Author Topic: Nominees for Concordia Seminary President Announced  (Read 141341 times)

Donald_Kirchner

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 12358
    • View Profile
Re: Nominees for Concordia Seminary President Announced
« Reply #735 on: January 25, 2021, 11:24:40 AM »
Hmm. I know and HIGHLY regard both men. And I believe that they each bring gifts that would be of great use to the Church in the formation of seminarians. I don’t think there’s a “clear choice” at all, except maybe in the area of age. The very nature of it will probably lead to a shorter time as CSL president for Joel than for Tom. Joel is my age; Tom earned his M.Div. in 1997, so eleven or twelve years younger. For one who advocates for the younger voice, I’m a little surprised at your dismissal of Tom! Again, let me reiterate: either is a truly great man, and either will prove a blessing indeed to the Church (as both already have!). Indeed, a win/win situation!

Just my opinion, Will.  Tom Rggers didn’t as I recall make the final list either the last time or this time (the first time through) so what changed?  What puts him above the other internal candidates, some of whom did make the earlier finalist lists?  These are just straight ahead questions especially with Joel being the other finalist. 

Dave Benke

Dave,

Do you really need to do this publicly?

Just sayin'
Don Kirchner

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

peter_speckhard

  • ALPB Administrator
  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 19583
    • View Profile
Re: Nominees for Concordia Seminary President Announced
« Reply #736 on: January 25, 2021, 12:11:01 PM »
Hmm. I know and HIGHLY regard both men. And I believe that they each bring gifts that would be of great use to the Church in the formation of seminarians. I don’t think there’s a “clear choice” at all, except maybe in the area of age. The very nature of it will probably lead to a shorter time as CSL president for Joel than for Tom. Joel is my age; Tom earned his M.Div. in 1997, so eleven or twelve years younger. For one who advocates for the younger voice, I’m a little surprised at your dismissal of Tom! Again, let me reiterate: either is a truly great man, and either will prove a blessing indeed to the Church (as both already have!). Indeed, a win/win situation!

Just my opinion, Will.  Tom Rggers didn’t as I recall make the final list either the last time or this time (the first time through) so what changed?  What puts him above the other internal candidates, some of whom did make the earlier finalist lists?  These are just straight ahead questions especially with Joel being the other finalist. 

Dave Benke

Dave,

Do you really need to do this publicly?

Just sayin'
What difference does it make what changed? Maybe it was something good, like Tom really wowing the committee in a interview or something. Maybe the faculty weighed in with a vote of confidence. Who knows? Why not trust the people whose job it is to do the vetting of names? What have they done to merit such probing?

I can pass judgment on the defensive play calling at the end of the first half yesterday, which was atrocious, because it is a spectator sport and everyone knows that fans have no inside knowledge of the situation but they do have strong opinions. Rehashing the game is part of sports. But if the players and front office personnel start commenting publicly, that's a recipe for ugliness, especially when looking forward at decisions rather an backward. If they're hiring a new coordinator and they bring in two guys, and the right away people in the organization start saying that one of them is clearly better than the other, that is totally different than voices on a call-in show saying one of the them is clearly better than the other.

We shouldn't approach the hiring process at the seminary the way we would approach the hiring process for a new defensive coordinator for the Packers. With the synod, we're part of the organization. I don't know either candidate particularly well, though I did go to sem with Tom, and I'm with Will-- it's a win-win selection. That's the only proper attitude and comment for someone who is in the organization but who is an outsider to that particular decision. If anything, it would be appropriate to say, "Hey, I know this guy and he would be awesome for this job!" But it is not appropriates to say, "Hey, this guy would be awesome at this this, and clearly better than the other guy!"   

Dave Benke

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 13407
    • View Profile
    • Atlantic District, LCMS
Re: Nominees for Concordia Seminary President Announced
« Reply #737 on: January 25, 2021, 06:51:37 PM »
Hmmm.  Just sayin' - remember this post on September 9, 2020?  Dr. Lehenbauer stands out on that list to me. I worked with him for years at the Synod and we were at sem the same time. He’s got to be the most apolitical creature you will ever met. His theology is always careful, well considered, and insightful. He is an outstanding preacher of the Gospel (I was always sad we couldn’t get him to preach more often at Synod’s chapel because he was so very good). He’s not “my guy” vs. “your guy.” He just, well, solid.

Who wrote that?  Completely inappropriate.

Dave Benke

peter_speckhard

  • ALPB Administrator
  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 19583
    • View Profile
Re: Nominees for Concordia Seminary President Announced
« Reply #738 on: January 25, 2021, 07:21:01 PM »
Hmmm.  Just sayin' - remember this post on September 9, 2020?  Dr. Lehenbauer stands out on that list to me. I worked with him for years at the Synod and we were at sem the same time. He’s got to be the most apolitical creature you will ever met. His theology is always careful, well considered, and insightful. He is an outstanding preacher of the Gospel (I was always sad we couldn’t get him to preach more often at Synod’s chapel because he was so very good). He’s not “my guy” vs. “your guy.” He just, well, solid.

Who wrote that?  Completely inappropriate.

Dave Benke
What would be inappropriate about that? He didn’t say, “He is a great, solid choice, and much better than the comparatively mediocre candidate x.” That’s what would be inappropriate.

Donald_Kirchner

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 12358
    • View Profile
Re: Nominees for Concordia Seminary President Announced
« Reply #739 on: January 25, 2021, 07:41:31 PM »
I think you're missing the point, Dave. Is public negativity about the other necessary?

See Peter's response. The answer is "No."

Just sayin... Haven't we had enough of that the last 6 months in the political sector?   ::)
Don Kirchner

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

Dave Benke

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 13407
    • View Profile
    • Atlantic District, LCMS
Re: Nominees for Concordia Seminary President Announced
« Reply #740 on: January 25, 2021, 07:50:58 PM »
I think you're missing the point, Dave. Is public negativity about the other necessary?

See Peter's response. The answer is "No."

Just sayin... Haven't we had enough of that the last 6 months in the political sector?   ::)

"Negativity" meaning mentioning the big gap in experience and wider church leadership?  That's just truth.  That doesn't mean the other person couldn't be The One or is "mediocre."  It just states the obvious.  As was, not incidentally, stated on September 9 concerning Dr. Lehenbauer up against 43 other candidates, one of whom was - hmmm- Thomas Egger.

Dave Benke


peter_speckhard

  • ALPB Administrator
  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 19583
    • View Profile
Re: Nominees for Concordia Seminary President Announced
« Reply #741 on: January 25, 2021, 08:02:33 PM »
I think you're missing the point, Dave. Is public negativity about the other necessary?

See Peter's response. The answer is "No."

Just sayin... Haven't we had enough of that the last 6 months in the political sector?   ::)

"Negativity" meaning mentioning the big gap in experience and wider church leadership?  That's just truth.  That doesn't mean the other person couldn't be The One or is "mediocre."  It just states the obvious.  As was, not incidentally, stated on September 9 concerning Dr. Lehenbauer up against 43 other candidates, one of whom was - hmmm- Thomas Egger.

Dave Benke
Everybody agrees that Dr. Lehenbauer would be a fine choice, a "win" for the seminary, a great candidate. As Will said, it is a "win-win." By framing it as more than praise for a candidate but as an obviously better choice given the other candidate, though, you're making a judgment from the outside and injecting politics and distrust into the scenario should Lehenbauer not get the nod. Praise Lehenbauer to the skies if you want. Fine. Fantastic. But don't say he is clearly a better choice than Egger, who might also be a great candidate for other reasons. 
 

Dave Benke

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 13407
    • View Profile
    • Atlantic District, LCMS
Re: Nominees for Concordia Seminary President Announced
« Reply #742 on: January 25, 2021, 08:28:03 PM »
I think you're missing the point, Dave. Is public negativity about the other necessary?

See Peter's response. The answer is "No."

Just sayin... Haven't we had enough of that the last 6 months in the political sector?   ::)

"Negativity" meaning mentioning the big gap in experience and wider church leadership?  That's just truth.  That doesn't mean the other person couldn't be The One or is "mediocre."  It just states the obvious.  As was, not incidentally, stated on September 9 concerning Dr. Lehenbauer up against 43 other candidates, one of whom was - hmmm- Thomas Egger.

Dave Benke
Everybody agrees that Dr. Lehenbauer would be a fine choice, a "win" for the seminary, a great candidate. As Will said, it is a "win-win." By framing it as more than praise for a candidate but as an obviously better choice given the other candidate, though, you're making a judgment from the outside and injecting politics and distrust into the scenario should Lehenbauer not get the nod. Praise Lehenbauer to the skies if you want. Fine. Fantastic. But don't say he is clearly a better choice than Egger, who might also be a great candidate for other reasons.

That doesn't mean the other person couldn't be The One or is "mediocre."  written by me at 7:50 PM EST, responded to by you at 8:02 PM EST.  There was really nothing more to say, but I think you wanted to say one more thing.

Dave Benke

RevG

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 839
    • View Profile
Re: Nominees for Concordia Seminary President Announced
« Reply #743 on: January 25, 2021, 08:30:14 PM »
I understand such searches like this one are extremely sensitive matters, but I really desire more transparency in general. Whether it’s the decision to close a Concordia or elect a president I often feel rather behind on things. Instead, we’re just given information without much recourse. For example, Dr Egger was added which I have no problem with, but why?  Doesn’t being up front about such matters lessen the potential for apprehension and suspicion? I don’t want to be tempted to read more into things, but situations like this beg the question whether we like it or not.  In one sense I am rather ambivalent in regard to who is elected, but I’d love to live in a church where more often than not I don’t have to wonder, “What’s that about?” But I recognize that may be a bit naive or even ignorant.  Anyways, Joel or Tom, I’m fine with either and want to echo Will’s sentiment above regarding these two men.

Peace,
Scott+

peter_speckhard

  • ALPB Administrator
  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 19583
    • View Profile
Re: Nominees for Concordia Seminary President Announced
« Reply #744 on: January 25, 2021, 08:51:29 PM »
To anyone on the outside of the process, there's a clear choice between the two finalists.  Joel Lehenbauer's experience in administering and organizing the theological department of the national church body for a significant period of time, working with faculty of both seminaries through all that time, and gaining an appreciation of the breadth and scope of the Synod and its significant issues of interpretation in so doing are all of far, far greater reach than the experience and wisdom set of Thomas Egger. 


Courage and clarity will be required.  Joel Lehenbauer has been able to navigate the choppy waters of LCMS interactions between the theology on paper and the practice out in the field in an adept and Gospel-centered way.  To me he's far and away the better choice.

Dave Benke
I've bolded the only parts of your post that I find problematic, since you seem to be responding to everything except the point. You didn't just say Lehenbauer was a great choice, you said it was clearly a matter of him being "far and away the better choice." If that means anything, it means you are saying Egger isn't even close to as good a choice. That puts the selection committee in a bad light, and sets up problems if they go with Egger. Why do that? It prevents it from being a win-win. If you can't see the difference, well, that would be a shame. But I suspect you can tell the difference. 
« Last Edit: January 25, 2021, 08:59:42 PM by peter_speckhard »

Rob Morris

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 718
    • View Profile
Re: Nominees for Concordia Seminary President Announced
« Reply #745 on: January 25, 2021, 09:10:38 PM »
It is somewhat odd to me that the Search Committee came with 7 names (not including Dr. Egger), but the electors then re-placed him into consideration and in fact brought his name forward rather than any of the 6 others the committee named. It is entirely possible that Dr. Egger indicated to the committee a reservation about being put forward, but subsequently changed that stance... this would probably be the least eyebrow-raising explanation.

If the electors chose to re-place Dr. Egger's name into consideration after the search committee had decided not to for any other reason, that would be a bit of a red flag organizationally, no? Consider if it were a congregational call - the call committee rules out a nominee, but the congregation votes him back onto the list. Nothing illegal or untoward has happened. But it would raise the question of why the congregation believed the call committee (who would be privy to a greater level of information and exploration) had erred.

Thus, there is a totally legitimate reason to wish for a more transparent level of communication.

Meanwhile, unless one simply feels, "Gosh, both guys are equally great and I can't see any advantage to one or the other," I don't see anything wrong with saying that Dr. Lehenbauer has a greater length and breadth of experience within Synod's highways and byways. It doesn't have to be read as belittling Dr. Egger, and it doesn't guarantee a better job as president... it just points out something the candidates' CVs make obvious.

*NOTE: since I entered the synod by colloquy, never took a single credit hour from CSL, and have never met either candidate, I really don't have a dog in this hunt. I want the seminary to excel and have no informed opinion about which candidate is more likely to bring this about. Whomever is elected will have my prayers and support.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2021, 10:48:36 PM by Rob Morris »

Weedon

  • Guest
Re: Nominees for Concordia Seminary President Announced
« Reply #746 on: January 25, 2021, 09:47:46 PM »
Just to note: Dr. Egger has no “s” on his name.

As to experience, their experiences are in different areas, and I think it would be a question of where one thinks the greatest value is for the formation of seminarians into pastors: international relations or academia. Let me reiterate: I think either one will be a huge blessing. Let’s pray for those who will finally choose and ask, as in all things, that God’s good, gracious, and perfect will be done so that through this office that is being filled His name would be hallowed and His kingdom would come and increase.

FrPeters

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 2388
  • An Obedient Rebel
    • View Profile
    • Grace Lutheran Church Website
Re: Nominees for Concordia Seminary President Announced
« Reply #747 on: January 25, 2021, 10:06:32 PM »
Quote
I understand such searches like this one are extremely sensitive matters, but I really desire more transparency in general

I understand and sometimes wish for the same but it is a solemn call and not a simple hiring and it is done with probably way more transparency than a professor called to a seminary.
Fr Larry Peters
Grace LCMS, Clarksville, TN
http://www.pastoralmeanderings.blogspot.com/

Rob Morris

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 718
    • View Profile
Re: Nominees for Concordia Seminary President Announced
« Reply #748 on: January 25, 2021, 10:49:15 PM »
Just to note: Dr. Egger has no “s” on his name.

As to experience, their experiences are in different areas, and I think it would be a question of where one thinks the greatest value is for the formation of seminarians into pastors: international relations or academia. Let me reiterate: I think either one will be a huge blessing. Let’s pray for those who will finally choose and ask, as in all things, that God’s good, gracious, and perfect will be done so that through this office that is being filled His name would be hallowed and His kingdom would come and increase.

Agreed 100% and thanks for the correction in spelling - I have fixed it in my post.

Dave Likeness

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 5308
    • View Profile
Re: Nominees for Concordia Seminary President Announced
« Reply #749 on: January 26, 2021, 08:24:32 AM »
Whether you are calling a parish pastor to your congregation or calling someone to become a
seminary president.......we seek the Lord's Will when the call is issued.  Despite the human
process involved in issuing divine calls we still rely on the Lord to be involved in the process.
It is the Lord's Church and He is still in control with His presence, love and wisdom.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2021, 08:28:56 AM by Dave Likeness »