I don’t want this to be just a Lutheran blog, so I don’t usually blog about inside-Lutheranism issues. But I appreciated how the recent “Things We Don’t Have Anymore” thread was taken over by laments that we don’t have the radio program “Issues, Etc.” anymore! So “Issues” is a valid issue. That hard-hitting interview show, led by Todd Wilken and produced by Jeff Schwartz, would host people like Bishop Spong (that Christianity-denying Episcopal Bishop who would then be taken apart) and, well, me (treating me always very kindly), always making a strong case for Biblical truth and Reformational Christianity, relating them to the cultural “issues” of our day. It was one of the few places where Missouri Synod Lutherans DID interact with outsiders, with Christendom as a whole, and with the secular marketplace of ideas.
Then, suddenly and with no warning, the synod cancelled the program. One of the few outreach vehicles amidst an emphasis on outreach that was working! Untold numbers of people (as has been testified on this blog) have come to our church and even to Christianity because of the influence of this program! Then it gets killed.
I don’t know anything about why, nor does anyone else I’ve communicated with. It’s a mystery. Did it get too controversial in its criticism of, say, Islam or American evangelicalism for our church hierarchy? What did the show air that was the catalyst for this sudden decision? Is this action a sign that the hierarchy is cracking down on its conservative and confessional voices in favor of some new and more liberal direction? I don’t want to believe that, I’m just saying, especially for those of you who wonder what the fuss is about, that this is one reason many people think this is a big deal. If I learn more, I’ll let you know, but I will not pass along rumors, only things I can verify.