Author Topic: Could we be seeing a return to one-earner families?  (Read 4460 times)

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Could we be seeing a return to one-earner families?
« Reply #135 on: November 18, 2021, 12:58:26 AM »
So, the bottom line is that the information got you a grant from the ELCA.  But nothing happened or changed (at least for/by the church).  OK, NOW I see why this kind of information is so vital and valuable: grant money.


It has also been information that I used to decide if I might be a good fit for the congregation and community. Is it a place where I want to live (and earlier, is it a place where I want to raise my family). Is there potential for growth in that area? The change in demographics gives a sense of what's happening in the community. Does it appear like the congregation has the financial resources to stay open for the next ten years? Can we afford to live there with the salary they are offering?


Some of those are also questions the congregation asks itself as it goes through the self-study before they know what gifts they are looking for in their next pastor. Where is this community heading in the next ten years? Will we seek to minister to the folks in the changing neighborhood or not?
"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]

Donald_Kirchner

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Re: Could we be seeing a return to one-earner families?
« Reply #136 on: November 18, 2021, 07:17:07 AM »
Law/Gospel is not the order that Paul presents in Romans 2:4b, but Gospel/Law.

You changed the preaching hermeneutic that you were taught because of your personal and questionable interpretation of Romans 2:4b!  :o I think Paul wrote Romans 3, 4, 5, and 6 as well, indeed 15 total with plenty of Law/Gospel proclamation.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2021, 08:11:21 AM by Donald_Kirchner »
Don Kirchner

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Rob Morris

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Re: Could we be seeing a return to one-earner families?
« Reply #137 on: November 18, 2021, 08:43:32 AM »
Law/Gospel is not the order that Paul presents in Romans 2:4b, but Gospel/Law.

You changed the preaching hermeneutic that you were taught because of your personal and questionable interpretation of Romans 2:4b!  :o I think Paul wrote Romans 3, 4, 5, and 6 as well, indeed 15 total with plenty of Law/Gospel proclamation.

Not really picking a fight, and I know it's a sidetrack to the thread topic...

I just have an objection to a rigid view that sermons must always follow Law-Gospel format when Scripture itself (and indeed, the sermons Scripture records in the book of Acts or in the Gospels) does not do so.

Sticking with Romans, take a look at chapter 15 and 16. Other than the greetings, this section is full of the paraenetic material typical to Pauline letters. Lots and lots of "You must" and "We should"... in other words, law language with ourselves as the verbs. As I know you know: Paul frequently, even typically presented his arguments as: here is what Christ has accomplished for us, now here is how we should behave.

Our homileticians would criticize this as Gospel-Law and then dock significant points from his grade. As I point out, reading their sermons, neither Luther nor Walther felt bound to this "Always-Law-then-Gospel" structure. Therefore, this is an area where I think we can become more committed to Lutheranism as we perceive it than to Lutheran Confession or Scripture, and I think it warrants caution. If we are not cautious, the structure can become an extra-Biblical shibboleth that ends up robbing Scripture of its richness. I have seen some extremely poor eisegesis as a result.

When we are held to account, I feel certain that the standard demanded of us as preachers will be: "were you faithful to my Word?" Not, "did the Gospel portion come last?"

Donald_Kirchner

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Re: Could we be seeing a return to one-earner families?
« Reply #138 on: November 18, 2021, 09:20:52 AM »
That's certainly your prerogative. I'm simply stating what I've done as to what's been deemed stewardship as well as what's been the format of my sermons in general, following my profs', my mentor, the sainted Lee Maxwell, and Dean David Smith's teachings.

I think it's important to keep in mind that Paul's letter to the Romans is simply that a letter. I have written letters over the years that certainly did not follow a Law/Gospel format. In fact, there have been a couple that could be seen as Law-focused, calling one to repentance.

There certainly are differing opinions. I recall when you were being castigated for Sandy Hook and forced to apologize, at least one poster hereon being deeply offended by your actions, that I told you that I understood the circumstances of the situation and your actions and praised your proclamation of Jesus Christ to a devastated community.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2021, 06:37:30 PM by Donald_Kirchner »
Don Kirchner

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Dan Fienen

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Re: Could we be seeing a return to one-earner families?
« Reply #139 on: November 18, 2021, 09:49:54 AM »
It seems to me that what is more important than the structure, whether Law-Gospel, Gospel-Law, Law-Gospel-Law, or what have you, is what the motivation for what we are to do is. A sermon that motivates from guilt or fear will tend to be Law orientated and Law dominated. Sermons do need to answer the "So what?" question. Having been told what the sermon tells, how are we to apply this to our lives. I know that the Third Use of the Law is unpopular in some quarters, but whether you call it Third Use or First Use as applied to Christians, God's Law is also a guide for showing us how God wants us to live. Look at Psalm 119. But for the Christian it has become not "Do this or you will be sorry," or "Do this or God will get you," or even "Do this because you have been bad," but more of a "You have been freed to do this because it is good and wise."
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Terry W Culler

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Re: Could we be seeing a return to one-earner families?
« Reply #140 on: November 18, 2021, 10:33:37 AM »
The formula I've tried to use is based on the idea that God alone knows who is or is not saved among the people sitting in front of me.  And reason tells me that if there is anyone not yet convicted of his or her sins, then they need to hear the Law so they can truly hear the Gospel.  But there may be people who have been convicted of their sinfulness, but still believe they can or must do something about it--try to be good, etc.  They need to understand there is nothing they can do about their situation, so the Gospel must be purely proclaimed monergistically.  And finally there are the saved saints in the congregation.  They know that Christ has imputed His righteousness to them and they are saved.  But they still long to hear the truth because they know it.  There exists then the need for each sermon to, in some way, address all three groups.

I also think a good sermon must explicate the text on which it is based, apply that text to the life of each hearer, and show how the Gospel is applicable to all things.
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Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Could we be seeing a return to one-earner families?
« Reply #141 on: November 18, 2021, 11:47:20 AM »
Law/Gospel is not the order that Paul presents in Romans 2:4b, but Gospel/Law.

You changed the preaching hermeneutic that you were taught because of your personal and questionable interpretation of Romans 2:4b!  :o I think Paul wrote Romans 3, 4, 5, and 6 as well, indeed 15 total with plenty of Law/Gospel proclamation.


I'm not throwing out the Law/Gospel order. I'm not changing the preaching hermeneutic, but adding to it. I've come to recognize that scripturally and practically, law/gospel not always the case. People are less likely to admit guilt (confess sins) because of the Law, because the Law brings punishment. However, having heard and believed the Gospel of God's grace; that confession brings forgiveness not punishment; that brings a freedom to admit sins that the Law has exposed.


More generally, real people don't always fit into the boxes that we've created.
"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]

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Could we be seeing a return to one-earner families?
« Reply #142 on: November 18, 2021, 11:56:11 AM »
The formula I've tried to use is based on the idea that God alone knows who is or is not saved among the people sitting in front of me.  And reason tells me that if there is anyone not yet convicted of his or her sins, then they need to hear the Law so they can truly hear the Gospel.  But there may be people who have been convicted of their sinfulness, but still believe they can or must do something about it--try to be good, etc.  They need to understand there is nothing they can do about their situation, so the Gospel must be purely proclaimed monergistically.  And finally there are the saved saints in the congregation.  They know that Christ has imputed His righteousness to them and they are saved.  But they still long to hear the truth because they know it.  There exists then the need for each sermon to, in some way, address all three groups.

I also think a good sermon must explicate the text on which it is based, apply that text to the life of each hearer, and show how the Gospel is applicable to all things.


A distinction I've often made (after reading it in a book) is that the real question to ask is not: "What do you believe?" but "What difference does it make in your life that you believe?" I think that this second question gets at the heart of what faith means (especially in the book of James). Faith is more than just agreeing to a set of statements, but it is a conviction that changes the way we think and act - the meaning that is included in the words μετανοέω/ματάνοια. The grace of God (or if you prefer, the Spirit of God) is a power that is meant to change us.


In terms of stewardship, I would expect Christians to use their money (and time) in ways differently than unbelievers.
"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]

Dave Benke

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Re: Could we be seeing a return to one-earner families?
« Reply #143 on: November 18, 2021, 02:14:34 PM »
The formula I've tried to use is based on the idea that God alone knows who is or is not saved among the people sitting in front of me.  And reason tells me that if there is anyone not yet convicted of his or her sins, then they need to hear the Law so they can truly hear the Gospel.  But there may be people who have been convicted of their sinfulness, but still believe they can or must do something about it--try to be good, etc.  They need to understand there is nothing they can do about their situation, so the Gospel must be purely proclaimed monergistically.  And finally there are the saved saints in the congregation.  They know that Christ has imputed His righteousness to them and they are saved.  But they still long to hear the truth because they know it.  There exists then the need for each sermon to, in some way, address all three groups.

I also think a good sermon must explicate the text on which it is based, apply that text to the life of each hearer, and show how the Gospel is applicable to all things.

Great insight in both paragraphs one and two. 

Dave Benke