Author Topic: LCMS kerfuffle  (Read 45311 times)

Donald_Kirchner

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Re: LCMS kerfuffle
« Reply #360 on: January 05, 2018, 12:10:50 PM »
I had hoped, though, for some sort of principle for when science and reason should be allowed to trump divine revelation and when they shouldn't.  Your position, at least as you've reported it, sounds arbitrary. 

Now it certainly is true that people often do not think rationally, that they simultaneously believe contradictory things or ignore what would seem to have been a strong precedent.  This is perhaps all the more so in modern times when, "I think, therefore I am" has been replaced by, "I feel, therefore I am."  Is the answer to the question "why?" simply that that's the way it works out and there is no accounting for it?   

??

Exactly.  There's no accounting for it.  It is arbitrary. 

From what's been posted here, it seems that there's no principle or rationale that serves as the basis for dismissing some Scriptures but holding to others.  I'll just chalk it up to divine providence, that in his mercy God allows for this felicitous inconsistency.

You seem to minimize reason then chalk up a rejection to a lack of rational thinking. Seemed like a confusion there.

Goodness, I am in no way defending a "principle or rationale that serves as the basis for dismissing some Scriptures but holding to others"! I am holding that faith is not a house of cards, rejecting that "If the Bible is wrong about creation, there is no Gospel. It's as simple as that." That's Fundamentalism, and it's not the Lutheran view.

"The truthfulness of the Gospel does not depend upon the inerrancy of the Scriptures."

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"Heaven's OK, but it’s not the end of the world." Jeff Gibbs

peterm

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Re: LCMS kerfuffle
« Reply #361 on: January 05, 2018, 12:11:53 PM »
Reading through the last few pages I am led to wonder a couple of things...

1) Creation is from God  That is the thing that Genesis is most clear on, and that is what is confessed in the Creeds.  Though Scripture says that God Spoke things into existence, which I firmly believe, teach and preach,  Is not the "How" of that an ultimate mystery of God that we can comfortably leave as mystery?  Insistence on  a "day" being a day as we understand it seems to me to be somewhat arrogant, and obscuring of the main point that God is the ultimate Creator of all things.

2) this might be heresy in this German dominated forum, but perhaps Grundtvig had it right with his primary emphasis on the Apostles' Creed. (Said tongue in cheek)
Rev. Peter Morlock- ELCA pastor serving two congregations in WIS

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: LCMS kerfuffle
« Reply #362 on: January 05, 2018, 12:20:10 PM »
Now it certainly is true that people often do not think rationally, that they simultaneously believe contradictory things or ignore what would seem to have been a strong precedent.  This is perhaps all the more so in modern times when, "I think, therefore I am" has been replaced by, "I feel, therefore I am."  Is the answer to the question "why?" simply that that's the way it works out and there is no accounting for it?   


I suspect that the biblical era folks followed more of the African slogan: "I am because we are." Individual thoughts and feelings didn't matter so much. One's identity was wrapped up in the community one was in.
"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: LCMS kerfuffle
« Reply #363 on: January 05, 2018, 12:22:17 PM »
I had hoped, though, for some sort of principle for when science and reason should be allowed to trump divine revelation and when they shouldn't.  Your position, at least as you've reported it, sounds arbitrary. 

Now it certainly is true that people often do not think rationally, that they simultaneously believe contradictory things or ignore what would seem to have been a strong precedent.  This is perhaps all the more so in modern times when, "I think, therefore I am" has been replaced by, "I feel, therefore I am."  Is the answer to the question "why?" simply that that's the way it works out and there is no accounting for it?   

??

Exactly.  There's no accounting for it.  It is arbitrary. 

From what's been posted here, it seems that there's no principle or rationale that serves as the basis for dismissing some Scriptures but holding to others.  I'll just chalk it up to divine providence, that in his mercy God allows for this felicitous inconsistency.


Before there was a scripture, there was some sort of principle or rationale that served to dismiss some ancient writings from the canon and to accept others. Such a discernment has been part of the church from the beginning.
"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]

LCMS87

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Re: LCMS kerfuffle
« Reply #364 on: January 05, 2018, 12:24:28 PM »
I had hoped, though, for some sort of principle for when science and reason should be allowed to trump divine revelation and when they shouldn't.  You're position, at least as you've reported it, sounds arbitrary. 

Now it certainly is true that people often do not think rationally, that they simultaneously believe contradictory things or ignore what would seem to have been a strong precedent.  This is perhaps all the more so in modern times when, "I think, therefore I am" has been replaced by, "I feel, therefore I am."  Is the answer to the question "why?" simply that that's the way it works out and there is no accounting for it?   

??

Exactly.  There's no accounting for it.  It is arbitrary. 

From what's been posted here, it seems that there's no principle or rationale that serves as the basis for dismissing some Scriptures but holding to others.  I'll just chalk it up to divine providence, that in his mercy God allows for this felicitous inconsistency.

This response comes off as presuming the fundamentalist POV. What about the creeds? What about the church fathers? What about sound Lutheran exegetical work?

M. Staneck

What about them?  Show me where they address President Harrison's question, "If I reject what Scripture teaches as history about creation, why should I not then reject everything else (including the resurrection itself) that appears contrary to reason?"  Why?  What's the principle the creeds, the fathers, and sound Lutheran exegetical work teach?  That's what I've been seeking.

Why doesn't everyone who dismisses the account of creation or the flood or Jonah's time in the belly of the fish due to rational/scientific reasons also reject the incarnation and resurrection for those same reasons--do a full Bishop John Shelby Spong?  My answer above isn't very different from the answer to the crux theologorum.  It's a matter of God's mercy. 

This doesn't deny that, "The truthfulness of the Gospel does not depend upon the inerrancy of the Scriptures."  But the Scriptures do teach the Gospel.  So why are the irrational and unscientific matters of incarnation and resurrection that are central to redemption retained even as other teachings of Scripture are dismissed on the basis of reason and science? 
« Last Edit: January 05, 2018, 12:28:08 PM by LCMS87 »

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: LCMS kerfuffle
« Reply #365 on: January 05, 2018, 12:24:36 PM »
Reading through the last few pages I am led to wonder a couple of things...

1) Creation is from God  That is the thing that Genesis is most clear on, and that is what is confessed in the Creeds.  Though Scripture says that God Spoke things into existence, which I firmly believe, teach and preach,  Is not the "How" of that an ultimate mystery of God that we can comfortably leave as mystery?  Insistence on  a "day" being a day as we understand it seems to me to be somewhat arrogant, and obscuring of the main point that God is the ultimate Creator of all things.


The "spoke things into existence" is only true with the Genesis 1 account. In Genesis 2 God is always forming things into existence out of something else: the dirt or the rib. The approach of "spoke things into existence" has already lifted up one portion of scripture and discounted another.
"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]

Matt Staneck

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Re: LCMS kerfuffle
« Reply #366 on: January 05, 2018, 12:35:32 PM »


What about them?  Show me where they address President Harrison's question, "If I reject what Scripture teaches as history about creation, why should I not then reject everything else (including the resurrection itself) that appears contrary to reason?"  Why?  What's the principle they teach?  That's what I've been seeking.

Why doesn't everyone who dismisses the account of creation or the flood or Jonah's time in the belly of the fish due to rational/scientific reasons also reject the incarnation and resurrection for those same reasons--do a full Bishop John Shelby Spong?  My answer above isn't very different from the answer to the crux theologorum.  It's a matter of God's mercy. 

This doesn't deny that, "The truthfulness of the Gospel does not depend upon the inerrancy of the Scriptures."  But the Scriptures do teach the Gospel.  So why are the irrational and unscientific matters of incarnation and resurrection that are central to redemption retained even as other teachings of Scripture are dismissed on the basis of reason and science?

Everything we know about the scriptures, and sound hermeneutics, flows from Luke 24. Jesus very explicitly stated that the scriptures--all of them--are about him. We believe the scriptures because the resurrected Jesus said they are about him. Missouri Synod Lutherans acting like the church hadn't figured a out sound exegesis of creation/fall/redemption prior to the 1930s is very perplexing. The church fathers confessed the first article without much concern for the length of God's creative act. If they believed God created everything in 6 literal days, it wasn't central to their defense of creation/incarnation/resurrection. The Brief Statement rightly posits a teaching in the face of a world that had a very developed and specific alternative understanding of the universe's origins. But there is nothing new under the sun, ancient Christians went up against philosophies that denied God as Creator, that denied the incarnation, and that denied the reality of the resurrection. In fact, the resurrection and the incarnation have been beat up since the whole thing kicked into motion after Easter. And yet, remarkably, no defense of either has ever rested on the length of time it took God to actually create everything.

To claim that the resurrection--and therefore everything--depends on an understanding of creation taking place in 6 literal days is to remove yourself from catholicity. And that's a problem if you claim to be the Church of the Augsburg Confession.

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

Donald_Kirchner

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Re: LCMS kerfuffle
« Reply #367 on: January 05, 2018, 12:44:02 PM »
Show me where [the Creeds] address President Harrison's question, "If I reject what Scripture teaches as history about creation, why should I not then reject everything else (including the resurrection itself) that appears contrary to reason?"  Why?  What's the principle the creeds, the fathers, and sound Lutheran exegetical work teach?  That's what I've been seeking.

"I believe..."
Don Kirchner

"Heaven's OK, but it’s not the end of the world." Jeff Gibbs

John_Hannah

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Re: LCMS kerfuffle
« Reply #368 on: January 05, 2018, 12:44:55 PM »


What about them?  Show me where they address President Harrison's question, "If I reject what Scripture teaches as history about creation, why should I not then reject everything else (including the resurrection itself) that appears contrary to reason?"  Why?  What's the principle they teach?  That's what I've been seeking.

Why doesn't everyone who dismisses the account of creation or the flood or Jonah's time in the belly of the fish due to rational/scientific reasons also reject the incarnation and resurrection for those same reasons--do a full Bishop John Shelby Spong?  My answer above isn't very different from the answer to the crux theologorum.  It's a matter of God's mercy. 

This doesn't deny that, "The truthfulness of the Gospel does not depend upon the inerrancy of the Scriptures."  But the Scriptures do teach the Gospel.  So why are the irrational and unscientific matters of incarnation and resurrection that are central to redemption retained even as other teachings of Scripture are dismissed on the basis of reason and science?

Everything we know about the scriptures, and sound hermeneutics, flows from Luke 24. Jesus very explicitly stated that the scriptures--all of them--are about him. We believe the scriptures because the resurrected Jesus said they are about him. Missouri Synod Lutherans acting like the church hadn't figured a out sound exegesis of creation/fall/redemption prior to the 1930s is very perplexing. The church fathers confessed the first article without much concern for the length of God's creative act. If they believed God created everything in 6 literal days, it wasn't central to their defense of creation/incarnation/resurrection. The Brief Statement rightly posits a teaching in the face of a world that had a very developed and specific alternative understanding of the universe's origins. But there is nothing new under the sun, ancient Christians went up against philosophies that denied God as Creator, that denied the incarnation, and that denied the reality of the resurrection. In fact, the resurrection and the incarnation have been beat up since the whole thing kicked into motion after Easter. And yet, remarkably, no defense of either has ever rested on the length of time it took God to actually create everything.

To claim that the resurrection--and therefore everything--depends on an understanding of creation taking place in 6 literal days is to remove yourself from catholicity. And that's a problem if you claim to be the Church of the Augsburg Confession.

M. Staneck

AMEN, Matt!  Thanks.

Peace, JOHN
Pr. JOHN HANNAH, STS

peterm

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Re: LCMS kerfuffle
« Reply #369 on: January 05, 2018, 12:54:34 PM »
Reading through the last few pages I am led to wonder a couple of things...

1) Creation is from God  That is the thing that Genesis is most clear on, and that is what is confessed in the Creeds.  Though Scripture says that God Spoke things into existence, which I firmly believe, teach and preach,  Is not the "How" of that an ultimate mystery of God that we can comfortably leave as mystery?  Insistence on  a "day" being a day as we understand it seems to me to be somewhat arrogant, and obscuring of the main point that God is the ultimate Creator of all things.


The "spoke things into existence" is only true with the Genesis 1 account. In Genesis 2 God is always forming things into existence out of something else: the dirt or the rib. The approach of "spoke things into existence" has already lifted up one portion of scripture and discounted another.

I know but that is the part that is in question.
Rev. Peter Morlock- ELCA pastor serving two congregations in WIS

mj4

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Re: LCMS kerfuffle
« Reply #370 on: January 05, 2018, 12:55:33 PM »
I'm interested in understanding on what basis people who believe that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin, did a bunch of miracles then was crucified, died, and rose from the dead reject the revelation of the same Scriptures concerning the creation of the universe.  What is the rationale for doing so, or is it just a matter of personal preference and choice?

A mythopoetic creation story is a different type of literature from a gospel account. The Genesis creation accounts and the Christian gospels are both the Word of God. They both have a theological intent. They unfailingly tell the Truth. The gospel accounts, though, convey historical features that point more toward an historical reading, including those parts that seem incredible to the modern reader. Those who have ears to hear will hear the Word of God and respond in faith.

Harry Edmon

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Re: LCMS kerfuffle
« Reply #371 on: January 05, 2018, 12:55:37 PM »
I think you are misunderstanding the basis for President Harrison's comments.  It is not a matter of logic, it is a matter of hermaneutics.  If you interpret Genesis 1 and 2 that way what does it imply about your interpretation of the rest of Scripture. 

I see a distinction without a difference.

The ultimate question is, what does Jesus think about Genesis 1 and 2? If He takes it as literal, how can we not?

Agreed. So...?
First off, as I stated I agree that we start with Christ, and that we accept the inerrancy of Scripture because Christ did, and because He said the Scriptures were about Him.

Now, as to what Jesus thought about Genesis 1 and 2 we have Him quoting from it in Matt 19:4-5.   I agree that it is a short quote, but is there anything there that indicates that Jesus sees this section of Scripture as a story, allegory, myth, fable, etc?  We also have Paul treating Adam and Eve as historical figures.   What do we do with that?  Finally, is one result of orthodox Christology that Genesis 1 and 2 are true representations of how God created everything?

I do not accept the attempts of the "Answers in Genesis" crowd of trying to reconcile science and Genesis. Science cannot by its nature explain or deal with the miraculous.  So we cannot expect science to explain how God created out of nothing.  See Job 40-41.
Harry Edmon, Ph.D., LCMS Layman

Dave Likeness

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Re: LCMS kerfuffle
« Reply #372 on: January 05, 2018, 01:43:39 PM »
A poet once asked for the gift to see ourselves as others see us.

Eric Gritsch has written in his "A History of Lutheranism" that C.F.W. Walther (1811-1887) and Francis Pieper
(1852-1931) were the two theologians who shaped the LCMS.  They contended there is no development of
doctrine since the Reformation of Martin Luther.  "They adopted a crude fundamentalism that constantly pointed
out the deviations of non-Missouri Lutherans from the divine truth deposited in the Missouri Synod."  "By 1929
the LCMS suspected all other Lutheran Synods of false teaching and referred to other synods as "our opponents".

LCMS87

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Re: LCMS kerfuffle
« Reply #373 on: January 05, 2018, 01:55:15 PM »


What about them?  Show me where they address President Harrison's question, "If I reject what Scripture teaches as history about creation, why should I not then reject everything else (including the resurrection itself) that appears contrary to reason?"  Why?  What's the principle they teach?  That's what I've been seeking.

Why doesn't everyone who dismisses the account of creation or the flood or Jonah's time in the belly of the fish due to rational/scientific reasons also reject the incarnation and resurrection for those same reasons--do a full Bishop John Shelby Spong?  My answer above isn't very different from the answer to the crux theologorum.  It's a matter of God's mercy. 

This doesn't deny that, "The truthfulness of the Gospel does not depend upon the inerrancy of the Scriptures."  But the Scriptures do teach the Gospel.  So why are the irrational and unscientific matters of incarnation and resurrection that are central to redemption retained even as other teachings of Scripture are dismissed on the basis of reason and science?

Everything we know about the scriptures, and sound hermeneutics, flows from Luke 24. Jesus very explicitly stated that the scriptures--all of them--are about him. We believe the scriptures because the resurrected Jesus said they are about him. Missouri Synod Lutherans acting like the church hadn't figured a out sound exegesis of creation/fall/redemption prior to the 1930s is very perplexing. The church fathers confessed the first article without much concern for the length of God's creative act. If they believed God created everything in 6 literal days, it wasn't central to their defense of creation/incarnation/resurrection. The Brief Statement rightly posits a teaching in the face of a world that had a very developed and specific alternative understanding of the universe's origins. But there is nothing new under the sun, ancient Christians went up against philosophies that denied God as Creator, that denied the incarnation, and that denied the reality of the resurrection. In fact, the resurrection and the incarnation have been beat up since the whole thing kicked into motion after Easter. And yet, remarkably, no defense of either has ever rested on the length of time it took God to actually create everything.

To claim that the resurrection--and therefore everything--depends on an understanding of creation taking place in 6 literal days is to remove yourself from catholicity. And that's a problem if you claim to be the Church of the Augsburg Confession.

M. Staneck

I agree with what you've said, but don't see it as addressing any issues I've raised.  I certainly have never written that “the resurrection--and therefore everything--depends on an understanding of creation taking place in 6 literal days.”

My question has been concerning the doctrine of Scripture, what principle or rationale (some) people use to dismiss some Scripture passages on the basis of reason and science but not others. 

President Harrison asked a question that is reasonable to ask.  It addresses the way people think in our culture.  We see it in the news every day.  “You can't trust [pick your politician] because he/she lied.”  And so everything a person ever says is questioned because of something they once said that was either a lie, (something they knew was untrue and spoke with the intention to mislead); untrue, (though they were not aware of that at the time(; or debatable, (unclear, equivocal, but subject to the worst construction for the benefit of one’s political interests).  And though the standard is unfair, the mud sticks. 

The new atheists are doing the same thing all the time with Scripture, taking textual variants--the presence or absence of a direct article or different form of a word in various manuscripts--and declaring Scripture is not trustworthy.  So in our context it’s reasonable to ask, “If I reject what Scripture teaches as history about creation, why should I not then reject everything else (including the resurrection itself) that appears contrary to reason?”  You identify this as fundamentalism.  It sounds to me much like the reformer talking about “that whore reason.”  If you’re giving reason/science magisterial power over Genesis 1 and 2, why not over Luke 2, John 20, or Romans 3?  Why trust the Gospel at all.  What could be more irrational than God loving a miserable sinner like you or me by sending his Son to die a vicarious death? 

So then back up and help me understand what it is that determines which chapters and verses of Scripture are trustworthy and which aren’t and why.  What’s the problem with saying the Gospel is true, and God’s word through which he’s delivered it is true as well, that “God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind,” that “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work,” that “no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit”?  Those exclusive words, “no” and “all” tell me that God didn’t intend his word to be treated as a smorgasbord. 

My guess is that you'd say there's no problem with saying what I’ve suggested except for the bogeyman of fundamentalism.  But your fear of him on the right might help you understand why others fear the bogeyman of higher criticism on the left.  (Bogeyman, here, intended to indicate not that there aren't real problems with fundamentalism and higher criticism, but that sometimes those threats aren’t really present in a given instance, we’re just imagining them.)

LCMS87

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Re: LCMS kerfuffle
« Reply #374 on: January 05, 2018, 02:02:23 PM »
Show me where [the Creeds] address President Harrison's question, "If I reject what Scripture teaches as history about creation, why should I not then reject everything else (including the resurrection itself) that appears contrary to reason?"  Why?  What's the principle the creeds, the fathers, and sound Lutheran exegetical work teach?  That's what I've been seeking.

"I believe..."

Nice. 

"I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to Him; but the Holy Spirit has called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith. . . ."

So
It's a matter of God's mercy.