Author Topic: Dan Selbo's election as NALC Bishop  (Read 20428 times)

Steven W Bohler

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 4364
    • View Profile
Re: Dan Selbo's election as NALC Bishop
« Reply #135 on: August 23, 2019, 12:15:11 AM »
Pastor Bohler:
I get it: you do not like doctrine.  You can take it or leave it.  And you have.  So, for those who DO take doctrine seriously, it must be mere politics.  It's the only way you have of making sense of such people.

I comment:
You are so wrong. So very wrong. I love doctrine. I often have doctrine for breakfast or (well, sometimes it’s for lunch). And if by “some people” you Mean today’s LCMS in-power conservatives, You are wrong again. I have no way of making sense of such people.
But we love you anyway.  ;)

Interesting way of putting it which I thinks makes my point: you see doctrine as something you consume (or not), as you desire.  And, I suppose, picking and choosing only those parts of it that are appealing to you.  Whereas others see it as something that consumes them, something which must necessarily transform and change them.  Doctrine gives life.

Brian Stoffregen

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 45542
  • ἐγὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν, ἀγαπᾶτε τοὺς ἐχθροὺς ὑμῶν
    • View Profile
Re: Dan Selbo's election as NALC Bishop
« Reply #136 on: August 23, 2019, 12:22:09 AM »
Pastor Bohler:
I get it: you do not like doctrine.  You can take it or leave it.  And you have.  So, for those who DO take doctrine seriously, it must be mere politics.  It's the only way you have of making sense of such people.

I comment:
You are so wrong. So very wrong. I love doctrine. I often have doctrine for breakfast or (well, sometimes it’s for lunch). And if by “some people” you Mean today’s LCMS in-power conservatives, You are wrong again. I have no way of making sense of such people.
But we love you anyway.  ;)

Interesting way of putting it which I thinks makes my point: you see doctrine as something you consume (or not), as you desire.  And, I suppose, picking and choosing only those parts of it that are appealing to you.  Whereas others see it as something that consumes them, something which must necessarily transform and change them.  Doctrine gives life.


Doctrines are our human attempts to understand God's mysterious ways. Theology is seeking to put words/language/logic (logos) to God (theos). Doctrine is our work, not God's. Since we know only partially, our doctrines will always be partial and incomplete.
"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]

J. Thomas Shelley

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 4420
    • View Profile
Re: Dan Selbo's election as NALC Bishop
« Reply #137 on: August 23, 2019, 12:26:10 AM »
Quote from: Steven W Bohler link=topic=7270.msg464413#msg464413
   Whereas others see it as something that consumes them, something which must necessarily transform and change them.  Doctrine gives life.

Very wrong.

It is not doctrine, per se, which gives life; but the subject of doctrine, the One in Three Persons Who gives life as the "life creating Trinity"1, and Who saves us not because we can recite the Symbol of Faith (Nicene Creed) but "inasmuch as He is good and loves mankind"2.

1from the Cherubic Hymn of the Divine Liturgy
2from the final blessing of the Divine Liturgy
Greek Orthodox Deacon -Ecumenical Patriarchate
Ordained to the Holy Diaconate Mary of Egypt Sunday A.D. 2022

Baptized, Confirmed, and Ordained United Methodist.
Served as a Lutheran Pastor October 31, 1989 - October 31, 2014.
Charter member of the first chapter of the Society of the Holy Trinity.

Steven W Bohler

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 4364
    • View Profile
Re: Dan Selbo's election as NALC Bishop
« Reply #138 on: August 23, 2019, 12:40:47 AM »
Quote from: Steven W Bohler link=topic=7270.msg464413#msg464413
   Whereas others see it as something that consumes them, something which must necessarily transform and change them.  Doctrine gives life.

Very wrong.

It is not doctrine, per se, which gives life; but the subject of doctrine, the One in Three Persons Who gives life as the "life creating Trinity"1, and Who saves us not because we can recite the Symbol of Faith (Nicene Creed) but "inasmuch as He is good and loves mankind"2.

1from the Cherubic Hymn of the Divine Liturgy
2from the final blessing of the Divine Liturgy

OK.  But you could say the same of faith.  Or the Means of Grace.  It is through these things that the Holy Spirit gives life.  So, in shorthand speaking, they give life.

J. Thomas Shelley

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 4420
    • View Profile
Re: Dan Selbo's election as NALC Bishop
« Reply #139 on: August 23, 2019, 01:09:24 AM »
Quote from: Steven W Bohler link=topic=7270.msg464413#msg464413
   Whereas others see it as something that consumes them, something which must necessarily transform and change them.  Doctrine gives life.

Very wrong.

It is not doctrine, per se, which gives life; but the subject of doctrine, the One in Three Persons Who gives life as the "life creating Trinity"1, and Who saves us not because we can recite the Symbol of Faith (Nicene Creed) but "inasmuch as He is good and loves mankind"2.

1from the Cherubic Hymn of the Divine Liturgy
2from the final blessing of the Divine Liturgy

OK.  But you could say the same of faith.  Or the Means of Grace.  It is through these things that the Holy Spirit gives life.  So, in shorthand speaking, they give life.

"Say the same of faith"--possibly.

"Or the Means of Grace"--verily, in some, but not all cases.   

Yes, the Holy Spirit gives life, for it is through invoking Him that the elements of this earth are transformed into the laver of salvation, the oil of rebirth and healing, and the Body of our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ.   

But in that final case, through that which once was mere earthly bread it is our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ Himself Who gives Life by imparting His All-Holy Body and Life-giving Blood.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2019, 01:19:49 AM by J. Thomas Shelley »
Greek Orthodox Deacon -Ecumenical Patriarchate
Ordained to the Holy Diaconate Mary of Egypt Sunday A.D. 2022

Baptized, Confirmed, and Ordained United Methodist.
Served as a Lutheran Pastor October 31, 1989 - October 31, 2014.
Charter member of the first chapter of the Society of the Holy Trinity.

Steven Tibbetts

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 10213
  • Big tents are for circuses.
    • View Profile
Re: Dan Selbo's election as NALC Bishop
« Reply #140 on: August 23, 2019, 02:48:21 AM »

Not once does Matthew use the word "χάρις". "Grace," a key concept in Paul and Luther isn't found in Matthew.


The first sentence is undoubtedly so.  The second does not follow, at least not without a lot of intervening steps that depend upon not reading the Gospel according to St. Matthew.

And yet again one of your word studies leads me to St. John 9.  This, for instance, was nearly a full decade ago:


I don't see a single word about marriage there -- just "leaving" and "holding fast". It is just as much a passage about living together as it is marriage.


What comes to mind is the account of Jesus and the man born blind in John 9.  Especially the conclusion:

Jesus said, "For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind."

Some of the Pharisees near him heard this, and they said to him, "Are we also blind?"

Jesus said to them, "If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, 'We see,' your guilt remains."


A blessed Nativity to you all, Steven+

Christe eleison, Steven+

The Rev. Steven Paul Tibbetts, STS
Pastor Zip's Blog

Steven Tibbetts

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 10213
  • Big tents are for circuses.
    • View Profile
Re: Dan Selbo's election as NALC Bishop
« Reply #141 on: August 23, 2019, 02:58:54 AM »

My advice is for a new group with a substantial number of congregations (NALC) to engage in conversation with Rome based on their doctrinal and practical determinations.


One should note that the NALC has been engaged in such conversation with Rome from its (that is, the NALC's) earliest days, and the 2018 Convocation reaffirmed the NALC's commitment to that conversation.

Pax, Steven+
The Rev. Steven Paul Tibbetts, STS
Pastor Zip's Blog

Charles Austin

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 15492
    • View Profile
    • Charles is Colorin
Re: Dan Selbo's election as NALC Bishop
« Reply #142 on: August 23, 2019, 04:39:21 AM »
Pastor Bohler writes (emphasis added):
Interesting way of putting it which I thinks makes my point: you see doctrine as something you consume (or not), as you desire.  And, I suppose, picking and choosing only those parts of it that are appealing to you.  Whereas others see it as something that consumes them, something which must necessarily transform and change them.  Doctrine gives life.
I comment:
Heavens! No!
Jesus gives life. God gives life.
Doctrine is the way we feebly try to explain the mystery of life and God.
I am “consumed” by the God I meet in Jesus.
Jesus, his life, death and resurrection, are not “doctrine.”
Male-only ordination is not doctrine. It does not give life.
The “historic episcopacy” is not doctrine. It does not give life.
Jesus gives life. God gives life.
And once again I beg you to stop repeating the utter foolishness about “picking and choosing the parts of ‘it’ appealing” to me. Loving my enemies is not appealing to me. Caring for the neighbor and the world are not appealing to me. I wish all I saw in God was: “I’m God. Here’s what I say to you: You are a great guy. Do all you can to enjoy your life, enriching yourself any way you can and don’t worry about anyone else.” That would appeal to me.
You make your “doctrine” into laws. “Believe this or else!”
There is a mystery, a holiness, a fullness, a wonder to God that is behind our ken.
Your “doctrine” claims to ken it.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2019, 04:52:21 AM by Charles Austin »
Retired ELCA Pastor. Parishes in Iowa, New York and New Jersey. LCA/LWF staff. Former journalist  Writer for many church publications.

Dave Benke

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 13712
    • View Profile
    • Saint Peter's Lutheran Church
Re: Dan Selbo's election as NALC Bishop
« Reply #143 on: August 23, 2019, 08:43:04 AM »
The Uniate churches are an example of how something might work among Protestants seeking connection; using the historic Eastern Uniates which do not automatically demand clergy celibacy, and which have their own jurisdiction, there would be room for more Word/Sacrament communities to move toward Rome.  The question is whether and how Means of Grace means Means of Grace. 

I'd like to see newly formed groupings like NALC explore those conversations myself. 

Dave Benke

So, you think the big problem we have with Rome is celibacy?

The inverse is the case.  Rome does not have a problem with a Uniate that does not practice celibacy.

My advice is for a new group with a substantial number of congregations (NALC) to engage in conversation with Rome based on their doctrinal and practical determinations.

It would be impossible for the Missouri Synod to engage in thoroughgoing conversations - too much pushback in a highly politicized denomination.  I'm assuming the "we" in your response means the Missouri Synod, unless over the summer you and yours headed over to the NALC.  You can't enter serious ecumenical dialog with a predetermined outcome already in your head, just with a desire and prayer for true unity brought by the Spirit.  The moral crusade level of the Missouri Synod will find alliance in many ways with Rome; that's probably the best that could be hoped for.  At the same time, I doubt the Missouri Synod is interested in some of the positions of Rome with regard to social justice, the seamless fabric of life, and the campaign for human development, all of which move beyond what we perceive to be the true issues of morality to the exclusion of social justice.

Dave Benke

It seems to me we've entered an era of neo-confessionalism, where these kinds of dialogs have little place. Rome seems disinterested in them – although they'll be more than willing for protestant conversation partners to come to the table and self-immolate (like with JDDJ). And the NALC seems similarly disinterested as well. The drift of the mainline has essentially demolished the ecumenical movement, and the only response is retrenchment and a return to the kind of self-confident sectarianism that prevailed amongst all the churches before the post-war to openness. In retrospect, the de-confessionalization that ensued during the Cold War had more to do with the democracy/totalitarianism binary of that era. We live now in an era of nationalism, and the churches will probably follow along as they tend to.

Even in the NALC, let alone the LCMS, something like that seems like the trajectory.

Thanks for this assessment - "self-confident sectarianism" is to me an apt descriptor, as a reaction to the mainline drift.  I do think the NALC, were it up for it, would have wide opportunity for ecumenical dialog.

Dave Benke
It's OK to Pray

D. Engebretson

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 5021
    • View Profile
Re: Dan Selbo's election as NALC Bishop
« Reply #144 on: August 23, 2019, 08:50:27 AM »
The opinions of the people who signed the Joint Declaration seem not to be the opinions of their Church bodies.  What can then be said about the JD?  Is it of any effect, if so on whom?  Does it accurately the theology of anyone other than the few involved?  What exactly is a re-envisioned papacy anyway?  What would such a pope do?  This is trying to put a square peg in a round pin hole and it will never work.  Salvation is by grace through faith without the works of the Law and most of us believe James would have agreed with that statement.


You would have to show me where James indicates "without works". He states clearly that faith without works is dead. Is a dead faith really faith?

Exactly, faith WILL lead to works.  But it is not the works that justify anyone; that belongs only to faith in Christ.  That is why James and Paul agree, despite your efforts to divide them.  However, Trent goes further than James by saying that it is not faith alone that justifies (and again, faith WILL lead to works) but that our works play a part in that justification.


I do not believe Paul and James agree. They are attacking each other. "Abraham was justified by faith," "No, Abraham was justified by works."


For James, if there are no works, there is no faith. For Paul there is still faith.

This way of thinking demonstrates why you and some of us are often on such different pages theologically.  You begin with a much more human, fallible view of scripture.  You anticipate errors, mistakes and irreconcilable contradictions. You see the writers going off on their own contrary to God's direction. Thus, you are not willing to assume that James and Paul might actually agree.  You will not look for a reason to explain it that way.  Our differing views of Scripture put us in very different places on such questions.
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

peter_speckhard

  • ALPB Administrator
  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 20223
    • View Profile
Re: Dan Selbo's election as NALC Bishop
« Reply #145 on: August 23, 2019, 09:04:04 AM »
Doctrine is not our attempt to describe what God is and does. It is God's self-revelation. If you can't preach and teach in the name of God, that is, affix God's signature, as His called and ordained servant, to what you have preached and taught, you ought to stop. Nobody is interested in your personal explorations of the mysteries of the universe. Save that for your journal or book group. They come to church to hear the Word of the Lord.

MaddogLutheran

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 3752
  • It's my fantasy football avatar...
    • View Profile
Re: Dan Selbo's election as NALC Bishop
« Reply #146 on: August 23, 2019, 09:13:58 AM »
The opinions of the people who signed the Joint Declaration seem not to be the opinions of their Church bodies.  What can then be said about the JD?  Is it of any effect, if so on whom?  Does it accurately the theology of anyone other than the few involved?  What exactly is a re-envisioned papacy anyway?  What would such a pope do?  This is trying to put a square peg in a round pin hole and it will never work.  Salvation is by grace through faith without the works of the Law and most of us believe James would have agreed with that statement.


You would have to show me where James indicates "without works". He states clearly that faith without works is dead. Is a dead faith really faith?

Exactly, faith WILL lead to works.  But it is not the works that justify anyone; that belongs only to faith in Christ.  That is why James and Paul agree, despite your efforts to divide them.  However, Trent goes further than James by saying that it is not faith alone that justifies (and again, faith WILL lead to works) but that our works play a part in that justification.


I do not believe Paul and James agree. They are attacking each other. "Abraham was justified by faith," "No, Abraham was justified by works."


For James, if there are no works, there is no faith. For Paul there is still faith.

This way of thinking demonstrates why you and some of us are often on such different pages theologically.  You begin with a much more human, fallible view of scripture.  You anticipate errors, mistakes and irreconcilable contradictions. You see the writers going off on their own contrary to God's direction. Thus, you are not willing to assume that James and Paul might actually agree.  You will not look for a reason to explain it that way.  Our differing views of Scripture put us in very different places on such questions.
FWIW, beyond the participating ELCA pastors here, both of my ELCA pastors utilize the better approach you describe in contrast.  I think I mentioned last year that one took the James "works" passage head on, and succeeded, in my estimation.  The game of identifying such errors and trying to explain them away by applying "modern wisdom" is just another form of fundamentalism in my estimation.  When something sounds wrong to our contemporary ear, it may just mean we need to listen even more closely.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2019, 09:15:39 AM by MaddogLutheran »
Sterling Spatz
ELCA pew-sitter

Steven W Bohler

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 4364
    • View Profile
Re: Dan Selbo's election as NALC Bishop
« Reply #147 on: August 23, 2019, 12:08:37 PM »
Pastor Bohler writes (emphasis added):
Interesting way of putting it which I thinks makes my point: you see doctrine as something you consume (or not), as you desire.  And, I suppose, picking and choosing only those parts of it that are appealing to you.  Whereas others see it as something that consumes them, something which must necessarily transform and change them.  Doctrine gives life.
I comment:
Heavens! No!
Jesus gives life. God gives life.
Doctrine is the way we feebly try to explain the mystery of life and God.
I am “consumed” by the God I meet in Jesus.
Jesus, his life, death and resurrection, are not “doctrine.”
Male-only ordination is not doctrine. It does not give life.
The “historic episcopacy” is not doctrine. It does not give life.
Jesus gives life. God gives life.
And once again I beg you to stop repeating the utter foolishness about “picking and choosing the parts of ‘it’ appealing” to me. Loving my enemies is not appealing to me. Caring for the neighbor and the world are not appealing to me. I wish all I saw in God was: “I’m God. Here’s what I say to you: You are a great guy. Do all you can to enjoy your life, enriching yourself any way you can and don’t worry about anyone else.” That would appeal to me.
You make your “doctrine” into laws. “Believe this or else!”
There is a mystery, a holiness, a fullness, a wonder to God that is behind our ken.
Your “doctrine” claims to ken it.

Obviously, you and I disagree as to what is doctrine.  Doctrine is what is taught.  For me, Jesus' life/death/resurrection IS doctrine; it is what I teach.  And that message DOES give life.  Not because it is my teaching, but because it is God's -- as Rev. Speckhard posted, what we teach and preach had better be God's message and not simply that of the teacher/preacher.

However, for you (and others) doctrine apparently is merely our striving to explain God's message.  Such a view of doctrine, I agree, would make doctrine susceptible to error and uncertainty.  Of course, if that is all your doctrine/teaching is (your best efforts and not God's revelation) then why should I listen to it with any urgency or trust?  In a similar way, if the Bible is merely man's fallible attempts at explaining God and His work, then why is it to be believed over any other religious book?  If Moses or Paul or any of the other writers merely conveyed God's word as THEY understood it, then so what?  But because the Bible IS God's Word -- and our doctrine faithfully articulates that Word -- then it must be true and life-giving.

Terry W Culler

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 2468
    • View Profile
Re: Dan Selbo's election as NALC Bishop
« Reply #148 on: August 23, 2019, 12:40:41 PM »
The opinions of the people who signed the Joint Declaration seem not to be the opinions of their Church bodies.  What can then be said about the JD?  Is it of any effect, if so on whom?  Does it accurately the theology of anyone other than the few involved?  What exactly is a re-envisioned papacy anyway?  What would such a pope do?  This is trying to put a square peg in a round pin hole and it will never work.  Salvation is by grace through faith without the works of the Law and most of us believe James would have agreed with that statement.




You would have to show me where James indicates "without works". He states clearly that faith without works is dead. Is a dead faith really faith?

A true and saving faith is never without works but, of course, you've probably been told that 100 times but you continue to bring forth this bug-a-boo as if we're all a bunch of ignorant confirmands
"No particular Church has ... a right to existence, except as it believes itself the most perfect from of Christianity, the form which of right, should and will be universal."
Charles Porterfield Krauth

Charles Austin

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 15492
    • View Profile
    • Charles is Colorin
Re: Dan Selbo's election as NALC Bishop
« Reply #149 on: August 23, 2019, 02:00:28 PM »
I believe the Bible is infallible when it comes to telling us how God has dealt with us and saved us through Jesus. I do not believe it is infallible with regard to astronomy, cosmology, geology, all history or biology.
If you want to believe in a 6-24 hour day creation, that’s OK with me. That’s how you read the Bible. But if I say I don’t believe in that, you claim I’m not reading the Bible.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2019, 02:03:32 PM by Charles Austin »
Retired ELCA Pastor. Parishes in Iowa, New York and New Jersey. LCA/LWF staff. Former journalist  Writer for many church publications.