“Issues, etc.” is crunchy

Now Rod Dreher, author of Crunchy Cons: The New Conseervative Counterculture and Its Return to Roots, takes up the cause of Issues, Etc.

It’s rather surprising to many of us how this seemingly internecine controversy within the LCMS has attracted such attention from outside our circles. But the “Issues” that come up with this case do indeed have wide currency. And that “Issues” is not only conservative, but “crunchily conservative” in Dreher’s sense is surely significant, and not just for Lutherans.

It isn’t just us old people who are defending “Issues,” but, judging from The Wittenberg Trail social networking site, it is young people who are some its biggest fans and who are lighting up the internet. Those who are savvy on the internet, unlike the officials who cancelled the show seemingly oblivious to internet downloads. Those who consider the interview show, which is at the same time both culturally plugged in and theologically in-your-face, to be not just edifying but also cool.

And you don’t have to make your own granola to see Dreher’s point, that a conservatism exists that is young and counter-cultural, with a great concern–given the current cultural inanities–of returning to “roots.” That would include the roots of the church, which is what “Issues” championed.

UPDATE: Michael Horton on White Horse Inn also weighs in. He interviews the author of that piece in the Wall Street Journal, M. Z. Hemingway. Go to Bring Back Issues to hear what she has to say.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Todd Wilken speaks.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Marc

    Isn’t it funny how God works sometimes? Because of this sinful, cruel act, born of bad intentions, we now know just how powerful this Gospel outreach was. It is indeed encouraging to see how many were reached by Issues, Etc.

    Before Holy Tuesday, I had no idea how bad politics were in the LCMS. I looked at the ELCA, the ECUSA, and other mainline protestant church bodies heading towards apostacy and self-destruction. I was (am) sad for them, but I was also foolishly self-assured that nothing like that could happen in the LCMS. Now there is really no excuse for not knowing what is going on in the LCMS – this is the Battle for the Bible of our generation.

    This episode has made a martyr of Pr. Wilken, which is the last thing the folks that fired him wanted. That the official LCMS reaction has been so lame and dishonest only fans the flames. God has taken this sinful act and used it as a wake-up call for many. And one way or another, Issues, Etc. and its Christ-centered, Cross-focused message will be back and stronger than ever. Praise the Lord!

  • Marc

    Isn’t it funny how God works sometimes? Because of this sinful, cruel act, born of bad intentions, we now know just how powerful this Gospel outreach was. It is indeed encouraging to see how many were reached by Issues, Etc.

    Before Holy Tuesday, I had no idea how bad politics were in the LCMS. I looked at the ELCA, the ECUSA, and other mainline protestant church bodies heading towards apostacy and self-destruction. I was (am) sad for them, but I was also foolishly self-assured that nothing like that could happen in the LCMS. Now there is really no excuse for not knowing what is going on in the LCMS – this is the Battle for the Bible of our generation.

    This episode has made a martyr of Pr. Wilken, which is the last thing the folks that fired him wanted. That the official LCMS reaction has been so lame and dishonest only fans the flames. God has taken this sinful act and used it as a wake-up call for many. And one way or another, Issues, Etc. and its Christ-centered, Cross-focused message will be back and stronger than ever. Praise the Lord!

  • Lori

    Count me as one who downloaded Issues! In all my years of Christian radio, I never saw an outpouring of support like I have with this case. 6,000 signatures would have caused a great stir.

    Lori

  • Lori

    Count me as one who downloaded Issues! In all my years of Christian radio, I never saw an outpouring of support like I have with this case. 6,000 signatures would have caused a great stir.

    Lori

  • Richard Lewer

    Just think, we could have had Dr. Veith in charge of our communications. Let’s take back our Synod.

  • Richard Lewer

    Just think, we could have had Dr. Veith in charge of our communications. Let’s take back our Synod.

  • http://gpiper.org/katiesbeer Theresa K.

    For what its worth, my blog’s site meter is spinning incredulously fast (the last time I got these numbers, the pope was dying and I had posted once on the subject). Issue’s Etc, and to a lesser extent Mollie’s name, are being searched at a phenomenal rate (compared to before). How could SO MANY PEOPLE be looking for information on a radio show that NO ONE listened to (this increase started well before Mollie’s opinion piece)! Also, I’d like to hear from Wittenberg Trail about the numbers joining since the incident. If nothing else comes of this (and I do believe something will), I am very encouraged at how confessional Lutherans are really pulling together.

  • http://gpiper.org/katiesbeer Theresa K.

    For what its worth, my blog’s site meter is spinning incredulously fast (the last time I got these numbers, the pope was dying and I had posted once on the subject). Issue’s Etc, and to a lesser extent Mollie’s name, are being searched at a phenomenal rate (compared to before). How could SO MANY PEOPLE be looking for information on a radio show that NO ONE listened to (this increase started well before Mollie’s opinion piece)! Also, I’d like to hear from Wittenberg Trail about the numbers joining since the incident. If nothing else comes of this (and I do believe something will), I am very encouraged at how confessional Lutherans are really pulling together.

  • organshoes

    For what it’s worth, Pres. Kieschnik responds to Ziegler’s column. I read it here:
    http://bringbackissues.blogspot.com/

  • organshoes

    For what it’s worth, Pres. Kieschnik responds to Ziegler’s column. I read it here:
    http://bringbackissues.blogspot.com/

  • Richard Lewer

    Has anyone thought of Good News picking up or merging with Issues. Etc. They would made a natural fit. They have the same goals and the print medium and radio and internet media could reinforce each other. Perhaps they could even pick the copyright on Dr. Barry’s set of doctrinal tracts and the foundation that supported those tracts.

  • Richard Lewer

    Has anyone thought of Good News picking up or merging with Issues. Etc. They would made a natural fit. They have the same goals and the print medium and radio and internet media could reinforce each other. Perhaps they could even pick the copyright on Dr. Barry’s set of doctrinal tracts and the foundation that supported those tracts.

  • http://wittenbergtrail.ning.com/ Eric

    Theresa:

    The Wittenberg Trail has grown by almost 1,000 new members in less than two weeks. The vast majority of these new members cite Issues Etc. as the reason for joining.

    We should hit 2,000 members this week!

  • http://wittenbergtrail.ning.com/ Eric

    Theresa:

    The Wittenberg Trail has grown by almost 1,000 new members in less than two weeks. The vast majority of these new members cite Issues Etc. as the reason for joining.

    We should hit 2,000 members this week!

  • Bryan Lindemood

    I just read Kieschnick’s new letter to the editor of the WSJ and it makes me sad. Let me just assume that he really believes that all these financial reasons are true and there’s just no more money in Synod to support Issues Etc. And it just makes sense to cut our losses and stop this incessant waste of money. It sounds like Kieschnick really believes this.

    But, then why the timing and the manner? Why was the show cancelled without warning and Todd and Jeff fired and all the web stuff immediately wiped off the internet?

    Can’t Strand or Jerry at least apologize for being so cruel and insensitive? Or at least appearing so? Is there no explanation for a Holy Week purge of God’s Word from the Airwaves and internet which is the reason we all feel like someone we love just smacked us upside the head?

    C’mon, LCMS – wake up! And repent of being such beauracratic jerks. C’mon, Jerry – how about some pastoral care here?

  • Bryan Lindemood

    I just read Kieschnick’s new letter to the editor of the WSJ and it makes me sad. Let me just assume that he really believes that all these financial reasons are true and there’s just no more money in Synod to support Issues Etc. And it just makes sense to cut our losses and stop this incessant waste of money. It sounds like Kieschnick really believes this.

    But, then why the timing and the manner? Why was the show cancelled without warning and Todd and Jeff fired and all the web stuff immediately wiped off the internet?

    Can’t Strand or Jerry at least apologize for being so cruel and insensitive? Or at least appearing so? Is there no explanation for a Holy Week purge of God’s Word from the Airwaves and internet which is the reason we all feel like someone we love just smacked us upside the head?

    C’mon, LCMS – wake up! And repent of being such beauracratic jerks. C’mon, Jerry – how about some pastoral care here?

  • http://gpiper.org/katiesbeer Theresa K.

    Thanks, Eric! Lets consider that 1000 people joined WT in the past two weeks. What were the odds of that happening just three weeks ago? Also consider that people who are active on the internet – active enough to bother to join a group like WT – are still probably a very low percentage of Lutherans. Those numbers seem to hint to me at huge numbers of people interested in a little, money-losing radio show. Sounds to me like an organization has been caught mismanaging a great evangelism tool and Christian resource and is now half-heartedly trying to spin the situation.

  • http://gpiper.org/katiesbeer Theresa K.

    Thanks, Eric! Lets consider that 1000 people joined WT in the past two weeks. What were the odds of that happening just three weeks ago? Also consider that people who are active on the internet – active enough to bother to join a group like WT – are still probably a very low percentage of Lutherans. Those numbers seem to hint to me at huge numbers of people interested in a little, money-losing radio show. Sounds to me like an organization has been caught mismanaging a great evangelism tool and Christian resource and is now half-heartedly trying to spin the situation.

  • http://gpiper.org/katiesbeer Theresa K.

    Patrick Kyle posted a comment regarding actual fund-raising methods on an earlier strand, but it’s been buried by new posts. Does anyone know if its true…and if it standard practice?

    Click here to read his comment:
    <a href=”http://www.geneveith.com/but-is-issues-etc-cost-effective/_475/#comment-5640″

  • http://gpiper.org/katiesbeer Theresa K.

    Patrick Kyle posted a comment regarding actual fund-raising methods on an earlier strand, but it’s been buried by new posts. Does anyone know if its true…and if it standard practice?

    Click here to read his comment:
    <a href=”http://www.geneveith.com/but-is-issues-etc-cost-effective/_475/#comment-5640″

  • http://gpiper.org/katiesbeer Theresa K.

    I hate when that happens.

    It’s comment #14 on the “But is “Issues, etc.” cost-effective?” thread.

  • http://gpiper.org/katiesbeer Theresa K.

    I hate when that happens.

    It’s comment #14 on the “But is “Issues, etc.” cost-effective?” thread.

  • Bror Erickson

    Jerry’s letter seemed an awful lot like a let them eat cake statement. Does he really believe that the synod is not divided? Is his office padded?
    I thought we paid our leadership to at least know what is going on in synod. This man has shown enough incompetence. No wonder he has failed to bridge the gap within the church. He doesn’t know it exists. So he keeps widening it. Well I’ll eat cake if someone wants to bring out the guillotine, (figuratively of course, I advocate defenestration, but not decapitation). Kieschnik, stand down, or get with it.

  • Bror Erickson

    Jerry’s letter seemed an awful lot like a let them eat cake statement. Does he really believe that the synod is not divided? Is his office padded?
    I thought we paid our leadership to at least know what is going on in synod. This man has shown enough incompetence. No wonder he has failed to bridge the gap within the church. He doesn’t know it exists. So he keeps widening it. Well I’ll eat cake if someone wants to bring out the guillotine, (figuratively of course, I advocate defenestration, but not decapitation). Kieschnik, stand down, or get with it.

  • http://www.timbaron.com Tim Baron

    Isses, etc made me want to become Lutheran. I first discovered it via a friend lending me some CDs on the distinction between Law and Gospel.

    This was by far my favorite Christian talk radio program. Still reeling over the cancellation. I downloaded these suckers constantly.

  • http://www.timbaron.com Tim Baron

    Isses, etc made me want to become Lutheran. I first discovered it via a friend lending me some CDs on the distinction between Law and Gospel.

    This was by far my favorite Christian talk radio program. Still reeling over the cancellation. I downloaded these suckers constantly.

  • susan aka organshoes

    Would sure be a kind act if everyone sorry for the demise of Issues, Etc. and for the termination of the jobs of these two fine men were to sign that petition.

  • susan aka organshoes

    Would sure be a kind act if everyone sorry for the demise of Issues, Etc. and for the termination of the jobs of these two fine men were to sign that petition.

  • http://gpiper.org/katiesbeer Theresa K.

    It’s at 6,229 right now. Amazing!

  • http://gpiper.org/katiesbeer Theresa K.

    It’s at 6,229 right now. Amazing!


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