A new Lutheran church, gnosticism, and the Bible

A new Lutheran denomination is being formed, the North American Lutheran Church. It consists of ELCA congregations that are pulling out because of that body’s acceptance of homosexuality. Christianity Today did a story on a theological conference held by the organization that has started the new church body.

The story cites some annoying comments, with the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod being dismissed as “fundamentalist” and criticized for following 16th century Lutheran orthodoxy rather than Luther. (Note to Christianity Today: If you want a big story about what is really happening in Lutheranism, cover the installation on Saturday of the new LCMS president Matthew Harrison, along with a whole slate of new confessional leaders. See that live at 11:00 a.m. ET here.)

At any rate, the NALC, quite properly, is realizing that it needs to come to terms with the authority of Scripture. I liked what Carl Braaten had to say:

Braaten described the ELCA approach to authority as deficient in three “Gnostic” ways, deficiencies that played a big role in the passage of last summer’s ELCA social statement on sexuality.

Deficiency 1: Like the ancient Gnostics, the ELCA is antinomian—it rejects the law of God.

Deficiency 2: Like the ancient Gnostics, the ELCA claims a higher knowledge—higher than anything available from an external Word of God. Gnostics trusted instead in enlightenment from within, which is where they locate God. So do those guiding ELCA’s decisions, said Braaten.

Deficiency 3: Like the ancient Gnostics, ELCA leaders sneer at the idea that we can look to a book as our authority—especially a book written by Jews. Antinomianism and anti-Semitism are always found together, said Braaten. . . .

Lutherans are feisty. Their founder was feisty. So it was not surprising to hear Braaten label certain proposals advanced by the ELCA as “cockamamie,” and to commend the Lutheran doctrine of justification by faith alone as a “Lutheran crap detector.” And when he was asked from the floor whether ELCA headquarters has any idea that Gnosticism is a problem today, Braaten quipped: “It’s a polysyllabic word.”

That’s well and good. But it’s hard to imagine how the new denomination will be able to uphold Biblical authority without taking the “fundamentalist” position of, you know, believing what the Bible says.

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.

  • Carl Vehse

    The NALC is simply E_CA Lite (without homosexuals in the pulpit). If it weren’t for the E_CA Assembly’s decision to ordain practicing homosexuals, the NALC would never have come into existence.

    Like their parent,the “E_CA Lite” holds a quatenus subscription to the Lutheran Confessions and practices faux-pastoral calls to women. There is no indication that the “E_CA Lite” will have any contrary views to open communion, the LWF or the JDDJ.

    In an August 18th Logia Forum article, “The NALC and Lutheran CORE: The New ALC or the New ELCA?,” Rev. David Ramirez wrote:

    “Will the NALC and Lutheran CORE be any different than the ELCA of 13 months or even 22 years ago?” is a question I hear often. History never repeats itself in precisely the same manner, and thus this new venture will not merely be an “ELCA reboot.” However, minus the stance against homosexual behavior, it is hard to see any huge differences on paper between Lutheran CORE/NALC and the ELCA…

    Which is it? Was the ELCA fundamentally flawed from the very beginning or was an originally sturdy ship taken over by [homosexual] pirates?

    It is, of course, the former.

    The world of American Lutheranism has not been helped by the formation of another heterodox church body. Sadly, on some Lutheran blogs, several Missouri Synod members have foolishly treated the new church organizaion like the Romanists treat the election of a new pope.

  • Carl Vehse

    The NALC is simply E_CA Lite (without homosexuals in the pulpit). If it weren’t for the E_CA Assembly’s decision to ordain practicing homosexuals, the NALC would never have come into existence.

    Like their parent,the “E_CA Lite” holds a quatenus subscription to the Lutheran Confessions and practices faux-pastoral calls to women. There is no indication that the “E_CA Lite” will have any contrary views to open communion, the LWF or the JDDJ.

    In an August 18th Logia Forum article, “The NALC and Lutheran CORE: The New ALC or the New ELCA?,” Rev. David Ramirez wrote:

    “Will the NALC and Lutheran CORE be any different than the ELCA of 13 months or even 22 years ago?” is a question I hear often. History never repeats itself in precisely the same manner, and thus this new venture will not merely be an “ELCA reboot.” However, minus the stance against homosexual behavior, it is hard to see any huge differences on paper between Lutheran CORE/NALC and the ELCA…

    Which is it? Was the ELCA fundamentally flawed from the very beginning or was an originally sturdy ship taken over by [homosexual] pirates?

    It is, of course, the former.

    The world of American Lutheranism has not been helped by the formation of another heterodox church body. Sadly, on some Lutheran blogs, several Missouri Synod members have foolishly treated the new church organizaion like the Romanists treat the election of a new pope.

  • Joe

    Well Carl – I guess I am one of those silly LCMS members who sees some hope here and said so on some other blogs. Why? Because it is a step in the right direction. I have no idea if they will make it all the way to orthodoxy (indeed they have a long way to go) but they are one step closer than they were before and they got there by looking to scripture. So, perhaps this will be the beginning of journey toward orthodoxy. Perhaps not, but since I know that the Word and the Spirit will do its work, I have hope. Hope that, in time, thousands of people will end up confessing orthodox Christian beliefs. And, I think that we LCMS Lutherans can play a role in this by teaching and using gentle admonishment, here is what I said over at BJS:

    “Why is it that some in the LCMS see this as a positive thing? The answer to this question is so painfully obvious that I am sure that it is not asked in the hope of a genuine answer. It is a positive thing because erring brothers and sisters have taken one step closer to the truth. It is not a complicated idea to wrap the mind around. It is joy over a small accomplishment and joy at the large possibility. For me it is a large scale version of the very beginning of the personal struggle I had with my father over the last 10 years.
    A little over a decade ago, I left the ELCA and join the LCMS. I did so after long and careful study. In doing so, I ripped a line in my own family. I separated myself (and my wife and eventually 4 kids) from my father, mother, brother, aunt, grandmother and cousins. In fact, every single member of my family attended the same church since they helped built it in 1888. But I left because truth demanded it.
    Over the next decade, I tried everything to get my dad to think about important topics of faith. And, for better or for worse, the debate over homosexuality was the issue that really grabbed his attention. Why? because it is so painfully obvious that it is contrary too scripture – even for the poorly catechized. This was the beginning of my father’s journey. It was the issue that allowed me the opportunity to show him from the Word where the ELCA was erring. It still took some time, I wrote him long letters on closed communion and other topics. Over time the Word did its work and my father and my mother have left the ELCA. (bit of a side track – they joined a WELS church, but I still working on it. The quality of the LCMS presence in their neck of the woods had a lot to do with this).
    I am excited because this could happen for thousands of other brothers and sisters too. And, I can tell you that over the decade I spent working this out with my dad, the only thing I ever did that was not effective was yell and holler. In those 10 years, I did this too much and I think I probably delayed the effort by years. Gentle encouragement, teaching and soft admonishment won out. This is the approach we need on the larger scale too.”

  • Joe

    Well Carl – I guess I am one of those silly LCMS members who sees some hope here and said so on some other blogs. Why? Because it is a step in the right direction. I have no idea if they will make it all the way to orthodoxy (indeed they have a long way to go) but they are one step closer than they were before and they got there by looking to scripture. So, perhaps this will be the beginning of journey toward orthodoxy. Perhaps not, but since I know that the Word and the Spirit will do its work, I have hope. Hope that, in time, thousands of people will end up confessing orthodox Christian beliefs. And, I think that we LCMS Lutherans can play a role in this by teaching and using gentle admonishment, here is what I said over at BJS:

    “Why is it that some in the LCMS see this as a positive thing? The answer to this question is so painfully obvious that I am sure that it is not asked in the hope of a genuine answer. It is a positive thing because erring brothers and sisters have taken one step closer to the truth. It is not a complicated idea to wrap the mind around. It is joy over a small accomplishment and joy at the large possibility. For me it is a large scale version of the very beginning of the personal struggle I had with my father over the last 10 years.
    A little over a decade ago, I left the ELCA and join the LCMS. I did so after long and careful study. In doing so, I ripped a line in my own family. I separated myself (and my wife and eventually 4 kids) from my father, mother, brother, aunt, grandmother and cousins. In fact, every single member of my family attended the same church since they helped built it in 1888. But I left because truth demanded it.
    Over the next decade, I tried everything to get my dad to think about important topics of faith. And, for better or for worse, the debate over homosexuality was the issue that really grabbed his attention. Why? because it is so painfully obvious that it is contrary too scripture – even for the poorly catechized. This was the beginning of my father’s journey. It was the issue that allowed me the opportunity to show him from the Word where the ELCA was erring. It still took some time, I wrote him long letters on closed communion and other topics. Over time the Word did its work and my father and my mother have left the ELCA. (bit of a side track – they joined a WELS church, but I still working on it. The quality of the LCMS presence in their neck of the woods had a lot to do with this).
    I am excited because this could happen for thousands of other brothers and sisters too. And, I can tell you that over the decade I spent working this out with my dad, the only thing I ever did that was not effective was yell and holler. In those 10 years, I did this too much and I think I probably delayed the effort by years. Gentle encouragement, teaching and soft admonishment won out. This is the approach we need on the larger scale too.”

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    On a side note, good luck getting CT to cover you “fundamentalists” in the LCMS. CT is not yet to the point of “E_CA” (I’d go further and say “_ _ C A”; they’re not evangelical in any sense of the word), but CT does have some strong antinomian tendencies as well.

    (and for reference, I’m using the word “fundamentalists” as a compliment here, not a perjorative–according to holding to Scripture, not necessarily the goofy things we sometimes do that don’t make the Bride look good)

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    On a side note, good luck getting CT to cover you “fundamentalists” in the LCMS. CT is not yet to the point of “E_CA” (I’d go further and say “_ _ C A”; they’re not evangelical in any sense of the word), but CT does have some strong antinomian tendencies as well.

    (and for reference, I’m using the word “fundamentalists” as a compliment here, not a perjorative–according to holding to Scripture, not necessarily the goofy things we sometimes do that don’t make the Bride look good)

  • http://geochristian.wordpress.com/ Kevin N

    I write as a former-Lutheran who is pleased that there is another option for returning (though I might be happy staying where I’m at). I see a much higher regard for Scripture in the NALC than is present in the leadership that has hijacked the ELCA.

    There is a good meaning to “fundamentalist” and a bad meaning.

    The original meaning, outlined in The Fundamentals a century ago included the defense of the deity of Christ, his atoning sacrifice on the cross in our place, and the inerrancy of Scriptures. These are all things that were present in the ALC, at least on paper (and in the hearts and minds of many of its pastors).

    Fundamentalism grew into something quite different: an anti-intellectual, legalistic, exclusivistic movement. While the Lutheran forms of fundamentalism aren’t legalistic as far as I can tell, they have absorbed a little bit of the anti-intellectual and exclusivistic aspects of broader fundamentalism. My case in point for anti-intellectualism is young-Earth creationism as promoted by organizations such as Answers in Genesis. This is something that isn’t necessary Biblically, and simply doesn’t work scientifically, yet it seems to be a standard of orthodoxy in much of confessional Lutheranism.

    I have no intention of derailing this discussion, and I’ll be at work all day anyways. As a side note, the authors of The Fundamentals, prominent scholars such as B.B. Warfield and R.A. Torrey, had no problem with an old earth, unlike many fundamentalists today.

  • http://geochristian.wordpress.com/ Kevin N

    I write as a former-Lutheran who is pleased that there is another option for returning (though I might be happy staying where I’m at). I see a much higher regard for Scripture in the NALC than is present in the leadership that has hijacked the ELCA.

    There is a good meaning to “fundamentalist” and a bad meaning.

    The original meaning, outlined in The Fundamentals a century ago included the defense of the deity of Christ, his atoning sacrifice on the cross in our place, and the inerrancy of Scriptures. These are all things that were present in the ALC, at least on paper (and in the hearts and minds of many of its pastors).

    Fundamentalism grew into something quite different: an anti-intellectual, legalistic, exclusivistic movement. While the Lutheran forms of fundamentalism aren’t legalistic as far as I can tell, they have absorbed a little bit of the anti-intellectual and exclusivistic aspects of broader fundamentalism. My case in point for anti-intellectualism is young-Earth creationism as promoted by organizations such as Answers in Genesis. This is something that isn’t necessary Biblically, and simply doesn’t work scientifically, yet it seems to be a standard of orthodoxy in much of confessional Lutheranism.

    I have no intention of derailing this discussion, and I’ll be at work all day anyways. As a side note, the authors of The Fundamentals, prominent scholars such as B.B. Warfield and R.A. Torrey, had no problem with an old earth, unlike many fundamentalists today.

  • kerner

    Joe:

    Back when the LCMS and the WELS were in fellowship there got to be areas in Wisconsin that each regarded as the other’s turf and neither would trespass. For example, Racine was considered an LCMS town while Kenosha was considered a WELS town. I don’t know where your parents live, but this might explain the relative strengths of each synod in their community.

  • kerner

    Joe:

    Back when the LCMS and the WELS were in fellowship there got to be areas in Wisconsin that each regarded as the other’s turf and neither would trespass. For example, Racine was considered an LCMS town while Kenosha was considered a WELS town. I don’t know where your parents live, but this might explain the relative strengths of each synod in their community.

  • http://www.brandywinebooks.net Lars Walker

    The homosexuality issue is one camel to swallow too many, for some. It’s nice to have something I can agree with when talking with my brother, an ELCA pastor who is (I suspect) leaning toward the NALC, but the gulf between us remains large.

    I close with a snarky line I came up with this morning, and feel compelled, in Tourette’s fashion, to share somewhere: “An ELCA theologian is one who is certain Jews, Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists will go to heaven. He’s not so sure about Baptists.”

  • http://www.brandywinebooks.net Lars Walker

    The homosexuality issue is one camel to swallow too many, for some. It’s nice to have something I can agree with when talking with my brother, an ELCA pastor who is (I suspect) leaning toward the NALC, but the gulf between us remains large.

    I close with a snarky line I came up with this morning, and feel compelled, in Tourette’s fashion, to share somewhere: “An ELCA theologian is one who is certain Jews, Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists will go to heaven. He’s not so sure about Baptists.”

  • WebMonk

    I’m not familiar enough with the ELCA to know whether all of Braaten’s statements are correct. Especially number 3 – the accusation of antisemitism. What I have heard of the ELCA has never suggested any antisemitism, but like I said, I’m not very familiar with the ELCA. Anyone have some facts to back up Braaten’s statement?

    The closest I’ve heard along those lines is accusations that the ELCA is too soft on Israel’s enemies and not strongly enough pro-Israel. That’s a considerable difference from being antisemitic.

    Also, you can’t blame the media too much for paying attention to the ELCA and its split-off. The media will almost always pay attention to the largest representative of a group, and in this case, ELCA is something like 2.3 times larger than the LCMS. Add in that an acrimonious split is a lot more exciting than a generally smooth transition in leadership, even if the leadership is different than what was there previously.

  • WebMonk

    I’m not familiar enough with the ELCA to know whether all of Braaten’s statements are correct. Especially number 3 – the accusation of antisemitism. What I have heard of the ELCA has never suggested any antisemitism, but like I said, I’m not very familiar with the ELCA. Anyone have some facts to back up Braaten’s statement?

    The closest I’ve heard along those lines is accusations that the ELCA is too soft on Israel’s enemies and not strongly enough pro-Israel. That’s a considerable difference from being antisemitic.

    Also, you can’t blame the media too much for paying attention to the ELCA and its split-off. The media will almost always pay attention to the largest representative of a group, and in this case, ELCA is something like 2.3 times larger than the LCMS. Add in that an acrimonious split is a lot more exciting than a generally smooth transition in leadership, even if the leadership is different than what was there previously.

  • jrr

    “My case in point for anti-intellectualism is young-Earth creationism as promoted by organizations such as Answers in Genesis. This is something that isn’t necessary Biblically, and simply doesn’t work scientifically, yet it seems to be a standard of orthodoxy in much of confessional Lutheranism.”

    I do not find the arguments for a young earth anti-intellectual. I have listened to the man who heads up Answers in Genesis and I do find him to be offensive even though I agree that the earth is young. There is a lot of good scientific evidence (as well as Biblical and geologic evidence) for a young-earth.

    Check out the Institute for Creation Research (www.icr.org) for the latest scientific evidence for a young earth. In addition to their other resources, each day they post an article addressing current scientific evidence that supports a young earth and/or refutes the possibility of evolution. Two recent articles of interest are Beetle Larva Bifocals and the Sun Alters Radioactive Decay. They also offer great apologetic resources for opening conversations with people who do not believe the earth is young.

  • jrr

    “My case in point for anti-intellectualism is young-Earth creationism as promoted by organizations such as Answers in Genesis. This is something that isn’t necessary Biblically, and simply doesn’t work scientifically, yet it seems to be a standard of orthodoxy in much of confessional Lutheranism.”

    I do not find the arguments for a young earth anti-intellectual. I have listened to the man who heads up Answers in Genesis and I do find him to be offensive even though I agree that the earth is young. There is a lot of good scientific evidence (as well as Biblical and geologic evidence) for a young-earth.

    Check out the Institute for Creation Research (www.icr.org) for the latest scientific evidence for a young earth. In addition to their other resources, each day they post an article addressing current scientific evidence that supports a young earth and/or refutes the possibility of evolution. Two recent articles of interest are Beetle Larva Bifocals and the Sun Alters Radioactive Decay. They also offer great apologetic resources for opening conversations with people who do not believe the earth is young.

  • bunnycatch3r

    I really don’t see how the LCMS could avoid being considered “fundamentalists” i.e. (per Wiki ) a “militantly anti-modernist Protestant evangelicalism.” Just about every aspect of the modern world (except maybe technology) is seen as a threat to the Confessions. This is especially true for the sciences which insist evidence be based upon repeatable and falsifiable observation instead of authority. But it is also true for women who have in modern times transcended their purely fundamental or biological roles as wives and mothers to virtually every vocation men aspire to. I wonder~ how many female medical doctors, or university professors, or supreme court justices would there be today if instead of freethinkers our country was populated with confessional Lutherans? Modern culture also threatens the Confessions. Instead of semi-literate and uneducated masses peopling the church (ok, that’s still true today…nvm).

  • bunnycatch3r

    I really don’t see how the LCMS could avoid being considered “fundamentalists” i.e. (per Wiki ) a “militantly anti-modernist Protestant evangelicalism.” Just about every aspect of the modern world (except maybe technology) is seen as a threat to the Confessions. This is especially true for the sciences which insist evidence be based upon repeatable and falsifiable observation instead of authority. But it is also true for women who have in modern times transcended their purely fundamental or biological roles as wives and mothers to virtually every vocation men aspire to. I wonder~ how many female medical doctors, or university professors, or supreme court justices would there be today if instead of freethinkers our country was populated with confessional Lutherans? Modern culture also threatens the Confessions. Instead of semi-literate and uneducated masses peopling the church (ok, that’s still true today…nvm).

  • Joe

    bunnycatch3r – I am not sure you really understand what you are talking about. There is nothing in confessional Lutheranism that says a women can’t have a vocation beyond wife and mother. Just as a man has vocations beyond husbands and fathers.

    “Just about every aspect of the modern world (except maybe technology) is seen as a threat to the Confessions. ” this is just silly. Confessional Lutherans point out that there is no NEW threats to orthodoxy – just the same old ones dressed up in modern times. That is why we argue that the Confessions are still relevant to today and that we should still subscribe to them.

    And as to science, we don’t reject it. We reject theories that are not observable and that require you to accept assumptions (i.e. have faith contrary to scripture) that can’t be proven.

  • Joe

    bunnycatch3r – I am not sure you really understand what you are talking about. There is nothing in confessional Lutheranism that says a women can’t have a vocation beyond wife and mother. Just as a man has vocations beyond husbands and fathers.

    “Just about every aspect of the modern world (except maybe technology) is seen as a threat to the Confessions. ” this is just silly. Confessional Lutherans point out that there is no NEW threats to orthodoxy – just the same old ones dressed up in modern times. That is why we argue that the Confessions are still relevant to today and that we should still subscribe to them.

    And as to science, we don’t reject it. We reject theories that are not observable and that require you to accept assumptions (i.e. have faith contrary to scripture) that can’t be proven.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    For reference, I remember vividly at least one of the authors of “The Fundamentals” who made spectactular fun of evolution, specifically noting that the estimated ancestors of the modern horse had a lot in common with equus asinus. So no, it is not correct that the authors of “The Fundamentals” all adopted old earth theology. Some did, some most clearly did not.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    For reference, I remember vividly at least one of the authors of “The Fundamentals” who made spectactular fun of evolution, specifically noting that the estimated ancestors of the modern horse had a lot in common with equus asinus. So no, it is not correct that the authors of “The Fundamentals” all adopted old earth theology. Some did, some most clearly did not.

  • Tom Hering

    How are Creationists anti-intellectual? Do they reject all intellectuals? Do they avoid all intellectual pursuits? Do they have no love for art, music and literature? The charge of anti-intellectualism is a false, broad-brush condemnation of those who disagree with specific constructs: an old Earth and evolution. The condemnation is ironic in that it’s more a feeling about Creationists than a fact-based conclusion. Perhaps it’s time for those who level the charge to end their repeated viewings of Inherit the Wind. ;-)

  • Tom Hering

    How are Creationists anti-intellectual? Do they reject all intellectuals? Do they avoid all intellectual pursuits? Do they have no love for art, music and literature? The charge of anti-intellectualism is a false, broad-brush condemnation of those who disagree with specific constructs: an old Earth and evolution. The condemnation is ironic in that it’s more a feeling about Creationists than a fact-based conclusion. Perhaps it’s time for those who level the charge to end their repeated viewings of Inherit the Wind. ;-)

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in 21st Century

    I am a six day creationist, but I can’t stand ICR and AIG. They just make us look stupid by promoting questionable research. The best I can say about AIG is they have pretty pictures. Honestly, science needs to get its nose out of what it can’t handle, the past. There is no way to scientifically prove creation or even a naturalistic cosmology because scientific methods can only deal with the present and contemporary evidence does not necessarily correlate with conditions of the past.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in 21st Century

    I am a six day creationist, but I can’t stand ICR and AIG. They just make us look stupid by promoting questionable research. The best I can say about AIG is they have pretty pictures. Honestly, science needs to get its nose out of what it can’t handle, the past. There is no way to scientifically prove creation or even a naturalistic cosmology because scientific methods can only deal with the present and contemporary evidence does not necessarily correlate with conditions of the past.

  • Louis

    Tom, jrr – AIG, as well as ICR and their ilk are bastions of anti-intellectualism – ICR clothes itself in a mantle of intellectualism, but as a professional earth scientist who came out of that camp, I have to support Kevin here. You should read his blog – he has highlighted the dishonesty and blatant disregard for very simple facts, observations if you like, that permeates that camp. If you want specific examples, read Kevin’s blog – he has the patience to examine, I simply don’t. Note here that I’m specifically talking about the ICR, AIG and similar YE Creationist “ministries” here.

  • Louis

    Tom, jrr – AIG, as well as ICR and their ilk are bastions of anti-intellectualism – ICR clothes itself in a mantle of intellectualism, but as a professional earth scientist who came out of that camp, I have to support Kevin here. You should read his blog – he has highlighted the dishonesty and blatant disregard for very simple facts, observations if you like, that permeates that camp. If you want specific examples, read Kevin’s blog – he has the patience to examine, I simply don’t. Note here that I’m specifically talking about the ICR, AIG and similar YE Creationist “ministries” here.

  • bunnycatch3r

    @Joe
    “Silly” and “Don’t understand what you’re really talking about”. Your gentle admonishment brother I thank you for.

    Confessional Lutherans point out that there is no NEW threats to orthodoxy – just the same old ones dressed up in modern times.

    Please forgive but ~per wiki the debate regarding Biblical inerrancy is only a few centuries old. And I think you’d be hard pressed to find any of the church fathers discussing the scripture in light of higher criticism. As for women and the Confessions, true~ they don’t limit or restrict women in their choice of vocations. However, you must admit that the ascendancy of the woman within society is a modern phenomenon. And their vocation within in the church is an issue that is discussed far more now than in Luther’s day.

    And as to science, we don’t reject it. We reject theories that are not observable and that require you to accept assumptions (i.e. have faith contrary to scripture) that can’t be proven.

    The heliocentric model of the solar system fits this criteria. It’s not “observable” ~ that is the sun each day is seen moving across our sky. And the heliocentric model is not biblical ~observe Joshua 10:13 (Luther used this verse to refute Copenicus). Indeed, the strength of the heliocentric model has its basis in extra-biblical assumptions. Tell me are you a “flat Earther” as well?

  • bunnycatch3r

    @Joe
    “Silly” and “Don’t understand what you’re really talking about”. Your gentle admonishment brother I thank you for.

    Confessional Lutherans point out that there is no NEW threats to orthodoxy – just the same old ones dressed up in modern times.

    Please forgive but ~per wiki the debate regarding Biblical inerrancy is only a few centuries old. And I think you’d be hard pressed to find any of the church fathers discussing the scripture in light of higher criticism. As for women and the Confessions, true~ they don’t limit or restrict women in their choice of vocations. However, you must admit that the ascendancy of the woman within society is a modern phenomenon. And their vocation within in the church is an issue that is discussed far more now than in Luther’s day.

    And as to science, we don’t reject it. We reject theories that are not observable and that require you to accept assumptions (i.e. have faith contrary to scripture) that can’t be proven.

    The heliocentric model of the solar system fits this criteria. It’s not “observable” ~ that is the sun each day is seen moving across our sky. And the heliocentric model is not biblical ~observe Joshua 10:13 (Luther used this verse to refute Copenicus). Indeed, the strength of the heliocentric model has its basis in extra-biblical assumptions. Tell me are you a “flat Earther” as well?

  • CRB

    The sad thing is, the leaders in the ELCA do not realize what they
    are doing to the folks in their care! Hopefully, Dr. Braaten will
    make some headway in further waking up the sheep so that they
    will get some guts and throw out the false teachers! I’m pretty
    sure that St. Paul would not go on dialoguing ad infinitem, ad
    nauseum, but I do believe he would admonish the congs to
    “put 0ut the trouble makers”, that is, those who not only defend
    their unscripural errors, but sadly promote them.

  • CRB

    The sad thing is, the leaders in the ELCA do not realize what they
    are doing to the folks in their care! Hopefully, Dr. Braaten will
    make some headway in further waking up the sheep so that they
    will get some guts and throw out the false teachers! I’m pretty
    sure that St. Paul would not go on dialoguing ad infinitem, ad
    nauseum, but I do believe he would admonish the congs to
    “put 0ut the trouble makers”, that is, those who not only defend
    their unscripural errors, but sadly promote them.

  • CRB

    When the leaders of a false teaching church expose their
    unbelief regarding Scripture, it’s time for the faithful to
    speak up and take action, no?

  • CRB

    When the leaders of a false teaching church expose their
    unbelief regarding Scripture, it’s time for the faithful to
    speak up and take action, no?

  • Bryan Lindemood

    Kevin, when are you ever going to come over and let me buy you a coffee or a beer?

  • Bryan Lindemood

    Kevin, when are you ever going to come over and let me buy you a coffee or a beer?

  • Porcell

    WebMonk: Anyone have some facts to back up Braaten’s statement?

    The ELCA statement on its website includes the following regarding the Palestinian issue:

    Yassir Arafat’s statement (December, 1988) renouncing the use of terrorism, recognizing Israel’s right to exist, and accepting the provisions of United Nations Resolutions #242 and #338 as a basis for negotiations; [1]

    While The ELCA, also, speaks of the terrible Holocaust, the notion that Arafat’s word should be respected is absurd. The ELCA, along with other gnostic mainline denominations find severe fault with Israel and whitewash the Palestinians. While this isn’t on the surface anti-Semitism, it is a political form of it. The Left in Europe is well known for disguising a latent anti-Semitism in the form of favorng the Paletistinians who favor the annihilation of Isreael and the Jews.

    Carl Braaten is calling a spade a spade on this issue.

  • Porcell

    WebMonk: Anyone have some facts to back up Braaten’s statement?

    The ELCA statement on its website includes the following regarding the Palestinian issue:

    Yassir Arafat’s statement (December, 1988) renouncing the use of terrorism, recognizing Israel’s right to exist, and accepting the provisions of United Nations Resolutions #242 and #338 as a basis for negotiations; [1]

    While The ELCA, also, speaks of the terrible Holocaust, the notion that Arafat’s word should be respected is absurd. The ELCA, along with other gnostic mainline denominations find severe fault with Israel and whitewash the Palestinians. While this isn’t on the surface anti-Semitism, it is a political form of it. The Left in Europe is well known for disguising a latent anti-Semitism in the form of favorng the Paletistinians who favor the annihilation of Isreael and the Jews.

    Carl Braaten is calling a spade a spade on this issue.

  • Louis

    Porcell – I’m at a loss to see political anti-Semitism, as you put it, in that quote – care to give more context, please?

  • Louis

    Porcell – I’m at a loss to see political anti-Semitism, as you put it, in that quote – care to give more context, please?

  • Louis

    bunnycatch3r – I fail to see, within the confessions, any propensity to bar women from any of the careers you mentioned, other than the clergical. I think you mistake Confessionalism with Reformed Conservatism – ie the much more common tendency amongst certain brands of Calvinists, starting with John Knox, of seeing exact roles with women, confined to the house etc etc. It’s always noteworthy to remember that Luther’s wife was quite energetic, and not at all a “meek and in the background” lady, and had no problem challenging some of his ideas. Calvin, and Knox, meanwhile, where celibate….. :)

    That is not to say some modern fundamentalism etc can’t rub off across denominational lines – regrettably, that happens. But it is not really the falut of the Confessions, is it?

  • Louis

    bunnycatch3r – I fail to see, within the confessions, any propensity to bar women from any of the careers you mentioned, other than the clergical. I think you mistake Confessionalism with Reformed Conservatism – ie the much more common tendency amongst certain brands of Calvinists, starting with John Knox, of seeing exact roles with women, confined to the house etc etc. It’s always noteworthy to remember that Luther’s wife was quite energetic, and not at all a “meek and in the background” lady, and had no problem challenging some of his ideas. Calvin, and Knox, meanwhile, where celibate….. :)

    That is not to say some modern fundamentalism etc can’t rub off across denominational lines – regrettably, that happens. But it is not really the falut of the Confessions, is it?

  • WebMonk

    Louis, I’m with you on that, but that bit of quote is something Porcell feels is part of the proof of the ELCA’s antisemitism, then I don’t think you’re going to get a reasonable answer from him on this topic.

  • WebMonk

    Louis, I’m with you on that, but that bit of quote is something Porcell feels is part of the proof of the ELCA’s antisemitism, then I don’t think you’re going to get a reasonable answer from him on this topic.

  • WebMonk

    Louis 21, the Mars Hill Church just did a post on some “Awesome Women of the Reformation”, and first up is Katherine von Bora, Luther’s wife.

    Awesome Women of the Reformation

  • WebMonk

    Louis 21, the Mars Hill Church just did a post on some “Awesome Women of the Reformation”, and first up is Katherine von Bora, Luther’s wife.

    Awesome Women of the Reformation

  • Joe

    bunnycatch3r – I apologize for the tone – I tried to tone it down after I read it and before I hit submit but I guess I did not tone it down far enough to avoid being insulting – not my intent. Sorry (as you’ll see from my comment at 2 – I am guilty of unkindness even with my own father at times). What I meant to say was I don’t think you have it correct when you state that confessional Lutherans reject the modern world. I could (and should) have said it more kindly.

    As to your points. Debate over the Word is not new, just different angles. The first sin was prompted by Satan asking “Did God really say …” or “God did not say.” This is the basis for all sin the rejection of the word. Over the centuries the specific form of the debate may have changed but its the same debate. Also, since your point was aimed at Confessional Lutherans – Eramus began to challenge inerrancy prior to or contemporaneously with the reformation. The confessions speak to it.

    As to the science point – I could point out the confessional Lutheran mathematicians that furthered the work of Copernicus – but it is enough to note that Luther’s rejection of Copernicus is irrelevant because it is not (and never was) Lutheran doctrine – its not in the Confessions. It was his personal belief. Real observable science is not a challenge to confessional Lutheranism (i.e Orthodoxy). But further the universe is observable (at least some of it, including the sun and we can observe that we are moving around the sun.)

  • Joe

    bunnycatch3r – I apologize for the tone – I tried to tone it down after I read it and before I hit submit but I guess I did not tone it down far enough to avoid being insulting – not my intent. Sorry (as you’ll see from my comment at 2 – I am guilty of unkindness even with my own father at times). What I meant to say was I don’t think you have it correct when you state that confessional Lutherans reject the modern world. I could (and should) have said it more kindly.

    As to your points. Debate over the Word is not new, just different angles. The first sin was prompted by Satan asking “Did God really say …” or “God did not say.” This is the basis for all sin the rejection of the word. Over the centuries the specific form of the debate may have changed but its the same debate. Also, since your point was aimed at Confessional Lutherans – Eramus began to challenge inerrancy prior to or contemporaneously with the reformation. The confessions speak to it.

    As to the science point – I could point out the confessional Lutheran mathematicians that furthered the work of Copernicus – but it is enough to note that Luther’s rejection of Copernicus is irrelevant because it is not (and never was) Lutheran doctrine – its not in the Confessions. It was his personal belief. Real observable science is not a challenge to confessional Lutheranism (i.e Orthodoxy). But further the universe is observable (at least some of it, including the sun and we can observe that we are moving around the sun.)

  • Louis

    Webmonk- ah yes, I keep on forgetting that Calvin did marry in the end (to late to chane him, unfortunatel.. :) ). But if you go down that list, notice that about 80% of them are Lutheran!

  • Louis

    Webmonk- ah yes, I keep on forgetting that Calvin did marry in the end (to late to chane him, unfortunatel.. :) ). But if you go down that list, notice that about 80% of them are Lutheran!

  • Louis

    That should be “change him” – now was that a Freudian slip or what?

  • Louis

    That should be “change him” – now was that a Freudian slip or what?

  • WebMonk

    Awesome slip!

    As a married man, I am required to say I thoroughly enjoy my bonds of marriage. The ball and chain are wonderful!

    I also have to say I have grown past a LOT of really silly opinions I had about females because of my marriage. Yup! Marriage is good! Makes for good theology too, apparently!

  • WebMonk

    Awesome slip!

    As a married man, I am required to say I thoroughly enjoy my bonds of marriage. The ball and chain are wonderful!

    I also have to say I have grown past a LOT of really silly opinions I had about females because of my marriage. Yup! Marriage is good! Makes for good theology too, apparently!

  • Novice Apologist

    -Bunnycatch3r
    As a woman with a doctorate in a science field, I’m frankly insulted that you find orthodox Christianity so insulting to women. Jesus Christ was radically anti-cultural of his time by including women as equals before God. Mormons teach that women only get to go to heaven if their husbands call them. Mohammad stated that most women would go to hell for not being obedient enough to their husbands. Buddha had to be brow beaten by his disciples before he would admit women had any hope and then he added a lot more rules they had to follow. If anything Christianity allowed women to move from being seen as chattel to actual human beings to equals with equal rights.

    As for no women pastors, who can understand the mind of God? I personally have a theory. Who runs the Sunday School? School programs? Choir? bakes for bakes sales, weddings, funerals? cleans the church? runs most of the boards? Women. I think God knew he had to make us step out of the way to get men to do anything in the Church. But as I said personal opinion not at all scripturally based.

    Perhaps a further study into the Lutheran concept of vocation would be helpful. While I can’t be a father, brother, uncle, or husband, I can become a mother, sister, aunt, and wife. These roles are different but not less than the male counterparts.

    Men and women are just different. This is a scientific fact. Boys receive a testosterone bath to the brain in utero that damages the cells that connect the two halves of the brain together. This forever changes how they think from their female peers. Little girls brains are saturated in estrogen for the first couple of years of their lives. This too changes them. To deny that the sexes are different is against science.

  • Novice Apologist

    -Bunnycatch3r
    As a woman with a doctorate in a science field, I’m frankly insulted that you find orthodox Christianity so insulting to women. Jesus Christ was radically anti-cultural of his time by including women as equals before God. Mormons teach that women only get to go to heaven if their husbands call them. Mohammad stated that most women would go to hell for not being obedient enough to their husbands. Buddha had to be brow beaten by his disciples before he would admit women had any hope and then he added a lot more rules they had to follow. If anything Christianity allowed women to move from being seen as chattel to actual human beings to equals with equal rights.

    As for no women pastors, who can understand the mind of God? I personally have a theory. Who runs the Sunday School? School programs? Choir? bakes for bakes sales, weddings, funerals? cleans the church? runs most of the boards? Women. I think God knew he had to make us step out of the way to get men to do anything in the Church. But as I said personal opinion not at all scripturally based.

    Perhaps a further study into the Lutheran concept of vocation would be helpful. While I can’t be a father, brother, uncle, or husband, I can become a mother, sister, aunt, and wife. These roles are different but not less than the male counterparts.

    Men and women are just different. This is a scientific fact. Boys receive a testosterone bath to the brain in utero that damages the cells that connect the two halves of the brain together. This forever changes how they think from their female peers. Little girls brains are saturated in estrogen for the first couple of years of their lives. This too changes them. To deny that the sexes are different is against science.

  • Porcell

    Louis, at 20, I should suggest you read The New Anti-Semitism: A Guide to the ELCA Campaign Against Israel and Her Christian Supporters by CJ Conner a rather polemical though not unreasonable account, including the following:

    … the Bishops of the ELCA have expanded their fight against Jews to include the Christians who befriend them, pray for them, and protect them. They also continue to treacherously extend hollow words of peace to Israel- a smoke screen to conceal the dagger in their left hand- the millions of dollars they have poured into de-stabilizing the Jewish state. Even though their partnerships and organizations have sweet sounding mission statements, theirs is always a “blame the Jews first and often” approach to “peace” in the Middle East.

    Conner compares the ELCA to Hitler’s Germany, though this is far fetched.

  • Porcell

    Louis, at 20, I should suggest you read The New Anti-Semitism: A Guide to the ELCA Campaign Against Israel and Her Christian Supporters by CJ Conner a rather polemical though not unreasonable account, including the following:

    … the Bishops of the ELCA have expanded their fight against Jews to include the Christians who befriend them, pray for them, and protect them. They also continue to treacherously extend hollow words of peace to Israel- a smoke screen to conceal the dagger in their left hand- the millions of dollars they have poured into de-stabilizing the Jewish state. Even though their partnerships and organizations have sweet sounding mission statements, theirs is always a “blame the Jews first and often” approach to “peace” in the Middle East.

    Conner compares the ELCA to Hitler’s Germany, though this is far fetched.

  • Louis

    OK Porcell, I’ll cut you a deal. I’ll read that one, if you read the following document, by Palestinian Christians: http://www.kairospalestine.ps/sites/default/Documents/English.pdf

  • Louis

    OK Porcell, I’ll cut you a deal. I’ll read that one, if you read the following document, by Palestinian Christians: http://www.kairospalestine.ps/sites/default/Documents/English.pdf

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    I have seen more “fundamentalist” nonthinking in the splinter groups breaking from the ELCA than I ever have in the LCMS. The local LCMC church body thinks Rick Warren is Lutheran. They get pastors from seminaries with no lutheran faculty. So… This is going to be problematic. They are also very hesitant to look at what has become unquestionable tradition for them, and how that effects their hermeneutics over all.
    I hope Carl Braaten continues to go the path he seems to be plowing to critically examine what went wrong with the ELCA. I think Joe is enlightening here. The issue of homosexuality is an issue that is finally making these men think and hard. I want to applaud them in that. At the same time I think there is quite a ways that needs to go.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    I have seen more “fundamentalist” nonthinking in the splinter groups breaking from the ELCA than I ever have in the LCMS. The local LCMC church body thinks Rick Warren is Lutheran. They get pastors from seminaries with no lutheran faculty. So… This is going to be problematic. They are also very hesitant to look at what has become unquestionable tradition for them, and how that effects their hermeneutics over all.
    I hope Carl Braaten continues to go the path he seems to be plowing to critically examine what went wrong with the ELCA. I think Joe is enlightening here. The issue of homosexuality is an issue that is finally making these men think and hard. I want to applaud them in that. At the same time I think there is quite a ways that needs to go.

  • Louis

    OK Porcell, I read it. Now – compare the spirit, tone and theological soundness of the 2 documents.

  • Louis

    OK Porcell, I read it. Now – compare the spirit, tone and theological soundness of the 2 documents.

  • bunnycatch3r

    @Louis and Joe,
    Point taken. Thanks for the response. I need to go back and consider what I think I know about the Confessions.

  • bunnycatch3r

    @Louis and Joe,
    Point taken. Thanks for the response. I need to go back and consider what I think I know about the Confessions.

  • Porcell

    Louis, I read that Eastern Orthodox screed that talks about the suffering of the Palestinians and, apart from one reference to Muslim fanaticism, has little to say about Israel’s necessary occupation of Palestine after the’67 war started by the Arabs with the purpose of annihilating Israel and the Jews.

    Israel has made numerous honest attempts to negotiate with the Palestinians, though until the Palestinians give up their goal of destroying Israel, peace is impossible.

    Israel is a legitimate nation, having been established by the U.N. and has every right to defend itself from the Arab and Iranian enemies that are adamant with their threat of Israel annihilation. These Eastern Orthodox Christians along with moralistic outfits like the ELCA, as Conner states, treacherously extend hollow words of peace to Israel- a smoke screen to conceal the dagger in their left hand.

    Carl Braaten is spot on with his remark thatELCA leaders sneer at the idea that we can look to a book as our authority—especially a book written by Jews. Antinomianism and anti-Semitism are always found together….

  • Porcell

    Louis, I read that Eastern Orthodox screed that talks about the suffering of the Palestinians and, apart from one reference to Muslim fanaticism, has little to say about Israel’s necessary occupation of Palestine after the’67 war started by the Arabs with the purpose of annihilating Israel and the Jews.

    Israel has made numerous honest attempts to negotiate with the Palestinians, though until the Palestinians give up their goal of destroying Israel, peace is impossible.

    Israel is a legitimate nation, having been established by the U.N. and has every right to defend itself from the Arab and Iranian enemies that are adamant with their threat of Israel annihilation. These Eastern Orthodox Christians along with moralistic outfits like the ELCA, as Conner states, treacherously extend hollow words of peace to Israel- a smoke screen to conceal the dagger in their left hand.

    Carl Braaten is spot on with his remark thatELCA leaders sneer at the idea that we can look to a book as our authority—especially a book written by Jews. Antinomianism and anti-Semitism are always found together….

  • WebMonk

    Louis, I hate to say I told you so, but I told you so.

  • WebMonk

    Louis, I hate to say I told you so, but I told you so.

  • bunnycatch3r

    Greetings Novice Apologist,
    Paul’s requirement that women remain silent in the church is (pardon the pun) appalling. In effect the misogyny expressed in this verse relegates women to roles precluding positions of leadership. i.e. to various levels of sandwich makers. They can’t serve as elders, could not (until I think recently) vote, serve as congregational presidents, etc. Of course Paul says also that women should cover their head but, dear reader, we must excuse Paul here who is obviously exhibiting a charming bout of “cultural bias “~ meaning yes, technically it’s “The Word of God” but wink, nudge, we can ignore it.
    The part, however, about women keeping silent? ~ That’s binding!
    And, as a woman, have you considered that scripture was written by men, it’s doctrines formulated by men, interpreted (to mere abstraction) by men, preached by men, etc? The message is for “us men and our salvation”.
    Also, Novice Apologist, you have a doctorate in one of the sciences? I confess that I have a weakness regarding your credentials and consider it an honor to speak with you. But truly, someone with your background and abilities must find the following verse both hideous and mean: “And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.” No, God did not say this ~ it was written by a man.

  • bunnycatch3r

    Greetings Novice Apologist,
    Paul’s requirement that women remain silent in the church is (pardon the pun) appalling. In effect the misogyny expressed in this verse relegates women to roles precluding positions of leadership. i.e. to various levels of sandwich makers. They can’t serve as elders, could not (until I think recently) vote, serve as congregational presidents, etc. Of course Paul says also that women should cover their head but, dear reader, we must excuse Paul here who is obviously exhibiting a charming bout of “cultural bias “~ meaning yes, technically it’s “The Word of God” but wink, nudge, we can ignore it.
    The part, however, about women keeping silent? ~ That’s binding!
    And, as a woman, have you considered that scripture was written by men, it’s doctrines formulated by men, interpreted (to mere abstraction) by men, preached by men, etc? The message is for “us men and our salvation”.
    Also, Novice Apologist, you have a doctorate in one of the sciences? I confess that I have a weakness regarding your credentials and consider it an honor to speak with you. But truly, someone with your background and abilities must find the following verse both hideous and mean: “And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.” No, God did not say this ~ it was written by a man.

  • http://www.redeemedrambling.blogspot.com/ John

    Mrs. Luther had the greatest vocation of all – according to Luther, she made the best beer in germany.

  • http://www.redeemedrambling.blogspot.com/ John

    Mrs. Luther had the greatest vocation of all – according to Luther, she made the best beer in germany.

  • Another Kerner

    Novice Apologist @#28

    Thank you for the clarity and the correct assessment of women elevated by Christianity.

    Firstly, Scripture tells us we are “neither male nor female”, but all “one in Christ Jesus.” In the body of Christ, our spiritual standing is “equal”.

    And, of course, as you say, vocations are another matter.

    Whilst God’s word tells us that women are to obey their husbands, it also instructs husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church (that would be enough to die for them, no?).

    And husbands are further informed that unless they want their “prayers hindered”, they should honor their wives.

    We are, indeed, treasured and protected in the household of faith.

    As a quick review, a reread of Proverbs 31 describes the various vocations of women, although certainly not limited to these verses.

    I am grateful for the treasured, protected status of women.

    Your reminder pertinent to the testosterone bath/estrogen saturation is correct.

    This is one woman who does not want a slap on the back and a cigar for her birthday.

  • Another Kerner

    Novice Apologist @#28

    Thank you for the clarity and the correct assessment of women elevated by Christianity.

    Firstly, Scripture tells us we are “neither male nor female”, but all “one in Christ Jesus.” In the body of Christ, our spiritual standing is “equal”.

    And, of course, as you say, vocations are another matter.

    Whilst God’s word tells us that women are to obey their husbands, it also instructs husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church (that would be enough to die for them, no?).

    And husbands are further informed that unless they want their “prayers hindered”, they should honor their wives.

    We are, indeed, treasured and protected in the household of faith.

    As a quick review, a reread of Proverbs 31 describes the various vocations of women, although certainly not limited to these verses.

    I am grateful for the treasured, protected status of women.

    Your reminder pertinent to the testosterone bath/estrogen saturation is correct.

    This is one woman who does not want a slap on the back and a cigar for her birthday.

  • http://webulite.com webulite.com

    Gnosticism is the fastest growing supernaturalistic group in the USA;

    http://www.google.com/buzz/webulite/4CA5n3UM22d/Is-Witchcraft-Merely-a-Passing-Fancy-among

    Cheers! webulite.com

  • http://webulite.com webulite.com

    Gnosticism is the fastest growing supernaturalistic group in the USA;

    http://www.google.com/buzz/webulite/4CA5n3UM22d/Is-Witchcraft-Merely-a-Passing-Fancy-among

    Cheers! webulite.com

  • Louis

    Webulite – don’t you have something better to do that troll?

    Porcell: None is so blind as those whi will not see. You are also anti-semitic, it is just a different kind of Semite that you dislike, it seems.

    bunnycath3r – cultural context, textual context and all that.

  • Louis

    Webulite – don’t you have something better to do that troll?

    Porcell: None is so blind as those whi will not see. You are also anti-semitic, it is just a different kind of Semite that you dislike, it seems.

    bunnycath3r – cultural context, textual context and all that.

  • Porcell

    Another Lerner: This is one woman who does not want a slap on the back and a cigar for her birthday. Love this.

    I recently made my wife a birthday present of a weekend at Tanglewood with a Boston Symphony Orchestra and Tanglewood Festival Chorus performance of Bach’s Jesu Meine Freude and Beethoven’s Ninth symphony, to say nothing of staying at the Stockbridge Red Lion Inn with fine meals.

    Like your husband, I am blessed with a strong, virtuous wife with whom one couldn’t possibly get away with a cigar and a backslap, though I’ve occasionally tried an equivalent and utterly failed.

    I, also, appreciated Novice Apologist’s remarks. I hope she sticks with this blog.

    Vive the strength and difference,

  • Porcell

    Another Lerner: This is one woman who does not want a slap on the back and a cigar for her birthday. Love this.

    I recently made my wife a birthday present of a weekend at Tanglewood with a Boston Symphony Orchestra and Tanglewood Festival Chorus performance of Bach’s Jesu Meine Freude and Beethoven’s Ninth symphony, to say nothing of staying at the Stockbridge Red Lion Inn with fine meals.

    Like your husband, I am blessed with a strong, virtuous wife with whom one couldn’t possibly get away with a cigar and a backslap, though I’ve occasionally tried an equivalent and utterly failed.

    I, also, appreciated Novice Apologist’s remarks. I hope she sticks with this blog.

    Vive the strength and difference,

  • Louis

    Also, Porcell – you have to look up the definition of the word screed. It does not mean opposing argument. The spirit of the given document is not “screedal”, but I did find your document a trifle, um, shall we say “hysterical”? Also, your asserion that the Orthodox (mind you, there are Anglicans, Eastern Catholics, Lutherans and Armenians too) in that document have a concealed dagger in their hand is one of the most insulting, arrogant, self righteous and hateful things I have read in a long, long time. You have no idea how the churches in that area of the world has suffered – first at the hand of Islam – the Byzantines effectively fought a rear-guard action for 800 years, and lately at some other hands too. You show a blatant disregard for the sufferings of those of a ethnicity you chose to despise. The Palestinian Christians are hardly equivalent to either Hamas or Fatah. But because they share ethnicities, you immediately tar them as terrorists.

    Webmonk – I realise, that, but it pains me to see that disregard for fellow Christians’ sufferings . True, nobody is innocent there, and the situation is complex and tragic.

  • Louis

    Also, Porcell – you have to look up the definition of the word screed. It does not mean opposing argument. The spirit of the given document is not “screedal”, but I did find your document a trifle, um, shall we say “hysterical”? Also, your asserion that the Orthodox (mind you, there are Anglicans, Eastern Catholics, Lutherans and Armenians too) in that document have a concealed dagger in their hand is one of the most insulting, arrogant, self righteous and hateful things I have read in a long, long time. You have no idea how the churches in that area of the world has suffered – first at the hand of Islam – the Byzantines effectively fought a rear-guard action for 800 years, and lately at some other hands too. You show a blatant disregard for the sufferings of those of a ethnicity you chose to despise. The Palestinian Christians are hardly equivalent to either Hamas or Fatah. But because they share ethnicities, you immediately tar them as terrorists.

    Webmonk – I realise, that, but it pains me to see that disregard for fellow Christians’ sufferings . True, nobody is innocent there, and the situation is complex and tragic.

  • Porcell

    Louis, the Oxford definition of screed is a long speech or piece of writing, typically one regarded as tedious., which is precisely what I found that Eastern Orthodox document to be. I might add “sycophantic” to “tedious” given the Eastern Orthodox obsequious relation to the Palestinians.

  • Porcell

    Louis, the Oxford definition of screed is a long speech or piece of writing, typically one regarded as tedious., which is precisely what I found that Eastern Orthodox document to be. I might add “sycophantic” to “tedious” given the Eastern Orthodox obsequious relation to the Palestinians.

  • Another Kerner

    bunnycatch3r @ 36

    Once again, it is a matter of vocation, and not the supression of a “woman’s right” to speak her mind on any subject, including matters of faith and doctrine.

    Every Christian is called upon to know the Scripture, discern the doctrine therein, contend for “the faith once delivered unto the saints”, recognize false doctrine, and warn of “wolves in sheep’s clothing”, to recite only a few imperatives which are not limited by one’s gender.

    I am a widow. I am represented in my congregation by the elders and my Pastor, something like, (although not entirely) the concept of representation in the left hand kingdom in the various legislatures.

    Most congregational issues are related to keeping a church and grade school functioning day to day, because the church “constitution” avers what the doctrinal stance is and also states that all issues which arise will be decided within the framework of those documents.

    In short, we are in accord on matters of doctrine.

    I have joined churches, not because I wanted to assert myself and change them or their doctrinal statements (confessions), but because I have read them, believed them, agreed with them (quia), and because, very importantly, male leadership is a very critical issue in both kingdoms, left and right.

    The “feminization” of a church body is not a pretty sight.

  • Another Kerner

    bunnycatch3r @ 36

    Once again, it is a matter of vocation, and not the supression of a “woman’s right” to speak her mind on any subject, including matters of faith and doctrine.

    Every Christian is called upon to know the Scripture, discern the doctrine therein, contend for “the faith once delivered unto the saints”, recognize false doctrine, and warn of “wolves in sheep’s clothing”, to recite only a few imperatives which are not limited by one’s gender.

    I am a widow. I am represented in my congregation by the elders and my Pastor, something like, (although not entirely) the concept of representation in the left hand kingdom in the various legislatures.

    Most congregational issues are related to keeping a church and grade school functioning day to day, because the church “constitution” avers what the doctrinal stance is and also states that all issues which arise will be decided within the framework of those documents.

    In short, we are in accord on matters of doctrine.

    I have joined churches, not because I wanted to assert myself and change them or their doctrinal statements (confessions), but because I have read them, believed them, agreed with them (quia), and because, very importantly, male leadership is a very critical issue in both kingdoms, left and right.

    The “feminization” of a church body is not a pretty sight.

  • Louis

    Porcell – are you for real?

    Those same Palestinians have been Orthodox Christians since, let me think, oh, since the days of the Apostles. Sure, the ethnic designation has changed over the nearly 2 millenia, but that doesn’t mean anything. Also, not all those folks are EO. In fact, only 2 are. The rest are Armenian (which is generally considered separate from Orthodoxy), various Eastern Catholics (these are churches in communion with Rome), Coptic, Lutheran, Anglican etc. But I’m sure you’d consider them all part of the “great unwashed”.

    So apparently everything they say is irrelevant to you, because of who they are? That, my friend, is the very defintion of prejudice.

  • Louis

    Porcell – are you for real?

    Those same Palestinians have been Orthodox Christians since, let me think, oh, since the days of the Apostles. Sure, the ethnic designation has changed over the nearly 2 millenia, but that doesn’t mean anything. Also, not all those folks are EO. In fact, only 2 are. The rest are Armenian (which is generally considered separate from Orthodoxy), various Eastern Catholics (these are churches in communion with Rome), Coptic, Lutheran, Anglican etc. But I’m sure you’d consider them all part of the “great unwashed”.

    So apparently everything they say is irrelevant to you, because of who they are? That, my friend, is the very defintion of prejudice.

  • Porcell

    Also, Louis, the real Christian suffering tok place when the fanatic Muslim Jihadis occupied the Judeo-Christian Holy Land since the time of the Rashidun Caliphate. The Crusades were an effort to take the Holy Land back. Most Westerners have little understanding of this history. Islam has been a formidable and dangerous enemy of Christendom since its founding.

    Those Eastern Orthodox folk are basically anti-Semites- like the naive American ELCA folk- who are trying to protect their interests by betting that in the long run that Israel and the Jews in that land will be anihilated.

    While Ottoman Islamic military power steeply declined in the 18th and 19th centuries, just now it is involved in a resurgence, mainly due to the decadence and moralistic softness of the West

  • Porcell

    Also, Louis, the real Christian suffering tok place when the fanatic Muslim Jihadis occupied the Judeo-Christian Holy Land since the time of the Rashidun Caliphate. The Crusades were an effort to take the Holy Land back. Most Westerners have little understanding of this history. Islam has been a formidable and dangerous enemy of Christendom since its founding.

    Those Eastern Orthodox folk are basically anti-Semites- like the naive American ELCA folk- who are trying to protect their interests by betting that in the long run that Israel and the Jews in that land will be anihilated.

    While Ottoman Islamic military power steeply declined in the 18th and 19th centuries, just now it is involved in a resurgence, mainly due to the decadence and moralistic softness of the West

  • http://blog.captainthin.net/ Captain Thin

    Joe @2 I, too, am one of those silly confessional Lutherans who find reason for hope in the current situation. Having written on the division in the ELCA and the birth of the NALC for a couple of publications (and maintaining a blogpost with the largest record of ELCA congregational action on the web), I’ve been watching the situation very carefully. And notwithstanding Dr. Veith’s suggestion that the NALC “consists of ELCA congregations that are pulling out because of that body’s acceptance of homosexuality,” the issue is of course much deeper than that. The issue has always been the authority of Scripture (and is the reason why confessional/evangelical pressure groups in the ELCA date back to at least 1996 – long before the issues of homosexual marriage and ordination were serious concerns in the denomination). A brief rundown on the situation with historical context can be seen in my article for the Canadian newspaper The National Post entitled “Lutherans follow Anglicans down rocky road of dissent”.

    As those breaking off for the LCMC and the NALC are openly doing so because of the “authority of Scripture”, we should be cheering them on. Yes, they still have some errant ideas (eg, on WO). But when any community of Christians dedicates itself to upholding the authority of Scripture, they will be forced to wrestle with such issues far more seriously than they would ever need to in the ELCA.

  • http://blog.captainthin.net/ Captain Thin

    Joe @2 I, too, am one of those silly confessional Lutherans who find reason for hope in the current situation. Having written on the division in the ELCA and the birth of the NALC for a couple of publications (and maintaining a blogpost with the largest record of ELCA congregational action on the web), I’ve been watching the situation very carefully. And notwithstanding Dr. Veith’s suggestion that the NALC “consists of ELCA congregations that are pulling out because of that body’s acceptance of homosexuality,” the issue is of course much deeper than that. The issue has always been the authority of Scripture (and is the reason why confessional/evangelical pressure groups in the ELCA date back to at least 1996 – long before the issues of homosexual marriage and ordination were serious concerns in the denomination). A brief rundown on the situation with historical context can be seen in my article for the Canadian newspaper The National Post entitled “Lutherans follow Anglicans down rocky road of dissent”.

    As those breaking off for the LCMC and the NALC are openly doing so because of the “authority of Scripture”, we should be cheering them on. Yes, they still have some errant ideas (eg, on WO). But when any community of Christians dedicates itself to upholding the authority of Scripture, they will be forced to wrestle with such issues far more seriously than they would ever need to in the ELCA.

  • Porcell

    Feldman, guys can get away with a cigar and backslap with each other, though, as Another Kerner remarks, strong women don;t buy that.

  • Porcell

    Feldman, guys can get away with a cigar and backslap with each other, though, as Another Kerner remarks, strong women don;t buy that.

  • http://geochristian.wordpress.com/ Kevin N

    Bryan (#18):

    Thanks for the offer of a free beer — a very un-fundamentalist thing for you to do :) . Unfortunately, my job search led me to live in Misery (alternate spelling of Missouri) rather than in Utah or thereabouts.

  • http://geochristian.wordpress.com/ Kevin N

    Bryan (#18):

    Thanks for the offer of a free beer — a very un-fundamentalist thing for you to do :) . Unfortunately, my job search led me to live in Misery (alternate spelling of Missouri) rather than in Utah or thereabouts.

  • Louis

    Porcell – just here do you get off saying things like – “Those Eastern Orthodox folk are basically anti-Semites- like the naive American ELCA folk- who are trying to protect their interests by betting that in the long run that Israel and the Jews in that land will be anihilated. ”

    I know people, very much not “liberals”, that have travelled to that part of the world, and they very, very much counter anything you say. But I guess prejudice cannot be overcome by either logic or facts.

    PS – Of course the church suffered at the hand of various Islamic rulers. I said as much in my earlier post. You sir, however, are blinded by your prejudice and insufferable arrogance, as many, many here have pointed out in extemely diverse discussions, again and again and again.

    Webmonk: Please explain to me why I did not listen to you? I guess it is for my sins….

  • Louis

    Porcell – just here do you get off saying things like – “Those Eastern Orthodox folk are basically anti-Semites- like the naive American ELCA folk- who are trying to protect their interests by betting that in the long run that Israel and the Jews in that land will be anihilated. ”

    I know people, very much not “liberals”, that have travelled to that part of the world, and they very, very much counter anything you say. But I guess prejudice cannot be overcome by either logic or facts.

    PS – Of course the church suffered at the hand of various Islamic rulers. I said as much in my earlier post. You sir, however, are blinded by your prejudice and insufferable arrogance, as many, many here have pointed out in extemely diverse discussions, again and again and again.

    Webmonk: Please explain to me why I did not listen to you? I guess it is for my sins….

  • Porcell

    Louis, at 51, the subject of this thread is Carl Braaten’s thesis that the liberal ELCA is a gnostic outfit that among other points is anti-Semitic. He bases this on the fact that the ELCA, like the Orthodox Church, favors the Palestinians in the fateful Israeli-Palestinian against savage Islamic enemies, including Syria and Iran, who wish to annihilate their legitimate nation and homeland.

    Basically, you have proven Braaten’s point in that you have no fair understanding of the plight of Israel and, following the gnostic ELCA, you talk a good game about justice, though you have taken the side of Israel’s savage Islamic enemies. If the U.S. or Canada were threatened by such a savage enemy, we would properly wipe it out, notwithstanding the weak backbone of the supine liberals and isolationists.

  • Porcell

    Louis, at 51, the subject of this thread is Carl Braaten’s thesis that the liberal ELCA is a gnostic outfit that among other points is anti-Semitic. He bases this on the fact that the ELCA, like the Orthodox Church, favors the Palestinians in the fateful Israeli-Palestinian against savage Islamic enemies, including Syria and Iran, who wish to annihilate their legitimate nation and homeland.

    Basically, you have proven Braaten’s point in that you have no fair understanding of the plight of Israel and, following the gnostic ELCA, you talk a good game about justice, though you have taken the side of Israel’s savage Islamic enemies. If the U.S. or Canada were threatened by such a savage enemy, we would properly wipe it out, notwithstanding the weak backbone of the supine liberals and isolationists.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    Kevin (#50),
    Bummer. Happy Friday anyway!

  • Bryan Lindemood

    Kevin (#50),
    Bummer. Happy Friday anyway!

  • Louis

    Porcell, stop spouting garbage. I have not taken the side of Islam against Israel I’m merel pointing out that Israel itself is notentirely innocent, and provided documentation from Palestinian CHRISTIANS – you know, different from Moslems. One doesn’t have to pick a side in every conflict. But one can point out the sufferings of the innocent. But you, common to all Racial theorists, presume a man’s guilt based on his ethnicity, irrespective of the fact whether he could be your brother in Christ. That is despicable. You might need reminding that the nations which grant the most freedom to its Christian inhabitants in that part of the world are Lebanon and Syria.

    Furthermore, I’m neither Gnostic, nor a member of the ELCA (Or ELCIC). You lumping me with gnosticism is just…. I don’t have the words.

  • Louis

    Porcell, stop spouting garbage. I have not taken the side of Islam against Israel I’m merel pointing out that Israel itself is notentirely innocent, and provided documentation from Palestinian CHRISTIANS – you know, different from Moslems. One doesn’t have to pick a side in every conflict. But one can point out the sufferings of the innocent. But you, common to all Racial theorists, presume a man’s guilt based on his ethnicity, irrespective of the fact whether he could be your brother in Christ. That is despicable. You might need reminding that the nations which grant the most freedom to its Christian inhabitants in that part of the world are Lebanon and Syria.

    Furthermore, I’m neither Gnostic, nor a member of the ELCA (Or ELCIC). You lumping me with gnosticism is just…. I don’t have the words.

  • Louis

    Also Porcell, maybe one of these days you’ll give us your defintion of the dreaded L-word (liberal) you have bandied about so much here.

  • Louis

    Also Porcell, maybe one of these days you’ll give us your defintion of the dreaded L-word (liberal) you have bandied about so much here.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in 21st Century

    While I am hopeful that the people of the of and formerly of the ELCA will return to sound confessional teaching, I don’t think it is going to happen for a long time. The other pastor at our congregation and I have met with some of the pastors leaving the ELCA and even they have trouble saying that the Bible is the word of God. My pessimistic prediction is the NALC will fracture years down the road as more and more fall down the ELCA slippery slope and others gradually become more orthodox.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in 21st Century

    While I am hopeful that the people of the of and formerly of the ELCA will return to sound confessional teaching, I don’t think it is going to happen for a long time. The other pastor at our congregation and I have met with some of the pastors leaving the ELCA and even they have trouble saying that the Bible is the word of God. My pessimistic prediction is the NALC will fracture years down the road as more and more fall down the ELCA slippery slope and others gradually become more orthodox.

  • Porcell

    Louis, Braaten and those who support Israel don’t claim that Israel is totally innocent. Like any nation Israel has made mistakes. The point is, however, that Israel’s enemies wish destroy it not negotiate with it, a point that you haven’t answered in this discussion.

    You and the ELCA and Orthodox opponents of Israel, as
    Conner pointed, out talk a good game about justice but come down on the side of savage Islamic nations as Syria and Iraq, however euphemistically moralistic your rhetoric.

  • Porcell

    Louis, Braaten and those who support Israel don’t claim that Israel is totally innocent. Like any nation Israel has made mistakes. The point is, however, that Israel’s enemies wish destroy it not negotiate with it, a point that you haven’t answered in this discussion.

    You and the ELCA and Orthodox opponents of Israel, as
    Conner pointed, out talk a good game about justice but come down on the side of savage Islamic nations as Syria and Iraq, however euphemistically moralistic your rhetoric.

  • Fran Szarejko

    With these definitions in mind I am very glad to be a “fundamentalist.”

  • Fran Szarejko

    With these definitions in mind I am very glad to be a “fundamentalist.”

  • Porcell

    Louis: You might need reminding that the nations which grant the most freedom to its Christian inhabitants in that part of the world are Lebanon and Syria.

    Christian Solidarity International-USA: …the historical process of Islamization has transformed Syria’s once thriving Christian majority into a small frightened community. Its existence is under threat. Syrian’s Baath Party dictatorship is not as violent in its persecution of Christians as some other regimes and extremist Islamist movements in the region. Yet, the odds are stacked against the country’s intimidated Christians.

    Christians in Syria would for the most part regard Louis’s remark as a cuel joke. As to Lebanon, most Christians have departed the country due to Islamic intransigence.

  • Porcell

    Louis: You might need reminding that the nations which grant the most freedom to its Christian inhabitants in that part of the world are Lebanon and Syria.

    Christian Solidarity International-USA: …the historical process of Islamization has transformed Syria’s once thriving Christian majority into a small frightened community. Its existence is under threat. Syrian’s Baath Party dictatorship is not as violent in its persecution of Christians as some other regimes and extremist Islamist movements in the region. Yet, the odds are stacked against the country’s intimidated Christians.

    Christians in Syria would for the most part regard Louis’s remark as a cuel joke. As to Lebanon, most Christians have departed the country due to Islamic intransigence.

  • WebMonk

    Louis, don’t you get it? You’ve clearly stated that you are a Jew-hater, against Israel, and antisemitic.

    How have you said that, you ask.

    Why by having hope for a diplomatic resolution and peace! You’ve admitted it clearly! You are antisemitic! You are siding with terrorists! You might as well be selling Hamas nuclear bomb materials! You Jew hater!

    The only stance that isn’t antisemitic is to support Israel in killing all their enemies, root and branch. Since you apparently don’t support that, you are antisemitic. QED.

    Give it up. Stop trying to defend yourself. You’ve already admitted it. Go back to your IED making.

  • WebMonk

    Louis, don’t you get it? You’ve clearly stated that you are a Jew-hater, against Israel, and antisemitic.

    How have you said that, you ask.

    Why by having hope for a diplomatic resolution and peace! You’ve admitted it clearly! You are antisemitic! You are siding with terrorists! You might as well be selling Hamas nuclear bomb materials! You Jew hater!

    The only stance that isn’t antisemitic is to support Israel in killing all their enemies, root and branch. Since you apparently don’t support that, you are antisemitic. QED.

    Give it up. Stop trying to defend yourself. You’ve already admitted it. Go back to your IED making.

  • http://carolmsblog.blogspot.com/ carol-Christian Soldier

    not to forget-ELCA has a pro-death agenda-which- in my opinion is even worse that its homosexual agenda–I paraphrase Gods’ question in Is. 59 OKJV-”What are you doing about the shedding of innocent blood and un-just judges?” “Nothing!” ” Then I AM will put on the full armor….”
    Interesting that the steeple of the ELCA church was blown away during the last national convention 2009-Hand of God?!!!
    http://carolmsblog.blogspot.com/2009/08/elca-christian-and-lutheran-no.html
    I- for one- do NOT want the Creator to have to- AGAIN – put on the Full Armor – that HE gave us in Eph 6 !_ We are the ones who must put our “toe to the line”!!!
    Carol-CS
    Pres. LA Lutherans For Life

  • http://carolmsblog.blogspot.com/ carol-Christian Soldier

    not to forget-ELCA has a pro-death agenda-which- in my opinion is even worse that its homosexual agenda–I paraphrase Gods’ question in Is. 59 OKJV-”What are you doing about the shedding of innocent blood and un-just judges?” “Nothing!” ” Then I AM will put on the full armor….”
    Interesting that the steeple of the ELCA church was blown away during the last national convention 2009-Hand of God?!!!
    http://carolmsblog.blogspot.com/2009/08/elca-christian-and-lutheran-no.html
    I- for one- do NOT want the Creator to have to- AGAIN – put on the Full Armor – that HE gave us in Eph 6 !_ We are the ones who must put our “toe to the line”!!!
    Carol-CS
    Pres. LA Lutherans For Life

  • http://carolmsblog.blogspot.com/ carol-Christian Soldier

    noticed that it is Sept 11, 2010 where you are—
    We in the US were attacked-
    I have NOT FORGOTTEN !!!
    C-CS

  • http://carolmsblog.blogspot.com/ carol-Christian Soldier

    noticed that it is Sept 11, 2010 where you are—
    We in the US were attacked-
    I have NOT FORGOTTEN !!!
    C-CS

  • wrigley peterborough

    I know for a fact that the NALC has reached out to Missouri for help in a number of ways that I am not at liberty to reveal. I have been told that ultimately, fellowship with the LCMS is a goal, but that a few of the old timers in the NALC need to retire (or die) before that happens because of the fanatical adherence to women’s ordination among the generation that burned its bras in the 60s and 70s (you can’t say Braaten without saying ‘bra’ can you?).

  • wrigley peterborough

    I know for a fact that the NALC has reached out to Missouri for help in a number of ways that I am not at liberty to reveal. I have been told that ultimately, fellowship with the LCMS is a goal, but that a few of the old timers in the NALC need to retire (or die) before that happens because of the fanatical adherence to women’s ordination among the generation that burned its bras in the 60s and 70s (you can’t say Braaten without saying ‘bra’ can you?).

  • Grace

    carol-Christian Soldier – 63 – “noticed that it is Sept 11, 2010 where you are—”

    Yes we were attacked in the USA, not so many hours away from this horrific loss of life –

    I remember the pain and anguish of that morning, waking to the buildings being dominated by men, holding others hostage, flying full speed, towards the towers in N.Y. with hate in their hearts…… Having been in the towers, looking down from the restaurant at the statue of LIBERTY, tears streaming from my face years before, and now with more tears watching the lives of men and women being lost….. it is hate, anger, envy and more importantly defiance against God that drives men’s hearts and souls to do such dastardly deeds.

    This time in history will be remembered by all who witnessed it, as something much like the holocaust, but in the day of modern hatred. The Jews were hated, and still to this day there is anti-semitism, but to the Christian believer, it is the hatred which emulates from those who choose to defy God and His love for all mankind.

  • Grace

    carol-Christian Soldier – 63 – “noticed that it is Sept 11, 2010 where you are—”

    Yes we were attacked in the USA, not so many hours away from this horrific loss of life –

    I remember the pain and anguish of that morning, waking to the buildings being dominated by men, holding others hostage, flying full speed, towards the towers in N.Y. with hate in their hearts…… Having been in the towers, looking down from the restaurant at the statue of LIBERTY, tears streaming from my face years before, and now with more tears watching the lives of men and women being lost….. it is hate, anger, envy and more importantly defiance against God that drives men’s hearts and souls to do such dastardly deeds.

    This time in history will be remembered by all who witnessed it, as something much like the holocaust, but in the day of modern hatred. The Jews were hated, and still to this day there is anti-semitism, but to the Christian believer, it is the hatred which emulates from those who choose to defy God and His love for all mankind.

  • Porcell

    WebMonk, one notes that you have resorted to a rather bitter cynicism.

    The state of Israel has been involved in extensive diplomatic negotiation and offered significant portions of Palestine in exchange for a real peace. Israel gave up Gaza and ended up under rocket attack. The hard truth is that the Arabs are out to destroy Israel.

    Of course, Israel bargains hard, as all self respecting nations do.

    For a hard-headed recent analysis of the situation, see George Will’s article What are Palestinians, Israelis to negotiate? including:

    Israel’s withdrawals include one that strengthened the Iranian client in southern Lebanon. Since the 2006 war, Hezbollah has rearmed and possesses up to 60,000 rockets. Netanyahu says Israel’s problem is less the Israel-Lebanon border than it is the Lebanon-Syria border. Hezbollah has received Scud missiles capable of striking Jerusalem and Tel Aviv from Syria, which gets them from Iran.

    A leader of Hezbollah said, “If all the Jews gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide.”

  • Porcell

    WebMonk, one notes that you have resorted to a rather bitter cynicism.

    The state of Israel has been involved in extensive diplomatic negotiation and offered significant portions of Palestine in exchange for a real peace. Israel gave up Gaza and ended up under rocket attack. The hard truth is that the Arabs are out to destroy Israel.

    Of course, Israel bargains hard, as all self respecting nations do.

    For a hard-headed recent analysis of the situation, see George Will’s article What are Palestinians, Israelis to negotiate? including:

    Israel’s withdrawals include one that strengthened the Iranian client in southern Lebanon. Since the 2006 war, Hezbollah has rearmed and possesses up to 60,000 rockets. Netanyahu says Israel’s problem is less the Israel-Lebanon border than it is the Lebanon-Syria border. Hezbollah has received Scud missiles capable of striking Jerusalem and Tel Aviv from Syria, which gets them from Iran.

    A leader of Hezbollah said, “If all the Jews gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide.”

  • Louis

    Webmonk: Yes, Peter does tend to deal in absolutes.

    Oh wait…….

    No0oooo! He must be a Sith Lord! Noooooo!

  • Louis

    Webmonk: Yes, Peter does tend to deal in absolutes.

    Oh wait…….

    No0oooo! He must be a Sith Lord! Noooooo!

  • Porcell

    Louis, one always prefers to deal with interlocutors who amusingly are reduced to argumentum ad hominem. It saves effort and reveals the opponent’s smallness of thought.

  • Porcell

    Louis, one always prefers to deal with interlocutors who amusingly are reduced to argumentum ad hominem. It saves effort and reveals the opponent’s smallness of thought.

  • http://www.uath-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Wrigley Peterborough @ 64
    You comment is interesting. I wonder though. Is it just the fanatical adherence of a few old timers, or has this adherence been passed down to many others. I notice when I am talking to people from the LCMC around here they don’t even want to have that conversation.
    I have noticed this in a few of Braaten’s papers too. That he seems to want to have his cake and eat it too with this issue. He seems to be becoming a bit more conservative on some issues but this one he refuses to budge on. Louis Smith was able to change his mind. It is sad that his leadership was cut so short.

  • http://www.uath-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Wrigley Peterborough @ 64
    You comment is interesting. I wonder though. Is it just the fanatical adherence of a few old timers, or has this adherence been passed down to many others. I notice when I am talking to people from the LCMC around here they don’t even want to have that conversation.
    I have noticed this in a few of Braaten’s papers too. That he seems to want to have his cake and eat it too with this issue. He seems to be becoming a bit more conservative on some issues but this one he refuses to budge on. Louis Smith was able to change his mind. It is sad that his leadership was cut so short.

  • http://webulite.com webulite.com

    Do any of the folks here have an iinterested in the study of the history of christianity, or is most speculation about the supernatural? if you DO have an interested in christian history feel free to contact me.

Cheers! webulite

  • http://webulite.com webulite.com

    Do any of the folks here have an iinterested in the study of the history of christianity, or is most speculation about the supernatural? if you DO have an interested in christian history feel free to contact me.

Cheers! webulite

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    As for fundementalism in the LCMS. We make for odd bedfellows when it is all broken down. There is that streak in us.
    But even this Bible is the word of God phrase is somewhat problematic for our confessional stance and the open canon bit we hold too.
    In fact reading Walther on “The True Visible Church on Earth” in its German, and then the translation of J.T. Mueller in the English, reveals that we bent over backwards to identify with fundementalists in the 1930s and 40s. Walther writes “communions that call themselves Christian, but do not recognize the word of God as the word of God and so deny the holy trinity are according to God’s word, not churches, but synagogues of Satan and temples of idols.”
    Of course when J.T. Mueller translated that he wrote the “Bible as the word of God.”
    And that was an odd development in Lutheran phrases. one that I use, and yet at times have a hard time with. Of course Walther’s Bible included “Bell and the Dragon” which he certainly did not find to be canonical. So… What do you do?

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    As for fundementalism in the LCMS. We make for odd bedfellows when it is all broken down. There is that streak in us.
    But even this Bible is the word of God phrase is somewhat problematic for our confessional stance and the open canon bit we hold too.
    In fact reading Walther on “The True Visible Church on Earth” in its German, and then the translation of J.T. Mueller in the English, reveals that we bent over backwards to identify with fundementalists in the 1930s and 40s. Walther writes “communions that call themselves Christian, but do not recognize the word of God as the word of God and so deny the holy trinity are according to God’s word, not churches, but synagogues of Satan and temples of idols.”
    Of course when J.T. Mueller translated that he wrote the “Bible as the word of God.”
    And that was an odd development in Lutheran phrases. one that I use, and yet at times have a hard time with. Of course Walther’s Bible included “Bell and the Dragon” which he certainly did not find to be canonical. So… What do you do?

  • Feldman

    http://www.kairospalestine.ps/sites/default/Documents/English.pdf

    A good source of information about Christian conditions under Israeli rule.

  • Feldman

    http://www.kairospalestine.ps/sites/default/Documents/English.pdf

    A good source of information about Christian conditions under Israeli rule.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    My mother in law is in an ELCA church. When NALC was formed she asked some folks on her church council if her church would soon be voting whether to join NALC. The council member told her that the council had already voted not to leave and not ask the congregation what the members wanted.

    To me the danger in churches that never discuss theology is that plenty of bad stuff can happen without members ever knowing. The folks in charge do what they see as right in their own eyes.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    My mother in law is in an ELCA church. When NALC was formed she asked some folks on her church council if her church would soon be voting whether to join NALC. The council member told her that the council had already voted not to leave and not ask the congregation what the members wanted.

    To me the danger in churches that never discuss theology is that plenty of bad stuff can happen without members ever knowing. The folks in charge do what they see as right in their own eyes.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “As for no women pastors, who can understand the mind of God? I personally have a theory. Who runs the Sunday School? School programs? Choir? bakes for bakes sales, weddings, funerals? cleans the church? runs most of the boards? Women. I think God knew he had to make us step out of the way to get men to do anything in the Church. But as I said personal opinion not at all scripturally based.”

    Yay!

    Someone else is saying it!

    Men will sit on their bums unless you make them do stuff!

    I went to the Christmas service at my in-law’s ELCA and everyone in the service was female, pastor, acolytes, communion assistants. Every man in the church was in the pew!

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “As for no women pastors, who can understand the mind of God? I personally have a theory. Who runs the Sunday School? School programs? Choir? bakes for bakes sales, weddings, funerals? cleans the church? runs most of the boards? Women. I think God knew he had to make us step out of the way to get men to do anything in the Church. But as I said personal opinion not at all scripturally based.”

    Yay!

    Someone else is saying it!

    Men will sit on their bums unless you make them do stuff!

    I went to the Christmas service at my in-law’s ELCA and everyone in the service was female, pastor, acolytes, communion assistants. Every man in the church was in the pew!

  • Grace

    sg: – - “Men will sit on their bums unless you make them do stuff!
    I went to the Christmas service at my in-law’s ELCA and everyone in the service was female, pastor, acolytes, communion assistants. Every man in the church was in the pew!”
    - –

    I don’t know what kind of men you’re acquainted with, but the one I’m married to, and those in my family and our friends, are real men, they work very hard, they accomplish much in their lives. They don’t need to be told what to do, they learned early what their responsibilities were, and would be as they became educated, matured and married.

    As far as the “Christmas service” you attended, …. I wouldn’t have been there to begin with. What do you expect from a denomination that embraces homosexuals and women as pastor’s? It isn’t Biblical!

  • Grace

    sg: – - “Men will sit on their bums unless you make them do stuff!
    I went to the Christmas service at my in-law’s ELCA and everyone in the service was female, pastor, acolytes, communion assistants. Every man in the church was in the pew!”
    - –

    I don’t know what kind of men you’re acquainted with, but the one I’m married to, and those in my family and our friends, are real men, they work very hard, they accomplish much in their lives. They don’t need to be told what to do, they learned early what their responsibilities were, and would be as they became educated, matured and married.

    As far as the “Christmas service” you attended, …. I wouldn’t have been there to begin with. What do you expect from a denomination that embraces homosexuals and women as pastor’s? It isn’t Biblical!

  • kerner

    Novice Apologist @28, and sg @74:

    You have us ladies. I, at least for one, admit it.

    If men were not required to run the Church, we would be all to willing to let women run it for us.

  • kerner

    Novice Apologist @28, and sg @74:

    You have us ladies. I, at least for one, admit it.

    If men were not required to run the Church, we would be all to willing to let women run it for us.

  • Grace

    76 Kerner – “You have us ladies. I, at least for one, admit it.

    If men were not required to run the Church, we would be all to willing to let women run it for us.”

    Kerner, that all depends upon who the men are.

  • Grace

    76 Kerner – “You have us ladies. I, at least for one, admit it.

    If men were not required to run the Church, we would be all to willing to let women run it for us.”

    Kerner, that all depends upon who the men are.

  • http://carolmsblog.blogspot.com/ carol-Christian Soldier

    # 23 – thank you for this:
    Awesome Women of the Reformation
    C-CS

  • http://carolmsblog.blogspot.com/ carol-Christian Soldier

    # 23 – thank you for this:
    Awesome Women of the Reformation
    C-CS

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace,
    As problematic as the ELCA is I would bet on finding more Biblically sound and orthodox pastors, though frustrated with where their denomination had gone, in their ranks than in the denomination you attend.
    I can think of two ELCA congregations in So Cal, that I’d rather attend than any Calvary Chapel. One Redeemer Lutheran Church on Magnolia, and Lutheran church of the Master in Corona del Mar. Two congregatios that have taught me that there is indeed an una sancta that exceeds the bounds of the LCMS. Where on any given sunday you will hear the gospel proclaimed un-apologetically, rather than the arminian crap served up at any given Calvary Chapel on any given sunday.
    This mainly due to theologians such as Gerhard Forde, and Nestingen, who have never particularly cared for women’s ordination, even if they have more or less tolerated it.
    Currently as part of a masters I’m working on under Nestingen, I. Reading “Theology is for Proclamation” by Forde and I couldn’t recommend the book more to our LCMS pastors.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace,
    As problematic as the ELCA is I would bet on finding more Biblically sound and orthodox pastors, though frustrated with where their denomination had gone, in their ranks than in the denomination you attend.
    I can think of two ELCA congregations in So Cal, that I’d rather attend than any Calvary Chapel. One Redeemer Lutheran Church on Magnolia, and Lutheran church of the Master in Corona del Mar. Two congregatios that have taught me that there is indeed an una sancta that exceeds the bounds of the LCMS. Where on any given sunday you will hear the gospel proclaimed un-apologetically, rather than the arminian crap served up at any given Calvary Chapel on any given sunday.
    This mainly due to theologians such as Gerhard Forde, and Nestingen, who have never particularly cared for women’s ordination, even if they have more or less tolerated it.
    Currently as part of a masters I’m working on under Nestingen, I. Reading “Theology is for Proclamation” by Forde and I couldn’t recommend the book more to our LCMS pastors.

  • Grace

    -79- Bror

    Your crude attempt at discourse is repulsive. As you write, you uncover hostility, and a blubber approach that resembles an individual who needs a nap.

  • Grace

    -79- Bror

    Your crude attempt at discourse is repulsive. As you write, you uncover hostility, and a blubber approach that resembles an individual who needs a nap.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Just trying to speak in terms you understand Grace.
    But Seriously, you posted your confessions of faith for Calvary Chapel, and they leave me wondering if anyone ever has a chance of hearing the gospel at a church that believes as a matter of its public confession such unBiblical nonsense, and teachings of men that tickle the ear.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Just trying to speak in terms you understand Grace.
    But Seriously, you posted your confessions of faith for Calvary Chapel, and they leave me wondering if anyone ever has a chance of hearing the gospel at a church that believes as a matter of its public confession such unBiblical nonsense, and teachings of men that tickle the ear.

  • Grace

    Bror – 81 – “Just trying to speak in terms you understand Grace.”

    My understanding is this Bror, you have little if any ability to speak in any other way, except to dispell any sort of thought I might have of a thoughtful man on the other side of this conversation.

    I have met other men such as yourself while in school, in my profession, church life who fashion themselves just as you have, flattering themselves in blubbering attack mode.

    Maybe you can find someone else to entertain your need for negative attention.

  • Grace

    Bror – 81 – “Just trying to speak in terms you understand Grace.”

    My understanding is this Bror, you have little if any ability to speak in any other way, except to dispell any sort of thought I might have of a thoughtful man on the other side of this conversation.

    I have met other men such as yourself while in school, in my profession, church life who fashion themselves just as you have, flattering themselves in blubbering attack mode.

    Maybe you can find someone else to entertain your need for negative attention.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace, you can think me unintelligent if you want. It makes little difference how you judge me.it does though make your name ironic.
    I’m a high school drop out. I’m working on my second masters with a full ride. I speak German, Swedish, and Spanish. I have translated and published two books. I have read the Greek New Testament so far twice through. I also read Hebrew on my better days. I’ve travelled the world. Picked up on girls in Italian, cussed with coworkers over vodka in Russian, Some disagree with me. Few have found me unintelligent, though intimidated by theological arguments they don’t want to deal with they have attempted to accuse me of limited vocabulary.
    In any case I challenge you to visit either of those two churches I mentioned, and tell me the gospel can’t be found in the ELCA, the likes of which is never preached in a Calvary Chapel faithful to its confession of faith. Or you could check out Redeemer in Hunington Beach, Cwirla’s cong in Hacienda Heights, or Faith in Capo. You will find in thes churches tje gospel unadulterated by the teachings of men.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace, you can think me unintelligent if you want. It makes little difference how you judge me.it does though make your name ironic.
    I’m a high school drop out. I’m working on my second masters with a full ride. I speak German, Swedish, and Spanish. I have translated and published two books. I have read the Greek New Testament so far twice through. I also read Hebrew on my better days. I’ve travelled the world. Picked up on girls in Italian, cussed with coworkers over vodka in Russian, Some disagree with me. Few have found me unintelligent, though intimidated by theological arguments they don’t want to deal with they have attempted to accuse me of limited vocabulary.
    In any case I challenge you to visit either of those two churches I mentioned, and tell me the gospel can’t be found in the ELCA, the likes of which is never preached in a Calvary Chapel faithful to its confession of faith. Or you could check out Redeemer in Hunington Beach, Cwirla’s cong in Hacienda Heights, or Faith in Capo. You will find in thes churches tje gospel unadulterated by the teachings of men.

  • Grace

    - – “tell me the gospel can’t be found in the ELCA” – -

    Check it out below – there is no gospel in such a church!

    ELCA NEWS SERVICE
    August 21, 2009

    ELCA Assembly Opens Ministry to Partnered Gay and Lesbian Lutherans
    09-CWA-34-CA

    MINNEAPOLIS (ELCA) – The 2009 Churchwide Assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) voted today to open the ministry of the church to gay and lesbian pastors and other professional workers living in committed relationships.

    http://www.elca.org/Who-We-Are/Our-Three-Expressions/Churchwide-Organization/Communication-Services/News/Releases.aspx?a=4253

  • Grace

    - – “tell me the gospel can’t be found in the ELCA” – -

    Check it out below – there is no gospel in such a church!

    ELCA NEWS SERVICE
    August 21, 2009

    ELCA Assembly Opens Ministry to Partnered Gay and Lesbian Lutherans
    09-CWA-34-CA

    MINNEAPOLIS (ELCA) – The 2009 Churchwide Assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) voted today to open the ministry of the church to gay and lesbian pastors and other professional workers living in committed relationships.

    http://www.elca.org/Who-We-Are/Our-Three-Expressions/Churchwide-Organization/Communication-Services/News/Releases.aspx?a=4253

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace,
    No, I said go to one of those congregations. I know what the ELCA publicly stands for and detest it. But go to either of the two currently ELCA congregations I have mentioned, and you will see why I think there is hope for ecumenical talks with those churches splintering from the ELCA. I challenge you. Go check them out one Sunday. See if they don’t have the gospel there. See if they aren’t in fact more Biblical than your Calvary Chapel could hope to be.
    Or you could also go to on of the many faithful LCMS congregations I have mentioned. But eitjer way you unbiblical assumptions taught to you by men in Calvary Chapel will be challenged.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace,
    No, I said go to one of those congregations. I know what the ELCA publicly stands for and detest it. But go to either of the two currently ELCA congregations I have mentioned, and you will see why I think there is hope for ecumenical talks with those churches splintering from the ELCA. I challenge you. Go check them out one Sunday. See if they don’t have the gospel there. See if they aren’t in fact more Biblical than your Calvary Chapel could hope to be.
    Or you could also go to on of the many faithful LCMS congregations I have mentioned. But eitjer way you unbiblical assumptions taught to you by men in Calvary Chapel will be challenged.

  • Grace

    Bror – “But eitjer way you unbiblical assumptions taught to you by men in Calvary Chapel will be challenged.”

    Challenged? – I didn’t learn the doctrine I have from Calvary Chapel, I learned it by studying God’s Word – The problem you have, is assuming you know exactly what I believe and how I came to those conclusions – that Bror, is assuming to know that which you are ignorant of…… not a ‘bright’ approach, or one to be continued, unless of course it’s “attention anyway you can get it” LOL, and yes I do mean laughing out loud.

    If YOU are the spokesperson for any Lutheran denomination, you’ve proven yourself to be a bad example, not just crude speech, macho bravado, but your intense need to be recognized, …. in any way shape or form…. negative attention isn’t something I would pursue if I were YOU.

    By the way – you posted – - #83 “I’m working on my second masters with a full ride.” – - is the second Masters a remedial for the first one you claim to have? – “full ride” included?

  • Grace

    Bror – “But eitjer way you unbiblical assumptions taught to you by men in Calvary Chapel will be challenged.”

    Challenged? – I didn’t learn the doctrine I have from Calvary Chapel, I learned it by studying God’s Word – The problem you have, is assuming you know exactly what I believe and how I came to those conclusions – that Bror, is assuming to know that which you are ignorant of…… not a ‘bright’ approach, or one to be continued, unless of course it’s “attention anyway you can get it” LOL, and yes I do mean laughing out loud.

    If YOU are the spokesperson for any Lutheran denomination, you’ve proven yourself to be a bad example, not just crude speech, macho bravado, but your intense need to be recognized, …. in any way shape or form…. negative attention isn’t something I would pursue if I were YOU.

    By the way – you posted – - #83 “I’m working on my second masters with a full ride.” – - is the second Masters a remedial for the first one you claim to have? – “full ride” included?

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace,
    You have revealed your beliefs and shallow understanding of the word of God quite adequately the past few weeks. I only believe you believe what you claim to believe. If you think you have come to those conclusions by studying the word of God and not the teachings of men, well then perhaps you should study harder.
    But it seems you are incapable of doing that.
    Like I said you can write me off as unintelligent if you want I am speaking to a brick wall, I can see how ne would get that impression.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace,
    You have revealed your beliefs and shallow understanding of the word of God quite adequately the past few weeks. I only believe you believe what you claim to believe. If you think you have come to those conclusions by studying the word of God and not the teachings of men, well then perhaps you should study harder.
    But it seems you are incapable of doing that.
    Like I said you can write me off as unintelligent if you want I am speaking to a brick wall, I can see how ne would get that impression.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Bror (@73), no sabía que hablabas español! Nunca me lo dijiste.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Bror (@73), no sabía que hablabas español! Nunca me lo dijiste.

  • Grace

    Bror

    One of your posts appears to be under some sort of moderation, or not going to be shown on the blog.

    I’m through discussing anything with you, it is fruitless, and does not honor the LORD to whom I serve.

    I wish you the best, ….. I will pray for you, and I don’t mean that in any other way … than I do love you in the love of our LORD Jesus Christ.

    God bless and keep you, may you draw closer to Him everyday.

  • Grace

    Bror

    One of your posts appears to be under some sort of moderation, or not going to be shown on the blog.

    I’m through discussing anything with you, it is fruitless, and does not honor the LORD to whom I serve.

    I wish you the best, ….. I will pray for you, and I don’t mean that in any other way … than I do love you in the love of our LORD Jesus Christ.

    God bless and keep you, may you draw closer to Him everyday.

  • kerner

    Grace @77:

    “That all depends on who the men are.”

    Maybe. I was speaking in generalities. But generally I believe that most men, competitive as they may be against each other, prefer not to compete with women.

    Of course there is also the wisdom of Rudyard Kipling to consider, for whatever it may be worth. :)

    http://www.potw.org/archive/potw96.html

  • kerner

    Grace @77:

    “That all depends on who the men are.”

    Maybe. I was speaking in generalities. But generally I believe that most men, competitive as they may be against each other, prefer not to compete with women.

    Of course there is also the wisdom of Rudyard Kipling to consider, for whatever it may be worth. :)

    http://www.potw.org/archive/potw96.html

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Si, tODD, pero hablemos solo aqui, donde no esta una pregunta.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Si, tODD, pero hablemos solo aqui, donde no esta una pregunta.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace @ 89
    I bet, in any case I’d rather you just be honest with yourself and others here in these discussions rather than trying to use childish evasive manoeuvres to avoid the questions at hand. Pray for me, I’ll pray for you. But do me a favour and try one of the churches I recommended and compare what they teach to everything you ever heard.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace @ 89
    I bet, in any case I’d rather you just be honest with yourself and others here in these discussions rather than trying to use childish evasive manoeuvres to avoid the questions at hand. Pray for me, I’ll pray for you. But do me a favour and try one of the churches I recommended and compare what they teach to everything you ever heard.

  • Porcell

    Bror, I’ve noted well your point that individual congregations within the ELCA are involved in what amounts to a una sancta. This is, also, true of some congregations- and certainly of individuals- within the Pelagian and gnostic Congregational church.

    I have had the same problem with you that Grace does. You essentially assume that since we belong to churches other than yours that we are at the least tainted and probably headed for perdition. You project the theologies of assorted churches onto individuals and make the mistake of lacerating individuals in the process.

    I should suggest that we leave theological matters up to the theologians, who are capable of discussing the odium theoligicum civilly, and hope and pray that they someday will come to reasonable and decent agreement, though it won’t be in our lifetime. We can certainly comment, as Veith does civilly above, on matters theological, though that’s a different matter.

    I will admit that I too sometimes get involved in matters of passionate theology, though I usually end up regretting it. I’d rather talk about, business, the Patriots/Red Sox, politics, travel, and sex, to say nothing of refuting Todd’s deep died fallacies.

  • Porcell

    Bror, I’ve noted well your point that individual congregations within the ELCA are involved in what amounts to a una sancta. This is, also, true of some congregations- and certainly of individuals- within the Pelagian and gnostic Congregational church.

    I have had the same problem with you that Grace does. You essentially assume that since we belong to churches other than yours that we are at the least tainted and probably headed for perdition. You project the theologies of assorted churches onto individuals and make the mistake of lacerating individuals in the process.

    I should suggest that we leave theological matters up to the theologians, who are capable of discussing the odium theoligicum civilly, and hope and pray that they someday will come to reasonable and decent agreement, though it won’t be in our lifetime. We can certainly comment, as Veith does civilly above, on matters theological, though that’s a different matter.

    I will admit that I too sometimes get involved in matters of passionate theology, though I usually end up regretting it. I’d rather talk about, business, the Patriots/Red Sox, politics, travel, and sex, to say nothing of refuting Todd’s deep died fallacies.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Porcell,
    See the thing that I have in common with these other congregations in the ELCA is the Lutheran confessions and a love for Lutheran theology, that has preserved the Gospel and the sacraments. Well you can’t have one without the other really. Lose the sacraments lose the gospel.
    So whereas I don’t doubt that there are Chrisitians in the “semi-pelagian” churches that grace attends, I doubt very much that the gospel is ever heard with the same clarity in them that it is in these two congregations that try to remain faithful to the confessions of the Lutheran church.
    But porcell, theology is hardly something to be luke warm about.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Porcell,
    See the thing that I have in common with these other congregations in the ELCA is the Lutheran confessions and a love for Lutheran theology, that has preserved the Gospel and the sacraments. Well you can’t have one without the other really. Lose the sacraments lose the gospel.
    So whereas I don’t doubt that there are Chrisitians in the “semi-pelagian” churches that grace attends, I doubt very much that the gospel is ever heard with the same clarity in them that it is in these two congregations that try to remain faithful to the confessions of the Lutheran church.
    But porcell, theology is hardly something to be luke warm about.

  • Porcell

    I agree that theology is a serious matter, though we need to be careful not to get personal when discussing it.

    Just now, I happen to be reading Wolfhart Pannenberg’s Jesus: God and Man and rereading Calvin’s Institutes. Recently, I read Clyde Manshreck’s biography, Melanchthon: The Quiet Reformer and selected writings of Carl Piepkorn on The Sacred Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions. Theology is indeed a fascinating topic, though I hardly come close to mastering it.

  • Porcell

    I agree that theology is a serious matter, though we need to be careful not to get personal when discussing it.

    Just now, I happen to be reading Wolfhart Pannenberg’s Jesus: God and Man and rereading Calvin’s Institutes. Recently, I read Clyde Manshreck’s biography, Melanchthon: The Quiet Reformer and selected writings of Carl Piepkorn on The Sacred Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions. Theology is indeed a fascinating topic, though I hardly come close to mastering it.

  • Porcell

    Bror, Another point is that as much as I admire Luther and Melanchthon and the great church that they founded, I doubt whether it or any Christian church has a monopoly on Christian truth. Though, I’m a conservative Calvinist, I have reservations about some of his views and am far from believing that the orthodox Reformed church laid the cornerstone of Christian truth.

    I, also, agree with Carl Piepkorn that the Western Roman church is not of necessity the mother church; it is historically one of several sister churches.

  • Porcell

    Bror, Another point is that as much as I admire Luther and Melanchthon and the great church that they founded, I doubt whether it or any Christian church has a monopoly on Christian truth. Though, I’m a conservative Calvinist, I have reservations about some of his views and am far from believing that the orthodox Reformed church laid the cornerstone of Christian truth.

    I, also, agree with Carl Piepkorn that the Western Roman church is not of necessity the mother church; it is historically one of several sister churches.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Porrcell,
    I suppose I might agree depending on what you mean by “monopoly on truth.”
    I am gald you are questioning some of Calvin’s positions. Honestly I don’t see how a thinking man couldn’t.
    And am glad you are also reconsidering some dubious views concerning Rome.
    As for the lutheran confessions, well I believe them to be a true exposition of God’s word. I have studied and continue to do so, the lutheran confessions comparing them to scripture. I subscribe quia, that is I find that they are in full agreement with scripture and no where contradict them. It is my firm belief though that others could come to the same conclusions as the confessions, even without their help. So I would agree in that sense that we do not have a monopoly on truth. And the truth we have is not ours but “talent on loan from God” to be shared with all.
    As for Luther and Melanchthon themselves, they were men and in personal discourse and other writings did err, there is no debate about that. Of course if one wants to get to the heart of Lutheran systematic thought, the man to read is the “Second Martin” Martin Chemnitz. He’ll ave you forget all about Melanchthon and Calvin.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Porrcell,
    I suppose I might agree depending on what you mean by “monopoly on truth.”
    I am gald you are questioning some of Calvin’s positions. Honestly I don’t see how a thinking man couldn’t.
    And am glad you are also reconsidering some dubious views concerning Rome.
    As for the lutheran confessions, well I believe them to be a true exposition of God’s word. I have studied and continue to do so, the lutheran confessions comparing them to scripture. I subscribe quia, that is I find that they are in full agreement with scripture and no where contradict them. It is my firm belief though that others could come to the same conclusions as the confessions, even without their help. So I would agree in that sense that we do not have a monopoly on truth. And the truth we have is not ours but “talent on loan from God” to be shared with all.
    As for Luther and Melanchthon themselves, they were men and in personal discourse and other writings did err, there is no debate about that. Of course if one wants to get to the heart of Lutheran systematic thought, the man to read is the “Second Martin” Martin Chemnitz. He’ll ave you forget all about Melanchthon and Calvin.

  • MarkB

    Is this Carl Braaten, the same as the one who cowrote the Braaten and Jensen theology book of the ELCA?

  • MarkB

    Is this Carl Braaten, the same as the one who cowrote the Braaten and Jensen theology book of the ELCA?

  • Grace

    90 kerner – “But generally I believe that most men, competitive as they may be against each other, prefer not to compete with women.”

    Yes that is true. I would add, .. I have always preferred conversation with men ….. my father and I had a very close relationship, we talked and discussed many things. Women for the most part have other interests. As my father was a learned man of the Bible, spending endless hours in his study, I too follow the same path in many ways. The difference being, he was a pastor, I am a woman who must use what I have studied a different way. The pulpit is for men not for women.

    The poem by Kiling – yes it rings true on several points – thank you.

  • Grace

    90 kerner – “But generally I believe that most men, competitive as they may be against each other, prefer not to compete with women.”

    Yes that is true. I would add, .. I have always preferred conversation with men ….. my father and I had a very close relationship, we talked and discussed many things. Women for the most part have other interests. As my father was a learned man of the Bible, spending endless hours in his study, I too follow the same path in many ways. The difference being, he was a pastor, I am a woman who must use what I have studied a different way. The pulpit is for men not for women.

    The poem by Kiling – yes it rings true on several points – thank you.

  • Porcell

    Grace, God love you, a strong woman who understands that, given the order of Christianity, Christ chose men to be his Apostles, though He knew that his mother, Mary Magdalene, and the woman at the well, among other women, were strong and faithful.

    Christianity needs strong men and women in order to counter the formidable present threat of both radical secularism and jihadi Islam.

  • Porcell

    Grace, God love you, a strong woman who understands that, given the order of Christianity, Christ chose men to be his Apostles, though He knew that his mother, Mary Magdalene, and the woman at the well, among other women, were strong and faithful.

    Christianity needs strong men and women in order to counter the formidable present threat of both radical secularism and jihadi Islam.

  • Another Kerner

    Grace and Porcell….

    Sometimes, (but not always), adult converts who have traversed theological terraine extensively, explored the world’s various philosophies, as Dr. Veith has, can offer insights which those “born and raised” in one Christian denomination or another may be able to provide.
    Sometimes (but not always) some “cradle Christians” are unfamiliar with the various catechisms and confessions and the multiple reasons for them: and those who spend their entire lives in one such denomination may not have seriously reviewed the beliefs of other Christians.

    Adult converts, who step away from the agnoticism of their mid- twenty and/or mid-thirty years, who begin a study of Scripture and the various churches, may bring special insight to the issues discussed here.

    So, this is a shameless plug for Dr. Veith’s book, The Spirituality of the
    Cross, The Way of the First Evangelicals.

    Similarly, Craig Parton’s book, The Defense Never Rests, A Lawyer’s Quest For the Gospel, should be added to a well informed reading list.

    Like Bror, I confess the Book of Concord (quia) with him.
    That is, when we say we subscribe to the Book of Concord (quia), we confess or “say back” what the Scripture says.

    It is not a matter of accepting the “teachings of men” but instead agreeing and/or confessing and “saying back” what the Scripture says.

    Christian denominations, typically, aver that they study the Bible and teach what they think the Bible says…. but they all can’t be right, no?

    We are all to study the Word.
    As the White Horse Inn guys announce, we are to “know what we believe and why we believe it.

    Knowing who and what is the right exposition is a demand which the Lord makes on us all…. but it is also important for us to understand what others believe and why they believe it also.

    So, keep reading, would be my very sincere suggestion.

  • Another Kerner

    Grace and Porcell….

    Sometimes, (but not always), adult converts who have traversed theological terraine extensively, explored the world’s various philosophies, as Dr. Veith has, can offer insights which those “born and raised” in one Christian denomination or another may be able to provide.
    Sometimes (but not always) some “cradle Christians” are unfamiliar with the various catechisms and confessions and the multiple reasons for them: and those who spend their entire lives in one such denomination may not have seriously reviewed the beliefs of other Christians.

    Adult converts, who step away from the agnoticism of their mid- twenty and/or mid-thirty years, who begin a study of Scripture and the various churches, may bring special insight to the issues discussed here.

    So, this is a shameless plug for Dr. Veith’s book, The Spirituality of the
    Cross, The Way of the First Evangelicals.

    Similarly, Craig Parton’s book, The Defense Never Rests, A Lawyer’s Quest For the Gospel, should be added to a well informed reading list.

    Like Bror, I confess the Book of Concord (quia) with him.
    That is, when we say we subscribe to the Book of Concord (quia), we confess or “say back” what the Scripture says.

    It is not a matter of accepting the “teachings of men” but instead agreeing and/or confessing and “saying back” what the Scripture says.

    Christian denominations, typically, aver that they study the Bible and teach what they think the Bible says…. but they all can’t be right, no?

    We are all to study the Word.
    As the White Horse Inn guys announce, we are to “know what we believe and why we believe it.

    Knowing who and what is the right exposition is a demand which the Lord makes on us all…. but it is also important for us to understand what others believe and why they believe it also.

    So, keep reading, would be my very sincere suggestion.

  • http://webulite.com webulite.com

    I know a scholars that feel that christianity was dominated early by eunuchs. This would obviously affect how women were viewed in the organization that would have created. If you want more info about that feel free to email me.

    Cheers! webulite.com

  • http://webulite.com webulite.com

    I know a scholars that feel that christianity was dominated early by eunuchs. This would obviously affect how women were viewed in the organization that would have created. If you want more info about that feel free to email me.

    Cheers! webulite.com

  • Grace

    100 Porcell –

    Thank you for your kind words. I must say, I am very glad to be born a woman, men have a difficult task as Christians, the responsibility as husband, father, and leaders are a formidable task, which was never given to women, no matter how much we know, or how learned/educated we become.

  • Grace

    100 Porcell –

    Thank you for your kind words. I must say, I am very glad to be born a woman, men have a difficult task as Christians, the responsibility as husband, father, and leaders are a formidable task, which was never given to women, no matter how much we know, or how learned/educated we become.

  • Grace

    101 Another Kerner – “Sometimes, (but not always), adult converts who have traversed theological terraine extensively, explored the world’s various philosophies, as Dr. Veith has, can offer insights which those “born and raised” in one Christian denomination or another may be able to provide.
    Sometimes (but not always) some “cradle Christians” are unfamiliar with the various catechisms and confessions and the multiple reasons for them: and those who spend their entire lives in one such denomination may not have seriously reviewed the beliefs of other Christians.”

    Sorry – but I find it necessary to repost such a long section of your comment.

    I have studied many other religions, denominations and cults. It takes a great deal of time, however the rewards, when given the opportunity to talk with others who question either the Bible, their denomination or cult, can be answered. One cannot answer, unless they have spent the time to consider what others believe. The dialogue ends before it begins too many times when individuals are unstudied in another’s belief. Granted there are some areas where I could spend more time, but I wait on the LORD to guide me. Islam is one in which many Christian Believers have ignored, or will not spend the time to understand what it really is, and represents. As our country continues to absorb many middle easterners, along with France and England, it is most important that we know what they believe.

    I don’t in anyway believe in so called “cradle Christians” – the reason for this is, no one is born a Christian, they may have, (as I, Christian parents) Christian parents, who have taught them from the Bible, but there are many who go their way, never believing or repenting of their sins – it’s a painful fact for many parents.

  • Grace

    101 Another Kerner – “Sometimes, (but not always), adult converts who have traversed theological terraine extensively, explored the world’s various philosophies, as Dr. Veith has, can offer insights which those “born and raised” in one Christian denomination or another may be able to provide.
    Sometimes (but not always) some “cradle Christians” are unfamiliar with the various catechisms and confessions and the multiple reasons for them: and those who spend their entire lives in one such denomination may not have seriously reviewed the beliefs of other Christians.”

    Sorry – but I find it necessary to repost such a long section of your comment.

    I have studied many other religions, denominations and cults. It takes a great deal of time, however the rewards, when given the opportunity to talk with others who question either the Bible, their denomination or cult, can be answered. One cannot answer, unless they have spent the time to consider what others believe. The dialogue ends before it begins too many times when individuals are unstudied in another’s belief. Granted there are some areas where I could spend more time, but I wait on the LORD to guide me. Islam is one in which many Christian Believers have ignored, or will not spend the time to understand what it really is, and represents. As our country continues to absorb many middle easterners, along with France and England, it is most important that we know what they believe.

    I don’t in anyway believe in so called “cradle Christians” – the reason for this is, no one is born a Christian, they may have, (as I, Christian parents) Christian parents, who have taught them from the Bible, but there are many who go their way, never believing or repenting of their sins – it’s a painful fact for many parents.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace @ 104,
    Saying you don’t believe in cradle Christians is about as ridiculous a statement as the Pentacostal chick I once new who said she didn’t believe in dinosaurs. They do exist you know.
    Of course no one is ever born a christian. On that we can agree. They are born filthy heathen sinners in need of Christ’s forgiveness. But many become Christian in the cradle when their parents bring them to the font so they can be born again of water and Spirit.
    I’m one of those. I was baptized within 3 hours of my birth, by a cantankerous dad and pastor who wanted to make a point. And I dare say the only times I have come close to questioning the salvation given to me in that divine bath was during the unfortunate periods in my life that I had to spend with Non-denominational christians and in inter christian worship services. But even they were unable to convince me that Jesus lied to me in my baptism, that his promises were some how invalid. Though those were perhaps the most satanic lies I have ever Heard. In the end, being as I don’t remember the first two days of my life, I do not recall a time when I was not a christian. I know and have been blessed to be used as a tool of the Holy Spirit to create many more cradle Christians.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace @ 104,
    Saying you don’t believe in cradle Christians is about as ridiculous a statement as the Pentacostal chick I once new who said she didn’t believe in dinosaurs. They do exist you know.
    Of course no one is ever born a christian. On that we can agree. They are born filthy heathen sinners in need of Christ’s forgiveness. But many become Christian in the cradle when their parents bring them to the font so they can be born again of water and Spirit.
    I’m one of those. I was baptized within 3 hours of my birth, by a cantankerous dad and pastor who wanted to make a point. And I dare say the only times I have come close to questioning the salvation given to me in that divine bath was during the unfortunate periods in my life that I had to spend with Non-denominational christians and in inter christian worship services. But even they were unable to convince me that Jesus lied to me in my baptism, that his promises were some how invalid. Though those were perhaps the most satanic lies I have ever Heard. In the end, being as I don’t remember the first two days of my life, I do not recall a time when I was not a christian. I know and have been blessed to be used as a tool of the Holy Spirit to create many more cradle Christians.

  • SAL

    #104 With all due respect I trust God’s word in my Baptism. I’ve been a Christian since 3 weeks of age.

  • SAL

    #104 With all due respect I trust God’s word in my Baptism. I’ve been a Christian since 3 weeks of age.

  • Another Kerner

    Grace….

    Perhaps “cradle Christian” was a poor choice of words on my part.

    However you did assign a meaning to the term which I did not intend or mean.
    (This is a mistake many make, probably because each Christian denomination has a slighty different vernacular or nomenclature, as I am sure you already know.)
    (Say for instance, when a Baptistic Christian asks me “When were you saved?” I tend to get a slightly puzzled look on my face and, if I am in a slightly mischieveous mood, I will refer them to Chapter 1 of the Book of Ephesians and respond…. “Elect in Christ Jesus before the foundations of the world were laid, having been predestinated unto the adoption of children by Christ Jesus, having been elected to the praise and glory of His grace. Are you asking me when I found out about it?”

    So, typically, the term “cradle Christian” used to mean an individual who is born to parents of one denomination or another and raised in that tradition, remaining for their entire lives ….meaning, usually, not an adult convert.
    So babies are born to Presbyterian families, etc.

    Hope that straightens out the term a little for you, at least as I used it.
    You misunderstood me…. and it is easy to misunderstand one another using email as the medium of communication instead of a one on one conversation.

    It is indeed good that you read and study.
    So I trust you have read Dr. Veith’s short, but rather profound book mentioned above.

    If one wants to learn what Roman Catholics believe, obviously one needs to read reliable Roman Catholic writers…. not necessarily, for instance, what Presbyterians writers say Roman Catholics believe:
    In short, proponents of the particular denomination in which you are interested.

    I am interested in your remark in that you “wait on the LORD to guide you”. I am interested in knowing how you think the LORD guides you.

    Could you please elaborate?

    You might also like to review Luther’s treatise on why the “”Turks” must be resisted. We studied this in one of our adult bible classes some years back.
    Most Christians in my congregation are well aware of the dangers.

  • Another Kerner

    Grace….

    Perhaps “cradle Christian” was a poor choice of words on my part.

    However you did assign a meaning to the term which I did not intend or mean.
    (This is a mistake many make, probably because each Christian denomination has a slighty different vernacular or nomenclature, as I am sure you already know.)
    (Say for instance, when a Baptistic Christian asks me “When were you saved?” I tend to get a slightly puzzled look on my face and, if I am in a slightly mischieveous mood, I will refer them to Chapter 1 of the Book of Ephesians and respond…. “Elect in Christ Jesus before the foundations of the world were laid, having been predestinated unto the adoption of children by Christ Jesus, having been elected to the praise and glory of His grace. Are you asking me when I found out about it?”

    So, typically, the term “cradle Christian” used to mean an individual who is born to parents of one denomination or another and raised in that tradition, remaining for their entire lives ….meaning, usually, not an adult convert.
    So babies are born to Presbyterian families, etc.

    Hope that straightens out the term a little for you, at least as I used it.
    You misunderstood me…. and it is easy to misunderstand one another using email as the medium of communication instead of a one on one conversation.

    It is indeed good that you read and study.
    So I trust you have read Dr. Veith’s short, but rather profound book mentioned above.

    If one wants to learn what Roman Catholics believe, obviously one needs to read reliable Roman Catholic writers…. not necessarily, for instance, what Presbyterians writers say Roman Catholics believe:
    In short, proponents of the particular denomination in which you are interested.

    I am interested in your remark in that you “wait on the LORD to guide you”. I am interested in knowing how you think the LORD guides you.

    Could you please elaborate?

    You might also like to review Luther’s treatise on why the “”Turks” must be resisted. We studied this in one of our adult bible classes some years back.
    Most Christians in my congregation are well aware of the dangers.

  • Another Kerner

    SAL @106

    You make me smile broadly.
    I, like Veith in his fine book mentioned above, discovered as an adult that my infant baptism “worked.”

  • Another Kerner

    SAL @106

    You make me smile broadly.
    I, like Veith in his fine book mentioned above, discovered as an adult that my infant baptism “worked.”

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    More in line with the original train of thought on this post. Anders Nygren, the great swedish lutheran exegete of the twentieth century, predicted back in the late 50s, I. Believe actually in 58, that the lutheran church of sweden would be nothing but a gnostic sect within 2 generations, because it had voted to ordain women. So it is quite ironic to see braaten, yes the editor of the systematics, which tends to dabble in a bit of gnosticism itself, complain about gnosticism in the ELCA, while still radically adhering to women’s ordination.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    More in line with the original train of thought on this post. Anders Nygren, the great swedish lutheran exegete of the twentieth century, predicted back in the late 50s, I. Believe actually in 58, that the lutheran church of sweden would be nothing but a gnostic sect within 2 generations, because it had voted to ordain women. So it is quite ironic to see braaten, yes the editor of the systematics, which tends to dabble in a bit of gnosticism itself, complain about gnosticism in the ELCA, while still radically adhering to women’s ordination.

  • Grace

    107 – Another Kerner

    The term “cradle Christian” – “cradle Catholic” etc, have been used for a long time, I understand very well what is meant by it, however there is a vast amount of people who have differing opinions as to its use.

    “It is indeed good that you read and study. So I trust you have read Dr. Veith’s short, but rather profound book mentioned above.”

    Everyone should read and study – I have not read Dr. Veith’s book, I will at some point. I read a great deal, there is just so much time in one day, and then there are the other things one must attend to.

  • Grace

    107 – Another Kerner

    The term “cradle Christian” – “cradle Catholic” etc, have been used for a long time, I understand very well what is meant by it, however there is a vast amount of people who have differing opinions as to its use.

    “It is indeed good that you read and study. So I trust you have read Dr. Veith’s short, but rather profound book mentioned above.”

    Everyone should read and study – I have not read Dr. Veith’s book, I will at some point. I read a great deal, there is just so much time in one day, and then there are the other things one must attend to.

  • Grace

    An infant isn’t able to believe, repent of their sins, confess – they are but babes. No one automatically receives Salvation without repentance, faith and belief in Christ.

    Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
    John 14 :6

    ( Parents cannot circumvent or sidestep salvation by baptizing their children. Jesus is the way, no one receives Salvation because their parents had them baptized. They have had no opportunity to believe. This is a hard truth for those who have been taught that they were already saved, with no reason to repent, they were predestined, chosen, and that settles it in their mind. )

    9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

    10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Romans 10

    (Everyone who believes in Jesus Christ as their Savior has received Salvation.)

    In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Ephesians 1:13

    For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
    Ephesians 2:8

    9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

    10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
    Romans 9

    I believe that everyone who comes to believe, repent receives Salvation, and that means baptism.

  • Grace

    An infant isn’t able to believe, repent of their sins, confess – they are but babes. No one automatically receives Salvation without repentance, faith and belief in Christ.

    Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
    John 14 :6

    ( Parents cannot circumvent or sidestep salvation by baptizing their children. Jesus is the way, no one receives Salvation because their parents had them baptized. They have had no opportunity to believe. This is a hard truth for those who have been taught that they were already saved, with no reason to repent, they were predestined, chosen, and that settles it in their mind. )

    9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

    10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Romans 10

    (Everyone who believes in Jesus Christ as their Savior has received Salvation.)

    In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Ephesians 1:13

    For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
    Ephesians 2:8

    9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

    10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
    Romans 9

    I believe that everyone who comes to believe, repent receives Salvation, and that means baptism.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Grace @75, you are right, of course. I overstated the case. However, there is a danger in letting women do too much. Guys are pragmatic. If women look like we are doing the work by usurping their positions, many will just roll with it. This really isn’t healthy. As for attending the Christmas service, that is a hard one. My mother-in-law is 80 and has been there 50 years. I think she is in denial.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Grace @75, you are right, of course. I overstated the case. However, there is a danger in letting women do too much. Guys are pragmatic. If women look like we are doing the work by usurping their positions, many will just roll with it. This really isn’t healthy. As for attending the Christmas service, that is a hard one. My mother-in-law is 80 and has been there 50 years. I think she is in denial.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace,
    Really? So you don’t see hear that you make faith something you do so that neither faith nor salvation are a gift of God alla Ephesians 2 which you quoted? And thus nullify what you sya that salvation is by “faith alone” either that or these children are all damned to hell because they are not able to believe.
    And I do. Believe you are at odds with this Jesus you confess. I bellieve these are his words. “If anyone causeth one of these little ones WHO BELIEVE IN ME, to sin it would be better that millstone to be tied around his neck and be cast in the sea.” I’ll let you find the reference.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace,
    Really? So you don’t see hear that you make faith something you do so that neither faith nor salvation are a gift of God alla Ephesians 2 which you quoted? And thus nullify what you sya that salvation is by “faith alone” either that or these children are all damned to hell because they are not able to believe.
    And I do. Believe you are at odds with this Jesus you confess. I bellieve these are his words. “If anyone causeth one of these little ones WHO BELIEVE IN ME, to sin it would be better that millstone to be tied around his neck and be cast in the sea.” I’ll let you find the reference.

  • Grace

    112 – sg – ” As for attending the Christmas service, that is a hard one. My mother-in-law is 80 and has been there 50 years. I think she is in denial.”

    She isn’t the only one, there are countless individuals who do not want to examine the sin that their churches now embrace – turning a blind eye to sin, allowing it to permiate the church. That is the very reason why we must study the Word of God so that those who would subvert the Word are not able to sway their congregations.

    We can pray for these dear souls, that they understand and have the courage to leave any church which now accepts sin, and then to allow it to stand in the pulpit.

  • Grace

    112 – sg – ” As for attending the Christmas service, that is a hard one. My mother-in-law is 80 and has been there 50 years. I think she is in denial.”

    She isn’t the only one, there are countless individuals who do not want to examine the sin that their churches now embrace – turning a blind eye to sin, allowing it to permiate the church. That is the very reason why we must study the Word of God so that those who would subvert the Word are not able to sway their congregations.

    We can pray for these dear souls, that they understand and have the courage to leave any church which now accepts sin, and then to allow it to stand in the pulpit.

  • Grace

    I believe young children who are not of age of accountability will go to heaven.

    Losing a child is heartbreaking, it is painful to witnesses the parents of their little one. King David knew where his precious son was. Although his grief was hard to bear, he knew that his son was with GOD. King David knew that one day he could go and be with his son, but his son would not return unto him. What a comfort to all who have lost a dear child.

    20 Then David arose from the earth, and washed, and anointed himself, and changed his apparel, and came into the house of the LORD, and worshipped: then he came to his own house; and when he required, they set bread before him, and he did eat.

    21 Then said his servants unto him, What thing is this that thou hast done? thou didst fast and weep for the child, while it was alive; but when the child was dead, thou didst rise and eat bread.

    22 And he said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether GOD will be gracious to me, that the child may live?

    23 But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me. 2 Samuel 12

    King David knew he would one day see his young son in heaven.

  • Grace

    I believe young children who are not of age of accountability will go to heaven.

    Losing a child is heartbreaking, it is painful to witnesses the parents of their little one. King David knew where his precious son was. Although his grief was hard to bear, he knew that his son was with GOD. King David knew that one day he could go and be with his son, but his son would not return unto him. What a comfort to all who have lost a dear child.

    20 Then David arose from the earth, and washed, and anointed himself, and changed his apparel, and came into the house of the LORD, and worshipped: then he came to his own house; and when he required, they set bread before him, and he did eat.

    21 Then said his servants unto him, What thing is this that thou hast done? thou didst fast and weep for the child, while it was alive; but when the child was dead, thou didst rise and eat bread.

    22 And he said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether GOD will be gracious to me, that the child may live?

    23 But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me. 2 Samuel 12

    King David knew he would one day see his young son in heaven.

  • Tom Hering

    “An infant isn’t able to believe, repent of their sins, confess – they are but babes.” – Grace @ 111.

    Faith isn’t something we do – something we work up in ourselves. It’s something God does, as gives as a gift.

    Babies can’t receive gifts from God?

  • Tom Hering

    “An infant isn’t able to believe, repent of their sins, confess – they are but babes.” – Grace @ 111.

    Faith isn’t something we do – something we work up in ourselves. It’s something God does, as gives as a gift.

    Babies can’t receive gifts from God?

  • Grace

    A baby doesn’t have the ability to understand or have faith. There is no where in Scripture that says a child who is baptized has Salvation.

    But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
    Matthew 9:13

    Repentance is difficult for many – Jesus made it clear we need to repent of our sins.

  • Grace

    A baby doesn’t have the ability to understand or have faith. There is no where in Scripture that says a child who is baptized has Salvation.

    But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
    Matthew 9:13

    Repentance is difficult for many – Jesus made it clear we need to repent of our sins.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace,
    David’s child enjoys heaven. There is nothing thou in that story to indicate that David’s child had no faith. And to argue from that to the salvation of all children would be a bit dubious. The fact that the child died also indicates that he was a sinner. Death being the wages of sin and all.
    So now would you like to tell me why you think children are saved sans faith? Would you like to tell me when the age of accountability is, where you find that in scripture, and how that negates Christ’s words in Mark? Or his command in Matthew 28?

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace,
    David’s child enjoys heaven. There is nothing thou in that story to indicate that David’s child had no faith. And to argue from that to the salvation of all children would be a bit dubious. The fact that the child died also indicates that he was a sinner. Death being the wages of sin and all.
    So now would you like to tell me why you think children are saved sans faith? Would you like to tell me when the age of accountability is, where you find that in scripture, and how that negates Christ’s words in Mark? Or his command in Matthew 28?

  • Grace

    116 Tom Hering – “Babies can’t receive gifts from God?”

    There is no place in Scripture, that states Baptism of a baby results in Salvation – or as others have stated “I have been a Christian since I was baptized as an infant”

    Salvation comes by believing unto righteousness – confession unto Salvation.

    For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
    Romans 10:10

  • Grace

    116 Tom Hering – “Babies can’t receive gifts from God?”

    There is no place in Scripture, that states Baptism of a baby results in Salvation – or as others have stated “I have been a Christian since I was baptized as an infant”

    Salvation comes by believing unto righteousness – confession unto Salvation.

    For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
    Romans 10:10

  • Tom Hering

    “A baby doesn’t have the ability to understand or have faith.” – Grace @ 117.

    Faith isn’t dependent on understanding. How much did you understand, Grace, when you first believed? Are you sure you understood enough? Are you sure you were saved – or have you been fooling yourself all this time?

    How much did Adam and Eve understand about Christ and His saving work? Did they even know His Name? How about Abel? Or Enoch? Or Noah? Or Abraham? Or Sarah? Or Isaac? Or Jacob? Or Joseph? Or Moses? Or Rahab? Or Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephtha, David, Samuel and all the prophets?

    Hmm. Maybe God has more ways to save us through Christ than the Sinner’s Prayer alone.

  • Tom Hering

    “A baby doesn’t have the ability to understand or have faith.” – Grace @ 117.

    Faith isn’t dependent on understanding. How much did you understand, Grace, when you first believed? Are you sure you understood enough? Are you sure you were saved – or have you been fooling yourself all this time?

    How much did Adam and Eve understand about Christ and His saving work? Did they even know His Name? How about Abel? Or Enoch? Or Noah? Or Abraham? Or Sarah? Or Isaac? Or Jacob? Or Joseph? Or Moses? Or Rahab? Or Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephtha, David, Samuel and all the prophets?

    Hmm. Maybe God has more ways to save us through Christ than the Sinner’s Prayer alone.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace,
    Repentance is just as much the work of the Holy Spirit as faith, just as much a gift of god as faith, in fact it is its counterpart. No one repents who does not believe, no one believes who does not repent.
    But I am just going to throw out a few passages in which Jesus attaches salvation to baptism, and therefore promises that babies who believe and are baptized will be saved.
    First that whole born again discourse in John chapter 3. Then there is Mark 16;16, Romans 6:4, Titus chapter 3:5, 1 Corinthians 6:11, 1 Peter 3:21, but probably more convincing as it is directed specifically to children is Acts chapter 2:38-39.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace,
    Repentance is just as much the work of the Holy Spirit as faith, just as much a gift of god as faith, in fact it is its counterpart. No one repents who does not believe, no one believes who does not repent.
    But I am just going to throw out a few passages in which Jesus attaches salvation to baptism, and therefore promises that babies who believe and are baptized will be saved.
    First that whole born again discourse in John chapter 3. Then there is Mark 16;16, Romans 6:4, Titus chapter 3:5, 1 Corinthians 6:11, 1 Peter 3:21, but probably more convincing as it is directed specifically to children is Acts chapter 2:38-39.

  • Grace

    - – 120 Tom Hering - “How much did Adam and Eve understand about Christ and His saving work? Did they even know His Name? How about Abel? Or Enoch? Or Noah? Or Abraham? Or Sarah? Or Isaac? Or Jacob? Or Joseph? Or Moses? Or Rahab? Or Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephtha, David, Samuel and all the prophets? ” – -

    As for Adam – God spoke directly to him in the garden. Jesus hadn’t come to this earth yet – therefore the cross and the shed blood of Christ were not available to them or the ones you have mentioned in the Old Testament.

    “Hmm. Maybe God has more ways to save us through Christ than the Sinner’s Prayer alone.”

    There is no other way to be saved unless one believes on the Lord Jesus Christ. Too often the passage below is left out of Reformed churches, rather taking was they consider to be an intellectual approach, but Jesus made it plain as to Salvation

    14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:

    15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

    16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

    17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

    18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. John 3

  • Grace

    - – 120 Tom Hering - “How much did Adam and Eve understand about Christ and His saving work? Did they even know His Name? How about Abel? Or Enoch? Or Noah? Or Abraham? Or Sarah? Or Isaac? Or Jacob? Or Joseph? Or Moses? Or Rahab? Or Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephtha, David, Samuel and all the prophets? ” – -

    As for Adam – God spoke directly to him in the garden. Jesus hadn’t come to this earth yet – therefore the cross and the shed blood of Christ were not available to them or the ones you have mentioned in the Old Testament.

    “Hmm. Maybe God has more ways to save us through Christ than the Sinner’s Prayer alone.”

    There is no other way to be saved unless one believes on the Lord Jesus Christ. Too often the passage below is left out of Reformed churches, rather taking was they consider to be an intellectual approach, but Jesus made it plain as to Salvation

    14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:

    15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

    16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

    17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

    18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. John 3

  • Tom Hering

    “Jesus hadn’t come to this earth yet – therefore the cross and the shed blood of Christ were not available to them or the ones you have mentioned in the Old Testament.” – Grace @ 122.

    Wow. Are you sure you want to say that? Wow.

  • Tom Hering

    “Jesus hadn’t come to this earth yet – therefore the cross and the shed blood of Christ were not available to them or the ones you have mentioned in the Old Testament.” – Grace @ 122.

    Wow. Are you sure you want to say that? Wow.

  • Tom Hering

    Now that I’m over the shock, you do know, don’t you Grace, that I was reciting the faith list from Hebrews 11? It ends like this:

    “These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect. (Hebrews 11:39-40.)

  • Tom Hering

    Now that I’m over the shock, you do know, don’t you Grace, that I was reciting the faith list from Hebrews 11? It ends like this:

    “These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect. (Hebrews 11:39-40.)

  • Grace

    Tom – “Wow. Are you sure you want to say that? Wow.”

    WOW yourself!

    The Trinity was involved in creation, if that is what you are getting at.

    Had Jesus died on the cross when Adam and Eve were in the garden? – was there two ways to be saved, one to keep the law of Moses OT – animal sacrifices as well, and one for Salvation through the shed blood of Christ, BEFORE Christ was born?

  • Grace

    Tom – “Wow. Are you sure you want to say that? Wow.”

    WOW yourself!

    The Trinity was involved in creation, if that is what you are getting at.

    Had Jesus died on the cross when Adam and Eve were in the garden? – was there two ways to be saved, one to keep the law of Moses OT – animal sacrifices as well, and one for Salvation through the shed blood of Christ, BEFORE Christ was born?

  • kerner

    Grace:

    My fellow Lutherans and I are likely to bombard you with arguments on this point, with varying degrees of intensity. If you want to understand our position, I hope you first understand that we believe that it is Bible based. The best thing is to do is read the scriptures Bror directs you to @121, and there are others.

    Our conclusion is that faith is a gift from God, not something we can independently grasp with our own intellects. Accordingly, God will use his people to convey that gift of faith. The more obvious way God’s people do this is by preaching God’s Word. People can hear the Word and believe through the work of the Holy Spirit. Based on the verses Bror cites, we can conclude that the Holy Spirit works through the waters of Baptism to give faith ot those whose intellect is not developed enough to understand the written or spoken Word of God. But since faith is not the product of the intellect, there is no reason why those (like infants) with undeveloped intellects cannot receive it. But since all people are born in sin, infants are every bit as lost and “accountable” for their sinful condition as you and I. Like Bror, I know of no passage in Scripture that refers to a certain age at which a person becomes “accountable” for his sins.

    Anyway, every verse I am aware of that describes what is happening in Baptism says that Baptism is having some effect on the one Baptised. I know of no Bible verse that says that Baptism is a symbol of something that has already happened.

  • kerner

    Grace:

    My fellow Lutherans and I are likely to bombard you with arguments on this point, with varying degrees of intensity. If you want to understand our position, I hope you first understand that we believe that it is Bible based. The best thing is to do is read the scriptures Bror directs you to @121, and there are others.

    Our conclusion is that faith is a gift from God, not something we can independently grasp with our own intellects. Accordingly, God will use his people to convey that gift of faith. The more obvious way God’s people do this is by preaching God’s Word. People can hear the Word and believe through the work of the Holy Spirit. Based on the verses Bror cites, we can conclude that the Holy Spirit works through the waters of Baptism to give faith ot those whose intellect is not developed enough to understand the written or spoken Word of God. But since faith is not the product of the intellect, there is no reason why those (like infants) with undeveloped intellects cannot receive it. But since all people are born in sin, infants are every bit as lost and “accountable” for their sinful condition as you and I. Like Bror, I know of no passage in Scripture that refers to a certain age at which a person becomes “accountable” for his sins.

    Anyway, every verse I am aware of that describes what is happening in Baptism says that Baptism is having some effect on the one Baptised. I know of no Bible verse that says that Baptism is a symbol of something that has already happened.

  • Tom Hering

    “The Trinity was involved in creation, if that is what you are getting at.” – Grace @ 125.

    No.

    “Had Jesus died on the cross when Adam and Eve were in the garden? – was there two ways to be saved, one to keep the law of Moses OT – animal sacrifices as well, and one for Salvation through the shed blood of Christ, BEFORE Christ was born?” – Grace @ 125.

    At this point, Grace, I have no idea what you’re saying.

  • Tom Hering

    “The Trinity was involved in creation, if that is what you are getting at.” – Grace @ 125.

    No.

    “Had Jesus died on the cross when Adam and Eve were in the garden? – was there two ways to be saved, one to keep the law of Moses OT – animal sacrifices as well, and one for Salvation through the shed blood of Christ, BEFORE Christ was born?” – Grace @ 125.

    At this point, Grace, I have no idea what you’re saying.

  • kerner

    Oh, I forgot. David and his son were living under the Old Covenant (as were the children Jesus blessed and said “believed in Him”), so David could confidently believe that his son was saved. Today we Christians live under the New Covenent, so we can Baptise our children and be confident that they are saved, unless they later repudiate the work of the Holy Spirit in them.

    But is there any Bible passage that indicates that children of unbelievers, living under no Covenant at all, are saved without faith? I don’t know of one.

  • kerner

    Oh, I forgot. David and his son were living under the Old Covenant (as were the children Jesus blessed and said “believed in Him”), so David could confidently believe that his son was saved. Today we Christians live under the New Covenent, so we can Baptise our children and be confident that they are saved, unless they later repudiate the work of the Holy Spirit in them.

    But is there any Bible passage that indicates that children of unbelievers, living under no Covenant at all, are saved without faith? I don’t know of one.

  • Grace

    126 kerner “Holy Spirit works through the waters of Baptism to give faith”

    Baptism isn’t the first step –

    “Repentance to Salvation”

    For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.
    2 Corinthias 7:10

  • Grace

    126 kerner “Holy Spirit works through the waters of Baptism to give faith”

    Baptism isn’t the first step –

    “Repentance to Salvation”

    For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.
    2 Corinthias 7:10

  • Grace

    Kerner,

    Please give a passage of Scripture that says infants have received Salvation after Baptism -

  • Grace

    Kerner,

    Please give a passage of Scripture that says infants have received Salvation after Baptism -

  • Grace

    12 7 – Tom – “At this point, Grace, I have no idea what you’re saying.”

    Oh, I think you do!

  • Grace

    12 7 – Tom – “At this point, Grace, I have no idea what you’re saying.”

    Oh, I think you do!

  • Tom Hering

    Oh, I think I don’t!

  • Tom Hering

    Oh, I think I don’t!

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace,
    Kerner has already supplied you with numerous versus, if only by referring you to the ones I have already referred to, and which you ignore.
    Now if you want to have civil discussion, then read them, study them, and then respond how you please. I’m especially interested in your take on Acts 2:38-39. Where baptism and its benefits are expressly applied to children. When do your children become your children? At the age of accountability? Or when they are born?

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace,
    Kerner has already supplied you with numerous versus, if only by referring you to the ones I have already referred to, and which you ignore.
    Now if you want to have civil discussion, then read them, study them, and then respond how you please. I’m especially interested in your take on Acts 2:38-39. Where baptism and its benefits are expressly applied to children. When do your children become your children? At the age of accountability? Or when they are born?

  • Grace

    Anyone can jot down a verse or two, but unless you post the passage, and give a reason there is no discussion. It’s just playing teacher via your commentaries.

  • Grace

    Anyone can jot down a verse or two, but unless you post the passage, and give a reason there is no discussion. It’s just playing teacher via your commentaries.

  • Grace

    132 Tom Hering – “Oh, I think I don’t!”

    That is too bad!

  • Grace

    132 Tom Hering – “Oh, I think I don’t!”

    That is too bad!

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace,
    Come now. You can do better than that. You asked for verses, I gave them to you. They do a good job of speaking for themselves. Are you telling me that you do not have a Bible with which to look them up? Send me your address I’ll mail you one. But your contention that I am teaching through my commentary? Well I don’t know what to say to that. I’m referencing Bible verses a studied strong Christian woman like you should have memorised, But if you looked them up they would probably teach you more than any of my commentary.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace,
    Come now. You can do better than that. You asked for verses, I gave them to you. They do a good job of speaking for themselves. Are you telling me that you do not have a Bible with which to look them up? Send me your address I’ll mail you one. But your contention that I am teaching through my commentary? Well I don’t know what to say to that. I’m referencing Bible verses a studied strong Christian woman like you should have memorised, But if you looked them up they would probably teach you more than any of my commentary.

  • Another Kerner

    Grace @ # 111

    Grace, you have agreed here that faith is a gift bestowed on His people by God.

    You cite Eph. 2:8 so we know we are agreed that faith is a gift.

    Do you believe that you make a decision for Christ and then He gives you the gift of faith ?

    Or

    Do you believe that God first regenerates you, giving you the gift of faith… and because of the gift you are then able to say, “Yea Lord, I believe” ?

    Which comes first….the gift or the decision?

  • Another Kerner

    Grace @ # 111

    Grace, you have agreed here that faith is a gift bestowed on His people by God.

    You cite Eph. 2:8 so we know we are agreed that faith is a gift.

    Do you believe that you make a decision for Christ and then He gives you the gift of faith ?

    Or

    Do you believe that God first regenerates you, giving you the gift of faith… and because of the gift you are then able to say, “Yea Lord, I believe” ?

    Which comes first….the gift or the decision?

  • Grace

    Kerner’s

    We can play along for days, but my questions are not answered as in post #130 to whichever Kerner wants to answer.

    “Please give a passage of Scripture that says infants have received Salvation after Baptism -”

    Try extending the same courtesy to me, that you expect for yourself. If you are unable to post passages of Scripture, making this a teacher/student game, I won’t play – If you want to discuss something using Scripture (POSTED) with your reasons outlined, that will work, otherwise it’s a game that many play in order to keep their opponent BUSY.

  • Grace

    Kerner’s

    We can play along for days, but my questions are not answered as in post #130 to whichever Kerner wants to answer.

    “Please give a passage of Scripture that says infants have received Salvation after Baptism -”

    Try extending the same courtesy to me, that you expect for yourself. If you are unable to post passages of Scripture, making this a teacher/student game, I won’t play – If you want to discuss something using Scripture (POSTED) with your reasons outlined, that will work, otherwise it’s a game that many play in order to keep their opponent BUSY.

  • Grace

    137 Another Kerner

    I have outlined what I believe, if you or anyone else disagrees, that is your choice.

    Jesus Christ made clear how we receive forgiveness and Salvation. Jesus made it simple, however many of the Reformed group aren’t able to receive His teachings regarding REPENTANCE, FAITH and SALVATION ….. I cannot do a thing to help you if you persist in finding ways to dislodge the simplicity, or sending me off the look up passages of Scripture. Look them up yourself, post them.
    Martin Luther made the statement:

    “If you are a preacher of grace, then preach a true and not a fictitious grace; if grace is true, you must bear a true [p. 282] and not a fictitious sin. God does not save people who are only fictitious sinners. Be a sinner and sin boldly, but believe and rejoice in Christ even more boldly. . . . as long as we are here [in this world] we have to sin. . . . No sin will separate us from the Lamb, even though we commit fornication and murder a thousand times a day.” - – Martin Luther – -
    Epistle of August 1, 1521 to Melanchthon (This translation is taken from the official Lutheran American Edition of his complete works, vol. 42, pp. 281-82:

    That isn’t grace, that’s a free ride from grace to sin, with no repentance, OR sorrow. It is nothing less than arrogant, to “sin boldly” – - – you might think this clever, a way to escape the wages of sin, however the world see’s it as nothing but a façade, a not so clever way to profess Christ, but live just like the most worldly atheist or lukewarm Christian.

    There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. 1 Corinthians 10:13

    For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. 2 Corinthians 6:10

  • Grace

    137 Another Kerner

    I have outlined what I believe, if you or anyone else disagrees, that is your choice.

    Jesus Christ made clear how we receive forgiveness and Salvation. Jesus made it simple, however many of the Reformed group aren’t able to receive His teachings regarding REPENTANCE, FAITH and SALVATION ….. I cannot do a thing to help you if you persist in finding ways to dislodge the simplicity, or sending me off the look up passages of Scripture. Look them up yourself, post them.
    Martin Luther made the statement:

    “If you are a preacher of grace, then preach a true and not a fictitious grace; if grace is true, you must bear a true [p. 282] and not a fictitious sin. God does not save people who are only fictitious sinners. Be a sinner and sin boldly, but believe and rejoice in Christ even more boldly. . . . as long as we are here [in this world] we have to sin. . . . No sin will separate us from the Lamb, even though we commit fornication and murder a thousand times a day.” - – Martin Luther – -
    Epistle of August 1, 1521 to Melanchthon (This translation is taken from the official Lutheran American Edition of his complete works, vol. 42, pp. 281-82:

    That isn’t grace, that’s a free ride from grace to sin, with no repentance, OR sorrow. It is nothing less than arrogant, to “sin boldly” – - – you might think this clever, a way to escape the wages of sin, however the world see’s it as nothing but a façade, a not so clever way to profess Christ, but live just like the most worldly atheist or lukewarm Christian.

    There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. 1 Corinthians 10:13

    For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. 2 Corinthians 6:10

  • Tom Hering

    “That is too bad!” – Grace @ 135.

    No great loss as far as I can see.

    “Please give a passage of Scripture that says infants have received Salvation after Baptism.” – Grace @ 138.

    Grace, you know there’s no one verse that says all this. Are doctrines only true if they’re encapsulated by a single verse? How, then, do you manage to remain trinitarian?

    “That isn’t grace, that’s a free ride from grace to sin, with no repentance, OR sorrow.” – Grace @ 139.

    Oh please. You know Luther wasn’t saying that. But then, I guess you believe a single statement by Luther can be understood apart from everything he said. Which would be the flip side of believing doctrines must be expressed by a single verse (or else they aren’t true). Are concepts like context and comparing Scripture with Scripture just too much for you, Grace? It seems like it. But I suspect you’re actually just trying to defeat arguments with distractions.

  • Tom Hering

    “That is too bad!” – Grace @ 135.

    No great loss as far as I can see.

    “Please give a passage of Scripture that says infants have received Salvation after Baptism.” – Grace @ 138.

    Grace, you know there’s no one verse that says all this. Are doctrines only true if they’re encapsulated by a single verse? How, then, do you manage to remain trinitarian?

    “That isn’t grace, that’s a free ride from grace to sin, with no repentance, OR sorrow.” – Grace @ 139.

    Oh please. You know Luther wasn’t saying that. But then, I guess you believe a single statement by Luther can be understood apart from everything he said. Which would be the flip side of believing doctrines must be expressed by a single verse (or else they aren’t true). Are concepts like context and comparing Scripture with Scripture just too much for you, Grace? It seems like it. But I suspect you’re actually just trying to defeat arguments with distractions.

  • http://concordiaandkoinonia.wordpress.com/ Rev. Schroeder

    Bror Erickson @ 69:

    “Is it just the fanatical adherence of a few old timers, or has this adherence been passed down to many others. I notice when I am talking to people from the LCMC around here they don’t even want to have that conversation.”
    I think the adherence to WO is being passed down to and on through an increasingly predominate femail clergy graduating from ‘Lutheran’ seminaries, which as you correctly pointed have predominately non-Lutheran/liberal Protestant professors. Unless the seminaries radically change, nothing will. I’m not holding my breath. And when I was still in the ELCA, when the topic came about even the possibility of being faithful to the Scriptures on homosexuality, eventually someone would say, “Then what about WO and divorce!” No, no one wants to talk about WO, etc.

    FWIW: I think there are two types of liberals, pre and post Roe vs. Wade. The pre RvW liberals in the Church were pro-civil rights (a moral good), pro-life (again, moral good), social activist oriented, mission-minded and yet modern Biblical criticism was the rule of the day (a dear friend of mine, a retired ELCA pastor, grad. of Philadelphia, ’57, told me, Yes, historical criticism was taught.) Rev. Braaten is definitely the pre ’73 type of liberal and quite dogmatic about it.

    BTW: I knew Lou Smith very well. Needless to say when he changed his mind on WO, he became anathema to many in our ‘conservative’ Lutheran circles and it seems the only folks who were listening were in the LCMS. (re: Biblical criticism, what I call a “Lou-ism”: “In sermon preparation,I could take text and redact it, know its forms, doing the historical critical work on it and then it was Saturday night and I still didn’t sermon for Sunday morning!”

  • http://concordiaandkoinonia.wordpress.com/ Rev. Schroeder

    Bror Erickson @ 69:

    “Is it just the fanatical adherence of a few old timers, or has this adherence been passed down to many others. I notice when I am talking to people from the LCMC around here they don’t even want to have that conversation.”
    I think the adherence to WO is being passed down to and on through an increasingly predominate femail clergy graduating from ‘Lutheran’ seminaries, which as you correctly pointed have predominately non-Lutheran/liberal Protestant professors. Unless the seminaries radically change, nothing will. I’m not holding my breath. And when I was still in the ELCA, when the topic came about even the possibility of being faithful to the Scriptures on homosexuality, eventually someone would say, “Then what about WO and divorce!” No, no one wants to talk about WO, etc.

    FWIW: I think there are two types of liberals, pre and post Roe vs. Wade. The pre RvW liberals in the Church were pro-civil rights (a moral good), pro-life (again, moral good), social activist oriented, mission-minded and yet modern Biblical criticism was the rule of the day (a dear friend of mine, a retired ELCA pastor, grad. of Philadelphia, ’57, told me, Yes, historical criticism was taught.) Rev. Braaten is definitely the pre ’73 type of liberal and quite dogmatic about it.

    BTW: I knew Lou Smith very well. Needless to say when he changed his mind on WO, he became anathema to many in our ‘conservative’ Lutheran circles and it seems the only folks who were listening were in the LCMS. (re: Biblical criticism, what I call a “Lou-ism”: “In sermon preparation,I could take text and redact it, know its forms, doing the historical critical work on it and then it was Saturday night and I still didn’t sermon for Sunday morning!”

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace, @138
    You are the first Self Identified strong and well studied Christian woman I have ever run across who thinks looking up Bible passages is a waste of time.
    Yesterday I was responding from a BlackBerry. So I didn’t have the option of cutting and pasting. But here you go. I want you to answer on this one verse it is such a waste of time for you to look up. Acts 2:38-39 (ESV)
    And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. [39] For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.”
    Notice the promise of salvation, the forgiveness of sins, and the Holy Spirit all attached to believing and being baptized, (the two go hand in hand, faith never refuses baptism) are explicitly offered to Children, “your children”.
    We know the little children, believe of course, Jesus says they do. Matthew 18:6 (ESV)
    but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.

    Mark 9:42 (ESV)
    “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea.

    BTW, teaching them to despise the promises of Jesus, and the grace attached to baptism would be a great sin. One I suspect you probably need to repent of, lest the millstone.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace, @138
    You are the first Self Identified strong and well studied Christian woman I have ever run across who thinks looking up Bible passages is a waste of time.
    Yesterday I was responding from a BlackBerry. So I didn’t have the option of cutting and pasting. But here you go. I want you to answer on this one verse it is such a waste of time for you to look up. Acts 2:38-39 (ESV)
    And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. [39] For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.”
    Notice the promise of salvation, the forgiveness of sins, and the Holy Spirit all attached to believing and being baptized, (the two go hand in hand, faith never refuses baptism) are explicitly offered to Children, “your children”.
    We know the little children, believe of course, Jesus says they do. Matthew 18:6 (ESV)
    but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.

    Mark 9:42 (ESV)
    “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea.

    BTW, teaching them to despise the promises of Jesus, and the grace attached to baptism would be a great sin. One I suspect you probably need to repent of, lest the millstone.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Rev. Schroeder,
    I only met Smith briefly, he made the sign of the cross on my forehead upon learning I was heading for Utah… Great man. I suspected that he probably became a bit of anathema at that time. Funny what conviction will do to a man.
    I’m troubled at times with what I see going on in the greater Lutheran community. Seems a complete abandonment of a great heritage. We are so eager to swallow the slop being fed from without. I see it often even in the LCMS. The church lives by the grace of God, is sustained by the grace of God. God knows it isn’t due to the efforts of men. But why this subpar training of men to be Lutheran pastors, with hardly a Lutheran on the faculty?

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Rev. Schroeder,
    I only met Smith briefly, he made the sign of the cross on my forehead upon learning I was heading for Utah… Great man. I suspected that he probably became a bit of anathema at that time. Funny what conviction will do to a man.
    I’m troubled at times with what I see going on in the greater Lutheran community. Seems a complete abandonment of a great heritage. We are so eager to swallow the slop being fed from without. I see it often even in the LCMS. The church lives by the grace of God, is sustained by the grace of God. God knows it isn’t due to the efforts of men. But why this subpar training of men to be Lutheran pastors, with hardly a Lutheran on the faculty?

  • Louis

    Grace, in context of all these debates, I was hoping you’s answer my question of some days ago?

  • Louis

    Grace, in context of all these debates, I was hoping you’s answer my question of some days ago?

  • Another Kerner

    Grace @ 129….

    Come on, Grace dear….

    Some of these questions are “what” and “who” questions.

    What is the first step in God’s redemptive plan and, most importantly, who takes it?

  • Another Kerner

    Grace @ 129….

    Come on, Grace dear….

    Some of these questions are “what” and “who” questions.

    What is the first step in God’s redemptive plan and, most importantly, who takes it?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Bror, you touched on “arminian” teaching at post #79. I hadn’t heard of this word before until recently, but it seems that is where Grace may be coming from. Of course, I don’t know. However, Rev. Jon Fisk discussed it in a recent video on Calvinism:

    We generally think of our faith as something we do. That is we have faith in certain people or in weather forecasts, etc. So, it is our choice to believe in them. It seems the idea of faith being a gift as rather opposite. Also, there are the opposing ideas of getting baptised because you believe vs. believing because you were baptised. Maybe you have a better way of explaining, but it seems reliance on human reason can actually be an impediment in this discussion. What am I missing?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Bror, you touched on “arminian” teaching at post #79. I hadn’t heard of this word before until recently, but it seems that is where Grace may be coming from. Of course, I don’t know. However, Rev. Jon Fisk discussed it in a recent video on Calvinism:

    We generally think of our faith as something we do. That is we have faith in certain people or in weather forecasts, etc. So, it is our choice to believe in them. It seems the idea of faith being a gift as rather opposite. Also, there are the opposing ideas of getting baptised because you believe vs. believing because you were baptised. Maybe you have a better way of explaining, but it seems reliance on human reason can actually be an impediment in this discussion. What am I missing?

  • http://concordiaandkoinonia.wordpress.com/ Rev. Schroeder

    Rev. Erickson @143
    “But why this subpar training of men to be Lutheran pastors, with hardly a Lutheran on the faculty?” Answer: the ecumaniacal agreements! Openess! Agree to disagree! Unity in diversity! Bound conscience! I’m getting sick writing all these cliches! And this “ecumenical” least common denominator denominationalism will result in the ‘perfect’ merger: the Liberal Protestant Church of the World.

  • http://concordiaandkoinonia.wordpress.com/ Rev. Schroeder

    Rev. Erickson @143
    “But why this subpar training of men to be Lutheran pastors, with hardly a Lutheran on the faculty?” Answer: the ecumaniacal agreements! Openess! Agree to disagree! Unity in diversity! Bound conscience! I’m getting sick writing all these cliches! And this “ecumenical” least common denominator denominationalism will result in the ‘perfect’ merger: the Liberal Protestant Church of the World.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    ecumenical = confusion

    IMHO

    I say that as one who has been seeking to end the confusion in my own mind and in the teaching at least in my household.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    ecumenical = confusion

    IMHO

    I say that as one who has been seeking to end the confusion in my own mind and in the teaching at least in my household.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    I found this gem in a book by Rev. Thomas Korcok, online at

    http://dare.ubvu.vu.nl/bitstream/1871/13126/5/8454.pdf

    “In Bünger’s biography, Walther stated:
    “As our Bünger at Easter 1829 entered the University of Leipzig, conditions as concerned the true Christian faith, were as dismal at the “highest school” of the land as they were in all of Saxony. Precisely from this university for many years already there had flowed, as a living spring, the poisonous stream of rationalism, of unbelief, of sham enlightenment and the most frightful distortion of Scripture upon all the congregations of Saxony. The preachers whose misfortune it was to be prepared at that time to serve the church in Leipzig, proclaimed from their pulpits in the congregations that, naturally, which their professors had given them as the great new wisdom. At the very top of the whole church there stood at that time the Chief Court Chaplain and Vice President of the Chief Consistory, Christoph Friederich von Ammon, who had written a book with the title Continuation of the Building of Christianity Toward a World Religion [Die Fortbildung des Christentums zur Weltreligion (1833)]. The brother of the author of this biography [O. H. Walther] rightly declared concerning this book that the title ought really to have been, The Perversion of Christianity Toward a Worldly Religion.283″

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    I found this gem in a book by Rev. Thomas Korcok, online at

    http://dare.ubvu.vu.nl/bitstream/1871/13126/5/8454.pdf

    “In Bünger’s biography, Walther stated:
    “As our Bünger at Easter 1829 entered the University of Leipzig, conditions as concerned the true Christian faith, were as dismal at the “highest school” of the land as they were in all of Saxony. Precisely from this university for many years already there had flowed, as a living spring, the poisonous stream of rationalism, of unbelief, of sham enlightenment and the most frightful distortion of Scripture upon all the congregations of Saxony. The preachers whose misfortune it was to be prepared at that time to serve the church in Leipzig, proclaimed from their pulpits in the congregations that, naturally, which their professors had given them as the great new wisdom. At the very top of the whole church there stood at that time the Chief Court Chaplain and Vice President of the Chief Consistory, Christoph Friederich von Ammon, who had written a book with the title Continuation of the Building of Christianity Toward a World Religion [Die Fortbildung des Christentums zur Weltreligion (1833)]. The brother of the author of this biography [O. H. Walther] rightly declared concerning this book that the title ought really to have been, The Perversion of Christianity Toward a Worldly Religion.283″

  • Grace

    140 Tom Hering – “Grace, you know there’s no one verse that says all this.”

    Tom, there isn’t even one verse, it doesn’t exist. There is no basis to believe that Salvation comes to an infant at baptism.

    - “Are doctrines only true if they’re encapsulated by a single verse? How, then, do you manage to remain trinitarian?”

    Tom, there are many passages of Scripture which prove the Trinity and Christ being God the Son.

  • Grace

    140 Tom Hering – “Grace, you know there’s no one verse that says all this.”

    Tom, there isn’t even one verse, it doesn’t exist. There is no basis to believe that Salvation comes to an infant at baptism.

    - “Are doctrines only true if they’re encapsulated by a single verse? How, then, do you manage to remain trinitarian?”

    Tom, there are many passages of Scripture which prove the Trinity and Christ being God the Son.

  • Grace

    140 – Tom - “Oh please. You know Luther wasn’t saying that. But then, I guess you believe a single statement by Luther can be understood apart from everything he said. ” –

    Yes Martin Luther made his views CRYSTAL CLEAR –

    “If you are a preacher of grace, then preach a true and not a fictitious grace; if grace is true, you must bear a true [p. 282] and not a fictitious sin. God does not save people who are only fictitious sinners. Be a sinner and sin boldly, but believe and rejoice in Christ even more boldly. . . . as long as we are here [in this world] we have to sin. . . . No sin will separate us from the Lamb, even though we commit fornication and murder a thousand times a day.” – – Martin Luther – -
    Epistle of August 1, 1521 to Melanchthon (This translation is taken from the official Lutheran American Edition of his complete works, vol. 42, pp. 281-82:

    This is no different than the book Luther wrote against the Jews – of course you can dismiss that as well. It appears that fear of the LORD was nothing to concern oneself, – no repentance?

  • Grace

    140 – Tom - “Oh please. You know Luther wasn’t saying that. But then, I guess you believe a single statement by Luther can be understood apart from everything he said. ” –

    Yes Martin Luther made his views CRYSTAL CLEAR –

    “If you are a preacher of grace, then preach a true and not a fictitious grace; if grace is true, you must bear a true [p. 282] and not a fictitious sin. God does not save people who are only fictitious sinners. Be a sinner and sin boldly, but believe and rejoice in Christ even more boldly. . . . as long as we are here [in this world] we have to sin. . . . No sin will separate us from the Lamb, even though we commit fornication and murder a thousand times a day.” – – Martin Luther – -
    Epistle of August 1, 1521 to Melanchthon (This translation is taken from the official Lutheran American Edition of his complete works, vol. 42, pp. 281-82:

    This is no different than the book Luther wrote against the Jews – of course you can dismiss that as well. It appears that fear of the LORD was nothing to concern oneself, – no repentance?

  • Louis

    Grace – way back in this discussion you said: I believe young children who are not of age of accountability will go to heaven.

    Interesting. So, to maintain your beliefs, you have to import extra-Scriptural beliefs anyway. Furthermore, this beliefs imports semi-Pelagianism as well, as it implies that what bring us to perdition are not our sinful natures, but willful and conscious sin after a certain arbitrary age.

    Then, to repeat myself again – will you please answer my question put to you regarding the origin of the Table of Contents of your Bible?

  • Louis

    Grace – way back in this discussion you said: I believe young children who are not of age of accountability will go to heaven.

    Interesting. So, to maintain your beliefs, you have to import extra-Scriptural beliefs anyway. Furthermore, this beliefs imports semi-Pelagianism as well, as it implies that what bring us to perdition are not our sinful natures, but willful and conscious sin after a certain arbitrary age.

    Then, to repeat myself again – will you please answer my question put to you regarding the origin of the Table of Contents of your Bible?

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    sg @146,
    It takes me about an hour to watch a 14 minute video clip on my computer, so I don’t watch them very often. Fisks videos have been getting quite popular lately and now I see why. Very Well Done. I envy guys with techno savvy like that. I can’t even get my sermons in audio onto my blog. Oh well. I started down loading it and went to do my devotions. It worked. Thanks, good laugh in there too.
    Anyway, that is precisely the problem with where Grace is coming from. There is always this thought that faith is something we do, and has a lot to do with our ability to understand things etc. However the Biblical and therefore Lutheran view is faith is done to you, It is the work of the Holy Spirit. It comes through hearing. Of course, hearing isn’t limited to what your ears do here, and work on your cognitive trains of thought. But the word is heard in the sacraments also as water is poured over you, as bread is eaten, as wine is drunk and promises are received.
    In the end Calvinists and Arminians both have a tendency to confuse faith with reason, and the ability to think logically. I for one think if Descartes were right, there wouldn’t be any Calvinists or Arminians. Because though they taught their ability to think and hold logic in such high esteem, they really fail badly at it.
    Baptists and Arminians might be helped if they ever got around to reading the Bible they confess as inerrant, yada yada yada. It doesn’t do you any good to believe it is inerrant if you aren’t going to believe what it says!

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    sg @146,
    It takes me about an hour to watch a 14 minute video clip on my computer, so I don’t watch them very often. Fisks videos have been getting quite popular lately and now I see why. Very Well Done. I envy guys with techno savvy like that. I can’t even get my sermons in audio onto my blog. Oh well. I started down loading it and went to do my devotions. It worked. Thanks, good laugh in there too.
    Anyway, that is precisely the problem with where Grace is coming from. There is always this thought that faith is something we do, and has a lot to do with our ability to understand things etc. However the Biblical and therefore Lutheran view is faith is done to you, It is the work of the Holy Spirit. It comes through hearing. Of course, hearing isn’t limited to what your ears do here, and work on your cognitive trains of thought. But the word is heard in the sacraments also as water is poured over you, as bread is eaten, as wine is drunk and promises are received.
    In the end Calvinists and Arminians both have a tendency to confuse faith with reason, and the ability to think logically. I for one think if Descartes were right, there wouldn’t be any Calvinists or Arminians. Because though they taught their ability to think and hold logic in such high esteem, they really fail badly at it.
    Baptists and Arminians might be helped if they ever got around to reading the Bible they confess as inerrant, yada yada yada. It doesn’t do you any good to believe it is inerrant if you aren’t going to believe what it says!

  • Rob

    Is it even worth saying after all this back-and-forth – people who have no intention of listening to others should have no expectation of being listened to?

    I have listened to Grace a lot – I didn’t count, but it must be at least thirty comments. Grace is not trying to understand Lutheran confessional teaching on baptism, she is trying to refute it (though it doesn’t seem she’s read any of it – interesting).

    She’s done a wonderful job of Biblically highlighting the necessity of belief and repentance and has (wrongly) equated them with justification rather than sanctification. This makes our salvation an act in which we are necessary participants, even causes. It makes us our own saviors, with Jesus as a helpful friend or guide. Though pointed to verses which refute this, she has evidently no interest in responding to them, including the bizarre refusal to look up verses that aren’t posted.

    She’s denied original sin in claiming that until an age of accountability (for which there is absolutely no Biblical evidence), there is no condemnation. I am glad to see that another commenter has re-directed the conversation to this point, but I see no likely positive interaction resulting from it.

    Grace is convinced that she is right and that Lutheran confessional beliefs are not, and has chosen to state this emphatically and endlessly on a site maintained and frequented by confessional Lutherans. Were she a member of the congregation, family, or social group of any one of us, I could see value in a courteous conversation. As it is, I can see no value in continuing to shout at one another electronically, and am only puzzled as to why she sees this particular pursuit as a good use of time.

    I find that in the end, those who feel the greatest need to state that they are right have the least confidence of that fact. Those confident that they have come to the proper conclusions rest in God’s ability to bring others to that same point or in the others’ ability to refuse Him. Either way, you can politely state your case and move on. Either the divine will or the human will shall have its way.

  • Rob

    Is it even worth saying after all this back-and-forth – people who have no intention of listening to others should have no expectation of being listened to?

    I have listened to Grace a lot – I didn’t count, but it must be at least thirty comments. Grace is not trying to understand Lutheran confessional teaching on baptism, she is trying to refute it (though it doesn’t seem she’s read any of it – interesting).

    She’s done a wonderful job of Biblically highlighting the necessity of belief and repentance and has (wrongly) equated them with justification rather than sanctification. This makes our salvation an act in which we are necessary participants, even causes. It makes us our own saviors, with Jesus as a helpful friend or guide. Though pointed to verses which refute this, she has evidently no interest in responding to them, including the bizarre refusal to look up verses that aren’t posted.

    She’s denied original sin in claiming that until an age of accountability (for which there is absolutely no Biblical evidence), there is no condemnation. I am glad to see that another commenter has re-directed the conversation to this point, but I see no likely positive interaction resulting from it.

    Grace is convinced that she is right and that Lutheran confessional beliefs are not, and has chosen to state this emphatically and endlessly on a site maintained and frequented by confessional Lutherans. Were she a member of the congregation, family, or social group of any one of us, I could see value in a courteous conversation. As it is, I can see no value in continuing to shout at one another electronically, and am only puzzled as to why she sees this particular pursuit as a good use of time.

    I find that in the end, those who feel the greatest need to state that they are right have the least confidence of that fact. Those confident that they have come to the proper conclusions rest in God’s ability to bring others to that same point or in the others’ ability to refuse Him. Either way, you can politely state your case and move on. Either the divine will or the human will shall have its way.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace,
    I would like you to recall that Luther sounded the call to reformation with a call to repentance. Ever heard of the 95 theses?
    Anyway, I am wondering if you ever read any Luther other than snippets taken out of context in what ever paper you drudged up to get that mangled quote from on the internet.
    Do us a favor. Answer our questions as Louis has asked. I was even kind enough to post the Bible Verse for you, being as it was such a waste of your time to look up Bible passages. Yet still nothing.
    I’ve been through this before, Bike Bubba, Don S, they too have not yet given up on their unbiblical doctrines concerning baptism. They too avoid talking about the Biblical passages in question and actually reading them for what they say. It is common. I understand. You’ve been taught so long that what you believe is Biblical, and now you are beginning to understand that in order for that thought to be maintained you actually had to ignore what the Bible is saying. Remember it was Lutheran’s who came up with that whole Sola Scriptura thing. We know our Bibles.
    At least Don S, admitted that children and mentally handicapped have the ability to believe. He just doesn’t think they believe enough to be baptized.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace,
    I would like you to recall that Luther sounded the call to reformation with a call to repentance. Ever heard of the 95 theses?
    Anyway, I am wondering if you ever read any Luther other than snippets taken out of context in what ever paper you drudged up to get that mangled quote from on the internet.
    Do us a favor. Answer our questions as Louis has asked. I was even kind enough to post the Bible Verse for you, being as it was such a waste of your time to look up Bible passages. Yet still nothing.
    I’ve been through this before, Bike Bubba, Don S, they too have not yet given up on their unbiblical doctrines concerning baptism. They too avoid talking about the Biblical passages in question and actually reading them for what they say. It is common. I understand. You’ve been taught so long that what you believe is Biblical, and now you are beginning to understand that in order for that thought to be maintained you actually had to ignore what the Bible is saying. Remember it was Lutheran’s who came up with that whole Sola Scriptura thing. We know our Bibles.
    At least Don S, admitted that children and mentally handicapped have the ability to believe. He just doesn’t think they believe enough to be baptized.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Rob,
    You are of course right. It’s just a Romans 7 thing for me at this point. I know better, I know better, I know better. But then….

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Rob,
    You are of course right. It’s just a Romans 7 thing for me at this point. I know better, I know better, I know better. But then….

  • Rob

    ..but then, thank God for His grace which is sufficient for all our needs, right? As a lover of debate, I totally sympathize.

    By the way, I’ve been wondering, what were you hunting for in your profile picture?

  • Rob

    ..but then, thank God for His grace which is sufficient for all our needs, right? As a lover of debate, I totally sympathize.

    By the way, I’ve been wondering, what were you hunting for in your profile picture?

  • Grace

    154 – Rob – “Grace is not trying to understand Lutheran confessional teaching on baptism, she is trying to refute it (though it doesn’t seem she’s read any of it – interesting). ” –

    “Seem” ? – no Rob, I have studied it for some time, it is not difficult to find the mistakes Luther made, or his attitude towards the Jews. His brazen beliefs regarding “God does not save people who are only fictitious sinners. Be a sinner and sin boldly,” – his attitudes regarding the book of James is another blunder, even to put it behind Revelation only because he didn’t believe it.

    - – “I find that in the end, those who feel the greatest need to state that they are right have the least confidence of that fact.” – -

    You must have missed all the tirades from a group on this thread, or you have chosen to dismiss them.

    The Word of God is “right” it is the place where we find truth. All the hoopla over infant baptism, (which cannot be found in the Bible) rings all the fire alarms when discussed, be it Lutheran or other denominations who believe it as Salvation for infants.

    - – “She’s denied original sin in claiming that until an age of accountability (for which there is absolutely no Biblical evidence), there is no condemnation. I am glad to see that another commenter has re-directed the conversation to this point, but I see no likely positive interaction resulting from it.” – -

    At no time have I denied original sin. You might take more care next time, when assigning beliefs to me which are false.

    Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: Romans 5:12

  • Grace

    154 – Rob – “Grace is not trying to understand Lutheran confessional teaching on baptism, she is trying to refute it (though it doesn’t seem she’s read any of it – interesting). ” –

    “Seem” ? – no Rob, I have studied it for some time, it is not difficult to find the mistakes Luther made, or his attitude towards the Jews. His brazen beliefs regarding “God does not save people who are only fictitious sinners. Be a sinner and sin boldly,” – his attitudes regarding the book of James is another blunder, even to put it behind Revelation only because he didn’t believe it.

    - – “I find that in the end, those who feel the greatest need to state that they are right have the least confidence of that fact.” – -

    You must have missed all the tirades from a group on this thread, or you have chosen to dismiss them.

    The Word of God is “right” it is the place where we find truth. All the hoopla over infant baptism, (which cannot be found in the Bible) rings all the fire alarms when discussed, be it Lutheran or other denominations who believe it as Salvation for infants.

    - – “She’s denied original sin in claiming that until an age of accountability (for which there is absolutely no Biblical evidence), there is no condemnation. I am glad to see that another commenter has re-directed the conversation to this point, but I see no likely positive interaction resulting from it.” – -

    At no time have I denied original sin. You might take more care next time, when assigning beliefs to me which are false.

    Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: Romans 5:12

  • Grace

    “By the way, I’ve been wondering, what were you hunting for in your profile picture?”

    Most likely Grace!!!!

  • Grace

    “By the way, I’ve been wondering, what were you hunting for in your profile picture?”

    Most likely Grace!!!!

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Rob 157,
    Blue grouse. Season opened again saturday. Bronchitus has been keeping me down. But i’ll be up there by the end of the week come hell or high water.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Rob 157,
    Blue grouse. Season opened again saturday. Bronchitus has been keeping me down. But i’ll be up there by the end of the week come hell or high water.

  • Rob

    I really hesitate to respond here…and this will be my final post (I have a rule about not posting more than twice on any thread and only by not counting my short one to Bror am I allowing myself to do so).

    I apologize for writing it in a way that put words in your mouth (or keyboard). However, I reword my statement to say this: your views on baptism deny original sin, though I realize you have not stated this. I grew up as a Baptist, so I am sympathetic to your views, I simply no longer believe they fully explain Scripture’s teaching. If one has no need of baptism or salvation until an “Age of Accountability”, then Original Sin must not be serious enough to warrant punishment. It must only be sins that we knowingly and willingly commit that cause death. Either that or God saves them through some other means than Christ’s death and resurrection, which we join in through baptism (Romans 6). I simply cannot reconcile this with Scripture.

    A few facts, though – Fact #1: The Luther quote you have now used three times is not part of the Lutheran confessions. Perhaps it would be helpful if I explain that the phrase “Lutheran Confessions” is shorthand for those confessions contained in the Book of Concord, which includes works not only by Luther (Smalcald Articles, Small and Large Catechisms), but also by Melanchthon (Augsburg Confession and Apology, Treaty on the Power and Primacy of the Pope) and Chemnitz et al (Formula of Concord – Epitome and Solid Declaration), in addition to the ecumenical creeds (Apostles’, Nicene, and Athanasian). And regardless, the context and essence of the Luther quote is that salvation has no value for those who deny sin. Presumably you agree. In our post-modern world, a failure to acknowledge sin’s existence leads many to reject the Savior. Surely all Christians bemoan this fact, regardless of their views on baptism.

    Fact #2 – Luther’s views on Jews are not part of the Lutheran Confessions. I assume you are alluding to his 1543 treatise, On the Jews and Their Lies. But unless this writing is also held with his 1523 treatise in view (That Jesus Christ Was Born a Jew), I don’t think it’s a fair or full portrayal of his views. But again, these are his personal writings, and not part of the Lutheran confessions. It would be like me rejecting Presbyterianism because John Calvin once wrote a letter or pamphlet that contained objectionable ideas. Anyone who writes much will eventually evidence their sinful nature – thus my only posting twice rule.

    Fact #3 – Post 159 was funny. Nicely done.

  • Rob

    I really hesitate to respond here…and this will be my final post (I have a rule about not posting more than twice on any thread and only by not counting my short one to Bror am I allowing myself to do so).

    I apologize for writing it in a way that put words in your mouth (or keyboard). However, I reword my statement to say this: your views on baptism deny original sin, though I realize you have not stated this. I grew up as a Baptist, so I am sympathetic to your views, I simply no longer believe they fully explain Scripture’s teaching. If one has no need of baptism or salvation until an “Age of Accountability”, then Original Sin must not be serious enough to warrant punishment. It must only be sins that we knowingly and willingly commit that cause death. Either that or God saves them through some other means than Christ’s death and resurrection, which we join in through baptism (Romans 6). I simply cannot reconcile this with Scripture.

    A few facts, though – Fact #1: The Luther quote you have now used three times is not part of the Lutheran confessions. Perhaps it would be helpful if I explain that the phrase “Lutheran Confessions” is shorthand for those confessions contained in the Book of Concord, which includes works not only by Luther (Smalcald Articles, Small and Large Catechisms), but also by Melanchthon (Augsburg Confession and Apology, Treaty on the Power and Primacy of the Pope) and Chemnitz et al (Formula of Concord – Epitome and Solid Declaration), in addition to the ecumenical creeds (Apostles’, Nicene, and Athanasian). And regardless, the context and essence of the Luther quote is that salvation has no value for those who deny sin. Presumably you agree. In our post-modern world, a failure to acknowledge sin’s existence leads many to reject the Savior. Surely all Christians bemoan this fact, regardless of their views on baptism.

    Fact #2 – Luther’s views on Jews are not part of the Lutheran Confessions. I assume you are alluding to his 1543 treatise, On the Jews and Their Lies. But unless this writing is also held with his 1523 treatise in view (That Jesus Christ Was Born a Jew), I don’t think it’s a fair or full portrayal of his views. But again, these are his personal writings, and not part of the Lutheran confessions. It would be like me rejecting Presbyterianism because John Calvin once wrote a letter or pamphlet that contained objectionable ideas. Anyone who writes much will eventually evidence their sinful nature – thus my only posting twice rule.

    Fact #3 – Post 159 was funny. Nicely done.

  • Another Kerner

    Rob and Bror….

    As you say, confusing justification and sanctification means serious trouble. Thank you for drawing the distinctions….

    So, Grace, I’m still waiting for the answer….

    What is the first step in God’s plan of Redemption…. and who takes the first step….and when?

  • Another Kerner

    Rob and Bror….

    As you say, confusing justification and sanctification means serious trouble. Thank you for drawing the distinctions….

    So, Grace, I’m still waiting for the answer….

    What is the first step in God’s plan of Redemption…. and who takes the first step….and when?

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace,
    You haven’t studied Luther. You have read other peoples glosses on him and have not even tried to understand what he was saying.
    there are great little introductions to Luther’s Works, cheap and affordable. One might start with this one :http://www.amazon.com/Martin-Luther-Selections-His-Writings/dp/0385098766/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1284406181&sr=1-4

    and then if you want to know what Lutherans actually believe, which isn’t “everything Luther wrote” read the Book of Concord, or Veith’s “Spirituality of the Cross. “

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace,
    You haven’t studied Luther. You have read other peoples glosses on him and have not even tried to understand what he was saying.
    there are great little introductions to Luther’s Works, cheap and affordable. One might start with this one :http://www.amazon.com/Martin-Luther-Selections-His-Writings/dp/0385098766/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1284406181&sr=1-4

    and then if you want to know what Lutherans actually believe, which isn’t “everything Luther wrote” read the Book of Concord, or Veith’s “Spirituality of the Cross. “

  • Another Kerner

    Bror…

    Hopefully Grace will take the suggestions in your “reading list”.

    Way, way back at #101, Veith’s Book was suggested to her.

  • Another Kerner

    Bror…

    Hopefully Grace will take the suggestions in your “reading list”.

    Way, way back at #101, Veith’s Book was suggested to her.

  • Grace

    162 – Another Kerner

    When you acknowledge my comments – skipping over what I have already stated, doesn’t merit your request.

  • Grace

    162 – Another Kerner

    When you acknowledge my comments – skipping over what I have already stated, doesn’t merit your request.

  • Louis

    Grace – and you still ignore my question. I’m beginning to wonder why.

  • Louis

    Grace – and you still ignore my question. I’m beginning to wonder why.

  • Grace

    161 Rob

    – - “I grew up as a Baptist, so I am sympathetic to your views, I simply no longer believe they fully explain Scripture’s teaching. If one has no need of baptism or salvation until an “Age of Accountability”, then Original Sin must not be serious enough to warrant punishment. It must only be sins that we knowingly and willingly commit that cause death. Either that or God saves them through some other means than Christ’s death and resurrection, which we join in through baptism (Romans 6). I simply cannot reconcile this with Scripture.” – -

    I was not raised in the Baptist denomination. My beliefs don’t stem from any source but the Bible.

    Baptism of an infant doesn’t result in Salvation, there is NO PASSAGE of SCRIPTURE which substantiates your view. Salvation comes by:

    For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. 2 Corinthians 7:10

    Baptism doesn’t come before belief in Jesus or repentance.

    - – “A few facts, though – Fact #1: The Luther quote you have now used three times is not part of the Lutheran confessions.” – -

    Embarrassment, would be the logical answer to it being absent from the “Lutheran confessions” but then it is in Epistle of August 1, 1521 to Melanchthon (This translation is taken from the official Lutheran American Edition of his complete works, vol. 42, pp. 281-82:

    We could then say, that the book “On the Jews and Their Lies” can’t be found in the “Lutheran confessions” as well. It is dismissing what Luther wrote, or stated when it sheds the darkest light on his beliefs, just delete it, and if those who study find it, give it the old ” they haven’t studied it” routine.

    - – “Fact #2 – Luther’s views on Jews are not part of the Lutheran Confessions. I assume you are alluding to his 1543 treatise, On the Jews and Their Lies. But unless this writing is also held with his 1523 treatise in view (That Jesus Christ Was Born a Jew), I don’t think it’s a fair or full portrayal of his views. But again, these are his personal writings, and not part of the Lutheran confessions.” - –

    Luther had a lot of “personal writing” and views which are in the “Lutheran Confessions” – the book Luther wrote, and many of his thunderous outbursts cannot be found unless you study. Lutherans are very selective as to what they want ANYONE to know about Martin Luther.

  • Grace

    161 Rob

    – - “I grew up as a Baptist, so I am sympathetic to your views, I simply no longer believe they fully explain Scripture’s teaching. If one has no need of baptism or salvation until an “Age of Accountability”, then Original Sin must not be serious enough to warrant punishment. It must only be sins that we knowingly and willingly commit that cause death. Either that or God saves them through some other means than Christ’s death and resurrection, which we join in through baptism (Romans 6). I simply cannot reconcile this with Scripture.” – -

    I was not raised in the Baptist denomination. My beliefs don’t stem from any source but the Bible.

    Baptism of an infant doesn’t result in Salvation, there is NO PASSAGE of SCRIPTURE which substantiates your view. Salvation comes by:

    For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. 2 Corinthians 7:10

    Baptism doesn’t come before belief in Jesus or repentance.

    - – “A few facts, though – Fact #1: The Luther quote you have now used three times is not part of the Lutheran confessions.” – -

    Embarrassment, would be the logical answer to it being absent from the “Lutheran confessions” but then it is in Epistle of August 1, 1521 to Melanchthon (This translation is taken from the official Lutheran American Edition of his complete works, vol. 42, pp. 281-82:

    We could then say, that the book “On the Jews and Their Lies” can’t be found in the “Lutheran confessions” as well. It is dismissing what Luther wrote, or stated when it sheds the darkest light on his beliefs, just delete it, and if those who study find it, give it the old ” they haven’t studied it” routine.

    - – “Fact #2 – Luther’s views on Jews are not part of the Lutheran Confessions. I assume you are alluding to his 1543 treatise, On the Jews and Their Lies. But unless this writing is also held with his 1523 treatise in view (That Jesus Christ Was Born a Jew), I don’t think it’s a fair or full portrayal of his views. But again, these are his personal writings, and not part of the Lutheran confessions.” - –

    Luther had a lot of “personal writing” and views which are in the “Lutheran Confessions” – the book Luther wrote, and many of his thunderous outbursts cannot be found unless you study. Lutherans are very selective as to what they want ANYONE to know about Martin Luther.

  • Grace

    In the passage below, the eunuch requests to be baptized, but Philip asks the eunuch – “If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” – that is the key, Philip wanted to know that the eunuch actually believed. Faith first then baptism.

    34 And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man?
    35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.
    36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?
    37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
    38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.
    39 And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing. Acts 8

    The avowal of the Ethiopian must be understood as expressing simple reliance on Christ for salvation, and unreserved devotion to Him. Let us not be satisfied till we get faith, as the Ethiopian did, by diligent study of the Holy Scriptures, and the teaching of the Spirit of God; let us not be satisfied till we get it fixed as a principle in our hearts. As soon as he was baptized, the Spirit of God took Philip from him, so that he saw him no more; but this tended to confirm his faith.
    Matthew Henry

  • Grace

    In the passage below, the eunuch requests to be baptized, but Philip asks the eunuch – “If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” – that is the key, Philip wanted to know that the eunuch actually believed. Faith first then baptism.

    34 And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man?
    35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.
    36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?
    37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
    38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.
    39 And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing. Acts 8

    The avowal of the Ethiopian must be understood as expressing simple reliance on Christ for salvation, and unreserved devotion to Him. Let us not be satisfied till we get faith, as the Ethiopian did, by diligent study of the Holy Scriptures, and the teaching of the Spirit of God; let us not be satisfied till we get it fixed as a principle in our hearts. As soon as he was baptized, the Spirit of God took Philip from him, so that he saw him no more; but this tended to confirm his faith.
    Matthew Henry

  • Louis

    Maybe you cannot answer the question?

  • Louis

    Maybe you cannot answer the question?

  • Tom Hering

    “Faith first then baptism.” – Grace @ 168.

    You can have faith in your faith, Grace. I would rather trust the promises God made to me in my infant baptism

    “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” (Galatians 3:27.)

    “Suffer the little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not; for of such is the kingdom of God.” (Mark 10:14.)

    “The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even forever more.” (Psalm 121:8.)

    “For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed, but My kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of My peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee.” (Isaiah 54:10.)

    “And now, little children, abide in Him.” (1st John 2:28.)

    “Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones, for I say unto you, that in heaven their angels do always behold the face of My Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 18:10.)

    “For He shall give His angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.” (Psalm 91:11.)

    All of the above verses are from my Certificate of Baptism, dated May 30, 1954 (St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church). Thanks Mom, Dad, and Pastor Wunderlich!

  • Tom Hering

    “Faith first then baptism.” – Grace @ 168.

    You can have faith in your faith, Grace. I would rather trust the promises God made to me in my infant baptism

    “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” (Galatians 3:27.)

    “Suffer the little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not; for of such is the kingdom of God.” (Mark 10:14.)

    “The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even forever more.” (Psalm 121:8.)

    “For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed, but My kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of My peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee.” (Isaiah 54:10.)

    “And now, little children, abide in Him.” (1st John 2:28.)

    “Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones, for I say unto you, that in heaven their angels do always behold the face of My Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 18:10.)

    “For He shall give His angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.” (Psalm 91:11.)

    All of the above verses are from my Certificate of Baptism, dated May 30, 1954 (St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church). Thanks Mom, Dad, and Pastor Wunderlich!

  • Grace

    170 – Tom

    God the Son did not speak of infant baptism.

    Jesus did say:

    Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones, for I say unto you, that in heaven their angels do always behold the face of My Father which is in heaven.
    Matthew 18:10

    (No one has stated they “despise” any infant or child because there is no Scripture which states infants to be baptized.)

    13 And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them.

    14 But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.

    15 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein. 16 And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them. Mark 10

    Again Tom, this has nothing to do with Baptism

    For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed, but My kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of My peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee. Isaiah 54:10

    (Again, this passage has nothing to do with infant Baptism

    Tom you are quoting Scripture which has nothing to do with infant baptism, no matter who wrote it on your certificate. Your parents, nor any parents can guarantee their infants Salvation through infant baptism, it is no where to be found in the Bible.

  • Grace

    170 – Tom

    God the Son did not speak of infant baptism.

    Jesus did say:

    Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones, for I say unto you, that in heaven their angels do always behold the face of My Father which is in heaven.
    Matthew 18:10

    (No one has stated they “despise” any infant or child because there is no Scripture which states infants to be baptized.)

    13 And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them.

    14 But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.

    15 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein. 16 And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them. Mark 10

    Again Tom, this has nothing to do with Baptism

    For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed, but My kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of My peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee. Isaiah 54:10

    (Again, this passage has nothing to do with infant Baptism

    Tom you are quoting Scripture which has nothing to do with infant baptism, no matter who wrote it on your certificate. Your parents, nor any parents can guarantee their infants Salvation through infant baptism, it is no where to be found in the Bible.

  • Grace

    Tom,

    I have searched the Scriptures for a very long time for many so called doctrines, many times they have been correct, however sadly, there has been no foundation for the belief that was widely held – infant baptism to be one of them.

    It would be wonderful if Christian parents could baptize their infants, knowing that they were secure in their Salvation, but there is no proof of it in the Bible – it is a ‘tradition’ within some denominations, but ‘tradition’ does not take the place or trump God’s Word.

  • Grace

    Tom,

    I have searched the Scriptures for a very long time for many so called doctrines, many times they have been correct, however sadly, there has been no foundation for the belief that was widely held – infant baptism to be one of them.

    It would be wonderful if Christian parents could baptize their infants, knowing that they were secure in their Salvation, but there is no proof of it in the Bible – it is a ‘tradition’ within some denominations, but ‘tradition’ does not take the place or trump God’s Word.

  • Tom Hering

    Grace, my parents didn’t guarantee my infant baptism. God did. Don’t you see how my infant baptism was connected with the promises of God’s Word? How it was obedient to God’s Word? Just because I wasn’t aware of those promises until later in my life, doesn’t make God’s promises of no effect. But then, you want me to instead have faith in my faith – just like you.

    I forgive you for trying to make me doubt what God did for me as an infant – for unwittingly doing the Devil’s work.

    By the way, I noticed that one verse you avoided dealing with was Galatians 3:27, “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” Why is that?

  • Tom Hering

    Grace, my parents didn’t guarantee my infant baptism. God did. Don’t you see how my infant baptism was connected with the promises of God’s Word? How it was obedient to God’s Word? Just because I wasn’t aware of those promises until later in my life, doesn’t make God’s promises of no effect. But then, you want me to instead have faith in my faith – just like you.

    I forgive you for trying to make me doubt what God did for me as an infant – for unwittingly doing the Devil’s work.

    By the way, I noticed that one verse you avoided dealing with was Galatians 3:27, “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” Why is that?

  • Tom Hering

    Why do you make Faith a subcategory of the Law, Grace?

  • Tom Hering

    Why do you make Faith a subcategory of the Law, Grace?

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    I wonder how a child has the kingdom of God without having faith?

    I mean it is interesting Grace, you say faith has to come before baptism, but then you gloss over the verses that say these children have faith, so you don’t have to baptize them.

    You say it would be wonderful if parents could baptize their kids and be assured of their salvation. It is wonderful. God thought so too, which is why he gave baptism, so we wouldn’t have to rely on subjective feelings. We could say, I’ve been baptized. He has been baptized. Baptized, always in the passive somehow, as if someone else was doing the work. Someone like God. And then He makes Peter expressly extend the promises attached to baptism to children, Acts 2:38-39. Scandalous.
    or as he says in Mark 10, we ought to be receiving the kingdom of God like “little Children” those you think are incapable of faith, and Jesus seems to think the exact opposite.
    Grace if you are really interested in researching What Scripture really does have to say about infant baptism, and why it is not just a tradition, but a Biblical doctrine, then you should read “Scriptural Baptism” Here is the link http://www.amazon.com/Scriptural-Baptism-Between-Bapstead-Childfont/dp/1592442498/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1284417927&sr=8-1

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    I wonder how a child has the kingdom of God without having faith?

    I mean it is interesting Grace, you say faith has to come before baptism, but then you gloss over the verses that say these children have faith, so you don’t have to baptize them.

    You say it would be wonderful if parents could baptize their kids and be assured of their salvation. It is wonderful. God thought so too, which is why he gave baptism, so we wouldn’t have to rely on subjective feelings. We could say, I’ve been baptized. He has been baptized. Baptized, always in the passive somehow, as if someone else was doing the work. Someone like God. And then He makes Peter expressly extend the promises attached to baptism to children, Acts 2:38-39. Scandalous.
    or as he says in Mark 10, we ought to be receiving the kingdom of God like “little Children” those you think are incapable of faith, and Jesus seems to think the exact opposite.
    Grace if you are really interested in researching What Scripture really does have to say about infant baptism, and why it is not just a tradition, but a Biblical doctrine, then you should read “Scriptural Baptism” Here is the link http://www.amazon.com/Scriptural-Baptism-Between-Bapstead-Childfont/dp/1592442498/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1284417927&sr=8-1

  • Grace

    173 – Tom

    For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

    For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. Galatians 3:26-27

    Tom, an infant doesn’t have the ability to believe and have faith, even if his parents believe. The passage you quoted doesn’t correspond to infant baptism.

    “The great design of the law was, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ, might be given to those that believe; that, being convinced of their guilt, and the insufficiency of the law to effect a righteousness for them, they might be persuaded to believe on Christ, and so obtain the benefit of the promise.” Matthew Henry

  • Grace

    173 – Tom

    For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

    For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. Galatians 3:26-27

    Tom, an infant doesn’t have the ability to believe and have faith, even if his parents believe. The passage you quoted doesn’t correspond to infant baptism.

    “The great design of the law was, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ, might be given to those that believe; that, being convinced of their guilt, and the insufficiency of the law to effect a righteousness for them, they might be persuaded to believe on Christ, and so obtain the benefit of the promise.” Matthew Henry

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    I dare say Matthew Henry was a man…
    whats the problem Grace, I can think of a few passages that attribute salvation to faith, without quoting a man. But I’m failing to see the one that says children can’t believe.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    I dare say Matthew Henry was a man…
    whats the problem Grace, I can think of a few passages that attribute salvation to faith, without quoting a man. But I’m failing to see the one that says children can’t believe.

  • Tom Hering

    Grace, let’s put aside the question of whether or not an infant can think well enough to believe. Can an infant feel? Can an infant love? Can an infant love God? I would say even an unborn baby (like John the Baptist) can do this. Now, does an unborn baby have original sin (like David)? What then should we do?

  • Tom Hering

    Grace, let’s put aside the question of whether or not an infant can think well enough to believe. Can an infant feel? Can an infant love? Can an infant love God? I would say even an unborn baby (like John the Baptist) can do this. Now, does an unborn baby have original sin (like David)? What then should we do?

  • kerner

    Grace:

    There are virtually no scripture verses that say infants should be baptized. There are also none that say that there is some minimum age that must be reached before one can be baptized. If there were a verse directly on point, Christians who accept the Bible as authoritative wouldn’t have discussions like these.

    We begin with the verses that describe what baptism does:

    Baptism washes away sins, Acts 22:12-16. Notice that St. Paul is not quized about whether he believes or not. He is directed to be baptized and wash away his sins.

    Baptism brings us into the Body of Christ by the working of the Holy Spirit, I Corinthians 12:12-13.

    Baptism clothes us in Christ, Galatians 3:27.

    Baptism unites us with the death, burial and resurection of Jesus Christ, Romans 6:3-4. Colossians 2:12

    And, every Lutheran’s favorite, Baptism SAVES us, IPeter 3:20-22.

    From all of these passages, and others, Lutherans conclude that Baptism is not an empty ceremony that comes after faith, it is part of the process by which the Holy Spirit gives us faith.

    We also know from Scripture that infants can be saved. But we also know that justification, and therefore salvation, is by faith alone. You have said many times that no one can be saved without faith. So, if infants can be saved, it must be possible for them to have faith. But if infants can not intellectually understand and confess complex ideas, faith must be something that can be acquired without that ability. So all your verses that talk about confessing faith in words must be about the fruits of faith, not prerequisites.

    Many other comments have cited Christ’s statement that little children are “of the kingdom of Heaven” But the Old Testiment also states that infants can trust in God (have faith) when they are nursing infants, Psalm 22:9

    Finally, we are commanded to Baptize and teach all nations.

    So, if Baptism is part of the Great Commission, and if Baptism is part of the process through which the Holy Spirit gives faith to believers, and if infants can have saving faith, then we conclude that infants should be baptized so the Holy Spirit can work in their hearts, bring them into the Body of Christ, clothe them in Christ, bring them into Christ’s death burial and resurection, and, yes, save them. They may harden their hearts against the Holy Spirit later, but we also teach them the law and the Gospel in the hope that they don’t.

  • kerner

    Grace:

    There are virtually no scripture verses that say infants should be baptized. There are also none that say that there is some minimum age that must be reached before one can be baptized. If there were a verse directly on point, Christians who accept the Bible as authoritative wouldn’t have discussions like these.

    We begin with the verses that describe what baptism does:

    Baptism washes away sins, Acts 22:12-16. Notice that St. Paul is not quized about whether he believes or not. He is directed to be baptized and wash away his sins.

    Baptism brings us into the Body of Christ by the working of the Holy Spirit, I Corinthians 12:12-13.

    Baptism clothes us in Christ, Galatians 3:27.

    Baptism unites us with the death, burial and resurection of Jesus Christ, Romans 6:3-4. Colossians 2:12

    And, every Lutheran’s favorite, Baptism SAVES us, IPeter 3:20-22.

    From all of these passages, and others, Lutherans conclude that Baptism is not an empty ceremony that comes after faith, it is part of the process by which the Holy Spirit gives us faith.

    We also know from Scripture that infants can be saved. But we also know that justification, and therefore salvation, is by faith alone. You have said many times that no one can be saved without faith. So, if infants can be saved, it must be possible for them to have faith. But if infants can not intellectually understand and confess complex ideas, faith must be something that can be acquired without that ability. So all your verses that talk about confessing faith in words must be about the fruits of faith, not prerequisites.

    Many other comments have cited Christ’s statement that little children are “of the kingdom of Heaven” But the Old Testiment also states that infants can trust in God (have faith) when they are nursing infants, Psalm 22:9

    Finally, we are commanded to Baptize and teach all nations.

    So, if Baptism is part of the Great Commission, and if Baptism is part of the process through which the Holy Spirit gives faith to believers, and if infants can have saving faith, then we conclude that infants should be baptized so the Holy Spirit can work in their hearts, bring them into the Body of Christ, clothe them in Christ, bring them into Christ’s death burial and resurection, and, yes, save them. They may harden their hearts against the Holy Spirit later, but we also teach them the law and the Gospel in the hope that they don’t.

  • Grace

    Tom,

    John the Baptist – He was filled with the Holy Ghost from his mothers womb, that has nothing to do with infant baptism. His mother was Elisabeth, Mary the mother of Jesus cousin. John was set apart, the angel came to Zacharias telling him of the child his wife would have, and the name that should be given him.

    13 But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.

    14 And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth.

    15 For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb.

    16 And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. Luke 1

    (Same chapter)

    34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?

    35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

    36 And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. Luke 1

  • Grace

    Tom,

    John the Baptist – He was filled with the Holy Ghost from his mothers womb, that has nothing to do with infant baptism. His mother was Elisabeth, Mary the mother of Jesus cousin. John was set apart, the angel came to Zacharias telling him of the child his wife would have, and the name that should be given him.

    13 But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.

    14 And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth.

    15 For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb.

    16 And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. Luke 1

    (Same chapter)

    34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?

    35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

    36 And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. Luke 1

  • http://concordiaandkoinonia.wordpress.com/ Rev. Schroeder

    Indeed: Did the word reach John the Baptist even in the womb? Can the Word of God reach even a pre-born child’s ears? “For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.” For joy, no less! Just think: so-called fetal tissue leaping for joy! The baby knew joy in the Lord’s presence. If a babe in the womb can not hear the Word of God, then why did I speak to wife’s belly? Was I being foolish? When our children were born, did we not speak God’s Word to them and tell them we loved them? Should we have waited till they could make choice for our love? If someone is hungering and thirsting, and we put bread in front of them, will they not eat? Do I have to say, “Do you really want it,so make a decision?” Our children had no choice for my love, this frail father loved and loves his children, and even and ever more so our Father in heaven love us? Are we to put any hindrance to a child, a babe, indeed, any child, any infant…any adult, to come to Jesus? We prayed with our children at table and my Wife read to them Scripture from the beginning. Was that a futile exercise? Or should we have said, we’ll teach you the Bible when you really need it? Could I, as a father, withhold food, bread, the Word, water, the water of regeneration, from our children? Indeed, this is the Lord Who knows us full well even in our mother’s womb: Psalm 139. Do we not worship God Almighty? Can not God Almighty save an infant because of His Son? Is faith only “I believe that” but also “I believe in”? As in trust? As my children trusted their mother from the first second of life? Indeed,

    “He trusts in the LORD; let him
    deliver him; let him rescue him, for he delights in him!”
    Yet you are he who took me from the womb;
    you made me trust you at my mother’s breasts.
    On you was I cast from my birth,
    and from my mother’s womb you have been my God. (Psalm 22: 18–22).

    We are to receive the Kingdom as a child and so would that not mean that an adult when baptized is baptized as a child, a babe? In Acts were not whole households baptized and were they ever quized on their faith or repentance or even their creedal understanding by the Apostle?Were not the whole households, which would mean slaves, servants and infants, baptized?
    Did not our Lord say to make disciples of all nations, baptizing them,which means ALL nations, adult and infant? If He only meant that adults could be disciples, wouldn’t He have commanded, ‘make disciples of all ADULTS’, thus specifying His target audience? Wasn’t His target audience, all, all sinners, for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God? From the 1st second of life to the last breath.

  • http://concordiaandkoinonia.wordpress.com/ Rev. Schroeder

    Indeed: Did the word reach John the Baptist even in the womb? Can the Word of God reach even a pre-born child’s ears? “For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.” For joy, no less! Just think: so-called fetal tissue leaping for joy! The baby knew joy in the Lord’s presence. If a babe in the womb can not hear the Word of God, then why did I speak to wife’s belly? Was I being foolish? When our children were born, did we not speak God’s Word to them and tell them we loved them? Should we have waited till they could make choice for our love? If someone is hungering and thirsting, and we put bread in front of them, will they not eat? Do I have to say, “Do you really want it,so make a decision?” Our children had no choice for my love, this frail father loved and loves his children, and even and ever more so our Father in heaven love us? Are we to put any hindrance to a child, a babe, indeed, any child, any infant…any adult, to come to Jesus? We prayed with our children at table and my Wife read to them Scripture from the beginning. Was that a futile exercise? Or should we have said, we’ll teach you the Bible when you really need it? Could I, as a father, withhold food, bread, the Word, water, the water of regeneration, from our children? Indeed, this is the Lord Who knows us full well even in our mother’s womb: Psalm 139. Do we not worship God Almighty? Can not God Almighty save an infant because of His Son? Is faith only “I believe that” but also “I believe in”? As in trust? As my children trusted their mother from the first second of life? Indeed,

    “He trusts in the LORD; let him
    deliver him; let him rescue him, for he delights in him!”
    Yet you are he who took me from the womb;
    you made me trust you at my mother’s breasts.
    On you was I cast from my birth,
    and from my mother’s womb you have been my God. (Psalm 22: 18–22).

    We are to receive the Kingdom as a child and so would that not mean that an adult when baptized is baptized as a child, a babe? In Acts were not whole households baptized and were they ever quized on their faith or repentance or even their creedal understanding by the Apostle?Were not the whole households, which would mean slaves, servants and infants, baptized?
    Did not our Lord say to make disciples of all nations, baptizing them,which means ALL nations, adult and infant? If He only meant that adults could be disciples, wouldn’t He have commanded, ‘make disciples of all ADULTS’, thus specifying His target audience? Wasn’t His target audience, all, all sinners, for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God? From the 1st second of life to the last breath.

  • Grace

    179 Kerner – “Baptism washes away sins, Acts 22:12-16. Notice that St. Paul is not quized about whether he believes or not. He is directed to be baptized and wash away his sins.” – -

    Kerner – There would be no reason to to question Paul after they knew he had been chosen. Saul/Paul understood on the Damascus road who Jesus was, …. He told him – Saul then asked “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.” Of course he became baptized. The point being, Saul already believed.

    1 And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest,

    2 And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.

    3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:

    4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?

    5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.

    6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. Acts 9

  • Grace

    179 Kerner – “Baptism washes away sins, Acts 22:12-16. Notice that St. Paul is not quized about whether he believes or not. He is directed to be baptized and wash away his sins.” – -

    Kerner – There would be no reason to to question Paul after they knew he had been chosen. Saul/Paul understood on the Damascus road who Jesus was, …. He told him – Saul then asked “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.” Of course he became baptized. The point being, Saul already believed.

    1 And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest,

    2 And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.

    3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:

    4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?

    5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.

    6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. Acts 9

  • Grace

    - 181 – Rev. Schroeder – “We are to receive the Kingdom as a child and so would that not mean that an adult when baptized is baptized as a child, a babe? In Acts were not whole households baptized and were they ever quized on their faith or repentance or even their creedal understanding by the Apostle?Were not the whole households, which would mean slaves, servants and infants, baptized?” – -

    They were told to – - “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. ”

    28But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here.

    29Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas,

    30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?

    31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

    32 And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.

    33 And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.

    34 And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house. Acts 16

    The people in that house all believed, they had the ability to understand what being saved meant. They believed and were baptized.

  • Grace

    - 181 – Rev. Schroeder – “We are to receive the Kingdom as a child and so would that not mean that an adult when baptized is baptized as a child, a babe? In Acts were not whole households baptized and were they ever quized on their faith or repentance or even their creedal understanding by the Apostle?Were not the whole households, which would mean slaves, servants and infants, baptized?” – -

    They were told to – - “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. ”

    28But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here.

    29Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas,

    30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?

    31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

    32 And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.

    33 And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.

    34 And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house. Acts 16

    The people in that house all believed, they had the ability to understand what being saved meant. They believed and were baptized.

  • Grace

    - 181 – Rev. Schroeder

    Go back and read post 168

    36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?

    37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Acts 8

    IF he Believed !!!!!

  • Grace

    - 181 – Rev. Schroeder

    Go back and read post 168

    36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?

    37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Acts 8

    IF he Believed !!!!!

  • Louis

    Grace: Can you answer the question? Or are you to scared to do so?

  • Louis

    Grace: Can you answer the question? Or are you to scared to do so?

  • Tom Hering

    Louis, she won’t. I suspect she thinks all our questions are trick questions meant to trap her.

  • Tom Hering

    Louis, she won’t. I suspect she thinks all our questions are trick questions meant to trap her.

  • Grace

    186 – Tom – “Louis, she won’t. I suspect she thinks all our questions are trick questions meant to trap her.”

    Your remark is disingenuous, I have answered many of your questions.

  • Grace

    186 – Tom – “Louis, she won’t. I suspect she thinks all our questions are trick questions meant to trap her.”

    Your remark is disingenuous, I have answered many of your questions.

  • Tom Hering

    Grace, you’re right. I’ll change my remark from “all our questions” to “some of our questions.”

  • Tom Hering

    Grace, you’re right. I’ll change my remark from “all our questions” to “some of our questions.”

  • Louis

    Grace?

  • Louis

    Grace?

  • Grace

    Tom – 188

    How many “our” are there? – are there more than one of YOU? – if so, the “our” would explain the dilemma you find yourself in. You are just one person on this blog? – if not, what size socks do you wear?

  • Grace

    Tom – 188

    How many “our” are there? – are there more than one of YOU? – if so, the “our” would explain the dilemma you find yourself in. You are just one person on this blog? – if not, what size socks do you wear?

  • ignorant fisherman

    Well, my wife and I must really be blowing it.

    We infant baptized our 7 kids, then we taught them all to say “I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ my Lord or come to Him…” We thought they were part of what the Bible called “all nations” that we were supposed to baptize.
    We didnt think an infant had any more ability to believe than we did.

    It’s funny, but not being able to “believe” seems to bring about some real peace.

    But since I hardly ever post anything, I would like to express a sincere debt of gratitude to Professor Veith particularly for his work regarding vocation, and to the two Lutheran theologians mentioned in post#79, Gerhard Forde and James Nestingen,”God has made a decision about you.”

    In fact, my kids and I are so ignorant, we need baptized every day.

  • ignorant fisherman

    Well, my wife and I must really be blowing it.

    We infant baptized our 7 kids, then we taught them all to say “I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ my Lord or come to Him…” We thought they were part of what the Bible called “all nations” that we were supposed to baptize.
    We didnt think an infant had any more ability to believe than we did.

    It’s funny, but not being able to “believe” seems to bring about some real peace.

    But since I hardly ever post anything, I would like to express a sincere debt of gratitude to Professor Veith particularly for his work regarding vocation, and to the two Lutheran theologians mentioned in post#79, Gerhard Forde and James Nestingen,”God has made a decision about you.”

    In fact, my kids and I are so ignorant, we need baptized every day.

  • ignorant fisherman

    (incidently its not 2:30 am here, i am on the west coast)

  • ignorant fisherman

    (incidently its not 2:30 am here, i am on the west coast)

  • kerner

    Grace @183

    “The people in that house all believed. They had the ability to understand what faith meant. They believed and were baptized.”

    Actually, Acts 9 doesn’t say that. You don’t know the ages of the jailer’s household from this passage. Chronologically, in the passage itself, it first mentions the baptism of the household in verse 33, but it doesn’t say that the household members “believed” until verse 34. So, maybe they were baptized and then believed. You only infer that they believed first because it is your tradition that they have to.

    The passage does say that Paul and Silas “spake the Word” to all in the house in verse 32. But, while the jailer had witnessed a miracle, his household had not. The passage indicates that all this happened without delay (“straightway”, “that same hour”). No lenghty period of question and answer, no pondering, no prerequisites or age requirements for any little ones in the house. In Baptism, now as then, the Word is spoken, water is applied, and the one baptized becomes a believer. Certainly anyone who does REJECTS the Word will not receive the Holy Spirit in Baptism, nor will he believe.

    The essense of your argument is that little ones cannot intellectually understand the Word, therefore they cannot “believe” or “have faith”. And yet you, in utter contradiction of your other statements, claim that children can be saved without “faith”.

    Our position is that faith is not a function of the ability to intellectually understand nor is it something that an individual obtains by a decision or act of the will. Faith comes is response to God’s Word, and God’s Word works independent of our intellect and will. This particularly applies to infants because their intellect and will are undeveloped.

    All the verses I cited above say that baptism is a means through which God works to bring us into Christ, wash our sins away, bring us into the death, bruial and resurection of Christ, clothe us in Christ, and SAVE US.

    In the great commission we are commanded to baptize and teach the Word (in Matthew 28:19-20, the command to baptize comes before the command to teach, but I do not believe that we have to do one or the other first in every case). Those who can be taught, we teach. Those who can be baptized (anyone who doesn’t reject it, including infants) we baptize. And we have faith in God’s Word that says the Holy Spirit will use these things (baptism and teaching the Word) to change people’s hearts.

  • kerner

    Grace @183

    “The people in that house all believed. They had the ability to understand what faith meant. They believed and were baptized.”

    Actually, Acts 9 doesn’t say that. You don’t know the ages of the jailer’s household from this passage. Chronologically, in the passage itself, it first mentions the baptism of the household in verse 33, but it doesn’t say that the household members “believed” until verse 34. So, maybe they were baptized and then believed. You only infer that they believed first because it is your tradition that they have to.

    The passage does say that Paul and Silas “spake the Word” to all in the house in verse 32. But, while the jailer had witnessed a miracle, his household had not. The passage indicates that all this happened without delay (“straightway”, “that same hour”). No lenghty period of question and answer, no pondering, no prerequisites or age requirements for any little ones in the house. In Baptism, now as then, the Word is spoken, water is applied, and the one baptized becomes a believer. Certainly anyone who does REJECTS the Word will not receive the Holy Spirit in Baptism, nor will he believe.

    The essense of your argument is that little ones cannot intellectually understand the Word, therefore they cannot “believe” or “have faith”. And yet you, in utter contradiction of your other statements, claim that children can be saved without “faith”.

    Our position is that faith is not a function of the ability to intellectually understand nor is it something that an individual obtains by a decision or act of the will. Faith comes is response to God’s Word, and God’s Word works independent of our intellect and will. This particularly applies to infants because their intellect and will are undeveloped.

    All the verses I cited above say that baptism is a means through which God works to bring us into Christ, wash our sins away, bring us into the death, bruial and resurection of Christ, clothe us in Christ, and SAVE US.

    In the great commission we are commanded to baptize and teach the Word (in Matthew 28:19-20, the command to baptize comes before the command to teach, but I do not believe that we have to do one or the other first in every case). Those who can be taught, we teach. Those who can be baptized (anyone who doesn’t reject it, including infants) we baptize. And we have faith in God’s Word that says the Holy Spirit will use these things (baptism and teaching the Word) to change people’s hearts.

  • Tom Hering

    “How many “our” are there? – are there more than one of YOU? – if so, the “our” would explain the dilemma you find yourself in. You are just one person on this blog? – if not, what size socks do you wear?” – Grace @ 190.

    We wear size 12.

  • Tom Hering

    “How many “our” are there? – are there more than one of YOU? – if so, the “our” would explain the dilemma you find yourself in. You are just one person on this blog? – if not, what size socks do you wear?” – Grace @ 190.

    We wear size 12.

  • Grace

    193 – Kerner – “The passage does say that Paul and Silas “spake the Word” to all in the house in verse 32. But, while the jailer had witnessed a miracle, his household had not. The passage indicates that all this happened without delay (“straightway”, “that same hour”). No lenghty period of question and answer, no pondering, no prerequisites or age requirements for any little ones in the house.”

    30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?

    31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

    (Very important passage “Believe” that is the key, again an infant doesn’t have the capacity to believe)

    32 And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.

    (“all that were in his house” – this means “all” – that doesn’t mean infants were baptized. Young children are able to have faith and believe, ….. I did as a child.)

    33 And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.

    (The believed – they were baptized – people do believe and have faith in Christ without hesitation, that includes children, … infants don’t have that ability – again the passage does not say infants.)

    And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house.
    Acts 16:34

    The people in that house all believed, they had the ability to understand what being saved meant. They believed and were baptized.

    - – “The essense of your argument is that little ones cannot intellectually understand the Word, therefore they cannot “believe” or “have faith”. And yet you, in utter contradiction of your other statements, claim that children can be saved without “faith”.” – -

    Kerner, don’t put words in my mouth, …. “children can be saved without “faith” - I have never said that. I believed and had faith as a child, and so have other children had faith and believed at young ages, infants don’t have the ability.

  • Grace

    193 – Kerner – “The passage does say that Paul and Silas “spake the Word” to all in the house in verse 32. But, while the jailer had witnessed a miracle, his household had not. The passage indicates that all this happened without delay (“straightway”, “that same hour”). No lenghty period of question and answer, no pondering, no prerequisites or age requirements for any little ones in the house.”

    30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?

    31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

    (Very important passage “Believe” that is the key, again an infant doesn’t have the capacity to believe)

    32 And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.

    (“all that were in his house” – this means “all” – that doesn’t mean infants were baptized. Young children are able to have faith and believe, ….. I did as a child.)

    33 And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.

    (The believed – they were baptized – people do believe and have faith in Christ without hesitation, that includes children, … infants don’t have that ability – again the passage does not say infants.)

    And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house.
    Acts 16:34

    The people in that house all believed, they had the ability to understand what being saved meant. They believed and were baptized.

    - – “The essense of your argument is that little ones cannot intellectually understand the Word, therefore they cannot “believe” or “have faith”. And yet you, in utter contradiction of your other statements, claim that children can be saved without “faith”.” – -

    Kerner, don’t put words in my mouth, …. “children can be saved without “faith” - I have never said that. I believed and had faith as a child, and so have other children had faith and believed at young ages, infants don’t have the ability.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    In view of Grace’s constant barrage that “infants can’t believe, or have faith” and her refusal to look up Bible passages, engage louis and I in conversation by answering our questions etc. Would someone please enlighten her that she is at odd with Jesus on this one given this passage : Mark 9:42 (ESV)
    “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea. ”
    Jesus knew the little ones, infants, believed, even as they confessed his presence in the Temple. They can and do believe.
    All one has to do here. Is copy and paste this verse in a comment addressed to the girl ironically named Grace. you might even highlight or capitalize, LITTLE ONES WHO BELIEVE IN ME.
    I do think baptists, which Grace is one with a small b if not capital B, would do better to start reading their Bibles rather than sitting around talking about how inerrant it is.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    In view of Grace’s constant barrage that “infants can’t believe, or have faith” and her refusal to look up Bible passages, engage louis and I in conversation by answering our questions etc. Would someone please enlighten her that she is at odd with Jesus on this one given this passage : Mark 9:42 (ESV)
    “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea. ”
    Jesus knew the little ones, infants, believed, even as they confessed his presence in the Temple. They can and do believe.
    All one has to do here. Is copy and paste this verse in a comment addressed to the girl ironically named Grace. you might even highlight or capitalize, LITTLE ONES WHO BELIEVE IN ME.
    I do think baptists, which Grace is one with a small b if not capital B, would do better to start reading their Bibles rather than sitting around talking about how inerrant it is.

  • kerner

    Ok Grace, I didn’t mean to put words in your mouth. When I said “children” I meant infants, toddlers, the pre-verbal children.

    You say that infants don’t have that ability, which I assume means that they don’t have the ability to “believe” and “have faith”. (correct me if I misinterpret you).

    But you have also said that infants are “saved”. If INFANTS don’t have the ability to “believe” or “have faith”, and if believing and having faith is a precondition for salvation, then how can infants be saved?

  • kerner

    Ok Grace, I didn’t mean to put words in your mouth. When I said “children” I meant infants, toddlers, the pre-verbal children.

    You say that infants don’t have that ability, which I assume means that they don’t have the ability to “believe” and “have faith”. (correct me if I misinterpret you).

    But you have also said that infants are “saved”. If INFANTS don’t have the ability to “believe” or “have faith”, and if believing and having faith is a precondition for salvation, then how can infants be saved?

  • Louis

    Also, Bror, I find it quite frustrating when she cannot/will not follow the arguments, in addition to NOT ANSWERING MY SIMPLE QUESTION!

    Way back, we showed Grace that some of her beliefs imply semi-Pelagianism. However, she denied that she deny original sin, yet she did not show how her belief corresponds with that denial. now, I am not claiming she is heretical, but that her beliefs imply such heresy, and that she is seemingly unaware of it. It would be great if she would interact with the argument, instead of just “prooftexting”, which, btw, shows very bad form in a discussion.

  • Louis

    Also, Bror, I find it quite frustrating when she cannot/will not follow the arguments, in addition to NOT ANSWERING MY SIMPLE QUESTION!

    Way back, we showed Grace that some of her beliefs imply semi-Pelagianism. However, she denied that she deny original sin, yet she did not show how her belief corresponds with that denial. now, I am not claiming she is heretical, but that her beliefs imply such heresy, and that she is seemingly unaware of it. It would be great if she would interact with the argument, instead of just “prooftexting”, which, btw, shows very bad form in a discussion.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Yes Louis, very frustrating, childish even.
    The prooftexting I don’t mind, so much. It is her refusal to talk about the texts after citing them, or acknowledge another text, and its implications for the interpretation of the text she cites.
    But she is flat out wrong, and un-Biblical in her statement that infants can’t believe. And whereas I at onetime would have given her a pass for just being unaware her stubborn insistence despite the clear words of scripture is tying a millstone around her neck.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Yes Louis, very frustrating, childish even.
    The prooftexting I don’t mind, so much. It is her refusal to talk about the texts after citing them, or acknowledge another text, and its implications for the interpretation of the text she cites.
    But she is flat out wrong, and un-Biblical in her statement that infants can’t believe. And whereas I at onetime would have given her a pass for just being unaware her stubborn insistence despite the clear words of scripture is tying a millstone around her neck.

  • bernardrubbel

    It would seem that what this really boils down to is choice theology, since Grace argues above that “understanding” and believing must come before baptism. This is abhorrent to me, since the making of that choice not only requires us to be able to overcome our unceasing compulsion for sin, but is also completely at odds with scripture. And where, pray tell, does the Word state that we must have an ability to “understand”, with regard to it being the impetus for faith?

    Kerner is right. In Acts 16, believing comes after baptism. But no matter. The focus must be that God does it all. If he were to leave it up to us to “understand”, we’d all reject, 100% of the time. It is all we know how to do in our sinful condition.

    Arguments can go on and on, but the Word says it best (with my sin stained comments in parentheses):

    – Romans 9 16It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. (We do not make a choice through our own effort by first “understanding”)

    – John 15 16You did not choose me, but I chose you (We have been elected and predestined. God overcomes our sinful desire to reject, through the work of the Holy Spirit, because He will not let us go, and indeed, if he left it up to us, we would choose to go)

    – John 3 8The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” (God is in control through the working of the Holy Spirit. It ain’t in our hands. He can bring faith upon whomever He chooses, whenever He chooses, even an infant. To deny that is to deny His power. )

    - John 36But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. 37All that the Father gives me will come to me (Many actually saw Jesus in the flesh and still did not believe. So what would make any of us so pretentious to think that we can “understand” what they couldn’t?)

    - Ephesians 1 4For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5he[c] predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will (Once again, it is all God’s work)

    - – John 14 16And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever— 17the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. (sinful humans cannot accept the Spirit. It is God’s work, and since it is, He can bring it to infants)

    ………….and even a bit of Old Testament truth
    -Ezekiel 37 11 Then he said to me: “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.’ 12 Therefore prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: O my people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. 13 Then you, my people, will know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. 14 I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the LORD have spoken, and I have done it, declares the LORD.’ ” (He puts His Spirit in us. “I have done it, declares the LORD” – AMEN. Awesome stuff!)

    So in the end, since God does it all, there just ain’t any justification (no pun intended) for the belief that we need to “understand” before God can bring his faith upon us. He does it all. Lived a perfect life, died a horrible death to wash away our sins, rose to defeat death, and sends His Holy Spirit to work faith in our hearts. After all that, to think that he would leave “understanding” to us, is pure folly.

  • bernardrubbel

    It would seem that what this really boils down to is choice theology, since Grace argues above that “understanding” and believing must come before baptism. This is abhorrent to me, since the making of that choice not only requires us to be able to overcome our unceasing compulsion for sin, but is also completely at odds with scripture. And where, pray tell, does the Word state that we must have an ability to “understand”, with regard to it being the impetus for faith?

    Kerner is right. In Acts 16, believing comes after baptism. But no matter. The focus must be that God does it all. If he were to leave it up to us to “understand”, we’d all reject, 100% of the time. It is all we know how to do in our sinful condition.

    Arguments can go on and on, but the Word says it best (with my sin stained comments in parentheses):

    – Romans 9 16It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. (We do not make a choice through our own effort by first “understanding”)

    – John 15 16You did not choose me, but I chose you (We have been elected and predestined. God overcomes our sinful desire to reject, through the work of the Holy Spirit, because He will not let us go, and indeed, if he left it up to us, we would choose to go)

    – John 3 8The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” (God is in control through the working of the Holy Spirit. It ain’t in our hands. He can bring faith upon whomever He chooses, whenever He chooses, even an infant. To deny that is to deny His power. )

    - John 36But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. 37All that the Father gives me will come to me (Many actually saw Jesus in the flesh and still did not believe. So what would make any of us so pretentious to think that we can “understand” what they couldn’t?)

    - Ephesians 1 4For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5he[c] predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will (Once again, it is all God’s work)

    - – John 14 16And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever— 17the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. (sinful humans cannot accept the Spirit. It is God’s work, and since it is, He can bring it to infants)

    ………….and even a bit of Old Testament truth
    -Ezekiel 37 11 Then he said to me: “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.’ 12 Therefore prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: O my people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. 13 Then you, my people, will know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. 14 I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the LORD have spoken, and I have done it, declares the LORD.’ ” (He puts His Spirit in us. “I have done it, declares the LORD” – AMEN. Awesome stuff!)

    So in the end, since God does it all, there just ain’t any justification (no pun intended) for the belief that we need to “understand” before God can bring his faith upon us. He does it all. Lived a perfect life, died a horrible death to wash away our sins, rose to defeat death, and sends His Holy Spirit to work faith in our hearts. After all that, to think that he would leave “understanding” to us, is pure folly.

  • Louis

    bernardrubbel – Amen!

  • Louis

    bernardrubbel – Amen!

  • Grace

    197 kerner

    Check out the post I made regarding King David and his son.

  • Grace

    197 kerner

    Check out the post I made regarding King David and his son.

  • Grace

    197 – Kerner – “Ok Grace, I didn’t mean to put words in your mouth. When I said “children” I meant infants, toddlers, the pre-verbal children.”

    There is a great deal of difference betweenn infants and children that are capable of UNDERSTANDING faith and belief in Jesus Christ for Salvation.

  • Grace

    197 – Kerner – “Ok Grace, I didn’t mean to put words in your mouth. When I said “children” I meant infants, toddlers, the pre-verbal children.”

    There is a great deal of difference betweenn infants and children that are capable of UNDERSTANDING faith and belief in Jesus Christ for Salvation.

  • Grace

    200 – 200 bernardrubbel – “Kerner is right. In Acts 16, believing comes after baptism. But no matter. ”

    No, Kerner is wrong –

    In the passage below, the eunuch requests to be baptized, but Philip asks the eunuch – “If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” – that is the key, Philip wanted to know that the eunuch actually believed. Faith first then baptism.

    34 And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man?
    35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.
    36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?
    37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
    38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.
    39 And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing. Acts 8

    NOTICE: Verse 37 Paul asked the eunuch a very important question BEFORE he would baptize the eunuch – Belief needed to come BEFORE baptism. Paul would only baptize as his words state “If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest.”

  • Grace

    200 – 200 bernardrubbel – “Kerner is right. In Acts 16, believing comes after baptism. But no matter. ”

    No, Kerner is wrong –

    In the passage below, the eunuch requests to be baptized, but Philip asks the eunuch – “If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” – that is the key, Philip wanted to know that the eunuch actually believed. Faith first then baptism.

    34 And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man?
    35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.
    36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?
    37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
    38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.
    39 And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing. Acts 8

    NOTICE: Verse 37 Paul asked the eunuch a very important question BEFORE he would baptize the eunuch – Belief needed to come BEFORE baptism. Paul would only baptize as his words state “If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest.”

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    I have to say I empathize with Grace because I joined the Lutheran church because my husband was Lutheran and absolutely refused to join any other church. Honestly I have to say, both sides here seem sincere. Both agree the Bible is the only standard but come to different conclusions. I am not very astute on these matters. So, it causes me some unease and struggle in trying to understand. I don’t like to argue with my husband, so I just don’t bring it up. What has helped me most are the writings of CFW Walther. Everything he writes is so clear and makes sense to me. The way he writes fits the way I think, so it just clicks. Reading his work has really made me feel better. Maybe I am just gullible because I want harmony in my family and want to make peace with it in my own mind because that is what my kids are learning. I want to keep to what is right, but have trouble discerning these points myself. I think Grace raises some interesting points but I lack her confidence on these matters.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    I have to say I empathize with Grace because I joined the Lutheran church because my husband was Lutheran and absolutely refused to join any other church. Honestly I have to say, both sides here seem sincere. Both agree the Bible is the only standard but come to different conclusions. I am not very astute on these matters. So, it causes me some unease and struggle in trying to understand. I don’t like to argue with my husband, so I just don’t bring it up. What has helped me most are the writings of CFW Walther. Everything he writes is so clear and makes sense to me. The way he writes fits the way I think, so it just clicks. Reading his work has really made me feel better. Maybe I am just gullible because I want harmony in my family and want to make peace with it in my own mind because that is what my kids are learning. I want to keep to what is right, but have trouble discerning these points myself. I think Grace raises some interesting points but I lack her confidence on these matters.

  • Josh S.

    The greatest hindrance to receiving the Christian faith is not one’s rational capabilities. It is the nature of man which is completely dead in trespasses and sin (Eph. 2:1). An infant has the same natural abilities to believe as an adult, which is none. The natural mind, whether it is a baby or an adult, is hostile to God (Rom 8:7) and cannot even understand the things of God (1 Cor 2:14). If one, whether a baby or an adult, attains the Christian faith, it is not because of free will or rational capabilities, but it is because God grants it (Phil 1:29 and John 6:44). God grants saving faith to infants through baptism.

    Note also 2 Timothy 3:15 where Paul says to Timothy, “from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures.” “Childhood” here in the Greek is “brephous,” which more precisely translated “infancy.”

    Luke also says in Luke 18:15, that “whoever does not receive the children of God as (“hos”, in the same way) a brephe (infant) will by no means enter it.” That way of entering it is through faith in Christ. Infants can have faith, because God grants it to them.

    Therefore infants could be said to be the role models of faith, since it is obvious they cannot take credit for their faith, but it is totally granted to them by their gracious God.

  • Josh S.

    The greatest hindrance to receiving the Christian faith is not one’s rational capabilities. It is the nature of man which is completely dead in trespasses and sin (Eph. 2:1). An infant has the same natural abilities to believe as an adult, which is none. The natural mind, whether it is a baby or an adult, is hostile to God (Rom 8:7) and cannot even understand the things of God (1 Cor 2:14). If one, whether a baby or an adult, attains the Christian faith, it is not because of free will or rational capabilities, but it is because God grants it (Phil 1:29 and John 6:44). God grants saving faith to infants through baptism.

    Note also 2 Timothy 3:15 where Paul says to Timothy, “from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures.” “Childhood” here in the Greek is “brephous,” which more precisely translated “infancy.”

    Luke also says in Luke 18:15, that “whoever does not receive the children of God as (“hos”, in the same way) a brephe (infant) will by no means enter it.” That way of entering it is through faith in Christ. Infants can have faith, because God grants it to them.

    Therefore infants could be said to be the role models of faith, since it is obvious they cannot take credit for their faith, but it is totally granted to them by their gracious God.

  • Louis

    Exactly, Josh. In Grace’s theology, faith becomes a work, and an act of the intellect. What then of those with impaired capabilities?

  • Louis

    Exactly, Josh. In Grace’s theology, faith becomes a work, and an act of the intellect. What then of those with impaired capabilities?

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Sg A@205,
    If Grace had confidence she would engage argument.
    I’m guessing about right now, Grace, for all her stubbornness, is feeling a bit overwhelmed and in wide eyed shock that there are people out there who have a better grasp of what the Bible really says on the matter of infant baptism, and that her position is not at all as biblical as she once thought.
    However if you want a great resource on this topic, easy to read and in laymen’s terms, repleat with Bible verses, Scriptural Baptism is the book to get. I posted the link earlier, I’ll do so again.
    http://www.amazon.com/Scriptural-Baptism-Between-Bapstead-Childfont/dp/1592442498/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1284494089&sr=8-1
    Another gemm by the same author is
    “Luther discovers the Gospel, now available on Kindle!

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Sg A@205,
    If Grace had confidence she would engage argument.
    I’m guessing about right now, Grace, for all her stubbornness, is feeling a bit overwhelmed and in wide eyed shock that there are people out there who have a better grasp of what the Bible really says on the matter of infant baptism, and that her position is not at all as biblical as she once thought.
    However if you want a great resource on this topic, easy to read and in laymen’s terms, repleat with Bible verses, Scriptural Baptism is the book to get. I posted the link earlier, I’ll do so again.
    http://www.amazon.com/Scriptural-Baptism-Between-Bapstead-Childfont/dp/1592442498/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1284494089&sr=8-1
    Another gemm by the same author is
    “Luther discovers the Gospel, now available on Kindle!

  • Another Kerner

    Grace …
    You have repeatedly quoted 2 Corinthians 7:10.

    “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation….”

    Here Paul is writing a letter, rebuking the saints (already believers) at Corinth for their many transgressions. They were failing as individuals and a congregation.
    Paul is not writing to unbelievers but to those who are already in the household of faith. He is concerned for their spiritual condition.

    As a loving pastor/teacher/apostle he is reproving them for their current specific sins, asking them to forsake the sinful behavior.

    Paul is not here referring to an initial repentance or initial “conversion”. He is asking believing Christians to turn from the sin in their lives.

    So the passage you are using to support the argument for a conscious effort made by an individual to “accept Jesus Christ as their personal Savior” does not apply in this matter of baptism.

    You also quote Ephesians, telling us that faith is a gift. God bestows His gift at any time in the life of a human being which he chooses, both infant and adult.

    Please listen to what these men are trying to tell you and all the others reading here. Study the Scripture passages they have put before you.

  • Another Kerner

    Grace …
    You have repeatedly quoted 2 Corinthians 7:10.

    “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation….”

    Here Paul is writing a letter, rebuking the saints (already believers) at Corinth for their many transgressions. They were failing as individuals and a congregation.
    Paul is not writing to unbelievers but to those who are already in the household of faith. He is concerned for their spiritual condition.

    As a loving pastor/teacher/apostle he is reproving them for their current specific sins, asking them to forsake the sinful behavior.

    Paul is not here referring to an initial repentance or initial “conversion”. He is asking believing Christians to turn from the sin in their lives.

    So the passage you are using to support the argument for a conscious effort made by an individual to “accept Jesus Christ as their personal Savior” does not apply in this matter of baptism.

    You also quote Ephesians, telling us that faith is a gift. God bestows His gift at any time in the life of a human being which he chooses, both infant and adult.

    Please listen to what these men are trying to tell you and all the others reading here. Study the Scripture passages they have put before you.

  • Grace

    206 Josh S.

    With your theology, parents can baptize their children, therefore bestowing Salvation without belief,….. an error was then made by Philip, … he should have just baptized the eunuch, instead he questioned him as to his belief, before baptism.

    Josh, there is no Scripture that says an infant is to be baptized, and then receives Salvation.

    The sad part is: I have had friends who claim they have “always been Christians” you ask them why and they answer “I was baptized as an infant” – the next interesting thing is this, you can talk about repentance from sin, and they claim they don’t need to repent, nor do they. Josh, it goes right back to what Jesus preached and that was REPENTANCE, it’s a difficult pill for many to ponder. They rely on the infant baptizm, they rarely understand repentance, just like Martin Luther wrote in his letter to Melanchthon, “No sin will separate us from the Lamb, even though we commit fornication and murder a thousand times a day.”

    As the passage of Scripture states:

    But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
    Matthew 9:13

    For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. 2 Corinthians 6:10

    For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
    Romans 10:10

  • Grace

    206 Josh S.

    With your theology, parents can baptize their children, therefore bestowing Salvation without belief,….. an error was then made by Philip, … he should have just baptized the eunuch, instead he questioned him as to his belief, before baptism.

    Josh, there is no Scripture that says an infant is to be baptized, and then receives Salvation.

    The sad part is: I have had friends who claim they have “always been Christians” you ask them why and they answer “I was baptized as an infant” – the next interesting thing is this, you can talk about repentance from sin, and they claim they don’t need to repent, nor do they. Josh, it goes right back to what Jesus preached and that was REPENTANCE, it’s a difficult pill for many to ponder. They rely on the infant baptizm, they rarely understand repentance, just like Martin Luther wrote in his letter to Melanchthon, “No sin will separate us from the Lamb, even though we commit fornication and murder a thousand times a day.”

    As the passage of Scripture states:

    But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
    Matthew 9:13

    For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. 2 Corinthians 6:10

    For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
    Romans 10:10

  • Louis

    Hello Grace! Hiii! Question? Pleeeease? Pretty please?

  • Louis

    Hello Grace! Hiii! Question? Pleeeease? Pretty please?

  • Grace

    209- another Kerner “Grace …
    You have repeatedly quoted 2 Corinthians 7:10.

    “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation….”

    Here Paul is writing a letter, rebuking the saints (already believers) at Corinth for their many transgressions. They were failing as individuals and a congregation.
    Paul is not writing to unbelievers but to those who are already in the household of faith. He is concerned for their spiritual condition.”

    Kerner, you contradict yourself throughout this post. You cannot have it both ways when giving this passage of Scripture ““For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation….”

    If you believe that one cannot lose their Salvation, then there would be no reason to believe “repentance to salvation” –

    Then you write: “Paul is not here referring to an initial repentance or initial “conversion”. He is asking believing Christians to turn from the sin in their lives.”

    No Kerner, you have twisted the Scripture, the passage is specific – they are not believers:

    For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.
    2 Corinthians 6:10

    It’s just not that difficult to understand!!

  • Grace

    209- another Kerner “Grace …
    You have repeatedly quoted 2 Corinthians 7:10.

    “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation….”

    Here Paul is writing a letter, rebuking the saints (already believers) at Corinth for their many transgressions. They were failing as individuals and a congregation.
    Paul is not writing to unbelievers but to those who are already in the household of faith. He is concerned for their spiritual condition.”

    Kerner, you contradict yourself throughout this post. You cannot have it both ways when giving this passage of Scripture ““For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation….”

    If you believe that one cannot lose their Salvation, then there would be no reason to believe “repentance to salvation” –

    Then you write: “Paul is not here referring to an initial repentance or initial “conversion”. He is asking believing Christians to turn from the sin in their lives.”

    No Kerner, you have twisted the Scripture, the passage is specific – they are not believers:

    For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.
    2 Corinthians 6:10

    It’s just not that difficult to understand!!

  • Another Kerner

    Louis @207….

    Thank you for reminding us that those seriously impaired, unconscious, or even asleep, for that matter, are sustained and held in the faith by the LORD, without intellectual assent.

    As others have already observed here, turning “faith” into something you or I do for our salvation is frightful.

    If there is something I need to do for my salvation, I am in really serious trouble.

    What happens if I wake up one morning and I don’t “feel” saved?

    Thank God, it does not depend on me.
    Thank God it is the finished work of Christ on the Cross and His shed Blood….. for me.

    Here we cling to the beauty of …
    Sola Scriptura, Sola Gratia, Sola Fide.

  • Another Kerner

    Louis @207….

    Thank you for reminding us that those seriously impaired, unconscious, or even asleep, for that matter, are sustained and held in the faith by the LORD, without intellectual assent.

    As others have already observed here, turning “faith” into something you or I do for our salvation is frightful.

    If there is something I need to do for my salvation, I am in really serious trouble.

    What happens if I wake up one morning and I don’t “feel” saved?

    Thank God, it does not depend on me.
    Thank God it is the finished work of Christ on the Cross and His shed Blood….. for me.

    Here we cling to the beauty of …
    Sola Scriptura, Sola Gratia, Sola Fide.

  • Grace

    I notice that predestination has come up a number of times on this thread. My views are as follows:

    I have witnessed too often an attempt to upgrade oneself by announcing a persistent attempt to make predestination and election/chosen so important, that those who are un-Believers read or listen and shrink away, saying to themselves “I am not sure I’m a very good person, my sins are too great, my life has so many sins, I couldn’t be one of the elect” .. it happens, and people walk away, or feel dejected. It serves no purpose,… what is does is, hurt those who are hungry for the Gospel, but they know they are sinners, it is difficult for them to grasp the love of God, when they don’t feel ‘predestined’.

    Jesus never based His teachings and message on predestination, He preached to those who were lost in need of a Savior, Jesus told people to repent of their sins.

    An elitist stamp on the elect, chosen and predestined is hurtful to those who are lost. God is in charge not those who hurt the cause of our LORD and Savior, by spreading their superiority to those who feel themselves un-worthy. We as Believers are to spread His Word. Jesus died for the whole world.

  • Grace

    I notice that predestination has come up a number of times on this thread. My views are as follows:

    I have witnessed too often an attempt to upgrade oneself by announcing a persistent attempt to make predestination and election/chosen so important, that those who are un-Believers read or listen and shrink away, saying to themselves “I am not sure I’m a very good person, my sins are too great, my life has so many sins, I couldn’t be one of the elect” .. it happens, and people walk away, or feel dejected. It serves no purpose,… what is does is, hurt those who are hungry for the Gospel, but they know they are sinners, it is difficult for them to grasp the love of God, when they don’t feel ‘predestined’.

    Jesus never based His teachings and message on predestination, He preached to those who were lost in need of a Savior, Jesus told people to repent of their sins.

    An elitist stamp on the elect, chosen and predestined is hurtful to those who are lost. God is in charge not those who hurt the cause of our LORD and Savior, by spreading their superiority to those who feel themselves un-worthy. We as Believers are to spread His Word. Jesus died for the whole world.

  • Louis

    Grace @ 212: You are reading into the text what you want it to say. However, in the context of the chapter, and the rest of the book (and the previous letter, which he references), it is very clear that Paul is writing to the Church, those already saved. This is not about baptism. This is about sinning saints. You say they are not believers, because your theology requires you to say so, even though it contradicts the context. As the saying goes – a text taken out of context becomes a pretext.

    And my question?

  • Louis

    Grace @ 212: You are reading into the text what you want it to say. However, in the context of the chapter, and the rest of the book (and the previous letter, which he references), it is very clear that Paul is writing to the Church, those already saved. This is not about baptism. This is about sinning saints. You say they are not believers, because your theology requires you to say so, even though it contradicts the context. As the saying goes – a text taken out of context becomes a pretext.

    And my question?

  • Louis

    BTW, Lutherans don’t follow Calvin on predestination, double predestination etc. I used to be one (a Calvinist, that is).

  • Louis

    BTW, Lutherans don’t follow Calvin on predestination, double predestination etc. I used to be one (a Calvinist, that is).

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace,
    “I have witnessed too often an attempt to upgrade oneself by announcing a persistent attempt to make predestination and election/chosen so important, that those who are un-Believers read or listen and shrink away, saying to themselves “I am not sure I’m a very good person, my sins are too great, my life has so many sins, I couldn’t be one of the elect” .. it happens, and people walk away, or feel dejected. It serves no purpose,… what is does is, hurt those who are hungry for the Gospel, but they know they are sinners, it is difficult for them to grasp the love of God, when they don’t feel ‘predestined’.”
    Right you are! A prime example of one who felt this way was Luther! and this anguish led him to finally despair of himself, his feelings, his decisions, and trust in the Grace of God alone. A great book illustrating Luther’s rejection of Double Predestination (which is what you mean by Predestination, Lutherans have a completely different view, more apply called “Election” where in God breaks into this abyss and grabs hold of us through his word and Sacraments through which his Holy Spirit works to give us faith.) Any way a good book illustrating this is now available on Kindle, called Luther discovers the Gospel. Link: http://www.amazon.com/Luther-Discovers-the-Gospel-ebook/dp/B002V1PSGM/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&s=digital-text&qid=1284499120&sr=8-2
    there is also a book form available.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace,
    “I have witnessed too often an attempt to upgrade oneself by announcing a persistent attempt to make predestination and election/chosen so important, that those who are un-Believers read or listen and shrink away, saying to themselves “I am not sure I’m a very good person, my sins are too great, my life has so many sins, I couldn’t be one of the elect” .. it happens, and people walk away, or feel dejected. It serves no purpose,… what is does is, hurt those who are hungry for the Gospel, but they know they are sinners, it is difficult for them to grasp the love of God, when they don’t feel ‘predestined’.”
    Right you are! A prime example of one who felt this way was Luther! and this anguish led him to finally despair of himself, his feelings, his decisions, and trust in the Grace of God alone. A great book illustrating Luther’s rejection of Double Predestination (which is what you mean by Predestination, Lutherans have a completely different view, more apply called “Election” where in God breaks into this abyss and grabs hold of us through his word and Sacraments through which his Holy Spirit works to give us faith.) Any way a good book illustrating this is now available on Kindle, called Luther discovers the Gospel. Link: http://www.amazon.com/Luther-Discovers-the-Gospel-ebook/dp/B002V1PSGM/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&s=digital-text&qid=1284499120&sr=8-2
    there is also a book form available.

  • Tom Hering

    Grace, why do you repeatedly zero in on specific verses, to make them the norm for all faith and practice, rather than comparing every Scripture with all of Scripture, to discover the many wonderful ways of God? When we keep all of Scripture in view, we see that some receive faith and are baptized, and others are baptized and receive faith. As in Acts 19:1-6, where faith is something more than just believing (intellectual assent) and repentance (feeling that the judgments of the Law are right).

    “While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples and asked them, ‘Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?’ They answered, ‘No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.’ So Paul asked, ‘Then what baptism did you receive?’ ‘John’s baptism,’ they replied. Paul said, ‘John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.’ On hearing this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.”

    Can one have faith (trust in Christ from a new heart) without the Holy Spirit? Obviously not. Just as obviously, the Holy Spirit is received, by some, in the rite of Christian baptism. And so the gift of faith is received, by some, in the rite of Christian baptism.

  • Tom Hering

    Grace, why do you repeatedly zero in on specific verses, to make them the norm for all faith and practice, rather than comparing every Scripture with all of Scripture, to discover the many wonderful ways of God? When we keep all of Scripture in view, we see that some receive faith and are baptized, and others are baptized and receive faith. As in Acts 19:1-6, where faith is something more than just believing (intellectual assent) and repentance (feeling that the judgments of the Law are right).

    “While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples and asked them, ‘Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?’ They answered, ‘No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.’ So Paul asked, ‘Then what baptism did you receive?’ ‘John’s baptism,’ they replied. Paul said, ‘John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.’ On hearing this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.”

    Can one have faith (trust in Christ from a new heart) without the Holy Spirit? Obviously not. Just as obviously, the Holy Spirit is received, by some, in the rite of Christian baptism. And so the gift of faith is received, by some, in the rite of Christian baptism.

  • Grace

    218 Tom Hering – ” Grace, why do you repeatedly zero in on specific verses, to make them the norm for all faith and practice, rather than comparing every Scripture with all of Scripture, to discover the many wonderful ways of God?”

    So do others, or are you just zeroing in on ME? – that can’t be it.

    206 Josh S. – 200 bernardrubbel – 179 Kerner – 170 Tom Hering, OH! – that’s YOU – I’m sure that doesn’t count, after all you were trying to make a point, but everyone else should avoid the same.

    There are others, but I think you get the idea!!!!

    Tom, the passages I have used, be they the one regarding Philip and the eunuch, or Paul and the man who wanted to be saved, using more than one or two verses, you find fault with. You and others have a difficult time with Scripture that is contrary to your beliefs, it’s been going on now for over 200 posts. So ZERO, but count yourself as one who found it important to do so, and then you complained about Galatians in post #173 so I posted #176 so as not to leave out that passage.

  • Grace

    218 Tom Hering – ” Grace, why do you repeatedly zero in on specific verses, to make them the norm for all faith and practice, rather than comparing every Scripture with all of Scripture, to discover the many wonderful ways of God?”

    So do others, or are you just zeroing in on ME? – that can’t be it.

    206 Josh S. – 200 bernardrubbel – 179 Kerner – 170 Tom Hering, OH! – that’s YOU – I’m sure that doesn’t count, after all you were trying to make a point, but everyone else should avoid the same.

    There are others, but I think you get the idea!!!!

    Tom, the passages I have used, be they the one regarding Philip and the eunuch, or Paul and the man who wanted to be saved, using more than one or two verses, you find fault with. You and others have a difficult time with Scripture that is contrary to your beliefs, it’s been going on now for over 200 posts. So ZERO, but count yourself as one who found it important to do so, and then you complained about Galatians in post #173 so I posted #176 so as not to leave out that passage.

  • Louis

    O Grace, you break my heart. Heated arguments aside, you are so close, yet so far. I was there too – theologically almost exactly where you are. It is only later that I realised that what I believed was a false, Pelagian gospel. It is only later that I realised that “Me and my bible alone” in actual fact means “Me and my opinions / feelings of the moment alone”, leaving me prey to heresies and yelling “pastors”. But it took a long time out of there – I travelled via Geneva, and gave myself up to intellectual faith, so-to-speak, trying to intellectually grasp it all. But He kept coming after me, like in Thompson’s poem, The Hound of God. Through many, many things He finally led me to accepting His grace, alone. To understand that I do not have to understand it all. To be able to feed on Him, literally even, in the Eucharist, and to accept that I entered His Church long before I knew, in a little Reformed Church, as a baby, in 1974. After many, many years of spiritual angst, and hand-wringing, I am at peace regarding my salvation. His yoke is easy, and His burden is light.

    Grace, we are all sinful, and very often our deep-felt emotions over these matters get the better of us. But prolonged study, in some cases, and journeys filled with existential angst, lead us to where we are. I would wish that you would at least do us the courtesy of accepting that we are deeply in earnest, not vindictive, but with a true desire that you would also come to find the treasure, and the peace, and the joy, our occasional sarcasm, and feeble attempts at wit none withstanding. You might deem it irrelevant, but I have prayed for you, and I guess my brothers and sisters here too. My questions, and those put forward by others here, are serious attempts at engaging you in conversation about these absolutely vital matters. All talk regarding politics etc is trivial in comparison, though we enjoy those too.

    And, as a plea, will you answer my question, please?

  • Louis

    O Grace, you break my heart. Heated arguments aside, you are so close, yet so far. I was there too – theologically almost exactly where you are. It is only later that I realised that what I believed was a false, Pelagian gospel. It is only later that I realised that “Me and my bible alone” in actual fact means “Me and my opinions / feelings of the moment alone”, leaving me prey to heresies and yelling “pastors”. But it took a long time out of there – I travelled via Geneva, and gave myself up to intellectual faith, so-to-speak, trying to intellectually grasp it all. But He kept coming after me, like in Thompson’s poem, The Hound of God. Through many, many things He finally led me to accepting His grace, alone. To understand that I do not have to understand it all. To be able to feed on Him, literally even, in the Eucharist, and to accept that I entered His Church long before I knew, in a little Reformed Church, as a baby, in 1974. After many, many years of spiritual angst, and hand-wringing, I am at peace regarding my salvation. His yoke is easy, and His burden is light.

    Grace, we are all sinful, and very often our deep-felt emotions over these matters get the better of us. But prolonged study, in some cases, and journeys filled with existential angst, lead us to where we are. I would wish that you would at least do us the courtesy of accepting that we are deeply in earnest, not vindictive, but with a true desire that you would also come to find the treasure, and the peace, and the joy, our occasional sarcasm, and feeble attempts at wit none withstanding. You might deem it irrelevant, but I have prayed for you, and I guess my brothers and sisters here too. My questions, and those put forward by others here, are serious attempts at engaging you in conversation about these absolutely vital matters. All talk regarding politics etc is trivial in comparison, though we enjoy those too.

    And, as a plea, will you answer my question, please?

  • Tom Hering

    Grace, I have no problem with the passages that say some believed and then were baptized.

  • Tom Hering

    Grace, I have no problem with the passages that say some believed and then were baptized.

  • Grace

    221 – Tom – “Grace, I have no problem with the passages that say some believed and then were baptized.”

    Tom, baptism isn’t the first step, faith and believing are the KEY to Salvation first, and then baptism.

    Jesus preached believing on Him and repentance. It cannot be overlooked, it’s what needs to take place first.

    But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name. John 20:31

  • Grace

    221 – Tom – “Grace, I have no problem with the passages that say some believed and then were baptized.”

    Tom, baptism isn’t the first step, faith and believing are the KEY to Salvation first, and then baptism.

    Jesus preached believing on Him and repentance. It cannot be overlooked, it’s what needs to take place first.

    But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name. John 20:31

  • Tom Hering

    Grace, yes, faith is accounted for righteousness. If God wants to give the gift of faith to some before their Christian baptism, or to some during their baptism, or to infants, or to some long after their infant baptism, I’ll rejoice with the angels regardless. Care to join us? :-)

  • Tom Hering

    Grace, yes, faith is accounted for righteousness. If God wants to give the gift of faith to some before their Christian baptism, or to some during their baptism, or to infants, or to some long after their infant baptism, I’ll rejoice with the angels regardless. Care to join us? :-)

  • Grace

    Tom,

    It’s called believing, on Him, there is no other way to circumvent oneself or their infant to Everlasting Life/Eternal Life, they must BELIEVE first.

    The LORD doesn’t chang his mind as to how someone inherits Eternal Life/Everlasting Life.

    Jesus made this statement, – the LORD doesn’t change His Word.

    15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

    16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3

    He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. John 3:18

    He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. John 3

    Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. John 6:47

  • Grace

    Tom,

    It’s called believing, on Him, there is no other way to circumvent oneself or their infant to Everlasting Life/Eternal Life, they must BELIEVE first.

    The LORD doesn’t chang his mind as to how someone inherits Eternal Life/Everlasting Life.

    Jesus made this statement, – the LORD doesn’t change His Word.

    15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

    16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3

    He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. John 3:18

    He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. John 3

    Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. John 6:47

  • Louis

    Grace, by whose authority do you accept the Scripture you quote, and where does it come from?

  • Louis

    Grace, by whose authority do you accept the Scripture you quote, and where does it come from?

  • Grace

    The Bible is inerrant inspired Word of God – there is no other authority. It obviously comes from God.

  • Grace

    The Bible is inerrant inspired Word of God – there is no other authority. It obviously comes from God.

  • Grace

    8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

    9 Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein. Hebrews 113

  • Grace

    8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

    9 Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein. Hebrews 113

  • Grace

    227 Scripture should be:

    Hebrews 13

  • Grace

    227 Scripture should be:

    Hebrews 13

  • Louis

    Ok – but how did it come to you? How did that contents table come to contain the 66 books (I presume) it contains? In other words, who said?

  • Louis

    Ok – but how did it come to you? How did that contents table come to contain the 66 books (I presume) it contains? In other words, who said?

  • Grace

    The New Testament was written in Greek – we don’t have the original documents, but we do have almost six thousand copies of the Greek manuscripts that were copied close to the originals in time. The interesting and MOST important part of these copies agree with each other and its almost one hundred percent (100%) accurate. The NT is just over being 99.5% pure textually —- taking it another step further there is about 1/2 of maybe 1% of all the manuscripts that don’t agree 100%. Most of the so called inaccuracies are nothing more than spelling errors, which in themselves are minor. It’s been pointed out many times that the errors are those which are, instead of the copy saying Jesus, instead says Jesus Christ. The documents have been proven to be accurate as that of the original manuscripts/documents – The Bible we have is the inerrant inspired Word of God.

    When the Bible is translated they don’t translate from one translation to another – they translate from the original language into our language – the translation is made from the original to whichever language the Bible is being translated, in other words it’s not done from Greek to English to French, to German – each translations is from the Greek manuscripts to whichever language the Bible will be translated into. The accuracy of the translations are trustworthy.

    When one realizes how miraculous the Old Testament is, and the findings of the ‘Dead Sea Scrolls, one begins to understand the POWER of GOD to keep HIS Word pure. Nothing has changed, it is what HE wants it to be.

    God did not send His Son to die for our sin, and then allow His Word to go adrift. Then again, look at the ‘Dead Sea Scrolls’ how HE proves the power of HIS Hand on the Word. Read the Old Testament and prophecy and its coming to fruition in the New Testament regarding the birth and death of the LORD Jesus Christ. It’s a fit, there isn’t a piece out of place. That’s the miracle, that’s what HE gave us so that we might know the TRUTH.

  • Grace

    The New Testament was written in Greek – we don’t have the original documents, but we do have almost six thousand copies of the Greek manuscripts that were copied close to the originals in time. The interesting and MOST important part of these copies agree with each other and its almost one hundred percent (100%) accurate. The NT is just over being 99.5% pure textually —- taking it another step further there is about 1/2 of maybe 1% of all the manuscripts that don’t agree 100%. Most of the so called inaccuracies are nothing more than spelling errors, which in themselves are minor. It’s been pointed out many times that the errors are those which are, instead of the copy saying Jesus, instead says Jesus Christ. The documents have been proven to be accurate as that of the original manuscripts/documents – The Bible we have is the inerrant inspired Word of God.

    When the Bible is translated they don’t translate from one translation to another – they translate from the original language into our language – the translation is made from the original to whichever language the Bible is being translated, in other words it’s not done from Greek to English to French, to German – each translations is from the Greek manuscripts to whichever language the Bible will be translated into. The accuracy of the translations are trustworthy.

    When one realizes how miraculous the Old Testament is, and the findings of the ‘Dead Sea Scrolls, one begins to understand the POWER of GOD to keep HIS Word pure. Nothing has changed, it is what HE wants it to be.

    God did not send His Son to die for our sin, and then allow His Word to go adrift. Then again, look at the ‘Dead Sea Scrolls’ how HE proves the power of HIS Hand on the Word. Read the Old Testament and prophecy and its coming to fruition in the New Testament regarding the birth and death of the LORD Jesus Christ. It’s a fit, there isn’t a piece out of place. That’s the miracle, that’s what HE gave us so that we might know the TRUTH.

  • Louis

    Eh – Grace, you miss the point. Who compiled (not wrote) those books? Who passed them on as the word of God, and who said – this book yay, that one nay? For we know there are many other writings of the same period – say the so-called Gnostic gospels, for instance. Why not them? In other words, under whose authority do you accept those books? Or as I put it in my first question – where does your table of contewnts come from? Did it fall from the sky? Or was it debated, prayed over and then authoritatively declared to be the Word of God?

  • Louis

    Eh – Grace, you miss the point. Who compiled (not wrote) those books? Who passed them on as the word of God, and who said – this book yay, that one nay? For we know there are many other writings of the same period – say the so-called Gnostic gospels, for instance. Why not them? In other words, under whose authority do you accept those books? Or as I put it in my first question – where does your table of contewnts come from? Did it fall from the sky? Or was it debated, prayed over and then authoritatively declared to be the Word of God?

  • Grace

    Louis

    “Eh – Grace, you miss the point. Who compiled (not wrote) those books? Who passed them on as the word of God, and who said – this book yay, that one nay? For we know there are many other writings of the same period – say the so-called Gnostic gospels, for instance. Why not them? In other words, under whose authority do you accept those books? Or as I put it in my first question – where does your table of contewnts come from? Did it fall from the sky? Or was it debated, prayed over and then authoritatively declared to be the Word of God?”

    No Louis, you missed the point.

    Louis, answer your own questions, and then I will comment. The reason for this format is: You have used language in the past which I will not tolerate, it’s not a manly thing to use such language, and if you persist, I will avoid you and your posts.

    Further more, using smug, snarky questions such as:

    - – “Did it fall from the sky? Or was it debated, prayed over and then authoritatively declared to be the Word of God?” – - I will not only avoid, but our interaction will cease.

  • Grace

    Louis

    “Eh – Grace, you miss the point. Who compiled (not wrote) those books? Who passed them on as the word of God, and who said – this book yay, that one nay? For we know there are many other writings of the same period – say the so-called Gnostic gospels, for instance. Why not them? In other words, under whose authority do you accept those books? Or as I put it in my first question – where does your table of contewnts come from? Did it fall from the sky? Or was it debated, prayed over and then authoritatively declared to be the Word of God?”

    No Louis, you missed the point.

    Louis, answer your own questions, and then I will comment. The reason for this format is: You have used language in the past which I will not tolerate, it’s not a manly thing to use such language, and if you persist, I will avoid you and your posts.

    Further more, using smug, snarky questions such as:

    - – “Did it fall from the sky? Or was it debated, prayed over and then authoritatively declared to be the Word of God?” – - I will not only avoid, but our interaction will cease.

  • Louis

    Wow Grace – once, and once only, did I use a stronger word – the word “@assholes” – and that was in a late night argument on the 30th of August. Because of that, everything I say you will ignore. Just – wow!

    True, I could have used a better word – maybe “bitter people”. but I guess you also ignore St Paul for using the word “Skubalon” – I hope my spelling is right.

    And my comment “falling from the sky” was a hypothetical question. but since you refuse further interaction, let me say my say:

    You deny the authority of the Church through the ages – your doctrine is one of me and my bible, alone. This is false doctrine, as well as illogical, since the man or woman who deny all authority, has no authority by which they can declare – “Here is the Word!”. They effectively will have to devolve to a Mormon “fall from the sky”-type theology of Scripture. The cAnon of Scripture, was defined by many councils, such as the council of Carthage, under leadership of St Augustine. Also, our understanding of the Trinity was crystallised during debate at Nicea, and the Arian and Nestorian heresies rejected. Both of these will refer to the same Scripture. The church has taken Scripture as her final court of appeal, because under guidance of the Holy Spirit, it was defined as such. Thus Luther could point to Scripture, against the pope, because the latter had departed from it.

    you may ask – what has this to do with you here, now? Well, if the Church has authority, and it has, as the “keeper” of the Word, we shouls listen carefully to what is said, like the Bereans. You however, have set yourself up as the final arbiter, a mini-pope, and the results are catastrophic. in these comment, you have shoown yourself to be merciless and hard, a legalist among legalists, denying your very name Grace, as Bror has pointed out. You know Scripture, and that is good. but you do not recognise that you come to it with a specific set of preconceptions, as we all do. It is an absolute myth that any person could have an absolute neutral reading of any text. Because of the Fall, even our logic is tainted. Therefore, we ought not to reject the writings of the Church of old, or the entreaties of our fellow believers, but in all humilty examine it, knowing and remembering that we could be wrong. I myself, as pointed out in a post above, spent many difficult years on this journey. I had to come to the point of questioning myself, before the light started to dawn. Until we realise our own intelectual pride, we cannot see the truth.

    You see, Grace, because your theology depends on understanding before faith, it is a theology of works. Faith, because it depends on our understanding, becomes a work, not a gift from God. That is why I called it (semi?) pelagian. And no matter how hard you are (figuratively) pushing your fingers in your ears, that is the truth. Didnt God say – before they call, I will answer? How does that square with your approach to Salvation? In short – it doesn’t.

    Come to Christ, Grace, and He will give you the rest you seek, and need.

  • Louis

    Wow Grace – once, and once only, did I use a stronger word – the word “@assholes” – and that was in a late night argument on the 30th of August. Because of that, everything I say you will ignore. Just – wow!

    True, I could have used a better word – maybe “bitter people”. but I guess you also ignore St Paul for using the word “Skubalon” – I hope my spelling is right.

    And my comment “falling from the sky” was a hypothetical question. but since you refuse further interaction, let me say my say:

    You deny the authority of the Church through the ages – your doctrine is one of me and my bible, alone. This is false doctrine, as well as illogical, since the man or woman who deny all authority, has no authority by which they can declare – “Here is the Word!”. They effectively will have to devolve to a Mormon “fall from the sky”-type theology of Scripture. The cAnon of Scripture, was defined by many councils, such as the council of Carthage, under leadership of St Augustine. Also, our understanding of the Trinity was crystallised during debate at Nicea, and the Arian and Nestorian heresies rejected. Both of these will refer to the same Scripture. The church has taken Scripture as her final court of appeal, because under guidance of the Holy Spirit, it was defined as such. Thus Luther could point to Scripture, against the pope, because the latter had departed from it.

    you may ask – what has this to do with you here, now? Well, if the Church has authority, and it has, as the “keeper” of the Word, we shouls listen carefully to what is said, like the Bereans. You however, have set yourself up as the final arbiter, a mini-pope, and the results are catastrophic. in these comment, you have shoown yourself to be merciless and hard, a legalist among legalists, denying your very name Grace, as Bror has pointed out. You know Scripture, and that is good. but you do not recognise that you come to it with a specific set of preconceptions, as we all do. It is an absolute myth that any person could have an absolute neutral reading of any text. Because of the Fall, even our logic is tainted. Therefore, we ought not to reject the writings of the Church of old, or the entreaties of our fellow believers, but in all humilty examine it, knowing and remembering that we could be wrong. I myself, as pointed out in a post above, spent many difficult years on this journey. I had to come to the point of questioning myself, before the light started to dawn. Until we realise our own intelectual pride, we cannot see the truth.

    You see, Grace, because your theology depends on understanding before faith, it is a theology of works. Faith, because it depends on our understanding, becomes a work, not a gift from God. That is why I called it (semi?) pelagian. And no matter how hard you are (figuratively) pushing your fingers in your ears, that is the truth. Didnt God say – before they call, I will answer? How does that square with your approach to Salvation? In short – it doesn’t.

    Come to Christ, Grace, and He will give you the rest you seek, and need.

  • Tom Hering

    She is defending justification by faith. We are defending justification by grace through faith.

  • Tom Hering

    She is defending justification by faith. We are defending justification by grace through faith.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace,
    If you want civil conversation, then be civil. I could respect your desire for me to use “polite” language, though I have very little tolerance for the putting on of airs. Yet, your request has thus far been the epitome of your hypocrisy.
    You have come to this site, and from day one sounded off in judgmental fashion. You have insulted my name, and used disparaging terms towards others also. (of course the terms you use, are acceptable to you.) And then you have the gull to think yourself above hearing a quite mild expletive in the description of the unbiblical doctrine you hold too? As Louis says a legalist among legalists.
    I have at times during this conversation thought it best to ignore you. Write you off as a pharisee, and let you take your own self-righteous road to perdition. Why should I warn you of the millstone tied around your neck?
    But despite your shallow, arrogant, self-righteous, and nonsensical arguments, I have tried to be patient with you, perhaps not patient enough. For being a “strong, well studied Christian woman” you have very thin skin, and it seems no ability to self criticize.
    You ignore questions. you ignore arguments, you ignore SCRIPTURE. Oh you quote some, but have no desire to parse it out and see what it is really saying whatsoever. But you expect us to put up with your constant barrage of personal opinions backed up by neither scripture, reason, or historical scholarship.
    You have also have a penciant for not hearing a persons question and therefore not answering it. Case in point above. Louis is not questioning scriptural innerrancy, which seems to be the question you are trying to answer. He was asking a completely different question. Most of us on this board subscribe to Scriptural innerrancy, even if I side with Luther, Augustine, Eusebius, Erasmus, Cajetan, Calvin, Beza, and Zwingli and a host of other pre Trent scholars on the question of whether or not James is scripture. But I then again inerrancy is dealing with quite a bit more than questions of spelling errors, it has something to do with doctrine, and that is where I am concerned. I could care less what language the Bible is translated from, don’t much need translations myself, I’m much more concerned with what it is saying in its inerrancy, because believing the Bible is inerrant doesn’t get me to heaven, Jesus does by his grace, which he washed over me at the tender age of 3 hours, a washing of regeneration that has manifested itself in a wonderful gift I hold very dear, and which in your arrogant pride you slander with the tongue of Satan, faith. Who are you to imply that I am not born again? Who are you to tell me that my baptism, and the baptism of my son is invalid? Do you get it? Do you see it? But I don’t understand your jealousy, I almost do, except Jesus would extend the same Grace to you and your children, he says as much in Acts 2:38-39.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace,
    If you want civil conversation, then be civil. I could respect your desire for me to use “polite” language, though I have very little tolerance for the putting on of airs. Yet, your request has thus far been the epitome of your hypocrisy.
    You have come to this site, and from day one sounded off in judgmental fashion. You have insulted my name, and used disparaging terms towards others also. (of course the terms you use, are acceptable to you.) And then you have the gull to think yourself above hearing a quite mild expletive in the description of the unbiblical doctrine you hold too? As Louis says a legalist among legalists.
    I have at times during this conversation thought it best to ignore you. Write you off as a pharisee, and let you take your own self-righteous road to perdition. Why should I warn you of the millstone tied around your neck?
    But despite your shallow, arrogant, self-righteous, and nonsensical arguments, I have tried to be patient with you, perhaps not patient enough. For being a “strong, well studied Christian woman” you have very thin skin, and it seems no ability to self criticize.
    You ignore questions. you ignore arguments, you ignore SCRIPTURE. Oh you quote some, but have no desire to parse it out and see what it is really saying whatsoever. But you expect us to put up with your constant barrage of personal opinions backed up by neither scripture, reason, or historical scholarship.
    You have also have a penciant for not hearing a persons question and therefore not answering it. Case in point above. Louis is not questioning scriptural innerrancy, which seems to be the question you are trying to answer. He was asking a completely different question. Most of us on this board subscribe to Scriptural innerrancy, even if I side with Luther, Augustine, Eusebius, Erasmus, Cajetan, Calvin, Beza, and Zwingli and a host of other pre Trent scholars on the question of whether or not James is scripture. But I then again inerrancy is dealing with quite a bit more than questions of spelling errors, it has something to do with doctrine, and that is where I am concerned. I could care less what language the Bible is translated from, don’t much need translations myself, I’m much more concerned with what it is saying in its inerrancy, because believing the Bible is inerrant doesn’t get me to heaven, Jesus does by his grace, which he washed over me at the tender age of 3 hours, a washing of regeneration that has manifested itself in a wonderful gift I hold very dear, and which in your arrogant pride you slander with the tongue of Satan, faith. Who are you to imply that I am not born again? Who are you to tell me that my baptism, and the baptism of my son is invalid? Do you get it? Do you see it? But I don’t understand your jealousy, I almost do, except Jesus would extend the same Grace to you and your children, he says as much in Acts 2:38-39.

  • bernardrubbel

    Boy, there are a lot of strong apologists in this thread. What an inspiration!!

    Grace, we know that our glorious Lord defies human logic, but that is no excuse for your convoluted logic here. If I am following you correctly, your assertion is that one must believe first in order to be saved (of course after coming to some sort of “understanding”), but that children (and presumably infants) who have not reached the “age of accountability” (by the way, what the heck is the “age of accountability” and where does scripture speak to that?) go to heaven? With all due respect, that is really really really screwed up. I can’t even call it convoluted logic, because in reality, it is illogical. The Spirit works through the means of grace, i.e. Word and Sacraments (baptism and His holy supper), to bring people to faith and to nourish that faith. It’s what the bible says. Who are we to question the Almighty’s power? This does not require understanding (for heaven’s sake, if it did, we’d all fail since at least in my lifetime, I’ve never seen anyone get out of the grave after being dead for 3 days – human logic will not allow “understanding”. Faith does not jibe with “understanding”), nor does it require a decision (since if it did, we’d all choose to reject………gosh I really hate decision theology).

    By your logic, it should be our strongest prayer that ALL children would die before the “age of accountability” so that ALL people would be saved, since by waiting until that phantom age, they may just well come to “understand” that this Christ thing is all a bunch of hooey and “decide” to fall away. In essence, it would be best to die right out of the womb so that they don’t have a chance to screw up their decision. That’s messed up.

  • bernardrubbel

    Boy, there are a lot of strong apologists in this thread. What an inspiration!!

    Grace, we know that our glorious Lord defies human logic, but that is no excuse for your convoluted logic here. If I am following you correctly, your assertion is that one must believe first in order to be saved (of course after coming to some sort of “understanding”), but that children (and presumably infants) who have not reached the “age of accountability” (by the way, what the heck is the “age of accountability” and where does scripture speak to that?) go to heaven? With all due respect, that is really really really screwed up. I can’t even call it convoluted logic, because in reality, it is illogical. The Spirit works through the means of grace, i.e. Word and Sacraments (baptism and His holy supper), to bring people to faith and to nourish that faith. It’s what the bible says. Who are we to question the Almighty’s power? This does not require understanding (for heaven’s sake, if it did, we’d all fail since at least in my lifetime, I’ve never seen anyone get out of the grave after being dead for 3 days – human logic will not allow “understanding”. Faith does not jibe with “understanding”), nor does it require a decision (since if it did, we’d all choose to reject………gosh I really hate decision theology).

    By your logic, it should be our strongest prayer that ALL children would die before the “age of accountability” so that ALL people would be saved, since by waiting until that phantom age, they may just well come to “understand” that this Christ thing is all a bunch of hooey and “decide” to fall away. In essence, it would be best to die right out of the womb so that they don’t have a chance to screw up their decision. That’s messed up.


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