Author Topic: Benne on Bolz-Weber  (Read 16071 times)

peter_speckhard

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Benne on Bolz-Weber
« on: December 05, 2018, 08:50:09 AM »
https://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2018/12/celebrity-theologian

This is a good article. Please don't respond on this thread unless you read the article.


Donald_Kirchner

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Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2018, 09:05:55 AM »
"But even more worrisome than the episode with those teenagers is the distorted theology that is being spread widely through her public preaching and teaching.  It rejects Godís law, it offers Godís grace without mention of Christís atoning work, it promises grace without repentance and amendment of life, and it exhibits contempt for the Great Tradition."

Sadly, there's nothing new under the sun. We see that view promoted even here.   :(
« Last Edit: December 05, 2018, 09:07:52 AM by Pr. Don Kirchner »
Don Kirchner

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

Dave Benke

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Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2018, 09:13:08 AM »
Having dutifully read the article, my response is based on the question of ecclesiastical supervision stated/implied in the article. 
First, is there no supervision of the speeches made to the youth gathering in advance?  I would think there is.  And there's where the supervision is initially lacking.  How did this speech make it through the pre-gathering process?
Second, has there been no supervision since the speech was made?  I don't know/we don't know the answer to that, but the lack of any statements from supervisors is implicit endorsement of the speech.  Which is not good.
Both of those items lead to at least the tentative conclusion that Bob Benne makes.  The status of the speaker puts her above the level of the Church's teaching and supervision.  Of course, the next level down is that this IS the denomination's teaching, so it does not need supervision/correction. 

Dave Benke

jebutler

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Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2018, 09:22:39 AM »
Having dutifully read the article, my response is based on the question of ecclesiastical supervision stated/implied in the article. 
First, is there no supervision of the speeches made to the youth gathering in advance?  I would think there is.  And there's where the supervision is initially lacking.  How did this speech make it through the pre-gathering process?
Second, has there been no supervision since the speech was made?  I don't know/we don't know the answer to that, but the lack of any statements from supervisors is implicit endorsement of the speech.  Which is not good.
Both of those items lead to at least the tentative conclusion that Bob Benne makes.  The status of the speaker puts her above the level of the Church's teaching and supervision.  Of course, the next level down is that this IS the denomination's teaching, so it does not need supervision/correction. 

Dave Benke

Since her speech has been posted to the ELCA's YouTube page and since the ELCA Youth Gathering Twitter feed sent out tweets about her speech, linking to that page, then the only conclusion I can come to is that her positions on sexuality are "the denomination's teaching" and do not "need supervision/correction."

I just feed bad for all of the people who thought the ELCA would actually respect the whole bound conscience thing. It's pretty obvious that it doesn't..
The truth we preach is not an abstract thing. The truth is a Person. The goodness we preach is not an ideal quality. The goodness is Someone who is good. The love we preach is God himself in Christ. --H. Grady Davis

Charles Austin

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Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2018, 09:24:40 AM »
I do not always care for Pastor Bolz-Weber's style or content; and it is wrong to assume that she is somehow the "voice" and "presence" of the ELCA. That voice and presence is in the thousands of congregations, pastors, social service agencies and mission projects of the ELCA, not in a person. And I might agree that this could be a time for some ecclesiastical supervision.
I think folks in the LCMS ought to know that at times there are people who make a lot of noise, get a lot of attention, sometimes have a particular influence or impact, and maybe even put a "reform the damn church" agenda into their public presence. They come. They go. The rest of us are still here.
And I do not always care for Dr. Benne's take on the denomination he has abandoned.
Retired ELCA pastor. Iowa born. Now in Minnesota. Article coming up in Lutheran Forum journal. Now would be a good time to subscribe.
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jebutler

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Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2018, 10:50:34 AM »
I do not always care for Pastor Bolz-Weber's style or content; and it is wrong to assume that she is somehow the "voice" and "presence" of the ELCA. That voice and presence is in the thousands of congregations, pastors, social service agencies and mission projects of the ELCA, not in a person. And I might agree that this could be a time for some ecclesiastical supervision.

So what you are saying is this:

Pr. Bolz-Weber speaks at an official gathering of the ELCA (her second time, no less).
Her speech is then put on the official YouTube page of this gathering.
Her speech is then advertised on the official Twitter page by employees of the ELCA.

Yet, we should not assume that she is the "voice" of the ELCA?

Let's turn this around for a moment.

Let's say that at the LCMS Youth Gathering this summer, a speaker says that the ELCA is apostate and not even Christian, let alone Lutheran.
Her/his speech is then put on YouTube as part of the Gathering page.
The LCMS Twitter account then tweets this speech, linking to the YouTube page.

Are you going to claim that you would not claim that this is the official position of the LCMS? Especially in nothing has been said to correct it and nothing has been said to the speaker about it?

Somehow, I don't think so.

There might be people in the ELCA who disagree with her, but the reality is, her positions reflect those of the ELCA leadership. In that light, she is the voice of the ELCA.
The truth we preach is not an abstract thing. The truth is a Person. The goodness we preach is not an ideal quality. The goodness is Someone who is good. The love we preach is God himself in Christ. --H. Grady Davis

peterm

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Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2018, 10:50:51 AM »
I first heard Nadia BW interviewed by Krista Tippet, and found her talk then, more than 8 years ago to be quite solid and very Lutheran with a good grasp of Law and Gospel that seems to be missing from much of her later stuff.  While I would agree with her willingness to ask the hard questions and take on tough topics, especially with the youth, I don't agree with her choice of language and the recent "pushing the envelop for the sake of pushing."
Rev. Peter Morlock- ELCA pastor serving two congregations in WIS

Steven W Bohler

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Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2018, 10:51:39 AM »
Nuts to that, Pastor Kirchner. I believe Dr. Benne to be a fine theologian, and from the couple of times I have heard him, a rather decent person. But he has left us, and folks here know that I would wish him well, and wonder what he thinks he is accomplishing by lobbing grenades back at us. What's the point? But we digress.

Maybe showing reasons for why he left?

Dan Fienen

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Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2018, 11:01:00 AM »

Who may legitimately publish criticism of a church body?  Pr. Austin has frequently been critical of Pr. Benne for being publicly critical of the ELCA since he left those ranks, as well as criticizing several posters here on ALPB of being critical of the ELCA after they left.  "Lobbing grenades over their shoulders as they leave."  So, are we to take it that only those who are a part of a church body may legitimately express criticism?


Yet Pr. Austin has frequently been critical of the LCMS for some of our actions, policies, and statements.  But he has never been a part of the LCMS and has dusted off his sandals at us.  He has also been critical of the RCC and conservative Anglicans.


Does that mean that only those who have left a church body should refrain from being publicly critical?  If so, then I may legitimately be critical of the ELCA since I never was in the ELCA or its parent church bodies.
Pr. Daniel Fienen
LCMS

Dave Benke

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Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2018, 11:05:41 AM »
I first heard Nadia BW interviewed by Krista Tippet, and found her talk then, more than 8 years ago to be quite solid and very Lutheran with a good grasp of Law and Gospel that seems to be missing from much of her later stuff.  While I would agree with her willingness to ask the hard questions and take on tough topics, especially with the youth, I don't agree with her choice of language and the recent "pushing the envelop for the sake of pushing."

This is my take as well. 

Dave Benke

Dave Likeness

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Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2018, 11:06:11 AM »
Benne reminds us that both  Bolz-Weber and Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton  spoke this past Summer
to the 31,000 at the ELCA Youth Gathering.  Obviously, Bishop Eaton had no problem with what Bolz-Weber
had to say to the youth.  It is disappointing that nobody in the ELCA leadership disapproves of the theology
and language of Bolz-Weber. 

FrPeters

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Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2018, 11:10:03 AM »
His critique raises a variety of issues, from the specific content of what she delivered to the ELCA Youth Gathering and the presumed approval of her and her content by official ELCAdom to the issue of vulgarity itself to the persona of this rock star status individual to the sexual agenda with which she has identified her overall ministry and purpose.  You do not need to be a member of the ELCA to comment on what is public, officially sanctioned, and without disclaimer what the ELCA approves and promotes.  In some ways I think Benne was rather reserved in what he might have said, especially about the reworked baptismal questions with their unveiled reference to the primacy of desire and feeling in sexual identity and behavior -- since Benne is an ethicist this would be an area natural for him to critique.  I guess I read Bolz-Weber and consider her outlandish language and stance and wonder what on earth this means to the family and friends I have in the Augustana root ELCA parish in my Swedish hometown in Northeastern Nebraska.  In a sense, the challenge is how can a congregation like that co-exist with someone like Bolz-Weber?
Fr Larry Peters
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http://www.pastoralmeanderings.blogspot.com/

Dave Benke

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Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2018, 11:16:40 AM »
His critique raises a variety of issues, from the specific content of what she delivered to the ELCA Youth Gathering and the presumed approval of her and her content by official ELCAdom to the issue of vulgarity itself to the persona of this rock star status individual to the sexual agenda with which she has identified her overall ministry and purpose.  You do not need to be a member of the ELCA to comment on what is public, officially sanctioned, and without disclaimer what the ELCA approves and promotes.  In some ways I think Benne was rather reserved in what he might have said, especially about the reworked baptismal questions with their unveiled reference to the primacy of desire and feeling in sexual identity and behavior -- since Benne is an ethicist this would be an area natural for him to critique.  I guess I read Bolz-Weber and consider her outlandish language and stance and wonder what on earth this means to the family and friends I have in the Augustana root ELCA parish in my Swedish hometown in Northeastern Nebraska.  In a sense, the challenge is how can a congregation like that co-exist with someone like Bolz-Weber?

The radical misuse of the baptismal questions was of deep offense to me.  Thanks for making that point.

Dave Benke

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2018, 11:23:28 AM »
Benne reminds us that both  Bolz-Weber and Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton  spoke this past Summer
to the 31,000 at the ELCA Youth Gathering.  Obviously, Bishop Eaton had no problem with what Bolz-Weber
had to say to the youth.  It is disappointing that nobody in the ELCA leadership disapproves of the theology
and language of Bolz-Weber.

Interestingly, he says nothing about Jamie Bruesehoff & Rebekah Bruesehoff speaking at the youth gathering: a mother and her transgender daughter. The crowd often cheered during the speech about acceptance of transgender youth.

As I recall, Martin Luther was a bit crude with his language.

We also teach missionaries to learn the language of the people they are trying to reach. Nadia has been very intentional about the type of people she is reaching - and she speaks their language.
"The church Ö 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]

Dan Fienen

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Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2018, 11:29:49 AM »

Might I suggest that Pres. Trump is well aware of the people he is trying to reach and speaks their language?  So why complain about his language?


And yes, Pres. Trump is supposed to speak to all of America, but Pr. Bolz-Weber was supposed to be speaking to all youth at the convention and in other venues to speak to Christians in general, but still uses primarily the specialized language that appeals to one particular segment of the population, the rest of us are supposed to simply accept her language.
Pr. Daniel Fienen
LCMS