Author Topic: Trinity Sunday  (Read 7639 times)

Brian Stoffregen

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 43530
  • ἐγὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν, ἀγαπᾶτε τοὺς ἐχθροὺς ὑμῶν
    • View Profile
Re: Trinity Sunday
« Reply #45 on: June 09, 2020, 03:05:35 AM »
Accusations ??  Where?? I have simply asked for documentation that ‘that document’ is in conflict with the Scriptures and Confessions.  How is asking a question an accusation?


If the document only says what Scripture and the Confessions state, it's unnecessary. I'd rather read Scripture and the Confessions. The ELCA and I would guess all the other Lutheran bodies get along fine without "that document". It's unnecessary. Why do you have it?

Of course, by that reasoning then the Confessions themselves are unnecessary.


A majority of Christians do not have our Confessions. They get along quite well without them. They are unnecessary for salvation.
"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]

Steven W Bohler

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 3984
    • View Profile
Re: Trinity Sunday
« Reply #46 on: June 09, 2020, 09:09:22 AM »
Accusations ??  Where?? I have simply asked for documentation that ‘that document’ is in conflict with the Scriptures and Confessions.  How is asking a question an accusation?


If the document only says what Scripture and the Confessions state, it's unnecessary. I'd rather read Scripture and the Confessions. The ELCA and I would guess all the other Lutheran bodies get along fine without "that document". It's unnecessary. Why do you have it?

Of course, by that reasoning then the Confessions themselves are unnecessary.


A majority of Christians do not have our Confessions. They get along quite well without them. They are unnecessary for salvation.



1. We are not talking about non-Lutheran Christians. 
2. We are not on a generic Christian discussion site, but a Lutheran one. 
3. You are a Lutheran (I believe that is still your claim). 
4. You swore to teach according to the Confessions (or at least some of them) when you were ordained. 

Why?  Since Lutherans claim the Confessions only teach what the Bible teaches, they are unnecessary according to the reasoning you gave above.  Oh, and by the way, I see that you changed from simply "unnecessary" in the earlier post to "unnecessary for salvation" in your latest one.  There is a big difference between the two.

D. Engebretson

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 4724
    • View Profile
Re: Trinity Sunday
« Reply #47 on: June 09, 2020, 09:14:57 AM »
A majority of Christians do not have our Confessions. They get along quite well without them. They are unnecessary for salvation.

I suppose they believe they get along well without them.  One might wonder that without a good and historically-tested definition of God to confess on a regular basis whether their fidelity to that confession is faithful. I think that examples abound in various denominations where the definition of God becomes skewed and muddied, if not in outright confession, then in practice and actual preaching.
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

Dan Fienen

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 12805
    • View Profile
Re: Trinity Sunday
« Reply #48 on: June 09, 2020, 09:28:19 AM »
I have been amused that the few times that I have picked up brochures from a church that proudly eschews creeds and confessions, they invariably include a statement of beliefs. Sometimes their statement of beliefs includes a rejection of creeds.
Pr. Daniel Fienen
LCMS

Brian Stoffregen

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 43530
  • ἐγὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν, ἀγαπᾶτε τοὺς ἐχθροὺς ὑμῶν
    • View Profile
Re: Trinity Sunday
« Reply #49 on: June 09, 2020, 01:45:21 PM »
Accusations ??  Where?? I have simply asked for documentation that ‘that document’ is in conflict with the Scriptures and Confessions.  How is asking a question an accusation?


If the document only says what Scripture and the Confessions state, it's unnecessary. I'd rather read Scripture and the Confessions. The ELCA and I would guess all the other Lutheran bodies get along fine without "that document". It's unnecessary. Why do you have it?

Of course, by that reasoning then the Confessions themselves are unnecessary.


A majority of Christians do not have our Confessions. They get along quite well without them. They are unnecessary for salvation.

1. We are not talking about non-Lutheran Christians.


I was.

Quote
2. We are not on a generic Christian discussion site, but a Lutheran one. 


Yes, and there are non-Lutheran participants.

Quote
3. You are a Lutheran (I believe that is still your claim). 


Yup.

Quote
4. You swore to teach according to the Confessions (or at least some of them) when you were ordained. 


Yup.

Quote
Why?  Since Lutherans claim the Confessions only teach what the Bible teaches, they are unnecessary according to the reasoning you gave above.  Oh, and by the way, I see that you changed from simply "unnecessary" in the earlier post to "unnecessary for salvation" in your latest one.  There is a big difference between the two.


The Confessions are what make us Lutheran Christians. When I talk about them in confirmation and new member classes, they are presented as things that make us different from other Christians. We have a different history, different documents, and different emphases. This class comes after one where I talk about what makes us Christians - like other Christians: belief in the Trinity, the teaching about Jesus Christ as God and human, our savior and Lord, the Bible being the Word of God, the gospel as the means of salvation, the creeds as summaries of our Christian beliefs.


Yes, I changed it. You can't talk about the Confessions being necessary until you qualify it: Necessary for what? I would guess that a vast majority of Lutherans do not have, nor have they ever read the Book of Concord. Their knowledge of it is limited to the Small Catechism that they studied in confirmation. I also found that many people were confused about the Small Catechism. They believed that the whole book, e.g., 100 pages of stuff they had in confirmation class was Luther's Small Catechism when most of it was somebody's comments about Luther's writing. More than once I've given people just the Small Catechism and they exclaimed, "This isn't it!" Or, "Is this all of it?"


I also confess that I had never heard about the Book of Concord (or at least don't remember hearing about it) until I was in the LCMS college and there was a required class on it. I then checked and our church library did not have a copy of it. It just isn't that important (or necessary) to most Lutheran Christians.
"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]

Steven W Bohler

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 3984
    • View Profile
Re: Trinity Sunday
« Reply #50 on: June 09, 2020, 09:47:33 PM »
OK, Rev. Stoffregen, let's try it this way: Do the Confessions teach differently from the Bible?

1. If no, then they are unnecessary (according to your earlier reasoning).  So why have them?  Why not just use the Bible?  Isn't subscribing to them just as unnecessary (and potential schismatic) as you accuse the LCMS in its use of "that document"?  Or worse, since the LCMS does not elevate "that document" to the level of the Confessions?

2. If yes, then why did you swear to teach according to them?


Brian Stoffregen

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 43530
  • ἐγὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν, ἀγαπᾶτε τοὺς ἐχθροὺς ὑμῶν
    • View Profile
Re: Trinity Sunday
« Reply #51 on: June 10, 2020, 03:48:10 AM »
OK, Rev. Stoffregen, let's try it this way: Do the Confessions teach differently from the Bible?

1. If no, then they are unnecessary (according to your earlier reasoning).  So why have them?  Why not just use the Bible?  Isn't subscribing to them just as unnecessary (and potential schismatic) as you accuse the LCMS in its use of "that document"?  Or worse, since the LCMS does not elevate "that document" to the level of the Confessions?

2. If yes, then why did you swear to teach according to them?


1. We Lutherans have them as part of our history and emphasis. Presbyterians don't have them because they are not part of their history nor their emphasis. Same with Methodists and Baptists and Anglicans. However, each of those groups have historical documents that promote what they seek to emphasize in the scriptures. Our emphasis, based on Romans and Galatians and Augsburg IV, is on God justifying sinners by grace. Roman Catholics tend to emphasize Matthew and our need to follow Jesus' teachings. (The word "grace" doesn't even occur in Matthew.)


2. 'Cause I'm a Lutheran Christian. What our confessions emphasize I agree with. We are to be the "gospel" church. It is precisely this emphasis that leaves salvation totally in God's hands why I can say that our Confessions are unnecessary for salvation.
"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]

Steven W Bohler

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 3984
    • View Profile
Re: Trinity Sunday
« Reply #52 on: June 10, 2020, 09:49:15 AM »
OK, Rev. Stoffregen, let's try it this way: Do the Confessions teach differently from the Bible?

1. If no, then they are unnecessary (according to your earlier reasoning).  So why have them?  Why not just use the Bible?  Isn't subscribing to them just as unnecessary (and potential schismatic) as you accuse the LCMS in its use of "that document"?  Or worse, since the LCMS does not elevate "that document" to the level of the Confessions?

2. If yes, then why did you swear to teach according to them?


1. We Lutherans have them as part of our history and emphasis. Presbyterians don't have them because they are not part of their history nor their emphasis. Same with Methodists and Baptists and Anglicans. However, each of those groups have historical documents that promote what they seek to emphasize in the scriptures. Our emphasis, based on Romans and Galatians and Augsburg IV, is on God justifying sinners by grace. Roman Catholics tend to emphasize Matthew and our need to follow Jesus' teachings. (The word "grace" doesn't even occur in Matthew.)


2. 'Cause I'm a Lutheran Christian. What our confessions emphasize I agree with. We are to be the "gospel" church. It is precisely this emphasis that leaves salvation totally in God's hands why I can say that our Confessions are unnecessary for salvation.

Lots of words but no answer to the actual question.  Do the Confessions teach differently than the Bible?  Still waiting for your answer...

James J Eivan

  • Guest
Re: Trinity Sunday
« Reply #53 on: June 10, 2020, 09:55:42 AM »
OK, Rev. Stoffregen, let's try it this way: Do the Confessions teach differently from the Bible?

1. If no, then they are unnecessary (according to your earlier reasoning).  So why have them?  Why not just use the Bible?  Isn't subscribing to them just as unnecessary (and potential schismatic) as you accuse the LCMS in its use of "that document"?  Or worse, since the LCMS does not elevate "that document" to the level of the Confessions?

2. If yes, then why did you swear to teach according to them?


1. We Lutherans have them as part of our history and emphasis. Presbyterians don't have them because they are not part of their history nor their emphasis. Same with Methodists and Baptists and Anglicans. However, each of those groups have historical documents that promote what they seek to emphasize in the scriptures. Our emphasis, based on Romans and Galatians and Augsburg IV, is on God justifying sinners by grace. Roman Catholics tend to emphasize Matthew and our need to follow Jesus' teachings. (The word "grace" doesn't even occur in Matthew.)


2. 'Cause I'm a Lutheran Christian. What our confessions emphasize I agree with. We are to be the "gospel" church. It is precisely this emphasis that leaves salvation totally in God's hands why I can say that our Confessions are unnecessary for salvation.

Lots of words but no answer to the actual question.  Do the Confessions teach differently than the Bible?  Still waiting for your answer...
Your answer may be found in the bottom of some rabbit hole somewhere.😃😅

Brian Stoffregen

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 43530
  • ἐγὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν, ἀγαπᾶτε τοὺς ἐχθροὺς ὑμῶν
    • View Profile
Re: Trinity Sunday
« Reply #54 on: June 10, 2020, 03:08:39 PM »
OK, Rev. Stoffregen, let's try it this way: Do the Confessions teach differently from the Bible?

1. If no, then they are unnecessary (according to your earlier reasoning).  So why have them?  Why not just use the Bible?  Isn't subscribing to them just as unnecessary (and potential schismatic) as you accuse the LCMS in its use of "that document"?  Or worse, since the LCMS does not elevate "that document" to the level of the Confessions?

2. If yes, then why did you swear to teach according to them?


1. We Lutherans have them as part of our history and emphasis. Presbyterians don't have them because they are not part of their history nor their emphasis. Same with Methodists and Baptists and Anglicans. However, each of those groups have historical documents that promote what they seek to emphasize in the scriptures. Our emphasis, based on Romans and Galatians and Augsburg IV, is on God justifying sinners by grace. Roman Catholics tend to emphasize Matthew and our need to follow Jesus' teachings. (The word "grace" doesn't even occur in Matthew.)


2. 'Cause I'm a Lutheran Christian. What our confessions emphasize I agree with. We are to be the "gospel" church. It is precisely this emphasis that leaves salvation totally in God's hands why I can say that our Confessions are unnecessary for salvation.

Lots of words but no answer to the actual question.  Do the Confessions teach differently than the Bible?  Still waiting for your answer...


They emphasize particular parts of the Bible; but they do not teach the whole Bible. Thus, we have other denominations who emphasize other parts of the Bible. They tend to become filters through which we read the whole Bible, which also tend to blind us to other interpretations. E.g., how Roman Catholics or Jewish scholars interpret the passages.
"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]

Steven W Bohler

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 3984
    • View Profile
Re: Trinity Sunday
« Reply #55 on: June 10, 2020, 03:11:33 PM »
OK, Rev. Stoffregen, let's try it this way: Do the Confessions teach differently from the Bible?

1. If no, then they are unnecessary (according to your earlier reasoning).  So why have them?  Why not just use the Bible?  Isn't subscribing to them just as unnecessary (and potential schismatic) as you accuse the LCMS in its use of "that document"?  Or worse, since the LCMS does not elevate "that document" to the level of the Confessions?

2. If yes, then why did you swear to teach according to them?


1. We Lutherans have them as part of our history and emphasis. Presbyterians don't have them because they are not part of their history nor their emphasis. Same with Methodists and Baptists and Anglicans. However, each of those groups have historical documents that promote what they seek to emphasize in the scriptures. Our emphasis, based on Romans and Galatians and Augsburg IV, is on God justifying sinners by grace. Roman Catholics tend to emphasize Matthew and our need to follow Jesus' teachings. (The word "grace" doesn't even occur in Matthew.)


2. 'Cause I'm a Lutheran Christian. What our confessions emphasize I agree with. We are to be the "gospel" church. It is precisely this emphasis that leaves salvation totally in God's hands why I can say that our Confessions are unnecessary for salvation.

Lots of words but no answer to the actual question.  Do the Confessions teach differently than the Bible?  Still waiting for your answer...


They emphasize particular parts of the Bible; but they do not teach the whole Bible. Thus, we have other denominations who emphasize other parts of the Bible. They tend to become filters through which we read the whole Bible, which also tend to blind us to other interpretations. E.g., how Roman Catholics or Jewish scholars interpret the passages.

More words and you STILL have not answered the question.  Why is that?  Do the Confessions teach differently from the Bible? 

Brian Stoffregen

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 43530
  • ἐγὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν, ἀγαπᾶτε τοὺς ἐχθροὺς ὑμῶν
    • View Profile
Re: Trinity Sunday
« Reply #56 on: June 10, 2020, 03:21:35 PM »
OK, Rev. Stoffregen, let's try it this way: Do the Confessions teach differently from the Bible?

1. If no, then they are unnecessary (according to your earlier reasoning).  So why have them?  Why not just use the Bible?  Isn't subscribing to them just as unnecessary (and potential schismatic) as you accuse the LCMS in its use of "that document"?  Or worse, since the LCMS does not elevate "that document" to the level of the Confessions?

2. If yes, then why did you swear to teach according to them?


1. We Lutherans have them as part of our history and emphasis. Presbyterians don't have them because they are not part of their history nor their emphasis. Same with Methodists and Baptists and Anglicans. However, each of those groups have historical documents that promote what they seek to emphasize in the scriptures. Our emphasis, based on Romans and Galatians and Augsburg IV, is on God justifying sinners by grace. Roman Catholics tend to emphasize Matthew and our need to follow Jesus' teachings. (The word "grace" doesn't even occur in Matthew.)


2. 'Cause I'm a Lutheran Christian. What our confessions emphasize I agree with. We are to be the "gospel" church. It is precisely this emphasis that leaves salvation totally in God's hands why I can say that our Confessions are unnecessary for salvation.

Lots of words but no answer to the actual question.  Do the Confessions teach differently than the Bible?  Still waiting for your answer...


They emphasize particular parts of the Bible; but they do not teach the whole Bible. Thus, we have other denominations who emphasize other parts of the Bible. They tend to become filters through which we read the whole Bible, which also tend to blind us to other interpretations. E.g., how Roman Catholics or Jewish scholars interpret the passages.

More words and you STILL have not answered the question.  Why is that?  Do the Confessions teach differently from the Bible?


I've answered it to the best of my ability, which means I will probably not answer it the way you want me to answer it. As Charles often says, "Life is messy." Some questions are not easily answered because there are too many nuances.


The Bible has a range of teachings. It informs such diverse groups as the three main branches of Judaism; the Roman Catholics and Orthodox and all that varied types of Protestant churches - and those who might go beyond Protestantism: Universalists, Pentecostalism, Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses, Christian Scientists. Our Confessions certainly teach something different than what many of these groups find taught in the Bible. As.a liberal-minded Lutheran, I respect these other teachings and believe we can learn from them. I'm not willing to say that they aren't biblical; even if they run counter to our Confessions. I don't quite live in a world where everything ends up being black and white; right and wrong. "It depends" quite often comes out of my mouth.
"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]

NCLutheran2

  • Guest
Re: Trinity Sunday
« Reply #57 on: June 10, 2020, 03:50:44 PM »
More words and you STILL have not answered the question.  Why is that?  Do the Confessions teach differently from the Bible?

Reading through the lines, I think Brian and I would have a similar answer to this question.

Insofar as the Confessions discuss matters of scripture (as opposed to practices or issues of the day), I believe that the Confessions teach doctrine in accordance with the Bible. However, they do not contain the whole breadth and depth of context found in the Bible. Similar to how someone can read the plot of a movie on Wikipedia but miss out on the experience of watching the film, someone who only reads the Confessions without reading the Bible would arrive at a correct understanding of the doctrines they discuss but miss the full context that the scriptures provide. These other contexts and emphases found in scripture are what allow for other confessions (small c), such as the Thirty-Nine articles, the Three Forms of Unity, etc., to exist and serve as valid interpretations of scripture alongside our Book of Concord.

While the words of scripture do not change, our knowledge and interpretations of scripture are always changing. Our Confessions bear witness to how scripture was taught and interpreted at discrete points in time, enabling them to serve as denominational foundations. But they are works of human hands and lack the divine inspiration that holy scriptures have. As a result, there is always the possibility that confessions can be superseded with time - while Lutherans haven't done this, this has happened fairly frequently in the Reformed tradition, for example.

James J Eivan

  • Guest
Re: Trinity Sunday
« Reply #58 on: June 10, 2020, 04:08:02 PM »
More words and you STILL have not answered the question.  Why is that?  Do the Confessions teach differently from the Bible?

Reading through the lines, I think Brian and I would have a similar answer to this question.

Insofar as the Confessions discuss matters of scripture (as opposed to practices or issues of the day), I believe that the Confessions teach doctrine in accordance with the Bible. However, they do not contain the whole breadth and depth of context found in the Bible. Similar to how someone can read the plot of a movie on Wikipedia but miss out on the experience of watching the film, someone who only reads the Confessions without reading the Bible would arrive at a correct understanding of the doctrines they discuss but miss the full context that the scriptures provide. These other contexts and emphases found in scripture are what allow for other confessions (small c), such as the Thirty-Nine articles, the Three Forms of Unity, etc., to exist and serve as valid interpretations of scripture alongside our Book of Concord.

While the words of scripture do not change, our knowledge and interpretations of scripture are always changing. Our Confessions bear witness to how scripture was taught and interpreted at discrete points in time, enabling them to serve as denominational foundations. But they are works of human hands and lack the divine inspiration that holy scriptures have. As a result, there is always the possibility that confessions can be superseded with time - while Lutherans haven't done this, this has happened fairly frequently in the Reformed tradition, for example.
So then, are the Scriptures and Confessions in conflict TODAY?  If so, where?


If an ordained pastor has vowed to teach in accordance with the Scriptures and Confessions,  he must have agreed at least at the time or ordination that is was true ... or he perjured and lied at the ordination. 

readselerttoo

  • Guest
Re: Trinity Sunday
« Reply #59 on: June 10, 2020, 04:39:30 PM »
Holy Scripture (properly defined, ie. the prophetic and apostolic writings of the Old and New Testaments) is the ONLY judge, rule and norm
(richter, regel, richtschnur) by which all dogmas, doctrines and teachers are measured in terms of the law and the Gospel.  Our Lutheran confessions, as I read them, agree with what scripture speaks and teaches.  But they are not on par with Holy Scripture in the standard of measuring apostolic authority.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2020, 05:40:23 PM by readselerttoo »