Author Topic: Interesting Developments in Wittenberg  (Read 21291 times)

Charles_Austin

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Re: Interesting Developments in Wittenberg
« Reply #60 on: October 19, 2007, 11:09:35 AM »
Peter writes (Re the other parts of the Reformation)
"Untenable at the time"? How does the passage of time affect the truth and significance of the Real Presence?

I comment:
Quite a lot. You weren't part of the Lutheran-Reformed dialogues, so you missed the discussion of real presence and sacramental theology that led to our fellowship.


peter_speckhard

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Re: Interesting Developments in Wittenberg
« Reply #61 on: October 19, 2007, 11:13:39 AM »
Peter writes (Re the other parts of the Reformation)
"Untenable at the time"? How does the passage of time affect the truth and significance of the Real Presence?

I comment:
Quite a lot. You weren't part of the Lutheran-Reformed dialogues, so you missed the discussion of real presence and sacramental theology that led to our fellowship.
Okay, so tell me what I missed. What truth about the Real Presence changed, and how did the passage of time change it?

Maryland Brian

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Re: Interesting Developments in Wittenberg
« Reply #62 on: October 19, 2007, 11:23:04 AM »


I love Pr. Hughes' evocation of the Celtic model and his focus on the positioning of this government-designated "Lutherstadt" as an evangelical witness in a neopagan land.

Don't knock the tourist dollars, though, Brian. The folks there can use them.

Mike,

  Actually, I wasn't seeking to knock the tourist dollars so much as ask if those dollars are the primary audience of the ELCA's participation in their center in Wittenberg. Who is the target - historians, wealthy tourist who are part of a "Lutherland Guided Experience" or the local post-Soviet non-believing citizens of the town?  Perhaps it is all of the above.  Other posts since my original one seem to point toward the ELCA partnership center as mostly focusing on the cultural/historical aspects of Reformation times.

  Tourist dollars will no doubt help rebuild that part of Germany.  No question about it.  Home and hearth are important and very valuable.  Eternal life?  Priceless.

Maryland Brian

Erma_S._Wolf

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Re: Interesting Developments in Wittenberg
« Reply #63 on: October 19, 2007, 11:29:07 AM »
   It appears to me that, Reformation or no, Lutheran Christians are still fighting over the holy relics.

   Having been fortunate enough to visit Wittenberg (and I sincerely hope that I will be able to do so again, and for a longer period of study), I venture to make these observations:
    First, I sincerely hope that any American from any Lutheran church body goes there with the utmost respect for whatever forms of the Church made it through the bitter years of the 20th century, not only the persecution of the Cold War period but also the persecution of the Hitler years.  Most of us have no real concept of what that was like, or what that kind of decade upon decade of strife would do to our own denominations.  While the numbers in Wittenberg may be small, there are indeed real Christians in that place, and the real Gospel has been proclaimed, even if not always perfectly.  God's Word forever does abide, right?
    Secondly, the Union Church in Germany raises the hair on the back of the necks of Missouri Synod Lutherans.  The Saxon emigration and all of that, right?  And it is no secret that the churches in Wittenberg are Union, not Lutheran.  (That is how it was described to me by those working at the ELCA Center in Wittenberg.  There is no deception about that attempted.)  If the partner church of the LCMS in Germany is doing a mission start in Wittenberg, fine and dandy.  The harvest is plentiful, etc.  It's the Germans' business to work it out, not ours.
    Third, my understanding is that the ELCA came to Wittenberg at the request of the government there, and working with the existing churches.  It is also well known that the ELCA, because of its own background and its ecumenical relationship with Reformed bodies in this country, does not as a denomination have an argument with the Union Church in Germany. The LCMS disagrees with this.  Is it possible to discuss and disagree on this in such a way that we don't alternate in flinging anathamas at each other?  (Perhaps everyone needs to review the history of the religious wars in the centuries following the Reformation.)  
     Fourth, I hope all of this interest in Wittenberg can be used for the edification of all and to the glory of God, witnessing to Luther's legacy as a living tradition offering more than a chance to export American denominational divisions back into Germany, which has had more than enough of bitter divisions.  The responsibility for that falls on all parties involved.  I welcome the involvement of the LCMS if they can add to the rich experience of those traveling to Wittenberg, and if the zeal for mission focuses on the large number there who belong to no church.  I sincerely hope that the point of going there is not to compete among the churched Christians in a misguided sense of "Now we'll bring them the REAL Gospel."  That, I fear, would be a wasted opportunity and only sow more seeds of discord.

   Erma Wolf

      

Mike Bennett

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Re: Interesting Developments in Wittenberg
« Reply #64 on: October 19, 2007, 12:00:40 PM »
If you have a policy against wearing shoes in your house and I am a guest in your house and I insist on tromping all over your carpets with my boots or shoes on wouldn't I be in violation of your policy and hospitality?  Not to mention a grossly rude guest?
I have been a guest a many a parishioner's house where they take off their shoes at the door, I can only remember one instance where they politely asked if I would remove mine. In every case, I kept my shoes on -- which is the practice in our house.

I guess I should be surprised.  But I'm not. 

Mike Bennett
“What peace can there be, so long as the many whoredoms and sorceries of your mother Jezebel continue?”  2 Kings 9:22

Dave Benke

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Re: Interesting Developments in Wittenberg
« Reply #65 on: October 19, 2007, 12:35:27 PM »
a) I've been in a whole bunch of those homes where shoes are removed, many times on visits with folks from other religions as well as cultures, and I always remove mine.  The Apostle Paul has some nice things to say about practicing that cross-cultural hospitality.  However, if you know in advance that this shoe-removal might be the case, it is a very good idea to have on socks without holes in them, or there is an unwanted exposure.

b) Erma's points are well taken.

Dave Benke

LutherMan

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Re: Interesting Developments in Wittenberg
« Reply #66 on: October 19, 2007, 12:42:16 PM »
  However, if you know in advance that this shoe-removal might be the case, it is a very good idea to have on socks without holes in them, or there is an unwanted exposure.
Bp. Benke, you forgot to add to make sure your odor-eaters are also up to date...
« Last Edit: October 19, 2007, 02:40:43 PM by LutherMan »

Richard Johnson

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Re: Interesting Developments in Wittenberg
« Reply #67 on: October 19, 2007, 01:40:01 PM »
Oh Erma, there you go making sense again.  8)
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

ptmccain

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Re: Interesting Developments in Wittenberg
« Reply #68 on: October 19, 2007, 01:46:03 PM »
I appreciate Erma's comments. The SELK/LCMS Wittenberg Center is what it is, and how it has been described previously upstream. Those who choose to regard it only as a negative thing may choose to do that. However, the goals of the center are clear and the focus is positive: on proclaiming the Gospel, on serving visitors to Wittenberg, on diaconal work in the city, as a center for the ILC and its partner churches. There is plenty of work for everyone. The conversations locally have been positive and the Wittenberg Lord Mayor and city officials have welcomed this effort with open arms.

Nobody has an exclusive claim on Wittenberg, for it is a treasure for the world.  As I indicated before, and will repeat, nobody is advocating a new Thirty Years War. To demand  a suspension of deeply held convictions is unreasonable, and so, cordial and peaceful co-existence without compromise is the way things will proceed. And that's ok.

« Last Edit: October 19, 2007, 02:08:59 PM by ptmccain »

LutherMan

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Re: Interesting Developments in Wittenberg
« Reply #69 on: October 19, 2007, 03:58:38 PM »
I am looking into a trip to Wittenberg for Reformation 2008 to celebrate the opening of this center. 
I may even drop into the ELCA center to have a look around...

David Charlton

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Re: Interesting Developments in Wittenberg
« Reply #70 on: October 19, 2007, 11:01:07 PM »
If you have a policy against wearing shoes in your house and I am a guest in your house and I insist on tromping all over your carpets with my boots or shoes on wouldn't I be in violation of your policy and hospitality?  Not to mention a grossly rude guest?
I have been a guest a many a parishioner's house where they take off their shoes at the door, I can only remember one instance where they politely asked if I would remove mine. In every case, I kept my shoes on -- which is the practice in our house.

When I visit my relatives in Japan, I take my shoes off at the door.  When they visit me in my home, I leave my shoes on.


« Last Edit: October 19, 2007, 11:05:55 PM by David Charlton »

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Interesting Developments in Wittenberg
« Reply #71 on: October 20, 2007, 12:22:47 AM »
When I visit my relatives in Japan, I take my shoes off at the door.  When they visit me in my home, I leave my shoes on.
When I visit a Presbyterian Church, I take communion in the pews, including a wafer and grape juice in individual glasses. When I visit an Episcopalian Church, I take communion at the table, from a loaf of bread and a common cup. When I visit an LCMS congregation, with my in-laws, I am not allowed to commune with them. Since I had grown up ALC, it could be understood that I was not taught the proper LCMS understanding of communion. However, my wife grew up LCMS. Was confirmed at an LCMS congregation, received a degree from an LCMS college. Did that education suddenly become meaningless because she married me and joined the church where I was a pastor?

Growing up, whenever friends happened to visit at dinner time, they were invited to eat with us. They were expected to eat what we were eating (usually with their shoes on).
"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

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Re: Interesting Developments in Wittenberg
« Reply #72 on: October 20, 2007, 12:29:02 AM »
Okay, so tell me what I missed. What truth about the Real Presence changed, and how did the passage of time change it?
Well, when I held joint communion services with a Presbyterian and UCC colleagues, they both said that they believed in the Real Presence in the sacrament.
"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]

ptmccain

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Re: Interesting Developments in Wittenberg
« Reply #73 on: October 20, 2007, 08:11:03 AM »
I'm sure you did ask, and I'm sure they did answer that way.

Would they confess that the bread and wine in the Supper are the true body and blood of Christ, received by the mouth, regardless of the person's belief or faith about it?


Gladfelteri

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Re: Interesting Developments in Wittenberg
« Reply #74 on: October 20, 2007, 09:12:05 AM »
Okay, so tell me what I missed. What truth about the Real Presence changed, and how did the passage of time change it?
Well, when I held joint communion services with a Presbyterian and UCC colleagues, they both said that they believed in the Real Presence in the sacrament.
Presbyterian (PECUSA) and UCC clergy have told me the same thing, Brian, that they have said that they believe in the Real Presence.  But on further questionilng they have all admitted that they actually qualify that and believe the following:  (1) the Real Presence that is *real* is a Real *Spiritual* Presence.  The physical Real Presence as taught by us, the Roman Catholics, and many Anglicans is simply not *real.*  They claim that because of the union of the human and the Divine in Christ, his *real* body is in heaven, not here; and cannot be here until the Parousia.  So they believe in the Real Spiritual Presence.  They further believe that, since this is a Real Spiritual Presence, and not in any way a *physical* Real Presence that reception of the Body and Blood of Christ - in a heavenly, spiritual way, is contingent on the faith and worthiness of the communicant.

Blessings,
Irl