Author Topic: Herbert Chilstrom+  (Read 5136 times)

Steven Tibbetts

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Re: Herbert Chilstrom+
« Reply #15 on: February 02, 2020, 06:17:08 PM »

If Bp. Eaton used "always" to mean "from the time of his election as ELCA Presiding Bishop," her statement may well be correct.  However, he did not "always" hold that view when serving as a parish pastor or synod bishop.

Retired Bishop Chilstrom publicly spoke of his views after the 2009 vote, and wrote about them in his memoirs, A Journey of Grace: The Formation of a Leader and a Church, published in 2011.  We've discussed his views elsewhere on this forum, and I personally would rather not discuss them under this particular topic. 

Pax et bonum, Steven+
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James_Gale

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Re: Herbert Chilstrom+
« Reply #16 on: February 02, 2020, 06:31:25 PM »

If Bp. Eaton used "always" to mean "from the time of his election as ELCA Presiding Bishop," her statement may well be correct.  However, he did not "always" hold that view when serving as a parish pastor or synod bishop.

Retired Bishop Chilstrom publicly spoke of his views after the 2009 vote, and wrote about them in his memoirs, A Journey of Grace: The Formation of a Leader and a Church, published in 2011.  We've discussed his views elsewhere on this forum, and I personally would rather not discuss them under this particular topic. 

Pax et bonum, Steven+


I agree.

John_Hannah

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Re: Herbert Chilstrom+
« Reply #17 on: February 03, 2020, 05:58:10 AM »
I spent much of this weekend with the now-retired chaplain of Gustavus Adolphus College, who served there from 1962 until 2000.  He shared a story about Herb Chilstrom's installation in 1976 as bishop of the LCA's Minnesota Synod.  The installation took place in Christ Chapel at Gustavus.  Some at the college and elsewhere in Minnesota had decided that it would be wonderful to introduce "apostolic succession" to the synod by inviting a bishop from Sweden to participate in the laying on of hands.  The Swedish bishop was delighted to accept, provided that his hosts foot the bill.  Those who had issued the invitation raised the money for travel and lodging and the bishop joyfully flew to Minnesota for the service.


LCA President Robert Marshall had come to Minnesota to oversee the installation.  When the time came for the laying on of hands, in full view of well more than 1000 worshipers, President Marshall stepped toward the Swedish bishop and directed him not to touch a hair on Herb Chilstrom's head.  I don't know whether President Marshall personally opposed introduction of apostolic succession or if he simply wanted to head off possible fury and controversy from others.  Either way, the moment was awkward even though most in Christ Chapel that day barely noticed and didn't really know what was at issue.


I believe that Bp. Chilstrom recounted this incident without much detail in his autobiography, expressing regret that he had not really understood the ramifications when agreeing to the participation of a Swedish bishop.


My telling of this tory rests on double or triple hearsay, so some of the details may be not quite right.  But the basic story is most certainly true.  I enjoyed hearing the story, which was new to me, because I knew and greatly admired some of the key participants, most of whom now have passed from this life.

Eventually the ELCA had to deal with the question. When time came to enter full communion with Episcopalians, those suspicious of episcopal succession split. Chilstrom understood correctly that it would be a volitile issue.

Peace, JOHN


Much of the opposition in the late 1990s to the full-communion arrangement with the Episcopalians came from former ALC pastors and congregations, many of those with Norwegian roots. 


The LCA's Minnesota Synod, which Bp. Chilstrom led, was overwhelmingly Swedish, although smatterings of Germans, Danes, and Finns also were present.  My very incomplete understanding is that some of the old Swedish titans ensconced at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois, were as skeptical in the 1970s as their forebears had been in the 1870s of the Swedish Church's proffered "gift" of apostolic succession.  One rumor is that someone in Rock Island had caught wind of what was afoot and tipped off President Marshall.


By way of background, Augustana College had long considered itself the mother ship of the Augustana Synod; until Augustana joined the LCA merger in the early 1960s, Augustana College had been the home of the synod's one and only seminary.  Nearly every Augustana pastor up till then had had to pass muster in Rock Island before ordination.  The Minnesota District always was just a little bit rebellious.  And given the number of Swedes in Minnesota, that rebelliousness could not simply be ignored.  Gustavus Adolphus College was one manifestation of that rebelliousness.  When the Minnesota District created it in 1862, the folks in Rock Island weren't exactly pleased that the northerners had chosen to compete against the still new college in Rock Island.


In any event, I believe that the instigators behind the installation plan were mostly prominent Minnesota pastors who had come out of the Augustana Synod into the LCA.  I also believe (but of course can't be certain) that at that point, Bp. Chilstrom didn't really understand the depth of the opposition harbored by some against apostolic succession.

True, it has been not only Norwegian-Americans who were afflicted with "episcopaphobia." It was (is?) widespread in America.

Peace, JOHN
Pr. JOHN HANNAH, STS

Charles Austin

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Re: Herbert Chilstrom+
« Reply #18 on: February 03, 2020, 09:47:29 AM »
Back then, I might have favored such a thing as having a Swedish bishop at the installaton. Many of us were suffering from the remnants of Swedish chauvinism, thought we were the Ones who could bring the historic episcopate into our circle, which we thought would be a help ecumenically and theologically. Iím not sure I would think that the same way today.
And perhaps, just perhaps because I was not involved with that particular plan, it may have been a way to poke the belly of the Non-episcopal Norwegians, many of whose forbears came to this Country fleeing the bishops of the state church.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2020, 03:52:16 PM by Charles Austin »
Retired ELCA pastor. Iowa born. Back home from Sioux City after three days and a pleasant reunion of the East High School class of - can you believe it! - 1959.

Coach-Rev

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Re: Herbert Chilstrom+
« Reply #19 on: February 03, 2020, 02:14:16 PM »
Back then, I might have favored such a thing as having a Swedish bishop at the insulation. Many of us were suffering from the remnants of Swedish chauvinism, thought we were the Ones who could bring the historic episcopate into our circle, which we thought would be a help ecumenically and theologically. Iím not sure I would think that the same way today.
And perhaps, just perhaps because I was not involved with that particular plan, it may have been a way to poke the belly of the Non-episcopal Norwegians, many of whose forbears came to this Country fleeing the bishops of the state church.

I've often thought the church should have been insulated from you Charles...  ;D 8)
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Dan Fienen

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Re: Herbert Chilstrom+
« Reply #20 on: February 03, 2020, 02:45:50 PM »
From the point of view of a traditionalist/conservative Christian, I fail to see how the historic episcopate has preserved orthodox theology in those communions, Lutheran, Anglican, or Methodist where it has been maintained.
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Charles Austin

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Re: Herbert Chilstrom+
« Reply #21 on: February 03, 2020, 03:55:42 PM »
I apologize for not being careful enough about my dictation.
But it gave Pastor Cottingham one of the little pleasures he gets by sniping  at this humble correspondent, so it wasnít all bad.
Retired ELCA pastor. Iowa born. Back home from Sioux City after three days and a pleasant reunion of the East High School class of - can you believe it! - 1959.

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Herbert Chilstrom+
« Reply #22 on: February 03, 2020, 04:10:04 PM »
From the point of view of a traditionalist/conservative Christian, I fail to see how the historic episcopate has preserved orthodox theology in those communions, Lutheran, Anglican, or Methodist where it has been maintained.


Do you think that denominations without historic episcopate have done better? Baptists, Pentecostals, Church of Christ, non-denoms., etc.?
"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: Herbert Chilstrom+
« Reply #23 on: February 03, 2020, 04:18:33 PM »
From the point of view of a traditionalist/conservative Christian, I fail to see how the historic episcopate has preserved orthodox theology in those communions, Lutheran, Anglican, or Methodist where it has been maintained.


Do you think that denominations without historic episcopate have done better? Baptists, Pentecostals, Church of Christ, non-denoms., etc.?

Not necessarily. But is the best argument for maintaining and importing the historic episcopate that others churches without it has done as badly at maintaining orthodox theology?
Pr. Daniel Fienen
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Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Herbert Chilstrom+
« Reply #24 on: February 03, 2020, 06:58:51 PM »
From the point of view of a traditionalist/conservative Christian, I fail to see how the historic episcopate has preserved orthodox theology in those communions, Lutheran, Anglican, or Methodist where it has been maintained.


Do you think that denominations without historic episcopate have done better? Baptists, Pentecostals, Church of Christ, non-denoms., etc.?

Not necessarily. But is the best argument for maintaining and importing the historic episcopate that others churches without it has done as badly at maintaining orthodox theology?


It is a public sign, but not a guarantee that such bishops, and those they ordain, are in continuity with the teaching of the apostles.
"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]

Richard Johnson

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Re: Herbert Chilstrom+
« Reply #25 on: February 03, 2020, 07:35:55 PM »
From the point of view of a traditionalist/conservative Christian, I fail to see how the historic episcopate has preserved orthodox theology in those communions, Lutheran, Anglican, or Methodist where it has been maintained.

Just for the record, I Methodists haven't claimed to have preserved the historical episcopate. They have bishops, to be sure, but the "link" was broken when John Wesley took upon himself to consecrate two superintendent/bishops for America.
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

Dan Fienen

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Re: Herbert Chilstrom+
« Reply #26 on: February 03, 2020, 07:53:56 PM »
From the point of view of a traditionalist/conservative Christian, I fail to see how the historic episcopate has preserved orthodox theology in those communions, Lutheran, Anglican, or Methodist where it has been maintained.


Do you think that denominations without historic episcopate have done better? Baptists, Pentecostals, Church of Christ, non-denoms., etc.?

Not necessarily. But is the best argument for maintaining and importing the historic episcopate that others churches without it has done as badly at maintaining orthodox theology?


It is a public sign, but not a guarantee that such bishops, and those they ordain, are in continuity with the teaching of the apostles.
Wouldn't an even better public sign be actually teaching in continuity with the teaching of the apostles?
Pr. Daniel Fienen
LCMS

Coach-Rev

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Re: Herbert Chilstrom+
« Reply #27 on: February 04, 2020, 09:18:52 AM »
I apologize for not being careful enough about my dictation.
But it gave Pastor Cottingham one of the little pleasures he gets by sniping  at this humble correspondent, so it wasnít all bad.

Lighten up, Francis.  ::)
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Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Herbert Chilstrom+
« Reply #28 on: February 04, 2020, 11:00:28 AM »
From the point of view of a traditionalist/conservative Christian, I fail to see how the historic episcopate has preserved orthodox theology in those communions, Lutheran, Anglican, or Methodist where it has been maintained.


Do you think that denominations without historic episcopate have done better? Baptists, Pentecostals, Church of Christ, non-denoms., etc.?

Not necessarily. But is the best argument for maintaining and importing the historic episcopate that others churches without it has done as badly at maintaining orthodox theology?


It is a public sign, but not a guarantee that such bishops, and those they ordain, are in continuity with the teaching of the apostles.
Wouldn't an even better public sign be actually teaching in continuity with the teaching of the apostles?


Who gets to determine if the teachings are in continuity with the apostolic witness? Both the ELCA and LCMS believe that they are teaching in continuity with the teaching of the apostles. So do Roman Catholics and the Orthodox. Calvin and Wesleys believed that they corrected some deficiencies in Luther's thought. There are the back-to-the-Bible folks who are certain each of them has recaptured the biblical truths that were lost.


The plethora of denominations and the variety in their teachings indicate that something more than just a statement that we are in continuity with the teaching of the apostles is necessary.







"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]

James_Gale

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Re: Herbert Chilstrom+
« Reply #29 on: February 15, 2020, 02:20:01 PM »
In case anyone is interested, you can watch Bp. Chilstrom's funeral here.  Link


Incidentally, one of the organists is Dr. David Fienen, retired professor and academic dean at Gustavus Adolphus College.  Dr. Fienen's brother is well know to all of us here.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2020, 08:13:14 AM by James_Gale »