Author Topic: Benne on Bolz-Weber  (Read 14286 times)

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
« Reply #60 on: December 06, 2018, 11:42:42 PM »
I'm reminded of when I was taught to plot a line Algebra class.  You have a starting point, then a second, third, fourth, etc...  When you are done you can predict fairly well where the next point on the line will be.

If you plot the trajectory of change in the ELCA beginning in 2009 there are multiple plot points.  The starting point is HSGT with its 4 positions.  The second point is the implementing resolutions that were passed at the same assembly, which limited positions 1,2 and 3 to congregations.  Other points include the purging of the faculty at LTSS, he inclusion without discussion of Bisexuality and Transgenderism as orientations that were positively affirmed by the ELCA, the Naked and Ashamed Manifesto, the purging of United Lutheran Seminary, the condemnation of traditional Christian views of marriage at the 2018 Youth Gathering, and now NBW's vagina sculpture.  Anyone who can plot a trajectory can see where we are heading and can predict where we are going.  Only a radical change of course will see NBW rebuked by a bishop of the ELCA and reigned in.


I would say that the plotting began in 1991 when the ELCA Churchwide assembly passed a resolution: “To affirm that gay and lesbian people, as individuals created by God, are welcome to participate fully in the life of the congregations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America."


This was affirmed at 1995 Churchwide assembly.


In 1999 we approved: "To encourage discerning conversation about homosexuality and the inclusion of gay and lesbian persons 'in our common life and mission.'"


The plotting began 18 years before the 2009 vote.
"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]

DeHall1

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Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
« Reply #61 on: December 07, 2018, 05:52:12 PM »
I'm really excited that someone quoted Living Colour.  I never would've thought such would happen here.  More importantly, though, Living Colour was greatly influenced by the greatest band of all time which, of course, is the Bad Brains.:) I hope Nadia knows of them but then again who knows.  Rastas playing hardcore. Can't go wrong there.  Also, so "multicultural" as the hip Missourians like to say.;D

Don't get me wrong -- LOVE the Bad Brains.  My vote for greatest band of all time?  Boston's own.....The Modern Lovers.  Followed up by yet another Boston band, The Pixies...

It ALL starts with The Modern Lovers though.

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Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
« Reply #62 on: December 07, 2018, 06:07:16 PM »

I would say that the plotting began in 1991 when the ELCA Churchwide assembly passed a resolution: “To affirm that gay and lesbian people, as individuals created by God, are welcome to participate fully in the life of the congregations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America."

You conveniently skipped over:

CONFERENCE OF BISHOPS October 5–8, 1993
Blessing of Homosexual Relationship CB93.10.25

We, as the Conference of Bishops of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, recognize that there is basis neither in Scripture nor tradition for the establishment of an official ceremony by this church for the blessing of a homosexual relationship. We, therefore, do not approve such a ceremony as an official action of this church's ministry. Nevertheless, we express trust in and will continue dialogue with those pastors and congregations who are in ministry with gay and lesbian persons, and affirm their desire to explore the best ways to provide pastoral care for all to whom they minister.

Quote
This was affirmed at 1995 Churchwide assembly.

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Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
« Reply #63 on: December 07, 2018, 06:09:26 PM »
I'm reminded of when I was taught to plot a line Algebra class.  You have a starting point, then a second, third, fourth, etc...  When you are done you can predict fairly well where the next point on the line will be.

If you plot the trajectory of change in the ELCA beginning in 2009 there are multiple plot points.  The starting point is HSGT with its 4 positions.  The second point is the implementing resolutions that were passed at the same assembly, which limited positions 1,2 and 3 to congregations.  Other points include the purging of the faculty at LTSS, he inclusion without discussion of Bisexuality and Transgenderism as orientations that were positively affirmed by the ELCA, the Naked and Ashamed Manifesto, the purging of United Lutheran Seminary, the condemnation of traditional Christian views of marriage at the 2018 Youth Gathering, and now NBW's vagina sculpture.  Anyone who can plot a trajectory can see where we are heading and can predict where we are going.  Only a radical change of course will see NBW rebuked by a bishop of the ELCA and reigned in.


I would say that the plotting began in 1991 when the ELCA Churchwide assembly passed a resolution: “To affirm that gay and lesbian people, as individuals created by God, are welcome to participate fully in the life of the congregations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America."


This was affirmed at 1995 Churchwide assembly.


In 1999 we approved: "To encourage discerning conversation about homosexuality and the inclusion of gay and lesbian persons 'in our common life and mission.'"


The plotting began 18 years before the 2009 vote.



Notice that in 1991 gay people were affirmed AS INDIVIDUALS CREATED BY GOD.  This is the key.  All individuals are created by God.  It is when gays and lesbians are affirmed, as a  group with agenda, by this church (ELCA) that the issue becomes political and therefore damnable before God.  Not because the individual is that way before God. With each individual the call to repentance and faith goes out. When this church affirms gays and lesbians as a group and support their agenda, ELCA errs in that it now supports political action.  The subtle shift from affirmation of the individual before God;s face to the horizontal acceptance of the gay agenda makes ELCA's mission insidious, imo.

BTW, I have resigned from the roster for ordained clergy in the ELCA.  I am attending Shepherd of the Hills (LCMS) here in San Antonio, now.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2018, 07:18:10 PM by George Rahn »

gan ainm

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Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
« Reply #64 on: December 07, 2018, 06:24:19 PM »
I'm reminded of when I was taught to plot a line Algebra class.  You have a starting point, then a second, third, fourth, etc...  When you are done you can predict fairly well where the next point on the line will be.

If you plot the trajectory of change in the ELCA beginning in 2009 there are multiple plot points.  The starting point is HSGT with its 4 positions.  The second point is the implementing resolutions that were passed at the same assembly, which limited positions 1,2 and 3 to congregations.  Other points include the purging of the faculty at LTSS, he inclusion without discussion of Bisexuality and Transgenderism as orientations that were positively affirmed by the ELCA, the Naked and Ashamed Manifesto, the purging of United Lutheran Seminary, the condemnation of traditional Christian views of marriage at the 2018 Youth Gathering, and now NBW's vagina sculpture.  Anyone who can plot a trajectory can see where we are heading and can predict where we are going.  Only a radical change of course will see NBW rebuked by a bishop of the ELCA and reigned in.


I would say that the plotting began in 1991 when the ELCA Churchwide assembly passed a resolution: “To affirm that gay and lesbian people, as individuals created by God, are welcome to participate fully in the life of the congregations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America."


This was affirmed at 1995 Churchwide assembly.


In 1999 we approved: "To encourage discerning conversation about homosexuality and the inclusion of gay and lesbian persons 'in our common life and mission.'"


The plotting began 18 years before the 2009 vote.



Notice that in 1991 gay people were affirmed AS INDIVIDUALS CREATED BY GOD.  This is the key.  All individuals are created by God.  It is when gays and lesbians are affirmed as a  group with agenda by this church (ELCA) that the issue becomes political and therefore damnable before God.  Not because the individual is that way before God. With each individual the call to repentance and faith goes out. When this church affirms gays and lesbians as a group and support their agenda, ELCA errs in that it now supports political action.  The subtle shift from affirmation of the individual before God;s face to the horizontal acceptance of the gay agenda makes ELCA's mission insidious, imo.

BTW, I have resigned from the roster for ordained clergy in the ELCA.  I am attending Shepherd of the Hills (LCMS) here in San Antonio, now.

Blessings my brother in Christ. The truth will set you free.

John 8:31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 33 They answered him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?”  34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. 35 The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. 37 I know that you are offspring of Abraham; yet you seek to kill me because my word finds no place in you. 38 I speak of what I have seen with my Father, and you do what you have heard from your father.”


readselerttoo

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Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
« Reply #65 on: December 07, 2018, 07:14:59 PM »
I'm reminded of when I was taught to plot a line Algebra class.  You have a starting point, then a second, third, fourth, etc...  When you are done you can predict fairly well where the next point on the line will be.

If you plot the trajectory of change in the ELCA beginning in 2009 there are multiple plot points.  The starting point is HSGT with its 4 positions.  The second point is the implementing resolutions that were passed at the same assembly, which limited positions 1,2 and 3 to congregations.  Other points include the purging of the faculty at LTSS, he inclusion without discussion of Bisexuality and Transgenderism as orientations that were positively affirmed by the ELCA, the Naked and Ashamed Manifesto, the purging of United Lutheran Seminary, the condemnation of traditional Christian views of marriage at the 2018 Youth Gathering, and now NBW's vagina sculpture.  Anyone who can plot a trajectory can see where we are heading and can predict where we are going.  Only a radical change of course will see NBW rebuked by a bishop of the ELCA and reigned in.


I would say that the plotting began in 1991 when the ELCA Churchwide assembly passed a resolution: “To affirm that gay and lesbian people, as individuals created by God, are welcome to participate fully in the life of the congregations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America."


This was affirmed at 1995 Churchwide assembly.


In 1999 we approved: "To encourage discerning conversation about homosexuality and the inclusion of gay and lesbian persons 'in our common life and mission.'"


The plotting began 18 years before the 2009 vote.



Notice that in 1991 gay people were affirmed AS INDIVIDUALS CREATED BY GOD.  This is the key.  All individuals are created by God.  It is when gays and lesbians are affirmed as a  group with agenda by this church (ELCA) that the issue becomes political and therefore damnable before God.  Not because the individual is that way before God. With each individual the call to repentance and faith goes out. When this church affirms gays and lesbians as a group and support their agenda, ELCA errs in that it now supports political action.  The subtle shift from affirmation of the individual before God;s face to the horizontal acceptance of the gay agenda makes ELCA's mission insidious, imo.

BTW, I have resigned from the roster for ordained clergy in the ELCA.  I am attending Shepherd of the Hills (LCMS) here in San Antonio, now.

Blessings my brother in Christ. The truth will set you free.

John 8:31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 33 They answered him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?”  34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. 35 The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. 37 I know that you are offspring of Abraham; yet you seek to kill me because my word finds no place in you. 38 I speak of what I have seen with my Father, and you do what you have heard from your father.”

Thanks.  I do believe that there are courageous folk who remain on the ordained roster yet witness to this church through their rightful critiques.  The ELCA still maintains governing documents which affirm a solid confession of faith based on the unaltered Augsburg Confession and the rest of the Book of Concord.  However their current activity and practice seem to silence that confession or at the most soften the distinctions between law and Gospel so as to de-potentize the great saving address of that uniquely Christian Gospel.  ELCA's mission does not seem clear to me any longer at least for now. 

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
« Reply #66 on: December 08, 2018, 01:53:09 AM »

I would say that the plotting began in 1991 when the ELCA Churchwide assembly passed a resolution: “To affirm that gay and lesbian people, as individuals created by God, are welcome to participate fully in the life of the congregations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America."

You conveniently skipped over:

CONFERENCE OF BISHOPS October 5–8, 1993
Blessing of Homosexual Relationship CB93.10.25

We, as the Conference of Bishops of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, recognize that there is basis neither in Scripture nor tradition for the establishment of an official ceremony by this church for the blessing of a homosexual relationship. We, therefore, do not approve such a ceremony as an official action of this church's ministry. Nevertheless, we express trust in and will continue dialogue with those pastors and congregations who are in ministry with gay and lesbian persons, and affirm their desire to explore the best ways to provide pastoral care for all to whom they minister.


Yes, I did skip over it - on purpose. It was so ambiguous that both sides took it as supporting their position. The "traditionalists," for lack of a better term, rejoiced that they didn't see scriptures supporting them creating a rite to bless homosexual relationships. The "revisionists," for lack of a better term, were a little disappointed, but also recognized that they did not prohibit them from blessing such relationships as they provided pastoral care with homosexuals. They would have to create their own blessing ceremony.
"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]

Charles Austin

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Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
« Reply #67 on: December 08, 2018, 05:43:21 AM »
Another apologia pro vita sua. Sigh.
And I must note again that the topic of sexuality has not "taken over" the ELCA, nor have the concerns that the ELCA (and a considerable number of other church bodies) had for issues in our society turned the ELCA into a political party.
   We preach the Gospel.
   We celebrate the sacraments.
   We gather in congregational, synodical and national fellowship around scripture and tradition.
   We work with fellow Lutherans and other Christians around the world in both evangelism and service to those in need.
   As it happens - and this is not something we "made up" or "chose" - our society faces issues such as sexism, racism, economic and social injustice, political and civic unrest . Millions of Christians believe that we cannot live our faith in the world unless as individuals, congregations, synods, a national church body and ecumenical fellowships we directly - and often "politically" - address those issues. We have been led, not by our own desires or selfish whims, but by our life together in the faith to (OMG! NO!) change how we live the faith as we do so.
    Others, some in this modest forum, also believe (I think, I am not always sure), that we should face those issues, but have radically different views on how to live as faithful Christians today.
   We in the ELCA stand on the foundations of our faith, Scripture, the Creeds, our view of Christian tradition, and the intelligence which we believe is a gift from God.
   There are those here who say we have abandoned (or perverted or critically warped) the Christian faith, scripture and tradition in what we are doing and how we are doing it. Even if they express concern about similar issues, the disagreements on those issues outweigh whatever agreements we might have and they judge our faith, our Lutheranism, our place in the Body of Christ as fatally flawed.
   I weary of hearing the judgments and the condemnations and the on-going "battles." They detract from the blessings I receive from my faith and take my energy away from things I should be doing to be faithful.
   My life in the church and active ministry goes back to the 1950s and my ordination in 1967.
   Long, long before 2009, long, long before any of our ecumenical agreements, I saw us "lose" many of our Lutheran brothers and sisters, some of them fine ministers of Word and Sacrament, because we were so weakly engaged in critical life-today issues and were so bound up in "Lutheran" specificity that we were unable to fully join the broader (and much more necessary) Christian mission. I saw us "lose" many because we rejected modern science in favor of what we thought the Bible said about the universe and people in it. I saw us "lose" many because we were more concerned about creation at the "beginning" than creation today, more concerned about defending the past than facing the future.
   I'm willing to bet we "lost" more Lutherans in the years prior to 2009 than we have since that year, people who left us because we were slow to change, slow to engage the world and its issues.
   So again, here we are. I am in a part of the Church that ordains women and partnered homosexuals, that favors today's laws concerning abortion, that uses its social statements to directly (yes, politically) address certain issues, where the Bible is not a science text, where communion fellowship is celebrated with people who don't know the Formula of Concord or think it fully and accurately explains Christianity.
   Some declare a church with those characteristics heretical, heterodox, un-Biblical, un-Lutheran, led by selfish whims, captive to social and political "radicalism" or (as at least one participant here thinks) "satanic." I get that.
   The optimist in me would like to think that my part of the Church could have full and happy relations with those in the parts of the Church who disagree with us on some of the ways we try to be faithful. That part of me is fading. I have recently met a few LCMS Lutherans, active in their congregations, who are more like the ELCA and its concerns than anyone in this modest forum. Life is funny.
    At times I need to remind myself (and others) who I am, where I am in the Church and in faith, lest I allow myself to be defined by those other parts of the Church who are not willing to include me in the fellowship.
   Now will come the usual responses. I can predict whence they come and what they will say. And, sadly, I will find most of them condescending and dishonest.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2018, 05:49:36 AM by Charles Austin »
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FrPeters

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Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
« Reply #68 on: December 08, 2018, 09:51:42 AM »
Quote
   I'm willing to bet we "lost" more Lutherans in the years prior to 2009 than we have since that year, people who left us because we were slow to change, slow to engage the world and its issues

So why not abandon the creeds to those who cannot confess them or find them offensive, give up the baptismal name in favor of something more relevant to the spiritual but not religious, add or change the Word of God to make it fit modern sensibilities, change the elements of Holy Communion to things people will find more tasty and meaningful and so on and so on. . .   People leave not because you did not change but because they no longer believe or no longer believe as you do as Lutherans but that is hardly a reason to abandon the Word or the Lutheran Confessions unless you, as a church, no longer believe either.  Then by all means change.
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Charles Austin

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Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
« Reply #69 on: December 08, 2018, 10:49:55 AM »
Once again, you missed the whole point, Pastor Peters! I did not say people left us because they did not believe in the creeds or the sacraments.
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Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
« Reply #70 on: December 08, 2018, 10:50:53 AM »
Quote
   I'm willing to bet we "lost" more Lutherans in the years prior to 2009 than we have since that year, people who left us because we were slow to change, slow to engage the world and its issues

So why not abandon the creeds to those who cannot confess them or find them offensive, give up the baptismal name in favor of something more relevant to the spiritual but not religious, add or change the Word of God to make it fit modern sensibilities, change the elements of Holy Communion to things people will find more tasty and meaningful and so on and so on. . .   People leave not because you did not change but because they no longer believe or no longer believe as you do as Lutherans but that is hardly a reason to abandon the Word or the Lutheran Confessions unless you, as a church, no longer believe either.  Then by all means change.


ICET and ELLC have given us new translations of the creeds, which I believe are more accurate. We have multiple modern translations of the Bible. I haven't used wafers for communion for at least a couple of decades. Many of us have returned to the biblical elements of one loaf and one cup.


None of these changes are abandoning the Word of God or our Lutheran Confessions.


I'm assuming that you believe that your denomination has not abandoned the Word of the Lutheran Confessions. You still deeply believe them; but how does your present-day membership in the denomination compare with the membership in the 1950s or 1960s?
"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]

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Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
« Reply #71 on: December 08, 2018, 12:20:07 PM »
Pastor Austin,
So now that the ELCA has become the church that it wasn't "long long before 2009" and has become the church that addresses issues and has "changed" on all those points you touched on, is it bursting with growth in membership, worship attendance, and financial giving?  Or is it at least not declining any longer?  Yes, statistical measurements may not tell the whole story--but you made a big point about all those lost "long long before."   Are you now regaining those in the culture and society who would align with the ELCA changes?  Or are you discovering that having made the changes for whatever the "cost of justice" was necessary, that those in the secular culture and society with whom the ELCA has aligned its values, just shrug their shoulders, say "that's nice", and go on their way, ignoring your open doors, invitation, and welcome.  The implication of your argument is that the way things were resulted in a huge loss of members and ministers.  Has the ELCA's correction reversed or at least stopped those losses?  Or was it too little, too late? 

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Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
« Reply #72 on: December 08, 2018, 12:39:53 PM »
Pastor Kimball writes:
So now that the ELCA has become the church that it wasn't "long long before 2009" and has become the church that addresses issues and has "changed" on all those points you touched on, is it bursting with growth in membership, worship attendance, and financial giving?
I comment:
No, it is not "bursting" in those areas. But it is bursting with people of faith living out their vocations and applying the Gospel to their lives and the life of the world around them.

Pastor Kimball writes;
Or is it at least not declining any longer?  Yes, statistical measurements may not tell the whole story--but you made a big point about all those lost "long long before."
I comment:
As you may recall from my comments a long time ago, Pastor Kimball, I have often asked why people did not care when we were declining even during the days of the ALC and LCA; and I have asked whether anyone cared about those - faithful pastors and lay people, many of them gay and/or lesbian - who had to leave the LCA or ALC or were driven out. And I asked about those people who studied modern science and cosmology and paleontology and rejected simplistic views of creation and the Bible. I also asked about those who were even afraid to raise questions about such things, faced with rigid pastors and doctrinaire congregations, and quietly walked away from us.

Pastor Kimball:
Are you now regaining those in the culture and society who would align with the ELCA changes?
Me:
Yes, we are, in some places.

Pastor Kimball:
Or are you discovering that having made the changes for whatever the "cost of justice" was necessary, that those in the secular culture and society with whom the ELCA has aligned its values, just shrug their shoulders, say "that's nice", and go on their way, ignoring your open doors, invitation, and welcome.
Me:
Yes, that happens too. Vast numbers of people today are just fed up with the whole "church" thing; often because of the way we taught them and treated them in the past. I have met many of them and it saddens me that we have so wounded them that it is very difficult to get them to "come back."

Pastor Kimball:
The implication of your argument is that the way things were resulted in a huge loss of members and ministers.  Has the ELCA's correction reversed or at least stopped those losses?  Or was it too little, too late?
Me:
There are many reasons why we were declining in the days when things were "they way things were." I do not believe that we made any decisions based on membership numbers. Nor should we measure any of our decisions based on their impact upon the numbers of people in our pews. But you know that.
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Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
« Reply #73 on: December 08, 2018, 01:47:31 PM »

ICET and ELLC have given us new translations of the creeds, which I believe are more accurate.


Just a trivial dissent on this, which I've griped about before here:

From what I've been able to discover, the decision to render homoousios (consubstantialis in the Latin) as "of one Being with the Father," rather than the traditional "of one substance with the Father," had little to do with being "more accurate."  Perhaps "more accurate" to contemporary western theological fashion as expressed by folks like Tillich ("ground of Being") and Heidegger (sein/dasein) than "more accurate" to the traditional language, and linguistic usage, of those who crafted the Nicene Creed.  I continue to think that "of one Being with the Father" was an unfortunate decision, and a bad translation.

Tom Pearson

gan ainm

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Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
« Reply #74 on: December 08, 2018, 01:54:46 PM »

ICET and ELLC have given us new translations of the creeds, which I believe are more accurate.


Just a trivial dissent on this, which I've griped about before here:

From what I've been able to discover, the decision to render homoousios (consubstantialis in the Latin) as "of one Being with the Father," rather than the traditional "of one substance with the Father," had little to do with being "more accurate."  Perhaps "more accurate" to contemporary western theological fashion as expressed by folks like Tillich ("ground of Being") and Heidegger (sein/dasein) than "more accurate" to the traditional language, and linguistic usage, of those who crafted the Nicene Creed.  I continue to think that "of one Being with the Father" was an unfortunate decision, and a bad translation.

Tom Pearson

My pastor says the word "human being" was a construct of the enlightenment as an attempt to get away from the word "creature" since creature implies a Creator and the word BEing focuses on the self rather than an external Creator.  Perhaps the rewrite of the creeds follows the same desire.  Slippery slope?

« Last Edit: December 08, 2018, 01:56:59 PM by gan ainm »