1580?
Do you believe that the words spoken then - to a particular situation - are the final words to be spoken about faith and life and the Church? Can you possibly be that arrogant about our particular family of faith?


In reading this, it struck me that in another discussion - on Romans 7 - that we confess that sin continue to reign in our lives; but then we seem to ignore that when talking about creeds and confessions. Wasn't the same sin Paul and we deal with present in those who composed those documents? Isn't it then possible that sinful motivations were also part of those confessions we hold so dear - and, perhaps through the Law we recognize the sin that's in them, repent, and move on?

Not sure where this is coming from.  Are you saying that one who confesses "Jesus is Lord" confesses at the same time that they are sinners ?  Confession in the context of "Jesus is Lord" in Romans 10 means that one is out of oneself and into their Master and Lord.  In some sense homologeo (NT Greek for Confession) has that meansing of same-saying, ie. that when one confesses "Jesus is Lord" is saying at the same time that there is no other who is Master and Lord of one's life, I and my neighbor are sinners.


The confession: Κύριος Ἰησοῦς (1 Cor 12:3) is biblical. It is the Word of God. The confessions in the Book of Concord are seen as the human words - words composed by sinful human beings.


I believe that the biblical confession, Κύριος Ἰησοῦς, from the LXX world (which was primary the Christian Bible until the Vulgate based on the Hebrew, says even more than you state. κύριος was the LXX's translation of יהוה. Thus, for those early Christians, Κύριος Ἰησοῦς is declaring that Jesus is יהוה, the particular God revealed to Moses and throughout the Old Testament.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2017, 12:27:21 PM 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]

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Ecumenical News
« Reply #61 on: July 10, 2017, 12:21:02 PM »
Are we now to reedit and correct Article IV of the Augustana and Apology according to JDDJ?


It depends if you want to keep the body of Christ splintered or work towards the unity Jesus prayed for.


Perhaps it is Rome (Papacy) which is/has the problem.


Their doctrines, like ours, are created by believers afflicted with the sin as Paul relates in Romans 7.
"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: Ecumenical News
« Reply #62 on: July 10, 2017, 12:26:55 PM »


Pastor Fienen writes:
When did we realize that theology should come with a sell by date?
I comment:
Well, didn't that first confession of faith, "Jesus is Lord," fade with the development of the creeds.


No, it didn't.

One probably ought not seek to overcome overstatement with different overstatement.


Yet, "Jesus is Lord" does not occur in ELW's communion liturgies.
Well, if the ELW doesn't use it, how can it be a confession of faith.  ELW being the last word in Lutheran worship and piety.  ??? "Jesus is Lord" fell out of regular use as other creeds amplified that confession and dealt with questions that "Jesus is Lord" did not address.  But it has never been rejected as no longer a correct confession of the faith.


I never said that it had been rejected. It fell out of use. It wasn't seen as sufficient to properly understanding of Jesus. Would "I'm baptized and believe that Jesus is Lord," be a sufficient confession for entrance to the Table in an LCMS congregation?
"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: Ecumenical News
« Reply #63 on: July 10, 2017, 12:29:53 PM »
Pastor Fienen writes (as usual):
So, we should acknowledge, respect and follow the years of study, dialogue and theological reasoning that went into JDDJ and other such agreements.  Yet the years of study, dialogue and theological reasoning that went into the Lutheran Confessions (not to mention the willingness of the Confessors to defenf their confessionat risk of their lives) can be dismissed with an airy "We're not in the 1580's anymore." 
I comment (as usual with with a sigh):
You petulantly overstate once again. No, we do not "dismiss" the confessions, nor do we dishonor those who prepared them. But it is not 1580, either in the world or in the church. Their is nothing "airy" about my statement. It is just plain common sense.

Pastor Fienen writes:
How long before JDDJ becomes outdated and unfashionable and can be dismissed with a "That's so 20th Century, we aren't 20th Century people anymore."?
I comment:
Actually, I do hope that this document becomes "outdated," that is, replaced by an agreement that brings us even closer together in the body of Christ. Don't you?

Pastor Fienen writes:
When did we realize that theology should come with a sell by date?
I comment:
Well, didn't that first confession of faith, "Jesus is Lord," fade with the development of the creeds.

Pastor Fienen:
At 500 years perhaps the real celebration needs to be the realization that Luther and the Reformers ars far past their sell by date.  We are, or at least some of us are, far wiser, more knowledgeable, and sophisticated than those old drunken German peasants.
Me:
More silly overstatement. It has nothing to do with wisdom, knowledge or sophistication or sobriety. It has to do with healing, fellowship, cooperation, mission and proclamation in the Body of Christ, the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.
Why are you so persistent and nearly fanatic in attempts to preserve the disunity in the church? Luther's goal was correction, not schism. The confessions, particularly Augustana, were intended to be reconciling documents.
Do you believe that every single dispute, situation, theological argument, biblical interpretation, and ecclesial structure is exactly, precisely, and immutably as it was in 1580?
Do you believe that the words spoken then - to a particular situation - are the final words to be spoken about faith and life and the Church? Can you possibly be that arrogant about our particular family of faith?


In reading this, it struck me that in another discussion - on Romans 7 - that we confess that sin continue to reign in our lives; but then we seem to ignore that when talking about creeds and confessions. Wasn't the same sin Paul and we deal with present in those who composed those documents? Isn't it then possible that sinful motivations were also part of those confessions we hold so dear - and, perhaps through the Law we recognize the sin that's in them, repent, and move on?

Not sure where this is coming from.  Are you saying that one who confesses "Jesus is Lord" confesses at the same time that they are sinners ?  Confession in the context of "Jesus is Lord" in Romans 10 means that one is out of oneself and into their Master and Lord.  In some sense homologeo (NT Greek for Confession) has that meansing of same-saying, ie. that when one confesses "Jesus is Lord" is saying at the same time that there is no other who is Master and Lord of one's life, I and my neighbor are sinners.


The confession: Κύριος Ἰησοῦς (1 Cor 12:3) is biblical. It is the Word of God. The confessions in the Book of Concord are seen as the human words - words composed by sinful human beings.


I believe that the biblical confession, Κύριος Ἰησοῦς, from the LXX world (which was primary the Christian Bible until the Vulgate based on the Hebrew, says even more than you state. κύριος was the LXX's translation of יהוה. Thus, for those early Christians, Κύριος Ἰησοῦς is declaring that Jesus is יהוה, the particular God revealed to Moses and throughout the Old Testament.


Perhaps 1 Cor 12 passage is clearer than Romans 10 in that St. Paul confirms that the confession coming forth from the mouth of the sinner, "Jesus is Lord.."  testifies to God's power to destroy sin at that moment because no one, absolutely no one who confesses "Jesus is Lord" cannot say this EXCEPT by the Holy Spirit! 

Nice!

readselerttoo

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Re: Ecumenical News
« Reply #64 on: July 10, 2017, 12:31:02 PM »
Are we now to reedit and correct Article IV of the Augustana and Apology according to JDDJ?


It depends if you want to keep the body of Christ splintered or work towards the unity Jesus prayed for.


Perhaps it is Rome (Papacy) which is/has the problem.


Their doctrines, like ours, are created by believers afflicted with the sin as Paul relates in Romans 7.

Yes, but nonetheless they attempt to clarify the treasure.

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Ecumenical News
« Reply #65 on: July 10, 2017, 12:33:05 PM »
Are we now to reedit and correct Article IV of the Augustana and Apology according to JDDJ?


It depends if you want to keep the body of Christ splintered or work towards the unity Jesus prayed for.


Perhaps it is Rome (Papacy) which is/has the problem.


Their doctrines, like ours, are created by believers afflicted with the sin as Paul relates in Romans 7.

Yes, but nonetheless they attempt to clarify the treasure.


Certainly - and often in opposition to falsehoods that they saw present at the time.
"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: Ecumenical News
« Reply #66 on: July 10, 2017, 12:49:26 PM »
Are we now to reedit and correct Article IV of the Augustana and Apology according to JDDJ?


It depends if you want to keep the body of Christ splintered or work towards the unity Jesus prayed for.


Perhaps it is Rome (Papacy) which is/has the problem.


Their doctrines, like ours, are created by believers afflicted with the sin as Paul relates in Romans 7.

Yes, but nonetheless they attempt to clarify the treasure.


Certainly - and often in opposition to falsehoods that they saw present at the time.

I understand that the disunity in the church is a mark of the stumbling over the stumbling stone, the offense which is basic to the response to the Gospel as we read in 1 Cor.  Jesus in John's Gospel prayed for unity among believers which surely is concretely there in the power of the Holy Spirit even now through word and sacrament...but only there.  Perhaps Jesus' prayer is more eschatalogical in that it will come about because God desires it.  Our dialogues can only prepare for that while never achieving it.  I think we overstep God's boundary when we try to make unity happen, ie. using JDDJ as a tool for building a foundation based on our definitions without God's approval.  God's "No" still applies.

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Ecumenical News
« Reply #67 on: July 10, 2017, 02:33:33 PM »
Are we now to reedit and correct Article IV of the Augustana and Apology according to JDDJ?


It depends if you want to keep the body of Christ splintered or work towards the unity Jesus prayed for.


Perhaps it is Rome (Papacy) which is/has the problem.


Their doctrines, like ours, are created by believers afflicted with the sin as Paul relates in Romans 7.

Yes, but nonetheless they attempt to clarify the treasure.


Certainly - and often in opposition to falsehoods that they saw present at the time.

I understand that the disunity in the church is a mark of the stumbling over the stumbling stone, the offense which is basic to the response to the Gospel as we read in 1 Cor.  Jesus in John's Gospel prayed for unity among believers which surely is concretely there in the power of the Holy Spirit even now through word and sacrament...but only there.  Perhaps Jesus' prayer is more eschatalogical in that it will come about because God desires it.  Our dialogues can only prepare for that while never achieving it.  I think we overstep God's boundary when we try to make unity happen, ie. using JDDJ as a tool for building a foundation based on our definitions without God's approval.  God's "No" still applies.


In 1 Corinthians the unity is created by sharing in the one loaf and one cup. "We who are many are one body." It may that it's our own sinfulness that requires the paperwork, of our full communion agreements, rather than just celebrating the sacrament together as the one family of God. The church has not fallen apart when LCMS clergy have open communion, or Roman Catholics commune in Lutheran congregations, or an RCC priest communes Lutherans in his parish. When we celebrate our unity through the sacrament in ways contrary to our paperwork, does that bring God's judgment or God's blessings? I think God is pleased when his children share his sacred meal together.
"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: Ecumenical News
« Reply #68 on: July 10, 2017, 02:35:01 PM »
Are we now to reedit and correct Article IV of the Augustana and Apology according to JDDJ?


It depends if you want to keep the body of Christ splintered or work towards the unity Jesus prayed for.


Perhaps it is Rome (Papacy) which is/has the problem.


Their doctrines, like ours, are created by believers afflicted with the sin as Paul relates in Romans 7.

Yes, but nonetheless they attempt to clarify the treasure.


Certainly - and often in opposition to falsehoods that they saw present at the time.

I understand that the disunity in the church is a mark of the stumbling over the stumbling stone, the offense which is basic to the response to the Gospel as we read in 1 Cor.  Jesus in John's Gospel prayed for unity among believers which surely is concretely there in the power of the Holy Spirit even now through word and sacrament...but only there.  Perhaps Jesus' prayer is more eschatalogical in that it will come about because God desires it.  Our dialogues can only prepare for that while never achieving it.  I think we overstep God's boundary when we try to make unity happen, ie. using JDDJ as a tool for building a foundation based on our definitions without God's approval.  God's "No" still applies.


I am certain that John meant something more than just an eschatological event. The disciples' love for one another is our witness to the world - in the here and now - that we are Jesus' disciples. Our disunity offers a different witness.
"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: Ecumenical News
« Reply #69 on: July 10, 2017, 03:01:17 PM »
Are we now to reedit and correct Article IV of the Augustana and Apology according to JDDJ?


It depends if you want to keep the body of Christ splintered or work towards the unity Jesus prayed for.


Perhaps it is Rome (Papacy) which is/has the problem.


Their doctrines, like ours, are created by believers afflicted with the sin as Paul relates in Romans 7.

Yes, but nonetheless they attempt to clarify the treasure.


Certainly - and often in opposition to falsehoods that they saw present at the time.

I understand that the disunity in the church is a mark of the stumbling over the stumbling stone, the offense which is basic to the response to the Gospel as we read in 1 Cor.  Jesus in John's Gospel prayed for unity among believers which surely is concretely there in the power of the Holy Spirit even now through word and sacrament...but only there.  Perhaps Jesus' prayer is more eschatalogical in that it will come about because God desires it.  Our dialogues can only prepare for that while never achieving it.  I think we overstep God's boundary when we try to make unity happen, ie. using JDDJ as a tool for building a foundation based on our definitions without God's approval.  God's "No" still applies.


I am certain that John meant something more than just an eschatological event. The disciples' love for one another is our witness to the world - in the here and now - that we are Jesus' disciples. Our disunity offers a different witness.

And yet said unity remains actual.  Yes.

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Re: Ecumenical News
« Reply #70 on: July 10, 2017, 08:11:26 PM »
Pastor Fienen persists (As we knew he would):
Arrogance cuts both ways.  Can it be possible, just a teensy bit possible, that there is a tiny bit of arrogance involved in dismissing the Confessions as in part out of date and their teachings dispensable in the face of new agreements that broaden interpretations so that everybody can agree with new statements, though each understanding them in their own way?

I comment:
No. No. And No. No one says the confessions are "dispensable" (or "disposable"?). No one says that everyone can understand anything in "their own way."
I really really really think you need to spend some serious time and study of how ecumenical theological dialogue works and how agreements are constructed. And I fear that you may never grasp the nature of these ecumenical concords because of your lack of experience and your continuing assertion that the Lutheran confessions are the last word in theology for all the ages.

Pastor Fienen:
You are correct, Luther did not want schism, nor did he want the church further splintered among Awinglians, Lutherans and Anabaptists, etc.   Yet his and the other Reformers answer was not to make statements of belief vague enough that everybody could find a meaning in them that they could agree to.  One reformer made an attempt at that and his attempt was roundly rejected, Philip Melanchthon.
I comment:
See above. Is it your view that our agreements are "vague" so that everyone can just find something to agree with? That is another indication that you have not followed the dialogue process or studied the agreements.

Pastor Fienen:
Are we now to reedit and correct Article IV of the Augustana and Apology according to JDDJ?
I comment:
Well, you obviously won't. And neither will we; although the idea of crafting a new confession in light of our time is - at times - appealing. But of course in your view, nothing new can be said in theology since 1580.
I ask again. Are you so willing to cling to a certain "Lutheran" formula for theology that you will automatically resist any ecumenical statement that is not simply that "Lutheran" formula stated again? Do you simply reject nearly 50 years of Lutheran-Roman Catholic dialogues (with the LCMS part of those dialogues for a good portion of that time) and say nothing has changed since Augsburg or Trent?
Pastor Rahn has apparently decided that his views squish those views reached by our theologians, evaluated by our people and put into action as expressed in our ecumenical conclusions.
I guess it is your view that all those words written up to 1580 override anything that could be written since.
Retired ELCA Pastor. Former national staff Lutheran Church in America And the Lutheran world Federation, Geneva. Former journalist. Now retired and living in Minneapolis.

Steven Tibbetts

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Re: Ecumenical News
« Reply #71 on: July 10, 2017, 09:15:09 PM »

Yet, "Jesus is Lord" does not occur in ELW's communion liturgies.

It's next to the Athanasian Creed.

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Re: Ecumenical News
« Reply #72 on: July 10, 2017, 09:21:44 PM »
Part of the sinfulness of our confessions is that we hold on to them so tightly that they become our means of salvation, e.g., if you don't believe as we do (as defined by our confessions,) you are not saved or your faith is defective or heterodox.


I'm just going to let that sink in deeply.

Kyrie eleison...
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Re: Ecumenical News
« Reply #73 on: July 10, 2017, 09:25:01 PM »
... because no one, absolutely no one who confesses "Jesus is Lord" cannot say this EXCEPT by the Holy Spirit! 


And, as Brian insists, it's not said in ELW.   ;)
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Re: Ecumenical News
« Reply #74 on: July 10, 2017, 10:04:02 PM »
Well, you obviously won't. And neither will we; although the idea of crafting a new confession in light of our time is - at times - appealing. But of course in your view, nothing new can be said in theology since 1580.
I ask again. Are you so willing to cling to a certain "Lutheran" formula for theology that you will automatically resist any ecumenical statement that is not simply that "Lutheran" formula stated again? Do you simply reject nearly 50 years of Lutheran-Roman Catholic dialogues (with the LCMS part of those dialogues for a good portion of that time) and say nothing has changed since Augsburg or Trent?
Pastor Rahn has apparently decided that his views squish those views reached by our theologians, evaluated by our people and put into action as expressed in our ecumenical conclusions.
I guess it is your view that all those words written up to 1580 override anything that could be written since.
Ironic historical note.  Back in the 70s during the "Battle for the Bible" Conservatives/Traditionalists wrote about the need for new doctrinal statements about the Bible since the issues concerning Scripture being discussed/debated at that time were not even under consideration at the time of the Reformation and the writing of the original confessions.

It was the Moderates/Revisionists that threw a fit and insisted that nothing could now be added or changed about the 1580 Confessions.  They were fixed as is.

That was then, this is now.  I guess it does all depend on whose ox is being gored.
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