Author Topic: Concordia Portland is closing at the end of the academic year  (Read 45599 times)

PrTim15

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Re: Concordia Portland is closing at the end of the academic year
« Reply #285 on: May 01, 2020, 07:28:29 PM »
Yup, I’m Tim Klinkenberg.  I was nominated for Synod President.  Not sure what I would have done.  Could be better, could be worse.  But this I know, that 3 years in, the problems of the organization the leader leads are the leaders.  Great clarifying question for the LCMS, “So how’s it going for us?”

peter_speckhard

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Re: Concordia Portland is closing at the end of the academic year
« Reply #286 on: May 01, 2020, 07:41:56 PM »
Yup, I’m Tim Klinkenberg.  I was nominated for Synod President.  Not sure what I would have done.  Could be better, could be worse.  But this I know, that 3 years in, the problems of the organization the leader leads are the leaders.  Great clarifying question for the LCMS, “So how’s it going for us?”
Not well. Not for any established, denominational church. It is, as Dave Benke has said, a time of triage when it comes to the old institutions, especially small liberal arts colleges. Which is why I find it amazing that someone would "presume" that the closure of CUP was caused in part by the SP's incompetence and/or malfeasance. Rest assured that if you were SP I would similarly bristle at anyone posting such a presumption. It is simply despicable, and since you might have been in Harrison's shoes right now, I'd think you would see that. 

PrTim15

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Re: Concordia Portland is closing at the end of the academic year
« Reply #287 on: May 01, 2020, 07:43:41 PM »
Yup, not well. 

Mbecker

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Re: Concordia Portland is closing at the end of the academic year
« Reply #288 on: May 01, 2020, 10:00:52 PM »
2020.  CUP never found fault with your teaching.  That was true in 2004, in 2010, and 2020.  It’s a factor in why quite a few in the LCMS, including President Harrison apparently, lost faith in the school’s ability to reflect our church body’s teaching and so it’s ability to educate its students as the LCMS intended.  Why should the synod throw more money down the drain, so to speak?  And so, it is a factor in its closing, however how slight.

Your post makes no sense. "CUP" is an abstraction. It could never "find fault" with anyone's teaching since that is not how such an institution functions.

If you mean CUP's Board of Regents, its president, its provost, my dean, my department chair, my fellow colleagues in the theology department, the NW District president, the NW District Board of Directors, my circuit counselor (as that position was called in those days), and official synodical review panels, then, yes, all of the above authorities determined I was not guilty of teaching false doctrine (in all cases prior to and in 2004). The DPs under whom I served, including the one to whom I remained accountable until 2015, also never found fault with my teaching, although the latter individual formally suspended me in 2015. (He has since told me and others that he did not think I was actually guilty of teaching false doctrine.)

I had nothing to do with "CUP" after 2004, and the powers that be at the school had nothing to do with me after that summer. When I served on Concordia's faculty, I reflected LCMS teaching and practice, which can only be the same as the doctrinal content of the Scriptures as that content is summarized and presented in the Lutheran Confessions (cf. Article II of the LCMS Constitution). If I did not reflect that teaching, I would have been found guilty by the various authorities I mention above.

The synod and its convention resolutions, ctcr documents, etc. are subordinate to the Scriptures and the Confessions, not the other way around. If a theologian in the church body is convinced that a synodical position is contrary to the Scriptures and the Confessions (or at least not helpful to its mission and ministry, creating unnecessary obstacles and stumbling-blocks to the mission, etc.), then that person has the responsibility to point out the errors and obstacles. Such pointing/criticizing is an aspect of the theologian's vocation. Cf. Martin Luther. He, too, had charges brought against him. Unlike him, though, I was exonerated in each of the cases that were brought against me. I remain grateful that those who actually investigated my teaching--at great length, in some cases--determined in the end that I was not guilty of teaching false doctrine.

But that was sixteen years ago! Over the past decade and half, CUP's theology faculty has put its focus elsewhere from where Bob Schmidt, Norm Metzler, and I put it. As far as I can tell, the theo faculty there has kept its nose to the grindstone.

M. Becker

I think you just agreed with my observation.  Thanks.

Pr. Bohler,
I haven't taught at Concordia since 2004. I've had absolutely no impact on what has happened at Concordia during the past 16 years.

Repeat: Sixteen. Years.

My wife thinks I should be flattered that you think I've had any role to play in Concordia's closing. Her other comment was, "How bizarre can it get? What kind of pull does he think you have?"

Beats me.

Easter joy be with you!
MB

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Re: Concordia Portland is closing at the end of the academic year
« Reply #289 on: May 01, 2020, 11:20:50 PM »
Yup, I’m Tim Klinkenberg.  I was nominated for Synod President.  Not sure what I would have done.  Could be better, could be worse.  But this I know, that 3 years in, the problems of the organization the leader leads are the leaders.  Great clarifying question for the LCMS, “So how’s it going for us?”
Not well. Not for any established, denominational church. It is, as Dave Benke has said, a time of triage when it comes to the old institutions, especially small liberal arts colleges. Which is why I find it amazing that someone would "presume" that the closure of CUP was caused in part by the SP's incompetence and/or malfeasance. Rest assured that if you were SP I would similarly bristle at anyone posting such a presumption. It is simply despicable, and since you might have been in Harrison's shoes right now, I'd think you would see that.

Triage we must; triage we will.  With regard to second guessing of leadership decisions, or questioning what happened when, that goes with the territory.  There's a strand in the Missouri Synod that makes these fourth commandment discussions - "parents and those in authority."  The Roman Catholic system inhabits that space better, because it is specifically hierarchical and they do call the leaders "Father" and the top leader "Holy Father."  Luther kind of wrecked that back when, and it's not faring all that well these days.  In a decision process in God's realm of the left - and the closing of Portland was a practical/business decision - there are a variety of deciders, voters and influencers.  I think malfeasance is related to incompetence.  If I'm incompetent, I will most likely do the wrong thing - malfeasance.  There are times when there really is no good decision as well, just an assortment of "least bad" ones.  So give it your best shot - show me a better way, expose my bad way, and if necessary un-elect me.  We don't have life tenure positions in church leadership. 

I was relating a very bad day I had in ecclesiastical supervision in Manhattan one evening, when while there was literally a guy with a gun on me on a rooftop, by the end of the night someone on the other side of that conflict told me they were going to kill me.  OK then - good thing the election wasn't held that night.

All that being said, the best thing in a bad situation is to say "Mistakes have been made.  I'm sorry for mine."  When there's a lawsuit, that's not something that can be said. 

Dave Benke

Mbecker

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Re: Concordia Portland is closing at the end of the academic year
« Reply #290 on: May 02, 2020, 01:11:12 AM »
Yup, I’m Tim Klinkenberg.  I was nominated for Synod President.  Not sure what I would have done.  Could be better, could be worse.  But this I know, that 3 years in, the problems of the organization the leader leads are the leaders.  Great clarifying question for the LCMS, “So how’s it going for us?”
Not well. Not for any established, denominational church. It is, as Dave Benke has said, a time of triage when it comes to the old institutions, especially small liberal arts colleges. Which is why I find it amazing that someone would "presume" that the closure of CUP was caused in part by the SP's incompetence and/or malfeasance. Rest assured that if you were SP I would similarly bristle at anyone posting such a presumption. It is simply despicable, and since you might have been in Harrison's shoes right now, I'd think you would see that.

Triage we must; triage we will.  With regard to second guessing of leadership decisions, or questioning what happened when, that goes with the territory.  There's a strand in the Missouri Synod that makes these fourth commandment discussions - "parents and those in authority."  The Roman Catholic system inhabits that space better, because it is specifically hierarchical and they do call the leaders "Father" and the top leader "Holy Father."  Luther kind of wrecked that back when, and it's not faring all that well these days.  In a decision process in God's realm of the left - and the closing of Portland was a practical/business decision - there are a variety of deciders, voters and influencers.  I think malfeasance is related to incompetence.  If I'm incompetent, I will most likely do the wrong thing - malfeasance.  There are times when there really is no good decision as well, just an assortment of "least bad" ones.  So give it your best shot - show me a better way, expose my bad way, and if necessary un-elect me.  We don't have life tenure positions in church leadership. 

I was relating a very bad day I had in ecclesiastical supervision in Manhattan one evening, when while there was literally a guy with a gun on me on a rooftop, by the end of the night someone on the other side of that conflict told me they were going to kill me.  OK then - good thing the election wasn't held that night.

All that being said, the best thing in a bad situation is to say "Mistakes have been made.  I'm sorry for mine."  When there's a lawsuit, that's not something that can be said. 

Dave Benke

Thank you, Dave, for these wise, pastoral words. You have been through the synodical wringer more than I. Because of your suffering, you have become a wounded healer (H. Nouwen).

To Peter and others who have bristled at what I have written here about Pres. Harrison: Mistakes have been made regarding Concordia-Portland. Those mistakes have really, really hurt a lot of people. Those of us whose families have a long, long history with that school, whose family members have been students at the school, those of us who have invested in the school and its mission, and who have even taught on its faculty, are hurt and angry. Our alma mater died yesterday. That's a big deal. The "presumption" (hypothesis) about which you are so upset grows out of that anger, which is only intensified by earlier instances of synodical malfeasance.

Rev. Harrison shares some of the blame for what has happened here. He's at the top of the parent institution. He has weighed in on specific funding decisions about the school. In an crucial way, the bucks stopped with him. He's going to have to face the heat that is being expressed now by affected individuals. He and others will have to face the heat that will be experienced through the left-hand legal system.

Mistakes have been made.

Praying Psalm 51 tonight, as I do every night,
M. Becker

Rev. Edward Engelbrecht

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Re: Concordia Portland is closing at the end of the academic year
« Reply #291 on: May 02, 2020, 08:04:03 AM »
Since Pastor Stanford's name has been mentioned here in public, is there a reason other names can't be mentioned as well, so we all know who we are talking about? Especially since one of the anonymous ones has a blog, which is a public online venue. Can that site be linked here so we can view it since it is public?

Hi, Don. Praying all is well for you. I don't name the main nag due to an agreement I made before I left St Louis. So I'm not afraid to name people but I am determined to keep my word and not bring harm to persons manipulated into serving the Machine.

The blog I mentioned is no longer public. It was pulled down by the author some years ago at the request of synod leadership. At the time, it was probably the most widely read blog by someone in the LCMS. But it was notorious for belligerence and a writing issue, which led to its demise. The author now expresses that belligerence through trolling and mobbing.
You identified him by his screen name this forum. In addition, you narrowed the list of possibilities according to when and where you worked. That isn't how anonymity works. You can't leave clues; all that means is that instead of accusing one person by name, you accuse multiple people by implication or innuendo. That is simply ill will with a smirk and a shrug working.

My agreement was not with the Nag. I owe him no anonymity. Those who troll and mob do not deserve anonymity. The use of anonymity in the article was never about protecting the abuser but about protecting the abused and exploited.

As I have said, I think the name you have demanded will come out, as well as the story of Johnny Underbridge and the reasons the blog went down.

I also continue to pray, Peter, that you never go through this mobbing experience.
I serve as administrator for www.churchhistoryreview.org.

D. Engebretson

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Re: Concordia Portland is closing at the end of the academic year
« Reply #292 on: May 02, 2020, 09:00:08 AM »
Since Pastor Stanford's name has been mentioned here in public, is there a reason other names can't be mentioned as well, so we all know who we are talking about? Especially since one of the anonymous ones has a blog, which is a public online venue. Can that site be linked here so we can view it since it is public?

Hi, Don. Praying all is well for you. I don't name the main nag due to an agreement I made before I left St Louis. So I'm not afraid to name people but I am determined to keep my word and not bring harm to persons manipulated into serving the Machine.

The blog I mentioned is no longer public. It was pulled down by the author some years ago at the request of synod leadership. At the time, it was probably the most widely read blog by someone in the LCMS. But it was notorious for belligerence and a writing issue, which led to its demise. The author now expresses that belligerence through trolling and mobbing.

Next, he'll be giving us his initials and home address. But he won't give his name because he is "determined to keep [his] word."   :o :o

Good grief!

I think that I have figured out the author of the blog and the institution with which he works.  The hints above reminded me of this person from years past; someone, I believe, who was active on this forum during my years of activity, but has since been banned from it.  He was, admittedly, rather abrasive online with those with whom he disagreed.  What power he had within the overall system, itself, I would not be privy to.  I live and work pretty far down the food chain in Synod.

Don, our theology says the highest office in the church is pastor. And the pastor is the servant of his congregation. At least that's what I recall from serving as editor of Harrison's edition of Church and Ministry. The IC is to serve the parishes and their church workers, not the other way around. I think their political ambitions have caused them to forget that. Lord, have mercy.

I understand what you are saying, but perhaps another way to phrase it is that the pastoral office is 'foundational' for all other offices.  Since we are a non-hierarchical church body (in the way that the RC church is) "high" and "low" have a different connotation.  I serve in an elected position within my district and thus serve on the board of directors and the presidium.  It is true that I serve my district and thus the pastors and people of that district, not the other way around.  At the same time I am privy to issues and challenges at a different 'level' than the local parish level and the people I serve.  I am also not privy to the intimate details of the issues and challenges at the national level where I do not serve.  I pray that decision they make at that national 'level' best serve folks like me and the parish I serve in this local, rural context. I am sure some do it better than others. 

In the specific case of this thread - Concordia, Portland - I can only imagine the many 'levels' and 'layers' of folks that take part in such decisions. DPs have some input, as does the SP, but there are also many others such as members of the Board of Regents.  In the midst of all this I can well imagine how easy it could be to lose sight of the level where the regular parish exists.  While foundational for the entire 'system,' we don't play an immediate role in the decision making at the level where they are having to decide on budgets and institutional directions that seem so far removed from the average church worker or church member.  And yet, they do impact us all.  My daughter is a freshman at one of our Concordias.  She is studying for a church work position.  I pray that the decisions made across the board in Synod (both national and regionally) remember young women like her as they chart the difficult course of institutional survival.  Originally this is why our Concordias existed  - to provide the church-at-large with the workers it needed to do the work to which we have been called. With changes made over the years that impact funding some of this direction may be getting a bit murky.  Are these schools primarily serving the greater church, or are they institutions left out there to simply find a way to survive in a highly competitive environment, but who continue to at least provide some programing so that our young men and women can get some training for work in the church? It's a tension that will have to be resolved at some point if any of the Concordias are to survive and thus serve our original purpose.
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

Steven W Bohler

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Re: Concordia Portland is closing at the end of the academic year
« Reply #293 on: May 02, 2020, 09:38:41 AM »
2020.  CUP never found fault with your teaching.  That was true in 2004, in 2010, and 2020.  It’s a factor in why quite a few in the LCMS, including President Harrison apparently, lost faith in the school’s ability to reflect our church body’s teaching and so it’s ability to educate its students as the LCMS intended.  Why should the synod throw more money down the drain, so to speak?  And so, it is a factor in its closing, however how slight.

Your post makes no sense. "CUP" is an abstraction. It could never "find fault" with anyone's teaching since that is not how such an institution functions.

If you mean CUP's Board of Regents, its president, its provost, my dean, my department chair, my fellow colleagues in the theology department, the NW District president, the NW District Board of Directors, my circuit counselor (as that position was called in those days), and official synodical review panels, then, yes, all of the above authorities determined I was not guilty of teaching false doctrine (in all cases prior to and in 2004). The DPs under whom I served, including the one to whom I remained accountable until 2015, also never found fault with my teaching, although the latter individual formally suspended me in 2015. (He has since told me and others that he did not think I was actually guilty of teaching false doctrine.)

I had nothing to do with "CUP" after 2004, and the powers that be at the school had nothing to do with me after that summer. When I served on Concordia's faculty, I reflected LCMS teaching and practice, which can only be the same as the doctrinal content of the Scriptures as that content is summarized and presented in the Lutheran Confessions (cf. Article II of the LCMS Constitution). If I did not reflect that teaching, I would have been found guilty by the various authorities I mention above.

The synod and its convention resolutions, ctcr documents, etc. are subordinate to the Scriptures and the Confessions, not the other way around. If a theologian in the church body is convinced that a synodical position is contrary to the Scriptures and the Confessions (or at least not helpful to its mission and ministry, creating unnecessary obstacles and stumbling-blocks to the mission, etc.), then that person has the responsibility to point out the errors and obstacles. Such pointing/criticizing is an aspect of the theologian's vocation. Cf. Martin Luther. He, too, had charges brought against him. Unlike him, though, I was exonerated in each of the cases that were brought against me. I remain grateful that those who actually investigated my teaching--at great length, in some cases--determined in the end that I was not guilty of teaching false doctrine.

But that was sixteen years ago! Over the past decade and half, CUP's theology faculty has put its focus elsewhere from where Bob Schmidt, Norm Metzler, and I put it. As far as I can tell, the theo faculty there has kept its nose to the grindstone.

M. Becker

I think you just agreed with my observation.  Thanks.

Pr. Bohler,
I haven't taught at Concordia since 2004. I've had absolutely no impact on what has happened at Concordia during the past 16 years.

Repeat: Sixteen. Years.

My wife thinks I should be flattered that you think I've had any role to play in Concordia's closing. Her other comment was, "How bizarre can it get? What kind of pull does he think you have?"

Beats me.

Easter joy be with you!
MB

I did not say that you had any pull at CUP, now or in the past 16 years.  I said that your teaching -- contrary to the LCMS in several areas, such as women's ordination and evolution -- and CUP's refusal to take any action against it, are also factors in its closing.  It has been nearly 30 since David Anderson was pastor of the congregations I currently serve; he has been dead for 3 years.  Yet he and his ministry here are still a factor in congregational life.

Charles Austin

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Re: Concordia Portland is closing at the end of the academic year
« Reply #294 on: May 02, 2020, 10:05:43 AM »
And of course everyone knows that mere discussion of women pastors and/or evolution will destroy a college.
Retired ELCA Pastor. You can say liberal Christians are wrong. You can say that you disagree with our interpretation of faith. But when you say we are driven by “culture” or “trendiness,” you prove that you do not listen to us. Luther fared better with Rome.

RandyBosch

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Re: Concordia Portland is closing at the end of the academic year
« Reply #295 on: May 02, 2020, 10:09:20 AM »
I learned a "new" word (new for me) yesterday that lives in this discussion:  "Dietrologia".
Italian "dietrologia", literally "behindology", the art of deciphering the hidden meaning of things, including the most transparent of them.  The critical analysis of events in an effort to detect, beyond the apparent causes, true and hidden designs" (Dictionary of New Words).
Or, per the Italian "La Stampa", dietrologia is "The science of the imagination, the culture of suspicion, the philosophy of mistrust, the technique of the double, triple, quadruple hypothesis."
Try it on.

Much of that casts light (or shadow) with statements of what would have happened if things had been different.  Frank Ramsey (look him up) called these "Unfulfilled Conditionals" - they express an attitude, but do not conform to any reality.

« Last Edit: May 02, 2020, 10:11:41 AM by RandyBosch »

Steven W Bohler

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Re: Concordia Portland is closing at the end of the academic year
« Reply #296 on: May 02, 2020, 10:11:37 AM »
And of course everyone knows that mere discussion of women pastors and/or evolution will destroy a college.

Yeah, because that's what I said.  No, wait, it's NOT!  But maybe you are only intentionally playing stupid (isn't that the phrase?)...

Charles Austin

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Re: Concordia Portland is closing at the end of the academic year
« Reply #297 on: May 02, 2020, 11:32:13 AM »
Sarcasm, Pastor Bohler, actual, real sarcasm. Shall I send you a dictionary of rhetorical and literary terms?
Retired ELCA Pastor. You can say liberal Christians are wrong. You can say that you disagree with our interpretation of faith. But when you say we are driven by “culture” or “trendiness,” you prove that you do not listen to us. Luther fared better with Rome.

Steven W Bohler

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Re: Concordia Portland is closing at the end of the academic year
« Reply #298 on: May 02, 2020, 12:19:39 PM »
Sarcasm, Pastor Bohler, actual, real sarcasm. Shall I send you a dictionary of rhetorical and literary terms?

Sure.  My mailing address is: Steve Bohler, 800 Washington Ave, Crookston MN  56716.  I prefer hard covers.  Thanks.

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Re: Concordia Portland is closing at the end of the academic year
« Reply #299 on: May 02, 2020, 12:24:51 PM »
BTW. Did you know that your revered predecessor, Dave Anderson, was pastor in Dubuque at the same time that I was Pastor there?
Retired ELCA Pastor. You can say liberal Christians are wrong. You can say that you disagree with our interpretation of faith. But when you say we are driven by “culture” or “trendiness,” you prove that you do not listen to us. Luther fared better with Rome.