Author Topic: Lutheran factions  (Read 2332 times)

doxtalker

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Lutheran factions
« on: August 22, 2007, 03:58:14 PM »
 Hello. This is my first post here. I'm not a Lutheran ... at least not yet. I've begun attending an LCMS church. I'm a newspaper reporter and am working on an in-depth story about Lutheranism and Lutheran hymns. A subtext for this story might be what's happening theologically in the mainline churches, and a sub-subtext might be "as the aforementioned 'what's happening' " relates to the theological split between Marcus Borg and N.T. Wright. (Of course, I've got to admit at this point I can't say for sure what those two gentlemen stand for exactly ... this is a somewhat long-term project).
 Just to say a bit about where I'm coming from: I attended a United Methodist Church for about 15 years. The pastor was a woman who ran a pretty traditional service with pretty traditional liturgy that came right out of the hymnal. But things changed. A new pastor came. The liturgy now came mainly in the form of bulletin inserts. The "confession" during communion became watered down -- no mention of our failings anymore. The old hymns disappeared.
 I got interested in the writing of UM theologian William Abraham (part of the Confessing Movement).  I got to know some folks in the UCC Confessing Christ (on line) group, who had interesting ideas. Then I got "turned on" reading Steven Paulson's "Luther for Armchair Theologians" and Gerhard Forde's "Where God Meets Man."
 What I wanted to toss out here was this: I put out a question or two regarding my story on an LCMS on-line forum. Someone sent me an e-mail describing different "factions" in the LCMS: He wrote: "within LCMS I suppose the Daystar group is ultra-liberal, Jesus First is liberal, Confess and Teach for Unity (CAT41) is confessional, and Christian News is hard right."  (And Reclaiming Walther must also be confessional, I guess).
 His suggestion was that I try to interview someone from each of these groups to find out what they really stand for. I imagine there are similar groups in the ELCA.  I've heard of CORE, Word Alone and something called Good Earth.
 I'd appreciate it if anyone would be willing to post their thoughts on what these groups are trying to accomplish. Better yet, if someone from a group itself would be willing to be interviewed by phone, that would be great.
 Thanks.

Larry

scott3

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Re: Lutheran factions
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2007, 04:16:16 PM »
"within LCMS I suppose the Daystar group is ultra-liberal, Jesus First is liberal, Confess and Teach for Unity (CAT41) is confessional, and Christian News is hard right."  (And Reclaiming Walther must also be confessional, I guess)

Do have a salt shaker handy when hearing such information. "Liberal", much less "ultra-liberal", is difficult to imagine within the LCMS.

But welcome to the forum. I'd love to help with the ELCA side, but being LCMS, I'm not likely to be of much use.

Eric_Swensson

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Re: Lutheran factions
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2007, 04:18:46 PM »
Welcome!

Charles_Austin

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Re: Lutheran factions
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2007, 07:11:28 PM »
doxtalker writes:
I'm a newspaper reporter and am working on an in-depth story about Lutheranism and Lutheran hymns.

I comment:
Welcome. Which newspaper? Which hymns? We range from old German, through Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Finnish and into 19th Century Gospel and contemporary American. In my opinion, a "good Lutheran" can sing in at least three languages.

Steverem

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Re: Lutheran factions
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2007, 10:57:39 AM »
A book I found helpful in distinguishing some of the different elements within Lutheranism is Lutherans Today: American Lutheran Identity in the 21st Century (Eerdmans Publishing, 2003, Richard Cimino, Editor).

Eleutheron

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Re: Lutheran factions
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2007, 11:03:07 AM »
Doxtalker,

Just sit back and listen.  You will see every facet of Lutheran belief in this collection of saint and sinner.

Free Man

Eric_Swensson

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Re: Lutheran factions
« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2007, 11:10:08 AM »
Actually, all of the LCMC people have left and most of the WordAlone. IMO they were caught in Charles Austin's baiting tactics, got censored by the moderator, got tired of that and the whole going over plowed ground thing and have gone off to other cyber-lands. What you will mainly heare here are two factions, moderate to conservative ELCA and LC-MS with the notable exceptions.

Charles_Austin

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Re: Lutheran factions
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2007, 11:32:05 AM »
Wheee! Eric thinks I'm a moderate! Made my day!

Eric_Swensson

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Re: Lutheran factions
« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2007, 11:36:04 AM »
Notable exception. Brian S. is another. Irl is too (for newbies, Irl is the leader of a Lutheran micro-synod, which makes him not only not ELCA or LCMS, but the only archbishop here also.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2007, 11:37:59 AM by Eric_Swensson »

djbaer

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Re: Lutheran factions
« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2007, 12:42:28 PM »
A recent book offered an overview of some of the Lutheran "factions" through a collection of essays:

Lutherans Today: American Lutheran Identity in the Twenty-First Century

Richard Cimino (editor) (Eerdmans, 2003) ISBN: 978-0-8028-1365-7

Here's the Table of Contents:

I. Change and Movements in American Lutheranism

American Lutherans Yesterday and Today
Mark Noll

The Curious Case of the Missouri Synod
Mary Todd

The Lutheran Left: From Movement to Church Commitment
Maria Erling

Word Alone and the Future of Lutheran Denominationalism
Mark Granquist

The Evangelical Catholics: Seeking Tradition and Unity in a Pluralistic Church
Richard Cimino

Goliaths in Our Midst: Megachurches in the ELCA
Scott Thumma and Jim Petersen

Lutheran Charismatics Renewal or Schism?
Robert Longman

II. Trends and Issues in American Lutheranism

Pastors in the Two Kingdoms: The Social Theology of Lutheran Clergy
Jeff Walz, Steve Montreal, and Dan Hofrenning

North American Lutheranism and the New Ethnics
Mark Granquist

Multiculturalism and the Dilution of Lutheran Identity
Alvin J. Schmidt

Integrity and Fragmentation: Can the Lutheran Center Hold?
Robert Benne

Loose Bonds, Emerging Commitments: The Lives and Faith of Lutheran Youth
Eugene C. Roehlkepartain

doxtalker

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Re: Lutheran factions
« Reply #10 on: August 23, 2007, 02:02:17 PM »
 Thanks for the responses. The book recommendations are especially helpful. I think we live in a crazy world. I work for the Enterprise-Record, the daily newspaper in Chico, CA. Check it out at chicoer.com. Sometimes I think journalism is going through an identity crisis similar to the one Christianity is experiencing. At the moment my mind is too foggy to list the parallels. The old-time journalism mottoes were "report the news and raise hell" and "comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable." These days it's all about pleasing the readership and making money. I won't say that's what it's all about (even though I just did), but that's what the leadership seems concerned with. There is or was a renewal group: The Committee of Concerned Journalists. The parallels may start to seem obvious. 
 Did Pastor Swensson say the World Alone folks and most of the LCMS folks have left this forum?  And was he right?

Larry

Eric_Swensson

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Re: Lutheran factions
« Reply #11 on: August 23, 2007, 02:05:54 PM »
LCMC. Last letter makes all the difference. http://www.lcmc.net/

doxtalker

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Re: Lutheran factions
« Reply #12 on: August 23, 2007, 03:47:02 PM »
 What is LCMC? I wondered about that. Sorry if I sounded cynical in today's earlier post. I've got my bearings since then, I think. One thing that helped was a news release about contaminated carrots in Trader Joe's grocery stores. I'm on the story. One of the appealing things about Lutheranism is Luther's stress on the importance of "vocation." Gerhard Forde writes that we are to live down to earth, and work to make this world a better place, taking care of others. You can't get much more down to earth than carrots!

Larry

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Lutheran factions
« Reply #13 on: August 23, 2007, 04:00:46 PM »
I work for the Enterprise-Record, the daily newspaper in Chico, CA.
Hi Larry, for another week, I'm living in Yuba City, CA -- about 40 miles south of Chico. If you haven't met Pastors Reg & Peg at Faith Lutheran in Chico, you should.
"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]

Eric_Swensson

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Re: Lutheran factions
« Reply #14 on: August 23, 2007, 05:37:56 PM »
What is LCMC?
Visit the web site. Get Bill Sullivan's number and call him.