Author Topic: LCMS kerfuffle  (Read 43850 times)

LCMS87

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Re: LCMS kerfuffle
« Reply #345 on: January 05, 2018, 11:21:00 AM »
"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?"

That is the logic of rationalism and the Enlightenment. We do not know that it is God's logic.

Peace, JOHN

Actually, it's illogic, a logical fallacy. In this context a fallacy often set forth by Fundamentalists.

Since the quote that began this comes from President Harrison's article cited above, can you explain a bit more what you mean?

I take him to be saying that if you accept the premise that Scripture is not to be believed concerning creation when what it says is contradicted by human reason and the teachings of science, there are many other teachings of Scripture that must also be dismissed as untrue on the same basis. 

Of course, he asks it as a question.  What is the answer to his why?  On what basis or principle is the Scriptures' teaching on creation to be dismissed but not its teaching on Jesus' resurrection, or miracles, or conception by Spirit in the womb the Virgin?

I take the quote the same way. That is what rationalism and the Enlightenment taught in order to discount the Christian faith. I reject their syllogism.

Many faithful Christians confess the creation (and the resurrection) while considering the Genesis--six seven day creation text to be liturgical poetry rather than a scientific account. Myself, I favor the one day creation account (Genesis 2:4).

Peace, JOHN

(Please excuse the delay in my response.  Between connectivity problems and the topic getting locked for a time, I couldn't get in.)

Thank you for your response.

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. 

I'm satisfied with Hebrews 11:1, 3 - "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. . . . By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible," and not worrying too much about reconciling what the Scripture says with what science claims.  God's word teaches that the universe was formed at God's command out of nothing and I trust that's true and--as a matter of faith--isn't provable.

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?



« Last Edit: January 05, 2018, 12:01:37 PM by LCMS87 »

Donald_Kirchner

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Re: LCMS kerfuffle
« Reply #346 on: January 05, 2018, 11:22:08 AM »
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...?
Don Kirchner

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Re: LCMS kerfuffle
« Reply #347 on: January 05, 2018, 11:27:14 AM »
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?

I don't know why one might do that. That said,

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

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Re: LCMS kerfuffle
« Reply #348 on: January 05, 2018, 11:31:16 AM »
Thank you for that quote, Pastor Kirchner.


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.

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Re: LCMS kerfuffle
« Reply #349 on: January 05, 2018, 11:39:17 AM »
This is well-recalled and stated, Don.  For the ancient folks among us, the so-called Battle for the Bible, because of the way it was waged, ended with a rump group becoming empowered to promote the fundamentalist concept that the truthfulness of the Gospel DOES indeed depend on the inerrancy of the Scriptures.  That's the way it has been prosecuted for a full 40 year generation among that rump group and out to God's people. 

I recall the Bartelt quip because it was so darn funny. :-) What a great class, and what a great man. He was my Sem advisor.

Yes, as to that "rump group," I went back and looked at some of the outraged and vicious emails to me from members of the MN Faithful before I was unceremoniously booted due to my response to "If the Bible is wrong about creation, there is no Gospel. It's as simple as that." The same guys saw Voelz' hermeneutics textbook as blatant heresy. So it goes.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2018, 11:41:12 AM by Pr. Don Kirchner »
Don Kirchner

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LCMS87

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Re: LCMS kerfuffle
« Reply #350 on: January 05, 2018, 11:40:05 AM »
Of course, he asks it as a question.  What is the answer to his why?  On what basis or principle is the Scriptures' teaching on creation to be dismissed but not its teaching on Jesus' resurrection, or miracles, or conception by Spirit in the womb the Virgin?

To continue -  I don't think rejecting the historicity of one thing means rejecting the historicity of another.

[Hope I got the formatting right. I'm on a Kindle.]

That was my point, that rejecting the former means rejecting the latter is illogical.

I mentioned it back on Dec 9th.

https://alpb.org/Forum/index.php?topic=6885.msg434054#msg434054

I recall my first year at Sem, hanging out with some fellow students in a dorm room. I asked one why one could not be a Christian and reject a 6-day, 24-hour creation. (BTW, I do not.) His response was that, if you reject that, pretty soon you're rejecting the resurrection. I did not say anything, but I thought, "No, that doesn't follow. That's right on down the slippery slope."


If this goes beyond what President Harrison was stating, my apologies.

Thanks for your response.

I'm still looking for the principle--perhaps the problem is there is none--that allows one to dismiss some teachings of Scripture on a rational/scientific basis but not others.  That would answer the question "why" our synodical president raised.

I'll grant that slippery slope arguments can be a problem.  Nevertheless, experience shows that there are plenty of slopes that have been slipped down, or should I write "plenty of slopes down which many have slipped"?  I guess I'm asking what the anchor is that stops the potential for slipping?  If some Scriptures are dismissable, why not others?  Is it all a matter of personal preference and choice, like gender?

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?     
« Last Edit: January 05, 2018, 11:41:38 AM by LCMS87 »

Voelker

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Re: LCMS kerfuffle
« Reply #351 on: January 05, 2018, 11:41:33 AM »
This is well-recalled and stated, Don.  For the ancient folks among us, the so-called Battle for the Bible, because of the way it was waged, ended with a rump group becoming empowered to promote the fundamentalist concept that the truthfulness of the Gospel DOES indeed depend on the inerrancy of the Scriptures.  That's the way it has been prosecuted for a full 40 year generation among that rump group and out to God's people. 

I recall the Bartelt quip because it was so darn funny. :-) What a great class, and what a great man.

Yes, as to that "rump group," I went back and looked at some of the outraged and vicious emails to me from members of the MN Faithful before I was unceremoniously booted due to my response to "If the Bible is wrong about creation, there is no Gospel. It's as simple as that." The same guys saw Voelz' hermeneutics textbook as blatant heresy. So it goes.
Ken Ham has drawn far, far too many hearers.

Matt Staneck

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Re: LCMS kerfuffle
« Reply #352 on: January 05, 2018, 11:42:00 AM »
Yes, it is a matter of hermeneutics, and more fundamentally, a matter of faith.  Rev. Harrison wrote, "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?" 

Because the latter does not necessarily follow from the former.

"'If the Bible is wrong about creation, there is no Gospel. It's as simple as that.' [No, it's not that simple.] that if one Biblical doctrine such as a literal 6-day/24 hour creation fell, your faith would fall because one's faith is based on a conviction that the Scriptures are the inspired and inerrant word of God (a Fundamentalist view) rather than the other way around (the Lutheran view), that, coming to faith through the Gospel, we then confess an inerrant Scripture."

"Gospel and Scripture," CTCR, November 1972

http://www.lcms.org/graphics/assets/media/CTCR/gospel_scripture.pdf

E.g.:

"The truthfulness of the Gospel does not depend upon the inerrancy of the Scriptures. [footnote 13]

and,

"Relative to the role of the Gospel as norm in the Scriptures, however, it is important to observe that it is one thing to say that it is contrary to the Holy Spirit's intent when Scripture is interpreted in such a way that the Gospel is obscured; it is quite another thing to say that since the Holy Spirit's intent in the Scriptures is to proclaim the Gospel, it was never His intent that His Word in Genesis 1-11, for instance, should be understood as relating facts of history, or to say that in view of "the perpetual aim of the Gospel" (AC XXVIII, 66; Latin) apostolic directives for the church's life may be set aside. It is one thing to search the Scriptures to discover ever more fully how they witness to Christ and relate to His Gospel; it is quite another thing to explore the implications of the Gospel for freedom in handling the Scriptures. The interest of one is to see the richness and the glory of the Gospel to aid preaching; the interest of the other is to explain the alleged limitations and flaws of the Bible in a way that avoids the embarrassment of defending it as God's very own inerrant Word while at the same time upholding and affirming its authority. The Gospel is the norm in the Scriptures in the sense that it absolutely prohibits understanding any passage to teach salvation by works. It is not norm in the sense that the center of Scripture becomes a device to sanction a view of the Bible and a method of interpreting it which virtually denies that the whole Bible is God's inspired, authoritative Word on all matters concerning which it speaks." [page 11]

I recall Andy Bartelt's class, when a portion of OT Scripture seemed to be in error. Upon further examination of the Hebrew, however, it was properly explained. Bartelt's quip, "Whew! Almost lost my faith for a minute there!"

Thanks for this. On top of this I just wonder where the sense of catholicity is in President Harrison's post. The Brief Statement is a good and true statement because it responds faithfully to the challenges of its day (and even ours). But the post from President Harrison, and the resolutions from Wyoming and South Wisconsin, come off as if a literal 6 day creation was always settled doctrine. This teaching was never really settled in the history of the church. What mattered was the first article of the creed (and I agree Evolution is very problematic for the first article), but it doesn't fly to act as if we have the corner on orthodoxy here when the history of the church shows otherwise. There are church fathers who defended the incarnation and resurrection without maintaining or defending a literal 6 day creation account. Adam, Eve, original sin, God as Creator, all of these things carried and mattered throughout the history of the church. Length of the actual creative act from God was never really on par with those things. It just comes off as strange to say the whole of Christian doctrine depends on the length of the actual creative act from God.

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Donald_Kirchner

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Re: LCMS kerfuffle
« Reply #353 on: January 05, 2018, 11:46:05 AM »
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?   

??
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Re: LCMS kerfuffle
« Reply #354 on: January 05, 2018, 11:46:23 AM »


This is well-recalled and stated, Don.  For the ancient folks among us, the so-called Battle for the Bible, because of the way it was waged, ended with a rump group becoming empowered to promote the fundamentalist concept that the truthfulness of the Gospel DOES indeed depend on the inerrancy of the Scriptures.  That's the way it has been prosecuted for a full 40 year generation among that rump group and out to God's people. 

Dave Benke

What is that the rump group howls about all the time? "Lex orandi, lex credendi?" Apparently this statement has a very narrow definition, like most things from this group.

M. Staneck
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LCMS87

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Re: LCMS kerfuffle
« Reply #355 on: January 05, 2018, 11:50:55 AM »
This is well-recalled and stated, Don.  For the ancient folks among us, the so-called Battle for the Bible, because of the way it was waged, ended with a rump group becoming empowered to promote the fundamentalist concept that the truthfulness of the Gospel DOES indeed depend on the inerrancy of the Scriptures.  That's the way it has been prosecuted for a full 40 year generation among that rump group and out to God's people. 

I recall the Bartelt quip because it was so darn funny. :-) What a great class, and what a great man.

Yes, as to that "rump group," I went back and looked at some of the outraged and vicious emails to me from members of the MN Faithful before I was unceremoniously booted due to my response to "If the Bible is wrong about creation, there is no Gospel. It's as simple as that." The same guys saw Voelz' hermeneutics textbook as blatant heresy. So it goes.
Ken Ham has drawn far, far too many hearers.

I always wonder why since Hebrews 1:3 identifies creation from nothing as a matter of faith, in the context something that cannot be seen or proven.  I appreciate apologetics as the wrecking ball that demolishes false understandings and beliefs, but when it is used outside of that vocation problems result.  By definition matters of faith can't be proven--otherwise they wouldn't be matters of faith.

Donald_Kirchner

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Re: LCMS kerfuffle
« Reply #356 on: January 05, 2018, 11:53:17 AM »
It just comes off as strange to say the whole of Christian doctrine depends on the length of the actual creative act from God.

Not if you believe the Fundamentalist view that one's faith is based on a conviction that the Scriptures are the inspired and inerrant word of God.

Another recollection... :-). Voelz' hermeneutics class (we were the guinea pigs for the material for the 2nd edition of his textbook) in which it was suggested that "Jesus loves me, this I know. For the Bible tells me so" is not always the case, that it somewhat reflects the Fundamentalist view. It was suggested that a Lutheran view might be,"Jesus loves me, this I know, and the Bible tells me so." 

Interestingly, the song contrasts "For the Bible tells me so" with "Little ones to him belong" and "taking children on his knee," i.e., little ones who believe in Him.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2018, 12:02:53 PM by Pr. Don Kirchner »
Don Kirchner

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LCMS87

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Re: LCMS kerfuffle
« Reply #357 on: January 05, 2018, 11:58:03 AM »
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. 

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Re: LCMS kerfuffle
« Reply #358 on: January 05, 2018, 12:00:11 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
« Last Edit: January 05, 2018, 12:01:50 PM by Matt Staneck »
Matt Staneck, Pastor
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Re: LCMS kerfuffle
« Reply #359 on: January 05, 2018, 12:01:17 PM »
It just comes off as strange to say the whole of Christian doctrine depends on the length of the actual creative act from God.

Not if you believe the Fundamentalist view that one's faith is based on a conviction that the Scriptures are the inspired and inerrant word of God.


We pray for SP Harrison every week because, among other reasons, his is a job with a lot of unfair expectations. I guess I'm just surprised that it might be unfair to expect him to not adopt a fundamentalist hermeneutic?

M. Staneck
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