Author Topic: Seminex in Print  (Read 4148 times)

Richard Johnson

  • ALPB Administrator
  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 10651
  • Create in me a clean heart, O God.
    • View Profile
Re: Seminex in Print
« Reply #15 on: December 16, 2021, 03:22:54 PM »
by giving the AELC And LCA progressives certain things that they wanted.

Just for the record, there were some ALC progressives in that mix as well.
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

Dave Likeness

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 5303
    • View Profile
Re: Seminex in Print
« Reply #16 on: December 16, 2021, 03:44:12 PM »
When Seminex was dissolved, one Old Testament professor went to
The Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago.  He produced the blueprint
and "scholarship" allowing practicing homosexuals to be accepted as
pastors.  Dr. Carl Braaten on the faculty at the time noticed this new
aberration in Lutheran theology.

John_Hannah

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 5688
    • View Profile
Re: Seminex in Print
« Reply #17 on: December 16, 2021, 03:48:21 PM »
by giving the AELC And LCA progressives certain things that they wanted.

Just for the record, there were some ALC progressives in that mix as well.

I recall the LCUSA executive for governmental advocacy was regularly criticized by RJN for his progressive views and activities. He was ALC. (The last name started with "B" but I can't remember exactly what it was.)

Peace, JOHN
Pr. JOHN HANNAH, STS

Dave Benke

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 13388
    • View Profile
    • Atlantic District, LCMS
Re: Seminex in Print
« Reply #18 on: December 16, 2021, 04:17:58 PM »
Looks like an important and helpful work for those interested in American Lutheranism.

https://www.cph.org/p-35190-seminex-in-print-a-comprehensive-bibliography-of-published-material-and-selected-archival-resources-for-historical-research.aspx

One would think the best source for the bibliography would be/have been the Christian News storage facility and archives, not so?  The first sentence of the blurb stuck out for me:  Nothing has shaken American Lutheranism more than the conflict within the Missouri Synod in the early 1970s.  Agree or disagree? 

Dave Benke

It is the most significant event for two reasons:

1) It inaugurated the "Boomer Peace", an interim that we've all been living under right up until today, which the biggest rule is that we will not collectively make resolutions on our life together that have actual impact. That fight was considered so devastating that crippling the institution as a coherent body and fostering the attitude of everyone doing what is right in their own eyes was preferable.  And that generation continues to white-knuckle that peace and keep a lid on any conversations of significance.

2) It alerted the progressive hierarchies of all mainline institutions that both: a) the actual congregations were not with them and b) they could lose if the crisis was forced. Learning the lesson of the early warning, they all adopted slow-roll revolutions from the top-down, boiling the frogs.

Responding to your first point, Mark, using a systems approach and understanding the church body as similar to its component congregations as an emotional system and to a great extent clergy dominated, the behaviors are pretty much in line with the normal pastoral emotional approach, which is passive/aggressive.  Whatever resolutions make it through the more political national pre-convention process are aired out in the body as a whole.  And by the third day, the room temperature has been taken and the lay delegates begin to call the question and move the whole thing along in a more straight down the line manner.  Usually the edge speakers have made their attempts to commandeer the assembly repeatedly, and are no longer seen as effective.  That's just kind of group psychology more than what you're driving at. 

Where I think you're wrong is having convention resolutions be the marker of some kind of forced peace.  Who cares, really?

The bigger issue is at another level, which is the Rules for Dissent and comment/conversation on doctrinal issues.  That whole area of the LCMS bylaws came through just before the split in the early 1970s, and was meant to foster reasonable discussion.  However, as it has gotten tightened down and down and down some more - even as it's way less possible to control because of the types of information dissemination multiplying exponentially - there's really no trust in an honest discussion without fear of reprisal.  You can use the Koinonia Project as the template.  We actually had the dialogs between Atlantic District and Wyoming District pastors, and a great percentage participated, but in other precincts a ton of people refused to participate because either they would hear something they didn't want to hear as discussable or they feared being exposed.  So that to me is the more actual passive/aggressive nature of our so-called "walking together." 

Koinonia meetings began with a couple of hours of lecture on the meeting being a safe place.  And some of the interactors had their handbooks open to the section on sending in information on doctrine-practice perceived miscreants.  I'm no doubt out of the loop but I have heard zero, zip, zipinsky about any further Koinonia-like gatherings in our denomination. 

Safe spaces - where are they?

Dave Benke

Richard Johnson

  • ALPB Administrator
  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 10651
  • Create in me a clean heart, O God.
    • View Profile
Re: Seminex in Print
« Reply #19 on: December 16, 2021, 04:28:57 PM »


I recall the LCUSA executive for governmental advocacy was regularly criticized by RJN for his progressive views and activities. He was ALC. (The last name started with "B" but I can't remember exactly what it was.)

Peace, JOHN

Are you thinking of Charles Bergstrom? I believe he was LCA.

The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

Charles Austin

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 15019
    • View Profile
    • Charles is Coloring
Re: Seminex in Print
« Reply #20 on: December 16, 2021, 04:34:01 PM »
There was another Missourian in the Washington office whose name began with B, but I can’t remember his name.
Retired ELCA Pastor. Former national staff Lutheran Church in America And the Lutheran world Federation, Geneva. Former journalist. Now retired and living in Minneapolis.

Richard Johnson

  • ALPB Administrator
  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 10651
  • Create in me a clean heart, O God.
    • View Profile
Re: Seminex in Print
« Reply #21 on: December 16, 2021, 05:03:53 PM »
Are you thinking of Reuben Baerwald? He headed LCUSA's Division for Educational Services for several years, i believe.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2021, 05:08:52 PM by Richard Johnson »
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

Rev. Edward Engelbrecht

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 1500
    • View Profile
    • church history review
Re: Seminex in Print
« Reply #22 on: December 16, 2021, 05:33:49 PM »
As to whether others beyond North American Lutheranism cared, I would point to the formation of the International Lutheran Council. That developed out of the LCMS conservative movement and has become an affiliation for Lutheran conservatives internationally. They are no rival to the LWF but they are an alternative, especially in the global south.
I serve as administrator for www.churchhistoryreview.org.

Brian Stoffregen

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 44630
  • ἐγὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν, ἀγαπᾶτε τοὺς ἐχθροὺς ὑμῶν
    • View Profile
Re: Seminex in Print
« Reply #23 on: December 16, 2021, 06:57:09 PM »
The Seminex event was an intramural battle over the direction of Concordia
Seminary, St. Louis.  The orthodoxy of the faculty was questioned and the
majority of professors decided to walk out to start their own seminary.


 The orthodoxy of the faculty was questioned, but besides John Tietjen, were any others charged with heretical teachings? Without a list of names of who was orthodox and who was not, how could the students know which classes they should take.

Quote
It then got complicated when graduates of Seminex were called to LCMS
parishes.  It got 8 District Presidents on the hot seat for allowing it.  This
led the LCMS President to fire 4 of the 8 District Presidents.    Eventually
Seminex went out of business and their professors went to other Lutheran
non-LCMS seminaries.


And what about all those pastors who had been trained by those questionable professors before their teaching was questioned? A couple of LCMS clergy friends were ordained in 1968 and were taught by those professors.

Quote
Bottom Line: A large majority of those involved in the Seminex event have
now passed away.  CPH might be surprised how few folks will spend $40
to relive the past events of Seminex.


A majority of the professors may have passed away, but I would guess that most of the students who walked-out are still around; although most would be past retirement age now - like my classmates at Concordia, Portland.
"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]

Brian Stoffregen

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 44630
  • ἐγὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν, ἀγαπᾶτε τοὺς ἐχθροὺς ὑμῶν
    • View Profile
Re: Seminex in Print
« Reply #24 on: December 16, 2021, 07:02:13 PM »
Back in 1984/85, Jack Preus spoke to my LCMS history class (you can find the video on the CSL website in the class on the walkout). He argued that Oliver Harms (and the Seminary majority) made the mistake of pushing ALC fellowship in 1969 when it was clear that many in Missouri were not in favor. He said Harms should have pushed off the decision until 1971 or 1973. Preus argued if Harms had done that, then he wouldn't have defeated Harms and things would have turned out quite differently. There would have been a split in Missouri, but it would have been along the lines of the small groups that had split already.

I've always wondered what would have happened if the LCMS had gone into fellowship with the ALC in the 1930s. I think we were very close, but things took a wrong turn. So many "What-ifs?" in history.


A report that was going around Wartburg seminary was that the politics of that 1969 conventions created strange bedfellows between the Preus group willing to vote for fellowship with the ALC in exchange for the fellowship group agreeing to vote for Preus as president.


Even prior to the old ALC (1930), the Iowa Synod and Missouri Synod had some common roots; and some uncommon fights from what I had heard.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2021, 07:04:35 PM by Brian Stoffregen »
"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]

Brian Stoffregen

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 44630
  • ἐγὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν, ἀγαπᾶτε τοὺς ἐχθροὺς ὑμῶν
    • View Profile
Re: Seminex in Print
« Reply #25 on: December 16, 2021, 07:09:10 PM »
by giving the AELC And LCA progressives certain things that they wanted.

Just for the record, there were some ALC progressives in that mix as well.


There were some pious factions with in the ALC, namely from the Haugean tradition that the LCA and AELC just didn't understand. (Some of that led to the battles over our agreement with the Episcopalians.)  Conversely, the ALC had nothing quite like the high church piety of the Augustinian Synod. The idea of wearing chasubles for celebrants and miters for bishops/presidents wasn't much on our radar. Having the presider chant his parts of the liturgy, while recommended in the SBH, I had never heard it done. Even when I started doing it, people were complaining that "it was too Catholic."
« Last Edit: December 16, 2021, 07:10:43 PM by Brian Stoffregen »
"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]

Charles Austin

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 15019
    • View Profile
    • Charles is Coloring
Re: Seminex in Print
« Reply #26 on: December 16, 2021, 11:20:41 PM »
Jack Preus trying to blame things on President Harms is a hoot.
Retired ELCA Pastor. Former national staff Lutheran Church in America And the Lutheran world Federation, Geneva. Former journalist. Now retired and living in Minneapolis.

peter_speckhard

  • ALPB Administrator
  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 19534
    • View Profile
Re: Seminex in Print
« Reply #27 on: December 16, 2021, 11:30:28 PM »
The seminex era was one in which controversies were being decided. Prior to that it was possible to be in the middle, undecided and not particularly committed to a position. No longer. Things were decided. People went their separate ways. On issues like women’s ordination, fellowship with the Reformed, gay marriage, etc. there is no middle. We’ve passed the fork in the road. You have to be on one side or the other, and all pretense to being in the middle is mere confusion or nostalgia for a time before such a choice was necessary.

John_Hannah

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 5688
    • View Profile
Re: Seminex in Print
« Reply #28 on: December 17, 2021, 06:38:39 AM »


I recall the LCUSA executive for governmental advocacy was regularly criticized by RJN for his progressive views and activities. He was ALC. (The last name started with "B" but I can't remember exactly what it was.)

Peace, JOHN

Are you thinking of Charles Bergstrom? I believe he was LCA.

I was thinking of him. I was wrong then.
Pr. JOHN HANNAH, STS

Mark Brown

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 1315
  • Pastor, St. Mark Lutheran, West Henrietta, NY
    • View Profile
    • Saint Mark's Website
Re: Seminex in Print
« Reply #29 on: December 17, 2021, 12:27:48 PM »
Looks like an important and helpful work for those interested in American Lutheranism.

https://www.cph.org/p-35190-seminex-in-print-a-comprehensive-bibliography-of-published-material-and-selected-archival-resources-for-historical-research.aspx

One would think the best source for the bibliography would be/have been the Christian News storage facility and archives, not so?  The first sentence of the blurb stuck out for me:  Nothing has shaken American Lutheranism more than the conflict within the Missouri Synod in the early 1970s.  Agree or disagree? 

Dave Benke

It is the most significant event for two reasons:

1) It inaugurated the "Boomer Peace", an interim that we've all been living under right up until today, which the biggest rule is that we will not collectively make resolutions on our life together that have actual impact. That fight was considered so devastating that crippling the institution as a coherent body and fostering the attitude of everyone doing what is right in their own eyes was preferable.  And that generation continues to white-knuckle that peace and keep a lid on any conversations of significance.

2) It alerted the progressive hierarchies of all mainline institutions that both: a) the actual congregations were not with them and b) they could lose if the crisis was forced. Learning the lesson of the early warning, they all adopted slow-roll revolutions from the top-down, boiling the frogs.

Responding to your first point, Mark, using a systems approach and understanding the church body as similar to its component congregations as an emotional system and to a great extent clergy dominated, the behaviors are pretty much in line with the normal pastoral emotional approach, which is passive/aggressive.  Whatever resolutions make it through the more political national pre-convention process are aired out in the body as a whole.  And by the third day, the room temperature has been taken and the lay delegates begin to call the question and move the whole thing along in a more straight down the line manner.  Usually the edge speakers have made their attempts to commandeer the assembly repeatedly, and are no longer seen as effective.  That's just kind of group psychology more than what you're driving at. 

Where I think you're wrong is having convention resolutions be the marker of some kind of forced peace.  Who cares, really?

The bigger issue is at another level, which is the Rules for Dissent and comment/conversation on doctrinal issues.  That whole area of the LCMS bylaws came through just before the split in the early 1970s, and was meant to foster reasonable discussion.  However, as it has gotten tightened down and down and down some more - even as it's way less possible to control because of the types of information dissemination multiplying exponentially - there's really no trust in an honest discussion without fear of reprisal.  You can use the Koinonia Project as the template.  We actually had the dialogs between Atlantic District and Wyoming District pastors, and a great percentage participated, but in other precincts a ton of people refused to participate because either they would hear something they didn't want to hear as discussable or they feared being exposed.  So that to me is the more actual passive/aggressive nature of our so-called "walking together." 

Koinonia meetings began with a couple of hours of lecture on the meeting being a safe place.  And some of the interactors had their handbooks open to the section on sending in information on doctrine-practice perceived miscreants.  I'm no doubt out of the loop but I have heard zero, zip, zipinsky about any further Koinonia-like gatherings in our denomination. 

Safe spaces - where are they?

Dave Benke

Has not the church typically had councils that eventually issued creedal statements, or updates to canon law, or anathemas and like things?

I'm with you on the passive aggressive stuff.  Although I would tend to say that any institution given over to the amount of passive aggressive display as ours is simply due to bad or dishonest leadership. Call me a conciliarist, but it is leadership's role to guide the institution to making decisions.  I just don't really care about endless koinonia projects and dialog. Without skin in the game, none of it is very fruitful.  There probably have only been two meaningful processes in my entire life.  The Kansas City recension to the Augsburg Confession and its repeal. Right now there are a slew of practices across the synod that interfere with daily life.  And while I may have personal opinions about some of them, they are just that.  On many I could honestly walk with either.  But what I have significant trouble with is maintaining a coherent institution that neither says yes or no.

An example.  The daughter and grand-daughter of members has a child.  They live long states away.  The first one we baptized on the understanding that they would find a church home.  The second one, a few years later, the same request comes along.  Have you found a church home? No. Okay, I will need you to do that.  I'll repeat the task I did three years ago, but more completely.  Here are three congregations: the closest, one about 10 mins further which I would heavily recommend, and one the same distance in the other direction.  What do they pick?  The closest.  What is that one practicing? Well, they encourage virtual attendance.  And guess what, they also have virtual communion. (Of course that is on days they have communion.  Mostly they don't.) So my brother's practice destabilizes 4 generations associated with mine. (Why can't we do this? Well, its wrong.  The church is the incarnational body of Christ gathered around the sacrament.  It is not some gnostic dream.  But they are doing it. Yes, well, that is the reason I suggested your daughter go to the one a further 10 mins away. But aren't we in the same body? Well, good question...)  Have they physically attended a real service? No.  Have they made actual contact with actual living people in a congregation? No. Do I have any founded hope that once this family baptism is performed they will follow through on this? Not really. And if they do, what is my confidence in that church raising people in the faith? Well, not great Jim.

And that is just the most recent.  We have endless discussions and non-binding opinions and people can still just do whatever they want.  We have districts where passive aggressively one seminary's grads aren't welcome, and others that respond.  Neither one of our seminaries really teaches leading CoWo, but we have lots of congregations that are basically only CoWo, and stock their ministry with SBC hires. You bring people into the ministry and teach them in the liturgy, and then release them with nothing more than a good luck to congregations that often don't want what they've been trained in. And then hold them responsible for trouble. We have confirmed generations that have never even read Luther's Small Catechism.  What does closed communion mean is such an institution? (I took my shot at defining that.)

An institution that was interested in fulfilling its mission and forming souls would address these things in binding ways with its members.  I could imagine an LCMS that says: The Small Cat isn't a necessary teaching device and we are removing lines like "as you have learned it from Luther's Small Catechism" from the agendas, that adopts CoWo as DS6 and starts teaching it to everyone, that decided virtual everything is just fine.  The way that the ELCA has just become another Mainline Progressive outlet, the LCMS becomes just another Denom-Non-Denom outlet. And if it made those decisions, I'd then be freed to decide if I could abide by them as a minister.  But right now? It's just confusion.